YWCA Miami

My Miami Story

YWCA Hosts My Miami Story
During National Week Without Violence 


Each October, the YWCA USA, dedicates one week to a series of events throughout the country, during what is known as the Week Without Violence. Each YWCA hosts their own initiative in a show of support for women and girls who have been affected by violence.

In the wake of the exposure of Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual assault and harassment, many women, several of whom are notable actresses, have come forward to publicly share their experiences with Weinstein. Earlier this month, actress Alyssa Milano posted a tweet encouraging women who have been victims of sexual harassment and assault to use the hashtag #MeToo, to bring attention to the prevalence of unspoken sexual abuse in the home and workplace.

As the hashtag went viral, the YWCA of Greater Miami-Dade felt it was important to host a My Miami Story Conversation around breaking barriers to gender, racial, and social issues. This led to a discussion on what can be done in the face of sexual harassment and acts of violence against women. Taking part in the conversation was YWCA Miami CEO, Kerry-Ann Royes; Miami Gardens Chief of Police, Delma Noel-Pratt; Grant Writer and Founder of Funded, Chae Haile; Digital Grass Innovation and Tech President, LaToya Stirrup; Stop Parenting Alone Founder, Lina Acosta Sandaal; MCCJ Program Director, Heather Burdick; Frosty’s Flava Magazine CEO and Founder, Frances “Frosty” Remy; and Probation Station Host and Founder, MonaLisa Weber. Each woman is a leader within her industry, and expressed that despite professional accomplishments, she has been sexual harassed in some form.

The My Miami Story Conversations happened not just at the YWCA, but throughout Miami-Dade County at many locations. The conversations were supported by the Miami Foundation, as part of the organization’s overall programming designed to build a better Miami. The YWCA of Greater Miami-Dade will continue conversations around issues that affect women and girls of color, by using our platform to host more discussions and programming that directly addresses such issues.

YWCA My Miami Story Conversation Participants

Lina Acosta Sandaal

Lina began her career at Vista del Mar in Los Angeles. There, she developed expertise in child and adolescent development and infant and early childhood mental health, while strengthening her resolve to support families. She has trained and participated in research studies with Yale’s Minding the Baby, National Child Traumatic Stress Network, and Child Trauma Research Program. She brings this expertise to her work at Stop Parenting Alone.

For More information on Lina's work:  https://stopparentingalone.com/

LaToya Stirrup

Entrepreneur, producer, strategist…LaToya Stirrup likes to get things done. With over thirteen years of experience in advertising and marketing, LaToya is able to bring a wealth of knowledge to any business challenge. LaToya’s professional experience is rooted in the many consumer product, media and entertainment brands she has managed across nine years at three award winning ad agencies: Ogilvy, AgencyTen and The Community. In 2013, LaToya decided it was time to become her own CEO and leverage her diverse experience as an independent strategic consultant and project manager. As part of her entrepreneurial journey, LaToya is one of the founding members and president of Digital Grass, which is a Knight Foundation grantee committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech and innovation sectors. Additionally, LaToya has joined forces with her sisters to launch Kazmaleje, a company that is creating innovative, lifestyle amplifying tools and accessories for women with curls.

For more information on LaToya's work visit: http://digigrass.com/

Heather Burdick

Heather Burdick is the program director for MCCJ. She facilitates community conversations and directs MetroTown, a youth leadership and diversity camp, as well as Student Voices, a teen program that uses storytelling for social change. She is a restorative justice practitioner and champion for social justice, empowerment and self-expression. Amplifying the voices of youth and supporting young leaders is at the heart of her work. She co-founded and co-directs Miami Girls Rock Camp, chairs the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Miami ACLU, and, in a former life, co-founded the first all-girl roller derby.

For more information about Heather's work visit: http://miamiccj.org/

Monalisa Weber

Monalisa Weber, Founder and President of Probation Station. An Educator, Mentor, Radio host and Community Activist was introduced to the criminal justice system after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Florida Atlantic University. During her years of employment with the Department of Corrections, she managed case loads of up to 130 felony offenders and mental health cases. In doing-so, her civic duties included court appearances, interviews, field work to homes, work and rehab programs, and participation in sex offender and gang sweeps. She also served as a Senior In Court Probation Officer working alongside a Broward County Felony Judge. In this capacity, she served hundreds from within the public, advising on changes and important deadlines, and terms and conditions of supervision including house arrest, drug offender probation, prison splits, negotiating probation pleas and providing testimony and recommendations to State and Defense attorney’s.

For more information on Monalisa's work visit: http://www.probationstation.com

Delma Noel-Pratt

On May 1, 2017, Chief Delma Noel-Pratt was sworn in as the first female police chief for the City of Miami Gardens Police Department. Her vision includes working in partnership with citizens and various community/ civic organizations within the city to reduce crime and increase quality of life within the city, as well as equipping her personnel with the tools needed to stay safe and properly service the community effectively and efficiently. She is an accomplished police executive with over 24 years of sworn law enforcement experience. Her career began as a Public Service Aide for the City of Miami Police Department in 1989. In 1993, she transitioned over to the Miami-Dade Police Department MDPD), where she trained and graduated as a Police Officer. She has directed and coordinated numerous multi-agency/entity operations, focusing on Violent Part 1 Crime Reductions. As a Chief with MDPD she managed the North Operations Division, which encompassed seven different entities; three police districts and one contracted Town, the Miami International Airport, PortMiami, and the Special Patrol Bureau (approximately 1,000 employees). She later managed the Special Investigations Division which included the Court Services, Economic Crimes, Narcotics, Information Technology Services, Homeland Security and Warrants Bureaus (approximately 450 employee).

For more on Chief Noel-Pratt visit: https://www.miamigardenspolice.org/

Chae Haile

Chae Haile has nearly 20 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations – writing grants, as well as managing and disbursing grants for a local United Way. She has successfully obtained grant funding from private foundations, community foundations, corporate foundations and government entities. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, specializing in public and nonprofit management from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. A fervent advocate, Chae is involved in initiatives which support education, foster care and adoption, arts and culture, and anti-human trafficking. She is passionate about promoting the well-being of youth, families and the empowerment of communities.

For more information Chae's work visit: http://www.fundedgrant.com/ 


Frances "Frosty" Remy

Frosty’s Flava Magazine’s Publisher Frances “Frosty” Remy is a Synergist. She is the Agent that unites Visions, Opportunities and Actions to bring forth Dynamic Connections. As a former Radio Personality, the now Entrepreneur, PR/Publicist, Philanthropist, Taste-maker, Mentor, Publisher, Momager, Production Manager, Event Planner & so much more. Frosty is definitely a Jill of numerous trades, who also has a very profound focus on Empowering and Paying it Forward to the urban community, in order to release the Entrepreneur from within. By expecting the unexpected, she has been successful in fostering communication, relationships, and opportunities from the most diverse of situations. She devotes her time daily working on producing creative new ideas and productions for the Magazine, as well as with various Organizations/ Foundations contributing her time and efforts giving back to those in need in various communities.
For more information of Frosty's work visit: https://www.facebook.com/FrostysFlavaMagazine/