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Heard On Sundial: Rebranding Miami Beach, UM Doctor on COVID-19, Black Miami in the 20th Century

Miami Herald
Two women ride in the back of a convertible as it cruises along Ocean Drive

On this Tuesday, July 28, episode of Sundial:


Rebranding Miami Beach


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Miami Beach’s party scene is quiet. Bars, nightclubs, and tourist attractions have remained closed throughout the pandemic.


Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber sees the party scene’s stillness as an opportunity to rebrand his city as a family-friendly cultural hub. He is scheduled to meet with the city commission Wednesday to discuss his proposals, which include imposing a midnight last call for alcohol and turning Ocean Drive into a pedestrian walkway.


“My thought was, if we’re going to make major changes to the business climate in this community, I think it makes sense to do it now, when sort of everything is dysfunctional, frankly,” Mayor Gelber said. 


We spoke with Mayor Gelber about his new vision for Miami Beach.

UM Doctor on COVID-19

University of Miami’s Dr. Erin Marcus knows the stress that Florida’s nurses and doctors are facing from working in a primary care facility in the Jackson Health Network. Recently, she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post exploring Florida’s COVID-19 crisis from an insider’s perspective.


We spoke with Dr. Marcus about why she doesn’t believe Florida will be pandemic-free any time soon. You can read more about the interview here.


July Sundial Book Club Explores Black Miami in the 20th Century


Much of South Florida’s history was shaped by Bahamians, Haitians, other members of the Caribbean Diaspora, and African Americans. Yet Black history is often left out of public school curriculum. Sundial Book Club’s July title is Black Miami in the 20th Century by FIU professor emeritus, Dr. Marvin Dunn.


“Many schools in the [Miami-Dade Public School] system have a copy of this book that was purchased years ago when it came out. The system knows that the book exists. Some of the school board members have spoken to me about it, but there’s been no move to incorporate this book into the school system,” said Dr. Dunn. 


“I wrote this book realizing I had to use language that would be acceptable in schools. I could have told these stories in a much more adult way, believe me.”


We spoke to him about his inspiration for the book and how he hopes more students can read it.


We also talked to Kalyn Lee, Miami-Dade Public Schools’ 2020 Rookie Teacher of the Year. She's a teacher at Carol City Senior High School and has been advocating for including more of South Florida's Black history as part of the district’s curriculum.

Chris knew he wanted to work in public radio beginning in middle school, as WHYY played in his car rides to and from school in New Jersey. He’s freelanced for All Things Considered and was a desk associate for CBS Radio News in New York City. Most recently, he was producing for Capital Public Radio’s Insight booking guests, conducting research and leading special projects at Sacramento’s NPR affiliate.