Miami, Florida is well-known for its beautiful beaches, flavorful food and cultural diversity. It is also home to several important Members of Congress, an economic hub in the South and a critical gateway between the United States and the rich, complex and vibrant cultures of Latin American and the Caribbean. With this strategic significance in mind PAI traveled to Miami on March 9th for two events with local leaders. The events were born out of connections made during PAI’s May, 2011 event, “Local to Global – Women Leading the Way.”

Together with CARE and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, PAI hosted a policy breakfast on March 9th in Coral Gables. PAI worked with volunteer leaders Alix Gordon and Betsy Skipp to convene an impressive group of advocates to discuss the importance of protecting the international affairs budget, and fighting attempts to limit women’s access to contraception both at home and around the world. This group of advocates debated the key challenges facing advocates for global health and development programs, and the best messages and tactics to protect these critical U.S. investments.

Together with Ana Oliveira of the U.S. National Committee for U.N. Women, PAI also hosted a lunch discussion with twenty prominent businesswomen from the Miami area. With their own strong connections to the region, this community of women was eager to identify what is important now, where innovation is taking place and how an organization like PAI can make the greatest impact for women and girls. With perspectives from the private, government, health and philanthropic sectors, the conversation provided a strategic platform to consider how women in the greater Miami area are particularly well-positioned to parlay their own cultural and professional connections into opportunities for women in Latin American, the Caribbean and around the world.

Looking ahead, PAI will continue to grow connections in the Miami area. We will also branch out to other regions around the U.S. to build support among – and learn from – advocates, business leaders and other trailblazers from a wide spectrum of disciplines in to  deepen support for international family planning and reproductive health. PAI looks forward to continuing to build strategic relationships in the region in support of women’s health and rights, locally and globally.