In a country where things are becoming increasingly diverse, it becomes necessary to gain an understanding of where the heritage of those with different cultural backgrounds come from. So on Tuesday, the Miami Dolphins brought community leaders, local youth and law enforcement to go on a cultural tour around Fort Lauderdale with Dolphins players, alumni and executives.
This was the fourth of four tours scheduled to take place throughout the year.
The tour began at the African American Research Library, which held its grand opening all the way back on October 26, 2002. Since then, it's become an integral part of the community, offering classes in computer technology and educational, recreational, and cultural programs on a regular basis.
And it also touched the heart of Dolphins wide receiver Francis Owusu, who attended the tour as one of the representative players.
"One of the ladies really said a provocative statement, she said, 'to know where you're going, you gotta really know where you come from.'" He said. "We talked about a lot of groups that came before, specifically talking about the wars and World War II, the Buffalo Soldiers really stood out, I was reading one of the - it was up on the wall - just one of the pictures that had some stuff written about it. It was awesome to read about and experience."
The tour then moved over to the Urban League of Broward County, which Dolphins tight end MarQueis Gray immediately decided after visiting, he was going to contribute to their cause.
"My favorite part of the tour so far has been going to the Urban League," Gray said. "Knowing that anyone can just walk in and use their computers, print off anything, I mean they're helping these people get jobs. They lady told us a story that she's seen a young lady working outside, told her to come in, and they gave clothes to them so they could go into interviews and she got a job that same day ... I already told one of our speakers from the Urban League that I was going to help donate clothes so they can continue to hand those out to those people for their interviews. I know wear a lot of sports and stuff but I'm pretty sure I've got some suits that I can give back."
The tour concluded at the Historical Stranahan House Museum, and a trip to Las Olas Beach, and the entire group learned something new that day, even those who have been living in the area for a very long time.
"Even for a guy like myself, I've been places today I've never been." said former Dolphins wide receiver and senior vice president of special projects and alumni relations Nat Moore. "Learned stuff and saw stuff that I've never seen and I've been here my whole life. There's so much culture when you think about Fort Lauderdale, when you think about Miami, that if we can get our kids out, we can get our friends and families out, there's a lot to learn."
There's a lot of hidden culture still to be uncovered in South Florida, and there's no doubt the Miami Dolphins are committed to continuing to help normally separate groups of people see each other's perspective in an attempt to further unify the community.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung
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