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Lift Lakeland

Lift Lakeland Presentation intro slide - Lift Lakeland: Bridging SOCIAL Gaps with people-centered solutions To  advance Community Harmony THROUGH vision & hope

Click above to view the Lift Lakeland Presentation from the 10.29.2020 Community Input Event.


Lift Lakeland is a community initiative designed to bridge social gaps and create a network of harmony through people-centered solutions to help reduce racial tensions. 

The Lift Lakeland Plan started when the Lakeland City Commission held a community forum event on race relations during the summer.  That event sparked follow-up meetings with community stakeholders and created the foundation for the Lift Lakeland Plan outlined below on this page.

A great deal has happened since that initial meeting that took place earlier in the summer. The Lift Lakeland process included gathering input from the community to determine the most significant gaps in society to address racial disparities.  The information was consolidated into core categories to serve as a roadmap to meet our community’s needs in the areas of mentoring, leadership development, youth sports, and public safety.

Mayor Bill Mutz said, “We really need our citizens to assist us by providing additional input as we get ready to launch the plan.  We invite you to go to LakelandGov.net/LiftLakeland and share your individual thoughts and hopefully sign up to assist with volunteering and mentorship.” 

There is also a chance to gather for Courageous Conversations where people with varying backgrounds will gather in small groups to talk about issues.  This platform is a way to help bridge racial separation and lend a better understanding of people as a whole outside of skin color.  Courageous Conversations is a great start to meet new people right away and build new relationships.

Mutz said, “We have two great ways to Lift Lakeland! You can do one or both!  If you want to meet new people right away and start building new relationships that will better our community – sign up on our website to participate in Courageous Conversations.  If you want to help build a long-term strategy and be part of solution-based planning, sign up and deploy your greatest strengths as a mentor or volunteer for our Lift Lakeland Plan because we are stronger together.”

Get Involved Today: Courageous Community Conversations

Any Courageous Conversation Starts With Listening

"In a nation who too often eschews authentic dialogue when it comes to race, justice and equality, we are inviting you to join in our commitment to engage in Courageous Community Conversations."

Get involved today! Visit CourageousTalks.com to sign up to become a CCC host or find a CCC table.

Lift Lakeland Phase 1:
Expanding Economic, Educational & Civic Involvement Opportunities

The following 9 categories are addressed as individual sections:

Key: "COL" = City of Lakeland

  • 1. Polk County Public Schools (PCPS) Academy & Career Exposure

    Optimizing Exposure to Educational & Career Opportunities

    1. Coordinate with Polk County Schools to expose eligible students to PCPS Academy opportunities & COL jobs by 5th grade
    2. Create career fair opportunities & flyers for expanded COL summer high school internships (Goal = 20 students)
    3. Offer field trips & site visits which closely match potential career opportunity interests for both the COL and other businesses
    4. Amplify career exposure summer camps to hone in on various careers within the COL
  • 2. Practical Life Education to Prepare for the Future

    Emphasizing How Life Works & Harnessing Appropriate Skills

    1. Increase neighborhood-centered after school programs (e.g. using faith-based facilities) for students providing homework training & adequate access to required filtered computer devices & networks
    2. Understanding the responsible use of social media & other permanently viewable communications
    3. Emphasize personal management classes including financial management using FCEE & UW programs.
      1. Also, prove wants vs. needs
      2. TUFF Program training
    4. Enhance career informing website use by:
      1. Creating career-opportunity social media platforms which provide interactive discussions on future career opportunities
      2. Training students & parents to access online resource tools exposing students to wide ranges of career clusters showing the “next steps” required to explore future potential careers (such as PCPS’ Kuder program
    5. Familiarize students with proper stop & arrest techniques to educate understanding on what is normal
    6. Provide civic lessons to enhance understanding of how laws are formed and how they work
  • 3. Leadership Development & Mentoring

    Increase Exposure to Programs, Organizations, Training & Sourcing Mentors to Enhance Leadership Skills

    1. Identify mentor-seeking individuals who desire to grow professional skills & vet qualified experienced mentors in a variety of job types who desire to spark a mentee’s professional development – match them together!
    2. Utilize existing business mentoring programs more effectively by providing broader outreach & exposure
    3. Provide career assessment tools to help purpose-seeking individuals identify their personal strengths
    4. Expand networking opportunities by joining local clubs to increase exposure
    5. Create restoration programs for convicted felons providing training which allows the opportunity to become productively hirable
    6. Promote the availability of training programs providing continuing or specialty education
  • 4. Lakeland Police Department: Protecting Quality of Life

    Enhancing the Balance of Respect and Order

    1. Continue ethics & de-escalation training while maintaining national & stable accreditation to support LPD's appropriate citizen interactions
      Agency-wide de-escalation training was just completed by LPD through a National Vendor & is a vital part of the current in-service role-play training in progress now. All of LPD’s National & State Accreditations are current.

    2. Provide the City Commission beginning January 2020 with comprehensive information which allows evaluation to consider of equipping LPD officers with body cameras
      LPD is currently reviewing a number of systems and their interface with their specific computer system and will have information to begin the assessment by the desired start date.

    3. Continue recruitment methods that seek additional minority recruits and develops current minority officers to advance in leadership roles. Meanwhile, consistently seek future candidates with exhibiting integrity & character
      Recruitment is currently statewide and is intensively performed on a year-round basis. Internal leadership training works to foster minority promotions department-wide.

    4. Broaden community engagement by expanding the numbers of Police Academy participants & program frequency
      This will be re-engaged following COVID

    5. Maximize community input provided to LPD both in breadth of comments and frequency of access using neighborhood associations, Citizens Advisory Board, or other methods
      Maximize Community Input Provided to LPD both in Breadth of Comments and Frequency of Access Using Neighborhood Associations, Citizens Advisory Board or Other Methods

    6. Maintain a short tolerance for officers with repetitive relationship violation issues
      LPD has a progressive discipline system already in place and violations of this type are handled swiftly with very little tolerance when a complaint is sustained.

    7. Enhance LPD’s use of social media to communicate with citizens while capturing more day-in-the-life moments of officers

    8. Educate the citizenry on the importance of effective policing and the difference between heart problems and department problems

      Points 7 & 8 Have a Combined Answer Utilizing these Existing Programs:

      The expansion of the Neighborhood Liaison Program and the Community Services unit are instrumental in reaching these goals as parties work together building relationships through Public Education & Understanding.

      This is another service of the Community Advisory Board as it enhances citizen understanding and Police appreciation for necessary growth in policies and interactions.
  • 5. Venture Capital & Other Support

    Providing Business Support through Professional Assistance And Favorable New Growth Financing

    1. Create several neighborhood partnership teams that perform basic repairs or paint homes of elderly citizens who cannot do so themselves
    2. Identify established minority businesses within challenged City districts which can grow with predictable proformas & additional capital infusion [$5,000 - $10,000 range/ea.]
    3. Identify additional COL capital improvement (infrastructure) needs within challenged City districts (particularly in NW & SW areas) to aid business growth or help improve home values
    4. Actively seek to attract a large reputable corporation (75+ employees) and provide bonus COL incentives when it complies with desired minority hiring priorities
    5. Encourage the Dream Center, Talbot House & Lighthouse to provide more job training skills and recommend qualified employee candidates to desiring companies
    6. Begin COL Commission evaluation to consider the creation of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to expand livable housing for lower AMI citizens
  • 6. Courageous Community Conversations

    We Gain Community & Life Perspective When We Walk A Mile In Someone Else’s Shoes

    To register, visit CourageousTalks.com.

    If you have any questions, email Coordinator Kelvin McCree at Hello@CourageousTalks.com


    City residents can engage in meeting randomly assigned, cross-cultural citizens in a group (size: 10 – 14 people) through virtual or in-person meetings which will continue with those same people at least four times (probably monthly) a video recap will capture heart-to-heart sharing upon each group’s final meeting participants will be encouraged to lead a new group for round # 2 which will expand relationships & community appreciation.


    To register, visit CourageousTalks.com.

    If you have any questions, email Coordinator Kelvin McCree at Hello@CourageousTalks.com

    If you would like to get involved, be sure each desiring person emails the address below to be added to the Courageous Community Conversations & to Receive Additional Information.

  • 7. Community Opportunities

    Becoming Community Specialists Who Focus On Awareness & Consider All Citizen Needs Broadly

    1. Identify, triage & remove disability barriers to enhance inclusion and overcome obstacles wherever feasible
    2. Encourage community celebration & participation in harmony-building events during low utilization times at the RP Funding Center or other affordable priced venues
    3. List career assessment organizations to assist purpose-seeking students to identify their commercial strengths also, offer career assessment tools for purpose-seeking adults to identify realignment insights to pursue careers best served by their strengths
    4. Create a community-wide website consolidating Lakeland-area not-for-profit program info which highlights each organization’s purpose links to promote greater inclusion
  • 8. City of Lakeland Additional Potential Initiatives

    Providing Other Opportunities to Enhance the Future

    1. Increase opportunities for year-round, part-time internship programs within COL departments to expose a broad base of students to future vocational opportunities
    2. Expose, encourage, and expand minority participation on City boards and committees by creating videos & overviews of each committee’s purpose & tasks which are posted on the COL’s website
    3. Maximize intentionality & balance of community inclusion in all COL video & print communications
    4. Enhance survey tools to gain broad community input regarding existing problems, desired services, or growing issues & combine with others’ surveys
  • 9. Leveraging Lift Impact Through Youth Sports

    Coupling Sports Skills With Life Mentoring Opportunities

    1. Strategically revitalize the PAL program to enhance the participation of student sports through tools such as the mobile center
    2. Utilize the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), FX Kids, Synced Soccer Academy, Teach a Kid Fishing, Idols Aside, and other organizations to bring people together to build character and sports synchronously

Get Involved: Community Involement

If you want to help build a long-term strategy and be part of solution-based planning, sign up below, and deploy your greatest strengths as a mentor or volunteer for our Lift Lakeland Plan because we are stronger together.

Contact Info

First Name, Last Name
Street, City, State, Zip
Primary Phone #
Please express your interest in volunteering/mentorships and check all those areas where you can add your valuable input.
The education component is critical. We are looking for individuals that have an interest in helping our school-age students prepare for careers through academies, internships, summer camps, and mentoring.
The goal of the Leadership component is to increase exposure to programs, organizations, training, and job mentorships to enhance leadership skills for our youth.
Broaden community engagement in the areas of transparency, review recruitment, and officer training.
Provide business support through professional acceptance and new growth financing in helping businesses succeed.
Leverage life impact through youth sports by coupling sports skills with life mentoring opportunities.
Become a community specialist that helps bring the community together through awareness and considers the needs of ALL citizens.
Check this box if you would like to provide input, but not volunteer/mentor.
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