Kristin Tellis

  • Hosted by Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc.
  • Sponsored by The Florida Bar Foundation
  • Service location Miami, Florida
  • Law school Florida State University College of Law
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Kristin advocated for Little Haiti residents, businesses, and organizations and work to mitigate the effects of gentrification by helping them to effectively participate in decisions impacting the development of their community.

Little Haiti is a 3.5-mile area in central Miami with 108,000 residents. It is gentrifying faster than any neighborhood in South Florida, and Little Haiti residents are at risk of exploitation and displacement. The project protects the interests of Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood during ongoing gentrification by working towards the creation of new housing for Little Haiti residents, hiring local residents to fill new jobs, designating a cultural district to preserve heritage, and creating Community Benefit Agreements.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Kristin has:

  • Provided full representation to 20 clients and brief services and advice to an additional 86 clients
  • Successfully negotiated on behalf of a community coalition of Little Haiti stakeholders focused on mitigating the effects of gentrification and development, securing a community benefits agreement of $6 million as well as other benefits that preserve and enhance Little Haiti’s unique cultural and historical aesthetic
  • Drafted corporate formation documents and incorporated a community coalition to become a registered nonprofit
  • Assisted several nonprofits in obtaining 501(c)(3) status
  • Represented entrepreneurs in Little Haiti looking to form their businesses in order to promote community economic development
  • Defended small businesses and individuals facing commercial and residential evictions
  • Delivered 22 educational presentations in the community, reaching over 1600 people

What’s Next

Kristin will continue to advocate for marginalized communities utilizing the legal skills developed during her Fellowship.

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