Chairman Monestime's statement on the passing of Rev. Dr. Preston W. Marshall Jr.
(MIAMI-DADE, FL) – “With a heavy heart I join the residents of my district and the county on the loss of a friend and community leader Rev. Dr. Preston W. Marshall Jr.,” said Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime. “Dr. Marshall leaves an amazing legacy as he dedicated his entire life to the fight for equality and fairness for all, and the education of our youth and adults. My condolences to his family, friends, and everyone that enjoys a better life today because of his efforts.”
Dr. Preston W. Marshall Jr., who lived in District 2, was a native of Miami of Bahamian descent and one of the South’s few remaining historic civil rights activist who marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and experienced the hardships of “The Movement” in Tallahassee, FL.
President Ronald Reagan appointed Dr. Marshall to serve as a member of the Founding Committee to establish Dr. King’s birthday as a national holiday. At a local level, Dr. Marshal. was the founder and President of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Parade and Festivities Committee, which celebrates Dr. King’s national holiday through the heart of Miami-Dade County.
As a non-violence coordinator, Dr. Marshall was an International Police Chaplin, ordained Clergy of Gospel Ministries and Church International, Chaplain for Miami-Dade County Democratic Party, Chaplin for the Opa-Locka Police Department and also served as a Chaplain for various prisons and hospitals.
Moreover, Dr. Marshall was a Mott Fellow for Community Education with a Doctorate in Education from Arizona State University. During his 40 year tenure in the Miami-Dade County Public School System, he had the honor of being selected as one of the first principals for the school systems Community Education Vocational Education Program for high school drop outs and adults in the Miami’s Inner City and Hialeah. Also, Dr. Marshall established the first GED and vocational curriculum for Hispanic and Caribbean immigrants. He was the lead administrator for cities and schools during which time he placed many certified tradesman in jobs. He co-launched many labor union initiatives for equality and issues relating to employment in government, education and transportation. Additionally, Dr. Marshall was a Professor of Social Science and Black History for Miami Dade College and a founding Professor of Afrocentric Music Education at Florida Memorial University where he also served as the Upward Bound and Special Services Director. Furthermore, he was the Director of Teacher Corps of Florida International University, and Dean of Fort Lauderdale College.