How it all started....

Known as "Lord Baron," by close friends and family, Rev. Joe Baron Silas took Miami by storm in the 70's. He forged opportunities for people of color across Miami-Dade County. Below is a brief history of some of his most notable accomplishments. We continue his legacy today through the work we do. 

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Rev. Joe Baron Silas

  • Reverend Joseph Baron Silas was born on February 20, 1942. Upon graduating from Miami Northwestern Senior High School, he decided to enlist in the United States Marines at 18 years old in 1964. After time served in the Marines, he returned back to Miami to begin his life. 

  • He attended Florida Memorial College (FMC), and received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 1973 and obtained his Masters Degree from Florida International University (FIU) in public administration in 1974. 

  • Served his community as a Dade County Sheriff Police Officer and became the first Black officer to join the motorcycle division for Dade County Deputy Sheriff Department in 1968.

  • In 1970, he joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

  • Trademarked and sold his own household cleaning products called Maximum Plus in 1981.

  • Manufactured his very own black hair care line called "JBS," and opened a beauty supply store in 1986 where he sold his own products. 

  • Founded the Dade County Federation of Black Employees Inc. for representation of underutilized employees in 1987; over 2,000 members. 

  • Chairman of the Inter-Governmental Coalition of Black Organizations, while still fighting against racism in Miami-Dade County.

  • He is responsible for Miami-Dade County Ordinance 95-67, Repealed and Re-enacted Chapter 11A (Discrimination) of the Miami-Dade County Code. During this time, he chaired the Education Fair Share Job, in which his goal was to end discrimination. 

  • Served as the President of Florida Memorial College Alumni Association beginning his term in 1993. During his tenure as president, he provided multiple college scholarships to those in financial need.

  • Florida Memorial College honored Reverend Silas by beginning the Joseph Baron Silas Political Science Scholarship. He provided leadership for the first ever conference given on "The Black Male" in the history of the State of Florida.

  • In 1997, Reverend Silas established "The Young Eagles" program within his church, Allen Chapel. The program is designed for the successful migration of young at-risk males to become functional contributing adults in society. 

  • President of People United to Lead Struggle for Equality (P.U.L.S.E.) from 2002-2006. P.U.L.S.E., a large non-profit, grassroots organization consisting of 35 civic groups and churches in Miami Dade County.

  • Years after his death, Reverend Silas has been honored in the city of Tallahassee, Miami Dade County and the City of Miami Gardens with his own day, constituted for February 23rd as Reverend Joseph Baron Silas Day.

  • Reverend Joseph Baron Silas' collection of history has recently been placed into the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theatre in Over-town, February 2018.

Image by Rachel McDermott