By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Congresswoman Carrie Meek made history at Miami Dade College and spent a good portion of her career there.

She was the college’s first Black professor, Associate Dean, and Assistant to the Vice President at Miami Dade College.

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So, it’s only fitting that a wake for the respected trailblazer was held there Monday night, where hundreds gathered.

“To know Rep. Meek was to know someone who lived her life fiercely and unapologetically, working tirelessly for decades to promote justice and equality for all in Florida and beyond,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “And not once did Carrie Meek ever shy away from using her voice to speak out against acts of injustice.”

Remembered for being an advocate for the Haitian community, her work in affordable housing and her efforts in education. She was also instrumental in expanding MDC’s Black student population.

“She was someone who served as an example, always compassionate, always willing to help,” said Miami-Dade College President Madeline Pumariega. “I remember the night the college named the Meek Center. She was beaming, because she knew that it would stand for what she stood for— hope and opportunity.”

Meek inspired others through her work.

“Whatever she asked me to do, I did it. So, my dear friend and protector, I am because of you,” says Miami-Dade School Board Member, Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall. “Children yet unborn will benefit because of her legacy.”

On Sunday, hundreds attended her viewing at Booker T. Washington Senior High School.

“As a family, we are so overwhelmed by the support this community has given the congresswoman,” said Meek’s son former Rep. Kendrick Meek.

Sunday’s viewing was the first chance for the public to pay their respects.

“I consider her a humanist, someone who cared about individuals. Who cared about human beings, it didn’t matter if you’re Black, white, Hispanic, gay, or whatever she cared about human beings,” said Reginald Homma.

Meek died last Sunday, November 28th, at the age of 95.

She was a woman of many firsts.

Meek, the grandchild of a slave and daughter of a sharecropper, was born April 29th, 1926 in Tallahassee.

During her storied career in public service, she had several landmark accomplishments.

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Meek was the first African American woman in the state Senate and one of the first Black Floridians elected to Congress since the Reconstruction Era. For decades she fought for the underserved, one of her many passions was making higher education affordable and accessible. Another of Meek’s legacies is what she did for affordable housing.

“Her spirit is alive and well and now as we continue to celebrate her life for the next couple of days, it’s something that I think we will never forget,” said Kendrick Meek.

Monday’s wake was held at Miami Dade College – North Campus’ William and Joan Lehman Theater, 11380 NW 27th Avenue, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On Tuesday, family and friends will attend a Homegoing Celebration at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, at 21311 NW 34th Avenue in Miami Gardens. A funeral service will follow.

Prior to the funeral service, her family will take part in a motorcade procession, “the Carrie Meek Final Farewell Journey,” that will pass by key landmarks associated with her life, family spokesman Adam Sharon said in a news release.

CBS4 will air the Homegoing Celebration beginning at 11 a.m. and you can watch it online at CBSMiami.com.

The entire half-hour of Sunday’s ‘Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede’ was devoted to the life and legacy of Meek.

He spoke with those who knew her best and visited her home for a conversation with her son Kendrick Meek.

Watch Part 1 in the video player below:

 

Watch Part 2 in the video player below:

 

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In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the Carrie Meek Foundation, which she founded in November 2001 to provide the Miami-Dade community with much-needed resources, opportunities and jobs. Meek led the Foundation’s daily operations until 2015 when she stepped down due to declining health.

CBSMiami.com Team