MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Homegoing Celebration was held for trailblazing Congresswoman Carrie Meek at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens.
A funeral service followed at Caballero Rivero Dade North Memorial Park in Opa-locka.READ MORE: Deadly Crash Shuts Down Deerfield Beach Streets; BSO Cruiser Towed From Scene
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.
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.
Meek died last Sunday, November 28th, at the age of 95.
The grandchild of a slave and daughter of a sharecropper, she was born April 29th, 1926 in Tallahassee.
During her career, she was a woman of many historic firsts.
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.
She was also Miami Dade College’s first Black professor, Associate Dean, and Assistant to the Vice President.
So it was fitting that a wake was held for Monday night at Miami Dade College – North Campus’ William and Joan Lehman Theater.
She is remembered for being an advocate for the Haitian community and the underserved, her work in affordable housing, and her efforts in education. She was also instrumental in expanding MDC’s Black student population.
Watch: CBS4’s Jim DeFede remembers former Congresswoman Carrie Meek
In a recorded video, former President Bill Clinton praised her for her “remarkable” public service.
“I really loved Carrie. The voters sent both of us to Washington in 1992. In the years we served together I got a chance to see up close a remarkable combination of mind, heart, will, and considerable skill. She was an outstanding representative for South Florida because she truly cared about its people. She understood their hopes, dreams, and challenges because she lived them herself,” said Clinton.
“She was great at getting things done. From securing disaster relief after Hurricane Andrew to getting investments necessary to create jobs in her district, to fighting for refugees and immigrants, and opening new educational opportunities,” he added.
WATCH: Former President Bill Clinton’s Remarks
U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said Meek not only made history, but she made progress for our nation.
“When it came to fighting for South Florida, she was formidable, particularly in working to forge economic opportunities for working families, and in advocating for Haitian immigrants and refugees. As an educator and community leader, Congresswoman Carrie Meek knew that public service was about people and with generosity, grace, and grit,” she said.
WATCH: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Remarks
U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson praised Meek as a “fierce champion who was brilliant, but who was steeped in humility, she was resilient, courageous, tough, and she fought against racism and discrimination.”READ MORE: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Who Grew Up In Miami, Could Be Next US Supreme Court Justice
“She fought voting rights and civil rights. She was a warrior champion for the lost and the left our,” said Wilson.
WATCH: U.S. Rep. Frederia Wilson’s Remarks
Former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart praised Meek as a public servant.
“Our Lord Jesus Christ said for where your treasure is, there your heart shall be also. So how is it possible for Carrie Meek to accomplish historic achievement, after historic achievement, after historic achievement, after historic achievement, because we all knew wehere Carrie Meeks treasure was, love through service, love through service, the diligent, hard, difficult daily work of love through service. You can’t buy that,” he said.
WATCH: Former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart’s Remarks.
Carrie Meek’s family members Lucia Davis Raiford, Sheila Davis Kinui, Kendrick B. Meek Sr. paid tribute to her at Homegoing Celebration in video recording.
WATCH: Meek Family Tribute
“Her life and her work ethic was about loving people. She once told me Kendrick to serve in public service you have to love people, you can’t like them, you have to love them. Carrie Meek loved people. Carrie Meek was a perfect example of things we read about, inspired to be, and the fact that she was a part of all of our lives is a blessing in itself,” said Meek’s son Kendrick Meek Sr.
WATCH: Homegoing Celebration For Carrie Meek
On Sunday, hundreds attended her viewing at Booker T. Washington Senior High School.
The entire half-hour of last 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:
A family friend, Darryl Thomas had this to say, “She was a mild lady, but she was strong. She was a trendsetter. She was also the type of person that if you sat down with her, she’d give you motherly advice but at the same time she’d make sure you stay on the right track.”
“She’s a trailblazer in our community. She’s a trendsetting, an icon. She has done so much for so many people,” says Thomas.
Watch: CBS4’s Ashley Dyer’s report:
“We’d always be laughing; it would be jovial. Carrie made everyone feel comfortable immediately. She was a person that was always upbeat and smiling,” says Anthony Brunson, a family friend..MORE NEWS: Miami Twin Brothers Will Set Sail For Harvard In The Fall
“What made Carrie special, is as I mentioned, whether it was Kings or gentleman over on the corner, she would always encourage them to be the best they can be,” says Brunson.