The Sonoran Initiative

LAST UPDATED: November 05, 2018
Education & Youth Development
The Sonoran Initiative (TSI) began with one question: How does one survive, transform and thrive when they are born into an unforgiving, resource lacking environment? Despite its surroundings, the Sonoran Desert butterfly does exactly that by defying the odds and flourishing in the harshest of conditions. We believe this analogy is akin to the unseen beauty and potential which resides within the urban landscape of our nation. TSI is committed to ending the cycle of generational poverty and transforming the lives of our Fellows by combining education, exposure, art, healing, specific certifications, and connection to a powerful network of individuals committed to our mission. I founded this movement because, like so many people in this country, I grew up in poverty. I was exceptionally frustrated as a youth because I believed my family, friends and I possessed the immense talent and potential but had no real structure to realize it. I witnessed countless people, who I cared about and loved, fall through unfair and unfortunate cracks simply because they could not manage to find a permanent and sustainable way out of poverty. This intimate perspective of growing up in poor and often dangerous environment allows us to passionately advocate for the seemingly forgotten. By reclaiming dignity and channeling our Fellow's inherent tenacity, they will debunk inner-city stereotypes.  Our Founder's personal mantra is, “I am them.” This understanding informs TSI’s purpose perfectly.
1951 NW 7th Avenue
Miami, FL 33136

Images + Video



Founder/CEO, Executive Director
HR Technology Consultant
Vice President
NYU Professor of Film, Film Director
Real Estate Broker, Author
Board Advisor
Nonprofit Consultant
Board Advisor/Art Chair
Board Advisor
Board Advisor
Board Advisor
Owner/Founder, Body Science
Board Advisor


Liza Romero
Executive Director/CEO/Founder
Caran Hartsfield
Vice President/Film Director


This organization's financial statements were independently submitted and have not been verified by The Miami Foundation.