Miami-Dade School Board District 1 Race: Let's Stay Focused!

FullSizeRender 2Miami-Dade County School Board District 1 candidates - Holloway; Bush and Gallon

The Miami-Dade County School Board District 1 Race is shaping up to be one of the hottest races of the 2016 local election cycle. Thus far, the candidates for the District 1 seat are Dr. Wilbert “Tee” Holloway (incumbent); Rev. Dr. James Bush III; and Dr. Steve Gallon III. In addition to Holloway’s current service as the District 1 School Board Member, both he and Bush are former state representatives. Gallon, a first-time candidate for public office, has momentum in his favor as he has a tremendous lead in fundraising and presence on the ground and on social media.

In the spirit of transparency, I have known each of these candidates personally for at least thirty years. I think they are all fine gentlemen, and I respect each of them for their accomplishments and service to this community. I am, however, solidly on Team Gallon because I know his experience and leadership as a school district leader, educator and business person are what our students desperately need, and parents expect today.

Both Holloway and Bush deny any involvement in an anonymous letter sent to the Miami Times recently regarding Gallon and his tenure as superintendent of schools in New Jersey. It appears that attempts to smear Gallon have not changed his campaign strategy nor diminished his support among several local leaders including Dr. Solomon Stinson; Rev. Arthur Jackson; Atty. Larry Handfield and DC Clark.

It is likely that any efforts to keep Gallon out of that seat involve powerful people who are keenly aware of the energy and power shift that a Gallon victory brings to the School Board and in the Black community. That shift could also lead to a change in how District resources are allocated and spent. Stop playing checkers while other folks are playing chess. While many Black folks are easily manipulated by what are essentially emotional, not substantive topics, local political puppet masters continue to quietly build-up other communities while sometimes redirecting funds from the Black community. Pay attention, family. Wake up. Stay woke.

A change in leadership in the District 1 School Board seat has major positive implications. For sure folks in the community must get more involved in their neighborhood schools and state level education matters. We’ll discuss this race and more as we approach the Primary Election on August 30, 2016.


Our Time Is Now. Let's Take back our children. Let's take back our schools. Let's take back our communities.


See you on the campaign trail, 


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Living with Nature in the African Diaspora: A Lecture and Community Conversation at the Historic Hampton House featuring Dr. Edda Fields-Black

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 5.52.38 PM

FieldsblackCelebrate “Homegrown Achiever” Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black, Associate Professor of History, Carnegie Mellon University and the author of Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora (2008). Dr. Fields-Black will speak about her research into the history of West African rice production. Mangrove rice farming techniques used hundreds of years ago by farmers in West Africa's Rice Coast later played a key role in the commercial rice industries in the American South.

Dr. Fields-Black will offer new ways to think about how the environment has shaped Diaspora experience. Other speakers will discuss current environmental issues threatening our land and communities. Did you know that climate change and sea level rise are likely to trigger a new wave of gentrification in our area? How can we come together to recognize the value of our land and our heritage? How can history and culture help us defend our place in Miami?


Registration and Coffee


Opening Remarks and Welcome   Dr. Hilary Jones, Associate Professor, Department of History and African & African Diaspora Studies Program, FIU


The Work of Our Hands: Rice and Rice Farmers in West Africa's Upper Guinea Coast Lecture by Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black

Go on a journey to West Africa’s Upper Guinea Coast to learn about one of Africa’s best kept secrets, agricultural technology that made the Upper Guinea Coast West Africa’s “bread basket” hundreds of years before the trans-Atlantic slave trade.


Coffee Break


What is Our Land Worth?

Brief Presentations and Small Group Discussions

Hear about the threats from sea level rise in Miami-Dade and how it is likely to affect property values and residential patterns. Discuss strategies to organize and prioritize. 


Closing Discussion and Wrap-Up 


Book Signing with Dr. Fields-Black


WHEN:    Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM (EDT) 

WHERE:    Historic Hampton House - 4240 Northwest 27th Avenue, Miami, FL 33142 - View Map


Click Here for Registration Link



CHI Becomes First Federally Qualified Health Center Nationwide to Receive Governor's Sterling Award



Miami- Community Health of South Florida Inc. (CHI) is the first Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in the nation to be awarded the coveted Governor’s Sterling Award. The South Florida not for profit comprehensive health care company has been serving the community for 45 years.  The award marks a milestone for the agency as the Sterling Award is a difficult accomplishment that only a few companies can obtain.

Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Sterling Council announced today, CHI is among just three winners including the Big Bend Community Based Care, and Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County. Also, the Pinellas County Tax Collector will receive the Governor’s Sterling Sustained Excellence Award.

“The Governor’s Sterling Award winners reflect our focus on making Florida the best state in the nation to live, work and raise a family,” said Governor Scott. “I am pleased that Florida is leading the nation and I congratulate this year’s top-performing Sterling Award recipients. This award is the highest recognition an organization in Florida can receive for performance excellence. The Governor’s Sterling Award process is an efficient tool for all organizations that saves Florida businesses millions of dollars annually.”

Community Health of South Florida Inc. has utilized data based driven tools and methodology to grow its organization. With 11 health centers and 31 school-based centers, CHI offers a wide variety of services including primary care, pediatrics, urgent care, dental, OB/GYN, radiology, behavioral health, laboratory services, pharmacy, free medication delivery and patient transportation to the residents of Monroe and Dade Counties. 

“Community Health of South Florida Inc. has been a trailblazing organization since its inception in 1971, paving the way for innovation, ensuring access for all to comprehensive healthcare and also as a teaching health center, training the next generation of medical professionals,” said Brodes H. Hartley Jr. CHI President/CEO.  “The Florida Governor’s Sterling Award confirms decades of hard work and dedication as CHI becomes the first Federally Qualified Health Center to receive this prestigious award. We are so proud of the CHI team for their hard work and commitment to earning the Sterling award.”

In 2014, CHI made headlines when it became the first Health Resources Services Administration designated teaching health center at a Community Health Center in the state of Florida. This is a critical area where doctors are needed to better serve this vulnerable population. CHI is also a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home, the highest level attainable, and its electronic health record is certified to meet meaningful use requirements.

Community Health of South Florida Inc. was created as a resource for the community serving both the insured and uninsured populations. By providing comprehensive services at each of its health centers, patients receive a holistic approach to healthcare in which they can have medical teams from different specialties working toward improving their total health. The organization also has outreach and enrollment specialists that help enroll people in the Affordable Care Act and other insurance plans. Also, there are a number of programs that help the disadvantaged afford life-saving treatments and connect them to points of care.

With more than 800 employees CHI is one of the largest FQHCs in the state. Its mission is to deliver safe, accessible, compassionate and culturally competent quality health care services to the residents of South Florida while training the next generation of health care professionals.


Miami Book Fair Presents Former Haitian President Michel Joseph Martelly’s New Autobiography

Jean Michel Martelly

Miami – Miami Book Fair (MBF) produced by Miami Dade College (MDC), in partnership with Imagineart Media Productions, will present Mr. Michel Joseph Martelly, former President of Haiti who will discuss his new book, Michel Martelly Autobiographie. The event, part of the college’s Haitian Flag Day celebrations and open to all who purchase a book, is scheduled for 8 p.m., Wednesday, May 18, at MDC’s Wolfson Campus.

In Michel Martelly Autobiographie, Martelly takes a close look at his childhood and adolescence and how he came to be one of the most influential musicians in Haiti and beyond. He also recounts the road that led him to the presidency, discusses his education, the formative influences and strong convictions that guided him while in office. 

Books will be available for sale before and after the event, and online at

For more information about MBF, please call 305-237-3258, or visit


WHAT:     Former President of Haiti Michel Joseph Martelly Presents Michel Martelly Autobiographie 

WHEN:     Wednesday, May 18, at 8 p.m. (Cocktail reception at 6 p.m.) 

WHERE:  MDC Wolfson Campus Auditorium, Bldg. 1 (second floor), 300 N.E. 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 

RSVP for free at


5000 Role Models Awarded Scholarships


Congratulations to the 81 college bound young men awarded scholarships last night, at Jungle Island’s Treetop Ballroom in Miami during the Academic Signing Day Ceremony for the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project’s Wilson Scholars. 

IMG_2821FAMU Alumni Miami-Dade Chapter President Denetra Collins and FAMU Vice President Dr. William Hudson with Wilson Scholars who will be attending Florida A&M University.

IMG_2820Florida A&M alumni Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert, Thomas Jones, Alonzo Jackson and Kenneth Williams with a future Rattler at the 5000 Role Models Academic Signing Ceremony.


Photos:   Courtesy of Kenneth Williams


Related Links:

5000 Role Models of Excellence Project Scholarships Recipients

History of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project





Bennett Students Travel Abroad To Gain Global Experiences

Joy Angbo
Joy Angbo, a business major from Brooklyn, in Nicosia, Cyprus. Angbo is participating in a Bennett College Study Abroad Program.


GREENSBORO, NC —  This semester, five Bennett College are studying abroad in countries such as Nicosia, Cyprus; London, England; and Zanzibar, Tanzania. These students say that they have been able to gain insight into their passion, develop a greater appreciation of other cultures and begin an effort to build an international network for the future.

Olivia Leaven is in her junior year at Bennett and is paying for her study abroad expenses as a Robert Kantor Scholar.  She is enrolled in the School for International Training (SIT)  Study Abroad Program in Tanzania, conducting research with a focus on coastal ecology, natural resource management, and sustainable development. The biology major and international affairs minor wants to help indigenous groups grow healthy crops that will ultimately result in reduced incidents of diabetes and high blood pressure.  She wants to create and manage a non-governmental organization that acts as an ombudsman between indigenous and underrepresented communities encouraging self-sufficiency.

Iso Leaven is passionate about making sure underrepresented communities have healthy foods.   As a student, she is currently working on establishing SanKofa Sprouts in Greensboro. Sankofa is a word in the Akan language of Ghana that translates as “reach back and get it.”

“SIT is like a beacon of light that directs me to my goals,” said Leaven.

Chelsea Moore is a junior, journalism and media studies major from Nashville, Tennessee who is studying in Nicosia, Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean. Moore says, her experience thus far has been life changing. "I've grown in so many aspects and I can now say I'm able to adapt anywhere!" 

Students often wonder are they allowed to travel to other countries while studying abroad. 

"What I'm enjoying most about my time here in Europe is the ability to travel to various countries inexpensively."

Jaiza Wesley is a junior, psychology major- Sociology minor from Olympia, Washington, who is studying in Nicosia, Cyprus, the largest city on the island of Cyprus, a part of the European Union. Her favorite course that she is taking at the University of Nicosia is “Culture and Psychology” where she is learning how important it is to take into consideration people’s culture, not only when counseling, but in everyday life.

Wesley says, “I recommend studying abroad to all students; this experience has changed my perspective on how to view the world. I believe it is important to meet and interact with people of different cultures. Take advantage of the opportunity!”

Often, students want to study abroad, but don’t know where to start. Every semester there is an Academic Cultural Enrichment Series (ACES) program available to all students at Bennett College where study abroad students share their travel experiences.

Ms. Lee Todhunter, Interim Director, for the Center for Global Studies, said, “The only restrictions for students wishing to study abroad is that they cannot be freshwoman or in their final semester of studies. Also, a minimum GPA of 2.5 is required, although some programs require higher, and students must be in good academic standing.”

The Center for Global Studies is created to help students who have inquiries about studying abroad, where to start and how to apply.

Todhunter said, “The center for Global Studies has also made an effort to partner with those who provide cost effective programs that match Bennett’s cost of attendance, including programs to countries such as Cyprus and Costa Rica and to help students identify a program that offers courses they can take for credit and one that they can also afford.”

Joy Angbo, a junior business administration major and management minor from Brooklyn, New York, is also studying at the University of Nicosia. She is enjoying the course she is taking in Corporate Finance where she is learning how to make investments. This experience is an eye-opener for Angbo since it is her first time being out of the country for an extended period.

“I can’t wait to be back at Bennett to share with my Bennett sisters my full story of this beautiful opportunity,” said Angbo. 

Kiara Mills, junior journalism and media studies major from Willingboro, New Jersey, is currently studying at London South Bank University in London, England. The program has provided her with insight on how people in different parts of the world experience an education. She is taking Professional Writing; and Cultural Memory, and American Cinema courses.


National Convening Unites Black Americans and Black Immigrants

[LOS ANGELES,CA ] – Almost 400 Black community members, leaders, organizers and activists from around the world, including some who live in Canada, Dominican Republic, South Africa, Venezuela, Mexico and the United States, participated in the Black Immigration Network (BIN) Kinship Assembly April 8 to April 10 in Los Angeles, CA. Gathering with the theme Black Love Beyond Borders, the event was the 5th national convening of the Black Immigration Network (BIN). 

BIN, the nation’s only black-led  national organization of more than 40 immigrant rights groups, brought the activists together to help tackle a myriad of issues facing Black immigrants and African Americans in the fight for justice in the U.S. The assembly addressed a wide variety of topics including  immigrant rights, refugee rights, physical and mental health, labor and workers rights, international human rights/land struggles, LGBTQ issues, mass criminalization—detention, deportation, incarceration and surveillance, Islamophobia and international feminism.  

“We brought people of diverse backgrounds together to give them an opportunity to deepen their knowledge, build relationships and strategize ways to unite African-Americans and Black immigrants on the issues that we care about,” said Opal Tometi, executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) and co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter. “Looking ahead, we are moving from a civil rights framework to one of human rights. We want to connect our movements globally to pave the road to social and economic justice.“

The convening also highlighted issues of anti-Black racism and migrant rights in countries such as the Dominican Republic  “Since the policy enacted in 2006, at least half a million people who were born or lived here lost their legal status for basic things like sending kids to school, going to hospital and other social services, just because they have Haitian ancestry, some for just looking Haitian,” said Altagracia Jean Joseph, a human rights activist living in Santo Domingo, DR. 

Nationally and internationally respected Black leaders attended the convening including Emira Woods, Charlene Carruthers, umi selah, Lumumba Bundle, dream hampton and Elle Hearns. They were welcomed by LA community organizations African Communities Public Health Coalition, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Black Women for Wellness-LA and Los Angeles Black Workers Center. Organization representatives from Priority Africa Network, Black Youth Project 100, #BlackLivesMatter International, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Trans Women of Color Collective, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Million Hoodies, Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Dignity and Power Now, UndocuBlack, the Dream Defenders, Center for New Community and more presented throughout the three day program.  

“Now is the time for all Black communities to come together,” said Tia Oso, national organizer of BAJI, “We are at a critical moment where Black leadership is transforming progressive social movements. With the DACA/DAPA case being heard by the Supreme Court, Black leadership in immigrant rights will become more and more important.”

Often overlooked in the immigration discourse, nearly 4 million Black immigrants from countries in the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and Latin America live in the United States, comprising 10 percent of the U.S. foreign-born population and 8.7 percent of the Black population in the U.S. 

One of the highlights of the assembly is a report on the “State of Black immigrants” that is slated for release in Fall 2016. For the study, BAJI partnered with New York University Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic to conduct a study of Black immigrants in the U.S. immigration system. 



Miami Dade College’s Idea Center and LaunchCode Expand Free, World-Class Computer Science Education       


MIAMI – Registration is underway for CS50x Miami, the in-person version of Harvard University’s flagship introduction to computer science course. It is now being offered completely free of charge through an expanded partnership between The Idea Center at Miami Dade College (MDC) and LaunchCode, a nonprofit that places aspiring developers and technologists into paid apprenticeships and jobs. The Idea Center is MDC’s hub for creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. 

The 20-week class will provide students with a foundation in computer programming and web development that puts them on a path to launch a career in technology. CS50x Miami, which has been offered with scholarship assistance in the past, is now free and open to the public. All applicants must register and complete a skills assessment test prior to enrolling.

“CS50x Miami is the largest and most successful coding bootcamp in South Florida,” said TheIdea Center’s Executive Director, Leandro Finol. “Now, by offering it for free, we are confident in our ability to attract South Florida’s best and brightest applicants, particularly focusing on the inclusion of minorities and women.”

LaunchCode Executive Director Brendan Lind said CS50x has proven to be an extremely effective pathway to finding a job in technology.

“CS50x is the most efficient and cost-effective way to learn the skills needed to be a successful programmer,” Lind said. “We are excited to expand our partnership with The Idea Center at MDC to offer CS50x Miami for free to the entire South Florida community.”

In addition to providing educational opportunities for students interested in learning how to code, LaunchCode places qualified candidates into apprenticeships and jobs in tech. To date, LaunchCode has placed CS50x Miami graduates with companies including MasterCard, Boeing, Modernizing Medicine, and Kairos.

To register or for more information, please visit CS50xMiami.comClasses begin Monday, June 13.


Career Source Summer Job Program for Youth 14-17 years-old


Below is Career Source Summer Youth Employment Program criteria:

  • Between 14-17 years of age
  • A U.S. citizen or eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Live in one of the following targeted zip codes: 





















If you qualify please click on this link to apply:


The Career Source Summer Youth Employment Program flyer is attached and is also located at:


Cam Newton Talks with Ebony magazine about the Super Bowl, fatherhood and the politics of being "The Realest"



CHICAGO – In the off-season, after the Super Bowl loss, Cam Newton – loving son, new father, star quarterback of the Carolina Panthers and lightning rod for critics – finally takes off his cape. In the EBONY exclusive, Trust and Believe by Charles F. Coleman, Jr, he openly addresses his regrets and rewards, and what all the controversy was really about.  In his first in-depth interview since the Super Bowl, Newton answers the questions that America wants to know – Does he regret making those pre-game comments? How does he feel about the loss? And what are his true feelings on the controversial post-game interview? 

The story also explores the media coverage of Newton and ponders the racial lens through which he is often peered going back to his early career, including threatening accusations in college. Those challenges at the start of his public life led some to doubt Newton’s ability to have a successful NFL career at all. He speaks to EBONY about those hurdles now as defining moments. “It made me think, ‘Let me get my shit together, dawg.’ That same story gives me the discipline [to make better decisions] when I’m out now,” says Newton.

Despite critics, the genuine source of Cam’s strength and resolve becomes evident after Coleman’s intimate time with the family. He reports that unlike what is often seen in both fictionalized and real depictions of Black sports stars, the Newtons are not the stereotypical clan who made it out of the ghetto thanks to the athletic prowess of their son. Rather they are a working class family from Atlanta’s College Park suburb, deeply rooted in the church. “When I see family,” Newton says, “I see the supporting cast that has helped propel me.”

Editor-in-Chief, Kierna Mayo’s takeaway from time with The Newtons, was the power of his mother’s influence on her son’s life.  In the story “Jackie ‘My-Love’ Advice from Cam’s mom on keeping kids close”, Mayo spoke with the NFL mom about the art of staying connected to your children over time.

In celebration of Black mothers, the April/May issue features: “Mama’s Boy", an interview with CNN Anchor Don Lemon where he opens up about the expansive love and sacrifice of his mother, Katherine Clark, and how it shaped his world; “Mother Nature”, insights from one woman’s holistic pregnancy journey, along with natural and organic editors’ picks beauty buys; “Sex, Dating & the Single Mom” by Entertainment Director, S. Tia Brown which urges mothers to get their mingle on and offers how-to tips; and Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux’s column Honey Child,  “Always Be My Baby”, where she explores the complex and evolving relationship between mothers and daughters through her experiences.

The EBONY Spring Double issue also boasts an essential Spring film and TV guide, a special men’s sneaker roundup and “World Passport”, the new international style section.



Bennett College hosts conference focused on brand management and sustainability of HBCUs

  Bennett College hosts conference

GREENSBORO, NC — The spring 2016 HBCUgrow LEAD Conference, on the campus of Bennett College, featured North Carolina Senator Gladys Robinson, who spoke about the many faces of Jim Crow and how HBCUs can thrive in the 2016 political landscape. “Jim Crow has many faces, not only police brutality but injustice at the levels that denies food stamps for the hungry, housing for the homeless and access to higher education for our young people,” said Robinson.  The senator also highlighted several ways that HBCUs can sustain their momentum.  She encouraged HBCU leaders to focus on fundraising, sustainable endowments and achieving strong alumni giving.  She ended her address by issuing a challenge to the audience. “I encourage you to remember how you felt when you got that baccalaureate degree from an HBCU, and then I want you to go out and lift your hands and voices so that students that attend HBCUs can feel the same way,” she said.

The conference was designed to provide HBCUs with best practices in attracting prospective students, talented faculty, and donors.  Also, the conference recognized excellence at HBCUs. The HBCUgrow  2016 Gold Award winners were:  Shaw University for LEAD website,” Florida A&M University for LEAD marketing and the President of Shaw University, Tashni-Ann Dubroy for the “Best Leadership.”

Bennett College President Rosalind Fuse-Hall delivered the keynote address for the luncheon dispelling the notion that higher education is no longer the key to opportunity. “Americans are being constantly told that we are weighing students down with excessive debt, they can’t graduate timely, and we don’t really need that many people that are well educated -- we just need a few people with a few certifications to do certain things.  We know that this is not the case,” said Fuse-Hall.”  She also discussed the importance of student enrollment, fiscal stability, fundraising, budgeting, leveraging facilities, and having a better understanding of the dynamics of governing boards.

HBCUgrow is a consortium dedicated to helping HBCUs grow enrollment and alumni giving, and tackle the changing landscape of marketing challenges. HBCUgrow helps by offering a community of like-minded professionals sharing knowledge and inspiring HBCUs to grow. The group organizes conferences and events on topics such as enrollment management, alumni engagement, and marketing. To learn more, visit or join the HBCUgrow group on LinkedIn.

College Presidents
College leaders attending the HBCUgrow LEAD Conference were (left to right): and President of Shaw University Tashni-Ann Dubroy; Bennett College President Rosalind Fuse-Hall; Dr. Debra Saunders-White, chancellor at North Carolina Central University; and Dr. Larry Czarda, president at Greensboro College.


From left to right are: Jeanne Frazer, president of Vitalink, one of the Founding Partners of HBCUgrow; Anthony Brooks, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Shaw University; N.C. Senator Gladys Robinson; Bennett College Senior Cymone Baker; David Hoard, president of DHT & Associates and an HBCUgrow Advisory Board member; Audrey Franklin, executive director of Alumnae Relations at Bennett College; and Dr. Kim Long, associate provost for Administration at Wiley College.


Flea Market Extravaganza and Voter Registration at Cosmopolitan Baptist Church of Miami Gardens 4/16



Join the Cosmopolitan Baptist Church of Miami Gardens at their first Flea Market Extravaganza, Saturday, April 16, 2016, 7AM-5PM, 3303 NW 207 Street, Miami Gardens, FL 33056. The event benefits the church’s youth department. 

Voter registration services will also be offered onsite from 9AM-3PM. Register to vote or update your voter information. Every election is important. Don't let other people make important decisions for you and your family. Petitions will also be collected to restore voting rights to almost 2 million Floridians.

#MiamiDadeCounty #Florida #Miami #MiamiGardens #Election2016 #RegisterANDVote #GOTV #LetMyPeopleVote #NoVoteNoVoice