Faith & Family

Catchings-Smith Installed as Chair of NPHC Council of Presidents

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Deborah Catchings-Smith

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) announced the installation of Deborah Catchings-Smith, International President, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, as chair of the NPHC’s Council of Presidents (COP) for a one-year term effective immediately. 

In this role, Catchings-Smith will preside over meetings of the COP and will be its highest-ranking member. The council is composed of the elected president of each member fraternity and sorority, known as the “Divine Nine”--- Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.

The COP is responsible for the broad general policies of the NPHC and directing the national executive board of directors regarding activities executed on behalf of the organization.

“I’m honored to work with my colleagues and seek new ways to collaborate with the Divine Nine organizations and identify opportunities or address issues that face our organizations, communities and the nation,” Catchings-Smith said. 

 

 


Black Media Professionals Honored at Second Annual BOMA Awards

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Black media professionals honored at 2018 BOMA Awards.

MIAMI – It’s not often that you’ll hear a faith-based economist quoting the rapper Drake or have the opportunity to sit in a room filled with 150 of South Florida’s most talented black media professionals, but that’s exactly what happened Thursday, September 20, at 11 a.m. when the Black Owned Media Alliance (BOMA) held the Second Annual BOMA Awards at Miami’s Hilton Airport Hotel.

Experts from various aspects of the industry came together to honor the multi-talented individuals who have dedicated their careers to not only authentically telling the African Diaspora’s stories, but also creating economic opportunities to build its wealth and strengthen its core.

WMBM’s Debra Toomer served as the Mistress of Ceremony and Dr. Lance McCarthy – a nationally recognized Faith-Based Economist and Investment Advisor with a specialty in Urban Development – delivered the keynote.

After giving some staggering statistics, McCarthy challenged the audience to implement the 3Cs of consciousness, currency and communications to enrich the Black community.

“We’ve had the DNA of black business owners since the beginning of time. We know black history, but not black business history. …We don’t need any more programs, we need projects. How do we put information out there continuously on black wealth? How do we create a platform to be able to move our agenda forward,” McCarthy asked.

“The sin is not being blind, the sin is not being deaf, the sin is not doing what God called you to do,” McCarthy continued, saying Drake got it right when he said “YOLO (You Only Live Once),” “God’s Plan” and “Started from the Bottom Now We’re Here.”

Honorees included: Teri Williams, President of OneUnited Bank as BOMA Champion of the Year; Bernadette Morris, Founder and Chairman of Sonshine Communications as BOMA Icon of the Year; Publix as BOMA Advocate of the Year; Sandy Walker, Publisher of The Gospel Truth, as BOMA Vanguard of the Year; Peter Webley, Publisher of Caribbean Today, as BOMA Visionary of the Year; and John Yearwood, Yearwood Media Group, as BOMA Luminary of the Year.

Award winners included:  Hip Rock Star, Marketing Firm of the Year; S.A. Nelson & Associates, PR Firm of the Year; WOW Factor, Advertising Agency of the Year; The Mosaic Group, Black Advertising Agency of the Year; Calibe Thompson, Blondie Ras Productions, Inc., Best TV Communicator of the Year; Lynda Harris, Independent Financial Advisor, Best Radio Communicator of the Year; Russell Motley, MIA Media Group, Best Print Communicator of the Year; Tracy Timberlake, Timberlake Ventures, Best Digital Communicator of the Year; LaShannon Petit, PRPL Miami, Best Social Media Communicator of the Year; David Muir, Photo/Video Journalist of the Year; and Arriale Henry, The Westside Gazette, BOMA Rising Star Award.

In addition to serving as the MC, Toomer received the President's Award for her commitment to excellent service and BOMA President Dexter Bridgeman received the first Spirit of Dexter Bridgeman Award, an annual award created in his honor as the organizing founder of BOMA.

Bridgeman said the organization was created in 2015 to address the disparity that exists in South Florida for black-owned media outlets when it comes to receiving viable economic and financial opportunities.

 


$1.1M Available to Black-Owned Businesses in Florida. Come Out Thursday, August 23 to See If Your Business Qualifies

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Thanks to a $1.1 million grant included in last year’s budget,   black-owned businesses across the state can now apply for a loan through a program administered by the Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union in partnership with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Locally, the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) and Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union will present LOANS AND LENDING FOR BLACK BUSINESS OWNERS, 6:30pm-8:00pm, Thursday, August 23, 2018, St. Paul AME Church, V.F. Mitchell Fellowship Hall, 1866 NW 51 Terrace, Miami, FL 33142. 

“The MDCPS Office of Economic Opportunity is excited to partner with the FAMU Federal Credit Union and provide meaningful information on loans and lending to local black businesses,” said Torey Alston, head of OEO for Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Learn more about the application process and requirements to access these funds. The event is FREE to attend. You may RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/introducing-florida-am-university-credit-union-tickets-48927176502. Please share this information with your networks.

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Bethune-Cookman Marching Wildcats Subject of Netflix Docu-series “Marching Orders”

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Bethune-Cookman University Marching Wildcats are the subject of a 12-episode docu-series on Netflix.



“Marching Orders,” an original unscripted series, takes viewers inside the Marching Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. The band’s rich history includes being showcased at major sports events from the Super Bowl to NFL games and was featured in the popular film “Drumline” starring Nick Cannon and Zoe Saldana. This 12-episode series, Marching Orders, premiered on Friday, August 3 on Netflix and was produced by Stage 13/Gigantic Productions.



For students, becoming a member of the Marching Wildcats will be one of their most significant life achievements. The legacy, history, and honor of earning a spot in the 300-member plus band is a pivotal moment that is often rooted in the students’ own familial histories. Expectations run high for the new generation of Marching Wildcats.



It’s difficult to convey just how important marching bands have become in the culture and climate of HBCUs unless one has lived it as an undergraduate student. While many rival institutions will take issue with the Marching Wildcats being touted as the nation’s best, that is par for the course. Let the trash-talking continue.

“Nobody works as hard as we do,” says Band Director Donovan Wells, in the series opener. “Nobody pays attention to the details as much as we do.”

 

 

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Ribbon cutting and dedication of Arthur Woodard Park set for 4 pm, Friday, August 10

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On Friday, August 10, at 4 p.m., the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department and Miami-Dade County District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime will officially dedicate the new Arthur Woodard Park, named in honor of my Dad.

My family is appreciative that Commissioner Monestime sponsored the Miami-Dade resolution for the park naming at the request of the community.This dedication is even more special as my Dad used to personally maintain the greenspace although it was privately-owned land at the time.

“I applaud the Parks Department for their great work in bringing this much needed park development to fruition,” said Commissioner Monestime.  “Arthur Woodard Park stands as a living legacy to beloved educator and civic leader Dr. Woodard, as well as a vibrant recreational space where neighbors and their children can gather for generations to come.”

“Parks and open spaces are vital to community living,” said Maria Nardi, Miami-Dade Parks Director. “This park is another shining example of Miami-Dade Parks’ dedication to enhancing green spaces, where people will be inspired to exercise, play, and relax with nature.”

The park is located at 1220 NW 99th Street, Miami, FL.33147. Family, friends, residents of the surrounding Twin Lakes/Pinewood Park community, and my Dad’s former co-workers and students, are invited to attend the ceremony. At the request of family and friends unable to attend, we plan to do a Facebook Live broadcast via my Blogging Black Miami Facebook page

 

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Affirming Youth Foundation Opens Its New Computer Tech After-School Experience Lab To Help Students In The Edison And Little River Communities.

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Affirming YOUth Foundation has been providing assistance in the community even before the organization officially opened its doors this past Saturday, August 4, 2018. The Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)-TechKnowledgy Computer Lab officially opens when students return to school at the end of August. The lab will be instrumental in helping students who might not have computers at home with their homework. Students will also take part in digital strategies and techniques that assist in SEL. This SEL-lab will be the first of its kind in this community.

The Affirming YOUth Center will also help students with their social and emotional well-being by collaborating with students to develop strategies to deal with emotions in a healthy way. The programs will empower them to identify thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions that make life harder; and, assisting them to identify their strengths and build on them so they can feel better about him/herself and their life.

“We are so proud to work with AT&T in providing state-of-the-art technologies to help bridge the digital divide for our communities,” said Jonathan Spikes, Founder and Executive Director of Affirming YOUth. “The lab will be a valuable resource to the youth in the identified communities especially as our youth prepare for college and 21st Century careers.

Affirming YOUth Foundation was selected by AT&T because of their robust educational programming and resource center that helps youth develop social-emotional skills. The Lab will be stocked with desktops, printers, flat-screen television and movable furniture. Staff, volunteers and community partners will host technology classes, digital literacy workshops, STEM programs and open labs for state-of-the-art learning experiences.

 "AT&T believes it is critical for students to have access to the tools and support systems they need to graduate, succeed in college or enter the workforce as they strive to reach their full potential," said Cristal Cole, AT&T Florida external affairs who presented Affirming YOUth with a check for $25,000. "We are proud to support community programming provided by organizations like the Affirming Youth Foundation, who help foster a safe environment where children can dream big and access the resources they need to be successful in life."

Board President, Dr. Tangier Scott, lauded AT&T for its constant support of youth initiatives and providing resources for closing the digital divide.

“Today’s youth must be tech savvy to compete for jobs in the global economy,” Scott said. “I’m elated and excited that Affirming YOUth and AT&T are collaborating to create amazing educational opportunities for our youth to succeed now, and for years to come.”

The grand opening, hosted by WHQT Hot 105, radio personality Shelby Rushin, started with a musical presentation by the Miami Northwestern Marching Band.

Speakers included: School Board member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall; Adrian Rogers, Principal of Liberty City Elementary School; Pastor Joaquin Willis; Pastor Robert Stephens III; and Jonathan Taylor.

To learn more about Affirming YOUth visit www.AffirmingYOUth.org.


It's voting time! No excuses. Let's Go!

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Citizens of Wakanda, election season is upon us. Primary election day is August 28, 2018. If you are registered to vote in Florida, remember that you can vote by mail, vote early at any early voting site in your county or vote at your precinct on election day. See relevant information on the Miami-Dade County Elections site

Please see these resources from the League of Women Voters: BeReadyToVote.org and Vote411.org. Remember that the people who run things are those who vote. Blacks in Miami-Dade County are not expected to vote in significant numbers as long as Barack Obama is not on the ballot. Don't get mad, just vote. Wakanda Forever! 

This is how we should roll up in the polls to vote. #SquadGoals

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 Always remembering this:

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Choosing not to vote
 

 

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Judicial Candidate Forum, Mon. Aug. 6 at New Birth

GSCBWLA Judicial Candidates Forum 2018

The Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association (GSCBWLA), the Dade County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the South Florida Chapter of the National Action Network, the League of Women Voters, the ACLU of Florida, and the Miami Chapter of Jack and Jill of America are hosting a free community Judicial Candidates Forum on Monday, August 6, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. at New Birth Baptist Cathedral of Faith International, located at 2300 Northwest 135th Street, in Miami, Florida 33167. 

All of the Miami-Dade County judicial candidates, who will be on the August 2018 Primary Election ballot, have been invited to this Forum.  During the August Primary Election, there will be two (2) contested circuit judge seats and five (5) contested county court seats on the ballot.  In addition to presenting the candidates, we will also be presenting a Judicial Candidate Resource Guide for voters. 


CALL TO ACTION: Murder of Markeis McGlockton and Florida's Stand Your Ground Law

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BALTIMORE  — The NAACP Florida State Conference calls on the U.S. Department of Justice to open an immediate investigation and immediately intervene into the murder of Markeis McGlockton.

 “We know the misapplication of this horrendous idea of a law of standing your ground was an excuse to allow George Zimmerman to get away with murdering a young Trayvon Martin; and now it’s being used as an excuse for the murder of Markeis McGlockton –a loving father who only sought to defend his family,” said NAACP Chairman and Florida native Leon W. Russell.

The alleged killer, Michael Drejka, was not arrested or charged by Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri based on the Sheriff’s acceptance of his claim of the right to kill McGlockton according to the “Stand Your Ground” law. The case has been referred to the State’s Attorney who will determine whether Drejka’s excuse for murder will be accepted or if he will be charged? Regardless of the State Attorneys decision, the National Office of the NAACP joined the NAACP Florida State Conference and the NAACP Clearwater, Florida Branch in demanding the Department of Justice step in and investigates this killing.

“In cases like this, where local law enforcement fails to protect its citizens equally, it is the duty of the Department of Justice to step in and provide those protections,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “We call on Jeff Sessions to do his job and to forcefully and clearly counter the growing attitude among many that its open season on Black lives.”

The Florida NAACP has continued to monitor the case and stand firm in its call for justice.  “This law must be changed. How many more black men and women have to die based on this inhumane law.” said Adora Obi Nweze, NAACP Florida State Conference President and National Board member.

“We’ve got to fight back against this law, it’s basically a license to target and kill Black people,” said Marva McWhite, NAACP Clearwater Branch President.

The NAACP will participate in a rally on Sunday against the killing that features the Rev. Al Sharpton.


St. John Community Development Corporation’s Things are Cooking in Overtown Gala Celebration Returns for its 18thYear

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The Board of Directors of the St. John Community Development Corporation (St. John CDC) will host its 18th Annual Fundraising Gala titled Things Are Cooking in Overtown on August 24th. Gala proceeds will be used to provide scholarships to college-bound Overtown students with stellar academic achievement and leadership skills, as well as help Overtown residents find affordable housing.

This year's Gala theme, Overtown Matters… A Renaissance on the Horizon, will celebrate the area’s historic roots and future, its culture, and its cuisine. The evening will include a sizzling cocktail reception, our signature buffet dinner, dancing, and live entertainment by Miami’s own A. Randolph & The Smash Room Project.

Guests can also participate in a silent auction for a chance to win items such as sports memorabilia, dinners, high-end jewelry, spa certificates and much more. In addition, there will be an honorary tribute to Dr. Nelson Adams, III, a celebrated Miami physician, community activist, and a founding member of St. John CDC who has chaired its board of directors for the past 22 years.

“I’m proud to be part of an organization that has helped to preserve Overtown’s historic heritage,” said Adams. “We must continue to preserve and celebrate our history but more importantly we must posture ourselves to help in making the Overtown community an optimal place to live, work, worship and play. Not just for some of us but for all of us.”

Event Details
Date: Friday, August 24, 2018
Time: 6:30-11:00 p.m.
Location: Jungle Island, Bloom Ballroom, 111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, FL 33132
Cost: $100; Purchase tickets at www.stjohncdc.org
 

About St. John Community Development Corporation (St. John CDC)
In 1985, members of the St. John Institutional Missionary Baptist Church in Overtown founded the St. John CDC to address the economic decline of Overtown. Since then, this 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, community-based organization has lead efforts to revitalize predominantly African-American neighborhoods in the greater Miami-Dade area. For more than 30 years, the St. John CDC has provided a host of economic and social development services that have helped to reduce crime and homelessness, while increasing homeownership in these areas. For more information or to make a contribution, visit www.stjohncdc.org.