Lifestyle & Entertainment

A Moving Art Installation featuring South Florida’s Black Residents is set to tour the streets of Liberty City and Little Haiti

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MIAMI, FL - A South Florida photographer known for documenting Florida’s historically black neighborhoods is bringing her work back to the people she photographed  with a mobile photography installation.  Johanne Rahaman, creator of BlackFlorida, will unveil her latest exhibit, ‘From the South to the Southernmost- Liberty City to Little Haiti’ on a visible mobile LED screen truck that will tour these neighborhoods on Saturday, October 13, from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Inspired by the relationships and familiarity to the people and the areas, Rahaman chooses to bring the exhibit to the streets instead of showing at an art gallery which can be considered to be “white spaces” and too “exclusive” for many.  This show is one of several more similar shows to follow in different neighborhoods.

The exhibition will feature images of community events Rahaman documented between 2015 and 2016 such as: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parades in Liberty City and the monthly ‘Big Night in Little Haiti’ community festival along with the popular Rara processions.  The mobile show will also incorporate a musical score using music Rahaman curated while photographing inside the homes, churches, businesses and streets.  “While the visual show engages, the music will entertain and drive the pace of the exhibit”, says Rahaman. “I prefer to collaborate with a DJ from the communities that I'm featuring, who will curate a playlist that compliments the story of that community.”  ‘From the South to the Southernmost’ will begin at NW 7th Avenue and NW 79th Street, criss-crossing the streets and avenues to 54th Street, then across 54 Street to Little Haiti

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‘BlackFlorida’ is a photographic archive showcasing the nuances of rural towns and inner cities throughout Florida.  BlackFlorida is also one of 43 projects awarded The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Knight Arts Challenge 2017.

 


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.

 


Relaunch of Black Education Advocacy Organization Honors Local Educational Leaders Sept. 6

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Under the leadership of Miami-Dade County School Board Member, Dr. Steve Gallon III, the education community is excited about the relaunch of the Miami-Alliance of Black School Educators Black School Educators (MABSE), the local affiliate of the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE). You don't want to miss their inaugural Legacy of Excellence In Education Awards Dinner & Membership Drive, on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at NoMi Bar & Grill, 738 Northeast 125th Street, North Miami, FL 33161. The evening has been designed to reinvigorate the local community's premier organization advocating for education of all children of African descent and to honor outstanding Educators from Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.

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Congratulations to the 2018 MABSE Excellence in Education Honorees:

Dr. Solomon C. Stinson
Dr. Geneva Knowles Woodard
Ms. Johnnie Batist
Ms. Valtena Brown
Dr. Derick McCoy
Ms. Bernadette Toussaint Pierre
Mr. Derek Negron
Ms. Cisely Scott
Ms. Tawana Akins

Tickets can be purchased online at ExcellenceInEducation2018.eventbrite.com. Seating is limited and there will be no on site ticket sales. For more information, contact Vanessa Woodard Byers at info@mabse.org or (305) 879-6442.

 


$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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EBONY Magazine Presents Its Annual Fashion Issue, Starring Issa Rae

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EBONY magazine releases its Fashion issue, featuring ISSA RAE on the cover. In the accompanying exclusive interview, EBONY has an intimate conversation with the producer and Emmy Award-nominated actor who took her award-winning web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, and grew it into a media empire, which includes Rae’s HBO hit series, Insecure. She also dishes on her determination to dispel the misconception that Black women can’t be weak.

“The ability to be vulnerable with your sisters and friends is so crucial and kind of outweighs the strong Black women narrative. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. It’s just you can’t be that all the time,” says Rae.

In addition to the cover story, the Fashion issue also features the 2017–2018 EBONY HBCU Queens, who have royally demonstrated the ability to inspire, lead and give back to their communities. Readers will also get a glimpse at the latest in high-end streetwear; learn how to get Donald Glover’s fashionable look; actor Derek Luke dishes on his role in 13 Reasons Why and the importance of mental health awareness; and the Fall beauty roundup is filled with ’90s hair and makeup trends.

“The Fashion issue is all about providing a platform to showcase and celebrate the current Black players in the fashion world, whether seasoned or up-and-coming. For so long, Black people didn’t have a place to be recognized for their creativity and individuality—and EBONY is happy to provide this opportunity,” says Linda Johnson Rice, chairman emeritus of EBONY Media Operations. “This issue also celebrates young Black talent, like Issa Rae, who is breaking boundaries and empowering other women and people of color to jump feet first into the entertainment world.”

Get the September 2018 digital edition of EBONY via Texture, Google Play, Apple iTunes and Kindle now and on newsstands August 21. For more with Rae and behind-the-scenes content, visit ebony.com/InsideEbony.

 


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.