People You Should Know

Proud And Persistent: The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. Celebrates 40th Anniversary At Annual Symposium Workshop & Awards Luncheon

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WASHINGTON/PRNewswire/ -- The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. (BWA) celebrated its 40th anniversary, Thursday, September 21, 2017, hosting its Annual Symposium Workshop & Awards Luncheon in the nation's capital and encouraging the more than 1,200 elected officials, journalists, corporate and community leaders and members of its National Collaborating Organizations who attended the event to help chart a path for the future.


"For 40 years, The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. has protected, secured, and advanced, the issues and rights of African-American women and their families," explained BWA President Gwainevere Catchings Hess. "Today we pay tribute to our founders. In these anxious and uncertain times, we also reaffirm our commitment to speaking truth to power and securing for Black women all of the opportunities and privileges America promises its citizens."
During its Awards Luncheon, BWA continued the tradition of recognizing the achievements of phenomenal women. This year's award recipients included:


The Honorable Kamala D. Harris – Dynamic U.S. Senator representing the State of California and a lifelong public safety and civil rights leader. Serving as California's Attorney General, Harris prosecuted transnational gangs exploiting women and children and trafficking in guns and drugs. As a member of the Senate, she co-introduced a bipartisan bill which encourages states to reform or replace the practice of money bail. She spoke out against President Donald Trump's decision to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military and called upon him to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides immigrant students who arrived in the U.S. as children with temporary relief from deportation. Senator Harris was presented with BWA's President's Award.


April Ryan – White House Correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Network and a political analyst for CNN, accepted BWA's Education Award. A member of the White House press corps for more than 20 years, Ryan has distinguished herself by conducting one-on-one interviews with Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama, as well as key members of their administration. She has also kept issues of interest and importance to minorities front and center by posing tough questions to President Donald Trump and his staff during press conferences and White House briefings.


Cadet Simone Askew – The first African-American woman to lead the 4,400 Corps of Cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point received BWA's Pinnacle Award. An international history major from Fairfax, VA, Askew assumed the highest position in the cadet chain of command last month. As first captain, she is responsible for the overall performance of the Corps of Cadets as well as serving as a liaison between the cadets and the military school's administration.


Patricia A. Maryland, Dr.PH – Executive Vice President Ascension and President and Chief Executive Officer Ascension Health Care, was the recipient of BWA's Health Award. Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. Dr. Maryland has responsibility for the strategic and operational aspects of Ascension Healthcare, with more than 141 hospitals and 2500 sites of care in 24 states and Washington, DC.


Dr. Hazel N. Dukes – President, NAACP New York State Conference, was introduced as the organization's Economic and Business Awardee. Dr. Dukes has a long and devoted record of helping to improve the quality of life in New York State, promoting equality and human rights, and linking business, government, and social causes. Dr. Dukes also serves on the NAACP National Board of Directors and the organization's Executive Committee.


Briana Richardson – a freshman at Spelman College, majoring in political science received BWA's Bright Future Award, which recognizes a student or group of students whose academic achievements and service to school and community distinguish them as future leaders and success stories. The co-founder and president of her high school's "The Activist Among Us Club," Richardson was named by former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick as one of the state's "Outstanding Young People."


This year, BWA's perennially popular workshop invited women to focus on themselves by "Living Your Best Life at Every Age." Moderated by lawyer and television personality Star Jones, the interactive forum encouraged the nearly 700 participants to broaden horizons, welcome challenges and agitate norms. Panelists included: Michelle Ebanks, President, Essence Communications, Inc.; Linda Goler Blount, President and CEO, Black Women's Health Imperative; Tashni-Ann Dubroy, Ph.D., Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer, Howard University and former president of Shaw University; Cadet Simone Askew, First Captain, Corps of Cadets, United States Military Academy; Nikki Giovanni, Distinguished Professor, Virginia Tech University and a celebrated poet, writer, and activist, and Claudia Jones, Senior VP, Public Affairs and Communications, AT&T.


BWA also hosted an Inform & Inspire workshop for middle-school age girls enrolled in a Washington, DC chapter of Girls, Inc. The program featured Kara McCullough, a physical scientist at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the reigning Miss USA who, in a lively, candid discussion, reminded the girls that pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, setting goals and working hard to realize them can be a beautiful thing.


In the United States these days, the word "out" is popping up with disturbing frequency," said BWA's Hess. "There are people who want to kick LGBTQ service people 'out' of the military. There are those who are in favor of building a wall to keep immigrants 'out' of our country. Officials are redrawing districts in various cities to keep some citizens 'out' of the voting booths. That's not who we are as a nation, and it can't be what we allow America to become. Today, I ask you to reject the politics of fear, hatred, and division and focus instead on the word 'in.' Invite, inform, inspire, initiate, instruct, invest, innovate, include. We must take an active role in reclaiming this nation's conscience, and we must begin this work today."

 


Folk Heritage Award Recipient William “Billy the Kid” Emerson Honored in Ceremony in Tarpon Springs

TALLAHASSEE— The Florida Folklife Program and the City of Tarpon Springs recognized 2017 Florida Folk Heritage Award recipient, William “Billy the Kid” Emerson, in a special ceremony today hosted at the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum. This ceremony honored Mr. Emerson for his lifelong contributions as a songwriter and producer.

William Emerson was born in Tarpon Springs in 1925, where he learned to play piano in church. Following in the footsteps of his uncle George Hannah, Emerson began performing publicly throughout the area. He joined the Navy in 1943, and after the war, resumed performing with Tampa area acts including Ivory Mitchell, the Billy Battle Band, and Alfonso Brown Band. He acquired the nickname “Billy the Kid” while playing with a band that dressed like cowboys.

Also a talented athlete, Emerson attended Florida A&M University on an athletic scholarship but left to serve in the Air Force during the Korean War. He later met Ike Turner and after being discharged, joined Turner’s Kings of Rhythm band. In 1954, he signed a contract with Sam Phillips and wrote and recorded hits for Sun Records including “When It Rains It Really Pours” (later recorded by Elvis Presley) and “Red Hot.” In 1955, he joined Vee-Jay Records, where he released “Every Woman I know (Crazy ‘Bout Automobiles).” Shortly after, he joined Chess Records as their recording manager. Emerson later formed Tarpon Records, and continued to record and perform rhythm & blues both internationally and abroad.

In 1978, Mr. Emerson rededicated himself to his faith, became a pastor and returned to Tarpon Springs where he continues to serve his congregation and compose sacred music. Although he no longer performs secular music, the compilation album, Red Hot: The Sun Years, was released in 2009, and Mr. Emerson was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

 

William Emerson
William Emerson publicity photo

The Florida Department of State presents Florida Folk Heritage Awards annually to citizens who have made long-standing contributions to Florida’s cultural heritage by perpetuating community traditions. Like the National Heritage Fellowships, the Florida Folk Heritage Awards honor the state’s most influential tradition bearers for excellence, significance and authenticity as folk artists or folklife advocates. Information on how to make a nomination is available here and additional information regarding past recipients, including photos and bios, is available here.

The Florida Folklife Program is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Folk and Traditional Arts Program. For further information about the Florida Folklife Program, contact State Folklorist Amanda Hardeman at 850.245.6427 or visit flheritage.com/preservation/folklife.

 


HAIL TO THE CHIEF: EBONY to Release President Obama Commemorative Issue

EBONY MAGAZINE OBAMA SPECIAL EDITION COVER

Special collector’s edition salutes eight years of excellence 


CHICAGO — To mark the political ascent and enduring legacy of President Barack H. Obama, EBONY has published a special commemorative edition, “Hail to the Chief: Saluting Eight Years of Excellence.” This stylish, thought-provoking issue (83 pages; $10.99) is a unique collection of exclusive photographs, archival EBONY articles and hard-hitting analyses from leading African-American writers including award-winning poet, author and civil rights activist, Nikki Giovanni; MSNBC award-winning journalist Joy-Ann Reid; culturally astute critic Eric Deggans; pop culture pundit Touré; and New York Times best-selling author Baratunde Thurston.

“Our readers know the utter importance of simple images of Obama and the first family in a White House that had been very literal with respect to its previous inhabitants,” says Kyra Kyles, editor-in-chief of EBONY.  “But our team went well beyond the aesthetics and recruited the most sought-after Black thought leaders to candidly discuss the social context around his administration, his achievements over two terms and the impact he will have as our first but hopefully not our last.”

Among the highlights:

  • Editor’s Letter: EIC Kyles bids adieu to President Barack Obama in this touching reflection on his absolute grace under partisan fire.

  • Poetic Justice: Nikki Giovanni pens an exclusive poem for EBONY capturing the essence of the first African-American president.

  • The Legacy: From his electrifying ascent to the legislative imprint he leaves behind, EBONY examines President Obama’s undeniable impact on health care, race relations, gay and women’s rights.

  • The Love: We examine the love shared by President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama and its impact on uplifting Black families.

  • The Look: By combining haute couture with dashes of attainable attire, the first family embraced the power of fashion.

  • The Laughs: He could have occasionally been dubbed “comic-in-chief.”  A look at Obama’s best clapbacks.

  • Famous Farewells: Supporters ranging from members of Congress to well-known entertainers offer their thanks and words of encouragement to the 44th U.S. president.  

 
EBONY’s commemorative special commemorative edition will be available December 20 for purchase on newsstands only

 


Gallon Sworn-in as School Board Member [Videos/Photos]

 

Gallon Swearing-in
Newly elected Miami-Dade County School Board Member, District 1, Dr. Steve Gallon III is sworn in by Dr. Solomon C. Stinson, former School Board Chair, retired educator and administrator as Kastevia Gallon-Martin, daughter of Dr. Gallon looks on.

Veteran educator Dr. Steve Gallon III was sworn-in as Miami-Dade County School Board Member for District 1, on Tuesday, November 22, 2016 before a standing room-only audience in the School Board Administration Building Auditorium. 

After being sworn-in by his mentor, former School Board chair and retired educator and school district administrator Dr. Solomon C. Stinson, Dr. Gallon delivered rousing and heartfelt remarks from the dais. It would not be an exaggeration to describe it as a Barack Obama-like moment as evidenced by the cheers from the audience. 

 

Video by Alecia Bethel

Congratulations to all of the other newly-elected and re-elected School Board members: Mari Tere Rojas; Lubby Navarro; Dr. Larry Feldman; Dr. Martin Karp and Susie Castillo. The new Board Chair and Vice Chair are Dr. Larry Feldman and Dr. Marta Perez

In addition to Dr. Stinson, other retired MDCPS veterans in attendance included Dr. Jim Moye; Dr. Mike Wagner; Tom Cerra; Dr. Shirley Johnson; Nelson Diaz and Delio Diaz. Community leaders present included Atty. H.T. Smith; Atty. Rod Vereen; Pastor Arthur Jackson; Pastor Wayne Lomax; Mayor Enid WeismanPierre Rutledge; Ronda Vangates; Treska RogersDC Clark; Kat Tynes; Larry Williams; and Darryl Holsendolph

 

Gallon District Swearing
Pastor Arthur Jackson of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Miami Gardens and School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III


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The celebration continued the same evening with a swearing-in ceremony in District 1. During his campaign, Board Member Gallon stressed the importance of community engagement for the students, parents and stakeholders in District 1 which includes Miami Gardens;  North Miami; Opa-Locka; and portions of Miami Lakes and North Miami Beach. 

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The staff of the North Region Office, Carol City Middle School and the 5000 Role Models collaborated to present a wonderful event highlighted by student performances and Grammy-nominated spoken word artist Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaughns

At the community ceremony, Dr. Stinson stood with Dr. Gallon as the oath of office was administered by Dr. Gallon’s daughter, Kastevia Gallon-Martin. Greetings were given by City of Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert. Remarks were given by Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. City of North Miami Vice Mayor Alix Desulme made a presentation on behalf of his city. 

Additional dignitaries joining in the community celebration included Commissioner Audrey Edmonson; Commissioner Betty T. Ferguson and UPPAC leaders; Atty. Larry Handfield; Pastor Dwayne Richardson; Pastor Johnny Barber; James Wright; Terry Wright; Councilman David Williams, Jr.; Councilwoman Felicia Robinson; Retha Boone-Fye and PTA/PTSA representatives from surrounding schools. 

 

 

 


Kwanzaa in Action: DCS Mentoring Program Gives Back to the Community

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The young men of the DCS Mentoring Program learned a lesson in giving back. The young men, in collaboration with the 100 Black Men of South Florida, arose early last Saturday morning and gathered at Publix in Aventura to pack boxes of Thanksgiving fixings for families in our community. They each selected a deserving family to receive a Thanksgiving basket.  

If you are the parent of a young man ages 8-17, you should consider enrolling him in the program. They learn valuable life skills including discipline, etiquette, grooming and personal responsibility. Since its inception in August, the program has expanded to two age groups 8-12 and 13-17 with 50 per age group. Enrollment acceptance is on a first come first served basis. If you are not able to pay the fee in full, the program administrators will work with you.

For more information, call DC Clark at 305.342.5864 or email DCClark88@gmail.com. Sponsors are also needed to help deliver this life-changing and empowering program to young men in our community.

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Dr. Steve Gallon III to be sworn in as School Board Member on Tues. 11/22

Gallon swearing-in flyer

The community is invited to witness the swearing-in of Dr. Steve Gallon III as the member for District 1, School Board of Miami-Dade County. On November 8, 2016, the voters overwhelmingly supported Dr. Gallon’s campaign for change and focus on improving District 1 failing schools. Dr. Gallon will be sworn-in during a public ceremony on Tuesday morning at the School Board Administration Building. However, for the convenience of parents, students and other stakeholders in District 1, a community swearing-in ceremony will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, November 22, 2016, at Miami Carol City Middle School, 3737 NW 188th Street, Miami Gardens, FL 33055.

Please share this information with your network of family and friends. For more information call 786-307-5956.

 


Office of Black Catholic Ministry honors Bernadette Poitier during Black Catholic History Month

Poitier Black Catholic History Month
Bernadette C. Poitier, center, receives St. Martin De Porres Award for Excellence during Black Catholic History Month celebratory luncheon.

Congratulations to Bernadette C. Poitier, recipient of the St. Martin De Porres Award for Excellence during the Office of Black Catholic Ministry Archdiocese of Miami Black Catholic History Month luncheon at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, November 19, 2016.

Poitier has been recognized and received numerous awards for service to her church and the community at large. She is also a dedicated member of the South Florida Chapter of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College; a Golden Life Member of the Miami Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; and was recently appointed Health and Human Services Chair of the Dade County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

Other St. Martin De Porres Award for Excellence honorees: Linda Adderly; Deacon Thomas Dawson; Phillip and Wendy Fletcher; Lavanette Mildor and Sarady Amparo. Black Catholic History Month is observed each November. Congratulations to all of the honorees and Katrenia C. Reeves-Jackman, Director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministry.

 

 

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Pastor Wayne Lomax to Deliver Opening Prayer before Congress Today

Pastor Wayne Lomax
Pastor Wayne Lomax


 

WASHINGTON —This morning, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson will welcome Pastor Wayne Lomax as guest chaplain to lead the day’s opening prayer before Congress. Pastor Lomax is the founder and senior pastor of the Fountain of New Life church located in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Founded nearly 20 years ago, the Fountain of New Life is one of the largest churches in Florida and an indispensable community partner in South Florida. The church enriches thousands of lives in Florida’s 24th congressional district and tackles many pressing issues, including hunger, poverty, and crime. The pastor is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He is a proud husband and father of three beautiful children.

Tune into your local C-SPAN station, at 11:30 a.m. ET, to watch Pastor Lomax deliver the prayer and Rep. Wilson welcome him to the House floor.


The Black Archives to Launch Second Edition of “ICONS” with featured guest Garth C. Reeves, Sr., Publisher Emeritus of The Miami Times

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The Black Archives presents the second installment of the quarterly coffee talk series “ICONS,” on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 5 p.m. The ICONS series features leading community scholars and personalities, speaking on significant moments that impact the South Florida Community with a host/moderator and interactive audience Q & A throughout. This edition of ICONS will feature special guest Garth C. Reeves, Sr., Publisher Emeritus of The Miami Times and will be hosted by Derek T. Davis, Curator at Old Dillard Museum. The topic for this session is, “A Voice for the Voiceless: The role of black media in the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of pioneering news publisher, Garth C. Reeves, Sr.”

“It is an honor to have Mr. Reeves as our featured guest for this episode of ICONS. Many people know of his accomplishments as a newspaper publisher, but his resume is rich with groundbreaking contributions to our community and culture,” said Timothy A. Barber, Black Archives Executive Director. “The ICONS program is an opportunity for The Black Archives to tell the untold or little known stories of the giants among us.”

ICONS will take place on Sunday, September 18 at the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex, located at 819 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami FL 33136. Admission to ICONS is free and open to the public. Doors open at 4 p.m. and the program will begin at 5 p.m.

To become a member of the Black Archives, make a donation, or for more information on program sponsorship, contact Kamila Pritchett at 786-708-4610 or kpritchett@bahlt.org.

 


BMe Community Awards $100,000 to 10 Black Men for Building Community

2016 BMe Leaders - Miami-2BMeLeaders - Miami, Left to right, top row, Marlon Hill Esq.; Brandon Okpalobi; Derick Pearson; Marvin Wilmoth; and Webber Charles Bottom row - Justin Pinn; Daniel Agnew; Melvin Deleveaux; Loubert Senatus; and Jonathan Spikes

 

Miami, FL – Ten inspiring black men will receive $10,000 a piece for their community programs after being named Miami’s first “BMe Leaders.” This prestigious honor is presented by BMe Community, a social network for people of all races and genders who care about making communities stronger. BMe Leaders are black men chosen for their community service and their ability to inspire.

BMe Community was incubated by the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation until it’s 2013 spinoff. Today BMe has 165 BMe Leaders in 6 cities providing education, public safety, and economic services to over 500,000 people every year.

“Our mission is to build more caring and prosperous communities inspired by black men,” said BMe Community founding CEO, Trabian Shorters. “BMe Leaders do that, and they represent millions of unsung black men who lead the nation in service, enterprise and generosity every day. BMe shows this is who we are, and builds upon it.”

BMe’s strong position on black men as positive community catalysts has powerful backers as well.

“I share that belief,” said Knight Foundation President, Alberto Ibarguen. “From the beginning, the basic BMe premise has been that black men and boys are community assets.  At Knight, our ideal is an informed and inclusive community where all citizens can engage in deciding their true interests.  We couldn’t be prouder of the Miami BMe Leaders who are living that ideal.”

“Caring communities are a basic human need,” said William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust Executive Director, Douglas Zinn. “These BMe Leaders also provide inspiration, role models and hope. That is why we are proud partners in this important community-building work.”

BMe posits black men are assets but the social network is open to all people and has over 22,000 members of all races and genders.

On June 30th BMe and its partners are hosting “Better Together Awards” to celebrate Miami’s diverse men and women “Community-builders.”

“That’s because BMe isn’t about black men,” said BMe-Miami Community Manager, Benjamin Evans III. “We’re about better communities. We’re the social network for people who believe we can make things Better Together.”

BMe is backed by donations and leading philanthropies including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, The Heinz Endowments and The William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.

Congratulations to the 2016 BMe Leaders:

 Daniel Agnew - Founder of the Roots Collective 

Daniel believes in community building through collective economics, and he wants to better connect people to entrepreneurial resources. Daniel will use his BMe Leader Award to train and employ South Florida youth. He will offer tangible outlets for youth to learn skills like graphic design, business management, and event planning.

Webber Charles - Senior Site Director, Breakthrough Miami at Ransom Everglades School

Webber understands that being exposed to new cultures early in life can totally change the way people see their future. So he is extending opportunities to young people who wouldn’t normally have them. Webber is using his BMe Leader award to support his international mentoring program to help youth gain exposure to diverse experiences by traveling abroad.

Kelvin Deleveaux - COO & Co-founder of Daddy Knows Too LLC

Kelvin knows all too well the struggle of being a single father. After his divorce he had no idea how he would take care of his daughters. After searching in vain for information online he decided to create an app, “Daddy Knows Too.” Kelvin will use his BMe Leader Award to put the answers fathers need in the palm of their hands and to connect them to a network of support and resources. 

Marlon A. Hill, Esq. – Partner of Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP

Marlon is truly a mentor to mentors and works to make sure immigrants have a seamless transition into American culture.  Marlon will use his BMe Leader Award to support the acclimation, assimilation and integration of young Black men, especially of immigrant heritage, into the Miami community.

Brandon Okpalobi - Founder of DIBIA Dream, Inc. CEO of DIBIA Athletic Development 

Brandon works very hard to teach his students a unique way of making every life experience transform into a story that can be used as a learning lesson. Brandon will use his BMe Leader Award to develop STEM programs through his DREAM Academy (Development through Recreational Education for Athletic Minds).

Derick Pearson - ‎Co-Founder and President of Code Fever & ‎Black Tech week

Derick has dedicated his life to inspiring a new generation of leaders through his conversational talks on business, technology and Pan African empowerment. He is the co-owner of a Miami-based Gourmet Popsicle company, Feverish Ice Cream, and a youth tech entrepreneurship foundation called Code Fever. He will use his BMe Leader Award to hep teach 10-21-year-olds entrepreneurial skills through tech workshops and summer camps.

Justin Pinn - Program Coordinator and StarBot Academy Director Breakthrough Miami

Justin believes that Black men are remarkable in every way and that we lead in much more than sports and entertainment. Justin will use his BMe Leader Award to expand Breakthrough Miami’s paid teaching fellowship to include 30 low-income high school students of color. Upon completion, these students will have access to professional development, SAT/ACT prep, college trips, and an on-staff mentor at Breakthrough Miami.

Loubert Senatus - President of Forward Thought, Inc

Loubert has a strong passion for bringing post-secondary educational resources to students and parents. He will use his BMe Leader award to build a mobile college & career resources truck. The concept is similar to a food truck; however, college planning, FAFSA completion, college application, and vocational assistance will be the main dish. 

Jonathan Spikes – President of Affirming Youth

Jonathan is a proud cancer survivor and author who has dedicated his life to providing relevant conflict resolution programs (Let's Talk It Out) to help Black communities deal with trauma. He will use his BMe Leader award to provide quality social services to schools in Miami-Dade County.

Marvin Wilmoth - Vice President – Development of KCG Development

Marvin works every day to help all local black-owned businesses to thrive, grow and become sustainable to further help Miami’s Black economy. Marvin will use his BMe Leader Award to support an eco-friendly workspace for Miami’s social entrepreneurs.