Miami-Dade County Commission Chair Jean Monestime is hosting a free day-long community conference to bring together black Miamians of all backgrounds and nationalities to discuss issues affecting the African diaspora and to develop a collective action oriented agenda. County Commissioners Barbara Jordan, Audrey Edmonson and Dennis Moss, and Miami City Commission Chairman Keon Hardemon are co-hosting the conference.
The “ONE HERITAGE: State of Black Miami” community forum conference will take place on Thursday, April 7 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Florida Memorial University, Smith Conference Center, 15800 NW 42nd Ave., Miami Gardens, FL 33054. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
This activity is long overdue. If applied and executed with genuine concern for the potential of the collective rather than other individualized agendas, this could be the tipping point for realizing advancement of blacks throughout this community. Hopefully, assignments with deadlines and follow-up will result from this conference. There have been far too many forums in this community that have largely only been opportunities for residents to vent frustrations.
Please make every effort to participate in “ONE HERITAGE: State of Black Miami” if you are concerned about the current and future of blacks in Miami.
The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Check out the news reported by Ch. 10’s Bob Norman regarding racist memorabilia on the walls at Sal’s Towing in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Norman goes on to state that Sal’s Towing is contracted by the City of Fort Lauderdale and other governmental entities.
It’s interesting to note that a black male former employee reported the racist memorabilia and even was subjected to racial slurs. Another black male employee initially defended the business, go figure. Why anyone would allow themselves to be subjected to such treatment in this day and age is downright sad. It’s 2016, and this level of discrimination still exists. Some white people don’t believe it or don’t want to believe it or are in denial. Some black people don’t believe it or don’t want to believe it or are in denial.
As expected, after denying being racist, the owner, Sal Belasai, eventually indicated the signs would be removed. That’s a step in the right direction but is removing the signs is supposed to make everything alright? I don’t think so. Sal’s supporters defend him by citing his service to the community. Really? I don’t think so.
Sal’s accuser has also been targeted. He was arrested for violently abusing a girlfriend. That still doesn’t change the fact that the racist signs were posted in Sal's place of business. Stay focused.
I have a couple of questions. How long has the memorabilia been on display at Sal’s? How many people, black and white, have seen it and done nothing about it? This is the sad reality of post-racial America.
By the way, Sal indicated the memorabilia is black history, in a way he’s correct. Check out this video on the history of the term ‘gator bait’. Get a better understanding why everyone should be mortified and disgusted these signs would be on display in a place of business in the United States.
#racism #thestruggleisreal #gatorbait #blackhistory
This is the follow-up post regarding construction of a charter school as part of the rebuilding of Liberty Square Housing Project AKA the Pork ‘n Beans.
by William DC Clark
It appears what Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said concerning the District's involvement in the Liberty Square Development was true after all.
By now, those of you who have been following ICARE (Inner City Alumni for Responsible Education) knows that when it comes to our respective schools, we don't take any prisoners. If we thought that anyone, including Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, was trying to destroy the fabric of our beloved institutions, then they would have hell to pay. So when we heard the District was involved in building a Charter School in the middle of the newly developed Liberty Square Apartments, we went ballistic. Not only would a new K-12 Charter School destroy Miami Northwestern and its entire feeder pattern, but the building of that school would also probably be a precursor to the start of gentrification in that area.
As you know, in a recent article written in the Miami Herald, it stated Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez threatened to report Mr. Carvalho to the Ethics Committee for violating the Cone of Silence due to his and the District's relationship with Miami Waymark 2.0. Waymark is one of the developers bidding on the Liberty Square development and was recently eliminated by the Mayor from this process. It made the Superintendent look like a shady character at best and worst, someone who couldn’t be trusted.
However, during a meeting between ICARE and the Superintendent, Mr. Carvalho brought with him some supporting documents (see below) that stated, even though the District does have a relationship with Miami Waymark 2.0, there were no plans in Waymark's submission letter to build a Charter school. Even though the letter said: "a new recreational space and other spaces are designed to serve Miami-Dade Public Schools ...for community programming..." it did not mention the District assisting Waymark in the building of any school.
In the end, it appears as if Mayor Gimenez purposely use that opportunity to throw Superintendent Carvalho under the bus and mislead the citizens of Miami-Dade County at the same time. Whether it was for political or personal reasons, the members of ICARE thinks the play that the Mayor made on Mr. Carvalho was horse shit and that he, instead of Mr. Carvalho, should be the one reported to the Ethics Committee.
As most of you should know by now, our relationship with Mr. Carvalho hasn't always been a healthy one. But at least, he finds the time to meet with us and has devoted a team around the clock to address our concerns. We will continue to stay on his ass until the concerns of our schools are met. The Mayor, however, meets with our community sporadically and have yet to address our concerns despite his Disparity study showing that the County spends less than 2% of their procurement budget with Black businesses. Does he truly care about our community? You do the math.
A critical town hall meeting will be held this evening regarding the treatment of girls of color by school resource officers (SROs). Too many of us have already forgotten the shocking video of SRO Ben Fields body-slamming a black female student to the floor at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, SC last year. Incidents such as this happen to Black girls and Latinas more than many of us realize. We focus on boys but let’s not forget the girls. Don’t miss this important conversation with Dr. Monique W. Morris, educator and author of PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools.
This activity is presented by the Georgetown University Center on Poverty and Inequality and the National Black Women's Justice Institute. Parents, students, teachers, school resource officers and other interested individuals are encouraged to attend. Click here to RSVP.
Who's Zooming Who?: Plans for Liberty Square Charter School Riles Black Community [WARNING: Adult Language]
My high school classmate, DC Clark, also president of ICARE (Inner City Alumni for Responsibility Education) is stirring the pot this morning about Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho’s plans to build a charter school in the soon-to-be demolished and renovated Liberty Square Housing Project also known as the Pork ’n Beans. It seems the issue has become quite public and quite political since the Mayor reported the Sup to the ethics commission. You gotta love Miami.
Anywho, this is what DC wrote:
Are Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho fighting to see who can fuck the Black community the most?
Do you remember all the planning, preparation and anticipation you went through on Sunday in order to get ready for the Super Bowl? Well you better muster up the same kind of energy for this fight we have that is being played out right before our very eyes. From the looks of things we are being gashed with no Vasoline.
Fact: The new Liberty Square $250 million development project is destined to have a new Charter School placed right smack in the middle of it. It will be a K-12 school that will negatively affect the enrollment of Northwestern and Edison and their surrounding feeder patterns which includes Holmes, MLK, Allapattah and others. What will happen to those schools would be worse than what happened to Central once Turner Tech was placed literally in our backyard. It will also be the first leg of gentrification.
But wait, it gets worse. There is speculation that Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and the District was in on this plan all along. From the looks of things, they partnered up with the University of Miami to form a team by the name of Miami Waymark 2.0. That team was the third highest bidder and was recently eliminated from the process. Related Urban Development Group and Atlantic Pacific Communities are the two groups remaining in the Bidding process. Carvalho said his team signed his name to this bidding process and he had limited knowledge of it. Of course many people that I talked to think this is total bullshit.
The Miami Herald recently reported that after Miami Waymark 2.0 was eliminated, the Superintendent paid Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez a call and wrote him a letter which he, the Mayor, reported to the Ethics committee. A Cone of Silence was put into place so that participants of the bidding process could not openly discuss the bid. This is particularly troubling because it appears that District personnel reached out to ICARE to condemn the Charter school only after they were eliminated. If this is true, then they have some explaining to do.
Bottom line is it appears a K thru 12 Charter school will be placed right in the middle of the new Liberty Square development. It will have a negative affect on many of our schools that have been long standing institutions in our community. Many of those schools will face closing. This without any input from the community. Before ICARE renders it's final conclusion on this matter, we are demanding a copy of the letter sent to the Mayor by the Superintendent and we are also seeking the letter detailing the District's involvement in the bidding process. Both are public record and we expect to have them soon. In the meantime, we’ve got to get off our asses and let our voices be heard. Stay Tuned.
Wake up, family. Too many of us have been distracted by foolishness and intentionally misguided far too long. We have been sold out by folks who look like us. Some of us in positions of influence, hand-picked by the powers that be, have done little to nothing for the collective and only satisfied our individual desires for materialism that masks our insecurities. Nothing about this issue is really a surprise. Some folks, including Blacks, are sincerely ignorant of the damage they inflict upon the Black community while others are keenly aware and rely upon the ignorance and/or silence of others to accomplish their goals. Wake up. Stay woke.
The W.I.S.H. Foundation (Women Involved in Service to Humanity) and Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority welcome middle school age and high school age youth to their fifth annual youth symposium presented in conjunction with national celebrations of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Students throughout Florida are granted MLK Day off from school. The MLK Youth Symposium is the perfect opportunity to engage youth in the meaning of the MLK federal holiday. Parents are encouraged to bring their children. Leaders of youth mentoring groups of all organizations as well as school and church youth groups are also strongly encouraged to bring their members.
This year’s theme, “Your Destiny Awaits You” sets the stage for an afternoon of education, enlightenment, inspiration and empowerment. Program organizer Dr. Cynthia Mitchell Clarke is delighted to present young civil rights activists, Umi Selah and the Dream Defenders to this year’s attendees. “Our students will better identify with other young people as our event unfolds. We expect the international reputation and rich experiences of the Dream Defenders will result in spirited dialogue and a positive impact on our youth,” said Clarke.
The youth will also participate in group discussions on two books by award-winning actor and best selling author Hill Harper: “Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny” and “Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny.” These books are considered must reading for today’s youth, as they are educational, uplifting and inspirational.
The MLK Youth Symposium is 2pm-5pm, Sunday, January 17, 2016, at Miami Carol City Senior High School, 3301 Miami Gardens Drive, Miami Gardens, FL 33056. The event is free and presented in partnership with the United Teachers of Dade, Vice Mayor Felicia Robinson - City of Miami Gardens, Councilman David Williams, Jr. - City of Miami Gardens, and Miami-Dade County School Board Member Wilbert "Tee" Holloway.
Shout out to Miami-Dade County Commissioners Dennis Moss; audrey Edmonson; Barbara Jordan and Danielle Levine Cava for voting in opposition to the renaming of a street after the late Jose Milton, a developer whose company has a history of housing discrimination against Blacks in Miami-Dade County.
Apparently, Milton was also a generous contributor to political campaigns, humanitarian causes and County parks. After a passionate discussion, the majority of the County Commissioners chose to approve the street naming anyway.
My friend and high school classmate, William DC Clark, keeps the community informed via his Facebook page. Many of his posts are about Black History. At this time of the year, many are about athletics, especially Miami Central football. Others are comical. And then there are the thought-provoking posts like the one below...
DC: While fighting for more inclusion of our Urban Core schools, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told us that some folks in "other" communities feel that he does too much for Blacks. Yeah right, like we should be satisfied with receiving only 3 out of 53 Schools of Choice programs the District just recently rolled out. The truth is, some "others " feel that we shouldn't be given a damn thing. Blacks were treated like shit in the country they came from and they feel it should be the same way here. What they do not understand is you have Blacks in this country who aren't as docile as the ones under their control back "home" and don't mind standing up for what we believe in. Racist pigs.
In my opinion, it's easy to become angered by the Superintendent's comment but his comment reflects just how much Blacks have regressed as a group in Miami-Dade County. In spite of a few Blacks in some key positions and Black celebrities and professional athletes living in the area, we are largely merely tolerated, an afterthought, disrespected or down right ignored as a people group. His words should make us think.
Regardless of the demographic box we think we fall under --- African-American, Hispanic, Caribbean, biracial, multiracial, etc., if our skin is black, we are in the same boat. The Superintendent's words should make us think and move us to action to support our businesses in our community, elect leaders who move an agenda that focuses on the group rather than themselves or a few, get out and vote, and teach ourselves and our children to be proud of our African heritage.
Let's wake up, Black Miami.
‘OITNB’ Star Uzo Aduba: State Of U.S. Race Relations Creates ‘Opportunity To Stand On The Right Side Of History’
Aduba: “We’re living in a time right now where the challenging and the hard conversation needs to be had. We’re watching the country, the face of this country and the ideas of this country, change and move into a place where we have the opportunity to stand on the right side of history. And I think people are wanting to be made part of the conversation that is our American history. And I feel that it is our responsibility as human beings and members of the human family to use our voice to ignite that change. I do think that is important. I think we are living in a very fragile time where we have the opportunity to be the people we say we are. Not just stand by and watch anything and everything happen in ways that will be disastrous for our future.”