MABSE Excellence in Education Awards 2020, Thurs. Feb. 20

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Miami Alliance of Black School Educators (MABSE) President Dr. Steve Gallon III cordially invites you to join the celebration as we salute our local legends, catalysts, and shining stars in education at the Legacy of Excellence in Education Awards 2020. These individuals serve as models of educational excellence in Miami-Dade County. Their service and professionalism reflect the core mission and values of MABSE.

 

All of this year’s honorees are current or retired educators in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system. They are Legends: School Board Member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall; retired administrator Dr. George Koonce; retired administrator and current president of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP Ms. Adora Obi Nweze. Catalysts: Central Region Superintendent Mr. John Pace; Human Resources administrator Mrs. Treska Rodgers; and retired administrator Mr. Lesly Prudent. Shining Stars are Norwood Elementary School principal Dr. Kevin Williams; Andover Middle School principal Mr. Kenneth Williams; and George Washington Carver Elementary School teacher and Central Region Teacher of the Year, Ms. Ashley Vangates.

 

The awards will be formally presented on Thursday, February 20, 2020, from 5:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. at NoMi Restaurant, 738 Northeast 125th Street, North Miami, FL 33161. Seating is limited. Purchase tickets at ExcellenceInEducation2020.eventbrite.com. There will be no onsite ticket sales. 

 

This MABSE Black History Month special event is presented with the generous support of Delta Dental and Rodriguez Piña & Associates

 

Direct questions about the event to Ms. Vanessa Byers at (305) 343-9088 or vanessawbyers@gmail.com. For more information on MABSE, visit www.MABSE.org.

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Stacey Abrams Voter Protection Town Hall in Miami

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We are less than two weeks away from the deadline to be registered to vote in Florida’s presidential preference primary in March. Former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives Stacey Abrams will be in Miami today for a Voter Protection Town Hall at Miami Dade College North Campus at 2 pm.

Florida is the election battleground for 2020. Voting rights are under blatant attack by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican-led Legislature. From ignoring the will of the people regarding Amendment 4 and the restoration of voting rights of four million Floridians to suppressing the youth vote on college campuses by establishing law making it difficult for colleges and universities to host early voting sites.

Stacey Abrams is coming to help kick off a series of Voter Protection events. Voter protection is all the more important when considering the razor-thin vote margins that determined several Florida  races.

RSVP here for Stacey Abrams' Voter Protection Town Hall  >>

 


Honda Battle of the Bands 2020 Delivers an Unforgettable HBCU Marching Band Showcase

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Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) marked its return to Atlanta on Saturday, January 25, with dazzling performances by eight of the nation’s top Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) marching bands and a special set by R&B singer-songwriter Tank. A crowd of more than 58,000 HBCU fans, students and alumni were on hand to witness the celebration of HBCU culture, musical talent and pageantry.

The 17th anniversary HBOB theme, “Be the Dream,” highlighted the power that dreams have to inspire a brighter future. The show opened with a soulful performance by all eight bands, as more than 2,400 musicians and dancers joined together on the field. Additional highlights included Florida A&M’s tribute to Atlanta, Tennessee State University reminding fans to vote, and welcoming the first female band director to conduct at HBOB, Dr. Nikole Roebuck of Grambling State University.

This year’s Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase participants included:

  • Benedict College, The Marching Tiger Band of Distinction – second appearance
  • Florida A&M University, Marching 100 – seventh appearance
  • Grambling State University, Tiger Marching Band – second appearance
  • Hampton University, The Marching Force – second appearance
  • Jackson State University, Sonic Boom of the South Marching Band – ninth appearance
  • North Carolina A&T State University, Blue & Gold Marching Machine – seventh appearance
  • Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm – ninth appearance
  • Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands – ninth appearance

Honda awarded $200,000 in grants to this year’s participating bands to help support their music education programs, and covered the bands’ travel and accommodation expenses for the event.

Recruitment Fair Encourages High School Students to Think about College
In addition to the marching band performances, Honda hosted an HBCU College Fair to connect high school students with representatives from over 50 HBCUs. Designed to go beyond just exposing young people to the opportunities offered by the institutions, the college fair enabled prospective students to meet with admissions recruiters and marching band representatives to discuss admissions requirements and scholarship opportunities. This year’s college fair hosted 6,500 attendees.

Honda’s Three-Decade Commitment to HBCUs 
Honda has been committed to supporting the success and dreams of the nation's HBCUs for 30 years. Through initiatives like Honda Battle of the Bands and Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, as well as financial support from the American Honda Foundation, Honda has been able to impact the lives of nearly 200,000 students and award over $12 million in grants in support of HBCU education programs and facilities improvements.

For more information on HBOB, visit www.hondabattleofthebands.com. Fans can also check out HBOB’s 17th anniversary journey with highlights from the Invitational Showcase on the official HBOB social media channels:

Honda now ramps up for Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC), a unique academic tournament for HBCU students that showcases and recognizes their academic talents. The 2020 National Championship Tournament will be held March 28-April 2, 2020. Visit www.hcasc.com for more details.


Dr. King and Sanitation Workers

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When Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, TN, on April 4, 1968, he was in town in support of sanitation workers on strike because of poor wages and dangerous working conditions. Two workers, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, had been crushed to death in a garbage compactor. Their deaths, on February 1, 1968, and the response from the City of Memphis provoked the sanitation workers’ strike.

 

So, today, in honor of Dr. King and his support, there is no garbage pickup in Miami-Dade County. That is also why sanitation trucks are featured prominently in the MLK Parade. 


MLK Youth Symposium to explore the role of youth in activism

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The WISH (Women Involved In Service to Humanity) Foundation, Incorporated and Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated invite youths, mentoring groups, and auxiliary groups in Miami-Dade County and Broward County to attend the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Youth Symposium on Sunday, January 19, 2020, from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm, at Miami Carol City Senior High School, 3301 Miami Gardens Drive, Miami Gardens, FL. Registration is scheduled for 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm. Please RSVP on Eventbrite by January 15, 2020.

This is the ninth year of this annual gathering of youth from throughout South Florida in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The theme is ”Never Too Young: A Youth’s Role in Activism”. The event is designed to empower young people to activate Dr. King's teachings to address modern day issues confronting our community, country and the world.

 

 


NAACP CALLS OUT FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND POLK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT

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~NAACP says statements by Florida Department of Education and Polk County School District leadership is deeply concerning and they are watching developments closely statewide. ~

 

 “Polk County Public Schools proudly display a statement across their website that reads “PCPS 2020: Focused on Excellence”. While these words are advertised prominently, we are increasingly frustrated to find that the solutions presented by Commissioner Richard Corcoran are contradictory to this vision. His attempt to intimidate, discourage, and discount the significance of thousands of teachers across the state of Florida is vile.  For far too long, Florida educators have demanded adequate public funding, resources, and staffing for the betterment of their students and have received nothing but empty promises and fleeting appeasements. Without equivocation, the NAACP stands firmly with those protesting and commanding that their voices are heard throughout this process. These teachers who have toiled tirelessly to foster a generation of forward-thinking students deserve better than bad policies and low salaries. It is high time Commissioner Richard Corcoran and Governor Ron DeSantis recognize and rectify the egregious behavior of the Florida Department of Education. We can no longer teach our Florida students about our history as a nation and our rights under our democracy, while their teachers are being marginalized, mistreated, and misused. The NAACP will continue to advocate and fight for the rights of these teachers, as they are indispensable to education and the state of Florida,” says Adora Obi Nweze, President of NAACP Florida State Conference and member of the National Board of Directors.

 


Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Haiti Earthquake

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3:30 pm- Gathering at the Statue of Toussaint L’Ouverture (62nd St and North Miami Avenue)

4:51 pm- Moment of silence 

5:00 pm- Processional march to the Little Haiti Cultural Complex (260 NE 59th Terrace)

5:30 pm- Program at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex


Local Kwanzaa Celebration Marks Thirty Years

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The week long Pan-African holiday known as Kwanzaa was first observed in 1966 in California.  This year marks the 30th consecutive year of the local celebration hosted by the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association. Recognizing the uplifting and community-building potential of it’s core values or seven principles, Dr. Freddie G. Young initiated the push to celebrate Kwanzaa. Event chair Vanessa Woodard Byers recalls the meager beginnings of the celebration being held in the living room of Dr. Young’s condominium with the kinara and other symbols being sketched on poster board by her brother, Harlan Woodard. Their mother, Mary Williams Woodard chaired the presentation of the event for many years. Since it was a labor of love for her, the organization’s members chose to name the event in her honor after she transitioned in 2010.

In keeping with the spirit of Kwanzaa, the free event grew from a FAMU alumni association event to a true community celebration in collaboration with other organizations and international artists. The event grew from private homes to public facilities with attendance as large as 500 the year Tavis Smiley was the featured speaker. Byers would like to see the event garner enough support to present a countywide coordinated event each day of the week as the holiday was designed. In the meantime, an invitation is extended to this year’s milestone celebration with a challenge to everyone to make Kwanzaa a lifestyle.

If You go:

30th ANNUAL MARY WILLIAMS WOODARD LEGACY KWANZAA CELEBRATION. This joyous celebration of family, friends and community is the largest and longest-running local public celebration of the Nguzo Saba (Principles of Kwanzaa) in the Miami area. 

MARY WILLIAMS WOODARD LEGACY KWANZAA CELEBRATION 

Saturday, December 28, 2019

3:00pm - 6:00pm

City of Opa-locka Municipal Complex

780 Fisherman Street

2nd Floor

Opa-locka, FL 33054

 

Hosted by City of Opa-locka Vice Mayor Chris Davis, the Miami-Dade Chapter of the FAMU National Alumni Association, the Dr. Arthur & Mary Woodard Foundation for Education and Culture and Chief Nathaniel Styles, Jr. of Osun's Village African Caribbean Arts Corridor in partnership with the Opa-locka CDC, Zoe's Dolls and Next Generation Dance Academy. 

The event is FREE. Register at KwanzaaMiami30.eventbrite.com. Remember that Kwanzaa is a non-religious, non-political, family-friendly holiday. Enjoy the Soul Food Feast (Potluck donations are welcome.), music, dancing and celebrating with friends.

Donations of books and new, unwrapped educational toys are greatly appreciated. This year’s donated books and educational toys will benefit the Children’s Unit of New Horizons Mental Health Center, Inc.

If you have any questions, email Vanessa Byers at vanessawbyers@gmail.com or call (305) 343-9088. Thank you. HARAMBEE!


2019 Greater Miami Links Inc. Book & Author Event features author and political analyst Karine Jean-Pierre

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Karine Jean-Pierre

MIAMI - The Greater Miami Chapter of The Links, Incorporated will present its signature fundraising event Linked in Action Book & Author Luncheon on Sunday, November 17, 2019 at the JW Marriott Marquis in downtown Miami.  

This is the chapter’s fourteenth Book and Author event celebrating accomplished and talented authors such as Ambassador Andrew Young, Judy Smith, Terry McMillan, Natalie Baszile, E. Lynn Harris, Bebe Moore Campbell, Edwidge Danticat and others.
 
This year’s luncheon will feature author and political analyst Karine Jean-Pierre, whose book, Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work, and the Promise of America, was released today and has been described as astute and insightful. It offers a blueprint for anyone who wants to have an impact on the political landscape. Both influential and inspirational, Ms. Jean-Pierre will have a powerful and timely message for attendees, all of whom will receive a copy of her thought provoking book.  
 
The Links, Incorporated, established in 1946, is an international, not-for-profit organization comprised of nearly 15,000 professional women of color in 288 chapters across 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the United Kingdom. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. 
 
The Greater Miami Chapter was organized in 1955 and has made significant contributions to the South Florida community and beyond through its transformational programming in five facet areas: Services to Youth; The Arts; National Trends and Services; International Trends and Services; and, Health and Human Services. 
 
Proceeds from the Linked in Action Book & Author Luncheon will be used to support the chapter’s charitable and educational programs and benefit The Links Foundation, Incorporated. 
 
Tickets are $150 per person. Doors open at 11:30am with a reception and auction. Please contact greatermiamilinksinc.org for more information.  
 

MIAMI’S ALONDA THOMAS TO BE HONORED WITH COMMUNICATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD BY THE MID-ATLANTIC BLACK PUBLIC RELATIONS SOCIETY

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WASHINGTON – The Mid-Atlantic Black PR Society will honor Howard University Director of Public Relations Alonda Thomas as the Communicator of the Year during the organization’s annual PowerPR Conference on Friday, November 1, in Philadelphia. The award will be presented to Thomas by Mid-Atlantic Black Public Relations Society Founder Monica Peters and Actor Nakia Dillard, who stars in the CW series, “Black Lightning.”

“Alonda is most deserving of this award” says Peters, who describes the Society as a "small but mighty organization." 

“Alonda has showcased Black excellence in her career trajectory from author to public relations executive, strategically shaping the image and brand of one of the most prestigious HBCU’s in the nation, Howard University.”

Thomas, who was previously named “Top 25 African American PR Millennials to Watch” by Huffington Post, will also serve as the conference’s keynote speaker. Prior to her current role, Thomas served as the senior public relations manager for TV One. In addition, she has developed PR strategies for Walt Disney Studios, ABC Studios, Bishop T.D. Jakes and more. 

“I’d like to thank the Mid-Atlantic Black Public Relations Society for this incredible recognition,” says Thomas. “This would not be possible without the support I’ve received from some amazing mentors over the years while working at Howard University, TV One, Liquid Soul and Florida A&M University. They challenged me to lead with authority and pursue excellence, which I strive to achieve every day.”

Tickets are still available to join the Mid-Atlantic Black PR Society, a project and community partner of FNC Philly, a 503(c)(3) for the annual PowerPR Conference: "PR BREAKTHROUGH: IN IT TO WIN IT!" November 1 at Hilton at Penn's Landing, 201 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia.  The organization's mission is to serve as a venue and resource for African-American public relations professionals, students and entrepreneurs. 

Attendees can register for the conference at bit.ly/midatlanticpowerpr. 

Actor Nakia Dillard will also participate in the conference's entertainment panel along with celebrity chef Kenneth J. McDuffie in the "Manage the Brand in Entertainment" 

About the PowerPR Conference 

  • A conference for PR beginners and experts, students of all majors, entrepreneurs, non-profits and community members
  • Will feature panel discussions, guest speakers, workshops and more
  • Learn about public relations at every level discussing topics from social media, how to become your own PR person, taking your brand global, reputation management, how to break into public relations, online bullying and more.

2019 HONOREES

Alonda Thomas, Communicator of the Year, Director of Public Relations for Howard University

Shawnee Brown, Associate Director, Global Social Media Strategy for Merck Pharmaceuticals Merck Manuals (Trailblazer Award for being one of the few Black women in the world to head up social media operations and strategies for a global pharmaceutical corporation.) 

Catherine Hicks and Joseph Mondesire, Publisher, Co-Owners of The Philadelphia Sunday SUN newspaper (Trailblazer Award for being one of the few Black woman publishers of a major newspaper in the nation. Joseph Mondesire is one of the youngest newspaper owners in the country.) 

Diana Torralvo Director of Community Relations & Communications for NBC10 & Telemundo62 (Ally Award for being a consistent supporter of the Black PR Society.)

Dana Thompson, Project Officer, Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council, Harrisburg (Ally award for her advocacy in bringing together organizations in the tri-state area for the PA Community Alliance Summit.)

Robert Mendelsohn (posthumous)--Legendary and iconic Philadelphia photographer who documented Black Philadelphia for more than two decades.

Previous Honorees:

Previous Communicator of the Year Award honorees include: Stephanie Humphrey (2017), tech contributor for Good Morning America and Kenny Johnson (2018) from the Phillies, who will be returning to the conference this year.

Mid-Atlantic Black PR Society Power PR Conference is sponsored by the Philadelphia Sunday SUN and FNC Philly, a 501 (c)(3). Program line-up subject to change without notice. No refunds. 


Xavier University Launches Master’s Program in Speech Pathology

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New Orleans, LA – Xavier University of Louisiana has been awarded candidacy for the accreditation of its new masters program in Speech-Language Pathology by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology(CAA).  The addition of this program brings the number of master’s degree options now offered by Xavier to 14, the others being in the areas of education, public health, and theology.

The new Master’s program in Speech Language Pathology will play a significant role in the university’s efforts to respectfully and compassionately address the speech, hearing, and language difficulties across diverse communities.

The CAA’s evaluation was based upon a thorough review of all candidacy materials for the program including the application, site visit report, and the program’s correspondence throughout the review period. The organization determined that the new program demonstrated sufficient compliance with the Standards for Accreditation as outlined in the Standards Compliance Continuum.

The mission of the new Master’s program is to produce professionals who are clinically competent as defined by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to meet the needs (i.e., prevention, identification, treatment) of individuals who are currently experiencing communicative disorders or differences, as well as those who are at-risk of such problems within and across diverse communities, settings, and contexts.

“Exposure to individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse communities during training is essential for professionals to become competent in recognizing and addressing the unique needs of underserved populations,” said XU Senior Vice President and Provost Dr. Anne McCall said. “The program will create a culture of evidence-based educational and clinical practices among its faculty, staff and students and will reflect the department’s long-standing core values of compassion, professional excellence, community engagement and life-long learning.”

 “Professionals graduating from the new program at Xavier will be provided with special training that will equip them in four key areas including implementation of evidence-based, case centered care, knowledge and sensitivity about cultural and linguistic diversity matters, interprofessional collaboration/team case management skills, and knowledge and practical experience with working at the top of the profession,” said Speech Pathology Department Chairperson and Graduate Program Director Dr. Gloriajean Wallace.

Wallace said that students will also be exposed to social justice matters and social determinants that impact communication disorders.

“Twenty-one students who are currently enrolled in Xavier University’s Master of Science Speech-Language Pathology Program are expected to graduate in 2021 which is why we coined the slogan 21 in 2021,” Wallace added.

As an addition to the new program, the department also announced the opening of Xavier University’s newly renovated Speech and Hearing Clinic that will also provide speech, language, cognitive and hearing screening assessments for residents of the Greater New Orleans Community. The clinic is designed to provide training opportunities for the program’s new Master of Science Speech-Language Pathology students. The clinic will open this October, offering speech, language, swallowing and hearing habilitation and rehabilitation services to adults and children who have a variety of communication disorders. This includes developmental speech and hearing disorders for preschoolers through young adults.

The clinic will also offer services for people with fluency and voice disorders as well as communication and swallowing disorders resulting from medical conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. The Clinic plans to eventually expand to provide services in rural and international locations. Clinical services will be provided by students who will be supervised by Speech-Language Pathologists who are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA, CCC-SLP) and Board certified by the Academy of Neurologic Communication Sciences and Disorders (BC-ANCDS).

Individuals interested in being seen at Xavier University’s Speech and Hearing Clinic should contact the Xavier University Speech Pathology Department Speech and Hearing Clinic at (504) 520-5087.

Although the deadline to apply for the fall 2019 semester has passed, Xavier is now accepting applications from prospective students who are interested in pursuing the new master’s degree program for the fall 2020 semester.  Admission is open to applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university with a minimum 3.2 GPA in your field of study. Minimum combined GRE score of 280 (combined Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning). Applicants are also required to submit three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement on why they have chosen the program.  Applications (and more information relating to admissions) are available at https://gradapply.xula.edu/register/inquiry.