Oprah Winfrey, NAACP and National Voting Rights Leaders Join Together for National Town Hall: “OWN YOUR VOTE: OUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT”

EE44A962-9279-4636-AD7E-4352C80AA362

Winfrey To Discuss Her New Initiative “OWN Your Vote” with NAACP President and CEO and Other Key Leaders in the Fight for Voting Rights, Focused Specifically on Mobilizing Black Women to Vote 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 22, 2020) – Oprah Winfrey and OWN have joined together with the NAACP and national voting rights leaders to host “OWN Your Vote: Our Lives Depend On it,” a virtual conversation aimed to inspire and equip thousands of voters and community leaders with specific steps they can take to register to vote, request their absentee ballots, and mobilize voters throughout their community. Slated to take place on September 24, 2020, at 8:00 PM EST, the hour-long conversation will include remarks from leaders in the fight for voting rights, including Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Stacey Abrams (Fair Fight), Minyon Moore (Power Rising), Tiffany Dena Loftin (NAACP Youth and College), Judith Browne Dianis, and other key leaders. Join this conversation by visiting bit.ly/OprahZoom and registering today!

“We are excited to work with OWN, Ms. Winfrey and other key voting rights leaders as we engage our members, activists, and community leaders around the country about the importance of this election and their vote,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP. “Her voice during this critical time when communities not only need reassurance in their ability to affect change but encouragement and enlightenment on how to do so with clear impact cannot be overstated.”

As the nation reels from the effects of COVID-19, racial injustice, and voter suppression, OWN Your Vote seeks to shed light on the solution through a bipartisan registration and a get-out-the-vote campaign aimed at providing OWN’s audience of Black women with tools and resources to overcome voter suppression in the November election. The pro-social campaign connects people to urgent political actions and gives their concerns a powerful microphone by placing a spotlight on crucial community issues.

“OWN is proud to partner with the NAACP and prominent voting rights leaders to hold this important conversation to energize and engage our community to vote this November,” said Tina Perry, president of OWN. “This is a critical time in our history to come together and raise our voices.”

Along with shedding light on why this moment is paramount for Black women to use their voice, Ms. Winfrey will also moderate a panel discussion that will bring attention to barriers to voting, what everyone should know about this election, and how they can overcome voter suppression in their community.

The OWN Your Vote campaign has been informed by a study OWN conducted with over 700 Black women of voting age to identify critical issues affecting them. The political impact tracking study determined that affordable health care and racism/discrimination are the two most relevant issues to Black women this election season.

OWN Your Vote Partner Organizations include:

Advancement Project National Office

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

AME Church Social Action Commission

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated

Fair Fight Action

Higher Heights Leadership Fund

Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights

The Kapor Center

The King Center (Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc.)

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Links, Incorporated

NAACP

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)

National Council of Negro Women

National Urban League

Power Rising

Power to the Polls

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated

Sistahs in Business Expo

Vote Run Lead

Vote.org

VoteAsIf.org

When We All Vote

Woke Vote

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated


Surviving, Thriving and Mobilizing and the New South Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, September 24

329FE227-0049-4589-A3AD-2EC9F0F466EB

The Southern Area of The Links, Incorporated presents the second in a series of Surviving, Thriving and Mobilizing and the New South Virtual Town Hall Meetings! On Thursday, September 24th at 9 PM EST, witness "Politics, Faith & Media: Harnessing the Collective Power of When We All Vote." Joining the one hour 15 minute discussion will be one of the most powerful men in politics, House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, renowned activist and faith leader, Bishop William Barber and journalist/talk show host Roland Martin. The meeting will be shown live via Facebook telecast, on the Southern Area Website (www.salinksinc.org) and via Youtube.


Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® Sets Goal to Raise $1 Million in One Day in Support of HBCUs


1CB3A77C-1214-4A51-BCBE-1142C960E386

Funds to provide much-needed support for HBCUs hit by COVID-19



CHICAGO, Sept. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- For the third consecutive year, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® has set the ambitious goal to raise $1 million in 24 hours for their national HBCU Impact Day on Monday, September 21, 2020. HBCU Impact Day is a part of the sorority's four-year $10 million fundraising goal led by Dr. Glenda Glover, International President and Chief Executive Officer.  AKA has challenged its more than 300,000 college-educated members as well as corporate partners and donors to contribute funds to assist with the sustainability and scholarships at the more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) around the country.

"Given the current economic state of our world, in which we are dealing with a global health pandemic and widespread injustice against people of color, now more than ever is the time for Alpha Kappa Alpha to step up—as we have done for more than 112 years—and be of service to our historic institutions of higher education," said Dr. Glover who is also the president of Tennessee State University and an HBCU graduate.  

In 2019, the sorority gifted $1.6 million in grants to 32 HBCUs through the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund based upon the immediate need of the institutions.  Each HBCU received $50,000 in unrestricted endowment funds as part of a phased approach to help schools reduce student debt through scholarships, fund industry-specific research, recruit and retain top faculty and other critical operations.      

On Sunday, September 20, the sorority will host a virtual brunch to launch the next round of 32 HBCU endowment recipients and to recognize significant chapter and corporate donors who helped to make 2019 such a success.  Four grants will be announced at the brunch, followed by four additional grants on Friday, September 25, the last day of HBCU Week.  The sorority will then announce 24 more recipients -- six schools every Thursday for four weeks, providing a positive and well-deserved spotlight for HBCUs throughout October.

While HBCUs have gotten much more favorable attention in the press over the past few months, COVID-19 continues to have an adverse effect on most colleges and universities as students elect to defer their admission or attend local institutions in their hometowns.  Many HBCUs have adjusted to online learning, but still struggle to cover operating costs with a reduced number of students on campus.

"I know first-hand the immense challenges HBCUs are facing during this time of uncertainty," added Dr. Glover. "However, I also know that these institutions are resilient and resourceful, which is why I have implored the membership of AKA and the black community to remain steadfast in our support of HBCUs which are responsible for 22% of current bachelor's degrees granted to African Americans, preparing them for a myriad of key leadership roles in society."

HBCU Impact Day is part of the sorority's recognition of HBCU Week. On September 21, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority chapters around the globe will host fundraising events in support of the $1 million fundraising goal.  The sorority was successfully able to reach the $1 million goal consecutively in 2018 and 2019 due to the generosity of AKA members, private donors and matching funds from more than a dozen corporations, including SHRM, Wells Fargo, Google, State Farm, and Walmart.  Interested donors can make contributions by texting AKAHBCU to 44321, giving by mail or online at http://aka1908.com/hbcus/donate-hbcu during the 24-hour campaign.  For more information on the sorority's commitment to HBCUs, visit www.AKA1908.com.

 


Talladega College names Angela Poole Ph.D, CPA, vice president for administration and finance

 

  3ECDA87B-655E-4C44-BBF1-B2D6590CB51E

(Talladega, AL)   Angela Poole, Ph.D., CPA, has been named vice president for administration and finance at Talladega College in Talladega, AL.  Dr. Poole brings over 20 years of professional financial management, leadership training, executive coaching, and consulting experience to the institution. 

She will develop long and short-range strategic financial plans for the College; direct and oversee the institution’s business functions; and provide leadership and administration for the Division of Administration and Finance by directing and overseeing budget administration, financial planning, accounting and investments, purchasing and contracts, administrative support, auxiliary enterprises, information technology, human resources, facilities, and risk management.  As a member of Talladega’s senior executive staff, she will participate in institutional planning, policy development and problem resolution.

Dr. Poole is a seasoned executive whose expertise includes implementing plans for fiscal stabilization to manage expenses, grow revenues, and reduce debt. Her professional experiences include higher education administration, not-for-profit leadership, accounting, consulting, and systems implementation. She has also worked at senior levels with professional consulting firms, medical centers, local municipalities and state agencies.  

Prior to joining the College, she served as a managing consultant for AMP Expert Solutions.  Prior to AMP Expert Solutions, she served as senior vice president for business affairs/CFO for Bethune-Cookman University.

She earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), a Master of Accountancy degree from Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the School of Business and Industry at FAMU.  Dr. Poole completed a graduate certificate program in Institutional Effectiveness from the State University System of New York (SUNY).

She has been a licensed Florida Certified Public Accountant since 1999. She is also a certified Business Process Reengineering and Strategic Planning Practitioner and a trained Design Think facilitator.

Her current and past involvement in professional and civic organizations includes: Founding President of The Foundation for Wealth Building, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tallahassee Christian College and Training Center, Lifetime member of the FICPA Scholarship Foundation, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and Lifetime member of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University National Alumni Association.

 


AFSCME, NAACP launch historic partnership to mobilize Black voters

DF5B46D7-524B-4F71-9AE7-804F324005B6

 

Partnership kicks off with a joint four-state presidential radio buy on African American radio stations in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina.

WASHINGTON – AFSCME and the NAACP launched on Saturday two radio ads which will run in the Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Detroit, Flint, Raleigh, Charlotte and Greensboro markets through election day. Both the AFSCME and NAACP ads slam President Trump’s failures to combat COVID-19, while the virus continues to exact a brutal and disproportionate toll on the Black community.

“While Trump lied, Black people died,” says the NAACP ad before urging voters to request a ballot and make a plan to vote. “Trump spends his time golfing, while COVID-19 hits the black community hard,” says the voiceover in the AFSCME ad (paid for by AFSCME’s PAC, AFSCME PEOPLE) contrasting Trump’s record with that of Joe Biden’s to protect health care. The significant ad buys jumpstart a partnership between the two organizations that will focus on Black voter education and mobilization based on what is at stake in November and beyond for communities of color.

The partnership marks a new chapter in the shared activism and close bond between the civil rights community and AFSCME. Together, the NAACP and AFSCME are addressing the deep-seated racial injustices and corrupt incompetence which have forced Black communities across the country to bear the brunt of the health and economic crises facing the nation.

“The Black vote will determine the outcome of this consequential election, and we must ensure that we use this influence to elect leaders who will empower our communities,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson. “This historic collaboration is proof that our communities are united during these critical times. From the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 to ongoing police brutality experienced by black people, we must turn out to vote in November — and every election — if we are to achieve the representation and policy changes that will protect our communities. We must ensure that every voice is heard because our lives and future depend on it.”

Listen to the NAACP ad, While He Lied, Black People Diedhere.

“I can’t recall an election where fundamental issues of racial justice have been more at stake,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “It’s going to take overwhelming turnout among African Americans and communities of color to prevail in November. That’s why AFSCME has entered into this unique partnership with the NAACP. By combining our resources and expertise, we will mobilize voters in targeted states who are tired of leaders who stoke racial resentment and head for the links while Black and brown people die by the thousands. This collaboration — between our two organizations that have done so much to advance civil rights, labor rights and human rights — will help ensure that voters are informed and empowered this November to elect leaders who will invest in all our communities and unite us around shared values.” 

Listen to the AFSCME ad here: https://youtu.be/rpWh6P2fGmI

 


Sunshine Meeting Between County Commissioners Regarding Renaming Miami International Airport

03DF2EF3-61C9-4ECE-B900-6BDDDFDD2156


A Sunshine Meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m., tomorrow, Monday, September 14, 2020 regarding the renaming of the Miami International Airport. The meeting is between Commissioners Esteban Bovo, Vice-Chairwoman Rebecca Sosa and Chairwoman Audrey Edmonson. We don’t know any additional details. There was a previous attempt in 2018 by Commissioner Jean Monestime to rename the airport after Former City of Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre. Commissioner Sosa objected; the airport is located in her commission district.

Meeting details are in the notice below.   

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA

PUBLIC NOTICE

NOTICE IS GIVEN that a Sunshine Meeting between the Honorable Commissioner Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 13; the Honorable Audrey M. Edmonson, Chairwoman, Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, District 3; and the Honorable Rebeca Sosa, Vice-Chairwoman, Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, District 6, is scheduled for Monday, September 14, 2020, at 1:00 p.m., to discuss Miami International Airport Renaming. This meeting will only be held virtually utilizing communications media technology made permissible pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Orders.

Interested parties may:

(1) Join the meeting live online to speak where permissible or listen to the meeting by registering in advance at: https://miamidade.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4iY3NPRdTdyoXP8D3YmawA. Zoom registration will be available beginning September 10, 2020;

(2) Call into the live meeting by phone to speak, if permissible, or listen to the meeting by dialing in at: US Toll-free 877-853- 5247 or 888-788-0099 and using Meeting ID: 992 5401 6580; to avoid delays you may register in advance at https://miamidade.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4iY3NPRdTdyoXP8D3YmawA

(3) if you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may join the meeting using Florida Relay Service by dialing 711 on your telephone.

  1. Miami-Dade County provides equal access and equal opportunity in its programs, services and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of disability. To request materials in accessible format, a sign language interpreter, Communication Access Real-time Translation services, and/or any other accommodation to participate in any County meeting, please contact Lenna Borjes, (305) 375-5380, Lenna.Borjes@miamidade.gov at least three days in advance of the meeting to initiate your request. TTY users may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service).

If you have any questions or require additional information regarding the virtual meeting, please contact Lenna Borjes at the Office of Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr. (DIST. 13) at (305) 375- 5380 or send an email to: Lenna.Borjes@miamidade.gov. (Due to COVID -19, staff is currently working remotely, but will respond within a reasonable period of time to messages which have been received).


HARVEY RUVIN, CLERK

MELISSA ADAMES, DEPUTY CLERK


Online Homework Help & Tutoring Program Fall Session begins Saturday, September 12

With so many students using distance learning this Fall because of COVID-19, parents need not become frustrated if they lack certain subject-area expertise. The Miami-Dade Public Library System provides certified teachers to help your K-12 students. Do take advantage of this service as we help our children through this reimagined educational environment. Sessions are available on Saturdays from September 12 - December 19.

8226F373-FA0B-4A69-B497-9B6AFC8D7FED


Online Homework Help & Tutoring Program Fall Session begins Saturday, September 12


Bahamas Re-Opens for U.S. Travelers; 14-Day Quarantine Required

Bahamas Re-Opens

Bahamian government officials have reopened their borders to U.S. travelers, but upon arrival, visitors are expected to quarantine in a government facility for 14 days. The change was made to create a uniform standard for visitors during the coronavirus pandemic. For more information on travel guidelines to the Bahamas, click here.


Annual Community Pillars Awards Ceremony Set for August 1

 

AB907330-4B09-4A88-A08C-4F69751845E4

MIAMI – The Heritage Planning Committee of the Black Affairs Advisory Board will host its annual “Community Pillars” awards and scholarship presentation at 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., on Saturday, August 1, 2020, via the Zoom virtual platform https://miamidade.live/PillarAwards. The event will be livestreamed on the Black Affairs Advisory Board’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BlackAffairsAB/.

This year’s Community Pillars are:

• Armen Henderson, MD, for his volunteer efforts in providing onsite medical services to the homeless population in Miami.

• Edwin Sheppard, for founding the “Blindfolded International Student & Cultural Exchange” which facilitated an exchange program with students visiting South Florida from Botswana with students at Miami Central High School.

• Dr. Whittington B. Johnson, the first African American tenured professor hired at the University of Miami.

• Juanita Walker, for her a mission to provide quality childcare to some of the most economically disadvantaged communities in Miami-Dade County.

The Black Heritage Planning Committee will also award scholarships to five Young Pillars:

• Kamari Dawson (Morehouse College)

• Heaven Kendricks (Albany State)

• Na’Vaeh Kendricks (Albany State)

• Chanice Forbes (Missouri State)

• Kennedy Jennings (Alabama A&M University)

Additionally, the Black Hospitality Initiative (BHI) of the Greater Miami Convention will present its award to Florida International University student Paige Johnson. The Clarence Pittman Jr. Scholarship, supported by the Miami-Dade Chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, will be presented to Brandi Milliner (Bethune-Cookman University) and Jasmine Brown (Florida State University).

“This year’s observance, as have many other community events, pivoted to the virtual Zoom platform due to the current pandemic,” notes Black Affairs Advisory Board Chair Stephen Hunter Johnson. “We are cognizant of the need to discourage in-person gatherings and decided not to postpone this uplifting celebration of our dedicated Community Pillars as well as present scholarships to our Young Pillar recipients,” added Black Heritage Planning Committee Chair Edgar Wright.

The honorees were selected for their support of programs or businesses which positively impact the community and have a deep commitment to public service. Most of them have toiled tirelessly without fanfare for years in their chosen community path.

For more information, please contact Black Affairs Advisory Board Director Retha Boone-Fye at Retha.Boone-Fye@miamidade.gov or 305-815-1932.

 

 

 


OLCDC Local Court Win Is A Victory For Affordable Housing Communities Nationwide

Ffcc41_3e51d1b3396748179e16645fd7e1671f~mv2

Florida Court rules in favor of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program’s Right of First Refusal provision

 

(Opa-locka, FL) – On July 7, 2020, the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County ruled to preserve the housing needs of low- to moderate- income families in one of South Florida's most historic yet distressed cities, Opa-locka. In Case No. 2019-CA-016913, the plaintiff, Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), asked the court to recognize its non-profit right of first refusal to purchase the property in its partnership with the defendant, HK Aswan, LLC et al., (Halkeen), to ensure Aswan Village Apartments in Opa-locka remains affordable and locally owned.

The court ruled unequivocally in favor of OLCDC on every issue before it. In a case with broad implications for non-profit affordable housing developers across the nation, the court’s summary judgment ruling confirmed that under Section 42 of the United States Code, which establishes the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, a non-profit’s right of first refusal to purchase an affordable housing development in which it has participated under the program is not conditioned upon the receipt of any third-party offer to purchase the development. Instead, the court confirmed that all that is necessary under Section 42 to trigger a LIHTC right of first refusal is for the owner of the development to manifest an intent or willingness to sell the development. And, because the contract giving OLCDC its Section 42 right of first refusal contained no other conditions, it was not necessary for the owner to have received and entered into an enforceable purchase agreement before OLCDC’s right of first refusal was triggered and enforceable.

Dr. Willie Logan
Dr. Willie Logan

“Our mission has always been to revive the existing community without giving into gentrification,” says Dr. Willie F. Logan who founded OLCDC in 1980 when he was mayor of Opa-locka - later he was elected a Florida state representative. He continues to serve as president and chief executive officer of the non-profit organization which has built and rehabilitated more than 200 affordable single-family homes and 2,500 units of affordable multi-family housing in Opa-locka and the northern part of Miami-Dade County. “We are pleased with today’s summary judgment ruling which preserves Aswan Village as affordable housing stock in the community,” adds Dr. Logan.

Under the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, which was established to increase the supply of affordable housing by incentivizing private investors to partner with non-profit developers like the OLCDC, non-profits who participate have a statutory right to purchase the property at the lowest price at the end of the term of the investor’s investment, which is a fifteen-year compliance period. The goal is to keep the value within the property, not to remove it upon the end of the investment term so the property remains affordable for renters.

In this case, OLCDC asserted that Halkeen sought to prevent OLCDC from ever exercising its right of first refusal and initiated unilateral actions to sell Aswan Village Apartments for fair market value, all in contravention of the parties’ contracts and applicable law, and to take more than $5.5 million of equity in the property rather than preserve it for the betterment of the property, its residents, and the community. The court soundly rejected Halkeen’s efforts and ordered it to specifically perform under the right of refusal, meaning that it must transfer the affordable housing development to OLCDC for the below-market sale price prescribed by Congress in Section 42. As a result of the court’s decision, all that remains in the case are a few pending motions and a soon to be scheduled jury trial on damages, pursuant to which OLCDC will be seeking damages in excess of $1 million.

Opa-locka’s case reflects a troubling national trend threatening the long-term viability of low-income housing projects. Rising values in certain markets have created an opportunity for private firms aggregating investor interests in LIHTC partnerships to profit far beyond the original investors’ expectations. By systematically disputing transfers to non-profits they can sell the property at a higher price than originally anticipated in the partnership agreement and undermine the goals of the LIHTC program.

Low-income families, single parents and seniors have lived in Aswan Village, for the past 16 years. It is a 216-unit affordable housing development for residents whose household income is between 30% and 60% of Miami-Dade Area Median Income. In Opa-locka, the poverty rate is 47.15 percent, affordable housing is essential.

The LIHTC program has generated millions of housing units nationwide since its inception in 1986, far more than any other federal program. But, housing needs have significantly outpaced supply, and a variety of economic and social factors have contributed to a growing affordable housing crisis throughout the country. In Florida, the LIHTC program is administered by the Florida Housing Finance Coalition.

OLCDC is determined to change the tide on this troublesome trend, ensuring the longevity of affordable housing inventory by helping to diminish ambiguities in the statute. This victory sets a precedence for related affordable housing partnership agreement litigation to be resolved in favor of nonprofit ownership and low-income housing, which was the intention of the LIHTC program.

OLCDC calls for public action to counter the tactics of aggregator firms. “We need to protect our low-income communities nationally by supporting organizations fighting the battle on every level,” says Dr. Logan. “We must keep our affordable housing affordable and locally owned.”

 

 

 


URGENT: COVID-19 Testing Protocol for Visitors to The Bahamas

Bahamas Protocol

Effective immediately, all travelers to The Bahamas will be required to complete an electronic Bahamas Health Visa application before departure from the place of embarkation. This can be found at travel.gov.bs. Travelers are required to upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test and provide contact information. 

The Government of The Bahamas will accept the negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (swab) test if the sample was taken within (10) ten days of arrival. Tests over ten (10) days old will not be accepted. 

An automated response will be provided once the application is completed. The only persons approved to travel are those who have received a green color-coded response, as proof of approval. This confirmation must be presented upon arrival in The Bahamas. The Health Visa application process will take twenty-four to forty-eight (24-48) hours and should be completed with adequate lead time. 

Failure to comply with the stated requirements will result in denied entry. It is recommended that all travelers interested in visiting The Bahamas review requirements applicable to each member of their traveling party at www.bahamas.com/travelupdates before booking a trip. 

For more information, or to view the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan, please visit www.bahamas.com/travelupdates. You may also contact the Ministry of Tourism COVID-19 travel hotline at (242) 502-0829 Monday to Friday, 8 AM – 6 PM, or via email at contactusteam@bahamas.com.