Xavier University Launches Master’s Program in Speech Pathology

XULA speech

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.


ICYMI: DeSantis Henchmen Attempted Government Contract Give Away As Dorian Approached

Orlando, FL –– Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell called out Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Orlando Airport appointees for attempting to give out government contracts without a public bidding process while Florida braced for Hurricane Dorian.
On September 4, Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell slammed DeSantis’ appointees on the Orlando Airport board for attempting to install a handpicked attorney who specializes in medical marijuana to serve as the airport’s legal counsel. 
From the Orlando Sentinel:
On Wednesday — the same day Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency — the governor’s appointees to the Orlando airport board were trying to mount a coup.
They were trying to kick out the airport’s long-time attorney and bring in a lawyer who specializes in ... medical marijuana.
That’s why I liked a proposal from the airport’s executive director to hire in-house legal counsel. Instead of giving millions of dollars to an outside firm — which might have conflicts of interest — director Phil Brown wanted an in-house attorney dedicated solely to the airport’s interest.
Before he could, board members appointed by DeSantis and former Gov. Rick Scott said they wanted Marchena gone immediately and new contracted attorneys to replace him.
And not just any outside attorneys — specific ones who had apparently been previously selected and were sitting in the audience that day.
Keep in mind: This proposal had not been advertised to the public. And it was coming from board members forbidden by state law from privately communicating with each other.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PARKS OFFERING 1-Day Camp on Tuesday, September 3, 2019



MIAMI ( September 02, 2019 ) —
Miami-Dade County government offices and services will be on a regular schedule Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. All employees should report to work unless otherwise notified. Employees with scheduling dificulties should contact their supervisor for guidance. Departments will be as flexible as possible with leave requests. 
Miami-Dade Parks will continue to be open with regular hours and programs with the addition of a one-day camp, since schools will be closed. The parks offering the one-day camps are listed below. The camps will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Parents must provide lunch and snacks. There will be a $5 charge per child. Please visit www.miamidade.gov/parks for park addresses and directions.
  1. Oak Grove Park
  2. Gwen Cherry Park
  3. Country Village Park
  4. Highland Oaks Park
  5. Arcola Lakes Park
  6. Sidney Wynn @ Arcola Park
  7. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park
  8. Jefferson Reaves Park
  9. Little River Park 
  1. Ruben Dario Park
  2. North Trail Park
  3. Continental Park
  4. Rockway Park
  5. Kendale Lakes Park
  1. Goulds Park
  2. Live Like Bella
  3. Naranja Park
  4. South Dade Park
  5. Eureka Villas Park
  6. West Perrine Park
  7. Sgt. Delancy Park
  8. Hammocks Community Park
PortMiami is closed to all vessel traffic until the Coast Guard lifts its order. The tunnel remains closed. All other port access is closed. Passengers should contact the cruise lines for up-to-date itinerary information.
Miami International Airport remains open. Passengers should check with their airline for any changes in flight schedules.
The Department of Solid Waste Management will provide regular curbside garbage and recycling collection services on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Crews will provide service as long as weather conditions permit.
The Department of Transportation and Public Works will operate Metrobus, Metrorail and Metromover on a regular weekday schedule.



Miami Gardens Food & Wine Festival Postponed November 7-10, 2019, Veterans Day Weekend



MIAMI GARDENS, FL. –  In an abundance of caution, the Miami Gardens Food and Wine Festival is postponed due to impending weather. Join us Veterans Day Weekend, November 7-10,2019 for a star-studded four-day festival celebrating the culinary heritage of Miami Gardens and showcasing the talents of South Florida’s most renowned chefs, culinary personalities, and lifestyle experts. The Miami Gardens Food and Wine Festival launched three years ago as a one-night event, and has now expanded to a multi-day festival for Residents and visitors to experience the diverse flavors and tasty cuisines available in Miami Gardens. The City joined forces with the Hungry Black Man, led by Starex Smith whose unabashed passion for spotlighting high quality Black restaurants promises attendees a unique and tantalizing experience during the festival.  


The festival will include special guest appearances by Chef Carla Hall, Chef Danny Dominguez, Chef Kofi, Chef Jenn Ross, Chef Epicurean Sherronda Daye, Anthony Hamilton, Angela Yee, Trick Daddy and much more! If you love food, music, good friends and great vibes then you need to be at the Miami Gardens Food and Wine Festival Veterans Day weekend!

For more of a complete schedule, up-to-date information and to purchase tickets for the new date, visit mgfwf.com.


  • Curbside garbage and waste collection services will continue normal operations on Thursday, August 29th and Friday, August 30th. Following service, residents are encouraged to secure their garbage and recycling carts in their garage, storage/utility shed, carport or patio to prevent the carts from being projectiles during strong winds or floating away during heavy rains.
  • Bulky waste scheduling via 311 and online has been suspended as of 12:30 today. Residents who scheduled bulky pickups from Tuesday, August 27th and beyond were advised that their pile may not be addressed prior to the suspension of bulky collection services as a result of the arrival of tropical storm force winds. Residents are being encouraged to use their closest Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers for do-it-yourself disposal of household trash and tree cuttings needing immediate disposal. Our bulky waste crews worked on Wednesday, August 28thwhich is not a scheduled work day for our bulky collection operation. Wednesday’s operation allowed our crews to address previously scheduled bulky waste piles. Crews will continue collecting previously scheduled piles today, Friday and throughout the weekend, weather permitting. 
Effective today, August 29th and until further notice, the Department’s disposal facilities will observe the following extended hours:
Facility Extended Thursday and Saturday and
Hours of Operation Friday Sunday
Neighborhood Trash and  7 a.m. to 7 p.m.7 a.m. to 7 p.m
Recycling Centers  7 a.m. to 7 p.m  7 a.m. to 7 p.m
South and North Dade  7 a.m. to 7 p.m  7 a.m. to 7 p.m
Central, Northeast and  7 a.m. to 7 p.m  7 a.m. to 7 p.m
West Transfer Stations
Resources Recovery  4 a.m. to 7 p.m.  7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Miami Gardens Food & Wine Festival Returns Thursday, August 29 – Sunday, September 1, 2019


Two Iconic brands join forces to produce the 3rd Annual Miami Gardens Food & Wine Festival - City of Miami Gardens and The Hungry Black Man


MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. – Presented by the City of Miami Gardens and powered by The Hungry Black Man, the 3rd Annual Miami Gardens Food and Wine Festival (MGFWF) is set to take place Labor Day Weekend, August 29th – September 1st, 2019. As one of the largest minority culinary gatherings, the star-studded four-day festival celebrates the culinary heritage of Miami Gardens and showcases the talents of South Florida’s most renowned chefs, wine and spirit producers, culinary personalities, and lifestyle experts.  The Miami Gardens Food and Wine Festival launched three years ago as a one-night event, and has now expanded to a multi-day festival for Residents and visitors to experience the diverse flavors and tasty cuisines available in Miami Gardens. The City joined forces with the Hungry Black Man, led by Starex Smith whose unabashed passion for spotlighting high quality Black restaurants promises attendees a unique and tantalizing experience during the festival.   

The event kicks off on Thursday, August 29 at the award-winning Yarumba Restaurant and Bar (4740 NW 167th St, Miami Gardens, FL 33014.) Hosted by Hot 105’s Jill Tracey, Chef Danny Dominguez, executive chef and owner of Yarumba will be joined by world-renowned vegan Chef Jenn Ross of DaJen Eats Cafe & Creamery—voted Best Vegan Restaurant in Orlando, and Chef Yasin Nana Kofi, personal chef of A-list celebrities.

The following night, Friday, August 30, patrons will gather at Miami Garden’s newest restaurant, the spacious and beautiful Lorna’s Caribbean & American Grille (19752 NW 27th Ave, Miami Gardens, FL 33056.) This event will pay homage to over 120 years of Black mixology and spirit producing initiated in 1898 with the Black Mixologists Club. Guests will experience an evening of dynamic culinary excellence by DJ Khaled’s favorite chef, Chef D, famed local mixologists and special celebrity guest and foodie Angela Yee, host on “The Breakfast Club.” Serving as host Shelby Rushin from Hot 105. The evening will include live music and special spinning by a celebrity DJ!

On Saturday, August 31, patrons will celebrate Miami Gardens’ finest culinarians with celebrity chef Carla Hall. This event takes place at Reign Restaurant and Cocktail Bar (9940 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, FL 33024). Guests will indulge in unique bites from various chefs and culinarians along with a conversation with Hall of The Food Network and ABC’s “The Chew” and book signing alongside Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, producer, actor and now author of "Cornbread Fish'N Collard Greens,” Anthony Hamilton.

The culminating event for this year’s festival is the Trick Daddy and Trina Lit Foodie Bus Tour on Sunday, September 1. Two (2) of South Florida’s most notorious rappers are collaborating for a soulful adult field trip for the twenty-one (21) and older crowd. The tour will take passengers throughout Miami Gardens and South Florida to enjoy the tasty side of the city.

For more a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, visit mgfwf.com.


Florida Democratic Party Continues to Expand Presence with Purchase of New Office in Tallahassee

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Democratic Party made a bold statement that they will be maintaining a permanent presence in Tallahassee with the purchase of a new office space.
The Florida Democratic Party announced the purchase of new office space for the party in Tallahassee. The space is situated in the heart of downtown Tallahassee in the Historic Exchange Bank Building, which is just blocks away from the Capitol. The new office address is 201 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301. 
Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party stated how the building will be a focal point for Democratic leaders in Florida:
“This is a bold new day for the Florida Democratic Party. With our outright purchase of an FDP office in Tallahassee we will have a permanent home that will serve as a hub for our current and upcoming Democratic leaders and a place where future generations of Florida Democrats can come together to grow our party and celebrate the values that unite us.”
While the party has maintained an office in Tallahassee for years, past locations were rented space. With the purchase of a building, the party will reduce overhead costs and solidify the party having a long term presence in the state capitol.
“Chair Rizzo is showing her commitment to building the Florida Democratic Party for the future and all of the Democratic legislative Leaders to come," said House Democratic Leader Designate Evan Jenne, "This investment by the Florida Democratic Party is an economically sound decision and shows we are working to continue to build our party and grow our power.”
In addition to the hiring of nearly 100 organizers this past June, a multi-million dollar investment in voter registration, and $2 million in outreach in communities of color, the new office is more evidence that the Florida Democratic Party is making strategic investments for 2020 and beyond.  
The new office was purchased outright by the Florida Democratic Party for $345,000, as a cash sale, and is indicative of their commitment to sound fiscal management and their use of resources to expand influence in the state. By owning vs. renting the Party expects to save more than $60,000 per year.

NABJ to Host 'Breathing While Black' Town Hall Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019

Miami, FL –  The South Florida Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ-South Florida) is hosting a Town Hall meeting entitled "Breathing While Black." This public event precedes NABJ's Convention and Career Fair, Aug. 7-11 at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry.  The town hall will be hosted by Jawan Strader and Trina Robinson of NBC 6. It will be live-streamed on www.nbc6.com during a special edition of “Voices with Jawan Strader.” The event will take place on Tuesday, August 6, at Florida Memorial University. 
“We’re proud supporters of NABJ,” said Larry Olevitch, President and General Manager at NBC 6.  “Voices with Jawan Strader gives a platform to South Florida’s diverse community every week, talking about real issues and highlighting true difference makers, so it made perfect sense for us to be partners in bringing this town hall to life.”
Confirmed panelists for the event include FIU Police Captain Delrish Moss, Miami Civilian Investigative Panel’s Rodney Jacobs, Jr., BSO Deputies Association President Jeff Bell, activist Phillip Agnew, Dyma Loving and her attorney Justin Moore.
“We think it’s important that we have these inclusive conversations impacting the community, particularly, the black community,” said Russell Motley, president of NABJ-South Florida. “We appreciate NBC 6 and NBC 6 Voices for guiding this discussion to help work toward solutions.”
For more information, visit NABJ’s Convention site here.


Take Your Advocacy to the Next Level with a Legislative Bill Writing Workshop with State Rep. Shevrin Jones

Bill writing workshop

The legislative process has always been about each of us working together to create laws that help our communities rather than hurt us. On Thursday, August 22nd at 7pm, join State Rep. Shevrin Jones for an interactive #ForThePEOPLE Bill Writing Workshop. 

Come and hear about bill ideas, learn how bills are written, and help craft a community bill for Florida’s upcoming 2020 Legislative Session. No one is going to help us but us. Take your advocacy skills to another level to be more effective in helping help your community or organization.

If You Go:

#ForThePeople Bill Writing Workshop
Thursday, August 22, 2019
7 PM - 9 PM
Miramar Multi-Service Complex
6700 Miramar Parkway
Miramar, FL 33025


The School-to-Prison Pipeline is Real: School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III Calls for Review of M-DCPS Student Arrest Data

School to prison pipeline

At today’s regular monthly meeting of the Miami-Dade County School Board, District 1 School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III will proffer Agenda Item H-11 on the Review of Student Arrest Data. The item is crucial to the Black community due to the disproportionate number of Black students impacted.

The issue of school safety and security has been elevated since the tragic event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Senior High School on February 14, 2018. That tragedy lead to numerous state legislative and local policy reforms and provisions, including resources and requirements for school police and/or armed staff on school campuses throughout the state. Although the presence of increased police officers on school campuses appears to be a noble strategy, the unintended consequence of engaging police officers in school-related matters often results in referring students for school discipline related issues to law enforcement.

As Miami-Dade County Public Schools remains committed to both a spirit and practice of fairness, equality, and equity in the education of its students and administration and operation of its schools and departments, a review of data, policies, and practices relating to student arrests is prudent.

From the Miami New Times,

According to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, only 20 percent of Miami-Dade students are black, but black students account for more than half of all arrests within the district.

"Black kids are more likely to be suspended even in preschool," says Michelle Morton, the juvenile justice policy coordinator at the ACLU Foundation of Florida and author of the study. "The same behavior from a white child versus a black child will be viewed completely differently."

The school-to-prison pipeline is real.

"This issue of student arrests is one that perplexes school districts across the nation. The unfortunate criminalization of school related disciplinary issues needs to end. It is incumbent that we not only talk about data, but lean strongly into real, frank and open discussions about race and racism and the implicit biases that lead to these disparities among black student arrests as compared to their white counterparts and other groups within our system, in our collective efforts to find meaningful, sustainable and genuine solutions," said District 1 School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III.

The agenda item was supported and co-sponsored by School Board Chairwoman Perla Tabares Hantman, Vice Chair Dr. Martin Karp, Susie Castillo, Dr. Lawrence Feldman, Mari Tere Rojas and Dr. Marta Perez at the School Board Committee Meeting held Monday, July 22.

To view the full item, go to:


South Dade Alphas and County and State Agencies Collaborate to Provide Rights Restoration Resources to Local Residents [VIDEO]

South Dade Alphas expungement
On Saturday, July 20, 2019, the Iota Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity collaborated with Miami-Dade Pubic Defender Carlos J. Martinez and Omega Psi Phi member Florida Democratic House Leader State Representative Kionne McGhee to host a restorative rights resource clinic in Florida City, FL.  Legal experts, and representatives from local and state administrative offices, provided their services at no cost to attendees. 
Event attendees were treated to light refreshments and a range of restorative rights resources. Other community partners of the expungement clinic included the Miami-Dade State Attorney Office, Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections, Miami-Dade County Police Department, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Career Source Florida, Haitian Lawyers Association and Florida New Majority.

South Dade Alphas with Omega Psi Phi member Florida Democratic House Leader State Rep. Kionne McGhee (wearing black hat) and Miami-Dade County Public Defender Carlos J. Martinez.

Dr. Steve Gallon III Announces 2019 CUBE Annual Conference in Miami, September 26-28

M-DCPS School Board Member and Vice Chair of CUBE National Steering Committee Dr. Steve Gallon III announces 2019 CUBE Annual Conference in Miami September 26-28, 2019.

The Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) will hold its Annual Conference in Miami, September 26-28, 2019 at the InterContinental Miami. The CUBE Conference is designed to foster effective school district leadership through practical clinic sessions and peer-led district workshops. CUBE has convened school board members from across the nation for the past 51 years to network and share the continually evolving strategies they are using to address the unique educational challenges that exist in our nation's urban centers.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III serves as Vice Chair of the CUBE National Steering Committee. He is thrilled to host the event and showcase M-DCPS, an A-rated district for the second year in a row. Conference participants will tour and attend site visits to a few of our schools that display our ingenuity, diversity, inclusion and safety.

Join CUBE in Miami for the premier annual event, curated specially to provide participants the tools and support needed to effect change and become an empowered, impactful urban school board member.

To register and for more information, please visit:


Highlights of CUBE's 50th Annual Conference in New Orleans, October 2017.