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October 2007

September 2007

Welcome to The Teachers Lounge

Presented by Vivid Blue Holdings, LLC

The Teacher's Lounge featuring The Ruby Baker Band 

created for teachers by teachers!

September 28 @ 6 p.m.

Welcome to The Teacher's Lounge! Come out and enjoy a fantastic evening of music, food and networking with teachers from Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Hear the soulful live performance of the Ruby Baker Band ( The Teacher's Lounge was created for teachers by teachers to uplift and promote the world's most noble profession, TEACHING! Doors will open at 4 p.m. with complimentary hors d'oeuvres served until 6 p.m. For more information and to locate the next Teacher's Lounge visit

Studio Theater

For tickets visit

P.S. You're invited even if you're not a teacher!

William “DC” Clark Featured in Ford “Swap Your Ride” Campaign

No, you're not seeing things, that's actually Miami's own William "DC" Clark featured in the "Swap Swap_3 Your Ride" commercial. Ford went undercover to find out what would happen if people who own other brands of vehicles were to get behind the wheel of a Ford. Clark and his family thought they were attending a party. Little did they know, they would become a part of a national marketing campaign.

In all, 90 competitive vehicle owners from New York, Dallas, Miami and Los Angeles agreed to evaluate one of 11 Ford vehicles, including a Ford Fusion, Focus, Mustang, Taurus, Edge, Escape, Escape Hybrid, Expedition, Expedition EL, F-150 or F-Series Super Duty during a week-long test drive.

The subsequent "Swap Your Ride" television commercials, which take their inspiration from the reality TV phenomenon, feature candid feedback from people who thought they were test-driving vehicles for market research.

"When consumers experience a new Ford vehicle for themselves -- especially when they haven't driven one of our products lately -- it's almost always an eye-opening experience," said Barry Engle, general manager, Ford Marketing. "In 'Swap Your Ride,' real people tell this story in their own words."

"Swap Your Ride" participants were asked before and after their test-drive experience whether they would be open to purchasing or leasing a Ford vehicle in the future. The results: Purchase consideration following consumers' week-long product evaluation doubled to nearly 80 percent.

Since the debut of the Fusion Challenge campaign with the help of Car and Driver in January, Ford broadcast, print and digital ads have emphasized the strength of its products versus the competition. "Swap Your Ride" is the latest to embrace that third party marketing approach.

"It really takes the credibility of a third party, in this case having actual people share their experiences, that we believe makes 'Swap' so effective," said Kim Cape, communications manager for Ford Division marketing and sales. "We're letting consumers speak candidly about our products."

The campaign is backed by an offer of up to $1,000 "Swap Bonus Cash" through Oct. 1 on most 2007 and 2008 model year vehicles in addition to all existing retail and lease offers.

The first of 28 "Swap Your Ride" television commercials, including Spanish-language ads, began airing last week. Print executions in USA Today and in major Top 25 market newspapers debuted Friday, Sept. 7.

Digital advertising for "Swap Your Ride" also will appear on a variety of sites including Google, Yahoo!, MSN and other automotive research sites. In addition, features additional behind-the-scenes footage compiled during the clinics.

Click here for DC's commercial.

Click here for the "Behind the Scenes" video.

Steppin' In South Florida

S2M logo         Steppin' In South Florida      SFS logo
Martini Monday Steppin' & free introductory workshop
It's Steppercise!

The Steppers Set

S2M logo

Listen up this Sunday to hear the latest steppers music, special guests, and unique mixes by featured deejays.  Tosca Carroll is taking the lead this season with Jim Berry to bring you the sometimes funky, sometimes smooth, and always intoxicating sounds of steppin'!
Tune in every Sunday from 2pm - 4pm
Log on at
It's not just a dance or a social's a social lifestyle!
9/24/07,       4th Monday steppin' @ Cafe Iguana
                   Beginners workshop
10/6/07        Steppers Matinee' at Millennium Ballroom
10/13-14/07  THE STEPPERS BOOT CAMP Level I
10/19/07      Tampa, FL with Steppin2itMiami & Company
10/27-28/07  THE STEPPERS BOOT CAMP Level II

A ball was had by all at Steppin' Into Fall last weekend with Saturday night at Mahogany Grille, L. C. Henderson ("The Technician"), and the Steppin2it & Company demo team with Kindred Family Soul!  We want to say thanks to everyone!
This week is Martini Mondays and Steppin2it Tuesday workshop.  We're keeping the parties and the steppin' coming.  Plus, we're gearing up for the big December Anniversary Weekend, so stay tuned!

It's the 4th Monday!

Iguana logo

We're step at Martini Mondays every 2nd & 4th Monday from 7pm until 10pm!

Dance to the sounds of HOT105's Savoire Faire spinning the latest upbeat and smooth steppers grooves, enjoy 2-4-1 martinis and order from the $5 menu until 8pm.
(NO COVER before 8pm)
FROM 6PM - 7:30PM
Steppin2it Tuesday Classes
S2M logo
We've moved into our new home at the Shades Of Rhythm Dance Studio in Miramar and we're doing what we do best...stepping up your steppin'!  It's the smoothest way to have fun...and get a workout, too!  We call it steppercise! 
tony out frontExperienced steppers learn new moves and drill them in The Steppers Casino*, plus we've added a class just to focus on the basic technique of Chicago-style stepping.  Leaders improve their leading and followers follow better...and we do it all to the latest steppin' tracks straight from the windy city! 
If you haven't been to a class in a while or just want to experience a really great one, you're welcome to learn and step with us!
Check in starts at 7:15pm; Classes start at 7:30pm 
$15/class or $45/month 
No partner needed;
Casual comfortable attire (leather soles recommended)
8910 Miramar Parkway #314
(corner of Douglas Road & Miramar Pkwy) 
Check out their website link in this email
*What is The Steppers Casino? Moves are called out while dancing in a circle with different partners.
Our focus is on bringing our stepping community together for more fun and steppin' than ever. To that end, we've partnered with upscale restaurants, concert promoters, dance studios, and clubs to bring you steppin' at its best.  Hope to see you steppin' soon!

Jim Berry
South Florida Steppers
Tosca Carroll
This email was sent to [email protected], by [email protected]
South Florida Steppers | P.O. Box 560351 | Miami | FL | 33256-0351

Miami Carol City High Closes Cafeteria Due to Rodent Infestation and Other Health Violations

Last Thursday the health department visited Miami Carol City High School and cited them for numerous violations. The school administration voluntarily closed the cafeteria and the students have been fed meals prepared and brought in from another school.

Click here to read the Miami Herald coverage of the story.

Two students shot at Delaware State University

Delaware State University administration quickly shut down access in and out of campus after two students were shot early Friday morning. Both shooting victims are 17-years old.

The shooting occurred on the Campus Mall between the Memorial Hall gymnasium and Richard S. Grossley Hall, an administrative building. It is likely that the male victim may know the shooter. The female victim is in serious condition.

Click here for info from Yahoo News.

Click here for photos.

on the black hand side Vanessa: Unplugged! Blogging Black Miami

MISSING: Nailah Franklin




DOB: 04.12.79











Nailah (Nigh-eel-luh) Oliani (Oh-lee-ahni) Franklin, 28, has been missing from her University Village (near south side of Chicago) condo and from her job as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Eli Lilly since Tuesday evening, Sept. 18, 2007. She has not been heard from since Tuesday afternoon/evening, missed an important "ride-around" meeting with her sales manager on Wednesday, and has not responded to numerous attempts to contact her via phone, email, text message and visits to her condo. Her company car, a BLACK 2005 Chevy Impala is missing, as are her personal and work laptop computers.


Nailah is a graduate of 1997 Homewood-Flossmoor High School and a 2001 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a successful professional, home owner, doting aunt, loving daughter, sister, cousin, niece and friend and would NOT just up and disappear on her own, or go without contacting anyone for days.


Please spread the word about this case, especially if you live in the Chicago area. If you have any information, call Chicago Police at 312-746-9259.



Related links:

Family, Chicago police looking for missing woman 

Forensics team combs missing woman's condo

Westview Middle School Student Dies from Head Injury at School

On Tuesday a popular 12 year-old Westview Middle School student, Pateesha Clinch, died from what appears to be a head injury due to an accidental fall. Witnesses claim that two boys were horse-playing during a change in classes and clipped Pateesha resulting in her hitting her head against a portable classroom building. She was rushed to a hospital but died. Grief counselors were provided for students.

Many of the comments on the Miami Herald website point the blame for this child's death on lack of supervision by teacher or insufficient security staff. Others assert that teachers are not hall monitors. It's unfortunate that a child's death would lead to such discussion. A family is grieving and folks who were not on the scene choose to make such statements.

Surely the other children who saw her body trembling and her eyes roll in the back of her head, will never forget the incident. Children should not have to witness such things but it happened and cannot be reversed. Let's pray for the Clinch family and all of the children affected by this tragedy.

How the Black Blogosphere Has Driven the Jena 6 Protest

Today, protesters will descend upon Jena, Louisiana by the thousands. Those unable to attend in person will wear black to symbolize support for the Jena 6 and unity with the marchers. The awesome significance of this latest demonstration may be lost on many but is captured by Howard Witt's latest article in the Chicago Tribune. Do click here to check it out. You see, the methodology of civil rights protest has forever changed and the internet is the reason for the paradigm shift.

I joined a group of bloggers, the Afrosphere Jena 6 Coalition, in the Day of Blogging for Justice back on August 29. I've never met these folks in person or even talked to any of them on the telephone but the positive change effected, without a "meeting", was awesome. Witt is so correct in framing the position of traditional civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and organizations like the NAACP. For them, the Jena 6 issue was a game of catch up.

Well before the traditional civil rights leaders got involved, folks like Yobachi over at Black Perspective and Villager at the Electronic Village had sent up the drum call to black bloggers and black bloggers answered. Similar actions were the reason Paris, Texas teen, Shaquanda Cotton was released.

I will not be in Jena, Louisiana today and I will try to keep abreast of the day's happenings. Most definitely I am wearing black. I send up prayers of love and peace for those who make the journey to Jena.

Here's an excerpt of Howard Witt's article...


Bloggers inspire new civil rights wave

Jena 6 protest nurtured on Web

By Howard Witt

Tribune senior correspondent

September 19, 2007


There is no single leader. There is no agreed schedule. Organizers aren't even certain where everyone is supposed to gather, let alone use the restroom. The only thing that is known for sure is that thousands of protesters are boarding buses at churches, colleges and community centers across the country this week, headed for this tiny dot on the map of central Louisiana.

What could turn out to be one of the largest civil rights demonstrations in years is set to take place here Thursday, when Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, popular black radio talk show hosts and other celebrities converge in Jena to protest what they regard as unequal treatment of African-Americans in this racially fractured Deep South town.

Yet this will be a civil rights protest literally conjured out of the ether of cyberspace, of a type that has never happened before in America -- a collective national mass action grown from a grass-roots word-of-mouth movement spread via blogs, e-mails, message boards and talk radio.

Jackson, Sharpton and other big-name civil rights figures, far from leading this movement, have had to scramble to catch up. So have the national media.

As formidable as it is amorphous, this new African-American blogosphere, which scarcely even existed a year ago, now includes hundreds of interlinked blogs and tens of thousands of followers who within a matter of a few weeks collected 220,000 petition signatures -- and more than $130,000 in donations for legal fees -- in support of six black Jena teenagers who are being prosecuted on felony battery charges for beating a white student. [Click here to read more…]

Related links:

Chicago Tribune articles on the Jena 6 case: Trouble in Jena

Alpha Kappa Alpha Demands Justice for the Jena 6

Chicago, Illinois – September 17, 2007 - The decision by the Louisiana Court of Appeals to overturn the conviction of Mychal Bell, one of the "Jena 6," confirms the long-held belief by Alpha Kappa Alpha's international president, Barbara A. McKinzie, that the charges levied against the young man were motivated by "prosecutorial overzealousness." She said the dramatic turn of events should strengthen the resolve to demand "justice in Jena."

To that end, she urged Alpha Kappa Alpha's 200,000 members—and all fair-minded citizens—to fire off letters to Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Attorney General Charles Foti and demand that they wield their constitutional power to call for a new trial. McKinzie said that on behalf of the membership, she is sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice asking that federal officials intervene and investigate this issue to make sure the constitutional rights of these young men are protected.

She also asked all members to wear black on Thursday, September 20—the day of unity set aside to show support for the Jena 6.

McKinzie cautioned those hailing the decision to "stop celebrating" since the fates of the six young men still hang in the balance.

"Driven by a racist dynamic in the city of Jena, Louisiana, the district attorney who levied the charges is guilty of prosecutorial overreach," declared McKinzie. "Because lives are at stake, we demand that the governor, the attorney general and the U.S. Department of Justice launch an immediate investigation and right this judicial abuse of discretion. These boys are entitled to their constitutional right to fairness. Right now, the scales of justice are heavily tilted against the young men."

McKinzie said the meting out of punishment that is disproportionate to the "crime" has marked the entire Jena 6 saga.

She noted that the decision to lower the punishment against the white youth who hung nooses on a tree in an apparent protest of a black youth sitting under the "whites-only" tree set the tone of unfairness that has marked the entire series of events surrounding this case.

"Levying a light punishment against these whites and dismissing it as a 'prank' while imposing harsher charges against the black students illustrates an unfair mindset of which school authorities and prosecutors are guilty," McKinzie said. "An investigation will, hopefully, expose this imbalance and will result in a reexamination of this matter and a dismissal of all charges."

She also took the occasion to place culpability on school authorities, the district attorney and parents for relinquishing their responsibilities and allowing this matter to escalate to a "national disgrace."

"The Jena 6 case illustrates misplaced values, erosion of morals and relinquishment of parental responsibility. Because these principles lie at the core of Alpha Kappa Alpha's platform, we must address these issues if we are to engage in an honest dialogue and learn the lessons that this case presents."

McKinzie said that lost in the furor swirling around this case is the fact that the incident for which the students were eventually charged happened prior to the football championships.

"Some of the students charged were members of the winning team and were allowed to play so they could be used for their athletic prowess," she noted. "Once the championship was secured and the trophy hoisted, the boys were no longer of use to the school. That's when the prosecutors descended upon them and the charges were levied."

McKinzie said that the "glorification of athletics" outweighed the alleged crime and minimized the incident until the boys had been used for the school's athletic gain.

"If the charges had been that severe, the LaSalle Parish district attorney would have arrested the youth prior to the game rather than wait until afterward. This is symptomatic of a larger societal dynamic that glorifies athletes when it's convenient and then derides them when their purpose is met. It is a double standard that sends a mixed message about our priorities."

McKinzie also faulted the parents on both sides of the issue for not being vigilant and for not monitoring their sons' behavior.

"Parents are empowered with the task of raising their sons and teaching them character and infusing in them values that would help them avoid situations like these. If the parents had been doing their jobs, this would not have imploded to the level where the boys' lives and futures are at risk," she said.

McKinzie declared that "as a community, we must reclaim our value system."

These realities notwithstanding, McKinzie said Alpha Kappa Alpha is committed to uplifting youth through its Black Male Initiative. The Sorority is also devoted to strengthening the black family. Inspired by this, she said that the specter of these six boys spending years in jail is a dire outcome that is disproportionate to the alleged crime. She also noted that the young men have promising futures and their lives deserve to be spared.

McKinzie said, "The future of the black family hinges on the African American male being an integral part of the family unit. If the judicial system removes these young men from their families and sends them to prison on suspect charges, more than six families will be impacted.

An entire community will be affected and a nation that could benefit from their talents will also be victimized by these actions."

McKinzie added that New Orleans has been the beneficiary of the world's humanity. With chapters in Louisiana and driven by the Sorority's credo to "provide service to all mankind," members donated money to Katrina survivors. Responding to the call to address the need to rebuild homes in the region, Alpha Kappa Alpha members recently sponsored and built two homes for evacuees in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. She added that, in collaboration with the organization Feed the Children, members passed out food to 400 residents. Most significantly, she said Alpha Kappa Alpha decided to cancel a Hawaiian cruise and instead host its Leadership Conference in New Orleans. In making this change, the Sorority pumped $5 million into the economy.

"Louisiana has been the beneficiary of Alpha Kappa Alpha's treasure, time and talents and we have provided a boost to its economy," she said.

McKinzie said that the Jena 6 scenario threatens to cast a bad light on the state. "This can be reversed with a commitment to fairness and with a resolve by officials to see that justice prevails for the Jena 6."

Addresses for the principals:
Hon. Kathleen B. Blanco
Governor, State of Louisiana
P.O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804

Hon. Charles C. Foti, Jr.
Attorney General, Department of Justice
P.O. Box 94005
Baton Rouge, LA 70804

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Website: