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April 2011

Around Town: FloMo

Here is a photo of the lobby of the Lou Rawls Theater at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens. I took the photo using my iPad while attending the NAACP ACT-SO Awards Ceremony. I'll post more about the event later but had to share this photo as I was taken by the beauty of the campus.

Florida Memorial University is a gem in our community. The campus really has grown and developed tremendously. I do plan to see more of it soon.

Around Town: FloMo

Mayoral Policy Forum at UM



Tuesday, May 3, 2011 
Storer Auditorium  
University of Miami


6:00 pm Meet and Greet Reception
7:00 - 8:30 pm Forum   

The Miami Foundation invites you to a Mayoral Policy Forum featuring the leading candidates for County Mayor on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at The University of Miami's Storer Auditorium. This Forum is designed to create a dialogue on the most important policy issues affecting our community.

This event is sponsored by The Miami Foundation, University of Miami and The Miami Herald. Panelists include Elliott Rodriguez of WFOR/CBS4, Myriam Marquez of The Miami Herald and Phil Latzman of WLRN. The discussion will be moderated by Helen Aguirre Ferré.

The Forum advances The Miami Foundation's commitment to effective leadership and our efforts to create a more engaged community. The candidates will outline their views on the most pressing issues facing Miami-Dade County with a focus on policy not politics.  


Storer Auditorium  
University of Miami
5250 University Dr.
Coral Gables, FL

RSVP now at
or call  305.371.2711

MDC Wolfson Campus Student Receives Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s “Technology Student of the Year” Award

Miami, FL – Miami Dade College (MDC) students are a huge part of why the college shines so brightly nationally. Whether bringing home top prizes in academic competitions or being top student-athletes, MDC students always lead by example. The latest big win for the college was on April 15, 2011 when Wolfson Campus student Britnie Allen received the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s “Technology Student of the Year” award during the Chamber’s annual Technology Leaders of the Year Awards Luncheon at Jungle Island.

Britnie is a sophomore at MDC majoring in Computer Information Systems. She is active in the college’s Earth Ethics Institute, the Student Government Association, and fundraising activities benefitting Haiti. She aspires to lead a major IT corporation in the future. She graduated as valedictorian from Miami Central Senior High School and was a member of the school’s Academy of Information Technology magnet program. Her involvement in the program truly sparked her interest in IT. At the time, she also became involved in the ITWomen organization and became the president of the IT Girls Club.

The Technology Student award was presented by Compuquip Technologies. She was nominated by ITWomen.


MDC Wolfson Campus student Britnie Allen accepts the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s “Technology Student of the Year” award at the Chamber's annual awards luncheon on April 15, 2011.


The Mt. Calvary Community Development Center (CDC), Inc. is pleased to host its Re-Opening & Dedication Celebration.


Date: Saturday, April 30, 2011

Time: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm (Ribbon Cutting @ Noon)

Place: 17500 SW 103 Avenue, Miami, FL  33157 (West Perrine).

Miami-Dade residents and children can come out and enjoy a tour the Computer Access Center, live entertainment provided by musical group “Anointed;” food and much more.

The Mt. Calvary CDC, Inc. is committed to serving as a local access point to facilitate literacy skill development, information technology skills enhancement, and inter-generational relationships that leads to improved self-development and an empowered life.


Miami Dade County Mayoral Debate Set for April 27th; Event Presented by Latin American Business Association (LABA)

Latin American Business Association (LABA) is proud to announce the Miami Dade County Mayoral Debate taking place at The Biltmore Hotel on Wednesday, April 27th (details listed below).

The moderator for the debate is Senior Political Reporter & Miami Herald Columnist, Michael Putney. Mayoral hopefuls include (in alphabetical order): Roosevelt Bradley, Luther Campbell, Jose “Pepe” Cancio, Carlos Gimenez, Marcelo Llorente, and Julio Robaina. Question & answer session will follow.

DATE: Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

TIME: 11am VIP Reception with Candidates (Danielson Gallery)
12pm Lunch/Debate with Q&A to follow (Country Club Ballroom)

LOCATION: The Biltmore Hotel – 1200 Anastasia Avenue in Coral Gables, FL
VIP Reception: Danielson Gallery
Lunch/Debate: Country Club Ballroom

CONTACT: Jami Reyes
305.951.9777 or 305.741.5726
[email protected]

NCNW honors five with Umbrella Awards

by Vanessa Woodard Byers

On Saturday, April 23, 2011, I attended the 17th Annual Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Umbrella Awards Luncheon at the Miami Shores Country Club. The event was presented by the Metropolitan Dade County Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.

Five outstanding individuals were were honored in various categories as follows:

Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, School Board Member

Attorney Roderick Vereen

Valerie Crawford

Senator Oscar Braynon, II

Rev. Dr. Bernice R. Smith

In the absence of honorees, Greg King, Chief of Staff for Dr. Bendross-Mindingall, accepted the award on her behalf; Rose Reeder accepted for Atty. Vereen and Oscar Braynon Sr. accepted for his son the Senator.

Some of the attendees included: Nancy Dawkins; Thomasina Hargrove; Dorothy Singletary; Arthur "Jake" Simms; Emily Macceus; Cedric McMinn; Rep. Marcelo Llorente and Patricia Daniels.

Nadelyn Harris served as Mistress of Ceremonies. Alma Brown is president of the organization.

Many South Florida residents left behind in the age of technology

The Miami Herald published an enlightening article on the disparity in internet access in the homes of South Florida residents: 3 in 10 in South Florida don’t have Internet. If this doesn’t underscore the absolute necessity of really addressing the digital divide, I don’t know what will.

You can’t get very many jobs nowadays without applying online and being contacted via e-mail, that’s just the way it is. If you have children, don’t cripple them by purchasing luxuries like video games and expensive clothing  if they don’t have the necessities. Internet access is a necessity.



President Lewis signs agreement promoting collaboration between the universities


(From left to right) Mr. John Ruffin, Jr., vice chairman, Florida Memorial University Board of Trustees; Mr. Andrey Bobylo, director, Department of International Education, Far-Eastern Federal University; Dr. Barbara Edwards, executive assistant to the president, Florida Memorial University; Mr. Charles George, chairman, Florida Memorial University Board of Trustees; Dr. Olivia Jackson, associate professor of international studies, Florida Memorial University; Dr. Henry Lewis, III, president, Florida Memorial University and Dr. Boris Karastelev, director, Pacific Institute of Politics and Law, Far-Eastern Federal University, join in the president’s board room after signing a partnership agreement linking the two universities.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – Florida Memorial University (FMU) took a major step on to the international stage this week when new president, Dr. Henry Lewis, III, officially launched an educational exchange partnership with Far-Eastern Federal University (FEFU), a top-ranked university in Vladivostok, Russia. The partnership, signed Wednesday, April 13, 2011, on FMU’s campus, will promote scholarly and cultural activities between the universities, including joint conferences, research projects and academic instruction. FMU, southern Florida’s only historically black university, is now one of a select group of institutions across the nation to partner with renowned FEFU.

President Lewis, along with Dr. Olivia Jackson, a professor in the Fulbright exchange program, is planning a variety of innovative experiences for students and faculty under the partnership. As FMU continues to make strides in building international relations, South Florida is invited to learn all about the new and exciting projects at Florida Memorial University. Please contact Joyce Forchion at [email protected] for more information.

Miami-Dade County CRB General Membership Meeting and Community Forum

The Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board (CRB) is hosting a general membership meeting and community forum in Liberty City regarding issues facing the community and residents. This is a golden opportunity for you to share experiences on instances of discrimination and inequality. Also let the CRB know what you think they should do to help create a unified community.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
African Heritage Cultural Arts Center
6161 NW 22nd Avenue
Miami, FL

For more information contact the Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board at (305) 375-5730.

A Time For Renewal

by Oliver Gilbert

As a Christian, the Easter Holiday represents the resurrection of Christ and renewal of a covenant that is so sacred that our very salvation depends on it.  As we renew our Christian covenant, we should also renew our communal covenant, with a constant eye towards improving our discourse and interaction with each other.  How can we be better parents, children, neighbors, or friends? In what way are we responsible for the community’s collective success? What more can we offer to make more delicate the discourse of differing ideas?  The answer to all of these questions was given to us thousands of years ago.  Luke 6:31 says do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  I take this Bible verse to mean that if in our interactions we offer mutual respect and regard, we can together make more perfect our families and friendships; our neighborhoods and, yes, even our nation.  In this way we can all, without regard to religious affiliation or race, be reborn in service to one another.   

Happy Easter Holiday