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December 2011

November 2011

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Welcomes New Members to FIU Chapter

Miami, FL - Twelve lovely young ladies were recently added to the sisterhood of Sigma Pi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Florida International University.

The Fall 2011 initiates of the Sigma Pi Chapter are Laurie Chery, Sherataniry Flores, Stefanie Leonara, Dominece Norwood, Michelle Cole, Angela Bonilla, Jessica deRoquancourt. Kristin Wilson, Tierney Suggs, Tarie Colebrook, Angelica Spicer and Bianca Morrison. Janice Spann Givens (seated) is the chapter's graduate advisor.

An added treat was the inspirational words of Gwendolyn H. Welters, a 69 year member of the organization having been initiated through the Beta Alpha Chapter at Florida A&M University.

Belen no match for Central

The Miami Central Rockets were victorious over the Belen Jesuit Wolverines, Friday night at Traz Powell Stadium. Instead of four overtimes as in their last meeting, the score was 42-19.

Still undefeated and undeterred by the eligibility controversy surrounding quarterback Austin Stock, Central will face Melbourne Palm Bay on Friday at Traz Powell Stadium.

GMYS Winter Gala Concerts Bring in the holiday season with the rising stars of the Greater Miami Youth Symphony

Miami, FL - Join the members of the Greater Miami Youth Symphony ("GMYS") for a spectacular showcase of musical talent on December 4th, 2011 at the new South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 Street, Cutler Bay, FL, 33189.

The afternoon begins with a 3pm concert by the GMYS Young Mozarts Orchestra, Young Sousas Band, String Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, and Concert/Jazz Band. The ensembles will perform a variety of classical, jazz, and holiday selections. In addition, the GMYS Concert Orchestra will perform a piece commissioned for the orchestra and written by South Florida composer Kristine Burns entitled "Glades: Saw-Grass River". At 6pm, the Symphony Orchestra, the flagship ensemble of GMYS, will perform the Koussevitzky bass concerto with Luis Gomez-Imbert. Mr. Gomez-Imbert is currently on the Florida International University School of Music faculty and is the pincipal bassist for the Atlantic Classical Orchestra. In addition, the Symphony Orchestra will perform Saint-Saens Danse Macabre, Wagner's Prelude to die Meistersinger, as well as festive holiday selections.

Tickets will be sold through the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center box office, 786-573-5300, Single concert tickets are $10-20, and for $5 additional, guests can attend both concert events. Guests will be serenaded in the lobby by GMYS chamber ensembles between the two concerts, and concessions will be available.

Congresswoman Wilson Announces Over $600,00 in Development Funding for City of Opa-Locka

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-17) announced a $624,479 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant will be awarded to the City of Opa-Locka and will go towards urban development.

“I’m pleased to announce this critical funding for urban renewal in Opa-Locka,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “From day one, my focus has been jobs, jobs, jobs, and this federal assistance will go a long way to make our community a better place to live, work, and raise our children.”

The funding will support urban development projects as part of Opa-Locka Vision 20/20, an initiative to make the city more livable, competitive, and sustainable. The project is overseen by the Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC).
The unemployment rate in Opa-Locka stands at over 16%, with 32% of working families falling below the poverty line.

Miami Dade College Student Leader Selected to Participate in National Scholars Program to Help Fix Community Challenges

Miami, FL – Rolanda Schand, a Miami Dade College (MDC) Homestead Campus student and president of the Student Government Association, was recently selected to participate in Opportunity Nation’s Opportunity Leaders and Scholars Program. The Opportunity Nation Scholars program is a national network of vocal advocates with personal experience facing barriers to opportunity and a track record of making meaningful change in their respective communities.

Opportunity Scholars like Schand are those promising young activists who work tirelessly to promote their vision of the American Dream. They will serve as community mobilizers by lending their insight to Opportunity Nation’s policy agenda. Schand recently participated in a leadership institute during the organization’s national summit held in New York City. To be considered for the program, Schand had to explain why economic opportunity in America is meaningful to her and describe the barriers facing her local community and what she’s doing to combat these challenges.

“We are very proud of Rolanda,” said Dr. Jeanne F. Jacobs, president of MDC’s Homestead Campus. “She is doing an outstanding job as this year’s Student Government Association president, and I am pleased to support educational opportunities that increase her involvement and development as a leader.”

There is more MDC representation among Opportunity Nation’s programs, as Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, the College president, also serves on the Leadership Council of Opportunity Nation, which represents a cadre of diverse leaders and iconic Americans who are lending their names and voices to this effort.

As part of Opportunity Nation’s campaign, Schand participated in conference calls on policy and grassroots mobilization leading up to the summit; attended a leadership training in New York City during the organization’s annual summit; hosted a dialogue/house party on opportunity for in her Miami-Dade community; and lead a community effort to make sure that increasing opportunity is a major issue in the 2012 Presidential Campaign.

A native of Queens, NY, Schand started to make an impact in her community at young age. Throughout her academic years, she was actively involved in clubs and her peers nominated her “Most Likely to Succeed.” When she enrolled at MDC, Schand soon became a fixture among student leadership circles. Last summer, she was on the list to receive the Gold Presidential Scholar Award, and this past spring, was elected SGA campus president.

For more information about Opportunity Nation’s Opportunity Leaders and Scholars Program, visit

Rolanda Schand, a Miami Dade College Homestead Campus student

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High School Football: Central meets Belen

The highly anticipated re-match between the Miami Central Rockets and the Belen Jesuit Wolverines is tonight at Traz Powell Stadium on the campus of Miami-Dade College North Campus.

The last meeting of these two teams resulted in 4 overtimes and Central squeaking by as the winner. Central is trying to repeat as State champs. Belen has proven they are a worthy opponent and possible spoilers in Central's quest. The winner of this game could go on to represent South Florida in the state championship.

Carlisle CEO defers meeting with Miami Workers Center leaders

Matt Greer, CEO of Carlisle Development Company, has deferred the invitation to meet with the leaders of Miami Workers Center and discuss how the community can harvest benefits from the many publicly funded projects he has in our communities. This Thanksgiving, the Miami Workers Center and its allies from the Community Wealth Coalition are asking Mr. Greer to come to the table and share his bounty with local community workers, small businesses, and residents.

Over the course of the past decade, Carlisle has enjoyed a strong relationship with state and local government that has yielded more than $1 billion of taxpayer money to help finance over a dozen projects throughout Miami-Dade. The Community Wealth Coalition is asking to meet directly with Mr. Greer to begin outlining concrete commitments Carlisle can make to ensure that its projects deliver maximum community benefit.

In a letter dated September 20, Mr. Greer affirmed his company’s commitment to holistic development and initially agreed to meet with the Miami Workers Center: “We always welcome the opportunity to continue to learn about the needs of the communities in which we work…We look forward to meeting with your group in order to gain a better understanding of your goals.” Now, Mr. Greer is asking that all discussions happen through the offices of County Commissioners. The leaders of the Miami Workers Center are asking Mr. Greer to honor his original commitment and meet directly with the Coalition to begin discussing community building solutions. Stay tuned for updates.

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Florida Memorial University and the NFL’s Miami Dolphins Expand Partnership with ‘FMU Day!’

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - Florida Memorial University (FMU), South Florida’s only historically black university, is partnering with the National Football League’s (NFL) Miami Dolphins to host FMU Day at Sun Life Stadium. The event takes place Sunday, December 4, 2011 when the Dolphins take on the Oakland Raiders. This exciting partnership promotes educational excellence and cultural diversity.

“There is no university in South Florida, and indeed the world that better prepares students to become world leaders than Florida Memorial University. We are undefeated,” said Dr. Henry Lewis III, president of FMU. “Florida Memorial has high standards for its students, employees and partners. It’s only fitting that we have a partner with the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins have a perfect record in promoting educational excellence and cultural diversity.”

FMU student organizations will entertain revelers during pre-game festivities with a step-show exhibition during the pre-game tailgate opportunity. The 2nd Annual Step Show Exhibition will take place on the Land Shark Stage at the AT&T Grand Plaza (Gate G). The show starts at 11:00 am.

“We are proud to once again partner with Florida Memorial University to bring the Step Show to our fans,” said Adam Grossman, senior vice president of public affairs for the Miami Dolphins. “Supporting our local universities and the rich cultural diversity of our region are important commitments of our organization.”

The partnership is part community-oriented thrust of Lewis’ Vision 2020 action plan for the university and surrounding communities.

“FMU is committed to serving the communities we come from and producing high quality student programming,” said Danneal L. Jones, FMU’s vice president of student affairs. “We are looking forward to showcasing South Florida’s best and brightest students and cheering on the Miami Dolphins. Go Fins!”

For more information contact Vernon Martin, student activities director, at 305-626-3714 or Contact Zachary Rinkins, communications coordinator at 305-359-1730 or at for media inquiries.

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It is with deep regret that I tell you all of my disappointment in having to postpone Bayside Rocks on Saturday. I feel defeated and know I have failed you all. I humbly ask that you accept my apologies and your understanding as I journey thru this trying moment.

Everything happens for a reason I am often told. In watching the things that have transpired I will only accept that the Most High has a different plan. I accept that my life is in Divine Order thus today I was only granted the best possible result that could have happened for my life.

In moving forward please note that we will be in touch with everyone to handle any concerns or issues that need to be addressed. I thank you for supporting us in all the ways you did.

We will find another way to feed the hungry for Thanksgiving as we reschedule the event. Please everyone that bought an advance ticket you must return to your point of purchase for a complete refund.

Thank you for taking the time to read this humble note.

One Love,
Alfonso D'Niscio Brooks

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Cain stumps for votes in Miami

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is scheduled to stop by the iconic Little Havana restaurant, Versailles, to court the treasured Cuban-American voters.

Cain, still among the top-tier of the GOP candidates, is dropping in the polls probably due to sexual harassment allegations when he was president of the National Restaurant Association and his questionable political expertise.

Cain stumps for votes in Miami