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July 2012

June 2012

Catalyst Miami Theater and Award Event at Gablestage!

Race by David Mamet

Two lawyers, one black and one white, find themselves defending a wealthy, white male executive against the charge of raping a young black woman. With its blunt language, intricate plot, and riveting exploration of societal stereotypes, the legal profession, and the elusive nature of justice, this controversial work by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet will have everyone talking long after the lights go up.

Special Guests of Honor: Miguel Milanes, former communications chief for the Department of Children and Families and Clinton appointee, now vice president of Allegany Franciscan Ministries and Dr. Marvin Dunn, historian, psychologist and founder of Roots in the City, two tireless champions for equality and justice in our community and dedicated friends of Catalyst Miami.

For more information visit


Voter Education and Empowerment July 9

The Miami-Dade Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (MDBC-LEO) Voter Education Series in conjunction with Miami-Dade Department of Elections continues on July 9, 6:30 p.m. at Florida City Hall, 404 W. Palm Dr., Florida City, FL

All citizens, registered voters and community organizations are invited to discuss several topics including new County and State Districts boundaries, new voter registration guidelines and early voting changes. 

MDBC-LEO is committed to being proactive in the community to ensure awareness of changes to voting and election policies. There are several key races on the August 14 Primary Election ballot. 

The July 9 segment of this series is co-sponsored by Florida City Mayor Otis Wallace. Let’s get out and vote or just stop complaining!


Celebrating the Miami Heat

Today is the day of the Miami Heat parade celebrating their NBA championship. The streets will be packed with Heat fans as the community celebrates another professional basketball victory. Although it doesn’t seem that long, it’s been 6 years since the Larry O’Brien trophy has been hoisted by our home team.

The morning kicks off at 9 with a private activity for season ticket holders. The victory parade begins at 11 in Little Havana, snakes through Brickell and over to the AAA. There will be media galore so don’t sweat because the parade will dominate local media coverage and social media networks. 


Thank you, again to the Miami Heat. You make us proud.


FAMU Professor Gets U.S. Patent for AIDS Drug Discovery

Cryptolepine will help combat infection in AIDS, chemotherapy and organ transplant patients.


Seth Ablordeppey

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Seth Ablordeppey, a Florida A&M University (FAMU) professor in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, has received a United States patent (No. 8,158,646) for extensive modifications to the drug Cryptolepine.  Preliminary tests indicate the drug will be effective at treating infections commonly found in HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy, and organ transplant patients. In addition, it has fewer side effects than several currently used drugs. 


“This research has been in the works for more than a decade and I am grateful to FAMU for providing the environment and opportunity for this discovery,” said Ablordeppey. “With the discovery of these new agents we hope to deal one more blow to the opportunistic infections that continue to wreak havoc in our communities.”

Cryptolepine is a series of compounds derived from a native plant of Ghana, West Africa. According to the Center for Disease Control, opportunistic infections that attack weakened immune systems have become increasing problematic in the United States. When compared to drugs currently on the market, the high potency and fewer side affects associated with Cryptolepine could ultimately combat this problem.

“I am so very proud of Dr. Ablordeppey and the contribution he has made to FAMU’s patent portfolio. Because of his work, FAMU now has a diverse portfolio of pharmaceutical compounds that treat various diseases that disproportionately affect African Americans,” said Tanaga Boozer, director for FAMU Office of Technology Transfer, Licensing and Commercialization. “His patent demonstrates the talent and commitment among FAMU researchers to develop novel drugs, methods, and medical devices that address health disparities in underrepresented populations.”

This is Ablordeppey’s second patent in two years. In 2010, he received a patent for developing the “Haloperidol Analog,” a method for treating mammals suffering from psychosis.

For more information, contact Seth Ablordeppey at (850) 599-3834. To learn more about licensing technologies available at FAMU, contact Tanaga Boozer at (850) 412-7232.


NBA Champs!

The Miami Heat are your 2012 National Basketball Association champions after winning Game 5 of the Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. League Most Valuable Player LeBron James finally has a NBA Championship ring. All is well in Miami, at least for a little while.

Congratulations and thank you to the entire Miami Heat family! Go HEAT!

Can you feel the HEAT down in your soul?

Will the Miami HEAT seal the deal tonight? What do YOU think?

Tonight is Game 5 of the NBA Finals and the last in the series that the Miami HEAT will play in the AAA. Of course Miami Heat fans want a win and championship TONIGHT. Each of the games in this series against the Oklahoma Thunder have been thrilling, cardiac arrest inducing battles. We are witnessing probably the best professional basketball playing around in a long time.

A couple of questions for you readers. First of all, do you think the HEAT will win tonight? And second, if they do, how will you celebrate?

Here's a reminder of the HEAT's Game 4 win on Tuesday:


Game 4
Screenshot of Game 4 results from my Game Time app on my phone



Alpha Kappa Alpha presented graduating high school senior girls at 20th Annual Elegance in Pink and White

Thirteen lovely young ladies were presented to society at the Ivy Rosettes Annual Elegance in Pink and White at the Miami Airport Convention Center Hilton Doubletree on Saturday, June 16, 2012. The event was presented by the Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Erica Paschal is the committee chair. Sandra L. Jackson is the president. Be sure to check out the photos on our Facebook page.


Ivy Rosettes Graduating Seniors
Lovely young ladies presented at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Ivy Rosettes Elegance in Pink and White



University of Miami, Clear Health Alliance and Magic Johnson Enterprises Partner to Deliver HIV/AIDS Care

Magic Johnson

MIAMI--Ushering in a new, comprehensive approach to treating underserved South Florida patients living with HIV/AIDS, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has announced a partnership with Magic Johnson Enterprises and Clear Health Alliance, a Medicaid specialty plan offered by Simply Healthcare Plans, a minority owned and operated managed care plan. Clear Health Alliance (CHA) was created to provide high quality medical services to the growing HIV/AIDS population in South Florida, many of whom do not have access to care. 

Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Magic Johnson Enterprises are collaborating with the University of Miami and Clear Health Alliance to ensure that these medical services reach ethnically diverse urban communities in Miami-Dade County, which ranks first in the nation for new AIDS cases per capita. Neighboring Broward County ranks second. 

Physicians with the Miller School of Medicine have created a team to provide managed care that will focus on offering quality service, reducing transmission rates and maintaining the health of Medicaid patients living with HIV/AIDS.

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of the University of Miami Health System, says this alliance is a new model involving academia, managed care and corporations that work in partnerships. “The extraordinary advocacy and support of Magic Johnson to outstanding care for patients with HIV/AIDS will be invaluable to the ability of Clear Health and UM to serve patients afflicted with HIV/AIDS with increased efficiency,” Dean Goldschmidt said. “We are looking forward to continuing our leading academic role against HIV.”

“This alliance with the University of Miami is the next step in CHA’s efforts to expand access to critically important medical and support services for individuals living with HIV and AIDS,” said Miguel “Mike” B. Fernandez, Chairman of the Board of Simply Healthcare Plans. “CHA’s expertise and knowledge of Medicaid and Medicare, and ability to coordinate the social, healthcare and behavioral healthcare needs of HIV and AIDS patients by one entity is critical. This coordination combined with Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson’s insight of urban communities and his advocacy for Hispanics and African Americans will help meet an increasing need for healthcare services in Florida.”

As a comprehensive Medicaid specialty plan, Clear Health will work with multiple community partners and health care providers offering medical care to patients living with HIV/AIDS and eventually expand to other cities in Florida and the nation.

“The goal of our enterprise is to deliver a variety of services to ethnically diverse communities,” Johnson said. “Aligning with Clear Health Alliance and doctors with the University of Miami will bring a comprehensive approach to caring for many Hispanics and African-Americans affected by HIV/AIDS who, up until now, may have not had access to adequate care. We understand these needs and know that this partnership will bring real solutions to the challenges facing these patients.”

There is no better place to initiate such a groundbreaking approach to providing services to HIV/AIDS patients. Besides Miami-Dade’s number one ranking in new AIDS cases, Florida ranks third in the nation in the number of people living with HIV/AIDS. About $29 billion is spent annually in the U.S. on HIV/AIDS, with half of all treatments funded by federal and state governments through Medicaid and Medicare. This new alliance will enable CHA to gather a sizable portion of Florida’s patients with HIV/AIDS within one managed care company with the support of an academic medical center.

The Miller School of Medicine has played a pivotal role in HIV/AIDS treatments, research and prevention. Researchers investigated and pioneered the use of AZT (azidothymidine) for treatment, led studies that showed a combination of antiretroviral drugs improved health and survival, and discovered how to prevent the transmission of HIV from pregnant mothers to their babies. The Miller School also has the only evidence-based prevention program for Hispanics in the nation.

National recognition of the Miller School’s expertise in the field came with the University of Miami’s recent designation as a Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) by the National Institutes of Health, one of only 21 in the nation. The award brings nearly $7 million over five years to enhance and nurture research in HIV/AIDS.

“It is critical to move the needle in the AIDS epidemic,” said Dean Goldschmidt. “With therapies and prevention programs we continue to develop, and the support of organizations such as Clear Health and Magic Johnson Enterprises, we can foresee a time when we will stop the AIDS virus in its tracks.” 


Former Police Chief Gwen Boyd Seeks North Miami Mayor Post in 2013 Election

Former North Miami Police Chief Gwen Boyd announced, via her Facebook profile, her candidacy for North Miami Mayor in 2013. Current Mayor Andre Pierre is serving his final term. 

Screen Shot 2012-06-20 at 8.27.45 PM

Chief Boyd's election to lead the City of North Miami just might unite a painfully politically and ethnically fractured city. Stay tuned.


Dynamic Duo Tapped to Spin and MC the 16th Annual American Black Film Festival Opening Party


Miami Beach welcomes TV & Films top Stars to the Fontainebleau's Arkadia tonight


In Miami these days when one speaks of a Duo, they're generally talking about the Miami Heat's Lebron James and Dwayne Wade, respectively.  But another dynamic duo is invading Miami for the American Black Film Festival (ABFF).  Collectively, DJ Shogun and Aaron "Mr. MusicIsMyBusiness" Arnold have worked with everyone from Hollywood Actor Idris Elba to Global Icon Sean "Diddy" Combs; They've DJed and hosted everywhere from Switzerland to Harvard University and many places in between.  Tonight at 10pm this duo will be bringing their talents to Miami Beach for the 16th Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) opening party where DJ Shogun (@DjShogun) will be spinning and Mr. MusicIsMyBusiness (@MrMimb) MCing.    

This spectacular event, sponsored by Uptown Magazine and Stella Artois, will take place at the Fontainebleau's Arkadia on Miami Beach and not only host some of the top emerging film-makers, producers, directors from all over the world but stars like Will Packer, cast members from “Think Like A Man,” Tracee Ellis Ross, Vanessa Williams, Rockmond Dunbar and many more. 

“This is our third year and as the American Black Film Festival (@ABFF) continues to grow in magnitude and impact we're honored to be growing with it," said the duo (DJ Shogun and Aaron). "We're always excited to support & celebrate the Black arts. To provide the soundscape for the week and rub elbows with legendary & rising stars is a pleasure.” 

Some of the Festival highlights this year will include:  The first ever Webisode ChallengeA Conversation with Salim & Mara Brock Akil;  “Beasts of The Southern Wild” (took top awards at Sundance and Cannes) and the HBO Short Film competition to name a few.  



About The DJ 

DJ Shogun, a Queens, NY Native, is fast  becoming the go-to-dj for many high-profile events: Miami's  International Fashion week, Russell  Simmon's launch party at The W Hotel in LA,  Michael Jordan's Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament @ Atlantis,  Carmelo Anthony's Shoe Launch Party @ Jaguar, LA, Derek Jeter's  All-Star Party @ Marquee, NYC, etc. He also  spins with celebrity-friend, Idris  Elba. His music style (i.e.Hip Hop, House, Electro, etc.). The currently serves as MusicIsMyBusiness' anchor DJ and is a part of the newly form Monster DJ collective.  You can learn more about him at


About The MC

Aaron "mr.musicismybusiness" Arnold is CEO of MusicIsMyBusiness.  The Chicago Native has built MusicIsMyBusiness (MIMB) into one of "America's Smartest New Companies led by people under 30," according to Inc Magazine.  Recently, Sean "Diddy" Combs gave Mr. Arnold a great endorsement to his 5million plus followers as the "future" of music and business.  He's spoken everywhere from Harvard Business to Capital Hill on behalf of Google to hosting parties in ATL-DC-Miami-Chicago and St. Thomas, Vi.   His story and growth continue to peak interest from kids to businessmen across the globe.  In the past, he's been featured in Black Enterprise (twice), Inc Magazine, CNN, MTV, Vh1 and blogs for Fast Company Magazine re: Social Media &TheModernStartup. You can learn more about him at or 


About ABFF

Founded in 1997, the American Black Film Festival is an industry retreat and competitive marketplace for films by and about people of color. The festival's mission is to facilitate distribution opportunities for quality films and introduce the top echelon of emerging artists to the industry at large. Since its inception, the ABFF has premiered over 500 films, positioning it as the leading film festival for Black and urban content. The ABFF is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based event marketing, production and distribution company founded in 2002 by Jeff Friday (CEO).  For more information, please visit