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February 2014

January 2014

Social Media Strategies for Crisis Communications Presented at Free Webinar

WASHINGTON – Communicating a key message to your staff, clients and business partners in a timely and accurate manner is essential when a disaster strikes. Increasingly, organizations are relying on social media to get ahead of and dispel misinformation that can lead to a tarnished reputation, and even failure of the company.

Get tips on creating a crisis communications plan using social media during the Feb. 11 webinar co-hosted by Agility Recovery and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The discussion will include:

  • Effective uses of various social media channels
  • Simple first steps toward building a crisis communications plan
  • Best practices based on recent disasters

A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

“South Florida businesses can benefit from this webinar in order to prepare for the upcoming tropical storm season,” said SBA South Florida District Director Francisco “Pancho” Marrero. “This webinar and others presented weekly by the SBA South Florida district staff are designed to help small business owners and entrepreneurs whose busy schedules might not allow them to leave work for a more traditional workshop.”

Since 2009, the SBA has partnered with Agility Recovery to offer business continuity strategies through its “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit to check out past webinars and to download helpful disaster preparedness checklists.

The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. To learn more, visit

WHAT: “Social Media and Disaster Recovery”

WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 – 2 to 3 p.m. EST

HOW: Space is limited. Register at

Forum on Civil Rights in Miami, Wed. 02/05/2014, 6 p.m.

Front page of The Miami Times newspaper, September 3, 1960. HistoryMiami, 78-86-3.


Take part in a fascinating panel discussion with local pioneers in civil rights. This is a perfect opportunity to understand the history of civil rights and connect the dots between the past and current civil rights issues. A forum on civil rights in Miami will be presented at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at the North Dade Regional Library, 2455 NW 183 St., Miami Gardens

The Museum Forum is presented by HistoryMiami in partnership with the Miami-Dade Public Library System with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners.  



  • H.T. Smith, Civil Rights Attorney, professor and founding Director of the Trial Advocacy Program at FIU College of Law
  • Enid Pinkney, founder of the African American Committee of Dade Heritage Trust and Historic Hampton House Community Trust
  • Garth Reeves, Civil Rights activist and publisher emeritus of The Miami Times
  • Thelma Gibson, Civil Rights advocate and founder of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Dade County



  • Bea Hines, columnist, Miami Herald




Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights



FLORIDA NEW MAJORITY: No Progress without Florida, The Big Hole in the new Voting Rights Act


A bi-partisan group of Senators released a major revision of the federal Voting Rights Act (VRA).  The bill would revise the formula that determines which jurisdictions require pre-clearance from the Department of Justice before instituting new voting rights rules or amending policies.  The new bill features a formula that does NOT cover Florida, or Ohio, or North Carolina, or a number of other states where right wing legislatures have attempted to severely curtail access to voting.


The new bill was hastened by Supreme Court’s striking down portions of the 1964 Voting Rights Act that protected voters in specific counties, cities and states that had a history of discrimination. There were five Florida counties covered by the original VRA. The Supreme Court decision significantly weakened the Voting Rights Act and its enforcement powers just at the moment that many states across the country, and especially in the South, were introducing severe policies to suppress voting rights.  We’ve seen firsthand in Florida that the strategies were targeted especially to suppress Black and Latino voters.   Florida has been ground zero for voting rights abuses for decades, and as recently as this week, the Governor has been pushing a program to purge voters, largely with Latin last names.  Despite these constant and obvious attacks, under the new formula, Florida and a host of other states are NOT protected.

The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), John Conyers (D-MI), Bobby Scott (D-VA), John Lewis (D-GA), and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT).  The Bipartisan support is remarkable. And, the presence and leadership of John Conyers and John Lewis, the revered civil rights legend, reflects that all is not a terrible offering. 

Florida New Majority applauds Congress for taking this first step. However, the formula for pre-clearance needs significant improvement.  The formula calls for pre-clearance only in states where there is a track record of judgments against a jurisdiction. This is rare. It is a tall order in states with very conservative judges. Additionally, many of the strategies to effectively counter voter rights abuses resulted in settlements or dissent decrees which under this formula do not count towards a civil rights violation because no trial took place.  The formula needs to reflect and protect the experiences of states like Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and others where the attempt to suppress votes is obvious and frequent but the number of actual judgments are few and far between.

“The proposed legislation falls woefully short of achieving the kind of voter protection that is needed for Florida,” said Florida New Majority Executive Director, Gihan Perera. “While we applaud the leadership and bi-partisan effort there is no real federal voting protection without protecting Florida, the poster child for election irregularities.  If states like Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, and Ohio are not protected, this legislation does not address our major problems and lets the legislatures in those states off the hook.  Year after year, our elections have been plagued by bad policies, passed by partisan lawmakers that make it harder to vote. It’s time to stop these tactics with bold, forward-looking measures that ensure all eligible citizens can cast their ballot. If we want a real voting rights law, then we must guarantee the right to vote to all citizens, and protect that right in our constitution and make it an unalienable right.


Generation Ready and NABSE announce partnership to close achievement gap in minority communities


NEW YORK – Strong teachers make strong students. That’s the belief underlying a new partnership designed to raise student achievement by developing teachers and school leaders.

Generation Ready, one of the nation’s largest providers of professional development and school improvement services, has announced a national partnership with the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) to offer leadership support and teacher professional learning. The partnership is designed to change the disparities that exist among under-served students in English Language Arts and mathematics.

“Our nation has faced an achievement gap within minority communities since the 1970s, and we can’t accept the status quo,” said Dr. Bernard Hamilton, NABSE’s president. “Generation Ready comes with years of leadership and experience working in both rural and urban districts. Our organizations will work together to improve the educational experiences of students and increase overall achievement.”

Justin Serrano, Generation Ready CEO, said the partnership is a chance to collaborate with teachers and school leaders in the classroom in ways that matter most.

“Generation Ready brings its years of experience supporting school leaders and teachers to the partnership with NABSE. With our expertise and scale, we can offer tailored professional learning solutions to the thousands of NABSE educators who recognize that by empowering and supporting teachers, we can significantly impact student achievement,” Serrano said.

In November, Generation Ready sponsored the 2013 NABSE Annual Conference in Detroit. Generation Ready will work with NABSE by offering leadership workshops, teacher development and parent trainings across the country related to the employment of effective instructional strategies which will increase academic achievement for all students.

Generation Ready also has committed to supporting the 2014 NABSE Annual Conference in Kansas City, Mo. 


Why Race and Culture Matter in Schools: Closing the Achievement Gap in America's Classrooms (Multicultural Education (Paper)) (Multicultural Education Series)


Happy Founders' Day to the Ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

One hundred six years ago…

On January 15, 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became America's first Greek-letter organization established by Black college women. Her roots date back to Howard University, Washington, D.C., where the idea for formation was conceived by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle of St. Louis, Missouri. She viewed the Sorority as an instrument for enriching the social and intellectual aspects of college life by providing mental stimulation through interaction with friends and associates.

The nine Howard University students who were led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, 1908, Nellie Quander and her gallant group who contributed the added dimension of a national organization and perpetual membership, and those who have come after them, the never-ending stream of eternally young, hopeful enthusiastic women, must be remembered.

The Original Founders: Anna E. Brown, Beulah E. Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret F. Holmes, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Lavinia Norman, Lucy D. Slowe, Marie W. Taylor

The Sophomores: Norma E. Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Alice P. Murray, Sarah M. Nutter, Joanna Mary Berry Shields, Carrie Snowden, Harriet J. Terry

The Incorporators: Norma Boyd, Julia E. Brooks, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Nellie M. Quander, Nellie Pratt Russell, and Minnie B. Smith.

Today, Alpha Kappa Alpha continues to be a leading force in the community with their mission " Global Leadership through Timeless Service".

* Excerpted from the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Happy Founders' Day to all of my South Florida graduate and undergraduate sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated! Let's continue our legacy of leadership and service to all mankind.

Living Legend Dorothy Wright Edwards Celebrates 100th Birthday

Dorothy Wright Edwards
Happy Birthday to Dorothy Wright Edwards who celebrated her 100th birthday on January 13, 2014.


A retired school administrator, socialite and athlete, Dorothy Wright Edwards was recently feted by family, friends and sorority sisters as she celebrated her centennial birthday on January 13. This beautiful lady is a perfect example of a person who lives a healthy lifestyle.

Recruited by Florida A&M College, Mrs. Edwards was a vivacious physical education major, business major and tennis champion. She was also among a trio of coeds who were the first females to earn an undergraduate degree in physical education at the institution. She was also inducted into the prestigious Florida A&M University Sports Hall of Fame.

A living legend, Mrs. Edwards is a charter member and past president of the Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated where she still maintains active membership and is regarded as the chapter’s historian. She was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha in Beta Alpha Chapter (Florida A&M) in 1935.

She has held membership and leadership positions in a host of other organizations, including the Historic Mount Zion Baptist Church, a lifetime member of the YWCA, and the Miami-Dade County Chapter of the University of Miami Women’s Guild.

Mrs. Edwards retired as assistant principal of Miami Northwestern High School in 1971. She was married to the late Oscar Edwards also an educator.

Happy Birthday, Dorothy Wright Edwards!


Va-va sig 75x39



Newseum Opens "1964: Civil Rights at 50" Exhibit Featuring Powerful Photographs of Freedom Summer

Student civil rights activists 1964
Student civil rights activists join hands and sing as they prepare to leave Ohio to register black voters in Mississippi. The 1964 voter registration campaign was known as Freedom Summer. This image and others are now on display in a new exhibit called "1964: Civil Rights at 50" at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Credit: Ted Polumbaum/Newseum collection. (PRNewsFoto/Newseum)

Inside Media Program on Jan. 18 Will Feature Family of Renowned Photographer Ted Polumbaum

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Friday, Jan. 17, the Newseum will open "1964: Civil Rights at 50," a yearlong exhibit about Freedom Summer, a bold campaign organized by civil rights groups in 1964 to register black voters in Mississippi.

"1964" features powerful images of Freedom Summer, from volunteer training sessions in Ohio to clashes with segregationists and the search for three missing civil rights workers who were later found murdered. The photographs were taken by Ted Polumbaum, a freelance photographer working for Time magazine, whose passion for social justice led him to Mississippi in the summer of 1964. The Polumbaum photographs are part of the Newseum's permanent collection and will be on display in the exhibit through Dec. 28, 2014.

"The exhibit powerfully illustrates the risks that student activists took 50 years ago to defeat segregation," said Cathy Trost, vice president of exhibits and programs at the Newseum. "Photojournalist Ted Polumbaum recorded the dramatic events of Freedom Summer and left behind a remarkable collection of images capturing key moments in the fight for civil rights."

On Jan. 18, at 2:30 p.m., Nyna Brael Polumbaum and Judy Polumbaum, Ted Polumbaum's widow and daughter, will discuss his photographs and legacy as part of the museum's Inside Media series. The program is included with paid admission to the Newseum.

Over a 40-year career, Ted Polumbaum (1924-2001) covered some of the biggest stories of his time, including the civil rights movement and Vietnam War protests, for the newsmagazines Time, Life and The Saturday Evening Post. In 2003, his widow, Nyna Brael Polumbaum, donated more than 200,000 of his images to the Newseum's collection.

"1964" is a companion exhibit to "Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement,"which opened at the Newseum in August 2013. "Make Some Noise" spotlights key figures in the student civil rights movement, including John Lewis, now a U.S. representative from Georgia, and Julian Bond, who later became chairman of the NAACP. The exhibit also features a section of the original F.W. Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where in 1960 four African American college students launched the sit-in movement, and a bronze casting of the Birmingham, Ala., jail cell door behind which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. penned his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail" in 1963.

The Newseum's Digital Classroom website features a free learning module called "Making a Change," which explores the civil rights movement through the lenses of historical connections, media literacy, and civics and citizenship using videos, archival news footage and interviews. These standards-aligned lesson plans will help teachers enhance student engagement with Newseum content, their communities and their peers across the country.



The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader: Documents, Speeches, and Firsthand Accounts from the Black Freedom Struggle


Faith Leaders to Descend on Florida’ Attorney General's Office to Demand Civil Rights Restoration Reform

Let My People VOTE

Leaders to Deliver Policy Recommendations, Announce Plan to Unite Multi-Faith Congregations

Faith leaders from across Florida and the nation will gather at the office of Florida’'s Attorney General Pam Bondi on Friday, January 17, 2014 to demand reform of civil rights restoration for Floridians with past felony convictions, to recommend policy changes, to announce a plan to unite multi-faith congregations and the families of returning citizens around the issues and to pray.

Desmond Meade

At 10:00 a.m. ET, leaders from the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) as well as clergy and returning citizens will stand together on the third floor of the building housing the Attorney General'’s Tampa office to call attention to the fact that Florida is one of only three states to impose lifetime disfranchisement upon conviction of a felony.

“"Of the approximately 6 million disfranchised citizens in the Unites States, one-quarter are Floridians,"” said Desmond Meade, one of the event’ organizers and President of FRRC. “Florida’'s disfranchisement rate is the highest in the country, more than 10 percent of the state'’s voting age population is disfranchised, and a shocking 23 percent of Florida’'s African-American population is disfranchised. Many of those who have lost voting and civil rights are men and women of God: preachers, pastors, deacons and apostles.”

The faith leaders will assemble at the Attorney General's Tampa’ Office to:

1. Raise awareness about how the current clemency have a negative impact on returning citizens;

2. Deliver proposed changes to the current clemency policy;

3. Personally deliver a request that Attorney General Pam Bondi meet with key religious leaders and impacted individuals to discuss to need for reform; and

4. Announce plans to unite multi-faith congregations throughout Florida to support clemency changes based on the faith principles of forgiveness, redemption, and restoration.

Under new restrictions passed by Florida Governor Rick Scott'’s administration, anyone convicted of a felony must wait between five to seven years upon completion of all portions of their sentence probation before they are allowed to apply to have their civil rights restored. There is an additional application processing time of approximately six years, bringing a total wait time of 11-13 years. Even after waiting 11-13 years, based on the current pattern for rights restoration, an individual has less than 1% chance of having their civil rights restored.

What: Press conference by clergy, leaders and returning citizens at the office of Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi to demand reform of restoration of civil rights for Floridians with past felony convictions, to recommend policy changes and to announce a plan to unite multi-faith congregations and families of returning citizens around rights restoration.

Who: Clergy, returning citizens, leaders from across the nation and the state of Florida and representatives from the PICO's Lifeline to Healing Campaign, FRRC, NAACP, and ACLU.

Where: Tampa Office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, 3507 E. Frontage Rd. Suite 301, Tampa, FL 33607

When: Friday, January 17, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. ET




The New Black: What Has Changed--and What Has Not--with Race in America


Happy Founders Day, Delta Sigma Theta!


Happy Founders Day to the Ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Started 101years ago on the campus of Howard University by 22 women. the organization has grown to over 200,000 members. A special shout out to all of the lcoal alumnae and undergraduate chapters. Enjoy your day, ladies!


Va-va sig 75x39




Photo: National Pan-Hellenic Council