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February 2014

MWC Celebrates Black HERStory Month


The Miami Workers Center (MWC) is celebrating Black HERStory Month and will be sharing knowledge on historical African royalties. The public is invited to come out to the Belafonte-TACOLCY Center at 6 p.m., Thursday, February 27, 2014. Enjoy the music, soul food and African fashions contest. The address is 6161 NW 9th Avenue, Miami FL 33127.

Transportation, childcare and interpretation will be provided. For more information call Mary at (305) 759-8717.


Miami native J'Tia Taylor on Survivor tonight at 8

Survivor Season 28 Cast
Cast of Survivor includes transplanted Miami native Dr. J'Tia Taylor, second row, second from left.


Be sure to watch tonight’s 2-hour Season 28 premier of Survivor at 8p EST on CBS. Among the contestants is Miami native, Dr. J’Tia Taylor, who I’ve had the pleasure of watching grow into the brilliant beautiful young woman she is today. J’Tia is a member of the Brains Tribe because, well, she is very much a brainiac. Most people look at her and have no clue that she is a scientist. As a matter of fact, she is a nuclear engineer.

J’Tia’s very wise parents, Edward and Persephone Taylor, live in Miami Gardens. Their children are critical thinkers and have grown up with an incredible thirst for knowledge. I recall conversations with J’Tia’s mother when it was decided that she would do early admission to college. She was fifteen years old when she entered Florida State University, her mother’s alma mater. After she successfully made it through her freshman year, I stopped worrying about her, well, just a little. When her post graduate studies took her to Chicago and Europe, I really stopped worrying about her.

Here’s J’Tia’s brief bio from the survivor website:

Name: J’Tia Taylor (31)

Tribe Designation: Brains Tribe

Current Residence: Chicago, Ill.

Occupation: Nuclear Engineer

Personal Claim to Fame: Passing my dissertation defense, because I was the expert on the subject matter and held my own against my professors, and being the first black female to successfully defend and receive a PhD from the department.

Inspiration in Life: My mother who is 61 years old and still kicking, running marathons, traveling, and learning new things.

Hobbies: Watching movies, reading and playing strategic games.

Pet Peeves: Ignorant, close-minded people, being late/off schedule, and chunks in food/drinks (e.g. rocky road ice cream).

3 Words to Describe You: Intelligent, adaptable and competitive.

If You Could Have 3 Things on The Island What Would They Be and Why? My favorite “I Love Nerds” T-shirt, mint-flavored Mentos, and a really thick intricate novel that I could read repeatedly and find new meanings to.

SURVIVOR Contestant You Are Most Like: Richard Hatch. He played the game authentically and originally since he had no precedence, and was true to who he was.

Reason for Being on SURVIVOR: Winning a million dollars and beating everyone else, while on the adventure of a lifetime.

Why You Think You’ll “Survive” SURVIVOR: I’m very analytical so I’m good at breaking down/solving a problem and I’m also really good at getting people motivated and helping them achieve a goal.

Why You Think You Will Be the Sole SURVIVOR: I have an irrepressible drive and tenacity.

Do You Consider Yourself a Brain, a Beauty or a Brawn? I'm definitely easy on the eyes but I'm a true Brain at heart. I would say I'm 1/4 Beauty, 3/4 Brain. My answer, in which I give myself a narcissistic compliment and then use fractions, pretty much confirms this. Who Do You Think Has the Best Chance in the Game of Survivor: Brains, Beauty or Brawn? Brains always win... "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." -Ghandi

Watch J'Tia's Cast Video!

Join me in cheering J’Tia Taylor on to victory. Regardless of the outcome of the show, she is an excellent example for girls interested in the STEM area. And she’s evidence that a girl can be smart and beautiful. Go J’Tia!

You can follow J’Tia on Twitter at JTiaPhd. Use the hashtag #TeamJTia.

Before I forget, Marlins president, Dave Sampson is also a contestant so the Season should be very interesting.



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Black Alumni Group Critical of Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent


No Peace
Can the once friendly relationship between Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Albert Carvalho and alumni from Dade's predominantly Black high schools be mended?


As quietly as things are being kept, some leaders in the black community in Miami are frustrated by what they perceive as disingenuous actions by Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, they are even considering legal action. The move is lead by William "DC" Clark of ICARE (Inner City Alumni for Responsible Education) a consortium of alumni from several predominantly black high schools in Miami-Dade County. The tenor and tone of this latest public declaration of dissatisfaction with the Superintendent is more focused and deliberate than those previously posted by DC and shared with his 5,000 Facebook friends, including Superintendent Carvalho. 

The email below was forwarded to the Superintendent, school board members, community leaders and local media. Via surrogates, the Superintendent has reached out to Mr. Clark for a meeting but Clark prefers an update from the Superintendent with ICARE leaders rather than a one-on-one meeting. 

Superintendent Carvalho vs. Black Community

Did Alberto Carvalho win the Superintendent of the Year award because he is the best in the business, or was it because he showed other districts how to screw the Black Community?
The place was the Caleb Center, a government hub situated in the middle of Black Miami. It was approximately six years ago and the first night the newly selected Superintendent, Alberto Carvalho, addressed the Black community. His selection came amidst some questionable mishaps along the way. Many in the community faulted Carvalho for the unexpected exit of the past Superintendent, Rudy Crew, who was Black. Many also witnessed various kinks in his armor. Among them was his alleged womanizing and a messy affair involving a news reporter. However, whatever his past history, he was able to overcome it with flying colors. After a stirring speech inside the auditorium, he came outside and walked into a circle of Black men who were having a conversation. Without hesitation, he stated: "If you walk with me, if you get involved, I promise you together we can make the necessary changes in this community that would make us all proud."
Fast forward to 2014 and Alberto Carvalho is taking a victory lap for being named the National Superintendent of the Year. His mantra of "One Community, One Goal" resonated to most he came into contact with. But the reality is that train didn't make it's scheduled stop in this neck of the woods. I was one of his biggest supporters, that is until several of the community's concerns continued to be placed on the back burner. Because of this apparent neglect, a new group was formed by the name of ICARE, which stands for Inner City Alumni for Responsible Education. It includes several Alumni Associations from schools like Central, Northwestern, Booker T. Washington, Edison, Jackson, Norland and Carol City. We felt that the same issues that affected one, affected us all. Therefore we started advocating as a group instead of as individuals.
However, one by one, our concerns were given nothing more than lip service. With the advent of the tunnel at the Port of Miami taking shape in the near future, we asked for Airport and Seaport academies to be placed in Urban Core schools three years ago. We realized that a lot of our children may not be ready for college, but they might be able to earn an industry certification, get a job and become productive members of society. Yet that idea was floated to other communities. We asked for the implementation of a Licensing and Branding Office that would bring much needed revenue to our schools. Everyone from national chains like Dicks and Kmart, to the local street vendors, were selling merchandise with our school's likeness without us getting just compensation. Teams like Central, Booker T Washington and Northwestern are in high demand nationally, but continue to be among the poorest in the land. A consulting firm headed by former Orange Bowl committee member Keith Tribble met with the Superintendent at our request and informed him that the licensing and branding idea could net the District some 10-15 million dollars per year. Yet there is still no movement on this plan.
ICARE also called for State and Federal dollars earmarked for Title 1 and ETO schools (Educational Transformation Office that deals with underperforming schools) were being diluted to include schools in our most affluent communities that didn't fall under either category. Those funds were also allegedly used to balance the District's books. In the meantime, the most needy schools continue to suffer, and it's all done with the District's blessing. We demanded the replacement of GMAC head Cheryl Golden. High school sports, with the advent of ESPN, Comcast, and various recruiting sites devoted to high school sports, have become big business. Yet, Miami-Dade County, being a hotbed of high school sports, appears to still be operating in the dark ages. We advocated for someone to take this District to new heights, which includes upgrading our stadiums for more lucrative contracts, having WLRN to televise our own games of the week, and knowing the value of our teams thus demanding more more value than we've been getting. Mr. Carvalho said he would address this issue some 3 years ago, yet it is still unresolved.
ICARE demanded fairness for Black Contractors after we discovered that a recent Disparity study, in which the District spent over $400,000 to conduct, was deliberately altered to inflate our numbers. For years, the District spent only 1.4% of it's gross with Black firms, slightly higher with women. Carvalho himself said in a meeting 4 years ago that those numbers were despicable and vowed to improve them. The recent Disparity study that was rolled out proclaimed the District was now spending a whopping 13.0% with Black contractors and they had the adacity to say that with only 12% of the population that Black firms were now over-utilized. What they did not say was the study was suppose to be done from the year 2005-2011. But the District lawyers involved realized the numbers would be more favorable if the study was moved up a year, from 2006-2012, because Black firms were given more work on new construction during that time span.
But what was more disgusting than anything imaginable, was the District tried to pull a fast one on everyone by saying the term Construction only meant new construction and that Maintenance should be placed under the heading of Procurement. Yet, we discovered that the Florida State Statue 1013 clearly identify Capital Outlay as all Construction, which includes repairs, maintenance, renovations, leases and new construction. The reason why the District lawyers, which had the task of rolling out this farce of a Disparity study didn't include Maintenance under the overall heading of Construction, is due to the fact that Black firms got practically zero percent of the District's Maintenance contracts. Do you know how much was doled out by the District under Maintenance during that time frame? Over 1 Billion dollars. When Maintenance is added to the overall construction performed for MDPS, that percentage of 13% given to Blacks over the course the Disparity study, our percentage drops to a few percentage points.
To add insult to injury, the District has a built in clause that says they do not have to use licensed contractors to perform a project if it is deemed an emergency and if the project is under $3,000. There are currently no Black firms on the emergency list and a $300,000 contract can be given to these unlicensed firms as long as the District is billed in $3,000 increments.
Last but not least, ICARE addressed the failure of the District to promote qualified African Americans in leadership positions. This we ask for 5 years ago. The pending departure of people like Ronda Vangates, a person who served as a buffer between the Superintendent and the Black community, is but a prime example of the neglect and apathy Mr. Carvalho has for our community.
Mr. Carvalho is a slick operator. He feels he can circumvent dealing with such issues and still get the Black community's support by merely going to the Black clergy who he knows aren't as informed on the issues as the members of ICARE are. I can imagine him sharing a good laugh with his cronies after realizing how unsophisticated some in our community are. His inaction leaves the members of ICARE no choice but to seek resolution elsewhere. We are currently talking to various officials about the possible misuse of State and Federal funds as it relates to Title 1 and ETO schools. We are also exploring a possible lawsuit as well. Again, we were among his most avid supporters when this journey began, but even a dog get tired of being kicked around. The Superintendent has continued to piss on our heads and convince us it's raining. But some of us know better and will continue to fight for our schools and community until the District does right by us.
William "DC" Clark

Prayerfully, this situation will finally be resolved quickly. What do You think?


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Understand, monitor and engage in the County's budget process... Voice your concerns on how resources are used


Please be mindful of the upcoming State of the County address by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez --- Wednesday, February 26, 2016, 10:00 a.m., Milander Center for the Arts & Entertainment, 4800 Palm Avenue, Hialeah, FL 33012. Attend in person, if you can, or watch via the internet

Like the Facebook page of Time 2 Rally - Miami, attend the Mayor’s address, and learn more about the process at Cocktails and Conversations  at Wine Vault, Shops at Midtown- 3201 N. Miami Avenue, #105, Miami, FL, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. R.S.V.P. . The event is free and open to the public.

Time 2 rally

From Facebook:

February Rally Plan

Miami-Dade County Budget Action Items 

  • Mayor’s State of the County Address – Wednesday, February 26, 2014 – 10:00 am – Milander Center for Arts and Entertainment, 4800 Palm Avenue, Hialeah, Florida 33012
  • Departmental budget submissions and business plans are due to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on February 28, 2014
  • Requests are reviewed and linked to the priorities of the departmental business plans
  • Department budget meeting are held with OMB to discuss service priorities and begin the process to match them with the available funding/cash. These meetings are publicly noticed.


Rally Recommendations 

  1. Attend the State of the County Address on February 26, 2014
  2. Briefly review the “Executive Overviews” of the business plans and funds being requested by the departments of interest for you:
  3. Stay tuned to our FB posts and notes to find out when meetings are taking place and what happened:
  4. Make the Mayor’s staff and department directors aware of your thoughts, comments, concerns and opinions:  (OMB Director – Jennifer Moon,, 305-375-5143)
  5. Watch or speak before the County Commission committee and board meetings:
  6. Contact your elected County Commissioners:


Understandably, to some folks, this appears to be a lot of boring reading and confusing numbers. Don’t take this lightly, if we don’t get educated and actively engaged in our government’s processes we will continue to be on the proverbial short end of the stick.  


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One More Week Until Joy Reid Debuts National Show THE REID REPORT


Congratulations to Joy-Ann Reid on her new television show, The Reid Report, that debuts next week at 2 p.m. EST on MSNBC. Because of her many years with The Miami Herald and other local media outlets as well as her involvement in community events, we claim her as our homesistah and celebrate her latest accomplishment.

Let's be real, it didn't seem as though mainsream television news was ready and willing to showcase another black person in the role of newstalk show host. Some of us also wondered aloud in conversations and via our various social media interactions if our sister Joy-Ann Reid's opportunity to host a show was being thwarted because she is a sister of a darker hue, unlike her bi-racial MSNBC colleagues Melissa Harris Perry and Karen Finney.

Don't put her in a gender or ethnic box, Joy is undeniably one of the brightest talents around in media. I pray that the suits at MSNBC making the decisions about The Reid Report show will not tinker with her image too much and just allow Joy-Ann Reid to continue to be her authentic fabulously brilliant self. Congratulations, Joy, your Miami fans will be watching!


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Watch this 2014 State of the Youth Address [VIDEO]

Check the message in this awesome video from the Dream Defenders. I love these young people. 




Dear Family, 

The Dream Defenders began, as so many of us do, with nothing.  Since their founding, in the weeks after Trayvon Martin’s murder, they have remained committed their mission: to train and develop a generation of leaders in the communities that are consistently underserved and overlooked.  They have grown and expanded, they have engaged in conflict and nonviolent civil disobedience, they have shown many around the country the power of the youth voice, and they have won some victories…still with very little to nothing to support themselves.
None of this: the 31 day Capitol occupation, the March on Washington, the Stand Your Ground debate, this year’s statewide voter mobilization, Freedom Summer 2014, victory against Prison Privatization, happens without financial support.  Do three things for the Dream Defenders:
1.       Donate & Join Their Monthly Giving Program Here:

2.       Forward this email and encourage others to do #1!

3.       Show them some love on twitter!

  • Show the @DreamDefenders some love today and become a monthly supporter. #lovefund

Your support will allow the Dream Defenders to continue to fight against Youth Services International,  Florida's School-to-Prison Pipeline, the Stand Your Ground Law, and to lead our state in a true commemoration of the Mississippi Summer Project.

Don't just talk about it, DO SOMETHING!


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Statement from JET m​agazine on Jordan Da​vis Tragedy - Michael Dunn​ Trial

JET Magazine has followed the Jordan Davis tragedy since the very beginning. With the verdict now in, we are relieved that some justice will be served. However, we are extremely disappointed that the jury was unable to convict Michael Dunn on all five of the charges. It is our hope that the retrial will occur, Michael Dunn will be found guilty of first-degree murder and a message will be sent to this country about the consequences of reckless, indifference towards the lives of African Americans. At this time, we send our thoughts and prayers to the entire Davis family as they continue to seek closure on the untimely death of their only child. JET Magazine intends to continue to report these issues to our audience and bring awareness nationwide in hopes that our service will propel Americans to stand up for justice for all.
-- Mitzi Miller, Editor-in-Chief of JET magazine


“I’m looking forward to hearing what a white Jewish man found so significant in our African-American history that we miss.” - Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis

Freedman_author photo_by Sara Barrett
Author Samuel G. Freedman to speak on the season in black college football that transformed the sport and changed the course of civil rights in America.


The ways football coaches at two historically black colleges changed the Civil Rights movement will be the topic when Professor Samuel G. Freedman talks about his book “Breaking the Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Sport and Changed the Course of Civil Rights” at the Church of the Open Door, 6001 NW 8th Ave, Miami, Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

“Breaking the Line” is Freedman’s second book on an African-American theme.

“Upon This Rock: The Miracles of a Black Church,” the first, profiles the Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood and his work as pastor of Saint Paul Community Baptist Church in the troubled East New York section of Brooklyn.

“I’m looking forward to hearing what a white Jewish man found so significant in our African-American history that we miss,” said Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis, Church of the Open Door’s spiritual leader.

“Breaking the Line” tells the stories of two legendary football coaches and rivals — Eddie Robinson, at the pinnacle of his hall of fame career at Grambling College in northern Louisiana, and Alonzo S. “Jake” Gaither, nearing the end of his illustrious reign at Florida A&M in Tallahassee — who commanded two of the most storied teams black college football history..

It recounts how Robinson prepared the talented quarterback James Harris to be the first black starting quarterback in the National Football League. And, how Gaither, in turn, moved the white education establishment to sanction the first game in the South pitting black and white colleges against one another.

The 1969 sold-out game between FAMU and the University of Tampa drew 45,000spectators and was the largest integrated gathering in the South to date.

Breaking the Line” climaxes in December, 1967, at the Orange Blossom Classic in Miami, pitting Grambling’s Robinson against Gaither of FAMU in what was deemed the national championship for HBCUs.

Freedman is an award-winning author, journalist, and educator. A former New York Times reporter, he currently writes the paper’s “On Religion” column. He is a journalism professor and is the author of six previous book, two others on ethnic subjects.

 “Jew vs. Jew,” winner of the National Jewish Book Award, examines the American Jewish community’s internal schisms, divisions invisible to many outsiders.

“The Inheritance,” looks at the evolution of white ethnic Americans from Roosevelt Democrats to Reagan Republicans and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

For more information, call the Church of the Open Door at (305) 759-0373.

Breaking the Line by Samuel G. Freedman

PHOTO:   Sara Barrett


Petition to exonerate Marcus Garvey moves to the White House


Miami, FL — After delivering over 11,000 signatures to Representative Frederica S. Wilson’s office, the Coalition for the Exoneration of Marcus Garvey is now petitioning President Barack Obama.  As part of their renewed strategy, Professor Geoffrey Philp will deliver a series of lectures during Black History Month, “Marcus Garvey: Human Rights Champion.”

“President Obama is an inheritor of the rich human rights legacy that was initiated by Marcus Garvey and the UNIA on August 13, 1920, with the ‘Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World,’” said Professor Philp. “The declaration highlighted basic human rights, which were finally included in the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights until December 10, 1948. Garvey and the UNIA were ahead of the world body by twenty-eight years!”

The kickoff for the lecture series will be on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, at the Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Center, Miami, Florida, at 12:40 p.m. in Room 1114. The lecture will culminate in a call to action for the exoneration of the Right Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey.




Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa


FAMU Scholarship & Recruitment Tour, March 10 @ Lyric Theater

I'm hoping all my local Florida A&M University alums will come out and support the 2014 Florida A&M University Scholarship & Recruitment Tour as it stops at Miami's Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex in Overtown at 6:30pm on Monday, March 10, 2014. Almost $200,000 in scholarships were given out to qualified local students last year. All interested students, parents, alumni and education advocates are invited. The University's performing troupe, the FAMU Connection, is always entertaining and the newly renovated Lyric Theater is the perfect setting for this auspicious occasion.
Please note the change in location from previous advertisements. Construction at the Joseph Caleb Center forced the location change. The Lyric Theater is located at 819 Northwest Second Avenue, Miami. If you haven't seen the Lyric through the Black Archives' Lyric Live! talent competition, this a golden opportunity to do so.
We also need to preserve our rich local history by supporting the Black Archives but we'll talk more about that later. A special shout out to FAMU alum and former Marching 100 drum major Timothy Barber, executive director of The Black Archives. GO RATTLERS!
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