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July 2015

June 2015

ICARE at School Board Meeting

From left, clockwise: Daryl Holsendolph; William "DC" Clark; Larry Williams and Ulysses Harvard.

Members of ICARE (Inner City Alumni for Responsible Education) at Wednesday's School Board Meeting to see if unexpected changes were made to schools administrative teams. Also, to express dissatisfaction that only $2M was allocated for a facelift for Dorsey Technical College despite building a brand new school for the Latin Builders Association and pouring more than $50M into the restoration of Miami High. $2M sounds like a lot of money but for a school that was built in 1936, there are likely challenges of asbestos and faulty wiring at Dorsey, to say the least. Only painting the facility is like putting lipstick on a pig. Superintendent Carvalho promised technology for all of the District's students and ICARE leaders said they won't stop until all their children are included in that equation.


FAMU Makes History with Two Black Female Doctoral Graduates in Physics

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University continues to be the top producer of doctoral degrees awarded to African Americans in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related programs (STEM), according to the FAMU Annual Accountability Report.

Staci R. Brown from Chicago, Illinois and Patrice Jackson-Edwards from Jacksonville, Florida both received their doctoral degrees in physics during the FAMU 2015 Spring Commencement exercise. Doctoral degrees in physics received by Black women are a rare and uncommon occurrence. According to data provided by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), there were approximately 1,600 doctoral degrees awarded in physics in 2013-2014; none were received by women, and only two were received by Blacks, both of which were earned at FAMU.

Both women received undergraduate degrees in physics from FAMU and presented research on various topics such as detection sensitivity and the use of K-shell X-ray Fluorescence (KXRF).

Brown was inspired by her strong, inspirational female science teachers during her early matriculation in elementary, middle, and high school. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from FAMU in 2006 and a master’s degree in physics from Rutgers University in New Jersey in 2009. She did not want to be limited in her career by not having the appropriate credentials, which eventually led her to pursue her doctoral degree in physics.

"It was natural for me to continue and pursue a Ph.D.," said Brown. "FAMU provided me with a strong academic foundation in physics and instilled in me the qualities of a true leader."

Under the direction of Physics Professor Lewis Johnson, Ph.D., Brown completed her doctoral research, which involved the use of Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) for the elemental analysis of organic and isotope-enriched materials to improve detection sensitivity.

She has published several scientific papers, presented research at over a dozen national and international technical conferences, and has won numerous awards for her research. Currently, Brown is assigned to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Office of Defense Programs Research and Development as an NNSA Fellow, and will assume a full-time position as a staff scientist with NNSA.

Brown's career and research goals are to use lasers for the standoff detection of explosive devices and isotope enriched materials. Additionally, she aspires to work her way up to a high-level management position in government or industry so that she can be at the forefront of the decisions being made to provide support and funding to national science initiatives.

Jackson-Edwards’ first interest in science was sparked during her years in middle school when one of her teachers made his students conduct small experiments.

"My teacher would show his students how the experiments were related to real world situations. I’m a real hands-on kind of person, and I like to see how things apply to the real world," said Jackson-Edwards. "I don't like it when teachers teach something and they don't explain where it comes from."

Jackson-Edwards did not start out wanting a doctoral degree before she learned about the different levels and benefits of obtaining her doctorate. Her love and passion for science pushed her to continue school.

"I love science, research, figuring out problems, and working with students. Physics was something I struggled with when I was younger, but having to spend numerous hours studying for it made me like it a lot more," Jackson-Edwards expressed. "There is no turning back after you’ve invested so much time in school. Those are the things I love to do. That’s what keeps me going."

Jackson-Edwards had the opportunity to conduct interdisciplinary research projects with the Department of Physics and the School of the Environment, and has presented research at various technical conferences. She completed her doctoral research that involved the use of K-shell X-ray Fluorescence (KXRF) to conduct lead burden studies under the direction of Physics Professor Elliott Treadwell, Ph.D.

While in the process of publishing several papers, Jackson-Edwards is currently pursuing tenure-track academic positions at colleges in Florida and Georgia where she plans to teach physics and continue to pursue her research.

"I would like to get into academia because of the way I’ve had educators help me. I would like to offer that same help to someone else and possibly spark their interests in the fields of science," she said. "There’s nothing better than the look on a student's face when they finally figure something out. For you to be a part of that is very rewarding as an educator."

"Congratulations to Drs. Staci Brown and Patrice Jackson-Edwards for their hard work, dedication, and perseverance," said FAMU President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D. They represent the quality of students we have at FAMU and, moreover, demonstrate the University’s contribution to improving and enhancing the quality of life for people throughout the nation and the world. The fact that FAMU is responsible for producing the only two Black female doctoral graduates this spring shows how critical we are to promoting social and economic mobility in this nation."



Miami-Dade County School Board members will honor 136 graduating students for successfully managing to attend every school day during their tenure with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The event will take place this Wednesday at 11 a.m. during the special orders of business segment of the school board meeting.

Regular and punctual school attendance is one of the most important factors to a student’s progress in school. School attendance is widely regarded as a major contributing element in academic performance and student conduct. To earn this recognition, students must have entered M-DCPS in either kindergarten or the first grade and must have attended school every day of every year through the 12th grade.

"The students honored today are truly remarkable," said School Board Member Lubby Navarro, "as they have distinguished themselves through many years of hard work to obtain a perfect attendance record throughout their elementary and secondary years of school."

The students will be receiving a certificate of achievement for an outstanding accomplishment as a result of their dedication, discipline, commitment, and perseverance in having a perfect school attendance record.

Today is Election Day for North Miami District 4 Councilmember

Mayor Smith Joseph; Roseline Phillipe; Jessica Alston and Beverly Hilton endorse Alix Desulme for District 4 Councilmember.

Today is Election Day in the run-off between Alix Desulme and Carline Paul for District 4 Councilmember for the City of North Miami. If you live in the District or know someone who does, ask them to vote for Alix Desulme. Alix is the best candidate for this position.

Paul has garnered the endorsements of key individuals in the community including Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and State Rep. Daphne Campbell. Desulme has garnered many key endorsements of individuals in North Miami including Mayor Joseph and all of the other candidates in the primary election except, of course, his run-off opponent. This is a closely watched, highly-contested race. Political wonks will study it for the effectiveness of various political campaign strategies.

All elections are important. Get out and vote!



Herriott Elected to Lead Southern Area of The Links, Incorporated

Anne T. Herriott


Congratulations to Anne T. Herriott who was recently elected director for the Southern Area of The Links, Incorporated at their 43rd Southern Area Conference in the Magic City of Birmingham, AL. Herriott will be responsible for leading members in the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana. Herriott is a member of the Greater Miami Chapter of The Links.

Other members of the Southern Area leadership team include: Vice Area Director Sylvia Perry; Secretary Vanessa Falls; Treasurer Loneen Brown; Nominating Chair Raynetta Waters and nominating committee members Countess Thompson, Robin Crawford, Kenyonn Demps and Yolanda Dixon.



Save the Date: Pumps, Pearls, & Politics 2015, 07/25/2015

The Conversation Continues…Is There Still Hope for #OneAmerica?



Save the Date as Miami's most influential and civic-minded women (and men) will gather again to network, talk politics and address other domestic and international issues at Pumps, Pearls & Politics 2015. The event will begin at Noon at The Rusty Pelican Restaurant on beautiful Key Biscayne. With many local and national incidents regarding racism; access to healthcare; education and immigration, the conversation is sure to be lively.

The distinguished panel is in formation and includes: Keynote speaker Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson; Adora Obi Nweze, President-Florida State Conference of the NAACP and President - Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP; Annette Taddeo, Past Vice Chair - Florida Democratic Party & Past Chair, Miami-Dade Democratic Party; and Attorney Patricia St. Vil-Joseph, alsoFirst Lady of the City of North Miami. Entertainment will again include Pumps, Pearls & Politics Poet Laureate and Grammy-nominated Spoken Word Artist Rebecca  “Butterfly” Vaughns. Women's organizations will also be recognized for their social service and civic accomplishments.



SATURDAY - 07/25/2015



3201 Rickenbacker Causeway

Key Biscayne, FL 33149

Admission: $35 [Seating is Limited.]


To pay by mail: Make check or money order payable to and mail to Gamma Zeta Omega, PO Box 530711, Miami Shores, FL 33153. (Payments must be received by 07.11.2015.) Online payment instructions are forthcoming.

For more information or to RSVP, call or text Vanessa Byers at 305.323.7614 or email [email protected].


Presented by The Connection Committee of Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.


Miami Alumni Kappas initiate four


The Miami Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity initiated four gentlemen into their distinguished brotherhood. Congratulations to (left to right) Fougere Jacquelin, Sean Chinn, Randall Heidelburg and Fredrick Alan Morley.


Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson Secures $400,000 EPA Revitalization Grant for the City of Opa-Locka


Funding to Support the Assessment and Cleanup of Contaminated Sites

Miami, FL — On Friday, May 29, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) announced that the City of Opa-Locka will receive revitalization grants totaling $400,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Opa-Locka is one of nine communities in Florida to receive a portion of more than $3.9 million in Brownfield grants. This investment will provide communities with funding necessary to assess, clean, and redevelop contaminated sites, which will boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment.

With Opa Locka’s public health, infrastructure, and economic challenges in mind, Congresswoman Wilson passionately urged the EPA to award these grants to the City of Opa-Locka.

Congresswoman Wilson released the following statement:

“As the Congresswoman for Opa-Locka, I am very happy with today’s announcement. Public health and safety, and economic prosperity are among my top priorities in Congress. The EPA’s Brownfield grants will provide the City of Opa-Locka with vital funds for infrastructure and capital improvement projects that will improve the quality of life for residents, promote competitiveness in attracting private sector investment, and help create jobs,” said Congresswoman Wilson.

The City of Miami Gardens Launches Free “EXPRESS” Community Trolley Service


The Gardens EXPRESS Pilot Program Will Begin on June 1st at Noon for Residents and Visitors to the City

Miami Gardens, FL—All aboard the Gardens EXPRESS! Miami Gardens’ premiere circulator service is scheduled to launch its pilot program on Monday, June 1st at 12PM, following a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at City Hall at 10:30AM. The Gardens EXPRESS will operate two handicap accessible community buses covering the east and west sides of the City that will allow passengers to shop, visit and travel within the Miami Gardens area. The system is free to all riders.

To view the Miami Gardens EXPRESS promotional video featuring Mayor Oliver Gilbert and residents of Miami Gardens, visit

The Miami Gardens EXPRESS has pre-determined stops conveniently located throughout the city at landmark locations and local roads to supplement Miami-Dade County’s current transit system. The Gardens EXPRESS links major destinations, local businesses and neighborhoods, while connecting to over 20 Miami-Dade Transit stops. Service will initially be provided using temporary limousine-style buses until the permanent trolleys are manufactured later this year. Select stops along the EXPRESS’ east and west routes include City Hall, Sun Life Stadium, North Dade Regional Library, Florida Memorial University, Jackson North Dade Health Center, Shoppes at the Gardens, and Betty T. Ferguson Complex.

“The great thing about the Miami Gardens EXPRESS is that it is exclusive to our residents and visitors. It serves as a supplementary service to Miami -Dade Transit; thereby, connecting our residents to key locations in the City and to other transit connections that travel outside of our city limits,” says Public Works Director, Tom Ruiz.

The trolley services are funded by the People’s Transportation Plan (PTP) half-penny surtax, which was approved by Miami-Dade County voters in 2002. The City of Miami Gardens began to receive its share of the half-penny surtax during the Fiscal Year 2012-13. Immediately, staff began work in planning and implementing the trolley service with support from Mayor Oliver Gilbert and the Miami Gardens City Council.

Miami Gardens City Manager Cameron Benson recognizes the circulator services are a major part of the City’s advancement. “We are aiming for continued economic development success. A key to connecting these points of development will be the addition of the Miami Gardens EXPRESS trolley services,” says Benson.

Central Alumni Give Laptop Computers to Graduating Seniors

Miami Central High School seniors awarded laptop computers by alumni association

On Tuesday, May 26, 2015, the Miami Central Rockets Alumni Association presented laptop computers to 52 college-bound graduating seniors during the school's Awards Ceremony. The members of the alumni association were able to make these donations via a series of fundraising events and direct solicitation of funds by members.

Shout to the Miami Central Alumni Association and president William 'DC' Clark for supporting the community's next generation of leaders.

Miami Central alumni association awards laptop computer to graduating senior.