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January 2017


Gallon headshot
Dr. Steve Gallon III

Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III will present an agenda item and resolution at the Board’s upcoming monthly meeting recognizing several current and former students who were involved in the critically-acclaimed film, ‘Moonlight’ that chronicles the life of a young Black male from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in Miami’s renowned Liberty City neighborhood. The film sheds a light on the dark reality of growing up young, Black, and male in one of the nation’s most turbulent urban centers.

Moonlight is set and filmed in Miami by native Miami filmmakers and Miami-Dade County Public Schools alumni - writer/director Barry Jenkins, a graduate of Miami Northwestern Senor High School; playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, a graduate of New World School of the Arts; and co-producer Andrew Hevia a graduate of New World Schools of the Arts.

Moonlight showcases the talents of Norland Middle School theatre students Alex Hibbert and Jaden Piner in pivotal roles in the film. It also features their beloved teacher, Tanisha Cidel, also a product of the Arts program at Norland Middle School, who is affectionately referred to as ‘Drama Mama’ by her theater students. Their roles and performances, and the newfound national prominence of the film serve as a reminder of how critically important the Arts are in our schools and in supporting and advancing student learning. Norland Middle School Principal Ronald Redmond is also to be recognized and commended for his commitment to and support of Arts education.

Moonlight, the sometimes painful yet beautiful semi-autobiographical fusion of the lives of writer/director Barry Jenkins and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney evidences the possible heights of success of students from underserved communities and dysfunctional family backgrounds. Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney exemplify life’s possibilities when family members foster a love of reading; and when neighbors and educators fight for all students and encourage their talents.

Moonlight has been described as a groundbreaking cinematic masterpiece and has been recognized by many prestigious organizations in the entertainment industry via award nominations and wins including winner of the Golden Globe for Best Picture, Drama, Best Picture and Best Director awards by the National Society of Film Critics; and winner of four Gotham Awards including Best Feature, Best Screenplay and Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble. The film is also a top contender for Oscar Awards nominations.

Dr. Gallon has also invited students in the drama magnet program from the Norland Middle School Center for the Visual and Performing Arts to witness the presentation of the District’s proclamation at the upcoming School Board meeting at 11 a.m., Wednesday, January 25, 2017 in the School Board Administration Building Auditorium, 1450 Northeast Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33132. School Board Member Gallon reiterated, "I am pleased to bring this item forward to commend our present and former students and promote increased opportunities for students in our district to pursue their dreams, passions, and life’s work through diverse educational pathways afforded through the Arts."


NAACP Task Force to Hold Hearing on Education Quality in Orlando


National NAACP Leadership, Charter and Public School Advocates to Discuss Impact of Charters on Underfunded School Districts


ORLANDO, FL – A new NAACP task force studying education quality will hold its third of at least seven national hearings on the impact of charter schools on underfunded school districts. The task force will take input from advocates, teachers, parents, and policy experts on Friday.

The National Task Force for Quality Education, along with Florida State Conference of the NAACP, will host its latest in a series of national public hearings concerning public education quality and the impact of charter schools on underfunded school districts from 2 p.m. – 7p.m. on Friday, Jan 27.

“In our communities all around the nation, public education has always been the fountain of opportunity; we, unintentionally let it run dry,” said NAACP CEO and President Cornell William Brooks. “Ensuring that underfunded districts are not disparately impacted by the growth of charters or privatization has always been a priority for the NAACP.”

NAACP Board Chair Roslyn Brock sees these hearings as a continuation of the NAACP’s push for equal opportunity.

“The NAACP historically and today remains in the forefront of the struggle for equal opportunity and advocates for free high-quality, fully funded and equitable public education for all children,” said Chairwoman Brock, Chairman of the National NAACP Board of Directors. “We are dedicated to eliminating the severe racial inequities that continue to plague the education system.”

This event is the third hearing organized by the NAACP’s National Task Force for Quality.

The task force was created in October after board members approved a moratorium on expanding public charter school funding until safeguards are in place to provide better transparency regarding accountability, and to prevent cases of fraud and mismanagement.

The hearing for the NAACP Taskforce Florida Hearing on Quality Education and Hosted by Florida State Conference NAACP will be on Friday, January 27, 2017  at the Rosen Centre Hotel, 9780 International Drive, Orlando, FL beginning at 2 p.m.      

The first task force hearing was held in early December in New Haven, CT and the second on Jan. 10 in Memphis, TN. Future hearings are planned in Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY and New Orleans.

Educators, administrators, parents, students, elected officials, and education policy experts from throughout Florida, and NAACP officials from around the nation will participate in the hearing.

"The issue of school funding and accountability are not just Florida or Orlando issues, but issues which affect our communities around the nation. We owe it to our communities to take a deep look at the issues facing public schools as well as the pros and cons of charter schools," said Adora Obi Nweze, NAACP Task Force member and President of the NAACP’s Florida State Conference.

Invited key participants include:

  • Chancellor Herschel Lyons, Florida Department of Education
  • Randi Weingarten , President, American Federation of Teachers
  • James Hare, President and Chief Technology Officer , Wayne State University Research Park  Detroit, Michigan
  • Dr Karega Rausch, Vice President , Research and Evaluation NACSA, Chicago, IL
  • Hilary Shelton, Senior Vice President, NAACP Washington Bureau
  • Victor Goode, Interim Director, NAACP Education Department
  • Rev/Dr. Russell Meyer , Executive Director, Florida Council of Churches
  • Robert Runcie, Superintendent Broward County Schools, Broward County, FL
  • Joanne McCall, President, Florida Education Association ( Affiliate of AFT and NEA)
  • Atty. Jodi Siegel, Southern Legal Counsel
  • Dr. Rosa Castro Feinberg, Florida League of United Latin  American Citizens ( LULAC)
  • Brendien Mitchell, Member, NAACP  National Board of Directors; President , Youth and College Division  FL State Conference
  • Jianna Green , Former,  Charter and Public School Student
  • Chenoah Rucker, President , Marion County Youth Council  Ocala, FL
  • David L. Watkins, EdS, Director, Equity and Academic Attainment Broward County Schools , Broward County , FL
  • Dr. Amanda Wilkerson, Post Doctoral Associate Urban Teacher Initiatives Program Director College of Education and Human Performance University of Central Florida

National NAACP Leadership and other notables include:

  • Roslyn Brock, Chairman, NAACP National  Board of Directors
  • Adora Obi Nweze, Member, NAACP National Board of Directors, President, NAACP Florida State Conference, Member, NAACP Quality Education Taskforce
  • Minister Jabari Paul, Member , NAACP Florida Quality Education Hearing Planning Committee
  • Kran Riley, Area Director, NAACP FL State Conference
  • Atty. David Honig, Special Counsel, NAACP FL State Conference
  • Dr. Barbara Jenkins School Superintendent, Orange County Schools
  • Bruce Antoine, FL State Representative District 46, Orlando, FL
  • Alice Huffman , Member, NAACP National Board of Directors ; President, NAACP California-Hawaii State Conference; Chair, NAACP Quality Education Taskforce
  • Leon W. Russell, Vice Chairman, NAACP  National  Board of Directors
  • Presiding- Dr. Shirley B. Johnson, Chair, Education Committee , NAACP FL State Conference; President, NAACP Miami-Dade Branch                   

“Our goal is bringing people from our community together from both sides, so we can better understand the impact of charters on school funding and be sure that we have a clear say in the ways that decisions about public schools are made,” said Alice Huffman, chairman of the task force and president of the California State Conference of the NAACP.

Visitors who wish to speak at the hearing are asked to pre-register before the session begins. To accommodate the public, individual speakers may be asked to adhere to a time limit or to appoint a representative to speak on behalf of a group.  



NORTH MIAMI, FL - January 24, 2017 – The city of North Miami is excited to announce their calendar of events for Black History Month 2017.  The historic month kicks off on Friday, February 3, 2017, with Dr. Cornel West. Black History Month Committee Honorary Co-Chairs, Mayor Smith Joseph, D.O., Pharm.D, and Councilman Alix Desulme, and Deputy City Manager Arthur H. Sorey, III., Chair, will join Dr. West for a frank discussion on The Crisis in Black Education.

At 1 p.m. Dr. West will lecture on The Crisis in Black Education at North Miami Senior High School, 13110 N.E. 8th Avenue, North Miami, Florida 33161.  The FREE ticketed event is open to the public.  Tickets can be obtained at

The remainder of the month will be filled with Art Exhibitions, Black History Month Reception, Jazz at MOCA, and the 2nd Annual Music in the Park festival featuring Doug E. Fresh, Chubb Rock, CASE, and Deniece Williams. ALL events are free and open to the public. 

Dr. Cornel West Speaking Engagement | The Crisis in Black Education

Friday, February 3, 2017 | 1 p.m.

North Miami Senior High School, 13110 N.E. 8th Avenue, North Miami, Florida 33161


Faces of Freedom | Artist Reception 

Thursday, February 9, 2017 | 7 p.m.

MOCA, 770 NE 125 Street, North Miami, FL 33161


Pop-Up Block Party & Resource Fair

Thursday, February 16, 2017  | 12:00 p.m. 

Secret Location to be Announced


Jazz at MOCA featuring Shareef Clayton

Friday February 24, 2017 | 8 p.m.

MOCA Plaza, 770 NE 125 Street, North Miami, FL 33161


2nd Annual Music in the Plaza featuring Doug E. Fresh, CASE, Deniece Williams, Chubb Rock and more

Saturday, February 25, 2017 | 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.

MOCA Plaza, 770 NE 125 Street, North Miami, FL 33161 


Black History Month Closing Reception 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 | 6 p.m.

North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125 Street, North Miami, FL 33161


For additional information on this or any other City of North Miami Black History Month event go to



On December 10, 2016 in a defensive battle between the No. 6 ranked Miami Carol City Chiefs and No. 5 ranked Lakeland Lake Gibson Braves at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, the chiefs prevailed in a 14-6 victory to capture the 2016 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Class 6A Football Championship.

Miami Carol City defeated numerous opponents on their quest to capture the 2016 State Championship. The program captured its fifth state title in school history and its first since 2003. The Miami Carol City Chiefs football team adopted the mantra “We Believe” and fostered an environment of support, discipline, and brotherhood both on and off the gridiron, which is evident in their latest accomplishment, earning them the title 2016 FHSAA Class 6A Football State Champions.

Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III will present an agenda item and resolution at the Board’s upcoming monthly meeting the Miami Carol City Football Team at 11 a.m., Wednesday, January 25, 2017 in the School Board Administration Building Auditorium, 1450 Northeast Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33132.

Miami Carol City Senior High School Football Team, 2016 FHSAA Class 6A Champions. Photo: Gregory F. Reed


Deltas Host IMPORTANT COMMUNITY MEETING: Pre-Session Meeting with Members of the Florida Legislature

The Dade County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, and partners, Miami-Dade College, The 100 Black Men of South Florida, and the Miami-Dade League of Women Voters, invite everyone in Miami-Dade County, to their annual Pre-Legislative Meeting, on January 31, 2017, 6pm, at Miami-Dade College - North.  This is an opportunity to speak with members of the Florida Legislature and hear what they intend to (or already have) put forth in terms of bills and budget requests. 





The African Heritage Youth Theatre (A.H.Y.T!) AUDITIONS!


AHYT! is a drama apprenticeship program at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center for youth, ages 11-19, who are serious about learning the craft of theater. Students will participate in two main-stage performances, attend cultural excursions, and participate in community service and workshops. Students can be invited to join AHYT! or attend auditions. The theater company strives to develop students acting repertoire and enhance theatrical skills that magnet schools desire in prospective students.

Audition Information:

Date: January 14 and January 21 (You only need to come to one)

Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm

Location: African Heritage Cultural Arts Center

6161 NW 22nd Avenue Miami, FL 33142


Audition Requirements:

1-minute monologue

Resume and/or bio

Ages 11-19

2.75 GPA

A love for the arts


Register for auditions through Eventbrite at 

For more information, please contact Jazmin Jones at 305.638.6771 or via email at

Follow AHYT! on social media!:  Twitter/Instagram: @ahyt_miami



Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s Statement on the 58th Presidential Inauguration


Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson released the following statement on why she is not attending President-elect Donald J. Trump’s inauguration ceremony: 

Much has been made about Democratic lawmakers sitting out President-elect Donald J. Trump’s inauguration ceremony. I struggled for months to make the choice between the ceremony and a family wedding also scheduled to take place this weekend. I truly felt torn and it was a difficult decision, but I ultimately decided to stay in Miami to attend my god-daughter’s nuptials.

I will, however, witness the historic transfer of power from President Obama to President Trump in my district office with a group of young men who participated in the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project. They feel for obvious reasons an emotional connection to Mr. Obama, but the next few years could profoundly impact their lives and it is important for them to be equally engaged.

Mr. Trump’s inauguration speech will provide an unparalleled opportunity for him to set the tone for his administration and share his vision for how he will be a “president for all Americans.” I am eager to hear what he has to say.

There are some issues on which we will inherently disagree, such as plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But more important, there are issues on which we can find common ground and work together for the good of the American people. 

As a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, I look forward to working with this new administration on initiatives to end the school-to-prison pipeline and implement Title III of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which provide communities and schools with the resources they need to help students stay invested and engaged in both their educations and their futures.


BMe Community Giving Away Over A Quarter Million Dollars to Black Men Doing Positive Works in the Community


MIAMI, FL – January 2, 2016 – BMe Community wants to reward unsung "Black Men's Genius" in Miami. From now until February 21, black men who share their remarkable stories of creating opportunities for others will have a chance to become BMe Leaders.

The BMe Leader Awards come with national recognition, a $10,000 grant, and travel to Washington DC for induction into a lifelong fellowship of their peers. Men such as:

BMe Leader Derick Pearson who co-founded BlackTech Weekend with his wife Felecia Hatcher to increase the number of startup founders, technology executives and engineers of color. Both are venture-backed entrepreneurs themselves.

BMe Leader Jonathan Spikes overcame the violent death of one brother and the shooting of another plus his own cancer diagnosis to show young people a way out of similar traumas. His "Let's Talk It Out" conflict resolution curriculum has been adopted by Miami-Dade Public Schools, one of the largest and most diverse school districts in the US.

Compared to other social innovation awards, the BMe Leader application process is short and easy.

BMe scores candidates on the remarkableness of their stories, authenticity, willingness to work with others, community engagement, and diversity of age and fields. BMe is especially interested in those who work to improve health, wealth, know-how and community.

"BMe is redefining social entrepreneurship," said Miami Community Manager, Benjamin Evans, III. "BMe Leaders are social entrepreneurs who build assets and opportunities in places where other innovators fail to do so."

BMe also awards some leaders whom others dare not.

Shaka Senghor in Detroit (2012) and Chris Wilson in Baltimore (2014) each served over 16 years in prison for unrelated murders they committed as teens. BMe recognized each as BMe Leaders within 2 year of their release - sooner than anyone else. And BMe was right about them.

By 2016, Wilson was named 40-Under-40 by the Baltimore Business Journal and Senghor's life story was told by Oprah and he became a New York Times bestselling author and activist. That year, both men were invited to the White House to receive the President's Voluntary Service Award along with 60 different BMe Leaders.

"We don't define people by a past that they can never change," said BMe founder Trabian Shorters. "We define people by the changes they're making today for the good of humanity."

Apply or nominate someone at today.

BMe Community is a movement inspired by black men to build a more caring and prosperous America together. Since 2013 BMe’s 40,000 subscribers have helped themselves and 2-million others to improve their health, wealth, hope and communities.

BMe is backed by individual donors and leading foundations, including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, The William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust and The Heinz Endowments.



Mary J Blige Welcomes 2017 Anew at Five Star New Year's Eve Miami

R&B singer Mary J Blige attended Five Star New Year’s Eve– Miami’s annual all-white-and-gold-themed extravagant party.

Mary J Blige

Arriving in a YachtLife boat rocking a bell-sleeved white dress, the No More Drama singer was just that as she rang in the New Year family and friends, including with P Diddy's mom Janice Combs, and seemed not affected by her ongoing divorce battle! Sipping on glasses of Perrier-Jouët and mingling happily with guests, the iconic songstress mentioned she was happy to be in tropical Miami and looking forward to her island performance alongsideUsher at the 2017 Soul Beach Music Festival in Aruba.