3:30 pm- Gathering at the Statue of Toussaint L’Ouverture (62nd St and North Miami Avenue)
4:51 pm- Moment of silence
5:00 pm- Processional march to the Little Haiti Cultural Complex (260 NE 59th Terrace)
5:30 pm- Program at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex
In Remembrance of Two Fallen Hometown Heroes on Memorial Day: Staff Sgt. Edmond L. Randle, Jr. and Sgt. La David Johnson
Today we observe Memorial Day, previously known as Decoration Day, to honor men and women who died in active military service to this country.
The very first Memorial Day was on May 1, 1865, in Charleston, S.C. when formerly enslaved Africans held a ceremony to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp.
They spent the next two weeks digging up each body and giving them a proper burial to honor them for fighting and dying for their freedom. The gracious African Americans then held a parade of 10,000, led by a procession of nearly 3,000 black children dancing, singing and marching in celebration.
In keeping with the original spirit and honor of the first Memorial Day observance, we recognize the sacrifice of two heroes from Miami Gardens who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Edmond L. Randle Jr. and U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson.
Sgt. La David Johnson
Miami Gardens hero Sgt. La David Johnson gave his life after being ambushed in Niger on October 4, 2017. Johnson and his team members — Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright were killed. His death captured the attention of the nation and mainly South Florida when the current occupant of the White House politicized Sgt. Johnson’s death and insulted Congresswoman Frederica Wilson in the process.
Video of Sgt. Johnson’s beautiful then-pregnant wife, Myeshia slumped over his casket in tears as it arrived home and their adorable children at their father’s funeral, tore at the heartstrings of anyone who is a human being. For many in South Florida, questions remain about Sgt. Johnson’s death. Inarguably, the nation owes him and his team members gratitude and tremendous honor forever.
Sgt. Edmond L. Randle, Jr.
On January 17, 2004, Sgt. Edmond L. Randle, Jr. of Miami Gardens became the first documented South Florida soldier to be killed by anti-US insurgents in Iraq. Randle was one of three soldiers who died that day when a homemade explosive device struck their vehicle near Baghdad.
Sgt. Randle attended American Senior High for part of his high school years but continued the family tradition by graduating from Miami Central Senior High. Like his father, Edmond Randle, Sr., Sgt. Randle was a standout musician in the Marching Rockets Band at Miami Central and continued at Florida A&M University where he earned a music scholarship and was a section leader in the famous Marching 100. Because he wanted to be a pharmacist, he gave up his music scholarship and volunteered for the Army, which would help fund his educational plans.
Despite its origins, the African American impact on the shaping of Memorial Day is mostly forgotten and ignored by the mainstream. Let’s do our part in making sure all soldiers are remembered who gave their lives in service to this country. Let’s remember the origins of Memorial Day and especially never forget Staff Sgt. Edmond L. “Dakie” Randle and Sgt. La David Johnson.
Memorial Day: Remembering the first South Florida soldier killed by anti-US insurgents in Iraq - Sgt. Edmond L. "Dakie" Randle
In response to the rash of fatal shootings and other violence in our community, youth and young adults in Miami-Dade County are invited to a series of community forums on How to Stop the Shootings.
Young people are encouraged to come out and share their special insights about what can and should be done to make our communities safer.
A forum will be held this coming Thursday, March 10, at the West Perrine Park, 10301 SW 170 Terrace at 6:30 p.m.
The Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board (CRB) along with County Commissioner Dennis Moss and local community-based organizations are convening the event.
Future forums will be held later this month at Edison Community Resource Center and at the Miami Gardens Community Resource Center.
When they participate, our youth and young adults will be empowered to share their ideas, create partnerships and identify resources that are needed to stop the shootings. The CRB will be pleased to have you join us for this important opportunity.
Please spread the word about this event, especially to young people that you know. Free refreshments will be served.
MIAMI – The Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board, in partnership with elected officials and other advocacy organizations, will be hosting a series of youth and young adult forums over the next several weeks to discuss the rash of fatal shootings in high-impact neighborhoods and what can be done to make these communities safer.
The “How to Stop the Shootings” forums – which are designed to help reduce tensions and empower community members by engaging youth, providing a forum to share information, identify resources and facilitate partnerships and relationships – will take place at the following times and locations:
Thursday, Feb. 25, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
African Heritage Cultural Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33142
Thursday, March 10, 2016, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
West Perrine Park, 10301 SW 170th Terrace
Miami, FL 33157
Thursday, March 17, 2016, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Edison Community Resource Center, 150 NW 79th Street
Miami, FL 33130
Thursday, March 31, 2016, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Miami Gardens Community Resource Center, 16405 NW 25th Avenue
Miami Gardens, FL 33054
South Florida is still in shock after learning of the death of retired Miami-Dade County Police Director Robert "Bobby" Parker on Wednesday evening, July 22, 2015 by apparent suicide. Parker was well thought of and respected in the community. He will be missed by so many. Please continue to pray for his family and friends.
Arrangements for Robert "Bobby" Parker
Viewing/Memorial Service: Friday, July 31, 2015, 6pm - 9pm, New Birth Baptist Cathedral of Faith International, 2300 NW 135 Street ,Opa-Locka, FL 33167
Funeral: Saturday, August 1, 2015, 10am, Florida International University (South Campus), 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199
Another young man is dead after a shooting in Miami yesterday. There was another shooting today. This is pure madness in so many ways but this problem can be solved. Perhaps those really in control feel certain people are expendable so just let them destroy themselves. Think about it.
It's really sad but the violence in our community is partly the result of budget cuts to programs that helped our children and families. Too many of us remained silent as the cuts were made. We didn't really advocate for those programs to our elected officials. We didn't really hold folks accountable who were responsible for administering academic, cultural and social programs in our community. We sat back and watched funding shifted to various projects and then quietly accepted our leaders excuse of inadequate funding when it comes to education and educational programs. So two or three generations later, we now co-exist with undereducated hopeless people with little respect for life ---- theirs or anyone else's. It's sad that many of the victims and perpetrators of violence don't understand their role as pawns in this game of greed and power.
Don't contribute to your own demise:
Stop the Violence
Increase the Peace
Know Your History
THINK for Yourself
DO for Yourself
(This video was released in 1989 by a coalition of East Coast rap stars. Twenty-six years later, the message is the same.)
Photo: @godgazi Gazi Kodzo
The Miami Workers Center responds to the Grand Jury's decision in Ferguson and recent developments in Marissa Alexander's case
Miami, FL - This has been a somber week for African-American families across the country. The same day that the Grand Jury in Ferguson decided not to indicte officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, Marissa Alexander is forced to agree to an unfair plea deal for defending herself from her abusive husband.
Once again, the criminal justice system has failed the people it is supposed to protect, and has turned its back to the values of justice, freedom and equality it is supposed to uphold. In less than two years, the country has cried for the deaths of unarmed youth like Trayvon Martin (Sanford, FL) and Michael Brown (Ferguson, OH), and has tirelessly asked for justice without results.
"A justice system that cannot protect our youth while walking down the streets and cannot prosecute armed men who unnecessarily shoot and kill unarmed teenagers, is a failed system. On top of that, a system that questions the innocence of our youth and instead criminalizes their appearance and their living conditions, is a system we can no longer trust or respect," says Saraí Portillo, Interim Executive Director for the Miami Workers Center.
That same system has proven it also fails to protect women victims of domestic violence like Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot to stop her husband from beating her. After years of being away from her children, this week Marissa Alexander agreed to a plea deal to put a closure to the unfair criminal case against her.
"As a woman of color and a mother, my heart understands the reasons that lead Marissa Alexander to accept the unfair charges against her and re-victimize herself. But the fact that our justice system gave her no other option, is cruel and inhumane. No woman who has been a victim of domestic violence should be forced to chose between justice and her children," says Marcia Olivo, Gender Justice Coordinator for the Miami Workers Center and Co-founder of Sisterhood of Survivors. "The justice system has failed to protect black and brown mothers and their children, and we cannot accept that anymore."
|By now we've all seen the shocking, horrifying images and videos of the Ferguson and St. Louis County police department responses over the death of Michael Brown. It is clear they are more interested in intimidation than pursuing justice and the truth. |
But our work to discover the truth about Michael Brown's death continues unabated. Our hearts ache for the Brown family, and our anger, sadness, and frustration drive us forward to ensure a full, unrestricted, unencumbered investigation by the FBI is performed, and justice is served.
If you're like me and you can't let the shooting of another young, unarmed black man by police go unanswered, here's what you can do to help right now:
If you have information on the Michael Brown shooting, share it here.
We are united with one voice in support of justice in this case, and we will not allow Michael Brown's death to be swept under the rug.
There is a disturbing lack of action and answers about the circumstances of the shooting, and we're doing something about it. The NAACP petitioned the FBI to take the case, and they are now on the ground. We are providing a safe outlet for people with information on the case to come forward and be heard.
Stay up to date on our work on the ground.
We're working with the St. Louis County and city branches, the Missouri Youth and College Division, and the Missouri State Conference of the NAACP to get answers to some serious questions: Why was Michael Brown shot in the first place? Why has the response to potential witnesses dragged on, while the response to community gatherings has been so swift and intimidating? Stay up to date by visiting our "Justice for Michael Brown" page.
Share our "I support justice for Michael" graphic on social media.
Continue spreading the word that we are united with one voice in support of justice in this case, and we will not allow Michael Brown's death to be swept under the rug. Every tweet, Facebook share, and conversation moves us a step closer to justice. We're honored to have your support and help.
Cornell William Brooks
President and CEO