Education

The School-to-Prison Pipeline is Real: School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III Calls for Review of M-DCPS Student Arrest Data

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At today’s regular monthly meeting of the Miami-Dade County School Board, District 1 School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III will proffer Agenda Item H-11 on the Review of Student Arrest Data. The item is crucial to the Black community due to the disproportionate number of Black students impacted.

The issue of school safety and security has been elevated since the tragic event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Senior High School on February 14, 2018. That tragedy lead to numerous state legislative and local policy reforms and provisions, including resources and requirements for school police and/or armed staff on school campuses throughout the state. Although the presence of increased police officers on school campuses appears to be a noble strategy, the unintended consequence of engaging police officers in school-related matters often results in referring students for school discipline related issues to law enforcement.

As Miami-Dade County Public Schools remains committed to both a spirit and practice of fairness, equality, and equity in the education of its students and administration and operation of its schools and departments, a review of data, policies, and practices relating to student arrests is prudent.

From the Miami New Times,

According to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, only 20 percent of Miami-Dade students are black, but black students account for more than half of all arrests within the district.

"Black kids are more likely to be suspended even in preschool," says Michelle Morton, the juvenile justice policy coordinator at the ACLU Foundation of Florida and author of the study. "The same behavior from a white child versus a black child will be viewed completely differently."

The school-to-prison pipeline is real.

"This issue of student arrests is one that perplexes school districts across the nation. The unfortunate criminalization of school related disciplinary issues needs to end. It is incumbent that we not only talk about data, but lean strongly into real, frank and open discussions about race and racism and the implicit biases that lead to these disparities among black student arrests as compared to their white counterparts and other groups within our system, in our collective efforts to find meaningful, sustainable and genuine solutions," said District 1 School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III.

The agenda item was supported and co-sponsored by School Board Chairwoman Perla Tabares Hantman, Vice Chair Dr. Martin Karp, Susie Castillo, Dr. Lawrence Feldman, Mari Tere Rojas and Dr. Marta Perez at the School Board Committee Meeting held Monday, July 22.

To view the full item, go to:

http://www.dadeschools.net/schoolboard/agenda/h11.pdf.


Dr. Steve Gallon III Announces 2019 CUBE Annual Conference in Miami, September 26-28

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M-DCPS School Board Member and Vice Chair of CUBE National Steering Committee Dr. Steve Gallon III announces 2019 CUBE Annual Conference in Miami September 26-28, 2019.

The Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) will hold its Annual Conference in Miami, September 26-28, 2019 at the InterContinental Miami. The CUBE Conference is designed to foster effective school district leadership through practical clinic sessions and peer-led district workshops. CUBE has convened school board members from across the nation for the past 51 years to network and share the continually evolving strategies they are using to address the unique educational challenges that exist in our nation's urban centers.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III serves as Vice Chair of the CUBE National Steering Committee. He is thrilled to host the event and showcase M-DCPS, an A-rated district for the second year in a row. Conference participants will tour and attend site visits to a few of our schools that display our ingenuity, diversity, inclusion and safety.

Join CUBE in Miami for the premier annual event, curated specially to provide participants the tools and support needed to effect change and become an empowered, impactful urban school board member.

To register and for more information, please visit:

 

Highlights of CUBE's 50th Annual Conference in New Orleans, October 2017.

 


Longest-running local community Kwanzaa Celebration continues at The ARC in Opa-locka [VIDEO]

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The Spirit of Kwanzaa lives in Miami-Dade County. On Saturday, December 29, 2018, it was demonstrated at The ARC (Arts & Recreation Center) in the beautiful City of Opa-locka, Florida. The 29th Annual Mary Williams Woodard Legacy Kwanzaa Celebration evolved into a true community event welcomed by various groups and entities beyond its local beginnings. 

More than 150 people were in attendance as the traditional procession of the Council of Community Elders was announced via drummer Jah Will B. Elders are not recognized because of age but due to their contributions to the community. Many are often unsung heroes. This year’s elders included Chief Nathaniel B. Styles Jr. who also served as event MC; HRH Iya Orite Adefunmi; School Board Member Dorothy Bendross Mindingall; Bernadette Cecelia Poitier; Rubye Howard; Thomasina Turner-Diggs; Eric Pettus; “Broadway” Cuthbert Harewood; James Wright; Amare and Amani Amari; Netcher Hopi Mose and Angela Berry.

Because of construction at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, where the event has been presented for many years, its consecutive presentation would have been interrupted were it not for Opa-locka Vice Mayor Chris Davis; Nakeisha Williams and the Opa-Locka CDC; and Nakia Bowling of Zoe’s Dolls. 

As is customary, the Nguzo Saba, Seven Principles of Kwanzaa and symbols of Kwanzaa were explained with the assistance of audience members and the Ivy Rosettes of Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority who also served as hostesses. Tracey Jackson delivered the welcome on behalf of the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association. Remembering those who have transitioned is an important aspect of Kwanzaa. Dr. Natasha C. Stubbs delivered a moving recognition of local and national individuals who became deceased since last year’s Kwanzaa event. Entertainment was provided by the Next Generation Dance Academy and poets Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaughns and realproperlike. New World School of the Arts junior, Nicholaus Gelin, serenaded attendees with his trumpet during the feast portion of the evening.

“We enjoyed the event,” said a mother who traveled from Coral Springs with her son and his best friend to attend the celebration. They said they will attend next year and the boys want to participate on the program. 

The Kwanzaa Celebration is hosted by the Miami-Dade Chapter of the FAMU Alumni Association, the Dr. Arthur and Mary Woodard Foundation for Education and Culture; and Osun’s Village African Caribbean Cultural Arts Corridor.

 



 

 

 

 

 


Happy Kwanzaa! Day 6: Kuumba - Creativity

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Greeting: Habari Gani?! (What's going on?)

Response: Kuumba! [koo-oom-bah]

Today is the sixth day of Kwanzaa. On this day we celebrate the principle of creativity. According to the Nguzo Saba (seven principles), creativity means: “to do always as much as we can in the way that we can in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than when we inherited it.” We are a creative people. 

Harambee!


Kwanzaa Day 5: Let's Celebrate Nia (Purpose)!

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Greeting: Habari gani!

Response: Nia!

 

Today is the fifth day of Kwanzaa, the principle we celebrate is purpose. “To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.” 

This principle is about legacy. It clearly indicates that it is our responsibility, as a people group, to do what we must to build and develop our community to restore our people to their rightful place of prominence.

Pay attention. In communities throughout the United States, the legacy of the people of the African diaspora has been or is being destroyed. Let’s protect our communities. Let’s protect our legacy.

 

Harambee!

 


Day 3 of Kwanzaa: Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)

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Call: Habari Gani?! (What's going on?)

Response: Ujima! [oo-jee-muh]

 

Today is the third day of Kwanzaa. The principle celebrated is Ujima or collective work and responsibility. That means to build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.

It is through togetherness that Africans in the diaspora as well as the motherland will not only survive but thrive. During segregation in America, close knit Black communities often formed the foundation for many businesses and other opportunities for success for individuals and the collective. Through this village concept Blacks made tremendous progress in spite of often living in an atmosphere of terror.

Harambee! Let’s work together.

 

“A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.” ~Richard Whately

 

Related Link: Celebrate Kwanzaa in Miami

 


The Second Day of Kwanzaa: Kujichagulia

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Greeting: Habari gani!

Response: Kujichagulia (KOO-GEE-CHA-GOO-LEE-AH)! 

Today is the second day of Kwanzaa. The principle we celebrate is Kujichagulia which means Self-Determination. To define ourselves, to name ourselves, speak for ourselves and create for ourselves.

Kujichagulia is a commitment to building our lives in our own images and interests. If we, as a people, are to achieve our goals we must take the responsibility for that achievement. Self-determination is the essence of freedom. This day calls for a reaffirmation of our commitment to work together for Black people everywhere, particularly here in America, to build more meaningful and fulfilling lives. 

Harambee!

 

Related Link:

Celebrate Kwanzaa in Miami


Relaunch of Black Education Advocacy Organization Honors Local Educational Leaders Sept. 6

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Under the leadership of Miami-Dade County School Board Member, Dr. Steve Gallon III, the education community is excited about the relaunch of the Miami-Alliance of Black School Educators Black School Educators (MABSE), the local affiliate of the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE). You don't want to miss their inaugural Legacy of Excellence In Education Awards Dinner & Membership Drive, on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at NoMi Bar & Grill, 738 Northeast 125th Street, North Miami, FL 33161. The evening has been designed to reinvigorate the local community's premier organization advocating for education of all children of African descent and to honor outstanding Educators from Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.

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Congratulations to the 2018 MABSE Excellence in Education Honorees:

Dr. Solomon C. Stinson
Dr. Geneva Knowles Woodard
Ms. Johnnie Batist
Ms. Valtena Brown
Dr. Derick McCoy
Ms. Bernadette Toussaint Pierre
Mr. Derek Negron
Ms. Cisely Scott
Ms. Tawana Akins

Tickets can be purchased online at ExcellenceInEducation2018.eventbrite.com. Seating is limited and there will be no on site ticket sales. For more information, contact Vanessa Woodard Byers at info@mabse.org or (305) 879-6442.

 


$1.1M Available to Black-Owned Businesses in Florida. Come Out Thursday, August 23 to See If Your Business Qualifies

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Thanks to a $1.1 million grant included in last year’s budget,   black-owned businesses across the state can now apply for a loan through a program administered by the Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union in partnership with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Locally, the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) and Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union will present LOANS AND LENDING FOR BLACK BUSINESS OWNERS, 6:30pm-8:00pm, Thursday, August 23, 2018, St. Paul AME Church, V.F. Mitchell Fellowship Hall, 1866 NW 51 Terrace, Miami, FL 33142. 

“The MDCPS Office of Economic Opportunity is excited to partner with the FAMU Federal Credit Union and provide meaningful information on loans and lending to local black businesses,” said Torey Alston, head of OEO for Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Learn more about the application process and requirements to access these funds. The event is FREE to attend. You may RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/introducing-florida-am-university-credit-union-tickets-48927176502. Please share this information with your networks.

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Bethune-Cookman Marching Wildcats Subject of Netflix Docu-series “Marching Orders”

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Bethune-Cookman University Marching Wildcats are the subject of a 12-episode docu-series on Netflix.



“Marching Orders,” an original unscripted series, takes viewers inside the Marching Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. The band’s rich history includes being showcased at major sports events from the Super Bowl to NFL games and was featured in the popular film “Drumline” starring Nick Cannon and Zoe Saldana. This 12-episode series, Marching Orders, premiered on Friday, August 3 on Netflix and was produced by Stage 13/Gigantic Productions.



For students, becoming a member of the Marching Wildcats will be one of their most significant life achievements. The legacy, history, and honor of earning a spot in the 300-member plus band is a pivotal moment that is often rooted in the students’ own familial histories. Expectations run high for the new generation of Marching Wildcats.



It’s difficult to convey just how important marching bands have become in the culture and climate of HBCUs unless one has lived it as an undergraduate student. While many rival institutions will take issue with the Marching Wildcats being touted as the nation’s best, that is par for the course. Let the trash-talking continue.

“Nobody works as hard as we do,” says Band Director Donovan Wells, in the series opener. “Nobody pays attention to the details as much as we do.”

 

 

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