Lifestyle & Entertainment

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® Does It Again and Raises $1 Million in Support of HBCUs

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Online Donations Help Sorority to Exceed Its Goal

CHICAGO, Sept. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® isproud to announce that for the third consecutive year, the sorority has successfully raised $1 million in 24 hours for the benefit of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  The sorority's annual HBCU Impact Day on September 21 exceeded its $1 million goal in online donations alone from local AKA chapters, private donors and corporate matching dollars from across the globe.   

"We did it, we did it again!" Dr. Glenda Glover, AKA International President and Chief Executive Officer shared with excitement in a video message to sorority members.  "The online receipts alone totaled more than $1.3 million. We can now continue to provide endowments to our treasured HBCUs."  

HBCU Impact Day is one part of a four-year $10 million fundraising goal set by Dr. Glover,   who has challenged the women of AKA to lead the charge in helping to secure fiscal sustainability and success for accredited HBCUs around the country.  The sorority was successfully able to reach the $1 million goal consecutively in 2018 and 2019, supporting the organization's HBCU for Life: A Call to Action platform, which aims to promote HBCUs by encouraging students to attend and matriculate through these institutions.

Last year, AKA gifted $1.6 million to the first 32 of 96 HBCUs through the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund.  Each HBCU received $50,000 in unrestricted endowment funds as part of a phased approach to help schools reduce student debt through scholarships, fund industry-specific research, recruit and retain top faculty, and other critical operations especially during this global pandemic.

On Sunday, September 20, the sorority held a virtual brunch to launch the next round of 32 HBCU endowment recipients.  Four more recipients were announced: Delaware State University, Lane College, St. Phillips College, and Medgar Evers College.  Four additional grants will be announced on Friday, September 24, the last day of HBCU Week.  The sorority will then announce 24 more recipients -- six schools every Thursday for the next four weeks.

"These institutions continue to make a powerful impact in our communities and throughout our country, graduating 22% of all African Americans with bachelor's degrees, nearly 80% of all African-American judges and 50% of all black lawyers," said Dr. Glover, who is also the president of Tennessee State University and an HBCU graduate.  "It's gratifying to know that funds raised will establish endowments, providing sustainability to our historically black colleges and universities."

Dr. Glover thanks everyone who contributed to the success of the 2020 HBCU Impact Day and notes that the $1.3 million raised online does not include checks in the mail and other contributions.  Although HBCU Impact Day has passed, individuals or organizations interested in supporting the effort can still make contributions by texting AKAHBCU to 44321, giving by mail or online at http://aka1908.com/hbcus/donate-hbcu

For more information on the sorority's commitment to HBCUs, visit www.AKA1908.com.


Oprah Winfrey, NAACP and National Voting Rights Leaders Join Together for National Town Hall: “OWN YOUR VOTE: OUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT”

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Winfrey To Discuss Her New Initiative “OWN Your Vote” with NAACP President and CEO and Other Key Leaders in the Fight for Voting Rights, Focused Specifically on Mobilizing Black Women to Vote 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 22, 2020) – Oprah Winfrey and OWN have joined together with the NAACP and national voting rights leaders to host “OWN Your Vote: Our Lives Depend On it,” a virtual conversation aimed to inspire and equip thousands of voters and community leaders with specific steps they can take to register to vote, request their absentee ballots, and mobilize voters throughout their community. Slated to take place on September 24, 2020, at 8:00 PM EST, the hour-long conversation will include remarks from leaders in the fight for voting rights, including Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Stacey Abrams (Fair Fight), Minyon Moore (Power Rising), Tiffany Dena Loftin (NAACP Youth and College), Judith Browne Dianis, and other key leaders. Join this conversation by visiting bit.ly/OprahZoom and registering today!

“We are excited to work with OWN, Ms. Winfrey and other key voting rights leaders as we engage our members, activists, and community leaders around the country about the importance of this election and their vote,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP. “Her voice during this critical time when communities not only need reassurance in their ability to affect change but encouragement and enlightenment on how to do so with clear impact cannot be overstated.”

As the nation reels from the effects of COVID-19, racial injustice, and voter suppression, OWN Your Vote seeks to shed light on the solution through a bipartisan registration and a get-out-the-vote campaign aimed at providing OWN’s audience of Black women with tools and resources to overcome voter suppression in the November election. The pro-social campaign connects people to urgent political actions and gives their concerns a powerful microphone by placing a spotlight on crucial community issues.

“OWN is proud to partner with the NAACP and prominent voting rights leaders to hold this important conversation to energize and engage our community to vote this November,” said Tina Perry, president of OWN. “This is a critical time in our history to come together and raise our voices.”

Along with shedding light on why this moment is paramount for Black women to use their voice, Ms. Winfrey will also moderate a panel discussion that will bring attention to barriers to voting, what everyone should know about this election, and how they can overcome voter suppression in their community.

The OWN Your Vote campaign has been informed by a study OWN conducted with over 700 Black women of voting age to identify critical issues affecting them. The political impact tracking study determined that affordable health care and racism/discrimination are the two most relevant issues to Black women this election season.

OWN Your Vote Partner Organizations include:

Advancement Project National Office

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

AME Church Social Action Commission

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated

Fair Fight Action

Higher Heights Leadership Fund

Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights

The Kapor Center

The King Center (Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc.)

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Links, Incorporated

NAACP

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)

National Council of Negro Women

National Urban League

Power Rising

Power to the Polls

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated

Sistahs in Business Expo

Vote Run Lead

Vote.org

VoteAsIf.org

When We All Vote

Woke Vote

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated


Surviving, Thriving and Mobilizing and the New South Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, September 24

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The Southern Area of The Links, Incorporated presents the second in a series of Surviving, Thriving and Mobilizing and the New South Virtual Town Hall Meetings! On Thursday, September 24th at 9 PM EST, witness "Politics, Faith & Media: Harnessing the Collective Power of When We All Vote." Joining the one hour 15 minute discussion will be one of the most powerful men in politics, House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, renowned activist and faith leader, Bishop William Barber and journalist/talk show host Roland Martin. The meeting will be shown live via Facebook telecast, on the Southern Area Website (www.salinksinc.org) and via Youtube.


Bahamas Re-Opens for U.S. Travelers; 14-Day Quarantine Required

Bahamas Re-Opens

Bahamian government officials have reopened their borders to U.S. travelers, but upon arrival, visitors are expected to quarantine in a government facility for 14 days. The change was made to create a uniform standard for visitors during the coronavirus pandemic. For more information on travel guidelines to the Bahamas, click here.


URGENT: COVID-19 Testing Protocol for Visitors to The Bahamas

Bahamas Protocol

Effective immediately, all travelers to The Bahamas will be required to complete an electronic Bahamas Health Visa application before departure from the place of embarkation. This can be found at travel.gov.bs. Travelers are required to upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test and provide contact information. 

The Government of The Bahamas will accept the negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (swab) test if the sample was taken within (10) ten days of arrival. Tests over ten (10) days old will not be accepted. 

An automated response will be provided once the application is completed. The only persons approved to travel are those who have received a green color-coded response, as proof of approval. This confirmation must be presented upon arrival in The Bahamas. The Health Visa application process will take twenty-four to forty-eight (24-48) hours and should be completed with adequate lead time. 

Failure to comply with the stated requirements will result in denied entry. It is recommended that all travelers interested in visiting The Bahamas review requirements applicable to each member of their traveling party at www.bahamas.com/travelupdates before booking a trip. 

For more information, or to view the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan, please visit www.bahamas.com/travelupdates. You may also contact the Ministry of Tourism COVID-19 travel hotline at (242) 502-0829 Monday to Friday, 8 AM – 6 PM, or via email at contactusteam@bahamas.com. 

 


Miami-Dade County Libraries to be Used for Pick up and Drop Off of Unemployment Applications

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Miami-Dade Public Library System to provide Reemployment Assistance Applications at 26 library locations

Printed copies will be available in English, Spanish and Creole

MIAMI ( April 06, 2020 ) — 

In an effort to help Miami-Dade County residents applying for state unemployment benefits, especially those who do not have computers at home, the Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS) will be providing printed copies of Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Reemployment Assistance Applications at 26 library locations beginning Wednesday, April 8.

Unemployment applications in English, Spanish and Creole and envelopes to return them in will be available for pickup at tables outside the library entrances from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Residents can take the application home to fill out and then return it in the sealed envelope by dropping it off in the library location’s book drop or at any CareerSource South Florida location. Applications will be picked up from the book drops every day and delivered to CareerSource South Florida where trained staff will send them securely overnight to DEO in Tallahassee for processing. Residents can also download and print a copy of the application from DEO's website and return it to any participating library’s book drop.

MDPLS will be practicing social distancing at the library sites, with informational signage and markings on the ground spaced six feet apart.

The following are the 26 library locations where residents can pick up an application:

  • Allapattah Branch
    1799 NW 35 Street
    Miami, FL 33142

  • Arcola Lakes Branch
    8240 NW 7 Avenue
    Miami, FL 33150

  • California Club Branch
    700 Ives Dairy Road
    Miami, FL 33179

  • Coconut Grove Branch
    2875 McFarlane Road
    Miami, FL 33133

  • Concord Branch
    3882 SW 112 Avenue
    Miami, FL 33165

  • Coral Reef Branch
    9211 SW 152 Street
    Miami, FL 33157

  • Country Walk Branch
    15433 SW 137 Avenue
    Miami, FL 33177

  • Edison Center Branch
    531 NW 62 Street
    Miami, FL 33150

  • Fairlawn Branch
    6376 SW 8 Street
    West Miami, FL 33144

  • Golden Glades Branch
    100 NE 166 Street
    Miami, FL 33162

  • Hialeah Gardens Branch
    11300 NW 87 Court
    Hialeah Gardens, FL 33018

  • Hispanic Branch Library
    1398 SW 1 Street
    Miami, FL 33135

  • Homestead Branch
    700 N. Homestead Boulevard
    Homestead, FL 33030

  • International Mall Branch
    10315 NW 12 Street
    Doral, FL 33172

  • Kendale Lakes Branch
    15205 SW 88 Street
    Miami, FL 33196

  • Miami Beach Regional Library
    227 22nd Street
    Miami Beach, FL 33139

  • Miami Lakes Branch
    6699 Windmill Gate Road
    Miami Lakes, FL 33014

  • Naranja Branch
    14850 SW 280 Street
    Miami, FL 33032

  • North Dade Regional Library
    2455 NW 183 Street
    Miami Gardens, FL 33056

  • North Shore Branch
    7501 Collins Avenue
    Miami Beach, FL 33141

  • Northeast Dade - Aventura Branch
    2930 Aventura Boulevard
    Aventura, FL 33180

  • Palm Springs North Branch
    17601 NW 78 Avenue
    Hialeah, FL 33015

  • South Miami Branch
    6000 Sunset Drive
    Miami, FL 33143

  • West Dade Regional Library
    9445 Coral Way
    Miami, FL 33165

  • West Flagler Branch
    5050 West Flagler Street
    Miami, FL 33134

  • West Kendall Regional Library
    10201 Hammocks Boulevard
    Miami, FL 33196

Residents may also call 305-375-2665 to find their nearest library location providing the printed applications. CareerSource South Florida is available to provide assistance with completing the application by calling 305-929-1547.

For the latest COVID-19 updates, information and resources, visit www.miamidade.gov/coronavirus.


NAACP/BET Unmasked A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series Beginning on Wednesday, April 8, at 8pm EST/ 5pm PT

As reports from around the United States confirm what many have suspected -- blacks are hardest hit by the coronavirus global pandemic, the NAACP has partnered with BET to present the 4-week community program, ”Unmasked: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series”.

 

The  first virtual town hall will be presented this Wednesday, April 8 at 8pm ET, 5pm PT. Part one of the four-part series will feature a candid discussion on the health, mental, and economic tolls this crisis has had on our communities and how people of color can apply pressure to ensure the congressional response to this pandemic is equitable.

 

Click here to register online. 

 

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The ‘Tammy Jackson Act’ One Step Closer to Becoming Law

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The bill ensures protections for pregnant incarcerated women and their babies 

 

Tallahassee, FL — Today, the Tammy Jackson Act (SB 852, titled Restrictive Housing for Incarcerated Pregnant Women) by Senator Jason Pizzo (D-West Park) passed the Florida Senate. With newly amended language, the bill now needs one final House vote before being sent to the Governor’s desk. On the House side, HB 1259 was co-introduced by Representatives Shevrin Jones (D-West Park) and Amy Mercado (D-Orlando) and the bill has passed unanimously in all committees and both chambers.  

The Tammy Jackson Act ensures that pregnant incarcerated women are transported to an appropriate medical facility without delay, given proper medical care, and not placed in restrictive housing involuntarily while in labor. The legislation also sets critical standards for the treatment of pregnant incarcerated women by aiming to create a safer, more respectful environment for women behind bars. 

The Dignity Coalition, a grassroots effort led by formerly incarcerated women and supported by several community organizations in Florida, works to advance the rights of incarcerated women and girls in Florida. Just last year, the Coalition won the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act, a bill to ensure that incarcerated women have access to hygiene products. Passing the Tammy Jackson Act was a team effort, led in large part by Valencia Gunder, a community activist and formerly incarcerated woman herself who also serves as Campaign Manager for Dignity Florida.

“We now need the Florida House to act one more time with a final vote, to send this bill to the Governor’s desk and do right by our incarcerated women and babies,” said Valencia Gunder, Campaign Director for Dignity Florida and the New Florida Majority. “Our women are more than prisoners; they are mothers, nurturers, and caregivers and it is time they are treated as such, with dignity, respect, and humanity. The future is female, she’s strong, she’s Black, she’s Brown and she will not be incarcerated.”

No pregnant woman should ever be put in solitary confinement; it is inhumane, unsafe and cruel, both for the mother and her child. Currently, Florida has the second-highest incarceration rate for women in the United States, and yet, women’s basic needs and rights are not being met or respected. Ensuring that incarcerated people, including those who are pregnant, are safe, healthy and treated with dignity, especially during labor, is the responsibility of the state.


Grand Lucayan Sold

 

By Robyn Adderley

 

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – The Government of The Bahamas sold the Grand Lucayan on Monday, March 2, 2020 to a partnership between Royal Caribbean International and ITM (Bahamas Port Investments Ltd.), which is expected to make a $250 million investment between the hotel and the redevelopment of the cruise port. 

 

The Heads of Agreement Signing Ceremony was held on the Great Lawn of the property, some 11 months following the signing of the Letter of Intent on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

 

Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis described the day as a wonderful one, as the government’s intention was never to hold on to the   property, but initially purchased it to save jobs of Grand Bahamians and businesses. 

 

“As we stated at the time, it was our intention to privatize the property as quickly as possible. We wanted to ensure that we found the right buyer who shared our vision for the renewal of Grand Bahama. Our vision was the renewal and rebirth of Grand Bahama’s tourism sector and product as an essential element in the restoration of this island’s potential.

 

 

 

The Prime Minister also noted that discussions are currently ongoing to determine the best way to redevelop the Grand Bahama International Airport, which will require a major investment. 

 

Minister of Tourism & Aviation, the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, said, “I am extremely excited that the intended purchasers of this hotel are Royal Caribbean and the ITM Group. Between them, they are well funded to bring to the table a great deal of experience in the tourism sector, and have a proven track record of successful projects.”

 

The development projected for the Grand Lucayan will bring about a total transformation of the resort. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested into the property to refurbish/renovate/reconstruct 500 rooms in Phase One and another 500 rooms along with 500 villas in Phase Two. Additional features will include a new casino, a spectacular water theme park and a new shopping, restaurant and retail center. In addition, a new cruise port will be built in the Freeport Harbour to accommodate three ships in Phase One and up to seven ships in subsequent phases. As a result of the purchase, 3,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created in construction as well as in employment at the hotel and cruise port.

 

Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson, gave welcome remarks. Also giving remarks were Robert Shamosh, Chief Executive Officer, Holistica Destinations; Mauricio Hamui, Chief Executive Officer, ITM; and Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. 

 

Also, in attendance were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Peter Turnquest and other Ministers of Cabinet; Members of Parliament, Permanent Secretaries, Senior Government Officials, representatives from the business community, taxi drivers, and straw vendors.

 

Immediately following the official ceremony, guests were treated to the pulsating sounds of a Junkanoo Rushout followed by a reception. 

 

 

 

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SIGNING CEREMONY -- The Government of The Bahamas and Bahamas Port Investments Ltd. signed a Heads of Agreement with respect to purchase of the Grand Lucayan today, March 2, 2020. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis (standing, second right) said the multi-million dollar investment "will go a long way in revitalizing Grand Bahama, with myriad economic and employment opportunities for more Grand Bahamians." Seated at left are Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley (left) and CEO of ITM Mauricio Hamui, representing the Developer; and at right, Secretary to the Cabinet Camille Johnson (second right) and Director of Investments Candia Ferguson. Standing from left: Minister Iram Lewis, Minister of State Kwasi Thompson, Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, and Minister Dionisio D'Aguilar. (BIS Photo/Yontalay Bowe)

 


#WeAreTheVote Festival, Sunday, March 8 at Miramar Amphitheater

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The #WeAre Foundation is a new non-profit organization that uses the arts and artists to bridge the gaps between us, and connect our communities to our collective voice and vote. They’ve created a space for us to come together by holding a free #WeAreTheVote festival to attract and create awareness around the importance of civic engagement, and help empower as many people as possible to make their voice count at the polls.

 

The festival is scheduled for Sunday, March 8, 2020, Noon - 8 PM, at Miramar Regional Park Amphitheater, 16801 Miramar Parkway, Miramar, FL 33027. The community festival with live entertainment, food trucks, voter registration, music and activities will celebrate everyone who pledges to vote. 

 

The co-founder of #WeAre Foundation, BRANDON VICTOR DIXON, will be available to meet and greet the public. You remember Dixon because he played lawyer Terry Silver on POWER. His body of work includes his roles as Aaron Burr in HAMILTON on Broadway, and Judas in NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live.” 

 

Representatives from HeadCount and the WeAre Foundation will be available to answer questions about local voter registration requirements and assisting with voter registration on-the-spot.

 

“The growing divisions in our politics and social interactions inspired us to build an ecosystem of citizens and organizations that can remind us all that the more we fight for each other, the less we have to fight for ourselves,” said Dixon. “In 2020 we will demonstrate the connective power of the arts to help communities realize the power of their voice and collective vote!"

 

HeadCount is thrilled to partner with the #WeAre Foundation in 2020. This partnership epitomizes our mission, bringing artists, volunteers, and communities together in the pursuit of positive social change. Together, we will reach thousands of voters and get-out-the-vote in 2020.