Opa-Locka

Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III vie for District 1 County Commission seat

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Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, broke local social media with the announcement of her run for the District 1 commission seat for Miami-Dade County (FL). She also garnered national attention from many media outlets as well as support from award-winning actress and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg from The View. Fulton’s decision disrupted plans of term-limited Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III and his supporters. Gilbert was perceived as a shoo-in for the seat held by Barbara Jordan for the last 16 years. Jordan is ineligible to run again as term-limits kick in for the first group of county commissioners.

Fulton, a former long-time county employee, gained international notoriety because of the fatal shooting of her younger son, Trayvon. Since that horrible incident, she has become a community advocate, author, public speaker, executive producer, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and received an honorary doctorate degree. Although this is Fulton’s first run for elected public office, she checks all the boxes that are most essential regarding electability criteria --- name recognition and likeability.

During his tenure as mayor, Gilbert has been faced with law enforcement, sexual harassment and personal controversies but he is also credited with the business growth of the City of Miami Gardens and the return of the historic Orange Blossom Classic football game. It is also noteworthy that Gilbert has amassed more than $400,000 between his campaign account and political committee. While he faces a formidable opponent in Sybrina Fulton, Gilbert is not likely to shrink into the background. This race will be a battle until the end. 

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Unfortunately, there are already signs that this race will likely be very negative. In social media exchanges, supporters of both candidates are trying to have the last word in a situation that will be decided by the voters of District 1 in August 2020. The public discourse is expected. Politics is a contact sport and Miami politics can be particularly dirty. Stay tuned; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

 


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.

 



 

 

 

 

 


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


Longest Running Local Public Kwanzaa Celebration Moves to The ARC in Opa-locka on 12/29/18

MWW Kwanzaa2018 8.5 x 11 in

Miami, FL December 23, 2018: For almost three decades the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association has celebrated the seven-day Pan-African holiday of Kwanzaa. This year, due to renovations at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center and the absence of many members traveling to witness the University’s famous marching band participate in the Rose Bowl and surrounding activities, it seemed the event would not take place. 

When one of the organization’s community partners found out the celebration was going on hiatus this year, the true Spirit of Kwanzaa took over and plans were quickly changed. On Saturday, December 29, at 3 pm, the 29th Annual Mary Williams Woodard Legacy Kwanzaa Celebration will take place at The ARC (Arts & Recreation Center), 675 Ali Baba Avenue, Opa-locka, FL 33054,

“We are deeply appreciative that Opa-locka Vice Mayor Chris Davis, the Opa-locka CDC, Zoe’s Dolls and Next Generation Dance Academy reached out to help. Their support lets us know our teaching the Principles of Kwanzaa at this celebration through the years, has not been in vain,” said Vanessa Woodard Byers, event chair, and daughter of the late Mary Williams Woodard, educator and Kwanzaa advocate for whom this celebration is named. 

Kwanzaa is a non-religious, non-political community-building and family-strengthening holiday. The community is invited to come out and learn more about it. There will be music, dance, poetry and other artistic demonstrations. One of the highlights of the event is the distribution of dolls by young philanthropist, speaker, and business executive, Zoe Terry. Through her company, Zoe’s Dolls, dolls are given to little black and brown girls as a vehicle for building self-esteem and pride in their self-image. 

The event is free but register online at KwanzaaMiami29.eventbrite.com. Donations of books and new, unwrapped educational toys, for children in the local community, are appreciated. Potluck food donations for the Feast are also welcome. It is hosted by the Miami-Dade Chapter of the FAMU National Alumni Association, the Dr. Arthur & Mary Woodard Foundation for Education and Culture and Chief Nathaniel Styles, Jr. of Osun's Village African Caribbean Arts Corridor in partnership with the Opa-locka CDC, Zoe's Dolls and Next Generation Dance Academy.

For more information, email Vanessa Woodard Byers at vanessawbyers@gmail.com or call (305) 343- 9088. Event updates are available on Facebook at Celebrate Kwanzaa in Miami and on Twitter at @KwanzaaMiami. 

HARAMBEE!

Here's video of last year's event courtesy of LaShannon of PrPlMiami.

 

 


Opa-locka CDC offers workshops for first-time homebuyers

The Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) is offering workshops for first-time homebuyers. These sessions are designed to guide first-time homebuyers step by step through the home buying process. Homebuyers will be provided one-on-one counseling with an OLCDC certified Housing Counselor. Hear from industry professionals on the 7 steps to becoming a homeowner. 

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2018 WORKSHOP DATES
 
English
  • Jan 27
  • Feb 24
  • March 24
  • April 28
  • May 19
  • June 23
  • July 28
  • Aug 25
  • Sep 29
  • Oct 27
  • Nov 17
  • Dec 8
 
Spanish
  • Jan 13
  • Feb 10
  • March 10
  • April 14
  • May 12
  • June 9
  • July 14
  • Aug 11
  • Sep 15
  • Oct 13
  • Nov 3
  • Dec 1
 
Time: 9AM - 5PM
Location: Opa-locka Train Station
Address: 490 Ali Baba Avenue, Opa-locka, FL 33054

Click here to sign up!


A Community Conversation on Education

Opa-locka town hall on education

If you are really concerned about public education (and you should be), push away from your computer, put your cell phone done, and participate in this community conversation on education.  Opa-Locka Vice Mayor Joseph Kelley and Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III invite you to come out, 6 pm, Thursday, March 30, 2017, Sherbondy Village Auditorium, 215 Perviz Avenue, Opa-Locka, FL 33054. Get informed! Get involved! No excuses!

 

 

 


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.


Miami Links Present Second Children's Cooking Competition and Health Fair

Miami Links Health Fair 2013
Participants in last year's health fair and children's cooking competition. This year's event is Saturday, February 8, 2014, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Nathan B. Young Elementary School, 14120 NW 24th Avenue, Opa-Locka, FL.

 

To increase awareness and heighten understanding surrounding the issues that contribute to obesity in African-American children, the Miami Cluster of The Links, Incorporated, will present their second annual Health Fair and Short “Iron” Chef cook-off on Saturday, February 8, 2014 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Nathan B. Young Elementary, 14120 NW 24th Avenue, Opa-Locka, FL 33054. This is a great community event with the cooking competition, lead by local favorite Short Chef, featuring students from Dr. Robert Ingram Elementary; Golden Glades Elementary; and Nathan B. Young Elementary.

There will also be opportunities for health exams and other healthy lifestyle information as well as aerobic activity through various styles of dance. This is an awesome family activity and the price is right because it’s free. All parents and children in the City of Opa-Locka and the entire South Florida community are invited to attend. 

Partners and sponsors of the event include: Hispanic Coalition; Short Chef; Florida Blue; and War On Poverty.

 

The Miami Cluster is comprised of the Dade County; Greater Miami and Miami-Biscayne Bay Chapters of The Links, Incorporated. You can follow this event on Twitter and connect on Facebook.

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HistoryMiami Exhibit - OPA-LOCKA: MIRAGE CITY

June 28, 2013 - September 08, 2013

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Courtesy of University of Miami Libraries, Special Collections Division, Bernhardt Muller Collection.
Opa-locka: Mirage City explores one of South Florida’s most unique architectural communities. Based on stories and names of characters from the Arabian Tales, Opa-locka presents itself as both eccentric dream; an exotic Middle-eastern urban oasis in a subtropical paradise, and tourist’s kitsch; an architectural conceit more akin to a Hollywood film set. Founded in the 1920s in an undeveloped area of northwest Miami-Dade, the city is a highly romanticized interpretation of an exotic cultural milieu popularized by Hollywood films and archeological discoveries of its time. The exhibition presents original drawings and architectural models that reintroduce the original fabled vision, aiming to rouse interest in the city’s iconic structural design and encourage efforts to preserve its endangered architectural heritage.

Curated by Jose R. Vazquez, Associate Professor of Architecture at Miami Dade College. Presented in conjunction with the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at Miami Dade College and the University of Miami Libraries, Special Collections. 

 

Exhibition Opening, 6/27

Join HistoryMiami for the opening of Opa-locka: Mirage City, June 27 at 6pm. The reception is free to the public. RSVP to 305-375-5356 or rsvp@historymiami.org.

 



ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL DAY IN OPA LOCKA, FL Retro Ladies' T-shirt / Florida City Pride Tee

(Reprint) 1971 Yearbook: Miami Carol City High School, Opa Locka, Florida




The Links, Inc. Team Up with Hispanic Coalition to Sponsor Health Fair and Children's Cook-Off Competition Sat. 1/12

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 Community Health Fair and Children's “Iron Chef” Cook-Off Competition
Links Health Fair
The Miami Cluster of the Links, Incorporated joins the Hispanic Coalition in presenting a community health fair and children's cook-off competition on Saturday, January 12, 2013 in Opa-Locka.
The Miami Cluster of The Links, Incorporated, is comprised of three local chapters of Dade County; Greater Miami; and Miami-Biscayne Bay. They have joined with the Hispanic Coalition to provide health screening for adults and engage children in practices for living a healthy lifestyle at a community health fair and cook-off competition targeting students and families in the Opa-Locka area. 
  
The Links received funding via an “Awareness and Advocacy for Our Children” grant to implement a Florida Pilot Project aimed at combating childhood obesity in Opa-Locka. Students from three area schools: Dr. Robert Ingram Elementary; Nathan B. Young Elementary and Rainbow Park Elementary will go head-to-head in a highly anticipated cook-off competition to engage the students in healthy food choices and easy meal preparation for their families.
 
Childhood obesity poses one of the most urgent and critical threats to the health and well-being of minority children and their families. Obesity rates have reached epic proportions among African American children; particularly among African American girls. Overweight and obese children are at a higher risk for a host of serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, asthma, Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. The Links, Incorporated National Childhood Obesity Initiative through its Commission on Childhood Obesity, continues to be a trail blazer and model for addressing obesity and nutrition education worldwide.  
 
Several additional activities are planned for children and adults including learning to make healthy food choices; line dancing and Zumba fitness dance.

If You go:
Saturday, January 12, 2013
10:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
Nathan B. Young Elementary School
14120 NW 24th Avenue
Opa-Locka, FL 33054
 
About The Links, Incorporated
The Links, Incorporated is a premier international volunteer service organization of women with more than 12,000 members in 276 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The Links, Incorporated, celebrates more than 65 years of enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. The key programming initiatives of The Links, Incorporated are organized into five facets: Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services, and Health and Human Services.
 
About Hispanic Coalition
The Hispanic Coalition is a non-profit association founded on February 4, 1988 in Miami, Florida with the objective of providing South Florida citizens with a broad range of social services related to immigration, employment, legal assistance, and at-risk youth and family intervention programs.  Its social services are available to the entire community, regardless of ethnic background.