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.


HistoryMiami Exhibit - OPA-LOCKA: MIRAGE CITY

June 28, 2013 - September 08, 2013

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 [email protected].


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


 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.



On Friday, October 19, 2012, the Opa-locka Development Community Corporation (OLCDC) will host an evening dedicated to “The Art of Transformation,” a celebration of the historic past, present and bright future of the Opa-locka community.


Teams collaborate to develop public art works in Magnolia North and beyond


Magnolia North Public Art Overview
Overview of public art planned for Opa-locka


One of Miami’s most historic, yet distressed neighborhoods – Opa-locka – is in the midst of a major revitalization.  Funded by a blend of public and private investment, including grants by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) is working to transform a city stigmatized by decades of crime and adversity into a Community of Choice with art.

Continue reading "Teams collaborate to develop public art works in Magnolia North and beyond" »

South Florida Family Becomes Homeowners for First Time in Opa-Locka

Photos of ribbon cutting ceremony for Maria Esperanza and Melanio Rojas, new homeowners through the joint efforts of local nonprofit organizations, Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida (NHSSF) and the Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation. 

 Maria Esperanza (middle) and her husband Melanio Rojas (left of Maria) cut the ribbon on their purchased home. Arden Shank, CEO of NHSSF(behind Melanio) and Willie Logan (behind Maria), President of Opa-Locka CDC join Armando Fana (right of Willie Logan), Field Director of the Miami US HUD Office and Mercedes Marquez (in front of Armando), Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development, US HUD.


Douglas M. Gaither (left), Management Consultant of NeighborWorks America and Arden Shank (right), CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida join Maria Esperanza (home buyer, second from the left) and Armando Fana (second from the right), Field Director of the Miami US HUD Office at the Opa- locka CDC ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, January 25, 2011.

 Oliver Gross, President of New Urban Development, LLC , a wholly owned subsidiary of the Urban League of Greater Miami, Inc., speaks on the importance of the NSP2 funds for a better South Florida. Arden Shank(left) and Willie Logan (right).


NAACP political forum features the Rev. Al

The Reverend Al Sharpton is scheduled to participate in the upcoming political forum sponsored by the Miami-Dade branch of the NAACP on Monday, October 18, 2010 at New Birth. The forum, which is sure to be well-attended, starts at 6 pm. The church is located at 2300 NW 135 Street, Miami.

There are a number of important races and amendments on the ballot. Don't miss the forum and come out so you can be an informed voter. Please spread the word.

NAACP political forum features the Rev. Al

Vote for N.B. Young Elementary School and help them win $10,000 plus other prizes!

N.B. Young Elementary School Community Garden Opa-LockaNathan B. Young Elementary is in a contest sponsored by Nature’s Path that allows them to win $10,000 cash and other prizes valued at an additional $15,000. Please go to Justmeans.com; vote for the school’s project and help them win these much needed dollars. More important, help Opa-Locka win a sustainable means of healthy nutrition.

Voting is free and only requires you to register online to vote. During a time of budgetary concerns and constraints for our public schools, this is an excellent way to help our children. Please vote and spread the word. Voting ends June 15 so there is no time to waste. Let’s help N.B. Young Elementary and the city of Opa-Locka win!


Opa-Locka Community Garden's Idea

Dr. Raymond J. SandsThe city of Opa-Locka, FL is a food desert in desperate need of a source of fresh produce for its residents. No supermarket chains are there, and the few stores that sell produce have an overpriced selection that is usually half-spoiled; nothing “certified organic” is to be found anywhere. Raymond Sands (principal of Nathan B. Young Elementary- NBY) approached the city of Opa-Locka to request an adjacent property for a butterfly garden and the entire community became inspired by the hope to turn it into a local source of organic food also.

The city agreed to allow Dr. Sands to use the 46’ x 96’ plot for a garden that would extend onto school property and be open to the community at large. This location will become the site of a farmer’s market where produce will be sold to help sustain the garden with additional funding. Both the garden and the market will have the ability to greatly offset, and potentially rid, the city of Opa-Locka’s branding as a “food desert.” In addition, the garden will be utilized by school members (students, teachers, parents and staff) to integrate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine) education into the curriculum. 

For the past six months, second graders at NBY have taken part in “Plant a Thousand Gardens,” an initiative between The Education Fund and The Market Company that installed three raised garden beds with plants that included tomatoes, eggplants, sweet potatoes, basil, and rosemary. These gardens proved to be a valuable asset, providing educational and edible material for the school community while integrating the curriculum in language, math and science. The planned garden will extend these benefits to the entire student body and the community at large. [Read more…]

Click here to vote! Spread the word! DEADLINE – TUES. JUNE 15!

Related links:

· Nature’s Path Foods

· N.B. Young Elementary School

· Opa-Locka, Florida

© 2010, Blogging Black Miami, www.bloggingblackmiami.com

Follow blogblackmiami on Twitter

Get involved. Become a fan of Vanessa Woodard Byers for Miami-Dade County School Board, District 2 for change in public education!

“If you are not at the table, you're on the menu.” ~ Unknown

Vanessa Woodard Byers for Miami-Dade County School Board