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Circle of Brotherhood honors Dr. Bendross-Mindingall

School Board Vice Chair Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall (District 2) received an honor from the Circle of Brotherhood at their monthly breakfast on Jan. 30. Bendross-Mindingall was honored for her passion for educating children and for becoming the first Black female elected Vice Chair of the Miami-Dade County School Board.

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The Children’s Trust Provider Profile

Concerned African Women Inc.

“This is truly a non-profit organization that prides itself on doing the grunt work and getting results that matter. Independent and funding source evaluations conducted on CAW programs document a 93 percent success rate among its intervention and diversion clients and a phenomenal 98 percent in its prevention project participants.” — Carolyn “Kiani” Nesbitt, president and CEO. The road to leadership in any field can be a tedious and painful process. Just ask the team of women and men on staff or volunteering at Concerned African Women (CAW) Inc. The mission of CAW, a South Florida 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is to “raise an army of minds prepared to take on the responsibility that comes with self-determination.” This mission has led the charge to provide “outcome-driven” social services and education programming for more than 25 years. Founded in 1989 at Gwen Cherry Park in Liberty City, CAW has worked to establish itself as one of the premiere nonprofits in Miami-Dade County.

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Taking their daughter and granddaughter to work Feb. 5

Ebony Dunn, principal, Brownsville Middle School, left, Bianca Casher, and Commissioner Audrey Edmonson participate in "Take Your Daughters To Work

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Young filmmaker debuts new work at screening

Aaron Johnson joined forces with Elijah Wells and Johnathan Vargas to show films

There's a saying that children are our future. Aaron Johnson is a 15 year old who is setting out to make a difference in the film industry. On Feb. 13 Aaron will show his latest film called “Blackout,” to South Florida. Aaron started filmmaking and editing at 9 years old. Since then he has produced commercials and short films. He won the “Widescreen Film & Music Festival award in 2015 for his short film, “Lost.” At the “Blackout” premiere, Aaron will show films by two other young filmmakers Elijah Wells and Johnathan Vargas. Also present will be Ms. Dria on the red carpet.

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Lifestyle Happenings

ASCENT: Black Women’s Expressions Art Exhibition runs through March 4 at Cotilla Gallery: Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center in Ft. Lauderdale. Call 954-262-4637. Miami Northwestern and Booker T. Washington Classes of 1963 host 3rd annual Valentine Day Scholarship Benefit Dance on Saturday, February 13 at Temple Israel. Call 305-613-5373 or 305-634-5657. The Joint Alumni Coalition(JAC), Inc. invites you hear artist Arsimmer and The Foundation and others at the African American Cultural Arts Center on February 14 from 5: 30 to 8 p.m. The African American Cultural Arts Center presents “Simply Simone-The Music of Nina Simone” Wednesday February 17 thru March 13. Call 305-638-6771 or visit www.ahcacmiami.org.

Black Tech Week returns to South Florida

Second conference for Black start-ups and entrepreneurs focuses on women

Black Tech Week is on the horizon bringing plenty of innovators and entrepreneurs to Miami. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation on Monday announced $250,000 in new support to Black Tech Week, the six-day conference that showcases innovation, creativity and technology in the black community. The event will take place in South Florida for a second year, from Feb. 14-20. Black Tech Week is presented by Miami-based Code Fever, an organization that teaches minority youth how to code and build entrepreneurial skills. One of the signature events of the whole conference is the Women’s Innovation Brunch, an event that allows the female attendees to network with female entrepreneurs and get encouragement and the support to get their ideas off the ground.

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Daymond John launches start-up funding program

'Shark Tank' mogul holds fireside chat at college

Entrepreneur Daymond John of ABC’s “Shark Tank” held a fireside chat Thursday, Feb. 4 during the kick-off presentation of the American Entrepreneurship Award (AEA). The new annual award program, which provides start-up funding of up to $25,000 for entrepreneurs, is sponsored by the Libra Group and the Idea Center at Miami Dade College.  An entrepreneur in every sense of the word, John has come a long way from a $40 budget to growing FUBU into a six-billion-dollar brand. The founder of FUBU, he is a celebrated pioneer in the fashion industry, best-selling author, branding guru, and a motivational speaker. The annual award was established by the Libra Group to provide start-up funding as well as mentorship and a range of mentorship and support services that will help ideas and winning businesses get off to a strong start. Libra was inspired to create the award when it became a founding sponsor of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance), a nonprofit organization launched by President Barack Obama aimed at eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps for boys and young men of color. The AEA was launched in 2015 with an initial $500,000 commitment. “Far too often, entrepreneurs are unable to successfully launch businesses primarily due to lack of capital. The Libra Group’s American Entrepreneurship Award represents a breakthrough for small business incubation, presenting opportunities and pathways to success for entrepreneurs,” said Joe Echevarria, CEO of the MBK Alliance. “The MBK Alliance is proud to work with Libra Group and is committed to giving emerging entrepreneurs the resources they need to succeed.”

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A parade for the Tornadoes

Booker T. Washington High School honors its state champion football team

Mickey Walker was born and raised in Overtown and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1964. As she watched young and old alumni march through her neighborhood in a parade, she couldn’t contain her smile and excitement. “This is my school,” Walker said. “My grandson is a part of this school. This is so good for the community. I’m so happy and proud to be a Tornado.” Booker T. students, staff and administrators were out in full force on Friday as the school held a parade and victory celebration for its state champion football team. The Tornadoes won the Florida State Class 4A Championship in December, defeating Jacksonville High School 43-23. It was the school’s fourth state title in four straight years and fifth overall.

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Vikings advance to regionals

Miami Norland seeking fifth consecutive basketball championship in semi-finals

National Signing Day brought an official end to the 2015-16 high school football season. Now, the sporting focus shifts from the football accomplishments to a new stage: pursuit of a Florida State High School Basketball Championship. The Miami Norland Vikings are in a pursuit of a record fifth consecutive basketball championship. Coach Lawton Williams III guided the Vikings to a 58-44 win over the Miami Central Rockets to claim the District 14-6A crown. It was win number four for the Vikings over the Rockets, including two regular season games, the GMAC (Greater Miami Athletic Conference) championship and the district championship, this season.

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Phone call, letter lead to ethics probe

The two developers include charter schools in new bid for Liberty Square

A possible violation of the cone of silence on the Liberty Square development has Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho facing an ethics commission probe. Carvalho, in response to media reports about plans for the public housing development, on Jan. 26 first called Mayor Carlos Gimenez to “schedule a meeting to discuss.” Carvalho followed up with a letter on Jan. 27 asking again for the meeting with Gimenez and how to “coordinate our efforts to best serve the children and families of Miami-Dade County.” Carvalho’s letter goes on to say he is unclear about community stakeholder involvement and his concern about “plans to displace hundreds of families” and “directly impact over 700 children’s lives and their continuity of education.” He also addresses reports about a possible charter school in Liberty City and its “implication on our current plan for additional neighborhood educational options.”

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Then and Now: Cam Newton and the ongoing plight of the Black quarterback

Cam Newton has been the talk of the NFL this season. As the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, he led his team to the Super Bowl for the first time in his career with his dynamic, electrifying play. Newton is widely considered the favorite for league MVP, but his history-making, logic-defying numbers aren’t what’s generating the most headlines. Rather, it’s everything else — the touchdown celebrations, the sideline victory photos, the child out of wedlock, the eccentric wardrobe — that has made him a lightning rod for hand-wringing letters to the editor and endless hot-takes. If all of that sounds inconsequential, that’s because it is. Or rather, it should be. Unfortunately, the rules that apply to other star quarterbacks in the NFL don’t seem to apply to Newton. And he knows exactly why.

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Orange Bowl Committee names new president and chair for 2016 season

Judge Chavies has been with organization since 2000

Judge Michael B. Chavies was installed as the Orange Bowl Committee's 78th President and Chair on Jan. 26 at Riviera Country Club in Coral Gables. Chavies has been a member of the Orange Bowl Committee since 2000 and succeeds Immediate Past President & Chair Lee Stapleton. Chavies will oversee the Committee’s continued commitment to the South Florida community, including a full slate of events, highlighted by the 83rd Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 31. The Orange Bowl invests nearly $1 million in the South Florida community on an annual basis, funding a variety of programs and initiatives, including the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance, presented by Sports Authority, various scholarship programs and many other youth athletic events.

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MIA serves up space for two Black-owned restaurants

County Commission approves resolution

Even though negotiations with two Black-owned restaurants are under way, Miami-Dade County Commission gave the green light on a resolution that gives favorable treatment to Jackson Soul Food and Chef Creole getting locations at Miami International Airport. Both restaurants have toured locations at MIA and have made tentative selections. Chef Creole has selected the Central terminal, while Jackson Soul Food selected the new South terminal. By comparison, Perry Ellis and a restaurant owned by artists Gloria and Emilio Estefan, which received no-bid deals last summer, are going in the coveted North Terminal.

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Opa-locka is truly one city with two tales

Mayor says city on track, as former manager files EEOC complaint

At a celebratory State of the City address, Opa-locka Mayor Myra Taylor confidently said the city was “on track” during comments last Friday, Jan. 29, in the Sherbondy Village auditorium. “They said we wouldn’t be anything, but we’re on our way,” said Taylor as she was comparing the city to a train. “We declare this city knows which way to go.” However, what she didn’t mention is that the city has not submitted a long-expected recovery plan to Gov. Rick Scott’s office as it seeks financial and/or technical assistance to get out of millions in debt. Also missing was any mention of a federal discrimination complaint filed last month by former City Manager Steve Shiver, who alleges he was “subjected to continuous harassment” by Taylor “and was called derogatory names such as ‘White boy’ and ‘rednecks [sic].’

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County officials are in hot seat with NAACP

NAACP questions county’s bid process and Liberty Square redevelopment at meeting

At the Jan. 27 meeting of the NAACP Economic Development Committee, representatives of the NAACP and area residents met with county officials and staff from County Mayor Carlos Gimenez's office, to ask pointed questions about both the latest developments in the Liberty Square redevelopment project, and to ask for clarification on the county's bid process itself. But as Deputy Miami-Dade County Mayor Russell Benford began to explain the county process, meeting moderator Darryl Holsendolph made it clear that he wanted to know, specifically, why groups, outside of the Black community, are able to receive no-bid contracts, while predominantly Black companies are increasingly left out of that process. He also wanted to know why other people, who do not look like him, have access to information on county project developments, while the Black community, again, is continually left out.

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Police, prosecutors hail major drug, illegal weapons sweep

Community excitement is muted amid violence

While U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer and law enforcement officers hailed the arrests of drug traffickers and weapons dealers as part of a violence reduction task force, some Black residents aren’t as quick to cheer as gunfire continues to claim lives around Miami-Dade County. On Friday, a day after the multiagency task force announcement, 18-year-old Eddie Harris Jr., a former Northwestern High student, was shot and killed in Brownsville, not far from the Miami Times office. Police say Harris, who attended nigh

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Request for new bids doesn’t pass smell test

Instead of being a salve for community leaders and Liberty Square residents who have been anxious of the future of the housing project, the announcement that the mayor wanted the best and final offers from the two top-ranked firms created yet another wound. In the move, County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has alienated almost all if not all the stakeholders. But the biggest slap in the face goes to Sara Smith, president of the Liberty Square Resident Council. Smith served on a nine-member selection committee, tasked with scoring the developers’ proposals to rehab Liberty Square and recommending a company for the job. Smith over-scored on a developer, skewing results and causing the process to get legal review. It is not clear if the legal review recommended that the mayor whittle down the developers to those with the top two scores. No matter. By asking the top two vote-getters to resubmit their best and final offers, the

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Water crisis in Flint government’s fault

The handling by all levels of government of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan has been nothing short of abominable. The residents of the mostly poor, Black suburb received little to no attention for more than a year and a half as they tried to tell city leaders and the nation that their water was tainted and their children were getting sick. Flint sunk into poverty when the automotive industry that supported its residents collapsed, leaving a trail of unemployment and neglect. So, that another poverty stricken town calls on government to hear the troubles that plague it, and getting no response was par for the course.

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Ghost of Scott Carver haunts Liberty Square

Maya Angelou wrote that “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” Over a decade ago 1150 residents of Liberty City were told by Miami-Dade County’s Housing department that their residences were going to be demolished and replaced with a housing project made up of attractive new homes, apartments, amenities and picturesque landscaping. The residents of Scott Carver and its adjacent homes were then scattered across Miami-Dade County for over a decade as they waited to return to the one place that many had called home for generations. Today the residents of Liberty Square are being told that their homes will also be demolished and replaced with new homes and amenities.  Like the residents of Scott

Questions on stadium financing, parking draw forum

Beckham group addressed concerns about the use of public funds

Billing it as MLS in MIA, the Miami Young Republicans hosted a forum that questioned specific components of the proposed soccer stadium in Overtown, by soccer star David Beckham, and Miami Beckham United. On hand to give an update to the project was T. Spencer Crowley III, a Miami attorney retained as land-use counsel by the soccer group. According to Crowley, the soccer stadium will be built at a convergence of three Miami neighborhoods: Overtown, Spring Gardens and the Miami River District.

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