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Lifestyle Happenings

Women in Transition of South Florida resumes its Basic Computer Skills class for women ages 18 and up.  Registration and Orientation is Tuesday, February 2, call 786-477-8548.  ASCENT: Black Women’s Expressions Art Exhibition, Feb. 4 – March 4 at Cotilla Gallery: Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center in Ft. Lauderdale. Call 954-262-4637. The Embrace Girls Foundation announces Embrace Girls High Tea Events on Tuesday, February 9 at 4:30 p.m. and Friday, February 12 at 2 p.m. to be held at Arcola Lake Elementary. Call 305- 779-3780 or email www.embracegirlpower.org.

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Registration open for second Black Tech Week

The program lineup includes, coding, pitch competitions and a women’s brunch

Black Tech Week Co-Founder Felecia Hatcher and the team are on a mission to increase the number of startup founders, technology executives and engineers of color. Black Tech Week, in its second year, is charting that path with a lineup of impactful programming. The conference, held during Black History Month, also celebrates innovators of color. “The entire week of events aims to change the narrative surrounding our community and replace it with innovation, creativity and technology that stretches the trajectory of our community,” said Hatcher. “Black Tech Week’s focus is thinking beyond today and tomorrow in order to build a diverse and connected organization for the Diaspora. Black Tech Week will serve as the platform to acknowledge, celebrate, and support innovative, thought-provoking conversations and content by people of color.”

New name for Florida supplier council

Name to reflect expanded service area of the entire state of Florida

Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC) is the new name for the Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council (SFMSDC), to reflect an expanded service area that now includes Central and Northern Florida. Beatrice Louissaint leads the FSMSDC, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing access and growth for minority businesses in Florida. The organization is set to roll out a variety of new services and programs to its corporate members and MBEs statewide. FSMSDC, an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. (NMSDC), will be headquartered in Miami with regional offices and staff in Orlando, Tampa and Tallahassee.

B-CU’s Quentin Williams signs professional contract

Senior quarterback to play with the Canadian Football League's Bombers

Redshirt senior quarterback Quentin Williams from Bethune-Cookman University capped off a successful week on Friday, Jan. 22, signing a professional contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. Williams recently competed in the inaugural Tropic Bowl in North Miami Beach. The Tampa native was named most valuable player for the National Team after producing stellar numbers in the game. The best FBS College football players from around the country met at the Inaugural “Tropic Bowl” college all-star game played at North Miami Stadium on Jan. 17. The new FBS all-star game created an exciting scouting opportunity for top level talent from the NCAA’s Division 1 FBS levels top seniors who are looking to go pro. The Tropic Bowl was scouted by 26 NFL teams and four CFL teams, who flew in for the event.

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Mayor throws out bids

New proposals requested from developers by Feb. 5

Tired of waiting to hear from Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez regarding who would be the recommended developer for Liberty Square Rising, a group of “concerned citizens” collected enough money to take out an ad and buy T-shirts to wear to the commission chambers. That was last Wednesday. Two days later, Indira Rajkumar-Futch from the Procurement Division of Public Housing and Community Development put out a statement asking the two top vote-getters from a nine-member selection team to present their “best and final offer” to redevelop Liberty Square. Atlantic Pacific Communities LLC received the top score from the committee and Related Urban (RUDG) received the second-highest votes.

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Peace Rally Jam to take place Friday

SBC Community Development Corp. and Second Baptist Church collaborate for youth

SBC Community Development Corp. and Second Baptist Church are pleased to present the 2016 Peace Rally Jam: Our Youth Can Save the World from 6-10:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, on the campus of Second Baptist Church, 11111 Pinkston Dr., in Miami. The free event will include a meet & greet mixer, food, drinks and a concert.

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Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and Miami City Commissioner Willy Gort to sponsor “Allapattah Service Day”

MIAMI – Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson and Miami City Commissioner Wilfredo “Willy” Gort are sponsoring an “Allapattah Service Day” on Saturday, Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Gwen Cherry Housing Complex, 2099 NW 23rd St. in Allapattah.

Will Beckham name team to honor community?

Major League Soccer may come to Miami's Black community, thanks to David Beckham, one of the most famous players in soccer history. Right in the heart of Overtown, Miami's historic beacon for Black history and culture, a soccer stadium may rise, bringing both the hope of victories and jobs. But now the question also arises, what will be the name of the team? And will the team's name honor the heritage of the new stadium's surrounding community? In sports, we honor everything from peoples and cultures, to jobs and worms, and even the supernatural. Everything you can possibly imagine is honored in sports, except one category of people, Black people to be exact. For example, great cultures throughout human history have been honored by naming sports teams after them: The Vikings, the Spartans, the Celtics, the Trojans, the Dutchmen, the Irish and the Yankees.

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PowerMoves to expand to Miami in February 2016

Initiative seeks to increase companies led by Black entrepreneurs

Miami will be the first city outside of New Orleans to have a bricks and mortar office for PowerMoves, a national initiative to increase the number of Blacks, who own high-tech, venture-capital backed companies. PowerMoves will bring its pitch competition, boot camps, networking events and fellowships, as well as provide space for entrepreneurs to grow ideas and collaborate.

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Jacksons, Chef Creole eye shops at MIA

It could happen under a proposal that passed its first hurdle before a Miami-Dade County committee

Jackson Soul Food and Chef Creole at Miami International Airport? It could happen under a proposal that passed its first hurdle before a Miami-Dade County committee. The resolution, sponsored by Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan, calls for Mayor Carlos Gimenez or his staff to negotiate future space agreements for the two local Black-owned eateries, Chef Creole and Jackson Soul Food, for future locations at the airport. The Economic Prosperity Committee approved the item in a 5-1 vote during a meeting on Thursday. Commissioner Daniella Levine was the sole dissenter. Jordan said she sponsored the resolution to ensure that MIA contained restaurants that featured other cuisines that show the diversity of the area’s cultural palate so as to give travelers a better “sense of the destination.” The companies would forego the regular bid process and negotiate terms with airport administration.

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Make better choices, speakers implore South Florida youth

Reminders about gun violence raised amid holiday revelry

The message of peace and unity that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. championed for much of his life played a secondary role as high-profile speakers and stark imagery at parades reminded South Floridians about the perils of gun violence and tragic, senseless deaths. Umi Selah, founder of the Dream Defenders, told an audience of about 400 youth and their parents that young people should prepare for encountering people who expect them to fail. “We sit in a world that doesn’t want us to live,” said Selah, formerly known as Phillip Agnew. “They don’t want the brilliance in this room.” Selah explained that his life as an activist started while attending Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. One of his mentors, an attorney, shared with Selah and other fraternity brothers a video that showed a teenage boy being beaten repeatedly until he collapsed. The teen was Martin Lee Anderson, 14, died on his first day at a Panama City boot camp. Publicly released video of the teenager with the guards caused outraged around the country.

Dems debate passion versus practicality

With just two weeks to go before the first votes of the 2016 race for president, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders engaged in their most contentious debate match-up to date, underscoring their tightening primary race as the Iowa caucuses draw near. The pair tangled repeatedly Sunday night over who's tougher on gun control and Wall Street and how to shape the future of health care in America. Their heated rhetoric highlighted the central question fueling the increasingly competitive primary race: Will the Sanders passion beat out the Clinton practicality?

Uneven discipline exists at county corrections

Punishment unfair to Black officers, they say

At least two Black officers have complained that they are being treated unfairly at the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department. The officers cite cases where Black officers were treated less fairly than Hispanic officers. They took their complaints to former corrections officer Walter Clark, who also serves as CEO of Special Consultant for African-American Government Employees (SCAAGE), an independent advocate for minority government employees. Clark says he hears complaints about a system of unequal treatment in the corrections department that favors Hispanic officers over Black officers, and in some cases, female officers over male officers. According to Clark and other officers, under the leadership of current Director Marydell Guevara, there is an atmosphere that has reduced the morale of the department's officers, because she shows favoritism toward one ethnic group over another when it comes to discipline. "Disciplinary actions concerning Black correction officers are much more severe than those for Hispanics," said Clark. As an example, Clark gave the case of correction officer Shervin Fulford. In March of 2009, then Sergeant Fulford was accused by a female correction officer of sexual harassment, specifically of asking for oral sex. But Fulford claimed that he never harassed anyone. Said Fulford: "I never spoke to that lady! I never asked her out! I never asked her for head!"

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MLK would be appalled by Black youth deaths

The Martin Luther King holiday generally is a time for reflection, reverence and revelry for the life of this nation’s greatest civil rights leader. How ironic it is that this year’s local holiday celebrations for a Black man who stood for peace took on a much more somber tone because of the deadly gun violence that is stealing away our Black children? But this is where we are. The deaths of Black teenagers and children – by some estimates there have been 30 to die in the last year – has affected much of Black Miami. All of our neighborhoods are impacted. The images of grieving mothers, siblings and other relatives that come with each deadly shooting should give everyone cause for concern. But the comment by Umi Selah of the Dream Defenders at the Carol City High Youth Symposium that Miami is attempting to rival Chicago for deadly gun violence shows that people outside South Florida are taking notice.

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Black Democrats should gather behind Hillary

With two weeks left before the first votes in Iowa, it is time for Democrats to try and steal the spotlight from the Republicans – if that is even possible. The Democratic candidates for the highest office in the nation have been overshadowed by noise and poorly scheduled debates. In a large field, it is understandable why the Republicans are unsure who they want as a nominee. But for the Democrats with a field of only three candidates, it is unsettling that it is unclear who Democratic voters want to be the nominee. Young white people are listening to and taking affinity with Sen. Bernie Sanders, a plain spoken, likable man. Sanders wants to take on establishment politics and Wall Street. It is unclear how that will benefit Black people. Hillary Clinton, while she has tried to warm up her personality and engage voters, still has work to do. If you followed mainstream media, you would think she is unelectable. But the truth is, she is electable, experienced in several areas such as foreign and domestic policies, and she is the other half of a former U.S. president.

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Celebrating MLK in the Gardens

South Florida’s largest Black community honored King with panels, and presentations

Legendary female rapper MC Lyte was featured on a panel, which discussed economics, entrepreneurship and Dr. Martin King Jr.’s legacy at the city of Miami Gardens’ holiday event at Sunday, Jan. 17. Lyte shared the panel with media personality Peter Bailey and Ann Marie Sorrell, CEO of the Mosaic Group. Lyte shared how never giving up and working hard is the key to success. When the conversation moved to speaking of King’s work of pushing economic equality for Blacks, Lyte said to never give up. “Get through the thing that is stopping you,” she said. When asked about how to know if you should take an entrepreneurial leap of faith, the award-winning lyricist said to make sure you are good and passionate at what you’re trying to do. “If you cannot be the best at what you do, then leave it alone,” said Lyte.

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Parade honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dozens of community groups, marching bands and students participated in the annual MLK Parade in Liberty City at 11 a.m. Monday. The parade ran along Northwest 54th Street from Northwest 10th to 32nd avenues. National recording artists Betty

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Opa-locka hosts 34th MLK Walk

In honor of the “King” of non-violence and peaceful resistance, Host/ Commissioner Joseph L. Kelley marched with his mother former Commissioner Ollie B. Kelley, colleagues and community participants during the 34th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) WALK, sponsored by the Mayor and City Commission on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 at 9 a.m. In 1982, Commissioner Ollie B. Kelley founded the Opa-locka MLK WALK, making the City first in the State of Florida to honor the slain Civil Right leader’s birthday as a legal holiday. In 2016, in the tradition of Civil Right leaders who gathered before peacefully demonstrating through cities in protest of injustice and in support of equality, Opa-locka residents, business owners, community organizations, churches, visiting guest and the community at large collaborated for this day of

What did Jesus look like? Readers respond to writer

Jerrie Tomlin said: I am 22 years old and I have been incarcerated since I was 13 years old. I made some poor decisions as a child due to my unfortunate upbringing. But you live and learn from the choices you make in life. I read the Miami Times by chance of a fellow prisoner who gets a subscription and I saw your article, “What did Jesus Look Like.” I think it was an outstanding article and topic that needed to be spoken on. Me personally, I think it’s absurd when people try to mimic what Jesus looked like through paintings, sculptures, movies, etc., because the truth of the matter really is, it is not the true image of what Jesus really looked like. I know nobody will appreciate it if they died and generations later learned somebody tried to imitate them through false images. It will be a misrepresentation and assassination of one’s true identity.

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Bariatrics surgery gives sisters a chance to regain their lives

Just seven years ago, Gloria Taylor was on life support after numerous medical complications following routine sinus surgery. Taylor, 59, a U.S. Army veteran, who originally joined the service at the age of 24, was always healthy and athletic. She had been assigned multiple times to some of the most dangerous war zones, but she had not faced her biggest battle yet. She would find herself in a life and death struggle with her failing health. Gloria was living in Tallahassee when she began suffering from sinus problems. To treat her condition, doctors at a Central Florida hospital prescribed steroids. But the medication’s side effects led to severe weight gain and she was subsequently diagnosed with diabetes.

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