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Miami Times staff report

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Pastors stage first Gospel in the Park

Looking for ways to curb violence in the Black community and to encourage men to take responsibility for their families, several community pastors have created “Gospel in the Park.” The event will take place June 25, from 1 -4 p.m. at Belafonte Tacolcy Center, 6161 NW Ninth Ave., in Miami. Rodney Baltimore from HOT 105 will host the event with the theme “I am my brother’s keeper,” based on Gen. 4:9. The day’s activities include mini-sermons, praise and worship team performances as well as access to community resources and career development. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, District 3, has been invited. “We are preaching in the park; we are bringing the church to the street,” said Reverend Doctor Anthony Tate, pastor at New Resurrection Community Church, who spearheaded the event. “Our goal is to present the gospel and to show ‘I am my brother’s keeper.’ It take a village to raise a child. We have to look out for one another. This is a gospel of peace.”

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Take an HIV test on National Testing Day

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson to host free event

In observance of National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), Monday, June 27,, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) and other elected officials will take confidential HIV tests and encourage the public to join them in taking the test.  Free HIV testing will be available on Monday, June 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at six locations in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.  “Miami-Dade and Broward counties have the highest number of new HIV cases in the country.  We have to end the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS so that we

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Mayor Oliver Gilbert latest guest on NiteCap

Miami journalist Peter Bailey to host live taping, movie screening in Miami Gardens

Join in an introspective discussion about the future of Miami Gardens with the city’s mayor, Oliver Gilbert III, and award-winning author and journalist Peter Bailey, during a taping of his very popular NiteCap conversations series. The live-show taping will be inside the Betty T. Ferguson Complex on June 25, starting at 7 p.m. Bailey is inviting the South Florida community to attend the free event. Several local artists, including R&B sensation Ronnie VOP, are also slated to perform. That evening Bailey will also debut scenes from “Miami Gardens: A Love Story,” a film he’s producing that is centered around a city leader whose love for a woman is challenged by his dedication to the community he serves. Some of the film’s stars include Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce President G. Eric Knowles, Jeffrey Perry, rapper Iceberg and Ronnie VOP. Bailey, who is based in Greater Miami, felt it was essential to have Mayor Gilbert speak directly to the residents of Miami Gardens in an open dialogue, given the recent rash of violence.

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Stop the Violence motorcade, rally on Sunday

The Florida Morticians Association Inc. presents “Stop the Violence,” a silent motorcade, rally and press conference, throughout Miami-Dade and Broward on Sunday, June 19. The event addresses gun violence and the killing of our youth.

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Crime Stoppers Kids combat crimes against all children through initiative

Public encouraged to make donations to the new fund for youth violence

They are banking on money being a motivator. In hopes to break the silence concerning crimes against children, Miami-Dade County government, Crime Stoppers Miami-Dade, The Children’s Trust and United Way have joined together to create a fund to give rewards for tips that lead to the arrest of anyone who commits a violent crime against children. When children are killed or injured in violent crimes, the fund will add up to $17,000 to the reward already offered by Crime Stoppers.

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Faith Calendar

Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, Inc. in partnership with the Florida Summer Food Program, will be offering free meals for children from infancy to 18 during the summer. Call 305-693-1301. The Historic Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church is holding Vacation Bible School from 5-8 p.m. June 20-24. Call 305-379-4147. St. Mary First Missionary Baptist Church in Coconut Grove will host an Alcohol Literacy Challenge Training Workshop on June 10 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Call 305-790-58936.

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Joe Garcia opens a campaign headquarters in Palmetto Bay

The former congressman in running for his old seat

Last week, Joe Garcia, candidate for Florida’s 26th Congressional District, celebrated the grand opening of his campaign headquarters. During Memorial Weekend, he honored veterans and those serving the country in uniform. Finally, he joined state and local officials for the inauguration of a community pool in South Dade. Garcia served South Florida in Congress, from 2013 to 2015. He is currently running for election against Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo in a Congressional District that has been

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Miami selected to host Super Bowl LIV

Game will be returning to South Florida after nearly a decade

The NFL Tuesday awarded Super Bowl LIV to South Florida in 2020. The announcement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell came during the NFL’s Spring League Meeting in Charlotte. The Miami Super Bowl Host Committee now begins moving forward with proposed plans to host the NFL’s Championship Game a record-breaking 11th time. The game will be held at the newly revamped Dolphins’ stadium, which features a modernized exterior, shade canopy, four high-definition scoreboards and other enhancements, a result of the Miami Dolphins’ more than $450 million privately funded renovation.

Lecture at the Historic Hampton House

On Saturday, May 21, from 9:30 a.m. until 1p.m. Florida International University African & African Diaspora Studies Program and the Historic Hampton House will present a free lecture and book signing to celebrate a homegrown achiever, Dr. Edda Fields-Black, Associate Professor of History, Carnegie Mellon University and the author of Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora (2008).  Dr. Fields-Black will speak about her research into the history of West African rice production. Discussion follows:  How can we come together to

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FMU opens multi-purpose arena, wellness center

Health Matters Movement launches to promote health and wellness

The African-American and Caribbean communities are shouldering an unequal burden when it comes to eliminating health disparities that disproportionately plague the South Florida community. Florida Memorial University (FMU) is keenly aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle in helping its students and the surrounding community in preventing certain diseases and illnesses. In an effort to combat these disparities, FMU will celebrate the completion of its new, state of the art, multi-purpose athletic arena and wellness education center with a ribbon-cutting breakfast on Thursday, May 12, from 9-11a.m. The campus is located at15800 NW 42nd Ave., Miami Gardens.

Miami-Dade officers start wearing body cams

On Monday, May 2, some Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) officers and sergeants started wearing body-worn cameras. The Midwest District will start with cameras, and expand to 350 by the end of June. Additional MDPD districts will receive cameras and training month-by-month with a deployment goal of 1,000 by Sept. 30 across all MDPD patrol districts. Additional cameras will be deployed to officers within contracted municipalities and certain specialized units by the end of the 2016 calendar year. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez supported, and the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved, the purchase of a commercially available, cloud-based body camera and video management solution to capture and store the recorded video.

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Liberty City, Miami Gardens students get 5-star treatment

Miami business people show kids another side of life as a preventive measure

When you see a police escort motorcade it’s for a funeral and many times those funerals are for young kids whose lives are taken by gun violence. However on Saturday, April 30, 60 youth were treated like dignitaries, having a police escort motorcade that shut down traffic on Interstate-95.

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Peace in the Gardens event unites police and residents

Carol City High School Alumni event draws hundreds promoting non-violence

The theme this weekend in Miami Gardens was peace, love and unity through two events that garnered thousands of attendees. On Saturday, Miami Gardens Police sponsored Peace in the Gardens, a first time event where police officers – all dressed casually and out of uniform -- fellowshipped with the residents and businesses they protect and serve. Held at Rolling Oaks on April 16, residents came out for free food, music, games and activities for kids and a live performance R&B singer Ronnie VOP – a Miami Gardens native who recently performed at Jazz in the Gardens. The singer performed his news song title “Set me Free”, with a message of hope and anti-violence. Police Chief Antonio

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HandsOn volunteers clean up Ludlam Trail

On Saturday, April 16, Miami’s youth gathered at the north side of the Ludlam Trail to participate in its largest cleanup project to date for Global Youth Service Day. HandsOn Miami, an organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes the community to take action in local volunteer efforts, chose the Trail as the official on-site event for this internationally recognized day. 

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Lifestyle Happenings

Progressive Officers Club offers academic scholarships to 2016 high school graduates residing in Dade or Broward County. Request an application by mail no later than April 23 to Progressive Officers Club, P.O. Box 680398, Miami, FL, 33168. Attention: Education Assistance Award Program. BTW Class of 61 will meet Saturday, April 23rd at 2p.m. at Our Saviour Lutheran Church to plan their 55th reunion. Call 305 606 0882.

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South Carolina artists to invade South Florida

Visual, performing arts showcase Gullah Geechee

The First Mende International Film & Cultural Arts Festival is coming to South Florida. A unique combination of on-screen and on-stage formats will showcase local, regional, national, international performing and visual artists, musicians and storytellers. Movies submitted by independent filmmakers from across the world and from right here in Florida also will be featured. South Carolina is home to African descendants known as “Gull-ah (seagull) Gee-chee” (geek). The weekend festival will be April 30, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22d Ave., Miami.

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HBCU scholarships awarded

Carol City High School student Victoria Allen had a huge smile on her face when she was formally presented with a scholarship for $1,000 and a jumbo check from organizers of the HBCU/Greek Walk and Run. Allen, who will attend Florida Memorial University in the fall, was one of three students awarded. Sierra Perry and Allergia Vanreil, both seniors at Norland Senior High School, each received $500 scholarships. Perry will attend Bethune-Cookman University. Vanreil will attend Florida A&M University.

OneUnited Bank closes two California locations

Launches "Bank For The Future" technology strategy at branches

OneUnited Bank is reconfiguring its branch network including closing two Los Angeles branches — Ladera and Pasadena — and seeking a Boston, Mass. headquarters location. The bank says it is a move toward expansion of its online presence and usage of cutting-edge technology. OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in America, says it is now at the forefront of community banking by building the "Bank For The Future" or #BFF.

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Senior housing building in Richmond Heights opens

Hundreds come out to support ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 6

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis Moss; Pastor Alphonso Jackson Sr., Second Baptist Church and President of SBC Community Development Corp.; and Cornerstone Group on Wednesday, April 6, joined to host the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the Reverend John & Anita Ferguson Residence Apartments. "We broke ground on February 7, 2015 and here we are approximately a year and two months later," said Mark Valentine, executive director of SBC Community Development Corp. (SBC CDC).

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Miami Foundation's annual Public Space Challenge launches

The Miami Foundation is launching the Public Space Challenge, a contest for ideas that create, improve or activate local gathering places like parks, playgrounds, sidewalks, basketball courts and plazas in Greater Miami. The Foundation invests $305,000 to make the top ideas a reality. Health Foundation of South Florida will support winning ideas increasing access to fresh food and healthy lifestyles; the Office of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Juan C. Zapata will support ideas in West End. Anyone can submit an idea – individuals, groups, public agencies, nonprofits, private companies – at ideas.ourmiami.org through April 21. To help Challenge participants with the planning, writing, and execution of their projects, The Miami Foundation will host a series of public workshops with Urban Impact Lab and Design Thinking Miami. A training schedule, which includes webinars and workshops held throughout April, is available at ourmiami.org/challenge.

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State of Black Miami forum will promote joint action

Miami-Dade County’s diverse Black population shares a common heritage but seldom unites in pursuit of shared interests. To address the need for joint action, Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime — along with County Commissioners Barbara Jordan, Audrey Edmonson and Dennis Moss, and Miami City Commission Chairman Keon Hardemon — are co-hosting a free daylong conference to bring together Black Miamians of all backgrounds. The officials and special guests will discuss issues affecting the African diaspora and seek ideas to develop a collective action-oriented agenda.

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Related Urban recommended to redevelop Liberty Square by Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez

The mayor has recommended that Related Urban get the $307 million Liberty Square Rising Project. The process will go to committee before the full board of County Commissioners vote whether to accept the recommendation. “Today I signed a recommendation that, with the Board of County Commissioners' approval, will result in the most significant community-wide redevelopment of Liberty Square. I know that our residents have heard broken promises about redevelopment efforts before, but Liberty Square Rising is a promise my administration and I intend to keep. This has been a very transparent and thorough process, which I look forward to more in depth discussions on with Liberty Square residents, elected officials and community stakeholders. I thank Public Housing Director Michael Liu and all Miami-Dade County employees who worked throughout the process. Above all, redeveloping Liberty Square is the right thing to do for its residents and for all of Miami-Dade County.”—Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez

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James Dobson appointed Opa-locka police chief

City of Opa-locka Interim City Manager David Chiverton March 24 named James Dobson as the city’s Chief of Police. “I am confident that his leadership will prove to be in the best interest of the police officers, as well as the citizens and businesses of our great city,” said Chiverton in a letter to the mayor and commission, regarding his motive for naming Dobson to the post. Dobson has been “working as interim chief; he has implemented new ideas and is undergoing the reorganization of the department,” continued Chiverton.

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Faith Calendar

AFLAME Ministry School classes began on Jan 30th at 10 a.m. Call 954 919-9757. True Faith invites the community to noonday Bible study every Monday. Call 786-262-6841. Elohim-Adonai House of Prayer hosts its 14th Annual Prayer Conference: Thy Spirit of Glory. March 24-27. Call 305-528-6154.

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Lifestyle Happenings

The Gold Coast Chapter of Florida A & M University meets every 3rd Saturday at The Urban League of Greater Miami McDuffie Center at 10 a.m. Call 305-370-9026. Miami Northwestern Alumni Association meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria. The Surviving Twin Network welcomes the support of twins or siblings, who have experienced such loss, to share with others, as a source of comfort. Call 305-504-4936.

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Child homicide victims remembered on birthday of Sherdavia Jenkins

The date that would have been the nineteenth birthday of Sherdavia Jenkins, the bright and promising nine-year-old whose life was lost suddenly to a stray bullet as she played in front of her Liberty Square home in 2006, will be observed on Tuesday, March 22, from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., at the Peace Park named in her memory, on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (NW 62nd Street) at NW 12th Avenue in Miami, with an Annual Remembrance of all children lost to homicides, and especially to senseless gun violence, and as an ongoing expression of community resolve that those lives were not sacrificed in vain. During the nine years of Sherdavia’s brief lifetime (1997-2006), 108 children were lost to homicides in Miami-Dade County alone, an average of twelve per year, or one per month. This tenth year after her death has already been marked by yet another shocking death by a stray bullet, of yet another promising child, six-year-old King Carter on February 21.

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Fêting the ‘In the Company of Women’ honorees

Attorney Abigail Price-Williams among those honored at ceremony

Miami-Dade County Attorney Abigail Price-Williams is among 12 women who were honored at the 28th annual “In the Company of Women” awards ceremony on March 3 at the Coral Gables Country Club, winning in the Government and Law non-elected category. “Abigail Price-Williams is a tremendous example of leadership, excellence, and commitment, and I congratulate her and all the other recipients for their dedication to this community,” said Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime.

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Auditions draw local performances

Young Talent, Big Dreams auditions were held at the African Heritage Cultural Center in Liberty City March 5. The auditions offer youth an opportunity to showcase their talent and express themselves in positive ways, in sharp contrast to the violence that plagues their community. Auditions in the categories of music, dance, voice, spoken word and original composition were free and sponsored by The Children’s Trust and Actors’ Playhouse. Kids between the ages of 8-17 competed for a chance at prizes ranging from free training, cash awards, performance opportunities and tickets to local attractions and professional performances.

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Black nurses seek end to violence

The Miami Chapter of the Black Nurses Association hosted its first “Call to Action against Gun Violence” on Saturday, March 5, at a sold-out event at the Betty T. Ferguson Community Complex. The event, which garnered a crowd of more than 200, was co-sponsored by Miami Gardens’ Councilman, David P. Williams Jr. The president of the Miami Chapter, Black Nurses Association, Dr. Linda Brown addressed the crowd explaining to them how gun violence is affecting nurses. “Our community is under attack. We are reaching epidemic proportions of Black male genocide and home grown terrorism,” said Brown.

More than 500 runners expected for inaugural HBCU Greek 5K Run/Walk

Councilman Rodney Harris welcomes Complete Athletes to Miami Gardens

Complete Athletes has partnered with the City of Miami Gardens' Councilman Rodney Harris, the 100 Black Men of South Florida, the Academic Hustle and Community Builders to present the inaugural HBCU Greek 5K Run/ Walk during Jazz in the Gardens weekend.

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Audition for a spot in a new plus-size show

Plus-size clothing retailer Ashley Stewart will make its second stop of its 2016 Love Your Curves Tour March 17-19 in Miami. The fun- and fashion-filled weekend will be all about embracing your curves and connecting with Miami’s most stylish women. On Thursday, March 17 there will be a Model Search at the Ashley Stewart’s Miami location: 10996 NW Seventh Ave., Miami. Ladies, take your curves to the runway on the first night of the Love Your Curves Tour and audition to walk in the official fashion show on Saturday March 19. Plus-size model and TV personality Christina Mendez and other special guests will judge the event. Jill Tracey from Hot 105 will be live at the event as well.

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Lifestyle Happenings

The Gold Coast Chapter of Florida A & M University meets every 3rd Saturday at The Urban League of Greater Miami McDuffie Center at 10 a.m. Call 305-370-9026. The Surviving Twin Network welcomes the support of twins or siblings, who have experienced such loss, to share with others, as a source of comfort. Call 305-504-4936. BTW Alumni Association will meet Thursday, March 17 at 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Call 305-213-0188.

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Faith Calendar

AFLAME Ministry School classes began on Jan 30th at 10 a.m. Call 954 919-9757. True Faith invites the community to noonday Bible study every Monday. Call 786-262-6841. Revival Tabernacle Assembly of God’s CAST (Couples And Singles Together) invites the public to their Annual Relationship Conference, Saturday, March 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 305-693-1356. The Elks Historical Business and Conference Center invites the community every Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. for its Gospel Kickback Entertainment and fine dining. Call 305-224-1890.

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Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 'The Phantom Of The Opera'

New version of the show is one of the largest productions on tour in America

Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera is here until March 6 for the Miami premiere engagement at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of Phantom is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America. Webber said, “It’s wonderful to have a new production of Phantom touring America now that the show has celebrated 27 years on Broadway. Director Laurence Connor has done an amazing job and this production has received huge critical acclaim in the U.K.” Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom Of The Opera tells the story of a masked figure

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Lifestyle Happenings

The Jackson Generals Alumni Association, Inc. will sponsor the Inagural Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday March 5th, in the gymnasium at 6 p.m. with a dinner and program. Call 786-663-8043 or 305-332-0851. BTW Class of 1962 will meet Saturday, March 5, 4 p.m. at the African Heritage Cultural Center. Class luncheon will be held on Thursday, March 17, at Hometown Buffett, Hallandale. Call 305 -691-1333. BTW Alumni Association Inc./ BTW Foundation Inc. presents Acapella Gospel Concert on Saturday, March 12 at 6 p.m. in the school auditorium. Call 305-213-0188. 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.

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Founder of Harlem’s Red Rooster in lead to redevelop Overtown pool hall

Marcus Samuelson Development Group set to begin negotiations

Marcus Samuelson, the chef who is credited for the Harlem, N.Y. renaissance, is in first place to lease a commercial space in Overtown. The Southeast/Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) released a Request for Qualifications on Jan. 7 seeking responses from qualified developers or individuals interested in leasing commercial space at 920 NW Second Ave., the former Clyde Killens Pool Hall. Proposed intended uses of the space include, but are not limited to a high-end restaurant, lounge, cigar bar, sports bar, jazz/blues lounge or supper club.

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Miami’s Lotus House to double its size

New village will provide additional support for 490 women, children a neighborhood health clinic and children’s wellness center

It’s no secret that homelessness is one of the most pressing issues facing Miami. But often overlooked is the high percentage of women and children living on Miami’s streets – about one third of the city’s homeless population – and the lack of resources meeting their needs. Lotus House is Miami’s only shelter exclusively dedicated to women and children. Miami's homeless community is about to get some much-needed relief. Lotus House, one of South Florida's nonprofits aimed at curbing homelessness among women, youth and children, is in the final stages of winning approval for a state-of-the-art shelter that will increase its current capacity from 225

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Lifestyle Happenings

Booker T. Washington Class of 1967 is calling all members to participate in the 50th Reunion. Call 786-514-7991. Florida A & M University (FAMU) National Alumni Association ( NAA), South Dade Chapter invites you to join them the 4th Wednesday of each month at Community Health Center of South Florida at 6 p.m. BTW Class of 1956 meets every 4th Friday at Michael’s Restaurant at 11 a.m. Class is planning for their 60th reunion. Call 786-351-6558. ASCENT: Black Women’s Expressions Art Exhibition runs through March 4 at Cotilla Gallery: Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information

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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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Celebrating the good life with Patti LaBelle and Ashleigh Smith

The legendary Patti LaBelle will take the stage 8 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County as part of its Black History Month celebrations. The Larry Rosen Jazz Roots Series brings LaBelle and special guest Ashleigh Smith to the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall for a single performance. “As we celebrate Black History Month and our 10th anniversary season, we are thrilled to be presenting the iconic Patti La Belle ‘celebrating the good life’ on our Knight Concert Hall Stage. Not only does she embody the spirit of our JAZZ ROOTS program, she is truly one of the greatest artists of our time,” said John Richard, president and CEO of the Arsht Center in a prepared statement. Having sold more than 50 million records, LaBelle has enjoyed one of the longest and most lauded careers in entertainment as a recording artist, actress and best-selling author. Starting her career as the lead singer of Patti LaBelle and the Blue Belles, she

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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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Vigil marks Haiti earthquake six years later

Community leaders marched to the Little Haiti Cultural Center

Members the Haitian community as well as elected officials on Tuesday, Jan. 12 attended a prayer vigil and silent march to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the earthquake which killed more than 250,000 people and left thousands more wounded and displaced. The gathering took place at North Miami Avenue and 62 Street, in front of the Statue of Toussaint L’Ouverture. After a brief program, participants walked to the Little Haiti Cultural Center at 212 NE 59th Terr.  “We are marching in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Haiti, who after surviving the worst crisis in modern history — an earthquake that killed over 250,000 six years ago, and left thousands more wounded and homeless — continue to struggle

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The princesses and the firefighters

The Essence Tea Princess started 2016 by showing appreciation to the men that risk their lives every day in Fire Station 11 in Miami Gardens.  The young ladies in their sash and crowns arrived at the door with cases of bottled water-labeled “Thank You for your Service.” The firemen were very surprised. The princess group came in a truck with water, a variety of Gatorade, potato chips and a pound cake for snacks. The firemen gave them a tour of the fire truck and explained the difficult and life- threatening job they have of saving lives. “They were very nice and gave us a lot of detailed information about the truck said Samaria Brown,” a sixth grader who has been in the program for three years. Morgan Smith, a fifth grader, has been in the program for five years and she asked many questions of the fire fighters. Morgan wanted to know where does the water come from and how did they learn to work all the devices on the truck? It was a rewarding experience for the girls and the parents the chaperones.

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Parade, other events honor Dr. King

Civil Rights leader is remembered at these local events

Check out the following local events commemorating Martin Luther King Day: Youth symposium: The Women Involved in Service to Humanity and the Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. present the annual MLK Youth Symposium, Sunday, Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. at Carol City High School, 3301 NW 183rd St. in Miami Gardens. The event features a discussion with Miami’s middle and high school students. The theme is “Your Destiny Awaits. Special guests include internationally recognized activist and leader UMI SELAH (previously known as Phillip Agnew) and other members of the Dream Defenders. Scholarship breakfast: U.S. Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson hosts The 23RD annual 5000 Role Models of Excellence Foundation Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 18, at Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, 33132. Guest speaker is actor Omari Hardwick, who stars as Ghost on Starz’ “Power.” There also will be an appearance by some cast members of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Parade: Dozens of community groups, marching bands and students participate in the annual MLK Parade in Liberty City, Monday, Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. The parade will run along Northwest 54th Street, from Northwest 10th to 32nd avenues.

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Vigil marks Haiti earthquake six years later

Community leaders marched to the Little Haiti Cultural Center

Members of the Haitian community as well as elected officials on Tuesday, Jan. 12, attended a prayer vigil and silent march to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the earthquake which killed more than 250,000 people and left thousands more wounded and displaced. The gathering took place at North Miami Avenue and 62nd Street, in front of the Statue of Toussaint L’Ouverture. After a brief program, participants walked to the Little Haiti Cultural Center at 212 NE 59th Terr.

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Betty Wright and Timmy Thomas 2016 MLK Parade Grand Marshalls

National recording artists Betty Wright and Timmy Thomas will serve as the Grand Marshalls on Monday, Jan. 18 for the Martin Luther King Parade. Wright and Thomas  in 1975 recorded a duet entitled "It's What They Can't See." From 1976 through 1980, Thomas recorded singles for both the Glades imprint and the T.K. Disco label, including Stone To The Bone, Africano, Touch To Touch, The Magician, Freak In, Freak Out, and "Drown In My Own Tears" and the albums "The Magician" (Glades, 1976) and Touch To Touch (Glades, 1977).

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North Dade getting upgrades

Urgent care facility to extend days and hours of service

The North Dade Health Center, located at 16555 NW 25th Ave. in Miami Gardens, is getting an urgent care center, according to Jackson Health System President and CEO Carlos A. Migoya. The announcement came late last year when Migoya informed Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the Board of County Commissioners that it would convert and upgrade of the North Dade center to include urgent care services. The North Dade Health Center has been a healthcare provider for North and Northwest Dade for more than 30 years. It offers a range of primary-care services five days a week, and the inclusion of urgent care will allow the facility to provide no-appointment walk-up care during extended hours, seven days a week. The center is in the district represented by Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan. It serves residents in the Miami Gardens and Opa-locka neighborhoods. The location includes a pharmacy. The center is run by Kermit Wyche, a Jackson Health System veteran.

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Lifestyle Happenings

Inner City Children’s Touring Dance will have free Introductory Classical Ballet Workshops for girls ages 6-8 and 9-12 on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Call 305-758-1577 or visit www.childrendance.net. Sisters Empowerment Circle invites ladies 45 and over with an interest in laughter, learning, developing new friendships, social networking, traveling, and sharing life’s experiences in a comfortable atmosphere. Call 786-759-2597. The Miami Carol City Class of 1969 meets every second Saturday at Piccadilly’s restaurant on Hollywood Blvd. Call 786-419-3166. AmeriCorps provides math and reading tutoring for Miami-Dade County Public Schools at Gwen Cherry Park. Call 305-694-4889 ext. 224. Free Karate Classes at Range Park on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Call 305-757-7961.

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The life of Dorothy Wallace Graham

Beloved pioneer died Dec. 15 at the age of 99

Dorothy Graham, born Jan. 25, 1916 in Bartow, Florida, reached the blessed age of 99 years. The only child of Bahamians Mae Foster and Phillip Wallace, she lived in Miami’s Colored Town, now more popularly called Overtown. There she attended the Nellie Powell kindergarten, George Washington Graded School for Colored Children and Dunbar Elementary. Motivated in part by the Great Depression, Dorothy was sent north to Harlem and lived with her mother’s younger sister, Wilhelmina, where she graduated from Washington Irving. Having obtained the highest score on the New York Regents Examinations in textiles, she was awarded a full scholarship to Pratt Institute and later earned a Master’s degree from Teacher’s, Columbia University.

Tease photo

Faith Calendar

The Elks Historical Business and Conference Center invites the community every Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. for its Gospel Kickback Entertainment and fine dining. Call 305-224-1890. Holy Ghost Assembly will have a free health fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19. Jessie Trice and Borinquen health centers will be present to administer screenings. Call 305-836-6258. New Seventy-Ninth Street Word Church Int’l presents a Christmas Musical at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18. Call 786-718-5399.

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