Florida Courier, June 7, 2019

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JUNE 7 – JUNE 13, 2019

VOLUME 27 NO. 23

DEATH IN A FOREIGN PRISON In an exclusive first-person story written for the Florida Courier, former State Representative Dwayne Taylor describes his experience as a prisoner in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary’s minimum security prison camp. Editor’s note: After a four-day jury trial in Orlando in August 2017, Dwayne Taylor was convicted of eight counts of wire fraud in connection with alleged misuse of campaign funds. A federal appeals court denied his appeal in August 2018. He completed his prison sentence in December 2018 but is still on federal probation. BY DWAYNE L. TAYLOR SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER

After receiving the shocking news that I would die without a heart transplant, I remained in the hospital for almost two

CONCLUSION weeks. All I could think about were the days, weeks and months I was complaining about my chest pains to the prison and Atlanta General Hospital. They refused to give me required medications for my autoimmune disease then ignored my complaints, which eventually caused me to suffer from pneumonia and anemia. Instead, they both gave me aspirin. They both had that, “Oh well, sue me” attitude since “all prisoners lie.”

Dwayne Taylor says that his months-long imprisonment in the minimum-security Atlanta Federal Prison Camp will end up being a death sentence.

Medical support Before leaving the hospital, I met a cardiac heart failure doctor and a heart transplant doctor. They both educated me on what to expect in the future.

Also, the attending cardiac physician told me the first thing he wanted me to do was to avoid stress. (How do you do that?) The second thing was that I must take a regimen of cardiac medicines to help possibly pro-


It’s on and cracking

long my heart and life. I take a total of 15 different pills every day. These medications make me sick, dizzy, drowsy, sleepy and have many more side See PRISON, Page A2


TALLAHASSEE – Is use of marijuana legal in Florida? What is medical marijuana? How do I get some? Those are but a few of the questions circulating among Black Floridians doing a confusing time of statewide marijuana ballot initiatives, laws, and regulations.

Who can answer? However, now, there’s finally a dependable source of information coming from a reliable source: Florida A&M University’s Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative. MMERI, located on the campus of Florida’s largest historically Black college or university, is focused on educating the state’s diverse minority communities about medical marijuana and the consequences of illegal use of marijuana. Funding for the organization is provided by the Florida Department of Health at the direction of the Florida Legislature. MMERI’s mandate from the state legislature is clear: to “educate Florida’s diverse minority communities about medical marijuana and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana on minority communities.”


Hip-hop artist Drake reacts during Game One of the 2019 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on May 30 in Toronto. If the Raptors win the series, it will be the first championship title in franchise history.

Florida allows for the use of medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis by qualified patients as certified by a qualified physician. There are approxiSee WEED, Page A2


Holifield earns Miami-Dade lawyers’ highest award SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER

MIAMI – Holland & Knight partner Marilyn Holifield will be honored with the 2019 David W. Dyer Professionalism Award, the highest award given by the Dade County Bar Association, on June 16 in Miami. The award was established in 1997 and is given to a lawyer or judge whose conduct reflects the “integrity, humility, compassion, and professionalism” displayed by Judge David Dyer.

Experienced lawyer Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,300 lawyers and other professionals in 27 offices throughout the world. Holifield practices in Holland


Marilyn Holifield

& Knight’s general litigation area, with a specific emphasis on representing corporate clients. Her practice includes employment, business litigation, corporate governance, trade secrets, covenants-not-to-compete, class action and intellectual property litigation.

History of activism Holifield has a legacy of leadership in the Miami community and has dedicated much of her life to the cause of social justice. After working for the NAACP Legal De-

fense and Educational Fund, she was recruited personally by Holland & Knight’s legendary founder, Chesterfield Smith. She was named a partner in 1986, becoming the first Black woman partner of a major law firm in Florida. Holifield is a recipient of the Anti-Defamation League’s Jurisprudence Award and the National Bar Association’s Gertrude E. Rush Award. She was recently elected to the Harvard University Board of Overseers. She also serves on board of trustees of the University of Miami and board of managers of Swarthmore College. Additionally, she is currently leading the effort to build the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora.


House seeks to defend medical marijuana law


Black experts shine at health care conference

Dean to speak at hearing on Mueller report




JUNE 7 – JUNE 13, 2019


Watch who you ban, man! Almost every day someone is “banned” from a social media site. Black religious leaders, Black community activists and even some Black journalists are prohibited from different web sites, publications and broadcast programs. However, owners of social and other media outlets don’t ban their own! White supremacists don’t ban the Ku Klux Klan. Nazis don’t ban neo-Nazis. Nationalist media outlets don’t ban imperialists.

Own our own If your favorite person has been banned, don’t get mad. Get even! God bless the community, the ethnic group, the race and the people that have their own! Build

gram and Snapchat user should be treated equally. They think if you ban Minister Louis Farrakhan from an internet site, the people that have different perspectives than the Minister should be banned too.


and support your own social media networks and other media outlets. Together, we can do it. The key word is “together”! People of African descent in America, Africa and all around the world have the money and the power to communicate with each other and to communicate with everybody in the world. Black people are so upset when someone they respect and admire is banned because they think Western media is fair and every Facebook, Twitter, Insta-

A strong voice I love Minister Farrakhan as a messenger of Allah, I think he is a strong voice on many issues of concern to African Americans. I had him as a guest on my TV show “Vibrations” years ago. But my expressed love for the Minister won’t get The Gantt Report in The Final Call newspaper. The Final Call is a media outlet for members and supporters of the Nation of Islam. I wish the NOI well, and it doesn’t matter to me if I’m not

welcomed in The Final Call like Minister Farrakhan was welcomed on “Vibrations.” I think all people of African descent have a role in African unity and Black progress.

Can’t stop, won’t stop Facebook can ban me anytime they want to. But Facebook can’t stop me, Facebook can’t control me and Facebook can’t kill me! I am going to do what I do to unite my people, empower my people and tell my people the truth and I don’t care if social media, religious media, White media or the imperialist press likes what I do or not! We love people that can sing, dance, play ball, make a good speech or preach a good sermon. While we buckdance, our oppressors are nation-building. They are constantly exploiting, colonizing, discriminating, using and abusing everyone they can.

bearable. Having walked with God for over 30 years now, I know God can do anything and everything, so folks, please don’t try and convince me of that. This has been my toughest journey. Never in my life did I think I would ever be in this position fighting for my life. Know that I will not quit. I have a lot to live for. My children and grandchildren who I love and adore need me in their lives. But there are over 115,000 people waiting on a list to receive an organ transplant. Many people have died and will die waiting to receive a heart transplant from that list. The odds are not in my favor. I AM NOT on the list.

Time to act


Lots of daily medication keeps Taylor alive.

PRISON from A1 effects that keep me from being productive. So before I take my medications, I try and accomplish everything I need to within one or two hours. I’m still in constant pain. The difficulty of trying to make it through each day is extremely challenging. My life has been changed forever.

My reality

Taylor takes a selfie with his 6-year-old daughter Hannah in a firefighter’s helmet.

WEED from A1 mately 2,000 physicians certified to recommend medical marijuana in the state of Florida. Medical marijuana does include THC and will give the user the feeling of being “high.” LowTHC cannabis does not result in the feeling of being “high.” “Illegal marijuana” is marijuana that is used or obtained outside of Florida’s laws allowing purchase and use of medical marijuana. Marijuana that is not purchased from a licensed medical marijuana treatment center is illegal, as is marijuana that is used by individuals who are not qualified patients. Possession of more than 20 grams of illegal marijuana is still a felony in the state of Florida.

My doctors have been very positive and optimistic, praying with me and mapping out a plan for my treatment. But I know the reality of what I am facing. I know my health is fading because I feel it every day. I try to remain positive going back and forth to the emergency room and the necessary doctors’ appointments when the pain is un-

Possession of less than 20 grams is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Medical effects The benefits of medical marijuana are well-known. It provides relief from chronic pain, helps to alleviate nausea and vomiting, eases tremors from Parkinsons and reduces the numbers of seizures suffered. It has been shown to be helpful with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and HIV/ AIDS, among other diseases. The qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, chronic pain, PTSD, and HIV/ AIDS, among others.

Why FAMU? Given the university’s historical role in educating non-White populations, MMERI’s supporters say FAMU is in a unique position to educate Florida’s diverse popu-

The federal government can only kill me once. They knew of my health issues and autoimmune disease before I was sentenced to prison and while I was serving. I was forced to give up certain civil rights when I was criminally convicted, but I will never give up my right to live. The federal government won’t take that from me. People can unfairly judge me, but they don’t have the right to do so. Only the One who was willing to die for my sins and reconcile me to God has the eternal right to do that. I look forward to seeing His face and personally thanking Him. My faith is still strong despite what I am going through. While I was incarcerated, other prisoners would tell me about how the prison staff was stealing money from the trust fund or how guards were putting food in the back of their personal vehicle from the chow hall. But that is not my fight. I am not here to fight for better TV time, better basketballs, or more rec time. Prison is not supposed to be comfortable otherwise people would really want to keep going back.

I’ve seen it However, I have been and witnessed medical treatment neglect at the worst level. Many prisoners are still waiting on treatment and are just sitting there until it’s their time to die because the warden and the medical

lations about medical marijuana. “The beneficial use of marijuana is one area we know in which minority populations haven’t truly benefited to the extent which we know they can it they should,” said FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson in a speech announcing MMERI’s establishment. “We are going to make sure that we are done with all of this, that is one problem where equity is established all across the state of Florida.” As a research institution, FAMU offers a platform with the resources to study and understand the science of medical marijuana from different language and cultural perspectives. FAMU faculty are in a position to provide original as well as ongoing research studies.

Coming to the people MMERI will maintain an in-

What we can do If we don’t want Facebook to ban posts made by people we love, let’s suspend our social media accounts for one week or one month and watch Mr. Zuckerberg lose millions of dollars in revenue daily. Everything in a capitalist society is about the money. When Facebook does someone you care about badly, do Facebook badly and close your accounts and profiles! Minister Farrakhan is okay with or without Facebook. The Gantt Report editorial columns and The Gantt Report Facebook page is, too.

Buy Gantt’s latest book, “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing,” on Amazon.com and from bookstores everywhere. “Like” The Gantt Report page on Facebook. Contact Lucius at www. allworldconsultants.net.

staff will not do anything to help them. The prison decided in March 2018 they were cutting back on medical services. I remember medical staff not even showing up some days to give the diabetics their insulin or distribute the medications to inmates. This is one of the reasons I have reached out to law firms to begin a class action lawsuit against the federal government to cease this heinous mistreatment.

Why should I care? Given my circumstances, why should I care about anything and anybody? The fact is, I DO! Another fact is I was a firefighter and paramedic and I cared about everybody. When the call came in for help I tried my best, even putting my life on the line by running into burning buildings and such. When I was a Daytona Beach city commissioner and a Florida State House representative, I cared about the people. I tried to save everybody and everything. Sometimes I could. Sometimes I couldn’t. But I tried.

Yes, you too I know it’s hard for some folks to think that something like this cannot happen to you or members of your family. We are all one of God’s blessings away from being in those situations you never thought would happen to you. If or when it does, you will be the one hoping someone would come and help you. If you don’t believe me, keep thinking that you are too busy, good or smart for something to happen to you and let’s see what happens in the future when you need help. Again, why should I care? I am out of prison after a short “stay.’’ I have my own family and deathly ill health issues to deal with. I care because that is how God wired me. Sometimes I don’t want to care. I’d just like to ignore it all. But I see this mistreatment of others and I know it’s not right, so I feel like I must help them.

The reason? Maybe that is why God put me there in the beginning, because if I had to

teractive website, provide a newsletter, and conduct what it calls “community engagement.” MMERI staff and regional partners are expected to be visible and active throughout all areas of Florida. The organization has rolled out a statewide campaign to include community forums, focus groups, speaker/listener bureaus, workshops and other activities. Floridians with questions can have a face-to-face conversation about medical marijuana at regional forums scheduled around the state of Florida. The first forum covering the Central Florida area will be held on June 11, with one following on June 27 in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area; one on July 9 in Pensacola; one on July 18 in Jacksonville; and other to be determined in the Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County areas. At the various forums, attend-

sign up for that detail to go to prison, I would have respectfully declined it. I can’t say for certain that is why I was there, but who will help those people without a voice? Many people can look the other way. I know prison brutality and mistreatment may not gain any traction with ordinary folks. And I may not be alive to see these issues resolved. But I intend to do what I can while I still yet live and the very limited health I have. I know the challenges of dealing with the federal government and it can be intimidating. If they don’t attack the person, they attack their friends and families. They have all kinds of means and ways to do so. Many law firms, including large ones in Orlando and Atlanta, seem afraid to take on the federal government. They all want the low-hanging fruit, the easy cases they can settle and claim to get more money than everybody else. Therefore, they don’t get involved.

Where’s the oversight? Who will police the federal government when things like this happen and they are wrong? They oversee themselves, of course. Only the lawyers who want to see justice done – but don’t have the financial resources to do so – try to help and handle these types of cases. Thank God for them!

I’ll go alone I will go file a class action suit even if I must go by myself. I am not afraid to speak out or write about what was done to me and what they are doing to other prisoners. There is nothing for me to be fearful of now. They can only kill me once. And I am already dying and there is nothing that can stop it other than a heart transplant. Sometimes you must take a stance for what is right even when it would cost you everything you have. “Oh death, where is thy sting?”

Read the entire series of Dwayne Taylor’s articles at www.flcourier.com.

ees can expect to receive information about qualifying conditions of medical marijuana; the necessary steps to access medical marijuana; the consequences of illegal use of marijuana; the socialization of legal marijuana; criminalization and decriminalization. Cynthia Hughes-Harris, Ph.D. is the Research Chair for MMERI. She is also dean of FAMU’s School of Allied Health Sciences. Peter Harris is MMERI’s executive director. For more information on MMERI, contact Angela Hardiman, Public Affairs Liaison (Community Engagement) at 850-5612522, or email her at angela.hardiman@famu.edu. For more information on medical marijuana, contact the Office of Medical Marijuana Use at www.knowthefactsmmj.com ; or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), www.cdc. gov.

JUNE 7 – JUNE 13, 2019





Florida House seeks to defend medical marijuana law TALLAHASSEE – As court battles continue about whether the state

is properly carrying out a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana, the Florida House is again trying to weigh in.

On May 31, House attorneys gave notice that they will appeal a Leon County circuit judge’s ruling that blocked the House from intervening in a lawsuit to

help defend a controversial 2017 law that was designed to carry out the constitutional amendment. The move came as the House also is asking the 1st

District Court of Appeal to allow it to intervene in another case about the 2017 law.

About the lawsuit The notice filed Friday,


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as is common, does not detail the House’s arguments. But it seeks to overturn a decision last month by Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson that kept the House out of a lawsuit filed by Patients and Producers Alliance, Inc. against the Florida Department of Health. The non-profit Patients and Producers Alliance argues in the lawsuit that the 2017 law violates the constitutional amendment because it improperly restricts medical-marijuana firms. The House has contended in circuit court that it should be allowed to defend the law, in part pointing to the state’s need to navigate federal laws, under which marijuana remains illegal.

House response “The Florida House of Representatives, as onehalf of the state’s policymaking branch, is well-situated to respond to the plaintiff and the court in defense of (the 2017 law),” the House said in a January filing in circuit court. “Notably, the MMA (medical marijuana amendment) gives implementation authority – not policymaking authority – to the Department of Health, and the Florida Constitution’s strict, express separation of powers precludes this court from exercising policymaking authority. “That leaves the Legislature with the sole constitutional authority to make the necessary policy choices for how to implement the MMA within the limits of an otherwise conflicting and superseding federal drug policy.” But Dodson issued a twopage order last month rejecting the House’s arguments and cited a November decision in another case in which he blocked the House from intervening.

Filed by Florigrown

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The House also has appealed the ruling in that case, filed by the Tampabased firm Florigrown. “The court concludes that the Department of Health is the proper defendant in this case, and because even the Legislature’s policymaking authority must comport with the Constitution, the House does not have a direct and immediate interest in the matter at issue in this litigation such that it stands to gam or lose by the direct legal operation and effect of any judgment rendered by this court,” Dodson wrote in rejecting the House’s involvement in the Florigrown case. The 2017 law has drawn a series of legal challenges because of restrictions it placed on the fast-growing medical marijuana industry. As an example, the law drew a challenge because it banned smokable medical marijuana. After the state lost in circuit court, Gov. Ron DeSantis this year pushed through legislation that eliminated the ban on smokable marijuana.

‘Vertical integration’

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The Patients and Producers Alliance and Florigrown lawsuits challenge issues such as restrictions on the numbers of firms that can be approved to do business and a requirement of what is known as “vertical integration.” That requirement forces firms to grow, process and sell medical marijuana – as opposed to businesses being licensed to play different roles in the industry. Dodson last year ruled in favor of Florigrown and issued a temporary injunction requiring state health officials to begin registering Florigrown and other medical-marijuana firms to do business. The state, however, has appealed the temporary injunction, with a hearing scheduled June 11 at the 1st District Court of Appeal.




JUNE 7 – JUNE 13, 2019


Black voices must be raised against tariffs Our nation’s 45th president is dead set on a trade war. He has increased tariffs on goods produced in China, and he has now indicated that he will increase tariffs on goods produced in Mexico. While the president will say that this is a tax on the countries he is imposing tariffs on, the fact is that it is a tax on people who buy goods produced in China or Mexico. Products manufactured in China include electronics and electronic components, televisions, washing machine and refrigerators, and more.

We will pay With a 25 percent tariff, a $300 dishwasher will now cost $375. The duty won’t take effect today or tomorrow, but within a few months, U.S. sellers will have no choice but to pass the cost along to consumers. The tariff on Mexico will mostly hit agriculture. The president says he will impose a five percent tariff effective next week and will increase by another five percent monthly. It will primarily affect agricultural products like avocados and tomatoes, but folks who enjoy a Mexican beer or two will find those beers more expensive.

Here’s the rub Mexico exports more than $250 billion in goods to us. We also export at least $20 billion to them. Farmers who send soybeans and corn to Mexico are vulnerable if Mexico decides to retaliate by imposing tariffs of their own.


No. 45 says he is imposing the tariff on Mexican-produced goods because of border immigration. The tariffs, No. 45 states, will be lower if Mexico can stop border immigration. But the tactic of increasing tariffs will have a negative effect on the Mexican economy, exacerbating, instead of abating, border immigration. And it will hit every consumer in her pocket. Because so many U.S. auto companies have cars assembled in Mexico, at the maximum tariff, the average car will cost at least $1,000 more. And what about the grocery basket?

Consumers directed Tariffs are used to direct consumers away from foreign manufacturers and toward national ones. Theoretically, if a Mexicoproduced avocado costs $2 with a tariff (maybe up from $1.50 without, numbers all theoretical), and a California-produced avocado costs $1.75, a cost-conscious consumer, given the tax, might choose the California avocado over the Mexican one. But if California can’t produce enough avocados to meet demand, folks will pay more with the tariff. It’s a tax on consumers. Will people be as willing to take the

Could B-CU cost Virginia Union a president? The Root has published a threepart series covering the years-old saga of finance and management issues at Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU). The information, salaciousness and tragedy of the story has been told and retold dozens of times throughout Daytona Beach and the international HBCU community, but former and current trustees are using the reach of The Root to introduce new audiences to the Wildcats’ epic and preventable failures.

Who’s at fault? Transparency, even of the expired and retread headline variety, is a good thing. No amount of fundraising and positive stories out of B-CU will cure the primary question on everyone’s mind – how much trouble is this school truly facing and how can we exorcise those responsible for the trouble from the campus? But there are unintended consequences. The story all but indicts, tries and sentences several


former B-CU officials at the center of the school’s financial downward spiral and resulting lawsuits – former president Edison Jackson, former vice president of finance and strategy Emmanuel Gonsalves, and former vice president of institutional advancement Hakim Lucas. Lucas is now the president of Virginia Union University. He’s never spoken publicly on his involvement or knowledge of the financial crisis facing BethuneCookman, and until this week, had never been targeted in media coverage as a conspirator.

Warning sign But because of the Root’s penchant for sensationalism in HBCU

How to protest Donald Trump There are countless reasons to take offense at Donald Trump’s presence anywhere in the world. But the Trump baby balloon and images juxtaposing Trump and Barack Obama’s approval ratings should not be the focus of protesters. They have weightier issues to address. Instead they show the hollowness of their politics and put their lack of seriousness on display for the whole world to see.


U.S. stooge The British government is nothing but a United States vassal. When George W. Bush chose

hit with a $1,000 tax on an automobile? Possibly not. People may delay purchases instead of seeking out domestic automakers. In any case, it’s a hit on the U.S. economy. Because African Americans earn less (with a median family income under $40,000, compared to $60,000-plus for Whites), we are more likely to be the consumer affected. Consumer taxes are regressive taxes, taxes that hit the folks at the bottom hardest. Our voices need to be raised around the tax on Chinese produced goods as well as the tax on Mexican manufactured goods. In his fit of pique, however, No. 45 doesn’t get that he will hurt the consumers he vowed to protect, not the countries he is trying to punish.

Black engagement Unfortunately, African American engagement in foreign policy has been peripheral. We’ve had folks like Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice take leadership on foreign policy, and folks like Mel Foote, of the Constituency for African, lead civil society organizations around foreign policy. And we can go all the way back to Frederick Douglass’ ambassadorship to Haiti in the 19th century to illustrate our concern with foreign policy, even as we struggled in the aftermath of enslavement. Still, when African Americans are polled, foreign policy issues



are not our most important. They must and should be, and for several reasons. First of all, we pay taxes for foreign aid. Secondly, people of color around the globe (including Mexico) are oppressed by U.S. foreign policy. Further, we fall short of our rhetoric about democracy and human rights when we offer financial support to countries that choose to marginalize some of its citizens. African American people are uniquely situated to lift our voices around foreign policy hypocrisy. The late great political scientist Dr. Ron Walters talked about “foreign policy justice,” about the many ways we favored some nations, ignoring others, usually for strategic reasons.

Moral hypocrisy We can’t tout democracy and then suppress it. Wait! We always

coverage, here he is; and so is the school that he leads. B-CU is in known danger and Virginia Union University (VUU) now may be in a lower tier of crisis as a result of this coverage. VUU has had 13 presidents in its 120-year history. It is not at the mercy of a volatile board, and is not commonly known for student rabblerousing beyond occasional issues with crime, food service and housing issues. Alumni are not intrusive or lethargic, but support quietly somewhere in between. But Virginia Union is in the heart of Richmond. It sits in a media market which has historically been less than kind to the campus in print and broadcast press. It works within miles of growing campuses in Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond – constant threats to VUU’s enrollment and corporate outreach. It is a school that has specialized in quiet stability in the face of overt and covert opposition. And now it faces the challenge of a president who has led for less than two years being dragged publicly in national media and perhaps through Florida’s judicial system in the months to come. Dr. Lucas has not been charged

with a crime. But an article sourced by B-CU alumni and trustees with confidential corroborating documents may make the national and local interest in his ties to the case that much more appealing for coverage in an unfriendly market.

to invade Iraq, U.K. prime minister Tony Blair sent troops to assist in the aggression. When Syria was bombed in 2018, the two countries worked together to carry out the attack. The U.K. does only what the U.S. tells it to do. That is what the British ought to be angry about. Both nations are among the most criminal that ever existed and if protesters want to show their bona fides they should not shrink from pointing out this easily provable fact.

as torture. But the foreign minister publicly attacks the rapporteur and states that he will hand Assange over to a country that is seeking to criminalize journalists anywhere in the world. If the British want to go out into the streets, they might consider doing so on Assange’s behalf. America and Great Britain are partners in crime. Both stay on the path of austerity and endless war. Anyone who challenges the system on either side of the Atlantic ocean is beaten down and slandered. The intelligence agencies of both countries are implicated in spying on Trump and other presidential candidates. Instead of protesting Trump,

What about Assange? Julian Assange sits in a London prison cell after experiencing what a UN rapporteur described

Are the knives out? It may make his detractors more empowered to suggest that he is not a good fit to lead the institution. And it may force the Virginia Union board to act more quickly to avoid potential losses in enrollment and philanthropic support from his name being simultaneously attached to B-CU’s foolishness and VUU’s strategic plans. The Bethune-Cookman story needs to be told, and those who helped author its chapters must be held accountable. Virginia Union is responsible for its fate with Dr. Lucas as a leader and whatever baggage he may have brought with him in his flight from Daytona Beach to Richmond. But everyone involved in this story, and particularly those people working to make Dr. Lucas pay for his alleged crimes in the media should understand that the scramble to save B-CU through

Charles W. Cherry II, Esq., Publisher

Opinions expressed on this editorial page are those of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of the newspaper or the publisher.

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have. We did it when veterans were lynched when they came back from World War I. We did it when we treated German prisoners of war better than returning veterans after World War II. But we don’t have to cosign the hypocrisy now. If we, Black folks, believe in freedom, we must believe in foreign policy justice. And we must understand that foolish tariffs against Mexico will hurt us all. Black voices need to be loud voices around foreign policy matters. Or we can be silent and accept the economic, moral, and political consequences of our nation’s biased myopia.

Julianne Malveaux is a Washington, D.C.-based economist and writer. Her latest book, “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy,” is available at www.juliannemalveaux.com.

his persecution also puts VUU in public and private jeopardy. Every detail, every allegation and every resulting rumor in Florida fuels controversy and reaction in Richmond. If it was bound to happen in the course of due process, that’s one thing. Forcing the issue in the media may expedite changes and instability at a school that is less than comfortable with strategic dexterity.

What about VUU? Virginia Union will have to live with Dr. Lucas’ appointment and whatever consequences he may have to face from his time at Bethune-Cookman, and that time may cost B-CU a price none of us are prepared to see it pay. But does VUU deserve to be thrown in front of the train barreling towards Daytona Beach, even if it turns out Dr. Lucas deserves to be tied to the tracks? If he’s guilty, the answer is yes. But if he’s innocent, how does the school restore the pound of flesh to its brand taken from B-CU soldiers’ efforts to gut the VUU president?

Jarrett L. Carter, Sr. is publisher of HBCU Digest (www. hbcudigest.com).

the British need to protest their own MI6 in the fake Russiagate scandal and its role in subverting the 2016 elections. The British media, like their American counterparts, are either government assets or cynical institutions who go along to get along. Because of their collusion with the deep state, both the British and American people are lied to and rendered powerless by deliberate misinformation.

Margaret Kimberley is a cofounder of BlackAgendaReport.com, and writes a weekly column there. Contact her at Margaret.Kimberley@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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JUNE 7 – JUNE 13, 2019


Congressional Black Caucus defies Black America again Nearly 400 members of the U.S. House and Senate signed a letter urging President Trump to keep U.S. troops in Syria – against the wishes of the sovereign government of that country and therefore, in gross violation of international law – and to increase sanctions against Russia for assisting the Syrian government in its battle against Islamic jihadists. The letter baldly lobbies to increase the annual billions in U.S. subsidies to Israel’s bloated and hyper-aggressive, nuclear-armed military. Among the signers were 26 of the 51 Black voting members of the House and the two Black U.S. senators that are running for president, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. Nobody except the Israel lobby gets that kind of immediate obeisance from the Congress.

Forcing Trump The massive sign-on was organized to pressure Trump into even more aggressive actions against Iran, and to prevent the president from fulfilling his oft-repeated wish to withdraw from Syria, now that the ISIS “caliphate” has been shattered and al-Qaida’s legions are bottled up in Idlib province, under siege by the Syrian Army. Israel has provided arms and assistance to both terrorist factions, as have Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Britain, France – and the United States, the imperial grandmaster of the jihadist offensive that began in 2011 against Libya. Libya was plunged into barbarism and Syria is in ruins, with half a million dead and a third of the country displaced. Iraq, still reeling from Washington’s 2003 “Shock and Awe” and occupation, has been savaged yet again by the West’s jihadist proxies, with its second largest city, Mosul, flattened by U.S. bombs and artillery. Yet, three-quarters of the U.S. Congress last week signed on to the insane statement that the region has “been destabilized by Ira-


nian regime’s threatening behavior.”

American plan thwarted Were it not for Iranian and Lebanese Shiite militias and Russia’s 2015 intervention, Syria’s secular government would have fallen to the U.S.-sponsored jihadist legions, at which point the U.S. and allied governments, including Israel, would have occupied the region, ostensibly to restore order and control the head-chopping Islamic warriors. Even in the current circumstances, Israel recently seized the opportunity to formally claim sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights, occupied by the Zionists in the 1967 war, and the U.S. got the chance to move 5,000 troops back into Iraq to aid in the fight against ISIS, the “rogue” faction of al-Qaida that rejected the West’s instructions to blend in with other Islamist fighters and stick to the mission of regime change in Syria. Had President Obama’s 2011 war plan been successful, Syria would have been balkanized into mini-states ruled by warlords beholden to the U.S. and its regional allies, and Lebanon would be wracked by renewed civil war, or under the discipline of constant Israeli air strikes, or both.

The real purpose Iraqi Kurdistan, with its huge oil reserves and deep ties to Israel, would have seceded, and U.S. troops would be back in multi-divisional force in Iraq at the request of a terrified central government. Iran would be surrounded. The stage would then be set to

Here’s our action plan for 2020 The National Black Chamber of Commerce® (NBCC) is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the United States and via interaction with the Black Diaspora. The NBCC was incorporated in Washington, D.C., in March 1993. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of African American communities. One hundred and forty affiliated chapters are locally based throughout the nation as well as international affiliate chapters based in Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, France, Botswana, Cameroon and Jamaica. Businesses as well as individuals have chosen to be direct members with the national office. The purpose of the NBCC Action Plan is to ensure that the NBCC national office is equipped and prepared to execute programs and initiatives that will support the mission of the NBCC.


Teaching and support The purpose of the NBCC shall be to teach capitalism and expand access to capitalization, technical support, procurement opportunities, effective networking, and sharing of information for Black-owned businesses and other minority-owned businesses as well as the African descendent community. The main vehicle of disseminating information concerning this purpose is through the Black chambers located throughout the United States and the entire Black Diaspora and via mass marketing. The activities are driven by a strategic plan. The Chamber is nonprofit, nonpartisan and nonsectarian and abides by the rules set forth via IRS 501(c)3 classification. The items or projects that will be in-

Don’t celebrate taxdodging billionaires Perhaps you were among those who celebrated investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith for surprising the Morehouse College Class of 2019 by paying all of their student loan debt. But I saw no reason to celebrate. In fact, viral media coverage gave me the impression that the graduation ceremony was more about glorifying Mr. Smith’s prevailing vanity than celebrating these students’ milestone achievement.

Focus of attention Of course, I suspect this is precisely what Smith wanted. Because he could easily have made this gift at another time. That way he would not have upstaged the graduating seniors – not just at Morehouse but at every other college in the country this year. More to the point, though, this


is almost as troubling as cheering a yacht owner for coming upon a sinking dinghy in the Mediterranean and rescuing one African migrant while leaving 99 to die. African migrants should not have to depend on a yacht owner happening by to avoid drowning in the Mediterranean Sea. Likewise, college students should not have to depend on a philanthropist getting an honorary degree to avoid drowning in a sea of debt.


Monitor activities • Monitor and report on the DBE activity of the five Department of Transportation modal agencies: Federal Highway Administration (by state), Federal Transit Authority, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Coast Guard. • Enforce Section 3 of the HUD Act – 24CFR Part 135. This procurement program for the underserved has been in effect since 1968, but has yet to attain adequate enforcement. The NBCC will attempt to change this lack of performance. • Enforce Executive Order

How to do it Instead, tax reform should compel rich investors like Smith to pay at least the same share of their income in taxes as their administrative staff do. If that happens, we’d be able to fund programs like this as published in USA Today on April 17: “Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill last week, which would abolish tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities for students from households making $125,000 or less per year, and would make community college tuition-free for students from all income levels. …‘I’ll tell you how we’re going to pay for it’ [he said]. … ‘We’re going to put a speculation tax on Wall Street.’” Frankly, the rich would truly earn the reputational goodwill they covet by lobbying the government to implement tax reform to effectuate such fundamental fairness and public purpose. They could also join Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates in “The Giving Pledge” to donate at least half of their wealth to phi-



empower the U.S. to cut off China’s access to Middle Eastern (and even central Asian) energy supplies – which was the larger purpose of Obama’s “smart war” of “humanitarian” intervention plus jihadist proxies, his slickly demonic contribution to the Great Imperial Game. If the Congressional Black Caucus had properly understood that last week’s letter was asking them to help rescue the remnants of the First Black President’s grand plan, they might have signed on in even greater numbers. Even so, the 26 signatories included John Lewis, the “soul” of the Caucus who is usually part of the ten or twelve Black Caucus members that can still be counted on to vote against some of the most blatantly warlike 43 percent of Whites and 22 percent of Hispanics. Only 17 percent measures. of Blacks think Israel is a “friendly” country, and just 27 percent of Half caved in Whites and 21 percent of HispanThe 26 lawmakers make up just ics see Israel as friendly. over half of the 51 Black voting Among all races in the U.S, members of the House. (The del- support for Israel is described as egates from Washington, D.C., and “plummeting” – which is cause the U.S. Virgin Islands cannot vote for the Israel lobby to organize a on the House floor.) On the Senate letter-signing publicity campaign side, presidential candidates Cory among the folks whose cowardice Booker and Kamala Harris have or bought-and-paid-for allegiance always been in the Israel lobby’s they can count on: the elected offipocket. cials of both corporate parties. Back in the summer of 2014, while Israel was slaughtering over A single party 2,000 Palestinian men, women The electoral arrangement in and children in Gaza, the combined chambers of Congress vot- the United States, where half of the ed unanimously in favor of a res- duopoly is the White Man’s Party, olution affirming Israel’s “right to has created a one-party system for defend itself.” Not one member of Black America. With nowhere else the Black Caucus dissented or ab- to go, Black voters can think or feel stained. Thus, their tolerance of however they want, but their elected representatives vote accordapartheid Israel’s barbarism is ining to the wishes of their party’s finite. funders – rich White people, virtually all of them in league with No ‘friend’ apartheid Israel. But where do their Black constitThe Democratic Party is thus the uents stand on the unholy U.S. alli- mechanism for rich White peoance with the Zionist state? A poll ple’s political domination of Black taken last October by The Econo- America, the nation’s most leftmist/YouGov showed only 19 per- leaning constituency, including cent of Black Americans thought on issues of war and peace, and esof Israel as an “ally,” compared to pecially on Israeli apartheid. corporated in these actions will be: • The National Office will publish and distribute the status of Black procurement levels by each federal agency. These reports will come out twice a year. The first report will be presented at the upcoming 27th Annual Conference July 24-27 in Atlanta. • Review public utilities’ plans which are managed by the General Service Administration. The publication is GAO/GGD-93-44. This covers every utility company in the United States. The intent is to improve the performance of Black contracting activity amongst our utilities including telecoms.



Black Democrats, with the exception of a handful of dissidents like New York lawmakers Charles and Inez Barron, are agents of forces hostile to the Black community, and enemies of peace. Last year, 75 percent of the Black Caucus voted to make police a protected class, and in 2014, shortly before the unanimous vote in favor of Israel, 80 percent of the Black Caucus voted to continue the multibillion dollar militarization of local police, through the Pentagon’s infamous 1033 program. Every member of the Black Caucus should be ousted on grounds of misrepresentation. But the authentic Black political conversation doesn’t travel much beyond the barbershops, beauty parlors and activist circles before it is smothered by the octopus of Black America’s one party Democratic state. That’s why the best thing that can happen this primary election season is for the Democratic Party to implode -- and set its Black and left constituencies free from the agents of rich man’s rule.

Glen Ford is executive editor of BlackAgendaReport.com. Email him at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

11246. We will work particularly with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Union-related construction activity is in dire need of improvement. • Provide a consultancy service which specializes in diversity in contracting for specific projects.

decide on venues for upcoming trade missions which will be held at least once per year. • Form an annual conference selection committee. This group will set criteria and develop an RFP for localities to compete to become a venue for upcoming conferences.

Program review

Meet and retool

• Improve capital access for our membership by working with the SBA via monitoring their 7(a) lending on a quarterly basis. Also, review programs of MBDA and other programs by various banking institutions. • For corporations, conduct a Title VI review (Civil Rights Act of 1964) on an ongoing basis. • Monitor Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) activity per key cities, counties and states. Alert our federation when opportunity or improvements are necessary and coach them for improvement. CDBG must be compliant with Section 3 of the HUD Act. • Assemble and moderate a 50-nation (at least) International Policy Roundtable. This organization will officially meet during our annual conference beginning in 2020. Basically, they will comprise of national chapters of Black chambers throughout the African Diaspora. This group will

• Formal board retreats: The board of directors of the NBCC will have one formal retreat each calendar year. It is here where we will rate our performance and retool our vision for the following year. • Form a fundraising committee: This small select group will develop strategy and work through public relations and sales to generate a stream of revenue for the NBCC to carry out its mission and reinforce its brand. The individuals working this committee will be funded through a commission from the proceeds they collect. This Action Plan is a living document. Suggestions are welcomed and will be considered as they are received.

Harry C. Alford is the cofounder and president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC). Kay DeBow is the NBCC co-founder. Contact them via www.nationalbcc.org.

lanthropy during their lifetime or at death. Note that the $40 million Smith pledged to those Morehouse seniors does not amount to even one percent of his wealth, which Forbes estimates at $5 billion. The federal government has a greater compelling interest in tuition control than state governments have in rent control. It clearly makes more sense to deflate tuition costs than for rich people to inflate their reputations by paying off the debt tuition causes.

Because we seek the best students regardless of their ability to pay, we are committed to meeting 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all four years.” Lest you think I’m all about hating on Smith, I heartily applaud him for using his influence to help 1,000 students score paid internships according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “…the program [internX] is helping ‘rising sophomores with at least a 2.8 GPA from ethnically underrepresented groups’ land an eight-week summer internship in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. AT&T, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Deloitte, Citi and Vista Equity Partners are reportedly among the companies that have pledged to take on internX candidates.” Bravo, Mr. Smith!

Following Harvard With all due respect to Donald Trump, I can think of no better way to make America great again than to make college affordable again. This is why I celebrate the colleges that are following Harvard University’s lead in doing this. According to the Harvard College Griffin Financial Aid Office, “Once you are admitted to Harvard, we work closely with your family to ensure you can afford to come here.

Anthony L. Hall is a native of The Bahamas with an international law practice in Washington, D.C. Read his columns and daily weblog at www.theipinionsjournal.com.




JUNE 7 – JUNE 13, 2019


Black experts shine at health care conference Speakers focus on racial disparities, equity during sessions in Baltimore BY PENNY DICKERSON FLORIDA COURIER

From the podium as notable speakers to moderating panels, African-Americans were at the forefront of Health Journalism 2019 held May 2-5 at the Hilton Baltimore Conference Center. Presented by the Association for Health Care Journalists and Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, the 2019 convening of journalists and stakeholders reigns as a record-setter for the organization with 800 registered attendees. The annual conference serves as a comprehensive gathering for industry professionals to access cutting edge trends ranging from opioid epidemics, gun violence in public health, autism and mental health, pharmacology, women’s health, cancer and more.

Workshops, exhibits The conference included multiple panel discussions, training workshops, field trips, exhibits and a plethora of information available to aid journalists in their role of providing accurate health care news to a global audience. Corporate and medical sponsors surpassed the dozens along with endowing foundations, including The Leona M. Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, which funded fellows including Florida Courier writer Penny Dickerson who was awarded an ethnic media fellowship.

‘Back to prevention’ Johns Hopkins University (JHU) served as the conference host, which kicked off on May 2 with an official welcome session featuring Dr. Otis Brawley. A renowned cancer screening and prevention expert, Brawley joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in January where he leads broad interdisciplinary research of cancer health disparities at JHU’s Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Brawley works to close racial, economic, and social disparities in the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer in the United States and worldwide. “We have to get back to prevention,” stated Brawley, who previously served as chief medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society. “When I talk about disparities, I’m talking about Massachusetts vs. Mississippi – less about White vs. Black than expansion of Medicaid vs. non-expansion.”

Stunning statistics The former professor of oncology and hematology at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta led a captive audience through expert commentary and trending statistics: It is estimated that 607,000 Americans will die of cancer this year If all Americans had the cancer


“We have to get back to prevention,” Dr. Otis Brawley said during a presentation at the conference. death rate of college educated Americans, the number would be 455,000. Nearly one-fourth of cancer deaths (152,000) would not occur if all Americans had the access and utilization of preventive and therapeutic interventions enjoyed by the college educated. “There are more trends in cancer than there are in fashion. Every couple of years, we have a new trend, a lot of them overhyped.” said Brawley. “As we get excited about the potential for new cancer treatments, we must also remember to balance realistic expectations and limitations.”

Black-women disparities Dr. Darrell J. Gaskin, a JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health professor, led all-Black panel of experts in a discussion on health disparities and AfricanAmerican women who remain a persistent problem even after years of research and numerous programs created to close the health gap. “At the Center for Health Disparities, our focus is on not just on talking about the fact that there are disparities by race, ethnicity, and geography, but looking at ways to minimize those disparities,” said Gaskin.

‘Public health problem’ Joining Gaskins was Linda Goler Blount, M.P.H., president and CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative; and Tanjala S. Purnell, Ph.D., M.P.H. an associate professor of surgery, epidemiology, and health behavior and society at JHU. “Health disparities are not just a medical problem, not just a public health problem. They af-

fect all of us and it will take all of our knowledge and expertise to address them,” Purnell said. The panel was moderated by AHCJ board member Marlene K. Harris-Taylor, a reporter and producer at a Cleveland TV station.

Diverse Sources “Journalists are failing at diversity — in the sources and experts it calls upon to help the public (both) understand and digest the news of the day,” stated Alexandria Neason, staff writer and senior doctoral fellow at the Columbia Journalism Review. That quote introduced a workshop session on “Diverse Sources” designed to provide reporters strategies and tips on how to find diverse expert sources in science and health care with the ultimate goal of changing the health narrative to reflect more diverse voices in health news. The latter is deemed good journalism.

Pulitzer awardee leads panel Yanick Rice Lamb, chair/associate professor, Cathy Hughes School of Communications, Howard University and publisher of the FierceforBlackWomen.com moderated the session, which included Pulitzer Prize team awardee (Newsday) and multiple fellowship recipient Katti Gray. “There’s a greater urgency for us to think outside the box. From a place that is both pedestrian and philosophical, we are not diversifying our sources,” stated Gray. “It becomes a way of ‘othering’ people…treating them like they are so weird, like you don’t quite know the question to frame or where to go. Just ask somebody!”

Yannick Rice Lamb moderated a session titled “Diverse Sources.’ The latter is likely simplistic ease for a journalist of Gray’s stature, who is also programs and instruction director for New York University Urban Journalism Workshop. Gray seized a teachable moment by offering a nugget from her own professional mode. “I tend to report from the ground up, so rather than going

to the physicians first, I might go to a grassroots organization and say, ‘I’d like to find some recently released/formerly incarcerated folks.’ I want to know if they have a re-entry plan,” explained Gray. “That was part of what the Affordable Care Act provided for people who are coming out of prison. So, that’s where I start.”

Congressional panel plans Mueller report hearings BY BILLY HOUSE BLOOMBERG NEWS/TNS


John Dean, the Nixon White House counsel and Watergate whistler blower is an outspoken critic of President Trump. He will address the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on June 10.

WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee is planning a series of hearings on Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, starting with an appearance by Nixon White House counsel John Dean on June 10. “Russia attacked our elections to help President Trump win, Trump and his campaign welcomed this help and the president then tried to obstruct the investigation into the attack,” committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York said in a statement. “Mueller confirmed these revelations and has now left Congress to pick up where he left off.’’ The committee also plans to consider in these hearings “targeted legislative, oversight and constitutional remedies designed to respond to these mat-

ters,” according to a committee statement released Monday.

Trump critic The move to hold these hearings comes amid a rising clamor among rank-and-file House Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry, despite reluctance from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leaders. The June 10 hearing featuring Dean, who has become an outspoken critic of Trump, is titled “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes.” It will also include appearances by former U.S. attorneys and legal experts. Separately, Nadler has been in negotiations with Mueller over appearing before his committee. But the former special counsel, who stepped down from his post last week, has told lawmakers he only wants to answer questions behind closed doors.



Street play coming to Tampa See page B2

JUNE 7 – JUNE 13, 2019



How to prepare for disaster See page B3








Students learn the importance of preserving the ecosystem

Dylan Toombs, a student from South Plantation Magnet High School, gets instruction from Jan Harkins, a volunteer with the Youth Environmental Alliance (YEA), about how to tow a net in the lake in order to collect small critters from the lake.


FORT LAUDERDALE – Leaders from schools and nonprofits are creating opportunities for middle and high school students to change their thinking and actions to build a greener future. Teens have begun taking a larger role in the environmental movement globally. Students can take their cue from a Swiss teen who has taken the world by storm, just in the last year. Greta Thunberg, the force of nature behind Fridays for Future, has rapidly been orienting the youth movement toward finding solutions to climate change, with her impassioned pleas to international organizations and governments to address the issue with urgency. Inspired by the Swiss teen, over 1.6 million teens on all seven continents, including more than 125 countries, left their schools during the week of March 15 to protest inaction on climate change.


Preservation education Volunteer coordinators and leaders in Broward County have been reaching out to tomorrow’s leaders to educate them about the environment as well as our impact on the balance of the ecosystem. Kristen Hoss is a volunteer with the Youth Environmental Alliance in Broward County, which has been implementing educational programs focused on Florida’s fragile ecology and restoration. They regularly work with teens, both within schools and on field trips to natural areas, to instill the importance of preserving our ecosystem.

Plankton that was captured during a field trip to the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood from lake water was photographed by placing a camera lens directly on top of the microscope’s eyepiece.

Empowering youth Hoss said she is passionate about making sure children get meaningful experiences that last beyond their volunteer experience. “What really motivated me beyond my norm was my sister having kids,” she said. “I want my nieces to experience everything that I did in the natural world. I want to empower individuals to be the change.” Hoss sees the youth as a natural force for change. “Children have power and numbers. The response to the Parkland shooting demonstrates that, as do the marches globally that stemmed from one young girl speaking out about climate change.”

Daija Coleman, a student from the Apollo Middle School Global Scholars Program, digs a hole in the ground in order to plant a new Mangrove bush during a field trip to the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.

Mangrove restoration At a recent field trip to the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale, middle school students from Apollo Middle School’s Global Scholars Program in Hollywood were given the opportunity to plant mangroves, a shrub or small tree that grows in coastal salt water. Mangroves occur in Florida and worldwide in tropical zones. Globally, about one-fifth of the world’s mangrove ecosystems have been lost since 1980. However, grassroots efforts to save mangroves from development are becoming more popular as their benefits become more widely known. These are the kinds of ecological facts that students can learn in school but it’s not the same

Abigail Laney, a student from South Plantation Magnet High School, gets instruction with her fishing pole from Jan Harkins, a volunteer with the Youth Environmental Alliance (YEA) during a field trip to Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood. as experiencing them in their actual environment.

Got hands dirty All the teens from the high school wore bright red in con-

trast to the rich green of the nature preserve. Many of them had attitudes at first, both about being out in the woods on a hot day and about getting their hands full of dirt.

Neither of those experiences is common for city youths who spend much of their time at a computer or cruising social media on their phones. Hoss, who also served as the field trip advisor, loves getting students into nature to get their hands dirty. It is the seeds planted as a young child that starts an environmental ethic. “Teens’ focus often shifts to romance, college prep and defining ourselves as we become adults. The lessons learned as kids come back around as we enter college or later,” she said.

Learning by doing Jalane Meloun, the mother of one of the students on the field trip, took part in the environmental effort at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. When asked about her son’s involvement in the effort, she was passionate about it. “I love that he’s in the program. This is an exciting program. They get to learn by doing rather than just reading about it. They get to get their hands dirty and feel what that actually feels like,” she said. Meloun said it’s important to get kids heads out of “the cloud.” “Environmental activism is not just about clicking a ‘like’ on Facebook or doing something on social media. It’s about getting out and doing something and truly giving back. It’s also walking the talk. It’s something to be vocally supportive but this is about getting your hands dirty.”

Aquatic restoration The Anne Kolb Nature Center

in Hollywood was the setting for another field trip. This one was dedicated to teaching the flow of life in aquatic ecosystems. The 1,500-acre center is the largest regional park with a coastal mangrove wetland rich in plant and animal life, including some threatened and endangered species. The students from South Plantation Magnet High School took up the fun but not-so-easy task of fishing that day. They were given instructions on how to catch a fish, study what kind it is, then to throw it back in the water. The idea is to give them a direct connection to aquatic life that will help them understand their direct impact on the water ecosystem.

Collecting critters After that, they were taken on a boat ride to learn about the habitat. A couple of the students were then given the opportunity to drag a net to collect plankton and other critters from the water. One of them found a snail, which he played with while it crawled up the side of a cup of the water sample. They also learned the critical role that the microscopic plankton play in the aquatic ecosystem.

Start early Joanne Howes, parks manager for the county’s Parks and Recreation Division, was the field trip’s main leader. “If we expose students at an early age to their environment, caring for it will be more natural — something they have been exposed to as a part of their lives. If we teach good environmental habits at a young age, it will become second nature to them,” she said. Howes emphasizes that it’s critical to have a hands-on approach to exposing youth in person to nature. But she feels that there is a much larger context as well beyond the environmental issues that society needs to deal with. “Connecting students to nature can be the start of a lifelong journey filled with science exploration and much more,” she said. “Nature can bring a sense of awe and wonder and oftentimes a needed place of solitude.” See TEENS, Page B2



JUNE 7 – JUNE 13, 2019




Daytona Beach: The 19th Annual Juneteenth Family Festival is June 15 at Cypress Street Park (925 George Engram Blvd.), Daytona Beach from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. More info: www.juneteenthdab.com

The band’s Group Therapy tour stops at June 7 in Tampa and June 8 in West Palm Beach.

Miami: The annual Sunrise Ancestral Remembrance of the Middle Passage ceremony is Sunday, June 9, from 5:30 -8:00 a.m. at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. More info: 786-260-1246 or 305-904-7620. Boca Raton: Saxophonist and flautist JackieM Joyner will be at the Funky Biscuit on June 28. Jacksonville: Gospel star Kirk Franklin will be at the Florida Theatre Jacksonville on July 15. Miami: The People Matter Music Fest organized by radio host Papa Keith is June 15 at Gwen Cherry Park. Details: Peoplematterfest.com Miami Gardens: Mayor Oliver Gilbert will present the Summer Youth Employment Program June 10-Aug. 11: Register at https://iapps. careersourcesfl.com/syepmg Miramar: The Caribbean Village Festival is June 23 at Miramar Regional Park Amphitheater. Jacksonville: Mary J. Blige will be at Daily’s Place on July 14. West Palm Beach: Mary J. Blige and Nas will be at the Coral Sky Amphitheater on July 11 and MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater on July 13.


Miami Gardens will present a free senior prom from 5 to 10 p.m. June 8 at Trinity Church. RSVP at dcooper@miamigardens-fl.gov or call 786-2903776


The Tampa Hillsborough Action Plan will present the Black Wall Street Experience & Expo June 14-15. It will include the “Black Wall Street’’ play. Details: thapgroup.org



Ponte Vedra: Catch Leela James at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall on July 5 and Plaza Live – Orlando on July 8. Davie: The South Florida Institute on Aging will host an aging seminar on June 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Nova Southeastern University. Register at www.theSoFIA.org.

Think you’re one of Florida’s Finest? E-mail your high-resolution (200 dpi) digital photo in casual wear or bathing suit taken in front of a plain background with few distractions, to news@flcourier.com with a short biography of yourself and your contact information. (No nude/glamour/ fashion photography, please!) In order to be considered, you must be at least 18 years of age. Acceptance of the photographs submitted is in the sole and absolute discretion of Florida Courier editors. We reserve the right to retain your photograph even if it is not published. If you are selected, you will be contacted by e-mail and further instructions will be given.

Thousands of Caribbean culture lovers converge on South Florida every year before and during the Columbus Day weekend to attend the annual Miami Broward Carnival, a series of concerts, pageants, parades, and competitions. On Carnival Day, “mas” (masquerade) bands of thousands of revelers dance and march behind 18-wheel tractor-trailer trucks with booming sound systems from morning until nightfall while competing for honors. Here are some of the “Finest” we’ve seen over the years. Click on www.flcourier to see hundreds of pictures from previous Carnivals. Go to www. miamibrowardcarnival.com for more information on Carnival events in South Florida. CHARLES W. CHERRY II / FLORIDA COURIER

TEENS from B1 The real world


Morgan Knowles, a volunteer with the Youth Environmental Alliance, explains the finer points of planting a Mangrove bush to Daija Coleman, a student from the Apollo Middle School Global Scholars Program.

Holly Desmarais, a secondary science teacher at South Plantation High School, was on the trip with the students as they learned firsthand about the complexity of the aquatic environment. “If you can’t bring the real world into the classroom, then it’s not going to do any good. You can teach them out of the book but they’re never going to appreciate it until they see it,” she said. “We like to talk about conservation and sustainability,” Desmarais said. “A lot of the students don’t even know what’s in their own backyard. So we’re trying to get them to appreciate what’s around them as well as to appreciate the value of the environment to not only know about it but we can’t protect it if we don’t know how important it is.

“The environment is getting polluted, more every day. Plastic is killing a lot of animals. Many baby birds can’t tell the difference between plastic and food.” Lena Santiago Park aide at the Anne Kolb Nature Center “You’d think with them living in South Florida that they’d know this stuff, but I’ve had kids in the past who have lived their entire life in Florida yet they’ve never seen a real alligator. This encourages them to see how cool it is to be outside in nature.”

Reality of pollution Lena Santiago, a park aide at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, said she feels exposing students to these issues at a young age is key. “It’s so important for students,” she said, adding they need to understand the human impact on nature. “The environment is getting polluted, more every day. Plastic is killing a lot of animals. Many baby birds can’t tell the difference between plastic and food. Even baby fish eat plastic — and some die from it,” she said. “So there won’t be any fish if that continues. Also, when people eat these fish after they grow up, they get poisoned because the plastic stays in their system, which is toxic for humans.” Santiago said she also feels young people have a need to know as much as possible before they start electing lawmakers. “When they’re ready to vote, they can influence governors and presidents to care more about the environment. That’s why they have to start now,” she added.

JUNE 7 – JUNE 13, 2019






Check this clip-and-save page to see whether your family is ready in case disaster strikes. BEFORE IT HAPPENS



Store important documents such as insurance policies, deeds, property records and birth certificates in a bank safe-deposit box. Store copies in your disaster-supplies kit.

Structural safety

❑ Keep a stash of cash or traveler’s checks at home where you can quickly get them in

case of evacuation.

Make sure your home is bolted to the foundation and the structure is properly reinforced.


Identify a safe place in each room of your home and practice rapidly getting there. Best locations include under a sturdy desk or table, or beside a sturdy, large piece of furniture such as a sofa or bed. Avoid doorways; doors could bang open and shut during a storm.

Check the roof, foundation, chimney and walls for cracks and overall condition. Contact trained contractors in your area for information on retrofitting.

If you live in an apartment, know where your building’s utility controls are and how to use them.

❑ Practice home-evacuation drills. Choose someplace nearby for your family to meet.


Expect a lack of transportation.

Educate your children. Get a copy of your school district’s disaster policy regarding transportation and the release of students. Keep photos of family members in your wallet in case someone is missing.

❑ Take a first-aid course. Learn CPR. ❑ Know where the nearest police and fire stations are. Know the route to the nearest

hospital emergency room. Keep critical phone numbers and your insurance-policy numbers by your phone and in your wallet.

Enter your “ICE” — In Case of Emergency — numbers on your cell phone so emergency workers will know whom to contact if you’re hurt. For example, enter “ICE husband John” and the phone number.

Find out whether any neighbors have medical or other expertise. Plan to unite if your neighborhood becomes isolated. Help elderly, disabled or single-parent neighbors create an emergency plan. Get contact information for their relatives. Fill in the spaces below and keep this page in a handy place.

Family Emergency meeting place: _____________________________________________________ Out-of-state contact, phone number: ____________________________________________ Insurance company and phone numbers: ________________________________________ Insurance policy numbers:______________________________________________________ Driver’s license numbers: ______________________________________________________


Family members should know how to shut off waterlines in case of a leak in the house. Label the shutoff valve clearly; it’s the first valve in the line after it enters the house.

Strap your water heater (gas and electric ones) to studs in the wall with heavy-duty metal strips or to the floor to prevent gas leaks and possible fires from broken pipes. You can find strapping kits at home-improvement stores.


All occupants should also know how and when to turn off the gas. If you smell gas after a storm or other emergency, shut off the meter valve found at the first fitting on the supply pipe coming out of the ground. Use a wrench to turn the valve either way until it is perpendicular to the pipe. Keep a wrench attached to the gas meter with a wire. Call the gas company to get service restored.




Neighborhood Neighbors’ names, phone numbers: _____________________________________________

Utility companies Electricity: ___________________________________________________________________ Water: _______________________________________________________________________ Natural gas: __________________________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________________________________________________

Emergency Call 911 in life-or-death situation: _______________________________________________ Doctor’s phone: _______________________________________________________________ Pharmacy phone: _____________________________________________________________ Police non-emergency phone: __________________________________________________ Fire non-emergency phone: ____________________________________________________ Closest emergency room, address: ______________________________________________

Other ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________

Buy a portable, gas-powered generator for emergency electricity. Only appliances that can use extension cords should be attached to a generator. A 2200-watt unit can power a refrigerator and several lamps. Keep fuel in a safe, protected container.

Learn how to shut off the electricOlder ity: Turn off single panel breakers first, then switch off the main breaker. To turn back on, switch the main breaker first, then the single breakers. On older panels, pull the main fuse blocks.

a n rea er e er panel n le rea er

Household items

Place flashlights in hallways, bathrooms and bedrooms. Keep a flashlight, spare batteries and sturdy shoes under the bed. (Shoes will protect you from broken glass and other debris on the floor.)

Evaluate each room. Secure appliances, bookshelves and hutches to wall studs. Mirrors should be hung on double hooks; do not lean them against the wall.

Place heavy objects and electronic equipment on lower shelves. Use large Velcro patches or nonskid rubber shelf liner to help keep items in place.

Place a beanbag of sand or shot in the bottom of vases and other breakable items to help hold them down.

❑ Store household chemicals safely, preferably on or near the floor.

AFTER AN EVENT Check on everyone

• Provide first aid and a safe place for anyone who is injured or very upset. Check on and help neighbors. • Call 911 or other emergency phone numbers only if injuries are serious or the situation is life-threatening. Unnecessary calls can hamper rescue efforts.

Assess surroundings


Emergency workers Dr. Patricia Cantrell, left, and Ana Kaufmann, with the South Florida Search and Rescue Task Force 2, survey damage in Mexico Beach on Oct. 11, 2018 after Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle.

•Check for hazards such as fire, leaks, chemical spills and precarious structures. Natural-gas companies ask customers not to turn off their gas service at the meter unless they smell or hear a leak. If you smell gas coming from inside your home, call your gas company from a phone outside. It’s important not to touch electric switches or use the telephone until the situation is corrected. Only the gas company can restore service. •Plug appliances into a generator directly or with extension cords. Never plug a generator into a household outlet because power can flow back to the utility’s main system and injure utility workers trying to restore power. Always run generators outdoors to prevent buildup of toxic fumes. •Turn on the radio. In the case of an emergency that displaces many people, shelter locations will be announced. •Give pets food, water and dry shelter. Keep them away from antifreeze. •Turn off all appliances except the refrigerator and one light. This prevents a power surge when power is restored.

Call for help

• If phone service is available, give your out-of-state contact an update on your situation. If service is spotty, ask your

contact to call your insurance company if necessary, and your family and friends who may be worried about you.

Gather water

•Be prepared to treat, filter or boil contaminated water. •Use hot water sparingly. Most water heaters can retain heat for three days. •If the water supply is cut off, drinking water is still available in your home in water heaters, in-house plumbing and melted ice cubes. •Use a hose to get drinking water from your water heater’s drain valve in an emergency. It will be cloudy at first but will clear up after a few gallons. •If pipes break or leak, turn off water at the shut-off valve inside your home.

Prepare food

•If the electricity is out, open the refrigerator and freezer doors only when necessary. Eat refrigerated food first, frozen food next and dried or canned food last. •Refrigerated foods should be OK for about eight hours, holding a temperature of 40 degrees, unless the door is opened often. •Food in a freezer of 12 cubic feet or more should stay frozen for 48 hours if the freezer is full and the door kept closed; that food will keep safely cold for up to 72 hours. Frozen food that has completely thawed — especially vegetables and dishes containing meat, fish, eggs, cheese and cream sauce — should be tossed out because of possible bacteria growth. If the freezer temperature is higher than 40 degrees, throw out all food.


JUNE 7 – JUNE 13, 2019



Celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month with Publix! Join us at our instore tasting events (which will include giveaways) or cook up our Caribbean American-inspired recipes at home with specially priced products from Grace, Iberia, and Quirch.

EVENT SCHEDULE: Palm Lakes Plaza 7230 W. Atlantic Blvd. Margate (954) 979-2555 6/1 • 12 – 4 P.M.

Cypress Lakes Town Center 1297 S. State Rd. 7 North Lauderdale (954) 973-3337 6/10 • 4 – 8 P.M.

The Shoppes at Western Woods 8140 W. McNab Rd. North Lauderdale (954) 722-0599 6/22 • 12 – 4 P.M.

Publix Super Market 6890 Miramar Pkwy. Miramar (954) 966-9100 6/2 • 12 – 4 P.M.

Plantation Towne Square 6921 W. Broward Blvd. Plantation (954) 327-9705 6/14 • 4 – 8 P.M.

Publix at Monarch Lakes 14375 Miramar Pkwy. Miramar (954) 447-9212 6/23 • 12 – 4 P.M.

Jacaranda Plaza 8101 W. Sunrise Blvd. Plantation (954) 452-1362 6/3 • 4 – 8 P.M.

Ives Dairy Crossing 19955 NW 2nd Ave. North Miami Beach (305) 654-5771 6/15 • 12 – 4 P.M.

Sunshine Plaza 4121 W. Commercial Blvd. Tamarac (954) 735-4808 6/24 • 4 – 8 P.M.

Colonial Plaza Shopping Center 9510 SW 160th St. Miami (305) 971-9790 6/7 • 4 – 8 P.M.

Pembroke Commons 600 N. University Dr. Pembroke Pines (954) 433-4400 6/16 • 12 – 4 P.M.

Coral Landings II 6270 W. Sample Rd. Coral Springs (954) 344-5560 6/28 • 4 – 8 P.M.

Inverrary Falls 5855 W. Oakland Park Blvd. Lauderhill (954) 735-1328 6/8 • 12 – 4 P.M.

River Run Shopping Center 9951 Miramar Pkwy. Miramar (954) 437-6124 6/17 • 4 – 8 P.M.

Midway Plaza 5881 N. University Dr. Tamarac (954) 721-7800 6/29 • 12 – 4 P.M.

Miramar Commons 11000 Pembroke Rd. Miramar (954) 441-7918 6/9 • 12 – 4 P.M.

Central Shopping Center 100 W. Oakland Park Blvd. Wilton Manors (954) 565-4891 6/21 • 4 – 8 P.M.

Welleby Plaza 10155 W. Oakland Park Blvd. Sunrise (954) 748-5300 6/30 • 12 – 4 P.M.

More at publix.com/caribbeanheritage.