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"Providing News/Information and Connecting Florida’s Black Affuencers and Infuencers"

Black History Month Issue

The Legacy of President Barack Obama

Black Leaders Share Their Thoughts on the Obama Presidency Alvin Ailey Returns to Miami Alpha 1 Staffing Wins Multimillion Dollar Navy Contract And More...





Black History Month in Miami-Dade County: Honoring Our Community’s and Na�on’s Heroes

By: Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez

Mayor Carlos Giménez Black History Month is a �me for us to reflect on the contribu�ons that African-Americans have made to American

society. At the na�onal level, we look to trailblazers like President Barack Obama, our na�on’s first African-American president. I had the honor of serving as County Mayor during five of his eight years in office. Another icon was civil rights ac�vist and leader Dr. Mar�n Luther King Jr., whose work has impacted our modern society in so many ways. President Obama and Dr. King have le� legacies that we can proudly celebrate and honor not only this month, but every day of the year. In Miami-Dade County, we need only look at the names of our streets, buildings, monuments and parks to see the contribu�ons of African-American greats like arts advocate Sandrell Rivers; Gwen Cherry, the first African-American woman to be elected to the Florida Legislature; U.S. District Judge Wilkie D. Ferguson; ac�vist and community leader Joseph Caleb and civil rights ac�vist and poli�cian Athalie Range. We also have heroes among us like

Miami-Dade County’s first female African-American County A�orney Abigail Price-Williams and County Commissioners Audrey Edmonson, Barbara Jordan and Dennis Moss – all public servants who are paving the way for other African-Americans to lead our community, and who, through their service, are making a be�er Miami-Dade for all Miamians. And we have ac�vists like Leroy Jones, whose work through my Employ Miami-Dade ini�a�ve is helping African-Americans in neighborhoods with the highest levels of unemployment get the training they need to secure good-paying jobs and help break the cycle of poverty that has gone on for far too long in parts of our community. When we look at the great AfricanAmericans in our community, we can clearly see a common thread of public service. I gave my sixth State of the County address on January 18, days a�er we celebrated Dr. Mar�n Luther King Jr. Day, and in my speech

I referenced Dr. King’s quote on public service: “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.” This statement resonates so deeply because it is �meless, and it reminds us that, through service, we can all play a role in making our community be�er for all Miamians – for future and current genera�ons. Miami-Dade County would not be where it is today if it were not for our African-American community. In honor of Black History Month, I urge every resident of our County to celebrate these contribu�ons by commi�ng to serving others. There are so many ways to get involved, and many needs to be met. I also encourage every resident to celebrate by taking part in the County-wide events that commemorate Black History Month. There is a complete calendar of events available on the County’s Black History Month web page at: www.miamidade.gov/holidays/ black-history-month.asp.


Audrey M. Edmonson Vice Chairwoman Board of County Commissioners Being a public servant in the era of

The Legacy of Barack Obama

President Barack Obama was an incredible experience. Our encounters inspired me to work harder, study more and stay up later to try to create a be�er place for residents to live, work and play in Miami-Dade County. There will be a lot of commentary about the legacy of Barack Obama but in my opinion he was one of the most accessible presidents in recent history. The White House’s communica�on was historically reserved at the local level to Mayors of large urban ci�es. Typically, outside of governors and State legislators, local elected officials worked in a pyramid pecking order. However, this President and his administra�on �relessly worked for inclusion of everyone, especially local elected officials.

It was this President that first spoke of breaking silos and crea�ng inter-agency dialogue for agencies and cons�tuencies to speak to one another and work in tandem to create a be�er, more seamless process for vital work to be done in our communi�es. He understood that informa�on trickling down to officials closer to the people was not only necessary but impera�ve. During a �me when our na�on was in crisis, President Obama made sure, firsthand, local governments could help spur economic growth, create employment opportuni�es and were ou�i�ed to address those needs. Miami-Dade County and its residents benefi�ed from those opportuni�es. I also believe that President Barack Obama will leave a legacy of resilience. He

Providing News/Informa�on and Connec�ng Florida’s Black Affluencers and Influencers CREDO OF THE BLACK PRESS "The Black Press believes that America can best lead the world away from racial and na�onal antagonisms when it accords to every person, regardless of race, color or creed, full human and legal rights. Ha�ng no person, fearing no person, the Black Press strives to help every person in the firm belief that all hurt as long as anyone is held back."

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taught us that in an ever-changing world and environment, we must rise to the occasion and take prudent and necessary steps to address tough issues. He reminds us that if we stay the course, we will see change. Resilience is a word Miami-Dade County is most familiar with. We have endured natural disasters, loss of infrastructure, budget crises and most recently, young lives to senseless gun violence. We have and we will con�nue to rise and face challenges with integrity and expediency to not only see the change we want to happen, but to also be the change. Thank you, Mr. President for your leadership. You have set a fine example and have le� a great legacy of resiliency and being accessible to all.

Dexter A. Bridgeman CEO & Founder Kervin L. Clenance Group Publisher Denise St. Patrick-Bell PhD Copy Editor Zachary Rinkins Editor at Large Toni Harrigan Associate Editor

Nordene Bartley Marke�ng Manager Mya Carr / Intern Wytney Dorvilus / Intern Nestor Calixto / Intern Md Shahidullah Art Director








Yo am no ut ily un h En ce Ac te d h rp liv ie r e ve ise at r s t he

Save the Date



African-American Achievers Awards April 26, 2017 6:30 p.m. Broward County Convention Center Complimentary Admission Hosted by Calvin Hughes, Evening News Anchor, WPLG-TV Local 10


Celebrate and say thank you to our local heroes, the 2017 African-American Achievers, and pay special tribute to 25 years of impact in South Florida. Established by automotive legend Jim Moran, the program recognizes the meaningful difference made by everyday individuals driven by passion and a greater purpose. One honoree will be announced in each of the following categories:

Arts & Culture + Business & Entrepreneurism Community Service + Education Sponsored by

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For more information, visit AfricanAmericanAchievers.com, call 866-516-2497 or join us on Facebook.com/AfricanAmericanAchievers.




What President Obama's Legacy Means to Me

By: Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson

his elec�on and reelec�on, seen that if they work hard enough that yes, they can make what once seemed impossible dreams come true. As the founder of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, it was a par�cular honor to begin my congressional career with an African-American president. I have always strived to teach the Role Obama with Role Models mentees during a Miami visit Model boys to be During President Obama’s first White confident and unafraid to dream big, but it’s House bid, an ar�st created an iconic probably safe to say that when I started the mixed-media poster of his image that program, many never dreamed they’d live included the word hope, progress or change. to see a black man in the White House. His campaign slogan was “Yes, we can.” I Fast forward 24 years and hundreds of think that one of the most important things Role Model boys, and countless children of that he did for African Americans, but black color around the na�on, cast their very first boys in par�cular, was to give us hope that vote for president to help elect and re-elect our na�on truly is the land of opportunity. A our na�on’s first black president. whole genera�on of children has, through I believe that the crea�on of the My

By: Kallan Louis


Brother’s Keeper, a bold ini�a�ve to address the challenges faced by boys and young men of color and close opportunity gaps, is one of President Obama’s most crowning achievements. He unveiled it nearly two years to the day a�er the tragic shoo�ng death of Trayvon Mar�n shed a na�onal spotlight on how in too many communi�es across the na�on boys of color are an endangered species simply because of the color of their skin. The president cited the Role Models program as a model for My Brother’s Keeper when he unveiled it at a White House ceremony. His ini�a�ve ensures that the issues affec�ng black men and boys are now receiving the a�en�on they deserve. Since its rollout, numerous corpora�ons, community organiza�ons, founda�ons, private ci�zens, major celebri�es, local communi�es and countless others have answered his call to ac�on to help prepare our na�on’s youth for success in and out of the classroom. During our early conversa�ons about MBK, the president shared with me that First Lady Michelle Obama was really the one who felt most passionate about building up black

men and boys because they have two daughters. I understood exactly where she was coming from. When people ques�on why I have focused on black males, I remind them of how their experience in the Role Models program enables them to grow up to become good husbands. That is another very important and long-las�ng part of President Obama’s legacy. He showed our boys and young men what it looks like to be a good and loving husband and father and a cool one, to boot, who shares their fondness for things like basketball and hip hop. Together, the Obamas changed how the world sees black families--and love, which may be one of the greatest gi�s of all.

Rep. Wilson greets the president in Miami

Black Tech Week Aims to Help Minority-owned Firm Find Funding

opportuni�es for minori�es locally. “How do we be�er address the needs in our community? A big part of that is ongoing programming,” said BlackTech Week co-founder Felecia Hatcher. “By having more cataly�c events throughout the year, it allows us to do all of those things.” BlackTech Week is a program of Code Fever, the Miami non-profit organiza�on on a mission BlackTech Week co-founder Felecia Hatcher to, among other things, at the 2016 conference close the technology For the third consecu�ve year, black educa�on gap by inspiring more technology professionals and business underserved minority students to code, entrepreneurs will convene in Miami for the build and create technology enterprises BlackTech Week conference. However, this within their communi�es. One of those year’s event will be different than in the ideas Hatcher and her team decided on was past. This �me around, the February event to create BlackTech Weekend, which will will only be a weekend. According to the take place February 23-25, with the majority event organizers, this is not due to a lack of of the ac�vi�es taking place at the funding or interest, to the contrary, it is Overtown Performing Arts Center. The because of the expanding interest in tech tradi�onal BlackTech Week will move to

September. “BlackTech Weekend allows us to zero in on one focus area and bring people down for that weekend to focus on that,” said Hatcher. One of the big things is access to funding.” So this year’s theme, will focus on how black tech professionals and startups can find resources and investors to support their businesses and ideas. The list of speakers slated for the weekend are black serial entrepreneurs and venture capital execu�ves who represent firms looking to do business with black startups. For the second consecu�ve year, Miami ranked second in the Kauffman Founda�on’s annual “Index of Startup Ac�vity,” a report measuring new business crea�on among 40 of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. As more technology businesses pop up in south Florida, Hatcher believes the bigger issue is keeping black tech professionals in Miami. Another reason why the 2017 BlackTech Weekend’s theme of focusing on funding is �mely. “Most people don’t know FIU graduates the largest number of black engineers in the en�re state of Florida,” Hatcher explained. “What’s happening is that they are gradua�ng them but the jobs from

companies are not necessarily there.” South Florida’s black tech community seems to be consistently growing. According to Hatcher, nearly 3,000 people par�cipated in the first two BlackTech Week conferences. About 750 people are members of Black Tech Miami, a Meetup group that gathers monthly with members coming as far as Delray Beach, to share ideas, resources and as Hatcher stated, “geek out.” BlackTech events are growing as well with plans to expand statewide and support black tech startups in new ecosystems. Eventually, Hatcher says her team also plans to take BlackTech Weekend to some other ci�es around the country. “There’s a lot going on in south Florida when it comes to suppor�ng startups and technology companies,” Hatcher assured. We do a lot of work to holding these organiza�ons and companies to task to make sure they have be�er outreach to our community. We would love more organiza�ons to hold these organiza�ons to task to make sure they are doing programming in our 13 Targeted Urban Areas in Miami.”



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South Florida Staffing Firm, Alpha 1 Staffing Receives U.S. Navy Subcontract

By: Shelly-Ann Parkinson

Garrie Harris President and CEO Alpha 1 Staffing Search Firm SP: What is Alpha 1 Staffing Search Firm? GH: Alpha1 Staffing Search Firm began in 2007 with four partners and a vision to provide staffing services to na�onal clients with a personal touch. Alpha1 is one of the largest minority employers in South Florida with offices in Miami, Miramar, and Orlando. We have major contracts with

Miami -Dade County, CareerSource, City of Miramar and many other private sector clients. SP: Please tell us about this subcontract with the U.S. Navy. GH: Seaport Enhanced or Seaport-e is the USN’s contract vehicle of choice to procure all future engineering, technical, logis�cs, program management, staffing and financial support services. We are a prime contractor for SeaPort-e as part of Spotswood Consul�ng, an 8(a) African-American firm specializing in technical management and support services to na�onal defense, homeland security, and space organiza�ons implemen�ng projects and providing analy�cal services. SP: Please describe the process for applying and ul�mately being awarded this contract. GH: The U.S. Navy conducted its open enrollment period. During this process our Prime Small Business Team prepared a formal RFP Response document, which resulted in two large binders- one was the technical proposal, and other was the

cost/price proposal. Upon submi�al, the U.S. Navy Contrac�ng Office conducted a rigorous contractor ve�ng process las�ng several months which required us to complete addi�onal detailed ques�onnaires and forms. We were then no�fied by the Contrac�ng Office that we had made the cut and that we were on this very important contract. SP: Why do you believe that Alpha 1 Staffing was awarded this contract? GH: Very early in the process of marke�ng to the U.S. government, Alpha 1 understood the importance of strategic alliances, and a concept called ‘Teaming’. We joined forces with other like-minded African-American owned government contractors and Alpha 1 devised an effec�ve Teaming strategy to quickly enter the U.S. Federal market as a new contractor. We were awarded this spot on a Prime Contract by leveraging our years of experience in the municipal government and healthcare sector as a staffing leader. SP: How long is the contract for? GH: The Base period is five (5) years, and

two five-year extension periods, for a total of 15 years. During the next five years alone, the U.S. Navy will procure $24 Billion in goods and services, in 22 categories, including personnel services for special projects. SP: What advice do you have for other small businesses seeking government contracts? GH: Do your homework first. Meet with experts. Please remember that 23% of all U.S. Government Contrac�ng dollars are Small Business Set-Asides. However, JUST being a woman, or minority does not automa�cally give you a blank check. Round out your team, surround yourself with experienced federal marke�ng specialists, and have a good Program Manager on your team to head up the effort. You need to be prepared for an 18 to 24 month ramp up cycle. You will not have overnight success, so having a plan is very important. Above all, be prepared to put in some elbow grease. The return is worth the hard work.

9œÕ½Ài˜iÛiÀ̜œޜ՘} œÀ̜œœ`̜…>ÛiºwÀÃÌð» /…ˆÃ >VŽˆÃ̜ÀÞœ˜Ì…]ÜiViiLÀ>Ìi̅iwÀÃÌÃ>Ì>˜Þ >}i°7…i̅iÀˆÌ½ÃwÀÃÌ}À>`i>Ìx°"ÀwÀÃÌ̈“iVœi}i ÃÌÕ`i˜Ì>ÌÈx°7i>…>Ûi>œÌœvwÀÃÌÃ>…i>`œvÕð /…>̽Ã̅i«œÜiÀœvReal Possibilities. Visit aarp.org/blackcommunity

Real Possibilities is a trademark of AARP.




So You Want to Start a Business…Now What?

By: Shelly-Ann M. Parkinson

Althea Harris Assistant District Director Marke�ng and Outreach Area 1 (Miami)

Star�ng a business can be as in�mida�ng as it is exci�ng. You have all these ideas and you are ready to dive into your passion. You want to be your own boss. You want to make your own hours and do things your way. You know that it will take a great deal of hard work, dedica�on, sacrifice, and risks. It is now �me to put your ideas into ac�on. Ok, now what? According to Althea Harris, Assistant District Director of Marke�ng and Outreach Area 1 (Miami), at the U.S. Small Business Administra�on (SBA), you do your research. She encourages start-ups and exis�ng small businesses to u�lize the resources at the www.SBA.Gov, the Federal Government’s one stop shop for informa�on and guidance for small businesses. There, you can find prac�cal tools to write and execute a business plan and links to YouTube videos offering step by step guidelines and encouragement in your small business journey. So you now have a business plan. Within

that business plan, you have determined the cost to start and maintain your business. The SBA also offers guidance in determining whether you will require a loan. Harris stresses that the SBA does not directly lend to businesses. One must go to the lender first who will then contact the SBA. The SBA is in fact a guarantor of loans. It is the lender who makes the loan to the business and the SBA guarantees that a por�on of the loan is repaid. Now, this doesn’t mean that you are off the hook if you do not pay. Once the SBA repays the lender, they now have the power of the Federal Government to collect what they have paid on your behalf. Harris offers her best advice for a small business owner: “Get your financials straight and clean up your credit.” Banks and most lenders will consider your cash flow (can you afford the loan?) and credit score (will you pay back the loan?). If you are a Black or minority small business owner in Florida, Harris encourages you to contact SBA

community lenders such as the statewide BBIF (Black Business Investment Florida), Partners for Self-Employment in Miami-Dade and Broward Coun�es, and Paragon Lenders in Palm Beach County. These agencies provide micro-loans to small businesses. Micro-lenders have been a driving force behind the upward trend towards giving SBA backed loans to Black and minority businesses in South Florida over the past 3 years. Micro-lenders are for those businesses that don’t need a lot of money. They offer loans up to $50,000 with the average loan of $15,000. These loans are not driven by credit score. To qualify for a SBA backed loan, the business must be a “for- profit” business, a small business, and headquartered in the United States. Harris further stated that “it is very difficult to get start-up money. Try saving and start by asking friends and family for investments. You must have a need for a loan guarantee to get it. If you are si�ng on a pile of cash, you don’t need it.”

Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust Celebrates Black History Month

Remembering Our Past as We Move Forward

Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust (MDEAT) continues to serve as an economic development agent of Miami-Dade County. Through its advocacy and programmatic endeavors, MDEAT is a mechanism for the Black community in realizing equitable participation in the economic growth of the county. Connect with MDEAT through economic development, housing and juvenile justice.

MDEAT Economic Development Division advocates for the creation of business opportunities in Targeted Urban Areas and hosts educational opportunities covering such topics as technology, e-gardening, and small business development.

MDEAT Housing Division encompasses MDEAT Homeownership Assistance Program (HAP). HAP has made homeownership a reality for nearly 6,000 families across Miami-Dade County since its inception in 1995.

Get involved by joining one of MDEAT’s Action Committees or attending its monthly Board Meeting. T. 305.375.5661 | www.miamidade.gov/EconomicAdvocacyTrust | MDEATInfo@miamidade.gov John E. Dixon, Jr., Executive Director

As Florida's largest teen court program, MDEAT's MiamiDade County Teen Court has expanded its reach to serve even more teens across the county. It now serves students in the public school system through its Student Court and it encourages business ownership through its Youth Entrepreneurship Program.



By: Zach Rinkins


Arts in the Gardens Places Spotlight on Community

Scenes from JITG 2016 The City of Miami Gardens is poised to present its twel�h annual Jazz in the Gardens Fes�val (JITG) with renown headliners including Jill Sco�, Herbie Hancock, LL Cool J, hometown legend Be�y Wright, and a host of acclaimed performers. Noted comedian and radio personality Rickey Smiley will host the event. The fes�val is scheduled for March 18 and 19, at the newly named Hard Rock Stadium located at 347 Don Shula Drive in Miami Gardens. The city is expanding fes�val

programming to include the Knight Founda�on Arts in the Gardens (FMAC at JITG) conference focusing on film, music, art, and culture on March 16 and 17. The conference will place the spotlight on the community and include a na�onal poetry compe��on with a $10,000 grand prize. “JITG started as a concert in the parking lot for a couple of residents. It’s now expanded to an event that includes wonderful ar�sts, food vendors, and businesses,” says Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert, III. “We challenged ourselves to figure out how we can a�ract people with diverse interests who may not just want a party and a concert. They may want to be exposed to art, literature, and spoken word.” JITG has grown into an interna�onal des�na�on that a�racts the most popular ar�sts and welcomes more than 70,000 a�endees. The mayor sees this as an opportunity to expose revelers to economic opportuni�es and good old fashioned Miami Gardens hospitality. “Ul�mately, JITG was created to invite

people to our hometown and create a brand for our city,” Gilbert reveals. “We want people to have fun with us on Saturday. But, we want people to come the week before JITG to enjoy our ar�sts, performers, and intellects. We also want to generate money for the city, the vendors, and residents here in Miami Gardens.” FMAC at JITG provides professional development and networking opportuni�es for arts managers and organiza�ons, ar�sts, community and economic development professionals, students, educators, and others working in the arts and cultural industry in South Florida and across the na�on. It aims to change the way people think about South Florida’s film, music and art scene through exposing them to some of the best ar�sts across diverse genres and highligh�ng a wide array of homegrown talent. “It’s important to be intelligent. It’s important to be crea�ve. And, it’s important to be able to express what’s inside of you,” Gilbert declares. “Some�mes we underes�mate the power of crea�vity and

the ability to express yourself. Words express thoughts and sen�ments that move us and the world.” The one and a half-day mul�-purpose event will educate, showcase and celebrate the diversity of ar�orms and ar�sts in and around South Florida. The programming will highlight a number of topics including: • Filmmakers will obtain insight into developing ideas, making films and ge�ng them seen; • Musicians will be inspired by industry professionals who understand their music and how to connect them with their audience; • Ar�sts will obtain insight on how to mone�ze their art and maximize their reach; • Leaders will explore how art can be used as a catalyst for social change and economic development; and • Music, film and art lovers will benefit from art exhibits, art installa�ons, interac�ve art experiences, performance art sta�ons and Q&A sessions. More information and tickets are available at www.JazzInTheGardens.com



Celebrating History. Building A Future Together. As we celebrate the rich culture and diversity of our community, Jackson Health System is proud to provide access to quality health care for everyone in South Florida. We honor the significant contributions made throughout the years and look forward to making miracles for many years to come.


Jackson Memorial Hospital • Jackson North Medical Center • Jackson South Community Hospital Holtz Children’s Hospital • Jackson Behavioral Health Hospital • Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital




By: Christopher Norwood, J.D.


Brilliant and Black : The Obama Legacy

Yes we can. Yes we did! -Barack H. Obama

So o�en African-American success comes at the expense of leaving our community intellectually, philosophically and spa�ally. Michelle Robinson (later known as Mrs. Obama) struggled with this reality as a Princeton student. She wrote her thesis on the “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community”. She researched how comfortable Princeton's Black Alumni were with their race prior, during and a�er their enrollment at Princeton. Michelle was disappointed with her findings, they simply did not support her hope that the Black alumni would s�ll iden�fy with the African American community. She grappled with this as she moved further away from her Southside Chicago roots to a�end Law School at Harvard. Soon therea�er she embraced being both “Black and Brilliant”, according to her Law Professor Charles Ogletree, who taught both Barack and Michelle. Michelle's want to 'stay real' while pursuing her dreams is a decision that many Black Professionals know so well. We want to represent the neighborhoods we grew up in, or where our parents grew up in. We want to stay connected to their aspira�ons whether we a�end Miami Dade College, Stanford, Hampton or Yale. When we graduate we want to find economic success while being encouraged by our employers to be community oriented. Barack and Michelle did just that. In fact, the Obama Legacy of Black Excellence is etched in the American lexicon, a symbol of the Black Family Reconstructed. They are an example of both “Black & Brilliant”. It shows

in their personal example because they never broke the promise of their forefathers. Although they live in the White House they s�ll speak the language of Blackness and have not disconnected from their community. Recently at a White House celebra�on, Usher Raymond performed James Brown's classic “Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud”. The Obama's proudly sang along “I'm Black and I'm Proud”. Who would have thought the President of the United States would be singing that song in 2016 in the White House, when James Brown & Pee Wee Lewis wrote the song in 1968? Barack Obama's commitment to Black Excellence was expressed through their Policy Advocacy, which can't be separated from his personal story in educa�on and that of his parents. No different than our own children's educa�on is the result of our own educa�onal experiences. Obama himself received a global educa�on as a six year-old in Jakarta, Indonesia. He a�ended Indonesian language schools supplemented by English language homeschooling by his mother who was a PhD. in Anthropology. Barack Obama was a two-�me Ivy Leaguer having a�ended Columbia and Harvard for Law School. In fact, he was a 2nd genera�on Harvard man, the first was Barack Obama, Sr. Michelle Obama was also raised within Black Excellence. She and her brother a�ended the best schools in Chicago and then both a�ended Princeton University. Michelle went on to Harvard University for Law School and her brother to Northwestern Business School. Obama placed a high value on Educa�on

Policy, eight years in the White House yielded enormous gains in Public Educa�on. Obama's hallmark was the Race to the Top grant program that leveraged the the carrot of Federal dollars to encourage major shi�s of state and local ed reform. Obama supported charter schools as well, he promised in 2008 to double the Federal Charter School Program and he delivered. He championed these policies that lessened the Opportunity Gap in our country. Our na�on's high school gradua�on rates have reached a record 83 percent, con�nuing a steady increase that shows improvement across all racial and ethnic groups. The gradua�on rate for African-Americans is 73%, s�ll lower than our white counterparts, but we have been closing that gap. In fact, we've exceeding the na�onal rate of improvement by making yearly gains of 1.3 percent since 2011. Educa�on should lead to employment, and it has. Obama began his Presidency with an African American unemployment rate of over 15%, now it's almost half that. Obama is not only the 1st Black President, he is the 1st Internet President. In 2008, during the Democra�c primary versus Hillary Clinton, Obama did laps around her internet presence. Obama was the only candidate who truly leveraged the web. In the General elec�on, nearly four �mes as many people watched official Obama ampaign YouTube videos as did John McCain (about 96 million to 25 million). On Facebook, Obama had 2.4 million "friends," versus McCain's 623,000. Obama was the first president to master mass communica�on via the internet, and he

cbrought all of America with him. Its no surprise that Obama as President invested billions in broadband service, especially in schools and libraries. The FCC's Na�onal Broadband Plan, set a goal of 100% access by 2020. Today, only 6% of Americans don't have access to high speed internet. Obama has also had his disappointments, some truly have hit home in Chicago. The violence inflicted upon Young Black Males is of epidemic propor�ons around America's ci�es: Miami, Newark, Bal�more, St. Louis, New Orleans and even their hometown of Chicago led the na�on with 768 murders in 2016. These kids with guns don't care that the real life 'Huxtables' occupied the White House. These kids were unaffected by Black Excellence that was on full display almost everyday for 8 years. The Leader of the Free World could not stop this epidemic in his own hometown which he loves. So, we s�ll have a long way to go to save our youth in poverty and we all need to be engaged in this fight. We can't let our success separate us from those that need us the most, their success is our success as well. Let's be honest, there is no Trump Presidency without Obama. It was Black Excellence that created and nurtured the ac�vism of an America that resented a successful Black Family living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. For this reason, we must con�nue our vigilance to showcase Black Excellence and provide examples of our Success in Business, Healthcare, Educa�on and Technology. The Obama Presidency has ended but Black Excellence has not.




Black Leaders Reflect on the Obama Legacy President Obama’s legacy will be forever ingrained in the minds of young Black people all over this country, and some parts Robbie Bell Licensed Real Estate Broker of the world; and, those not born yet, “Yes, you can!”. You can become whatever you set your sights to be, including the President of these United States. President Obama restored my faith in my country and helped me to understand how important the office of the President can be to an everyday American. He set Bill Diggs standards for President family life in a Mourning Family Founda�on way that will never be forgo�en. Having met him on mul�ple occasions, I know that he has a genuine love of people. He was an extraordinary global leader. His intellect, decisive ac�ons, and economic policies saved the Lisa Hogan country from a Execu�ve Director & CEO Great Depression Chrysler Minority Dealers Associa�on and orchestrated the recovery from the Great Recession, including rescuing the auto industry. His Administra�on improved the quality of life, security, health, educa�on, and economic opportuni�es for millions of Americans.

Eric Knowles President & CEO

Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce

Through it all, President Obama exemplified dignified intelligent leadership and respect. The First Family conducted themselves with class, providing a pla�orm for not

just Americans but all of the world to emulate. He is and was a symbol that said, that in America if you believe and if you do the right thing you can become anything, including the President of the United States of America. Speaking to President Obama in a receiving line, I felt he heard me and cared about my causes. President Obama, thank Beatrice Louissaint you also for President and CEO Florida State Minority Supplier caring for the Development Council (FSMSDC) youngest and the most vulnerable, and for being such a great role model for black families. May we all learn from your example. I spent President Obama’s 2012 re-elec�on night at Mc Cormick Place in Chicago watching the results in the President’s Suzan McDowell Friends & Family #ChiefCircleGladiator, Suite with Circle of One Marke�ng Kamala Harris, Angela Basse�, Aisha Tyler and Lynn Whi�ield. I was the guest of the celebrated actress Alfre Woodard who happens to be my dear friend of over 20 years and a very influen�al Obama surrogate. A�er all the speeches, around 2am, President Obama came into the suite and addressed and hugged us all. Then he waved at me like he knew me. For once, I had no words. The Obama Presidency marked a momentous �me in history. From skillfully naviga�ng our country out of an economic crisis, to developing and implemen�ng Bernade�e Morris CEO of Sonshine Communica�ons the first-ever and Black PR Wire affordable healthcare program, Mr. Obama delivered! He drove America forward. His legacy gives me hope that “Yes we can," and yes we will overcome.

President Obama's legacy was not just a symbol for the AfricanAmerican community, but it was a stamp of Shevrin Jones opportunity State Representa�ve, for black Shevrin D. Jones, District 101 men. His policies will forever live on, but what he meant to me as a black man, encourages me that I CAN be greater and I CAN go further. Because of President Obama, my daughters and children all over the world know that we can accomplish anything if we work hard, prepare Dr.Larry Rice , President Johnson & Wales University ourselves North Miami Campus and believe. Their reality is that irrespec�ve of race, ethnicity, LGBT iden�ty or socio-economics, one can achieve great success. This inspira�on is a new normal and part of his legacy. As a 2016 Presiden�al Life�me Achievement Award Recipient signed by President Barack Obama, I am proud to have a piece of history to share in his legacy. I witnessed God’s purpose being fulfilled. “Purpose Never Dies ™” it lives through us. President Obama proved that dreams don’t die, they just need us to give them life. President Obama was pre-des�ned for greatness, and so are we! I thank God for allowing me to witness love in ac�on.

Barack Obama’s presidency proves the American Dream is alive; The idea that all men are created equal. The idea that beyond place and sta�on Mayor Oliver Gilbert City of Miami Gardens of birth, through affirma�on of fellow ci�zens, you can be the voice, face, and representa�ve of a greater America. My son prays for him every night. The na�on’s 44th President, Barack Hossein Obama, is memorialized as one of the greatest presidents ever to serve this country with dignity, intelligence, Jasmin Shirley, style and Senior Vice President Broward Health Community grace! His Health Services legacy: vigilant leadership; victorious outcomes in spite of obstacles and roadblocks; blessing to more than 20 million people who obtained health insurance. Through 100 Black Men of South Florida and 5000 Role Models of Excellence, I see hundreds of young men like President Obama on the horizon. I believe that Keith R. Tribble President & CEO his legacy of Jackson Health Founda�on hope and his call to ac�on of “yes, we can” shows our youth that there are endless possibili�es - if you dare to dream.



Small Business Development By: Gary T. Har�ield

Gary T. Harďż˝ield, Director Miami-Dade County The Small Business Enterprise-Services (SBE-S) Program is one of several cerďż˝ďŹ caďż˝on programs administered by Miami-Dade County’s Small Business Development (SBD) Division. The SBE Service Program caters to small businesses that oer services other than construcďż˝on, architecture, or engineering. Through training and educaďż˝on iniďż˝aďż˝ves, SBD supports service-oriented small businesses with exploring the many avenues of economic opportunity. In this arďż˝cle, SBD features one of its success stories in the


A Small Business Enterprise Success Story SBE-S Program; namely, TriMerge Consulďż˝ng Group, PA, which has operated for thirteen years providing a full range of tax preparaďż˝on and planning services. Geraldine “Gerriâ€? Lazarre is the President and Managing Partner of TriMerge Consulďż˝ng Group, PA (“TriMergeCPAâ€?), a women-owned, SBE-S-cerďż˝ďŹ ed public accounďż˝ng and consulďż˝ng ďŹ rm. Q: How did the business get started? A: Thirteen years ago, TriMergeCPA began with three partners from the University of Miami’s hallways. We were all accounďż˝ng majors considering master’s degrees when we decided to start an accounďż˝ng ďŹ rm. The next thing I remember, we were signing paperwork and TriMergeCPA was born. Q: What service do you oer? A: TriMergeCPA is a cerďż˝ďŹ ed public accounďż˝ng and consulďż˝ng ďŹ rm that oers audiďż˝ng, accounďż˝ng, tax compliance and consulďż˝ng, ďŹ nancial management, and business advisory and consulďż˝ng services. We analyze our customers’ needs and design soluďż˝ons that boost their boďż˝om line. Our clients’ success is our focus and this makes the dierence in the services we

. s r e n . g i s r s De uilde . B ors Give your d n Small Business a Ve Big Boost $GEQOG5OCNN$WUKPGUU'PVGTRTKUG%GTVKĹżGF


provide. Q: How has the County’s SBE program beneďŹ ted your company? A: As a cerďż˝ďŹ ed business, we have beneďŹ ted tremendously. The SBE-S program provides a voice to small businesses in an environment dominated by big business. Through the SBE-S program, ďŹ rms have an opportunity to compete, engage in economic development, and generate wealth by creaďż˝ng jobs, industries, and careers. The program oers a window to possibiliďż˝es. For instance, our response to a “VeriďŹ caďż˝on of Availabilityâ€? study transformed into work with the American Airlines Arena’s management team. Aďż˝erward, our ďŹ rm was added to the County’s Management Consulďż˝ng Services Pool. Q: What is the biggest risk your business has taken? A: The biggest risk was revising our growth strategy. Aďż˝erward, we were awarded two federal government contracts. One included parďż˝cipaďż˝on as one of four ďŹ rms to provide audit and ďŹ nancial review services on a blanket purchase agreement with a ceiling up to $10 million. Q: What does it take to succeed as a

small business? A: It is important to have leadership, a great work ethic, passion, openness and humility. You must be willing to make tough decisions. This may mean paying employees and vendors before yourself. Although owning your own business appears glamorous, it’s tough work. There is a lot of compe��on and no guarantee that you will be proďŹ table. Ms. Lazarre, you are right. Owning your own business is tough work - a reality that SBD acknowledges. As such, we conďż˝nue to aid small businesses with charďż˝ng a path toward success. Through networking events, SBD fosters relaďż˝onships amongst small business owners and local en��es to promote partnership and economic development prospects. Firms receive guidance on how to uďż˝lize resources to maximize growth and earning potenďż˝al while strengthening the capacity to idenďż˝fy and compete for opportuniďż˝es. SBD recognizes how indispensable the small business community is to South Florida’s economic vitality and looks forward to assisďż˝ng more small businesses with contribuďż˝ng to that end.


BUSINESS REPORT By: Beatrice Louissaint

By: Chris Norwood


Black-owned Businesses that are Making History

Blackowned Businesses that are Making History Small businesses, par�cularly minority businesses, are fueling Beatrice Louissaint South Florida’s economy. As we celebrate Black History Month, let’s applaud the successes of these black-owned businesses that are making history. Also, let’s support black-owned companies by doing business and partnering with them. Paramount Solu�ons & Global Services Jacqueline Wilson is President and CEO of Paramount Solu�ons & Global Services, which provides informa�on technology services, management consul�ng, staffing services, project management, training development and process improvement to both government and commercial clients. Paramount’s clients include the U.S. Department of Defense: Army, Air Force and



Navy; Centers for Disease Control and Preven�on; U.S. Department of Jus�ce; Boys & Girls Clubs of America na�onal headquarters; Fulton County; Accenture, Computer Science Corpora�on; and MasTec. In 2016, Paramount experienced unprecedented growth of more than 800 percent and expects this growth to con�nue as it expands into industries such as hospitality, financial and legal. www.paramountgs.com PowerWright Technologies Jaimie Wright is the President of PowerWright Technologies a full-service engineering and construc�on/project management firm that provides valueadded design solu�ons for electric u�li�es and other industries. The firm provides solu�ons for every electron that flows from PowerWright’s clients’ genera�ng facili�es to their customers’ meter cans. The company has engineered, managed and provided construc�on support for hundreds of projects of all sizes and complexity and meets the electric u�lity industry’s need for quality engineering and design services through construc�on comple�on. From transmission and distribu�on line design, to substa�on and other technical services,

PowerWright provides value-added solu�ons to customers such as FP&L and the City of Chicago. www.powerwrighttech.com Floral Group, Inc. Dorne� Mullings is the President of Floral Group, Inc. For more than 10 years, the company has provided the freshest and best-quality flowers to its customers, which include most of America’s leading grocery chains. Wal-Mart, Winn-Dixie and HEB Grocery Company are some of the chains that the Floral Group delivers its fresh flowers to every day. In addi�on, Floral Group sells flowers to individual customers. Because of the company’s unique rela�onships with the farms it partners with, the Floral Group is able to source the best-quality florals for all of its customers. The company has 24 employees and is located in the heart of Miami’s floral district, making it easy to quickly process orders and ship within days of receiving orders from customers. www.floralgroup.net To meet these business owners and many other minority entrepreneurs who are history-making leaders in their industries, a�end the Florida State Minority Supplier

Development Council’s 32nd Annual Business Expo March 30-31, 2017, at the Broward County Conven�on Center. To learn more about the Business Expo, visit www.fsmsdc.org or call (305) 762-6151. Beatrice Louissaint is President and CEO of the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC), one of 23 regional councils affiliated with the National Minority Supplier Development Council. The FSMSDC acts as a liaison between corporate America and Minority Business Enterprises in the state of Florida. The organization is also the operator of the U.S. Department of Commerce Miami Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Centers, which serves southern and central Florida. FSMSDC’s goal is to increase purchasing from minority businesses by government entities and corporations, while increasing the operating capacity of minority businesses through hands-on business assistance, training and access to technology and capital resources. To learn more about the FSMSDC, visit fsmsdc.org, learn about the Miami and Orlando MBDA Business Centers at www.mbdamiamice nter.com or www.mbdaorlandocenter.com or call (305) 762-6151.

Florida Democra�c Party Leadership is now Black Fisted

A�er crushing defeats in Florida last November, the Florida Democra�c Party at its organiza�onal mee�ng elected new Christopher Norwood officers Spokesman for the Democra�c including a Black Caucus of Florida Chair, First Principal of Norwood Consul�ng Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and 10 Democra�c Na�onal Commi�ee (DNC) members. The Democra�c Black Caucus of Florida (DBCF) silently made moves to ensure that African Americans now hold three of the four elected officer posi�ons within the Florida Democra�c Party's State Commi�ee and that three of the 10 Democra�c Na�onal Commi�ee (DNC) members elected are

African American. Since November, Democra�c ac�vists and the media have focused on the ba�le for Chairman of the Florida Democra�c Party. It was the usual tale, a prominent Democra�c Fundraiser wanted to be Chairman and the establishment broke all sorts of rules and bent over backwards to see that he was victorious. But while so much a�en�on was placed on the Chairman’s race, the Democra�c Black Caucus was also focused on the other elected officers of our State Commi�ee and DNC elec�ons. The DBCF u�lized its collec�ve will to ensure that the Florida Democra�c Party leadership begins to look like the Florida Democra�c Party (32% of Florida Democrats are Black). African-American Democrats swept the elected officer posi�ons. Judy Mount, the DEC chairwoman of Leon County is now 1st Vice Chair, the first �me ever an African American has held that posi�on. Francesca Menes, State Commi�eewoman from Miami-Dade County is now Treasurer and in charge of the purse strings. She is the

daughter of Hai�an-Dominican immigrants. Sycamore Shaw, the State Commi�eeman from Osceola County who is Jamaica-American, was elected Secretary. We know and understand that people win elec�ons and the people must be reflected in the leadership in order to mo�vate voters. Florida Democrats have lost 17 of the last 20 statewide races and 17 of the last 18 statewide cabinet races – a record which is comparable to that of deep red states in the interior of the country. There is much work to do, and it begins with ge�ng our own house in order. I think we made equitable steps in that direc�on at the FDP elec�ons and we all can lay claim to a shared victory! Although the DBCF’s endorsed candidate for chairman, Senator Dwight Bullard, was not victorious, Bullard was elected one of 10 to the Democra�c Na�onal Commi�ee. His voice will be heard on a na�onal stage, star�ng with the elec�on of the DNC chair in February. Other African-American Democrats elected to the DNC were Nikki Barnes of Wakeful County and Grace

Harrington of Broward County, who is also a DBCF Execu�ve Commi�ee member. In addi�on, Henry Crespo, president of DBCF, nominated Ken Evans of Broward County for the DNC. Evans is also a member of the Democra�c Black Caucus of Florida. We congratulate our new Florida Democra�c Party Leadership. We are now in control and so there are no excuses moving forward. Now is the �me to rally behind this new FDP leadership team as we move our collec�ve energies towards figh�ng for the hearts and minds of Democrats and Democra�c policies in our state and na�on. The Democratic Black Caucus of Florida was established in 1983, to unite and increase the political power for Black Democrats who went unnoticed. The Caucus is an integral part of the Florida Democratic Party’s infrastructure, which unites talent with opportunity to facilitate voter building through educational forums affecting voter registration drives (EVRD), get out the vote. DBCF represents 32 percent of the 4.8 million Democrats of Florida.



MILLENNIAL By: Gregoire Carter Narcisse

Reflec�on is a powerful concept that empowers the individual to have an introspec�ve moment wherein you can put events and yourself in perspec�ve. As Gregoire Narcisse we reach the end of the term of the 44th president of the United States of America, let us take a moment of reflec�on. As I reflect on this presidency, one word comes to mind. For not only the millennial genera�on, but also those that preceded us, the word that encapsulates this presidency is blessed. Blessed is my genera�on to be exposed to a watershed moment in this country’s history. Blessed that we were witness to one of the most groundbreaking eight year spans in this country’s 240 years of existence. Blessed are we that our children will know that it is possible to become the leader of the free


Reflect and Feel Blessed world – regardless of appearance, background, or notoriety. Reflect not on the efficacy of this presidency, but rather reflect on how blessed we are that Barack Hussein Obama II sha�ered a glass ceiling that has stood for centuries -- crea�ng a new floor for genera�ons to come. Despite tensions, divides, and statuses, be not oblivious to the monumental strides that have been made towards social equality. We do not know when the next black president will be elected. We do not know what history will say about how President Obama was as a leader. However, pause and reflect on the legacy of being black in this na�on and realize how blessed we are to be alive during an event that will be etched in history. As a genera�on we were not even alive when Rosa Parks took a stand, when Mar�n Luther King Jr. spoke to thousands, when Malcolm X led marches; therefore, do not take for granted how privileged we are to gaze upon the fruits of labor that hundreds of thousands who came before us fought so hard for. A small wrinkle in the fabric of �me is all that is needed to make an everlas�ng

impact. Barack Hussein Obama II will be a name that stands next to the greatest figures in black history, social change, and jus�ce for all. Not for anything he said, not for anything he did, but for what he symbolized. As you sit and reflect with me, I hope you can see why I feel most blessed. Blessed are we that part of Barack Hussein Obama II’s legacy is that when we engage in conversa�on about the possibility of a black president of the U.S., no longer is it hyperbole or hypothesis, but rather truth and reality. Realize the power that lies in having courage in the convic�on of our voice be given by actual fact, as opposed to idealis�c thought. There is no greater �me of the year to ponder the magnitude of what we were able to live through – how far we have come. Reflect not on what we s�ll have to achieve, but rather on how privileged we are to witness a genera�onal blessing during our life�me. Gregoire Carter Narcisse 954-881-6335 gregoirenarcisse@gmail.com Gregoire Narcisse attended Florida State University where he became the youngest

to ever graduate with a Bachelor's Degree, doing so at 18 years of age. He then went on to pursue his Master of Science in Education at the University of Miami, achieving it at the age of 19. He is currently a Financial Representative with Northwestern Mutual.

“Reflect not on the efficacy of this presidency, but rather reflect on how blessed we are that Barack Hussein Obama II sha�ered a glass ceiling that has stood for centuries -crea�ng a new floor for genera�ons to come.”




The Miami Founda�on Presents 2017 State of Black Philanthropy By: Zach Rinkins

Last year's panelists

The Miami Founda�on is celebra�ng 50 years of serving the Greater Miami community. The founda�on is con�nuing its legacy of service by presen�ng 2017 State of Black Philanthropy. It will feature a dis�nguished panel discussing how to use philanthropy as a pla�orm to create opportuni�es for Black residents. The event is scheduled for February 15, at 6 p.m. It will take place at the Li�le Hai� Cultural Complex at 212 N.E. 59 Terrace in Miami. “This our second year and we are con�nuing the conversa�on and trying to nurture a more meaningful discourse about

the Black community and our role in philanthropy as donors,” says Marlon Hill, event panelist and former founda�on board member. “Whether we are millionaires or not, we are trying to nurture a more par�cipatory environment for our contribu�ons.” More than 500,000 Black people reside in Miami-Dade County. This diverse community has unique triumphs and contends with challenges like access to employment, affordable housing, and public safety, among others. The founda�on is encouraging all people to be ac�ve in crea�ng solu�ons. “The Black community is at the bo�om of many socio-economic issues that impact our quality of life,” says Hill, a partner with Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP. “We can’t wait for other communi�es to transform or improve our community. It is very important that we look for crea�ve ways to elevate our par�cipa�on in philanthropy. Whether you have $10 or $1 million, as the Black community grows in business and poli�cal circles, it is up to us to raise the bar on how

“Philanthropy is democratic. How much you have doesn’t matter.” Before I moved here from Jamaica, I had a sense of this communit y, but the Miami Fellows program truly taught me about my new home. I learned that it doesn’t mat ter if you have millions, or if you have hundreds. Ever y citizen in Greater Miami can make an impact to transform this communit y. Each of us must engage. Whether we engage with our talent, with our check book, or with our time, at the end of the day, Miami will only be as great as the investment we make in it.

– Marlon Hill

What’s your Miami story? Champion what matters to you.


we contribute to the solu�ons.” “We can’t just use our faith. We have to also use our money to solve these problems.” Another way the founda�on invests in Greater Miami is through programs that enhance leadership development, service skills and human capacity. The founda�on's Miami Fellows program is a 14-month experience which uses the community as a learning laboratory, inspiring fellows to engage and give back. “The Miami Founda�on cares a great deal about developing leaders, transforming our communi�es and nurturing more philanthropists in our community,” reveals Hill, a former Miami Fellow. “The program teaches our ci�zens about their individual power. The individual power of your �me, talent, and whatever amount of dollars you have.” The long�me a�orney says that leadership can be leveraged to influence others to help advance the Black community. “You have a thousand friends that like you on Facebook or Instagram. How can you get those friends to support what

you are doing for your community?” Hill asks. “How can you get them to donate more of their �me and money to causes you care about? If each of us were to magnify our circle of family and friends, we can have a greater impact on issues that are challenging us.” With this conversa�on, the founda�on aims to encourage and empower donors to use charitable giving to address issues that affect black residents. “It is very important for us to u�lize the assets and resources within the Black community. And, leverage them in a way that demonstrates to the community-at-large what is important to us,” Hill shares. “We cannot expect other communi�es to support the needs that we have without demonstra�ng that we are willing to put our efforts and resources into those issues ourselves. “We can do it through our churches, fraterni�es, sorori�es, businesses, and cultural organiza�ons. Our community has significant numbers to make an impact.” Log on to www.TheMiamiFoundation.org for more information.




PAMM African American Art Fund �ecep�on Preserves and Celebrates Humanity

By: Zach Rinkins

John S. and James L. Knight Founda�on. It builds on PAMM's longstanding commitment to exhibi�ng and collec�ng the work of African American ar�sts. "Many art museums do not include the work of ar�sts of color in their permanent collec�ons. For a Government and civic leaders support past PAMM recep�on. museum to be an integral part of the community, the collec�on has to Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is reflect the values and voices of the people poised to host a recep�on for its PAMM who live there,” says Victoria Rogers, Knight Fund for African American art. The fourth Founda�on’s vice president for arts. “Knight annual fundraiser is scheduled for February Founda�on seeded this fund to ensure 21, from 7 un�l 9 p.m. at 1103 Biscayne PAMM’s collec�on was both of the highest Blvd. The fund was started with a $1 million caliber and reflec�ve of the rich diversity of grant equally funded by the museum’s our city. With this fund, the museum has benefactor Jorge M. Pérez and the

been able to purchase work from top modern and contemporary African-American and diaspora ar�sts to add to its already valuable collec�on.” The program will feature a thought-provoking showcase of Kahina: A Tangled Root, performed by Olujimi Dance Theater. Guests will also enjoy poetry by Aja Monet, the youngest individual to win the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam �tle. Addi�onally, the museum will reveal new addi�ons to its African American art collec�on. Franklin Sirmans, the museum’s director, sees the PAMM as a repository for the preserva�on and exhibi�on of ar�s�c contribu�ons. “We are a museum so we think it’s important to celebrate all kinds of art. There is a lot of great work being created by African-American ar�sts,” notes Sirmans. “We wanted to figure out different ways to acquire even more art than we already have and celebrate it.” He con�nues, “We believe in the power of art. Part of that is acquiring art, presen�ng art and taking care of it for genera�ons to come.” Sirmans says art has the power to inspire people and bring them together. “We’ve

seen from the beginning of �me that socie�es where art and culture is a concern, humanity tends to be be�er. We are one of the few places where people come together for a real sense of collec�vity. We host people of many different ages, beliefs and backgrounds. Hopefully, they are inspired by the art that they see and it sparks dialogue.” The museum is presen�ng the recep�on to give the public an opportunity to ensure that art will be at PAMM for future genera�ons. For more information about the PAMM Fund for African American Art, or to join the PAMM Ambassadors for African American Art, visit www.PAMM.org/artfund.

Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Celebrates Black History Month in Miami

By: Darrell Canty

AAADT's Jacquelin Harris and Megan Jakel in Robert Ba�le's Ella.

Photo by Christopher Duggan

Led by Miami na�ve and Ailey Ar�s�c Director Robert Ba�le, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County from Thursday, February 23 through Sunday, February 26, 2017. The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater inspires humanity by celebra�ng the AfricanAmerican experience and the American modern dance tradi�on. And nearly six decades later, under the leadership of Liberty City na�ve Robert Ba�le, Ailey not only shines through art, but the repertory is also a clarion call for social ac�vism. This is evident in Choreographer Kyle Abraham’s “Un�tled America” produc�on that focuses on the impact of the prison system on

African-American families. The piece includes interviews by those impacted by incarcera�on. A highlight of the Miami engagement during Black History Month will be the South Florida premiere of veteran Ailey dancer Hope Boykin’s “r-Evolu�on.” During Ailey’s annual tour, Hope Boykin’s, “r-Evolu�on” was inspired a�er a visit to the Na�onal Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. Boykin felt the messages were �mely, and she was later commissioned to develop a large ensemble work that combines storytelling, new music by Ali Jackson, and historic and original wri�ngs narrated by Leslie Odom, Jr. of Hamilton acclaim. Uniquely, “r-Evolu�on’s” impetus was derived from rare footage of mourners from

AAADT in Hope Boykin's r-Evolu�on, Dream. Photo by Paul Kolnik

AAADT in Billy Wilson's The Winter in Lisbon. Photo by Christopher Duggan

Dr. King’s funeral, is accompanied by a voice over excerpt from his “Drum Major Ins�nct” speech. I spoke to Ms. Boykin, a na�ve of North Carolina, who makes her home in Harlem U.S.A. She said, “I heard it in a different way. And that inspired me to find other sermons and speeches because I felt there was a piece within something—that’ll make me want to move to it. I just felt that his words were inspiring enough and as we con�nued on tour, I would use his speeches as mo�va�on and literally would be in the studio with a sermon—and I would start moving to it. When asked about the other inspira�onal

works that reflected upon social issues, Ms. Boykin spoke proudly about the renowned “Revela�ons and Blue Suite.” She said “those two works combined, speak to the genera�on, environment and to the evolu�on that Mr. Ailey was living in—during the Civil rights movement. He said look at my culture and look at the beauty in it.” In addi�on to Ms. Boykin’s new work, the Miami audience will be treated to a diversified collec�on of brilliant and renowned dancers, including the majes�c Miami na�ve and company star Jamar Roberts. “He said “It’s always great to get support from the audience, but there’s nothing like the support from people you actually know, or people who have actually seen the trajectory of your career from the �me it started. So, the applause feels ten �mes greater. It has always been nothing but posi�vity here.” The South Florida na�ve also teaches workshops in the Miami area at the Dance Empire of Miami in January and June. Roberts is a firm believer of exposing youth to the arts with his presence.






By: Mary V. Davids


7 Ways to Boost Your Brand and Career in 2017

Mary V. Davids

Career & Leadership Development Coach

If money was no object, what would you do for free? I o�en begin my career coaching sessions asking this simple, yet s�mula�ng ques�on. I’ve found, most people generally have an idea of what they love to do, but are not quite sure of how to get there. Even if you’re not working in a capacity reflec�ng your ul�mate career desire, you can create a great brand

message to get you on the right path by using these seven steps: 1. Update your LinkedIn Profile. Contrary to the majority view, looking for new opportuni�es is not the only reason to have a profile on LinkedIn. In addi�on to finding new opportuni�es, you can also use the pla�orm to highlight your career accomplishments, boost your knowledge and increase engagement with like-minded professionals. 2. Commit to a�ending at least 3 networking events per quarter. If you want to keep your name in the conversa�on, people will need to see your face. To grow within your career, you will need to connect with people outside your organiza�on who have different perspec�ves and experiences. Choose events that are relevant to your industry and those that draw industry leaders. A good way to prepare in advance is to look at the guest list and find out who will be there. 3. Volunteer. Set aside �me to give back to your community. Volunteering will not only help to build your character, it will help heighten your level of empathy and emo�onal intelligence. These are necessary

traits you will need to strengthen if you want to become a be�er leader. 4. Sign up for a Professional Membership. Having a professional membership (and being ac�ve within the organiza�on) will prove valuable in crea�ng las�ng connec�ons. Not only will it help you create credibility and boost your resume, it will also help when trying to find networking events to a�end. 5. Do two things that scare the heck out of you! This year is the year to stop playing it safe. It’s �me to get out of cruise-control mode and get into career-progression mode. Do something out of the ordinary. It could be something like taking the lead on an important project at work or finally saying yes to a public speaking gig. Whatever you choose will help you build confidence and give you an authen�c story to share when networking. 6. Read/Listen to at least 4 books. Invest in building your professional skills and knowledge base by learning independently. Read or listen to books related to building leadership skills, selling, emo�onal intelligence and marke�ng. I recommend Drive by Daniel Pink to start.

7. Take a vaca�on. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is to remember this: The most important person in your life is you. When you're in your groove of produc�vity and goal-achieving, it can be easy to overlook the necessity of self-care. But, if you don't take care of you, you are chea�ng those who need you from receiving the very best of you. Giving your body and mind a rest is not only crucial to staying sane; it is a necessity to re-energize your mind and body so you can con�nue to serve those who need you. Mary V. Davids is an Executive Career & Leadership Development Coach and Owner of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. For career tips and advice visit www.marydavids.com or email info@marydavids.com.

“Do two things that scare the heck out of you! This year is the year to stop playing it safe. It’s �me to get out of cruise-control mode and get into career-progression mode.”


“Diversity on the Bench, What About Diversity in Media�on?”

Stanley Zamor,Florida Supreme Court Cer�fied Civil/Family/County Mediator /Trainer & Qualified Arbitrator Introduc�on: A Different Approach A�er a long complex business media�on, I was approached by the Defendant’s a�orney, who stated that he was impressed with how I facilitated the media�on. He stated that at his level of li�ga�on, he rarely sees media�on as effec�ve as what he experienced today. He further admi�ed that he was not going to agree, that I mediate this case, but the judge ordered it, so he didn’t object. His clients were glad I was the mediator because I do not look like the usual mediators they see (i.e. Caucasian

re�red judges or a�orneys). He stated that he no�ced how his clients were more involved/engaged, and he was surprised at their willingness to be amicable. I thanked him and said that I did nothing different than any other skilled mediator would have done. Our discussion rapidly delved academically deeper regarding the lack of diversity in private media�ons; and how that may contribute to the lack of effec�veness he sees in media�on. To be clear, diversity extends beyond ethnicity and includes professional/educa�onal backgrounds. Mediators do not have to be members of the Florida bar, although most mediators are a�orneys. He stated that his clients responded to me differently because I, like them, am not an older Caucasian male a�orney and I brought something very different to the media�on process. So I now ask, does having mediators from a diverse background make for a be�er media�on process? Is Diversity in Media�on More Important than on the Bench? There has been research conducted sugges�ng that there is not enough diversity

on the bench; and members of the judiciary should resemble the communi�es they serve. Diversity on the bench is necessary to ensure impar�ally, public trust and confidence in the legal system. Diversity in media�on mirrors the same necessity, given the nature of the process mediators facilitate. Diversity is important to understand because, less than 5% of the cases filed in court go to trial. That means, 95% are being resolved outside of court, and usually by mediators who do not resemble the communi�es around them and selected/hired through a�orney cronyism. Please consider this: As of January 2017 there are 5737 cer�fied mediators in the State of Florida, 3282 are cer�fied Circuit Civil mediators. The noted demographic breakdown is as follows: Hispanic = 7.5%; African-American = 3.9%; American Indian = 0.1% Asian = 0.7% Other = 0.3% Unknown = 0.2% Caucasian 73%

Conclusion and Considera�on In 2007, the Florida Supreme Court responded to the need for diversity in media�on by amending the Rules for Cer�fied and Court Appointed Mediators to no longer restrict mediators to only be members of the Florida Bar. This was a significant change which allowed for individuals from a diverse professional/ educa�onal background to become cer�fied mediators. It is undeniable that diversity in a service area creates be�er op�ons; however, it remains the consumer's’ responsibility to choose diversity. Stanley Zamor is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit/Family/County Mediator & Trainer and Qualified Arbitrator. Mr. Zamor serves on several federal and state mediation/arbitration rosters and facilitates workshops often. He regularly lectures on a variety of topics from ethics, cross-cultural issues, diversity, bullying, and Family/ Business relationships. szamor@i-mediateconsulting.com www.i-mediateconsulting.com www.LinkedIn.com/in/stanleyzamoradr (954) 261-8600



By: Zach Rinkins

Hip Rock Star, a fully integrated adver�sing, marke�ng, and communica�ons agency, recently launched TheBlackSocialExperience.com. The site highlights social des�na�ons for Blacks across the globe. “TheBlackSocialExperience.com is a digital des�na�on guide to all things social in the top ci�es across the United States for Blacks. We launched on December 31, 2016 in Miami and by the end of January 2017 we will have added Orlando, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; and Houston, Texas to the offerings,” said Jessica Garre� Modkins, president of Hip Rock Star and founder of The Black Social Experience. “Phase II will include interna�onal des�na�ons and the app.” Explore the site at www.TheBlackSocialExperience.com. CRA Board invests in Overtown’s public safety with $750,000 grant to police department


quality of life and should not have to suffer from social ills presented by outsiders,” said Miami City Commissioner Keon Hardemon, the board’s chairman. “The residents need the coopera�on of our police in guaranteeing their neighborhood is safe and drug free." Please visit www.miamicra.com/ seopwcra, for more informa�on.

UM opens Lennar Founda�on Medical Center to the community Lennar Founda�on Medical Center (LFMC) recently welcomed more than 2,500 local residents and University of Miami employees and students to help celebrate its new Coral Gables campus. “It was truly an open house for the community,” said Ben Riestra, LFMC’s chief administra�ve officer. “It was the first example of what we are going to do in the future – go out to meet our pa�ents close to where they live.” LFMC is a 200,000-square-foot outpa�ent center that provides health care access by leading physicians for students, faculty, staff and surrounding communi�es. Pa�ents are ge�ng treatment from the world-class academic health experts and specialists affiliated with the university’s health system. Find out more at www. UHealthSystem.com.

Audra Burch Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board of Commissioners recently awarded a $750,000 grant to the City of Miami Police Department. The grant will be used to increase police visibility and assist the police in relieving the Overtown community from violent crimes and recent drug overdose increases. “Overtown residents deserve a be�er

Gaining Ground: New York Times’ na�onal desk welcomes Audra Burch Audra Burch is an award-winning journalist with Miami Herald. Burch was recently hired as a correspondent with the na�onal desk of the New York Times (NYT). NYT recently wrote, “Audra Burch plays her keyboard like a virtuoso. A�er jealously reading her pieces in the Miami Herald for years, we’re lucky to say that she’s bringing


her wri�ng prowess, compassion and ability to dig deep to The Times, where she’ll be a roving enterprise correspondent.” Burch won the 2015 Selden Ring Award for Inves�ga�ve Repor�ng and the Goldsmith Prize for Inves�ga�ve Repor�ng. The Florida A&M University graduate will split her �me between Hollywood, Fla. and Atlanta. She starts in spring.

Jonathan Nelson

A�orney Charlie B. Levy

In Memoriam: A�orney Charlie Bernard Levy Legacy celebrates the life and contribu�ons of A�orney Charlie Bernard Levy. A�orney Levy was born in 1967 to Jemmie M. Kyles and the late Charlie Lee Levy in Miami. The Overtown-bred li�gator received his educa�on in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system and graduated from the Texas Southern University undergraduate and law schools. Charlie was bap�zed at an early age at New Mount Zion Bap�st Church of Hialeah, Florida and later in life he joined the An�och Missionary Bap�st Church. Levy’s memory will be forever cherished by his loving wife, Michelle Levy; son, Charlie Joshua Levy; mother, Jemmie M. Kyles; grandfather, Paul Lewis; and a host of other rela�ves, friends, and colleagues. The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County con�nues its popular FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS concert series with mul�-Stellar Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer JONATHAN NELSON. In honor of Black History Month, the contemporary gospel ar�st brings chart-topping hits from his latest album, Fearless, featuring powerful lyrics of encouragement and praise. ABC Local 10 news anchor Calvin

Hughes returns as the evening’s host with special guest and Miami-na�ve Robert Ba�le, Ar�s�c Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. South Florida audience members can join the upli�ing celebra�on on Sunday, February 19 at 5 p.m. in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall.

Macy’s hosts BJ The Chicago Kid, Jay Ellis, Marcus Samuelsson, Crissle West and more at eight stores na�onwide This February, Macy’s celebrates Black History Month by welcoming a host of stars from a variety of fields including fine art, music, literature, the culinary arts, and spoken word. Black culture has electrified the pulse of American life for genera�ons, from music and fashion to film, television and ac�vism. It has created a wave of change that has helped propel the country to new heights. This year, our celebrity guests will share how crea�ve selfexpression and a strong connec�on to their heritage have shaped their careers. As part of Macy’s Black History Month celebra�ons, Grammy-nominated ar�st BJ The Chicago Kid, “Insecure” actor Jay Ellis, awardwinning Macy’s Culinary Council Chef Marcus Samuelsson, and “The Read” podcast host Crissle West will join other emerging stars in conversa�ons focused on the influence and impact of black culture on all facets of American life. Macy’s Aventura (Aventura, FL) – Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.




“Movement that’ll move you”

Masazumi Chaya Associate Artistic Director

Feb 23-26

AlvinAiley.org/Miami 305-949-6722 GROUPS 786-468-2326

Yannick Lebrun. Photo by Andrew Eccles

Robert Battle Artistic Director


Profile for miamediagrp

2017 Black History Month Issue- Legacy Miami  

2017 Black History Month Issue- Legacy Miami  


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