“A funkadelic good time.”
By CHARLIE SMALLS ANd WILLIAM F. BROWN
OCT 12 to NOV 20 AuguSt WILSON’S
ThE PIaNO LEssON JaN 11 to FEB 18
LANgStON HugHES’ Holiday Show!
LANgStON HugHES’ BLaCK BLaCK NaTIVITY NOV 30 to DEC 23 NaTIVITY
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CREAtEd ANd dIRECtEd By NAtE JACOBS
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ThE 60s ExPLOsION MaR 1 to aPR 9
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Hottest ticket in town!
A COMEdy By dAVId BOttRELL ANd JESSIE JONES
by CHARLIE SMALLS and WILLIAM F. BROWN
OCTOBER 12–NOVEMBER 20, 2016 “Ease on Down the Road” for this magical, Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. Loosely based on the original Wizard of Oz story, this version is a big, splashy, soulful rock happening as seen through the African-American lens. The marvelous Motown sound and fast-paced action will have you believing that anything is possible. “Wiz, The” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.
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Join us for a Fall OPEN HOUSE at Shorecrest NOVEMBER 13 On Campus Open House Preschool-12th Grade DECEMBER 13 Virtual Open House 5th-12th Grade DECEMBER 14 Virtual Open House Preschool-6th Grade Visit us online for Open House details, to register, or to request a personal tour more.shorecrest.org/admissions Shorecrest is an independent, nonsectarian, coed, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida. Proven results since 1923.
5101 1st St. NE | St. Petersburg, FL 33703| 727-522-2111 Power Broker magazine | 5
Dear Readers: Twice in the past three years, I dedicated the Power Broker magazine to the saga of young African Americans - mostly young men – who in recent times were slain or shot for no apparent cause. This edition is devoted to their mothers, a/k/a, “the Mothers of the Movement,” for special reason. The Power Broker is charting two “firsts” with this publication. It is the first report ever published on the economic status of black men in St. Petersburg, as well as the first in-depth look at where African Americans in St. Petersburg stand in the long march to economic equality. Many of you will be pleasantly surprised by some of what you read. You may be shocked to learn, for example, that the combined income of African American households in St. Petersburg surpassed the $1 billion mark several years ago…..or that there are over 6,000 African Americans working in management professions…..or that the high school graduation rate for black students in South St. Petersburg high schools 6 | Power Broker magazine
surpasses the rate for white students across the district in 2015. But you should also be chastened by a reality that this magazine attempts to make clear: The status of black men in St. Petersburg has deteriorated to a dangerous point since the turn of the century. Their plight is worse than their brothers across the rest of Florida and America. And the situation is negatively reverberating through the community in untold ways. This is a bleak reality, but it’s not where I want your heart to land. It’s inevitable that some of you will feel your blood pressure rise while reading certain parts of this magazine. There is indeed a hurting cause herein. But like the “Mothers of the Movement,” who have transformed the deepest hurt into an energy of change, I pray that you will see the fullness of the hour at hand. The lengthiest feature article in these pages is titled “From Rock Bottom to a Fighting Chance: Profile on the status of black men in Florida’s 5th largest
City [St. Petersburg, Florida].” I named it that because I see the “fighting chance” we have at this unique time in our community’s history. In fact, I believe we have reached a point of “breakthrough.” Not just from the abundance of progress under our belts since the turn of the century. But from the growing hundreds of people who are pushing and pulling us to new heights (see our Yearbook of 200+ people on the frontlines of progress). Finally, since this edition replaces our traditional Voter Guide in the midst of a Presidential Election, I am obliged to press all of you to vote this year…..and to vote with the same strength we gave to President Obama. It goes without saying: I’m with her (Hillary Rodham Clinton) Gypsy C. Gallardo
INSIDE THIS EDITION
The Economy of Black St. Petersburg 2016
A publication of The Power Broker Media Group & commemorative edition of The Power Broker Magazine
October/November 2016 • Volume 11 – Edition 1
Advertise or promote your news, events, and opportunities in Tampa Bay’s most read magazine among African Americans. See rates & circulation details at: www.powerbrokermagazine.com/advertise Gypsy C. Gallardo PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lonnie Donaldson CO-FOUNDER The Power Broker magazine Deborah Figgs-Sanders CHAIRPERSON The Power Broker Foundation Kimberley Webb DIGITAL MEDIA MANAGER Pop Lancaster OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER Misha Wong CREATIVE DIRECTOR Robert Gallardo DIGITAL MEDIA CONSULTANT
Page 14 8 of the biggest changes and challenges in the economy of black St. Petersburg since the turn of the century
Aleyah Conway DIGITAL PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Pat McGhee FASHION EDITOR
Page 20 St. Petersburg Leads the Nation in Poverty Reduction
Brianna Miller PRINT & DIGITAL PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
Page 25 In-Depth Report – the Economy of Black St. Petersburg
Briana Hankins RESEARCH & EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
Page 41From Rock Bottom to a Fighting Chance - Profile on the economic and family status of black men in Florida’s 5th largest City Page 56 Rise of the Black Woman as Chief Breadwinners (& the consequences of the epic shift)
CORRESPONDENTS Kellis Glenn - Clearwater Sandra Butler - Polk County Kimberly Albritton
Manatee & Sarasota counties Kevin Rose - St. Petersburg REACH US: P O Box 15006 St. Petersburg, FL 33733 SSN: 1554-933X SEND YOUR NEWS TO US: reachout@ powerbrokermagazine.com SEE 100 NEW EVENTS, NEWS ITEMS & JOBS POSTED WEEKLY: www.powerbrokermagazine.com LIKE US OR FRIEND US AT: facebook.com/ PowerBrokerMagazine facebook.com/ GypsyGallardo FOLLOW US: twitter.com/powerbrokermag IF INTERESTED IN BECOMING A DISTRIBUTION LOCATION To request that your business or office be one of the Power Broker’s 200+ distribution sites, e-mail us at reachout@ powerbrokermagazine.com. TELL YOUR STORY If you have a story that should be told in our magazines or via our digital media outlets, e-mail your idea or insight to us at reachout@ powerbrokermagazine.com
Page 64 Yearbook: 200 People on the Frontlines of Progress
SPECIAL THANKS This publication uses a dozen photos by the staff of the Weekly Challenger and the Tampa Bay Times, which made this a more vibrant and compelling magazine. Thank you!
Page 94 + The Latest & Hottest Calendar of Events
We are grateful to the people who encouraged in-depth reporting on the status of African American men as the urgent priority that it is – Pastor Louis Murphy, Sr.; Watson Haynes, II; Randy Russell; and Carolyn “Kiani” Nesbitt. Power Broker magazine | 7
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For further informaon about community iniaves and business incenves, visit stpete.org/urbanaffairs
Final Approved - Urban Affairs Ad 7.5x10.125.indd 1
10/12/16 5:41 PM
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African Americans have become a bigger factor in the city economy: Our aggregate income surpassed $1 billion in 2013, driven by rapid population growth and the entry of thousands of African Americans into the city workforce. From 2000 to 2014, St. Petersburg’s black workforce grew by 4,900 to nearly 29,000 strong.
Largest poverty reduction plan in Florida: St. Petersburg is home to the largest poverty-reduction plan in the state (geographically and by span of activity), and the only such plan in Florida with a quantitative target for communitywide poverty reduction. The goal of the 2020 Plan, which took flight in 2014, is to reduce poverty by 30% in South St. Petersburg by the year 2020. The effort has so far attracted the partnership of 100 organizations, working collectively toward the goal.
Poverty population shrinking fast: The latest Census data show St. Petersburg leading the state and nation in black poverty reduction. Data released this September showed the black poverty rate falling faster in St. Petersburg than the rest of Florida and America.
Even better news, analysis shows that the pace of poverty shrinkage is a direct result of the purposeful work of community partners who’ve more than quadrupled the number of people they’re helping to move up the career ladder and into jobs paying above the poverty level. As of last 14 | Power Broker magazine
year, there were 46,509 African Americans above the poverty line.
New, dedicated investment sources & new formulas for investing: Over the past two years, the community has reaped a harvest of tens of millions of dollars in new investment being harnessed to transform life for the people of South St. Petersburg in the years ahead. One of the more important wins in this area: the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) became official last summer and will remain in effect for years as a dedicated funding source to fuel economic growth in the Midtown and Childs Park areas. Over its 30 year span, the CRA is expected to seed $133 million into the 7.4 square mile territory.
Big acceleration in educational gains: Despite the recent epic media coverage of the plight of majorityblack elementary schools in South St. Petersburg, the educational arena – above every other area of life – produced the richest harvest of gains for African Americans in St. Petersburg over 14 years studied. The data show gains accelerating at nearly every point along the educational spectrum. For example, the black high school graduation rate in South St. Petersburg schools stood at 84% in 2015, which was higher than the white graduation rate across Pinellas County.
School to prison pipeline cut
in half: Following a decade of mass incarceration of young black men in St. Petersburg, the school to prison pipeline was cut nearly in half over the recent decade. From 2008 to 2013, the number of black youth admitted to the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center (PJAC) fell by about 46%; and from 2011 to 2015, the number of black students arrested in Pinellas County schools declined by 31%.
Closing the business capital gap: Thanks to a collaborative push by community partners over the past two years, South St. Petersburg has closed the gap in business capital and development services available for African American and community entrepreneurs (at least for now). The milestone is huge, given that a 2014 City report cited “Lack of capital” as “the biggest challenge to growing and sustaining small businesses,” in South St. Petersburg, noting that businesses there were “starved for capital.” The collective push – led by the Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, the City of St. Petersburg and the 2020 Plan Taskforce – has the support of over 20 organizations and since 2014, partners have worked together to create nine new programs to support entrepreneurs’ growth, and raise $2.2 million in funding for business capital and capacity-building services in the community.
Business sector booms: Over the last 35 years measured by the Census, the number of black-owned firms in St. Petersburg grew seven-fold (from 300 to 4,481). The Census shows 3,200 selfemployed people in South St. Petersburg and 1,088 business establishments there.
OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES SINCE THE TURN OF THE CENTURY
The status of black men has deteriorated – economically: Though black men have risen further and faster in education gains than other groups in the city, from 2000 to 2014, they lost rank on the career ladder and slid backwards in earnings. So much so that St. Petersburg now has Florida’s largest gap between black men and women in employment and earnings, according to a side-by-side comparison of the state’s 10 largest cities shows, as well as the fastest pace of gap growth since 2000).
An analysis of Florida’s 10 largest cities shows that African Americans in St. Petersburg suffer the highest levels of “family brokenness,” and that from 2007 to 2013, they also suffered the fastest pace of nuclear family disintegration, including the biggest gain in unwed (illegitimate births), and the highest rate of marital separation and divorce. The decline in two-parent child-rearing has fueled a dramatic rise in black children’s poverty rates – far larger than African Americans experienced across the rest of Florida and America.
African Americans are no better off today: Despite the bump in income on the whole, African Americans are no better off today than they were at the turn of the century – at least not in income. The community’s aggregate income gain stems from population growth, not from increased earnings. In real terms, we lost ground. Our average income per-person shrank by 1.4% from 2000 to 2013. Even with the recent accelerated pace of black poverty reduction, the poverty population has grown.
Still reeling and unrecovered from mass incarceration of black men: From about 1998 to 2010, nearly 7,000 black men who call St. Petersburg home were locked-up in prison or jails.
The latest data show St. Petersburg as just beginning to recover from imprisonment rates that took a vast toll in at least two areas of life - in spiraling rates of father-absence from families and in draining more black men from the workforce than any other factor blocking gainful employment.
The nuclear family has disintegrated to a danger zone: Fatherlessness has reached pandemic proportions in St. Petersburg’s African American community. Over the past eight years, the rate of black babies born to and raised by single mothers spiked to higher levels than almost anywhere in Florida and America.
There were 13,776 African Americans in poverty in St. Petersburg in 2000. As of the most recent Census data (2015), that number had grown to 16,657 African Americans in poverty (21% growth).
We’ve lost fighting strength & focus on black economic empowerment: Twenty years ago there was a proactive and vibrant focus on channeling contract and revenue opportunities to black-owned businesses as a way to grow entrepreneurship, jobs and wealth in the community. Today, only a handful of us are dedicated to organizing our collective economic strength. For sure, there is hope on the horizon – with the emergence of the Collective Empowerment Group of Tampa Bay and actions by the 2020 Plan to get corporations to target more spending with community based businesses. But we no longer have the activist strength and tailored programs that are needed in this area.
We still are not buying from one another: No one – black, white or other – is spending enough of their dollars with black-owned businesses. A decade ago, there had already been a huge slide in the amount mainstream organizations (corporations, government agencies) were spending with black-owned firms. For example, the amount spent by the City of St. Petersburg with black owned firms fell from $9.7 million in 1997 to $3.9 million in 2006. What’s even worse for African Americans now is that black consumers in the city are spending even less nowadays with black owned businesses than we used to. An analysis in 2005 showed that only about 29 cents on the dollar earned by Midtown residents was spent with community businesses. Today, only an estimated 18 cents of every dollar spent by African Americans stays in black hands.
Black wealth eroded in St. Petersburg: African Americans have seen their wealth shrink over the past 15 years, in large part due to the national housing crisis, which hit worse here. African Americans now own 1,800 fewer homes today in the city than they did at the turn of the century. Even recent data are not promising. From 2000 to 2015, the number of black-owned homes in the city fell 18%, and most of the losses are recent. From 2013 to 2015, the number of black-owned homes fell by 1,150. t.terburg
Still playing small against the issues: Yes, we’ve come a long way in the past few years in getting more of the specific investments needed to move the needle, but we are still falling far short of the interventions needed to deal with our toughest issues. As one example, over half of black men in the city who are struggling to find decent and good paying jobs (roughly 4,000) are ex-offenders. Yet, we’re investing in intensive employment support for only about 200 ex-offender men per year – a drop in the bucket, relative to the need. Power Broker magazine | 15
St. Petersburg Housing Authority
• Committed to improving the quality of life for families we serve
• Committed to doing business according to our core values of Integrity, Dependability, Loyalty, and Courage
• Provides affordable housing, educational opportunities, and jobs for residents
Dr. Delphinia Davis Harry Harvey Artesha Adras Rev. Dr. Basha Jordan Virginia Littrell Chairperson Vice Chairperson Commissioner Commissioner Commissioner Jo Ann Nesbitt Stewart Olson Dr. Arnett Smith Tony L. Love Melinda Perry Commissioner Commissioner Commissioner Chief Executive Chief Operating Emeritus Officer Officer
The St. Petersburg Housing Authority is an equal opportunity housing provider. Address: 2001 Gandy Blvd. North, St. Petersburg, FL 33702 Phone: 727‐323‐3171 ■ TDD: 800‐955‐8770 ■ TTY:800‐955‐8771 Website: www.stpeteha.org
We harness the power of change. At the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg our efforts are to inspire hope and create change for a better community. We bring the community together, offering resources to support programs that work. Change only happens when we take action.
www.healthystpete.foundation â€˘ 727.865.4650 Power Broker magazine | 17
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St. Petersburg LEADS THE NATION IN
ACCELERATING POVERTY REDUCTION The breakthrough belongs to community organizations
AFRICAN AMERICANS ABOVE THE POVERTY LINE
his September, the Census released data that showed the black poverty rate falling faster in St. Petersburg than the rest of Florida and America. Further analysis shows even better news. A drill down into the new data shows that the pace of poverty shrinkage in St. Petersburg is a direct result of the purposeful work of community partners who agreed in 2014 to back a collective vision to reduce the poverty rate by 30% in South St. Petersburg by the year 2020. The effort - housed at the Pinellas County Urban League - is called the 2020 Plan. Data show that the economic rebound from recession played a role in the city’s poverty rate drop, but that the bigger part came from community organizations that decided to change the way they “help” the poor in South St. Petersburg. The past three years have seen a monumental shift from the “hand-out” model of serving the poor, to a “hand-up” approach of helping people to move up the career ladder, into jobs paying above the poverty level. Census data affirm the new strategy is paying off.
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*Pinellas County outside of St. Petersburg
It’s appropriate to be cautiously gleeful about the news. The Census makes clear that the recent data isn’t its most precise set, but they definitely indicate a trend. St. Petersburg not only beat state and national averages, we topped Florida’s five largest cities in the magnitude of black poverty reduction, and had almost twice the decline felt by the rest of Pinellas County (the black poverty rate dropped 8.5 points in St. Petersburg versus 4.8 points for the rest of Pinellas). The black poverty rate fell from nearly 35% to 26% in 2015 in the city.
The population of African Americans who live above the poverty line blossomed in St. Petersburg in 2015, growing 24% over 2014. In 2015, nearly three-quarters of the city’s black residents were above poverty level.
AFRICAN AMERICANS ABOVE POVERTY LINE
New poverty-reduction programs:
Re-set from “handout” to “hand-up”
In 2013, the 2020 Plan team began publicizing a cold reality often ignored by poverty programming: poverty is a measure of income; therefore, the simplest and often only way to lift a person out of poverty is to increase their earnings. Back then, a review of family programs targeting South St. Petersburg found only one that focused on the explicit goal of helping families to earn more in order to exit poverty (Pinellas Opportunity Council’s Family Development Program), though a handful of programs offered workrelated help such as job referrals. The “system of care” was overwhelmingly focused on helping people cope with poverty rather than putting poverty in the rearview mirror. Dozens of community programs gave emergency food and cash to pay rent and utilities for distressed families, or helped families through issues such as mental health crisis, domestic violence and child maltreatment. But only a handful had any focus on helping the poor to increase their earnings. Today, there are seven programs underway that explicitly focus on bridging family breadwinners to wages above poverty level, plus at least 32 programs and initiatives aiming to help increase incomes for community workers and businesses.
• Pinellas Opportunity Council (POC) • Getting Ahead Program • 2020 Family Wrap Around Program • 2020 Healthcare Career Ladder Program • Pinellas Urban League High Fidelity Program • Pinellas County Family Housing Assistance Program • Circles St. Petersburg (on-track to launch in February 2017 to help people-in-poverty increase their earnings to 200% of the poverty level).
Focus on Families
A second strategy shift for the area was a new aim to help whole families to exit poverty (rather than solely focusing on individuals). It was a change promoted by the United Way Suncoast, the 2020 Plan, and others.
Shining example of the strategy:
This summer, 30 family heads finished the 2020 Family Wrap Around Program at the POC and by the end, their combined family incomes had more than doubled to $515,105. Collectively, families grew their monthly earnings by $21,908, equating to an annualized increase of a quarter of a million dollars ($262,901). When the program started, only two participants were working full-time. At the end, 15 were employed full-time.
Big growth in education pipeline
More African Americans are going to college, and more are
completing their programs, thanks to leaders like St. Petersburg College (SPC) and Pinellas Technical College – both nestled in the heart of South St. Petersburg, and serving hundreds of low-income African American residents of the area. Special programs at the two schools have helped graduate thousands of African Americans with career skill credentials and degrees since 2012, which began to show up in Census data in 2014 and 2015, in the form of higher employment rates for African Americans.
Fewer babies born in poverty
Last year saw a huge dip in the number of African American babies born to single mothers (914 in 2014 to 499 in 2015) which resulted in an estimated 47% decline in black newborns who started life in poverty in St. Petersburg last year (from 509 in 2014 to 207 in 2015). This one factor may account for as much as 14% of the shrinkage in St. Petersburg’s poverty population.
Two years ago, Lorraine Major was making about $9,000 a year as a school cafeteria worker, searching for ways to improve her life. The single mother of three got help from the Pinellas County Urban League’s 2020 Family Wrap Around Program, including counseling, a job search and temporary financial help that enabled her to finish an internship. She was promoted to a co-teacher position, which doubled her pay. One year later, Lorraine secured a new job as a site director for the YMCA of St. Petersburg. Now she earns $32,000 a year, well above the poverty line.
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The men and women of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office are proud to partner with community-based organizations to
“Lead the Way For A Safer Pinellas”
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Bob Gualtieri
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UNITED WAY SUNCOAST
FIGHTS FOR THE EDUCATION
AND FINANCIAL STABILITY OF EVERY
PERSON IN OUR COMMUNITY. Achieving oneâ€™s potential is a challenge that starts early on for many individuals. Children in poverty who arenâ€™t able to read at grade level by 4th grade are nearly three times more likely to drop out of high school, struggle financially and repeat the cycle of poverty. Working families face challenges as well. Nearly half struggle every day with financial and employability issues. With your partnership and support we can create opportunities for a better life for all and bring lasting community change to the Suncoast.
Everyone deserves the opportunity for a better life.
Connecting People. Creating Change. Impacting Lives.
| Power Broker magazine Join the 24 conversation!
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he aggregate income of African Americans in St. Petersburg stood at $1.04 billion in 2013, showing real growth of 11% since 2000 versus a 9% reduction for white residents of the city. Real Aggregate Income Growth Black +11%
Spending Power • African Americans account for an outsize share of St. Petersburg’s consumer market. Annually black residents of the city spend about $1.02 million to eat, live, and support their families, and account for an estimated 17.5% of consumer spending in St. Petersburg.
* African Americans account for a slightly larger share of the city economy now than they did in the year 2000 (13.6% in 2013 versus 15.0% in 2000).
Big Challenges Despite the bump in income on the whole, African Americans are no better off today than they were at the turn of the century – at least not in income. The community’ aggregate income gain stems from population growth, not from increased earnings. In real terms, we lost ground. Our average income perperson shrank by 1.4% from 2000 to 2013. Median Household
Avg Per Person
*CRA = Midtown & Childs Park; SSP = South St. Petersburg • A big factor in stagnant incomes is black men’s backward slide in earnings. See special coverage on the status of black men later in this edition.
Though incomes are lower for African Americans, three factors give them a heavier weight in local consumer spending. African Americans spend almost every dollar they take-in. Black families save only about 1.3% of their income. African Americans have a bigger share of obligations that lead to bigger spending, such as housing costs and children. For example, African Americans are 22% of the City’s adults but have 34% of children in St. Petersburg. The Southside’s weight in local Est. Yearly Expenditures by African Americans in St. Petersburg:
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spending is driven by the large number of low-income households there. Low-income people spend a larger part of their income than middle & upper income peers (who save and invest more). For example, in 2014, CRA residents spent cash equal to 29% of their income for housing versus 20% for other City residents. As impactful, low-income people attract an influx of public and charity spending. Of the $679 million spent yearly on services to Southside residents, about $950 million flows into the city economy via non-profit, public and for-profit service providers. • Housing $318 million • Transportation $135 million • Food $113 million • Apparel $38 million • AV/Technology $21 million
& s s e n i s Bu
P I H S R U E N E R ENTREP
Business sector booms
ver the last 35 years measured by the Census, the number of black owned firms in St. Petersburg grew from 300 in 1977 to 4,481 in 2012. In South St. Petersburg the Census shows 3,200 selfemployed people and 1,088 business establishments.
There is also growth in South St. Petersburg’s lowest-income areas - Midtown and Childs Park. There, the gap is closing. The selfemployment rate climbed two points from 2000 to 2014 (to 8% versus 10% citywide).
Indicators are that more African Americans are choosing to go into business for themselves in part because of the difficulty of breaking into middle and upper income jobs, and that more and more African Americans are doing business part-time “on the side” of their traditional day jobs.
Revenues down The Census shows revenues of $913 million for private firms in South St. Petersburg. Excluding Wal-Mart at $113 million, firms averaged revenue of $500,041.
The Census shows revenue to black-owned firms of $119 million in 2015* and for South St. Petersburg, $87 million in self-employment income. Over the last 39 years measured, black owned firms’ average revenue fell 71% (from an average $132,000 in 1977 to an average $38,197 in 2015*)
We still spend too little with community businesses Dozens of entrepreneurs and business professionals report to the Power Broker that African Americans still are not doing business enough with one another. Whether perception or reality, Census data affirm it. As one indicator, black firms’ revenue equals only 11% of African Americans’ aggregate income in the City, while white firms’ revenue equals 201% of whites’ aggregate income.
Plus, self-employment income is a bigger part of black and Southside residents’ income, compared to others in the City.
Lack of scale Black-owned firms continue to struggle for sustainability and scale. Several larger firms folded in the past decade. In general, black-owned firms and firms in the CRA are smaller and less formally organized. Only 18% of the CRA’s self-employed people have incorporated businesses versus 48% citywide.
Many business owners also report that while the mainstream community is a growing source of revenue for some, they still are not seeing enough relationships spark with white-led corporations, businesses and institutions.
MORE DIVERSE & MORE FOCUSED
well-represented in certain fields, but are seen venturing into new terrain in recent years, in fields that once had few black entrants.
African Americans have long been
As examples, grand openings over the past year included the community’s only black-owned
he community’s business sector may continue to grow at a rapid pace in the years ahead, and appears to be on pace to become more diverse as well (in business type).
beauty supply store (Annie’s Beauty Supply), a corporate consulting firm specialized in diversity and inclusion strategies (Monroe Consulting), and a financial services firm specialized in commercial insurance (Binger Financial Services).
ELIHU AND CAROLYN BRAYBOY Owners, Chiefs
JACKIE WILLIAMS AND TODD WILSON Owners, Furnish Me Vintage
Roy Binger CEO, Binger Financial Services, LLC
Carla Bristol Owner, Gallerie 909
ADA MCFARLEY CEO, Never Late Commercial Cleaning with representative of the Florida SBDC
Toriano Parker Parker, CEO, Parker Financial Services
ANNIE TYRELL Owner, Annie’s Beauty Supply with St. Petersburg Councilwoman Lisa Wheeler-Bowman
Catherine Weaver Owner, Uniquely Original Art Studio
Gloria Campbell Owner, Advantage Training Systems
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TANASHA WHITING Emerging Entrepreneur Designer/Seamstress
Loretta Monroe Calvin President & Chief Strategist, Monroe Consulting Group
Art by Jesse Lenz, featured in “The Collapse of Black Wealth” by Monica Potts for The American Prospect
WEALTH FINANCIAL CAPACITY Homeownership down, wealth drained Because home equity is the largest source of wealth for most Americans, blacks in St. Petersburg have seen their wealth shrink over the past 15 years. African Americans own 1,800 fewer homes today in the city than they did at the turn of the century. Even recent data is not promising. From 2000 to 2015, the number of black-owned homes in the city fell 18%, and most of the losses are recent. From 2013 to 2015, the number of black owned homes fell by 1,150.
Lack of home equity growth – The black homeownership rate in St. Petersburg was 38% in 2015, 12 points down from the year 2000 when the rate was 50%. From 2000 to 2015, the black-white gap grew to 24 points; whites’ homeownership rate was 63% in 2015.
401Ks or similar accounts versus 65% of white workers. Local stats are limited but we do know that white residents of St. Petersburg reap about 72 times more interest, dividend and rental income than African Americans here.
Puny savings – The Power Broker estimates that black families in the city save only an average 1.3% of their yearly income versus 19.5% for white families, which means African Americans save about $13.7 million per year compared to over $1 billion per year for white families.
savings, net 3reasons asset growth is nil Nationally, African American families grow their net assets by only $750 per year versus $18,000 for white families. Though we do not have definitive local data, we know that the black wealth gap in St. Petersburg is driven by several factors.
All three South St. Petersburg zip codes rank in the top 10% of zips in America for highest rate of “underwater” mortgages i.e., homes where the owner owes more on the mortgage than the home is worth.
Less investment – The Huffington Post reports that only one in four black Americans owns stocks, bonds or mutual funds compared to half of white workers, and that 46% of blacks have IRAs,
Disconnected from financial system Using national data as a guide, we can reliably estimate that 12,200 African American households in St. Petersburg are either unbanked (don’t have any bank accounts at all) or underbanked (have bank accounts but rely on alternative financial sources like check cashers and pawn shops, to meet some of their financial needs).
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of St. Petersburg to attract a new restaurant to the Skyway Marina district of South St. Petersburg.
South St. Petersburg has been transformed over the past 20 years. Since Mayor David Fischer began efforts to spur revitalization, City reports show 603,000 square feet of construction, renovation and historic preservation of commercial and community facilities. The new 45,000 square foot St. Petersburg College Midtown campus is one of the latest projects completed.
Points of Progress
• Commercial space in use: 4.46 million square feet in 2013, an increase of 4% since 2001
• Two steps back: For every three steps forward, community leaders say there are two steps back. The recent closures of the Sweetbay Supermarket on 62nd Avenue South and the Walgreen’s on 9th Street South are among the high-profile casualties.
Housing Stock There are 33,857 occupied housing units in South St. Petersburg (including 20,902 owned homes), which is nearly one-third (32%) of the City total.
• Commercial occupancy: 90% in 2013 The City is beginning to rebound from the slow-down in redevelopment that happened from 2009 to 2013. Positive trends continue with forthcoming construction by two new commercial tenants on the 14-acre Commerce Park site on 22nd Street South; design of a 9,900 square foot state-of-the-art childcare center on the Mt Zion campus; renovation of the 9,000 square foot David Welch Plaza on 16th Street by Pinellas Ex-Offender ReEntry Coalition; and the push of $1 million in incentives by the City
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Points of progress • The homeownership rate is higher in South St. Petersburg than it is citywide (65% vs 62%), but still lower in the CRA (56%). From 1999 to 2012, the area homeownership rate climbed 9.3 points. • But this doesn’t translate to the African American community (see
Wealth report for details). • From 1994 to 2013, over 3,800 housing units were newly constructed, rehabilitated or demolished in the CRA (30% turnover) • From 1999 to 2013, Midtown’s share of the City’s vacant & boarded units fell from 75% to 44%.
Challenges • Housing costs a bigger burden today: 55% of households in Midtown and Childs Park are “housing cost burdened” i.e., have costs in excess of 30% (14 points higher than the 41% who were “cost burdened” in 2000). Among renters, 73% in Midtown and Childs Park are “housing cost burdened” versus 56% citywide. • Affordable homes in shortsupply: According to the South St. Petersburg CRA Plan in 2015, “Housing affordability is undermined by the large number of vacant & boarded units in the CRA, which removes supply from the market and reduces competition for tenants. This partially explains why the median gross rent of $848/month for CRA tenants is only $60 less than rent paid throughout the city.”
The Labor Market & Talent Supply Chain The city’s African American workforce is larger and better educated than it was at the turn of the century. From 2000 to 2014, the black workforce grew 20% to nearly 29,000 while employment grew 12% to 24,400.
Better Educated Workforce More black and Southside residents are earning secondary and post-secondary credentials. • More black students are graduating high school across Pinellas and gains are biggest in St. Petersburg. From 2011 to 2015, the black student graduation rate
in South St. Petersburg schools rose 23 points to 84%, closing the gap with white students districtwide.
• As the next graph shows, the share of African Americans 25+ with a high school credential or higher rose 11 points, from 2000 to 2013 versus a 7 point gain for whites. The number of black adults with a high school credential grew 39% to 30,045, while the number with a college degree grew 55% to just over 5,000.
• Black & Southside students are entering college in greater numbers than other City residents. From 2000 to 2014, the number of black collegeenrolled students grew 91% versus 14% for white students.
- From 2000 to 2014, African Americans: • Became a larger share of the City’s working age people (22%, up 2.3 points) • Became a larger share of the City’s collegeenrolled population (27%, up 7 points)
More workers enter management white collar jobs Over the long haul, St. Petersburg’s professional black workforce has blossomed. From 1980 to 2013, the number of African Americans in the city who work in white collar jobs grew from 20% to 49% (half of black workers). Progress slowed during the Great Recession, however. From 2005 to 2013, there was only a 1 point gain in African Americans in management jobs and a 3 point loss for blacks in sales & office jobs.
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In numbers, nearly 12,000 African Americans work in management, professional, sales and office jobs. In the aggregate, African American workers earned about $727 million in 2013. Adjusting for inflation, that’s roughly 3% less than blacks earned in the year 2000. Earning less • While there are more African Americans earners in the labor market, they are earning less than they used to. In real terms, average earnings for African Americans workers was 9% lower in 2013 than in 2000.
We prepare you for what’s next
because what’s next matters
At St. Petersburg College, we offer you the ability to do what matters to you, with opportunities to learn both inside and out of the classroom. Education is not just about earning your credentials, it’s about the experiences that inspire you to lead; to create; to make a difference.
Apply online at www.spcollege.edu/apply
They give you the skills and knowledge to be prepared for the real world.
– Taquisha Watts, Dental Hygiene SPC Grad
Power Broker magazine | 33
The Census counted 15,676 African American children in St. Petersburg in 2014. Over the long arc of history, black children’s futures are much brighter now than they were in the year 2000. Back then, only about 16% of black children in the city were destined to grow up and make it into careers offering a moderate living or better by their 30th birthday (only 13% of black boys were). Though we do not have enough data to analyze the trajectory of today’s children, we do know that more African American children are traveling a path to success in the workforce. For example: In 2007, only 21% of black boys were graduating high school on-time in Pinellas County. Almost a decade later, in 2015, 61% of black males graduated on-time.
Here is a snapshot of progress in children’s success at every stage, from the “cradle to careers.”
Cradle-to-Career Progress The educational arena - above every other area of life – produced the richest harvest of gains for African Americans in St. Petersburg over the 14 years studied by the Power Broker. In several places along the cradle-to-career spectrum, gains accelerated in the past three to five years. Progress is strongest at the opposite ends of the spectrum (Pre-Kindergarten, on the one end, and high school and college graduation, on the other end). The middle of the spectrum (elementary and middle school) shows the weakest results. Elementary schools in South St. Petersburg reached crisis-low levels of achievement in 2014 and 2015. They rebounded modestly this year. A majority of cradle-to-career indicators in this next table are trending in the right direction; and for most indicators, the gap is closing for African American students.
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*Time horizons vary; request a detailed set of “Cradle to Career Progress Indicators” at email@example.com
The Trends & Gaps From the Cradle n Healthy births: The share of black babies who survive beyond their 1st birthday in Pinellas improved to 85% in 2015 (up from 77% in 2008).
n Births to unwed mothers: Since 2007, the Census shows a 16 point climb in the share of black babies born to unwed moms in St. Petersburg (to 92% in 2015), while the rest of Florida saw a 4 point rise (to 65%).
HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE STRUGGLING?
n Born into poverty: From 2000 to 2014, the poverty rate for black children under age 6 skyrocketed to 61% (up 24 points from 37% in 2000).
Gaps closing in high school As of 2015, black students in South St. Petersburg high schools had closed the graduation gap with white students in the district. Last year, black students’ graduation rate of 84% was higher than white students’ rate of 82% districtwide.
n Pre-school enrollment: Enrollment is up in recent years in the Midtown and Childs Park areas, from 63% pre-school enrollment in 2010 to 68% in 2013. n School readiness: South St. Pete elementary schools had an average 31 point climb in the share of children who entered Kindergarten ready, from 60% in 2011 to 90% in 2014. They narrowed the gap by half with children elsewhere in the district, from 8 points in 2011 down to 4 points in 2014. Children enrolled at Mt Zion Children’s Center
In 2014, there were approximately 3,973 struggling students in South St. Petersburg elementary schools (not counting those in private schools). Though the media spotlight flooded the so-called Failure Factory schools, there were also 1,642 struggling students in schools that earned “A” and “B” in 2014. Data show that higher-performing white students are masquerading a troubling gap for black students in those schools. To illustrate: at the four “A” schools in this graph, white students are mathematically propping up school grades (e.g., at Sanderlin, 95% of white students were on grade level in 2014, but only 27% of black boys were).
increased their school readiness rate by 10 points over the last two years measured.
In Elementary Schools In the wake of the Tampa Bay Times’ epic Failure Factories series in 2015, South St. Petersburg elementary schools saw a huge influx – of intensive focus, new investments and the full embrace of volunteers. Things had been spiraling downward for several years before the bombshell news last year. In 2009, the average grade for South St. Pete elementary schools was a “B” and each of the five troubled schools earned a “C” or better. But by 2014, all five schools earned an “F” and primary schools’ average had fallen to a “C-” grade.
In Middle Schools
Academics: From 2012 to 2014, middle schools in South St. Petersburg had a 10 point gain in the share of black students “on grade level” in math to 30.4%; and a 6 point gain in students “on grade level” in reading to 32.5%. The white-black gap narrowed by 7 points in math and 5 points in reading. Discipline: The number of black students suspended in Southside middle schools more than doubled from 2011 to 2015. The trend may have reversed in 2014.
*SSP = South St. Petersburg µ This table shows the gap narrowing most for black boys.
Graduating class of Pinellas Technical College which continues to push for enrollment increases. µ Black and South St. Petersburg students are entering college in greater numbers than other city residents. From 2000 to 2014, the number of black college-enrolled students grew 91% versus 14% for white students.
Black students accounted for a huge share (44%) of the city’s increase in collegeenrolled people from 2000 to 2014.
GAP IS CLOSED
A reverse gap now exists in college enrollment: the share of people age 16 or older who are enrolled in college was 11.1% for blacks and 7.6% for whites in 2014. Power Broker magazine | 35
Doorways of opportunity for people who want to take their life to the next level
For decades, St. Petersburg’s black community righteously complained about the lack of resources to address the seemingly permanent stream of crisis. From the education achievement gap to lack of access to good paying jobs…lack of capital for businesses…and more. In recent years, research affirms that the community was and is “on point,” e.g., OpportunityIndex.org shows Pinellas County lagging Florida and
ommunity entrepreneurs have more resources available than ever to take their ideas or ventures to a next level – training, coaching, counseling, expert advice, stipends for start-up and growth, and loan and equity capital. Micro Business Grant Program Pinellas Opportunity Council Up to $1,000 grants for business startup for low-income entrepreneurs 727-823-4101 www.poc-inc.org
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the nation in a range of opportunity measures in areas like housing and employment. But that reality is quickly changing, thanks to a collective push by public and private organizations to open the flood gates of opportunity for black and South St. Petersburg residents. They are creating new jobs and raising more loan capital for entrepreneurs. Helping more people train for and CATCH Program Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp. (BBIC) 63-hour intensive training & coaching program for existing or emerging entrepreneurs. 727-826-5785 tampabaybbic.org Community Business Development Initiative – Ice House Program St. Petersburg Greenhouse 8-week training program for people thinking about whether to become an entrepreneur. 727-893-7146 stpetegreenhouse.com Also at the Greenhouse, dozens of trainings & other resources for emerging or existing businesses]
secure better-paying job. Supporting more artists to hone their craft. And they’re helping more ex-offenders to enter the workforce. All of this adds up to more opportunity to realize your dreams, whether it’s to start a new business, go back to school, or other. While the community still has a host of legitimate concerns, it also has a growing host of allies helping to open the doors of opportunity. Florida Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development Over 30 services for emerging or existing business owners. 727-4537200 sbdctampabay.com/pinellas
Already in business, but want to grow The Tampa Bay BBIC now has six loan programs and seven counseling & support programs to help you start or grow your business, including space to incubate your firm. Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp. (BBIC) 727-826-5785 tampabaybbic.org
Entrepreneurial Academy St. Petersburg Greenhouse 10-week training academy for firms with revenue of up to $500,000. 727-893-7146 stpetegreenhouse.com
St. Pete Makers A collection of builders, makers, and artists offering a space to go, create, train and support one another. 429 22nd Street S./St. Pete www.stpetemakers.org TEC Garage The Technology & Entrepreneurship Center Garage offers the tools needed for entrepreeneurs to turn an idea into a business or take their business to the next level. 727-547-7340 www.tecgarage.org
Help finding a new or better paying job or career Career Connection Center Pinellas County Urban League 727-327-2081 Marshae Scott Job opportunities and training for positions ranging from entry-level to executive-level.
Get your financial house in order
Family Development Program Pinellas Opportunity Council Help becoming self-sufficient through case management, life skills training, financial literacy classes, savings accounts, job searches and selfemployment help. 727-823-4101 www.poc-inc.org 2020 Healthcare Career Ladder Pinellas Opportunity Council For those who already work in an entrylevel healthcare job but want to get trained to enter a higher-skill position in the healthcare sector. 727-823-4101 2020 Family Wrap Around Pinellas Opportunity Council Help for parents to plan and start their journey to higher paying jobs and careers. 727-823-4101 High-Fidelity Wrap-Around Pinellas County Urban League “More of a process than a program,” this service helps families develop plans for healthy living – mental, physical and financial. 727-327-2081
Credit Repair by The Credit Man William Crowley Expert help for credit repair, specializing in validating debts. 727-798-3092 Financial Empowerment Center Pinellas County Urban League Get help earning more and better managing your finances with credit repair, budget training, and tax preparation services plus referrals for mortgage modifications and more. 727-327-1081
Find out how to own your own home
Home ownership training, financing & development services Neighborhood Home Solutions 727-821-6897/nhsfl.org For anyone thinking about or ready to start toward their dream of home ownership, NHS has tools to help get you there.
Help for Ex-offenders
Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-Entry Coalition (PERC) Comprehensive support for offenders to help them become and remain an ex-offender, to reunite with families and to connect to education and job opportunities to put their lives on track.
Visit, call or learn more: 1601 16th Street S./St. Pete 727-954-3993 www.exoffender.org
Improving the lives of women , infants and families… Healthy Start is a federal program dedicated to reducing disparities in maternal and infant health status in high risk communities. Healthy Start supports women before, during, and after pregnancy by addressing their health and social service needs, strengthening family resilience, and engaging community partners to enhance systems of care. Additionally, Healthy Start works to assure access to culturally competent, family-centered and comprehensive health and social services for women, infants and their families.
Healthy Start serves women of reproductive age, pregnant women, mothers who have just given birth, and infants and families from birth to the child’s second birthday who reside in the 33701, 33705, 33711, 33712 and 33713 zip code areas.
Fathers play a very important role in the development of their children. Getting fathers involved early on, even before the baby is born, can have a great influence on a child’s life. That’s why our Father Services Specialist provides assistance and educational resources just for men.
Healthy Start provides a forum for the “community voice” in efforts to improve the health of mothers and babies. Healthy Start programs participate in Community Action Networks (CANs) that mobilize health care, social service and other providers to coordinate services, and steer local action to address social determinants of health related to poor birth outcomes.
For more information, call 727-767-6780, e-mail ACHHealthyStart@jhmi.edu, or visit www.Hopkinsallchildrens.org/healthystart Facebook.com/healthystartSP
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number H49MC27805, The Healthy Start Initiative: Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health-HRSA-12-112 for the amount of 5.6 million dollars over a 5 year period. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S Government.
Watson L. Haynes, II President & CEO
Charlotte Anderson VP of Operations
Decide NOW to improve your financial situation by participating in FREE Pinellas County Urban League Financial Education Sessions. Workshop topics include budgeting, asset building, becoming bankable, home foreclosure prevention, and credit restoration. Sessions available by appointment. For more information: Lisa Kirkland at 727-327-2081, ext. 132
Vonda Ford Director of Finance
Pattye SawyerHampton Director of Health
National industry certifications in Customer Service, Warehouse Management, Transportation Management, and Procurement are offered FREE to individuals interested in obtaining professional credentialing. Certifications are offered in partnership with St. Petersburg College. Other Workforce Development Services include employability skills development and job referral and placement. For more information: Marshae Scott at 727-327-2081, ext. 112
HIGHWAYS TO HEALTH (H2H) Linda Ali VP of Administration
Michael Boykins, Sr. Director of Youth & Family Services
333 ~ 31st Street North St. Petersburg, FL 33713
We believe good health is a major part of empowerment. Our Health Mobile Unit travels across Pinellas County providing FREE health screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol. In addition, our health workshops address healthy eating, and weight control. Low, moderate and high impact exercise sessions are held weekly. For more information: Pattye Sawyer-Hampton at 727-3272081, ext. 128 Please call Charlotte Anderson at 727-3272081, ext. 103 to learn more about all of the FREE Individual,Youth and Family Empowerment Services at the Pinellas County Urban League where we are Empowering Communities and Changing Lives.
“His calm, steady approach helped bring a new ear of consensus -building and forward-looking thinking to the commission, and he deserves to be re-elected”
“Charlie Justice works hard for Pinellas.
He always has our back. This November, we should have his.” - Commissioner Ken Welch
CHARLIE JUSTICE ENDORSED BY:
Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Charlie Justice, Democrat, for Pinellas County Commission District 3
oung black men in St. Petersburg have made unprecedented gains since 2008 when Pinellas County suffered national shame for its last place rank among America’s 50 largest school districts for having the lowest high school graduation rate for black males. St. Petersburg was ground zero of the travesty, as home to almost two-thirds of the county’s African American population. The embarrassment might have been mitigated if the district had heeded the 2006 report by the Campaign to Close the Gap. It warned that only 24% of black boys were graduating high school ontime. But the school district wasn’t alone in seeing dismal results for black males. The number admitted to the county juvenile delinquency center reached a record-high in 2005. The county jail followed suit: in 2006, its average daily population spiked at 3,600 inmates, nearly 40% of them black. The situation was so dire that in 2006 the County Master Plan forecasted that if the jail
Profile on the status of black men in Florida’s 5th largest City [St. Petersburg, Florida] population continued to climb, it would cost taxpayers $205 million to build new jails.
The media spotlight had its effect Since the dark days when community leaders’ pleas for action were ignored, the school district, along with the criminal and juvenile systems began to intensify their focus on closing the gaps for African Americans in general, but males most of all. Their efforts bore fruit. The high school graduation rate for black boys has more than doubled since 2006; while the school-to-prison pipeline was cut nearly in half from 2008 to 2014, and the number of black men enrolling in college more than doubled.
Recent data releases give plenty of reasons for celebration. But they also show cause for grave concern. • First, black men are the only race-gender group in the city whose
education gains are not translating to employment and income gains. Despite rising faster in degree attainment than others, from 2000 to 2014, black men lost rank on the career ladder. • Second, the city’s African American males are still unrecovered from an era of mass incarceration that only began to subside in about 2010. By then, they’d suffered years of escalating imprisonment that left thousands of them disabled, unable to find decent jobs, and detached from their families. • Third, the above factors fueled record levels of father-absence for black children in the city. So much so that, St. Petersburg ranks #1 among Florida’s 10 largest cities for the highest rates of black unwed births and single parenting.
This report offers the latest insights on the social and economic status of black men in Florida’s fifth largest city, and the untold consequences of their struggles. Power Broker magazine | 41
Graduation Rate Continues to Climb Countywide, the black male graduation rate has more than doubled since 2006 to 61% in 2015. In South St. Petersburg, an estimated 79% of African American boys graduated ontime in 2015. From 2011 to 2015, black boys in the city narrowed their graduation rate gap by 16 points, relative to white boys in the district.
More Men Going to College Since 2000, the number of African American males enrolled in college or graduate school more than doubled, growing by an estimated 124% by 2014, when there were over 2,000 black men enrolled.
Big Climb in College Degree Attainment Black men had the strongest surge in educational attainment for adults 25+. From 2000 to
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2013, the number of black men in St. Petersburg with a college degree nearly doubled (growing by over 82%).
*841 = increase from 2000 to 2014
• From 2000 to 2013, the number of black males with a high school credential or higher rose to 12,948 (from 8,971 in 2000) and the number with a college degree grew to 2,580 in 2015 (more than double the 2000 figure).
Yet Employment Flat Yet, black men aren’t being welcomed into the city workforce in similar numbers. Look at the change from 2000 to 2013: the number of black men with a high school diploma or higher grew by close to 4,000, but their employment grew by only 840.
Men Lose Management Jobs Across America, the share of black men working in white collar jobs rose modestly to 26%, from 2005 to 2013. But in St. Petersburg, the share of black men in white collar jobs shrank 9 points (to 18%).
As of 2013, one-third of the city’s black male workforce worked in service occupations (34%), and over half of them
worked in “food preparation and serving” jobs.
Black Men’s Earnings Fell
Small Turnaround in 2014
Hardest Hit from Recession
In addition to last place results in job entry, black men also hold last place status in earnings growth. Unlike other race-gender groups below, black men saw a double-digit loss in real median earnings from 2000 to 2014.
Things may have taken a modestly positive turn post-2013. Black men’s unemployment rate dropped three points in 2014 to 18% (but was still two times the unemployment rate for white men).
African American men took the hardest hit in recessionrelated job losses, while white men appear to have absorbed nearly all of St. Petersburg’s employment rebound. From 2005 to 2013, black men lost 12% of their employed workforce.
• In 2014, there were 10,454 black men employed in St. Petersburg and another 2,400 looking for work.
ìNationwide, only 7% of African American men worked in food service jobs in 2013, versus 17% in St. Petersburg (an increase of 9 points since 2000, versus only a 1 point climb for black men across America). From 2005 to 2013, in St. Petersburg the number of black men working in food service nearly doubled (growing by 98%), making food service their biggest employment sector. These jobs pay an average $9.91 per hour in Pinellas County. Power Broker magazine | 43
Data suggest that lack of willingness to work is not the problem. A common misperception is that so many African American men are out of work because they simply don’t want to work. But the data defy that notion. A study found that 92% of black men in St. Petersburg who are available to work (i.e., not in prison, disabled, institutionalized or retired) were either working, or looking for work, or enrolled in school in 2013. When you add men who are working in the “underground economy” (in illegal or informal trade), 97% of men available to work are working, even if some are paid “under the table.”
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So what’s holding men back in the labor market? Data point to specific factors that limit men’s ability to enter the job market in greater numbers.
#1 Prison Incarceration drains more
black men from the workforce than any other factor. Research for the 2020 Plan found that in June 2013, there were 5,600 black men from St. Petersburg incarcerated or supervised by the criminal justice system (e.g., parole). Nearly 13% of black men were in state prison or under state supervision, versus only 1.3% of white men.
#2 Ex-offender status Once free from prison, studies say that a criminal record cuts men’s job opportunities in half. Some 53% of St. Petersburg’s black men have prior criminal justice system involvement. An untallied number have felony convictions.
#3 Bias Even when they are as equally qualified as white men, black men are rejected in the job market more than any other group. Research by Harvard University, the University of Chicago and others consistently reflect bias, prejudice, and even fear in employers’ screening of black male applicants. Here in St. Petersburg, black men suffer two times their fair share of unemployment: they were 10% of the labor force in
2013, but 18% of the City’s unemployed. By contrast, white men were 34% of the labor force and 30% of the unemployed population.
#4 Disability Compared to white men, 1.5 times more black men are disabled; and 96% of disabled black males ages 16 to 64 are also unemployed. Over onefifth of this prime working age group suffer from
disabilities. The problem is worst among young men, ages 18 to 34. In this group, black men make-up 74% of males in St. Petersburg who are disabled and not working.
Quick Facts: Black Men in the Labor Market
Labor market data tell only part of the story of black men’s status in St. Petersburg’s labor market. This comprehensive break-down of the work status of African American males in 2013 shows surprising new insights. § Over 15,000 of the City’s black men are working, including the 1,940 men who are in state prison work programs. § The plurality – 32% - are working in the formal economy in jobs that pay less than $30,000 a year. Another 18% are earning $30,000 or more. § Perhaps most telling, St. Petersburg had more African American men working while incarcerated (about 1,940) than the number who held management jobs (1,680).
Men looking for work but unable to find jobs At every age level, black men in St. Petersburg have unemployment rates 1.5 to 4 times higher than white men in the City. [Data: Census 2013] Power Broker magazine | 45
he latest data shows St. Petersburg as just beginning to recover from an era of mass incarceration of black men that took a vast toll in at least two areas of life - in spiraling rates of father-absence from families and in draining more black men from the workforce than any other factor blocking gainful employment. A recent study found that over a quarter of all black men (26%) who call St. Petersburg home were either incarcerated or under criminal justice system supervision in June 2013. Thirteen times more black men were imprisoned or under state corrections supervision (13% of black men vs 1% of their white peers), according to an analysis by the 2020 Plan Task Force.
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Besides the thousands of men behind bars, there are thousands more struggling to find work. Studies show that a felony record cuts men’s job prospects in half - a daunting reality considering that an estimated 40% of the city’s black men have prior criminal justice system involvement. An untallied number have past felony convictions. The reality has a crippling effect on the city economy. The Power Broker estimates that ex-offender men who are looking for work but can’t land a job account for 55% of unemployed black men and 20% of all unemployed men in the city. The dim present results from years of escalating incarceration of black men from St. Petersburg, which county leaders began to address in earnest in 2007. Today, fewer black men are doing
time in prisons and jails, but that still leaves St. Petersburg with a massive problem: thousands of African American men struggling to secure a decent paying job in a market where too few local employers are open to hiring people with a prior record.
Plus, even though we’ve slowed the pace of incarceration, we are nowhere near “there” yet. Community groups and local officials continue to push for progress in reducing what some officials call “Disproportionate Minority Contact.” It’s still a fact that African Americans, especially men, are dis-
• African American males who were 17 or younger at their first arrests are the most likely to be repeat offenders (Pinellas County Data Collaborative).
proportionately penalized by our criminal system at every step in the pipeline –from higher arrest rates to higher charge and conviction rates to longer stays in prisons and jails. Here in Pinellas, a study by University of South Florida researchers classed county inmates in three groups - low, high and greatest bed users - and found that more blacks are high and greatest bed users (52% versus 31% of whites). • As a result, though blacks were about 90% of the county population when the study was done, they used about 43% of the jail bed capacity (4 times their representative share).
Black youth an even bigger factor Black youth account for an even larger share of arrests in their age cohort than black adults. Over three years analyzed, African Americans accounted for 24% of adult arrestees but 37% of youth arrested. Further, black youth have the highest rate of repeat offending and the greatest number of re-arrests. A University of South Florida report notes:
Nearly three-quarters of black male youth in this category are re-arrested within three years, and black youth under age 20 had the highest average number of re-arrests, compared with other groups.
5,600 BLACK MEN UNDER CRIMINAL SYSTEM CONTROL [A POINT-IN-TIME ESTIMATE FOR JUNE 2013]
On the road back to lock-up
• From 26% to 33% of ex-state prisoners return to prison within 3 years, as many as 50% return within 10 years. • 57% of black men arrested to the Pinellas County jail, return to jail within 10 years. • Young black men arrested by age 17 have the highest recidivism rate at the Pinellas County Jail: 72% are re-arrested! SOURCES: Florida Dept of Corrections, Statistics & Publications 2012-13; Florida Prison Recidivism Report: Releases from 2005 to 2012, Apr 2014; Policy Services and Research Data Center, Mental Health Law & Policy, Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida (Tampa), Report to Pinellas County Data Collaborative 2010 Findings; Report of Pinellas Data Collaborative CJIS System Change Over Time 2007 Findings; Ramon Partners, Pinellas County, Florida Criminal Justice System Study, Nov 2008; Pinellas Public Safety Coordinating Council, Indicators Report, Sep 2014.
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In 2014, St. Petersburg had the highest illegitimate birth rate for black children among Florida’s 10 largest cities (85% of all black babies in St. Petersburg were born to single moms versus 62% across Florida).
Unlike high-profile media about the achievement gap in years past, this time reporters pointed with precision to the school district’s role in the tragic results.
And the situation is worse in the area surrounding the five ailing schools - Midtown and Childs Park. There, over the past five years, Census data show 88% of all new African American babies were born to unwed moms (effectively 9 out of 10)! The illegitimate birth rate reached 100% in 2014 in six of nine census tracts that make-up Midtown and Childs Park.
y now, thousands of voices have vented outrage over the epic “Failure Factories” article published by the Tampa Bay Times in 2015, blasting to the world that South St. Petersburg is “the most concentrated site of academic failure in all of Florida,”At five area elementary schools, nine in 10 children failed math tests and eight in 10 failed reading.
But alongside the overdue “day of reckoning” for district leaders, there is an urgent reality that community leaders and officials are only beginning to factor into solutions:
Fatherlessness has reached pandemic proportions in St. Petersburg’s African American community. Over the past eight years, the rate of black babies born to and 48 | Power Broker magazine
raised by single mothers spiked to higher levels than almost anywhere in Florida and America.
What’s more, research shows an alarming uptick in the problem. From 2008 to 2014, the black unwed birth rate rose by nine points in St. Petersburg versus only one point across Florida. And it happened over the precise timeframe when student results in area elementary schools dropped precipitously. In 2009, the community’s elementary schools
averaged a “B” grade and the five ailing schools averaged a “C.” By 2014, all five schools earned “F” grades. A drill-down into the data confirm that the heart of the problem lay in Midtown and Childs Park (i.e., the new South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area, “CRA”). In a pattern that mirrors the concentrations of youth violence and school failure, the tiny 7.4 square mile CRA makes up only 12% of the city’s landmass, but is home to over half (52%) of all black children in St. Petersburg who live with single mothers. For perspective sake, 72% of African American children in the CRA live in families led by unmarried women, compared to only 21% for white children throughout St. Petersburg.
How far-reaching is black fatherlessness? In 2010, there were close to 11,000 black children in the City living in households led by single women (10,946 to be precise, according to the Census).
big factors in father absence
#1 Mass Incarceration: Over about 12 years, the Power Broker estimates that nearly 7,000 black men who call St. Petersburg home were locked-up in prison or jails, which separated thousands of fathers from their children, temporarily or for long stretches of time. #2 Financial Incapacity:
Employment and earnings losses for black men (detailed earlier in this report) left fewer black men able to support families. Things were bad enough in 2000 when about 25% of black men earned enough to support a family above a “low-income” lifestyle. By 2013, only about 17% of
black men in the City were at this threshold.
Men’s financial incapacity is not the only factor, but it appears to be a powerful driver in the deteriorating nuclear black family: From 2000 to 2010, the City experienced a near one-toone correlation in the decline in the share of men able to support families and the share of households led by men. Both black and white families saw a dip in married couples leading families with children, but the decline was four times larger for African Americans. From 2000 to 2010, the share of families led by single moms grew 1.6% for whites and 6.2% for black families.
62% GROWTH IN THE NUMBER OF BLACK BABIES BORN TO UNWED MOMS IN ST. PETERSBURG From 2008 to 2014, the Census shows 62% growth in black unwed births in the city, in sharp contrast to a 3% decline nationwide only 5% growth across the rest of Florida. Over this timeframe, over 5,300 black babies were born to unmarried women in St. Petersburg.
Of black children under age 6 in poverty
Among Florida’s 10 largest cities, St. Petersburg had the biggest hike in the poverty rate for black children under age 6, from 2000 to 2014 (the rate increased by 24 points). The city also has the second highest poverty rate for black children in 2014.
Over that same time, the number of female headed black families in the city grew by 900, accounting for all of the city’s net increase in black families since 2000.
#3 Culture Shift:
Though St. Petersburg is not alone in witnessing the rise of single parenting as the norm, the city is unique in passing a certain Rubicon. Here, the unwed birth rate for black children is nearing 100% (it was 92% in 2015). Stigma no longer attaches to single moms; men have normalized the routine of fathering children but not raising them.
Quick Facts: Black
fatherlessness in St. Petersburg 84% OF BLACK FAMILIES IN POVERTY ARE HEADED BY SINGLE WOMEN More than eight out of 10 black families in poverty in St. Petersburg are headed by single women (84%).
ST. PETERSBURG HAS HIGHEST RATE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN BORN TO UNMARRIED WOMEN AND HIGHEST RATE OF BLACK CHILDREN RAISED BY SINGLE MOMS Compared to African Americans in eight of Florida’s largest cities, the U.S. Census shows St. Petersburg with the largest share of black babies born to unwed mothers (86% of all African American babies born in 2013), and the highest share of black children being raised by single Power Broker magazine | 49
• The research is clear: the absence of fathers in children’s lives plays a leading causal role in every negative life impact known to science, from premature sex and promiscuity, to increased crime and violence, school failure, substance abuse and mental and physical illness in children and moms. Data confirm that these fatherabsent impacts are present at hugely disproportionate rates among black children in South St. Petersburg.
Sexual Abuse National studies find that black children – girls and boys - are more likely to be sexually abused than white children, in part, because of the greater risks tied to father-absence. Here in St. Petersburg, in a pilot program by the University of South Florida Family Study Center, among 58 African American parents-in-poverty 80% of whom were themselves raised by single moms - nearly half (47%) of moms were sexually
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abused as a child and 12% of men were (that’s 1 in 8). Over a third (35%) of women reported being sexually abused as adults too.
Early Sex Studies show teen pregnancy rates seven times higher for girls with absent dads, and that women whose parents separated before their 6th birthday have twice the risk of early menstruation, four times the risk of early sex, and 2.5 times the pregnancy risk, relative to girls with dads at home. Here in St. Petersburg, 2.6 times more African American girls live without dads, compared to white girls and unwed black teens give birth at a rate of 2.7-to-1.
Violence National research finds a striking correlation between fatherabsence and violence for children
and teens. Here in St. Petersburg, black children are 8.6 times more likely to be suspended for fighting in Pinellas County schools; and in 2013, the equivalent of 10% of black teens in St. Petersburg were referred to the Department of Juvenile Justice, compared to 4% of white teens.
School Discipline Issues Children who attend South St. Petersburg elementary schools experienced a combined 4,238 suspensions in the 2012-13 school year. Black students account for an overwhelming share of suspensions in Southside schools, and their share grew in 2012-13 to 86% from 84%. In 2012-13, though African Americans were approximately 57% of the student body of Southside schools, they had 90% of elementary school suspensions (up 1 point over 2011-12); 88% of middle school suspensions; and 77% of suspensions in Southside high schools (up 3.4 points).
Toxic Stress An analysis of local data by the 2020 Plan Taskforce found that children in St. Petersburg’s poorest areas (Midtown and Childs Park) experience and witness six times more crime, trauma, failure, illness, death and separation from loved ones, compared to white middle class children living in other parts of St. Petersburg. From the womb to the workforce, children who grow up in Midtown and Childs Park, or who attend South St. Petersburg schools, face persistent levels of toxic stress.
They are 10 times more likely to see blighted buildings in their proximate community, while crime is five times more concentrated in their neighborhoods than in the rest of the City.
Unhealthy Births From the start, African American children in Pinellas County are nearly twice as likely to suffer complications during birth (22% of black babies suffer pre-mature birth, low birth weight, or fetal death versus 12% of white babies in 2012).
Fathers & Family in Prison Especially due to incarceration rates for black men, African American children in the city are over nine times more likely than white children to have a family member in prison or jail.
More families raising other people’s children The share of black households who accept the added responsibility of raising non-biological children (adopted, foster, and other related and unrelated children) is over two times higher than the share of white families who do (20% of black families versus 9% of white families).
Quick Facts: African American Children in St. Petersburg There are approximately 16,000 African American children in St. Petersburg. Two-thirds of them are raised by single women – mothers, grandmothers and others.
Illness African American children in South St. Petersburg are exposed to over six times more family members and neighbors who are suffering a physical illness, compared to white children elsewhere in the City.
Grandparents & others pick up slack Eye witness to trauma Children in Midtown and Childs Park are 12 times more likely to see their neighborhoods aired on television in a negative light, such as in crime reports, compared to children in most other city neighborhoods.
The inability of fathers and mothers to raise children places a greater burden on African American grandparents in the City. Four times as many black grandparents raising grandchildren, compared to whites.
§ Children are a larger part of the black community. They are 26% of the city’s African American population, while children makeup 14% of the white population. § Black children are over one-third of St. Petersburg’s “under 18” population.
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he dim view of black men often portrayed by the media and reflected in official data tends to obscure the fact that there are well over ten thousand African American men in St. Petersburg who are working, supporting their children, volunteering, and leading in every sector.
Men supporting families
While community leaders recognize the need for urgent attention to the often grim realities of black men, Dr. James McHale and Dr. Chris Warren are among those who say there’s a different and brighter story that needs to be told.
• Raising other’s children: For perspective, black men in the city are three times more likely than white peers to be helping raise someone else’s child. The Census shows 19% of black fathers raising other people’s children (e.g., grandchildren, nieces, nephews and step children), compared to 6% of white fathers.
Dr. McHale is founder of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg Family Study Center, and co-creator of the Figuring it Out for the Child (FIOC) program designed to strengthen co-parenting between young, single African American fathers and mothers. FIOC is among the growing small handful of local programs working to improve the lives of black men as fathers and breadwinners. µ See “Yearbook: 200 People on the Frontlines of Progress” for more about their work. This special report offers some of the untold realities of life for African American men in St. Petersburg.
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Overlooked in the swamp of negative data about black men, there are at least 5,300 African American men in St. Petersburg who are supporting children and families. • In-home fathers: The most recent Census data count 3,460 African American men in St. Petersburg who are heading or coheading families with children.
µ Single dads: Over one-fifth of black in-home dads in St. Petersburg (22%) are single fathers raising children without a wife at home. For perspective, that’s 1.6 times more than the 14% of white in-home dads who are single fathers.
• Fathers paying support: An estimated 3,200 black men in St. Petersburg pay child support to the mothers of their children. According
to a Power Broker analysis of child support case load data, as much as two times more black men pay child support, compared to white peers (as a share of their groups).
µ Involvement: The latest national analysis by Pew Research finds that among fathers who do not live with their children, African American dads are more involved than others. Two-thirds of black fathers see their kids at least monthly, versus 59% of white fathers and 25% of Hispanic dads.
ì Locally, Dr. McHale of the USF St. Petersburg Family Study Center says “Among those who work with us in the FIOC program, we’re seeing rates of involvement by African American dads that are higher than the average national rate for white dads.”
Men working & earning Black men were nearly 11,700 strong in the City’s employed workforce in 2015, despite many of their struggles to land decent and higher-paying jobs. Plus there are about 2,400 black men searching for work in the city, along with roughly 2,100 black men enrolled in college and ontrack to careers.
At least four African American males sit on the boards of major local private funding sources (Marcus Brooks, Kevin Gordon, and Emery Ivery at the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg and Emery Ivery and Erik Smith, Allegany Franciscan Ministries).
Several thousand African American men work in stable, middle- and higher-wage occupations in the city. Nearly 1,400 work in esteemed professions such as education, healthcare, and protective services (law enforcement and fire-fighting).
For the first time, an African American man holds a regional bank president position (Brian Lamb, Fifth Third Bank). It may also be a first that a black man heads one of our local hospitals (Dia Nichols, CEO, Northside Hospital).
Serving in the Community The Power Broker estimates that at least 1,600 African American men are lending their time, talent and treasure to volunteerism in the community.
*Production, Transportation & Material Moving **Excluding education, law, and computer & engineering
Black men are an indispensable steam in servant leader roles such as deacons, coaches, mentors, tutors, civil rights advocates, and youth program coordinators.
Florida State Senate (the seat is being vacated after term limit by Tampa’s Arthenia Joyner).
1. Darryl Rouson, Florida State Senator Elect – District 19; 2. Ken Welch, Pinellas County Commissioner – District 7 and 3. Wengay Newton, candidate for State Representative –District 70
Sharing Wealth As corporate executives, business owners and professional athletes, our highest-income black men are “giving back” to the community. Several of them focus their philanthropy on young men and women, training, coaching and helping them to see a fuller potential for their lives.
Leading on every front Black men lead over 2,480 organizations in the city, including businesses, churches, schools, nonprofits and fraternal organizations (in that order). We have long had black males in top leadership roles, but recent years saw a few new points of progress: Black men now lead campuses of two post-secondary institutions in South St. Petersburg (Bo Norwood, Director of Pinellas Technical College’s St. Petersburg campus and Dr. Kevin Gordon, Provost of St. Petersburg College’s Midtown and Downtown campuses).
Dr. Philip Harris (with Rev. Al Sharpton), Deacon Will Johnson, Elder Martin Rainey, and Lewis Stephens
Elected Officials If Wengay Newton wins his race to represent District 70 in the Florida House, black men will be installed in legislative bodies at three levels of government. Darryl Rouson will be the first black male from St. Petersburg to lead his district in the
Marreese Speights (top photo above) with Mayor Rick Kriseman, continuing his tradition of support in South St. Petersburg; and Louis Murphy, Jr. (second photo) at his 1st Downs 4 Life annual camp, which has hosted dozens of pro athletes to train hundreds of young men. Power Broker magazine | 53
10YEARS OF SERVICE
THE FLORIDA COUNCIL ON THE SOCIAL STATUS OF BLACK MEN AND BOYS
STRATEGIC VISION : The Council’s mission is to research and propose measures that will improve conditions which are negatively affecting black men and boys. Over the past five years, the Council has continued to study areas such as education, health, family, economics, and criminal justice and has concentrated its efforts on developing programs and services that will improve the lives of black men and boys.
• Thad Fortune, Vendor Relations Coordinator, Florida Department of Management Services • William Hardin, Manager-Business Operations Unit, Florida Department of Children and Families • Lois A. Scott, Bureau Chief, Bureau of One Stop and Program Support, Division of Workforce Services, Department of Economic Opportunity
Members of the Council: • Eddy M. Regnier, PhD, Clinical/ Forensic Psychologist and Council Chair (pictured above) • Rod Duckworth, Chancellor-Division of Career and Adult Education and Council Vice Chair • Edison O. Jackson, Ed.D, President of Bethune-Cookman University and Council 1st Vice Chair • Argatha Rigby-Gilmore, Chief of Police, Lake City Police Department and Council 2nd Vice Chair • Gilbert D. Barnes, Assistant Bureau Chief, Contract Management and Monitoring Florida Department of Corrections • Oscar Braynon, II, Florida State Senator – District 36
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• Ben F. Shirley, Jr., Regional Economic Self Sufficiency Director, Florida Department of Children and Families, Suncoast Region • Albert Simpson, Jr., PhD, Reverend, Philemon Worship Center • Marlon Storey, Program Administrator, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration • Craig Swain, Faith Network Coordinator, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice • Shawn Thomas, Reverend, Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church • Alan B. Williams, Florida State Representative-District 8 • Paul Wilson, Administrative DirectorOffice of Labor Relations, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
The Council’s local representation has included Rev. Shawn Thomas, Youth Pastor, Mt Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church (current member); Gypsy Gallardo, CEO of the 2020 Plan Taskforce (former member) and Pastor Frank Peterman, Jr. (co-sponsor of the legislation creating the Council in 2006).
Tawanna Leven Office of the Attorney General Bureau of Criminal Justice Programs 850-414-3300
tawanna.leven@ myfloridalegal.com www.cssbmb.com
fter the turn of the century, St. Petersburg experienced an epic shift: women took the helm of the black community economy – a milestone that gave African American females near complete headship of major community institutions. Women have long held the majority as heads of families, and as educators, voters, business owners, and lay leaders of “the church.”
The mammoth shift of recent years is that black women are now also the undisputed chief breadwinners in St. Petersburg’s African American community. So much so, St. Petersburg shows the biggest economic gender gap between black men and women, among Florida’s 10 largest cities.
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Back in 2000, women already outnumbered men in the city’s black workforce, but men still accounted for over half of the black community’s earnings from full-time work (51%), and over half of black workers earning $75,000 or more per year (57%). But by 2013, this last bastion fell: men earned only 43% of blacks’ full-time earnings (versus 60% for white men), and were only 38% of blacks earning $75,000 or more! This “new normal” (if it is one) is taking a toll. Besides the psychological hurt of men not able financially - to lead their families as breadwinners, the black community is robbed of a huge part of its financial strength. The widening gap in favor of black women is only partly due to women’s educational progress. The bigger part is due to black men’s regress in the workforce.
Employment Gap Grew By 2013, women outnumbered men in the black workforce by 4,100 (double the size of the gap in 2000), and their share of the full-time workforce grew to 58%. Black men have the lowest employment rate and the highest unemployment rate in the city.
Men Lost White Collar Jobs, Women Fill Them The changing balance in earning power stems in part from a steep drop in the number of black men in white collar and management jobs. From 2005 to 2013,
the share of black men in such jobs fell 9 points while the share of black women in this group grew 6 points. In 2005, black men filled 9% of management jobs in St. Petersburg. As of 2013, they held only 6% of those jobs.
Biggest shift at highest levels: Among African Americans in St. Petersburg who earn $100,000 or more, women outnumber men 2.6 to 1. The situation is the mirror opposite for the city’s white community. Among whites earning $100,000+, men outnumber women 2.8 to 1. It’s also a dramatic departure from where things stood in the year 2000 when men and women shared a 50/50 split among African Americans at this $100,000+ tier.
St. Petersburg has Florida’s largest economic gender gap for black men: A side-by-side comparison of Florida’s 10 largest cities shows St. Petersburg with the largest economic gender gap between black men and women in 2013. St. Petersburg ranked in last place or second-tolast in all of the metrics studied, including men’s share of African Americans holding down a job, and men’s share of blacks working full-time. Being at the bottom of the pack isn’t new for black men in the city. St. Petersburg ranked almost as low at the turn of the century. Census data show St. Petersburg in second-to-last place (9th among Florida’s 10 largest cities) in 2000 for the size of its male-female gap. What is new is that the black economic gender gap widened, even though St. Petersburg’s black men closed the education gap at a faster pace than peers in most comparison cities. From 2000 to 2013, St. Pete ranked 2nd among the 10 comparison cities for biggest gain in black men with a college degree.
African American males in St. Petersburg suffer a stark contrast to their brothers across Florida, where black men were 64% of this $100,000+ cohort in 2013.
As the table below shows, the widening of the gap has St. Petersburg’s black men lagging their brothers across the state & nation in their share of the black community’s working and in higher paying careers.
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ECONOMIC GENDER GAP DOUBLES, WOMEN RACE AHEAD • In addition to having the biggest black economic gender gap among Florida’s 10 largest cities, St. Petersburg has seen the earnings gap double over the past dozen years between African American men and women. What the graph at right shows is that even though black men significantly narrowed the education gap with black women in the city, women catapulted ahead of men in employment and earnings. The college education gap narrowed by over one-third as black men gained
six points to become 41% of college degree holders in the black community (up from only 35% in 2000). Yet, men’s share of the high-income group shrank. In 2000, men were 55% of African Americans earning $50,000 or more yearly in St. Petersburg. By 2013, they were only 44% of this group. The most dramatic gap growth was at the highest income levels. Black men used to be 50% (half) of African Americans earning $100,000 or more. As of 2013, they were only 28% of this group.
REASONS THE GAP WIDENED This topic deserves more extensive research, but the Power Broker identifies several reasons why women are speeding ahead of men in St. Petersburg’s labor market.
The Black Hole for Black Men Women make up a growing share of the black community’s working age population partly because black men exit the economy at an alarming rate. The 2020 Plan research team identified a phenomenon called “The Black Hole for Black Men in St.
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Petersburg,” that shows a sudden drop-off in the black male population, starting at around age 20. About 2,500 men disappear from the black community’s adult rolls (see next page for details). While women make-up 51% of the white working age population, women are 55% of the black working age population.
Women Still Lead in Education
omen comprise 57% of black adults in St. Petersburg who hold at least a high school credential. They are 59% of African Americans with a college degree and 62% of those with a graduate degree. While men are catching up, the black education gender gap has been a publicized reality for at least a decade among local advocates. • FYI: Across Pinellas County, black boys narrowed the high school graduation rate gap at a pace of about 5 points per year from 2011 to 2015. At the current pace, it may take another four years to close the gap between white and black boys.
Fewer Women Have Prior Criminal Records Women make up only about 5% of St. Petersburg’s black incarcerated
population. Men are 95% of this group. This leaves far fewer African American blocked from job opportunities due to a prior criminal record. The 2020 Plan team estimates that ex-offender status accounts for over half of black male unemployment in St. Petersburg, but for only about 5 to 7% of black women’s unemployment in the city.
find all across America (see next section). Plus, Census data confirm that local employers hire more black professional women than men (2.6 times more!).
White People May Be More Comfortable with Black Women Local black professionals often speculate in intimate conversations that white professionals such as corporate executives and government officials seem to be more comfortable dealing with black women….. and are more inclined to hire African American women into management positions.
Even correcting for the fact that there are more women in St. Petersburg’s black workforce, still, twice as many African American women work in management jobs, compared to men (30% of women versus 16% of men).
Though there is no way to accurately measure this gut instinct, it stands to reason that white folks here in St. Petersburg suffer the same ingrained fear of black men that researchers
FACTS ABOUT WHITE FEAR OF BLACK MEN Even without intentional bias, journalist Jamelle Bouie (above) says, “For Americans, race has a strong pull on our sense of fear and our perceptions of aggression, a fact that has more to do with the legacy of slavery and our long history of racial demonization than it does any particular set of crime statistics.” In his article, Will America’s Fear of Black Men Ever Go Away? (published by The Daily Beast), Bouie notes: “According to a range of surveys and implicit association tests—which
measure unconscious bias by flashing faces and soliciting responses— white Americans are more afraid of black men than any other group in the country. In one such test, researchers found that black males elicited the most negative reactions from white subjects—simply seeing them was enough to make participants feel uncomfortable. And in a 2009 survey on the question of blacks and violence, drawn from a nationally representative sample of white Americans, more than 30% said that blacks were more violent than whites.
Respondents were also asked specifically about violence among black men versus white men, black women, and white women. The results? More than 40% said that “many” or “almost all” black men were violent, compared to less than 20% who said the same of black women or white men, and less than 10% who said the same of white women.” Whether fear (per se) is a major factor, no one can say. But the data leave little doubt that there is some level of structural aversion in St. Petersburg to hiring black men in similar numbers as black women.
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But beyond age 20, the black male population shrinks dramatically and men never fully recover to a 50% share of the African American population. By comparison, white men remain roughly half of their population through age 74.
How big is the black hole? In 2014, researchers for the 2020 Plan Taskforce stumbled on what they are now calling “a black hole for black men” in St. Petersburg, i.e., a sudden, sustained drop in the black male population and the male-to-female ratio, compared to whites, beginning at around age 20. Up until that age, white and black boys are identical shares of their respective populations. Among people 20 and under, males are 50.9% of the city’s white population and 50.8% of the city’s black population. 60 | Power Broker magazine
The size of the black hole equates to 2,487 men, which is the added number of black men ages 20 and older that the city population would have, if black men’s share of the black populace remained as high as white men’s share of the white population. These missing men equal 30% of St. Petersburg’s black male population.
Reasons why black men disappear from the population
A 2020 Plan analysis finds that premature death accounts for the largest part of the drop-off of black men. Incarceration claims the second largest share. Each year, an average 152 black men die prematurely in St. Petersburg (due to accident, homicide or preventable diseases). The data show that if black men’s health outcomes were on par with white men’s (i.e., if black-white health gaps were closed), 59 of those deaths would not happen. Black males disappear from population counts, in part, because the Census severely undercounts St. Petersburg’s institutionalized population. 2020 Plan research estimates that over half of black men who go undetected by the Census are in prison, incapacitated and in group living quarters, or are undercounted due to homelessness.
We’re working hard to make this city the envy of all others by helping to build and grow your business through the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the St. Petersburg Greenhouse.
Contact Heather Holland at 727) 388-2913 to discuss how Chamber membership can help boost your voice and visibility in St. Petersburg. inking about moving or starting a business in the ‘Burg? e Greenhouse is your go-to source for resources and workshops to help you grow your business. Call (727) 893-7146 to learn more.
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f the past decade was ripe with progress, the past three years have seen St. Petersburg’s African American community reach a “breakthrough” point in solving some of its toughest challenges. South St. Petersburg is experiencing an abundance of fresh energy and ideas come-to-life. This special report covers some of the people on the frontlines of progress.
Closing the gaps in business capital & capacity services Community entrepreneurs now have all the help they can use to launch or grow their businesses, thanks to a collaborative effort over the past two years that has closed the gap in capital and services available for African American and community
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entrepreneurs (at least for now).
to 228 this year.
The milestone is huge, given that a 2014 City report cited “Lack of capital” as “the biggest challenge to growing and sustaining small businesses,” in South St. Petersburg, noting that businesses there were “starved for capital.”
Unlike traditional business workshops available to the community, the BBIC’s Tahisia Scantling says “We are now able to provide comprehensive and sustained services to help entrepreneurs build their ideas into thriving businesses.” Scantling has worked one-on-one with 130 entrepreneurs in St. Petersburg this year.
Even before, a trio of partners had begun a collective campaign to meet the need. Their goal? To raise $10 million for capital and services for area businesses. The Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp. (BBIC), City of St. Petersburg, and the 2020 Plan Taskforce catalyzed the effort, linking arms with the St. Petersburg Chamber and Eckerd College’s Entrepreneurship for a Better Future Group, which bought the renowned Ice House Training to South St. Petersburg. Together, local partners have achieved an eight-fold increase in the number of entrepreneurs being intensively supported to grow their firms – from 27 in 2014
New resources include the CATCH Program by the BBIC and the Community Business Development Initiative by the St. Petersburg Greenhouse –both offering expert consulting, training and stipends for start-up or growth expenses. Albert Lee, CEO of the BBIC says, “Our work in South St. Petersburg is serving as a guide for other communities.” The BBIC is responsible for a majority of the new capital raised since Lee decided to re-open the BBIC’s St. Petersburg offices in 2014.
Measures of Progress Since 2014: $1.23 million in loan & equity dollars raised since 2014 $1 million for capacitybuilding services raised 9 new programs to support entrepreneurs growth 393 entrepreneurs intensively trained/ supported 19 firms accessed capital in 2015 & 2016
Leaders in this Arena 1. Albert Lee, CEO & Tahisia Scantling, Business Development Consultant, of the Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp.
2. Nikki Gaskin-Capehart, City of St. Petersburg Urban Affairs 3. Sean Kennedy, Kelly Sims & team, the St. Petersburg Greenhouse 4. Gypsy Gallardo & Cory Adler, The 2020 Plan Taskforce 5. Shahra Anderson, Senator Bill Nelsonâ€™s office 6. Carolyn King, Eleanor Brooks & Joyce Robinson, Pinellas Opportunity Council 7. Jessica Eilerman, City of St. Petersburg/St. Petersburg Greenhouse 8. Cassius Butts, U.S. Small Business Administration 9. Alan DeLisle, City of St. Petersburg 10. Randy Russell & Curtis Holloman, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg 11. Chris Steinocher & team, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of
Commerce 12. Pastor Louis M. Murphy, Sr. & team, Mt Zion Progressive MB Church 13. Ernie Mahaffey, Dick Pierce, Julie Welch, Eckerd College ASPEC Entrepreneurship for a Better Future Group 14. Dr. Cynthia Johnson, Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Pinellas County Economic Development 15. Commissioner Ken Welch & Pinellas County Commissioners 16. Cheri Wright-Jones, Allegany Franciscan Ministries 17. Nick Kouris, Florida Blue Foundation 18. U.S. Representative Kathy Castor & team 19. Dr. Bill Law & team, St.
Petersburg College 20. Brian Auld & team, Tampa Bay Rays 21. Imam Askia Aquil & board, Collective Empowerment Group of Tampa Bay 22. Tony Macon, ACTright 23. St Petersburg Business League 24. Fifth Third Bank 25. The Weekly Challenger Newspaper
Albert Lee, CEO Tampa Bay BBIC
TWO+ YEARS OF PROGRESS THROUGH PARTNERSHIP
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New Sources of Investment
ver the past two years, the community has reaped a harvest of tens of millions of dollars in new investment being harnessed to transform life for the people of South St. Petersburg in the decades ahead. Equally important is the fact that funding decision-makers are bent on changing the way dollars are used to produce stronger results. In 2013, the 2020 Plan team tallied $679 million spent yearly on poverty-related programs and services for South St. Petersburg, and found that only 3% of that sum went to efforts to reduce poverty, while an overwhelming 93% went to services that manage poverty, i.e., deal with the negatives that result from poverty such as crime, illness and family crises. That reality is fast-changing. More private and public investors are channeling the strength of their dollars into initiatives that resolve the roots of poverty. Here are some of the most potent points of progress.
South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) After six years of advocacy by community leaders to push for its creation, the new CRA is official and will remain in effect for years as a dedicated funding source to fuel economic growth in the Midtown and Childs Park areas. The CRA was authorized by the St. Pete City Council and Pinellas County Commissioners in mid-2015, and over its 30 year span, is expected to seed $133 million into the 7.4 square mile territory. In addition to being the first CRA ever created in a low-income community in the county (other CRAs are in downtown areas 66 | Power Broker magazine
primarily), the South St. Petersburg CRA breaks with the traditional trek to “community renewal.” A city fact sheet notes “This approach to revitalization is a significant departure from the traditional focus on public improvements that characterize prior City plans to revitalize Midtown and Childs Park. The rationale behind prior plans was that public improvement would attract private investment and job creation by enhancing the environment and showing the City’s commitment to economic improvement in challenged areas, an approach that worked well in Downtown but [that], has not borne the same fruit in Midtown and Childs Park.” Among the new policies ushered in by the CRA - as much as 50% of investments will go to workforce development initiatives that help more residents train for and secure higher paying job – a move that overcomes the chief deficit of past efforts. While prior city plans fueled $430 million and 603,000 square feet of commercial revitalization in South St. Petersburg between 1999 and 2013, that created only about 30 new jobs per year, on average, which is enough to employ only about one-third of one percent of the CRA’s adult population.
THE CRA COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE 2016
Dr. Ricardo Davis
The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg
This August, the City Council voted to approve the first annual round of investments totaling $468,000 to 33 local businesses and nonprofits. In 2017, the CRA is slated to grant $1.2 million to business, commercial development and workforce development projects, plus multi-family housing.
This June, the foundation created by the sale of Bayfront Medical Center in 2013 made its first round of grants, totaling $3.9 million to 19
For more: www.healthystpete. foundation.
New Policy Leadership income from which will be invested in perpetuity into the future of the communities located south of Ulmerton Avenue in Pinellas County.
St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin helped lead the creation of the foundation in her former role as a Bayfront Vice President. She says “Social equity is an integral element of our community’s collective work to eradicate poverty and the Foundation’s funding will be transformational toward that end.” In addition to investments in traditional “health” initiatives, the Foundation is strategically spreading its wings to focus on improving the many “social determinants of health,” i.e., the circumstances that contribute to people’s health status, such as employment, income and education gaps. Foundation CEO Randy Russell says “The fair and equitable distribution of wealth, opportunity and privilege… is one of the foundation’s primary areas of focus. For us to achieve any substantial improvements in population health, we must direct our work, and discipline our efforts, to the linchpin of social justice.” This year’s funded projects include an award to the Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-Entry Coalition for the T.A.M.E. Program, a job-centered initiative that will use technology combined with face-to-face employment mentoring and development to help ex-offenders transition into jobs. Also on the employment front, the Foundation funded two grants to help minority and low-income entrepreneurs cultivate selfemployment opportunities. The BBIC CATCH Program is working with 10 community entrepreneurs this fall; and the new Community Business Development Initiative by the St. Petersburg Greenhouse and St. Chamber enrolled 30 entrepreneurs this fall.
Policy makers at every level are charting innovations at a faster clip over the past three years.
At the state level, State Senator Elect Darryl Rouson has brought home millions in resources. Recent wins include new funding for the Winning Reading Boost program to be implemented in five South St. Petersburg elementary schools and funding to support the renovation of Bethel AME Church.
County Commissioner Ken Welch – with strong backing from his colleagues – has spearheaded backto-back funding allocations and policy changes. His push to overhaul the county’s approach to marijuana arrests was part of the inspiration for the new Adult Diversion Program by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office. His championing of community causes helped win funding for My Sistah’s Place (a foster care transitional housing facility in South St. Petersburg), as well funding for expansion by the Tampa Bay BBIC and for the revitalization of the historic Lincoln Cemetery. At the city level, current Council members may well be the most progressive bunch ever to serve. To their credit, new policies and programs include the successful Rebates for Rehabs program pushed by Karl Nurse to help homeowners fund renovations;
a Wage Theft Ordinance led by Darden Rice; and a much expanded focus on youth and family programs by Council Chairwoman Amy Foster. Last year’s City Council (which then included Wengay Newton) voted unanimously to support two new poverty-reduction plans working in concert – the new South St. Petersburg CRA Redevelopment Plan and the 2020 Plan, as a collective push to reduce poverty by 30% in South St. Petersburg by the year 2020.
Charlie Gerdes District 1
Jim Kennedy District 2
Ed Montanari District 3
Darden Rice District 4
Steve Kornell District 5
Karl Nurse District 6
Lisa Wheeler-Bowman District 7
Amy Foster District 8
Our federal representatives - U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson - continue their tradition of pushing for key investments (though Castor’s new district will no longer encompass South St. Petersburg). The two helped win new U.S. Small Business Administration funding last year that contributed to results shown in the previous section.
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o far, 26 organizations have funneled new funding and support to a collective campaign to help get more young people active in employment programs. In 2015 and 2016, community partners supported each other to launch nine new programs for South St. Petersburg youth. As a result, hundreds more young people earned career experience, training and income, compared to 2014.
ì The number of youth enrolled in collaborating employment programs doubled, from 228 in 2014 to about 490 in 2016 (a 115% increase).
2015 • The City of St. Petersburg has had a tide turning impact. Since 2014, city staff have created four new youth employment initiatives and significantly expanded three others. In 2015, the city launched the new Reads to Me program to provide youth experience in early childhood education professions. • The Pinellas Opportunity Council tripled enrollment in 2015 in its youth employment program. Serving 95 youth, POC accounted for 36% of the community increase in youth served last year. • Mt Zion Human Services piloted the Youth Anchors Media Corps Intern Program training youth through “live media production” projects.
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• St. Petersburg College & Mt Zion Human Services partnered to create the new Focus 2.0 training and career shadowing program for eight high school interns. • The Childs Park YMCA created a new soft skills training and job placement program that worked with over 50 youth. • Pinellas Ex-Offender ReEntry Coalition piloted a new youthful offender job placement project.
2016 • City programs account for twothirds of this year’s increase in youth served. Increased funding from the city enabled Pinellas County Urban League’s STYLES program to double service from 50 youth last year to 100 youth in 2016. The city also helped Boley Centers design a new program that placed youth as corporate interns. • The 2020 Plan team worked with city leaders to review results of employment programs and help create a new results-driven approach with goals for key areas. Beginning in 2016, city programs will aim higher in serving more youth below poverty line and increasing the number completing their employment experience.
Raising the bar
In 2015, the United Way Suncoast invested in a ground-breaking approach to evaluating programs, including the city’s first crossprogram evaluation of youth employment efforts across six agencies which surveyed youth on assets they acquired via their programs - a departure from the
years-long practice of surveying youth on their satisfaction with program operations.
The United Way’s 2015 survey of 212 youth found that 86% said their program helped them feel more confident in all areas of life, while 98% of youth said they learned the ability to interact in a professional setting and 92% reported learning new work skills.
Increase in earnings
Since 2014, wages to community youth via employment programs have increased to well over half a million dollars in 2016.
More young men working
The City’s Summer Youth Intern Program (administered by Boley Centers) led the way in 2015 in meeting the urgent need to get more young men into the workforce. Males were 58% of interns placed in 2015, an increase from prior years when males were less than half of interns.
The new 2020 Fund
The 2020 team made history in 2015 with the launch of the 2020 Fund. Housed at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, the 2020 Fund set out to show that collective giving, combined with social capital, can make a big impact. In 2015, the 2020 Fund made eight sub-grants to youth employment programs that generated 81% of the collective increase last year (159 of the 196 additional youth served citywide).
Deborah Figgs-Sanders (left, center), Executive Director of the Childs Park YMCA, has led the collective youth employment push on three fronts: 1. she chaired the 2020 Plan’s 200 in 2015 campaign; 2.Created a new model for soft skills training and job placement; and 3. she staffed the team of 2020 and City leaders developing new performance metrics for City-funded programs this year. The Childs Park Y’s 200 in 2015 Employment Summit & Job Placement project engaged a dozen community volunteers to train youth in soft skills. They included facilitators Rene Flowers, Audrey McGhee, Andrea Peaton, LaShante Keys and Jerrod Douse; with panelists Ada McFarley, Londa Thomas, Officer Robert Paige, Atty Shannon Ligon, Arthurene Williams, and St. Petersburg Urban
µ Nine interns with the Mt Zion Youth Anchors Media Corps Intern Program, funded by the University of South Florida Family Study Center to provide youth a “learn and earn” experience, training them to design a video about the Center’s Figuring it Out for the Child program.
Tampa Bay Rays & Bon Secours Health System The Tampa Bay Rays played a singular role in enabling the 2020 Fund to take flight and make grants to eight employment projects (In photo, Rays President Brian Auld with Mayor Rick Kriseman). Their gift of $24,000 was the largest single contribution to the Fund. A gift from Bon Secours was the second largest raised by the 2020 Fund. It covered stipends for 63 youth.
µ Mayor Rick Kriseman (seated center), with Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin (seated right), Nikki Gaskin Capehart and Leah McRae (standing) after Sept 2016 meeting with 2020 core team members to discuss policy & evaluation changes for youth employment programs. µ25 of the young people who trained and
interned with POC in 2015. Adults (left to right) Deborah Figgs-Sanders; Jennifer Townsend; Carl Lavender, Jr.; POC’s Joyce Robinson; POC’s Francis Cato; former City Councilman Wengay Newton; POC’s Carolyn King (Executive Director); Gypsy Gallardo; POC’s Eleanor Brooks; Janis Ford with the City of St. Petersburg; and Kimberly Williams
INVESTING IN THE STRENGTH OF MEN & FATHERS
t’s still not nearly enough, but at least St. Petersburg is finally beginning to focus on strengthening African American men as fathers, breadwinners and leaders. With due respect to the tidal work of the educational and criminal justice systems since 2006, the changes they’ve made were driven in part by budget crises and media scrutiny not necessarily or primarily by the urgent moral imperative of wholly welcoming black men into the fabric of our society and economy. It’s only recent that a handful of passionate people have grabbed hold of the challenge by the roots.
“Figuring it Out for the Child” Over the past three years, South St. Petersburg has been the home of a very unique and highly successful program called Figuring It Out for the Child, a 10-week mentoring program that works with single mothers and fathers, from pregnancy through the baby’s first birthday. Between 2012 and 2014, the Center worked with two dozen families (dads, moms and their babies) in a study that traced changes in parents’ communication styles, conflict resolution and involvement with their children. Evaluators found that Figuring it Out for the Child (FIOC) not only reduced the frequency and intensity of conflict between moms and dads, it dramatically increased fathers’ involvement in babies’ lives and reduced bouts of depression for single moms. Those early successes helped FIOC win attention and funding from the National Institute for Child and Health Development to work with 150 families by 2019.
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Dr. James McHale, who cocreated the FIOC, says the program urgently needs the community’s help to reach families. He’s asking pastors, non-profit leaders and others to help engage unmarried young parents (in their second or third trimester of pregnancy) who want to become better “coparents,” even if they are not romantically involved. McHale says “This is a once-in-ageneration opportunity. If we’re going to demonstrate to our national partners that St. Petersburg wants this program for our families, we need help getting the word out.” To date, the FIOC team has reached out to expectant parents through organizations like the Next STEPP Pregnancy Center and the St. Pete Healthy Start Federal program. FIOC staff are on site weekly at Mt Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church and the Health Department. The key, though, says McHale, is the personal “gentle push” of friends, family, pastors and social workers, especially for parents who are skeptical about programs that claim to want to help.
“Parents seldom make it to see us without a supportive lovedone or friend who encourages them. We need everyone who knows pregnant moms and dads to help us.” FIOC helps parents with transportation to project visits and small stipends to cover the time commitment ($25 each for dad and mom for the initial visit and $50 to $75 for each parent for two follow-up visits once babies are born). n If you or someone you know is pregnant, single, and expecting a first child, call FIOC recruiter Mari Kittle at 727-410-3935, or call the Center at 727873-4848. Ask for Serina Lewis or Dr. Warren.
My Brother’s & Sister’s Keepers Initiative Rev. Kenny Irby, Community Intervention Director, St. Petersburg Police Department In the year ahead, the City of St. Petersburg is gearing up to make a major dent in the unmet need for service for high-risk boys and men in South St. Petersburg, including those who’ve had brushes with the criminal justice system. The new My Brother’s & Sister’s Keepers (MBSK) initiative will engage 100 young men (ages 12 to 24) and their parents, who are not being served through other programs, providing them “wrap-around” support, employment training and job placements, mentoring and personal and academic enrichment programming. MBSK is set to start in December of this year. Watch for more details in media and community outlets throughout the city.
The Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-Entry Coalition (PERC)
The Pinellas Ex-Offender ReEntry Coalition (PERC) is aggressively expanding ex-offender programming in South St. Petersburg to serve the thousands of exoffenders who reside there. In 2015, PERC opened doors in South St. Pete with its purchase of the 9,000 square foot Dr. David T. Welch Center for Progress and Community Development (newly renamed by PERC), bringing much-needed wraparound support and employment services to ex-offenders. Since then, PERC has secured funding to plant several new programs at its 16th Street South location. The third Evening Reporting Center in the state will open there, serving 150 “high risk to re-offend” high school youth yearly with programming and support six days a week. The Tampa Bay Career Pathways Collaborative in partnership with Mt. Zion Human Services will provide training and employment to at least 75 exfelony offenders in manufacturing, warehousing, and recycling. The Red Tent Women’s Initiative is working to open a store at the Welch Center to help female exoffenders with entrepreneurship and employment. Other planned initiatives at the Center include a mentoring barber shop and a training program restaurant based loosely on the Café Reconcile program in New Orleans.
The Community Coop
The men pictured here are part of the engine behind the Coop: Carl Lavender, Jr., Tony Macon, Eddie Pelham, and Dederick Woodard.
Though ex-offenders are not their exclusive focus, it is a large part of why the new Community Coop was created. It stems in part from the passion of founders Eddie Pelham, an ex-offender, and Tony Macon who, through the help of friends and family, are now succeeding in business. The Police Department is working with Coop to provide office space in three community, where Coop volunteers help area residents to connect with programs and resources that can turn their lives around. The Coop is also training local residents in the “softer side” of success in areas like public speaking and business etiquette. Lendel Bright, the City’s Civilian Police and Community Relations Coordinator, advises the group on-going.
A Brighter Spotlight: Black Men & Boys Week Dr. Chris Warren, Founder, Black Men & Boys Week
“Awareness and shared understanding” were the primary goals of Black Men & Boys Week this August, a six-day event held in St. Petersburg that hosted some of the nation’s leading experts on the subject. Dr. Christopher Warren, lead organization for the week, says “We did Black Men & Boys Week because if we are going to address any of the issues that confront us, we have to have a united understanding of what they are.” Warren isn’t alone in contending that too many misperceptions surround young black males.
The week started off at Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church with a discussion on “The Faith Community Role in Education,” by Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt, followed by workshops, lectures and roundtable discussions on issues surrounding black men and boys. The week-long event was sponsored in part by the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Mt Zion Progressive, Healthy Start, the Sanderlin Center and others.
‘Smart is the New Gangsta’ aims to rebrand black youth
Bro. John Muhammad (center), Bro. Jabaar Edmund (second from left), Kofi Hunt (right) A local group of St. Petersburg men are hoping to change the image and perception of young black men with a re-branding project unveiled this summer, called ‘Smart is the New Gangsta.’ Bro. John Muhammad, CEO of the group known as IMAGE, says “We’re hoping this will provide a different picture of what a black man in America looks like. Especially when we think about ‘gangsters.’” The project is led by several men who “have checkered pasts but who’ve managed to turn their lives around to become businessmen,” says Muhammad. “A lot of the OGs we went to school with, they’ve left that life behind. They’re in business. They’re in school. They’re doing positive things and we want to show that – both to the community and to non-African Americans who see far too much negative news.” LEARN MORE: cdatcenter.webs.com
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Erik Smith, volunteer mentor, contributing to training young men
August 11, 2016 by Laura C. Morel
Men in the Making Founded last year as the next chapter in the former Write Field program, the Men in the Making rite-ofpassage program is one of the community’s most successful and sustained mentoring initiatives. Led by Pastor Kenny Irby and volunteered “staffed” by 22 community’s leading male role models, Men in the Making is equipping young men with life skills, academic direction and values that have so far steered the paths of 150 middle and high school boys. Sixty are currently enrolled. Erik Smith, Assistant Chief Luke Williams, Sgt. Matthew Furse and Rev. Clarence Williams are among the men of faith recruited by Irby and his leadership team. “We focus on the indispensable combination of academic excellence, social responsibility, emotional stability and cultural acuity in training boys to be true men of their community,” says Irby. LEARN MORE: meninthemaking.org 72 | Power Broker magazine
Pinellas County will soon launch one of the most ambitious criminal justice reforms in Tampa Bay. Under the new Adult PreArrest Diversion program, offenders who commit minor crimes such as underage possession of alcohol and possession of marijuana will have 48 hours to report to the program and will complete community service hours instead of getting arrested. The initiative is expected to decrease jail bookings and lessen the burden on the courts system. More importantly, officials say it will keep people who commit a range of petty crimes from earning a criminal record that could forever haunt them, tainting their chances of holding a job or finding a place to live. On Thursday, the St. Petersburg City Council voted to support the program [which] could start as soon as October. Pinellas will join a small but growing list of regions across the country that have launched prearrest programs.
up to 10 grams, or up to 20 grams if the officer can determine the marijuana was not intended for sale. • Offenders who receive an APAD referral from an officer have 48 hours to report to the program office, which will be open 24 hours a day. If they don’t show up, charges will be forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office. • Offenders will undergo a “basic risk assessment” to determine if they need additional services, like anger management or drug treatment. • APAD staff will screen offenders taken to the jail to ensure they aren’t eligible. They will also check with the clerk’s office daily to determine if anyone who received a criminal notice to appear should receive a diversion referral instead. • The program will cost $360,000 annually from the sheriff’s budget.
Gualtieri provided an overview of the APAD program: • Offenders who don’t have a prior misdemeanor conviction in the last two years or a felony conviction in the last five years will qualify. They can participate in APAD up to three times. • The range of charges include underage possession of alcohol, petty theft, criminal mischief, littering, possession of marijuana paraphernalia, and assault and battery offenses not related to domestic violence. It will also include possession of marijuana of
Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch and St. Petersburg Police Chief Tony Holloway gave the program their support.
Council Member Steve Kornell, who led the civil citation measure, said Sheriff’s Office data shows African-Americans make up 10 percent of the county population, but represent 41 percent of arrests for misdemeanor marijuana. “This is an improvement
THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP
he gap is closing at every point along the cradle-tocareer spectrum for black and South St. Petersburg students.
Apart from the ambition of students and parents, there are hundreds of educators, philanthropists, and community volunteers whose work is contributing to the gains.
Here are just a few of the people on the frontlines of progress. Early childhood impact
(in second photo above); Jackie Lang, Director, Imagination Station, averaging 91% “school ready” students over two years; and R’Club Early Learning Academies in two South St. Petersburg locations, now expanding to train home-based childcare providers in the area to raise their results as well. These and other high-achieving educators contributed to a 26% increase in students entering school “ready” in South St. Petersburg schools, from 2010 to 2013. State records show that the following centers improved their Kindergarten readiness rates in 2012 and 2013 (the most recent data from the Florida Office of Early Learning): • Public School Based: Perkins, Sanderlin, Jamerson, Campbell Park, Maximo, and Lakewood elementary schools.
• Community-Based: Infinite Potential Learning Center, Mt Zion Children’s Center, St. Petersburg Pediatrics Day School, Angels at Play Learning Center, Sherri’s Cozy Corner Learning Center; Starling School; Precious Angels Preschool; McMannis Preschool; and Immaculate Conception. • Centers with 100% Rate: Infinite Potential; Sherri’s Cozy Corner; Angels at Play; Lakewood; and Jamerson. Three quarters (75%) of Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten programs in South St. Petersburg improved their students’ school readiness test score over the past two years measured. Among those leading the charge are Tawanna Monroe, owner of Infinite Potential Learning Center, where 100% of students tested “school ready” for the last two years measured (top photo above); Arthurene Williams owner of Kidz World, where 96% of students tested “school ready” most recently
vision for transforming schools.
Long before they entered the scene though, hundreds of people and organizations had poured themselves into improving black student results over the years – with strong results. • Some of their results: Yvonne Clayton’s Christian school alumni had a 100% high school graduation rate through 2012; Academy Prep Center alumni have an 88% graduation rate; the Quantum Opportunities Program, 100% graduation rate; Professional Opportunities for Students Program, 99% graduation rate; the Pinellas Education Foundation Take Stock in Children program, 93% graduation rate for struggling students; and Boca Ciega High – led by Principal Michael Vigue, 89% black student graduation rate in 2015.
The District & Superintendent, Dr. Michael Grego
He took it on the chin as the Tampa Bay Times surgically excavated some of the roots of black student results in South St. Petersburg. In the wake, Dr. Grego has shown true grit and leadership in guiding us toward a new era in closing the achievement gap.
• Centers with 90-99% Rate: Alegria Montessori; Sanderlin; McMannis Preschool; St. Petersburg Pediatrics.
K-12 Education The most recent and resounding wave of systemic change in South St. Petersburg schools is owed to both the Tampa Bay Times (for publishing the months-long Failure Factories series about the plight of black students at five elementary schools) and to the educational experts who pressed over the past year to bring fresh, comprehensive thinking to a
Even before the bombshell Failure Factories coverage, Grego had already put the pedal to the metal in lifting the black student graduation rate. From 2012 to 2015, the county’s black student graduation rate rose by an average 4.4 points per year (compared to a slip of -1 point the year before Grego was installed). Power Broker magazine | 73
But the Times’ incisive coverage awakened Dr. Grego (and all of us collectively) to the depths of the challenges, especially in elementary and middle schools.
In the year since, his personal commitment, pressurized by public outrage, drove bedrock changes in the county’s approach to educating struggling students. The five so-called Failure Factories saw sturdy if modest improvements this past year. All five “saw increases in proficiency rates on the Florida Standards Assessment and [most] saw proficiency rates increase on every test, in every grade level,” according to a district fact sheet. “The largest increase was at Maximo Elementary, which improved proficiency rates by more than 20%.” Three of the schools pulled their grades above “F.” Maximo improved to a “C” and Fairmount Park and Lakewood improved to a “D.” Campbell Park remained at an “F” for the fourth consecutive year, as did Melrose, for its sixth year straight.
Unique role of the Pinellas Education Foundation
Terry Boehm, PEF President AND Cathy Collins, Chair, PEF Board Though many community leaders are unfamiliar with the Pinellas Education Foundation (PEF) and its track record, the PEF has singularly fueled initiatives that played a powerful role in moving the needle for black students. Most 74 | Power Broker magazine
relevant to recent results:
The Voices of Advocates
• The Foundation was the driving force behind the district’s choice to adopt wallto-wall high school career academies - a decision that accounts for a substantial part of the surge in African Americans graduating from high school over the past three years. • Though African Americans are only 18% of Pinellas County students, they are 35% of students enrolled in the Foundation’s Take Stock in Children (TSIC) program, which pays college tuition for students who maintain at least a “C” in all classes, and stay crime and drug-free through high school graduation. The Foundation-led TSIC) program has raised $2.9 million in contributions to college scholarships for the 453 black students currently enrolled in TSIC (184 in South St. Petersburg). • Since 2009, the Youth Connect program by the Foundation and its partners has seeded $4.7 million to support 572 low-income African American youth ages 16 to 24, most of whom had either dropped-out or were referred by the juvenile justice system. Through training, family support and job placements, to date, 93% of youth served have entered employment or college.
Special Influence of School Board Member Rene Flowers Rene Flowers was “a bridge over troubled waters,” as the community and district leaders came to terms with the crisis in South St. Petersburg elementary schools over this past year.
She remained a friend to educators and district leaders who felt unduly accused during the heat of the Failure Factories series, while at the same time supporting the specific requests of many community leaders – for help securing data, new funding, and new policies.
1. Dr. Ricardo Davis 2. Watson Haynes with USF St. Petersburg Regional Chancellor Dr. Sophia Wisniewska and advisor/professor Dr. Goliath Davis Advocacy groups have pressed for years for Superintendents and School Boards – past and present - to do more to close the gap. And their demands have indeed moved the needle. The group known as COQEBS (Concerned Organizations for Quality Education for Black Students) has endured 15 years on the frontlines of the fight, and over the past year, re-doubled its work in pressing the district for the comprehensive adoption of reforms. In response to the Failure Factories series, COQEBS President Dr. Ricardo Davis wrote in an editorial for the Weekly Challenger, “This heightened awareness has elevated a much-needed dialogue on the issue, and hopefully, a renewed sense of urgency on the part of the school system leadership.” The group has served as a monthly meeting hub for stakeholders across the education spectrum, as well as organizing initiatives such a Baby Talk, to train and equip more lowincome parents to lead their children’s education, at home and in schools.
Denise Ford and son and Maria Scruggs. Separately, NAACP President Maria Scruggs and Education Chair Denise Ford breathed life into the community discourse with important forums and school board candidate debates that – for the first time – assigned “grades” to help community members to gauge the caliber of candidates seeking to represent them on the school board.
St. Petersburg College (SPC) may be the single most powerful force fueling African American college graduation in the city. SPC is certainly the most prolific in creating new programs to enroll and retain more black students. College President Dr. Bill Law – ably backed by Dr. Tonjua Williams (Sr. Vice President of Student Services), Dr. Kevin Gordon (Provost of the Midtown and Downtown campuses), and others – has multiplied community-targeted programming since Law became president in June 2010. The clear mission: to get more African Americans equipped for the career and professional workplace. Special programs at SPC
PEOPLE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO CLOSING THE GAP Page limits prevent us from doing justice the hundreds of the people and organizations that toiled over the years to close the gap for black students. Through mentoring, tutoring, after school programs and college scholarships, scores of people share credit for educational gains. They include: Ebony Scholars; Pathfinders; Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity; NULITES by the Pinellas County Urban League; the Tampa Bay Association of Black
POSTSECONDARY SUCCESSES have doubled the number of black students graduating each year (see graph below).
SPC had 6,100 black students enrolled in 2015 across all campuses and programs.
Since 2010, 2,700 African Americans have graduated from SPC with degrees and career skill credentials. The number graduating from the college annually grew 98% from 2010 to 2015. New initiatives include The College Experience program, the Women on the Way program (spearheaded by Dr. Williams), Men Achieving eXcellence, the Summer Success program, and most recently, the new PITCH program, tailor-made to help ex-offenders earn credentials and secure career-track jobs.
Journalists; Gathering of Women; Gibbs Junior College Alumni Assoc.; ONYX Black Ski & Sports Club; Florida A&M University; Order of the Eastern Stars Masons; Mt Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church; the Tampa Bay Rays; Greater Mt Zion AME; Bethel Community Foundation; Guy Burns; Annie Godbee; Vyrle Davis; Dr. Mildred Brown; Dr. Henry Oliver; Jim Oliver; Kim Townsel; Carl Lavender; Jr.; Jeanette Dudley; Principal Francis Sheehy; Herbert Murphy; Nikki GaskinCapehart; Gwendolyn Reese; Michael Adekunle; Michael Boykins; Andrea Peaton; Dr. Valerie Brimm; Gypsy
Others chiseling away at the postsecondary skills challenge include Pinellas Technical College, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, and Eckerd College – all revving up their community involvement in recent years.
Gallardo; Dr. Kevin Gordon; Robin Mobley; Donna Welch; Audrey “Pat” McGhee; Delquanda Turner; Nicole Johnson; Lasonya Moore; Princess Fleming; Theresa Anderson; Former School Board Member Mary Brown; Former School Board Member Lew Williams; Manitia Moultrie; Deborah Figgs-Sanders; Clarence Givens; Councilman Steve Kornell; Theresa Jones; Lena Wilfalk; Principal Busara Pitts; Dr. Tonjua Williams; Jett Jackson; Dr. Linda Hogans; Don Ware; Roger Platta; Former Councilman Wengay Newton; Doris Newton; Kathie Lewis; and many many others.
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or nearly 30 years it looked as though it would be impossible to revive the 22nd Street Corridor in South St. Petersburg to its former glory as the hub of African American commerce during the days of segregation.
At its height in the 1960s, 22nd street was home to 110 business establishments (a majority black-owned), and it hummed with customers seven day a week. But things collapsed beginning in the late 1960s, driven by the twin forces of integration, which depleted a oncecaptive black consumer market, and the construction of Highway I-275, which further decimated the business sector. Establishments were demolished to make its way. That left the “Deuces” corridor a shell of itself for nearly three decades before revitalization efforts began to take flight in the late 1990s.
and neighborhood commercial district associations, devoted to turning the economic tide for local communities.
• Dr. Amy Sauers, Treasurer, Chair - Promotions Committee • Tyhisia Alexander
The Deuces Live eight-member board and program manager Veatrice Farrell are leading and partnering to push several initiatives. A landscaping and lighting project for the Highway I-275 Underpass began in a committee meeting of the Deuces Live, and the group is coordinating with the nearby Warehouse Arts District association to shepherd a new action plan for the corridor.
• Carolyn Brayboy, Chair - Design Committee
And kudos to Deuces Live for reviving the dormant Royal Theater facility to its historic role as a movie house this summer. The group aired movies there twice a month from July to November of this year. Prior to that, the Royal hadn’t shown movie showings since about 1968.
Slowly, and finally, 22nd Street is recovering some of its former luster. Of late, several talented organizers are attracting crowds that rival the foot traffic of the good old days.
Chuck Egerter PRESIDENT
Here are some of the people breathing new life into the corridor.
The Deuces Live
Veatrice Farrell PROGRAM MANAGER
LaDonna Butler SECRETARY
Toriano Parker FMR PRESIDENT
Gloria Campbell VICE PRESIDENT
The small committed group called Deuces Live, Inc. is faithfully sowing into a vision for renewal for the historic “Deuces” corridor. The organization is one of only three “Main Street” organizations in St. Petersburg, which makes it part of national network of 2,000 historic downtowns
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• Anthony Hart • Tony Macon • Wengay Newton
The Historic 22nd Street Merchants Association Powered by the more popular businesses on the block, the Historic 22nd Street South Merchant Association promotes both commercial and “community” projects creating a center of gravity for the corridor. Collectively they sponsored a campaign to raise donations for Louisiana flood victims this August. Individually, they’ve rolled out spicy new networking, entertainment, and art events drawing diverse customer segments to the community. For more information visit facebook. com/Historic-22nd-Street-S-MerchantAssociation or call Patrick Collins at 727-480-8007.
The African American Heritage Trails They are the brainchild of Gwen Reese and Jon Wilson (president and vice president of the African American Heritage Association), and the two African American Heritage Trails that emanate from 22nd Street are among the most ambitious efforts yet to codify the history of St. Petersburg’s African American community. The trails, designed for walking tours, cover over a dozen city blocks and roughly 130 years of black history, which is told via 19 “markers” bearing plaques that detail facets of the life and times of the area. Both trails begin at the Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum (2240 9th Avenue South). The 22nd Street trail, titled “Community, Culture, and Commerce,” runs north and south. It stories the rich heritage of the neighborhood and landmark businesses there, from the Jim Crow era through desegregation and the civil rights movement. The 9th Avenue trail, titled “Faith, Family, and Education,” runs east and west. It chronicles the more personal aspects of community life, including local schools, housing, churches and community institutions.
The Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum
Current Board of Directors
Despite an extreme shoestring budget and zero paid staff, the Woodson Museum has not only survived, it has thrived. Chairperson Terri Lipsey Scott is hopeful that the Museum will attract more financial heft as more community members come to know and partner with her all-volunteer team. Lipsey Scott shared several noteworthy updates in a late-summer email to community leaders, including the Museum’s recent spotlight as one of 19 must-see African American museums across the nation. She reports that over the past five years, the Museum was the recipient of a half-dozen awards, including “Good Burger” and “Best of the Bay” awards, and a City Beautiful Award for the aesthetic of its Legacy Garden. Stepping outside the box, the board and friends of the Museum are also championing a large handful of community-centric projects, such as Lipsey Scott’s activism on behalf of residents of the Jordan Park housing project, which is located adjacent to the Museum.
• Terri Lipsey Scott, Chair • Frechette Bradley, Vice Chair • Thelma McCloud, Treasurer • Manitia Moultrie, Secretary • Erika Lopez, Member Status • Ray Arsenault • Yolanda Hudson • Dana Battle
Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Last October, St. Petersburg joined the elite ranks of only 30 other cities in America to house a chartered branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). The revered group was founded in 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson with a mission to “promote, research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about black life, history and culture to the global community.” Civic leader and St. Petersburg native Attorney Jackie Hubbard spearheaded the chapter’s formation, and now serves as its president alongside vice president Irene Pridgen.
This school year, the Museum will begin offering piano lessons for 20 youth which adds to its repertoire of youth enrichment programming that now includes partnership with the school district’s Girlfriends program and the Woodson Warriors youth group.
Terri Lipsey Scott
Gwen Reese with Pinellas Park High School students touring the Heritage Trail; Jon Wilson narrating bus passengers on tour of 22nd Street and surrounding neighborhoods.
Dr. Ray Arsenault
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ollective impact” is the clear trend in the community. By the Power Broker’s count, there are over 200 organizations working in concert to accelerate progress. Several community leaders would have you believe that we are “failing” as a community. That “we just can’t seem to work together.” There is truth to that, but mainly in the sense that “perception is reality.” All empirical evidence says that St. Petersburg’s African American community is at a “breakthrough” point. Here are some of the people creating a constellation of partnerships to harness our collective power. Funders on a leading edge By faith, and perhaps out of fatigue with traditional slowmoving models of change, local funders and philanthropists have invested in nurturing new approaches. Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Bon Secours Health System, the City of St. Petersburg, and the United Way Suncoast are among those seeding collective approaches that are enabling record-setting impact in areas such as poverty reduction and youth employment for South St. Petersburg.
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United Way Suncoast
Suzanne McCormick, President & CEO
Emery Ivery, Tampa Bay Area President
Mireya Eavey, Sarasota Area President
Allegany Franciscan Ministries
Eileen Coogan President & CEO
Cheri Wright Jones Regional VP–Tampa Bay
Bon Secours Health System
Karen Reich, CEO
Kip Corriveau, Mission Director
City of St. Petersburg It was a risk when Mayor Rick Kriseman and Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin opted to shift the city’s strategy for development in South St. Petersburg. But it’s beginning to bear the fruit of dollars and sense for the community. Prior to their installation in 2014, the dominant focus for 20 years was improving the physical and commercial landscape of St. Petersburg’s poorest areas. A recent report tracked $430 million in construction, renovation and rehabilitation of commercial and community facilities and housing, from 1999 to 2013. Kriseman’s team pivoted to focus more on “people” rather than “places,” which has his team spending most of its time and capital on projects to get more people trained and viably employed, to help more entrepreneurs create jobs, and to equip more families to grow wealth. The current mayor can’t claim many multi-million dollar construction projects, but he’s been a workman in paving the way for South St. Petersburg residents to earn and own more. A recent City-led career fair helped 300 job-seekers explore and connect to new jobs, while Kriseman’s hike to a $12.50 city minimum wage increased the incomes of 70 employees.
Chitra Naidu, Program Manager
(with City Council members Darden Rice & Karl Nurse)
The city-backed push to grow community businesses has led to an
eight-fold increase in entrepreneurs accessing intensive training and seed capital. This year, the city’s My Brother’s and Sister’s Keepers initiative is funding community organizations to give wrap-around support to 100 young men and their parents, aiming to get them trained and solidly employed.
The program draws on a network of partners to give families holistic help including Suncoast Centers for financial literacy training and Habitat for Humanity to put clients on track to own their own homes.
The Winning Reading Boost program was created by the University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning in the wake of the Times coverage, at the urging of Dr. Kevin Gordon, a Provost at St. Petersburg College.
Armanda Lampley, Housing Assistance Manager, Pinellas County Human Services
Mt Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church
Leading new strategy: Mayor Rick Kriseman, Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin, Urban Affairs Director Nikki Gaskin Capehart, the Mayor’s Small Business Liaison Jessica Eilerman, and CRA Coordinator Rick Smith (pictured).
Pinellas County Family Housing Assistance Program The Family Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) has blossomed into a collaborative pathway out of poverty for families in the county’s five high-poverty zones, particularly in South St. Petersburg, which houses the biggest concentration of people in poverty. Last year, FHAP helped 83 homeless families to secure stable housing, and 35 families to increase their incomes. A large majority (73%) of families supported were African American and over half of families enrolled at year-end lived in South St. Petersburg.
One of the church’s biggest impacts is its founding role in a new reading program being implemented this year across the five schools spotlighted in 2015 by the Tampa Bay Times for dismal student results.
Mt Zion Progressive has been the largest single source of private philanthropy to South St. Petersburg’s renewal over the past decade. Stemming from the church’s “2-mile Radius Revitalization” vision, since 2006, Mt Zion has seeded $1.5 million into the acquisition and rehab of 19 properties toward development of 120,000 square feet of service space, alongside over $2 million to community services. Mt Zion serves about 3,000 people weekly and daily through the combined operations of the church, Mt Zion Christian Academy, Mt Zion Children’s Center, and Mt Zion Human Services & CDC.
Pastor Louis Murphy, Sr., Senior Pastor
Cross & Anvil Church/ Greater Mt Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church On a half dozen fronts, Greater Mt Zion AME and the 501c3 it created – Cross & Anvil Human Services – are chipping away at the community’s challenges with growing reach.
The program was first piloted in 2015 with 20 Campbell Park students off-site at Greater Mt. Zion AME. After solid results, it was expanded last January to serve 30 Melrose Elementary students. In late spring, with the help of State Rep. Darryl Rouson, it received a $400,000 state allocation to grow into five schools.
Pastor Clarence Williams, Senior Pastor, Greater Mt Zion AME
Circles St. Petersburg Six organizations, backed by a dozen other agencies and funders, are leading a new initiative to plant the national Circles® program for poverty reduction in South St. Petersburg in 2017. Now implemented in 80 communities across America, Circles® has a track record of helping people to double their income in the first six months of participation through “a simple but powerful model” that links peoplein-poverty with allies, training, job placements and supports. The local partnership – with funding from the City of St. Petersburg, the United Way Suncoast and Florida Blue Foundation – is being crafted to achieve about one-third of the 2020 Plan goal to reduce Southside poverty by 30% by 2020. Power Broker magazine | 79
Partners to Circles St. Petersburg (Organizing team) Michael Audino, Chairman, Impact Pinellas, is leading the local organizing group • Mark Dufva, Executive Director, Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg • Carolyn King, CEO, Pinellas Opportunity Council • Watson Haynes, CEO, Pinellas County Urban League • Jane Walker, Executive Director, Day Star Life Center • Cory Adler, Executive Director, The 2020 Plan Taskforce • Gypsy Gallardo, CEO, The 2020 Plan
health professionals available at the grassroots of this community. When LaDonna shared with me her vision, I told her that she had a job.” To that end, LaDonna created a Clergy Roundtable, convening faith leaders and mental health professionals. Meetings this March and June drew 60 clergy and clinicians “to begin the conversation about the roadblocks we will need to remove to reach more of their congregants and clients,” says Butler. In the months ahead, the League will raise resources and forge partnerships toward Haynes’ vision of stationing qualified service professionals in eight community churches.
The Pinellas County Urban League The Urban League has flourished under the tenure of CEO Watson Haynes. The past three years have seen the stretch of new partnerships and programs and ambitious work to engage churches as key partners in the community system-of-care. Well known for helping families in emergencies to pay utility bills, the League is now connecting hundreds of families to its new Financial Empowerment Center, to permanently grow their financial capacity. The Center offers services for clients to repair their credit, learn budgeting, get help with tax preparation, train for a higherpaying job, or sign up for checking and savings accounts. Also new is the League focus on bringing mental health support to more South St. Petersburg families – a quest led by LaDonna Butler, who joined the League as a consultant this year. Haynes says “I’d been trying for 15 years to get more licensed mental
LaDonna Butler and her children
Habitat for Humanity Last year, Habitat for Humanity celebrated the building of its 300th home for Pinellas County residents, this time for Tamara Harrell and her children, in the heart of South St. Petersburg. Since then Habitat has added 75 more homes to its total, and its Neighborhood Preservation Partnership is full steam in the Midtown and Childs Park areas to build and rehabilitate homes. This May, Habitat led the “Let’s Roll” project to do major facelifts for 10 homes in the Midtown-Mercy neighborhood. Repairs ranged from roof replacement, plumbing, and electrical, to energy efficient upgrades and painting.
Deborah Scanlan, CEO & Cherin Stover, Community Relations Manager (left, front). Roberta Bell is Manager of NHS Education Programs. 80 | Power Broker magazine
Jason Clement, Board Chair, Mike Sutton, CEO, and Antwaun Wells, Neighborhood Preservation Services Supervisor, and others
St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce
The team at the Chamber is a budding force in the collective impact trend. On the education front, a new Education Taskforce is pushing for the implementation of a collective impact model of speeding educational results; and on the economic development front, the Chamber is partnering with the City of St. Petersburg, the 2020 Plan Taskforce, and others to channel more energy into business recruitment and retention in South St. Petersburg. These & other Chamber leaders are “leading the change” • Gregory Holden, Board Chair • Chris Steinocher, CEO • Nick Kouris & Ronnell Montgomery, Diversity Committee
Neighborhood Home Solutions
Neighborhood Home Solutions (NHS) declared 2016 “The Year of Home Ownership in St. Petersburg,” and struck new partnerships to reach that goal. The group remains located on MLK Street South, but is stretching its boundaries. Added to its monthly financial fitness and homebuyer training, NHS this year partnered with the Tampa Bay Community Development Corporation to offer training and counseling sessions for more aspiring homebuyers.
New Leadership in Key Places This year saw the installation of a cast of new leaders in the non-profit and education sectors. Though several of these colleagues have been on the professional scene for years, their new roles have them making an impact in new ways.
New to the Community • School leadership
Six of the individuals pictured below were hired on by the Pinellas County school district to steer ambitious plans for the so-called “Failure Factory” schools in South St. Petersburg. The latest data shows promising results. Dr. Antonio Burt came aboard as the district’s Director of School Transformation earlier this year, relocating from Memphis, where he was recognized as a leader in the education reform movement. His record includes two school turnarounds. One of them - Ford Road Elementary – went from performing in the bottom five percent of all schools in Tennessee, to become a top five percent school during Burt’s tenure as principal. He works daily with seven “transformation zone” school principals. The current (and new) principals of the five elementary schools dubbed “Failure Factories” are pictured below.
• Non-Profit leadership Freddy Williams and his wife (a St. Petersburg native) relocated this summer after his four years of service as CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lake and Dr. Sandra Braham President/CEO Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services
Dr. Antonio Burt Director of School Transformation Pinellas County Schools
Lakisha Falana Principal Maximo Elementary
Sumter. There, Williams was credited with boosting revenue from $900,000 to $2.5 million annually, according to the Orlando Sentinel, and growing the Clubs’ reach from 1,200 youth to about 4,000 a year. Williams’ board president Michelle Michnoff notes that his tenure was distinguished by a 100% high school graduation rate for teens in Club programs. Dr. Sandra Braham was selected through a national search to the post of President/CEO of Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services (GCJFCS), where she will oversee the organization’s 500+ staff across 67 programs serving 37 Florida counties. Braham’s most recent previous role was as the 10-year CEO of the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region, the nation’s largest YWCA, where she led 450 employees and managed an annual budget of $30 million.
Familiar Friends Ann Sherman White (formerly with the Suncoast Hospice and still active with a host of community causes) is a relatively recent addition to the growing team at Pinellas Technical College to continue enrollment increases. In February of this year, Maxine Booker was promoted to Chief Operating Officer at Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services (PEMHS). She previously served the agency as Chief Clinical Officer and as Senior Director of Adult Critical Care Services.
Sherry Howard was recruited this year as the new (and first) Executive Director of Edible Peace Patch, an organization “cultivating healthy minds and bodies” through schoolyard organic gardens in six South St. Petersburg schools. Howard has worked in community development and education for organizations such as Neighborhood Home Solutions and Pinellas County Schools. Judge Patrice Moore is one of four African American women seated on the boards of local funding sources. She was appointed in 2014 to the board of the JWB of Pinellas County. Kimberly Brown-Williams, is now Director for The St. Petersburg Healthy Start Federal Project. Though she’d been with the project for years, it transitioned from the Pinellas County Health Department to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in late 2014. This September, the region welcomed the newly-chartered Tampa Bay Chapter of the 46-year old National Black Child Development Institute. Louis Finney, Jr., was installed as founding chapter president (and also serves as the Executive Vice President of Lutheran Services Florida). Ours is the third NBCDI affiliate to be chartered in Florida, joining Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
Freddy Williams President/CEO Suncoast Boys & Girls Clubs
National Black Child Development Institute
Christine Hoffman Principal Campbell Park Elementary
Nikita Reed Principal Melrose Elementary
Kristy Moody Principal Fairmount Park Elementary
Ann Sherman White Industry Services Coordinator Pinellas Technical College St. Petersburg Campus
Johnnie Crawford, IIII Principal Lakewood Elementary
Maxine Booker Chief Operating Officer Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services Power Broker magazine | 81
The Pinellas Education Foundation is proud to partner with Ford Next Generation Learning and Pinellas County Schools to create programs and initiatives like the Academies of Pinellas, Next Generation Entrepreneurs and Next Generation Tech program that have proven to not only engage students, but also increase their success and graduation rate in the County! ON FEBRUARY 21-23, 2017, we are hosting our second Ford NGL Innovation Center Winter Conference. Its purpose is to mobilize educators, employers and community leaders in preparing a new generation who will graduate from high school ready for college, careers and life.
RESERVE YOUR SPOT NOW!
The winners of our Next Generation Tech competition demonstrate their virtual reality driverâ€™s ed program
Visit www.pinellaseducation.org to learn more about these programs and conference.
The 2020 Plan celebrated two milestones this summer: the installation of five new members to its leadership team, and the graduation of its third “class” of parents who are solidly on a path out of poverty, thanks to the 2020 Family Wrap Around program at the Pinellas Opportunity Council. The 2020 Plan launched in 2014 as a “collective impact” initiative to reduce the poverty rate by 30% in South St. Petersburg by the year 2020. Since then, 100 organizations have pitched in to reach the goal. Their combined efforts have so far helped 890 people to increase their incomes. The group is also credited with supporting collective projects such as the “200 in 2015” campaign to increase youth employment, which doubled the number of teens earning income and experience last year (to 424 youth). A “$10 million capital quest” led by the Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, the City, 2020, and others has so far raised $2.2 million. Partners more than doubled the number of aspiring entrepreneurs helped in 2015 and in the year ahead will support 200 entrepreneurs.
Loretta Monroe Calvin recently accepted the role of Chair of 2020’s Impact St. Pete project to recruit more corporations to target hiring and contracting opportunities to community workers and businesses. The 2020 Plan remains fiscally housed at the Pinellas County Urban League. A new office will soon open at the St. Petersburg College Keane Center. The 2020 effort is supported by the funding of Allegany Franciscan Ministries, the City of St. Petersburg, the United Way Suncoast, R’Club Child Care, The Power Broker Foundation, the Pinellas Opportunity Council, Mt Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, and others.
2020 Plan Leadership Team The push to reduce poverty is guided by the 2020 Plan Taskforce of 50+ members, and fueled by 100+ partner organizations. Core team members:
Dr. Yvonne Scruggs Leftwich, President/CEO, The Center for Community and Economic Justice
Michael Jalazo, CEO & Executive Director, the Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-Entry Coalition
Watson L. Haynes, II, President & CEO, Pinellas County Urban League
Charlotte Anderson, Vice President, Operations, Pinellas County Urban League
Rev. Louis M. Murphy, Sr., Senior Pastor, Mt Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church
Harvey Landress, Co-Chair, 2020 Plan Taskforce, recently retired, R’Club Child Care and the Louise Graham Regeneration Center as Director of Organizational Development
Mrs. Lounell Britt, Executive Director, The Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center
Now rounding out its second full year, 2020 has expanded its leadership team. As part of the new configuration, Deborah Figgs-Sanders advanced to serve as CoChair of the 2020 Plan.
Deborah D. Figgs-Sanders, Co-Chair, 2020 Plan Taskforce, Executive Director for the Childs Park YMCA
Loretta Monroe Calvin,
Funding from Allegany Franciscan Ministries enabled the group to hire an Executive Director for the first time. The role was filled in February by Cory Adler.
Cory Adler, Executive Director, The 2020 Plan Taskforce
Karl Nurse, Chairperson, 2020 Financial Reinvestment Council, two-term St. Petersburg City Councilmember
Carolyn King, Executive Director, Pinellas Opportunity Council
Gypsy C. Gallardo, CEO, The 2020 Plan, CEO of Urban Market Analytics and Publisher of The Power Broker magazine
Separately, City Councilmember Karl Nurse and Figgs-Sanders serve as donor advisors to the 2020 Fund, housed at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. The Fund made eight sub-grants to community groups last year and is prepping for another round of grants.
Learn more: ul-pinellas.iamempowered.com/ (select 2020 under “What We Do”).
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Chairperson, 2020 Impact St. Pete, President, Monroe Consulting Group specializing in “Inclusion and Cultural Competency”
To reach Cory Adler: 727-742-1757
InfoLine 727.540.1900 â€¢ www.PSTA.net
COLLECTIVE EMPOWERMENT GROUP OF THE TAMPA BAY AREA, INC. (CEGTBA) F O U N D E D 2 0 1 6
A Chapter of the National Collective Empowerment Group, Inc
Let Us Rise Up and Build… For the God of Heaven Will Prosper Us” - (Nehemiah 2: 18, 20) Faith-based and community leaders on both sides of Tampa Bay joined together over the course of a year to discuss and ultimately develop a regional chapter of the national Collective Empowerment Group, Inc., which became official this summer. Their aim – like the national counterpart – is to “build a healthy and empowered church, people and community.” The local group plans to manifest that vision by building a stronger flow of investment into the community, from banks, financial institutions and others, and by harnessing the community’s collective economic strength to grow businesses and other institutions. About the National CEG Collective Empowerment Group, Inc. (CEG), formerly the Collective Banking Group, Inc. (CBG), was formed in 1993 as
a result of concerns raised by pastors and church members in Prince Georges County and the Metropolitan D.C. area regarding inequitable access to services provided by local banks and businesses. In 1995, the CBG signed its first covenant with four banks: Riggs Bank, Industrial Bank, Enterprise Federal Savings Bank, and the Harbor Bank of Maryland. Today, banking partners include Bank of America, Industrial Bank and Andrews Federal Credit Union. In addition, The Collective Banking Group also forged partnerships with nearly two dozen organizations and businesses that offer a broad range of products and services to CBG members. In 2010, the board and member pastors reflected on the evolution of the CBG. Over the years the organization had become a national faith-
based community economic empowerment group, still advocating just treatment from banks…and much more. By unanimous board decision, the Collective Banking Group became the Collective Empowerment Group, with increased focus on financial literacy, education, healthcare, homeownership preservation, public safety and public policy. The new name demonstrates the CEG’s expanded role in “building a healthy and empowered church, people and community.”
For more information: Imam Askia Muhammad Aquil Chairman of the Board, CEG of the Tampa Bay Area
firstname.lastname@example.org Rev. Jerry G. Nealy
Rev. Jerry C. Nealy Executive Director
Founding Board of CEGTBA Imam Askia Muhammad Aquil, Chairman
Ernest G. Barefield Secretary
Pastor Louis M. Murphy, Sr.
Pastor W. James Favorite
Bettye J. Newsome
Gypsy C. Gallardo
Bishop Thomas Scott
Pastor Henry J. Lyons
Pastor Clarence Williams, Treasurer
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Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation
Collaborative Mixer 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Thursday, October 27th, 2016
CEO’s Collaborating with CEO’s Keynote Speaker:
Mr. Hugh Campbell Tampa Bay Ambassador Founder of AC4S IT Service
Introduction: Albert Lee, President & CEO of the Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation
Caterers: Angelo Desserts, Archie BBQ, Caketastic, Heavy’s Food Truck, Livyo’s Catering, P.F. Chang’s, Wendy’s and Wing Zone
Hillsborough Community College Ybor Campus Ybor Room RSVP: (BBIC) 813.425.2043
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$125 per person www.cookman.edu/gala
FROM MY HOUSE TO THE WHITE HOUSE: NAVIGATING THE CROSSROADS OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY Wednesday, October 19, 2016 5:30PM The Studio@620, 620 1st Ave. So. in St. Pete Price: $25 for Members and $30 for Non-members http://new.bpwstpetepinellas.org/ working-womens-forum
Join Business and Professional Women (BPW) for a thought-provoking panel discussion moderated by local news veteran Rob Lorei. Confirmed panelists are:Deborah Clark, Pinellas County Elections Supervisor; Nikki GaskinCapehart, Director of Urban Affairs for the City of St. Petersburg; and The Honorable Myriam Irizarry, County Judge, Pinellas County. Learn how the three branches of government affect our lives at the local, state and federal levels; how we can have an impact and what effective government looks like to make democracy work. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m.; program begins at 6:00 p.m. Admission includes complimentary appetizers and 1 drink ticket. Cash-only bar
MARY MCLEOD BETHUNE LEGACY AWARDS GALA Wednesday, October 19, 2016 6:00PM Ocean Center, 101 N. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach
This years’ honorees are Senator Arthenia L. Joyner, B-CU Trustee Dr. Nelson Adams, Dr. Jacob Bryan, Mr. Orlando Ashford, B-CU Trustee Rufus Wilson and B-CU Board of Trustees Chairman, Joe Petrock. These leaders will be recognized for their dedication and continuous contribution to education and the community. 20TH ANNUAL CASA PEACE BREAKFAST Thursday, October 20, 2016 7:00AM 535 4th Ave. N. in St. Pete www.casa-stpete.org/peacebreakfast CASA’s Peace Breakfast brings together 500+ business professionals and community leaders for an inspirational program in support of domestic violence survivors. Proceeds will be used to save thousands of lives through emergency housing, a 24-hour crisis hotline, legal advocacy, safety planning, support groups, and violence prevention programs in the school system so that there may one day be a generation free from domestic violence.
2016 LITTLE MISS PINK PETALS PAGEANT Saturday, October 22, 2016 • 6:00PM Lakewood High School, 1400 54th Ave. So. in St. Pete www.zuochapter.org Little Miss Pink Petals targets young girls 5-10 years of age in Pinellas County. Through preparation and workshops associated with this program, participants will make friends and engage in activities that will focus on skills in communication, public speaking, and talent. The girls will also be introduced to activities that promote self-confidence, self-esteem, poise, personality, and charm.
PINELLAS OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL 3RD ANNUAL COMMUNITY AWARENESS BREAKFAST
BEATS BY THE BAY Saturday, October 22, 2016 4:00PM Vinoy Park in downtown St. Pete 957thebeat.iheart.com Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly, Joe, Monica, Fat Joe, August Alsina and Genuine will be live on stage.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 8:00AM Banquet Master, 13355 49th St. No. in St. Pete www.poc-inc.org Mistress of Ceremonies for the breakfast will be Kelly Ring from WTVT.
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Management” will serve as a guide post for presentations which demonstrate successful professionals in volunteer service practices used for developing, managing and sustaining healthy communities.
EMBRACE ANTI-BULLYING PRODUCTION Thursday, October 27, 2016 5:30PM Gibbs High School Auditorium, 850 34th St. So. in St. Pete Free Event Phone: 727-512-1615 The EMBRACE Anti-Bullying Prevention production is a non-fiction drama performed by Pinellas County high school youth. It will provide an understanding of the seriousness of bullying, the hurt and impact on youth, families, and society/community. It further is designed to show the various crucial points of bullying through narration, acting, theatrical presentation and fashion runway.
Friday, October 28, 2016 from 9:00AM to 12:00PM University Area Community Development Corporation, 14013 N. 22nd St. in Tampa www.Usfcbcs.eventbrite.com The featured panel presenters are Todd Clear, a national expert on offender reintegration; Jamie Fader, national expert on youth re-entry post-incarceration; Chris Simmons, an expert on prison reform, and Carla Stover, developer of the evidencedbased practice Fathers for Change. Dwayne Smith, USF Senior Vice Provost and Dean, Office of Graduate Studies will moderate the panel and an open discussion after the panel presentation.
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Saturday, October 29, 2016 12:00PM to 9:00PM Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Cir. in Sarasota http://sipthesunshine.com Sip the Sunshine is an All-Florida Craft Beer Festival showcasing the talents of Florida’s award-winning established breweries and those young breweries you’ve never heard of.
MT ZION PROGRESSIVE’S OKTOBERFEST 2016
Monday, October 31, 2016
6:00PM Thomas Jet Jackson Recreation Center, 1000 28th St. So. in St. Pete Phone: 727-894-4311
Free candy, food, bounce house, games, face painting, and more.
FLORIDA VOLUNTEER SERVICE CONFERENCE Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - Friday, November 4, 2016 Holiday Inn, 700 N. Westhore Blvd. in Tampa favrm.wildapricot.org Florida Association for Volunteer Resource Management (FAVRM), Volunteer Florida (VF), Hillsborough Association of Volunteer Administrators (HAVA), Volunteer Directors’ Association of Pinellas County (VDA), University of Florida/ IFAS will host Annual Florida Volunteer Service Conference in Tampa, FL. “Connect the Dots… Plotting a Course in Volunteer
November 2 – November 6, 2016 350 Bayshore Drive NE. in St. Pete www.stpetewineandfoodfest.com The St. Pete Wine & Food Festival (SPWFF) presented by Publix will celebrate culinary aficionados and wine enthusiasts during five incredible days and evenings. The festival events include a wine pairing dinner (Wednesday), a Tacos, Tequila & Margarita Making event (Thursday), craft beer festival (Friday), and two days of grand tastings (Saturday & Sunday) featuring an exceptional selection of wine from around the world and fare from Tampa Bay’s best restaurants and chefs. Set under elegant white tents in beautiful, waterfront North Straub Park, enjoy a world-class wine and food tasting experience while celebrating St. Pete’s rich arts culture. Each of our events features awesome all-inclusive pricing. Your glass and plate will runneth over as all your food and alcohol tastings are included -- even the bottled water is free!
FLIGHTS OF FANCY
Saturday, November 5, 2016 7:30PM 2 Asi Way N. in St.Pete Phone: (727) 578-5437 Ext 2955 Enjoy flights of beer, artisan desserts and appetizers, and live music. Your support directly serves the children and families of the Tampa Bay area. Let your inner child explore the amazing new facility at ASI and learn more about how R’Club strengthens the community while enjoying a night of fun.
the challenges she would later encounter. She has endured poverty, rejection, abuse, addiction, and the illness of a child, yet today her faith and compassion for others is stronger than ever. Sunday, November 6, 2016 9:00AM to 4:00PM Tampa Bay Convention Center http://tbyse.com The Tampa Bay Youth Sports Expo (TBYSE) is the region’s premiere forum to EDUCATE, TRAIN and EMPOWER youth, parents, coaches, and sport administrators in effective youth development through sports. This one day event gives youth the opportunity to sharpen their skills, while learning invaluable information that is applicable in both sports and life. This year’s activities include: • 9 Interactive Skills Zones • Specialty Clinics* • LIVE Workshops & Demonstrations – Building the Student Athlete • Character Awards • And more!
GIRL POWER’S GOSPEL BRUNCH EXPLOSION Sunday, November 6, 2016 1:00PM 2625 SW. 3rd Ave. in Miami
The 4th annual “Gospel Brunch Explosion” will be hosted by the Beth David Congregation. The Gospel Brunch Explosion will feature musical performances by the Girls’ Choir of Miami and acclaimed legendary singer Maryel Epps. The Gospel Brunch will offer a relaxing atmosphere for music lovers to enjoy a sumptuous meal prepared by award-winning culinary architect Chef Irie Spice, while appreciating live, uplifting and soulful music.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016 VOTE 7 am to 7 pm. Visit www. votepinellas.com or www.votehillsborough.org for more General Election information.
MAYOR’S PRAYER BREAKFAST
Thursday, November 10, 2016 7:00AM to 9:00AM The Coliseum, 535 4th Ave. No. in St. Pete Website: www.stpeteymca.org/ main/mayor-s-prayer-breakfast/ The YMCA Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is a signature event for the St. Petersburg community. Initiated shortly after September 11, 2001, this event has continued to provide an opportunity for community members to gather and reflect on important issues, challenges and commonalities. 2016 Keynote Speaker: Lucille O’Neal. She may be the mother of one of the greatest athletes of all time, but Lucille O’Neal is much more than “Shaquille O’Neal’s mom.” Acquainted early in life with turmoil, O’Neal’s circumstances shaped her perspective, strengthening her resolve to overcome
STAND-UP WITH “RANNEY” Thursday, November 10, 2016 7:30PM The Studio@620, 620 1st Ave. So. in St. Pete Website: http://www.thestudioat620.org/ Come out and celebrate the election being over with STAND-UP with “ranney”, an evening that gives you the very best of this veteran stand-up comedian: the Illuminatus of Comedy, Mr. FunnyBlackMan, “ranney.” Everybody’s a comedian. “ranney” is a brilliant one. He is much more than that, but you can only know the experience by seeing him live. Side-splitting shaman, international poet, apt musician, and award winning actor (most recently named Outstanding Lead in a Play by Theatre Tampa Bay for his portrayal of Doub in the American Stage Production of August Wilson’s Jitney) – preview the material he’ll be touring with in 2017. NOTE: Subject matter is intended for mature audiences.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 Friday, November 18, 2016 Community Center Black Box Theater, 554 Dr. Mary Mcleod Bethune Blvd. in Daytona Beach Price: $5.00 General/$2.00 Students Phone: 386-481-2386 | Website: www. cookman.edu Two elderly sisters forget all about southern charm when a young door-todoor evangelist comes knocking. This theological comedy blends Smith’s
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trademark sharpness of wit and depth of characters, while telling a story in which a crisis of faith arise when seemingly similar beliefs are discovered to be worlds apart. Come out and enjoy this comedy play!
SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS: GRAND OPENINGS & BEYOND
“Ease on Down the Road” to this magical, Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. Loosely based on the original Wizard of Oz story, this version is a big, splashy, soulful rock happening as seen through the African-American lens. The marvelous Motown sound and fast-paced action will have you believing that anything is possible.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 2:00PM to 3:30PM 440 2nd Ave. No. in St. Pete Free Event Website: stpetegreenhouse.com
The Greenhouse, in collaboration with SCORE and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, presents an innovative workshop offering tips for successful grand openings & strategies for growing your customer base AFTER the ribbon is cut.
GRIOT DRUM AWARDS & SCHOLARSHIP BANQUET Thursday, November 17, 2016 • 7:00PM Marriott Westshore, 1001 N. Westshore Blvd. in Tampa www.tbabj.com
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - Friday, December 23, 2016 at 8:00PM Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1646 10th Way in Sarasota www.westcoastblacktheatre.org Audiences love Black Nativity and consider this joyous show a not-to-miss holiday tradition. It is a celebration of the Nativity story with gospel, blues, spiritual, and Christmas music, paired with the poetry of Langston Hughes and the creativity of WBTT. Children and adults alike will be enthralled by this high-energy, theatrical wonderment.
The Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists’ Griot Drum Awards honors the best journalism on issues related to people of color in Tampa Bay and surrounding areas.
The election of officers will be held for all officer positions and at large executive committee members. Your membership must be current 30 days prior to the election date to vote.
MS. LAURYN HILL: THE MLH CARAVAN CONCERT SERIES Tuesday, December 6, 2016 • 7:30PM Mahaffey Theater, 400 1st Street S. in St. Pete Multi-platinum singer, songwriter and hip hop icon Ms. Lauryn Hill brings her acclaimed tour The MLH Caravan: A Diaspora Calling! to The Mahaffey. THE FAMILY BLESSING Saturday, December 17, 2016 • 2:30PM Mahaffey Theater, 400 1st Street S. in St. Pete
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 Saturday, November 19, 2016 Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1646 10th Way in Sarasota www.westcoastblacktheatre.org
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TO LIFE: THE FHM’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY(PICTURE) Saturday, February 25, 2017 6:00PM The Vinoy Renaissance, 501 5th Ave. NE in St. Pete To Life: The FHM’s 25th Anniversary will be a celebration of the Past, Present, and Future of The Florida Holocaust Museum. David Eisenhower will be the Keynote Speaker for To Life: The FHM’s 25th Anniversary celebration! Eisenhower will be speaking and accepting a posthumous award on behalf of his grandfather General Dwight D. Eisenhower in honor of the pivotal role he played in liberating the Nazi concentration camps and documenting what was discovered to ensure that the Holocaust could not be denied nor forgotten.
BETHUNE-COOKMAN UNIVERSITY PROUDLY REPORTS RECORD ENROLLMENT NUMBERS FOR FALL 2016
NAACP ST. PETE BRANCH ELECTIONS
Tuesday, November 22, 2016 5:00PM Enoch D. Davis Center, 1111 18th Ave. So. in St. Pete Phone: 727-709-3290 Email: email@example.com
the true blessings that come from having a FAMILY. If you liked The Chocolate Nutcracker and Nutcracker Twist, you will really enjoy this.
From Artz 4 Life Academy, The Family Blessing inspires a young man to appreciate the blessings of the family unit. You’re sure to enjoy the story of a boy named Michael as he experiences
Bethune-Cookman University is experiencing historical enrollment numbers for its new academic year. Thus far, the university has welcomed 1,177 freshmen and a total of 3,964 students, both the largest numbers ever reported by the university. The university expects to welcome more students for Subterm II, an accelerated semester, in October. The students for the B-CU graduating class of 2020 have already created a footprint for student success. The Office of Admissions reported the incoming freshman class is one of the most academically prepared classes to enter the university in over three years. The current freshman class exceeded SAT and ACT testing requirements for student admissions; and has accepted over 200 scholarships, the highest amount of offered and accepted scholarships for an incoming class at B-CU. Visit www. cookman.edu to learn more.
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