Freedom is the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. The recent attacks by mass shooters has caused terror and fear in our communities, but we should not let them hinder our freedom. We still need to live, laugh, dance and do whatever it is that we love in this world.
We have a lot of catching up to do since my last column.
I have some alumni and Greek letter organization news, and as well news from my own old college, Florida International University.
What are the odds? Student goes from homeless to graduate
Two years ago I wrote a story that featured Price Destinobles. Destinobles, a FIU hospitality student at the time had overcame homelessness in high school and made it to college. Destinobles lost contact with his father when he was 6, and his mother was incarcerated the summer before he started high school, leaving him and his 5 older siblings to fend for themselves. Despite not having a roof over his head to call his own, Destinobles worked hard and graduated from North Miami Senior High School with a 3.4. GPA. I am proud to announce that 7:30 p.m. on Jul. 28, Destinobles crossed the stage at FIU with a master’s degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management. Congratulations, Destinobles. He is a true example of not letting your circumstances define who you are or who people think you should be.
Juneteenth at Hampton
The University of Miami Black Alumni Society held its first Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 29, at the Historic Hampton House, 4240 NW 27 Ave.
Those attending the celebration saw a video of the Historic Hampton House, took a tour of the rooms that were once occupied by Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali (aka Cassius Clay) and other noted artists who stayed and or performed at the Hampton House. Juneteenth is observed each year as a day commemorating the end of slavery (i.e., Emancipation Proclamation) for Black people in the United States. The University of Miami sponsored the Juneteenth program and luncheon.
Bulls party like it’s 1999
Miami Northwestern Senior High School’s Class of 1999 celebrated its 20-year reunion over the course of two weekends with a series of events that included a skate night, a cruise to the Bahamas, a Party Like It’s 1999 Happy Hour at Café Iguana, a “Bull-Chella” Class Picnic at Haulover Beach and a “Mo-Better Bulls” Day Party at Studio 183. Using the hashtags #20YearsLater, #TheMarathonContinues and #Bulls4Life, everyone had a great time and enjoyed seeing each other. They thank all of their classmates who invested their time and energy in planning it.
Those who attended included: Krishendaye Adderley;Irene Aihie; Adebowale Alade; Shatorria Arrington; Laquanda Baker; Wannakii Batts-Thelon; Donneisha Bennett; Roberta Bethel; Kerrisa Bradwell; Chiquila Brown; Lavette Brown; Sissy Brown; Khortney Byrd; Michelle Caleb; Vernon Carey; John Cason; DeBronya Corner; Torrie Cox; Jarrad Cummings; Debra Davis; Tyrone Dicks; Jaynelle Donadelle; Ivan Douglas; Quiana Edgecomb; Byron Eskridge; Mykeshia Fenn; Ulrick Ferdinand; Diovanni Figgins; Eltondra Franklin; Shaakira Franklin; Rashaun Frasier; Kem Garcia; Aisha Gibson; Tequesta Gipson; Tiffany Green; Safiya Hardemon; Rogers Harrell Jr.; Isheka Harrison; RaShondra Hurley; Kymeiria Ingram; Octevia Jacob; Antwon Jackson; Kuristan Jackson; Samuel Johnson; Eboni Jones; Howard Lewis; Anitra (Mayes) Lopez; Keith Lynch; Frank Mike; Latoya Myers; Latornia Nix; Emanuel Page; Jimmy Payton; Regina (Pearman) Warthen; Tyresse Pearson; Natasha Phillips; Kemoy Pitts; Samuel Pierce; Monique Pierre; Ronsha Poitier; George Ponder; Latanya Postell; Lirondy Ragin-Wright; Cassandra Reese; Robert Revere; Sabrina Rochelle; Rashika Robinson; Sherika Robinson; Taryn Rogers; Dionne Shackelford; Qonsheka (Berry) Smith; Tavares Smith; Karen Stafford; Teyonka (Zimmerman) Stanley; Danyell Strozier; Shamika Symonette; Farida (Bailey) Taylor; Monique Thomas; Shamika Thomas; Moyne Thompson; Alma Turner; Rochelle Veal; Samantha Walton; Shemiah Washington-Sanders; Carlan White; Trinity White; Terrance Williams; Kemyata (Sims) Willis; Antwon Wimberly; Nivia Woodard; Jaqueline (Hilerio) Woodside; and Shaneka (Wilmore) Woody.
Pumps, Pearls and Politics
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter hosted about 200 women at its seventh annual Frederica S. Wilson’s Pumps, Pearls and Politics event July 20 at Florida Memorial University.
The event’s theme was “When Women Vote.” It included a panel discussion on social justice, women and politics, power of the women’s vote, and women in the census.
“With women being a prominent sector of the electorate in coming elections, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s Pumps, Pearls, and Politics seek to celebrate women who are in political office, as well as encourage others to run for office. The event provided an information platform that enhanced community awareness, increased political knowledge for informed discussion making, while encouraging women to engage in the political arena and run for office,” said Mary Mites-Campbell, chair of the Connection Committee.
Davica Williams was the mistress of ceremonies. Rosalind Osgood, Broward County School Board member and associate minister of New Mount Olive Baptist Church provided the invocation.
Osgood emphasized the importance of voting and being politically active during the current turbulent times.
The audience was greeted by the chapter’s president, Tara J. Pasteur. Pasteur rang the bell for action by stating that “the operative word here is politics. We are in a situation, that we have not seen in our lifetime. Our very lives have been threatened and that is not an exaggeration. There is a large portion of this country that would like to see a race war and that is not hyperbole. We can not just sit still and let this happen. I’m going to ask each of us to get two people registered to vote who have never voted before and make sure they go to the polls ... We must stay together not only as women but as Americans.”
The panel included Miami Shores Mayor Crystal Wagar; State Rep. Dotie Joseph; Miami-Dade County Court Judge candidates, Michelle Delancy and Olanike “Nike” Adebayo; and International Relations specialist, Monica Rodrigues Smith. The panel discussion hinged on important issues at the national, state and local levels that are pertinent to women regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic status, education, or religious affiliation. Guests were also reminded of the importance of voting in local elections, specifically for judges.
In addition to the panel discussions, the audience was updated on the 2020 Census, heard a musical selection from Mike Emmanuel of Triumphant Music Group, and heard from the event’s sponsors Marlon Hill, candidate for Miami-Dade County Commission, District 9 and State Rep. Shevrin Jones, candidate for Florida Senate District 35.
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson was unable to attend due to congressional duties; however, she sent remarks to the audience via a video. Wilson began by expressing the value and purpose of Pumps, Pearls, and Politics.
“This is a great time. This is a time when Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter invites the community to gather together to hear from candidates running for office and to discuss politics and policy. For lawmakers from all across South Florida and a wonderful group of selected people who are politically motivated and really care about our community and the direction in which our nation is moving.”