Freelance Journalist

CONTACT:  pennydickersonwrites@gmail.com

Penny Dickerson formerly served as a senior staff writer and managing editor of The Miami Times and currently works as an independent journalist. She is passionate about cool people, extraordinary places, and good sushi. 

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Temple University (Philadelphia, PA) and a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from Lesley University (Cambridge, MA). 

Temple UniversityPassionate about words and writing, Penny has augmented her freelance writing life by working as an adjunct English professor at Florida State College at Jacksonville where she taught English composition and humanities courses.

Lesley LogoMedia contributions include Orlando Arts Magazine, Jacksonville Arts & Business Magazine (ARBUS), EBONY.com, New America Media, Equal Voice, Miami Times, Mosaic Literary Magazine, Onyx Magazine, The News-Leader, Florida Times-Union, Florida Courier, Philadelphia Stories, Daytona Times, Tallahassee Women’s Magazine and others. Continue Reading »

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Welcome to the new normal: COVID-19 impacts Florida


Penny Dickerson



An acronym most Americans had never before heard of has shifted the landscape of everyday life. COVID-19 is the coronavirus. It is a viral infection that emerged in China, made international headlines and has since gained statewide precedence as the foremost discussion item.

The Miami Times reported March 11 that the World Health Organization released the official name for the disease. It was deliberately chosen to avoid stigmatization. The “co” stands for corona, “vi” for virus and “d” for disease and 19 is because the disease emerged in 2019.

In what feels like a quantum leap, a global pandemic now exists in just the third month of 2020. The centers for disease control says it is new and according to the agencies website, “We are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes and to what extent it may spread in the United States.”

The CDC added that the coronavirus is mainly spread person-to-person and between people who are within six feet of one another. It is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes these droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Further, people are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic or the sickest.

The heightened hygiene awareness that has swept the nation is appropriately heightened. To protect yourself, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

The latter is crucial to dispel myths and advance truth. Understanding coronavirus transmission will help you understand why an initial 15-day window of “shutdown” on everyday life has been mandated.

You must be tested to find out if you have coronavirus, and Florida has made testing availability, for everyone, a priority. Meanwhile, we wait. Some have self-quarantined, many have isolated and all are encouraged to follow city and county mandates.

In black and white, coronavirus sounds clinical and formal, scary and exact. But without a cure and a vaccine pending, this is the state of the world. This is where we are as a nation. Welcome to Miami’s new normal. To help you stay updated, The Miami Times has included in this edition an extensive guide to area cancellations. Please follow www.miamitimesonline.com.

Managing Editor

Penny Dickerson is a journalist joining The Miami Times following an Africa sojourn and 10-year freelance career in newspaper and magazine. She earned her master of fine arts in creative writing degree from Lesley University, and a bachelor of arts degree in Journalism from Temple University.

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Jean Monestime ends run for mayor


Miami-Dade County will not elect Black leadership in 2020

Penny Dickerson


    Jean Monestime
    I have humbly come to the conclusion that our campaign’s ability to compete has been greatly impaired by the current socio-economic environment. For this reason, as of today, I am withdrawing my candidacy for mayor of Miami-Dade County.”

    —Commissioner Jean Monestime

    Commissioner Jean Monestime has decided that 2020 will not be the year he will be elected the first Haitian-American or Black mayor of Miami-Dade County. He has left the race. The announcement came Thursday, April 30 in a written statement that ultimately resonated his long-term political agenda: caring first for the people he serves.

    “I have humbly come to the conclusion that our campaign’s ability to compete has been greatly impaired by the current socio-economic environment. For this reason, as of today, I am withdrawing my candidacy for mayor of Miami-Dade County.”

    Monestime is a Democrat who has represented District 2 for the past decade. He said a large segment of the constituency his campaign depended on “was among the hardest hit.” The reference eludes to the current COVID-19 pandemic that has enormously impacted every sector across the nation but disproportionately affected economic and health morbidities in Black communities with high poverty.

    According to Monestime, the current crisis has adversely affected the daily lives of his District’s core residents in a manner mainstream America may not consider. He offered a graphic account.

    “Many of them are now laid off and uninsured. Some are ill, hospitalized, or worrying about a sick family member, while others continue to mourn the death of loved ones. As they run from food drive to food drive in order to put food on the table, their main concern is whether they’ll land their next job, before being hit even harder by the impending food pandemic.”

    The trajectory of Monestime’s life in public service includes a 2010 defeat of the late Dorrin Rolle to win the board’s District 2 seat and was elected the first Haitian –American commissioner. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has reached term limits, and Monestime filed to run for mayor in October 2019.

    He joins a mayoral candidate field comprised of three seated commissioners that include Esteban “Steve” Bovo Jr., Daniella Levine Cava and Xavier Suarez who previously served as mayor of Miami. Former county mayor Alex Penelas is also in the race while former county commissioner Juan Zapata dropped out in Jan. 2020.

    “We’re in this together” was the unifying slogan touted by Monestime’s campaign in a five-month run that included appearances at mayoral forums, ribbon cuttings and a bevy of public appearances to push forward an agenda that attacked poverty and promoted closing the prosperity gap.

    According to Monestime, the latter is responsible for the disadvantaged being, “priced out and forced out of their homes and communities in the county.”

    In his first mayoral campaign ad published Feb. 5, Montestime cited his priority in a video titled, and “It’s time to foster a new era of prosperity and success for everyone in Miami-Dade County.”

    The scripted excerpt below is illustrated by citizens of diverse ethnicities and then Monestime himself. In a simple narration, he aligns himself with the common man.

    “…I see it every day, all around us, people struggling living paycheck-to-paycheck not knowing how they’re going to pay next month’s rent…I’m Jean Monestime. I’m running for mayor because I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve mopped floors in a doughnut shop, driven taxis and attended school at night. And like you, I still struggle.”

    “It’s Monestime” became the reverent theme and chant that preceded the mayoral candidate when he rallied small crowds or addressed interest groups like the Black Owned Media Association. The Miami Times participated in BOMA’s roundtable Friday, Feb. 21, and in his opening statement, or one-minute special, the seasoned spokesman amplified his campaign to a captive audience.

    “My name is Jean Monestime, and I am running for mayor of Miami-Dade County because I believe the county needs to be led in a direction where most people can benefit from the wealth and resources that this county represents.”

    Monestime further stated that he had the “audacity and confidence” that he should be elected mayor based on his experience, track record, ability to represent with equity every segment of this population and added that he looked forward to taking such opportunities to listen to the needs of stakeholders and interest groups to see how he can better represent, collectively and individually, and become a better candidate.

    Voter apathy among Black youth was a discussion item posed, and Monestime addressed it as important not just to the county election but ongoing efforts by Florida Dems to turn the state “Blue” and win the presidential election in November.

    The commissioner’s campaign strategy for driving youth to the polls found him circling back to his broad platform for equity.

    “There are a number of elements that play into the plan, where you can raise enough funds to pay for media that would attract that demographic and whether or not you have a message,” said Monestime.

    “To be candid with you, I’m probably the only candidate that has a message to build a strong Dade-County for all people. All people will not be wealthy and all people will not end up with a master’s degree, but most people will compete based on the same level playing field or have access to resources to get there.”

    With a statesman’s grace, Monestime stepped aside from the heftiest political endeavor of his life, but the action doesn’t change his public servant role.

    “While I do hope that the working people of Miami-Dade find a true champion in the next county mayor, I will faithfully remain committed to making their voices even stronger as I continue to serve as their county commissioner,” scribed Monestime and added that, “Serving you has been my biggest blessing.”

    Voluntary withdrawal from the mayoral race will allow Monestime to hold his commissioner’s seat until 2022. Monestime remains on the frontlines of COVID-19 testing and was instrumental in securing the county’s first walk-up testing site in District 2. The site opened April 29 at Holy Family Catholic Church, located at 14500 NE 11th Ave., North Miami, Florida.

    Providing testing for residents who are asymptomatic has been cited as a priority in mitigating the spread of coronavirus in Miami-Dade County. Appointments can be made up to three days in advance for this walk-up site, and residents can call 305-499-8767 to schedule an appointment.

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    Black leaders meet with Daniella Levine Cava

    Miami-Dade mayoral candidate enlists dialogue in a roundtable discussion.

    Roundtable discussion
    Mayoral candidate Daniella Levine Cava engages Black leaders Friday, Feb. 28, for a roundtable discussion on issues of concern in Black communities.

    In Judge Lawson E. Thomas’ courtroom at the Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum, a corps of Black business leaders, community advocates, politicians and legal professionals convened in a roundtable discussion for straight talk with mayoral candidate, Daniella Levine Cava.

    Daniella Levine Cava
    Daniella Levine Cava

    Questions regarding wealth and racial disparity, affordable housing and branding led the engaging discourse held Friday, Feb. 28 during a two-hour gathering. Levine Cava told community leaders she views them as a “great trust” to advise her as she seeks to be elected the first woman in the history of Miami-Dade.

    Levine Cava was elected commissioner in 2018 to represent District 8, which includes Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Homestead and unincorporated areas of South Dade including Redland, Falls, Princeton, parts of Naranja, Leisure City and parts of West Kendall. She is an attorney licensed by the Florida Bar, and in 1996 founded Catalyst Miami. The human services and education advocacy organization helps about 5,000 low- and middle-income people annually reach self-sufficiency.

    The evening’s tone was set when Levine-Cava offered her campaign agenda.

    “At the end of the day, my goal is to have a prosperity agenda for Black minorities,” said Levine Cava who promised to have an office dedicated to issues of equity if elected mayor. “In the almost 40 years since I have been in this county, I have seen a great divide and a growing divide. In particular, I am concerned about the African American community, which I see is at a perilous disadvantage. The changing demographics have brought positives, but it has also meant some communities have been left behind.”

    Dwight Bullard, the New Florida Majority political director and a one-term senator, kicked off the discourse by expanding the concern of Black wealth as a topic commanding refocuses toward generational wealth.

    “We gotta take wealth a step further; it’s generational wealth and that ties into homeownership. If we can build-up generational wealth, we’re not just dealing with the moment; we’re setting up the future,” said Bullard. “Those two things go hand-in-hand. One thing this county can do is address construction in homeownership. I mean, permit costs and expediting permits are all good things, but they don’t really make a dent in hard construction costs.”

    Bullard suggested the county be more involved in negotiating with major suppliers on a large scale and negotiating fair prices with contractors. He believes the aforementioned will create homeownership at affordable rates.

    The significance of area median income in Black communities became a discussion refrain. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the area median income for Miami-Dade is $54,900 and serves as data to determine eligibility for affordable housing programs at the federal and sometimes local levels.

    Levine Cava addressed the realization that some people are given deals that they can’t afford to turn down, which can effectuate gentrification. She seeks to be more aggressive in that area.

    “This was brought up at my first candidate’s forum with the Black Professionals Network. I said we need organizers,” said Levine Cava. “We need people to go out to educate people and support them to stand firm. Obviously, people are hurting. Here come’s a deal and they sell out. Then, there’s no place they can go.”

    Trelvis D. Randolph, a partner with the law firm Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer posed concerns regarding the countywide area median income and developers exploiting construction costs and figuring out a formula. Where the county builds houses is essential to the quality of life of Miami-Dade Black residents.

    “Black pain in Miami-Dade county is historical,” said Randolph. “And too often the commitment of mayor candidates, mayors etc. is one of piecemealing or satisfying a very small spectrum of the Black community in order to navigate wins versus the long-term goal of sustainability and growth…”

    Randolph said he would love to elect someone who has a longterm vision for understanding that Black people have suffered indignities and traumas in the county too long. He exampled the Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum.

    “Yes, this is great, but what is not told in this story is that Black police officers were unable to carry guns,” said Randolph. “They could not arrest white residents of the county or the city, and if they did, they were subject to losing their jobs. It has created layers of pain put upon the Black community.”

    Kenasha Paul, founder and president of the Black Professional Network, ushered in the topic of marketing Miami-Dade as a county that inhabits a definitive framework.

    “As mayor, what are you going to do about branding the county? Specifically, we have conversations about affordable housing and low-wages, but there are seven-plus colleges and universities,” said Paul.

    “That means we should be middle-class, but we haven’t figured out our brand. Are we going to be a service-based economy, a hospitality economy or a tech economy? That narrative needs to be clear.”

    According to Paul, Miami-Dade is producing college graduates at a rapid pace. Those graduates are financially grounded by debt that impedes their qualification for affordable home buyers’ programs. Additionally, the county doesn’t appear equipped with businesses that recruit college-degreed people.

    “We focus on low-wage jobs, and I understand the process of procurement and construction,” said Paul. “But if you graduate with a law degree, the most you can do in Miami-Dade County is get a job for a construction company.”

    Levine Cava emphasized that Miami Dade is a financial center that is global and international, but is not sharing that story.

    “What we’re really good at in Miami is change. This place is innovative and dynamic, but a lot of people have gone away because it’s sparse,” said Levine Cava.

    “We should be selling to the world how to live in a diverse society. We do not have an economic development arm; we have an economic council. There is not a person in charge of making decisions regarding the many things discussed here today. That will change.”

    Penny Dickerson

    Penny Dickerson

    Managing Editor

    Penny Dickerson is a journalist joining The Miami Times following an Africa sojourn and 10-year freelance career in newspaper and magazine. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University, and B.A. in Journalism from Temple University. Follow Penny Dickerson

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    Black-owned businesses remain resilient and strong during crisis

    miami times

    Three Miami entrepreneurs navigate the COVID-19 crisis                 Penny Dickerson



    Shuckin' and Jivin' staff

    Ernisha Randolph, center, is owner of Shuckin’ and Jivin’ restaurant in Opa-locka where take-out and delivery help sustain a business.

    The Sweet Butter dinner show was scheduled to illuminate the Kovens Conference Center on March 28. Collard greens had been prepped and slow-braised meats were on the menu along with New Orleans and Gullah Geechie-inspired cuisine. The Smash Room Project was tuned up and ready for the second installment of juke joint entertainment presented by Ernisha Randolph, owner of Shuckin’ and Jivin’ restaurant in Opa-locka.

    But the coronavirus pandemic emerged and canceled it all.

    Randolph had to surrender to a state-operated venue followed by brutal financial blows. Her challenges are shared by small business owners like Ed Haynes, founder/owner of Haynes Security Services, Inc., and Shawna Pointville, CEO of Excel Kids Academy.


    Collectively, they are South Florida entrepreneurs who once thrived, but are now challenged due to coronavirus. They suffer dual indemnity as Black-owned businesses are neither prepared to endure nor equipped with the reserves to survive the sudden crisis.

    A March 19 survey by Goldman Sachs revealed, that 50% of 1500 small businesses polled said they didn’t think they could continue operating for more than three months amid current conditions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

    These Black-owned business owners told The Miami Times how they’ve combined community resources, innovation, and fortitude to help them navigate the pandemic.


    On March 15, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a state of emergency followed by a succession of mandates hurled furious and fast. The straightforward language reinforced that DeSantis was neither shuckin’ nor jivin’.

    The Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears, in coordination with the Florida Department of Health, issued social distancing guidance to restaurants and bars. That order was simultaneously followed by a letter to the federal Small Business Administration to turn on the SBA loan program. The latter could have been a game changer.

    But two days later on March 17, DeSantis issued an executive order to mitigate the coronavirus spread. Florida restaurants were required to limit customer entry to 50 percent capacity, stagger seating and keep parties separated by a distance of at least six feet, in accordance with CDC guidelines. They were encouraged to remain open and expand take-out/delivery services.


    The restaurant industry had been essentially shut down. Some establishments experienced immediate layoffs; most continue to suffer economic hardship; many have simply closed.

    DeSantis signed his latest executive order Monday, March 30, extending the timeline before Southeast Florida could return to normalcy through the “middle of May.” Before the close of business the same day, he recanted saying he, “misspoke.” The shutdown will end on April 15.

    “This is getting really real,” responded Randolph who told the Miami Times just two days before on March 28 that she had been able to keep all of her 22 employees on the payroll.

    “Our restaurant has always been take-out and in-house delivery increased by 14%, over the weekend. Our walk-up profits decreased by 22% even with us being open on Sunday. People are just staying at home.”

    The Miami Times reported on Jan. 29 that Randolph secured a contract to cater NFL tailgate for Super Bowl LIV. Randolph said that revenue “gave her cushion,” but the pandemic poses a fiscal threat.

    On Friday, March 28, the president signed a $2 trillion economic relief plan that includes $377 billion in loan assistance through the COVID-19 Relief for Small Businesses Act 2020. The federal government has a duty to prevent any small business from falling through the cracks during this public health emergency.

    For small businesses that are denied an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), the bill created a new grant program that awards up to $50,000 to small businesses that have between two and 50 employees and can demonstrate losses of at least 50 percent for a minimum of one month due to the outbreak.


    “Access to more funding helps, and I have started, but not completed the SBA loan process,” said Randolph. “There are so many required documents, so even with leniency and extended deadlines, accountants are busy. We don’t even have our 2019 tax returns.”

    Randolph’s entrepreneurial roots are catering. Her business penchant is ingenuity. She intertwined both to place bids with the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County to secure emergency catering contracts.

    “Local municipalities expressed a catering need to prepare meals for Miami’s elderly,” said Randolph who was disappointed to learn Miami-Dade county received an undisclosed amount of “shelf-stable” meals from the state. That generosity adversely affects Black-owned businesses.

    “Small percentage rate loans are debt, but when I heard about the catering, I said, now we have an opportunity to make some money and pay staff. But just like that, everything has changed.”



    Ed Haynes

    Ed Haynes is president of Haynes Security Services, Inc.


    Ed Haynes is a retired Marine and law enforcement officer who formerly served security detail for Rep. Frederica S. Wilson’s 24th congressional district. In 2011, he launched Haynes Security Services, Inc., and the business earned $150,000 its first year.

    In 2015, Haynes garnered contracts with Miami-Dade County Metrorail and Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The company’s 2020, year-end revenue is expected to surpass $3.4 million.

    But the coronavirus is not a respecter of successful persons; Hayne’s business is economically threatened too.

    “I have 120 employees and fortunately, no layoffs,” Haynes told The Miami Times on March 28.


    “We’ve adjusted hours to help people keep the income. I have 24 security guards employed at 24 closed public schools, so we repurposed those positions. Our school maintenance and transportation staff continue to work during the shutdown.”

    “Staff morale is a bit low because there is uncertainty about company viability,” said Haynes. “If we lose a contract, will they have jobs? They are also concerned about the risk of working in public.”

    The pandemic’s greatest impact on Hayne’s has been employees needing to leave work to care for children home from school and daycare. Current law requires employers to pay exempt employees 12 weeks of wages.

    “There’s no way I could afford to lose an employee, pay an extra salary to replace them, and pay lost wages too. That’s two salaries,” said Haynes.

    Rep. Wilson invited business owners, including Haynes, to speak during the COVID-19 bill drafting process. Their contributions added language in the best interest of business owners.

    “No small business owner can afford to wait three months for government reimbursement for lost wages,” said Haynes.


    Excel Academy

    Excel Kids Academy in Miami Gardens shut down Friday, March 27 to avoid liability-related social distancing mandates.


    When The Miami Times first talked to Shawna Pointville on March 19, the Miami Gardens nonprofit business owner had just received emergency funding from The Children’s Trust. The provisions allowed her to meet childcare needs for 1st responders and essential workers.

    On Friday, March 27, Pointville shut down Excel Kids Academy under the advisement of attorneys.

    “Staff became worried about their safety and a liability of an outbreak in a school would not be good for business,” Pointville told The Miami Times on March 28.

    “We were sustainable when the pandemic hit, but social distancing mandates limiting contact to ten people per room, six feet apart, made it difficult. With school-aged kids it was doable, but with babies and toddlers, all day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.? That was impossible.”

    Pointville employs 32 women who claim head-of-household status and two men, one of which is her husband Fito Pointville. The academy serves 160 children enrolled in grades K-5, after-school care and pre-school. During the pandemic lockdown, only 50 showed up.

    “The Children’s Trust will continue to help. We will be able to reimburse government subsidized clients and maintain a sustainable contract,” said Pointville. “When we re-open, we will be able to pay light, phone, mortgage and some staff wages.”

    Pointville said she will re-evaluate when to re-open by April 15 and hopes to maintain at least one emergency classroom for firefighters.

    “Parents said they have to take a different driving route in the morning because the kids cry when they see their school,” Pointville shared. “We are a community landmark and have been a safe space for parents and students for 13 years.

    Managing Editor

    Penny Dickerson is a journalist joining The Miami Times following an Africa sojourn and 10-year freelance career in newspaper and magazine. She earned her master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Lesley University, and her bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Temple University.



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    South Florida airports receive $340 million for COVID-19 relief


    The CARES Act provides emergency relief funding

    Penny Dickerson

    Miami airport

    Miami International Airport officials will use the grant to support the airport’s ongoing facilitation of essential travel and trade, and to prepare the global gateway to resume full operations as one of America’s leading passenger and cargo hubs.

    The aviation industry contributes $1.7 trillion into U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million in U.S. jobs. More than 2.4 million passengers engage flights to 800 destinations in 80 countries and more than 58,000 tons of cargo is transported daily. Those collective statistics provided by aviation.org were impressive until the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic grounded aviation.
    In the immediate aftermath, major airlines continue to lose profits, industry unemployment has soared, some planes are flying with mostly empty seats and smaller carriers have halted operations altogether.

    Emergency measures to restore industry viability were expeditiously taken, and the CARES Act was signed on March 27 which allocated $10 billion in emergency aviation relief funding.

    The Federal Aviation Administration followed with an announcement that nearly $1 billion of those relief funds will be distributed to airports located within the state of Florida, and Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson has ensured that more than $340M will be distributed to South Florida airports in her 24th congressional district.image-6

    “I am pleased that seven local airports will receive financial assistance to help make up for lost revenue and to continue operations that have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Congresswoman Wilson, who sits on the House transportation and infrastructure committee.

    “Miami is a popular tourist destination and the aviation industry is critical to our local economy. Ensuring that our airports have the funding to continue operating and preserve jobs is imperative.”

    Miami International Airport was awarded $207 million in funding, making MIA the largest grant recipient among all airports in Florida. MIA officials will use the grant to support the airport’s ongoing facilitation of essential travel and trade and to prepare the global gateway to resume full operations as one of America’s leading passenger and cargo hubs.


    “We are extremely pleased with the $207 million in relief funding for MIA,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “I appreciate the federal government for recognizing MIA’s critical role as the busiest international gateway in Florida and the third busiest in the nation. This aid will certainly help our County’s largest economic engine, which supports one out of every five jobs locally, make a speedier return to normal operations after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic subside.”

    Gimenez recently came to the defense of MIA when City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez petitioned President Trump in a letter that asked for, “a ban on flights coming into MIA from international and domestic coronavirus hot spots.”

    image-7Suarez, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March, was making an effort to mitigate the widespread coronavirus. Suarez has since recovered from the virus and received negative test results. In response, Gimenez issued the following in a report to Local 10 news:

    “MIA is Miami-Dade County and our airport director has already written a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and probably to The White House itself saying please disregard the letter. MIA and the flights in and out of MIA are vital to Miami-Dade County. MIA is one of the few pharmacy centers, pharm hubs, in the world, a lot of medicines fly in the bellies of those passenger airliners,” Gimenez said.

    According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the CARES Act funding will support continuing operations and replace lost revenue resulting from the sharp decline in passenger traffic and other airport business due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funds are available for airport capital expenditures, airport operating expenses including payroll and utilities, and airport debt payments.

    “The CARES Act funding, coupled with the financial relief plan approved by the Board of County Commissioners this month for our airport business partners, provides much-needed support for MIA to continue serving as the leading economic engine for our community,” said Lester Sola, MIA CEO and director.image-8

    “As we maintain our passenger and cargo operations and prepare for travel demand to return, these monies will aid us in developing new protocols and facility renovations designed to enhance the travel experience and improve employee safety.”

    The complete list of airports in District 24 receiving funding under the CARES Act are:

    Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport $157,000; Hollywood North Perry Airport $69,000; Miami International Airport $206,949,557; Miami Seaplane Base $20,000; Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport $157,000 ; Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport $134,958,902 ; Miami Executive Airport $69,000.

    For more information about MIA’s response to COVID-19, visit MIA’s website.

    Managing Editor

    Penny Dickerson is a journalist joining The Miami Times following an Africa sojourn and 10-year freelance career in newspaper and magazine. She earned her master of fine arts in creative writing from Lesley University and bachelor of arts in Journalism from Temple University.

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    (Cover Story) The Kinseys: Family Legacy Expresses the Art of Giving


    ONYX Magazine celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans and those of the African diaspora.


    Bernard and Shirley Kinsey personify family with a display of passion and humility often unique to African-Americans. Together, they publicly …

    Story by Penny Dickerson

    Bernard and Shirley Kinsey personify family with a display of passion and humility often unique to African-Americans. Together, they publicly emerged and claimed space as 21st century global icons who have traveled to more than 91 countries following a dual retirement from the Xerox Corporation where theyenjoyed lucrative careers.

    They are powerhouse philanthropists boasting contributions to the nation’s HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) that surpass $28 million. Recently, they challenged Florida A&M University (FAMU), to raise $500,000 by matching the Kinsey’s personal $250,000 contribution. Their alma mater rose to the occasion and new uniforms, instruments, and an equipment truck were purchased for the renowned “Marching 100” band. In tribute, Kinsey is monogrammed on the back of uniform sleeves.

    They are insatiable art curators who positively changed the trajectory of how America perceives African American history and art by intersecting the two in a ground-breaking exhibit at the American Adventure Pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center. Distinctly titled “The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey,” it is estimated that eight to 10 million tourists viewed the installation during a five-year duration.

    They are phenomenal, to say the least. A charming couple whose matrimony celebrated 51-years in February, they are proud parents to son Khalil who serves as CEO and general manager of operations for The Kinsey Collection. It’s a family affair for the Kinseys who currently reside in the patriarch’s hometown of Los Angeles, Calif. Shirley is a St. Augustine, Fla., native, and the enthusing tale of how two people from separate U.S. coasts met is the beginning of Kinsey history as shared with ONYX Magazine.



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