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Equal Voice National Magazine

Homeless Students in America: What Are We Doing to Help?

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DELAND, Fla. — Bryanna Anderson is an African-American senior enrolled at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach. Amidst tears and fragile nerves, she shared an emotional story that chronicles a life of poverty and homelessness.
Her captive audience was a packed room of Volusia County educators and community leaders attending the 2015 Poverty and Homeless Conference (PHC) on Oct. 23 at Stetson University.

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Angela Robinson “Jacksonville’s OWN Star!”

Arbus NovDec 2013 FKudos to Angela Robinson for serving as a master-example of how a girl with a dream can become a woman boasting stardom.  She is a Jacksonville-native and graduate of William M. Raines High School who has journeyed a route to be admired and an apt lesson for all who dare to dream and are confronted with the “fear of failure.” Angela looking beautiful

What knows Angela Robinson of failure? Nothing. Disappointments? Yes, but she has persevered and shares with readers how they, too, can do the same.

Click the Link below to read: Angela Robinson, “Jacksonville’s OWN Star!”


Beyond her natural beauty is an admirable narrative that takes readers from the halls of her high school years to the Broadway stage.  Now, she’s a leading television actress on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network in Tyler Perry’s first scripted drama, “The Haves and The Have Nots.”

Angela Robinson over Jacksonville

Click the Link below to read: Angela Robinson, “Jacksonville’s OWN Star!”





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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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    Levar Burton Interview: Orlando Arts Magazine

    Levar Burton OAM Cover

    As a graduate student at Lesley University, I penned a poem that ventured the impact the mini-series “Roots” had on both my family and formative years. I wanted Alex Haley to be my daddy and all the girls in eighth-grade were teased and called, “Kizzie.” The more haunting truth was it was the last time I could remember that my family convened together in the same room, at the same time, for anything. It was the last “Kodak moment my mind conjured of us merged like one huge afro” to watch television together.

    “Roots” was a unifier, a television-viewing change agent, and a history lesson that created “tension” for how we viewed ourselves, our pasts, and the contributions of African-American ancestry. I never thought I’d ever personally meet and converse with “Kunte Kinte,” the lead “wild gazelle” who is now giving my three-year-old granddaughter “Journey” the opportunity to digitally enjoy “Reading Rainbow.”

    Click link below to read Orlando Arts Magazine feature:                                                    LeVar Burton OAM PDF

    Levar Burton High Res Head Shot

    florida courier

    Click link below to read Florida Courier long-feature: http://flcourier.com/2015/10/roots-digital-rainbows/

    Penny Dickerson 2015

    Interview with Steve Harvey’s Personal Chef

    ‘Architect of flavor’ whips up Harvey’s healthy dishes

    March 14, 2013 Filed under ENTERTAINMENT, FOOD Posted by



    Judson Allen died of a heart attack earlier this year ( May 2018). May he rest in peace.

    Judson Todd Allen is a winner who loves to lose.

    He has won a battle with weight, losing more than 135 pounds. next food network starHe auditioned for the “Next Food Network Star’’ four times before joining the 2012 cast. He again, lost but recalibrated. Continue Reading »

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    Miami Dolphins Multi-Million Dollar Meal Partnership

    miami times

    Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross funds Miami Gardens Food Relief Program.

    Penny Dickerson


    Miami Dolphins
    The Miami Dolphins

    On Sundays, the Dolphins will partner with the faith-based community including area churches, local leadership, and community groups to purchase food from local restaurants to provide a minimum of 1,000 meals each Sunday that will be distributed to those dealing with food insecurity.

    Ross and the organization will invest $2 million in the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program and will campaign to raise an additional $1 million by matching all dollars raised by the South Florida community and Miami Dolphins fans worldwide for a potential $4 million total impact.

    The economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic created a food crisis that spared no socioeconomic class level. From unemployment to the sudden transition of households with children home from school during the day and the emergent needs of Miami-Dade County’s elderly and most vulnerable population, everyone was financially affected. For many, pride morphed into humility and forced them to pursue drive-thru, food giveaways. Now, the Food Relief program will offer a free, nutritious meal.

    “I commend the Miami Dolphins Foundation, owner Stephen Ross and CEO Tom Garfinkel for their commitment to the residents of our community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “They have set a high standard for others to follow as we all work together to provide food and jobs for those hit hardest by this pandemic.”

    COVID-19 forced stadiums across the nation to go dark. Most fans mourned the loss of the NCAA tournament or their favorite sports season, but numerous major events across the country like Hard Rock Stadium’s Jazz in the Gardens were also canceled. As a result, thousands of hourly wage workers, some of whom were career employees, were left unable to pay rent or provide for their families without having health insurance or paid sick leave.

    When the NBA suspended its season in March, Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers told USA Today, “We feel for the workers, mostly, the low-income wage earners that count on working our games. If you’re going to have empathy, have it for them, not for us.”

    The Food Relief program will generate jobs and revenue for the local restaurant industry while employing guest services and security staff at the stadium that have been idled as a result of COVID-19-related event cancellations.

    “We are committed to combating food insecurity and helping to provide consistent employment as the first step in rebuilding our community, starting in Miami Gardens,” said Ross. “We are thankful for the strength that our community has shown through this pandemic and it’s our hope that this program will inspire others to give.”

    The Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program expands the Miami Dolphins’ efforts to combat food insecurity in South Florida. In March, the organization gave $500,000 to help meet the critical needs of the elderly and youth in the community. These funds were used to support school meal programs for Broward County Public Schools and Miami-Dade County Public Schools, relief efforts led by churches in Miami Gardens, and to bolster programs from Feeding South Florida to provide access to food for underserved populations in the area.

    The Miami Times reported on April 22 that Ross also funded a $250,000 grant along with the Miami Dolphins Foundations that enabled four Miami Dolphins alumni and restauranteurs, including the late legendary coach Don Shula, to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to those most at-risk. They included John Offerdahl, Offerdahl’s Off-The-Grill; Kim Bokamper, Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill; Bob Brudzinski, Bru’s Room Sports Grill. Over a three-week period, the restaurants delivered 35,440 meals and Pepsi provided 65,644 bottles of Bolt24.

    The aforementioned Miami Dolphin team stars are all engaged in the food service industry and collectively teamed up to provide free meals to vulnerable populations severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, all while helping to keep workers from their restaurants employed and on the payroll. One month later, that need continues.

    “Unemployment is growing and a lot of people are suffering and need help,” said vice chairman and CEO Tom Garfinkel. “It was important for us to start at home and help the most vulnerable in our community with a long-term commitment; not just a one-time event.”

    In addition, Dolphins and Truist as part of its Truist Cares initiative partnered to support local small business and provide meals to the South Florida community as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. More than 2,700 pre-packaged meals were prepared by local food trucks and delivered to Miami Dolphins FOOTBALL UNITES™ community partners over a six-week period.

    Mayor Oliver Gilbert welcomes the Food Relief initiative to his community as one more step in a positive direction toward a return to normalcy and economic restoration amid the pandemic.

    “Given the uncertainty of this crisis, all hands should be on deck, and all available resources tapped,” said Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert. “The Miami Dolphins organization is stepping up and providing needed support for our residents as we continue to fight against COVID-19.”

    Individuals and businesses that wish to participate in the matching gift program can donate online at dolphins.com/meals. All gifts are tax-deductible with 100 percent of the funds raised directly benefiting food relief.

    All donors who contribute over $50 will receive a special Miami Dolphins FOOTBALL UNITES™ gift from Ross and Garfinkel to show appreciation of participants in this matching gift campaign.

    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.

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