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The Westside Gazette

Broward County Social Justice Coalition Sponsors Voter Rights Registration Drive

THE WESTSIDE GAZETTE — On Saturday, April 13th, a coalition of social justice advocacy groups sponsored a Voter Rights Registration Drive at New Mount Olive Baptist Church, 400 NW 9th Avenue. The drive was one in a series of such events the coalition aims to hold in communities across Broward County.

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By Perry Busby

On Saturday, April 13th, a coalition of social justice advocacy groups sponsored a Voter Rights Registration Drive at New Mount Olive Baptist Church, 400 NW 9th Avenue. The drive was one in a series of such events the coalition aims to hold in communities across Broward County.

“Our goal is simple. Get the information out,” Marsha Ellison, President of the Fort Lauderdale/Broward County NAACP, replied regarding the coalition’s aims. “We have got to get the information out through the sources that the public listens to and we’ve got to be in the places where they gather.”

Last year Florida voters passed Amendment 4, reinstating voting rights to former felons with non-violent offenses, who have the terms of their sentencing. It is estimated that an additional 1.4 million Florida residents will be eligible to vote in the 2020 election. It is believed that the number of returning citizens in Broward County may be as high as 60,000.

It is why the coalition believes it was necessary to include a forum and Question and Answer sessions at the events. Gordon Weekes, Executive Chief Asst. Public Defender and Broward County Clerk, Brenda Forman were on hand to provide attendees with information on how to check their status, the steps to update it, and available resources.

“The issues are complex, but simple, clear communication is the best way to begin the process. An individual may want to vote, but he or she still harbors fears about interacting with the government. Some even believe it is a setup to get them to violate their court agreement. It isn’t easy to convince someone of that when they’ve been incarcerated for ten or more years” Weekes said.

A big concern for many attendees was whether they could be charged with a crime if they filled out a voter registration card but was denied due to ineligibility. While Miami-Dade District Attorney, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, has publicly stated that she would not seek charges in such cases, Broward County District Attorney, Andrew Meyers, has not publicly made a statement regarding his position.

The goal is to get the number of voters on the roll back to the Obama 2008 election level. Whereas the Supervisor of Elections office would make several attempts to contact a voter before purging them from the roll, the new administration is taking a more aggressive approach to purging rolls.

Organizations on hand for the event included the NAACP, Broward County Public Defender Office, Broward County Court Clerk Office, TJ Reddick Bar Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Phi Alpha, Omega Psi Phi and the Westside Gazette.

With the 2020 election a little over eighteen months away, the coalition continues to seek additional venues and events to spread the word.

This article originally appeared in The Westside Gazette.

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Students help preserve historic Tuskegee buildings

THE WESTSIDE GAZETTE — Kayla Heard of Mobile went to Tuskegee University to study architecture. Now in her third year, she has developed a passion and career interest in historic preservation.

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Students help preserve historic Tuskegee buildings

By Shelly Haskins

Kayla Heard of Mobile went to Tuskegee University to study architecture. Now in her third year, she has developed a passion and career interest in historic preservation.

Kayla Heard of Mobile was among six architecture students at Tuskeegee University to take part in a national historic preservation project on campus this summer. (Tuskegee University)

Kayla Heard of Mobile was among six architecture students at Tuskeegee University to take part in a national historic preservation project on campus this summer. (Tuskegee University)

The beauty of studying at the only HBCU school designated National Historic Site is that her college campus is also a hands-on classroom.

In August, Heard and five other Tuskegee architecture students were selected to participate in a national historic preservation program developed by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Heard and her classmates became a National Trust for Historic Preservation HOPE Crew (Hands On Preservation Experience), and spent two weeks meticulously restoring windows in Tuskegee’s Willcox E Building. The Tuskegee Hope Crew includes architecture students Heard, Trenton Scott, Rikeya Wallace, Domonique Jiles, Ty’kwon Summerville, and Tyler Littles.

Prior to working on their own campus, the students traveled with Daniels to learn about historic landscapes, heritage areas, 3-D laser scanning, and the research work done at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

They also studied at the National Park Service’s Western Center for Historic Preservation, in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, and spent time at the Bar BC Dude Ranch, established in 1912. There they completed the “Guiding Principles for Historic Preservation,” a course on field-based historic preservation, documentation, hands-on treatment, and heritage asset maintenance planning.

Heard said she jumped at the opportunity to take part in the program when her professor brought it to her.

“I pretty much take any opportunity that’s given to me,” she said. “I heard travel, I heard learning new stuff, and I said, ‘Sign me up.”

Katherine Malone-France, chief preservation officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, said working at Tuskegee University, founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, was an opportunity both for the historic preservation organizations and the students who did the work.

“HOPE Crew provides an opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of the next generation of preservation leaders, while at the same time, addressing critical maintenance and preservation needs at some of America’s most important historic places,” said Malone-France. “We’re excited to be here at one of America’s foremost HBCU campuses to participate in this partnership and give these students an opportunity to see first-hand how they can make a difference in preserving historic places.”

Shelly Haskins writes about points of pride statewide. Email your suggestions to shaskins@al.com, or tweet them to @Shelly_Haskins using #AlabamaProud.

This article originally appeared in The Westside Gazette.

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Nigerian Activist, Hafsat Abiola, Selected as Honoree for National Civil Rights Museum’s Prestigious Freedom Award

THE WESTSIDE GAZETTE — HAFSAT ABIOLA is one of three honorees selected for the National Civil Rights Museum’s 28th Annual Freedom Award to held on October 30. Honorees are selected for their many achievements and contributions on a national and global scale in the name of equality, social justice and freedom for all. Other 2019 honorees include musician and social activist, John Legend and author and feminist organizer, Gloria Steinem.

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Hafsat Abiola joins Oprah Winfrey, the Dalai Lama and others on the list of change makers during the 28th annual event (Courtesy Photo)

By Globe Newswire

Hafsat Abiola is one of three honorees selected for the National Civil Rights Museum’s 28th Annual Freedom Award to held on October 30. Honorees are selected for their many achievements and contributions on a national and global scale in the name of equality, social justice and freedom for all. Other 2019 honorees include musician and social activist, John Legend and author and feminist organizer, Gloria Steinem.

Hafsat Abiola, president and CEO of Women in Africa, is a noted Nigerian human and civil rights activist.  Since age 19, she has been working to ensure democracy and economic fairness in Nigeria in the name of her deceased mother and father. An evolving changemaker in both Nigeria and the United States, Abiola uses her global platforms to empower women through training and leadership development and strengthen civil society in Nigeria and other African countries through her founding organization, KIND.

“In spite of adversity, Hafsat Abiola, has labored on the civil rights frontlines in Nigeria from a young age, and we are excited to honor her with The Freedom Award,” said Terri Lee Freeman, National Civil Rights Museum president. “Her dedication to the work of maintaining democracy and freedom in her country and beyond reflects her story of resilience.”

Additionally, Freedom Award will pay tribute to the Green Book, also known as the Negro Travelers’ Green Book, that identified safe accommodations and services for African Americans traveling during the Jim Crow Era, which included the Lorraine Motel, the current site of the National Civil Rights Museum.

Over the past 27 years, the National Civil Rights Museum has presented The Freedom Award to some of the most lauded civil and human rights leaders and history makers in the world, including Coretta Scott King, President Nelson Mandela, The Dalai Lama, President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rosa Parks, Bono, Secretary of State Colin Powell, President Oscar Arias, President Mary Robinson, Paul Rusesabagina, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Tom Brokaw, Frank Robinson, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Bernard Lafayette, Marlo Thomas, Usher Raymond, Bill Frist, Dolores Huerta, Rev. James Lawson, Cicely Tyson, Rev. Samuel “Billy” Kyles, Kirk Whalum, Southern Poverty Law Center, Susan Taylor, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Alonzo Mourning, Danny Glover, Julius “Dr. J” Ervin, Eva Longoria Parker, Dr. Dorothy Cotton, Dr. Wangari Maathai, Vice President Al Gore, Diane Nash, B.B. King, John Hope Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Ava DuVernay, Swin Cash, Benjamin Crump, Tawakkol Karman, Soledad O’Brien, The Honorable Damon Keith, Rev. Bernice A. King, Hugh Masekela, Morris Dees, Vice President Joe Biden, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., Pitt Hyde and others.

The Freedom Award presenting sponsors are International Paper, FedEx Corporation, Hyde Family Foundations, Ford Motor Company and First Tennessee Foundation. Tickets and sponsorships are available at freedomaward.org.

This article originally appeared in The Westside Gazette.

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City Of Miramar Hosts Biz Fit Tour And Workshops 2019

THE WESTSIDE GAZETTE — The City of Miramar’s Vice Mayor, Alexandra P. Davis, working with the City of Miramar’s Economic & Business Development team, Business Inclusion & Diversity (BID) programs and in partnership with the Miramar-Pembroke Pines Regional Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to host the Biz Fit Tours and Workshops 2019. The Biz Fit Tours and Workshops provides a series of free sessions and workshops designed to help small businesses start, operate and expand in Miramar and surrounding areas. The program is sponsored by SCORE.

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Offering Local Businesses The Resources They Need To Thrive 

MIRAMAR, FL (Tuesday, September 24, 2019) – The City of Miramar’s Vice Mayor, Alexandra P. Davis, working with the City of Miramar’s Economic & Business Development team, Business Inclusion & Diversity (BID) programs and in partnership with the Miramar-Pembroke Pines Regional Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to host the Biz Fit Tours and Workshops 2019. The Biz Fit Tours and Workshops provides a series of free sessions and workshops designed to help small businesses start, operate and expand in Miramar and surrounding areas. The program is sponsored by SCORE.

“We are excited to host the Biz Fit tour and educational workshops in our City to help small business owners compete and thrive. By providing them with the tools that they need, we are setting up these businesses for success and when they succeed, we succeed as a City,” said Alexandra P. Davis, City of Miramar’s Vice Mayor. “As an added incentive, participants at each workshop will have a chance to enter to win an AED defibrillator and the first 20 participants will receive free gift bags.”

The Biz Fit Tour offers free information sessions from the City of Miramar’s Business Inclusion Diversity and Economic & Business Development teams. The teams will highlight all of the resources and incentives available to area businesses.

Tour Dates

Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.  Miramar Shopping Center, 6819 Miramar Parkway.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 2 p.m. –  5 p.m., Tower Plaza, 6321 Miramar Parkway.

The Biz Fit Workshops offer topics ranging from the basics of how to develop an effective marketing plan to more advanced courses on financial tools such as QuickBooks etc. All Workshops will take place 6:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m., at the Miramar Multi-Service Complex, located at 6700 Miramar Parkway.

Workshop Dates

Marketing In Miramar: Networking, Social Media, Signage- Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Building your Business to Succeed: Legal Counseling, Branding, Referrals-

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Putting out Financial Fires: QuickBooks, Fire Inspection Fees, and more-

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

To see a full schedule of upcoming workshops, please visit MiramarFL.gov or call (954) 602-3043 for more information.

This article originally appeared in The Westside Gazette.

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