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Miami Gardens Names New Police Chief

lboogie81:

I hope with this new police chief, there will be a positive shift in the culture of law enforcement in the Miami Gardens area of South Florida.

Originally posted on CBS Miami:

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The City Of Miami Gardens has a new police chief.

Miami Gardens City Manager Cameron Benson announced Tuesday that North Miami’s city manager, and former police chief, Stephen Johnson would fill chief’s position that has been open since Matthew Boyd resigned last December.

In recent months the city’s police department was hit with accusations of racial profiling and civil rights violations.

Johnson, who was a 30-year veteran with North Miami, will take the helm of the Miami Gardens 221-member force in May, 2014.

“Chief Johnson will be a dynamic asset to the City,” said Benson in a statement. “He joins our City with a vast amount of experience, knowledge and service in the field and we look forward to working with him.”

Johnson’s career in law enforcement began at the University of Kentucky Police Department in the early 80’s. He joined the City of North Miami Police…

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Major Announcement … Proof that Persistence Works

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I’ve got MAJOR NEWS! I have just received confirmation that I will be covering the 9th Annual Jazz In the Gardens next weekend as PRESS!! This little blogger gets to interview all the amazing talent, attend the weekend concert and write about all the behind the scenes action! I have to thank Elvis Anderson, Public Relations Director of Circle of One Marketing, for putting up with me calling him multiple times over the last month. I really appreciate this amazing opportunity and I will definitely be ready next weekend as the budding journalist I am becoming.

Laurean D. Robinson, MA

Word on the Street About Jazz In the Gardens – Is It Worth Going?

So I’m in my favorite hair salon (Split Endz in Miramar, FL) finally taking care of the mass of deeply depressing hair I’ve been neglecting, getting a much-needed R&R session when I hear a young lady discuss her experience with attending  Jazz In The Gardens as she getting her lengthy weave sewn . She confesses that she went last year only to see Charlie Wilson but glossed over the rest of her experience. When pressed, she admits that she didn’t like all the walking she had to do, kicking herself for wearing heels. Another woman chimed in on the complaints with her arduous experience of “waiting two hours in line to use the restroom” and having to pay $5 just to use the facility. So naturally, both women were reluctant to attend this year’s festival.

This conversation made me wonder about what other obstacles are in the way of locals (and even regional fans) from embracing this music lover-friendly weekend. What are the streets REALLY saying about Jazz In The Gardens?

If you’ve read my previous posts about my experience last year, there is a different depiction. It’s not to say that I went wearing rose-colored glasses but it was just different. I was just may be more prepared for Miami’s heat and elements.

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If you have never been to Miami, be prepared for sweltering sun and humidity that will melt into body sweat. Arrive early so you can survey the landscape and seating. If you can’t go on both days, pick the day that has all your favorite artists and enjoy.

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But the most important tip I would emphasize is having  a POSITIVE ATTITUDE! It’s an outdoor festival, not a club!

Laurean D. Robinson, MA

Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, and Every Black Male in the United States: How Can We Protect Our Children?

So if you haven’t been on social media or been watching CNN, you might not know who Michael Dunn is and what had gotten the African American community (and every empathetic person with a heartbeat) up in arms.

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Trayvon Martin

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Slain Teen Jordan Davis

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We all thought that after the horrible miscarriage of justice in the Zimmerman trial, that the lives of our children were valuable enough in the court of law to punish a murderer. We were wrong.

As of this evening (around 7 pm EST), the jurors were deadlocked over the count on murder in the trial of a Jacksonville, FL execution of an African-American teen inside a car because the “thug music” the teens in the car were playing was too loud. They could not agree on the first count for murder against the shooter, Michael Dunn. Instead, he was convicted of four other counts that would imprison him indefinitely.

Ok, you’re probably saying “he’s already going to prison for some part of this crime” and you’d be right. What I have a problem with is that another child is murdered for no good reason and the shooter is not being directly punished for it. I hate to say this but if the races were reversed (and the shooter was black and the victim was a Caucasian teenager), there would be a swift conviction with no questions asked.

The larger ramifications of this verdict will continue to haunt me and many. What does this teach people who are genuinely uncomfortable around teenagers of color?! That they have the right to execute these kids who look at them the wrong way? That’s what Mr. Zimmerman believed when he evoked the “Stand Your Ground” law to assassinate Trayvon Martin. What does this verdict teach our children of color? That their lives are less valuable than their white counterparts?!
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I remember the uproar that the killing of Trayvon Martin caused amongst his friends and classmates in the Miami Gardens community in South Florida. They led the protest to leave school in outrage and when they were seen protesting, that  was when the local and national press took notice. As a teacher at the time, I remember asking whether we as faculty would be discussing what happened amongst our pupils but never got an answer which made me really uneasy.

I saw Trayvon as one of my students, a good-hearted kid with mild behavioral issues that could be ironed out over time. I saw Trayvon as my younger brother Brandon who nothing but respectful of authority and elders. And now I feel the same way about Jordan.

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So in the tradition of social activism that my parents’ generation reflect on during the Civil Rights Movement, I have decided to use this blog and its social media platforms to inspire community mobility and support organizations in the trenches like The Dream Defenders and Trayvon Martin Foundation. I will use my connections and contacts to open up the conversation about gun laws and the welfare of our children of color to the legislators and policymakers.

What are YOU planning to do?

Laurean D. Robinson, MA

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Jazz In The Gardens Performing Artist Trey Songz, an artist with a conscience and purpose

Originally posted on Jazz In The Gardens Blog:

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First Trey Songz is an acclaimed R&B artist, with five successful albums, and even a budding acting career, but the 28 year old singing star also believes it’s important to use his platform to be engaged with politics and the community.

He’s held voter registration drives in Texas and helped get-out-the-vote in his home state of Virginia. And he continued that work at Essence Fest, where he performed to a huge crowd Saturday night, then joined Rev. Sharpton on PoliticsNation Sunday to discuss his activist work.

“Coming from where I come from, and so many of us come from, and having the opportunities I’ve been given I think it’s my duty to share that with the people that listen to my music,” he said. “To give them the insight that I have on the world and to give them hope that this is not all that life is. Whatever you’re surrounded by doesn’t…

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