In The News

Contagious Giving: Zo’s Winter Groove sets the bar in philanthropy and connectivity


Alonzo Mourning, Grammy-nominated recording artist Jonathan McReynolds, Season 8 Finalist of the voice Koryn Hawthorn, activist/author Kevin Powell and Florida Memorial President Dr. Roslyn Artist serving as panelist for Zo’s Youth Summit Groove.

By Arri & Byler Henry, Generation Next

Over 400 high school students from across Miami-Dade County, filled the seats of the Lou Rauls Auditorium at Florida Memorial University on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 to kick off Zo’s Winter Groove Weekend! Miami Heat Legend and NBA Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning and an esteem group of panelists engaged with these students about the effects of social media, the current state of hip hop music and other pertinent issues affecting their generation during this Third Annual Youth Groove Summit. Facilitated by motivational speaker and author, Terri Crook, students were allowed to use the mic to expose their thoughts and truths openly.

“The lyrics in today’s popular songs change our subconscious mind,” admits Starr Alfonso, a junior at Hialeah High School.

The panel focused on steering kids away from the negative perceptions that today’s music can bring. One question aimed at the panelists addressed who is responsible for what is being played on the airwaves? The radio stations are in a tough spot because they have to play what the masses want to hear to keep a job. The panelists described the situation perfectly, adding that the record labels are partially responsible. “They don’t pay their rappers to put out A level messages.”

Many of the students confessed that they pay more attention to the beat of the music versus the lyrical content allowing Zo and his team to acknowledge the important of separating entertainment from reality for those who do allow the music to sway their thoughts or actions.

“Our President [Barack Obama] is a fan of hip hop music but it’s all about balance,” Mourning calmly tells his attentive young audience in his iconic raspy tone. “If you educate yourself enough, you’ll understand that [trap] music doesn’t reflect your life. Your education will create other options for you and overpower any lyrics that tell you to do/sell drugs, steal or disrespect women.”

During a dialogue about social media being a ‘weapon of mass distraction’, Tracy Mourning, Zo’s astute and ravishing wife reveals, “the worst mistakes you can make happen when you are led by ego.” She recognizes that this current generation lacks love and respect for each other when it comes to bullying and exploiting others via social media. The panel and the audience agreed that not every situation is worth ‘likes’ or sharing online.

Wild N’ Out comedian Darren Brand with his interactive improvisational skits was a hit at the youth summit, giving the students an opportunity to have some much needed fun aside from the serious conversations. The panel ended in prayer, led by Koryn Hawthorn, Season 8 finalist of the Voice, hoping to inspire participants to move forward in love. Students then enjoyed a catered lunch at the University’s Ballroom with 99 Jamz.

On Saturday, the Mournings hosted their Family Health and Wellness Groove, a fun day/5k event offering free health screenings, athletic activities and fun for the whole family.

Comedian and actor Gary Owen flabbergasted and amused attendees Sunday at the Comedic Groove with jokes ranging from President-elect Donald Trump to his experiences being married to a Black woman. Saxophonist extraordinaire Mike Phillips brought down the house at the comedy show hosted by DJ Irie at the beautiful JW Marriott Marquis in Miami. This VIP event aids with raising funds for Mourning’s philanthropic efforts. Mayor Wayne Messam, of Miramar, was in attendance and remarked, “Supplying the resources to empower our youth is the best thing we can do.”

The Mourning Family Foundation’s programs (Overtown Youth Center and Honey Shine, Inc.) served over 700 students residing in South Florida  ranging from ages 8 to 25. The Groove provides monetary support to both the Overtown Youth Center and Honey Shine, Inc.

For more information on how to contribute to their cause, please visit www.mourningfamilyfoundation.org/

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LOCAL NON-PROFIT LAUNCHES BUZZ IT FORWARD CAMPAIGN FOR YOUTH


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Staff Report

MIAMI – Last week, the Talent4Change Foundation launched its ‘Buzz It Forward’ campaign by debuting its signature initiative, The Buzz Boxx, during Art Basel week.

The Buzz Boxx is a container-based barbershop designed to be placed at various locations that offers grooming and mentoring to young men ages 7-17 who live in poverty-stricken areas.

The mission of the foundation is to inspire, unite and empower children in underserved communities. Its founder, Michael Caraballo, introduced the initiative to the gathered crowd.

“The purpose of Buzz It Forward is to help kids look better so they can feel better (and) in turn do better,” Caraballo said. “It’s an incentive- based reward system that we’ve created to encourage kids to keep doing better, whether that be doing better in school and/or participating in community service.”

The launch included a ribbon cutting ceremony and an official presentation by special guests including Tina Brown, executive director of the Overtown Youth Center.

Brown shared her enthusiasm about the Buzz It Forward campaign’s potential to inspire youth to entrepreneurship.

“The Buzz Boxx concept is truly an attractive and innovative concept for positive youth engagement. Self-confidence starts with the way individuals look and feel about themselves,” Brown said. “I am hopeful that (the) Buzz Boxx will spark entrepreneurial energy within young people as this may be an opportunity for them to meaningfully engage in the process of learning how to run a business. It’s the coolest idea I’ve seen all year.”

‘Buzz it Forward’ is a component of the ‘Do Better Project’ created by Amir Youssef, program director for Talent4Change and owner of the Chop Shop Barbershop. The project is designed to encourage youth to do better at home, in school and in their communities.

“If you look good, you feel good. Buzz it Forward helps kids earn the right to choose whatever type of haircut they like. Whether it’s getting good grades, volunteering or helping others, we want them to do better,” Youssef said.

Youssef also heralded his belief that mentoring, instilling self-confidence and teaching youth to have a positive body image will encourage young men to be their best selves.

“The barber-client relationship has always been long-term and we want a specific barber to mentor, educate and service the kids for at least one year,” Youssef said. “There’s a need for grooming kids long-term. I believe in order to inspire them to do better, they need consistent role models.”

Currently located at 2250 NW 2 Avenue in Miami, near the grounds of Mana Wynwood, the inaugural Buzz Boxx is a uniquely customized 8’ by 20’ shipping container converted into a fully functional, portable barbershop complete with lighting and electricity.

The prototype will eventually be dropped off at the Overtown Youth Center, which has been provided vouchers to reward deserving young men with free haircuts. The Chop Shop, in conjunction with The Mavericks Barbershop and Red Carpet Barbershop will staff the Buzz Boxx and facilitate the first wave of free haircuts.

The long-term plan is to place a Buzz Boxx in underserved communities nationwide, where it will remain for one year at a time. Organizations, foundations, schools and community centers are encouraged to get involved with the campaign.

Free haircuts are funded through donations that can be made by visiting www.buzzitforward.com.

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Warren Henry Auto Group presents check for $25,000 to Overtown Youth Center


Warren Henry Auto Group presents check for $25,000 to Overtown Youth Center

Warren Henry Auto Group presented a check for $25,000 to the Overtown Youth Center on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Basketball legend Alonzo Mourning accepted the donation on behalf of his youth empowerment organization. Since partnering with the former Miami Heat star and his charities, Warren Henry Auto Group has contributed a total of $250,000 to the Mourning Foundation. Pictured (l-r) are Warren Zinn; Alonzo Mourning; Larry Zinn, general manager of Warren Henry Auto Group, and Erik Day, CFO/partner of Warren Henry Auto Group.

Alonzo Mourning, Publix, Fedex gives Thanksgiving dinners to 500 families


MIAMI (WSVN) – Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning was on hand to give out Thanksgiving turkeys to 500 families, Tuesday morning.

Mourning and volunteers began Tuesday morning at a Southwest Miami-Dade Publix where they loaded up Thanksgiving meals, and then traveled to the Overtown Youth Center to pass them out to hundreds of families.

“There’s a lot of under-served families here in South Florida,” Mourning said. Many of us kind of get caught up in our own busy daily lives and not realize that about a quarter of our population here in South Florida live below the poverty level.”

This is the 16th Thanksgiving Mourning and his partners, Publix and FedEx, have distributed holiday meals to families in Overtown and Little Haiti.

“He’s taking his time to provide a meal for every family that is enrolled in the Overtown Youth Center, and I’m thankful,” said Overtown resident Libiada Modesto.

The meals include a full turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables and desert.

“Those that can’t pick the meals up, we deliver the meals to their homes,” Mourning said.

On Thanksgiving day, Mourning will surprise 10 pre-selected families at their homes and deliver fully-cooked meals.

“We tend to forget there’s a lot of people, a lot of people out there that are a lot less fortunate than we are.” Mourning said.

Mourning says if you want to volunteer at any point during the year, go to overtownyouth.org or mourningfamilyfoundation.org.

Copyright 2017 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Donan pavo para honrar espíritu de Acción de Gracias en Miami


Los hermanos Jojo y Jeante Rivero con su madre María Rivero muestran el lunes los alimentos distribuidos por Kiwanis Club en la escuela Phillis Wheatley Elementary School.

Los hermanos Jojo y Jeante Rivero con su madre María Rivero muestran el lunes los alimentos distribuidos por Kiwanis Club en la escuela Phillis Wheatley Elementary School. C.M. GUERRERO. cmguerrero@elnuevoherald.com

El agradecer a Dios por una buena cosecha, renueva los sentimientos de solidaridad y a partir de este lunes moviliza acciones por parte de diversas organizaciones y personalidades del sur de Florida.

El noble gesto de dar, en ofrenda a la gratitud, comenzó este lunes, beneficiando a 150 residentes de Smathers Plaza, por parte del Club Kiwanis de la Pequeña Habana. Los miembros de la familia se deleitaron con los diversos componentes del plato de Día de Acción de Gracias, así como con actividades y entretenimiento en vivo, durante la décimo sexta edición de la reunión que por esta festividad ha llevado a cabo este club afiliado a Kiwanis Internacional, organización de voluntarios sin fines de lucro dedicada a servir a los niños de sus respectivas comunidades.

A partir de este martes, la décimo sexta edición de las “33 acciones de gracias” de la Fundación de la Familia Mourning proveerá más de 400 comidas, por el Día de Acción de Gracias , a familias del sur de la Florida. La organización del célebre basquetbolista Alonzo Mourning, ofrecerá platos con todas las guarniciones (puré de papas y salsa, relleno, salsa de naranja y té helado) a grupos familiares que han sido seleccionados de las comunidades de Overtown y Little Haití.

Esta organización de “33 acciones” será posible por las contribuciones de los supermercados Publix, la empresa FedEx así como el esfuerzo de las organizaciones Overtown Youth Center y Honey Shine. Este martes, a las 9:00 am, en el supermercado Publix de la 2270 SW 27 Avenida, en Miami, Alonzo Mourning, miembros del equipo de las organizaciones patrocinantes y voluntarios prepararán las más de 400 comidas y las montarán en un camión, a fin de que estén listas para su despacho. A las 4:00 pm, numerosas familias recibirán la comida en el Overtown Youth Center, en 450 NW 14 Street en Miami. En la mañana del jueves, Alonzo Mourning y su familia tocarán la puerta de 10 familias el Día de Acción de Gracias, con una caravana que saldrá a las 8:00 am, desde el Overtown Youth Center.

En el marco de esta festividad, también se anunció que Gloria y Emilio Estefan serán los anfitriones de la novena edición del Día de Acción de Gracias “Feed a Friend”, (alimentar a un amigo), en Bongos Cuban Café, en Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, actividad a beneficio de diversas organizaciones que servirán comida para los desamparados y familias menos favorecidas y que efectuará el próximo jueves 24 de noviembre, a las 12 del mediodía.

Los invitados se deleitarán con tradicionales platos americanos y clásicos cubanos y de esta manera harán posible la iniciativa Feed a friend,que brindará apoyo a los desamparados y familias en transición de Big Brother, Big Sister y Boys & Girls Club (en Borward), Children’s Harbor, Covenant House, Feeding South Florida, Hispanic Unity of South Florida, No More Tears, SOS Children’s Villages, Touchline Seniors, Winterfest, Women in Distress y 211 Broward”.

Se prevé que celebridades locales formen parte de la línea de servicio para los asistentes al Cuban Café en Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 5733 Seminole Way Hollywood, Florida.

Por su parte, veterinarios agrupados en la organización Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists están ayudando a personas del sur de la Florida, con una donación de aproximadamente 2,400 libras de pavo a la organización caritativa Pantry of Broward, en el marco del Día de Acción de Gracias.

Pantry of Broward es una organización caritativa que provee cajas de 55 libras de comida para más de 400 familias en el Condado de Broward al mes. Las personas interesadas en ayudar a que Pantry of Broward provea comida a aquellos en situación precaria este Día de Acción de Gracias, puede hacerlo enviando comida no perecedera a la Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists en 3217 NW 10th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, o a la oficina de Pantry of Broward en 610 NW 3rd Ave, Fort Lauderdale.

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