<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - ]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcmiami.com/feature/voiceshttp://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.pngNBC 6 South Floridahttps://www.nbcmiami.comen-usTue, 11 Dec 2018 18:13:11 -0500Tue, 11 Dec 2018 18:13:11 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[Man Helps Clean Cemetery Hoping to Find Loved One]]>Fri, 07 Dec 2018 19:22:34 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Man_Helps_Clean_Cemetery_Hoping_to_Find_Loved_One.jpg

Equipped with a machete, a man spent countless hours trying to clean up a historic cemetery to connect with a loved one. NBC 6's Jawan Strader reports.

<![CDATA[Art Basel Preview: Maze Artist Bancroft Fitzgerald]]>Mon, 03 Dec 2018 17:18:28 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Art_Basel_Preview__Maze_Artist_Bancroft_Fitzgerald.jpg

As a child, artist Bancroft Fitzgerald didn't let ADHD stop him from creating intricate art pieces. Today, his art work can be found on the walls and ceilings of Cafe Collective in Fort Lauderdale.

<![CDATA[Art Basel Preview: Mojo the Artist]]>Mon, 03 Dec 2018 17:17:39 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Art_Basel_Preview__Mojo_the_Artist.jpg

On Voices with Jawan Strader, visual storyteller Mojo talks about what inspires his artwork and how he impacts the youth.

<![CDATA[NBC 6 Voices: Black Voices in the Media]]>Mon, 26 Nov 2018 11:54:05 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NBC_6_Voices__Black_Voices_in_the_Media.jpg

Anchor Jawan Strader talks to Peter Webley, publisher of Caribbean Today, and Tony Lesesne, VP of Black-Owned Media Alliance about the importance of amplifying Black voices in the media.

<![CDATA[A Seat at the Table: Women in Male-Dominated Professions]]>Tue, 20 Nov 2018 13:41:08 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/A_Seat_at_the_Table__Women_in_Male-Dominated_Profession.jpg

Three women talk about their journey in their male-dominated careers and how they navigate through the challenges.

<![CDATA[Young Author Writes About Anxiety, ADHD and Asthma]]>Mon, 29 Oct 2018 12:39:48 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/102918+Javan+Allison+Kid+Author.jpg

A young boy in Miami Gardens wants kids like him to speak up about their pain and anxiety. He's getting his message out through his published book, Asthma Sucks. The book is one of three books following his struggles with severe asthma, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Javan Allison, 10, verbalizes his frustrations in a way his classmates at Norwood Elementary School can relate to. In his first book, which was released in March, Javan describes the pain he endures.

“Mommy, that’s not a good feeling, I’m afraid of what can happen,” one line from his book reads.

“I like the pictures and it explains how asthma feels,” Javan explained.

The 10-year old’s book lets other kids know that it’s okay to struggle and to speak up about it.

Javan’s mother, Monique Cooper, is his co-writer. She said her son had a hard time dealing with his conditions.

“The anxiety process was effecting him in school where he wasn’t able to focus and he was afraid of everything,” Cooper recalled. She spent months asking questions and speaking with teachers, physicians and therapists to find a solution for her son.

After many sessions with a therapist, she and Javan decided to write the book to help other families.

“I want to bring it out in the Black community where they know it is okay that your child has this form of disability,” Cooper said.

Javan and his mom tackle his Three A’s through therapy sessions, breathing exercises and writing. But to the 5th grader, who is now an accomplished author, it’s the relationships with his classmates that’s most rewarding.

“We had a book reading once before with his class and they were able to say “Oh, I do this. I feel like this. Maybe I need to tell my parents,’” Cooper explained.

The 10-year old’s hard work has paid off. The Mayor of Miami Gardens declared September 29th – Javan Allison Asthma Awareness Day.

Javan hopes to release the second book of the three-part book series soon. To purchase his current book, Asthma Suck, go to javanallison.com.

<![CDATA[Black College Student Experience]]>Mon, 29 Oct 2018 11:04:57 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Black_College_Student_Experience.jpg

A conversation with a student from a historically Black university and a student from a predominately white institution about the experience on campus from the Black student's perspective.

<![CDATA[NBC 6 Voices: Keeping Children Out of the Justice System]]>Thu, 25 Oct 2018 12:39:39 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_18296649256768.jpg

On this episode of Voices, NBC 6 anchor Jawan Strader talks to the Director of Miami-Dade County Juvenile Services Dept and the Founder of Probation Station about the racial disparities in the juvenile justice system and alternatives to incarceration.

Photo Credit: Matt Rourke/AP]]>
<![CDATA[FMU Celebrates 50 Years in South Florida]]>Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:28:34 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/FMU_Celebrates_50_Years_in_South_Florida.jpg

Florida Memorial University celebrates 50 years as the only HBCU in South Florida.

<![CDATA[Buried History of Black Cemetery Resurfaces at Exhibit]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 11:10:45 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/100418+Lincoln+Memorial+Park+Exhibit.JPG

It’s the final resting place for about 10,000 to 15,000 people including Miami’s first Black millionaire and the first African-American woman to serve in the State Legislature. But, time and financial hardship have taken a toll on one of Miami’s oldest Black cemeteries, Lincoln Memorial Park, located in the Brownsville neighborhood. Recently, the Coral Gables Museum got involved, bringing attention to this sacred site.

The moment you walk into the museum, you’re taken back in time with the exhibit – “Sacred Ground: The Rise, Fall and Revival of Lincoln Memorial Park.” It’s filled with mementos and pictures, some dating back to the early 1900’s.

Even though, the cemetery is not located in Coral Gables, the museum decided to install the exhibit to recognize the many Black residents who help build the city. During Segregation, African-Americans were not allowed to live or be buried in Coral Gables.

Malcolm Lauredo, Director of Historic Research at Coral Gables Museum, wants to ensure the contributions Blacks made to Coral Gables are not forgotten.

“Miami’s history like a lot of other’s history in the United States has been white washed. And, that it’s a priority of ours to help people understand that there are a lot of important people that help founded this city,” said Lauredo.

Many Black pioneers are buried at Lincoln Memorial Park. D.A. Dorsey was Miami’s first African-American millionaire. He died in 1940. A weathered, but still ornate mausoleum houses Dorsey’s remains.

Gwen Cherry also rests at the historic cemetery. She was the first African-American woman elected to the Florida State Legislature in 1970. She died in 1979.

H.E.S. Reeves, the founder of Miami’s first black newspaper, is also buried at the cemetery.

So much of South Florida’s history is buried at Lincoln Memorial Park, but so few people know of its existence. The 20-acre cemetery is overgrown with weeds and is in desperate need of restoration.

John Allen, Executive Director at the museum, said he was completely blown away when he learned about the cemetery.

“I thought I knew about every cemetery in Dade County and I had never heard of this cemetery before,” Allen said.

Allen was touched by the number of veterans that are buried at the cemetery with no tomb stones. The veterans resting at the sacred site date back to World War 1.

“One of our biggest goals is to locate these graves and locate these tomb stones on the graves of the men that they belong to,” Allen explained.

Thanks to the museum as many as 100 people a month work together to help restore the cemetery.

“It’s so ripe with history and there’s so much potential there. It’s just going to take the time and man power to do it,” said Allen.

The exhibit will end its run November 6.

<![CDATA[Young Black Investors Confront Gentrification in Miami]]>Mon, 24 Sep 2018 14:04:52 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/MMIFGROUP.jpg

A real estate tug-of-war is underway in several communities in Miami. Residents and business owners who built Little Haiti and Liberty City said they are being pushed out by new development. Activists and an unlikely group of investors are working to ensure these people are part of the revitalization while preserving the cultural fabric of the communities.

The Miami Millennial Investment Group said it’s tackling gentrification by purchasing homes in neighborhoods such as Overtown, Liberty City and Opa-Locka.

“Instead of complaining about it because that’s not going to change much, we might as well get in the game,” said Ernisha Randolph, one of the investors under MMI. The group has purchased 13 homes since 2016. MMI buys neglected homes, renovates them and resells to residents in the neighborhood at affordable prices.

“Communities that we grew up in and we loved [and] we considered to have a cultural connection to, we realized that they were being out-priced,” Randolph explained.

In an effort to confront gentrification, MMI educates people in the community about home ownership. The investors hold community workshops to guide renters on how to secure funding to purchase property.

“Gentrification really affects people who are renting,” MMI investor Kevin Smith explained. MMI said it wants to increase black home ownership throughout South Florida. The group is currently guiding Liberty City activist Valencia Gunder on her path to home ownership. Gunder’s goal is to purchase the home she is currently renting from MMI.

“It’s quaint and it’s fitting just for me,” Gunder rejoiced. “I like the fact it’s newly renovated, beautiful and it’s in Liberty City.” The community activist is outspoken about under-resourced Black neighborhoods getting gentrified. She encourages Black millennials to follow her path and invest in these communities before it’s too late.

“We have to remember that if we don’t fix it someone else will come in to fix it and we’re not going to like how they fix it,” Valencia said. “I think that it’s very important for us to learn from other communities. We missed out on Wynwood. Wynwood was a Black and Brown community. And, now look, it’s a multi-million dollar neighborhood.”

The effects of gentrification from Wynwood are steadily spreading into neighboring Little Haiti.

“Little Haiti is experiencing gentrification on steroids,” exclaimed Marleine Bastien, Executive Director of FANM. Bastien has led protests at Miami City Hall demanding new developers to reconsider their plans to build massive complexes in the heart of Little Haiti.

“Development and change are good. Over-development will destroy the cultural fabric of Little Haiti and it will push the very people who built this wonderfully culturally rich neighborhood,” Bastien argued. The area has seen some residents and business owners already pushed out as new developers make their way in.

Schiller Sanon-Jules is one of the pushed out business owners. He owns the Little Haiti Gift and Thrift Shop.

“Five years we had our lease. And, when it expired the lady told us straight out that she wasn’t going renew the lease unless we were paying $1,800 more,” Sanon-Jules explained. The hiked rent forced the shop owner out of his space – which is now occupied by the Villain Theatre.

Bastien said developers such as Eastside Ridge are moving forward with their plans without including their neighbors in Little Haiti.

“Before you make this big proposal, this gigantic plan, get them to the table from the beginning,” Bastien said.

However, Eastside Ridge told NBC 6 its plans will be inclusive. The developer wants to build a mixed-use complex that will include rental property, retail space, two hotels and restaurants. Representative for Eastside Ridge, Ric Katz, said the new project will employ a lot of people from the neighborhood.

“We respect the culture. We’ve tried to do everything we could to incorporate it there,” explained Katz.

According to local scientists with The CLEO Institute, developers are targeting the area in and around Little Haiti because of climate change. The CLEO Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to climate change education.

"We have seen that for some developers that are noticing where property on the coastline are vulnerable to sea level rise then they’re moving inland and purchasing plots of lands and homes that community residents probably cannot afford to purchase themselves," explained Natalia Arias, Director of Programs at The CLEO Institute.

Arias adds that Overtown, Little Haiti and Liberty City sit on a ridge that is the highest point above sea level in Miami.

The CLEO Institute holds workshops in these neighborhoods, educating residents on climate change and hurricane preparedness.

People realize change is inevitable in these communities and that’s why people like Gunder and the MMI investors want to make sure they are a part of the revitalization.

“I do feel as if in ten years everybody who left wished they would’ve stayed here,” said Gunder.

“It’s so important to me that we invest in our community so that we have a community to go back to later on,” Randolph said.

Another grassroots organization combating gentrification in Liberty City is SMASH, which stands for Struggle For Miami's Affordable and Sustainable Housing. This group is spearheading a project that is controlled by the people in the community.

SMASH recently secured a plot of land where it plans to build affordable housing on a Community Land Trust. The soon-to-be two-story duplex is located on Northwest 63rd Street and 22nd Avenue. The community-driven project is the first of its kind in Miami-Dade County.

"The community owns and controls the property itself and not an individual, or the government or a corporation. And, that's the difference between gentrifying a neighborhood and equitably developing a neighborhood,” said Adrian Madriz, Executive Director of SMASH.

Madriz believes the negative effects of gentrification can be stopped if distressed land -- is controlled by the community and if residents have a say in new development.

"This is a campaign about people who have seen dramatic trauma because of where they live. And, if we don't come together as a community to do something about it, no one is going fight for these communities,” warned Madriz.

The property will also include expedited housing for slum affected families, long-term transitional housing for LGBTQ Homeless Youth, hubs for disaster preparedness and response, and more, according to SMASH.

The group will hold design town halls to allow people from the neighborhood to take part in the planning phase of the new project.

Photo Credit: MMI]]>
<![CDATA[Jada Page's Mom is On a Mission to Change Lives]]>Mon, 17 Sep 2018 12:43:08 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Jada_Pages_Death_2_Years_Later.jpg

NBC 6 Anchor Jawan Strader talks with the mother of slain 8-year-old Jada Page about her mission to make a change in her community. Two years after the shooting death of her daughter, Rosalind Brown works to keep her daughter's name alive.

<![CDATA[Attorney Jasmine Rand on Racial Profiling Cases]]>Mon, 17 Sep 2018 12:40:57 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Attorney_Jasmine_Rand_on_Racial_Profiling_Cases.jpg

NBC 6 Anchor Jawan Strader talks with nationally known Civil Rights attorney Jasmine Rand about the recent racial profiling cases across the U.S.

<![CDATA[Foods That Promote Mental Wellness]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 10:12:45 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Food_That_Promote_Mental_Wellness.jpg

NBC 6 Anchor Jawan Strader talks with psychiatrist Dr. Delvena Thomas about the foods that help boost the brain and fight mental disorders.

<![CDATA[Black Vegan Movement]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 09:36:01 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/091018+Black+Vegan+Movement+John+Lewis.JPG

NBC 6 Anchor Trina Robinson shows us how a social media influencer John Lewis aka @Bad***Vegan and a celebrity chef Abdul Muhsin are changing the face of the vegan movement.

<![CDATA[NBC 6 Voices: How Did Gillum Win the Dem. Nomination?]]>Wed, 29 Aug 2018 21:56:14 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_100000009631778_1200x675_1309418051556.jpg

Dwight Bullard of The New Florida Majority analyzes the canvassing and grassroots campaigning that helped Andrew Gillum clinch the Democratic nomination for Florida's governor.

<![CDATA[NBC 6 Voices: Miramar Mayor Reacts to Gillum's Win]]>Wed, 29 Aug 2018 21:51:45 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_100000009631819_1200x675_1309414979725.jpg

Miramar mayor Wayne M. Messam reacts to Andrew Gillum's stunning upset of the Democratic nomination for Florida's governor.

<![CDATA[Activist to Open Hurricane Recovery Warehouse]]>Tue, 28 Aug 2018 10:59:06 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Activist_to_Open_Hurricane_Recovery_Warehoues.jpg

A Liberty City activist is set to open a hurricane recovery warehouse.

<![CDATA[NBC 6 Voices: A Conversation with the Stars of Hot 105]]>Tue, 28 Aug 2018 10:56:06 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/082818Biglipshelbyrushin.JPG

NBC 6 anchor Jawan Strader talks to Hot 105's James T, Big Lip and Shelby Rushin about the changes happening at the radio station and the launch of a new show.

<![CDATA[NBC 6 Voices: Identifying as Haitian and Afro-Latinx]]>Mon, 13 Aug 2018 14:33:26 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NBC_6_Voices__Identifying_as_Haitian_and_Afro-Latinx.jpg

A Haitian-American blogger sparked a debate on social after she wrote that she identifies as Afro-Latina and that her fellow Haitians should do the same.

<![CDATA[Ray Lewis Talks Hall of Fame, Faith and Paying It Forward]]>Tue, 28 Aug 2018 11:01:59 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-495275198.jpg

Five years after a fairy tale ending to a legendary career, Baltimore Ravens icon Ray Lewis celebrates his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this week. The enshrinement ceremony is set for Saturday in Canton, Ohio. The retired NFL star along with other football greats such as Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher and Terrell Owens will received the highest honor in football.

"Everything I've ever been through in life I realize one thing, I had to get through [it] to get to that moment," Lewis told NBC 6 Anchor Jawan Strader in an exclusive interview. "People say, 'you know you was a shoo-in'. Really? I know I gave everything that I have to get in that hall.

The retired linebacker said it was surreal the day NFL icon Jim Brown knocked on his door to welcome him into the Hall of Fame family. That day was a moment of vindication for the former Hurricanes player.

"I know the road was so rocky on the way there that nobody was going to steal my moment of appreciation," Lewis passionately said.

Even though Lewis has achieved what every football player dreams of, he said he has so much work to do in low-income minority communities across the U.S. and here in South Florida, where he calls home.

He has partnered with community leaders and a number of companies to launch an organization called Global 1000. The initiative helps minorities find jobs.

"We're in the greatest fight of our lives right now. And, if we don't stop promising them programs because programs don't do nothing," Lewis explained. "I once studied quarterback and running back numbers. Who rushed for the most yards? But, now I'm studying homicides, suicides and rapes. I'm studying numbers that I don't see nobody paying attention to."

Lewis, who grew up poor in Lakeland, said he is crushed by the gun violence plaguing black communities.

"Man, us as black people we killing each other at an alarming rate," Lewis cried out.

Through Global 1000, which has branches in Miami, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles and Ferguson, the NFL champ hopes to change the narrative in these underserved communities.

"I want to find that next gem that will affect his community," Lewis said.

On and off the football field, Lewis has been vocal with his Christian beliefs. He makes it known that his overall mission is to "put God back on the throne and put women back in a place where their voices are heard."

Global 1000 holds hiring events several times throughout the year in Miami. Job seekers are matched up with potential employers and most times are hired on the spot. The organization also helps people with criminal records get through the expungement process.

"Everything I've learned, all of the do's and don'ts, I want to share with them," Lewis explained. "I walked this path for a reason because I saw so many give it up."

You can search for jobs anytime on the Global 1000 website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Voices: Black Entrepreneurs in South Florida]]>Mon, 30 Jul 2018 12:07:19 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/217*120/VoicesBlackBusinessOwnersPanelDiscussion072818.JPG

NBC 6 anchor Jawan Strader hosts Voices from Miami Soul Cafe for a conversation with a group of movers and shakers about what it takes to be an entrepreneur in South Florida's competitive market.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Can This Game Determine If You're Right or Racist?]]>Mon, 02 Jul 2018 09:42:16 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Can_This_Game_Determine_If_You_re_Right_or_Racist_.jpg

NBC 6's Keith Jones talks to the creator of the trivia card game "Right or Racist" about the inspiration behind the game.

<![CDATA[Maroon Poetry Festival in Liberty City]]>Mon, 25 Jun 2018 14:07:43 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Maroon_Poetry_Festival_in_Liberty_City.jpg

The Maroon Poetry Festival brings some of the icons of the Black literature to Miami's Liberty City June 30th.

<![CDATA[American Black Film Fest Returns to Miami Beach This Weekend]]>Fri, 15 Jun 2018 11:53:09 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/209*120/061418+SuperFly+Movie+Screening+at+ABFF.jpg

Some of the best and brightest in Hollywood are in South Florida for the 22nd annual American Black Film Festival. The festival kicked off in Miami Beach on Wednesday and runs through Sunday.

The event celebrates African-Americans onscreen and behind the scenes. It’s also become a breeding ground for the stars of tomorrow, and that includes Miami director, producer and writer Nicanson Guerrier.

His film “The Flea” is one of the featured films at this year’s festival. Guerrier is competing in the short film competition which boasts “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler as a previous winner. Guerrier hopes to take home the $10,000 cash prize with his comedy that details a day in the life of a flea market manager. The film is set at the USA Flea Market in Northwest Miami-Dade.

“There’s a kind of rule in filmmaking that you write about what you know. I know all of South Florida, so I want to continue to be that Miami filmmaker and tell Miami stories that haven’t been told before,” Guerrier said.

Other spotlight screenings at ABFF include the remake of the 70s film “Superfly,” “The First Purge,” “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story,” and the documentary feature “Whitney.”

Director Coogler along with big box office names like filmmaker Ava DuVernay and actor Jessie Williams are participating in master classes and celebrity conversations.

Organizers said they expect up to 10,000 attendees at this year’s festival. For tickets, go to ABFF.com.

Photo Credit: ABFF]]>
<![CDATA[Psychiatrist Talks About Depression in Men]]>Mon, 11 Jun 2018 13:31:40 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Psychiatrist_Talks_About_Depression_in_Men.jpg

On this episode of Voices with Jawan Strader, Dr. Delvena Thomas talks about the factors, symptoms and ways to help men dealing with depression.

<![CDATA[Marine Turned Felon Helps Vets Seeking Clemency]]>Tue, 29 May 2018 12:31:09 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Marine_Turned_Felon_Helps_Vets_Seeking_Clemency.jpg

Cece Espeut had a promising career in the Marine Corps until she was convicted for drug trafficking. NBC 6's Trina Robinson talks to her about how she later became a clemency advocate.

<![CDATA[Haitian-Born Doctor to Head UM's School of Medicine]]>Thu, 17 May 2018 15:24:39 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/051718+Dr+Henri+Ford+UM+Dean.JPG

The University of Miami made history after it named Haitian-born pediatric surgeon Dr. Henri Ford dean of the Miller School of Medicine. Ford is the first Haitian-American doctor to head a medical school in the United States. The appointment is one of many milestones Dr. Ford has reached throughout his prolific career. He’s best known for making history in Haiti back in 2015 when he separated conjoined twins on the nation island.

“That example is a combination of what is possible when you’re committed to excellence and committed trying to build an infrastructure,” Dr. Ford said about that historic procedure.

The surgeon emigrated from the Caribbean nation to Brooklyn at 13 years old. He graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. He worked for the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for more than a decade and served as the institution’s Vice President and Chief of Surgery.

Dr. Ford will begin his role at UM June 1st. He called the appointment a surprise.

“I never thought that was going to happen, but here we are!” the surgeon said.

Moving to South Florida is sort of a homecoming for the doctor since the area is home to the largest population of Haitians in the U.S.

“It really feels like a homecoming,” said Dr. Ford. “Wherever I go, a number of people have expressed a desire to meet me; it really warms my heart.”

The surgeon doesn’t forget his roots. Ever since the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Dr. Ford travels to his native country several times a year to lend his special services as a pediatrician.

“I felt I was uniquely positioned, uniquely qualified to intervene personally in Haiti at the time. It wasn’t about sending money, they needed my skills,” said Dr. Ford. “We pretty much handle all of the pediatric and surgical critical care.”

He wants to bring that same dedication to the UM health care community.

“My desire has always been to make the biggest difference possible in the lives of others in my community. And, what better opportunity exist than to help the University of Miami and Miller School of Medicine achieve enduring preeminence while at the same time serving a community of people that means so much to me,” Ford expressed.

The surgeon encourages others to dream big and to go after those big dreams no matter their circumstance.

“Yes, it is possible for a French-speaking, funny-looking Haitian kid that ends up in Brooklyn can ultimately can grow up and become the Dean at the Miller School of Medicine. Why not you?” Ford said.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[NBC 6 Voices: Being Afro-Latino]]>Mon, 14 May 2018 16:12:06 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Being_Afro-Latino.jpg

On Voices with Jawan Strader, four South Florida Afro-Latinos talk about the struggle with their racial identity and their relationship with both the Latin and African-American communities.

<![CDATA[Maternity Glam Shots for Moms on Bed Rest]]>Fri, 11 May 2018 11:01:00 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/178*120/AyeishaSolomon.JPG

During pregnancy, some women struggle with feeling beautiful and normal. And, it’s worse for expectant moms who are on bed rest. That was true for Ayeisha Solomon who was on bed rest for two months of her third trimester.

Doctors ordered the 39-year-old to stay in the hospital due to complications during her pregnancy. Even though Solomon was excited about carrying twins -- a boy and a girl -- she was still worried that she would not get to enjoy a baby shower or a maternity photoshoot.

“The fact that you’re on bedrest that means there’s something happening that’s not entirely normal and you may feel distraught and may feel depressed,” Solomon said. “But, there’s some part of the experience that you actually get to enjoy.”

A bedridden Solomon got to enjoy a maternity photo shoot thanks to photographer Alexis Beckford-Knighton. A nurse at the hospital told her about Beckford-Knighton’s work with bed rest mothers. The photographer is the founder of Aquas Images and has recently focused her photography on pregnant moms who are confined to a hospital bed.

“An opportunity like this allows persons who are on bed rest to kind of not feel left out,” Solomon said with a huge smile.

The day Beckford-Knighton arrived at the hospital, she brought along a glam squad. Solomon was overjoyed.

“I’m enjoying the makeup session, so far. I don’t do this often and I’m not in front of the camera often. So, it’s just surreal,” the pregnant mom said.

Beckford-Knighton started doing bed rest glam shots last year after her close friend wanted a maternity photoshoot even though she was stuck in the hospital. When she posted the final pictures and the mom’s story to social media, other bedridden mothers immediately reached out to the photographer.

“There’s beauty in the struggle,” Beckford-Knighton said. “It’s a hard time, you can still smile and you can still be gorgeous.”

Solomon’s final photo has no evidence that the bedridden mom posed just inches away from her hospital bed. The photographer created a new world outside the bland walls that surrounded them. She creates the magic with her editing skills.

“When I walk into the hospital and I’m in such a small space, I don’t see it. I’m already thinking of the big picture. I literally just need their body,” Beckford-Knighton explained.

“For all of this to happen now, it’s just like is almost surreal, like it’s too good to be,” Solomon rejoiced.

Beckford-Knighton said she loves seeing the energy shift in her bed rest moms during the photoshoots.

“There’s always a sweet spot in the photography session where mommy kind of relaxes and lets her guard down and really starts to come in to herself,” Beckford-Knighton said.

The photographer’s work isn’t limited to bed rest moms. She also creates magical moments for moms of premature babies. She safely does the photo shoots from the hospital and the final images capture the preemies without feeding tubes and bandages.

Photo Credit: AquasImagesbyAlex
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA['Harmonik' Set to Headline 20th Annual Compas Fest]]>Mon, 07 May 2018 14:52:44 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/050718+Harmonik+Haitian+Compas+Fest.jpg

NBC 6 talks to popular Haitian-born band Harmonik about headlining this year's 20th annual Haitian Compas Festival during Haitian Heritage Month.

<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Cop Who Lost Legs Walks at Daughter’s Graduation]]>Mon, 07 May 2018 09:56:35 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/050318+maj+ricky+carter+graduation.jpg

Nearly a year after a life-altering motorcycle crash, Miami-Dade police Maj. Ricky Carter fulfilled a promise he made to his daughter Thursday night.

Maj. Carter walked during his daughter’s college graduation on his brand-new prosthetic legs. NBC 6 was the only station to capture the moments when Maj. Carter walked into the Sun Dome arena in Tampa. Seeing her father take those steps was inspiring to Jennifer Carter.

"Just a year ago, I didn’t think he would be here," the University of South Florida grad said. "To see him stand again felt like old times. It was the best feeling ever."

For months, Maj. Carter spent hours in physical therapy learning to walk again for Jennifer’s graduation.

"She propelled me to get to what I achieved today. She’s been my motivation," Maj. Carter said. "I want to be the best man that I can be for her. I need to do this to show her that life has no limitations. That we can still chase our dreams. So, don’t let obstacles or hurdles in your way define you."

He also hung a sign on the wall of his Doral office that reminded him daily of his goal. He put it up three months ago.

"I wrote that when I clearly defined what my goals are. I wrote that and I put it there so I can look at it every day," the officer explained.

On May 7, 2017, the 23-year police veteran was riding his personal motorcycle on Interstate 75 when he crashed into the guardrail. He lost both legs in the accident.

"I can recall waking up in a hospital bed and seeing broken arms, so I’m trying to move my legs under the covers and my legs aren’t cooperating with the moves I’m trying to make. So, I lift off the covers and see that I don’t have any legs," Carter recalled.

In that heart-sinking moment, the police officer questioned how he would move on.

"It was extremely difficult. The process was trying to cope with that. How can I be the man that I wanted to be? How can I be the officer I wanted to be moving forward? How can I be the father I wanted to be moving forward? I had no idea how I was going to do this," he said.

He says every day since that crash has been a struggle.

"I didn’t know how difficult this journey was going to be, I had no clue," he said.

Nearly every day of the week, Maj. Carter takes a trip to physical therapy at Neuro Fit 360 in Pembroke Pines. One by one, he puts on his prosthetic legs to get ready for his grueling sessions.

“Quite honestly, it’s like learning how to walk all over again. At times, I feel like a toddler with my balance, trying to walk,” Carter described.

His therapist and owner of Neuro Fit 360, Guy Romain, says it’s rare to have a double amputee walk on prosthetic legs in less than a year.

"This is not easy. If you see what he’s doing and how hard he’s working, it is not easy," Romain explained.

Maj. Carter said any time an obstacle gets in the way, he finds a way.

“I dig deep and I find that fighter inside of me,” Carter said with a big smile on his face.

He says the steps he took at his daughter’s graduation are just the beginning. The father wants to eventually run again one day.

No matter his goal, he has a community rooting him along the way. Since the crash, supporters have donated more than $86,000 to a GoFundMe page dedicated to Maj. Carter. If you’d like to donate, click here.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[The Untold History of Liberty City’s Segregation Walls]]>Mon, 07 May 2018 09:54:44 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/050418+liberty+city+segregation+walls.jpg

People walk past pieces of Liberty City history every day without knowing it. Concrete slabs that line the sidewalk along Northwest 12th Avenue north of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard were once 8-foot tall segregation walls.

During the Jim Crow era, the walls were built to separate blacks from whites. Decades later, the slabs are still a mystery because it’s unclear who approved the construction of the walls.

Leonardo Jackson, 17, is among the few young people in the neighborhood who recently learned the history of the walls.

“I was shocked. And, I was kind of disappointed in myself to have something so historic and important to the black community’s culture right here in my own community and I didn’t even know about it,” Jackson said.

The 17-year-old is a student at William H. Turner Technical High School. He lives near the cement barriers that represented the racist laws that existed at the time they were built.

Historian Timothy Barber, Executive Director at The Black Archives of South Florida, has researched the walls for years.

“Liberty City was an all-white suburb that blacks did not live in,” explained Barber.

That changed in the 1940s when the federal government built the Liberty Square Housing Project on the outskirts of the suburb. It was the second housing project built in the U.S.

Barber said the white residents were not happy about their new black neighbors.

“They did not want to look out their doors and see black people in their neighborhood. So, for some reason, as they built Liberty Square the wall went up as well,” Barber explained.

The historian said there’s no official record of the construction or demolition of the wall.

“When you pull the federal architectural plans for Liberty City — the wall doesn’t exist. You go to the city to try to get plans for the wall — it doesn’t exist,” Barber said.

He added that he’s had a hard time even finding media clippings on the walls.

NBC 6 Jawan Strader asked Barber why he thinks there’s no record of the walls.

The historian said, “I think just like all of history in America and what America did to people of color, to black people over the period of time — it’s a black eye to it.”

The remnants of the walls have been designated as a historic monument in the City of Miami.

This summer, a student project called Wall-In plans to create art out of the ugly past. It’s led by Moonlight playwright and Liberty City native Tarell Alvin McCraney. He teamed up with Arts For Learning Miami and lead artist Chat Traveiso.

“This project is meant to have young people involved in naming their history in understanding the past, but also having a hand creating and shaping the future,” said Traveiso.

Jackson has participated in the program, which he said allowed him to trace the walls and conceptualize the structure of the slabs.

“It’s put me on that path of all the other black people whose eyes are a little bit more open to the history and to what’s actually going on in their own community,” Jackson said.

He and two dozen students will create an art installation that will tell the story of the now low-lying barriers. The program is housed in Liberty City’s African Heritage Cultural Center.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[NBC 6 Voices: Mental Wounds Left Untreated]]>Mon, 07 May 2018 09:53:18 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NBC_6_Voices__Mental_Wounds_Left_Untreated.jpg

Jawan Strader has a conversation with Dr. Delvena Thomas and Dr. Michael Nozile from Gang Alternative, Inc. about untreated mental wounds in high-crime neighborhoods.

<![CDATA[NBC 6 Voices: Little Haiti Book Festival]]>Sat, 05 May 2018 10:59:31 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NBC_6_Voices__Little_Haiti_Book_Festival.jpg

The Little Haiti Book Festival is underway this weekend.

<![CDATA[NBC 6 Voices Driving While Black Discussion]]>Wed, 02 May 2018 15:12:31 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NBC_6_Voices_Driving_While_Black_Discussion.jpg

NBC 6 anchor Jawan Strader talks to Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates, attorney Marwan Porter and The Dream Defenders co-founder Phillip Agnew about the interaction between police officers and African-American drivers.

<![CDATA[Black MSD Students Speak About Youth Movement]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 09:30:53 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Black_MSD_Students_Speak_About_Youth_Movement.jpg

NBC 6 anchor Jawan Strader speaks with MSD students -- Mei-Ling Ho-Shing, Brandon Dasent, Tyah-Amoy Roberts and Kai Koerber - about the youth movement.

<![CDATA[Program Helps Girls Embrace Their Inner Power]]>Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:38:00 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Program_Helps_Girls_Embrace_Their_Inner_Power.jpg

A Liberty City native gives back to her community by helping young girls embrace their inner power. NBC 6's Trina Robinson met the young girls impacted by the program.

<![CDATA[15-Year-Old Author Chanice Lee Talks About Teen Activism]]>Wed, 04 Apr 2018 12:51:38 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_100000006227345_1200x675_1200760899711.jpg

NBC 6 Anchor Jawan Strader talks to Chanice Lee, 15, about her recently published book Young Revolutionary: A Teen's Guide to Activism. 

<![CDATA[Martin Luther King Jr.'s Miami Visits Before Assassination]]>Mon, 02 Apr 2018 15:01:00 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*121/Martin+Luther+King+Swimming+in+Miami+pool+at+Historic+Hampton+House.jpgHere's a look back at some of MLK's iconic moments spent in South Florida before his assassination in 1968:

Photo Credit: Historic Hampton House ]]>
<![CDATA[Preserving the Tradition and History of Soul Food]]>Mon, 02 Apr 2018 11:07:37 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Preserving_the_Tradition_and_History_of_Soul_Food.jpg

Popular Miami Chef Ernisha Randolph wants to preserve the tradition and history of Soul Food. She's doing it through her company Sweet Butter, which hosts pop-up dinners inspired by Black Southern cuisine.

<![CDATA[Reformed Gang Leader Mentors Through Ministry]]>Mon, 02 Apr 2018 09:24:39 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Reformed_Gang_Leader_Mentors_Through_Ministry.jpg

Renee Martinez aka Level talks to NBC 6 Anchor Jawan Strader about his past life and how his spirituality helped him change his life and other men like him.

<![CDATA[Urban Gardens Flourish in South Florida's Food Deserts]]>Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:37:04 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/212*120/030818+urban+garden+in+liberty+city.jpg

At the center of a cluster of apartment complexes in Miami’s liberty city lies a thriving garden.

On any given day, you can find long-time resident Nicole Fowles and her granddaughters tending to the garden. The grandmother is the Garden Manager at the sprawling urban farm which was set up by the non-profit organization Health in the Hood.

“I can just walk out my door if I want a salad. If I want to make a sweet potato pie, I have the sweet potatoes right here. And, so do my neighbors,” said Fowles.

Health in the Hood sets up gardens in communities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in an effort to help residents gain access to healthy, fresh vegetables. Asha Loring is the founder of the group and she says healthy attitudes are being adopted in these communities.

“Kids are growing up with vegetables in their backyard where they would not be able to that if they were 10 blocks away from the garden,” said Loring. “We’re really getting to see people’s trajectories changing from growing up in a food environment.”

The targeted areas are deemed “food deserts” by the U.S. Drug and Food Administration. These communities have 500 or more residents that don’t have access within a mile to a grocery store with fresh fruits and vegetables. There are more than a dozen food deserts in South Florida.

“Getting to the store sometimes is hectic. You might not have a ride at that moment. Or, your car might not be running,” Fowles explained.

Dr. Joseph Mosquera, a general practitioner, says many food deserts are located next to very wealthy areas. “Food deserts contribute to almost all the chronic diseases and conditions people are familiar with,” said Dr. Mosquera.

The common health problems seen in these areas include diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and basic forms of cancer. A person’s zip code can have a bigger impact on their health more than their genetic code, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chad Cherry is the resident chef for the Northwest Gardens, located in Fort Lauderdale’s Sistrunk District. The area is also deemed a food desert. He says he sees many of his neighbors suffering with these chronic diseases.

“The connector is that they’re food preventable,” Chef Cherry explained. Northwest Gardens is run by the Fort Lauderdale Housing Authority. Chef Cherry provides nutrition education to more than 4,000 people living in community. They also get free veggies from the gardens.

“It’s a shame because the common knowledge that we take for granted, especially for me as a chef, it’s like I know what this vegetable is and I’ve worked with it. They don’t have that,” said Chef Cherry.

A study by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services suggests if as little as 1% of the population in food deserts gain access to fresh produce, more than 600 premature deaths could be prevented.

Photo Credit: NBC 6
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Family Fights Against Deportation Ahead of TPS Deadline]]>Tue, 13 Mar 2018 10:48:24 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/030718+Rony+Ponthieux+Family+Haiti+TPS.jpg

“I will fight until the last minute.”

It’s a fight Rony Ponthieux and nearly 60,000 other Haitian TPS recipients hope to win. The Trump administration terminated the temporary protection for the group and now they have until July of 2019 to leave the United States. The termination of the program is a harsh reality for Ponthieux and his family who have called South Florida home for the last 18 years.

“We don’t know what to do or what to choose. [Go] back to Haiti with our kids or leave them here. It’s very scary, “Ponthieux explained. “I have no house in Haiti. I have nothing left in Haiti.”

Ponthieux left his native country in 1999 for political reasons. His request for political asylum was denied back then. However, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Ponthieux and his wife qualified for the TPS program.

“I was able to work, to drive. I was already a Licensed Practical Nurse. I went back to school. I became a Registered Nurse. And, with that I worked and I take care of my family and some friends and some people in Haiti,” the father of two said. He currently works at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

“I pay taxes, I’m saving lives. I am not a criminal. I’m not a terrorist. I am a health care provider. I contribute. And, the only thing I need is a safe place to raise my family,” Ponthieux said.

He and his wife have two U.S.-born children – a son, 17, and a daughter, 10.

TPS beneficiaries from Haiti, Honduras and El Salvador have about 273,000 U.S.-born children, according to the Center for Migration Studies.

Ponthieux’s daughter, Ronyde Christina , is active in the family’s fight for permanent residency. The 10-year-old attends meetings and press conferences held by the non-profit Haitian Women of Miami. She is even featured in a video message addressed to President Trump. In the video, the 5th grader urges Trump to reverse his decision.

“It’s a bit disappointing, but I am not ready to give up yet,” Ronyde said. “Whether I’m with my parents or without my parents, I know I will keep fighting hard so that they can stay with me.”

The family says the government should not remove good people from the U.S.

“There are bad people, we are not,” said Ponthieux.

The father of two said they will sit tight, hoping for a solution from Congress before the 2019 deadline.

“I will fight. I will show myself. I think that the best thing is to fight.”

For tips on what to do as a TPS recipient ahead of the July 2019 deadline, visit cclsmiami.org.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Miami 'Project Runway' Contestant Mentors Inner City Youth]]>Mon, 05 Mar 2018 11:19:11 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/212*120/020217+project+runway+contestant+merline+labisierre.jpg

Miami native Merline Labisierre made her mark on the hit fashion competition show Project Runway Season 14 and Project Runway All Stars Season 6. The SCAD alum lives in South Florida where she works from her studio in Liberty and also mentors youth from the surrounding community.

Labisierre talked to NBC 6 about what inspires her and what she thinks the fashion industry is missing.

 When were you first introduced to textile art and design?

Labisierre: “I remember there was this one teacher [who] was crocheting and I asked her ‘can you teach me that?’ She said ‘yeah, just ask your mom.’ So, I asked my Haitian mom and she [the teacher] taught me how to crochet. From there, I went to high school and I was selling my crochet bags. For me that was a symbol of one person taking their time off to teach me an art form and how that sparked so many different opportunities – so many different of layers of what art is. Now, I’m on a mission to give back.” 

How are you giving back to the community?

Labisierre: “Through my company, I started a non-profit where I get to mentor the next generation. The non-profit called Provoke Style Fashion Camp. I get to basically teach them [children] everything I’ve learned, from sewing to drawing, even showing their work down the runway. I’m very passionate about evoking the eyes of the next generation.”

“One thing I’ve learned in watching my students is a lot of people come into the inner city and they make promises. They don’t keep those promises. So, for a long time I kept saying ‘we’re gonna have a fashion show. We’re gonna have models’. And, they were like ‘yeah, whatever’. But, when the show happened and the chairs happened and their parents showed up they saw their clothes come down the runway – it was such an emotional experience because they were like ‘wow, she was for real.’ So, I think just showing up made a big difference. And, also keeping my word – just really impacted them.”

How important is mentoring inner city youth to you?

Labisierre: “I feel like I’m leaving a legacy. I’m not just an artist – just creating dresses – which is awesome. But, I think when you’re impacting the next generation, you’ll leave a legacy that you don’t even see for a generation. When my students walk out the door, they have their drawings as a portfolio, they have their work and also their logo to take them – to let them dream. I think that’s what I love about me as an artist cause of the possibility. Just giving them that gift of dreaming is the reason why I do it is because I wish someone who’ve done it for me.”

What’s your favorite part about being a fashion designer?

Labisierre: “The creative process. I think I have that foundation because of architecture. I went to Miami-Dade [College] and got my Associate’s in Architecture. I love the idea of merging fashion and architecture. The creative process helps me dream. One thing that I love about my brand – my brand is just not creating garments, but my brand is giving back to the next generation. I want to people to see my brand and say ‘wow that brand made an impact in the community’ – ‘that brand moved a culture’ – ‘that brand moved the next generation to be great artists.’”

What influences your designs and your mission to give back?

Labisierre: “I feel like my [Haitian] culture has a lot to do with it. My mom came to the U.S. from Haiti on a boat. My mom is always like ‘You’re crazy. How you just do this and start your business with no money?’ I’m like ‘No Mommy. You’re crazy. Who gets on a boat from Haiti to America and risks their lives?’ That’s insane to me. I think having that foundation…. gives me that drive every morning to wake up at 4:30, hit the gym, go to my studio and impact people.”

 Describe your brand.

Labisierre: "I love merging architecture and fashion and bringing couture. I want my brand to redefine what beauty is in fashion. I design for the modern woman. That modern woman that dreams. I want to provide that modern woman – even in my ready-to-wear line, every-day garments – that can satisfy her every day work as she’s a businesswoman, an entrepreneur and an artist.”

 How has Project Runway changed your life?

Labisierre: "Being on Project Runway – giving me a platform to go back and to teach these kids. To go back to get those resources. It helps me to accomplish those big dreams."

What do you think is missing in the fashion industry today?

Labisierre: “I feel like what’s missing in fashion is impacting and giving a voice to the next generation. As designers, we can consume. We can create beautiful garments. I think sometimes in the industry we don’t take time to take someone along with us and say ‘hey, I can help you with this. I’ve done this. I’ve been there.’ Fashion by itself rocked generations, but what I think what’s missing is going back to our communities. I think when we do that we build another generation of designers that is impacting their communities and the world also.”

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[NBC 6 Voices: Vetting Online School Threats]]>Mon, 05 Mar 2018 10:12:34 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/216*120/030517+vetting+school+threats.jpg

The conversation with Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Ian Moffett and Miami Herald reporter Monique Madan continues on how to vet school threats in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting.

<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Speaks on School Safety]]>Mon, 05 Mar 2018 10:26:51 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NBC_6_Voices__Keeping_Schools_Safe_Segment_1.jpg

Jawan Strader talks with Miami-Dade School's police chief Ian Moffett and Miami Herald reporter Monique Madan about keeping schools safe.

<![CDATA[Little Haiti Poet Uses Art, Activism to Unite Community]]>Mon, 26 Feb 2018 09:59:18 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/022618+Aja+Monet+Poet.jpg

Aja Monet shares her poetry work and her efforts in raising awareness for social justice on this segment of Voices.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Runcie Applauds Students Protesting Gun Violence]]>Sun, 25 Feb 2018 17:34:24 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Runcie_Applauds_Students_Protesting_Gun_Violence.jpg

Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie is applauding the students of South Florida schools for speaking out against gun violence.

<![CDATA[Liberty City Native's Journey with Alvin Ailey Theater]]>Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:41:56 -0500https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Liberty_City_Native_s_Journey_with_Alvin_Ailey_Theater.jpg

NBC 6 Reporter Michael Spears explains a Liberty City native's journey with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.