Congratulations to my friend and former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, who has will be presenting his new book at 9:45 a.m. in the Roca Theater at his alma mater, Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, 500 SW 127th Ave. in West Miami-Dade.
His book is titled Miami Transformed: Rebuilding America, One Neighborhood, One City at a Time.
Born in Cuba, Diaz really is a Miami success story. He came to Miami when he was 6, and went on to become a local attorney and later mayor, serving two terms. He also served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Diaz is being presented by the Belen Alumni Association of Jesuit Schools from Cuba and Miami, the Ramón Guiteras Memorial Library and the school's Social Studies Department.
For those who are unaware, the school was founded in 1854 in Havana. In 1961, Belen and all private schools in Cuba were confiscated by the new political regime. That same year, Belen was re-established in Miami. Today the all-boys' school has an enrollment of 1,500 in grades six through 12 and has more than 6,000 alumni.
The program is free and open to the public.
Music for Overtown
The Overtown Music Project will have its annual fundraiser from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. The program will include an 18-piece big band, along with hip hop, funk and soul.
According to Amy Rosenberg, spokeswoman for the fundraiser, the event will celebrate the connection between Overtown and the Fontainebleau, a hotel where Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Etta James once performed.
The program will include several musicians who played in Overtown's many venues during its heyday. The musicians are now in their 60s and 90s and will be showcased at the event.
Rosenberg said the event will fund the six annual events in Overtown, and three programs geared toward bringing music back to the area permanently.
The Miami Children's Chorus will present a program, "Bring on the Boys," a singing workshop for boys with unchanged voices, from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the University of Miami Frost School of Music in the Victor E. Clarke Recital Hall, 5501 San Amaro Dr. in Coral Gables. Timothy A. Sharp is the music director for the Miami Children's Chorus..
The registration deadline is Thursday and the fee is $20 per person and $17 per person when registering five or more youngsters together.
For more information call 305-662-7494 or go to miamichildrenschorus.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Play looks at gay marriage law
A staged reading of the play 8 will be performed at 7 p.m., on Jan. 27, in Room E352 at the University of Miami School of Law. The play, written by Dustin Lance Black, chronicles the historic constitutional challenge to California's Proposition 8. Black is the Academy Award-wining screenwriter of Milk
The production of 8 will be staged under license from the American Foundation for Equal rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact. It will be directed by Marc Fajer, a member of the law school's faculty who has had more than 30 years of theatrical directing experience.
The performance was arranged by OUTlaw, a student organization at the University of Miami School of Law, that seeks to advance the priorities of the gay, lesbian, bisexzual and transgender community on the campus.
Tickets to the performance may be purchased online at www.savedate.org/content/outlaw-presents-8.
Human Trafficking Conference
The Hispanic National Bar Association and the University of Miami School of Law will present the second annual Human Trafficking Conference from 8:30 a.m. to noon Friday at the Fieldhouse at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami, 1245 Dauer Dr. in Coral Gables. The title of the conference is, “Human Trafficking: Demand, Legislation and Prosecutions.”
Catherine A. Mackinnon, a renowned lawyer, teacher and activist on sex-equality issues, will be the keynote speaker at 9 a.m. Mackinnon pioneered the legal claim for sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination, and conceived ordinances recognizing pornography as a civil rights violation. The U.S. Supreme Court accepted her theory of sexual harassment in 1986. She also is Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan, James Barr Ames Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and Special Gender Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. She also works with Equality Now, which promotes sex equality, and the Coalition Against Trafficking in women.
Panelists will include: Norma Ramos, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women; Gail Dines, Wheelock College professor; Barbara Martinez, U. S. Department of Justice; Susan Dechovitz, Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, and John Arastia, Capote & Phang. The moderator will be Vivian Huelgo, Chief Legal Counsel to the American Bar Association Task Force on Human Trafficking and Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence.
This is a free event. For more information call the School of Law at 305-284-9810.
‘Speaking About the End of Life’
The second of a four-part education series, entitled "Speaking About the End of Life," will be presented at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 28 in Mount Sinai Medical Center's Founders Conference Room, 4300 Alton Rd. in Miami Beach.
The speaker will be Dr. Benjamin W. Corn, a prominent Israeli oncologist. He will examine how legal decisions related to healthcare can influence the quality of care and spirituality experienced by dying patients, their families and professionals.
The event is presented by Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Jewish Chaplaincy Program of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.
In his talk, Corn will delve into the challenges that patients, family members, healthcare providers and clergy confront in navigating life-threatening illnesses. He will also share how spirituality can facilitate the development of an effective and cohesive care team.
Corn is a professor of oncology at Tel Aviv University School of Medicine and Chairman of the Institute of Radiotherapy at Tel Aviv Medical Center. He also is co-founder and executive chairman of Life's Door-Tishkolet, a non-governmental organization that has developed innovative approaches for facing illness and loss.
For reservations and more information about the series, call Norma Salvatierra at 305-674-2405.
The American Liszt Society's South Florida Chapter at Florida International University, will present guest pianist Nancy Roldán, president of the Baltimore/Washington chapter in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center, 10910 SW 17th St. in Miami.
Roldán will present a program of music by Argentine composers, in commemoration of composer Carlos Guastavino's centennial (1912-2000).
For tickets and more more information call 305-348-0496 or go to www.livethearts.com.
Talking about spirituality
Dr. Nathan Katz, a Florida International University research professor, will discuss "Contemporary Global Spirituality" at 7 p.m. Tuesday as a part of Temple Israel of Greater Miami's Spirituality Series program.
In a press release from the temple, according to a recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, "more and more Americans describe themselves as 'spiritual, but not religious,’ a category that did not exist a decade ago. Katz will answer the frequently asked question, ‘Can spirituality truly be separated from religion?’ "
Katz, the author of 15 books, is the recipient of four Fulbright research and teaching awards. In 1990, he was selected as a delegate to the Tibetan-Jewish dialogue hosted by the Dalai Lama. He reported the trip in his best-selling book, "The Jew in the Lotus." A committed Jew, who has studied with and brought the Dalai Lama to Miami three times, in his presentation Katz will elaborate on social and religious trends.
The talk is free and open to the public. Temple Israel of Greater Miami is at 137 NE 19th St. in downtown Miami.