Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Victorious Boys workshops Monday through Wednesday at Florida Memorial

The Victorious Boys Symposium (VBS) Coalition will have a three-night empowerment workshop for youths 11-19 from Monday through Wednesday at Florida Memorial University. The symposium’s aim is to impact the way young men think, contribute and interact with their community and the world.

The symposium will be in the Lou Rawls Auditorium on the university grounds at 15800 NW 42nd Ave. in Miami Gardens, and will feature breakout sessions and guest speakers every evening from 6 to 9 p.m.

The Rev. Alvin Daniels Jr., the executive producer of VBS, is a member of the group of faith-based and community partners who created the organization. “There was an immediate need in our community to rally our youth and provide for them a forum for understanding the world around them,” Daniels said. “[VBS] is a place to provide answers about how they can meet some of the challenges they face.”

The speakers for the symposium workshops include:

▪ Eugene Schneeberg of Washington, director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships for the U.S. Department of Justice.

▪ Edward Keyton of Atlanta, Minister Emeritus at Church of Christ at Bouldercrest.

▪ Bill Diggs of Miami, President of the Mourning Family Foundation.

▪ Morris Copeland of Miami, Director of the Miami-Dade County Juvenile Services Department.

▪ Detective Sean Horne of Miami Gardens, Miami Gardens Police Department.

▪ Torri Stuckey of Chicago, author, publisher and public speaker.

The speakers will address such topics as “Fatherlessness” on Monday; “Complications and Contradictions of the Criminal Justice System” on Tuesday; and “Violence and the Impact on Home and School” on Wednesday.

The symposium will open with a welcome from Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III. Supporters of the event include 100 Black Men of South Florida and VITAS Healthcare.

If you wish to support the workshop, donations and in-kind gifts or funds will be greatly appreciated. To make a donation and for more information about VBS visit, or call 786-305-8160.

Experience Ramadan

In the Muslim faith, Ramadan is a time of introspection, discipline, patience, charity and compassion. It is also a time for celebration and spiritual reflection when Muslims all over the world observe fasting from dawn to dusk. The daily fast is broken with an “iftaar,” a meal shared with family and friends. This is a special opportunity for non-Muslims to experience an important part of the Muslim tradition.

At 7:30 p.m. on the following days, the non-Muslim community is invited to share the Muslim experience:

▪ Tuesday at The Islamic Center of Greater Miami, 4305 NW 183rd St. in Miami Gardens. Make your reservations by emailing or by contacting Dr. Abdul Hamid Samra at 954-505-0701 or at

▪ Wednesday at the Islamic Jafferia Association Center, 10554 NW 132nd St., Hialeah Gardens. Make your reservations by emailing or contact S. Jamil H. Rizvi at 305-607-1768 or

▪ On July 7 at the Islamic School of Miami, 11600 SW 147th Ave., Miami, 33196. RSVP by emailing or contact Naveed Anjum at 786-512-3150 or

If you go, it is recommended that females wear long dress and head covering when entering the mosque.

A happy 60th reunion

They anticipated their reunion for nearly two years. And then, it was over in one weekend.

But that was fine with the members of the 1955 graduating class at Booker T. Washington Junior, Senior High school as it was known back in the day.

“This was our 60th reunion and we were just too happy to be together one more time,” said Juanita Manuel Mond, who traveled from Jonesboro, Georgia, near Atlanta to be with her class.

The other out-of-towner was Marva Bouie Phillips of New York. In all, 27 members got together at events that included a “reacquaintance dinner” at the Church of the Incarnation, where class member the Rev. J. Kenneth Major is the rector emeritus; a fish fry at the home of Velma Bouie Arnold (sister of one of the class members); and a June 14 worship service at the Church of the Incarnation, where alumni were welcomed by the Rev. Errol A. Harvey, who is serving as the interim rector of the church.

The class members were especially happy to see two of their members who have been ill — the Rev. Dr. Preston Marshall and Deacon Franklin Clark — at the festivities, said Agnes Rolle Morton, reunion coordinator. “And as they say, ‘A good time was had by all.’” Delores Davis Hill is class president.

Men’s Health Extravaganza

Many men don’t go to the doctor unless forced into it, so a Men’s Health Extravaganza will held Thursday at Community Health of South Florida (CHI).

The event from 6 to 8 p.m. will be a different approach to a men’s health fair. For example, CHI will broadcast the NBA draft on a large screen and will offer free BBQ at the Doris Ison Health Center, 10300 SW 216th St. CHI hopes to lure many men in for health checkups and education with the lure of the draft excitement and the sweet, tangy BBQ.

“What could be better?” asked Brodes H. Hartley Jr., CHI CEO/president. “Come out and enjoy watching the draft on our mega screen, enjoy good food in moderation and learn how to take care of yourself. We will have our medical experts here for free consultation. It’s a win, win for everyone.”

The event is a chance for men to focus on issues such as medical health, dental care, behavioral health, medication counseling and nutritional counseling.

“Men tend to wait until a problem arises before they go for a health checkup,” Hartley said. He urged men to “be proactive, get screened so that you can be healthy enough to enjoy many more draft picks at home.”

Seating is limited for this free event so, make your reservation now by calling 305-252-4853.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.