3rd an­nual “This Woman’s Work” hon­ors in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions

South Florida Times - - FRONT PAGE - Staff Re­port

MI­AMI– Three years ago, UR­GENT, Inc.’s Rites of Pas­sage Youth Me­dia Project and FACE (Film, Arts, Cod­ing & En­trepreneur­ship) Pro­grams joined to­gether to rec­og­nize and honor those who have shown sup­port, pro­vided di­rec­tion and served to up­lift the com­mu­nity, just like a great bra.

The “This Woman’s Work” event on March 23rd had the Cam­bridge In­no­va­tion Cen­ter Mi­ami abuzz with guests who came to see and cel­e­brate eight who re­ceived the cov­eted Bronze Bra Award dur­ing the Women’s His­tory Month event.

Spo­ken word, a pho­tog­ra­phy ex­hibit, short film and artis­tic pre­sen­ta­tions were per­formed by youth ages 14-18, as well as spe­cial guests. The fes­tiv­i­ties kicked off with spins from DJ Slaya, 12-year old Malaya Si­mone Wright, emerg­ing mu­si­cal artist trained by Path to Hip Hop. In ad­di­tion to a ros­ter of top hits, DJ Slaya de­buted the lat­est sin­gle by Ur­gent, Inc. stu­dents from Edi­son Park K-8 Cen­ter.

There were gifted spo­ken word youth artists and pre­sen­ters in­clud­ing Ur­gent, Inc.’s own Eveul Exil and Monica Bis­sainthe. Alum Eli­jah Wells shared his lat­est short film. The tal­ent fi­nale was a dance per­for­mance by six-year old, Makayla Bat­tle and eight-year old Va­leri No­vas, who daz­zled along­side their in­struc­tors.

“We’re so very proud of the youth and their abil­ity to ex­press them­selves through art, film and en­ter­tain­ment. Thanks to the ef­fort and com­mit­ment of many of our hon­orees, those tal­ents were nur­tured and put on dis­play dur­ing this very spe­cial event. We truly ap­pre­ci­ate our com­mu­nity part­ners,” says Sal­iha Nel­son, Ur­gent, Inc.’s Vice President and Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor.

A few adults also show­cased their skills. Poet Rebecca "But­ter­fly" Vaughns flexed her spo­ken word tal­ent dur­ing her stint as Mis­tress of Cer­e­mony. Lyric Live win­ner Ter­rance Cribbs-Lor­rant sang a crowd fa­vorite, "Glory," an orig­i­nal score from the movie Selma. Ur­gent’s new film in­struc­tor Joey Ash­ley, brought the au­di­ence to stand­ing ap­plause with his short film con­tri­bu­tion, Por­traits of a Black Woman.

Bronze Bra win­ners got into the act as well. Vol­un­teer of the Year Stephanie Sylvestre, The Chil­dren’s Trust CPO, re­cited an orig­i­nal spo­ken word piece en­ti­tled “Con­tra­dic­tions Abound” about her pas­sion for cro­chet, a skill she is cur­rently teach­ing youth ages 7-12 in Ur­gent, Inc.’s af­ter school pro­gram. As she shared, Ab­del Me­len­dez age 10 and An­gel No­vas, age 10 showed off their new tal­ent, speed cro­chet­ing in tempo to the prose. School Part­ner of the Year, Carla Pa­trick, Prin­ci­pal of Edi­son Park K-8 Cen­ter re­cited “Phenom­e­nal Woman” by the late great Maya An­gelou. And, Busi­ness Part­ner of the Year Florida Film House pre­miered a video fea­tur­ing their 1st Take Film Pro­gram.

There were male re­cip­i­ents of the award in­clud­ing Spon­sor of the Year, Rick Beasley, Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor of Ca­reer Source South Florida and Com­mu­nity Part­ner of the Year Ti­mothy Bar­ber, Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor of The Black Ar­chives Ar­chives His­tory & Re­search Foun­da­tion of South Florida, Inc. Round­ing out the list of hon­orees was Train­ing Part­ner of the Year, Jill Tracey, of HOT 105 and spe­cial awards to two dy­namic mem­bers of the Ur­gent, Inc. fam­ily, Naomi Wig­gins, Grand­par­ent of the Year and Mar­cus Wil­liams, Youth Mem­ber of the Year.

Ur­gent, Inc. is cur­rently talk­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for its YES! Camp for girls and sum­mer in­tern­ships for high school and col­lege youth. Ap­pli­ca­tions are avail­able on-line at www.ur­gentinc.org. For more de­tails, please con­tact Stephanie van Vark, at [email protected]­ates.com.

Malaya "DJ Slaya" Si­mone Wright, left, and Stephanie Sylvestre, from The Chil­dren’s Trust, per­form at This Woman’s Work


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