Erica V. Knowles
Public Relations Officer
(Black PR Wire) Miami Gardens, FL - Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter hosted approximately 200 women at their 7th annual Frederica S. Wilson’s Pumps, Pearls and Politics™ event. The organization trademarked the event’s name and added the Honorable Congresswoman for her dedication to the community and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The event’s theme entitled “When Women Vote,” included a panel discussion on social justice, women and politics, power of the women's vote, and women in the census. “With women being a prominent sector of the electorate in coming elections, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s Pumps, Pearls, and Politics™ seek to celebrate women who are in political office, as well as, encourage others to run for office. The event provided an information platform that enhanced community awareness, increased political knowledge for informed discussion making, while encouraging women to engage in the political arena and run for office,” Dr. Mary Mites-Campbell, Chair of the Connection Committee.
The Mistress of Ceremonies for Pumps, Pearls, and Politics was the talented Davica Williams, MDIV, co-host of Good Success on WMBM AM Radio and host of Late Night with Davi on Strong Arm Radio. Dr. Rosalind Osgood, Broward County School Board Member, District V and Associate Minister, New Mount Olive Baptist Church provided the invocation. Dr. Osgood emphasized the importance of voting and being politically active during the current turbulent times. The audience was greeted by the chapter’s president, Tara J. Pasteur. Pasteur rang the bell for action by stating that “the operative word here is politics. We are in a situation, that we have not seen in our lifetime. Our very lives have been threatened and that is not an exaggeration. There is a large portion of this country that would like to see a race war and that is not hyperbole. We can not just sit still and let this happen. I’m going to ask each of us to get two people registered to vote who have never voted before and make sure they go to the polls ... We must unify, we must dedicate and commit ourselves to moving forward with unity ... and we must become one. We must stay together not only as women but as Americans.”
The Honorable Congresswoman and member and past Regional President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Frederica S. Wilson was unable to attend due to congressional duties; however, she sent remarks to the audience via a video. Congresswoman Wilson began by expressing the value and purpose of Pumps,
Pearls, and Politics. “This is a great time. This is a time when Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter invites the community to gather together to hear from candidates running for office and to discuss politics and policy. For lawmakers from all across South Florida and a wonderful group of selected people who are politically motivated and really care about our community and the direction in which our nation is moving”. She concluded her remarks by explaining how everyone is involved in politics, “Politics determine where you live and where your children go to school, what you will eat and how much, [whether your food will have red, green, or no dye], politics even determines how much money you will make ... So you as people of our community begin to register people [to vote] now… So that they can vote with your best interest at heart and with the best interest of our community. Because we are approaching the most important election of our lifetime in 2020 … Get fired up and ready to vote!”
This year the panel included a heavy hitting line-up of women who are making a major impact in the political landscape such as Miami Shores Mayor, Crystal Wagar; Florida State Representative, Dotie Joseph; Miami-Dade County Court Judge Candidates, Michelle Delancy and Olanike “Nike” Adebayo; and International Relations Specialist, Monica Rodrigues Smith. The panel discussion hinged on important issues at the national, state, and local levels that are pertinent to women regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic status, education, or religious affiliation. Guests were also reminded of the importance of voting in local elections, specifically for judges as it is your vote that decides who may or may not be sitting on the bench when you, a family, or friend is in court.
Davica Williams asked the panel in regards to “social and Economic justice for transforming women’s work. What are your views and apporaches in solving occupational segregation or to reduce gender discrimination?” Florida State Representative, Dotie Joseph, stated “I am a proud sponsor of legislation that is designed specifically for that, the Equal Pay Act ... That didn’t even get a hearing. I also sponsored the Paid Family Act. Do you know the United States is the only country in the developed that does not have some form of paid family leave … And also the equal rights amendment, we just need one more state to ratify the equal rights amendment to declare that men are equal to women.” She provided an example of a case the United States vs. Nguyen. A gentlemen that served in the military in Asia had a son and brought him back to the States. The son then over the age of 18 got into some legal trouble and was subsequently deported. If the son was born to a woman he would have gotten his citizenship; however, being born to a male he is not a citizen. Joseph went on to discuss “the good news,” bills that she was able to pass in her first year as a representative including one that “allows victims of domestic violence which are disproportionately women to qualify for unemployment compensation if they have to leave their jobs because of domestic violence situations.
The panelists were also asked about their thoughts on the new state law that allows police officers to pull over someone for texting while driving as a primary cause. Miami Shores Mayor, Crystal Wagar expressed that she understood the dangers of texting while driving and the need for such a law. She went on to say that “my only concern is when we start crafting laws like this that it should be very specific. But my concern is that it gives some police officer a reason, extra reasons, to look into what we are doing, particularly our black boys. So I’m concerned about the implementation of it and how can you prove that this officer was incorrect or not incorrect. How can you prove to me that I was texting or not texting. That’s my concern … But we still shouldn’t be texting and driving”. Representative Joseph informed the audience that this was also her concern and that they built in “a requirement that they have to [document] the race of the person who is stopped as well as the race of the officer’s so that we can track it”. She went on to educate the audience letting them know “From now until January 1st 2020 you will have warnings. If it looks like you’re texting they are probably going to site you for that. You’re not going to get into gps arguments. If you are texting while driving, you're going to get a ticket … If you are in a sensitive zone (school zone/ construction zone) you can not even have your phone in your hand. All of the panelists agreed that this information should be shared with the community.
In addition to the panel discussions, the audience was updated on the 2020 Census, heard a musical selection from Mike Emmanuel of Triumphant Music Group, and heard from the event’s sponsors Marlon Hill, Candidate for Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 9 and State Representative Shevrin Jones, Candidate for State Senate District 35.
Disclaimer: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is a non-partisan organization.
@aka_gzo #AKA1908 #AKAGZO #PumpsPearlsPolitics #WhenWomenVote #PPP2019 #ConnectMiami #RepWilson
About Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.®
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA) is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of 300,000 members in over 1,000 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, Liberia, the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Germany, South Korea, Bermuda, Japan, Canada, South Africa and in the Middle East. Led by International President, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, Ph.D, JD, CPA, Alpha Kappa Alpha is often hailed as “America’s premier Greek-letter organization for African American women.” For more information on Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and its programs, log onto www.aka1908.com
About Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter
Chartered in April of 1940, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter is the oldest graduate chapter in Florida; serving Miami communities for almost 80 years. The chapter promotes and delivers Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated’s commitment to serve all mankind.