Tag Archives: Miami

The AFRIKIN Experience

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The AFRIKIN Experience

By, Ascellia Arenas

7/3/16

  Saturday night I attended the inaugural event for AFRIKIN, a cultural festival held in Little Haiti, Miami to embrace the artistic, economic, political progression,  and communities from across the diaspora. I was expecting dashikis, incense, oils, cultural food, and the like. To my pleasant surprise I was right! I encountered that plus so much more. The Rockers Movement described AFRIKIN as follows: “Afrikin Fest is an African inspired food and music festival aimed to attract the best chefs, rum connoisseurs, musical and fine artists from around the world to the infamous cultural hub of Miami, Florida. Miami will be completely transformed through fascinating sights, smells, and sounds during this weekend celebration. – See more at: Rockers Movement 
 This first installment was co-hosted by author and activist, Julie Mansfield, a sexual abuse survivor, who champions women’s rights and cultural education surrounding the impact that molestation, rape, and abuse has on women and their families, worldwide. The #charity benefitting from the event is the #nonprofit organization, “Give Me Dignity,” to raise awareness and prevention of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA). Mansfield encouraged the crowd to raise additional funds to end sexual abuse and child molestation.

Dr. Lanalee Sam, Director of Obstetrics and “Docstar”

#Presentations were given by: Dr. Carole Boyce-Davies (Education), Dr. Lanalee Sam (Health), Artiste Philippe Dodard (Art), and Umi Selah (Activism). The cultural #PERFORMANCES by artists such as: Vaughn “Akae Beka” Benjamin,  Tambor feat. DJ Stan Zeff, Kevens (unplugged), Moonchild, Equalizer Sound Selector Iscious, P.E.A.C.E and Anita Will, made the crowd feel the mystic vibration of Mother Africa, speaking a language we all understand, which is #love.
  
Visual #ART by, Philippe Dodard, The Ebohon Collection Benin City, Nigeria, Turgo Bastien, Gregory Vorbe, flashed on the walls as digital projections. Performances in #DANCE by #SASA African Dance Theater

  
#SPOKENWORD #poetry by, Aja Monet, and Give Me Dignity and #POETRY by, Mecca Grimo, and Bongo Bluez.


Community economic empowerment #AWARD was presented to Chef Creole #owner, Wilkinson Ken Sejour.
Economic empowerment was embraced through vendors of #AFRICANEATS by, Native African Cuisine and Lovely Roots Gourmet. I was pleased to meet and have a wonderful conversation with Mohammad Sene who performed #AFRICANDRUMS all evening. Sene is from Senegal and teaches African Drums, here in Miami.


My favorite perfomance of the night had to be the soothing melodies emanating from Rastafarian legend, Vaughn “Akae Beka” Benjamin. His enchanting tone made the crowd sway to and fro as only Benjamin can do. With over 50 recorded albums to his credit, Benjamin did not disappoint.


The evening was filled with positive energy, beautiful people, and good vibrations. The next installment of AFRIKIN will be November 18-20, 2016. Follow Afrikin Fest on Facebook and Instagram.

For more information:
Economic empowerment
Celli Arenas, published author, has been featured in several magazines, such as: MIA Magazine, Success Magazine, Legacy Magazine. She is the host blogger at cellibration.com, and hosts MIA-Live.net for BlogTalk Radio. Her books, “30 Days of Dynamic Pursuit” a self-help journal, and “Sidetracked: He Used To Love Me”, a coming of age novel, are both available at amazon.com

©2016 Cellibration Publishing

BMe Community Names 10 Top Leaders in Miami 

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BMe Community Names 10 Top Leaders in Miami 

By, Ascellia Arenas 

7/1/16

Thursday, June 30th, I was a special guest of, author and President of Affirming Youth, Jonathan Spikes, at the Better Together Celebration Miami, at The historic Lyric Theater, in Miami Florida. Spikes was honored as a community leader that significantly impacts the progress and development of youth and community at large in South Florida. 

  
All 10 of the men honored are pillars of the South Florida community and abroad. They can be found providing community service, working with youth, providing expertise in all areas of education, law, medicine, business, physical fitness, spirituality, and much more. The honorees will receive $10,000 each for their community programs after being named Miami’s first BMe Leaders. The event was energetic, electric, and filled with hope and expectancy of great things to come.  

  

  

Learn more about the honorees here: bloggingblackmiami.com
 
Benjamin Evans III, Managing Director of the BMe Community, was an engaging host who kept the large audience of families, supporters, and honorees cheering in the hallowed halls of the historic Lyric Theater . Evans did not skip a beat, each honoree danced on stage to celebrate success. The BMe Better Together Awards also honored Alberto Ibargüen, Javier Alberto Soto, Felecia Hatcher, Dr. Pandwe Gibson, David Lawrence Jr. The event was energetic, electric, and alive. We are looking forward to more from all of the honorees and BMe Community. 
 

Founder and CEO of BMe Community, Trabian Shorters, was inspired by the progressive development of black men and developed an extensive network of all races and genders that is committed to building better communities across the U.S. 

Learn more about Shorters and BMe Community here:

Black men doing good things in the ‘Hood’

America’s Great, Underappreciated Assets

 BMe Community

©2016 Cellibration Publishing

 
Celli Arenas, published author, has been featured in several magazines, such as: MIA Magazine, Success Magazine, Legacy Magazine. She is the host blogger at cellibration.com, and hosts MIA-Live.net for BlogTalk Radio. Her books, “30 Days of Dynamic Pursuit” a self-help journal, and “Sidetracked: He Used To Love Me”, a coming of age novel, are both available at amazon.com.

Sybrina Fulton: Woman 

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Sybrina Fulton: Woman 

By, Ascellia Arenas

4/30/16

This weekend was packed with wonderful events and activities. It was such a rewarding feeling to be invited and welcomed at these various activities and special events. But, there was one moment in time where everything stood still. While at the Miami -Dade County Chapter of Charmettes Annual Scholarship Breakfast, I had the unique opportunity to speak with a woman whom I admire and have so much compassion for. Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin-who was murdered in 2012 by George Zimmerman, was one of the recipients of the “Woman of The Year Award”. At first, the moment seemed surreal because I watched this woman traverse the stress and anxiety of testifying in a murder trial where her son was the victim. I directed two documentaries about the trial and I documented the first rumblings and initial investigation, rallies, and more. I felt her pain and agony while she held her head high and demanded respect for her child that was ripped away from her. I thought to myself “what can you say to her that can even express how much you respect her, her experience, and her testimony”? I was standing in front of the woman who faced the dragon that killed her son in cold blood. To make matters worse, he was exonerated. This tragedy gave birth to our favorite hashtag #BlackLivesMatter 
I spoke, “Good Morning”.  Then I said, “Congratulations on the honor you are receiving today.” She replied, “thank you,” and then, all of a sudden, she doubled back and tilted her head to the side. She said, “let me see your teeth”. I thought it kind of odd, but of course I obliged. Then she asked me about my braces. Of all things, she could have asked me about, she was most interested in my braces! She wondered if they were retainers, how long I would need to wear them, and so on. Then I saw it, it was in that moment when I gave her an opportunity to actually talk to someone about anything other than her slain child, to ask about how someone else lives, to talk to someone who does not have the experience of moving on with her life without her child, to not have to re-hash that event for the millionth time. After all, we have a lot in common: we are black women from South Florida, we have birthed two black male children, we both attended HBCU’s in Florida, and both of us have deep understanding of real grief that profoundly changes your life forever. She wanted to know about my Invisaligns. She just wanted to talk about something “normal”. I was happy to give her that moment. 

  
Later that day, when she gave her speech, she emphasized how she was thrust in to becoming a Civil Rights Activist; she was just a girl who was born and raised in Miami, went to school in Miami, and had a “normal” existence until that day when everything changed. She explained that Psalms 23 is what gets her through the days, weeks, months, and years. She showed me that God doesn’t call the qualified: God qualifies the called.  You better be ready, too! 

  
 My sons are still here alive and well, healthy and happy, I’m blessed not “lucky”. She is missing one of her two sons, forever. The world has its way with her son, Trayvon.  She did not self-destruct. She holds her head high and walks the walk into her destiny every single day. She’s definitely a remarkable example of a virtuous woman. I’m honored to have made her acquaintance. 

 

C.2016 Cellibration Publishing

What’s Shakin’ for the New Year

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So, I am starting the New Year off right.  All through the month of December I monitored my food intake, participated in a 50 mile challenge, and I started to drink Shakeology.  I know you are wondering what it is a “Shakeology”? And, you are thinking,  “NO WAY you ran 50 miles!!!”

Well, yes I did! In 20 days I ran 50 miles both indoors and outdoors.  I also lost 10 pounds 🙂

Now, how did I muster the energy?  Lots of water; drink lots of water!!!! I drink at least 65 oz. a day.

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This is me on the last day of the 50 mile challenge!  So proud 🙂

I’ve added something new to my fitness plan. Let me tell you about Shakeology. I have been drinking one a day for almost two weeks now.  I do feel some differences in my energy levels, my recuperation time, and in my digestion.  I will also add that I felt a cold coming on on Christmas Eve, I drank a Shakeology shake and took two zinc tablets and I was good to go!  That threatening cold was ZAPPED!  Here is what is in Shakeology, and the benefits of drinking a shake at least once per day.

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This is my quick chocolate fix!  I love chocolate, so that’s a strong endorsement.  Whip it with almond milk and ice and it tastes like a Wendy’s Frosty!!! Yummm 🙂

What’s in Shakeology?

Protein and Essential Amino Acids to help build muscle and reduce food cravings*

•  Help build and repair muscles
•  Reduce hunger and food cravings
•  Promote healthy skin, hair, and nails
•  Chocolate and Greenberry Shakeology include whey protein isolate, an easily absorbable source of high-quality protein that’s ideal for building and maintaining lean muscle mass. Tropical Strawberry and Vegan Chocolate include high-quality plant proteins from brown rice, pea and other sources. Essential amino acids, found in these proteins, help the body repair muscle tissue and heal wounds; and reduce hunger pangs. The protein in all Shakeology products provides a highly bioavailable source of essential amino acids.

Prebiotics, Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes, which aid in improving digestion, regularity, and nutrient absorption*

•  Aids digestion
•  Support a healthy intestinal tract
•  Increase absorption of nutrients
•  Shakeology contains many ingredients that are beneficial to the digestive system.
•  Prebiotics, natural components of certain plants, help support the “friendly” bacteria in your digestive tract.
•  Probiotics are strains of live good bacteria that help with the digestive process. They assist the body in absorbing
nutrients and minerals, bring an overall balance to the digestive tract, and help support the immune system.
•  Digestive enzymes, from sources such as pineapples and papayas, help your body break down food into its individual
components, making the nutrients easier to absorb.

Adaptogens

•  Help promote a strong immune system
•  Help increase energy
•  Help protect the body from stress
•  Help balance endocrine hormones and the immune system
•  Adaptogens are special herbs that grow in harsh climates and conditions, at high elevations, atop mountains where the soil is rocky and oxygen in the air is thin. Because these plants have to adapt to harsh conditions, they have highly
concentrated nutrients that can help your body cope with stress, provide energy, and maintain a strong immune system. Shakeology has a total of 9 adaptogens. Which is more than any other shake out there.

Antioxidants and phytonutrients (plant-sourced ingredients) may help maintain health*

•  Help neutralize harmful free radicals
•  Help decrease inflammation
•  Help maintain the immune system
•  Potentially decrease the risk of degenerative diseases
•  Many of Shakeology’s fruit and vegetable sources have been chosen for their high concentration of healthy natural substances known as phytonutrients, including flavonoids, polyphenols, anthocyanins, and catechins. These substances have antioxidant properties, meaning they help neutralize molecules known as free radicals, which damage cells and may contribute to the aging process. In laboratory tests, phytonutrients have shown promise in helping prevent a wide variety of degenerative conditions.

23 Vitamins and Minerals your body needs to function for optimal health*

•  Get a wide range of essential nutrients
•  Get your necessary vitamins every day
•  Make up for dietary deficiencies
•  Most of us don’t get the complete range of essential vitamins and minerals in our daily diets. Some important vitamins, such as vitamin C and the B vitamins, are water-soluble, meaning they’re flushed out of your body after a short time and need to be replenished regularly. Others, like vitamin E, can be difficult to get enough of in food. Shakeology Chocolate and Greenberry provide all these nutrients in an easy-to-take form, so you never have to worry. (Tropical Strawberry and Vegan Chocolate do not have the vitamin and mineral ingredients added.)

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Warning:  Processed in a facility that also processes soy, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, fish and shellfish.
This product should be used as a dietary supplement only. Those with medical concerns should consult their physician prior to using this or any other dietary supplement.

*To find the nutrition label for each Shakeology formula, visit www.Shakeology.com 

Information obtained from http://www.shakeology.com

ImageThis is the Vanilla.  I will keep you informed about my progress 🙂

For other great stories about South Florida and more, check out www.mia-live.net

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The Great Orange Drop: NYE Miami Style

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Mucho bottles were popped in the MIA last night as many celebrities decided to ring in the New Year, here!

Diddy hosted his annual NYE bash on Star Island and all of the hip elite were there: including Drake and French Montana.Diddy French Drake

Even Diddy’s beautiful Mother Janice Combs couldn’t resist the allure of the Miami nightlife!

Diddy and Mama Combs

Jay Z and Beyonce were also spotted taking pictures and enjoying the evening with friends.

bey and hov

Beyonce and her model co-stars stopped for photos too.  Flanked in beautiful gowns and stilettos these beauties showed great GLAM, MIA style.

Beyonce and Models

The Jay Z Magna Carter tour will be at the BB&T Center on January 2, 2014.  The Carters have been here all week. They have been spotted in Wynwood and all over South Beach.  They got around to their party destinations last night on motorcycle!  It sure looks like the Carters are enjoying MIA life, maybe we will see more of the dynamic duo very soon.

Jay and Bey on motorcycle

 

Photo Credits: Instagram

Hey….There’s MORE!!! CMB was at Club Cameo enjoying huge Cuban cigars and of course, champagne.

Photo Credits:  Miami News Times Blog:  World Red Eye

 

 

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T.I. and Tiny were in town partying it up too!

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Blue-eyed soul brother Robin Thicke performed at the Belvedere Party at the SLS Hotel.   But, it looks like Pharell and T.I. were doing the “Good Girl” hop on a different stage at Fontainebleau…hmmm…interesting.  Aren’t all of them featured on the 2013 Smash Hit???

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Check Miami New Times blog for more details about MIA-NYE.

Be sure to stay tuned to cellibration.com  and mia-live.net for more fantastic stories about South Florida!

We Want A Piece of The Rock

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By, Celli Arenas

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been named the highest-grossing actor of the year! Everybody wants a piece of “The Rock”, and here’s why:
1. The former Miami Hurricane Defensive Tackle/WWE Wrestler demonstrates certain confidence that draws both male and female audience members in. Is it that smile, the raised eyebrow, and the flex of his massive biceps that hook the viewers in…OF COURSE. He is gorgeous! The diverse combination of ethnicities of his parents created a tantalizing DNA cocktail that audiences can’t get enough refills of!
2. Money in the bank, yes. Move over Robert Downey, Jr. The Rock is here. I remember watching The Rock re-enter the press junket in 2011, he gave us fair warning that he was filming and wrapping several films at the same time. When he gave us the “heads up”, we had no idea that he would blow up like this! Jonson starred in four commercially successful films back to back. This is an opportunity that actors pray for. The film, “Fast & Furious 6” grossed $789 million globally. Combined with the box office proceeds from “G.I. Joe Retaliation”, “Pain and Gain”, and “Snitch”; Johnson, 41 year old box office phenom, closed out 2013, raking $1.3 billion in at the global box office. Not too shabby, Dwayne.
3. He is a cool guy. PERIOD. Everybody likes the guy that they can talk to. Johnson learned early on that possessing a positive attitude, being kind to good people and sticking it to the jerks is the way to go. We learned to cheer his good guy character on while watching him in the ring. He has a marketable strategy that has won him a spot in the highest grossing films of the year. He also got involved with smaller films and brought his brand value to them. No film snobbery here. His powerful pitch is engaging but his delivery on film, seals the deal. Yeah, Dwayne…we smell what The Rock is cooking, and we all want a piece!

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