March is Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society and has been observed annually in the month of March in the United States since 1987.

HOT105 Celebrates Women’s History Month: Highlighting women that impact our communities:

Vanessa Woodard Byers

Vanessa Woodard Byers is a retired Miami-Dade County Public Schools administrator with extensive experience in auditing, accounting, and budget management. She is a second-generation graduate of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) and product of its School of Business and Industry. After graduating from FAMU, she continued to follow in her parents’ footsteps and joined the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association to assist with fundraising and student recruitment endeavors. She has served the FAMU Alumni Association in various leadership roles on local, state, and national levels. The University named her its Distinguished Alumna for Community Service and the National Alumni Association recognized her for leadership and civic engagement efforts.

Andrea Ivory

Andrea Ivory Breast Cancer Survivor and Founder / CEO Women’s Breast & Heart Initiative. WBHI was created in 2005 as an innovative, targeted outreach campaign that brings at-risk women the education, access and resources they need to beat this devastating disease.

We were absolutely founded on the indisputable fact that early detection saves lives. Since then, thousands of WBHI volunteers have knocked on more than 125,000 doors to educate women about the importance of breast health in three South Florida counties – Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach – and grant them access to lifesaving resources, regardless of their ability to pay. It is a truly collaborative effort that’s rallied our community together in breaking down barriers for a vulnerable population.

Velma R. Lawrence

Velma R. Lawrence, is a Miami native and the CEO/FOUNDER of THE EMBRACE GIRLS FOUNDATION, INC., a 501(c)3 Florida based charity leading the country as a full service girl centric mentoring and social program for over 20 years creating a safe and nurturing environment where little girls learn to be healthy, well educated and socially cultured young ladies who embrace service before self.

The organization also provides much needed community based initiatives which include Homeless and Parental Educational Engagement programs as well as well Cultural Arts Shows and Performances.

Bernadette A. Morris, M.P.A.

Bernadette Morris is the founder and CEO of Sonshine Communications, an award-winning, full-service PR, marketing and advertising agency. Incorporated in 1993, Sonshine is one of the most successful and highly-regarded Black-owned agencies in Florida.Sonshine offers comprehensive services ranging from grassroots marketing to fully integrated communications services. The firm represents a cadre of clientele including federal and state government agencies, corporations and small businesses, non-profits and ministries.

Bernadette A. Morris holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Florida International University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Communications from Stetson University and the University of North Florida. Prior to forming Sonshine, Bernadette was the Associate Dean/Division Director of the Office of Public Affairs at Miami-Dade Community College. She also enjoyed a successful career in broadcast journalism where she worked as a publicist for PBS/NPR and a producer of children’s programming. She has over 30 years of professional experience in providing and delivering effective marketing, media, public and community outreach services.

Mayor Veronica Edwards Phillips

City of Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Veronica Edwards Phillips is a graduate of the University of Miami (Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration) and Florida State University (Master of Social Work). Her professional career as a Social Work Educator and School Social Worker spanned for 36 years. Her professional experiences included Clinical Social Worker, Social Work Coordinator, Social Work Special Administrator, and a Faculty Field Instructor for Florida International University, School of Social Work, and North Miami, Florida, School Social Worker and a Migrant Advocate for migrant children and their families in the Broward County School System, Title I Program.

Dr. Lisa C. Davis

Dr. Lisa C. Davis is a visionary leader with over 25 years of community service and served as Councilwoman and Vice Mayor of Miami Gardens, Florida. She is the CEO and Founder of Lisa C. Davis Consulting, Inc. and Dare2dream Productions International which support causes relating to senior citizens; youth development; anti-bullying campaigns in local schools, health issues; domestic violence; and human trafficking awareness. Dr. Davis created and sponsored the first Miami Gardens Food & Wine Experience and Sweet Freak Bakers Competition which was a signature event for the City of Miami Gardens. The event featured national and local Chefs, restaurants and entertainers and was featured on the Food Network.

During her political career, she served as 2nd VP of the Florida Black Caucus of Elected Officials; the VP of the Miami-Dade Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials as well as a board member of Empower You.

May Reign

May Reign is one of South Florida’s most powerful and prolific poetry performance artist and has been featured at hundreds of venues including The Legendary Nuyorican Cafe in New York, Bus Boys and Poets in Maryland & DC, The Coffee Underground in Greenville, SC, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Apache Cafe in Atlanta and several other venues across the US. She has opened for activist Angela Davis, hosted for The Trayvon Martin Foundation and many others.

Suzan McDowell

Suzan McDowell is the CEO & President of Circle of One Marketing, a full-service marketing agency, with expertise in African-American and Caribbean markets credited for campaigns like the wildly successful marketing and public relations campaigns for the City of Miami Gardens’ nationally recognized Annual Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival, publicity and Ambassador for OneUnited Bank, the largest black owned bank in the U.S., Make Healthy Happen Miami, Clear Channel Airports, Related Urban’s Liberty Square, Overtown Performing Arts Center, Harry Belafonte’s Many Rivers to Cross Festival, and more.

”The Circle” has built a solid reputation for producing polished, modern, eclectic, fresh and result driven marketing campaigns through multi-layered competencies including creative design/art direction, public relations, social media, community outreach, media buying, event management, thought leadership and strategic partnerships.

Dr. Enid Curtis Pinkney

Preservation leader Dr. Enid Curtis Pinkney has worked aggressively over the years to ensure that the role of African Americans in Miami’s history is acknowledged and preserved.

Pinkney was born the third of four children on October 15, 1931 in Miami-Dade County, Florida to Lenora and Henry Curtis. She graduated from the all-black Booker T. Washington High School in Miami in 1949, receiving a B.A. from Talladega College in 1953 and an M.S. from Barry University in 1967. Pinkney worked as a social worker from 1953 to 1955, after which she worked in the Dade County Public School System until she retired as Assistant Principal at South Miami Middle School in 1991.

She joined the Dade Heritage Trust historic preservation organization in the mid-1980s while Assistant Principal at South Miami Middle School. She was elected the first black president of the Trust in 1998. Pinkney is the founder of the African American Committee, which focuses on the contributions of blacks to the community. In 2015, The Historic Hampton House started its restoration of the Miami Green Book motel on a $6 million budget, thanks to the efforts of the preservationist Dr. Enid Pinkney’s single-minded focus.

Neki Mohan

Neki Mohan is the Vice President of Multicultural Business & Community Engagement for Visit Lauderdale. She is an advocate for Greater Fort Lauderdale’s diversity initiatives and 31 communities. An award-winning journalist with three decades of experience, she has been a mentor for the Women of Tomorrow program for 20 years. She has also been an adjunct professor at Barry University and is an Advisor Board Member at Jack & Jill Children’s Center and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

Linda L. Parker, Ph.D.

Dr. Linda Parker, PhD President/CEO joined Women In Distress of Broward County, Inc. in 2020 with a wealth of professional experience in both human service and domestic violence services and as an educator and administrator at the university level. Women In Distress employs over 75 full-time and part-time members of the community under the direction and leadership of Dr. Parker.

All staff and volunteers are trained and certified according to the Florida statute for “Victim Advocate Privilege” and also maintain an additional 24 hours of training annually. Women In Distress requires all staff and volunteers privileged to go through Core Competency Training, which provides 24 of the 30 training hours required for all domestic violence advocates to be registered for domestic violence victim/advocate privilege pursuant to Florida Statutes 90.5036 and 39.905. Staff, volunteers and interns at Women In Distress also participate in six hours of observational learning.

Rebecca 🦋 Vaughns

Rebecca 🦋 Vaughns is a native of Miami, Florida. She’s been writing poetry since the age of 10. This is her 26/21 year. She started on the poetry scene in May of 1997 and took the leap to be a full-time poet in August of 2002. In that time, Butterfly has released 14 studio albums, produced 9 stage shows, self-published 3 books of poetry and received numerous awards and proclamations. Her ability to freestyle poetry leaves audiences amazed. She’s been referred to as the Jay-Z of poetry. She’s South Florida’s poetic child. Her weaved words have brought tears to the eyes of Fantasia, Keke Palmer, and Maxwell. Her slogan is: I go wherever words are desired. No special occasion is off limits. She can tailor a poem for any and every kind of event.

Rebecca 🦋 Vaughns is always ready with words. She definitely has no problem being put on the spot. Rapper MC Lyte called her a talented one. Singer Charlie Wilson called her a woman with words. Former Editor-in-Chief of Essence Magazine Susan Taylor told her she has a way with words and was highly impressed to learn of her being a full-time poet~spoken word artist at her 15 year mark.

Katherine Fernandez Rundle

Katherine Fernandez Rundle-State Attorney in Miami-Dade and Florida is a second-generation attorney committed to administering Smart Justice for all. In 1993, Governor Lawton Chiles appointed the State Attorney to complete the unexpired term of former State Attorney Janet Reno. In 1994, residents made history by electing her as the first Cuban-American State Attorney in Miami-Dade County and Florida. “Our primary mission is to protect and defend our community while upholding and enforcing the law.”

Janice Spann-Givens

Janice Spann-Givens Program Manager, FIU Office of Social Justice and Inclusion

First Vice President, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® A life member with over 43 years of local as well as regional community and sorority service. Her past awards include Chapter Soror of the Year, South Atlantic Region Soror of the Year ( Florida, Georgia and South Carolina),

University of Florida Miami Dade Chapter Black Alumni Association Gator Great of the Year and FIU Fraternity and Sorority Life Advisor of the Year.

Tongelia Milton

Tongelia Milton · Executive Director of Marketing & Communications at YMCA of South Florida More than 30 years communications experience to include 10 years in journalism -- writing, editing, reporting and design -- and 20 years in corporate communications -- brand management, marketing communications, public relations, promotions and internal communications to staff, donors, volunteers and member groups;

Dedicated and self-motivated with outstanding planning, project management, resource management, problem-solving and leadership skills.

Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan

Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan- represents the Cities of Opa-Locka and Miami Gardens, as well as unincorporated communities that include California Club, Ives Estates and Country Club Lakes. National Convention.

Known for her outspoken leadership, Barbara J. Jordan was born in New York City but grew up in South Miami-Dade, where she learned the value of hard work, sometimes working in the bean fields with her family. She attended a segregated public school system and subsequently graduated from Arthur and Polly Mays High School in Goulds. In 1965, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Psychology from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1986, she received a Master of Science degree in Human Services from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida.

Joy-Ann Reid

Joy Reid of MSNBC hosts “The ReidOut” with interviews with politicians and newsmakers. Joy Reid shares the news with experience on race, justice & culture.

Joy-Ann Reid is the author of the books Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide (William Morrow/Harper Collins, 2015) which was released in paperback in September 2016, We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama (Bloomsbury, 2017) and The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story (William Morrow/Harper Collins, June 2019). She co-hosts the podcast Reid This / Reid That with journalist and “New York Live” co-host Jacque Reid.

Reid was previously the host of “The Reid Report,” a daily program that offered Reid’s distinctive analysis and insight on the day’s news. Before that, she was the Managing Editor of, a daily, online news and opinion platform devoted to delivering stories and perspectives that reflect and affect African-American audiences.

Dr. Rosalind Osgood

Dr. Rosalind Osgood is president and CEO of non-profit Mount Olive Development Corp and served on the Broward County School Board for more than a decade. Dr. Rosalind Osgood is a Broward County native and graduate of Fort Lauderdale High School. She has earned both a Master’s and Doctoral degree in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University. In 2001, the late preacher extraordinaire, Dr. Mack King Carter licensed Dr. Osgood as the first female preacher in the history of the New Mount Olive Baptist Church. In 2002, she was ordained and in December of 2007, she earned the Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She currently serves as an Associate Minister at New Mount Olive Baptist Church. In addition, she is the founder of Dr. Rosalind Osgood’s Ministry International and is an anointed itinerant preacher.

Dr. Osgood has over 21 years of experience in nonprofit management.

Lucia Davis-Raiford

Lucia Davis-Raiford - President & CEO - The Carrie Meek Foundation a 501(c)3 charitable organization that sponsors and promotes programs in education, housing, health and economic development and is committed to improving the quality of life for all residents of our community. The Foundation’s work is based on the community and legislative focus of its founder, the Honorable US Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek

Patricia Thomas Carter

Patricia Thomas Carter was born in Ocala, Florida and was married to the late Dr. Mack King Carter. They have two daughters, Pamela Johnson and Annalisa Milton.

Mrs. Carter obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida A&M University, a Master of Education from the University of Louisville, and attended the University of Miami and Florida Memorial University. Her Professional career includes; Educator, Social Worker, Counselor, Assistant Professor, and Director of Church Relations for Florida Memorial University.

She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and The Links Incorporated. She currently serves as District President Emeritus, of the Progressive Kingdom Baptist Association. Her motto is “Only what you do for Christ will Last”.

Jasmin Denise Shirley

Jasmin Denise Shirley was the former Sr. Vice President of Community Health Services of the North Broward Hospital District d/b/a Broward Health. In this position, she had oversight of the day-to-day operations of Community Health Services division inclusive of primary care centers, home health and hospice agency, an infusion company, urgent care centers, and physician practices. She has more than thirty-five years of experience in health administration.

Ms. Shirley received her Master of Science in Public Health, Epidemiology and Administration from The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in April 1983. On May 12, 2022, The Virginia Theological Seminary conferred an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters. Ms. Shirley devotes her community service to the Broward County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she served as Past President in 2002 – 2007 and is a Diamond Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

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