Beyond the music, Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival (JITG) dubbed “the fastest growing jazz and R&B festival in the U.S.” ushers in the 14th Annual festival along with its ancillary official JITG events. On March 7, the City of Miami Gardens will present the
3rd Annual Film, Music, Art & Culture Conference (FMAC), 3rd Annual Poetry in the Gardens national poetry contest both events on Thursday, March 7, 2019, and the 8th Annual Women’s Impact Luncheon, in honor of women’s history month, on Friday, March 8, 2019.

On Thursday, March 7, 2019, 11AM – 4:30PM the 3 rd Annual Film, Music, Art & Culture Conference (FMAC) will open the JITG festival weekend by hosting an exciting one-day multi-genre experience that will educate and showcase diverse art forms. The panel of experts includes filmmaker Peter Bailey, Legendary R&B diva Betty Wright, muralist Addonis Parker, and Kim Tignor’s Creative Control, who will be discussing the “business of entertainment.” The FMAC will be held at the FIU Kovens Center- 3000 NE 151st St, North Miami, FL 33181.

On the evening of March 7, 8PM, 3rd Annual Poetry in the Gardens will present the national poetry contest featuring the best in spoken word across the nation. Artists are competing for the grand prize of $10,000 for 1st place, $5000 for 2nd place, and $1500 for 3rd place. Poetry finals are held at Lorna’s 19752 N.W. 27th Avenue, Miami Gardens, FL 33056.

On Friday, March 8, 2019, 11AM – 2PM, for the 8th year in a row, the annual favorite Women’s Impact Luncheon will honor Women’s History Month by curating an inspiring and exciting experience that will activate every woman in attendance. Special guests include Jazz in the Gardens performer, the illustrious Stephanie Mills, author and entrepreneur Arian Simone, Rashan Ali, co-host of Sister Circle on TV One, and Kristen Campbell, attorney, and NFL Agent. The Women’s Impact Luncheon will be held at the FIU Kovens Center- 3000 NE 151st St, North Miami, FL, 33181.

For additional information, please visit http://www.jazzinthegardens.com.
Media Contact: Suzan McDowell, 305-490-9145 suzan@circleofonemarketing.com



It’s “the fastest growing jazz and R&B festival in the U.S.”, the 14th Annual Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival (JITG) is ushering in the 2019 festival season with the announcement of yet another “top notch” lineup. On March 9-10, 2019 the highly anticipated festival event will immerse fans in the best of R&B, soul, jazz, hip-hop, and funk genres. JITG will produce this celebrated event for an anticipated 70,000 attendees at the world-class Hard Rock Stadium located at 347 Don Shula Drive, Miami Gardens, FL 33056.

Headlining the JITG festival stage will be the much-loved voice of R&B royalty Lionel Richie, sassy songstress Brandy, Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter Teddy Riley & Friends featuring Blackstreet with Teddy Riley and Dave Hollister, Bobby Brown, and Doug E. Fresh with special guests En Vogue and Jagged Edge, the legendary smooth trio The O’Jays, the soul-stirring Stephanie Mills, eclectic violinists Black Violin and gospel sensation Tye Tribbett. Back by popular demand, this year’s Jazz in the Gardens All-Stars will feature Maysa, Chieli Minucci, Gerald Veasley, Lao Tizer, and Nelson Rangell. More artists will be announced soon.



Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert comments “it’s JITG 2019 and we are excited about the talented artists who will be gracing the stage. The diversity in the music and talent offers something for everyone, from the most requested artist for the JITG stage, Lionel Richie, to gospel and of course jazz. The City is extremely pleased with the growth of the festival and the opportunity to showcase our home, Miami Gardens, to the thousands of patrons it attracts.”

Other JITG related events include:

3rd Annual Film, Music, Art & Culture Conference (FMAC) is an exciting one-day multi-genre experience that will educate and showcase celebrated, diverse art forms and locally and nationally based artists. The FMAC will be held at the FIU Kovens Center- 3000 NE 151st St, North Miami, FL 33181.

3rd Annual Poetry in the Gardens- The national poetry contest is an exciting addition to Jazz in the Gardens that explores the best in spoken word. Poets and spoken word artists age 18 and over are encouraged to enter the competition for a chance to participate in the final rounds of competition during the FMAC. Prize money is $10,000 1st place, $5000 2nd place, $1500 3rd place.

8 TH Annual Women’s Impact Luncheon is back by popular demand in honor of Women’s History Month. This exciting event is an action-packed experience curated to inspire women to live centered, active, fulfilled and balanced lives. The WIL will be held at the FIU Kovens Center- 3000 NE 151st St, North Miami, FL 33181.

Official Opening Night Party – All roads lead to the Jazz in the Gardens opening night party with The Sugarhill Gang performing their wildly popular brand of old school hip hop. This party is an opportunity for Jazz in the Gardens attendees to kick off the “fun-filled” weekend of music, dancing, and great weather!

How To Discover Your Gifts

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This week we are going to talk about understanding your gifts and callings. Many people are sitting on the isle of uncertainty because they don’t understand who they are. Understanding who you are helps you to gain clarity on why you are here. We have all been given gifts and abilities that were designed to assist, dismantle and build up ourselves and others.

So, how can I identify my gifts?

Get in touch with the child in you.

When we were kids we had great faith. We believed we could do anything and most times we are more in touch with who we really are. Because of the limited experiences, children gravitate to those things that come easiest to them. When I was a child I said that I wanted to become a Best Selling Author and Fashion Designer. However, as life would have it, I was told that those professions were merely hobbies and that I needed to find something more grounded and serious. I became a Police Officer and it was liberating at the beginning but soon it felt like bondage because my gifts were fighting to come out but as a Police Officer, I wasn’t able to embrace it.  Fast forward, 14 years later I have written 5 books and I am a 3x Amazon Best Selling Author. I am also working on my clothing line. I am no longer a Police Officer and I’m finally doing what I said I wanted to do in the fifth grade.

Funny how childhood me seemed to be smarter than adulthood me and I believe it’s because children live in the arena of possible – they just believe. They have faith that makes no sense and it doesn’t matter how many times they fall they continue to try and try again.


Pay attention to the thing that makes you angry!

We all dislike something, whether you hate seeing injustice or children hungry, use that anger as a navigation device to point you in the direction of your gift. Your gift is the answer to a problem, so you naturally become angry at the thing you were designed to change.

You do it effortlessly.

It’s the thing that others find difficult to do, that you do so effortlessly. Because you do it so easily you believe that everyone else should find it easy to do but they don’t. It’s that thing that you take for granted. You don’t think it can truly make you rich, because it seems so simple. But that’s the thing that God wants to use to elevate your life, but obedience is the vehicle that will get you there.

Many people dismiss their gifts because they lack the educational background in that area, not understanding that the person who was taught to do it can not contend with someone who was gifted to do it. You don’t learn your gift, you perfect your gift. If you are going to school to learn a gift its not your gift. You can learn a skill- you cannot learn a gift because a gift is freely given.

Now write down all the things you said you wanted to become as a child. Then write all the things that make you angry. Finally, write down the things that you do effortlessly and find the nexus between everything that you’ve written down. What are the things that are recurring in all three areas?

Many of you may have multiple gifts so leave nothing out. After you’ve narrowed down your list take it to God in prayer and ask him to confirm what your gifts are and he will answer you.


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Mothering Nations Through Education w/ Dr. Moneshia Dashiell

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I am too busy mothering nations through education!



Dr. Moneshia Dashiell; D.Ed continues to transform today’s young minds through books. Her latest book, ‘Hello Alphabet’ was designed for children in Pre-K through fifth grade. This book will allow children to understand letter sound, letter recognition and strengthens the child’s language skills. The alphabet is simply a collection of letters and sounds. The alphabet is the building blocks of literacy; so children must learn to recognize, name the letter both in and out of order and learn the sounds associated with each letter. Purchase this book and others here.

Denise Major: Mother, Author & Activist Grace the Cover Of I AM QUEEN Magazine February​ 2019 Issue

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We are the sum of all our experiences, hence they are priceless. Who and what I am today is due to what I have experienced and how I decided to shape that.


Mother of 3 beautiful children, Denise Major made it her life’s mission to be the adult that she needed when she was a child and the sister and friend we all need as women. As an advocate for women and youth, Denise M. Major sees first hand just how important it is to encourage individuals to support each other as they go through life’s challenges and to celebrate each other’s successes.


Having become a teen mom at the age of 16 she is no stranger to hard work and has been working since the age of 17 first starting out as a graphic artist at the Nassau Guardian and within a few short months, she pressed her way into the newsroom. Her career in journalism and marketing/public relations lasted eight years before she transitioned into the world nonprofits. But her passion for media did not completely fade away as she continued on as the creator and host of the Youth By Youth Radio Show and is a regular talk show guest and host appearing on several radio shows throughout the Bahamas.


It was during one of the darkest periods of her life that she found her purpose in helping those in need. She began her work in nonprofits as a rape victim’s advocate and volunteer at the Bahamas Crisis Center and eventually began working fulltime at the Bahamas Urban Youth Development Center as the Program Coordinator. This opportunity opened many doors within many other reputable organizations including Field Officer at the Bahamas Red Cross, Assistant Director at Bain Grants Town Advancement Association, Program Development Consultant for the Bahamas Against Crime and the Coalition to Save Clifton, Community Outreach Worker for the PEPFAR Program.  ( Presidents Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief ) and The Bahamas National HIV/AIDS Program and most recently the Executive Director for Bahamas Sexual Health & Rights Association formerly known as Bahamas Family Planning. In addition, she is the CEO of The Empowerment Group, a company whose aims it is to empower individuals so that they can be their best selves and in doing so empower others.


She has received numerous certifications through her work such as Trusted Adult Youth Communicator and Sex Educator by the American Red Cross, certified Youth Leader by the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, she has completed several courses in Disaster Relief, and Community Building and numerous other certifications related to HIV/ STI’s and NGO Program Development. She continuously pursues new ideas and learning best practices in these fields.


Throughout her tenure, while working with nonprofit organizations serving as a Youth Specialist, Denise has started and directed multiple mentorship programs and projects aimed at empowering young people and assisting at-risk youth and young women. In 2018 she decided to put pen to paper and share her story in an effort to reach young people she may not have gotten a chance to reach. She authored Purposefully Broken and collaborated with 4 other inspirational women from the Caribbean and USA on Rebranding My Life. Denise is passionate about her purpose and hopes to one day operate a transitional home for at-risk youth and women.


Valentine’s Day Survival Kit For Singles w/ Trish McDermott (Match.com)


Valentine’s Day can be an uncomfortable reminder to many singles that they are missing out on an important part of life–romantic love. Online dating services often see the most traffic in the period just after January’s New Year’s Resolutions have kicked in and leading up to Valentine’s Day.

I got the chance to speak with Trish McDermott. Trish was apart of the team that launched Match.com back in 1995-basically she created online dating. Today she’s a dating coach at Meetopolis (www.meetopolis.net). Meetopolis is like the Kayak of online dating, allowing singles to see the dating profiles of potential matches from many different sites, all in one place.

Here Trish shares The Valentine’s Day Survival Kit For Singles…

For singles, staking your own claim to a piece of Valentine’s Day is a great way to move past any sadness or awkwardness you may feel. You do this by making February 14th about giving, rather than receiving, love, affection, and attention. Giving makes you feel good. It’s a reminder that with small, kind gestures you can make a difference in someone’s life.

Look around. It’s likely that there are many ways you can give a little love and attention to others on February 14th.

  • Send your mom flowers.
  • Bake cookies, or buy chocolates, and bring them to a local nursing home.
  • Volunteer to help out at your child’s school Valentine’s Day party.
  • Pass out chocolates at your office.
  • Put Valentine’s Day cards in your friends’ mailboxes.
  • Call your father, just to say hello.
  • Give your bank teller, or bus driver, or someone who provides a service to you a gift card from your local coffee shop.
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen and help feed people hungry for so much more than romance this Valentine’s Day.
  • Post a fun, appreciative or inspirational message to your friends and family who follow you on Facebook.
  • Call someone you know is struggling and invite them over for a home-cooked meal.


If you approach Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to give a little love to your community, friends, family, and even total strangers, you won’t need to focus on the fact that you are without a significant other over the holiday.

It’s also good to understand the numbers because when we struggle without dating lives, especially around Valentine’s Day, it sometimes feels like we’re the only person not getting dating and romance right.

It can be almost impossible to avoid the barrage of Valentine’s season media reminders that while you are dateless, so many others have deeply loving romantic relationships. There are 98 million single adults in the US. If you’re dateless on Valentine’s Day, you’re in some very good company. You are not a romantic anomaly.

Much of the coveted romantic moments we are bombarded with in February, like the look of adoration in her eyes as she opens the diamond necklace he so lovingly hands her, are really just media-manufactured images of romantic love.  These might seem unattainable for some, even for those who do have a romantic relationship but never get that adoring look. It’s important to remember that these images exist to sell products.

Real love happens in life’s trenches, the day-to-day moments in the lives of ordinary people, and single people experience it too.  Kids don’t see Valentine’s Day as a holiday that excludes them because they don’t have romantic love in their lives. For them Valentine’s Day is about acknowledging friendships by exchanging cards or candy. They’re thrilled and excited and don’t use the holiday to beat up on themselves for lack of true love.  We should follow their lead.

I’ve watched millions and millions of singles search for love. This search can often be a long, tough, discouraging experience. Finding romantic love is often a process of failing one’s way to success. The trick is to stay in the game, even after an awkward, discouraging or disappointing experience. When it comes to finding love, you have to be in it win it. A good way to be in it on February 14th is to stop looking for love and to start giving some love away.

Have fun on Valentine’s Day. Play. Laugh. Feel good. Spend the evening with dear friends, Play with babies. Help out some elderly people in your town. Have dinner with your family.  Then, on February 15, ask someone out, put your profile on a dating site, take a risk and swipe right on someone.

And buy your chocolates on the 15th too – they’re half price!

Valentine’s Day Survival Guide For Singles


It’s Valentine’s Day!!!!!

Everyone may not be shouting at the top of their lungs with joy and if you find yourself depressed because you are on the single bus — fear not! My friends and I have compiled this survival guide just for you.


Start your day doing something just for you! Whether it’s a workout you love, meditation you love, talking to your best friend or mom, watching part of your favorite show, dancing around your room, take a bath, etc. If you start the day doing something for your wellbeing, it will get you started on the right foot and into a more stable and less vulnerable headspace for the rest of the day.

Stay off social media: Don’t even think about checking it for a day or two.  You will be bombarded with images of people and their significant others celebrating Valentine’s day, influencers promoting Valentine’s day gifts, and other content that will give you FOMO. If you want to compare your relationship status to others and feel worse about yourself, then social media will do that to you! This includes dating apps to people.

Cry if you need to. It’s OK to feel sad and lonely.  You may be sad and lonely right now but you won’t be forever.  This is just a season of your life where you’re alone and single BUT it may be the only time in your life you will have this much me time so relish in it! Later down the road, you may be swamped with a partner, kids, a booming career, travel, etc.

Meg Coogan Life Coach -Los Angeles, CA  www.megcoogan.com




DON’T listen to ANYTHING by Adele!

DON’T drink a bottle of wine and look through social media to see what your ex is up to.

DON’T stare at yourself naked in the mirror and point out every flaw in your body.

DON’T drunk text your ex.

DON’T put yourself down for being single

DON’T go to an Anti-Valentine’s Day event. Too negative!

DON’T binge-watch Netflix.

DON’T eat a carton of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

DON’T forget that Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday created to sell greeting cards.

DON’T feel remorse over your life choices or things that have occurred. You are EXACTLY where you are supposed to be.

– Laurie Berzack, MSW is the founder and owner of Carolinas Matchmaker in Charlotte, North Carolina.



Remember you’re not alone.

Sometimes you can feel like the only single person in the world on Valentine’s Day. In reality, there are millions of single people in the world, and many are very happy so. Being in a relationship doesn’t necessarily lead to more happiness, and there are many couples who would envy your freedom on their more difficult days. Sometimes Valentine’s Day is one of the most stressful times for couples as well.

Change the messages to yourself

Many people have critical self-talk. This is normal and a way we protect yourself from risks and lower expectations. However, it’s often not very helpful and can even contribute to depression. Feb. 14 might be a good time to practice being kinder to yourself. Start with identifying a common negative message you say to yourself and find a kinder version. For example, if you typically say to yourself, “I’m a loser,” try challenging that thought. What is the evidence for and against this? Is this based on a fact, feeling or habit? Is “loser” a fair label? What would a good friend of yours say about this? Once you think through this assumption, find a more balanced statement that you can believe.  Rather than “I’m a loser,” a more appropriate thought maybe, “I’m a bit of a loner, which is okay, however, I do have a couple of close friends and we enjoy each other when we get together.”

Jennie Lannette, LCSW, is a licensed therapist and mental health writer based in Columbia, Mo



You may not have a Valentine, but your dog is heart-eyes emoji for you! Spend the day with your pup and remember that out of everyone on this big blue planet, YOU are your dog’s favorite person!

– Stephanie Virkh http://www.ccbandanas.com/





Write a love letter to yourself. Jot down all of the qualities you love most about yourself. This is a great way to remember that you have inherent worth that isn’t defined by external relationships. This is also a great opportunity to reflect on all of the growth you’ve done while being single and independent.

Lizzie Parmenter, Consultant for Passion Lilie, an ethical clothing line. 




If you were a couple, would you want to go to dinner, have a box of chocolate or flowers waiting when you get home?  Whatever it is you desire, continue on.  Go have that delicious tasty meal, eat your Godiva and pick out your favorite flowers for your home or desk.  Don’t wait until everything in life is perfect to enjoy yourself, do what you desire now.  Have fun, take selfies, if you don’t want to be alone, call another single friend to join you.  Just do you.


Just because the world is focused on Valentine’s day doesn’t mean you have to.  You have goals, dreams, and things to do, continue to carry on.  Don’t be distracted by a holiday that benefits retailers more than consumers.  Play your favorite song and keep moving, do what you normally would do any other day.  Let your life be moved by the tune of the happy song in your heart regardless of what day it is.


Today is not the day to diagnose yourself, your situation, past relationships.  Now is not the time to mourn all of the mistakes you’ve made previously.  Give yourself a shot of encouragement by not going down memory lane.  Stay in the present, hope for the future, think on what is good, smile and trust that this season in your life will be the best one yet.

– CHANTAY BRIDGES, CNE, SRES Coach, Realtor, Speaker & Writer http://www.losangelesrealestatenow.com



One way to survive is to grab your single girlfriends and head to Hooters!  If you bring a picture of your ex and rip it up, you get 10 free wings when you order 10.  I’m not promoting Hooters, but that’s what me and my single girlfriends are doing tomorrow in Fort Lauderdale!  It’s fun and a good way to go out and not feel like a bunch of single losers.  Ya never know who you’ll meet when you go out!

– Jade Trombetta, Senior Manager, Brand Marketing and Social Media 


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Misconception #287: You need a partner to Netflix and Chill. Pick a series and binge watch it all day. This is coincidentally also a great way to avoid the Couples Traffic that is occurring in the outside world. 10 seasons of Friends? Challenge accepted.

If one of your colleagues gets an embarrassing floral arrangement sent to their desk, suppress your eye-roll. You can be bitter all you want but it’s not going to bring a partner into your life in the next 24 hours. Suck it up and sip the vodka from your water bottle.

– Caleb Backe and I am a Health & Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics



Although I’ve been happily remarried for 10+ years, I was a single mom for almost 20 years, before I met my husband.

While I firmly believe the number one best way to “survive” Valentine’s Day or any other major holiday as a single, is to create a life you love. In doing so, not only will you be much happier, as a result, you’ll set a shining example to others (married or single) that being single is just as great as being happily married.

One of the things about me that my husband said he found most attractive, was that I was a ‘take it or leave it’ kind of woman; i.e., ‘if it works out with you, great – if not, great. I’m good, either way’. In fact, if anything, this aspect of my personality made him want to impress me all the more.

– Mary Kaarto, Author & Speaker


So, if you are single today it’s not a death sentence and there is nothing wrong with you! You are merely being preserved for the promise and while you wait-enjoy you, love you.