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 For more details, please contact Stephanie van Vark,