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The Orlando Magic Tip-Off Black History Month



FILE - Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony (left) and forward Ignas Brazdeikis wear shirts promoting social justice heading into their home game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Amway Center January 17, 2022. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) — Source: Orlando Magic // The Orlando Magic join the NBA and its teams to celebrate February as Black History Month hosting a variety of activities tipping off on Thursday, February 3 when the Magic host the Black Business Summit featuring an alumni panel with former Magic players. The panel will discuss their time playing in the league and the transition to life after their playing careers, sharing their unique experiences as both players and African-American businessmen.

The Black History Month celebration will continue with multiple activities including an in-game celebration; Celebrating Diversity Town Hall; Minority Male Youth Summit Community Conversation and the Black Business Summit, details and dates below:

February 1- February 28, 2022

Celebrating Black History Creative Contest hosted alongside the Orlando Museum of Art

This art contest is open to 13 – 18-year-old students in Orange, Osceola, or Seminole County to express the impact that Black history and Black culture has had on you through a creative piece. The winners will be recognized during the Feb. 28 home game vs. Indiana. To enter students can visit

February 3, 2022

The Black Business Summit

The summit will bring together many of the most prominent African-American entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders and corporate executives in Orlando. Guests will have the opportunity to network and collaborate with a distinguished group of experts who are making meaningful contributions to the transformation of the city. The day-long session will feature topics in addition to the Magic alumni panel including supplier diversity, Black nonprofits advancing the culture, influential minority executives shaping the future of Orlando, securing investments and resources for Black-owned business, next generation entrepreneurs and events that attract African-American consumers.

February 16, 2022

Magic vs. Hawks In-Game Celebration, tip-off 7 p.m.

During the game, the Magic will recognize and honor the many accomplishments and contributions of African Americans in the Central Florida community. The Magic will host local African-American leaders and spotlight their minority-owned business in an effort to recognize their local impact and drive business. The night will also feature the Magic Diversity Game Changer presented by Florida Blue, Marcia Hope-Goodwin, chief service officer & director at the City of Orlando. Performances will include “Lift Every Voice and Sing” version of the National Anthem and a halftime performance by Bethune Cookman University Marching Wildcats. Fans can join the Black History Month in-game celebration on Feb. 16 by visiting

February 24, 2022, 11 a.m. – noon

The Celebrating Diversity Virtual Town Hall

The virtual conversation will feature the topic of ‘Has Diversity Made a Difference?’ where leaders will discuss if the intentional effort behind increasing DE&I initiatives has resulted in systemic and sustainable change. The conversation is open to the public.

February 25, 2022

Minority Male Youth Summit, presented by Florida Technical College (FTC)

The summit will feature minority males from ELEVATE Orlando, My Brother’s Keeper, and OCPS Minority Achievement Office who are invited to participate in a day of learning and mentorship. They will hear from Magic executives, FTC leadership, and community leaders on empowerment and life after high school – including segments on careers in sports, both on and off the court. The day will feature tours of the Amway Center highlighting careers in broadcasting/media, culinary arts, facilities management, gaming, etc.); keynote speakers and tickets to the Magic game along with dinner in the arena.

In addition, throughout the month at every home game, the team will be wearing special shooting shirts designed by the NBA that will feature on the front, “Built by Black History.” Some of the words featured on the back include, “HBCU,” “Vote,” “Justice,” and “Support Black Businesses.”

As part of the Black History Month celebration in February and beyond, the Magic joins the NBA and its teams to support the leaguewide action that centers voices, experiences and perspectives of Black players, coaches, employees, fans and communities by uplifting the theme, “Accurately Preserving History and Educating our Community.” This season, the Magic join all teams to reaffirm the NBA’s commitment to Black history – which is foundational to American history – through reflection and action that honors this community’s past, present, and future. Without a firm and accurate understanding of Black history, communities cannot progress forward with integrity. The NBA family will center Black history efforts on promoting collective learning, honoring Black culture, and recognizing the contributions of Black people to the American experience across the league, across America, and across the diaspora.

The Magic celebrate diversity and embrace its many characteristics and the value it brings to both business and community—understanding what can be accomplished when everyone works together to achieve legendary moments. The Magic are committed to creating an environment in which employees, community partners and fans feel welcome, valued and appreciated.

For more information on the Magic’s Black History Month celebration and its efforts in the realm of social justice, diversity and equity please visit

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Florida House Democratic Leader-Designate Fentrice Driskell Announces Leadership Team



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida House Democratic Leader-Designate Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa) today announced the appointment of the following Democratic Representatives to serve on the House Democratic Caucus leadership team for the 2022-24 legislative term:

  • Leader Pro Tempore: Representative Dotie Joseph (D-Miami);
  • Policy Chair: Representative Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton);
  • Floor Leader: Representative Michael “Mike” Gottlieb (D-Davie); and
  • Whip: Representative Christine Hunschofsky (D-Parkland).

“The House Democratic Caucus is made up of some of the strongest, most fierce champions of the people in the entire state,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “It is an honor and great pleasure to work with these individuals in this new capacity, and all of them are prepared to lead the Caucus in the face of the challenges that lie ahead of us.”

As Leader Pro Tempore, Representative Joseph will assist the Democratic Leader in carrying out designated responsibilities and perform such Leadership responsibilities as are assigned, including stepping in for the Leader as needed.

“I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Representative Joseph for over 20 years. From the time we were at Georgetown Law to now, she has always been a consistent champion for justice. The issues she advocates for on behalf of all Floridians makes Representative Joseph an invaluable asset in defending Floridians against extremist Republican policies,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “I look forward to Representative Joseph’s leadership as a key member of my team over the next two years.”

In her role as the Caucus Policy Chair, Representative Skidmore will be responsible for ensuring the Caucus continues to champion legislation that positively impacts all Floridians, and will lead discussions about bills before the House at Caucus meetings.

“As the previous Policy Chair for the Caucus, I know what is needed to do this job. Appointing Representative Skidmore as Policy Chair was an easy choice,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “She stood out as a prime member in understanding policy during the last legislative term. Representative Skidmore also brings with her a wealth of experience as both a former House and Senate staffer and House member. Applying her unique skillset to this new role will benefit the Caucus and all Floridians.”

In his role as Floor Leader, Representative Gottlieb will be responsible in interpreting the House Rules, ensuring the Caucus adheres to the agreed upon rules, and working with his Republican counterpart in advocating for fair amounts of time be allotted to the Caucus in debating different pieces of legislation.

“Two things I greatly appreciate about Representative Gottlieb are his refreshing candor and strong fortitude,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “As the minority party in the Legislature, we’re aware of the challenges that lie ahead of us. What we need right now is someone who is unwavering under extreme pressure to help guide our Caucus during difficult moments. Representative Gottlieb is perfectly suited for this role.”

As Whip, Representative Hunschofsky will be responsible for keeping all Democratic Caucus members apprised of Caucus policy on any bills or issues before the House.

Representative Hunschofsky has an amazing ability to get things done,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “Not only does Representative Hunschofsky possess a wealth of knowledge due to her experience as the former mayor of Parkland, Florida, she is also a champion of many initiatives close to Floridians’ hearts, such as expanding access to quality mental health care. I know Representative Hunschofsky’s knowledge and ability will help prepare our Caucus for the challenges of the next two year.”

The Florida House Democratic Caucus will convene during Organizational Session taking place Nov. 21-22, 2022 in advance of the 2023 Legislative Session scheduled to begin on March 7, 2023.

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VIDEO: State Rep. Dianne Hart elected chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus



ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – State Representative Dianne Hart (D-Tampa), incoming Chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, talks briefly with Florida National News on the importance of the Florida Blue Florida Classic at Camping World Stadium in Orlando Saturday. The Florida Classic is an annual college football rivalry game between Bethune–Cookman University and Florida A&M University.

Hart’s Twitter Statement:

Hart’s statement: “I’m honored to have been elected as the Chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus.” “I’m grateful to my colleagues for their support and for trusting me to move this important caucus forward.”

During the 2021 and 2022 Legislative Sessions, Rep. Hart served on the following House committees, including Democratic Ranking Member of the Infrastructure and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee, Judiciary Committee, Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight, Ways & Means Committee, Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee, State Legislative Redistricting Subcommittee and Select Subcommittee on Authorized Gaming Activity.

Hart was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2018. She is also the CEO of the East Tampa Business and Civic Association.


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Former State Rep. Bruce Antone Ready To Rejoin Florida House



Former State Representative Bruce Antone respond to questions by CFABJ, NAACP, and the Florida Voters League panel during a candidates forum in Orange County, Thursday, October 19, 2022. (Photo by J Willie David, III / Florida National News)

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Former Florida State Representative Bruce Antone served 12 years (six terms) in the Florida House of Representatives and defeated incumbent Democratic Rep. Travaris McCurdy during the August primary election to represent Orange County in the newly draw District 41 House seat.

CFABJ, NAACP, and Florida Voters League held a candidates forum for candidates seeking county, state and Congressional seats in Orange County, Thursday, October 19, 2022. (Photo by J Willie David, III / Florida National News)

CFABJ, NAACP, and Florida Voters League held a candidates forum for candidates seeking county, state and Congressional seats in Orange County, Thursday, October 19, 2022. (Photo by J Willie David, III / Florida National News)

Antone was among eleven candidates seeking election to county, state and Congressional seats participating in a candidate forum hosted by CFABJ, NAACP and the Florida Voters League, Wednesday, October 19, 2022.

Green Party nominee Robin Denise Harris is the only potential road block in Antone’s return to Tallahassee and faces off with him in the November general election. The District 41 House seat has an overwhelmingly Democratic voter base.

During his time in the Florida House, Antone was elected by his colleagues to serve as the Chairman of the 29-member Florida Legislative Black Caucus.

The general election is Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

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