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Congressman-Elect Gimenez, Miami-Dade College’s New President, Social Justice Film ‘Negros’

Emily Michot
Miami Herald

South Florida’s new congressman. Miami Dade College’s new president. A new film about a teen's incredible story about race, climate gentrification and how he is cleaning up his community.

On this Thursday, Nov. 19, episode of Sundial:

Congressman-Elect Gimenez

One of the many new faces on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. next January will be a familiar face in Miami-Dade County.

Republican Carlos Gimenez was elected to Miami-Dade’s 26th congressional district, defeating incumbent Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. The race was one of the most expensive nationwide with millions of dollars spent from both parties.

For nearly a decade, Gimenez served as Miami-Dade County’s mayor. Over his tenure, the county has seen dramatic transformations in its economy, the environment and, this past year, to the health of its citizens.

As Gimenez gets ready to head to D.C. he shared his take on President Trump not conceding and his campaign’s lawsuits related to the 2020 election.

“I believe that anybody in the United States has the right to pursue those legal avenues and the president should be given that right to pursue those legal avenues. I have no problem with the president pursuing that,” said Gimenez on Sundial.

He also discussed COVID-19 and his legacy as mayor.

Congressman-elect Gimenez

Miami-Dade College’s New President

After a nearly two-year search, Miami-Dade College has selected a new president.

Madeline Pumariega will take over for interim President Rolando Montoya next spring. She is a graduate of the college and has her work cut out for her — the school has seen a massive drop in enrollment because of the pandemic, its finances are being hit hard and it’s fighting to keep control of the virus on campus.

“The board of trustees made it clear throughout the long process of trying to find the next president that they wanted to make sure that they had somebody who understood Miami,” said Jessica Bakeman, WLRN’s education reporter, on Sundial.At the end of the day, it came down to the fact that Madeline Pumariega had those connections in Tallahassee and they felt that that was the priority.”

Pumariega is also the former chancellor of the Florida College System and the current executive vice president and provost of Tallahassee Community College.

Bakeman also discussed the spread of COVID-19 in public schools across South Florida.

Miami-Dade College’s New President
Madeline Pumariega was selected as the next president of Miami Dade College following her final interview on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

Social Justice Film ‘Negros’

Think about when you were a kid and all the things you wanted to be when you grew up.

An astronaut, a football player, a firefighter, maybe an artist.

A new documentary follows the story of James Williams. He’s a teenager in Miami and his dream is to work in waste management.

The film, titled ‘Negros’ (pronounced NEH-gros, like in Spanish) explores Williams’ journey as a young Black male making a difference in his neighborhood, overcoming traumas and finding joy.

“I feel like our young people are growing up faster these days,” said the film’s writer and director, Dorian Emerson Monroe, on Sundial talking about the experiences that Williams has to confront in the film. “He’s a leader, amongst his group of friends they look up to him for direction and he’s going to go on to be a prominent figure in our Miami community."

It will be showing at the Silverspot Cinema in Miami starting Friday you can find more dates and details here. You can also watch it online through the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival.

Social Justice Film ‘Negros’
James Williams is a teenager in Miami and his dream is to have a career in waste management. He is the protagonist in the experimental documentary film 'Negros.'

Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.