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Ben Crump social justice center, UM and FIU athletics changes, FARC removed from U.S. terrorist list

University of Miami football players pose in celebration
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

St. Thomas University is gearing up to teach the next generation of civil rights lawyers. The University of Miami and Florida International University’s athletic departments are making changes. And Biden takes the FARC off the terrorist list. Many Colombians in South Florida are not happy.

On this Thursday, Dec. 9, edition of Sundial:

Ben Crump social justice center

The civil rights attorney known nationally for taking on cases of police and vigilante brutality, like the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Breonna Taylor — is the inspiration behind a new social justice center at the St. Thomas University College of Law in Miami Gardens.

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The idea at the new Benjamin L. Crump Center for Social Justice is to train a more diverse set of students to make sure the law gets equally applied to all people.

"Social justice is a very large umbrella. It's not just police-involved shootings and police-initiated violence issues, which Mr. Crump is very well known for, but he's also well known for litigation in the area of health care, employment discrimination, intellectual property, et cetera," said Tamara Lawson, the dean of the St. Thomas University College of Law. "So the center will be focused on bringing more awareness to the various issues of social justice training."

At the same time, the STU College of Law is embarking on a $35 million campaign to try to diversify the legal profession. Lawson argues since the school is already more diverse than the legal profession at large the university is where the impact can be greater.

"Our school is the school to help disrupt that narrative and diversify the profession, and we're very proud of that. We're excited about that, this next generation of lawyers from various walks of life," she said.

Ben Crump social justice center
Attorney Ben Crump, left, and Marcus Arbery Sr., the father of Ahmaud Arbery, second from left, arrive at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga., as jury selection begins for the trial of the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery on Monday.

UM and FIU athletics make changes

The college football season is almost over and all that’s left are the bowl games. But, in Miami, two very different stories unfolding.

At the University of Miami, the school just hired a new head football coach, Mario Cristobal, who is being received like a hero.

“A ton of excitement. It was the Mario party,” said Susan Miller Degnan, who covers UM football for the Miami Herald, about how the community reacted to Cristobal’s arrival.

And according to multiple reports out Thursday, UM will pair him up with the athletic director from Clemson University, Dan Radakovich.

Meanwhile, at Florida International University, the school recently hired a new athletic director — Scott Carr from the University of Central Florida.

And they may have just found a new coach for the football program, according to the Miami Herald, Mike MacIntyre was introduced as FIU’s new football coach Thursday.

But a new coach is not the football team’s only issue. The school’s also having trouble getting people to go to the games.

“It’s going to be easier to get the football team back on track than to get people back on the stands,” said Walter Villa, who covers FIU for the Miami Herald.

UM and FIU athletics make changes

FARC rebels removed from U.S. terrorist list

The Colombian guerrilla group known as the FARC, or the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces, has been removed from the United states' list of terrorist organizations.

The Biden administration decided to erase them from the list last week. The move has been received negatively by many in South Florida — including Democrats.

And the news has also spurred disinformation. WLRN's Americas editor Tim Padgett has been covering the story. Find more of his reporting and commentary here.

FARC rebels removed from U.S. terrorist list

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Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.
Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, produces WLRN's midday public affairs program, Sundial weekdays at 1 and 8 p.m. Prior to transitioning to production, Caitie covered news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News for four years.