Survivors share their stories
Even those saturated with media reports of violence were aghast when the Marla Hanson tragedy made the news in the 1980s. The story of the beautiful young model, whose face was ravaged by two razor-wielding thugs hired by a jealous landlord, shocked and angered many.
Equally repulsive was the harrowing indignity Hanson suffered by way of defense attorneys who pilloried her for her fashion sense, alleging the victim's actions provoked the crime. Hanson, right, later described the defense's reliance on demeaning stereotypes of women as worse than the attack itself.
With her modeling and acting career destroyed and after years of painful recovery, including therapy for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, Hanson has become one of the most vocal advocates for victims' rights legislation and services in America. Today she will be the featured speaker at the third annual Surviving Through Inner Strength luncheon and awards ceremony honoring survivors of domestic violence, where she hopes to inspire others to rise from victim to victor.
The event is presented by the Save A Life Campaign, co-founded by Miami native Pamela Stack, one of the nation's leading advocates against family violence. A domestic abuse survivor, she was stabbed multiple times, beaten, and strangled by her estranged husband on Christmas Day 1990. Helping hundreds of women and children leave abusive relationships over the past fourteen years, Stack established a cell phone donation program that arms victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, the elderly, and disabled with phones that automatically dial 911. She has also organized a student-education initiative on teen violence and date rape.
During the event, local government and court officials will present several awards recognizing survivors of domestic violence, the agencies that service them, and organizations and advocacy groups that work on their behalf. Also a $3000 scholarship will go to a survivor of domestic violence.
The awards ceremony and luncheon gets underway at 11:30 a.m. at the Doral, 4400 NW 87th Ave. Tickets cost $45, with proceeds benefiting the domestic violence programs supported by the National Council of Jewish Women. Call 305-490-2279 or firstname.lastname@example.org. --Carlos Suarez de Jesus
Dawn on Carnival Monday finds Trinidad's streets already ram-cram with shirtless, sticky men wearing devil horns and wielding pitchforks, die-hard bacchanalists slathered in colors not found in human skin, inebriated carousers clad in soiled, ragged clothing. From midnight till sunrise, the French words jour ouvert (day open) are vividly brought to life by a parade of masqueraders covered head to foot with mud, paint, or thick, black oil. They celebrate the filth of human life before cleansing their bodies with kerosene, going home, and dressing in the sequins, beads, and feathers traditionally associated with what this Caribbean island touts as the greatest show on earth. But we in America don't want to get dirty like that. We need to sit in our leather bucket seats and drive home. All we get is A Taste of J'ouvert, a sanitized sample of true Trini mas. Enjoy steelpan music by 21st Century Steel and a pan-around-the-neck band, as well as DJ Maestro and Mix Master Roderick's soca stylings. Tonight at 10:00, dress in black and white, and come to the Hialeah Park clubhouse, 2200 E. 4th Ave. Call 786-457-6772. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Drive like you're suicidal
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Miami's got a God-awful reputation for road safety. People will just cut you off, then curse you out on the highway for no good reason, or honk like crazy when the light has barely turned green. If you've ever wanted to speed recklessly down an empty street, then slam hard enough on the brakes to burn rubber, or take on a slalom test at a Speed Racer pace, here's your fix, NASCAR wannabe. Mitsubishi has taken its "See What Happens" advertising campaign to heart. You can test-drive Mitsubishi cars, watch a passel of professional stunt drivers demonstrate accident-avoidance maneuvers, then feel your heart pound while these daredevils let you sit shotgun on a race. Unlike you speed demons out there, these racers know what they're doing and are there to give you friendly, helpful road-safety advice. Bring your checkered flags to Gulfstream Park, 901 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is free. Call 786-301-1791 or register at www.feelwhathappens.com. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Those wanting to roam through the Wynwood area in the evening and be entertained by more than just colorful homeless people, deserted streets, and locked warehouses can rejoice at the return of Roving Fridays in Wynwood. The eighth edition of the monthly multimedia extravaganza that helped put the neighborhood on the map over the last year or so comes back with art from fifteen of this town's top talents such as Jasmine Kastel, Keen-One, Jahmal Williams, Jay Giroux, Clutch, Kiki Valdes, and Daniel Fila; a fashion show including pieces by Ash Rana and Dinia Demu; performance art by Fetish Fantasies; music courtesy of DJ Induce, ANR, and Suenalo Sound System; photographic projections from Burning Man and of the evening's guests by coolpool lensman Tomas Loewy; raffles, auctions, and an open bar. The hip happening goes on at the Smith Building/OBJEX artspace, 203-217 NW 36th St. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $10. Call 305-573-4400. -- Nina Korman