VBS Miami 2017

Event Details

See Schedule Above


June 10, 2017


7:45am - 4:00 pm


FIU-FMU Auditorium Florida Memorial University
in Miami, FL

This year's themes are: Our Children and the Courts, How the Media Shapes Image and Men, Fatherhood and Mentorship

The Victorious Boys Symposium is an empowerment workshop for Middle School and High School children ages 11-19 aimed at impacting the way they think, live and interact with their community and the world in which they live. Our goal is that based on our discussions, our impactful speakers and the overwhelming sense of support they will receive, that they will feel empowered to live in such a way that their lives might be described as ‘Victorious’.

We have determined that our youth need more than harsh words, they need help not just our condemnation of bad behaviors. We know that they aren’t all lost and many are doing positive things. But we are not blind to the conditions in which they live here in South Florida and nationwide. We know they have hurdles and challenges at home, many of whom come from single-parent households. Their televisions depict violence and criminal activity and sometimes injustice toward youth that look just like them.

Seeing such, we turn to God and now to you to help us launch this three-day nightly workshop aimed at helping our youth with knowledge to help them make better choices.

Based on our current world and the events circling around our communities, we have chosen the following themes for our breakout sessions.

Themes: Our Children and the Courts • How the Media Shapes Image and Men & Fatherhood and Mentorship •

Our Symposium will be aimed a ‘turning boys to men.’ Our focus group will be Middle School and High School boys that we hope to impact by showing them alternatives and correcting destructive mindsets. But overall, we just want to show them that we absolutely love and care for them and that they are not alone. We are proud to announce a partnership with Florida Memorial University who has graciously offered their campus as a host site. Additionally, we couldn’t be more proud to say that we are also being supported by the 100 Black Men of South Florida who are working with us to empower our children.

VBS has been organized by a group of faith-based pastors and community leaders all with a common goal of raising the station of the young Black and Latino men in South Florida.

The 2017 Miami VBS will be held at Florida Memorial University at the FIU-FMU Auditorium.


We have chosen the following themes for our breakout sessions.

Our Children and the Courts

We will discuss how violence poverty and family dysfunctions has attributed to a disproportionate number cases in the courts system. In additional we will discuss the impact that these cases have had on homes, schools, communities and prisons.

We are often reminded about the cruel reality of the unfair justice and discriminatory practices in the court system. This dynamic has led to the disproportionate sentencing and incarceration of Black and Latino youth.

During our second annual Victorious Boys Symposium, we’ll take a real look at certain complications with regard to our children and the court system. We’ll explain contradictions of our United States Criminal Justice system and begin dialogue for change. We’ll get fair feedback and perspective from local members of our judicial system and set a course for our youth to have success in the changing world in which they live.

How the Media Shapes Images

In the digital age that we now live in, news and information is available to us on a 24/7 cycle. Social media also allows us to interact with each other on a regular basis and allows us to share images, stories and messages both positive and negative.

This freedom has far reaching ramifications. We now have a generation that is being shaped by what they see and how they experience mass media.

How are our young men in this country portrayed? It is largely based on the influences of media and how they portray themselves through media. Since we cannot rely on media to be responsible for wholesome content, we must instruct our children on how to interact on social media.

Men, Fatherhood & Mentorship

So many of our youth are not privileged to have fathers or father figures. And as a result, many children do not have the physical, emotional and spiritual support that they desperately need for development.

We will focus on how men can fulfill fatherhood roles and on how unavailable fathers can participate in the development of their child. We will discuss the development of healthy, wholesome alternatives such as mentorships and accountability measures that would assist our youth.


When and where things are happening

June 18, 2017 7:45AM

Registration and check in (light breakfast)


Program begins: Introductions & Proclamations


First Keynote Speaker:


Second Keynote Speaker:


Third Keynote Speaker:


Breakouts begin


Breakouts wrap up & Panel


Speaker, Ty Baker

Ty Baker

Tyrone Baker Jr. is a Freelance Producer based in Miami, FL. At an early age Tyrone developed a love for TV production and film by working on the morning news at his elementary school. He further explored the film production industry throughout high school learning which areas he found his passions in. While attending Full Sail University Tyrone was able to utilize his environment of creativity and starter his full time career with impressive skill and vigor.

Driven by his passion to learn more and stay ahead of the game, Tyrone is always looking for ways to step outside the box.


Speaker, JD Craigman

JD Craigman

“Speak with power, passion and purpose”; words by which JD Craigman lives.

Specifically, Craigman has been mastering the art of motivational speaking by delivering a message of self-reinvention.  He believes that anyone can bounce back from any situation with perseverance and courage. 

 JD spent most of his life in Miami, Florida. He is a former Division I student athlete having played both football and basketball. His collegiate career began at Mendocino College, but after two years, he moved on to the University of Kentucky where he received numerous accolades for accomplishments off the field including an Outstanding Community Service Award. He proudly earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 2008.

Since then, he has continued his professional and leadership development through exploring various industries, including multimedia production and entrepreneurship. In 2015, he joined 16Ways Foundation, a non- profit organization that is devoted to helping youth invent and often reinvent themselves. One of JD’s contributions to the organization was the launch of literacy program 16Chapters. 16Chapters has a goal of putting 20,000 books into the local communities the organization serves by 2020! JD currently works as a Business Consultant in the healthcare industry.


Speaker, Zack Crockett

Zach Crockett

The elder of The Crockett Brothers, Zack, is also a graduate of both Ely High School and Florida State University. During his collegiate career, Zack became the first fullback since 1984 to rush for 100-plus yards in a game. Zack majored in Criminology at Florida State University and was drafted in 1995 by the Indianapolis Colts. He also played 9 years for the Oakland Raiders totaling 13 years in the NFL. Now he's serving as the Vice-President of the Crockett Foundation and a SE Area Scout for the Oakland Raiders. Zack credits working with South Florida youth as one of his greatest passions.


Speaker, Elaina Brinson

Elaina Brinson

Elaina McCann-Brinson is a native of Philadelphia, PA. Her family relocated to the South Florida area when she was in elementary school. After graduating high school, she attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University where she studied Occupational Therapy. In her role as an Occupational Therapist, Elaina has traveled to California on assignment and continues to share her gift of improving the lives of others in various South Florida communities. Under her E'So Inspired Brand and as a Certified Health Coach, Elaina empowers her clients to live their healthiest, most fulfilled life. She is an Executive Director with Total Life Changes, where she leads a team of winners to reach holistic and financial wellness. It doesn't stop there; she also spreads positivity through her boutique t-shirt company, E'So Inspired where she designs unique, appealing, thought-provoking shirts with a message. As the Lead Creative Director and Producing Partner of 4 Christ Sake, Innertainment.

Elaina oversees concept development and execution of stage plays and events. Elaina works on the Community Outreach ministry and is an active member of the HOPE Church of Christ. Elaina and her husband Patrick are parents to Lily and Patrick, Jr. She is a hands on mother who truly believes in developing and nourishing her children's gifts early on. As a member of the Gamma Zeta Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Elaina strives to help young women reach higher educational pursuits while being of service to all mankind. She is truly a woman of many talents.


Experienced and Inspirational


Ilona M. Holmes

Ilona Maxine Holmes is a Criminal Division judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court in Florida. She was appointed by former Governor Lawton Chiles in June of 1998 to replace Judge Carole Taylor. Her current term expires in January of 2019.

Holmes received her B.A. degree (in political science) from Florida Atlantic University and her J.D. degree from Texas Southern University - Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

Holmes was admitted to the Bar in 1982. Early in her career, Holmes worked as an assistant state attorney in Miami-Dade County. In 1991, she became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Ft. Lauderdale. She held that position until her appointment to the circuit court in 1998.


Speaker, Shawn Tyrell

Shawn Tyrell

As a champion for the spirit of entrepreneurship, a vibrant voice on Social Media, Talk Radio and other platforms, people cannot wait to hear what Shawn Tyrell has to say. From his vantage point as one of the youngest team leaders for the pharmaceutical conglomerate, Pfizer Inc., to becoming a seasoned CEO driving his own entrepreneurial ventures, Shawnboy, Inc., and In The Black Media Group, Shawn can relate to a variety of business professionals striving towards the common goal of putting their “best marketing foot forward.”

Skilled in team building and motivation, his personal engagement and leadership skills are the perfect formula for success. His energy and drive are contagious. Experienced in aggressive marketing strategy, this execution expert brings his unique ability to understanding his client‘s needs, and translating those needs into an effective strategic plan.

Shawn also invests time and resources to nurture and develop our youth and he is passionate about giving back to his community. In 2002 Shawn founded G.R.U.B. (Guiding and Rebounding Un-fathered Boys) an urban-based initiative to mentor, teach and empower boys living in women head households.


Speaker, Rashawn Welch

Rashawn L. Welch

Rashawn L. Welch was born on April 20, 1970 in Cleveland, Ohio. Rashawn was born to two African American descendants, Curtis Welch and in loving memory, Marcella Welch, bearing four children. After living a few years in the inner-city, the family moved to the country side seeking a better life in Andover, Ohio. The Welch family are proud Church of Christ members and devoted their life to their Christian values.

Rashawn was baptized when he was eleven, joined the choir at age twelve, and became the song leader a year later. He also participated as a singer in his high school jazz band, joined the basketball team, and courageously sung during half-time.

Though learning was a challenge for Rashawn, he was the only African American male who graduated from Pymatuning Valley High school in the year of 1998 and was accepted to Cleveland State University.

Rashawn was very sheltered as a child which lead to a few misleading decisions when he became an independent adult. Rashawn left Cleveland State and moved to Miami where he endured a fast lifestyle. After decades of trial and error, Rashawn is now happily married to Catalina Welch (March, 23, 2014), song leader of Hope Church of Christ, and a is successful business of 305 Elite, renting exotic cars to local celebrities. Shawn also has four teenagers whom he adores and inspires daily accepting the fact that he too, is not perfect. Rashawn aspires to share his story with young black men in the Miami area to seek alternatives for financial success and hopes to keep many of them off the streets.


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