Veterans Counseling Veterans is a 501C3 nonprofit, EIN 46-4123917   Veterans Counseling Veterans is a 501C3 nonprofit, EIN 46-4123917   Veterans Counseling Veterans is a 501C3 nonprofit, EIN 46-4123917  

100th Anniversary Commemoration for Memorial dedicated to Florida Negro World War Veterans

Veterans Counseling Veterans is partnering with Tampa Alumni Chapter,  Gamma Eta Sigma, Phi Beta Sigma Incorporated to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Memorial dedicated to the Florida Negros World War Veterans.

The Memorial was dedicated on May 30 1923.

The commemoration will be held on 30 May 1100 at the Memorial Park Cemetery on 2225 East MLK Blvd, Tampa.

There are over 500 World War I, II and Korean War Black Veterans buried at the Memorial Park Cemetary. In those periods, cemeteries were segregated.

It’s time to honor those who died and didn’t get recognition during segregation.

Guest Speakers

President | CEO

Master of Ceremony: Ellsworth “Tony” Williams, President/CEO for Veterans Counseling Veterans INC

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor

Mayor Jane Castor is the 59th Mayor of the City of Tampa. Born and raised in Tampa, Jane has spent a lifetime in service to the community, first as a police officer, then as Tampa’s first female Chief of Police, and finally as the city’s 59th Mayor. She graduated from Chamberlain High School and attended the University of Tampa on an athletic scholarship.

Jane spent 31 years with the Tampa Police Department, serving in nearly every capacity and in nearly every neighborhood of the city. In October of 2009, Castor became Tampa’s first female Chief of Police, serving for six years in that role. During her time as a senior staff member, Castor worked to reduce major crimes by 70% citywide. While Chief, she developed and successfully executed a progressive policing strategy during the 2012 Republican National Convention and oversaw the successful Bollywood Awards, held in America for the first time. In addition, she oversaw the multi-jurisdictional security plan for Super Bowl XLIII and led the Department of Homeland Security’s Tampa Bay Urban Area Security Initiative.

Bishop Michelle B Patty

Bishop Patty is the senior pastor of Trinity and Faith Ministry
Bishop Michelle B. Patty – Outstanding Pastor, Enterpreneur and community activist. Bishop Michelle B. Patty is a native of Tampa, Fl and a product of the Hillsbourough county public school system. Ms. Patty is a devoted wife to Deacon Jesse Patty a caring mother of three and grandmother of six. B ishop Patty is the senior pastor of Trinity and Faith Ministry. Mrs. Patty has received numereous accolades and awards from her outstanding commitment to her community. In 1996 she was the only African American female in Hillsbourough county to be appointmented as an Olymipic Torch Bearer. In 1998 the CCHR Human Rights Award was presented to her. She has founded and host many talk shows, that has aired on WTMP, 88.5fm and News Talk 820 radio were she and Corey “King Cobra” Felton was the 1st African American to host on that broadcast. In 2001, this successful Pastor and enterpreneur started her own referrel service. She is the owner of the Michelle B. Patty medical referral services which services the entire Tampa Bay area.

In 2004, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology from Blessed Hope Bible College where she graduated Magna Cum Laude to become a license ordanied minister.The City of Tampa Black History Committee,Inc presented Michelle Patty with the annual Twenty Lights award feb29,2008.She was also presented The Black Diamond Award by the Mt.Pleasant Family Community Activist of the year award Feb 9,2008.May7,2011 The Buffalo Soldiers Presented Michelle B, Patty the Wood And Wathtom Chapter.The Top Ladies Of Distinction,Inc presented to Michelle Patty 2011 Distnguished Woman award.She received the 2007 Bigger and Better Business Award from PHI BETA SIGMA FRATERNITY INC GAMMA ETA SIG MA CHAPTER. Bishop Patty was the 2010, 2012 ,2015and 2018 proud sponsor of the Historical Blake and Middleton football game in which Howard W. Blake is her Alma Mater. She also received the NAACP woman’s leadership award in 2015.In 2021 the Tampa Bay Juneteenth Coalition presented her with the making a difference Award-Activist. She is a member of the Tampa Bay Tiger Club. She is also a lifetime member of the Cambridge who’s who registry of executives and professional. Ms. Patty has been blessed to have obtained many more awards which are not mentioned in this Bio 

District 5 City Councilwoman Gwen Henderson

A Tampa native, Gwendolyn Henderson was born on October 5, 1964, and grew up in the working-class Carver City neighborhood.  She attended Roland Park Elementary, Morgan Woods Elementary, West Tampa Junior High School, and Pierce Junior High School.  After graduating from Jefferson High School, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in education from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) and received a Master of Education and Education Specialist degree in educational leadership and higher education administration from Saint Leo University.  She is an accomplished and highly effective educator with Hillsborough County Public Schools and owner of Black English Bookstore.

Henderson is the proud daughter of the late Asbury Henderson, a Korean war veteran. She considers it an honor to be the primary caregiver for her 92-year-old mother, Gladys Austin Henderson. She has one favorite daughter, Ariel Amirah, a graduate of Jefferson High School and Howard University. Henderson is a 32-year resident and pioneer of the revitalized historic Tampa Heights neighborhood, which she purchased with the support of Tampa Preservation, Inc., and the Mayor Sandy Freedman’s Challenge Fund.

Henderson has been a member of Delta Sigma Theta, an international public service sorority for 29 years and serves on the Entrepreneurship in Education Advisory Board.  She is a life member of the Florida A&M University Alumni Association, Saint Leo University Alumni Association, and American Booksellers Association.

In her newly appointed role on City Council, she also serves on the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, Public Safety Coordinating Council and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Committee, as well as being appointed board chair for the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).

Keynote Speaker

Norene Copeland Miller

Retired from Springfield College – as Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment, Adjunct Professor. BOCC Head Start – Health Specialist and Training Manager for 15 years
Chair, West Central Region Advisory Board (Lee Davis/West Tampa Advisory Board)
Chair, Hillsborough County Community Action Board, Representing the Low-Income sector and a Concern Citizen.

Over 40 years of government experience in human services and social services field. Credentials include a Bachelor of Arts Degree, National Louis University and 2 Master of Science Degrees, one in Organizational and Leadership, the other one in Mental Health Counseling from Springfield College. Additionally, 10 years a Certified Mediator for the 13 th Judicial Supreme Court of Florida and 4 years a Registered Mental Health Intern with the Department of Health. In 2002, While working for BOCC Head Start/ Early Head Start, Norene was selected by the American Psychological Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children to implement the ACT (Adults and Children Together) Against Violence Training Program in Hillsborough County. She has trained over 100 professionals who work with families and other adults teaching them the skills of violence prevention, managing anger, social problem-solving, discipline, and media literacy. She has vast experiences inconsulting with families, child services centers, providers, schools, and public health agencies. Norene Copeland Miller has demonstrated commitment to her community. She has resided in East Tampa for over 30 years, and she personally knows hundreds of citizens. She articulates the East Tampa and West Tampa community’s needs, and, over the years, she has maintained extensive community involvement including:
· Member of East Tampa Community Revitalization Partnership.
· President Emeritus, National Council of Negro Women, Inc., Tampa Metropolitan Section.
· Lee Davis Neighborhood Service Center Advisory Board.
· Middleton High School Alumni Association.
· National Head Start Alumni Association
· The Head Start Community Foundation.
· Tampa Bay Performing Arts Community Ensemble.
· Former Trainer for the Front Porch Florida Project.
· Volunteer for the National Football League Youth Education Town (YET) Center.
· Member of First Baptist Church of College Hill. Active participant in several auxiliaries.
· Member Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
· Life Member of the NAACP
· Legacy Life Member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)
· Formal 1st Vice President of East Tampa Business and Civic Association
· My Sister Keeper (MSK) Founder Tampa Bay Chapter
· Member of the Hillsborough County Community Action Board, Chair
Awards and Honors:
Florida Mental Health Institute, Early Childhood Scholarship Recipient.
Head Start Policy Council Leadership Award
Hillsborough County BOCC, Outstanding Citizenship Award.

District 7 City Councilman Luis Viera

Luis Viera was raised in the North Tampa/Temple Terrace area and is a 2000 graduate of the University of South Florida and 2003 graduated from Stetson College of Law.  He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2003 and is a Florida certified mediator.

Luis is very active in his local community.  He is the former Chairman of the Hillsborough County Bar Association Diversity Committee and a former Chairman of the City of Tampa Civil Service Board.  He is a founder and former President of Lawyers Autism Awareness Foundation and previously served on the Board of Tampa Bay Best Buddies, an organization that assists and advocates for persons with special needs and developmental disabilities.  He was also the Incoming President of the Tampa Hispanic Bar Association and is a member of the George Edgecomb Bar Association.

Professionally, Luis has received the following professional awards and citations:

  • Florida Super Lawyers (2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015)
  • Florida Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” (2012, 2013)
  • Florida Trend Legal Elite (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015)
  • Best Lawyers in America (2020-2021-2022)
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal “40 Under 40” Up and Comers
  • 2012 Recipient of Equal Opportunities in the Profession Award from the Florida Bar Equal Opportunities Law Section
  • 2013 Recipient of the Civic Involvement Award from Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc.
  • 2014 Recipient of the Tampa Hispanic Bar Association President’s Award for Service
  • 2015 Recipient of Florida Association for Women Lawyers Leaders in the Law Award
  • 2016 Recipient of the Tampa Hispanic Bar Association Luis Cabassa Award

Luis has also received the Keeping the American Patriotic Spirit Alive Award (2018) from the Hillsborough County Veterans Council and the Community Champion Award (2020-2021) from the Hillsborough County Veterans Treatment Court Mentors.

As a Tampa City Councilman, Luis previously served on the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission and also served on the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization.  He previously served as Chairman of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organizations’ Transportation Disadvantaged Committee.  He presently serves on the Board of Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART).  From 2019 to 2020, Luis served as Chairman of Tampa City Council and presently chairs Tampa City Council’s Public Safety Committee.  Luis is also a member of numerous organizations, including the Thaddeus Stevens Society, the Tampa Hispanic Bar Association, the Hillsborough County Bar Association, Centro Asturiano de Tampa, and the Urban League of Hillsborough County.

Luis Viera is married to Colleen O’Brien, has one son, Luis Viera II, and lives in Hunters Green