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Archive for March 29th, 2011

Ecumenical, Multi-Racial Ministers ask the Cardinal to make an exception for an exceptional Pastor

Posted by Admin On March - 29 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

thurstonOn Pastor Pfleger, Apostle White to Cardinal: ‘Let the Spirit speak to your heart about this decision’

 

By Chinta Strausberg

 

Showing their love and support for Saint Sabina’s Father Michael L. Pfleger, an ecumenical coalition of ministers called on Cardinal Francis George to make an exception to the parish tenure rule and allow an exceptional pastor to remain at his church with one clergy asking him to “Let the Spirit speak to your heart” before making a final decision.

To do otherwise, they warned, would destroy layers of fragile, delicate and emotionally-dependent relationships Pfleger has with many of his members and the community that he counsels, guides, marches and battles for social justice, against crime, and seeks resolutions for ongoing marriage and counseling on personal domestic issues literally from life to death.

However, Cardinal George continues to remain silent on this issue with his spokesperson saying the Cardinal does not discuss private conversations.

“We are standing today to show our support for Father Michael Pfleger. He has stood with the community and we as pastors and community leaders are standing with him today,” said Pastor Tyrone Crider, pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church, during a press conference held at the Josephine’s Restaurant, 436 E. 79th Street.

While Father Pfleger was present at the press conference, he did not speak in honor of his confidential talks with the Cardinal. However, last week during his service, Pfleger said his desire is to remain at Saint Sabina, and Friday a group of ministers made a plea to the Cardinal to allow Pfleger to remain at his church and continue his work that so many people across the city depend on.

Joined by more than two-dozen inter-denominational ministers from both the city and the suburbs, Crider said in honoring Pfleger’s desire and goal to remain at Saint Sabina they are asking the Cardinal and the Archdiocese “to allow Father Michael Pfleger to remain as pastor at Saint Sabina Catholic Church.”

Rev. Rodney Reinhart, pastor of the St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in Harvey and the St. Joseph and St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Blue Island, said, “All of us have worked with Father Pfleger over the years, and we all know that he is a profound Christian witness, an effective pastor, a beautiful and deeply faithful priest of the church, a man who has spoken up for peace, a man who has spoken up for justice, a man who has spoken up for the gospel of Jesus Christ, a man who represents the Catholic church in powerful and vital in life-giving ways.

“He has spoken up for our young people and he said we must protect our children from violence and from crime, and from drugs and from all the terrible things that can touch the lives of young people today,” said Reinhart.

“His witness, his voice, his power, his presence, his ministry in our community in Chicago and in all of Illinois, in all of America is so vital and so important, and so effective that we as pastors of the churches…we stand together to say please, Cardinal George, give us the chance to continue to have Father Pfleger in our midst working such a powerfully vital and important church leader and voice of the gospel,” said Reinhart.

Apostle Carl White, Jr., pastor of Victory Christian International Ministries that includes 50 churches, said Pfleger “not only touches Chicago. He touches the world especially in the south suburb. He has come there for us…” in their hour of need. “Here is a man who has done a mighty great work and to move him from his congregation we do not feel…people move people from time-to-time but there are exceptions to rules” he said that should in this case be considered.

“We stand with our beloved brother, Father Michael Pfleger, for all of the great work and challenges. We’ve seen 79th Street changed…. We lift up a standard with Father Mike,” said White-urging Pfleger “to continue to do great work. “

And to the Cardinal and the Archdiocese, White added, “They should reconsider and look again at the community and what the people are saying in the spirit. Let the spirit speak to your heart about this decision…,” he said standing in support of Pfleger.

Representing the Lutheran church was Pastor Booker Vance from St. Stephen Lutheran Church, said while he understands church politics, “we are not going to let nobody turn us around. We need to stand up clearly and understand the importance of this fine pastor.., our pastor, because he has always stood up, and he always stands for the right.

“He’s cleaned up the 79th Street corridor, the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood has been impacted and not only that the ecumenical understands clearly the importance of this fine ministry and this fine minister. We stand this day with Saint Sabina and our pastor, Michael Pfleger,” said Vance.

“I proudly tell you that I am an old Catholic school boy, and when I made it to the Lutheran Church, one of the first ones to reach their hands out to me was Father Michael Pfleger,” said Rev. Yehiel Curry, pastor of the Shekinah Chapel in Riverdale, Illinois.

“The city of Chicago and the Archdiocese may never know how up and coming pastors depend on this man for leadership and guidance,” said Curry. “He met me in Riverdale at Chuck’s Gun Shop when nobody else wanted to help us deal with commonsense gun laws. He met me there and with a bunch of young folks. We marched from Riverdale to Chuck’s Gun Shop, and we said, ‘enough is enough,’ and today we stand with Father Michael Pfleger.

Rev. Otis Moss, III, head of Trinity United Church of Christ, said Pfleger is more than a pastor. He is also a “community pastor.” He praised Pfleger for transforming the 79th Street area but “because of his work and his witness, he has brought a prophetic word and a model ministry across the United States.”

Referring to the ecumenical coalition of ministers supporting Pfleger, Moss said, “We stand together to show love for our brother and the work that he continues to do and we speak to the Cardinal to let him know that you have a group of ecumenical ministers who support the work of Father Mike and the Saint Sabina community. Let his works speak for himself.”

Representing the 34th Ward Ministers Alliance and the Pastor’s United for Change, Pastor Leonardo Gilbert, pastor of the Sheldon Heights Christian Church, said, “We support him (Pfleger) because he supported us because he has been there consistently when it has been popular and unpopular. We want the Cardinal to know. We want to send a strong message that as he has stood with us, we stand with him.”

Rev. Dr. Attorney Janette Wilson, associate pastor at the Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church, told reporters, “I remember the parish concept that the Catholic Church is built upon. He has implemented the parish concept in the city of Chicago. It is a model for social justice and social change…. He fought the drug lords along 79th Street. He has purchased billboards to deal with the sale of crack materials in our neighborhoods and grocery stores.

“He has marched and put his life on the line to protect our children against violence in the street. He has continued to lift up the history of African Americans not just in February’s Black History Month, but he has brought some of the most profound and prolific preachers and leaders in the African American tradition to the community of Saint Sabina and to the city of Chicago,” said Wilson.

To the Cardinal, Wilson said, “Just as many of us prayed with you when you were in this city wrestling with the abuse in the Catholic and we supported you then, we’re asking that you support us by allowing Father Michael Pfleger to remain in the parish that he loves and that loves him and to allow him to continue to serve this city and this community from Saint Sabina Catholic Church.”

Father James E. Flynn from Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church has known Pfleger since he was in the seminary “and from that time to this day, I’ve found him to be a consistent faithful minister of the gospel. It is the hope of the ministers and priests of this area that pastoral, positive solution can be found that Father Mike, the Cardinal, the people of Saint Sabina and the whole community can celebrate.”

Representing churches around America, Rev. Stephen Thurston, pastor, New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church (MBC) and president of the National Baptist Convention of America, said, “Father Mike has given his life not only to God, not only to the Archdiocese, but he has given his life to the people at Saint Sabina.” He said Pfleger “has allowed himself to be a servant to the people of God.”

“The relationship that Father Mike has to the people at Saint Sabina cannot be broken in this most critical period,” said Thurston pointing to the relationships with wives who have lost their husbands to drug abuse, those single mothers who are raising their children, and the relationships with people who lost their homes to foreclosures “who had nobody else but their pastor to go to and be embraced. That is the story of Father Mike and Saint Sabina.

“We pray that God will touch the heart of the Cardinal and God will speak on his behalf even as we know God will hear his prayer and embrace his passion to continue to pastor at Saint Sabina,” Thurston said praying for a resolution to this stalemate. “We transcend denominations” on this issue. “We thank you for the legacy that you have allowed him to demonstrate even now…,” prayed Thurston.

“We asked that you would become the director, that you would speak even in a moral voice as he speaks against the demons of drugs that are killing our community, as he speaks against the demons of violence that are taking the lives of our children, as he speaks against everything that would tear us apart. We pray right now that you build a fence of protection all around him and that you would touch the Cardinal and lead him in the way he should go…,” prayed Thurston.

Concluding the press conference was Crider who said while he understands the tenure issue stated by the Cardinal “there are exceptions to a rule, and we pray that an exception will be made for an exceptional pastor.”

Other ministers present at the press conference were: Rev. Anthony Richardson, New Covenant MBC, Pastor Gregory Macon, Rev. Marvin Hanson; Apostle John T. Abercrombie, Truth & Deliverance Ministries; Dean Wallace Tripplett; Rev. David Williams; Rev. Joseph Addison; Rev. Mark Kalema, Lady of Peace; Rev. Thaddo Ngimda, Holy Name of Mary; Father Thulani Magwaza, associate pastor, Saint Sabina; Dr. Kimberly Lymore, associate minister, Saint Sabina; Deacon David Williams, Rev. Joseph Addison; Rev. Mark Kalema, Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church; Rev. Thadeo Ngimba, Holy Name of Mary Church; Rev. James Flynn, Holy Name of Mary; Rev. DeWitt Harris; Rev. Yehiel Curry, pastor of Shekinah Chapel in Riverdale,  Rev. Dr. Phalese Binion, president, Westside Coalition, Deacon Calvin Stewart, Mount Calvary Baptist Church; Rev. Davie Moore, Victory Christian International Ministries, Pastor Leonardo Gilbert, Sheldon Heights Christian Church; Rev. Joseph Harris, assistant to Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.; Josephine Wade, manager of Josephine’s Restaurant, and others.

The religious leaders present at the press conference were: Pastor Tyrone Crider, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ, Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Rev. Stephen Thurston, Pastor, New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church (MBC) and president of the National Baptist Convention of America and his son, Stephen J. Thurston, II, the co-pastor, Rev. Anthony Richardson, New Covenant MBC, Apostle Carl White, Jr., pastor of Victory Christian International Ministries, Rev. Dr. Janette Wilson, associate pastor, Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church; Rev. Rodney Reinhart, St. Clement’s Episcopal Church, Harvey, IL and St. Joseph and St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Blue Island; Rev. Booker Vance, St. Stephens Lutheran Church; Pastor Gregory Macon, Rev. Marvin Hanson; Rev. Dr. Walter B. Johnson Jr., Pastor, Greater Institutional A.M.E. Church who also represented the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Chicagoland & Vicinity, Dean Wallace Tripplett; Rev. David Williams; Rev. Joseph Addison; Rev. Mark Kalema, Lady of Peace; Rev. Thaddo Ngimda, Holy Name of Mary; Father Thulani Magwaza, associate pastor, Saint Sabina; Dr. Kimberly Lymore, associate minister, Saint Sabina; Deacon David Williams, Rev. Joseph Addison; Rev. Mark Kalema, Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church; Rev. Thadeo Ngimba, Holy Name of Mary Church; Rev. James Flynn, Holy Name of Mary; Rev. DeWitt Harris; Rev. Yehiel Curry, pastor of Shekinah Chapel in Riverdale,  Rev. Dr. Phalese Binion, president, Westside Coalition, Deacon Calvin Stewart, Mount Calvary Baptist Church; Rev. Davie Moore, Victory Christian International Ministries, Pastor Leonardo Gilbert, Sheldon Heights Christian Church; Rev. Joseph Harris, assistant to Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.; Josephine Wade, manager of Josephine’s Restaurant, and others.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host.

Photo: Chinta Strausberg

State Sen. Willie Delgado supports the Smart Enforcement Act

Posted by Admin On March - 29 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS


Springfield, IL – Illinois State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) attended a press conference in Chicago today with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to discuss House Bill 1598, the Smart Enforcement Act.

“This legislation is a cost-saving immigration reform measure that is pro-law enforcement and pro-family,” stated Senator Delgado, Chairman of the Senate Public Health Committee.  “This legislation will allow communities to opt out of the program and bar the use of state funds for
the deportation of immigrants who are not criminals.”

House Bill 1598 addresses flaws in the federal Secure Communities program.  In counties that participate in this program, fingerprints that police departments take when booking suspects get sent to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify immigrants who can
be deported.  The ICE has been advertising Secure Communities as a tool to catch serious criminals, “the worst of the worst.”  In Illinois, however, 46% of people whom ICE has arrested under Secure Communities have no criminal records.

“Hundreds of families are being separated everyday because of the senseless deportations caused by Secure Communities,” said Father Larry Dowling from the Priests for Justice for Immigrants. “We are supporting the Smart Enforcement bill which will protect innocent mothers, fathers and children from deportation and would allow local enforcement agencies to focus on protecting our communities from real criminals.”

Liberal Democrats are hurting Obama’s Presidency over Libya

Posted by Admin On March - 29 - 2011 1 COMMENT

(From New America Media)

 

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson


Congressman Dennis Kucinich didn’t stop at blasting President Obama on his Libya war policy recently in a meeting of ultra-liberal Congressional Democrats. He practically invited Congress to consider an impeachment discussion of Obama.

Kucinich didn’t even stop there. He rammed the impeachment point home further in a follow-up interview in which he flatly said that the president went squarely against the Constitution in approving the Libya military action. So far, no other Democrat went quite that far. But several key Congressional Democrats including Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), and Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), did openly grouse that Obama went too far in not getting approval of Congress for his action.

There is no dispute that presidents have a legal, constitutional and political responsibility to get approval from Congress when the issue is waging war. This obligation is clearly spelled out in the War Powers Act. And those who made that point were right to make it. But Kucinich and the handful of Democrats who ripped Obama about Libya certainly know that there is virtually no possibility that Obama will blatantly abuse that power as Bush did in Iraq and Afghanistan and commit American ground troops to combat in Libya. This would be a gross violation of the provisions of the Act.

Obama backed the Libyan no-fly zone because the United Nations Security Council by unanimous vote backed it. The House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees backed the action. More importantly, the Arab League requested that the United Nations impose a no-fly zone over Libya. And nearly every humanitarian group around has backed it.

But, most important he backed it because it’s the politically and morally right thing to do. Kucinich and others would have screamed the loudest if Obama had done nothing and Gaddafi slaughtered thousands in a blood-lust rampage against the rebel groups. In his case, and that of every other dictator that’s ever been under siege from their own people, it always leads to the slaughter of innocent women, children and elderly, under the guise of restoring order. If Obama hadn’t acted, he would have been even more loudly condemned as being weak, indecisive and a chronic ditherer when it comes to making tough decisions on foreign policy issues.

The real troubling thing about Kucinich’s far-fetched hint that Obama could be subject to impeachment is that there are more than a few Republicans that would gladly relish the thought of having a contentious, distracting, and uproarious debate over Obama’s conduct not only in Libya but also over every other one of his policies. This would be more than a classic case of politics makes strange bedfellows, it would be a major destabilizing debate just at the point when Obama is gearing up in his push for re-election in 2012.

The GOP presidential field is weak, divided, and top heavy with controversy and even loathing. Just mention Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Newt Gingrich and listen to the loud groans among a majority of voters, and that includes a significant number of Republicans.

The outbursts from Kucinich and other Democrats, then, about Obama violating Congressional trust and prerogatives on Libya, simply adds to the political confusion. And that’s political manna from heaven for the GOP. Kucinich and Obama’s severest Democratic critics hope they can push Obama off his cautious, centrist stance on financial reform, tax cuts, government spending on jobs and more aggressive action on the home foreclosure crisis. Libya was just the latest, and the most convenient way to do that.

Any other time and place, it would be a fair and even needed tactic to get the administration’s full attention on the issues that Kucinich and liberal Democrats have pushed, prodded, and hectored Obama on for the last two years. But that tactic at this crucial stage of Obama’s presidency is fraught with political perils.

Kucinich, for instance, has found a warm reception on some conservative talk shows; shows that normally would not give him the time of day at any other time. But a lambaste of Obama coming from a liberal Democrat is something that the Right will always gleefully welcome. At any other time, Kucinich would lustily demand and cheer the action Obama and the United Nations took. The fact that he and few others don’t, but chose to nitpick instead tells more about their ongoing political anger at Obama than any real concern over whether Obama snubbed his nose at Congress. The GOP noise machine is in delirium at this. They get their fondest wish of pillorying Obama without saying a word, all courtesy of the Democrats.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He hosts a national Capitol Hill broadcast radio talk show on KTYM Radio Los Angeles and WFAX Radio Washington D.C. streamed on The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour on blogtalkradio.com and wfax.com and internet TV broadcast on thehutchinsonreportnews.com
Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter:http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

Jesse White and the Chicago Bears unveil new permanent Bears License Plate

Posted by Admin On March - 29 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Money raised from the license plates will support public schools

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and the Chicago Bears unveiled the new Chicago Bears permanent Illinois license plate.

The navy blue plate, which features the Bears logo, was on display during a press conference at the James R. Thompson Center. Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Richard Dent, Vice Chairman George McCaskey, and Senior Director of Special Projects Patrick McCaskey were on hand for the unveiling.

“As a longtime Chicagoan and sports fan, I am proud of the legacy the Chicago Bears have built in our great city and state,” said White. “This is a good opportunity for fans to express pride for their team while supporting public education in Illinois. It is my pleasure to have the Chicago Bears organization take part in this meaningful legislation.”

“We are appreciative of the opportunity to work with Secretary of State Jesse White to create a Chicago Bears license plate,” said Bears Vice Chairman George McCaskey.  “It is a great way to show team pride and help raise money for education in Illinois.  We are proud to add the ‘Roaring Bear’ to the plate options for Illinois drivers and hope to see many on the road across our great state.”

Twenty-five dollars from each license plate goes to the Professional Sports Teams Education Fund and is earmarked for the Common School Fund, which supports public schools throughout the state of Illinois.

Public Act 095-0331, enacted in 2002, allows for Illinois sports teams to have license plates designated as Professional Sports Teams license plates. The Chicago Bears are the third sports team in the state to take advantage of the law.

Starting today, the public can preorder the license plates by visiting www.cyberdriveillinois.com. Fans can order random number, personalized or vanity plates. Those plates will be sent out on April 29th.

The cost to purchase a random number Bears plate for a currently titled vehicle with valid Illinois registration is $69.

Pricing varies for vanity and personalized license plates.

Fans who attend the Chicago Bears Draft Party on April 29th and the Bears Expo on April 30th both at Soldier Field will be able to purchase and walk away with random number Bears license plates. The Secretary of State’s mobile unit will also be able to register people for personalized and vanity license plates at the event.

Alderman Scott Waguespack joins other progressive leaders and organizations in endorsing James Cappleman for 46th Ward Alderman

Posted by Admin On March - 29 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL – Reform Alderman Scott Waguespack became the latest in a series of progressive leaders and organizations to back James Cappleman’s campaign for 46th Ward Alderman.  Cappleman, a social worker, former teacher and community advocate, is in the April 5th run-off election to replace retiring Alderman Helen Shiller.  Waguespack is known as one the leading reformers on the Chicago City Council, respected for his strong stance against the City’s controversial parking meter lease deal. 

“I believe James Cappleman is the right candidate to help reform Chicago City’s Hall,” said Waguespack.  “I know he’ll be ready on day one to fight corruption and support stronger ethics measures.  I also know that James has the experience to fight crime and create businesses and jobs in his community.”

“I’m honored to have Alderman Waguespack’s endorsement” said Cappleman. “I look forward to working with him to fight for reform, ethics and transparency in city government.”

48th Ward Alderman Mary Ann Smith, whose ward borders the 46th Ward and also includes portions of Uptown, endorsed Cappleman because of his knowledge of the community and his ability to bring people together to bring positive change to Uptown. 

Cappleman is also endorsed by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, State Senator Heather Steans, the 46th Ward Democrats, 46th Ward Democratic Committeeman Tom Sharpe, former State Senator Carol Ronen, Illinois State Representative Deb Mell, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioners Debra Shore and Mariyana Spyropoulos, every former 46th Ward Aldermanic candidate who has made an endorsement in the race, LGBT advocacy organizations Equality Illinois and Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, clean government organization IVI-IPO, the Chicago Teachers Union, pro-choice organization Personal PAC, Northside Democracy for America, National Democracy for America, National Association of Social Workers and the Chicago Sun-Times, which wrote:

“In the runoff, we’re backing James Cappleman, a former teacher and social worker with deep roots in this fiercely independent ward.

Cappleman has a broad and detailed vision for attracting businesses to the ward, fighting crime and giving residents a greater say in ward decisions. Cappleman and opponent Mary Anne “Molly” Phelan, a real estate and tax attorney, don’t differ significantly on the issues but do in experience… we prefer Cappleman because we believe he would be more independent. Cappleman already has many long-standing, constructive relationships in the ward and has displayed a willingness to reach out to those with whom he disagrees.”

 

One-hundred small businesses in the 50th ward endorse Berny Stone

Posted by Admin On March - 29 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

  

Chicago, IL – One-hundred small businesses in the 50th ward have endorsed Alderman Berny Stone for re-election, highlighting his commitment to jobs and economic development.  Those endorsing Stone represent a wide array of businesses – from restaurants to retail shops to dry cleaners – from every corner of the 50th ward.

 

“Alderman Stone has always been willing to help small businesses in the 50th ward,” said Zaya Khaya, owner of DBA Sidney Tire Shop. “When the City of Chicago wouldn’t renew my family business license, he stepped in to preserve our livelihood.”

 

Alderman Stone has worked tirelessly to improve the small business climate in the 50th ward and create the conditions for economic growth. He helped secure $4.5 million in Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) dollars to assist job-creating Devon Avenue businesses. He helped bring a $25 million investment to Devon and Rockwell. He worked with Youth Corps to get young people involved in cleaning up the hub of the Devon Avenue business district.   

 

“Small business owners in the ward know that they can count on me to fight for lower taxes and for efficient and productive use of Small Business Improvement Fund dollars,” said Stone. They know they have an Alderman who fights every day to bring businesses to the ward and to keep those that are already here successful.  I am humbled to have the overwhelming support of 100 diverse businesses in the 50th ward.”

 

Alderman Stone won the largest number of votes in the first round of balloting on February 22nd and is currently garnering support for the April 5th run-off election.

New Inspirational Song, “I Am Who I Am”, by the Late Soul Music Icon Teddy Pendergrass released by his ongoing production company

Posted by Admin On March - 29 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Will Launch Production of the Long-Awaited Bio-Pic “I Am Who I Am: The Teddy Pendergrass Story”

 

 Song debuted on Pendergrass 61st Birthday with overwhelming responses worldwide


The Late Teddy Pendergrass and new CD cover

Philadelphia, PA (BlackNews.com) — To commemorate Teddy Pendergrass’ memory and the mission of inspiration he was leading upon his untimely passing, Teddy’s ongoing production company TED ON MUSIC recently debuted “I Am Who I Am” – a previously unreleased song that was among the last that Pendergrass recorded in his lifetime. “I AM Who I AM”, hit the radio airwaves and other broadcast outlets on the late music legend’s 61st Birthday (March 26), receiving overwhelming positive reactions from fans and the music industry worldwide. Composed by Teddy Pendergrass with his longtime friend and Musical Director Bill Jolly, the song is an inspirational and autobiographical gem for which Pendergrass plumbed the depths of his soul to share his spiritual essence and the source of his Heavenly fortitude.

Three-time Emmy-winning composer/arranger/musical director/keyboardist Bill Jolly – who directed the Sony/PBS/Live Nation television special “Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia” – shares, “Teddy told me, ‘I want to share a song about my life that will inspire people by shedding light on the times I was regretful, yet how I found strength and self-acceptance down the line. I want this song to live on long after I am gone.'”

Dynamically produced with additional arrangements by multi-platinum producer Herb Middleton (Al Green, Mary J. Blige & Usher) and vocal support from Jeff Smith’s Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale, it is a rapturous performance – buoyed by bluesy guitar and gospel grace – that will touch the souls of all who hear it with a compassionate heart. The single is available via iTunes (worldwide), Amazon.com, Rhapsody and most digital outlets. A percentage of proceeds will go to the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, which provides opportunities for individuals with spinal cord injuries.

Pendergrass wrote the song expressly for inclusion in the biographical film of his life that he was helping to develop. “I Am Who I Am” was intended to sum up and reflect his feelings after having gone through his earthly trials and tribulations, yet still came out feeling victorious and strong.

“It was long ago but it seems like only yesterday / When I thought my life was over and done / But now that time has passed and I see things so differently / It took a long time for me to understand / I am who I am / I’m more than just what you see / No one can discourage me / See I am just what I am / And it’s all a part of God’s plan / So here I stand still the same man / I am who I am”

Teddy’s widow, Joan Pendergrass, states, “Feeling incredibly whole and wanting to express to his fans the truth about his struggles and triumphs, he wrote these lyrics with no regrets for the world to hear… and he was proud about it. Forget his disability! When he recorded this song 25 years after the accident, he was standing tall in his spirit… still the same man… declaring ‘I Am Who I Am.’ This song should be an inspiration to all.”

Originally recorded in the summer of 2006, “I Am Who I Am” was never released to the public until now. He only performed it once at the “Teddy 25” anniversary event in Philadelphia that celebrated his milestone year of life post the car accident that rendered him paralyzed from the neck down.

The Estate of Theodore D. Pendergrass is proudly moving forward with its plans to produce the major motion picture “I Am Who I Am: The Teddy Pendergrass Story.” Young singer Tyrese Gibson (a.k.a. “Tyrese”) was personally tapped by Teddy to be in this picture because both men had a mutual admiration for each other. Teddy took Tyrese under his wing, and Tyrese respectfully referred to Teddy as “Pops.” The film is tentatively slated to begin shooting in Philadelphia and Toronto before year’s end.

Joan Pendergrass concludes, “Ted and I met on Easter Sunday and were spiritually connected ever since. He considered me a Godsend… his ‘Soul Mate.’ He was all-man to me. And with me, he felt like a complete man again. We truly found a ‘50/50 Love.’ We inspired each other…”

“Now I stand for Teddy Pendergrass – his legacy and his dreams. ‘I Am Who I Am’ is more than just another radio single. It’s about pride. While he was here, my Teddy endured – laughed, loved and lived life to the fullest. At times when I lose hope and feel like I cannot go on, I think of how my Teddy – my love, my rock – persevered. This song and the major motion picture we are about to create will reveal that same power that Teddy felt to the world.”

Dr. James Galloway, U.S. Assistant Surgeon General and HHS Acting Regional Director, speaks on the passage of America’s Health Care Law

Posted by Admin On March - 29 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 Waukegan, IL – On March 27, 2011, the Campaign for Better Health Care’s Faith Caucus, Jesus Name Apostolic Church, and Family First Center of Lake County co-sponsored HHS Acting Regional Director and Assistant Surgeon General Galloway, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the passage of the historic health care reform law.

 Dr. Galloway spoke to members of the congregation and the media at the Jesus Name Apostolic Church in Waukegan, IL.

“Regardless of the separation of church and state, people still choose to go to their church for help and information.   It takes a partnership to best serve the community and get the services to the people,” said Pastor John I. Caples Senior Pastor, Jesus Name Apostolic Church.

Through the passage of health insurance reform, we have brought some of the most abusive practices of the insurance industry to an end, and instituted new rights and benefits for all. From birth to death, Americans now enjoy health care security and protection in new ways. Already in Illinois:

  • 47,200 young adults in Illinois are now eligible to stay on their parents’ coverage through age 26
  • Tens of thousands of small businesses receive tax credits that help them offer their employees coverage
  • 7.5 million people in our state no longer need to worry about hitting a lifetime cap on benefits because of the ACA
  • 612,000 Illinoisans will not have their insurance coverage rescinded when they get sick and need it most
  • 1.8 million seniors are now eligible for free wellness care, and 109,421 of them received help in meeting the costs of their prescription drugs while in the Medicare Part D coverage gap

“In just one year since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, Illinois families have more freedom and control over their health care choices. Those who already have health insurance will have better and more affordable coverage, and for those who may not have insurance this law will expand coverage to over 32 million people. As a physician and a public health official, I’ve seen the real benefits this law has brought to children, families, and seniors in just one year, and there are many more to come,” said Dr. James Galloway, Acting Regional Director Region V HHS and Assistant U.S. Surgeion General.

“Family First Center of Lake County is committed to the mission of empowering the community with knowledge,” said  Evelyn Chenier M.S., L.P.C. Executive Director, Family First Center. “We support the implementation of a comprehensive and holistic health care plan for Illinois that provides affordable, quality and accessible health care.”

“Health care is the key to economic security and opportunity for millions of Illinois’ working families, children, seniors, individuals and small businesses,” said Jim Duffett, Executive Director of the Campaign for Better Health Care, Illinois’ largest grassroots health care advocacy coalition.  “Here at the one-year mark, we applaud those that voted for the passage of the Affordable Care Act in Washington last year, and encourage our elected officials in Springfield to move forward with the implementation of the required components of this law so that all Illinoisans can enjoy its benefits.”

Dr. Benjamin Hooks Job Corps Center announces Inaugural Memorial Walk Celebrating the legacy of their namesake Civil Rights Icon

Posted by Admin On March - 29 - 2011 10 COMMENTS

 

Memphis, TN (BlackNews.com) — Around the country everyone knows Job Corps for its’ no-cost education program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 through 24 improve the quality of their lives through career technical and academic training. But in Memphis, Job Corps has some Civil Rights/Black History significance associated with it. Job Corps entered the City of Memphis in 1998 as the Memphis Job Corps Center. But in 2006, the center name was changed to honor Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks, a native leader in the civil rights movement who also sat on the Job Corps board working alongside the executive director and administration to improve the quality of the programs.

Who was Dr. Benjamin Hooks? Dr. Hooks was a lawyer, a businessman and a Baptist minister, heading two separate churches. He was the first black to be appointed to the criminal court bench in his native Tennessee, and he was the first African-American to be named to the five-member Federal Communications Commission. He also came to symbolize an older generation of leaders who had marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and who had fought for the passage of landmark civil rights legislation

The Inaugural Memorial 5K Run/Walk is not about walking or racing to the finish, it is about life, honoring the legacy of Dr. Benjamin Hooks, celebrating the gift he gave to our world, and extending his efforts to the masses and future generations. This is not just another 5k event. This tribute to Dr. Benjamin Hooks is a non-competitive 5K (3.1 mile) fun run/walk for students, families with young children, the casual walker, the corporate professional, athlete and others who want to be involved with the new era of social leadership. It is a walk of legacy, and a gathering to show that we can each make a difference and change the world.

Event Details:
* What: Dr. Benjamin Hooks Inaugural Memorial 5K Run/Walk
* Who: Presented by the Dr. Benjamin Hooks Job Corp Center / National Civil Rights Museum and is open to the public
* When: Saturday April 30th, 2011 Race Starts at 9:30am
* Where: National Civil Rights Museum | 450 Mulberry Street, Memphis, TN 38103

Dr. Benjamin Hooks Award Short List:
* NAACP created the Benjamin L. Hooks Distinguished Service Award, which is awarded to persons for efforts in implementing policies and programs which promote equal opportunity.
* University of Memphis created the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change.
* Hooks received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in November 2007.
* Was inducted in the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site on January 12, 2008

Sadly on April 15, 2010 the world lost a great man, a pioneer, an icon. “Our national life is richer for the time Dr. Hooks spent on this earth,” President Obama said. “And our union is more perfect for the way he spent it: Giving a voice to the voiceless.” *

* www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-04-15-hooks-obituary_N.htm

For more information regarding the legacy and life of Dr. Benjamin Hooks or the Inaugural Memorial 5K, visit www.yourturnnow.org

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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