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Archive for June 3rd, 2011

Jesse to Pfleger: “You’re a Champion” ‘You Are Special to Us’

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2011 1 COMMENT

jackson buttonBy Chinta Strausberg

 

The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., Sunday attended service at Saint Sabina, which included the eighth grade Saint Sabina Academy graduation, where he called Father Michael L. Pfleger “a champion who is “very special to us.”

And, Pfleger thanked Jackson for his support and encouragement when he was “going through my time out.”

Pfleger was referring to his four-week suspension by Cardinal Francis George who had misinterpreted what he said on the Tavis Smiley show. The Cardinal thought Pfleger had said if he is removed from Saint Sabina, then he would go outside of the church.

“I thank God for the folks like Rev. Jackson who called and encouraged me, said what can I do for you. How can I support you? He even said come over to PUSH we’ll have a Pfleger Day. I said, ‘I’m trying to get a Pfleger Day at Saint Sabina, to get back there.’  I thank him for his friendship and his consistency over the years,” said Pfleger.

Jackson said, “It is a special joy to stop by and be with you today, my family, and to be with my prophetic brother.  God has blessed Father Pfleger beyond measure.

“And, every stumbling block is a stepping-stone. No test. No testimony. You get your stars from the scars. Though you slay me yet will I trust you because I know my redeemer lives. There is nothing too hard for God.

“We fall down sometimes.  We’re knocked down sometimes. We’re tripped up sometimes. We get back up again and again and again because the ground is no place for a champion. He’s a champion. Father Pfleger is a champion,” Jackson bellowed.

Jackson added,  “Suffering breeds character. Character breeds faith and in the end faith will prevail.

“There are no untouched prophets. There are no unscarred prophets. There is a beheaded John. There is a crucified Jesus. They shot down Martin Luther King, Jr. There are no prophets without scars but those are the measurement of  worth of your ministry. We thank you. We appreciate you. We love you. You are special to us, Father Pfleger,” said Jackson.

Jackson announced that on June 18-22nd, he is holding his 40th annual conference of the Rainbow PUSH coalition and Citizenship Education Fund. The theme this year is “A More Perfect Union: Closing the Gap,” and is being held at the Chicago Hilton & Towers, 720 S. Michigan, Chicago, IL.

He asked the congregation if they knew someone who is either in foreclosure or behind in their rent. He then asked if they knew somebody who is looking for a job, or if they knew anyone who was in debt “and can’t make ends meet.”

“This is what makes Father Pfleger different,” said Jackson. “He speaks to these issues. What made Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  different was not eloquence. There are a lot of eloquent preachers around but you have to take the risk to change peoples’ objective condition.  It’s easy to preach the funeral of a shot person.  It’s hard to stop a person from being shot in the first place.

“Father Pfleger does not settle for preaching funerals of children who are shot. He tries to stop from being shot in the first place…. The funeral is a painful, pitiful ceremony, but we got to end the funerals. Extend life by stopping the gunshots,” said Jackson fondly calling Pfleger “Bishop, Pentecostal, Reverend, Priest, Father Pfleger.

Referring to his conference, Jackson said on Saturday, June 18th, he is focusing on the attempt to take back the voting rights.  “If you ‘re a senior, they want you to show your birth certificate in 34 states. If you don’t have a birth certificate, you have to buy one,” said Jackson labeling that law a “poll tax, if you’re on fixed income.”

He said students would have to show a student ID card. “You have to buy a government voter ID card. That’s a poll tax,” he said accusing lawmakers of trying to deny the poor and students the right to vote.

“You have 5.5 million blacks do not have their drivers license and that is another burden. If you cut the vote by 10 percent, President Barack cannot win. Kennedy beat Nixon by 110,000 votes, one vote per precinct. Bush and Dole got more white votes than Clinton. He (Clinton) got more white, black and brown and he won. That is what 10 percent means,” said Jackson. “Bush took the election” by 600 votes….”

Jackson is holding a rally that Saturday on laying off teachers while taking away the vote.

On Sunday, June 19th, Jackson said he is holding a “mass looking for a job rally.” That night, he is holding the Clay Evans Gospel Concert including Kim Stratton, Jennifer Holiday and others.  He will have the preachers dancing with the stars.

Other conference topics being discussed on Saturday, June 18th, which will be held at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, 930 E. 50th St., where a Walgreens health screening van will be parked on Drexel Street, will be discussions on “Chaos to Community…Where Do We Go From Here? State’s Rights: Civil Rights Under Attack.”

Other topics being discussed Saturday include the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Innocence Project headed by Jonathan Jackson, who is the national spokesperson for PUSH.

There will be a press conference held at 12:15 p.m. followed by a PUSH Breadbasket Reunion (Barbeque) on the back lawn of the PUSH Coalition.

On Sunday, June 19th, from 1:30 pm. To 3:30 p.m., there will be a discussion of “The Black Male Crisis,” and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Clay Evans Gospel Concert will be held.

On Monday, June 20th, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., an international plenary –The Global Village’ will be held at the Chicago Hilton & Towers.

There will be a 10 a.m. press conference.

Other topics for Monday include from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., a discussion on Supplier Diversity Roundtable Discussion, from 10 am to 11:30 a.m., Session I – Does market Share Translate into Representation? Also being discussed from 10 a.m.  to 11:30 a.m. will be Session II: Comcast NBC Universal Acquisition…. What it Means. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a career opportunity and development expo.

From 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a business luncheon and from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., session I will be held on African Americans on Corporate Boards. From 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Franchise Ownership session will be held. From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Macy’s Supplier Diversity Panel discussion will be held. From 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Session I –Education Roundtable: Closing the Achievement Gap will be held.

From 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., there will be a Coca-Cola opening reception, and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the PUSH Excel Scholarship gala will be held.

On Tuesday, June 21st at the Chicago Hilton & Towers, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., there will be a labor breakfast and from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. a discussion on the Credit Crisis: Creating Alternatives to Banks. From 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. there will be a labor session, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a Career Opportunity and Development Expo.

From 10 am. To 4 p.m.,  Session II – Home Foreclosure Prevention workshop will be held followed by a 12 noon to 2:30 p.m., Minister’s luncheon. From 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Session I –Training the Trainer: Financial literacy for Pastors will be held.

From 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Session II – March Madness/May Sadness will be held followed by Session III –Hip Hop Summit.  From 7 p.m. to 9 pm., an Athletic Banquet will be held.

On Wednesday, June 22nd at the Chicago Hilton & Towers, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., a health plenary –The Link Between Obesity and Cancer, and from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., there will be a health screening, education and prevention. From 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., a discussion on “Live Positively: Proper Nutrition” will be held. From 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Session I for Veterans Affairs Panel discussion, and from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m., there will be a Women’s Luncheon.

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

Illinois Attorney General Madigan supports effort to improve Public Access Counselor’s role, increase transparency in Illinois

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Amendment Would Significantly Simplify, Speed, Strengthen FOIA Process

 

Springfield, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan supported a proposed change to the Freedom of Information Act that would increase transparency in Illinois by simplifying, speeding and strengthening the process for accessing public information.

The bill (HB 1716, Senate Amendment 1) will eliminate a provision in FOIA, that while initially helpful as an educational tool, has too often become a hindrance to the efficient and speedy release of public information.  This non-binding process currently requires public bodies, in each and every instance, to ask the Public Access Counselor for pre-authorization to use two commonly cited exemptions in responding to requesters.   

Eliminating the pre-authorization process would enable the Public Access Counselor to devote its limited resources to resolving disputes over access to public information, including by issuing binding opinions and engaging in enforcement efforts, and to continue to educate public officials on how to apply the law. The Attorney General believes an emphasis on enforcement, especially through the issuance of binding opinions, will strengthen transparency laws in Illinois.  The pre-authorization requests make up more than half of all inquiries to the Public Access Counselor.  In 2010 alone, 62 percent of the Public Access Counselor’s work involved reviewing pre-authorization matters, which have no enforcement mechanism. The elimination of the pre-authorization process would allow the PAC to shift its focus and enforcement efforts to public bodies intent on withholding information.

“By streamlining the FOIA review process and increasing our ability to enforce the law, we will help to ensure greater transparency at all levels of government in Illinois,” Attorney General Madigan said.  “This important change to the FOIA process will allow the Public Access Counselor to focus on enforcement of the law and reduce delays in the public’s access to information about our government.”

The legislation is also designed to simplify and speed up the process to obtain public records. Initially established to focus on the most frequently cited exemptions, the pre-authorization process can be lengthy and time consuming and, in many instances, unnecessary if the proposed exempt information is not significant to the requester. As a result, the process has often unintentionally created an extra step before information is released, delaying requesters’ access to information. And in instances where a public body seeks to delay the release of information, this process has provided an opportunity to do that. As a result, eliminating the pre-authorization process will help to reduce delay in responding to FOIA requests.

Additionally, by focusing on resolving disputes and increasing enforcement of FOIA through binding decisions, the Public Access Counselor will provide increased guidance to public officials on how to apply FOIA. The Public Access Counselor also will continue its work in educating public officials on transparency laws and their proper application through statewide training seminars and online training programs, all with an eye toward improving the process and continuing to increase access to information at all levels of government in Illinois.

Topinka: Progress made, but backlog will continue

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Comptroller cautions vendors that payment delays remain

 

Springfield, IL – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka commended lawmakers Thursday for showing spending restraint and adopting conservative revenue estimates during the Spring Legislative Session, but cautioned state vendors that payment delays will continue as Illinois’ bill backlog has not been addressed.

The assessment from the state’s Chief Fiscal Officer comes a day after the Illinois General Assembly approved a budget and concluded its business for the Spring. Lawmakers took responsible action in making real spending cuts and committing dollars for the state’s pension payment, Topinka noted, but no additional funding was made available to begin paying down the state’s mountain of overdue bills.

The Comptroller currently has more than 130,000 unpaid bills dating back to December, 2010 and totaling just over $4 billion.

“Lawmakers finally dealt with reality and made real budget cuts, and that is encouraging. It is a good first step,” said Topinka, who took office in January. “But the fact is that even with the recent tax increase, we have more than $4 billion in bills to pay down, and that is going to take some time. Vendors should know that there will still be substantial delays, but the situation will slowly begin to improve if we hold the line on new spending.”

Topinka praised bipartisan cooperation, noting that Republicans and Democrats worked together to avoid additional borrowing, which has historically been used to hide the deficit and “paper over” the true extent of the state’s fiscal issues. Still serious challenges remain, including the thousands of businesses, schools, hospitals, social service and not-for-profit agencies across Illinois that will continue to wait for payment from the state.

“We do everything we can to assist businesses and organizations in Illinois in enduring the hardship of these payment delays, and that will continue,” Topinka said. “I look forward to the day when the state pays its bills on time, but that will only happen through continued spending restraint.”

During lockout, NFL Player and many others finding wisdom in new audiobook

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 


Author – Tim Hampton

 

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — It’s common to hear about professional athletes, who at some point of their careers were worth millions of dollars and then after a short time, end up broke and out of luck.

The list is seemingly endless: former NBA player Antoine Walker was worth $80 million dollars in 2003, and today is broke. Former NBA star Scottie Pippen, who played alongside Michael Jordan and won several Championships, just this past fall attempted to rejoin the league as a player in an attempt to satisfy pending outstanding judgements against him and also avoid foreclosure on his home. Also, Mark Brunell, the former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback and three-time Pro Bowler who raked in more than $50 million during his decade-long career and took home a Super Bowl ring in the 2009-2010 season with the New Orleans Saints, filed for bankruptcy in June 2010.

Author Tim Hampton, a 36 year old mental health counselor who resides in Tampa, FL, says, “I’m tired of seeing and hearing about the social and financial collapses of guys who excelled in their profession. Poor decisions, inability to choose friends wisely, mismanagement of funds, and even drug use, usually play a huge factor in this vicious cycle that sometimes includes run-ins with the law and has plagued professional athletes for years.”

These unfortunate tales inspired Hampton to write a story about a young high school football player who had dreams of becoming a professional athlete. In his story entitled Holding, a young man achieves success in college, as well as on a professional level, but quickly loses it all due to making poor decisions.

Abdul Hodge, who currently plays with the NFL‘s Carolina Panthers said he saw a Twitter message posted by Hampton (@holdingmyown) about the story and decided to download it from Amazon.com mp3 to his cell phone. He comments, “The story Holding reminded me of how fortunate myself as well as the other 1,600 + NFL players are to be in the financial positions that we are in, I also realized the importance of keeping good people around me.”

Hodge also went on to say how much he enjoyed the story and that he encourages coaches and athletes in high school, as well as college to listen to it. Hodge has also partnered up with a company who manages professional athletes, and with the advice of former teammate Iowa Hawkeye player Jermire Roberts, Hodge has tapped Hampton to possibly come on board as a mentor.

“Currently there are not many resources in place for these young athletes to help them adjust to life outside of their newly found fortune and fame, with Hampton’s background and leadership, he may be a big help” said Hodge. Hampton the Author of six books (three audiobooks), said Holding is the story he embraces the most, as he himself is a former athlete and a huge sports fan. Holding is available as a downloadable audiobook on iTunes, Amazon.com as well as Hampton’s personal website www.holdingmyown.com and is getting attention from sports analysts to film producers.

Lt. Governor Simon celebrates first Illinois civil unions

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Festivities mark milestone for couples across the state

 

Chicago, IL – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon celebrated with 32 couples in Chicago’s Millennium Park yesterday as they entered into the state’s first civil unions.

June 1 was the first day that a civil union license could be obtained at county clerk offices throughout the state. By law, all marriage and civil union licensees must wait a day before a union ceremony may be performed. Illinois is the sixth state in the nation to recognize civil unions.

Simon said: “Today we honor the commitment and courage of those who worked to make this day a reality. We recognize the couples and families that are now protected under our state law. And we look forward to the day that other states and the federal government decide to celebrate with us and take this important step toward marriage equality.”

Behind bars: For Black girls, acting out is a crime

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Equal Voice Newspaper

By Kathy Mulady

 

Chicago, IL -  LeaJay Harper says she was a typically rebellious teenager raised by a single mother. She left home at 17 and lived on the streets, surviving on stale donated bread and sleeping on church porches. When she was 18, she was arrested for stealing a $10 bag of McDonald’s food.

“I was hungry,” she said. She went to jail.

Still homeless at 23, Harper was arrested again, this time for stealing underwear and pajamas for the young daughter she was raising on her own. She faced a three-year sentence and the likely loss of custody of her child.

Harper’s story mirrors those of many other African-American girls and young women caught up in the justice system. Experts say they make up the fastest-growing population of incarcerated people in the nation. They are often victims themselves, of abuse, poverty, and even the public schools.

“They are not being arrested for violent acts — that’s really important to understand,” said Lateefah Simon, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco.

According to a Children’s Defense Fund study, an African-American girl born in 2001 has a one-in-17 lifetime risk of going to prison. A white girl born the same year has a one-in-111 chance.

“What we know is that African-American girls are being cycled in and out of the justice system for truancy, for crimes of poverty, for becoming part of the exploitive underground sex industry,” Simon said. “What we haven’t figured out is how to help these girls, so judges lock [them] up.”

Simon said the trend is nationwide, and Latinas are right behind African-American girls in the statistics, for many of the same reasons.

“I think these communities are facing similar issues,” Simon said. “There is always room for young women in juvenile hall, but not always room in programs that would help them.”

LeaJay Harper was one of the lucky few. Instead of returning to jail, she was sent to a six-month treatment program that put her back on the right track. Now 28, Harper runs the Young Mothers United Program at the Center for Young Women’s Development in San Francisco. She helps other young African-American girls and women at risk of losing their children because of their arrest records.

“Usually, with women, it is crimes of poverty, being involved with what we nicely call ‘the underground street economy’ – just trying to put food on the table for their children,” said Harper.

“Girls go in and out of the juvenile justice system, they don’t get their education and they can’t get a job. Maybe they will get $500 a month in support from the government, but then they find out they can make $500 a day selling drugs,” said Harper. “Lots of young women and girls go into prostitution. You can sell a product that you have that you don’t need to put money up for in advance, and you never run out of it.”

Prostitution carries many risks for women, including jail time for those arrested. In Illinois, a second conviction for prostitution is a felony, with a 60-day prison sentence.

“It is so outrageous. Going to prison does nothing to address the root problems of prostitution,” said Gail Smith, executive director of Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM). “Sixty days is long enough to make you lose your housing, your children, and, when you have a felony conviction, it further reduces your chances of getting a real job.”

Instead of prison, a real solution would be to connect girls and young women to treatment, housing and education, Smith said.

CLAIM provides legal aid to incarcerated mothers to help them keep their children. The staff advocates community-based sentencing, better conditions for children visiting their mothers in prison, and holding prostitution customers and pimps accountable.

To those who work with low-income African-American youth, the link between poverty, abuse, punitive school policies and the growing incarceration of young women is all too clear, but the outcome is still shocking.

“It’s alarming,” said Oleta Fitzgerald, director of Children’s Defense Fund’s Southern Regional Office.

“Many of the girls who are running away from home have been abused,” said Fitzgerald. “The surprising and alarming fact is the growing incidence of girls in rural communities turning to prostitution,” she said. “They don’t have any money to live off of, they are getting abused at home, so they figure they might as well get paid for doing it.”

Fitzgerald and many others blame school policies such as Zero Tolerance that allow schools to expel students for subjective offenses. She recalled hearing about a girl who had been kicked out of school for snatching a pen. That one small act started her in a downward spiral.

“Kids are getting kicked out of school under Zero Tolerance for something really minor, and it turns into a nightmare,” she said. “Who is collecting the statistics?”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, in fact, has collected statistics — although not broken down by gender — that show African-Americans are three times more likely than whites to be suspended from school under Zero Tolerance policies.

Nikki Jones, associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of “Between Good and Ghetto” and co-author of “Fighting for Girls: New Perspectives on Gender and Violence,” said school policies that expel students for truancy, sassing or fighting, disproportionately affect African-American girls.

“For girls from tough neighborhoods, it is more of a survival strategy where they have to come off like this to stay safe. It makes teachers nervous,” said Jones.

The answer, she said, is to make school a safe place and give teachers the skills to de-escalate situations.

“The school is such an important place; if a girl remains connected, there are points for intervention. Removing them from school is exactly the wrong thing to do,” said Jones.

“Once young women are in the juvenile justice system, they are caught in the system and go deeper and deeper. The juvenile justice system is not the place where we want to raise our young women.”

WPA mural tour to launch June events in groundbreaking cultural series WPA 2.0: a brand new deal

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Tour will provide unique opportunity to experience collection of rarely viewed Chicago visual arts gems

 

 

 

Chicago, IL – Non-profit cultural presenter portoluz will jumpstart its June programming with a rare public tour of the Depression-era murals at Lane Tech High School. The artwork is widely recognized as emblematic of public murals and paintings produced beginning in the 1930’s, many with the support of the federal government as part of a sweeping program designed to put unemployed artists back to work. The tour takes place on Thursday, June 9, at 5pm at Lane Tech, located at 2501 West Addison Street in Chicago. Attendees should use Entrance M (off the parking lot) to enter the building, and are being asked to make a $10 donation.

 

The mural tour is one of two June visual arts programs — and a plethora of additional public events this summer — being produced under portoluz‘ moniker of WPA 2.0: A Brand New Deal, a groundbreaking project featuring over fifty arts and humanities programs throughout the city. The year-long festival of programming features some of the nation’s leading scholars, musicians, civic leaders, visual artists, policy makers and cultural workers. The series is structured to look back on what the federal Works Progress Administration, or WPA, brought to millions of unemployed Americans at the peak of the Great Depression — and how we can reenergize the spirit of the WPA to organize and thrive today, in the worst economic crisis of the last 80 years.

 

 In 1934, forty murals from the General Motors Exhibition Hall at the World’s Fair “Century of Progress” became a part of Lane Tech’ art collection, and additional works were added during the WPA era. Many were produced through the Federal Art Project, one of the divisions of the WPA. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had made several attempts prior to the creation of the FAP to provide employment for artists on relief, most notably the PWAP – the Public Works of Art Project – which operated from 1933 to 1934, and the Treasury Department Section of Painting and Sculpture, which was created in 1934 after the demise of the PWAP. The FAP provided the widest reach, creating over 5,000 jobs for artists and producing over 225,000 works of art for the American people, including some of Lane Tech’s most visually stunning art works.

 

The widespread popularity of the murals with the public generated great pride at the high school, but over the years the mural collection suffered serious deterioration. In 1995, Lane Tech’s principal and teacher Flora Doody initiated the Mural Restoration Project to save this important collection. Students and alumni lead the in-school tours of the thirteen murals that are currently included in the tour. 
The Lane Tech mural tour is being co-sponsored by Preservation Chicago(www.preservationchicago.org), founded in 2001 as a not-for-profit organization that advocates for the preservation of Chicago’s historic architecture through education and community outreach.
On June 25th, portoluz is also sponsoring a tour and lecture on the work of renowned visual artist and designer Edgar Miller, at a classic “Edgar Miller home,” the Sol Kogan Studios in Old Town. Edgar Miller worked in as many art forms as he could imagine – including sculpture, watercolor, drawing, stained glass, the graphic arts and, later in life, graphic design. His most popular collections can be found on and in the richly remodeled buildings of Old Town, with visually stunning art and artifacts that include stained glass, fresco, ceramic tiles, sculpture and mosaic. Larry Zgoda is a renowned stained glass artist, a friend of Miller’s, and an important champion of his legacy. It was Miller’s quirky recycled glass, mosaic, and tile work on the 1920s Carl Street Studios complex that inspired Zgoda’s artistic path some 30 years ago, and that continues to guide his beliefs in the lost power of ornament. Pre-registration is required by RSVP to portoluz@gmail.com. 

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To see a PDF copy of the program booklet with detailed descriptions of the entire series, click here

 

Highlights of June programs in year-long series of events: 

 

Timuel Black – Remembering the New Deal  

followed by a solo piano concert by ‘MacArthur genius” Reginald Robinson 

 

Saturday June 18th 2pm  $5/unemployed free/ all ages welcome

The Du Sable Museum of African American History 740 East 56th Place

 

Timuel D. Black is known as Chicago’s griot. He has spent his lifetime gathering the stories of Chicago’s African-American community, documenting the great social movements, and working for peace and justice. Born in Alabama in 1918, Black came to Chicago’s South Side with his family as part of Chicago’s first wave of the Great Migration–when tens of thousands of African-Americans left the South. After serving with distinction in World War II, Black attended Roosevelt University and the University of Chicago. A teacher, social scientist and historian, Black played a leading role in the civil rights movement in Chicago and nationally, working closely with Dr. King.  He is the author of countless articles and of Bridges of Memory, the oral history collection documenting the lives of African-Americans who came to Chicago in the first and second waves of the Great Migration. Mr. Black is currently at work on his own memoir. 

 

Timuel Black’s talk will be followed by a solo piano recital by Reginald Robinson. Writer Sharon Warner will read Gardeners of Dreams to open the program.

Special guest : Sharon F. Warner is a writer of diverse interests and experience. Her work has been published in 3 countries, and of course, online.  She has been part of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance since 1997, and her work has appeared in the Journal of Ordinary Thought since that time. “Gardeners of Dreams” was inspired by remarks made by Timuel Black at an Edible Activism workshop at the Artistic Garden in Hyde Park.

Reginald Robinson

 

Reginald R. Robinson, born and raised in Chicago is a noted pianist/composer and an educator on ragtime music across the U.S. Reginald became interested in playing Ragtime while in 7th grade after a city funded arts program visited the school. The program was led by Jazz trumpeter Orbert Davis and covered many different styles from Beethoven to Miles Davis but Reginald paid close attention when the musicians talked about Ragtime and performed “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin. He had heard this melody coming from the ice cream trucks every summer but had never heard the song played as a serious piece of music on piano before. For Christmas that year his mother bought him a small electronic keyboard in which he began to teach himself how to play. In 2004, Reginald received “the genius” fellowship Grant from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for his innovation in Ragtime music !

 

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THE BACKYARD ROUNDTABLES

portoluz is up-ending the paradigm for panel discussion by creating intimate conversations with local visionaries. These events are intended to be in-depth exchange between the featured guest speaker and attendees. As some of these events are in private homes, pre-registration to these programs is necessary RSVP @portoluz@gmail.com with backyard roundtable in the subject line. 

 

Dan Swinney: Breaking Ground: A New Educational Model for Working Class Youth

Sunday June 12th  5-7pm Hyde Park private home.

Please RSVP portoluz@gmail.com for invite

 

Dan founded the Center for Labor and Community Research (CLCR) in 1982 in response to the thousands of manufacturing plant closings in the Chicago area. Prior to founding CLCR, Dan worked for 13 years as a machinist in the Chicago area and organized Steelworker Local 8787 at G+W Taylor Forge in Cicero, Illinois and served as Vice President. Taylor Forge closed in 1983.  Dan will be speaking on the creation of Austin Polytechnic High School an education response

 

Carl Davidson – The Mondragon Cooperatives  

Tuesday June 21st  6:00-7:30 pm

Unity Center 3339 S. Halsted St

A multimedia presentation on the 120 Worker-Owned Mondragon Cooperatives centered in Spain’s Basque Country, their impact and growth in other countries, their influence in the U.S., and their implications for socialist theory in a new era.

Carl Davidson is currently a national co-chair of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, a national board member of the Solidarity Economy Network, and a member of Steelworker Associates and Beaver County Peace Links in Beaver County, PA.  

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VISUAL ART

The Federal Art Project was one of the divisions of the W.P.A. created under Federal Project One. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had made several attempts prior to the F.A.P. to provide employment for artists on relief, namely the Public Works of Art Project (P.W.A.P.) which operated from 1933 to 1934 and the Treasury Department Section of Painting and Sculpture which was created in 1934 after the demise of the P.W.A.P. However, it was the F.A.P. which provided the widest reach, creating over 5,000 jobs for artists and producing over 225,000 works of art for the American people.

 

Tour of the Lane Tech High School Murals

Albert G. Lane Technical High School 2501 West Addison Street

Thursday June 9th 5pm $10 – for tour Use Entrance M (off the parking lot) to enter the building.  We will meet in room 113 – the security person at Entrance M will direct guests to that room. Pre-register at portoluz@gmail.com

In 1934, forty murals from the General Motors Exhibition Hall at the World’s Fair “Century of Progress” became a part of Lane Tech’ art collection. Additional works were added during the WPA era. The widespread popularity of the murals with the public generated great pride at Lane Technical High School. Over the years, the mural collection at Lane suffered serious deterioration. In 1995, The principal and teacher Flora Doody initiated the Mural Restoration Project, an effort to save this important collection. Students lead the in-school tours of the thirteen murals. This event is co-sponsored by Preservation Chicago. Preservation Chicago, founded in 2001, is a not-for-profit organization that advocates for the preservation of Chicago’s historic architecture, achieving its mission through education and community outreach.  www.preservationchicago.org

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Edgar Miller & Larry Zgoda

Saturday June 25th 11am

Sol Kogan Studios 155 W. Burton Place

pre-registration required by RSVP to portoluz@gmail.com

Edgar Miller worked in as many art forms as he could imagine. Sculpture, watercolor, drawing and stained glass were among his fortes. He also excelled in the graphic arts and later in life, graphic design. His most popular collection of works is at the richly remodeled buildings in Old Town. Here one finds stained glass, fresco, ceramic tiles, sculpture and mosaic, just to name a few. Larry Zgoda is a renowned stained glass artist, a friend of Miller’s and an important champion of  his legacy.  It was Miller’s quirky, recycled glass, mosaic, and tile work on the 1920s Carl Street Studios complex that inspired Zgoda’s artistic path some 30 years ago, and that continues to guide his beliefs in the lost power of ornament. Join us for a special tour of “an Edgar Miller home” at the Sol Kogan Studios led by Larry Zgoda.  

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WPA 2.0, a Brand New Deal

During Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term as president, Congress passed The New Deal, a series of economic programs designed to help lift the nation out of the Great Depression. In 1935, Roosevelt established the WPA, the Works Progress Administration, the New Deal’s largest agency and a core part of the effort to put millions of unemployed Americans back to work. The WPA fed children and redistributed food, clothing, and housing; built parks, bridges and schools in virtually every part of the country; particularly in rural communities and the West; and spent more than $135 billion in today’s dollars between 1936 and 1943, providing 8 million jobs and serving as the largest employer in the country. Besides providing meaningful employment to out-of-work artists, WPA organizers were inspired by the notion that all Americans, rather than just a privileged elite, could take heart from and deserved access to art.

 

In 2011, portoluz‘ ten-member program committee chose WPA 2.0, “A Brand New Deal” as an overarching theme for a visionary new multi-disciplinary program designed to revisit the paradigm of public cultural engagement, within the context of sweeping new attacks on a host of civic milieus, from arts education in public schools to collective bargaining. The project is designed to look at the conditions that gave rise to New Deal reforms, and explore what parallels might be relevant today. portoluz developed this instigation as a kinetic and contemporary take on a meme by utilizing a variety of forms of cultural production to explore the Great Depression of 1929; the WPA and role of the “cultural worker;” and the current recession. By riffing on history, re-mixing archival ephemera, and commissioning and curating a wide range of voices, portoluz seeks to

primarily emphasize and inspire solutions that respond to today’s worldwide economic and social crisis.

 

 To develop WPA 2.0, portoluz collaborated with numerous artists, guest curators, historians, and others to produce a broad range of events – From documentary film screenings, to intimate roundtable discussions, the organizers intend to spark a city-wide discussion about art/work and  the kind of society we wish to live in.

 

Featured participants include: Timuel Black, Dean Baker, Van Jones, Helen Shiller, Don Byron and Reginald Robinson.  For more on the individual programs and participants, 

click here. 

 For a gallery of promotional images of the participants: 

click here. 

Cervical cancer – a preventable tragedy for Latinas

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(From New America Media)

By Liz Gonzalez

 

Los Angeles, California –  A staggering number of Latinas in Los Angeles County are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and die from this preventable cancer at rates higher than the national average.

In East and South Los Angeles, where many Latinas reside, the death rates from the disease are among the state’s highest, at 5.1 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.

As part of a national campaign, the California Medical Association (CMA) Foundation is raising awareness about cervical cancer and vaccinations that can prevent the disease.

Elissa Maas, vice president of programs at the foundation, told a May round-table program in Los Angeles,”When we work arm in arm with physicians, providers and ethnic media, we have a better chance of addressing the health issues that are so critical to our community.”

Sexually Transmitted Virus

Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is transmitted sexually. Nearly 80 percent of men and women in the United States are exposed to the virus by age 50. Although the immune system fights off the virus in most people, for some the infection develops into cancer.

Screening through a pap smear, where the cervix is scraped and examined for changes, is the only way to detect the cancer in women.

“It’s not that Latinas are at higher risk for HPV. They get it at the same rate as other women — the difference is in the screening,” said Rita Singhal, medical director of the Office of Women’s Health at the Los Angeles County Department of Health.

“The number one risk factor for being diagnosed with cervical cancer is never having had a pap smear, or having your last pap smear more than five years ago,” she said. Medical experts recommend that women get their first pap smear at age 18.

A key issue for Latinas is that they tend not to access free or low-cost resources for health screening available nationwide.

Carole Jordan-Harris, of the Association of Black Women Physicians, observed that culturally competent care and materials in Spanish are important for treating Latinas.

Men can play a key role in the message that cervical cancer prevention is part of family health, participants said. HPV also can infect the mouth, throat and rectum of both men and women.

“Men can be the barrier to the access to women’s care — [Latina patients] they always say they have to ask their husbands,” said Rita Oregon, a participant in the CMA Foundation gathering. She runs a colonoscopy clinic that also diagnoses and treats the effects of abnormal pap smears.

The most recent woman Oregon diagnosed with cervical cancer was a 33-year-old mother. “Her baby is four years old, and that’s the last pap smear she got,” Oregon said.

The woman also has children ages six and eight, making it difficult for her to find time to visit a doctor.

Highly Treatable

Cervical cancer is highly treatable when caught in the first three stages, but in the late stage the survival rate is low.

Stressing the importance of screening, Anita Nelson of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, said, “We don’t want to find cancer; we want to find changes that can lead to cancer to treat immediately.”

Vaccines to protect against HPV are approved for boys and girls as young as age nine and are recommended for girls and women from ages 11 to 26. The vaccine, which consists of a series of three shots over six months, reduces the risk of cancer by 70 percent.

Cervical cancer screenings are available free for low-income women through California’s federally funded Every Woman Counts program and other services. The vaccines are covered by insurance as well as the Vaccines for Children program for young women and girls.

To obtain more information in Spanish or English and schedule a screening, call (800) 793-8090.

10th Annual John Stevens Memorial Golf Outing set for Friday, June 17, 2011

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2011 1 COMMENT
 
4-Person Best Position – Friday, June 17, 2011

The John N. Stevens Memorial Golf Outing at the Weibring Golf Club, Illinois State University, commemorates John’s many years of service as past president of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, McLean County Board member and avid golfer. Proceeds from this event help fund the amazing summer season of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.

Schedule of Events:
11:00 – Registration and Lunch Begin
11:30 – Tee Times begin
4:00 – Social Hour begins
5:00- Awards Dinnner

Fees:
$400 per Team
$110 per Player
$20 per person for social hour and dinner only
$250 Hole Sponsorship
$500 Premium Hole Sponsorship – Hole #1 or #10

Registration includes greens fees and golf cart, a box lunch, dinner,
beer and other non-alcoholic beverages, and opportunities to win prizes.

For additional information or to register by phone, please contact Yvette at Illinois Shakespeare Festival, 309-438-8974

Register Online NOW!!

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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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