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Archive for June 9th, 2011

Seven arraigned in mortgage fraud scheme

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Targeted properties located in Chicago’s Englewood and Back of the Yards neighborhoods

 

Seven individuals from the suburbs and Chicago are facing mortgage fraud related charges for their participation in an elaborate mortgage fraud scheme that centered around three different residential properties in Chicago’s Englewood and Back of the Yards neighborhoods, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

According to prosecutors, the defendants are alleged to have devised a scheme to induce lenders into providing funding for real estate transactions. The defendants then split the proceeds from the sales of these properties through a series of complex financial transactions. The defendants face charges that include money laundering, theft by deception and conspiracy to commit a financial crime.

The following individuals were arraigned Monday on charges in connection with this case.

Gayle Tracy, 50, of the 400 block of North Prairie Street, Batavia. Tracy faces 12 charges: 3 counts each of Conspiracy to Commit a Financial Crime and Financial Institution Fraud; 2 counts each of Organizer of a Continuing Financial Crimes Enterprise and Theft by Deception; and 1 count each of Continuing Financial Crimes Enterprise and Money Laundering.

Brent Bickhaus, 50, of the 6900 block of West Oakton Court, Niles. Bickhaus faces 1 count each of Conspiracy to Commit a Financial Crime, Financial Institution Fraud and Money Laundering.

Richard Simmons, 31, of the 9000 block of South Morgan, Chicago. Simmons faces 11 charges: 3 counts each of Conspiracy to Commit a Financial Crime and Financial Institution Fraud; 2 counts of Theft by Deception; and 1 count each of Continuing a Financial Crimes Enterprise, Money Laundering and State Benefit Fraud.

Lorenzo Crooks, 38, of the 10500 block of South Green Bay Avenue, Chicago. Crooks faces 9 charges: 3 counts each of Conspiracy to Commit a Financial Crime and Financial Institution Fraud; 2 counts of Theft by Deception; and 1 count of Continuing Financial Crimes Enterprise.

Frances McCormick, 64, of the 17800 block of Anthony Avenue, Country Club Hills. McCormick faces 6 charges: 2 counts each of Conspiracy to Commit a Financial Crime and Financial Institution Fraud and 1 count each of Theft by Deception and Money Laundering.

Catherine Denwood, 42, of the 2400 block of Lexington Lane, Naperville. Denwood faces 1 count each of Theft by Deception, Conspiracy to Commit a Financial Crime and Financial Institution Fraud.

Mark Schwarzbach, 43, of the 5N700 block of Pearson Drive, Wayne, is charged with 1 count each of Financial Institution Fraud and Money Laundering.

According to prosecutors, Denwood and McCormick would pose as straw buyers of properties controlled through a trust by Bickhaus and Tracy. Crooks would then help Denwood and McCormick prepare fake loan application documents which Crooks would then submit to legitimate lenders. Throughout the process, Simmons acted as a real estate agent, bringing all parties together. Simmons, however, does not hold a real estate license. Schwarzbach conducted closings, receiving kickbacks in addition to his normal closing fees.

After the closings, the proceeds from the sales were split among the defendants. The buyer, Denwood or McCormick, would never make a payment on the loan. The fraudulent real estate transactions occurred in April, June and October of 2010. In all, the defendants split proceeds of approximately $750,000 from the three transactions.

All seven individuals were arrested on April 28. Bonds were set by Judge Domencia Stephenson, who ordered defendants to surrender their passports and to provide proof the money they are using as bond is from legitimate sources and not the proceeds of this scheme.

Bond was set at $75,000 for Bickhaus, Schwarzbach and Denwood; $100,000 for Crooks, Simmons and McCormick; and $200,000 from Tracy. All the defendants pled not guilty before Judge James Linn. Schwarzbach has a next court date of June 30 and all the other defendants are due in court July 12.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Marshal’s Great Lakes Task Force, and the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Fugitive Unit for their efforts and assistance, as well as Assistant State’s Attorney Deidre Dyer and Matthew Jannusch of the Mortgage Fraud Unit for their handling of this case.

The public is reminded that charging documents contain allegations that are not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program: Atlanta Health Initiative

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Atlanta, Ga – Visiting a barbershop in Atlanta on Saturday, June 11th, 2011 could mean more than just getting a haircut.  It might save your life. The Back Barbershop Health Outreach Program, a unique, grassroots approach to health screening and education, will be held at more than 15 barbershops in Atlanta and surrounding counties on Saturday, June 11th, from 11 a.m. to   4 p.m.

The Black Barbershop Heath Outreach Program, led by the founder, Dr. Bill J. Releford, D.P.M., along with a squadron of volunteers, the outreach program seeks to empower African American men to better understand cardiovascular diseases through a three pronged approach: Screening, Education and Referring men to the doctor that need follow-up care. The program was funded by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science, UCLA and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Those found to be “at risk” will receive the Real Black Book; a local resource guide that lists low cost medical care providers in their communities.

This year’s partners of the Atlanta BBHOP Initiative include the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, The DAP (Diabetic Amputation Prevention) Foundation, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Andis Company and AARP. The outreach program also enjoys support from local community partners and is proud to welcome Sanford-Brown College, and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  

“The need to address health care disparities in African American men is paramount in light of the fact that they have the lowest life expectancy of any group in the U.S.,” said Dr. Releford a podiatric surgeon. “For decades, the black barbershop has served as a centralized gathering place where African American men feel comfortable discussing the most important issues that impact their lives: politics, social trends, family and finances.  Now, we are introducing an important discussion of health and the critical need for health awareness.”

 

Recent figures show African American men are 30% more likely to die from heart disease than White men, according to the Office of Minority Health – an arm of Health and Human Services, a federal agency.  Also, African American men suffer from prostrate cancer at a level that’s more than twice the mortality rate for any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S., according to the CDC.    

 

Through black-owned barbershops, which represent a cultural institution of familiarity and trust, the outreach program has adopted a novel means to spread health information. Over 25,000 African American men have been tested in 23 cities, including New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis, Washington, DC, Baltimore and California since 2007 when the outreach program was launched. The ultimate goal by 2012 is to screen more than a half-million African American men.

 

Since 2007, nearly 750 black-owned barbershops have participated in the program. To learn more about the health outreach effort, and to view a complete list of those barbershops involved, please go to www.BlackBarbershop.org.

                                                                                                                        

Brief Profiles of the Program’s Largest Sponsors 

 

The Diabetic Amputation Prevention (DAP) Foundation

The DAP Foundation’s mission is to help decrease the diabetes-related amputation rate among high-risk populations around the world and to address the escalating number of individuals with undetected cardiovascular disease. The DAP Foundation’s outreach program seeks to partner with community groups and organizations to improve health conditions that adversely affect African American males through education, prevention and early detection screenings. The foundation’s efforts already have been duplicated in Oakland, Chicago, Washington, DC, Baltimore, St. Louis, Kansas City, Atlanta, New Orleans and other metropolitan areas.  For more information on participating in the program, or learning about sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.BlackBarbershop.org.

 

About Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science

 

CDU is a private nonprofit, nonsectarian, minority-serving medical and health sciences institution. Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated more than 550 medical doctors, 2,500 post-graduate physicians, more than 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals.  The only dually designated Historically Black Graduate Institution and Hispanic Serving Health Professions School in the U.S. CDU is recognized as a leader in translational and health inequities research, specifically with respect to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health, and HIV/AIDS. The university is among the top 7 percent of National Institutes of Health-funded institutions and rated one of the top 50 private universities in research in the U.S.  Recently, the CDU/UCLA medical program was named the “best performer” in the University of California system for producing outstanding underrepresented minority physicians. For more information, visit http://www.cdrewu.edu/

 

About the Prostate Cancer Foundation

 

The Prostate Cancer Foundation is the world’s largest philanthropic source of support for prostate cancer research focused on discovering better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer. Founded in 1993, the PCF has raised more than $370 million and provided funding to more than 1,500 research projects at nearly 200 institutions worldwide. The PCF also advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more governmental research funds. PCF advocacy has helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer since 1994. More information about prostate cancer and the PCF can be found at www.pcf.org.

 

About AARP

 

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.  We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.                                                         

About Sanford-Brown College                     

Sanford-Brown College – Atlanta offers career-focused training programs such as Cardiovascular Sonography, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Medical Assistant, and Medical Billing and Coding, and Advanced Massage Therapy that are designed to help students gain the specific skills and knowledge that employers are seeking.  SBC is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), a national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (DOE).   SBC – Atlanta does not guarantee employment or salary. SBC – Atlanta is part of the Career Education Corporation network of schools (NASDAQ: CECO). For more information, please go to www.sanfordbrown.edu/Atlanta.

 

For more information and a complete list of participating barbershops, visit www.blackbarbershop.org

 

                  

PARTICIPATING BARBERSHOPS IN ATLANTA

 

ATLANTA:

 

Arena Barbershop

1700 Northside Drive, Suite B-4

Atlanta, GA 30318

 

First Class Barbershop

1162 Moreland Avenue Southeast

Atlanta, GA 30316-3277

 

Langford’s Barbershop & Style Center

1947 Hosea L. Williams Drive SE

Atlanta, GA 30317

 

Philly’s Finest

864 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive #J

Atlanta, GA 30314

 

Tru Tec Neeks

1980 Donald Hollowell Parkway

Atlanta, GA 30318

 

Vintage Hair Gallery

57 Forsyth Street NW

Atlanta, GA 30303

 

 

 

COLLEGE PARK/DECATUR:

 

Rods N Razors Barber Salon

3705 Main Street

College Park, GA 30344

 

A-NU-Era Barber & Beauty Studio

2762 Candler Road

Decatur, GA 90034

 

Elegancer Barbershop

1998 Candler Road

Decatur, GA 30032

 

The Ultimate Barbershop 2

Gallery of South Dekalb Mall – A

2801 Chandler Road

Decatur, GA 30034

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EAST POINT/LITHONIA:

 

Royal Roots

2479 Delowe Drive

East Point, GA 30344

 

The Ultimate Barbershop

3645 Market Place Blvd.

East Point, GA  30344

 

Apogee Barbershop

2998 Turner Hill Road

Lithonia, GA 30038

 

 

STONE MOUNTAIN:

 

Split Enz Beauty & Barber

6011 A Memorial Drive

Spring Mill Plaza

Stone Mountain, GA 30083

 

Tight Lines Barbershop

822 C Hambrick Road

Stone Mountain, GA 30083

 

 

Attorney General Madigan files immigration fraud cases

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Madigan Joins FTC Initiative in Combating Immigration Services Scams

Chicago – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed two lawsuits against Chicago area immigration servicers for accepting more than $30,000 from consumers but failing to help them with their immigration status. Madigan, along with the Federal Trade Commission, filed the suits as part of a national crackdown against illegal immigration service providers found to have defrauded consumers across the country.

Madigan filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court against Martha Fernandez, of West Chicago, and Corrianne Chairez, of Chicago, and filed a second lawsuit in McHenry County Circuit Court against Calvin Meziere, of Huntley, for using a variety of misleading and deceptive tactics to convince consumers that the government was considering their requests for a work permit, permanent residency or U.S. citizenship

“The immigration process is often intimidating and confusing, which is why many people seek assistance,” Attorney General Madigan said. “But unfortunately, much of the help offered is expensive and illegitimate. That’s why it’s so important to know the warning signs of an immigration scam and where to find honest assistance.”

In her suit against Meziere, the Attorney General alleges the defendant duped a group of immigrant workers in 2009 into paying him large upfront fees to help them obtain work permits and thus the ability to travel freely in and out of the United States. Madigan alleges Meziere charged the consumers for credit checks, improving their bad credit history and for fake citizenship exams – all steps he falsely claimed were necessary to gain a permit. Consumers reported to Madigan’s office losing at least $25,000 to Meziere in the scheme.

Madigan’s suit against Fernandez and Chairez alleges they conspired to solicit upfront fees based on promises of helping two immigrants with their immigration paperwork, charging them more than $10,000 for work that was never completed. Despite Fernandez’s promises of a refund, it never arrived.

The Attorney General is asking the court to enter a permanent injunction against the three defendants barring them from providing immigration services in Illinois. The lawsuit also asks the court to order the defendants to pay restitution to consumers, civil penalties of $50,000 for violating the Consumer Fraud Act, and an additional $50,000 for each violation committed with the intent to defraud. Assistant Attorneys General Andrew Dougherty and Vivian Velasco Paz are handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

Attorney General Madigan urged the public to learn how to identify potential immigration scams and find legitimate sources for help with the immigration process. By state law, immigration service providers should:

  • Provide you with a written contract in English and your native language
  • Provide you with a three-day right to cancel your contract
  • Return all documents to you upon demand
  • Register with the Illinois Attorney General’s office.

Finally, immigration service providers may not provide legal advice or accept fees for legal advice unless they are licensed attorneys. To check the status of a service provider or to file a complaint, please call the Attorney General’s office at

Chicago 1-800-386-5438
Springfield 1-800-243-0618
Carbondale 1-800-243-0607
Spanish-language Hotline: 1-866-310-8398

Conference propels minority business creation, development, and funding

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

For 2 1/2 days, attendees will collaborate to create and build a viable business model and develop a commercial case around it

 

Portsmouth, VA (BlackNews.com) – Virginia Housing and Community Development Corporation (VHCDC) today announced its 2011 MBE Capital Call Conference and Venture Forum. The site is the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Hampton Marina in Hampton, Virginia, where over 100 small, women, and minority business owners are expected to convene to design, create, and launch several innovative, game-changing ventures – in slightly less than 3 days!

Reformatted from previous events, the 2011 MBE Capital Call is an intense, 53 hour long event designed to put entrepreneurs on the fast-track to developing their idea for a new product or service – which could form the basis of a credible business. Over the course of a 2-1/2 day period, attendees will collaborate to create and build a viable business model and develop a commercial case around it. Entrepreneurs emerge from the process highly focused and fully empowered to pursue their ventures. Select entrepreneurs will be given a platform to “pitch” their ideas to investors during the Venture Forum, on the final day of the event.

The mission of the MBE Capital Call is to educate, support, and promote investment in minority business enterprises. To that aim, VHCDC regularly assembles representatives from the public and private sectors of the financial community to educate minority business owners on a wide range of topics on capital and credit. According to James R. Taylor, VHCDC founder and Director, “We’ve conducted many conferences and seminars on numerous subjects around capital and credit. Now it’s time to nurture some of the ideas that have been developed and facilitate the creation of new businesses!”

The 2011 MBE Capital Call begins Thursday, September 15th thru Saturday, September 17th. For additional information, registration, and hotel accommodations, visit www.mbecapitalcall.com

For investment opportunities (accredited investors only), contact Mr. James R. Taylor at 757-671-8333 ext 109. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Ms. Kimberly Fields at 757-671-8333 ext 114.

About VHCDC
Virginia Housing and Community Development Corporation (VHCDC) is working to promote and support entrepreneurship, to advance entrepreneurship education and training, to promote entrepreneurship-friendly policies, to connect disadvantaged small businesses to capital and credit, and to facilitate the commercialization of new technologies and services by small, women, and minority-owned businesses which have great promise for improving the economic welfare of our region. VHCDC is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt community development corporation.

Father Pfleger: ‘We must have a moral compass’ to end violence

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

‘We can’t police our way out of this’

 

By Chinta Strausberg

 

Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday said perhaps if everyone would practice Dr. Martin Luther King, Mr.’s principles of a unified community and develop a “moral compass,” perhaps the violence that is gripping our city would diminish.

Asking the church to turn to Luke 10:30-32, Saint Sabina’s Pfleger preached on the parable of the Good Samaritan where both a priest and a Levite passed by the road where a battered man, who had been beaten and robbed, lay ignored. He urged the church to seize the moment of discipleship by reaching back and help those less fortunate.

Thanking the new Chicago Police Superintendent, Garry McCarthy, for attending Unity Sunday service, Pfleger challenged his congregation to step up to the plate and discipline their own children and to watch out for others rather than relying on the police to raise their sons and daughters. Pfleger laid out the disparity in educating black and white students and how those in the Civil Rights movement “missed the mark” in seeking equality.

Pfleger criticized the way this nation integrated schools saying it missed the mark by bussing black students to all-white schools instead of bussing the money and resources to African American schools. He stressed the lessons learned from the parable of the Good Samaritan and suggested his conduct should be emulated today.

Putting it in secular terms, Pfleger said both religion and government walked by ignoring the condition of the half-clothed and bruised man. It was a Samaritan who stopped and bandaged his wounds, put him on his own donkey and doctored the wounded man.

Pfleger said maybe the priest and the government man may have wondered why they passed up the wounded man or perhaps they didn’t want to get involved. “Maybe this gospel passage was one of the early experiences of the Code of Silence.”

Referring to today’s time where many are selfish, fear and a “disconnected” community, Pfleger said we have become strangers to each other and sometimes in our own homes.

Quoting his mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Pfleger said we ought to have a “moral compass…a divine consciousness…because it’s not to ask the question what will happen to me but what will happen to him if I don’t stop and help him….

Referring to an ad on TV involving a homeless man and someone say “I almost” helped him followed by a voice that said “John almost made it though the night,” Pfleger said in today’s times “we have a spirit of almost where we want to do things but don’t have them happen. We have a lot of tragedy that takes place around us because we are caught up with the almost.”

Quoting his late mother, Pfleger said she would tell him, “The road is paved with good intentions.” “The road to hell is paved with almost in our lives.”

He said many have asked him for a spiritual explanation of incidents like thousands of fish dead, thousands of birds drop from the sky, dead, floods including some cities having to open their gates to save others, earthquakes like in Haiti and other countries and tornadoes like in Joplin, Missouri, where an entire town was wiped out.

Pfleger told them, “Maybe ‘God is trying to show us we can’t do it without him…. Maybe God is showing us we ain’t as smart as you think you are…. Maybe if you brought me back in the picture, you can see some things change again.

“But, I can’t help but wonder if some of the shaking of creation and some of the instability that is going in the atmosphere all around the world, I can’t help but ask the question, I wonder if it might be the result of a God whose heart is aching and whose anger is raging at the condition of a world he placed in our hands,” he said. Pfleger said the bible is clear about the wrath of God “when we do not do what he calls us to do…. “

Today, Pfleger said too many people walk by the man on the road. “We may have tried to ignore the conditions of the world around them…but God will not ignore the cries of his children…. God hears the cries of his children…”

He asked, “What will happens if we fail to be church…fail to stop and address this love affair we have with war all around the world?” Pfleger took a page from Dr. King who said back in the 1960’s “it is war in Vietnam that is sucking the finances from our economy that keeps us from caring about our brothers and sisters in our neighborhoods….

“I can’t help but wonder if our love affair with war today is sucking the money we need to keep us from dealing and ending poverty in our own country.” Pfleger said our poverty is expanding.

Looking at the recent unemployment rate coupled with the current legislative battle to balance the budget, Pfleger said lawmakers are trying to cut $2.3 billion from job training, cut $1.8 billion from Head Start, cut $100 million from emergency food and shelters, want to cut $12.5 billion from affordable housing while we have so much homelessness in our society. What would happen if we don’t address the war issue? What will happen to our future if we don’t demand the fixing of our public education system in America,” he asked including the private and parochial educational systems as well.

Saying he is “so torn apart,” Pfleger said, “The best thing we did as Catholics was education and here we are now running an elitist school system where poor people can’t go to Catholic schools. We’re closing Catholic schools all around this country. We shouldn’t be closing them. We should be expanding them,” he stated.  “We should be building them,” he bellowed.

Having been taught in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Pfleger said, “We made a big mistake in the movement. We made a big mistake because we fought to integrate schools and we bussed many black children, young boys and girls, to integrate schools in all-white school systems and we thought that was the way to integrate because the child would get a good education if they are bussed to that good white school.

“But, instead of busing children, we should have bussed resources. That is what we should have done to solve the problem. We should have bussed books. We should have bussed good teachers. We should have bussed good expectations, good grades, and good classrooms…infrastructure. We should have bussed money,” said Pfleger.

“We integrated people, but we never integrated respect. We never integrated honor.  We never integrated dignity. We never integrated love, and we never integrated the dollar,” he said. “We bussed folks to another neighborhood, but we still left the neighborhood they came from losing and being without what they need in order to be a strong community. We need to bus money.”

Pfleger said he was concerned the night terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan. Pfleger said he was alarmed at the number of parties and parades held around the world over the death of bin Laden. Making himself clear, Pfleger added, “Osama bin Laden was a bad boy.  I am no way defending what he did. He was a maniac who killed and murdered ruthlessly.

“But when we begin to celebrate anybody’s guilt, there is a danger of becoming what we use to condemned, “ Pfleger warned. “There is a danger of letting that kind of moral lowering of the bar get into us.”

Explaining that he is not soft on crime, Pfleger said when a person commits a crime they should be locked up because “you do wrong, you got to jail because you can’t come out here and sell drugs and shoot. I understand that, but we ought not get excited about murder.”

“What would happen if we ignore the conditions around us? What would happen if we don’t stop this tsunami of foreclosures that is taking place in our neighborhood, in Englewood, in Lawndale, all across the city of Chicago? If we don’t stop this foreclosure and stop this unemployment in our community…” he says is either 9.6 or 9.8 percent but 15 or 16 percent in black communities with Englewood and Auburn-Gresham is near 30 percent…. Something is wrong with that picture.”

The proof, he said, is taking a simple trip down the streets and you’ll see boarded up homes.  “I get mad when Wall Street is doing better and 79th Street is doing worse. Something’s got to trickle down somewhere where the young men, young women are losing their home.

“I get mad when our employment center on 79th and Racine can’t find jobs for people. I get mad when I see building going on in our neighborhood” but no blacks working on these projects. “I don’t understand. If African Americans could build the White House and African Americans built the Capitol, can’t they build something here in Chicago,” asked Pfleger.

“Something is wrong when we do not allow a mother or father to get a job to take care of their children and we ignore that.  And, we get selfish and say, ‘well, I got my job. You got to get yours.’ No. We got to get our job together because that’s my brother. That’s my sister.

“What will happen if we sit back and ignore what I think is an injustice that says we can now drug test people living in public housing but we don’t drug test teachers? We don’t drug test pastors. We don’t drug test corporate boardrooms. We don’t drug test coaches, and anybody who has watched the NBA knows we should be drug testing refs….”

“I don’t have a problem with drug testing people in public housing, but let’s drug test everybody. There should be one set of rules.  Just don’t put somebody under control because they are dependent on you for a housing situation. Then, let’s drug test them at the workplace…in the classroom, the teachers…principals…everybody…because last I read there is a whole lot of prescription drug addicts around the country that nobody is talking about,” Pfleger said calling for one set of rules.

“What is going to happen to our future if we continue to teach our children to go to school…get a degree…get a good job, but we challenge them to go to college “and when they do the tuition is unaffordable, grants are unavailable and loans “are so ridiculous that if you go to college and get a loan unless you will live to be 200 or 300, you can’t even pay it off before you die.” Pfleger said in pushing youth to go to college, given the state of the economy “we’re frustrating them.”

He asked about what will be done about the mass incarceration.  “When somebody goes to jail and wants to do right, there is no place to turn because they can’t get a job. We can’t just complain about recidivism for the ones who want to change and turn their lives around but we don’t offer an opportunity to do that.

“We’ve got to open doors to places that say they don’t want to hire ex-cons, folks with a record, if you don’t hire them and don’t give then an opportunity, those who are sincere, and you don’t give them chance to turn around, then you can’t complain about them going back to jail where you’re going to pay $30,000 to $40,000 to take care of them anyway. You can give them $25,000 or $30,000 to get them a job rather than $35,000 to $40,000 to stay in jail.”

Pfleger asked what will happen if the church does not stop the violence. He said across this nation it is all too common that the “the norm of the evening sound is gunshots, sirens and helicopters. Today, it is not campus, or Kappa’s” or other sororities but rather gangs he said are “becoming the fraternities of the streets.” “What kind of sickness is this where guns continue to become a rite of passage where everybody can not only get a gun but too many have a gun or access to a gun?”

Pfleger said both the gun industry and the NRA are making major bucks but they live in gated communities “where they don’t have to deal with the effects and the results of the weapons they sell on the streets.”

Pfleger turned to the police chief and said, “We have to talk to these federal people. If we can find Hussein in a little cave across the ocean, don’t tell me we can’t find people who are bring guns into our neighborhoods right across state lines all around this country.  We gotta get the feds to get on it. Feds, you have to get on it and make these guns accountable.”

Referring to the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, Pfleger said you’ll see the state, county and Chicago police arresting people from Indiana bringing fireworks to Illinois. “If we can find fireworks coming from Indiana in a truck, then there ought to be some federal officials who ought to find guns coming from Mississippi, Indiana to Chicago.

“The Chicago police would not have to deal with the gun here if the federal government stops the guns from getting here. Follow it right from the manufacture. Title guns like cars, right from the manufacture. Title it. We gotta stop this violence.”

Pfleger said while he is glad we have more police in Chicago, he warned, “I don’t care how many police we have in the streets, we cannot police our way out of this violence situation…. We are not going to solve the violence issue in this city or any city in America until we, as mothers and fathers, neighbors, churches, businesses, elected officials, until we rise up and be the caretaker, the tillers and the farmers of this garden God gave us.

“Why would we call the police to take are of my son…my daughter? That’s your responsibility. That’s my responsibility,” said Pfleger. “We should not have to call the police to come on my block because the neighbor’s kid is acting up.” Pfleger said parents must take charge of their own children.

“People are afraid of their children. The day you become afraid of your child, you should check yourself into a mental hospital,” he said. “We have to decide that this violent thing begins with us in the neighborhood, in the community, in the home, on the block. The police should be the last resort, not the first choice of action.”

Pfleger told of a mother calling him about her son was killed nearly two-weeks ago. He asked her why she hadn’t buried her son. She didn’t have any money and told him “members of my family are holding bake sales” to pay for the funeral.

“Violence will not end and the genocide that is taking place with our children will not stop until we stop.” Pfleger said it is up to the parents.

Referring to the killer tornado that almost wiped out the town of Joplin, Missouri, Pfleger said, “If in a natural tragedy people can come together and solve the program, why in a mandate tragedy can’t we come together and stop the problem?

“I can’t stop a tornado…, but if I can’t stop Mother Nature, can’t I stop man made evil…. Why are we not stopping? Why are we walking by” these social problems. Pfleger said, “We cannot continue to ask the question what will happen to me if I get involved…. We have to ask the question what will happen if we don’t get involved.”

Pfleger told the church they wouldn’t be here today had it not been for the assistance of somebody helped them. In the past, Pfleger said “people from the early apostles to the Freedom Riders sacrificed so I can sit here dressed up today. Grandmothers who never went to college so you could go to college, grandmothers who never had a house so you can own a house….

“Let’s be clear before we become too arrogant about where we are and we who think we’ve made it. Everybody here lives in red…lives in debt for generations that paved the way for us to sit here,” said Pfleger.

Referring to Memorial Day and how so many veterans gave their lives, Pfleger said, “every now and then you and I ought to have some personal Memorial days to remember the people in your family.”

Pastor Pfleger had the elders stand up including the first black nurse 54-years ago. “These are the elders…,” he said asking the church to thank the elders of the past who helped them along the way. “Grandmothers always helped to raise children…. If someone helped you along the way, you ought to bring somebody else along the way. I bind up selfishness and self-centeredness and all those wicked spirits that keep us hung up on ourselves and forget those around us.”

He remembers the first time going to a concern and hearing the cacophony of the instruments; that is until the conductor came in, tapped his baton on the podium that trigged an “awesome concert. “

“I’m just crazy enough to believe that the Almighty conductor of heaven and earth is getting ready to step up to the podium and he is going to take his mighty baton and will put it on the stand called earth and begin to touch it, tap it. Maybe that is what’s going on with earthquakes and hurricanes and tornadoes….  Maybe the earth is shaking because the great orchestra conductor of all time is tapping his baton called grace, and mercy and wrath and justice…and he’s calling the great orchestra on humanity, you, me, our children, and our elders.

“He’s calling us to come together from all of your chaos, from all of your division…come together and get off the grandstand sitting like you’re watching a game of somebody else…. Get up out of your house, walk out into your street and begin to take the baton that generations passed on to you. Take the baton and say this is our opportunity…to make a difference for generations yet to come…. Bring us together…as a city…a nation. Bring us together.”

Pfleger said he is not concerned about the chaos. “This is an opportunity for us, the church of Jesus Christ, to rise up and make a difference. I dare you…to seize the moment, make a difference so that generations to come will say thank God you lived and the discipleship of Jesus Christ is still alive today. He may have gone to heaven, but you’re still here now go do what God called you to do and preach the gospel across the earth,” he stated.

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

Chicagoland bike commuters hit the road in record numbers for annual Bike to Work Week Celebration

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Thousands expected to choose the healthier, greener commute

 

Commuters throughout Chicagoland are choosing the healthier, greener way to work in honor of the 2011 Bike to Work Week June 11-17.

The weeklong event–hosted by the Active Transportation Alliance, the City of Chicago, and numerous municipalities and government organizations across Chicagoland–celebrates the two-wheeled commute and encourages newcomers to put their mettle to the pedal.   

Bike Pit Stops along popular bike routes in Chicago and at suburban Metra stations give bike commuters a much-deserved pat on the back with free coffee and goodies. The full schedule of Bike Pit Stops is listed below and can be found here www.activetrans.org/bikepitstops.

Bike after Work parties at area cafes and restaurants are perfect spots to end the workday, car-free. See below for details on the Bike after Work parties.

“This is a chance to make your commute the highlight of your day,” said Melody Geraci, Active Transportation Alliance deputy executive director. “With increased awareness of commuting options and higher gas prices, we expect more people than ever to participate in the weeklong event that celebrates the two-wheeled commute.”

Meanwhile, more than 400 Chicagoland companies will go helmet-to-helmet to see who can get the highest percentage of employees to bike to work next week. This year’s competition includes the likes of Google, Orbitz, Groupon, The Office of Sen. Dick Durbin, CTA and WXRT. See a list of all the companies online at www.activetrans.org/bikecommuterchallenge. Winners will be announced at the Bike to Work Week luncheon for Team Leaders on July 12 at the Fairmont Hotel.

“Making a workplace bicycle-friendly is one of the best things an office can do to improve morale and create a happy and healthy workforce,” Geraci said.

2011 Bike to Work Week celebration details.

Thursday, June 9

Chicago

Bike Chic, Commuter Fashion Show: 12pm at Daley Plaza

Saturday, June 11

Suburbs

Pop Up Bike Shop: 10:00am – 2:00pm, 12840 Western Avenue, Blue Island, co-hosted by Cal Sag Cycles

Saturday June 11 – Friday June 17

Chicago & Suburbs

Free showers: during business hours at five select Fitness Formula Clubs throughout Chicago and Oak Park (conditions apply, for complete listing of participating clubs, visit: www.activetrans.org/bikepitstops)

Monday June 13 – Friday June 17

Suburbs

Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30AM each day, 120 E. Railroad Avenue, Bartlett, IL, co-hosted by Spindoctor Cyclewerks and Tazza Coffee

Monday, June 13

Chicago

Bike Pit Stop: 6:30-9 a.m. at 1337 N. Wells (Wells at Evergreen), co-hosted by Village Cycle Center 
Bike Pit Stop: 6:30-9 a.m. at Roosevelt & Blue Island (SE Corner), co-hosted by Rapid Transit University Village and Po Campo
Bike Pit Stop: 6:30-9am at 2457 West Division (Wells at Campbell, SE corner), hosted by Ciclo Urbano
“Biking the Boulevards” Viewing Party: 6pm at 1800 N. Clybourn, Goose Island Brewpub

Suburbs

Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30am at Highland Park Metra, co-hosted by Alberto’s

Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30am at Naperville Metra (downtown), co-hosted by City of Naperville

Bike to the Bolts! From: 6:15pm at Food 4 Less, 5559 159th St, Oak Forest; To: Standard Bank Stadium, 14011 S Kenton Ave, Crestwood, 7:05 game time, co-hosted by the Windy City Thunderbolts

 

Tuesday, June 14

Chicago

Bike Pit Stop: 6:30-9am at North Shore Channel Trail at Foster, co-hosted by On the Route Cycles and Swedish Covenant
Bike Pit Stop: 6:30-9am at Clybourn/Halsted/Weed, co-hosted by REI and Chainlink
Bike Pit Stop: 6:30-9am at 3201 S. Halsted (Bridgeport), co-hosted by Blue City Cycles and Nana Restaurant
Bike Pit Stop: 6:30-9am at 1520 E 57th St, hosted by Café 57, University of Chicago, and Blackstone Bicycle Works
Bike Pit Stop: 6:30-9am at 2313 North Milwaukee Avenue, hosted by Café Mustache and Boulevard Bikes
“Bike it Everywhere, Chicago” with Greg Borzo: 12pm at Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington St – meet the author of Where to Bike Chicago
Bike after Work: 5-8pm at 2016 West Roscoe and 2055 West Roscoe, hosted by Roscoe Village Bikes, The Village Tap, and Goose Island Brewery – special for bikers with special for bikers with helmet, lock key, or Bike Commuter Challenge team card

 

Suburbs

Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30am at the Wilmette Metra, co-hosted by the Wilmette Bike Task Force
Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30am at Glencoe Metra, co-hosted by Green Bay Cycles
Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30am at the Wheaton Metra, co-hosted by the Environmental Improvement Commission
Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30am at the Elmhurst Metra, co-hosted by the Elmhurst Bicycle Club

Wednesday, June 15

 

Chicago

Bike Pit Stop: 6:30-9am at the Polish Triangle, co-hosted by Copenhagen Cyclery, Rapid Transit Cycles, WPBC, CNT, and I-GO

 

Bike Pit Stop: 6:30-9am at Lincoln/Clark/Wells (near Green City Market), co-hosted by Dutch Bikes, Orbitz, CLIF Bar, and Coldwell Banker

Bike after Work: 5-8pm at 3420 West Grace Street (@Elston), hosted by The Abbey Pub, Get a Grip Cycles, and Goose Island Brewery – special for bikers with helmet, lock key, or Bike Commuter Challenge team card

Loop Bike Tour: 6pm check-in at Buckingham Fountain, ride begins at 6:30pm (RSVP required. Visit www.bikechicago.us for more details and to RSVP)

Suburbs

Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30am at Northbrook Metra, co-hosted by George Garner Cyclery

Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30am at Hubbard Woods Metra, co-hosted by Green Bay Cycles

Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30am at Des Plaines Metra, co-hosted by City of Des Plaines

Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30am at Arlington Heights Metra, co-hosted by A.H. Bicycle Advisory Commission

Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30am at Downers Grove Metra, co-hosted by Village of Downers Grove

Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30am at Palatine Metra, co-hosted by Greater Palatine Bike Task Force

Thursday, June 16

Chicago

Bike Pit Stop: 6:30-9am at South Lakefront Trail at the Field Museum, co-hosted by The Trek Store, the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium

Bike Pit Stop: 6:30-9am at North Lakefront Trail/Fullerton Ave, co-hosted by Performance Bike, Nature Museum, and CLIF 2Mile Challenge

Bike Pit Stop: 6:00-9:00am at 1534 N. Wells St., Chicago. Free smoothie samples and bananas. Enter to win dinner cruise for two. Sponsored by Entertainment Cruises and Fresh Choice Chicago.

Movies in the Park, Breaking Away: dusk at Grant Park (Columbus and Balbo)

Suburbs

Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6-8:30am at Libertyville Metra, co-hosted by Libertyville Cyclery

Bike to Metra Pit Stop; 6:30-8:30am at Villa Park Metra, co-hosted by Bike VP

Bike after Work Party & Cruise: 5pm-7pm at12947 Western Ave, Blue Island (Restaurante Tenochtitlan), Blue Island bike cruise at 7pm-8pm

Friday, June 17

Chicago

Bike to Work Day Rally: 7:30-9:30am at Daley Plaza

Bike to Work Tweetups: 7am at four Caribou Coffee locations, 7:30am ride to Rally in Daley Plaza:

  • 3240 N. Ashland
  • 811 W.  Maxwell
  • 3025 N. Clark St.
  • 600 N. Kingsbury

Get a free medium coffee with purchase of a breakfast item, 7am -10am, at any Chicago Caribou Coffee location when you show your helmet, lock key, or Bike Commuter Challenge team card; follow @activetrans on twitter during Bike to Work Week for more details on the tweetup group rides

Bike after Work: 5:30-8pm at ING Direct Café, 21 E. Chestnut, co-hosted by ING Direct and Goose Island Brewery

Suburbs

Bike Pit Stop: 6:30am-8:30am at Evanston (Fountain Square), co-hosted by Turin Bicycle

Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 6:30-8:30am at Elmhurst Metra, co-hosted by Elmhurst Bicycle Club          

Bike to Metra Pit Stop: 7am-9am at 95th St. Metra (Oak Lawn), co-hosted by Oak Lawn Bike Psychos

Bike after Work: 5:30-7pm at Splish-Splash Pool, 4518 W. 150th Street, co-hosted by Village of Midlothian and Midlothian Park District

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. Formerly the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, the Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by more than 6,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

African film “Viva Riva” wins best African Movie at MTV Movie Awards; premieres in New York

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On June - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS


Movie Poster

New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — African celebrity activist Suzanne Africa Engo has launched her new initiative, The New African Empower (empowerment, entertainment, empire), with the premiere of Music Box Films’ new motion picture release “Viva Riva”. The film is directed by African director Djo Munga, and stars Ivorian/Euro actress Manie Malone.

The New African Empower is Engos’ new lobbying effort to have African films and entertainers featured in the Hollywood market. She comments, “This time, the empowerment is about creating opportunities so that the work we do in the field of empowerment through education can be sustained with young people knowing they have somewhere to go where there is a real space for them. I’m starting with Hollywood and film.”

Engo hosted the premiere of the Congolese picture, which is the first out of Congo in 20 years, with Music Box Films last week in New York followed by a private dinner at Casa La Femme. The film is slated to open in New York and Los Angeles on June 10, 2011 with a roll out across the United States to follow. Other cities include Washington, DC on June 24th and Atlanta, Georgia, and more to follow.

Critics are raving for “Viva Riva”, from 4 stars in Time Out New York claiming VIVA “is a genuine turn-on” to New York Magazine saying that “(Viva Riva) gives us reason to get excited for a new wave of films coming out of Africa: It’s well acted and slickly made, all while exposing a part of the world we haven’t really seen before.” The film recently got a huge boost with the announcement that it was the first African film to win a new category (Best African Movie) at the MTV Movie Awards.

Actress Malone and director Munga were in New York for a whirlwind promo tour surrounding the premiere filled with everything from fittings with celebrity designer Marc Bouwer to hair and makeup by celebrity hair salon, The Deberardinis Salon. They also did scores of interviews with magazines and promo photo shoots – Hollywood style. Munga is also planning a trip to Washington, DC to continue promotional efforts with the film and meeting with the African community who is proud to have a “son of Africa” shine in a space where African films (directed by Africans, shot in Africa, and starring Africans) have never been before.

“We are absolutely thrilled,” Engo says. “It is a new time for African cinema, a new page in reshaping the image of Africa in the media. We will now be REAL players in the game.”

“Viva Riva” will be in theaters starting June 10th. For more details, visit www.vivarivamovie.com

Several Black lawyers admitted to nation’s highest court

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – National Law Group co-founders, Carlos E. Moore, John A. Moore, Trent A. McCain, Rodney F. Barganier, Carl L. Collins, III, and Bethew Jennings, III; and newest members Andre T. Young and Earnest A. DeLoach were admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States of America on Tuesday, May 31, 2011.

The National Law Group (NLG) is a nationwide coalition of law firms committed to providing quality legal representation and compassionate advocacy on behalf of plaintiffs. Their mission is to assist individuals who have been harmed and hold those who are at fault accountable.

NLG attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience and have won over $50 million in verdicts or settlements on behalf of their clients.

For more details, visit www.NLGAttorneys.com or www.BlackLawyers.NET

Rhythm World showcases American Tap and Percussive Dance

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

July 25-Aug. 7 Festival eyes Canada for Inaugural Geographic Spotlight

CHRP Masterclass
Chicago, IL – The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) offers its 21st annual Rhythm World, the oldest and most comprehensive festival of American tap and contemporary percussive art in the world, July 25-August 7, 2011 in downtown Chicago. This festival of performance, education and community outreach programs, directed by Founder and Artistic Director Lane Alexander, features an extraordinary master faculty in two weeks of residencies, courses, workshops, master classes and conferences for the field at the Fine Arts Building, as well as faculty concerts, student showcases and lecture demonstrations at the Jazz Showcase, Harold Washington Library’s Cindy Pritzker Theater, Millennium Park and MCA Stage in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

 

For the next five years, Rhythm World will spotlight a city, nation or region, beginning this year with Canada and instructors/performers Kim Chalovich, Heather Cornell, Travis Knights, Tasha Lawson, Lisa La Touche, Danny Nielson, Matt Shields and Everett Smith. Upcoming festivals will focus on Brazil (2012), the Pacific (2013), Spain and other European countries (2014) and the U.S. (2015).

 

2011 JUBA! Award winners

CHRP annually honors esteemed members and supporters of the tap community with its  JUBA! Awards. CHRP will honor these JUBA! Award winners during Rhythm World’s culminating performance series “JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance” August 3, 4 and 6 at MCA Stage. This year’s honorees, both for Lifetime Contribution to the Field, are Heather Cornell (August 4 performance) and Randy Skinner (August 6).

 

Scholarship program

Each year, CHRP awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to deserving, talented teens so that they may participate in Rhythm World. This year 21 deserving students earned a total of $15,000 in scholarships in the Leo Harris Tap Scholarship auditions during the February 2011 Winter Tap JAMboree. “These scholarships support CHRP’s mission of building community by bringing students from Chicago to meet their peers from around the world and study with the masters,” said Alexander.

 

Education programs–Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

Rhythm World begins July 25-29 with intensive residencies led by Bril Barrett of MADD Rhythms; Derick K. Grant of Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk and Imagine Tap; Step Afrika! Artistic Director Jakari Sherman; and Bessie Award winner Sam Weber.

            Courses, workshops and master classes take place August 1-7. The highly respected faculty of master teachers, many of whom have taught at the festival throughout its 21-year history, includes Lane Alexander, Bril Barrett, Martin Bronson, Kristi Burris, Kim Chalovich, Jessica Chapuis, Zada Cheeks, Heather Cornell, Victor Cuno, Idella Reed Davis, Michelle Dorrance,  Tre Dumas, Jay Fagan, Derick Grant, Jason Janas, Travis Knights, Lisa La Touche, Tasha Lawson, Danny Nielson, Jimmy Payne, Jr., Jakari Sherman, Matt Shields, Randy Skinner, Everett Smith, Jason Samuels Smith, Aaron Tolson, Dianne Walker, Sam Weber and Mark Yonally.

            The KIDS Program August 2-4 offers intermediate tappers ages nine through 12 a curriculum including oral and video histories, tap technique classes, improvisation instruction and individual development of style and expression. After Work Adult Courses also take place August 2-4, and Audition Workshops August 5.

 

Conferences for the field

Now in its 10th year, CHRP’s annual Youth Tap Ensemble Conference (YTEC) takes place August 1-5. PrepTEC, now in its third year, offers younger members of the pre-professional repertory companies an opportunity to benefit from the expertise available during Rhythm World. More than 90 dancers between the ages of 12 and 19, representing 10 youth tap ensembles from the U.S., China, Brazil, Canada and Mexico, gather to study new choreography, technique, improvisation and theatre-related topics. For the first time in its 10-year history, YTEC includes work with two choreographers on a multi-year choreography project. Michelle Dorrance and Derick Grant return to set the second in a trio of dances that will be completed in 2012, while the PrepTEC students learn a new work by Lisa La Touche.

Newer conferences returning this year:

·       ProTEC, for young adult professional tappers who want to work with their peers from around the world, takes place August 4-7.

·       UTEC, for college and university students/faculty who want to study with their peers and develop a global college network devoted to gaining recognition for American tap in undergraduate dance/music departments, takes place August 5-7.

Together, these conferences serve the evolving needs of the tap art community and continue to build a global network of tap practitioners of all ages and aspirations.

 

To register for education programs, visit chicagotap.org or call 773-281-1825.

 

Performances by Rhythm World faculty, students and Virtual Rhythms winners

Rhythm World features a performance component during its second week. After last season’s successful debut, the opening night August 1 performance at 8 p.m. features Rhythm World faculty and students performing with jazz musicians at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Court. Admission is $10 at the door ($5 Rhythm World participants).

            On August 2, Rhythm World students and faculty perform an informal showcase at 7 p.m. at the Harold Washington Library’s Cindy Pritzker Theater, 400 S. State Street. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door.

            Rhythm World culminates with CHRP’s annual faculty concerts, “JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance,” featuring a host of extraordinary foot drummers and percussive arts masters August 3, 4 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. at MCA Stage, 220 E. Chicago Avenue.

            The August 3 performance celebrates Rhythm World’s 21st birthday by presenting the emerging “beat-niks” of the tap scene–tap artists in their 20s, including Nico Rubio, Jason, Janas, Zada Cheeks, Jessica Chapuis and many others who combine a deep knowledge of the art form’s roots with blistering technical virtuosity and rhythmically poetic content.  

            The August 4 performance highlights this year’s geographic focus in “Canada on Tap” with performances by Canadians Kim Chalovich, Heather Cornell, Travis Knights, Lisa La Touche, Tasha Lawson, Danny Nielson, Matt Shields, Everett Smith and more. Heather Cornell receives the JUBA! Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field.  

            The August 6 performance features Chicago’s finest tap repertory ensembles, including Chicago Human Rhythms Project’s resident ensemble BAM!, Cartier Collective, Jus’ Listen, MADD Rhythms and special guests. Randy Skinner receives the JUBA! Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field.

 

Also part of the JUBA! performances, after last season’s debut, are the winners of Virtual Rhythms, CHRP’s “tapography” competition offering exposure for emerging tap choreographers and videographers. One JUBA! performance will include the winning choreographer, and one will include a screening of the winning videographer’s work.

 

Tickets to “JUBA!” performances–$30, $25 for Rhythm World participants and MCA members–go on sale May 25, National Tap Dance Day. Call 312-397-4010 or visit mcachicago.org. All programming is subject to change.

 

For complete Rhythm World information, visit chicagotap.org or call 773-281-1825.

 

Global Rhythms–November 2011           

CHRP’s 2011 season concludes with Global Rhythms and Thanks 4 Giving, a series of shared revenue, contemporary percussive arts performances November 26 and 27 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park. The program will include CHRP’s performing ensemble BAM!, the return of Step Afrika!, Chicago’s Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and the Mexican Folkloric Dance Ensemble.

About Chicago Human Rhythm Project

CHRP’s 2011 season is supported by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Target, The Boeing Company, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation for Arts & Culture at Prince, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, The Saints, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Jeanette & Jerome Cohen Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City, The Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg Family Foundation, L&L Hardwood Flooring, The Service Club of Chicago, Arts Work Fund, Leo’s Dancewear, The Seneca Hotel and Suites and generous individual donors.

 

Founded in 1990, Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) builds community by presenting American tap dance and contemporary percussive arts in world-class and innovative performance, education and community outreach programs. The organization’s vision is to establish the first global center for American tap and percussive arts (The American Rhythm Center), which will create a complete ecosystem of education, performance, creation and community in a state-of-the-art facility uniting generations of diverse artists and the general public.  

 

CHRP Founder/Director Lane Alexander is serving as the only member of Chicago’s dance community on Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel’s transition team for Arts & Culture. And on March 17, CHRP announced that it had raised more than $500,000 to support the establishment of the Collaborative Space for Sustainable Development (working title), which will serve as a shared, affordable and eventually self-sufficient education, rehearsal and administrative facility for several Chicago arts organizations.

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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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