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Archive for June 15th, 2011

Educating Young Minds in partnership with West LA College & Nestle Presents: The Launch Event of Access/No Excuse

Posted by Admin On June - 15 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

A worldwide weekend celebration will take place on June 17-19, 2011 in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com)youngminds — Educating Young Minds (EYM) and its internet based interactive site, ACCESS/NO EXCUSE in partnership with West Los Angeles College and Nestle is proud to present ACCESS/ NO EXCUSE. A new interactive on-line academic and career development search engine. On June 17th-19th, 2011 EYM will hold its 3-day Worldwide Weekend Festival at Educating Young Minds, West Los Angeles College, and the Marriott Hotel (LAX). On June 18th, West LA College will host exciting interactive exhibits, workshops, and entertainment designed to excite, motivate and encourage students and young adults.
Educating Young Minds premise for the 3-day event is simple: have college students, young adults, and students 9 years and above, participate in life changing exhibits and workshops, interact with role models, try foods and customs from around the world and feed their hunger for excellence. Exhibits will be showcased in one of the HUB areas: Education, Green Technology/Environment, Science/Engineering/Technology, Health and Wellness, Arts and Entertainment, Government/Law/Finance.
ACCESS/NO EXCUSE will expand the reach and vision of EYM’s programs and address academic, vocational and outreach opportunities for students worldwide. It is essential that we develop a culture of continuous education, excitement and wonder for our youth and young adults as we create global citizens.
During the 3 days we will focus on different elements. We will give each participant a journey to various worlds of education, entertainment, exploration and technology. We will explore exciting interactive exhibits, both real and virtual. Additionally, guests will explore video conferencing, motion capture systems, and so much more.
Furthermore, the day will explore career paths and possibilities for today’s youth, introduce world cuisine of national and international cultures & arts. Lastly, guests will enjoy an evening of first class entertainment along with a live concert.

On Sunday, June 19th, the 3-day celebration will close with EYM’S 13th Annual Scholarship Awards Gala. We will honor our college bound high school graduates, each of whom will receive a $6,000 to $10,000 college scholarship and a laptop computer. EYM will also celebrate the achievements of all 61 EYM scholars currently enrolled in 4-year collegiate institutions like USC, Berkeley, Spelman, Morehouse, UC Irvine, UCLA, Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, UC Santa Barbara and many more.

ABOUT EDUCATING YOUNG MINDS (EYM)
Educating Young Minds was formed in 1987 to create a rich and diverse supplemental learning environment where students would be encouraged to grow academically, emotionally and socially. EYM grew out of the needs of many students and families for supplemental education and counseling, which over-stressed public schools, could not meet. We realized that academic achievement is not predicated on intellectual ability alone, but is also the product of the social and emotional growth our programs encourage. EYM’s programs include: after school tutorial, home-study instruction during the day, Saturday remedial, High School exit exam prep, SAT/ACT prep, a 6 week STEM summer program, and our college scholarship program, where our graduates receive $6,000 – $10,000 per student in college scholarships.

ABOUT WEST LOS ANGELES COLLEGE
West Los Angeles College has been serving American and International students for more than 40 years. West Los Angeles College offers over 38 degrees & 52 job skill certificates, online degrees, vocational programs, film/television production, business, healthcare, computer technology, science and more! West LA College partnerships with public and private universities within California, out of state and internationally, provide students with a range of transfer opportunities.
West LA College provides programs for all ages that lead to college enrollment and career preparation needed for high demand jobs. Our partnership with EYM’s Access /No Excuse will further support and encourage thousands to…GO WEST…and GO FAR.

ABOUT NESTLE
Nestlé is committed to providing the very best Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company for its customers, employees, consumers and their families, as well as the society at large. Nestlé calls this approach, “Creating Shared Value” which is a way of doing business that goes beyond philanthropy.
The company’s commitment to establishing and growing successful business relationships with increasing numbers of qualified minorities, women, urban and veteran-owned suppliers is important to our customers, and our increasingly diverse consumer base. Nestlé is excited to partner with Educating Young Minds in introducing its national internet based flagship program, Access/No Excuse. Access/No Excuse will play a significant role in preparing the entrepreneurs of the future, insuring that their career decisions will be based upon their individual empowerment With No Excuses!

For Celebrity/VIP Participation Contact:
Paula Bethsebe or Angeles Echols Brown
Educating Young Minds
aechols@educatingyoungminds.org
(818) 995-4365 or (213) 487-2310

Black churches across the country step up actions in preparation for Phen’s “Father’s Day Rally against prostate cancer”, June 19

Posted by Admin On June - 15 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Churches to Recognize Survivors with Prayer and Wear Blue in Show of Support

Boston, MA (BlackNews.com) — This Father’s Day, June 19, Black churches across the country will participate in a Father’s Day “Rally Against Prostate Cancer” with the theme of Joining Hands in Prayer and Action to Save Lives. The Rally serves to increase knowledge and awareness about this country’s African American prostate cancer crisis. Statistics show that Black men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at a rate 60% higher than white men and suffer a mortality rate that is 140% higher – the largest racial disparity for any type of major cancer. Participating churches will recognize prostate cancer survivors, their families, and the loved ones of those men who have died from the disease. Members will wear blue, to symbolize the fight against prostate cancer and offer special prayers of love and healing.

This year marks the third annual “Father’s Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer,” which is hosted by the Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN), a Boston-based nonprofit. PHEN supplied the churches with educational materials, including posters, flyers, blue ribbons, and webinars to help prepare them to host the Rally and will continue an ongoing effort in partnership with the churches.

Churches spanning cities across the country, including Boston, Baltimore, Atlanta, Charlotte, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Chicago, Washington, DC, Nashville and beyond, are participating in the Rally. Many of them have already taken action to prepare for the Rally, including:

* Rev. Dr. Kelvin T. Calloway, Pastor of Bethel AME Church, in Los Angeles, CA, also a recent Prostate Cancer Survivor, declared that their Rally will be a day of “blue.” Men at his church will wear blue shirts in solidarity and he has committed his entire service to prostate health.

* Dr. Clyde W. Oden, Pastor of Bryant Temple AME Church, in Los Angeles, CA, will be featured in the Los Sentinel newspaper, to chronicle his personal experiences as a prostate cancer survivor.

* Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson, Presiding Prelate for the AME Church, 2nd District recently kicked-off the Rally with PHEN during his church’s annual conference, in Wilmington, NC.

* Rev. Arthur Gerald, Pastor, Twelfth Baptist Church, in Boston, MA participated in a PHEN/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute webcast to discuss “Faith in Healing.”

* Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, presiding prelate of the 13th Episcopal District issued the Christian Recorder Newsbreak enewsletter, asking all churches in the 13th Episcopal District (encompasses Tennessee and Kentucky) to join the Connection church, to help promote awareness about Prostate Cancer on Father’s Day.

* Rev. Dr. Frank D. Tucker, Pastor, First Baptist Church, in Washington, DC is holding a special men’s health session on prostate cancer on June 18, as well as participating in the church wide Rally, on Father’s Day.
“There is a critical lack of prostate health knowledge in Black America that is needlessly causing deaths and suffering, which must be changed,” said Thomas A. Farrington, president and founder, PHEN. “By hosting the Rally during Father’s Day Church services, we are creating a highly visible and effective joint effort with churches across Black communities. This is a powerful step forward,” said Farrington, who is also a prostate cancer survivor.

This year, PHEN has also partnered with the Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC) to work with and involve each of their nine denominations that comprise the organization. “We are encouraging our churches across the country to stay involved with PHEN in its prostate cancer education and advocacy efforts until the uneven toll that this disease is taking on Black men is eliminated,” said Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, CNBC Board Chairman and Senior Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, NY. To watch the video of the 2010 GRACE Baptist Church Rally Service, visit http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid626881179001?bctid=626436774001

Visit www.rapcancer.org to see a list of PHEN’s 2011 highlighted “Father’s Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer” church participants.
About the Rally Against Prostate Cancer:
African American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at a rate 60% higher and have a death rate 150% higher than all other men. This is the largest racial disparity for any type of cancer. The Father’s Day Rally is a part of PHEN’s RAP Cancer initiative, which was launched in 2008. RAP Cancer mobilizes prostate cancer survivors with the resources to help others, and outreaches through PHEN support group meetings, online television programming, community television stations, radio and internet broadcasts. This broad “grassroots” effort reaches men and their families with education and awareness information and support with the understanding that knowledge is the best defense against prostate cancer. PHEN is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 2003 by Thomas A. Farrington a prostate cancer survivor and author of the books “Battling the Killer Within” and “Battling the Killer Within and Winning.”

Atty. Muhammad files civil conspiracy charge against City Colleges of Chicago on behalf of Tobacco Road, Inc.

Posted by Admin On June - 15 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Muhammad: ‘We’re in a war with City Colleges’ that’s seeking to seize the Harold Washington Center  

Filing conspiracy charges, he said, ‘They’re in for a hell of a fight’ 

 

By Chinta Strausberg

 

Representing the legal team of the Tobacco Road, Incorporated (TRI), a 501 © 3 which owns and operates the Harold Washington Cultural Center (HWC), famed Attorney Berve M. Power Muhammad announced that he has filed a civil conspiracy charge against City Colleges of Chicago which is trying to seize control of the popular Center.

Speaking at the “State of the Harold Washington Cultural Center Town Hall” meeting, Muhammad said he filed a “2691 motion” which he said means “if we win this motion, City Colleges does not have another chance to come back. If we win this motion, City Colleges gets knocked out of the case completely.”

Muhammad said his legal team is alleging that City Colleges “is an educational institution. It should not be allowed to hold this mortgage. You see, they got a little over anxious from our vantage point. They were trying to close this deal real fast; so we think they may have gone round a few rules to try and get this (the Harold Washington Cultural Center’s) mortgage.

“They cited a law where they wanted to knock out the claims in the affirmative defenses that we filed. They cited a law that says they have a right to buy property to help support City Colleges. So, we went and looked at the law and read the part they didn’t cite,” said Muhammad noting what they left out was “pretty interesting.”

Explaining Muhammad said, “There is one line in that same law that says ‘no purchase can be made without prior approval of the state board.’ We don’t think they got prior approval from the State Board to make this acquisition.

“If they, in fact jumped the gun, if they, in fact made this acquisition without state approval, then we are going to ask that City Colleges be thrown out of the case for violating the law. “

The Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. King Dr., is in foreclosure proceedings. Recently, Judge Franklin D. Valdarrama barred the City Colleges of Chicago from the property saying it does not “own, operate, manage or have any jurisdiction over the facility.”

The Center’s lawyers, led by Muhammad, have filed a multi-million dollar counter claim against the City Colleges of Chicago.

According to Muhammad, and Jimalita Tillman, the executive director of the Center, the Harold Washington Cultural Center is owned and operated by Tobacco Road, Incorporated (TRI) which is a 501 © 3 non-profit organization.

Its mission is to “preserve and protect the rich black culture” and its goal is to “deter at-risk behavior in our youth through training in media and the performing arts.” The Tillman’s are fighting the foreclosure that threatens to shut down the Center.

However, Muhammad said there is more to this foreclosure than meets the eye. He said in December 10, 2010, he asked for and received through a request for discovery from the Shore Bank. In January of this year, the City Colleges became the plaintiff on this foreclosure case.

Initially, he said it was Shore Bank that had the loan “then it was the City of Chicago that had its own grants.

“In February of this year, the attorney they (the Tillman’s) withdrew from the case.” Muhammad said Jimalita Tillman became the only representative for the center until Minister Louis Farrakhan asked him to become Tillman’s lawyer.

At a meeting at Farrakhan’s home, Muhammad said Jimalita Tillman handed him a folder that had some e-mails in it from the City of Chicago and Shore Bank which showed four to five-months before the foreclosure was filed, they were having conversations with each other.” Muhammad said they were having conversations “trying to figure out the best way to take over this building.

“They were literally dividing up the case to try and figure out if the City of Chicago filed the foreclosure and what would be the best route for that or if Shore Bank would file the foreclosure what would be the best route,” he said.

“When we saw these e-mails going back and forth…there was even an e-mail that represent Jimalita and Dorothy Tillman were trying to pay off all that they claim that was owed but a representative from Shore Bank wrote another representative from Shore Bank to say that they were not going to allow them to pay what ever was outstanding so that they can go forward with this foreclosure,” said Muhammad.

“You may still think it (the foreclosure) was due to their not paying their mortgage,” he said. “But, this discovery showed something. “It showed payments made by Tobacco Road for their mortgage payment. This loan was not an interest-only loan.

“This loan was for principle and interest,” he explained. “The interest on a loan is what the bank makes off of the loan that they gave you.”

In looking at the documents he received through discovery, Muhammad pointed to a large screen on the stage showing that the Tillman’s made huge payments as early as April 1, 2005 for $17,000 and including $30,000 on May 19, 2009, $25,000 on June 4, 2009, $9,570.00 on November 18, 2009 for a total of $280,000.

“The interesting thing,” he said, “is that Shore Bank would not tell them how much they had to pay.” “All of these payments, Shore Bank was putting in their pocket as interest payments. Interest is calculated on your principle. If your principle never goes down, your interests always stay high.

“Since Tobacco Road was making all of these payments that totaled up to $280,000 not one single dime of that was ever applied to principle,” Muhammad explained. “This is what their document showed.” He said the bank knew that “when they gave this discovery they would have some problems if we were diligent.”

Saying while his team is on the defensive now, after looking at the documents, Muhammad said, “It’s time to change the jersey and potentially go on the offensive with what we have discovered.”

He showed up in court on April 21, 2011. Muhammad said City Colleges came in with a motion to take over the Center within four-days claiming that the emergency systems did not work in the building. However, Muhammad proved they were wrong and the judge refused to allow the City Colleges take over.

Muhammad said “the attorney for City Colleges then told the judge that this case has gone on long enough” and objected to Muhammad’s legal team wanting to file an amended motion. Customarily, he said, an attorney has 21 or 28-days to file an amended answer. “We were given seven-days,” he said.

“But what they didn’t know was that we had a little motivation to work with what eve time constraints that we were given to make sure that the rights of Dorothy Tillman were preserved and Tobacco Road and our rights were preserved.”

He said they filed a 40-page document in response, called affirmative defenses, in seven-days, which contained a claim that City Colleges should not be holding the mortgage to the Center. “City Colleges is designed to educate people. The Public Community College Act says that the purpose of any institution created under that act is for the education of people.

“And, so now the City Colleges is holding the mortgage but the only folk I know who holds mortgages are banks,” said Muhammad. “So, now the City Colleges has the responsibility of trying to manage this mortgage which it is not equipped to do.”

Muhammad told the judge that “you ought not to allow the City Colleges to be able to hold this mortgage.” Muhammad said his legal team also filed a civil conspiracy against City Colleges, the City of Chicago and Shore Bank because what we discovered in the discovery is that the City Colleges wanted this building and so City Colleges went to the city and said can you help us get this building.

“We allege that City Colleges and the City of Chicago then had a conversation with Shore Bank to try and figure out a way to get control of this building and they said in writing that they are not going to let them cheer any default that they have on this mortgage so that it can go on with this foreclosure.

“After the foreclosure was filed, the City of Chicago in January of last year transferred up to $1.8 million of our money to the City Colleges they thought to purchase this building,” said Muhammad. “But the problem is that Shore Bank didn’t own the building. City Colleges then gave $1.4 million to Shore Bank and bought them out. That is how City Colleges then got this interest in this building.”

However, Muhammad said “they have a predicament on their hands because now they are locked into what Shore Bank did and didn’t do right. In any foreclosure action, it is equivalent to a breech of contract. They basically said you didn’t do what you were supposed to do, but Shore Bank didn’t do right. In any foreclosure action, it is equivalent to breech of contract,” he stated. “The problem is Shore Bank didn’t do what it was supposed to do which was to apply these payments towards principle.

“The law is very clear,” said Muhammad. “If you breech a contract, you can’t now claim another clause in that contract to your benefit and so since Shore Bank did not apply these payments to principle, we’re arguing that Shore Bank breeched the contract as well.”

“We filed a 2169 motion that says if we win this motion, City Colleges does not have another chance to come back…. If we win this motion, City Colleges gets knocked out of this case completely….”

Referring to his mother who told him, “God doesn’t like ugly,” Muhammad said, “When you’re trying to do things in a certain kind of way you got to be real careful because sometimes it comes back to haunt you.”

Looking out into the audience at Tillman, Muhammad said, “You are not the first strong black woman I’ve met in my life because the first one is my mother and there is something real particular, Sister Dorothy Tillman, as to some of the energy I bring to this case.”

Muhammad said his mother was director of the Carter G. Woodson Library at 95th and Halted for 17-years.  “Because she was a strong black and is a strong black woman, she would not allow the library on the South Side of Chicago to not be treated like the libraries on the North Side of Chicago and so she would stand up.

“She wrote letters on behalf of black people on 95th and Halsted to say if you are going to spend money on libraries up North, you should come South and spend money on this library as well,” he said saying it showed the “vigor that she brought to representing the interests of our people.”

Muhammad said because of her integrity and consistent fight for economic parity for black libraries, he said “some people downtown didn’t like that” and ultimately “they bought the weight of the city down on her to move her into a position to try and terminate her.” At that time, Muhammad said he was not a seasoned and was unable to help her.

However, he vowed from that point on to “never again would I allow an underdog to be taken advantaged of and it doesn’t matter who is on the other side or how many lawyers they got on the other side. So there is a little extra energy that I bring to that,” he told a cheering audience.

“What actually pushed the city over the line and was determined that they had to get rid of my mother, was that she supported you.” Muhammad said as the director of that library, his mother was at the opening of the Muhammad University Library in 1989 and she brought books from Carter G. Woodson to supply Muhammad University’s Library.

“There was somebody there who was kind of scared to be there and came up to my mother and told her, ‘you know there is somebody outside taking down these license plates. Girl, you might get in trouble.’”

Muhammad said his mother responded, “Listen, I am going to here with my black people and these babies got to read. She would let the sisters come over from the mosque and take the books out when ever they wanted to and bring them back when ever they wanted to, but I watched them maneuver her out” of her position “so they can then take some of the benefits away all because she was just that strong to stand up for our people.

“So, I know we are at a war with this case with the City Colleges of Chicago, and there is something about war. It’s very difficult to make guarantees in a war, but in this war we can make some guarantees. We cannot guarantee we can win this case, but we can absolutely guarantee that they are in for a hell of a fight in this case.

“We cannot guarantee that Goliath is going to fall, but we sure can guarantee that Goliath is going to get cut. We can’t guarantee that we won’t lose some of the rounds in this heavyweight fight…but what we can guarantee regardless of the odds that are stacked against us, regardless of the weight of the authority against us, it is one thing that we can guarantee that we won’t lose.

“We can guarantee that we won’t lose the faith and the God of our weary years and the God of our silent tears that have brought us thus far on our way.

“As we move forward representing our people, we got to know that when you got that kind of faith, it doesn’t matter what the opposition looks like because you know that the God that is with you is stronger than any forces that can come against you.

“And so it’s really easy to fight when you know a God…and care less that could be said or done because one thing we know is that justice must prevail…,” said Muhammad.

“Whether we’re here to see justice roll or not, history does not record the cowards. History records those who stand up and fight on behalf of their people and so this is not about making the history books. It’s sure nice to make the history books if you have to but standing up and fighting for your people,” said Muhammad.

City Colleges spokesperson Katheryn Hayes would not give comment to the media.

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

BEEP prepares African American college students for Jobs in Corporate America

Posted by Admin On June - 15 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

To Be Equal#24

By Marc H. Morial, President and CEO
National Urban League

 

Effective: “Producing a deep and vivid impression; striking; prepared and available for service.”  Random House Dictionary

 

Last week, June 8-11, more than 450 attendees, including 132 HBCU students, came together in Orlando, Florida for the National Urban League’s 42nd annual Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP) Leadership Conference.  BEEP, the National Urban League’s longest running direct service program, is a partnership involving the business community, government and non-profit institutions which places African American executives in classrooms at more than 80 HBCUs as visiting professors and role models.  The idea behind the program is that by exposing Black college students to African American executive role models and their real-world experiences, we can better prepare the next generation for effective corporate leadership. The program also provides a unique opportunity for professionals and corporations to give back to their communities while helping African American college students achieve their goals.

The theme for this year’s conference was “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.”  With African American unemployment at 16.2 percent and the jobless rate for Black teens approaching 40 percent, it is more important than ever to equip young people with the tools for 21st century jobs and effective leadership in whatever field they pursue.  Our conference offered three days of workshops, discussions and networking to help HBCU students both sharpen their job search skills and succeed once they get in the door. Executives and students explored the different aspects of leadership, from communication to vision, from service to excellence and focused on the importance of developing the skills needed to be successful corporate executives.

One of the most inspirational speakers was Lucas Boyce, whose amazing story of rising from a life of hardship and poverty is chronicled in his new memoir, “Living Proof: From Foster Care to the White House and the NBA.” Boyce overcame tremendous odds to earn his degree from the University of Central Missouri, serve in the White House and become a major front-office executive with the Orlando Magic basketball team.  In his comments at the conference and in his book, Boyce shared, “It is my earnest hope that everyone… will come away believing that no matter the circumstance, they, too, can prove that when hard work, determination and grace meet opportunity … anything can happen.”

That is what BEEP is all about – giving young people who may come from challenging backgrounds the opportunity to dream big and achieve their goals.  As I told those who attended the closing awards dinner, the participation of corporations and their executives in BEEP is an important way to beat back the jobs crisis, especially in urban America.  The training, internships and jobs that result from this partnership are making a real difference in the lives of young people.  BEEP is a great example of what America can achieve when we put politics aside and come together for the common good.

I want to express my gratitude to the Central Florida Urban League for co-hosting this year’s BEEP conference.  And a special thanks to this year’s conference lead sponsors, UPS, Southwest Airlines and Unilever.

Dozens of college bound Black male youth from the San Francisco Bay area celebrated at unique Graduation Ceremony

Posted by Admin On June - 15 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Oakland, CA (BlackNews.com) — Dozens of college bound black male youth and nearly 250 community members gathered at the Oakland Museum of California on June 8 for the Mitchell Kapor Foundation’s College Bound Brotherhood Graduation Celebration.

Golden State Warriors‘ Assistant Coach Lloyd Pierce keynoted the unique ceremony, which honored 65 graduating high school seniors headed to colleges and universities throughout California and the U.S., including Stanford University, the University of California at Merced, Morehouse College, Howard University, Columbia University, and many more.

“It is important that all young males better position themselves academically for whatever future possibilities may come their way,” Pierce said. “We have to support our youth in accomplishing and attaining their social and economic goals. Doing so not only will set them up for success, it also will have a big impact on our communities.”

The event is part of the Kapor Foundation’s College Bound Brotherhood program, which aims to change a grim statistic: college graduates earn twice as much as those with only a high-school diploma, yet only about one out of seven black male students who graduate from high school in the San Francisco Bay Area are college ready. Nearly half of California’s black male students do not graduate from high school.

“Our goal is to reinforce a college-going culture among young black male students,” said Cedric Brown, CEO of the Kapor Foundation. “College education is a crucial vehicle for economic and social mobility. We are celebrating the achievements of young black men who are defying the odds and are on their way toward creating change for themselves, their families, and our communities.”

Since the program’s launch in 2008, the Kapor Foundation has distributed nearly $1 million in grants to organizations that support young black men through college readiness workshops, college tours, academic coaching, mentoring, and much more. The Foundation is accepting requests through June 15 for $25,000 grants to community organizations working on college readiness for young black men. For more information on how to apply, please visit mkf.org.

“Statistics for African American males in Oakland and nationwide are daunting,” said Regina Jackson, executive director of the East Oakland Youth Development Center. “With high school ‘drop out’ and high jail and prison ‘drop in’ rates, a college-bound culture is more necessary than ever. The Kapor Foundation’s strategy to bolster that culture – by building connections, providing resources, and celebrating achievements – is working here in the Bay Area.”

The College Bound Brotherhood program also has launched a public, online database that assists youth, parents, and educators in locating college readiness programs in the Bay Area (collegeboundbros.org). In addition, the program provides continued support for grant recipient organizations, parents, and young men through conferences, local workshops, and leadership opportunities.

About the College Bound Brotherhood Program:
The College Bound Brotherhood is a program of the Mitchell Kapor Foundation that seeks to expand the number of young black men in the Bay Area who are prepared for a college education. The program works to strengthen the college-going culture for young black men; build a college access movement for organizations focused on the enrichment of black male youth; and provide resources to build stronger, more effective organizations. Since the founding of the Brotherhood program in 2008, the Kapor Foundation has distributed nearly $1 million in grants to 25 San Francisco Bay Area organizations. For more info, visit www.mkf.org.

Madigan alerts consumers to dangers of fuel gel in firepots

Posted by Admin On June - 15 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL ─ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is urging consumers to immediately stop using fuel gels in firepots due to their serious potential for causing severe burns.

Recent media reports have brought to light severe and even life-threatening burns and injuries suffered by people using the scented fuel gels, which are poured into firepots for use as outdoor candles. Reports show consumers were injured when they added more fuel into the pot in an attempt to light or re-light the firepot, causing the product to explode into a fireball. One manufacturer, Napa Home & Garden Inc., already has pulled its products from Bed Bath & Beyond stores nationwide as it reviews product labeling for safety, and the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has opened an investigation into fire gels.

“Fuel gels can be extremely dangerous, and yet most people are unaware of the burn risks they pose,” Attorney General Madigan said.  

Attorney General Madigan urged Illinoisans to stop using fuel gels while the CPSC investigates. Madigan also called on business owners to pull all fuel gels from shelves and for consumers to report firepots or fuel gels they see on store shelves to her office.

Any consumer who suffers an injury after using fire gel should immediately report it to the CPSC by calling its hotline at (800) 638-2772 or (800) 638-8270 for the hearing impaired.

Consumers seeking more information can contact Madigan’s Product Recall Hotline at (888) 414-7678, TTY (800) 964-3012 and (866) 310-8398 for Spanish speakers. 

Sec’y of State Jesse White announces New Digital Talking Books and Players

Posted by Admin On June - 15 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Available to Talking Book Service Patrons

 

Springfield, IL —Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White announced that new easy to use digital Talking Books and players are now available to patrons who use the Illinois Network of Talking Book and Braille Libraries.

“We are very excited about the availability of these new easy to use digital players,” White said.  “I strongly encourage anyone who qualifies, or who knows a friend, family member or loved one who may qualify, to sign up for this outstanding free service. The Talking Book and Braille Program has the ability to greatly enhance the lives of citizens who cannot read regular printed material because of a visual or physical disability.”

More than 28,000 Illinoisans use the wide variety of materials provided by the Illinois Network of Talking Book and Braille Libraries.  Users can choose from a large collection of digital audio books, braille materials, descriptive videos, magazines and other services.  With the cooperation of the U.S. Postal Service these materials are mailed free of charge to participants, and users return materials free of charge.

Participation eligibility includes anyone who needs large print or who has macular degeneration, arthritis, dyslexia, cataracts, cerebral palsy or any other type of visual or physical impairment that limits reading.  The program is available to all ages.  Schools, nursing homes, hospitals and other organizations may use the service.  

Persons interested in more information, or wanting to sign up, may contact the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service at 1-800-665-5576, option 5, or visit www.ilbph.org.  The Talking Book program is administered by the Secretary of State, and is a division of the Illinois State Library.  The Illinois network consists of the Talking Book and Braille Service regional library in Springfield; Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center in East Peoria; Voices of Vision Talking Book Center in Geneva; Chicago Public Library Talking Book Center and the Illinois Machine Sub-lending Agency in Carterville.

Goodman Theatre’s six-week “General Theater Studies” program introduces 80 Chicago students to Theater Arts, June 21 – July 30

Posted by Admin On June - 15 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

GTS culminates its seventh summer with a free, open-to-the-public showcase of students’ work, July 29 and 30 in Owen Theatre

 

(Chicago, IL) –  Goodman Theatre’s Education and Community Programs welcomes 80 students from Chicagoland public, private and parochial schools as participants in General Theatre Studies (GTS), the free six-week intensive introduction to the theater arts. GTS provides 14 to 19 year old students the hands-on opportunity to engage with

and learn from local professional theater mentors, including Bobby Biedrzycki, Amanda Delheimer, Kevin Douglas, Khanisha Foster, Tony Sancho and Paul Whitehouse. New this summer, GTS also involves members from Goodman’s GeNarrations program—a writing workshop for senior citizens based on themes raised by the Goodman’s mainstage productions. Participants engage in all elements of the theater—both on stage and behind the scenes— and the program culminates in a free showcase of the participants’ work July 29 and 30 on the Owen stage. For

more information or to make a reservation, call 312.443.3800 ext. 1432. Generous support of GTS is provided, in part, by AT&T Foundation and Quarles & Brady LLP. Additional Education and Community Engagement gifts partially allocated to GTS are provided by the Helen Brach Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, The Irving Harris

Foundation and Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Principal support of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives is provided by The Joyce Foundation.

“This is truly my favorite time of year—when students from all over Chicago choose to spend their summers exploring different aspects of both the theater and themselves at the Goodman,” said Willa J. Taylor, Director of Education and Community Engagement. “Pairing these youth with members from our GeNarrations program allows our students to learn about the power of narrative and the affect of theater on people of all ages. By sharing their stories with each other and the community they are privy to the powerful affect the theater arts are able to have in an individual’s everyday life.”

Themed “First Love, First Kiss,” this summer’s GTS program dovetails on the Goodman’s recent world premiere of Stage Kiss, in which playwright Sarah Ruhl explores what happens when lovers share a stage kiss—or actors share a real one. The student participants, each of whom was selected through an audition process, collaborate with GTS Teaching Artists and senior citizen participants of the GeNarrations Program to create short performance pieces using oral history and personal story-telling techniques. The students combine the individual pieces into a single final showcase performance. GTS participants will also have the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from the Goodman’s artists, including resident designers, directors and staff.

About the 2011 GTS Teaching Artists and Assistants Khanisha Foster is a Chicago actor, writer, director and teacher, and a former teaching artist in the Goodman’s

Yollocalli program at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum. This is Foster’s fifth year as lead teaching artist for GTS. Bobby Biedrzyck is a writer, performer and educator who joins GTS for the second year. Biedryzyck is an adjunct faculty member of the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago and a company member of the urban

storytelling series 2nd Story. Kevin Douglas is in his seventh year as a teaching artist at the Goodman. An actor, sketch comedian and writer with his theater company MPAACT, Douglas has also performed in Steppenwolf’s Traffic Series with his sketch group, kevINda, and Lookingglass Theatre Company’s production of Lookingglass Alice.

Amanda Delheimer is the Artistic Director of Serendipity Theater Collective, where she runs their flagship project, 2nd Story. She is also an Artistic Associate with Collaboraction Theater Company and Adventure Stage Chicago. Tony Sancho is an ensemble member of Teatro Vista and taught for six years in Goodman’s Yollocalli summer program at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum. Paul Whitehouse, a former Goodman intern and teaching assistant for the past two years joins GTS as a first time teaching artist. Whitehouse is an ensemble member at Theatre Momentum, a company member at Chemically Imbalanced Theatre and the producer of Serendipity Theatre Collective’s 2nd Story. He tours with the educational theater company The Morris Brothers and Improv Playhouse.

In addition, former student participants Liz Gottmann, Elizabeth Nungary and Angelo Murphy Cotto return to GTS as teaching assistants.

A distant expression: A Special Dedication to Ms. Oprah Winfrey

Posted by Admin On June - 15 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

By G. Stubbs

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Great people who have experienced great accomplishments will likely tell us that the pursuit of a dream is always an agenda to be pushed, a story to be told and a life willing to be lived, not from the eyes of others, but resonating from the heart, soul and spirit of someone who is willing to say, “This is who I am and what I believe in, and if I am not all that I was meant to be, then I am surely less than what I was created to be.” We embrace this not only as a creed of wisdom for professional success, but also as a position of empowerment to facilitate and navigate our way through life in order to possess the prize or at least discover who we are in the process.

The success of an African American is not just about who we know but how far we are willing to travel down roads that may throw us lots of curves, provoke self doubt and even cause us to be delayed by the status-quo. As African Americans, we are still faced with the challenge of figuring out the design of the road before we can use our own architectural prowess to widen the lanes to avoid the wrecks and obstructions. It is wonderful to now see the presence of African American leadership on many fronts; from the intelligence and charisma of our Chief Executive Officer, to the character and brilliance of a talk show hostess and entrepreneur that has forever changed how we view the media industry by setting new standards of excellence and using the industry as an anomalous partner to be benevolently virtuous. We hold this to be evidence that “the road less traveled” has now been traveled by Ms. Oprah Winfrey very well and she has an entourage that extends beyond cultural boundaries and generational dissimilarities and they remain loyal and enthused by her civility and leadership.

We have never seen Ms. Winfrey stuck in neutral. For over two decades, her message has been artfully projected into our homes and our lives and though we know she was miles away, she has been indelibly close to our hearts. Slowly, the days, nights and events of her life have succeeded each other and now change, well it has come. Yet we suffer no waste nor lost because we cling to the thought of what her second horizon has in store for us.

As we conduct our “Oprah” discussions in restaurants, church, sidewalks and corridors; as we become consumed by our individual interpretations of the “Oprah Effect”, we can collectively conclude that it would not be a paradox to say that the “Oprah Effect” is a phenomenal effect. We can also collectively conclude that there is still a longing for her vivacious and candid talk show voice to interrupt the early gray of our morning or our subdued and pensive mood and place within our hearts in her usual convincing manner, a subtle message that represents a personal, yet celestial view of her passage, such as, “The comet has landed safely and kissed the earth gently; the world has watched her flight and all of the people and purposes that has made her destiny so marvelously transparent can now be connected to one glorified act of faith, we have all witnessed a piece of God’s universe on a long journey that only he could have envisioned.”

God has shown us that His work can be found in the hearts and minds of those who apply His instructions. God builds and magnifies his stories on Earth and in our great land through their deeds which are the voice of His Devotion. In order to properly bestow such an honor upon Ms. Oprah Winfrey, what must be said is that behind her alluring charm lies the soul of a person that is the rhythm of God’s symphony, she has worn His purpose so gracefully.

Her accolades are world renowned, she has been acknowledged many times over with unparallel commentary, her story continues to be told as her remarkable life continues to unfold. She is beyond the flattery of words, yet one feels compelled to describe her preponderously with articulatory preciseness, if indeed that is a sufficient description.

The world has been fortunate to have an intimate acquaintance with Ms. Winfrey. Her name, voice, and presence have become an exaltation. The joy she has shared with us is innocuous, her energy has been persuasive and her compassion is intuitively distinct and instinctively humane.

Spiritual reverence and social moxie, patriot for the transfer and distribution of economic prosperity, perhaps we know of no one more capable of carrying this torch than her.

We have all been entertained and many of us have reclaimed our lives because she sought to soothe our wounds, to loosen our mental chains and replace them with peace and encouragement. More women are dancing to their own music with confidence and allowing their fullness to shape the world. More men are viewing their masculinity and responsibility synonymously. Destitute children are chanting her name and the perils of their predicament have been rescinded by her pronounced generosity. When we selfishly stumbled in the dark and away from being the builders of prideful communities that are rich in family values, it has been her acts of kindness, respect and honor for communities and families that has been the light on our porch and pivotal to the renewal of our own conscious endeavors to be a kindred spirit and a reminder to ourselves that regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, neighborhood or hometown, that we are our brother’s keepers and our sister’s keepers.

There is a banner that hangs on the hearts of every day people that reflects the landscape of Ms. Winfrey’s dreams. It states that she has done her work well with the gift of God’s promise and that she has been bold, beautiful and boundless in its application. It memorializes our appreciation for her because she has fought the good fight for worthy causes and higher destinies. It recognizes her as American Royalty, a World Icon, and the Queen of a Heritage that has been eloquently represented and above all and in the hearts of many, an “Endless Friend.” We are now privileged to look at her emulous character and say what a remarkable person God has assembled and she has been a great steward of His blessings.

So, on behalf of all the everyday people who she has touched, refined and influenced in an uncommon way, for those of us who are restricted by proximity and resources, but feel the need for an obligatory response to her prolific response to humanity, this distant expression is written to say thank you Ms. Winfrey. We thank you for sharing with us a spiritual, social and economic repertoire that reminds us that we can no longer afford to know our duty better than we discharge our duty. We thank you for motivating us to rattle a few more cans until we discover our own jewels and more importantly, we thank you for being the jewel we will never have to search for in this lifetime. We salute you on your journey to the next phase.

G. Stubbs is an administrator with the city of St. Louis, Missouri and the poet/author of “What the Heart Craves” (A Poetic Introspection) available at Amazon.com. Contact him at (314) 503-5074.

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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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