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Archive for June 22nd, 2011

1,500 send message to gangs: “No more shooting”

Posted by Admin On June - 22 - 2011 3 COMMENTS

Gang leaders agree to meet with Pfleger  

 

By Chinta Strausberg

Leading more than 1,500 supporters down West 79th Street where he stopped at two sites known as hangouts for the gangs and called for an end to the shooting, Father Michael L. Pfleger late Friday night called for a peace truce and the gang leaders accepted his invitation and agreed to meet with him on Monday.

During the “Community Rally & March” which began at Saint Sabina Church, 1210 W. 78th Place, Pfleger said, “This past school year as of today, 27 Chicago Public School (CPS) students have been killed. As of today, 229 CPS students have been shot. That’s not even counting alternative schools, dropouts. That’s only CPS students because nobody’s counting the other numbers. Three youth read the names of those students who were fatally shot.”

Pfleger asked parents who lost a child to gunfire to raise their hand. A number of them quickly raised their hand. He then asked family member or friends who has been shot or knew of someone who had been killed to raise their hands. Once again, a sizeable number raised their hands. Looking out over the crowd that spilled out into the street, Pfleger said, “It’s called insanity.”

Three female students read the names of the CPS students who were killed in this academic year.

It was an opportunity to introduce Spencer Leak, Sr., president of the Leak Funeral Homes who said; “I’m tired of making funeral arrangements for young people shot down in the streets of Chicago. “

Saying he had just left his funeral home where the family of Dante Smallwood (who was shot in the head on the 3400 block of West 79th Street) was gathered, Leak said, “That was one of the names they called, and we just arranged that funeral as I have had to arrange over 10 in my funeral home alone over the last week. It doesn’t make sense,” he said saying Pfleger was correct in calling the shootings “insanity.”

Leak, who used to run the Cook County Jail more than 20-years ago, said when he left 83 percent of those arrested were in jail because of cocaine, marijuana or some controlled substance.

“Yesterday, the President asked how many are on drugs now, the same percentage as was 20-years ago.  That is what’s happened to all those young men. They are water spilled on the ground and water spilled on the ground cannot be restored,” said Leak.

He asked the men to be like Father Pfleger “because a father is one who takes the place of the real father…when the biological father is no where to be found.  Be like Father Pfleger and begin to be like father’s to these young people so no one will ever say they are like water spilled on the ground that does not have the capacity to be restored,” he said.

Leak said it would not have made sense not to have Father Pfleger “at the beginning of this long hot summer. I thank God that he has been restored to pastor this great church.”

Pfleger said the key reason they were there is that “stopping the violence is everybody’s business. Nobody gets a pass on this one,” he asked the crowd to repeat. “This is not a police problem. This is not just a parent problem. When we get our community together, we don’t need the police on our blocks because we should be policing our blocks together, our homes, our blocks, our communities when we take charge again.”

Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, said, “I’m here because I’m old and because I’m with you young people….”  Having met Pfleger 30-years ago, Wright said his daughter was coming from Percy Julian High School and got robbed. She called her father and told him she was “going to get my stuff back.”

When she told Wright some of robbers lived next door to them, he was surprised. His daughter did get her things back with an apology. That same summer, Wright said one of his members got shot and killed on church property. He called for peace to prevail this summer.

A police officer for 23-years, Sixth District Police Cmdr. Eddie Johnson said, “I am sick and tired seeing black kids …getting killed.” He challenged parents to step up to the plate and assume their parental responsibilities. “This isn’t a police problem,” he said. “It’s a social problem.”  “If we don’t start fixing this at home, it will never be fixed. It’s up to us fix this problem….”

Alderman Latasha Thomas (17th) and Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-16th) also called for peace this summer with Collins calling the current state of violence “a culture of violence” she said will take everyone in the community to work as one. She vowed to continue being the voice of those in the community and fighting for funding to help save and develop “the human capital.”

Thomas, who is a mother of two, said, “In my house, there are no locked doors…. In your house, you should know every thing that is going on…. Stop waiting for somebody” to raise your child,” said Thomas.

A number of churches, mosques, organizations, motorcycle clubs and other groups embraced the Faith Community of Saint Sabina’s “Community Rally & March”.

As they marched West on 79th Street, Pfleger called out the gang leaders by name and told them again that the shooting has to stop.  “The shooting will stop. We love you. We’ll help you. We’ll try to help you get a job, do what ever we can, get you back in school, but we will not tolerate shooting. This is personal now. Ya’ll just made it personal.”

Naming one of the gangs that has been involved in shooting, Pfleger said they do not own Marshfield, and they don’t own Ashland” and another gang “does not own Laflin. These are the community’s streets,” he bellowed through a bullhorn as he stood at 79th and Ashland.

“If ya’ll want to intimidate by guns, understand, now it’s personal. We will come back here and take over this block. We love you. We want the best for you what God wants for you. We want you to reach your destiny and your destiny is not hanging out on a corner or lying up in somebody’s jail,” said Pfleger.

“Your destiny is great, and we you’re your future, but we are not going to allow shooting in our neighborhood.” Pfleger said he’ll talk any time with gang leaders who later accepted his offer and set the date for a Monday peace summit.

With his security standing by and no cameras allowed, Pfleger huddled with the gang members at 78th and Marshfield Streets, and as he asked them to lay down their guns and stop the shootings, the marchers prayed and led by Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago, they sang gospel songs while calling for peace to prevail in the neighborhoods.

When they returned to Saint Sabina around 9:30 p.m., Pfleger asked the crowd, “Who’s the biggest gang in the city”? They responded, “We are.” “We have to rise up and stand up and decide we’re not going to tolerate things that are no longer normal in our community….”

He ended the rally with a song led by Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago.

Pfleger prayed and thanked the more than 1,000 black, white and Hispanic supporters who attended the anti-violence rally and march. He even had them to stretch out their hands towards the police and asked God to “bless our police to be safe…and that we are all brothers and sisters…keep them safe. Put a hedge of protection around them…. Help tonight not to be a one night thing.” Pfleger asked each adult to love and speak to children on their block to make them feel worthy.”

Pfleger said the next march he holds will be one of calling for jobs.

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

Cain plays the “race card” every chance he gets

Posted by Admin On June - 22 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(New America Media)

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

 

For a presidential candidate who claims race is meaningless when it comes to his candidacy, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain sure takes great delight in rubbing race in the faces of his white conservative backers every chance he gets. He opened his speech at the recent Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most famous words, “I have a Dream.” Later, in an interview, Cain flatly said, “I label myself American black conservative.” But if race doesn’t matter to him, then why did he insert “black” in between “American” and “conservative?”

But Cain’s not-so-subtle way of playing the race card is to denounce civil rights leaders, black Democrats and of course President Obama for tacitly or overtly playing on race to score political points, pander to black voters, and cower Democrats into backing tax and spending and expanded government programs, among other things. Cain loudly declares that this smacks of the new “plantationism.” This is the pejorative label that black conservatives gleefully picked up from some blacks who criticized the Democratic Party for allegedly taking the black vote for granted while doing nothing to earn it, and then lambasting any black politician who dares to stray from the Democrat’s plantation. Cain, of course, is his own best example of that politician.

Cain’s anti-race race talk is not new. The first thing out of his mouth when he addressed a group of conservative New Hampshire Republicans on the eve of his announcement back in March that he was going for the GOP presidential nomination was that they shouldn’t blame him for a “bad” black president. That person supposedly is President Obama. Cain perpetually makes racial digs at Obama and other black Democrats to make the claim that their success rests squarely on their stoking of white guilt.

Cain and the black conservatives that perpetuate this baseless myth blow off the skill, policy acumen and hard work it took to make Obama the successful politician that he is. They ignore the sex and financial corruption scandals in the GOP, and Bush’s towering foreign and domestic bungles, and the near crash of the economy on the Bush watch. Those factors did much to turn the GOP into damaged goods with millions of voters in 2008. But Cain, to hear him tell it, is different. There’s no white guilt in the political DNA of the legions of conservative whites that cheer him. He’s their darling because, as one Southern white GOP voter put it, he believes in personal responsibility. That transcends race. The presumption is that blacks and Democrats believe in government handouts and scream racism at every turn to get that handout.

Cain turned back to race in his address at the Conservative Political Action Committee confab earlier this year when he shouted that anyone white who dares criticize Obama will be branded a racist. Cain must have been gripped by amnesia. Assorted Tea Party activists and leaders, right wing bloggers and radio and TV talk jocks have hectored and ravaged Obama with open and borderline racial digs, taunts and depictions from the moment he set foot in the White House. GOP congressional leaders have relentlessly hammered him if he even sneezed wrong. They didn’t seem to have any problem pulling their punches against him because he’s black.

So this raises this intriguing question: What chance does Cain have to get the legions of conservative grass-roots voters, Tea Party leaders and activists, who now appear to revel in Cain, to actually vote for him?

A 2006 Yale study found that white Republicans were 25 percentage points more likely to cross over and vote for a Democratic senatorial candidate against a black Republican foe. The study also found that in the near 20-year stretch from 1982 to 2000, when the GOP candidate was black, the greater majority of white independent voters backed the white candidate.

But that was a decade ago, and since then black GOP congressional candidates Allen West in Florida and Tim Scott in South Carolina got a majority of white votes and easily beat their Democratic opponents. But West and Scott won in lockdown GOP districts, and against weak, under-funded Democratic opponents. Their wins were regional wins with absolutely no national implications.

Cain is now trying to muscle his way onto the big stage, and he’s trying to bag the big prize, the GOP nomination, and beyond, the White House. So what did Cain do to make the point that he’s the man best able to snatch the grand prize? In his talk at the Republican Leadership Conference, he of course invoked race, shouting “I’ve got another dream for 2012.”

The dream is that he will be the next President. For a candidate that purports to say his candidacy is not about race, he sure knows how to play the race card every chance he gets.

Danny Bakewell declines re-election bid as NNPA Chair, prepares to pass the torch

Posted by Admin On June - 22 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

By Hazel Trice Edney
 

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. the fiery chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, who gained a national reputation for challenging corporate America for fair advertising dollars over the past two years, has announced he will not seek re-election at the end of his tenure this week.
 
“Over the past two years, as promised, I have moved us toward the goal of returning NNPA to its rightful place as one of the most powerful and influential institutions in Black America,” Bakewell wrote in a May 19 letter to the more than 200 Black newspaper publishers also called the Black Press of America. “It is my hope that the vision of responsible fiscal stewardship and securing advertising for all publishers, which the board of directors and I established and implanted during my administration, will continue with the next administration.”
 
He continued, “I believe that the new leadership follows this vision, which has established a solid foundation and illuminated the path toward economic empowerment, it will continue to guide us into a bright future.”
 
In addition to his desire to spend more time with his wife and family, Bakewell, who could not be reached for comment at Trice Edney Wire deadline, mentioned in his letter that he sees the need to pass the NNPA “leadership mantle to its younger responsible publishers.”
 
NNPA member sources told Trice Edney News Wire that Bakewell, publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel,  has endorsed the candidacy of Cloves Campbell, publisher of the nearly 45-year-old Arizona Informant and former member of the Arizona House of Representatives. Campbell, a current NNPA board member who has held several top leadership positions with NNPA, confirms he is indeed a candidate.
 
In an interview with the Trice Edney News Wire, Campbell envisioned a continuance of Bakewell’s campaign for advertising equality, but intensifying the quest into the digital and online presence of Black newspapers.
 
“When we look at where we’ve been in the past and how we’ve quickly moved back into the forefront of leadership, now we have to make sure that we can deliver on the things that we have promised,” Campbell says. He said part of that means assuring that all members accountable to their readerships with timely and professional publications. “But, then secondly, we have to make sure we are a part of the information age in the process – moving into social media and maximizing our opportunities to make money on the Internet as well.”
 
Campbell says he will make sure that all of the papers are at least informed and able to participate in the social media platform and ready to receive advertising in print and with websites.
 
The annual NNPA Summer Conference will take place in Chicago June 22-25. The election is on Friday, June 24. The first Black newspaper was founded in New York City on March 16, 1827 by Samuel Cornish and John B. Russwurm, making the institution nearly 185 years old. NNPA was founded in 1940. Despite the historical significance, corporations – and even the U. S. government – have long engaged in advertising discrimination, often preferring White-owned publications and other forms of media.
 
Under the leadership of former Chairman John B. Smith Sr. and NNPA Foundation Chair Dorothy R. Leavell, who is also serving her final term, NNPA was thrust into the national media spotlight with its 2008 presidential forum, featuring  Hillary Clinton after then presidential candidate Barack Obama declined the invitation. Following Obama’s election, he kept a promise to host the organization at the White House during Black Press Week in March 2009, during which Leavell presented him with NNPA’s News Maker of the Year award.
 
Bakewell, in his frequent visits to Capitol Hill and his vocal challenges to corporate America – including car dealerships and the banking industry – quickly gained a reputation among top civil rights leaders. He was a frequent guest on panels of national organizations and spoke about equity in advertising during a Congressional hearing.

Campbell concludes: “We just have an opportunity to really deliver the Black Press and the news to the Black community like nobody ever has in the next few years if we follow the blueprint that’s out there … And the Black Press will be out there for a long time.”
 
Editor’s Note: Hazel Trice Edney is former editor-in-chief of the NNPA News Service and former interim executive director of the NNPA Foundation.

NYC rally to promote peace and empower young people

Posted by Admin On June - 22 - 2011 2 COMMENTS

The New York City Domestic Violence Hotline receives an average of a thousand calls from teenagers every month

 

New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — Columbia University’s Center for Youth Violence and Prevention has recently discovered that sexual and dating violence are extremely common among NYC youth. In their study, they found that more than one in six young people report experiencing sexual violence at some point in their lives.

Empowering Ourselves, a program founded by Jarrett Mathis to empower African American youth, is committed to working to reduce violence among young people in New York City and cities across the nation. On June 25, 2011, the program is hosting “A Rally to Promote Peace and Empower Young People”. The rally will take place in Raymond Bush Park, which is located next to Public School 44 at the corner of Monroe Street and Marcus Garvey Boulevard in Brooklyn, NY. The rally will be from 12pm -4:30pm. Free food, beverages, and t-shirts will be provided.

The rally will feature inspirational speakers who will present alternative strategies to violence and conflict-resolution techniques. They will showcase talented young people: hip-hop dance performances, spoken word artists, singers, and steel drummers. And we will promote music that does not normalize violence or encourage young people to view themselves as “niggas”, “bitches”, and “hos”.

About “Empowering Ourselves”
Empowering Ourselves is a program focused on empowering and uplifting African American youth. In 2010, they were featured on CNN and conducted 13 presentations on non-violence and the importance of respect for self and others in 6 cities; with over 700 young people participating in the workshop. Their website, at www.empoweringourselvesnow.com, streams a 75-minute film version of the workshop. Educators across the country use the website as a resource.

Founder Jarrett Mathis graduated from Dartmouth College in June 2010. He is a Government Major, and was born, raised, and still lives in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York.

Chenault and Immelt push jobs

Posted by Admin On June - 22 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

To Be Equal#25

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

 

“Our job is to do everything we can to ensure that businesses can take root and folks can find good jobs and America is leading the global competition that will determine our success in the 21st century.”  President Barack Obama
 
Last week, in Raleigh-Durham, the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, President Obama received the first set of job-creating recommendations from his 26- member Jobs and Competitiveness Council headed by GE Chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Immelt and American Express Chairman and CEO, Kenneth Chenault. Other members of the Council include the heads of Boeing, Comcast, Southwest Airlines, and the AFL-CIO.  In addition to Chenault, other prominent African American Council members include, Ursula Burns, Chairwoman and CEO of Xerox; Richard Parsons, Chairman of Citigroup; and Roger Ferguson, President and CEO of TIAA-CREF.  The President created the Council last February, bringing together the best thinking of large and small business owners and worker-rights advocates in an innovative partnership with government to address the immediate unemployment crisis and improve American competitiveness. We applaud this important collaboration and are encouraged by last week’s progress report.  
 
The urgency of the Jobs Council’s effort was underscored by the release last week of a National Urban League Policy Institute report entitled, “A Long Road Back to Work:  The Realities of Unemployment Since the Great Recession.”  Our report highlights the disturbing fact that 45.5 percent of unemployed persons have been without jobs for six months or longer, with African Americans and Latinos faring much worse.   While African Americans make up 12 percent of the labor force, they comprise 24 percent of the long-term unemployed.  Latinos are 15 percent of the labor force and make up 28 percent of the long-term unemployed.  Since the likelihood of finding a job decreases the longer one is unemployed, this phenomenon has the potential of creating a permanent class of unemployed citizens.  
 
Clearly, as the National Urban League’s 12-point Jobs Rebuild America plan recommends, we need a dynamic public-private initiative to create jobs and train urban residents for employment in key growth areas, including technology, broadband, manufacturing and clean energy.
 
In their report to the President and in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Chenault and Immelt echoed many of our recommendations.  They outlined specific steps to spur job growth in high-potential sectors, while also addressing areas of concentrated unemployment.
 
They call for stronger partnerships with community colleges and others to train workers for the two million open jobs in the U.S. that remain unfilled simply because employers can’t find workers with the advanced manufacturing skills they need.

They recommend cutting red tape so job-creating construction and infrastructure projects can move forward; boosting jobs in travel and tourism; providing more help to small business owners in need of SBA loans; and putting construction workers back to work upgrading the energy efficiency of commercial buildings.
 
As Chenault and Immelt point out, obviously more must be done.  But these initial recommendations will put us on a path to create millions of jobs.  The Jobs Council’s report is in stark contrast to those whose only plan is the tried and failed strategy of more tax cuts for the wealthy.  The President’s Jobs and Competitiveness Council is off to a good start.  We will continue to monitor its progress and keep you posted on its work as we continue to push for targeted jobs policies for America’s Urban Communities where joblessness is unacceptably high.

25TBE 6/22/11 â–ª 120 Wall Street â–ª New York, NY 10005 â–ª (212) 558-5300 â–ª WWW.NUL.ORG

 

 

 

 

Lisa Madigan Opinion Editorial: ComEd experiment too expensive for consumers

Posted by Admin On June - 22 - 2011 31 COMMENTS

(From Citizens for Lisa Madigan)

(Reprint from Chicago Tribune, June 21, 2011)

 

Last month, as the Illinois General Assembly’s spring session rushed to a close, ComEd, Ameren and their army of lobbyists were able to muscle a bill through the legislature that will mean a decade of higher prices for consumers if it becomes law. That must not happen.

The bill mandates up to $3.76 billion in spending on dubious plans to upgrade the electric grid and replace customers’ electric meters with so-called smart meters.  While ComEd and Ameren will do the spending, we’ll be footing the bill thanks to large annual rate increases — about 9 percent a year. The utilities want to experiment with expensive and unproven smart grid technology, yet all the risk for this experiment will lie with consumers. The utilities cleverly crafted a law that poses no risk for them and guarantees them huge profits.

ComEd and Ameren have failed to prove there’s an urgent need for this excessive spending. In fact, even utility executives admit doubts about the benefits of these investments and question whether they are worth the cost. John Rowe, the CEO of ComEd’s parent company, Exelon, recently said of the smart grid:

“… it costs too much, and we’re not sure what good it will do. We have looked at most of the elements of smart grid for 20 years and we have never been able to come up with estimates that make it pay.”

Wow! Really? Then why are ComEd and Ameren pushing so hard to have us pay for this technology?

I believe this legislation is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt by ComEd and Ameren to protect their revenues for the next decade at great expense to consumers. It would guarantee these monopolies a yearly profit of 10 percent or more.

So far, most legislators have bought the utilities’ smart sell and slick ad campaign.

Their pitch is that smart meters will allow consumers to monitor their electricity usage, helping them to reduce consumption and save money. But the $63 million smart grid pilot program consumers are currently paying for has turned in disappointing results that reinforce what Rowe already knows. On hot summer days, people continue to run their air conditioners no matter how much information they have from their smart meter.

Consumers don’t need to be forced to pay billions for so-called smart technology to know how to reduce their utility bills. We know to turn down the heat or air conditioning and shut off the lights. The utilities have shown no evidence of billions of dollars in benefits to consumers from these new meters, but they have shown they know how to profit.

I think the only real question is: How dumb do they think we are?

Lisa Madigan is the Illinois attorney general.

Goodman Theatre announces upcoming projects, recent successes for its artistic collective

Posted by Admin On June - 22 - 2011 4 COMMENTS

Chicago, IL – Goodman Theatre’s eight-member Artistic Collective, a diverse group of outstanding American theater artists who make the Goodman their artistic home, heads into the summer with local, national and international theatrical engagements and honors. The Goodman’s celebrated Collective is led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and includes Artistic Associate Brian Dennehy, Artistic Associate Rebecca Gilman, Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez, Associate Producer Steve Scott, Resident Director Chuck Smith, Artistic Associate Regina Taylor and Manilow Resident Director Mary Zimmerman. More information about the Goodman’s Artistic Collective and 2011/2012 Season can be found in the Goodman’s Press Room website. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre.

Robert Falls is currently in rehearsal for Jon Robin Baitz’s Three Hotels at Williamstown Theatre Festival (June 29 – July 24). On June 23, Falls and longtime collaborator actor Brian Dennehy will receive the 2011 Eugene O’Neill

Medallion in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the American theater and to the legacy of Eugene O’Neill. Falls will stage the Chicago premiere of John Logan’s Tony Award-winning hit play, Red (September/October 2011), a towering portrait of the legendary visual artist, Mark Rothko, to open the Goodman’s 2011/2012 Season (September 17 – October 23).

Brian Dennehy, who recently appeared in the film The Next Three Days with Russell Crowe, has another film set for release in late 2011: The Big Year, a comedy starring Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin. This summer, Dennehy returns to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in the roles of Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night (June 26 – October 28) and Max in The Homecoming (July 26 – October 30).

Rebecca Gilman is the recent recipient of a Global Connections Grant by Theatre Communications Group for the development of a new play with Sven Benediktusson, Artistic Director of Teater Durken, in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Together, they are writing a documentary inspired by the Wilhelm Moberg novels, The Emigrants, to be performed in Swedish at Teater Durken. Gilman’s calendar also includes a commission for Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where her adaption of Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is set for the fall as part of Steppenwolf for Young Audiences (October 11 – November 4).

Henry Godinez directs the world premiere of The Edge of Peace by Susan Zeder at Northwestern University’s Theatre and Interpretation Center this summer (July 28 – 30). In addition, he is developing a new play with Flora Lauten, Artistic Director of Cuba’s Teatro Buendía, involving both Chicago and Cuban actors, produced in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art. Godinez also appeared as Alderman Sanchez on the FOX drama Chicago Code.

Steve Scott directs Silk Road Theatre Project’s Chicago premiere of Yellow Face by David Henry Hwang (June 14 – July 17), produced in association with the Goodman. This summer, Scott remounts Eclipse Theatre Company’s production of After the Fall by Arthur Miller at Theater on the Lake (July 13 – 17); he is also slated to direct A Christmas Carol at the Goodman (November 18 – December 31), Black Pearl Sings at Northlight Theatre (January 13 – February 19, 2012) and Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire for the Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University, where he is an instructor.

Chuck Smith is currently in rehearsal for the musical Flight of the Lawnchair Man at Timberlake Playhouse (June 16 – 25), a production that marks his ten-year anniversary directing summer stock theater in Mt. Carroll, Illinois. Later this summer, he remounts his off-Broadway production of Charles Smith’s Knock Me a Kiss at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, North Carolina (August 1 – 6), where he will be honored with the Lloyd Richards Director Award for his contributions to black theater. Smith recently remounted The Gospel According to James by Charles Smith at Victory Gardens Theater (through June 12) following its critically acclaimed world premiere production at Indiana Repertory Theatre. As part of the Goodman’s 2011/2012 Season, he will direct David Mamet’s Race (January 14 – February 19, 2012).

Regina Taylor will be honored on June 18 with the 2011 Spirit of Sinai Award by the Sinai Community Institute. Earlier this month, she was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Columbia College Chicago for her

commitment to the arts and human service. On May 7, she received an Honorary Doctorate from Lake Forest College at the institution’s spring commencement ceremony. As part of the Goodman’s 2011/2012 Season, Taylor will direct the 10th anniversary production of her hit musical, Crowns (June 16 – July 22, 2012).

Mary Zimmerman took home a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Director on April 25 for her adaptation of Leonard Berstein’s Candide (a co-production between the Goodman and Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.), which earned five additional awards, including Outstanding Musical. Zimmerman’s production is also set for remount at Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, MA (September 10 – October 16). Upcoming projects include The White Snake, an original adaptation of the classic Chinese fable, at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (February 25 – July 8, 2012), and an adaptation of The Jungle Book for Disney Theatrical Productions. Zimmerman recently received the Galbut Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from Northwestern University, where she is a professor of performance studies.

About Goodman Theatre – Now Celebrating A Decade on Dearborn

The final production in this celebratory season is the world premiere of Chinglish by David Henry Hwang, directed by Leigh Silverman (June 18 – July 24) in the Albert.

The 2011/2012 Season includes: Red by John Logan, directed by Robert Falls(September/October 2011); the 34th annual production of A Christmas Carol(November/December 2011); Race by David Mamet, directed by Chuck Smith (January/February 2012); The Convert by Danai Gurira, directed by Emily Mann and co-produced with McCarter Theatre (NJ) and Center Theatre Group (CA) (February/March 2012); Camino Real by Tennessee Williams, directed by Calixto Bieito (March/April 2012); Fish Men by Cándido Tirado, directed by Edward Torres, in partnership with Teatro Vista (April/May 2012); and Crowns, written and directed by Regina Taylor (June/July 2012). There are two productions still to be announced in the 2011/2012 Season.

Goodman Theatre, “the leading regional theater in the nation’s most important theater city” (Time), is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago, generating nearly $300 million in economic impact over the past decade in its state-of-the-art two-theater complex on North Dearborn Street. Founded in 1925 and currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls, “Chicago’s most essential director” (Chicago Tribune), and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for-profit resident theater has experienced unprecedented success over the past 10 years in its new downtown facility, welcoming nearly two million patrons to productions and events—including 10 festivals celebrating playwrights such as David Mamet, August Wilson and Horton Foote, as well as the biennial Latino Theatre Festival—serving 30 percent more students through its Education and Community Engagement programs (including the FREE Student Subscription Series and other interactive programs) and employing more than 3,000 artists and theater professionals. The Goodman has earned more than 90 awards for hundreds of productions, including the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined by Lynn Nottage—one of 25 new-work Goodman commissions in the last decade. The Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees is Patricia Cox, and Joan Clifford is President of the Women’s Board. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre.

Illinois selected to expand access to free school meals for children in need

Posted by Admin On June - 22 - 2011 10 COMMENTS

Community Eligibility Option provides free lunch and eliminates household eligibility applications in high poverty schools

 

Springfield, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education announced that Illinois was one of the first three states, along with Kentucky and Tennessee, selected for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s launch of a universal free meal option that promises to expand access to free breakfast and lunch to all students in schools with high percentages of low-income children. Preliminary estimates show that more than 1,200 public schools in Illinois could be eligible to participate and provide free meals to more than 500,000 students across the state at the onset of the 2011-12 school year.

“This option eliminates some of the paperwork for schools with a high percentage of students from low income families and ensures that all students have access to the nutrition they need to concentrate and learn in the classroom,’’ said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Parents will not have to fill out duplicative forms and children in need will have access to healthy school meals without being singled out for receiving a free lunch.”

The “Community Eligibility Option” will allow both public and private schools with a high percent of low-income children to eliminate the use of applications and parental income verification in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Under this option, schools utilize preexisting data to determine the amount of reimbursement they can claim from USDA.

For a school district to be eligible to implement the option in one or more schools next school year (2011-12), the district must have at least one school with 40 percent or more of their students “directly certified’’ for free meals based on a member in the household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (formerly Food Stamps) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) in the 2010-11 school year. Direct certification, a federal term, also includes students identified as homeless, migrant children and foster children. The district and school must also agree to offer all students in the eligible school free breakfasts and lunches and cover any cost above the federal reimbursement received with non-Federal funds for four successive school years. 

The Community Eligibility Option is among the early reforms enacted as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, signed by President Obama on Dec. 13, 2010. The Act requires the Community Eligibility Option to be phased-in over three years and authorizes USDA to select up to three states to participate in the option in School Year 2011-12. The option will be offered to additional states in successive years, and will be available to all states beginning School Year 2014-15.

For the phase-in period, the law requires USDA to select states “with an adequate number and variety of schools and local educational agencies that could benefit from the Community Eligibility Option.” USDA identified 10 eligible states and chose the initial three based on a review of their applications.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act authorizes USDA’s child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Summer Food Service Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. The legislation is the centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama‘s Let’s Move! Initiative’s goal to end childhood obesity in a generation.

The ISBE is notifying private schools and public districts of their eligible schools and those interested could begin offering the free meals this fall.

More information, including a list of all public schools and the percent of students eligible to participate in free lunch based on direct certification, can be found at http://www.isbe.net/nutrition/htmls/nslp_hhfka_implementation.htm. 

Sec’y of State Jesse White announces sixty-five Illinois Public Libraries to receive technology packages to help local businesses and entrepreneurs

Posted by Admin On June - 22 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Springfield, IL — Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has announced that sixty-five Illinois public libraries have each been chosen to receive almost $4,000 worth of equipment, hardware and software to help businesses and entrepreneurs in their communities create new economic growth opportunities. White also thanked U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) for obtaining the $300,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that will finance the technology packages.

“Our public libraries are cornerstones of our communities, and partnerships such as this between libraries, businesses and entrepreneurs can hopefully result in new jobs and increased economic development,” said White. “These technology packages represent new tools that our public libraries can use to assist the citizens in our state. I applaud Senator Durbin for securing these funds for this important project.”

“Small businesses are key to our economic recovery,” said Durbin.  “The equipment purchased as a result of the SBA grant will allow public libraries to offer information and technical assistance to small business owners in communities across the state.  With these new resources and continued support from local public libraries, businesses throughout Illinois will sharpen their skill set without having to invest their own capital.”

The “Business and Libraries: Working Together” technology packages include a laptop computer with Microsoft Office Suite; projector; screen; DVD player; camcorder with tripod; 2 audio headsets with microphones; DVDs for OSHA required training in both English and Spanish; Business Plan Pro, Sales and Marketing Pro, and Adobe Acrobat software; Acrobat training materials; jump drives; and books on starting and growing business.  Libraries have the choice of loaning the equipment to local businesses or making the equipment available for use at the library.

Participants were selected on the basis of the local unemployment rate, poverty level, proximity to a Small Business Development Center (SBDC), SCORE or other business organization, and statewide geographic distribution. 

The sixty-five libraries receiving technology packages are:         

  • Acorn Public Library District, Oak Forest
  • Alpha Park Public Library, Bartonvile
  • Bellwood Public Library
  • Bensenville Community Public Library District
  • Berwyn Public Library
  • Bloomington Public Library
  • Bradley Public Library District
  • Brookfield Public Library
  • Cahokia Public Library District
  • Cairo Public Library
  • Charleston Carnegie Public Library
  • Chatsworth Township Library
  • Cherry Valley Public Library District
  • Chicago Public Library-West Englewood Branch
  • Cortland Community Library
  • Crystal Lake Public Library
  • Decatur Public Library
  • Du Quoin Public Library
  • Earlville Library District
  • Eldorado Memorial Public Library
  • Elmwood Park Public Library
  • Evans Public Library, Vandalia
  • Evergreen Park Public Library
  • Farmington Area  Library District
  • Flagg-Rochelle Public Library District, Rochelle
  • Fondulac District Library, East Peoria
  • Frank Bertetti Benld Public Library
  • Gail Borden Public Library District, Elgin
  • Galesburg Public Library
  • Gilman-Danforth District Library
  • Grande Prairie Public Library, Hazel Crest
  • Greater West Central PLD-Augusta Branch
  • Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library
  • Harrisburg Public Library District
  • Harvard Diggins Public Library
  • Hillsboro Public Library
  • Joliet Public Library
  • LaSalle Public Library
  • Lillie M. Evans Library District, Princeville
  • Manteno Public Library District
  • Marion Carnegie Library
  • Marshall Public Library
  • Mascoutah Public Library
  • Maywood Public Library District
  • Moline Public Library
  • Morton Public Library District
  • Mount Carroll Township Public Library
  • Newman Regional Library District
  • Niles Public Library District
  • North Suburban Library District, Loves Park
  • Paris Carnegie Public Library
  • Paxton Carnegie Library
  • Peoria Public Library
  • Reddick Public Library District
  • Sallie Logan Public Library, Murphysboro
  • Schaumburg Township District Library
  • St. Charles Public Library District
  • Sulzer Regional Library, Chicago
  • Sycamore Public Library
  • Talcott Free Library, Rockton
  • Towanda District Library
  • West Chicago Public Library District
  • West Frankfort Public Library
  • Westville Public Library District
  • Wilmington Public Library District
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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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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