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                             Blacks, women and other minorities remain seriously underrepresented    Washington, DC - A corporate board census ...
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Archive for August, 2011

National Urban League brings Empowerment Summit to Atlanta

Posted by Admin On August - 31 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

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

 
“It is troubling that unemployment is so high…and that we are so caught up in details of deficits and debt ceilings that we question whether government has any moral duty to serve the poor, help feed the hungry and assist the sick.”  U.S. Representative and civil rights legend, John Lewis of Atlanta, Georgia.

As frustration with the inability of Washington to solve the nation’s job crisis mounts, the National Urban League is taking this fight directly to the American people.  So far this year, we have held major job fairs and town hall forums in Indiana, New England and Washington, DC.  At each stop, thousands of unemployed African American and urban citizens have shown up, resumes in hand, desperate for work.  On September 17th and 18th we will be in Atlanta, offering both job and home rescue assistance at a free Empowerment Summit as part of that city’s 20th annual “For Sisters Only Expo.”

For months, Washington has been distracted by a manufactured debt ceiling crisis that nearly resulted in an unprecedented government loan default.  But in recent weeks, President Obama, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and other activists have joined the National Urban League in refocusing the nation’s attention on reducing high unemployment that has reached a depression-era rate of 15.9 percent in Black America.  According to CBC Chairman, Emanuel Cleaver, in the last two years the Caucus has introduced more than 40 job creation bills in the House of Representatives.  Most of that legislation has been stalled by Tea Party-backed obstructionists who continue to put the interests of Wall Street over the well-being of Main Street.  

While Washington must do more to create jobs, the National Urban League and other progressive activists believe citizens have to empower themselves with the information, training, and employment connections needed to bring jobs and hope back to their communities.  Last year, the National Urban League provided that kind of empowerment assistance to a record 2.6 million Americans.

Our jobs tours this year are part of that movement.  The September 17-18 Empowerment Summit at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta will feature a career fair with local employers ready to hire as well as free one-on-one career coaching sessions.  Attendees will gain access to local job training programs.  And workshops will be held on how to utilize social networks and how to put the “wow” in your resume.  We are asking all jobs seekers to bring an updated resume.

We will also hold a home rescue fair to help the thousands of Atlanta-area residents who are struggling to avoid becoming victims of the foreclosure crisis that has also hit urban Americans especially hard.  Attendees should bring:

  • Two most recent paystubs showing earnings for last 30 days
  • Copy of any benefits statements reflecting amount, frequency, and duration of benefits Household Expense Budget
  • If self-employed, most recent quarterly or year to date Profit and Loss Statement
  • Last two months of bank statements
  • Copy of signed 2009 and 2010 income tax returns
  • Copy of a utility bill showing name and property address
  • Homeowner’s Association bill if applicable
  • Most recent mortgage and property insurance statements
  • Copy of closing documents and most recent correspondence from your mortgage company

Many people come to Atlanta’s “For Sisters Only Expo” for the fun and great entertainment.  This year come for empowerment too.

35TBE 8/31/11 â–ª 120 Wall Street â–ª New York, NY 10005 â–ª (212) 558-5300 â–ª WWW.NUL.ORG

Illinois Attorney General Madigan calls on BACKPAGE.COM to ban ads soliciting sex trafficking

Posted by Admin On August - 31 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Chicago, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and 45 other states today raised concerns about Internet classified ad company Backpage.com’s efforts to block and remove ads that solicit sex, especially ones that could involve minors. Despite the company’s claims of strict policies to prevent such ads, attorneys general continue to find hundreds of ads clearly soliciting illegal services.

The attorneys general allege Backpage.com is a magnet for those seeking to exploit and coerce minors into illegal acts. In one such case, teenage girls say they were threatened and extorted by two adults who marketed them on Backpage.com. One of the adults rented a hotel room and forced the girls to have sex with men who answered the online ads. Backpage.com charges $1 and up for such ads.

“The policies Backpage.com claims it has in place obviously are not working,” said Attorney General Madigan. “We will not tolerate the sale of human beings and the exploitation of children. The only way for Backpage.com to completely stop child sex trafficking on its site is to eliminate the adult services advertisements and take aggressive steps to prohibit such posts elsewhere on the site.”

Today’s letter from the attorneys general asks Backpage.com to provide detailed information to substantiate its claim that the company enforces policies to prevent illegal activity. The attorneys general ask that Backpage.com describe in detail how many advertisements in its adult section and subsections have been submitted since Sept. 1, 2010, how many of those advertisements were individually screened, how many were rejected and how many were removed after being discovered to be for illegal services.

Madigan and other state attorneys general opened an investigation into Backpage.com in 2009. The company responded with attempts to address the concerns, including implementing fees to place ads in the adult services section. Those efforts failed, however, and in September 2010, Attorney General Madigan and 20 other state attorneys general urged Backpage.com to immediately eliminate the adult services advertisements from its site to prevent human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children and women.

Madigan joined attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming and the territory of Guam in sending the letter to Backpage.com today.

The action is part of Attorney General Madigan’s ongoing work to protect the children and women who fall victim to human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Craigslist and Backpage.com are two of the country’s largest online classified ad sites. Craigslist ultimately removed its “erotic services” section in May 2009. In August 2010, Madigan successfully lead the effort to force Craigslist to also remove its adult services section.

In addition, Madigan launched Operation Glass House in August 2010 to seek out and arrest the worst child pornographers viewing and trading child pornography online in Illinois. On the first anniversary of the initiative last week, she announced the 25th and 26th arrests and laid out plans to focus year two of Operation Glass House on targeting offenders trading extremely violent videos of children – often infants and toddlers – being raped.

Madigan also works with local and national law enforcement organizations to address Internet exploitation issues. Madigan’s office, with a grant from the federal Department of Justice, runs the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, which investigates child exploitation crimes and trains law enforcement. Since 2006, Madigan’s ICAC task force has been involved in 374 arrests of sexual predators and provided Internet safety training and education to more than 169,000 parents, teachers and students and more than 12,000 law enforcement professionals.

 

Father Pfleger: “The church must wake up and be like Dr. King”

Posted by Admin On August - 31 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

“I love Obama, but I will speak out for the poor”

 

By Chinta Strausberg

 

Filling in for WVON’s Cliff Kelley, Father Michael L. Pfleger Monday challenged all Americans to not just remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but also to imitate him, “be a King. Be a queen. Be a prophet. Make a difference and be a transforming agent for change” he says begins with the “reconnection to dry bones” and an awakening of the church to its rightful active role.

Pfleger spent four-hours speaking on a myriad of topics from Dr. King to violence and just about everything in between including the church that he challenged to wake up and be like Dr. King and be socially active on behalf of the poor and the downtrodden.

“Dr. King was a man for all people,” said Pfleger who is a priest today because as a teen he witnessed his neighbors cursing, spitting and throwing rocks at Dr. King as he marched through Marquette Park.

He said many people tried to limit him just to blacks. “Dr. King had a greater message for the white community who had turned their backs and who had institutionalized racism and segregation in this country.”

Saying King did all he could do including paying the ultimate price, his life, Pfleger said Dr. King did so “in order to help white people, black people, brown people all people throughout this country and throughout this world.

“I don’t think we could have had a better prophet that we’ve had in the 21st Century than Martin Luther King, Jr. who stood for what he stood for and his voice.

“Tragically, the challenges he gave whether it was in the Viet Nam War in 1967 as he look at Afghanistan and Iraq today, whether it was on segregation, whether it was on poor education, whether it was on poverty, tragically all the things he challenged you can listen to like he was speaking it today and it is just as real. In many instances, I believe we are worse off than in1968 when he got killed.”

Pfleger asked why are people so silent today?  “Where are the Dr. King voices raging in us?  Why are we not fighting for civil rights, for human rights? Why have we become so immune? When will we wake up? When will we let Dr. King’s voice wake up the conscious in us, wake up the rage in us? Why have we tolerated bad education?

“Why have we tolerated children dying in the streets? Why have we tolerated the great divide of unemployment, health care and the poor who have been neglected and made to feel disposable in this country? Why are we so silent?

“I’m all for putting pressure on government which has responsibilities, but where are we forcing government to do what it is supposed to do? Why are we not out in the streets outraged every time a child gets shot and killed? Why are we not outraged in our churches and in our community centers and our block club meetings?

“Why are not we running to our aldermen, our governors and our mayors and saying this has to stop. We have to some how wake up and become aggressive, enraged and not reacting to things that go on but demanding that things be made right so that people should not be made in this day and age to still have the conditions they have to live in America. We must raise our voice,” he said.

The question, Pfleger said, is how do we take King’s mantle? “How do we take his message, his mission and embody it all of us, young and old, black, white, brown and yellow, come together and say the best way we can honor Dr. King is not by brushing off a book on January 15th and reading about him or traveling to Washington and look at the memorial. Those are all great, but what are we doing to” mirror what King live and died for…and unless we are doing that we dishonor him.

“The last thing he would ever want us to do is to read a book or look at a statue. He wants us to get up and do it and make the dream a reality and not a nightmare,” Pfleger said.

Commending Dr. King for not taking a salary and gave up the money from earning the Nobel Peace Prize, Pfleger said, “He gave everything to the movement. He lived his life caring and serving others, and we have to somehow regain that kind of integrity, that kind of character that believes what Jesus taught us in the scripture that I didn’t come to be served. I come to serve. I come to wash feet. I come to heal. I come to feed…. We forget that is our mission if we’re followers of the gospel.

“We have to somehow let Dr. King’s personality and character move us to be what we’re supposed to be today,” Pfleger said.

Saying God has given people multi-gifts and talents, Pfleger issued a challenge. “It’s time for us to take this garden He gave us, stop being absentee landlords to it, work it and make it fruitful. Make it a place where all of our children, our parents and grandparents can just like Jesus, grow in it and age and grace and wisdom.”’

In response to a caller questioning where is the church in addressing many social issues, Pfleger said he is concerned about the silence of the church. “The church has to become dangerous again. We have become a very safe church. The early apostles were arrested and killed for what they did and what they spoke as they went across the land… They were killed because” they were radicals.

“Jesus Christ is one of the most radical persons who walked the face of the earth and yet today we have this very safe church…. We justify all kind of wrong with our silence and our presence; so we have to become dangerous again.

“Everybody in Washington has a lobbyists except the poor. The church has to be the lobbyist for the poor. We have to be the voice crying in the wilderness for the poor, the forgotten, the invisible, the disposable of this country that the world does not want to talk about….

“The church has to get up and rise up and become who it was called to be,” he said calling it the dangerous church. “Jesus said by your fruit you shall be known. We’ve got to produce some fruit on our trees or like any other tree Jesus said it ought to cut it down.”

Pfleger also talked about President Barack Obama who is under pressure to publicly address the poor of this nation. “I support President Obama 100 percent,” Pfleger said. “I support him. I believe he is the best person for that position right now without question or doubt, but, guess what? I also support poor people who are not eating tonight, who are sitting under bridges tonight, who are begging on the street tonight.

“I support children who are sitting in schools and not getting educated, and I’m tired of hearing well, we’re getting better. Well, the hell with getting better. What if that is your child right now who is not able to get an education. We can’t wait for ten-years because what about the children who are getting shot and killed out here and are afraid to go to school every day,” he said.

“Yes, I support the President, but what about supporting all of the people out here struggle, the father who is told take care of your family, but he can’t get a job to take care of his family. Let’s support everything right out here.”

When the caller said some blacks say it’s best to wait for Obama’s second term before asking for anything, Pfleger said, “I understand that politically, but I am not a politician. I’m a pastor and I try to be prophetic in my ways.

“How do you tell a child who is afraid to go to school to wait until the second term? How do you tell somebody who is looking what they’re going to eat tonight to wait for the second term…? We can’t afford to wait.

“People are dying out here,” said Pfleger. “I have never had in my 36-years at Saint Sabina have had so many people coming to my door saying can you give me something to eat now, today. Can you help me get some place to stay today? People are dying. We can’t afford to wait. I love the President, but I also love people,” Pfleger said.

Saying people should speak up, Pfleger made it clear. “I’m not taking this to say I am blaming Barack Obama. I’m blaming government. I am blaming the administration. He is the president. I’ll take the blame to him, to congress, to the Democrats, to the Republicans, to the independents, to the Tea Party. I don’t really care.

“If you are sitting in Washington, and you are the congress, the senate…the administration, you must hear our voice. We must not be afraid to raise it. That is what democracy is all about…pushing and forcing and speaking up and raising the issues. People are dying out here. We can’t afford to be quiet. We can’t afford to be wondering if people are going to get mad at us” for criticizing the president.

Pfleger said Dr. King had goals and an agenda. “One of the things we failed in the great election of President Barack Obama that our goal was to get him elected instead of having goals of what we wanted to accomplish after he was elected that we could continue to focus, we had one goal, to get him elected…and now we are mad and angry for what he hasn’t accomplish, but the reality is we never had an agenda after that to push on.”

Pfleger ticked off a list of other’s like the gay rights movement, the immigrants, who had an agenda and are slowly succeeding. “We’ve failed in this country to have an agenda for the poor and those who have been locked out.” Quoting his grandmother, Pfleger said, “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.” “If we don’t rise up and demand, then it’s not going to happen.”

Quoting King, Pfleger said his mentor chose to identify with the poor and the downtrodden. “We no longer choose to identify and commit ourselves and demand ourselves to be the voice, the hands and the feet of our lost and forgotten and poor in this country.” He fears “we have fallen into this mainstream America and have lost our own identity. We’ve lost our own mission.

“The first place that needs to wake up is the church,” that Pfleger said is sleep. “If we do not wake up and take serious our mission and choose like Dr. King to care about those who are forgotten by society, then shame on us and God will hold us responsible.”

Referring to his close friends, Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley who conducted a poverty tour, Pfleger said, “I was so upset about people running around complaining about Tavis and complaining about Cornel West.

“Why didn’t you listen to what they said about poverty and stop connecting it to a personality to Cornel or Tavis or personality about President Obama. This is about issues of poor people and issues of children in this country who are dying every single day being shot down. You talk about endangered species.”

Pfleger spoke about programs talking about the zoo taking care of some animals being endangered “and we saw the whole country go out its mind about Michael Vic about some dog, but we don’t give a damn about children being shot down every single day in this country.

“We are a country that has turned our backs on the poor, turned our backs on our children, turned our backs on a society that is ignoring the needs of so many people. We cannot afford to shut up or be still because it’s not politically correct. This is not aimed at President Obama. This is aimed at a government that is failing poor people in America,” said Pfleger.

But, Pfleger also said “everyone must help to improve our life. “We don’t need a government to take care of our home, to take care of our children, to take care of our block. We need to rise up and speak, but we also have to hold an accountability to the government because they have a responsibility to take care of the communities and provide the education, provide the jobs, to give us the pursuit of happiness the Constitution promised us and stop being schizophrenic.”

Pfleger said he is very concerned about the backlash when people are being critical about the status quo in government or in society. “So many people want them to be quiet, silence, but since when does criticism and critiquing something be defined as hate or lack of support?

“It’s a dangerous atmosphere I think we have right now and particularly this is happening I think with having an African American President,” said Pfleger. “I love and support President Barack Obama 100 percent, but I am not going to be silent on critiquing him or being critical about policies that are coming out of the administration because when I look out my door, I see this poverty.

“There have to be voices that are the revolutionaries, that are the radicals, that are the prophetic that are pressing these issues so that he (Obama) is pushed and so he has coverage from the ground up on the issues for which he has to fight in Washington” against his political foes “who are trying to destroy and kill poor people make them not only invisible but to destroy them, but there has to be this willingness to be critical and to critique this situation as it is.”

Father Pfleger also expressed concern about President Obama’s alleged avoidance of race because “the Tea Party, the Plutocrats, out here are using the race issue every single day. They hate him because they hate him because he’s a black man in the most powerful position in the world sitting in that White House.”

Referring to  Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado who called Obama a “tar baby,” Pfleger said, “There was no outrage around this country. How is it they consistently push this race question… have this hate. They are so against him. It is so evident that race is the foundation that is all around this country. Why do you think he will not address it head on and let them to continue to have the push on this”?

On violence, Pfleger said unless people unite and fight back “we will watch one another being destroyed until it hits your house and then you’re irate because your child has been shot but you didn’t get mad for the child down the block because we’re so disconnected from one another and we’ve become so self-centered in our own pain and in our own misery.

“We have to understand that we can’t solve this alone and we can’t become disconnected from one another. This is the valley of dry bones out here, and we’ve got to reconnect the bones so God can breathe some new life into us but we’re so disconnected, so immune, so hopeless. Don’t let it break your spirit. We cannot let our spirit be broken. We have to rise up together, be strong, be vocal and not let allow ourselves to become silent or immune because tomorrow that could be your house….”

Pfleger also questioned whether the gangs have become so influential and important “because they’re reaching out to the young people who have been failed by the school system and abandoned by the communities.” He urged people to reach out to the youth and show them some love. “I don’t think the gangs are more powerful than the community. I just think the gangs are doing what the home, the church and the school system have failed to do. I think they have filled a void, and it’s time for us to step up and take that back over and we would not have to worry about the gangs.”

But, Pfleger made it clear when it comes to the shooting and killing of children and adults. “We have to break this code of silence. I am not a pro-prison person. Our prisons are a joke and a disgrace in this country, but the reality is if you shoot or kill any of our children, you gotta go to jail. You can’t shoot one of our children, go back, lay up, eat McDonald’s and watch TV. You are now an enemy of the community.

“The community must rise up and draw that line in the sand,” said Pfleger who said he is not going to looking for the mayor the police superintendent but rather “I’m looking for block after block to say we won’t tolerate our children being killed in our community. That is unacceptable.”

Responding to a caller, Pfleger said, “We are more technology connected than ever before in history and yet divided than we’ve ever been, more separated, more segregated. We’re so foolish. We call 311 to do a well being check with the lady across the street rather than getting off our butts and walking across the street and see how she is ourselves. Until we come together, we’re going to continue to see this grow.”

On the issue of conceal carry, Pfleger said he is opposed to guns. “I am indeed a student of Dr. King, and I believe we don’t need guns in order to bring peace. I don’t believe we need guns in order to have safe communities, and I don’t need guns to protect ourselves.

“I am a believer. I don’t understand all these believers who keep talking about Jesus Christ and that they are covered in the blood of Jesus, but just in case let me have my .22. Well, I don’t believe in just in case. I really believe that God is my protector,” said Pfleger. “I also believe in non-violence, and I don’t apologize for that. I am who I am, and I believe Dr. King taught us” and taught peace. “Dr. King never believed in a gun.”

Pfleger said people must learn to love God then they can love one another. “We all have to be vocal, get engaged, participate, agitate, do all the things we can do because the community is in our hands and it is suffering and it’s crying. The blood cries out from the ground.” “Every one of us ought to get involved.” “Tell me what you have done to make it better.”

He also took calls on the late Muammar Gaddafi who ruled Libya from 1969 to 2011 until Navy Seals took him out in his secret compound. Responding to a caller, Pfleger said, “We forget the positive things Gaddafi did. What about the students he sent all around Europe and paid for their tuition and gave them a stipend to get an education. What about the money he put in a fund for Africa to borrow in order to develop African nations.

“I am not here to defending any wrongdoing or killing Gaddafi did, but we have to be careful that we don’t start to demonize somebody so bad because we want to make an excuse why we come in and put in over $900 million from American money as well as NATO and money to overthrow this government.”

Saying that is water under the bridge, Pfleger has a problem about the silence this country has on domestic issues. “Why are we not saying anything about the fact that there are shootings in the streets. Why are we not condemning that violence? Pfleger is against putting a bounty on the head of Gaddafi’s head dead or alive. Pfleger said, “We need to just put things in perspective and not be so ready to jump on the band wagon of vengeance.”

“We have a long history in this country and around the world to demonize people that we want to turn against or justify our actions of turning against them, and that is what has been done with the media in this country with Gaddafi. Let’s not forget the good things he did. Let’s not just make him out to be the enemy of the world talking about how horrible he was….

“Let’s be transparent about this,” said Pfleger. “We’re interested in Libya because of oil. It’s not about the rebels. It’s not about Gaddafi. It’s about oil and our interests. I was just told last week of somebody who was sent by the government to go to Libya to watch over our interest with what happens with the new regime with oil.

“We have to be very clear about that. Let’s not pretend that we’re just there out of caring for the tragedy and violence done to the citizen because if we were sending troops to take are of the money and sending money, we could come to Englewood, Gresham, the Lawndale area and all across this country from Oakland to Newark. We have a lot of issues that we should be concerned about right here at home. We ought to be transparent about the real concern out here,” he said.

Once again, Pfleger urged Americans to be transparent because “what makes us credible is what we do outside of those walls when we walk out and transform workplaces, blocks and market places and conversations where ever we go. When we break open our alabaster jar and transform society, that is when God looks down and says ‘well pleased.’”

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

“Halloween Magic” comes to the Rosemont Theatre October 30

Posted by Admin On August - 31 - 2011 1 COMMENT

Dr. Mark Kaschube brings tricks and treats to the Rosemont Theatre
Program also features “Quick Change” Artists David and Dania

 

Rosemont, IL – The Magic Dentist, Dr. Mark Kaschube is putting on a show full of spooky Halloween tricks along with his ensemble of mischievous tricksters when “Halloween Magic” comes to the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Sunday Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. Presented by Pepsi, the Village of Rosemont and the Grand Dental Group, this show is guaranteed be a fun-filled Halloween experience for the entire family.  Also on the program is one of the most original an astounding magic acts ever seen on the stage, “Quick Change,” featuring the astoundingly quick costume change act of David Mass and Dania Kaseeva. 

All of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to Salute, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides financial support for military men and women and their families.

“Halloween Magic will be an afternoon of ‘spooktacular’ chills, thrills and fun for everyone, to benefit a terrific cause right here in our community,” said Rosemont Mayor Bradley A. Stephens.  “The contributions that member of the military and their families make every day are immeasurable.  We are proud and honored to support them.”

Halloween Magic has been a Halloween staple for more than 20 years with themes ranging from “Addams Family” to “Thriller” to “Pirates of the Scaribean,” and this year’s show is no different. An old deserted mansion on “Boo Street” becomes the backdrop for this year’s show. The spooky inhabitants of the mansion come alive at the stroke of midnight.

Dr. Kaschube has been practicing dentistry for more than 20 years and has maintained a dedication to community service throughout his career. He regularly puts on magic shows at preschools, participates in parades, and has even started a magic program for children that are deaf and hard of hearing.

David Maas and Dania Kaseeva are the stars of “Quick Change,” a non-stop, dynamic and superbly choreographed dance exhibition that astounds audiences with staggeringly rapid costume transformations in fractions of a second.  Whether presented on stage, on-court, or in a circus ring, their elegant metamorphosis are simply unbelievable.  Since “Quick Change” made its debut with this amazing act in 1996, audiences have responded to their incredible illusions with tremendous ovations—and left the theatre every night, wondering if they had not just dreamed what they saw.  The show has been hailed as the most exciting and magnetic magic/dance act in the world today.

Ticket prices $20 for adults ages 13 and older, and $10 for children ages 12 and younger.  $30 VIP tickets include a backstage meet and greet with the cast and some of the animals used in the production.  Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 24.  For tickets and more information please call (800) 745-3000 or visit the Rosemont Theatre Box office or www.rosemonttheatre.com

SALUTE, INC. was founded in 2003 by Will and Mary Beth Beiersdorf of Arlington Heights, Illinois. Shortly after 9/11, Will, a Naval Reservist, was called to active duty and deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for thirteen months. The severe financial impact his deployment had on his family came as a startling revelation. While Will was serving in Cuba, Mary Beth was overwhelmed with the magnitude of what she and their three sons were facing. In addition to the lack of finances, Mary Beth and her children coped with the fear of the unknown and the emotional strain caused by their separation from Will.

With the help, support and outpouring of love from family, friends, their church and their community, they were able to survive. Upon Will’s return, both he and Mary Beth felt the need to “give back” by helping others who were experiencing similar hardships. In 2003, they decided to start an organization whose fundraising efforts would be based around a yearly Memorial Day Family Run/Walk. After sharing their vision with family, friends and pooling their resources, Salute was born!

SALUTE, INC. is now a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides financial support for our military men and women through a variety of fundraising activities.

Jewell, former First Lady of Death Row Records, resurfaces on Best Hand Entertainment with a book and an album

Posted by Admin On August - 31 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 


 

Jewell Caples, former Death Row Records First Lady

 

 

Detroit, MI (BlackNews.com) — Best Hand Entertainment, LLC is being touted as the new Motown Records. The company which boasts three divisions: Best Hand Entertainment, Best Hand Music and Best Hand Publishing Company has joined forces with Jewell Caples, former Death Row Records First Lady who is the company’s Vice President and is signed to Best Hand Music as one of its premiere artists as well.

“Big Russ,” President and CEO founded Best Hand Entertainment in 2004 on the Eastside of Detroit. “Jewell is among some of the rawest talent now in the Midwest,” says Russ, “We’re working hard to expose the rest of the world to the abundance of talent that The D has to offer.” He also stated, “Our mission is to become the “New Motown” and put Detroit back on the map as the Music Mecca of the world.” Among other artists he has signed are Bobby Sealz and Picasso both well-known Detroit artists.

The CEO also divulged that he chose Jewell to work with him as Vice President due to her keen experience as one of the original members of the Death Row family. He says that her talents helped to revolutionize their sound in the early 90s. Her skills rapidly established her as one of the most distinctive voices in urban music. And now with her memoir “My Blood, My Sweat and My Tears” and her album also entitled “My Blood, My Sweat and My Tears” being simultaneously released October 25, 2011 there is no looking back. Best Hand Publishing and Best Hand Music will release both the tome and the album.

Caples was signed to Death Row Records from 1992-1996. The platinum selling R&B sensation is the female voice on the majority of the Death Row Hits including Dr. Dre’s “Let Me Ride” in 1992.

In addition, Jewell (pronounced Ju-L) can be heard on Snoop Dogg’s (he was known then as Snoop Doggy Dogg) “Gin and Juice,” and 2Pac’s Multi-Platinum “All Eyez On Me.” Prior to her Death Row days she can be heard on albums by N.W.A., Bone Thugs and Harmony and the D.O.C. The new Best Hand Entertainment First Lady has continued to record and perform over the years and has collaborated with the likes of K-Ci & JoJo, Redman, Benzino and Snoop Dogg again to name a few.

The book and album “My Blood, My Sweat and My Tears” are due to be released October 25, 2011.

Father Ekpo speaks out for poor children in Nigeria

Posted by Admin On August - 31 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

By Chinta Strausberg

 

Father Joseph Ekpo made an appeal for aid and support for children of Nigeria who are living in abject poverty.

He spoke at Saint Sabina Church on behalf of the children as an ongoing effort of the Missionary Cooperative Plan of the Archdiocese of Chicago to aid in alleviating poverty in Third World Countries.

The late Dominic Cardinal Ekandem of Nigeria started this Charitable mission, called “Children’s Welfare and Development,” immediately after the revolution in Nigeria that led to the civil war. After the war, the Cardinal had to support many orphans who were victims of the fighting. The war was not the only reason for so many abandoned children.

Many of them, like the one’s those Father Ekpo spoke of at Saint Sabina, became orphans because their parents had died as a result of poverty or from different kinds of tropical diseases including Malaria, Typhoid, Kwashiorkor, which is a form of malnutrition, HIV and Cholera. Today, there are still some children who are victims of these diseases.

With very little means, the local church is trying to help these children without the help of the government social welfare.

The Mission preached by Father Ekpo, closely follows the legacy of the late Cardinal, who strongly believed that the eradication of poverty in the Nigerian community could only be realized through the investment in the health, education, and development of children. This, for him was the practical way of promoting the culture of life.

Father Ekpo, 49, spoke at Saint Sabina as part of an annual appeal for funds to help support this mission, and he also shared horror stories of how some Nigerian children especially in the remote villages are still suffering from poverty.

Growing up and ordained in Nigeria, Father Ekpo had gone through many phases of suffering before he came here to the United States of America.

Father Ekpo spoke passionately about the Cardinal, the man he served as a Personal Secretary. “He was a peaceful man who wanted both Muslims and Christians to worship” their faith. “There are very good Muslims in Nigeria, but there is a radical group called Boko Haram that is attacking the government and trying to cause chaos in the country.”

Father Ekpo was referring to last Friday’s attack on the United Nations headquarters located in Abuja, Nigeria blamed on the Islamic Sect Boko Haram, which killed 23 people including 9 UN staff and injured many others. Boko Haram opposes all forms of Western Education it regards as sinful.

“They are against progress and against Western education,” said Father Ekpo who explained this group is an enemy of progress. “The sect does not want anything that is good, and the members are so difficult to deal with. They are attacking the government and members of the Christian Community.”

With its roots originating as far back as the 1940’s, it is believe that the Boko Haram extremist group allegedly formed from the “Nigerian Taliban” which was founded in 2003 with the help of foreign operatives from Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, is responsible for these attacks.

Its recent string of terrorist acts has been attributed to revenge for the 2009 killing of its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, who was the founder of the group.

Father Ekpo, who has been a priest for 25-years and is an Assistant pastor of a suburban Catholic parish, said this group has international support and that there is a second group called Maitasine which he said is also violent.

He thanked Father Pfleger, the members of the church and the United States for their past and current support of the mission and reminded them what a privilege it is to live in America.

Father Ekpo told of how he went to a McDonald’s restaurant to eat and how back in Nigeria there are no McDonalds. Even if there were, he said, only the rich would be able to afford to eat there. However, the one thing that Father Ekpo said he’d never forget when he ate at an American McDonald’s is how much food people threw out.

In Nigeria, there are children dying from malnutrition. Food and vitamins could solve this problem. “They need a lot of help,” he said.

And, to add insult to injury, Father Ekpo said, “Every 30-seconds, according to the World Health Organization, a child dies of malaria. “I thank God for a lot of Americans who sent nets” needed to keep the mosquitoes away. “I am very grateful to Americans for their love and supplies they have sent to help children in different parts of Africa and other Third World Countries.”

Saint Sabina member Viveca Coleman said Father Ekpo’s mission is “something worthy of support but more important is supporting the children of Nigeria and helping them to be all that God called them to be.” She has vowed to help Father Ekpo’s mission to save the Nigerian children.

For contributions, please send checks to: Saint Sabina Church, 1210 W. 78th Pl., Chicago, IL 60620.

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

Jazz & Blues History Tour with Jazz Fest Weekend

Posted by Admin On August - 31 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Last chance for Top-Rated Tour

 

Chicago Detours will present  “Our Chicago Sound: Jazz, Blues & Beyond”, Saturday, September 3rd from 1:15 p.m to 3:45 p.m.

The Tour has received 5-star reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor.

Quotes from Yelp Reviews:

– “The tour was fun, informative and had some exciting twists.”

– “What an amazing adventure we went on! 2 1/2 hours of jazz and blues history (or is it blues vs. jazz? Yes, it’s discussed here), on a comfy air conditioned bus that whisks you from north side to south and in-between, all while learning about the history of music and culture in Chicago.”

– “Another really cool thing about the tour, if you’re not a native Chicagoan, this tour takes you to neighborhoods the typical tourist would never see; the ‘real’ Chicago.”

The tour has been covered by TimeOut Chicago, Metromix, WGN evening news, SNS Post, and Downbeat Magazine. Want to see video? We made a video, and here’s the WGN piece.

Tickets are $70 ($65 students/seniors) and include:
-Swanky bus ride, from North to South sides on a journey of the cultural history of music.
-Video screens on the bus illuminate scenes from the past
-Exclusive step inside a landmark of music history with rare jazz club relics
-A stop at the old studios of Chess Records.
-Talk of the Great Migration, Maxwell Street market, the rift between jazz and blues communities.
-Red velvet cookies
-Live blues musician comes on the bus for a special lesson.

This tour is much more than whizzing by buildings and parking lots! Jazz, Blues & Beyond is a completely new kind of interactive tour, and this weekend is the last Chicago Detours will offer it to the public in 2011.

How to come:

-Reserve online at chicagodetours.com (required reservations)
-Come to Jazz Record Mart (27 E. Illinois St.) by about 1pm
-Tour goes 1:15pm-3:45pm.
-Includes interactive dynamic, multimedia presentation, engaging commentary, and valuable extras. 

Contact:
Amanda Scotese, Executive Director and Tour Curator
312.350.1131
amanda@chicagodetours.com

$45 million available to build and expand early childhood services

Posted by Admin On August - 30 - 2011 36 COMMENTS

Capital construction grants now available for early childhood services

 

 $45 million appropriation will create more than 300

construction jobs, meet educational needs in underserved areas

 

Springfield, IL – Applications are now being accepted for construction grants to increase the availability of early childhood services in underserved areas of Illinois.  The grants are part of a $45 million appropriation under Governor Pat Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program.  The projects funded by the grants will create more than 300 construction jobs.

Illinois public school districts or not for profit entities may apply for up to $5 million in funding, with a required ten percent funding match, for grants that will construct, acquire, renovate, equip, or expand facilities that serve the educational needs of children ages zero to five in underserved areas of the state.  Applications will be accepted through November 14, 2011.  The grant program is administered by the Capital Development Board (CDB) in consultation with the Illinois State Board of Education.  Links to the grant application and rules are available at www.cdb.state.il.us.

 “These early childhood education grants will increase badly needed services for Illinois families, plus they will create hundreds of construction jobs for Illinois workers.  This is a win-win situation,” said CDB Executive Director Jim Underwood.

The Black Republican: Abraham Lincoln effigy doll is artifact of the month for September

Posted by Admin On August - 30 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Each month, a different major artifact from the recently acquired Taper Collection will be featured at the Lincoln Presidential Museum

 

Springfield, IL – A “Black Republican” effigy doll depicting Abraham Lincoln, an unflattering likeness which his many detractors would stab with pins or burn, is the artifact of the month for September at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM), the latest in a series featuring key items from the Taper Collection recently acquired by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

“This is a very rare survival from the 1860s – an effigy doll ready for pricking or burning, with a black-cloth face under the paper Lincoln mask, to signal that he was a member of the so-called ‘Black Republicans’ who wanted to free the slaves,” said ALPLM Lincoln Curator James Cornelius.  “The bearded mask indicates the doll was used during the 1864 presidential election, essentially recycling the same racial hatreds of 1860.” 

The hostility Lincoln faced from a majority of Americans in 1860 – he won only 39.6% of the vote that year, by far the smallest victor’s total in presidential history – took many forms.  Reports of his effigy being burned at anti-Lincoln rallies spanned the country from Georgia to Oregon.  But by the 1864 election, Lincoln’s emancipation policy had begun to move the hearts of enough Northerners that his 1864 victory was clear.

The effigy doll will be taken off display on Friday, September 30, and another key artifact from the Taper Collection will take its place.

The artifacts of the month are displayed in the central case in the Presidential Museum’s Treasures Gallery and include interpretive text explaining their significance.  These displays also highlight the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation’s Permanent Home Campaign.  The $27 million fundraising drive, established to ensure that the 1,500-item Louise and Barry Taper Collection remains together as a collection and is preserved in perpetuity for the benefit of the public, began in 2008 and continues through 2013.

The story of the September 2011 artifact as told by the ALPLM’s Lincoln Curator may be viewed at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6tFiB2nJ58.  A podcast may be accessed at: http://ow.ly/6e2pZ.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, in partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, offers monthly artifact sponsorships entitled “An Evening of Wine, a Nibble of Cheese, and A Hint of History.”  The private events, hosted by a Lincoln historian, highlight a featured artifact from the Taper Collection and include light hors d’oeuvres and wine for a select number of guests.  For more information on how to become a sponsor or to donate to the Permanent Home Campaign, contact Phyllis Maynerich at (217) 557-6250 or pmaynerich@alplm.org.  Event sponsorships are tax deductible as allowed by law.        

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation supports the educational and cultural programming of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; fosters Lincoln scholarship through the acquisition and publication of documentary materials relating to Lincoln and his era; and promotes a greater appreciation of history through exhibits, conferences, publications, online services, and other activities designed to promote historical literacy.

Pastors back Mayor Emanuel on longer school day/year

Posted by Admin On August - 30 - 2011 42 COMMENTS

 CLERGY: “IT’s COOL TO BE SMART”

 

By Chinta Strausberg

In less than 10-days, 275,000 of the 400,000 Chicago Public School (CPS) students will be returning to the classroom, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CPS/CEO Jean Claude Brizard and more than 225 pastors had a singular message to the youth—go back to school on September 6th and every there after and they that children should know that “it’s cool to be smart.”

They also agreed to support Emanuel’s petition drive endorsing a longer school day and year that according to the mayor would bring the CPS system in line with other schools throughout the nation.

The ministers made the overwhelming endorsement during a back-to-school breakfast recently held at the US Cellular Field, 35th and Shields, where they were also joined by Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, other officials and clergy including Father Michael L. Pfleger.

“They are our children,” said the Mayor Emanuel. “They are the children we are accountable for and the children of the city of Chicago” he says have the shortest school day and the shortest school year in the nation.

Vance Henry, Deputy Chief of Staff, Community and Faith Based Initiatives for the mayor, said, “It’s cool to go back to school. I think young people clearly need to understand that by getting a solid education sets them up for a successful future, and it’s cool.

“It’s unfortunate that young people are subject to peer pressure and sometimes that’s negative, but we want them to know it’s cool to go back to school and it’s also cool to get a good education so they can have a bright future.”

Asked about those students who make trouble on the first day of school, Henry said, “Some of our misguided young people are children because we have to own them. Some of us some years ago traveled down those same wrong roads.”

Henry urged youth who are making wrong decisions to reach out to caring adults. “So often what happens with our misguided youth is that they don’t have good relationships with their parents who face challenges of joblessness, homelessness and sometimes drug addiction. What they need to know is that there are adults who care about them.”

To troubled youth, Henry sent them a message, “We love you. If there are issues or things that are contributing to you being in the wrong places at the wrong time with the wrong people, reach out to us, and we’ll do everything we can to love and support you, to love you and to help some of the things young people are frustrated and angry about.

“They just need to know somebody loves them. If I can do anything for young people who are hurting who are involved in a lot of violence and other activities that we know that will lead to their demise, reach out to us. Let us know what you need, and we’ll do everything we can to help and to love them,” said Henry.

Many pastors believe “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop” and that getting out of school at 1 p.m. or earlier leaves too much time for trouble to find them. They signed more than 200 petitions. CPS has a goal of 400 petitions which will be delivered to the City Council as a show of support.

“The mayor wants them (the alderman) to know that the faith community is supporting him on the extended school day,” said Rev. Renaldo Kyles, Interfaith director of the CPS. “It is important because our kids need to be school much longer than they are. We have the shortest school day in the U.S. It’s just fair to have our students in school longer.”

Apostle Ulysses Ruff, Sr, pastor of the Agape Family Life Center, said as a mentor at two public schools he learned the importance of having a consistent person working with the youth “to keep them interested in going to school and challenging them for what they’re going to do beyond that.”

Ruff said what is needed most is to have a positive role mentors in the lives of youth. “They need that more than anything else. I am disappointed to see a lot of the mentoring programs shut down this year, and I hope the school board will reconsider that and put some more mentors in our young men’s lives. It would help across the board from academics to violence to simply growing into a young man being and being responsible at home as well as in the street.”

Apostle Ruff said it’s time to have a citywide male mentorship program. “I also think there should be some industries to volunteer their time to inspire the youth in explaining how education connects to financial success later on in life. I think that is extremely important.”

Pastor Walter Turner, Pastor of New Spiritual Light MBC and President of the Baptist Minister’s Conference of Chicago & Vicinity, said students should understand the importance of education “because if they think education is costly, they need to try ignorance. It’s more expensive.”

Rev. Charles Jenkins, senior pastor at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, has a message to the students. “Full speed ahead…As school kicks off and as we get ready for a brand new school year, success has to be at the forefront of their minds. As a member of the faith community, faith without works is dead. Apply yourself and commit to a successful school year.”

When asked about students who may want to commit violence on the first day of school, Jenkins said, “It has to be a change of mind, of heart and a change of thinking. I think there’s got to be a commitment to win personally and to use your time to excel. Violence are acts of failure both personally and causing others to experience emotional and physical failure and so the theme is to succeed.”

Reminded that some students think being smart is not cool, Jenkins had some thoughts on that. “I think it is a wrong perspective, a wrong way of thinking.”

When he was younger, Jenkins said, “The perception of being cool was being hard, having some money in your pocket, the girls like you, but as you grow older, you don’t want to live your entire life like that and not have any education which leads to no opportunities to leads to potential homelessness.

“It is absolutely cool to be smart because it’s cool to have a job. It’s cool to be able to provide for your family, and it’s not cool to be sitting in a jail cell or to be sitting on a porch without anything. It’s got to be cool to be smart,” said Jenkins.

Pastor Roosevelt Watkins, pastor of Bethlehem Star Church, said he wants to see students be in the classroom on Sept. 6th “be prepared for school and do the best they can because education is the key to success. Without a proper education, children just won’t do as well.”

Asked about those who commit violence on the first day of school, Watkins referred to the once popular show, Baretta, and said, “You do the crime. You’re going to have to do the time. We have too many of our young teenagers locked up who could be in school and doing well in school.”

Referring to the citywide Safe Haven program involving 100 churches, Watkins said it provides anger management, conflict resolution, tutoring and mentoring for the youth. They also operate summer camp programs.

A retired school teacher, Dr. Mildred Harris, pastor God First Church In Ministries, believes the first day will be a “wonderful experience” and hopes the community will join in on this special day. She also supports the mayor’s extended day and year proposal. “When teachers and students come together with that kind of anticipation and working together, it’s a win-win situation.”

Do’Minique Thompson, a junior at Kenwood Academy, said she is excited and eager to get back to school. “I have dreams in life,” she said anxious to take a course in advance placement course in biology. Her goal is to become a biologist. “At Kenwood, we get out at 2:54 p.m.” She said the extra minutes won’t hurt.” Thompson said she believes longer hours will keep the youth out of trouble.

In support of both a longer school day and year, Bishop Simon Gordon, pastor of Triedstone Full Gospel Baptist Church, who credited Rainbow PUSH Coalition and community organizations, for urging youth to get back to school every year including having an detailed challenge, said: “It’s good that it is on the radar of the mayor and of the staff to make sure that we push it that also includes the church community as well.”

Saying he was a “3:15 p.m kid,” Gordon said he questioned when the school hours were changed. “I know we need some equity in the process in the way our children are taught.” Gordon said it is not about the quantity. It’s about the quality that is what should be emphasized.

Asked about his message to students, Gordon said, “It is very important for our students to make sure they make not only the first day of school but they continue on. School is so primary that subjects like math if you miss the foundations, you miss it for the rest of the year. It’s so important to start right so you can end up right.”

When asked about some students who may commit violence on the first day of school, Simon said, “Any youth that are committing violence our community must speak out about it, report it and cleared up so that our students who want to learn can have a good and clear education.”

. “It is important because our kids need to be school much longer than they are. We have the shortest school day in the U.S. It’s just fair to have our students in school longer,” said Rev. Renaldo Kyles, Interfaith director at the CPS.
Apostle Ulysses Ruff, Sr. Ruff said what is needed most is to have a positive role mentors in the lives of youth. “They need that more than anything else. I am disappointed to see a lot of the mentoring programs shut down this year, and I hope the school board will reconsider that and put some more mentors in our young men’s lives.
Pastor Walter Turner, Pastor of New Spiritual Light MBC and President of the Baptist Minister’s Conference of Chicago & Vicinity, said students should understand the importance of education “because if they think education is costly, they need to try ignorance. It’s more expensive.”
Rev. Charles Jenkins, senior pastor at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, has a message to the students. “Full speed ahead…As school kicks off and as we get ready for a brand new school year, success has to be at the forefront of their minds. As a member of the faith community, faith without works is dead. Apply yourself and commit to a successful school year.”
Pastor Roosevelt Watkins, pastor of the Bethlehem Star Church, was asked about youth who commit violence on the first day of school. Watkins referred to the once popular show, Baretta, and said, “You do the crime. You’re going to have to do the time. We have too many of our young teenagers locked up who could be in school and doing well in school.”
Vance Henry, Deputy Chief of Staff, Community and Faith Based Initiatives for the mayor, said, “It’s cool to go back to school. I think young people clearly need to understand that by getting a solid education sets them up for a successful future, and it’s cool.”
A retired school teacher, Dr. Mildred Harris, pastor God First Church In Ministries, believes the first day will be a “wonderful experience” and hopes the community will join in on this special day. She also supports the mayor’s extended day and year proposal. “When teachers and students come together with that kind of anticipation and working together, it’s a win-win situation.”
Do’Minique Thompson, a junior at Kenwood Academy, said she is excited and eager to get back to school. “I have dreams in life,” she said anxious to take a course in advance placement course in biology. Her goal is to become a biologist. “At Kenwood, we get out at 2:54 p.m.” She said the extra minutes won’t hurt.” Thompson said she believes longer hours will keep the youth out of trouble.

Photocaption:  Rev. Charles Jenkins, senior pastor at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, has a message to the students. “Full speed ahead…As school kicks off and as we get ready for a brand new school year, success has to be at the forefront of their minds. As a member of the faith community, faith without works is dead. Apply yourself and commit to a successful school year.”

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

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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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