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Archive for August 22nd, 2011

Bill Gates announces 2012 Scholarship Program for low-income minority students

Posted by Admin On August - 22 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 Gates’ non-profit organization is giving away 1,000 scholarships for the 2011-2012 school season

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — The Gates Millennium Scholarship Program (GMS) will select 1,000 talented students next year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. Scholars will also be provided with personal and professional development through their leadership programs, along with academic support throughout their college career.

The program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established to provide outstanding low income minority students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline area of interest. To date, the program has given scholarships to more than 15,000 students.

Continuing scholars may request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following discipline areas: education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science.

The deadline for submitting an application is Wednesday, January 11, 2012.

To apply, visit www.blackstudents.com/billgates

Career Prosecutors named to supervisory positions

Posted by Admin On August - 22 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Two veteran prosecutors were recently promoted to supervisory positions to help lead the fight in the prosecution of cases involving violence against women, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Jennifer Gonzalez was named Supervisor of the Sex Crimes Unit.  In her new position, Gonzalez will oversee the prosecution of sexual assault cases, which include cases involving adult and child victims, child pornography and internet solicitation of children. Gonzalez will also oversee the Chicago Child Advocacy Center, a multidisciplinary unit that investigates child abuse.

Gonzalez most recently served as Deputy Supervisor in the Domestic Violence Unit.  Joining the State’s Attorney’s Office after graduating from John Marshall Law School, Gonzalez has worked in various positions in the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, including the Felony Review and Felony Trial divisions.

Lorna Amado-Chevlin was promoted to Deputy Supervisor of the Domestic Violence Unit, replacing Gonzalez.  In her new role, Amado-Chevlin will oversee attorneys prosecuting domestic violence related cases, including assault, stalking, murder and attempted murder.

Amado-Chevlin, also a graduate of John Marshall Law School, has worked in a variety of positions prosecuting felony and misdemeanor cases in Chicago and most recently at the Bridgeview Courthouse.

“I am pleased to announce the promotions of Jennifer Gonzalez and Lorna Amado-Chevlin,” Alvarez said.  “The experience these assistant state’s attorneys have will serve them well in their new supervisory positions.”

Poverty, just say it

Posted by Admin On August - 22 - 2011 1 COMMENT

By Kathy Mulady

Equal Voice Newspaper

Washington, DC – It’s taken a plunging stock market, the deficit debate, foreclosure signs on neighborhood houses and the threat of a double-dip recession to force Americans to say it out loud: Poverty.

Some worry that the conversation about the “P” word is more about the “nouveau poor” than about the 37.3 million people who were living in poverty before the recession. Others say it is the crumbling middle class, changing demographics and raised consciousness of people living closer to the edge that have sparked the conversation.

Talk about poverty is moving beyond the choir of social service organizations, churches and unions, and grabbing the attention of journalists – and even talk show hosts – who are using their platforms to give voice and visibility to the poor.

As the 2012 election comes into focus, it’s urgent, they say, that public and political discussions about the economy move well beyond job creation and into a critical debate about raising the standard of living for all Americans including the poorest of the poor.

“Somebody has to tell the truth about poverty in America,” said public television and radio host Tavis Smiley who earlier this month hit the road with Princeton University professor Cornel West on The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience. They recorded the stories of struggling families and at the same time, prodded President Obama and other politicians to start talking about the poor.

The truth is, nearly 46 million people are on food stamps, a program Republicans in Congress are threatening to cut.

Nearly 14 million are unemployed, and millions more are under-employed.

Foreclosures were filed against 2.9 million homeowners in 2010. That number is expected to be even bigger for 2011.Nearly 48 million Americans live in poverty – almost 10 million more than before the recession hit.

Black and Hispanic families are suffering most, with Hispanics losing 66 percent of their wealth by 2009 and black families losing 53% according to the Pew Research Center.

On their poverty tour, Smiley and West talked with Native American families already living in such deep poverty that they are unaffected by the recession.

They talked to middle-class families who have lost their homes to foreclosure, warehouse workers struggling to survive on minimum wage, and hundreds of people unemployed for months or years.

“We have seen countless people on this tour who were the middle class and are now the poor,” Smiley said.

Smiley and West plan to broadcast some of the stories they heard as part of their weekly public radio program Smiley & West.

Throughout the nation, Main Street Americans are ready to talk about poverty, frustrated by the political gridlock of elected leaders in Washington, D.C. According to a recent CNN poll 63 percent of Americans agree that corporations and the richest people in the country should pay more taxes rather than cut safety-net programs to the poorest.

So, many are watching closely as the “super committee” of 12 legislators – divided equally among Democrats and Republicans and the House and Senate – starts working out a plan to cut $1.5 trillion spending, Progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who voted against the debt ceiling legislation, said he is appalled at the Republicans’ willingness to take the country over the edge – and the Democrats’ willingness to cave in.

“People across the country are extremely dismayed that all of the burden for deficit reduction will fall on the backs of the poor,” Sanders said in a recent conference call with Campaign for America’s Future.

Child care, health care, Social Security, nutrition programs for children and seniors, affordable housing, food stamps and education are all on the chopping block, he said.

Sanders’ frank discussion about federal cuts in spending and families living in poverty is an exception. During the recent Iowa debate among Republican presidential contenders, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the only candidate to mention poverty – and then it was to advocate cutting the safety net.

“Unemployment benefits, I think they’ve gone on a long, long, long time. We have to find ways to reduce our spending on a lot of the anti-poverty programs and unemployment programs,” said Romney.

Fed up with people, like Romney, more progressives are seeking and joining movements like Coffee Party USA, a counter movement to the Tea Party.

C. Douglas Smith, president of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and founder of the Belief in America movement, a Coffee Party pilot project, said it is the disconnect between government leaders who are willing to bow to corporations, banks and Wall Street, and the families losing jobs, homes and health care coverage that is motivating people to add their voices to those who have always worked on behalf of the poor.

“The environment in Washington is creating apathy and turning everyone off, but when people hear from their neighbors that there is a movement to bring jobs back to America, to end hunger, they want to be part of something positive,” said Smith.

Marcy Bowers, director of the Statewide Poverty Action Network in Washington state, said she, too, is starting to see more mention of poverty in the media.

“I feel like, finally, there is a conversation about families who are struggling to be able to put food on the table,” she said. “I think it is easier to talk to the media about poverty when we talk about the middle class.

“There is a big difference between the middle class and the people who have always lived in poverty,” Bowers said.

Conversations focusing on the “new poor” overshadow the deep impact three years of state budget cuts have had on already struggling families who rely on assistance for health care and housing.

Those families don’t know how they will have food and shelter if there are more cuts at the federal level.

“More families are saying ‘Enough!’ and coming forward to speak up,” said Bowers.

While fear is prompting poor families to tell their stories, politicians still can’t bring themselves to utter the word.

Rev. Michael Livingston, director of the poverty initiative for the National Council on Churches, said, “No one in Congress is talking about poverty. They are only talking about cutting programs.”

Livingston was among the faith leaders arrested inside the Capitol during the debt ceiling negotiations. They were praying that funding for the nation’s most vulnerable people would be preserved.

“Our faith compels us to want to protect the least among us. We need help from the government; the job is too big to be done by faith communities alone,” he said.

Livingston said he sees grassroots momentum building.

“I would link it solidly to middle-class people who are threatened,” he said. “There is more unrest, and they are more vocal in expressing their anger at policies that are not protecting the poor – or the soon-to-be poor.”


“Redemption Road” travels entertaining journey into Blues Country

Posted by Admin On August - 22 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 Michael Clarke Duncan and Morgan Simpson Star in the Inspiring Blues Music Infused Road Movie directed by Mario Van Peebles

Hollywood, CA (BlackNews.com) — Liberty Road Entertainment & Heavy Duty Entertainment proudly announce the theatrical release of the film “Redemption Road” on August 26, 2011.

The film stars Academy Award® nominee Michael Clarke Duncan (“The Green Mile”, the upcoming “The Finder”), Morgan Simpson, Kiele Sanchez (“The Glades”) and Taryn Manning (“Hawaii Five-O”) with featured performances by Luke Perry (“Jeremiah”) and Tom Skerritt (“Top Gun”). It is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Mario Van Peebles (“New Jack City”) and co-written by Morgan Simpson and George Richards from an original story by Simpson. The film is produced by Jeff Balis, Rhoades Rader and Morgan Simpson; co-produced by Michael Clarke Duncan and Joel C. High; and executive produced by Charlie Poe.

In “Redemption Road”, two seemingly different men (Michael Clarke Duncan, Morgan Simpson) embark on a music-steeped journey through the American South, learning along the way that life isn’t about where you end up – it’s how you get there that matters.

Somewhere along the 900 miles between Austin, TX and Huntsville, AL the two men become unlikely friends. However, every road has an end. In Huntsville, sad truths come to light, with heartbreak and violence lingering in their wake, ultimately leaving both men changed forever.

The music of “Redemption Road” is permeated with authenticity, from Country music – perfectly befitting the film’s Nashville locations – to the full scope of the Blues with a pinch of good old-fashioned Gospel to reflect the film’s deeper themes of faith. The film boasts cameos by numerous seasoned blues and other musical artists including — Gary Clark Jr., Tree Adams, Ruthie Foster, Jason White Company, James “Nick” Nixon, Mario Van Peebles, Ronnie Bowman, Cissy Crutcher, Morgan Simpson, Alabama Slim and Little Freddie King, Minnie Murphy and Cydney Robinson.

To complete the soundtrack, the filmmakers are utilizing the fundraising website Kickstarter with proceeds to benefit the Music Maker Foundation.

More info on supporting the effort to raise funds for the soundtrack can be found at www.kck.st/RRSoundtrack

In announcing the release, director Mario Van Peebles states, “We sought to deliver a story about the relationship between two seemingly unconnected men and the forgiveness that both of them need to heal and find redemption. By telling it in the context of the vibe and culture of the blues mixed with some country and gospel we hope the film will inspire, as well as entertain, audiences everywhere.”

The film will be distributed by Freestyle Releasing. It opens in select cities including Tampa, Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Austin, TX, Little Rock, Birmingham, AL and New Orleans.

The film has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic material and for language.

For more details, visit:

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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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