March , 2019

CHICAGO, IL.- The Illinois Department of  Corrections estimates that 80-85% of incarcerated women are mothers ...
President Barack Obama's statement: The Senate’s failure to confirm Debo Adegbile to ...
University Park, IL – “Fade to Black”, a new Talk show, will debut tonight in ...
The Active Transportation Alliance today launched its Communities for Complete Streets initiative, which asks Chicago’s ...
Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Shields, Jr. of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ...
President Obama delivered a statement (July 29, 2011) once again calling on Congress to compromise to ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL —  State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) released the following statement on Governor ...
  Ball is in Cardinal George’s court   By Chinta Strausberg   Echoing what he said during a recent town ...
Attorney General Says Principal Reductions Needed to Stabilize Housing Market, Economy   CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General ...
Atlanta celebrates big with Black History Month Parade Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) – Thousands of ...

Archive for March 1st, 2012

Illinois State Comptroller Topinka: POWER helps Illinois businesses compete

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On March - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on Illinois State Comptroller Topinka: POWER helps Illinois businesses compete

topinkaphoto CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka joined dozens of small business leaders in Chicago recently to announce POWER, a new program run by her office to assist small and minority-owned businesses in competing for state contracts.  Created through legislation, POWER teaches business owners about the state certification and procument process, provides free counseling from leading executives, and ensures members are alerted to state contract opportunities.

“The success of our small businesses is key to getting our economy moving again, to creating the new jobs that are so badly needed,” Topinka said. “And at the same time, POWER will expand our state contractor network, which will increase competition and ultimately save the state money.”

For more information, visit illinoiscomptroller.com.

Photo Caption: Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka (second from left) with Senator Tori Hutchinson, David Kirshner, Chicago SCORE CEO and Sheila Morgan, President of the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council joined more than 50 area business leaders in Chicago recently to kick off POWER, an initiative launched by the state to assist small and minority-owned companies in competing for government contracts.  Photo by: Teresa J. Potasiak

Health disparities cause financial burdens for families, communities and health care system

Posted by Admin On March - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on Health disparities cause financial burdens for families, communities and health care system

By Kimberly N. Alleyne
America’s Wire


Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — Health disparities are creating economic burdens for families, communities and the nation’s health care system. Across the country, infant mortality and chronic diseases continue to affect people of color at rates far higher than those for whites.

In recent years, the focus has increased on the impact of disparities on minority communities, with public officials, community activists, civic leaders and health care experts proposing ways to improve access to medical care and raise awareness of positive benefits of preventive care. But health experts say the economic toll of health disparities and substantial costs associated with lost productivity are being overlooked.

“Racial and ethnic groups have higher incidences of diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer, et cetera,” says Brian D. Smedley, vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C. “That prevalence [of chronic diseases] comes with a price tag in terms of excess direct medical costs, nearly $230 billion over a four-year period that we studied.”

The study found that between 2003 and 2006, 30.6 percent of direct medical care expenditures for African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics were excess costs due to health inequalities. The study estimated that eliminating health disparities for minorities would have reduced direct medical expenditures by $229.4 billion and slashed indirect costs associated with illness and premature death by more than $1 trillion for those years.

The 2010 National Healthcare Disparities Report documented that racial and ethnic minorities often receive poorer care than whites while facing more barriers in seeking preventive care, acute treatment or chronic disease management. The report is produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). According to the report, minorities also experience rates of preventable hospitalization that, in some cases, are almost double that of whites; African-Americans have higher hospitalization rates from influenza; and black children are twice as likely to be hospitalized and more than four times as likely to die from asthma as white children.

Thomas A. LaVeist, director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, says increased health risks for minorities are directly related to where they live and work.

“The fact is that we have an inequitable distribution of opportunity,” he says. “Where you live determines what schools your children get to attend. It determines if your house will appreciate or de-appreciate and whether you can create wealth. It also determines whether you are exposed to environmental inequalities and the type of health care facility that is available to you. Where you live, work, play and pray affects quality of health care.”

Jennifer Ng’andu, deputy director of the Health Policy Project at the National Council of La Raza in Washington, speaks even more pointedly: “If we look at communities of color, we see that many racial and ethnic groups live in unsafe environments, there is poor housing and there is loss of productivity because of illness.

“Essentially, every time a person of color goes to the doctor, 30 percent of their bill is due to health disparities so they end up paying more in the doctor’s office because over time they receive health care that is not appropriate or effective,” she says. “They become needlessly sicker and are more likely to die prematurely, so they end up paying more medical expenses.”

Health experts and civic leaders say financial strains are adversely manifested in varying ways in communities and have a huge impact on children, often involving academic performance.

“There are direct biological consequences in that a child who does not have good access to health services will experience developmental setbacks because they are sick or their parents are sick,” Ng’andu says. “It makes it harder for them to achieve in school and can have serious consequences on their future. We have to invest in children early, their health early, their education, making sure they have healthy communities to grow in.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, the percentage of children and adolescents with a chronic disease swelled from 1.8 percent in the 1960s to 7 percent in 2004. The increase has an adverse impact on childhood education. For example, a report by the American Lung Association says asthma is a leading cause nationwide of youngsters missing school. Asthma affects Puerto Rican and African-American children more often, perhaps because they often live in communities with poor air quality.

“Studies show a spread of diabetes among children, but particularly among black and Latino children,” says Sinsi Hernandez-Cancio, director of health equity at Families USA in Washington.

“There are long-term effects. You are more likely to lose a limb, have a heart attack or lose a kidney, and the longer you have the disease, the greater the toll on life quality. We can expect to see this as these children grow older. There is also an impact on children when other family members have a disease because they sometime miss school to care for an ill family member.”

Because racial and ethnic health care disparities can hinder a breadwinner’s earning capacity, the entire family is often affected adversely.

“Kids are forced to be translators at the doctor’s office,” Hernandez-Cancio says. “That has an enormous toll, so they see firsthand all this information on how mommy or daddy is not doing well. We have had stories of children staying home to take care of their parent or another sibling. Stresses such as these affect their ability to develop into an independent, productive individual in the future.”

Ng’andu agrees. “When kids are hungry, when they are exposed to serious nerve stress and environmental stresses,” she says, “it affects them and their ability to learn and perform well academically. Investment in their health is very important to their future success and achievement and also their ability to work and contribute to their communities.”

Hernandez-Cancio says disparities in infant mortality rates also take a toll on minority families. While the 2010 rate for whites was 5.63 per 1,000 live births, it was 13.31 per 1,000 live births for African-Americans, 9.22 for American Indians or Alaska Natives and 7.71 for Puerto Ricans, according to the CDC.

“The infant mortality rate is considered a very basic measure of how a country’s health care system is working, and it is an indication of other symptoms,” she says. “We rank 41st globally. As an advanced, wealthy nation, we are not doing well.”

Hernandez-Cancio says that disparities in chronic diseases is also a major problem, that millions of dollars are spent battling such diseases that have been treated improperly or, in some cases, could have been prevented.

Each year, she says, health care inequities result in 100,000 premature deaths in the United States, and many are attributed to chronic diseases. “The health care system is so expensive. If you look at the numbers, a huge portion of health care costs is improving chronic diseases. When these diseases spiral out of control, it raises costs. We have to get a handle on these diseases to bend the cost curve.”

Data indicate extreme disparities in chronic diseases, including heart disease, certain cancers, strokes, diabetes and arthritis. According to the CDC, these diseases cause seven of 10 deaths annually in America and more than 75 percent of health care costs.

Smedley says African-Americans experience higher incidences of diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and other chronic diseases. According to the Joint Center study, chronic diseases cost the U.S. health care system nearly $232 billion from 2003 to 2006.

Early detection, quality of care and improving prevention management are important as it becomes clear that doing so in communities of color is crucial to curbing costs. “If we don’t get a handle on these diseases, it is going to be harder to manage the system,” Hernandez-Cancio says, adding that prevention can alleviate many costs.

The health care reform law includes provisions that improve financing and delivery while also improving access for vulnerable populations and investing in prevention.

“Investments in prevention go a long way in preventing racial and ethnic health inequality in the first place,” Smedley says. “About five cents of every federal health dollar is spent on prevention. Prevention works. It works to keep our population healthy and reduces health care costs.

“We pay now or pay later. We’re going to be paying the price in higher health care costs, but also a population that is less healthy and unable to participate in the nation’s economic recovery.”

Racial and ethnic minorities are much less likely than the rest of the population to have health insurance, according to the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, part of the National Institutes of Health, a component of HHS. These minorities constitute about one-third of the U.S. population but are more than half of the 50 million uninsured.

They are also overrepresented among the 56 million people in America with inadequate access to a primary care physician. The Joint Center study found that “the combined costs of health inequalities and premature death in the United States were $1.24 trillion” between 2003 and 2006.

The cost is expected to increase. By 2042, people of color are expected to be 50 percent of the U.S. population, signaling significant economic implications for minority communities.

“About 47 percent of American children under 18 are children of color,” Hernandez-Cancio says. “That really indicates this is the future of this country. The fact that they don’t have the mentorship who can provide structure for them, either because of financial pressures, chronic disease or premature deaths, can be highly detrimental to their future.

“Whether or not you are directly connected to these communities, you have a vested interested in their development and future.

“We cannot afford not to address financial burdens and health care disparities that contribute directly to instability of our health care system. We have to tackle this problem now.”

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America’s Wire is an independent, nonprofit news service run by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. For more information, visit www.americaswire.org or contact Michael K. Frisby at mike@frisbyassociates.com.

The Sentencing Project’s new report investigates “The Lives of Juvenile Lifers”

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On March - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on The Sentencing Project’s new report investigates “The Lives of Juvenile Lifers”

 “The Lives of Juvenile Lifers”, the first-ever national survey of this population, investigates the life experiences of individuals serving sentences of life without parole for offenses committed as juveniles.

The report presents  findings from a comprehensive look that offers new perspectives on people who committed crimes before the age of 18, and some as young as 13. More than 2,500 people are currently serving these sentences in the United States.

The report comes just weeks before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the cases of two 14-year olds, Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs, which will address questions about the constitutionality of sentencing teens to life without the possibility of parole.

“Most juveniles serving life without parole sentences experienced trauma and neglect long before they engaged in their crimes,” stated Ashley Nellis, research analyst of The Sentencing Project and author of the report. “The findings from this survey do not excuse the crimes committed but they help explain them. With time, rehabilitation and maturity, some of these youth could one day safely re-enter society and contribute positively to their families and their communities.”

The Lives of Juvenile Lifers survey draws a portrait of the severe disadvantage experienced by those serving life sentences without parole:

•  Juvenile lifers, especially girls, suffered high rates of abuse—nearly half (46.9%)
of lifers experienced physical abuse, including 79.5 % among girls.
•  Juvenile lifers were exposed to high levels of violence in their homes (79%) and their communities (54.1%).
•   African American youth constitute 43.4% of life without parole sentences for a murder with a white victim, nearly twice the rate at which they are arrested for such crimes, 23.7%.

Failed by systems intended to protect youth, many juveniles sentenced to life without parole first suffer from extreme socioeconomic disadvantage, and are then sentenced to an extreme punishment deemed unacceptable in any other nation.

The full report is available here.

The Hope Church: A genuine influence for faith, community enrichment, and economic growth

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On March - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on The Hope Church: A genuine influence for faith, community enrichment, and economic growth

Orlando, FL (BlackNews.com) — Under the leadership of Bishop Allen T.D. Wiggins, Senior Pastor of The Hope Church and architect of Hope Center West, a new model program has been created to establish economic partnerships which promise to enhance community infrastructure lasting for generations to come.

With groundbreaking scheduled for summer 2012, Hope Center West (www.hopecenterproject.com) was recently unveiled as a long-range plan to provide resources that will produce hundreds of jobs and convenience for better health and wellness in Washington Shores. During the first stage of development, a Walmart Neighborhood Shopping Center will be built, with nearby banks, restaurants, entertainment hubs, and several retail establishments.

“We’ve steadily worked to expand opportunities for economic development, housing, education, and spiritual enrichment through our ministry,” notes Bishop Wiggins. “By addressing critical issues that will engage and prepare our communities to become more market driven, we are securing a vision of economic growth and creating connectors that emphasize greater progress while fulfilling the needs of “the whole man,” Bishop Wiggins further states.

Hope Center West is quickly becoming a blueprint for economic development in urban America. Current improvements and progressions to date include the acquisition and rehabilitation of housing complexes for hundreds of families, and a professional/retail market space that accentuates the importance of local businesses. Some of The Hope Church service offerings include programs for ex-offender women, food distribution of meals and groceries to more than 10,000 community families, and spiritual enrichment activities for individuals and families.

About Bishop Allen T.D. Wiggins

Bishop Allen T.D. Wiggins is a native of Daytona Beach, Florida and has served as Senior Pastor of The Hope Church, in Orlando, Florida for ten years. He is also co-founder and saxophonist of the world-renowned gospel/jazz duo, Allen & Allen. With spiritual wisdom and a heart for helping underserved communities, Bishop Wiggins continually partners with key business, ministerial, and civic leaders that work to bring long-term sustenance to urban cores. Bishop Wiggins is also involved in outreach ministries across the country, and is available for speaking engagements and interview opportunities.

To learn more about The Hope Church and Hope Center West, visit www.thehopechurch.org and www.hopecenterproject.com. For additional information contact Mylika C. Morton at 407-291-4673 or email mmorton@thehopechurch.org

Photo Caption: Bishop Allen T.D. Wiggins, Senior Pastor, The Hope Church

TimeLine Theatre Company announces 2012-13 Season

Posted by Admin On March - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on TimeLine Theatre Company announces 2012-13 Season

Chicago, IL — TimeLine Theatre Company, named one of the nation’s top 10 emerging theatre companies (American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards®, 2011) and Chicago’s “Best Theatre” (Chicago magazine, 2011), announces its four-play 2012-13 season. TimeLine is dedicated to presenting plays inspired by history that connect to today’s social and political issues, and its upcoming season includes one world premiere and three Chicago premieres.

For the second year, one production of TimeLine’s season will be presented at an alternate location to accommodate the company’s more than 3,100 subscribers and growing audience. The opening production of the 2012-13 season will be presented at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago, with the remaining three productions taking place at TimeLine Theatre’s home just blocks away at 615 W. Wellington Avenue.

4-Admission FlexPass Subscriptions for TimeLine’s 2012-13 season are now on sale, priced from $108 to $168. For more information and to purchase, call (773) 281-TIME (8463) or visit timelinetheatre.com.

“We are thrilled to continue to take TimeLine to places we haven’t been before,” said Artistic Director PJ Powers. “With a stunning new script by local playwright Susan Felder and Chicago premieres by a trio of the country’s most provocative writers — Moisés Kaufman, Naomi Iizuka and J.T. Rogers — TimeLine’s 2012-13 season explores eras, cultures, points of view and areas of the world that we’ve never tackled before in our previous 15 seasons.”



by Moisés Kaufman
Chicago Premiere
directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling
August 23 – October 21, 2012
Presented at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

In a journey spanning 200 years, 33 Variations is a waltz between past and present, fact and speculation, a mother and daughter, and art and life. One of classical music’s enduring riddles is why Ludwig van Beethoven devoted four years of his diminishing life writing 33 variations of a mediocre waltz, all for little financial reward. Playwright Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project) tracks a modern-day music scholar driven to solve the mystery even as her own life and relationship with her daughter crumbles, elegantly juxtaposing her obsession with the composer’s creative struggles. The result is an extraordinary new American play about passion, parenthood and the moments of beauty that can transform a life.

33 Variations will feature TimeLine Company Member Janet Ulrich Brooks as the music scholar Katherine Brandt (a role played on Broadway and in the play’s Los Angeles premiere by Jane Fonda) and TimeLine Company Member Juliet Hart as Dr. Gertrude Ladenburger, with TimeLine Associate Artist Terry Hamilton as Ludwig van Beethoven. The play will also feature a live pianist sharing the stage and underscoring the action.

by Susan Felder
World Premiere
directed by TimeLine Associate Artist William Brown
October 12 – December 30, 2012
Presented at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave.

Two soldiers — both named Joe but distinct in most other ways — are thrust into each other’s lives after being captured by the enemy in Vietnam. Held in underground cells with a barred ceiling grate as their only access to the outside world, the two are separated by a solid wall as well as divergent backgrounds, politics, world views and opinions about the war they’ve fought. But over two years of captivity and with little expectation of rescue, the two are drawn together as they battle dire conditions, loneliness, loss of faith, and each other. This emotionally stirring new play affirms the extraordinary power of human connection to forge hope in even the darkest hours.

Wasteland marks the return of William Brown (To Master the Art, Not About Nightingales) as a director at TimeLine. The cast will feature Nate Burger (TimeLine’s ‘Master Harold’ … and the Boys) and Steve Haggard (Writers’ Theatre’s Old Glory).


by Naomi Iizuka
Chicago Premiere
directed by Lisa Portes
January 15 – April 14, 2013
Presented at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave.

During the 1880s, an unprecedented new invention changed the world. The camera allowed people to see images of distant lands they never dreamed they would be able to see. Images of geishas, monks and shrines were transmitted far from their origin, where foreigners sought meaning in them through the filter of exoticism and xenophobia. Shifting between 19th Century Japan and present-day United States, Naomi Iizuka’s highly original triptych of a play provides philosophical, cultural and historical themes to ponder in both epic scope and human scale. It’s a sexy, multi-faceted puzzle that explores the intersection of art and authenticity, where things are never quite as they appear to be.

Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West marks the TimeLine debut of director Lisa Portes, whose recent credits include directing the world premieres of Naomi Iizuka’s Ghostwritten at the Goodman Theatre and After A Hundred Years at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theatre.

by J.T. Rogers
Chicago Premiere

directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling
April 30 – July 28, 2013
Presented at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave.

Heralded as one of The New York Times’ Top 10 plays of 2011, Blood and Gifts takes you inside the secret spy war behind the official Soviet-Afghan War of the 1980s. Spanning a decade and playing out in Washington, D.C., Pakistan and Afghanistan, the play follows a CIA operative as he struggles to stop the Soviet Army’s destruction of Afghanistan. The ground constantly shifts for him and his counterparts in the KGB and British and Pakistani secret service as political and personal alliances keep changing. And as the outcome of the entire Cold War comes into play, he and an Afghan warlord find that the only one they can trust is each other. This bold and provocative new play tells the story of the unknown men behind one of the greatest historical events of recent history, the repercussions of which continue to shape our world.

J.T. Rogers is also the author of the plays The Overwhelming and Madagascar, seen in Chicago at Next Theatre, and White People, seen at Gift Theater.

About TimeLine

TimeLine Theatre Company, named one of the nation’s top 10 emerging professional theatres (American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards®), Best Theatre in Chicago (Chicago magazine, 2011) and the nation’s theater “Company of the Year” (The Wall Street Journal, 2010), was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today’s social and political issues. Over 15 seasons, TimeLine’s history includes more than 50 productions, including eight world premieres and 16 Chicago premieres; launching the Living History Education Program, bringing the company’s mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools; and completing each season operating in the black. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 46 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production eight times.

Currently playing and still to come in TimeLine’s current 2011-12 season:

  • Chicago premiere of ENRON by Lucy Prebble, directed by Rachel Rockwell,
    now playing through April 15, 2012
  • World premiere of MY KIND OF TOWN by John Conroy, directed by Nick Bowling, May 1 – July 29, 2012

TimeLine Theatre is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers and Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman. Company Members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, David Parkes, PJ Powers and Benjamin Thiem.

Major supporters of TimeLine Theatre include Alphawood Foundation, The Crown Family, Forum Fund at The Chicago Community Trust, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, The Pauls Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation and The Shubert Foundation. TimeLine is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, Theatre Communications Group and the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce.

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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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