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Archive for March 8th, 2012

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

Posted by Admin On March - 8 - 2012 Comments Off on Health disparities cause financial burdens for families, communities and health care system


 By Kimberly N. Alleyne
America’s Wire


WASHINGTON, IL – 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.”

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.

Madigan collects more than $900 million in state revenue in 2011

Posted by Admin On March - 8 - 2012 Comments Off on Madigan collects more than $900 million in state revenue in 2011

Attorney General’s office generated nearly $30 for every tax dollar spent 


CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that her office collected more than $900 million on behalf of the State of Illinois in 2011, bringing total collections since 2003 to more than $7.9 billion. Through a combination of litigation and collection efforts, Madigan’s office generated almost $30 for every tax dollar spent.

“With the state’s budget deficit at an all time high, my office has continued to reduce our reliance on taxpayer dollars while seeking to maximize our ability to generate desperately needed revenue for the state,” Attorney General Madigan said.

In 2011, Madigan’s office collected more than $908 million on behalf of the state. The Attorney General’s office collected over $533 million of this amount through litigation, an increase of over $131 million in litigation revenues from 2010. In addition, the Attorney General’s office collected over $268 million through tobacco litigation and nearly $107 million in estate tax revenues. 

Madigan’s office operated in 2011 with an appropriation from the state’s general revenue fund of $30,705,700 – the lowest level of funding from the state’s general revenue fund since 1997. Nonetheless, Attorney General Madigan’s office generated $29.59 for every state general revenue tax dollar the office received in 2011.

The $908 million generated in 2011 does not include tens of millions of dollars that Madigan’s office successfully recovered through mediation and litigation, which then is distributed directly to Illinois residents, businesses and organizations often as restitution.

For instance, Attorney General Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau recovered and saved more than $43 million on behalf of defrauded Illinois residents and businesses in 2011, including $20 million recovered in a settlement with Countrywide, a subsidiary of Bank of America, over allegations that the former mortgage giant steered African-American and Latino borrowers into risky subprime loans more often than similarly situated white borrowers and charged them more for their loans during the height of the nation’s housing boom. Madigan is the only Attorney General in the country to pursue fair lending lawsuits against national banks, including another lawsuit against Wells Fargo, which she continues to litigate.

Attorney General Madigan’s office also successfully concluded efforts to recover money lost due to the misuse of taxpayer funds and companies defrauding the state. Among the most notable is a $25 million settlement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. Madigan’s settlement, reached in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s office of the Northern District, resolved a lengthy investigation of allegations that Blue Cross Blue Shield denied insurance coverage for nursing care for sick children and other vulnerable patients and, instead, fraudulently shifted these expenses to state and federal Medicaid programs, costing those programs nearly $12 million. As a result of the settlement, Illinois received $14.25 million and the U.S. Treasury received $9.5 million.

Madigan’s office also secured $21 million for the state in November 2011 through a settlement agreement with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, resolving allegations that the drug company defrauded the state by inflating the wholesale prices used in setting the rates for Medicaid reimbursements. This settlement is part of Madigan’s ongoing investigation of drug companies defrauding the Medicaid program by inflating wholesale prices, and it brings the total amount recovered for the state through these investigations to more than $52 million.

In addition, Madigan’s office has worked to secure more than $62 million in unpaid gasoline sales taxes in a joint initiative with the state’s revenue department that began in late 2010. This ongoing investigation is aimed at cracking down on gas station owners who have evaded paying sales taxes by falsely reporting gasoline sales figures and caused the loss of millions of dollars in state tax revenue.

The Attorney General’s Antitrust Bureau also recovered $9.375 million last year for Illinois governmental entities, educational institutions and nonprofits from five national banks for engaging in a bid rigging scheme for municipal derivatives. This scheme raised the prices for bond derivatives purchased by Illinois governments, schools and nonprofits.


Chief Apostle McCoy gives $500 to bishop facing eviction from his church

Posted by Admin On March - 8 - 2012 Comments Off on Chief Apostle McCoy gives $500 to bishop facing eviction from his church

Says: ‘You are your brothers’ keeper’


By Chinta Strausberg


Chief Apostle William McCoy, Presiding of the Apostolic Fellowship of the International Pentecostal Assemblies Ecumenical (IPAE), was one of the first to respond to a cry for help from Bishop John Rodgers, Jr. who will be evicted from his South Side church on April 1st if he doesn’t come up with $68,000.

Rodgers attended a press conference held at Josephine’s Hardtimes Restaurant, 436 E. 79th St., Chicago, Il, then laterat his church, the New Life in Christ Missionary Non-Denominational Training Center Church, 740 E. 91st Pl., which is now on financial life-support since the owner has called for the balance of his installment note.

Rodgers, who paid $10,000 down on an installment payment plan and never missed his $550 monthly payments, must raise $68,000 by April 1st or he will be evicted from the building.

Rogers joined 34th District Candidate Richard Wooten at Josephine’s restaurant and later at his church. Wooten said if he were elected to the state office and as Sixth Ward Committeeman seat he would fight for grants and programs to bailout struggling churches.

The clock is ticking for Bishop Rodgers who graciously accepted a $500 check from Chief Apostle William McCoy. “We are our brothers keepers,” said McCoy.

He was also joined by other clergy including: Dr. Bennie Owens, assistant pastor at Brothers Keeper Outreach Church headed by McCoy, Apostle Renaldo Morgan, pastor of the Radical End Time Ministries International, Apostle Pastor Dr. A.R. Wilson, The Feast of the Harvest Outreach Ministries International, Minister Marques Anderson, Feast of the Harvest Outreach Ministries International, Rev. Victor Grandberry, New Faith and Hope Ministries, 14617 Lincoln, Dolton, IL, who lost his church last year, Rev. Wilbur Sanner and Deacon Ronald Brown, both members  of Rodgers’ church.

Speaking from his from Rodgers’ pulpit, McCoy vowed to further help Bishop Rodgers saying he will make some phone calls.

Wooten also pledged his help and even though Grandberry lost his church last year, he too said he would help Rodgers as did Wooten who said, “The churches are struggling because high unemployment led to a decline in church attendance and tithing, resulting in a growing number of churches going into foreclosure or severe debt.

“In many churches that are able to keep their doors open, Wooten said the pastors are spending less time addressing the needs of members and residents, because they have to spend too much time making sure the electric and gas stays on. This week churches received even more bad news when Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration announced that the mayor wants churches to start paying water bills, adding to the mounting utility debts,” said Wooten.

“If Wall Street and the automotive industry can be bailed out, why can’t we provide support to our churches?” asked Wooten, an associate pastor at Faith Walk Church International in Chicago. “The economy has had a devastating effect on our churches, which have been the backbone of our communities. When they are healthy, our families are healthy, and when our families are healthy, our communities are healthy. If we truly want to help people in need, we have to help our churches.”

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Lt. Governor Simon supports rape crisis fund

Posted by Admin On March - 8 - 2012 Comments Off on Lt. Governor Simon supports rape crisis fund


Strip club surcharge passes Senate committee 


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon testified in support of legislation that passed 8-0 out of a Senate committee today that would fund rape crisis centers through an entrance fee at strip clubs.

Senate Bill 3348, sponsored by Sen. Toi Hutchinson, would require all adult entertainment facilities that permit alcohol to pay a $5-per-patron fee. The funds would be distributed to community-based sexual assault prevention and response organizations that have seen their state funding decrease 28 percent in the past five years. Over the coming weeks, Simon looks forward to working with Hutchinson to continue research to address suggestions from the committee.

In her testimony, Simon said: “This bill is a responsible way to regulate the adult entertainment industry in Illinois and restore funding to community-based organizations that provide critical services to women, children and law enforcement agencies. Substantial evidence links alcohol sales at strip clubs to negative secondary effects, including violence against women. Clubs that profit from alcohol and nude dancing should pick up the tab for the related social ills. If they don’t want to pay the tab, they can stop permitting alcohol.”

R.T. Finney, the president of Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and Dr. Richard McCleary, a University of California-Irvine professor and adult entertainment business researcher, submitted written testimony in support of SB 3348 today.

Last year, the Texas Supreme Court upheld legislation that imposed a $5 entrance fee at strip clubs permitting alcohol, based on the “negative secondary effects,” or related social ills such as sexual abuse and assault. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge of that decision, effectively opening the door for other cities and states to purse similar measures. California is among the states seeking legislation; it is considering a $10-per-patron fee.

To view the written testimony submitted by Lt. Governor Simon, Professor Richard McCleary, and Police Chief R.T. Finney, please click here.

Better Business Bureau joins government partners for Consumer Protection Event

Posted by Admin On March - 8 - 2012 Comments Off on Better Business Bureau joins government partners for Consumer Protection Event


Chicago, IL – Consumer protection information and brochures will be among the free items available from the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) from 8:30AM to 3:00PM on March 8, 2012, in the lobby of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St. in Chicago, as the BBB joins federal, state, and local government agencies and national consumer advocacy organizations in the 14th annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 4-10, 2012.


National Consumer Protection Week focuses on giving consumers the tools they need to make smart financial decisions in today’s marketplace.  This information can help people get the most for their money, whether they are trying to stretch their paychecks, find a quick fix for a spotty credit history, or distinguish the difference between a real deal and a potentially fraudulent product or service. 


“The Better Business Bureau is proud to be part of this year’s National Consumer Protection Week campaign,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “In times like these, information is one commodity that retains its value.  We invite everyone to visit www.bbb.org for tools they can use to make smart choices in the marketplace.”


For more information on consumer safe shopping or National Consumer Protection Week, visit www.bbb.org


Black financial expert says “money does grow on trees!”

Posted by Admin On March - 8 - 2012 Comments Off on Black financial expert says “money does grow on trees!”

“Why occupy Wall Street when you can live on easy street?”


Buffalo, NY (BlackNews.com) — Dr. William C. Small and FirstWorld Publishing have released his new book, Money Does Grow on Trees. As Asians are earning nearly $300,000 in annual income per business compared to only $75,000 for African Americans, according to the Bureau of Economic Statistics, the book arrives in time to reveal knowledge about what money really is and how wealth is actually created that appears to be lost on the current generation.

Money Does Grow on Trees raises the questions that seemingly nobody in the Occupy Wall Street Movement has thought to ask: Why do 1% of American families control over 80% of the wealth? What do they know that the 99% don’t? We know that they didn’t put on ski masks and rob people at gun point to forcibly steal the majority of America’s wealth. So how did they manage to get it?

The book reveals secrets the 1% use to amass and maintain their fortune. It shares knowledge that people like Mitt Romney and Warren Buffet as well as Lady Gaga, Tyler Perry, Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey used to become incredibly wealthy and encourages the 99% to use the same strategies.

For more details and/or to purchase the book, visit www.moneydoesgrow.com


Dr. William C. Small has 15 years experience as a Financial Planner with AXA, The Equitable, Primerica and A. L. Williams where he was licensed to assist clients in obtaining insurance, stocks, bonds and other financial services. He holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies and is President/CEO of Beautiful Feet Ministries, Inc. Dr Small has authored many books including: Relationships 911, Strengthening the Family, and Surprising Secrets of the Fortune 500.

2012 Hugo Television Awards deadline extended to March 16

Posted by Admin On March - 8 - 2012 Comments Off on 2012 Hugo Television Awards deadline extended to March 16

CHICAGO, IL – Due to overwhelming demand, the entry deadline for the 2012 Hugo Television Awards has been extended to March 16. Presented by Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival, the Hugo TV Awards is an international competition that honors the finest television productions and commercials as they vie for the top prize, the Gold Hugo.

The Hugo Television Awards is accepting entries in the following categories: Individual Television Productions, Television Series, Television Commercials, Commercial Campaigns, Special Achievement, Online/Viral Commercials and Online-based television programming. This year¹s Hugo Television Awards has already seen a tremendous quantity of entries coming from around the world and the extended deadline will allow production companies and ad agencies up against tight schedules the opportunity to have their finest work recognized at the awards night. The 2012 winners will be honored at the Hugo Television Awards ceremony on Thursday, April 19.

Last year¹s Hugo Television Awards honored a diverse group of television productions and commercials from around the world. Among the many exceptional pieces, Gold Hugos were awarded to DDB¹s ³Joe and Frank² McDonald¹s commercial, Hungry Man¹s ³Release the Hounds² Audi commercial, mcgarrybowen¹s ³Pick a Side² Miracle Whip commercial campaign, and Radio Television Hong Kong¹s dramatic series ³The Moment.² The Audience Choice Award went to Euro RSCG¹s ³Cougar Phone² spot for Hornito¹s.

In addition to the competition, the Hugo Television Awards annually presents Career Achievement Awards to persons and companies that have had a lasting impact on television productions and commercials. Last year, awards were presented to Shawn Ryan, creator of ³The Shield² and ³The Chicago Code,² and TV commercial powerhouse @radical.media. These recipients joined the Hugo Television Awards¹ prestigious list of past honorees, including Bill Kurtis, David Fanning of FRONTLINE, Joe Pytka, Towers Productions, Hungry Man, Kartemquin Films, and many others.


In addition to the Hugo Television Awards ceremony in April, select winners from the television commercial competition will be screened in the ³Best of the Hugo TV Awards² program at the 48th Chicago International Film Festival in October. The free screening will provide additional exposure and recognition for winning commercials to the annual Festival audience.

Rules, regulations, and entry forms can be found by visiting www.chicagofilmfestival.com and clicking on the ³TV² entry button. 


Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and education organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Hugo Television Awards is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the Chicago International Film Festival, CineYouth Festival, Intercom Competition, International Summer Screenings Program, Black Perspectives and Educational Outreach.

Nearly deaf accomplished Stanford grad motivates in thought-provoking new book

Posted by Admin On March - 8 - 2012 Comments Off on Nearly deaf accomplished Stanford grad motivates in thought-provoking new book
Born with a hearing impairment, author Joy Elan has required hearing aids since the age of 15 months.  The vibrant and outgoing single mom was born in Berkeley, CA in July 1983—to a mother who was herself single—and raised in neighboring Oakland.  Having grown up without her father and been hard of hearing for her entire life, Elan has encountered numerous obstacles and challenges. She successfully overcame a good number of them as she’s far exceeded low expectations that others had for her, including having earned her Master’s Degree from Stanford University.  When not parenting, studying, or at work for the City of Oakland, Elan fills her literal quiet time with life reflections and imaginations of what life has in store going forward.  She penned intimate thoughts—hers and other’s—in an alluring book of poetry titled Signs of Life: Past, Present, and Future.
NATIONWIDE (Toni@PRetcetera.com) – In Signs of Life: Past, Present and Future, author Joy Elan tells stories of the complicated daily lives of a lover, student, worker, mother, and many other recognizable identities. “I share normal, sometimes complicated experiences, both my own and others’ that I have observed,” said Elan. “Mine are stories in poetry form with which people can easily identify and from which learning is possible.” The book’s title, derived from Sign–one form of communication that Elan has used throughout her Life–incorporates her views of the



 Past as a reflection of who we were and from where we have come; the Present as our current state of mind, while leaving the past behind to move on to our next brighter side of our life; and the Future, where dreams come true and all of our hard work is accomplished and rewarded. “Without the Past and Present, there is no Future. I am blessed to share my gift with you,” she says.

 Encouraging, relatable, heartwarming, thought-provoking, familiar, relevant, and motivating are how Elan’s prose have been described. Wanting to be a writer since she was reading fairy tales as a child, Elan pursued her dream. For a fifth-grade project, she wrote her first book called “Junset” about a girl who transforms into a sunset. Finding writing allowed her freedom to express herself in a manner other than speech, she enjoyed jotting down her thoughts and dreams. A few years ago, after having read some of Elan’s poetry, a friend suggested she publish her works. Elan came to appreciate the words she had put to paper, and believed that others would as well.  Without formal composition training, Elan composed her book and self-published it after a year of searching for a publisher.  She came to realize that it was not required that she earn a Ph.D. in order to be a published writer of articles and books. Writing is Joy’s joy!

“Signs of Life: Past, Present, and Future” by Joy Elan

Xlibris, Corp., July 2011, ISBN-10: 1462848052; ISBN-13: 978-1462848058

Paperback, 130 pp., $19.99; eBook, $3.99 US


Born with a hearing impairment, Joy Elan has required hearing aids since the age of 15 months.  Her hearing loss was attributed to oxygen deprivation caused by the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck at birth. Now, a single mother of a pretty and smart little 3-year-old daughter, Elan was born in Berkeley, CA in July 1983–to a mother who was herself single–and raised in neighboring Oakland, CA where she attended a Deaf/Hard of Hearing program in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). At the age of four, Elan was introduced to American Sign Language (ASL). Doctors discouraged her mother from learning to sign as it was believed that her use would hinder Elan’s already limited hearing ability.
Despite her hearing loss, she excelled in school and was mainstreamed in a regular classroom. From an early age Elan’s hardworking mother filled her with encouragement, assisted her academics, and worked with her on her speech. Throughout elementary school, Elan’s teachers were very supportive, but the OUSD would not provide the required accommodations that were listed in the IEP (Individualized Education Program, mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
After two years of requesting the accommodations, her mother decided to move them back to Berkeley where in the Berkeley Unified School District, Elan was granted all of the necessary accommodations outlined in the IEP. She continued to the middle school and high school fully mainstreamed with ASL, and graduated from Berkeley High School one semester early. Having grown up without her father and been hard of hearing for her entire life, Elan has encountered numerous obstacles and challenges. She successfully overcame a good number of them as she’s far exceeded low expectations that others had for her. However, difficulties were further exacerbated as hearing appliances were not (and still are not) covered by medical insurance.
In just three years Elan obtained her undergraduate degree from University of California, Berkeley in African American Studies, then proceeded to earn her Master’s Degree in Education from Stanford University, graduating with a stellar 3.67 GPA.

Elan performs her poetry Wednesday evenings at the sub-street level Air Lounge at 9th and Washington in downtown Oakland. To learn more about Elan and her book, visit www.joyelan.webs.com. She may be reached directly at elandenise@aol.com.

Photo Caption: Book Cover, “Signs of Life: Past, Present, and Future”

Princeton Minority Youth Leadership Academy focuses on achievement

Posted by Admin On March - 8 - 2012 Comments Off on Princeton Minority Youth Leadership Academy focuses on achievement

This year’s event will be held on August 12-24, 2012 at the Carl Field Center at Princeton University

New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — One of the only Ivy League summer leadership academies for minority students is set on improving SAT test and math scores during the At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Princeton University. The academic achievement gap between minority teen students and their white counterparts prompted Jacqueline B. Glass, founder of the academy through her non-profit organization, At the Well Conferences, Inc., to create the two-week program.

According to Glass, “The U. S. Department of Education statistics state African Americans account for about 13% of the entire college enrollment. The low performance of African-American students in math and on SAT scores is alarming. Our program addresses these issues head-on.”

The Academy held its first session in 2011 and included speakers from Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, and St. John’s University to name a few. Instructors feature Princeton University faculty along with leaders from the business community. The program is geared towards minority girls in underserved communities entering the tenth, eleventh or twelfth grades of high school. It features overnight boarding and focuses on critical thinking, problem solving, self-confidence, personal growth, essay writing, math, and SAT test prep courses. The on-site environment offers the opportunity for students to experience a college setting. For many of the participants who attend, it is their first visit to an Ivy League campus.

Many of the attendees originate from backgrounds where finances are scare; therefore, scholarships are made available to students through generous donations and sponsorships. More than 90% of the students in 2011 required some form of financial aid.

Gabrielle DeAnna Robinson, a 2011 graduate praised the experience. She states, “The Academy was an amazing experience! I have learned so much about leadership and entrepreneurship. The classes taught me how to be a better writer and test taker.” This year’s event will be held on August 12-24, 2012 at the Carl Field Center. According to Princeton University, this unique building provides training, social and cultural programs, and educational opportunities that prepare students and others to succeed in a diverse and ever-changing world. The building’s four pillars stand for Empowerment, Understanding, Social Justice, and Leadership. The At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy has found the perfect setting for success.

“The Academy seeks to empower young women locally to become effective leaders globally. By promoting excellence in education, these young women will transform their communities,” states Ms. Glass. At the Well Conferences, Inc. has been empowering teens through conferences and events since 2009. The Academy is now accepting applications for the 2012 class.

For more information, visit www.atthewellconferences.org.

Photo Caption: Nicole Glass, 17, is a young academy scholar who participated in the program in 2011

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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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