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Archive for March 27th, 2012

NATO protesters take their demand to march to court today; will hold press conference a half-hour before court date

Posted by Admin On March - 27 - 2012 Comments Off on NATO protesters take their demand to march to court today; will hold press conference a half-hour before court date

CHICAGO, IL – A team of social justice activists planning one of the NATO meeting’s major protests will go to court today (Tuesday, March 27th) in an appeal of the City’s rejection of their march permit application.

The Coalition Against the NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8) will hold a press conference today at 10 a.m., a half-hour before their court date, in front of the courthouse at 400 W. Superior Street. The hearing itself is scheduled to begin in Room 111 of 400 W. Superior at 10:30 a.m.

CANG8 said Chicago officials used the new ‘Sit Down and Shut Up’ ordinances to deny a protest permit they had previously approved. Reportedly, the activists’ Application was identical to one city had approved for the day before under old ordinance.

The protesters, representing CANG8, had asked the City to allow them to push the date of a previously approved rally and march forward by a day from May 19 to May 20. The previously approved rally and march would have put protesters within ‘sight and sound’ of McCormick Place, where the NATO and G8 meetings were both scheduled to be held.

The City rejected that proposal late last week, refusing to change the permit date by a day — for exactly the same gathering and route they had already approved when both the G8 and NATO meetings were planning to converge in Chicago. Their reasoning? That there are not “a sufficient number of on-duty police officers or other city employees” to deal with the proposed May 20th march. Incredibly, earlier this year the City made no such claims when they approved an identical permit application for March 19 — when both the G8 and NATO were scheduled to gather at McCormick Place. The previous permit application was made under the terms of the old permit ordinance (10-8-330).

By noting that the City does not have sufficient “on-duty” personnel, Chicago officials are utilizing the language of the new “sit-down and shut-up” ordinances to justify their rejection of the permit. Under the old ordinance, the city could only reject an application if it lacked “a sufficient number of peace officers and traffic control aides” — on- or off-duty.

Protesters refused to agree to a City counter-proposal that would have ghettoized their route to streets with virtually no public visibility.

Activists argued that if the City truly lacked sufficient police and other resources to host the summits and accommodate previously approved First Amendment activities — resources they apparently felt they had when they first approved the permit request in January — Chicago officials should have declined to host the summits in the first place.

Protesters contend that with the G8 meeting now relocated to Camp David, arguably there are actually significantly greater police resources available than when the original permit for May 19th was applied for — and granted — three months ago.

The City claimed in its rejection that the CANG8 march will “substantially and unnecessarily interfere with traffic in the area” — on a Sunday — yet the City had no such objection to the identical route when scheduled for Saturday, when civilian traffic is significantly higher.

For more information, email cangate2012@gmail.com.

Liars, whiners and haters: They know who they are!

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On March - 27 - 2012 Comments Off on Liars, whiners and haters: They know who they are!

My two-cents worth

By Juanita Bratcher

Those distorting, making negative and misstatements about the Obama Administration were at it before his win to the presidency and continue to do so

Every day, a pack of lies, innuendoes and half-truths are being told and circulated by various individuals about the Obama Administration’s policies on energy, foreign policy, health care, the economy and anything else they can put a slant on. These lies are being told with devious intent – to downright confuse and misinform some in the general public that don’t know or understand the truth and facts about what is really going on pertaining to the Obama Administration’s policies.

These manufactured lies, half-truths and innuendoes about the Obama Administration’s policies make their round daily through the news media, cable TV and the Internet. The bottom line is that these devious messengers/villains deliberately manufacture lies and half-truths – knowing full-well what they’re doing, void of enough monitoring by the press (the mainstream media) to challenge, expose and take these lies on.

On the other hand, some of these incendiary voices have taken pot shots at the media, trying to undermine the media by labeling them as being bias in reporting and giving favorable preference to Obama, which is hogwash (not true); and they know that, too. But perhaps that’s another part of their scheme to misinform the public.

Certainly, no one is above criticism or above the laws of this country – that includes President Obama or anyone else, but criticism should be armed with facts and truths and not lies, innuendoes and half-truths.

People will lie and twist the truth for their own benefit and try to undermine those who are less informed. Too bad there’s no law on the book that would penalize those found of outright lying, specifically those in political offices, those seeking political offices and their political operatives.

Many of these incendiary voices have told unconscionable lies about the president being a Muslim, when Obama, right from the start, said he was a Christian. They accuse him of worsening the economy since his tenure in office, when there’s documented proof that the economy went downhill during a Republican Administration, and is slowly recuperating and on the way back to recovery under the Obama Administration. They call him a socialist, food stamp president, affirmative action president, that he’s afraid to stand up to Iran (this the man responsible for taking Osama Bin Laden and others out), in addition to questioning the validity of his birth certificate. Much of this talk can be categorized as “talking loud and saying nothing.” What happened to facts and truths? Criticism isn’t a bad thing when one is telling the truth, but these vicious lies, far from being factual, can’t even be filed under “half-truths”.

I’ve watched shows on network television and heard the lying yet, the liar was not challenged by the show’s host. That’s what good journalism is about – to shed light on the real truth and challenge those who deliberately lie about things or are misinformed themselves.

These incendiary voices have been on permanent duty before and after Obama’s win to the presidency, and they will continue to say any and everything and will do any and everything to try and take back the presidency of the United States from a Black man they never supported in the first place. And to do this, they are relying on millions of dollars in negative attack ads marketing to get their vile, misinformation out to the general public – registered voters in particular, and hopefully get Obama out of office. Remember what the “Swift Boaters” did to Presidential hopeful John Kerry’s campaign?

Never in my lifetime – and that’s been quite a few years – have I seen so many grown (adult) men – many of them old men and politicians, and yes, some women – whining and lying before the general public, knowing that what they’re saying is a bunch of lies. Most of this lying and whining is because a black man is president of this country.

Many of these liars, whiners and haters are adults acting like a bunch of kids that don’t know any better. But I also venture to say that some kids know better than these circus-acting incendiary individuals. They appeal to people’s frustration and hatred.

These incendiary voices would lead people to believe that President Barack Obama is responsible for high gas prices at the pump when in reality gas prices are set by the price of crude oil and now what is happening in the Middle-East. Further, crude oil is a worldwide commodity. It would probably be the same if a president other than Obama was sitting in the White House making decisions.

Derogatory, hateful name calling and relentless criticism are not cures for the economy or anything else, and neither one will get the job done.

But it’s amazing how these incendiary voices relentlessly badger President Barack Obama and at the same time try to kill-off his agenda to bring stability to the economy. We hear over and over again the phrase, “Any of the Republican candidates would be better than Obama.” In other words, they think that less qualified presidential contenders will get the economy back on track and take on other issues better than the sitting president. Really?  But those waiting for the economy to rebound are tired of the gridlock in Washington. And with Congress’ approval rating hitting rock bottom – 9 percent, it’s time to stop the gridlock in Washington and get this economy moving again in the right direction.

They try to sell the public a bill-of-goods that the Obama Administration is a “failure”. They believe that the  mere fact that they spoke it, it is now the absolute truth. But the actual facts dispute this, and they know it. They tend to be loose with facts and short on truth.

In the meantime, is it too much to ask that the lying and whining stop, that adults start acting like adults and stop acting like kids? Or is that pipe dreaming and asking for too much?

Juanita Bratcher is the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com, the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 35 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.

Campaign for Better Health Care’s response to Supreme Court hearings on the Affordable Care Act

Posted by Admin On March - 27 - 2012 Comments Off on Campaign for Better Health Care’s response to Supreme Court hearings on the Affordable Care Act
Statement by Jim Duffett, Executive Director, Campaign for Better Health Care
From March 26 to 28, 2012, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in Florida, et al., v. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., the historic challenge to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act brought by the attorneys general of 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.  No case has been allotted this much time for argument since the 19th century.
Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in March 2010, dozens of legal cases have been filed against the law. Most cases have been dismissed on procedural grounds. Of the small number of cases that have gotten past procedural hurdles, four cases have reached the Courts of Appeals. 
Of those cases, three courts have rejected challenges to the law (the Sixth Circuit and the DC Circuit upheld the law entirely, and the Fourth Circuit found the challenge to be premature under the Anti-Injunction Act). However, in the Eleventh Circuit, in a case brought by the attorneys general of 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the court found the personal responsibility provision to be unconstitutional. However, that court left the rest of the law in place and specifically found the Medicaid expansion constitutional.
The federal government has appealed the decision striking down the personal responsibility provision. The states and National Federation of Independent Businesses have appealed the parts of the decision that upheld the Medicaid expansion and that left the rest of the law in place. No party is arguing that the case against the personal responsibility provision is premature under the Anti-Injunction Act—the Supreme Court has decided on its own to consider that question.
The Campaign for Better Health Care hopes that the justices fully consider the legal precedents that have already been set in similar cases and find that the law is constitutional.  We want to see this law given the full stamp of approval  of the highest court in the land so that instead of wasting time playing politics around the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers move ahead to implement it.
The central questions here are: What kind of a country do we want to live in?  What values do we have as Americans?  This isn’t a policy debate, it is a philosophical one. The arguments at the core of it are “you’re on your own” versus “taking personal responsibility for the common good of your family and America.”  Our nation was built on the ideals of personal responsibility and working for the common good of our country. Those are the ideals that Obamacare promotes.
The Affordable Care Act protects and offers all Americans the opportunity to obtain quality, affordable health care.   People like the consumer protections in the law. They do not want to give up the vital protections that the Affordable Care Act provides them and go back to being at the mercy of insurance companies.  Striking down the Affordable Care Act would take away protections that Americans already have or are about to gain, including:
  • rules already prohibiting insurers from denying coverage to people, including children, with pre-existing conditions
  • tax credits that are already helping small businesses provide coverage to their employees 
  •  rules prohibiting insurers from canceling coverage when people get sick
  • rules prohibiting insurers from dropping young adults from their parents’ coverage
  • rules prohibiting insurers from imposing annual or lifetime caps on coverage
  • improved prescription drug coverage and preventive benefits for seniors and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare
The Affordable Care Act is constitutional, having already been upheld by multiple courts, including by leading conservative judges. If the Supreme Court follows existing precedent, it will uphold the law.  Three separate Circuit Courts of Appeal have rejected challenges to the law, with two of these decisions including opinions written by leading conservative judges.  
The law is constitutional because Congress has broad authority to regulate interstate commerce. This authority comes from the Constitution’s commerce clause and necessary and proper clause and has been undisputed in Supreme Court rulings dating back at least 75 years.  Legal precedent has been well established in this case, so let’s move on already.
The Affordable Care Act is fair.  The personal responsibility provision is a common-sense rule that will ultimately affect about 1 percent of Americans, and the 83 percent of Americans who already have health insurance (for example, through their jobs or through Medicare) will not be affected by it. Most people without health insurance want coverage but cannot get it, either because they cannot afford it or they are denied it due to their pre-existing conditions. The Affordable Care Act makes coverage affordable and eliminates exclusions for pre-existing conditions. When these people get coverage, they will not be subject to the penalty either.  
It is estimated that, at most, 1 percent of the population will refuse to buy coverage and will not qualify for an exemption (for example, for religious reasons or economic hardship). These people should pay their fair share and get coverage before they get sick; waiting until they get sick to get coverage only shifts the cost of their care onto everyone else.
All big changes to our national priorities and policies generate opposition. The Social Security Act in the 1930s and Medicare and the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s were bitterly attacked at the time they were passed. The Social Security Act and Civil Rights Act were even declared unconstitutional by lower courts before the Supreme Court upheld them. Now these laws are part of the fabric of American society. The same will happen with the Affordable Care Act.

Media Coverage of Evangelical Christians ignores Blacks and Latinos

Posted by Admin On March - 27 - 2012 Comments Off on Media Coverage of Evangelical Christians ignores Blacks and Latinos

 By Nadra Kareem Nittle

Maynard Institute for Structural Inequalities



With state and national Republicans emphasizing religious wedge issues, such as health coverage for contraception and separation of church and state, the media have frequently reported on the demographic most aroused by these issues – evangelical voters. But have the media accurately portrayed these evangelical Christians?


For many, the answer is a resounding “no.”

News reports often leave the impression that all evangelical Christians are white and usually support the most conservative Republican candidates. Totally overlooked is the fact that many African-Americans, Latinos and other people of color are evangelical Christians whose views are rarely cited.


With its narrow coverage of this demographic, the media may have an inadvertent impact on the political process. Evangelical Christians are portrayed as the most committed religious believers in America. Does this give the perception that God backs their positions on issues including abortion and same-sex marriage? Does that give an unfair advantage to candidates aligned with issues supposedly receiving divinesupport?


People of color, a growing segment of the evangelical community, and their positions on issues are rarely seen or heard in the media. Religion scholars and experts say it’s critical that the media quickly adjust coverage to include all evangelical Christians or risk giving an unfair advantage to candidates supported by the largely conservative, white evangelicals.


An example typical of the media coverage appeared last Dec. 18 as the primary election season approached. The Washington Post published a feature-length article suggesting that evangelicals were unsure about which candidate to support for president. All of them interviewed in the piece were white, and “the right to life” predictably surfaced among their top concerns. Such articles fuel the perception that evangelicals are a monolithic group politically and racially.


The Post could not be reached for comment.


Lisa Sharon Harper, author of the book “Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican or Democrat” and co-author of “Left, Right & Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics,” says the term “evangelical” has a meaning different than what is portrayed in the mainstream media.


“The media would do well not to call [the religious right] evangelicals,” says Harper, also director of mobilizing for Sojourners, a Christian social justice organization in Washington. “They’re really thinking about a political bloc. They’re not thinking about theological evangelicals.”


Harper notes that political evangelicals tend to be white, live in suburban or rural areas and have a history of supporting a conservative agenda over the past 30 years. In contrast, she says theological evangelicals have existed for hundreds of years and have challenged the status quo.


She points to William Wilberforce, the evangelical Christian, who led the movement to abolish slavery in Great Britain in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Wilberforce also worked to end poverty and cruelty to animals and to expand educational access.


Harper says contemporary evangelical Christians strive to raise awareness about similar issues. “What you’re finding among theological evangelicals is there’s such a broader spectrum of issues that they care about,” she says. “It won’t just be abortion or same-sex marriage. It will also be the prison industrial complex and how that impacts the black community and the Latino community. It will be the issue of immigration.”


Ron Sider, founder of Evangelicals for Social Action in Wynnewood, Pa., and author of “Fixing the Moral Deficit: A Balanced Way to Balance the Budget,” agrees that the media should be more precise when using the term “evangelical.”


Sider notes that evangelicals are a racially diverse group. The Latino evangelical population is growing thanks to rising numbers of Hispanic Pentecostal churches. He says that many African-Americans attend churches that also fall under the evangelical umbrella but that blacks may not openly identify as such.


“It’s entirely understandable [blacks] don’t like the term evangelical because for the past couple of decades evangelicals who’ve voted for Republicans don’t seem to be concerned about racial justice issues,” Sider says.


Views of the religious right, as evangelical voters are also known, concern Sider because he doesn’t believe that their agenda is biblical enough. A biblical political agenda would also include economic justice and environmentalism, known in Christian circles as “creation care,” he says.


Sider says he understands, for example, why conservative evangelical voters are concerned about the federal deficit, but he objects to solving the deficit by slashing benefits for the poor, a group for which Christ advocated.


“I say that isn’t biblical. That’s unjust.”


The Rev. J. Herbert Nelson II, director of public witness for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Washington Office, says the media have neglected to explore differences in political ideologies among evangelical Christians because journalists are under pressure to craft stories that will grab attention, a strategy that doesn’t always allow for nuanced coverage.


Nelson says the media have identified the religious right as Christian fundamentalists. He objects to Christian conservatives being represented exclusively as evangelicals and says political titles detract from pressing issues.


“I think it’s a problem we’re facing, this deep categorization that we’ve bought into at all levels of discourse,” Nelson says. He contends that how Christians and other groups politically identify depends on circumstances in which they find themselves at a given time. “Nobody’s conservative or liberal or moderate all of the time,” Nelson says.


He also says that Christian views on issues such as contraception are more complicated than the way they are depicted in the media, that some evangelicals do fight for health coverage for contraception because it may help women treat medical conditions such as endometriosis.


Nelson also cites churches that have distributed condoms in impoverished areas where mothers already struggle to feed children. He says these evangelicals have tried to meet needs of people in their communities.


Edward Gilbreath is editor of UrbanFaith.com and senior director of digital & consumer media at Urban Ministries Inc., in Chicago. He is also an editor at large for Christianity Today and author of “Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical’s Inside View of White Christianity.”


Gilbreath encourages the media to report more comprehensively on evangelicals. He recalls a time when news networks thought they were representing diverse viewpoints in Christianity by interviewing two prominent figures: the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson and the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who died in 2007.


He says the media operate similarly today, contacting the same sources repeatedly to fill their need for “a quick, predictable voice.” Usually, the voices are those of whites.


When journalists report stories that don’t fit a conventional narrative, Gilbreath says they challenge paradigms. “It messes with their labels of who evangelicals are, who liberals are, who conservatives are,” he says.


Gilbreath contends that journalists may hesitate even to take the simple step of including a black evangelical in a story about evangelical voters because they don’t know how to do so without making the entire story about race. He says journalists must interview a black evangelical as just another voice in a larger piece about Christian viewpoints.


Gilbreath advises reporters: “Avoid the sort of easy labels and stereotypes and dig deeper for different voices and different perspectives. Don’t settle on that sort of typecast voice. Try to go beyond that sort of ideologically driven source.”


Nadra Kareem Nittle writes media critiques for the Maynard Media Center on Structural Inequity, part of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. This project is made possible by a grant from the W K. Kellogg Foundation. For other media critiques, please visit http://mije.org/mmcsi.


Photo Caption: Nadra Kareem Little                                                                                                                            


New report finds modest gains in Illinois, America’s college attainment rates

Posted by Admin On March - 27 - 2012 Comments Off on New report finds modest gains in Illinois, America’s college attainment rates

Speed of progress must be accelerated to improve our nation’s prospects


Experts highlight bright spots while calling for redesign of America’s higher education system


WASHINGTON, DC – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon joined education experts in the nation’s capitol to announce the findings of a new report that shows Illinois and the nation must do significantly more to ensure gains in higher education attainment. Experts gathered at the Rayburn House Office Building to announce the report’s findings, highlight what is working and discuss how a stronger sense of urgency is needed to better position America for success in the knowledge economy.

“It is a critical time for higher education in Illinois,” Simon said. “We need more students to complete college on time and with degrees and credentials that are relevant to the workforce. Education is the key to maintaining our competitive edge in the global economy.”

According to the report, A Stronger Nation through Higher Education, 38.3 percent of working-age Americans (ages 25-64) held a two- or four-year college degree in 2010. That rate is up from 37.9 percent in 2008. Illinois is slightly ahead of the nation, with 41.3 percent of working-age adults with an associate or bachelor’s degree in 2010, up from 40.8 percent in 2008. 

The report measures progress toward Goal 2025 which is a national movement to increase the percentage of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. 

The Stronger Nation report shows that if we continue on our current rate of production, only 79.8 million working-age Americans (46.5 percent of those aged 25-64) and 3.27 million Illinoisans (49.3 percent) will hold degrees by 2025. Since this will leave us more than 23 million degrees short of the national 60 percent goal, the need to rapidly accelerate degree attainment levels is clear. 

“More people are graduating from college, but the current pace is not sufficient,” said Jamie P. Merisotis, president and chief executive officer of Lumina. “America is grappling with how to grow jobs, skills and opportunity, and this report highlights the economic imperative of getting a postsecondary degree. This issue can’t be wished away by fanciful talk about higher education ‘bubbles’ and whether college is worth it. Education is the only route to economic prosperity for both individuals and the nation. That should matter to policymakers. It should matter to business leaders. And it certainly should matter to our education leaders.”

Adopting Attainment Goals

Heeding this call, Illinois has adopted Goal 2025 and is committed to measuring progress. Lt. Governor Simon currently is proposing a Complete College reform package that would require higher education institutions to report annual performance metrics in a standard consumer report card. She is also backing bills to smooth transfers from community college to university and boost college and career readiness in math.

Lumina Foundation has selected Simon to represent Illinois in its Postsecondary Productivity Strategy Lab sites. The Strategy Labs provide policymakers in 22 states technical assistance on Lumina Foundation’s “Four Steps to Finishing First” reform agenda. The steps include performance funding, student incentives, new learning models and business efficiencies.

“The Goal 2025 movement provides the direction that our states, colleges and universities need to increase graduation rates and connect students to good jobs,” Simon said. “Our work with Lumina and partner states will lead to a more educated and prosperous Illinois.”

Numerous other states, cities, business groups and higher education institutions have also set attainment goals.

“We will lose our competitive edge as a nation if we don’t recommit ourselves to advancing educational attainment,” said Mick Fleming president of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. “In many ways, the business community determines the market value of education through the jobs it creates. So it is essential for chambers and employers to play a key role in this endeavor.”

Redesigning Our Higher Education System

In a recent Gallup-Lumina Foundation poll, the vast majority of Americans said that they believe economic well-being is tied to holding a college degree. But there are barriers to moving the country to a 60 percent attainment rate. Many state universities and community colleges face both financial constraints and a lack of space.

A majority of Americans in the Gallup-Lumina poll also raised concerns about tuition increases and questioned whether college and universities are able to deliver the job-relevant learning that is required today. These realities have experts increasingly exploring ways to focus on productivity and quality in the system.

“We must do more to transform higher education so we can achieve the higher levels of attainment that are required for global competitiveness,” said Merisotis. “We must figure out how to better align workforce needs with all kinds of postsecondary credentials, particularly for the large number of adults who find their job skills are less relevant in today’s labor market. Likewise, we simply cannot reach the Big Goal without addressing the considerable equity gaps in this country. Students of color are an integral part of the 23 million, along with low-income students, first-generation students, and returning adults. A Stronger Nation reports attainment data disaggregated by race and ethnicity to underscore Lumina’s commitment to equity, as well as the social and economic reality that the goal represents.”

What is Working?

According to the Stronger Nation report, 39.3 percent of young adults (ages 25-34) held a two- or four-year college degree in 2010. That is a full percentage point higher than for all adults and a good leading indicator of where attainment rates are headed. In 2008, young adults ranked below the adult population as a whole.

“America’s youth are running faster in the race to college but not keeping up with skill and employer demand on the job. Currently, even in the great recession, supply is growing by one percent and demand is growing twice as fast,” said Anthony Carnevale, director of The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

The report also shows modest degree attainment gains from 2008-2010 across U.S. adult populations groups. The rates as of 2010 include: Asian (59.36 percent), White (42.96 percent), Black (26.84 percent), Native American (22.83 percent), and Hispanic (19.21 percent).

The top five states for college degree attainment as of 2010 are: Massachusetts (50.54 percent), Colorado (45.98 percent), New Hampshire (45.85 percent), Connecticut (45.84 percent) and Minnesota (45.79 percent). Illinois is ranked 15th. The top five metropolitan areas, ranked by degree attainment, are the Metropolitan Statistical Areas of: Washington, D.C. (54.37 percent), Boston (54.01 percent), San Francisco (52.91 percent), Minneapolis (50.06 percent), and Seattle (47.97 percent). Chicago is ranked ninth.

Detailed data arrays in the report show degree attainment percentages at the national, state and county levels. For the first time, Lumina Foundation offers– in addition to state- and county-level data–data on attainment in the 100 largest metropolitan areas and offers insights into what can be done to accelerate achievement across the country.

“We know that local business leaders and employers will be key partners in reaching the Big Goal and this is one of many steps we are taking to ensure these leaders have the tools they need to affect change,” said Merisotis.

 Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation, is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college—especially 21st century students: low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners. Lumina wants to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change. For more information, log on to www.luminafoundation.org.

Sec’y of State Jesse White announces Eighth Annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition

Posted by Admin On March - 27 - 2012 Comments Off on Sec’y of State Jesse White announces Eighth Annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White announced that entry forms are now available for the Eighth Annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award.  Forms and other information may be found at http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/lda96.pdf.

“Illinois has a long and rich literary heritage, and these new poets are adding to the storied tradition established by legendary Illinois authors such as Gwendolyn Brooks.  Many of our previous winners have had their works published,” said White. “Great poems have the ability to enrich and enhance our lives, and I’m looking forward to discovering talented new poets in this year’s competition.”

The competition is named for the late Pulitzer Prize-winning Illinois Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, and is co-sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and Kevin Stein, who succeeded Brooks as Illinois Poet Laureate.  Stein selects the winners of the first, second and third prizes.   

The competition is open to Illinois residents age 18 and over. Entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2012.   Cash prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place, and winning poems will be submitted for possible publication in Ninth Letter, RHINO, and Quiddity magazines and Poetic License Press publications.  Winners will read their poems and receive their prizes from Secretary White and Kevin Stein at a ceremony later this year at the Illinois State Library in Springfield. 

For more information, contact Illinois Center for the Book Coordinator Bonnie Matheis at 217-558-2065 or bmatheis@ilsos.net. 

Father Pfleger: ‘We are all Trayvon Martin’

Posted by Admin On March - 27 - 2012 Comments Off on Father Pfleger: ‘We are all Trayvon Martin’


To President Obama: ‘Help us stem the violence’, likening violence to Darfur or Rwanda


By Chinta Strausberg


CHICAGO, IL – Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday called on President Barack Obama to provide help in stemming the rise of violence in Chicago and around the nation and equated the increase of fatal shootings to Darfur or Rwanda and nothing short than “genocide.”

Pfleger is outraged over the increase in crime that has taken the lives of so many children, and he is angry over the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by 28-year-old George Zimmerman a neighborhood watch volunteer. To the racist he says called and e-mailed him for speaking out about the death of Martin, Pfleger said, “I got something for you.” He then pulled a gray-colored hoodie over his head and denounced the fatal shooting calling for justice for the parents of the teen.

Asking the youth to stand around the altar to represent those children who were killed, Pfleger said, “You see, it’s not just about Trayvon. It’s about children being killed in the city and all around the country. We’re all Trayvon’s.”

Pfleger said 57 children have been killed in Chicago since the school year began. He asked women who are “prayer warriors” to stand in the aisle and pray for the safety of the youth.

But while the nation has rallied around the unarmed Martin and the alleged racial profiling of Zimmerman who said the teenager looked suspicious because he wore a hoodie, Pfleger took aim at the New Black Panther Party as well.

Pfleger also denounced the New Black Party’s offer of a $10,000 bounty for the shooter of Martin. “Evil does not beget evil. Dr. King said, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness. It is just as wrong to put a bounty on Zimmerman’s head, as it was to kill Trayvon Martin. You cannot handle evil with evil. Murder doesn’t justify murder,” Pfleger bellowed.

But with the number of body bags continue to grow; Pfleger has channeled his energy into launching a letter-writing campaign. He’s asking President Obama to assist in reducing the violence that continues to mar the reputation of Chicago.

“The job of ending this violence out here, the job of ending crazy, racist laws that are so easily interpreted, ‘Stand Your Ground,’ the job of ending racism and poverty in America is the church’s job because we got the power to tell the President, the governor, the mayor, the aldermen, to tell them what they got to do.

“Don’t wait for them to tell you.  You tell them. You’re the church. You’re the conscience. You’re the one who is supposed to have God with you. If God is with you, then act like it and stop begging and start telling them what you want,” said Pfleger.  He asked, “Why should I turn to somebody who is as jacked up as me to solve my problem”?

Saying what gets him through the day is God’s promise that he would end racism, poverty and violence, Pfleger, said, “I’m a prisoner of hope. You can’t make me hopeless….” He urged his members to sign the letter asking for President Obama’s help in reducing violence.

In releasing his letter to Obama, Pfleger is asking supporters to sign the letter and fax it to him at: 1-773-483-7583 and he will mail it to the President Obama.

Earlier during Sunday worship, Pfleger, who wore a gray-colored hoodie in solidarity with supporters of 17-year-old slain Trayvon Martin who was shot on February 26, 2012 by 28-year-old neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, said, “We are all Trayvon Martin.”

Pfleger had a bust of an African American young male holding an armful of Skittles. When Martin was fatally shot, he was returning from the store and was holding a bag of Skittles and a can of ice tea. He did not have a gun.

Martin was killed while on his way home from a local convenience store. He was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of ice tea. Pfleger displayed a bust of an African American young male holding an armful of Skittles that sat at the foot of the altar. He had pictures of young black men wearing a hoodie which has become symbolic of racial profiling in America since it was Zimmerman who when talking to a 911 operator said Martin looked suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie.

After service, Pfleger told reporters: “America, deal with racism, There is no question in my mind…that would have happened to a white kid walking down the street with some Skittles and some ice tea.  America has to stop denying racism, and we have to face racism, deal with it openly and aggressively in America.”

But what bothers Pfleger the most is the possibility that Martin died in vain. “If Trayvon’s death does not wake us up to deal with violence here, violence in Newark, Oakland, across this country, if we don’t wake up to deal with violence here, then Trayvon’s death was in vain.”

Pfleger said it’s time to not only get angry about what happened in Sanford, Florida with the killing of Martin, but people should get angry “about what’s going on in Englewood, Lawndale, in Auburn Gresham, Little Village and Roseland. Let’s get angry about any child that gets killed in this country. That’s unacceptable. It’s like Darfur or Rwanda. It’s unacceptable.

“I pray that this Trayvon’s murder is the fuse that wakes up America. Enough children have died. Let’s stop the violence. Everybody break the code of silence. Get rid of these laws that are covers for murders and deal with racism in America,” Pfleger told reporters after service.

Referring to HB 5831, a handgun registration act he says is like titling guns like cars, Pfleger told reporters laws like Florida’s and 21 other states that adopted “Stand Your Ground” need to be stopped. “Everybody wants to have conceal carry. We have a violent culture and to get laws to protect murders. Hell no. We need to stop those laws. We need to stopped it in Orlando, and we need to stop it in every other state that has it.”

Pfleger said you can’t talk about Trayvon Martin without talking about racism and the number of children killed in Chicago. “When any child is killed, we are all Trayvon Martin…. Let this be a moment of enlightenment…of truth in America…. Be outraged when any child dies. They are our child…whether they be rich or poor, black, or white or brown. We are all Trayvon Martin…. We demand that you protect our children.”

After service, the youth headed by Mack Julion, chairman of the Saint Sabina Young Adult Ministry (JAM) held a press conference outside of the ARK, 7801 S. Racine, where he held a moment of silence.

Minister Melech Thomas, an intern at Saint Sabina, prayed for the mother of Martin and other mothers who have lost their children to gun violence. “We come with weeping eyes not just in a spirit of defeat but in a readiness to fight because we as your people refuse to stay beat down by the demon of violence however we find it in racial profiling or in black-on-black violence in the city.”

Holding up a bag of Skittles, Thomas said, “America, does this make me look suspicious”? “I find it no coincidence that the very law that is keeping George Zimmerman from being arrested, the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law,’ is one that is being advocated all across this country by the National Rifle Association (NRA) an organization with such evil intent that it is willing to profiteer off the death of our children by preying on the fears of people all across this country regardless of color.

“I am sorry for what happen to Trayvon Martin and we’re all here representing Trayvon Martin, but we’re also here representing James Byrd  (killed in 1998 in Jasper, Texas by three white men in a racially-motivated crime). We’re representing Amadou Diallo (who was killed in a hail of bullets in 1999 by four police shot fired 41 bullets at the victim).  We’re representing Ondelee Perteet (who in 2009 at the age of 14 was shot at a party leaving him paralyzed.)

“We’re representing all of the people who have been victim of violence both by racial profiling, by black-on-black violence, by lack of commonsense gun laws, by conceal carry, by Stand Your Ground laws. We’re coming to come against all of that and we refuse to stay down,” said Thomas.

To President Obama, Thomas, who predicted Obama would win his bid for a second term, said, “In this second term, you have to have the moral backbone to stand up against the most evil organization in this country, the NRA, federal assaults weapons ban, limits on the number of guns you can buy each month. We need commonsense gun laws. We are not coming against the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment says a well regulated militia, but the NRA is a well financed militia. We don’t want to protect the murder of our children,” he said praying for the children who were victims of gun violence.

Julion said, “It’s sad that we still live in a day where children like Trayvon Martin are shot and murdered and justified under the racist undertone laws such as the ‘Stand Your Ground ‘law which allows murderers to shoot and kill innocent, harmless and armless youth.

“We must continue to be loud and push for peace and justice because what happened to Trayvon Martin is happening to youth and young people all over the city…in New York and in Florida.” Julion, who urged teens to continue to mobilize and organize on social media, said, “We must stop the senseless violence that is killing and plaguing our cities and our streets and killing our youth.”

Several other youth spoke at the press conference including Kendria Harris “K’Love, The Poet,” Kazzy Thomas, Courvosier Randolph known as Humid Proof, and Shamikka Butler known as S.B.  Harris is founder of K Love and uses poet and spoken word “to teach character development in young people” citywide. The youth joined Pfleger in calling for an end to the violence.

In his letter to Obama, Pfleger wrote, “I am deeply concerned about the tragic events in the metropolitan Chicago area. During the weekend of March 16-18 alone, over 49 people have been shot and 10 people killed from gun violence.

“If that’s not enough, statistics from the Chicago Police Department detail that shootings have increased by 27 percent and homicides have increased by 32 percent this year over last year! This is in no uncertain terms a humanitarian crisis that demands the attention of not only the communities, but the government!

“As the murders attributed to gun violence continue to escalate, so does the grief of families. What is even more disheartening is to understand, that had many of these killings taken place in areas other than African American communities, thee would have probably been a public outcry to stop the violence,” wrote Pfleger.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures. We are reaching out to you, Mr. President, to reach out and provide some assistance in quelling the tide of violence. We are not asking for more police on the streets. We are asking for some substantive action that would get guns off the street and provide more resources for violence prevention.

“As people simply watch while continuous people are killed, we are witnessing nothing less than GENOCIDE. The labeling of these atrocities as GENOCIDE demands now that action be taken to end the genocide.

“As a concerned citizen, I write this letter strongly urging you to employ immediate action to END THE GENOCIDE on the killing fields of Chicago.”

Looking out over the audience, Pfleger said they must stop being afraid and to break the code of silence he says is an enabler for killers. “It’s time to stop speaking negativity…. Counter evil with the power of God….“ He had three groups of people to come to the alter, one representing racism, violence and justice, and to pray for peace.

Referring to Zimmerman he says is being protected, Pfleger bellowed: “Some times the condition of our world that murder young children and have a Zimmerman protected and now people are trying to dig up what kind of dirt they can find out about Trayvon and try to make the victim the evil one…..”

He was referring to media reports claiming that Martin had been suspended just before he was killed after school officials allegedly found traces of marijuana inside of his book bag. “How dare you trying to flip it now,” said Pfleger.

The mother of Martin, Sybrina Fulton, pointed an accusatory finger at the police officials for allegedly leaking her son’s school information to the media. In a nationally televised press conference, she said, “They killed my son and now they’re trying to kill his reputation.” Sanford, Florida officials are investigation the leak and promised to fire the person who leaked Martin’s school records.

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.

Student/scholar shares work on black conservatism at historic black studies conference

Posted by Admin On March - 27 - 2012 Comments Off on Student/scholar shares work on black conservatism at historic black studies conference

Black Studies: From Academy’s Margins to its Center

(From Northwestern University News)


EVANSTON, IL –  Changing the face of black Republicanism from moderate to conservative was one of the most significant strategies of the conservative movement in the post-civil rights era, according to La TaSha Levy.

Part of the very first cohort of Northwestern University’s Ph.D. program in African American studies, Levy will soon share her work at “A Beautiful Struggle: Transformative Black Studies in Shifting Political Landscapes,” an historic conference that she has been instrumental in planning. (Read story on conference at http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2012/03/african-american-studies-conference.html .)

Hosted by Northwestern, the April 12 to 14 conference — for the first time ever — will bring together students and faculty members from all the nation’s 11 doctoral programs in black studies.
The conference is important to Levy. “It’s an opportunity to showcase all the amazing work coming out of these 11 programs and for us to all sit down and talk about ways to strengthen black studies as a discipline and move it forward.”

At the conference, Levy will share insights about a group of African-Americans — including former Black Power militants Floyd McKissick and Roy Innis, entertainers James Brown and Sammy Davis Jr. and football star Jim Brown — who joined the Republican Party in the Nixon era and promoted black capitalism.

“I want to illustrate the nuances of black Republicanism and show how different contemporary conservatives are from moderate black Republicans of earlier periods,” she says. “The conservative movement gave a platform to black conservatives to influence national discussions on race, responsibility and public policy. And it protected the GOP from internal challenges to conservative racial ideology.”

Since she was 13, Levy knew that she wanted to pursue black studies. “And not just study it but ‘do’ it,” she says.

Born in Washington, D.C., Levy recalls moving at age 12 from an all-black neighborhood and all-black school to a predominantly white Virginia suburb not far from the nation’s capital. “At school, I immediately noticed disparities in education and came to resent what essentially was a Eurocentric curriculum,” she says.

As an eighth grader, Levy enrolled in “Know Your History,” a Saturday program taught at a community center that forever changed her life and eventually led her to Northwestern.

“I came alive in that program,” Levy says. “It taught me that black studies was relevant education and that relevant education prepared you to contribute to the empowerment of African people in the broadest sense of the term.”

Between “Know Your History” and Northwestern, Levy earned a bachelor’s degree in African and African American history at the University of Virginia, taught English and African American studies at a charter school in D.C. and — in what she calls her “dream job” — served as the interim assistant dean of African American affairs and directed the Black Cultural Center at her alma mater.

From there she headed for Cornell University, did a master’s thesis on black conservatism and established her first connection to Northwestern. One of her Cornell professors was James Turner, who as a Northwestern graduate student in 1968 helped organize a sit-in at the bursar’s office that in time led to the creation of the African American studies department.

At Northwestern, Levy returned to the subject of black conservatism, about which surprisingly little has been written, she says. “Black conservatives, who gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, were unsuccessful in attracting more African-Americans to the GOP, but that wasn’t their goal in the first place,” Levy says. “For good or for bad, black conservatives have proved to be far more effective in helping to shape national conversations on race and public policy.”

For registration and other information about the admission-free “A Beautiful Struggle” conference, visit http://www.afam2012.northwestern.edu/ and http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2012/03/african-american-studies-conference.html

NORTHWESTERN NEWS: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/

U.S. Congressman Bobby L. Rush “saddened” over death of Civil Rights Leader Bob Lucas: ‘He was principled, dedicated and an independent thinker’

Posted by Admin On March - 27 - 2012 Comments Off on U.S. Congressman Bobby L. Rush “saddened” over death of Civil Rights Leader Bob Lucas: ‘He was principled, dedicated and an independent thinker’

Chicago—Congressman Bobby L. Rush released the following statement on the death of Chicago Civil Rights activist Robert (Bob) Lucas:


To the Family and Loved Ones of Bob Lucas: I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of my friend and mentor. Bob was a Civil Rights Leader in the truest sense of the word. He was principled, dedicated and an independent thinker whose politics were always transparent and righteous. We never had to guess where he stood. Simply put, Bob thought about the people first. His leadership in the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization and the Chicago Chapter of CORE forever changed our city for the better. Bob’s relentless pursuit of equal opportunity, and fairness in housing, shone a bright light on the nature of racism in the north. He lead a march into Cicero in defiance of black civil rights leaders and white Chicago leaders. His courage was renowned. Bob’s demands for adequate health care and equal political representation for African Americans were a reflection of his visionary thinking. He was an inspiration and teacher to me and to countless others. My wife Carolyn and I extend our condolences to Bob’s family. Chicago has lost a legend.

High Stakes Game of Urban Chess Hustlers on the hook for Fish Men by Candido Tirado, premiering at Goodman Theatre

Posted by Admin On March - 27 - 2012 Comments Off on High Stakes Game of Urban Chess Hustlers on the hook for Fish Men by Candido Tirado, premiering at Goodman Theatre

 Edward Torres makes his Goodman Directorial Debut with this Teatro Vista Collaboration, the second of three new works by Latino Playwrights, April 7 – May 6, 2012


Chicago, IL – Goodman Theatre and Teatro Vista team up for their second world-premiere production with Fish Men, Puerto Rican playwright Cándido Tirado’s new comedic drama about a group of urban chess hustlers drawn together by a shared need to overcome their individual demons. Edward Torres, Artistic Director of Teatro Vista, makes his Goodman directorial debut with this second play of a three-year producing partnership between the Goodman and Teatro Vista, Chicago’s first and largest not-for-profit professional Latino theater company. Fish Men runs April 7 – May 6, 2012 (Opening Night is April 16) in

the Goodman’s Owen Theatre. Tickets ($12-$42; prices subject to change) can be purchased at GoodmanTheatre.org by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). Sara Lee Foundation is the Owen Season Sponsor. Baxter and Blue Cross Blue Shield are Contributing Sponsors and Hoy is the Spanish Print Media Sponsor.

Cándido Tirado, Teatro Vista’s newest resident playwright and a highly-rated chess master by the United States Chess Federation, explains, “When I graduated from college, I decided I wanted to combine two great loves of my life: writing plays and playing chess. But it wasn’t until 2000, as I was walking by the chess tables in New York’s Washington Square Park, that the play suddenly revealed itself to me. Outwardly,

Fish Men deals with the cruel art of the ‘chess hustle’—but underneath it is an exploration of man’s inhumanity towards his fellow man. I am thrilled to premiere this play in Chicago, with Teatro Vista and Goodman Theatre.”

Fish Men plays out in real time on a hot summer day in New York City’s Washington Square Park, where Rey Reyes (Raul Castillo), a survivor of the Guatemalan genocide who is going through his own personal hell, gets snared by a group of chess hustlers. Ninety Two (Howard Witt), a Holocaust survivor, tries to intervene, exposing Rey’s need for vengeance. As the game progresses, the circumstances that stoke the fire of each player’s obsession with the game and their inner demons are revealed. Fish Men features a multi-ethnic, multi-generational ensemble cast including Raul Castillo as Rey Reyes, Dan Cantor as Stuart, Howard Witt as Ninety Two, Cedric Mays as Cash, Ricardo Gutierrez as Jerome, Kenn E. Head as Pee Wee, Ben Chang as Dr. Lee and Mike Cherry as John. The creative team is set designer Collette Pollard, costume designer Christine Pascual, lighting designer Jesse Klug and sound designer Mikhail Fiksel.

“Fish Men is an ideal project for Teatro Vista and the Goodman,” says Edward Torres, artistic director of Teatro Vista. “Together, we are exploring the cultural intersections of our communities through our Teatro Vista’s Edward Torres Directs Cándido Tirado’s Fish Men at Goodman Theatre, April 7-May 6, 2012 Page 2 of 4 collaborative development of new plays by Latino writers. While Cándido’s work comes from the Latino perspective, with the multi-cultural, multi-generational cast of Fish Men, we have the opportunity to share with a large and appreciative audience what we have in common as people. This play is special and Chicago audiences are in for a real treat.”

Cándido Tirado (Playwright) is a New York-based playwright. His play Momma’s Boyz, produced by Teatro Vista earlier this season, was chosen a “Chicago Top Ten in 2011” by the Huffington Post. His off-Broadway productions include Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz (co-written with Carmen Rivera) which premiered at New World Stages and was also performed in Chicago’s Athenaeum Theater, Las Bellas Artes in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Tenerife and Miami; King Without a Castle; Checking Out; First Class (Puerto Rican Traveling Theater); The Barber Shop and Momma’s Boyz (Repertorio Español). Other productions include The Missteps of a Salsa Dancer, From Dating to Death in Five Easy Steps, Ilka: The Dream, Hands of Stone, King Without a Castle (also workshopped at Sundance Theater Lab); Some People Have All The Luck, produced at the National Theater of the Dominican Republic and New York; Heart Stopping Sex, produced by Soho Rep, and The Kid Next Door, Hey There Black Cat, Abuelo, The Missing Colors of the Rainbow and Palladium. He cowrote with Alfredo Bejar the award winning short film Getting to Heaven and was a staff writer for the TV show Ghostwriter where his episode was nominated for a Humanitas Award. His screenplays include Da Bronx, El Casique del Poker and The Milagro Boyz. He’s a four-time winner of the New York Foundation of the Arts Playwriting Fellowship. Publications include First Class, Recent Puerto Rican Theater: Five Plays from New York (Arte Publico); Some People Have All the Luck, Nuestro New York: An Anthology of Puerto Rican Playwrights (Penguin, Mentor Books); Ilka the Dream: Positive/Negative: Women of Color Living with H.I.V. (Aunt Lute Books). Mr. Tirado is a co-founder of Educational Plays Production with his wife Carmen Rivera, which tours public schools presenting plays with social issues concerning youth.

Edward Torres (Director, Teatro Vista Artistic Director) directed the world premiere of Kristoffer Diaz’s The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Victory Gardens Theater (produced in association with Teatro Vista) which was named Best Play of 2009 by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Time Out Chicago, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and earned Jeff awards for Best Production and Best Director. He also directed subsequent productions off Broadway at New York’s Second Stage Theatre (2010 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play and Obie Award for Best Play), and at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles to critical acclaim. Mr. Torres has produced more than 25 plays as the artistic director of Teatro Vista over the last 12 years. His Teatro Vista directing credits include The Show Host, Jamie Pachino’s Aurora’s Motive, Romulus Linney’s Ambrosio, Edwin Sánchez’s Icarus, Reuben Gonzalez’s The Boiler Room and Karen Zacarías’ The Sins of Sor Juana. Other Chicago directing credits include Amparo Garcia- Crow’s Cocks Have Claws and Wings to Fly and Migdalia Cruz’s Lolita de Lares. As an actor he will be seen in Victory Gardens Theater’s upcoming production of Oedipus El Rey. Most recently he was seen in El Grito del Bronx, a co-production with Collaboraction in association with Goodman Theatre; the Goodman’s production of The Cook; and Teatro Vista’s productions of Massacre (Sing to Your Children) at the Goodman and Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble as part of the Visiting Company initiative at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Other Chicago acting credits include roles at the Goodman, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Victory Garden Theater, Latino Chicago Theater Company, Court Theatre,

Apple Tree Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Teatro Vista. He was the recipient of a 2010 3Arts Artist Award, and was featured as guest director at the 2011 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Mr. Torres has a BA in theater from Roosevelt University in Chicago and an MFA in film from

Columbia College Chicago. He serves on the Illinois Arts Council, and has served on the National Endowment for the Arts Theater Panel (2005 – 2007) and on the MAP Fund Theatre Panel (2008).

Insider Access Public Programs for Fish Men

Insider Access is a series of public programs that provides insight into the Goodman’s artistic process. With Artist Encounters, audiences meet the names and faces behind the work on stage, including playwrights and directors. Artist Encounter: Fish Men Featuring Playwright Cándido Tirado and Director Edward Torres Wednesday, April 11; 6 – 7pm | Chicago Cultural Center 78 East Washington Street | Chicago, IL Free; for tickets please call 312.443.3800.

The Artist Encounter series brings together audiences and the artists who create the work on our stages, in an intimate environment, for a behind-the-scenes look at the plays and the playmaking process. Join us for an intimate conversation with Fish Men playwright Cándido Tirado and director Edward Torres before a 7:30pm performance.

Tickets to Fish Men ($12-$42) are currently on sale at GoodmanTheatre.org. Tickets and 2012/2013 subscriptions can also be purchased at the box office (170 North Dearborn), by phone at 312.443.3800 or at GoodmanTheatre.org. Mezztix are half-price mezzanine tickets available at 12 noon at the box office and at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX) day of performance; Mezztix are not available by telephone. 10Tix are $10 rear mezzanine tickets for students available at 12 noon at the box office and at 10am online on the day of performance; 10Tix are not available by telephone; a valid student I.D. must be presented when picking up the tickets; limit four per student with I.D. All tickets are subject to availability and handling fees apply. Discounted Group Tickets for 10 persons or more are available at 312.443.3820. Purchase Goodman Gift Certificates in any amount at GoodmanTheatre.org. The flexibility of Goodman Gift Certificates allows recipients to choose the production, date and time of their performance. Artists, dates and ticket prices are subject to change.

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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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