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Archive for April 18th, 2012

Eleanor Foundation awards $850,000 to Innovative Programs serving women in Chicago

Posted by Admin On April - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Grants support Eleanor Network, providing job skills training and other programs to help working female heads-of-households achieve economic self-sufficiency


CHICAGO, IL – The Eleanor Foundation, a public grant-making fund focused on promoting the economic self-sufficiency of lower-income working women in Chicago, announced $850,000 in grants to 10 Chicago-area nonprofit organizations, to help suchwomen move toward economic independence.

The grants support the Eleanor Network, a collaborative system of nonprofit organizations throughout Chicago that have demonstrated ability to help working female heads-of-households with annual incomes between $10,000 and $40,000 move up into jobs that pay livable wages.

“Our new round of grants strengthens partnerships with programs that will diversify the job-training opportunities that the Eleanor Network offers to working female heads-of-households who live or work in Chicago,” said Deborah Harrington, Interim President and CEO of the Eleanor Foundation. “This brings the Foundation’s cumulative investment in the Eleanor Network to more than $6 million since 2006.”

With the Foundation’s new grant awards, its Eleanor Network now comprises 14 programs delivered by 17 nonprofit organizations. Services offered by the Foundation’s grantees focus on providing market-driven job-skills training, along with supportingprograms that provide access to affordable housing, reliable child care, and financial coaching.

“In addition to supporting job training programs in manufacturing and healthcare training, the Eleanor Network now includes programs that help working women prepare for careers in early childhood education and technology,” said Maricar Ramos, Program Officer at the Eleanor Foundation.

Low-wage working women face enormous challenges—especially in today’s job market—yet these households receive little attention from policymakers,” said Harrington. “That’s where our workcomes in. The programs that we fund provide women access to the vital support services they need to achieve economic self-sufficiency.”

Based on analysis of U.S. Census data, more than 330,000 households in the Chicago region are headed by single working women who are not economically self-sufficient, according to research commissioned by the Eleanor Foundation and conducted by Dr. Malcolm Bush of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Moreover, in metropolitan Chicago from 2000 to 2008 the number of women-led households grew more than double the rate of growth of households generally.

“Given the economic challenges that lie ahead, more women will be looking for opportunities to improve the quality of life for their families, “said Harrington. “That’s why the funding that Eleanor Foundation provides, together with the generous support of our donors, is vitally important.”

 New grants

Grants awarded in 2011 include:


Action Now Institute

A $100,000, two-year grant to support women participants in a Grow Your Own and Pre-Grow Your Own teacher training program, which helps prepare teacher candidates from within a school’s neighborhood for difficult-to-fill positions in schools with high teacher turnover. The program focuses on preparing candidates who reflect the race, ethnicities and cultures of communities with schools with critical needs for workforce stability.


The Cara Program/Self-Sufficiency Initiative

A $159,000, 14-month grant to help women advance in their entry-level jobs and build their financial assets. The program provides participating women with access to counseling, supportservices and education. In addition, Cara offers links to housing, credit counseling and childcare.


Chicago Career Tech (CCT)

A $50,000 one-year grant to Chicago Career Tech to promote high-quality, hands-on education and job training for women through its career retraining program. CCT’s mission is to leverage public/private partnerships to create a new corps of highly skilled Chicago professionals who utilize technology as a platform for new career opportunities.


Heartland Human Care Services

A $125,000, one-year renewal grant for the Imagine Dedicate Earn Achieve (IDEA) program, now in its seventh year as one of the hubs of the Eleanor Network. Heartland Human Care has increased this program’s focus on career development and skills training for women in conjunction with employer partners. IDEA provides individual consultation, courses and workshops to help employed women pursue financial literacy and savings, housing stability, and access to education and development toward career goals.


Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC)

A $65,000, one-year renewal grant to continue to support to JARC’s Women in Manufacturing program. This program provides women with vocational training for skilled, industrial jobs with its employer part­ners, helps women apply for public benefits, and pro­vides financial coaching.


Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT)

A $40,000, one-year renewal grant for CWIT’s Technical Opportunities Program, launched in 2009 as part of an Eleanor Foundation initiative. The program prepares single working women for jobs in welding and the building trades, through skills training and certification, apprenticeship placement, mentoring, and financial coaching.


Kinzie Industrial Development Corporation (KIDC)

A $100,000, one-year renewal grant for KIDC’s emergency medical technician (EMT) training program, now in its fourth year, in partnership with Superior Ambulance Service. KIDC provides hands-on EMT training, preparation for state certification exams, and job placement with Superior Ambulance, as well as other companies, upongraduation and certification. Women in the program also receive career coaching, and workshops on managing finances and improving credit scores.


St. Anthony Hospital

A $36,000 one-year renewal grant for the School-at-Work program (SAW), which helps women in the hospital’s entry-level jobs advance to more skilled, higher-paying jobs while addressing community healthcare needs. The program also includes a new six-month program designed to support improvements in patient satisfaction. The SAW program is co-funded by the St. Anthony Hospital Foundation and the Steans Family Foundation.


Youth Job Center of Evanston (YJC)

A $50,000 one-year renewal grant for YJC’s Women Investing in Learning and Livelihoods (WILL) program for young working women who aspire to advance their careers through education, career counseling, mentoring, and job placement. This program offers participants professional development, financial education and access to affordable childcare.


YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago

A $125,000 one-year grant for the YWCA’s Economic Empowerment Institute, which provides women with one-on-one career coaching, financial education and management, and technology training within the YWCA’s community technology centers.


The Eleanor Foundation’s network of programs includes grantee organizations whose work is supported by previous funding commitments. These additional grantees include the Center for New Horizons; the Center for Working Women at Housing Opportunities for Women; Mujer Avanzando (“Advancing Woman”) led by Instituto del Progreso Latino in collaboration with Mujeres Latinas en Acción and The Resurrection Project; and The Law Project. The Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing serves as a resource to the Eleanor Network.


About the Eleanor Foundation

The Eleanor Foundation invests in innovative programs that help working female heads-of-households in Chicagowith incomes of between $10,000 and $40,000 to achieve and maintain economic independence. A public grant-making fund, the Eleanor Foundation is building the Eleanor Network, a unique collaboration with nonprofit organizations and other partners to build and maintain programs that provide these women withaccess to job-skills training and career development services, along with access to affordable housing, dependable childcare, and financial coaching. The Eleanor Foundation also sponsors research on the needs of the women in its target population, which helps ensure that programs in the Eleanor Network deliver the services these women need. More information is available at www.eleanorfoundation.org.


Rev. Jesse Jackson announces his support for anti-NATO protest in Chicago

Posted by Admin On April - 18 - 2012 3 COMMENTS
 CHICAGO, IL —The Rev. Jesse Jackson and other community and labor leaders will gather on Thursday, April 19, at 11:15 am on the 2nd floor of City Hall to announce their plans to march in opposition to NATO. The march will take place on Sunday, May 20, which is the first day of the NATO summit, and is being organized by the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8).

Rev. Jackson will also announce his plans to speak at CANG8’s People’s Summit at Occupy Chicago’s headquarters on May 12-13, the weekend before the NATO summit.

Standing with Rev. Jackson to announce their support for the march and People’s Summit will be Occupy Chicago; the Chicago Teachers Union; the National Nurses United; and members of the Service Employees International Union.

“Our world has become jilted by war and weapons,” said Rev. Jackson. “There is simply too much violence, too much concentrated wealth and too much poverty. I hope on May 20 there will be a large demonstration with global participation. It’s time we go in a different direction. I am urging us to shift our priorities. This demonstration is designed to appeal to the leaders of the world to choose to depend less on military intervention and more on negotiations to try to heal these societies ravished by poverty and internal strife.”

CANG8 organizers are pleased to be joined in their efforts by many other community and labor leaders in addition to Rev. Jackson. “This march will take place at a crucial moment in NATO’s war on Afghanistan as a majority of Americans have now turned against further U.S. involvement there,” said Joe Iosbaker, a CANG8 organizer. “This is a historic convergence of the antiwar and civil rights movements to demand that the incredible sums of money being spent to wage war abroad be redirected to address pressing social needs at home.”

Many other allies are also gearing up to mobilize their constituents for the May 12-13 People’s Summit (peoplessummitchicago.org) and the May 20 mass march (cang8.org) from Grant Park’s Petrillo Music Shell to McCormick Place where NATO and the heads of state of some 50 countries will be meeting.

“Occupy Chicago is proud to support the May 20 march being organized by the Coalition Against NATO/G8,” said Rachael Perrotta, a member of Occupy Chicago’s press team. “We expect Occupiers to stream in from across the country to join us in stopping the NATO war machine.” Occupy Chicago is also hosting the People’s Summit (peoplessummitchicago.org) on May 12-13 at its offices at 500 W Cermak Rd. one week prior to the NATO summit.

Many nurses from the Chicago area and beyond have been active in the Occupy movement and in challenging budgets that prioritize war spending over public health. “As an ER nurse, I see the suffering of the 99 percent firsthand,” said Dennis Kosuth, a registered nurse at Stroger Cook County Hospital. “The global 1 percent and the G8 are calling for austerity cuts to vital social services while draining trillions of our tax dollars into the NATO war machine. Our tax dollars should be going into our public schools, healthcare services, libraries, public transportation—back to the people of Main Street.

Registered Nurses of the National Nurses United will be marching alongside CANG8 this May to protest NATO and to call for a Robin Hood Tax on the G8 global 1 percent.” 

Christine Boardman is the president of Service Employees International Union Local 73, which represents 25,000 public employees in Illinois and Indiana, and she is urging union members and working people to attend the protest in large numbers. “G8 policies have supported so-called ‘free trade agreements,’ which have caused the loss of millions of jobs,” said Boardman. “Instead of funding for war and supporting ‘free trade’ for corporations, which means ‘slave trade’ for workers, it must become our national priority to keep good jobs here and to fund services for our communities.”

In addition to SEIU Local 73, several other unions have also endorsed the May 20 protest, including the Chicago Teachers Union, National Nurses United, SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, United Electrical Western Region and University of Illinois-Chicago Graduate Employees Organization.

Other noted speakers at the May 20 march and the People’s Summit include Malalai Joya, former Afghan member of Parliament and internationally renowned opponent of NATO’s occupation of Afghanistan; Reiner Braun, International Coordinating Committee of the European No to NATO network; Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence; Malik Mujahid, Muslim Peace Coalition; Medea Benjamin, Code Pink; and Col. Ann Wright (ret.), antiwar activist.

Kirk, Blumenthal, Rubio, Cornyn call on advertisers and investors to end online child sex trafficking at Backpage

Posted by Admin On April - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
Lawmakers continue campaign for elimination of the “adult entertainment” section on Backpage.com, the leading U.S. website for prostitution
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D- Conn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) wrote to 40 organizations on April 12 to inform them that the parent company of the Village Voice publications they advertise on owns Backpage.com, an online classified advertising website linked to dozens of child sex trafficking cases. The senators further requested that the companies, charitable organizations, and public, educational and cultural institutions work together and use their economic influence, as revenue generators for Village Voice Media, to end online child sex trafficking facilitated by Backpage. The Senators also made a similar request to two companies that reportedly invest in Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC.
In the letters, the Senators wrote, “Village Voice Media reaps millions in profits each month from Backpage’s prostitution advertising and has thus far ignored all pleas from the community to protect our children. We ask that you work with other organizations that advertise in Village Voice to make the economic case to Village Voice Media to do the right thing and shut down the ‘adult entertainment’ section.” 
“I urge Village Voice Media to immediately shut down the adult services section on Backpage.com, and end its enabling of prostitution and human trafficking, just as Craigslist did at my urging,” said Senator Blumenthal. “For too long, countless girls have been victims of prostitution, human trafficking, and horrendous violence through Backpage.com ads. Unconscionably, Backpage continues to allow adult services advertising on their website, knowing that these advertisements are an avenue for horrific violence against women and children.” 
Backpage is the leading U.S. website for prostitution advertising. Recent reports from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) found more than 50 instances nationwide of charges filed against people trafficking minors on Backpage. The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 40 percent of incidents investigated by federally-funded task forces on human trafficking between 2008 and 2012 involved sexual exploitation of a child. Similar classified advertising websites, such as Craigslist.com, have taken down their adult services ads after being petitioned to eliminate the section. Backpage continues to ignore the evidence, putting profit above children’s safety. 
Already the letter is having an impact. Representatives from two recipients, MillerCoors and Crown Imports LLC, responded that the companies will quickly act to end their advertising activities on Village Voice publications. 
The lawmakers’ call to action marks yet another event in the nationwide effort to eliminate online child sex trafficking on Backpage. On March 29, 2012, Change.org delivered to Village Voice Media a petition, signed by more than 240,000 individuals, urging the company to remove the “adult entertainment” section of Backpage. By September 2011, 51 Attorneys General, had written to Village Voice Media concerning the company’s facilitation of prostitution. On March 17, Nicholas Kristof, columnist for the New York Times, penned an op-ed calling on Village Voice Media to eliminate Backpage’s “adult entertainment” section. On March 23, 19 U.S. Senators called on Village Voice Media to eliminate its “adult entertainment” section. Most recently, on March 31, Goldman Sachs sold its management stake of Village Voice Media citing its main concern that it was “uncomfortable with the direction of the company.”  
The full text of the letter is below.
We are writing to strongly encourage you, as well as other leaders of major employers, charitable organizations, and public, educational and cultural institutions that advertise on Village Voice publications, to use your economic influence to end the online child sex trafficking facilitated by a Village Voice Media subsidiary, Backpage.com.
Experts estimate that up to 300,000 children are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation in the United States, and that girls and boys are forced into prostitution at the average ages of 12 to 14 and 11 to 13, respectively. A chilling report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 40 percent of incidents investigated by federally funded task forces on human trafficking between 2008 and 2010 involved the sexual exploitation of a child. Unfortunately, these numbers only continue to rise. 
According to the classified advertising consultant Advanced Media Interactive (AIM) Group, Backpage.com is the leading U.S. website for prostitution advertising. In fact, an astounding 80 percent of online prostitution advertising revenue for the month of February 2012 was attributed to Backpage.com. 
An alarming number of media reports are being written about pimps and traffickers using Backpage.com to advertise sexual services by minors. The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) found more than 50 instances nationwide of charges filed against people trafficking or attempting to traffic minors on Backpage.com. Recent child prostitution cases involving Backpage.com include:
  • Myrelle and Tyrelle Lockett, pled guilty to trafficking of persons for forced labor or services in February 2011 for prostituting multiple Chicago area girls, including at least one who was underage. The girls were advertised on Backpage.com with rates as high as $300 per hour.
  • Demetrius Darnell Homer, convicted of sex trafficking of a minor and sentenced to 20 years in prison in August 2011 for violently forcing a 14-year-old Atlanta girl into prostitution and posting her services on Backpage.com. Homer kept the girl in line through beatings, threatening her with a knife, and on one occasion, shocking her with a taser in front of another underage girl he had placed in prostitution. Homer even forced the girl to engage in prostitution while she was pregnant with his child.  
  • Akmal S. Karon, a Minnesota man, charged with eight counts of child prostitution for pimping two underage girls and keeping them in line using rape and extreme violence. One girl, who first began working as a prostitute for Karon at 15, told police that Karon raped her, punched her in the face, repeatedly kicked her, burned her hand with a cigar, and once hit her in the head with a Snapple bottle when she did not earn enough money. Karon picked up the other girl outside her home just a few days before her 14th birthday. He raped and beat her the following day at a motel, and then held her captive for over a week, forcing her to work for him as a prostitute. Karon advertised both girls on Backpage.com.
  • Ronnie Leon Tramble, sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of sex trafficking through force, fraud and coercion for using threats and violence to force multiple young women and girls, at least one of whom was just 14, to work as prostitutes. One of the girls reported being beaten by Tramble approximately three times a week.

Attached are examples, provided by law enforcement authorities, of the despicable ads Tramble posted of his underage victims on Backpage.com. We are confident your organization does not condone this kind of victimization and would not want its advertising dollars going to support it.

Village Voice Media asserts that employees are working closely to monitor the website, claiming to remove 400 ads that market the sexual exploitation of minors every month through a manual review process. But according to field experts and law enforcement authorities, these actions pale in comparison to the illegal activity facilitated via the website. NAAG maintains that the number of postings for prostitution services has not appeared to decrease since the issue was first raised with Village Voice Media and Missouri investigators found that Backpage.com’s review procedures are ineffective in policing illegal activity. The only way to ensure our children’s safety on the advertising network is to shut down the “adult entertainment” section of the website.
Village Voice Media reaps millions in profits each month from Backpage.com’s prostitution advertising and has thus far ignored all pleas from the community to protect our children. We ask that you work with other organizations that advertise in Village Voice to make the economic case to Village Voice Media to do the right thing and shut down the “adult entertainment” section. 
On March 23, 2012, 19 United States Senators added their voices to the 51 Attorneys General, dozens of human rights and sexual assault organizations, faith leaders, The Seattle Times, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, and more than 240,000 individuals who signed a Change.org petition on this issue, urging Village Voice Media in the strongest terms possible to follow Craigslist and remove the “adult entertainment” section from Backpage.com. We hope you will do the same. 
We appreciate your consideration and look forward to working with you to curb online child sexual exploitation.
Recipients of the letter included:
Mr. David Peacock, President, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
Mr. Dov Charney, Chairman and CEO, American Apparel, Inc.
Mr. Robert Darbelnet, President and CEO, American Automobile Association
Mr. Bob Lander, President and CEO, Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau
Mr. Robert Furniss-Roe, President, Bacardi USA, Inc.
Mr. William J. Lynch, Jr., CEO, Barnes and Noble, Inc.
Mr. Willy Burkhardt, President, Blue Man Productions, Inc.
Mr. James T. Reynolds, President, Cancer Fund of America, Inc.
Mr. Sanford I. Weill, Chairman, Carnegie Hall Corporation
Ms. Linda Dozoretz, Executive Director, Children’s Wish Foundation International
Mr. Bob Pittman, CEO, Clear Channel Communications, Inc.
Mr. Frank Day, Chairman, CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, Inc. 
Mr. Bill Hackett, President, Crown Imports LLC 
Mr. Brian Vogt, CEO, Denver Botanic Gardens, Inc.
Mr. Larry Schwartz, President, North America, Diageo PLC
Mr. George Bodenheimer, Executive Chairman, ESPN, Inc.
Mr. Jim Gibbons, President and CEO, Goodwill Industries International, Inc.
Mr. Thomas Pritzker, Executive Chairman, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Mr. Kenneth Hicks, Chairman, President and CEO, Foot Locker, Inc.
Mr. Ted Mundorff, CEO, Landmark Theatres 
Mr. Jon Feltheimer, Co-Chairman and CEO, Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation
Mr. Michael Rapino, President and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. 
Mr. Todd Wagner, Co-Founder and CEO, 2929 Entertainment
Mr. John Willard Marriott, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, Inc.
John H. Noseworthy, M.D., President and CEO, Mayo Clinic 
Mr. James J. Murren, Chairman and CEO, MGM Resorts International
Mr. Philip W. O’Neil, President, Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co. 
Mr. Peter Coors, Chairman, MillerCoors LLC
Ms. Kim Jordan, CEO, New Belgium Brewing Company, Inc.
Mr. Richard Federico, Chairman and Co-CEO, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc.
Mr. Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO, Relativity Media LLC
Commissioner William A. Roberts, National Commander, The Salvation Army
Mr. Charles Wright, Chairman, Seattle Art Museum
Mr. Michael Lynton, Co-Chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc.
Mr. Philipp Humm, President and CEO, T-Mobile USA, Inc.
Mr. Yoshimi Inaba, Chairman, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Toyota Motor Corporation
Chancellor Gene D. Block, University of California, Los Angeles
Mr. Brian Gallagher, President and CEO, United Way Worldwide
Chancellor Robert Coombe, University of Denver
Mr. Barry M. Meyer, Chairman and CEO, Warner Brothers Entertainment 
To learn more, please visit here. 

Lt. Governor Simon accepting applications to military committee

Posted by Admin On April - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon announced that her Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee (IMBSEDC) is currently accepting applications for two new citizen members. The volunteer group advocates for the retention and reuse of the state’s military bases and works to foster a strong economic connection between the installations and their local economies.

“We look forward to welcoming new voices to our committee to continue our important work in supporting the state’s military families and regional economies,” Simon said.

Current members include retired military personnel and economic development officials, as well as four members of the General Assembly and representatives from various state agencies. A successful candidate may draw on personal and professional experiences in military, economic development, education or governmental fields.

The application announcement came Wednesday at the IMBSEDC’s quarterly meeting. Applications are now being accepted, and more information can be found here.


Trayvon Martin and the blood of a black man

Posted by Admin On April - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

By Christopher Jack

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Many years ago, I was privileged enough to go on a safari in Africa with a small group of friends. I remember it like it was yesterday. This safari was to just observe the animals in their natural habitat and to take pictures. As we were speeding to the area where most of the animals like to congregate, I started to notice hundred of signs that said, “No Hunting or Poaching of Any Animals”. I guessed that the area we were going to was only for picture-taking.

When we arrived to the site, you could feel the excitement inside of the jeep with the four of my friends. These large beautiful creatures were there grazing and taking advantage of the land that God has given them.

The tour guide was telling us about what particular species of animal we were going to be observing; then it happened… another jeep came out of nowhere, fired a shot, and wounded one of these huge, beautiful animals. We were all shocked to see this huge creature laying there gasping for air, and barely clinging on to life. Then the hunter walked up and put another shot into it. As you probably know, all of the other animals scattered from the sound of the gunshot, and because of us rushing over to the scene. The hunter got to this poor animal first and then, the people from our jeep.

I asked the hunters (from London), “Did you guys see the signs posted everywhere that hunting these animal are illegal?” One of the hunters said, “I know it is illegal, but nothing will happen to me. So, who cares?” I looked at our tour guide, and he said, “He is correct. The law will do nothing.” These guys hunted and stalked that animal. Even though they broke the law, the law will not do anything about it. We convinced our tour guide to call it in to the authorities. This is when the story became more complex, complicated and convoluted. The authorities said that they would not get involved because when people come here for the animals they bring a lot of tourist money. The authorities do not want to stop that flow of money coming into their area.

Let me see if I understand this: The killing of these animals is illegal, but, if they can make money from it then it’s okay? That’s in Africa. Here in America the same thing happens, not with animals, but with people. Travon Martin was hunted, stalked, and killed; and the authorities did nothing. He laid there on the ground like an animal while the people, who knew this was wrong, looked the other way.

Thousands of years ago, Moses gave us the Ten Commandments that we should live by. One of the commandments was “Thou shalt not kill.” There were no signs posted that told Mr. Zimmerman “No Hunting or Poaching”. He killed that young boy because he was after his prize trophy catch. Mr. Zimmerman’s trophy came at a high cost. He shined a light on the proverbial white elephant in the room. He showed us that it is okay to hunt black men in this country year-round, and you do not need a license.

I’m sure the head of that animal that was shot in Africa is worth quite a large sum of money. Is Travon Martin’s killing worth millions? Yes. When this happened all of the major networks carried this as their top story for weeks. Newspapers and magazines are making millions from this story. And yes, do not fool yourself; the blood of a black man is still very valuable in America. Especially if he’s shot and killed by Tarzan…

Christopher Jack, is a college professor, nationally syndicated columnist, and public speaker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He can be reached at chrisjackus@yahoo.com

New book claims there’s only one problem in the black community

Posted by Admin On April - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

San Francisco, CA (BlackNews.com) — Terrance Amen says the Black community can become prosperous by just living out two words: Black unity.

“You’ve heard how big our buying power is – a trillion dollars a year,” says Amen. “But we spend 90-99 percent of that money with other groups who don’t spend any money in our community. By spending 10-20 percent of that money in our community, we can save money and invest in new businesses that will create new jobs. This will build the financial base to solve the other issues in our community, all of which stem from our not working together. ”

“We can create our own national credit unions and banks, create health clinics in the community, and create schools to teach our rich African history before slavery and civil rights.”

In his book, Black Unity: The Total Solution to Financial Independence and Happiness, Amen outlines a national plan of action that includes education, family life, politics, business, health, and shows how Black people can build a foundation for success through harnessing their collective buying power.

Amen also reveals the main reason why Black people are not working together now, even though failure to work together is the only problem Black people have.

“Why don’t we support our community like other groups do?,” says Amen. “The answer is four hundred years of negative mental programming. We still haven’t dealt with the psychological effects of slavery, and until we do, we will never reach our full potential as a community. We’ve just gone from slaves to servants who get paid. A simple question to ask ourselves is who benefits the most from our labor and spending money with other groups: our community or someone else’s?”

Amen insists that when Black people break the mental shackles of slavery he exposes in his book, they will willingly work together, because they will realize that if they continue as they are now, their labor and genius will continue to be used to make every community wealthy but their own.

“This is not just a book,” he says. “This book is the first step in a simple four-step plan to help our community become the best it can be in all areas of our lives. I challenge African Americans to take four simple steps to see whether they value themselves and their community or will continue to be paid servants by putting other communities before their own. By spending more money in our community, we can finally free ourselves to become the prosperous people we were meant to be.”

For more information about Black Unity: The Total Solution to Financial Independence and Happiness, go to www.blackunitythetotalsolution.com


Terrance Amen has worked in the areas of health, security, and marketing, and is a life-long student of Black history. He is dedicated to uniting his people by showing them how to maximize their time, effort, and the money they’re already spending in order to reach their full potential.

Rain barrels draw attention to water collection during Earth Week

Posted by Admin On April - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Shedd Aquarium and Gompers School use artistic flair


Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Commissioners Michael A. Alvarez, Frank Avila, Patricia Horton, Kathleen Therese Meany and Debra Shore tried their hand at painting rain barrels with the assistance of seventh grade students from Chicago’s Gompers Fine Arts Option Elementary School today at the John G. Shedd Aquarium.

The MWRD recently launched a green infrastructure initiative using rain barrels and gardens, native landscaping, stormwater trees, bio-swales, green roofs, greenways, wetlands and porous pavement to achieve its mission of managing stormwater and reducing water pollution. Rain barrels are durable plastic containers that collect and store rainwater from a home’s rooftop, via a disconnected downspout, for later use.

“Collecting rainwater for reuse is an environmentally-friendly practice,” said David St. Pierre, MWRD Executive Director. “Water is a precious resource and everyone should do their part to conserve water. Rain barrels are an easy way to reuse rainwater at home.”

The public can join this important mission by taking advantage of the MWRD rain barrel program, which offers 55 gallon capacity rain barrels for $58 each, including home delivery and a starter installation kit.

“Shedd Aquarium is especially thrilled to partner with the MWRD during Earth Week, as this event not only provides an opportunity for conservation learning and growth among the participating students, but supports Shedd’s overall conservation mission and educational initiatives,” said Allen LaPointe, vice president of environmental quality.

“Cirque Shanghai: Year of The Dragon” comes to Navy Pier Pepsi Skyline Stage May 24 – September 3

Posted by Admin On April - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS


Tickets go on sale Tuesday, May 1 at 10 a.m.



CHICAGO, IL – Cirque Shanghai returns to Chicago’s Navy Pier this summer with a magnificent new show “Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon” beginning Thursday, May 24, 2012.  The production will run through September 3, 2012 (Labor Day), rain or shine, at the Navy Pier Pepsi Skyline Stage, the 1,500-seat, canopied, open-air theater on Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.

Tickets will go on-sale Tuesday, May 1 at 10 a.m. and will be available via Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com/shanghai.

Press opening will be Wednesday, May 30 at 8 p.m.

“Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon” is a spectacle for audiences of all ages, featuring performers direct from China who are leaders in their craft of tumbling, juggling, balancing and more. This year’s production features an incredible line up of awe-inspiring acts, including favorites such as Bike Balances and Hoop Diving, as well as an all-new Group Chair Stack, Teeterboard act and the Wheel of Death. 

China’s finest daredevil motorcycle troupe, “Imperial Thunder,” returns with not two, not four, but five motorcyclists riding at break-neck speed within a steel globe – more than ever before in this death-defying feat. 

Directed by Miao Miao Chen, “Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon” is presented in this exclusive U.S. engagement by Navy Pier in conjunction with International Special Attractions, Ltd. (ISA) production headquarters in Shanghai, China.


“Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon” will perform May 24 – Sept. 3, with regular run performances as follows:

Wednesday at 2, 6 and 8 p.m. 
Thursday at 2 and 8 p.m. 
Friday at 2, 7 and 9 p.m. 
Saturday at 2, 6 and 8 p.m. 
Sunday at 2 and 4 p.m.

There will be additional performances on Sunday, May 27 at 8 p.m., Monday, May 28 (Memorial Day) at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Tuesday, July 3 at 2 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 2 at 8 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 3 (Labor Day) at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Tickets are $15.50 – $29.50 and will be available by calling 800-745-3000 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com/shanghai. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are available by calling GroupTix at 773.327.3778 or visiting www.grouptix.net.

Simon to hold new round of Classrooms First hearings

Posted by Admin On April - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Public input solicited on school district efficiency recommendations


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Classrooms First Commission is seeking public input on a set of draft recommendations approved Tuesday that would make it easier for school districts to consolidate and help them save up to $1 billion in operations costs by sharing services, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon said.

 Four public hearings are slated to begin Thursday evening in Champaign and will inform the final recommendations delivered to the Governor and General Assembly in July. The remaining hearings will be located in Carbondale, Chicago Heights and Rockford through the end of April.

“I look want to hear from citizens across the state as the commission finalizes its recommendations on school district efficiency and effectiveness,” said Simon, who chairs the Classrooms First Commission. “Educators, parents and taxpayers helped develop these recommendations, and I urge them to remain involved as the commission begins the final stage of its work.”

No districts would be forced to consolidate under the draft recommendations, but the state would require counties with small and declining school-age populations to study whether county-wide consolidation or sharing services would save money and boost learning. Other draft recommendations include:

·    allowing compact but not contiguous districts to consolidate; currently districts must be compact and contiguous

·     expanding the regional board of school trustees dissolution authority, by allowing local districts with under 750 enrollment to seek dissolution with or without a referendum; currently this is an option for districts serving communities with under 5,000 people

·    piloting a new capital project list that targets school construction money at districts willing to consolidate and that are in need of new buildings, additions, and/or building renovations

·    phasing in lower local tax rates for new unit districts; currently, elementary and high school districts become a lower, unit taxing district immediately after consolidating

·   requiring counties with small and declining school-age populations to conduct efficiency studies that could lead to shared services, district mergers, or even county-wide districts; 12 counties currently have county-wide districts and another 16 counties have small and declining student populations, according to state and federal population projections through 2030

·    authorizing the Illinois State Board of Education to provide a web-based resource management program to districts to help them identify up to $1 billion in instruction, transportation, food services, administration and facility maintenance savings

 The Classrooms First Commission is a bi-partisan group of education stakeholders that was charged last fall by Governor Quinn and the General Assembly to reduce duplicative education spending and improve educational outcomes. It reviewed several paths and collected input from hundreds of Illinois educators and taxpayers through public hearings and an online survey to create the draft recommendations that were approved for release Tuesday afternoon.

The second round of public hearings will provide citizens an opportunity to bring their ideas on the draft recommendations directly to commission members. Attendees will be given five minutes for oral testimony and speaking slots will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. Individuals are also permitted to provide written testimony.

To view a live-stream of the public hearings or submit online comments on the recommendations, please visit www.ltgov.illinois.gov.


DATE: Thursday, April 19

TIME: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Parkland College, Room D244, 2400 West Bradley Avenue, Champaign

DATE: Friday, April 20

TIME: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Southern Illinois University, Student Health Center Auditorium, 374 East Grand Avenue, Carbondale

DATE: Thursday, April 26

TIME: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Prairie State College, Conference Center Auditorium, 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights

DATE: Monday, April 30

TIME: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Rock Valley College, Woodward Technology Center, Room 117-121, 3301 North Mulford Road, Rockford

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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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