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Archive for April 23rd, 2012

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

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL —The Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Phil Blackwell and other religious, community and labor leaders will gather Monday, April 23, 4 pm at the Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington St. 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 a number of religious leaders; Occupy Chicago; 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 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, SEIU Local 1, United Electrical Western Region, University of Illinois-Chicago Graduate Employees Organization, Workers United—Chicago and Midwest Regional and Joint Board, Indiana Workers Rights Coalition, United Electrical Local 1110, Milwaukee Graduate Assistants Association, Teaching Assistants Association (Madison, Wis.), and the Troy Area Labor Council.

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; hip hop duo Rebel Diaz from Chicago; 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.

CANG8 organizers will also announce an anti-NATO petition posted at www.change.org/petitions/say-no-to-nato with a list of prominent initial signatories, including Noam Chomsky, Angela Davis, Vijay Prashad, Michael Ratner, Rashid Khalidi, Mumia Abu Jamal, Bernardine Dohrn, Anthony Arnove, Barbara Ransby, Tom Morello, and Medea Benjamin.

Illinois Sec’y of State Jesse White hosts free seminars to recognize Money Smart Week

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that his office will host a number of events in Chicago and Springfield to help consumers learn to manage money wisely. These events are among more than 500 free classes, seminars and activities promoting financial education in Chicago alone during Money Smart Week.

Money Smart Week (April 21-April 28) is designed to educate consumers about money management and create awareness of financial education programs on a wide range of topics such as budgeting, saving and using credit wisely. The educational activities will be carried out by local community groups, businesses, schools, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.  The week is coordinated by the Federal Reserve Bank and its Money Smart partners.

“For ten years, Money Smart Week has brought financial literacy to the community, to schools and the workplace,” White said.  “We are proud to participate and offer valuable information during this week.  I urge everyone to take advantage of these informative events and get ‘money smart’.”

On Wednesday, April 25, White’s Securities Department will host the annual Financial Regulators Fair in the lobby of the James R. Thompson Building at 100 West Randolph St. in Chicago.  State and Federal agencies that deal with financial matters will have staff available at various booths to provide information and answer questions.  The fair, which starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Also during Money Smart Week, the Securities Department will be hosting seminars in schools and workplaces throughout Illinois.  Any company or organization interested in having a free fraud presentation at their site can contact the department at 800-628-7937.

In Springfield, on Monday, April 23, the office will provide an investment fraud presentation during a program at the United Way headquarters at 1999 West Wabash Ave. from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  The program is free to the public.

On Thursday April 26, the Securities Department will be on hand to discuss scams and how to avoid them at the Money Smart Week financial seminar at the Maryville Community Center in Maryville from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Additional information and a calendar of events for this year’s Money Smart Week are now available at http://www.moneysmart.org.

U.S. DreamAcademy to Honor Heisman Winner Mark Ingram, Jr., Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler, NFL’s George Allen “Pat” Summerall, Lars Houmann, Hilton O. Smith, and Kathy Victor at 11th Annual “Power of a Dream Gala” to Benefit At-Risk Youth on May 1st

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Actor Lamman Rucker star of Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns and Emmy Award Winning News Anchor Cynne Simpson Scheduled to Host 

 

Mary Mary, Chef Jeff Henderson and James Brown Among Special Guests

 

WASHINGTON, DC -  The U.S. DreamAcademy announced it’s “Power of a Dream” Gala, themed “Dreams for the Future” to be held on Tuesday, May 1, 2011 (Reception 5:45pm Dinner 7:00pm) in Washington, DC to benefit their nationally recognized after-school programs for children. The event will be held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel located at 2660 Woodley Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008. Each year the Power of a DreamGala attracts the support of Hollywood celebrities, political figures, corporate executives, community leaders, and VIPs to invest and raise awareness to further help U.S. DreamAcademy programs succeed in making a difference in the lives of at-risk youth and children of incarcerated parents.

Honorees for this year’s event, who are also making a difference in young people’s lives with their philanthropic efforts include: Lars Houmann (President & CEO Florida Hospital), Mark Ingram, Jr. (Heisman Trophy Winner New Orleans Saints of the National Football League), Laura Kaeppeler (Miss America 2012), Hilton O. Smith (Sr. Vice-President, Community Affairs Turner Construction Company), George Allen “Pat” Summerall (Former National Football League Player and Television Sportscaster), and Kathy Victor (Board of Directors Chairman, Independent Business Owners Association International).

A special highlight of the evening will include performances by; the USDreamAcademyDREAMKids, Grammy Award Winning Gospel Group Mary Mary, and Grammy Award nominee and founder of U.S. DreamAcademy, Wintley Phipps. Chef Jeff Henderson

Executive Chef, Best Selling Author, Multi-Grammy Award and Star of the Food Network’s

“The Chef Jeff Project” will serve as the keynote speaker. Emmy Award and Edward R. Murrow Award winning anchor (ABC7/WJLA TV) Cynne’ Simpson and popular actor and Star of Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns” Lamman Rucker will emcee the gala.

Honorary Congressional Gala Co-Chairs for the event will be The Honorable Ben Cardin (D-MD.) and The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD). Corporate Gala Chair is Darien C. Grant, J.D. of Turner Construction Company. VIP guests will include; Members of Congress, Sport legends, Corporate Executives and community leaders. Sponsors of the Gala include Amway (Presenting Sponsor), Insurance Advantage, USA Funds, Anna Sue Dowd,

Southwest, Wells Fargo, Florida Hospital, Ancile Solutions, Adventist Health Systems, Kaloram Partners, G.S. Proctor and Kelly & Associates Insurance Group / KTBS Payroll.

The US Dream Academy Gala Honorary Congressional Committee includes the support of The Honorable Orrin Hatch (R-UT),The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), The Honorable John P. Sarbanes (D-Md.), Rep.Corrine Brown (D-FL), The Honorable Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA37), Rep. André Carson (IN-7), and The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).

About the U.S. DreamAcademy                                                                                                                   

The mission of the U.S. DreamAcademy is to empower children who are at risk of future incarceration to maximize their potential by providing them with academic, social and values enrichment through supportive mentoring and the use of technology. The vision is to create an army of young men and women with positive dreams for their lives, equipped with the tools to make those dreams a reality with the core values of Faith, Freedom, Inspiration and Integrity.

The U.S. DreamAcademy focuses on impacting the lives of children with incarcerated parents and children falling behind in school.  The program, founded by renowned gospel singer Wintley Phipps, is currently operating in 10 cities nationwide.  Its research-based initiatives challenge over 600 young people daily and engage them in active learning through one-to-one mentoring, strong academics, and technology-driven activities and curricula. www.usdreamacademy.org.

In Washington, D.C., the DreamAcademy Learning Center is co-located at the Ferebee Hope Elementary School where students have access to after-school academic support, character building and dream building activities along with weekly mentoring by positive adult volunteers.

Important Statistics

  • One in 40 children in the United States has an incarcerated parent.
  • More than 10 million children in the U.S. have had a parent in prison.
  • Each year about 400,000 mothers and fathers finish serving prison or jail sentences, and return home.

Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler video supporting the U.S. Dream Academy 11th Annual “Power of a Dream Gala” http://amway.wistia.com/p/ZhVBS

Father Pfleger: ‘We must break the code of silence’

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Don’t be a ‘co-conspirator’ to murder

By Chinta Strausberg

 

After watching the play entitled “Tangled” at the ETA Theater late Thursday night involving several fatal shootings, Father Michael L. Pfleger said the “Code of Silence” must be broken and redefined by identifying those who turn in shooters as “lifesavers” rather than “snitches” who are viewed as traitors.

And for those who honor the street code and remain silent when they know the names of the shooters or killers, Pfleger said they are “co-conspirators” to murder and that the blood of the victims are on their hands.

Pfleger’s remarks stunned some of those who attended the play that depicts the affects of gun violence on a female-owned funeral home that was written by Nicole Anderson-Cobb and directed by Kamesha Khan.

In the Urban Dictionary, a snitch is defined as: “Someone who gives up incriminating evidence to people they have no business talking to in the first place. Some snitch because they need attention others snitch because they are scared.” In Webster’s dictionary, snitch means an informer.

When asked how does one break the code of silence that gives cover to killers, Pfleger has his own definition and one he hopes will become acceptable citywide. “I believe that breaking the code of silence is understanding that when someone gives information, they are not a snitch. They’re a lifesaver. We have to start identifying people who speak up to save lives.”

“If you know somebody who did something, and you don’t say anything, then you’re a co-conspirator, and if somebody else gets shot or killed, the blood is on your hands,” Pfleger told the audience.

And to those who say they are afraid to inform on someone who broke the law, Pfleger said, “I have been told that I’m going to die and I’m getting killed so many times, but I’m still here.”

Speaking to people of all faiths including Muslims, Jews or Christians,  Pfleger added: “All of us believe in those three faiths that God is Almighty, God is all powerful whether it is the Torah, the Koran or the bible, but I’m trying to figure out we believe that then go out in the street and be afraid. Then is God a fake, or are we fools?

“Because if God is God and who we say He is, otherwise stop going to the temple, the synagogue, the church. If we really believe in God, then let’s be His disciples in the street instead of being so afraid in the streets to speak out. We got to break that,” he said.

Referring to his foster son, Jarvis Franklin who was killed May 30, 1998 at 79th and Carpenter eight-days after his 49th birthday and on the day when he has just conducted a wedding, Pfleger said, “Nobody’s ever been caught for that because nobody would ever talk. It happened at 4 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon. There were over 40 people there. That is when I then made my decision for the rest of my breath that I was going to fight against this violence.

“I do not believe in prisons. I hate prisons, but if you shoot and kill, you got to go to prison. You cannot shoot and kill, go to McDonald’s, go home, kick your feet up and watch TV like nothing happened. No, that was a life and we have to make sure that we value lives in our community,” said Pfleger.

In reviewing the play, he told the audience, that it is somewhat depressing in that “it’s so real…. It’s the reality that is all around us. This morning, I sat with a young man who witnessed a killing who wants to tell, but he’s afraid. He saw his friend shot down before his eyes. I sat with a mother and a father whose child was killed who want help to find the murderers.

“What keeps resonating in me is the fact that it’s not whether we can stop this; it’s whether we will.” Referring to Clo, the matriarch of the funeral home who was portrayed by Felisha D. McNeal, Pfleger said, “The line I want to point out to you that struck me in this play was what are we going to do?

“I think we’ve got caught up in the danger in our society of trying to get a quick fix like parents got to do it. We need more police. Bring in the National Guard. There’s no quick fix to this. This thing did not happen over night, and it’s not going to end overnight, but it can end when we decide to have the will,” he said. “And, it’s everything and everybody. Nobody in this room gets a pass. The reality is it’s going to stop when we decide as a community, a city as a country to stop it.” “We all got to do more.”

Referring to the young man he counseled this morning who had witnessed a murder, Pfleger said he was afraid to talk fearing his own death. “The reality was this happened in the middle of the day with 30 or 40 people around. If there were 20 people telling, no one person would be afraid. We have this fear because if one steps forward other people will be silent, sit back and that person becomes a target. My challenge is it’s going to stop when we decide we’re going to stop and we’re going to draw the line in the sand and say we’re tired of children dying and stop adjusting to what has become sick and dysfunctional. The village has become sick, and we got to fix the village so we can raise the children and that is our task. That is deciding what we can all do and how each one of us can get involved.”

Referring to some people putting up bottles, candles, Teddy Bears, police tape “and other landmarks of our communities” at the scene of a crime, Pfleger said, “That has become just as bad as shaking our heads, closing our blinds, praying and saying ‘Oh, God, just take care of this.’ God’s done all He’s going to do. It’s up to us. He gave us everything we’ve got to do it with.”

Before asking the audience what would they do to stem the violence in the community, Pfleger told of how one time he received calls from some residents to help them stop the drug dealing He asked the person to have at least ten people come. About 15 people showed up for the meeting. After asking what time does drug dealing go on which happened at night, Pfleger called for a meeting on a Friday night?

He told them to bring lawn chairs and they would sit on the block. “They looked at me like I was crazy,” said Pfleger. He said a 76-year-old woman said she would go. A man about 82, another man 80 and a 72-year-old woman volunteered. Everyone else was silent. He told them to bring a chair, paper and a pen or pencil and to take notes including license plate numbers.

Pfleger said there was one lady who leaned over and whispered, “Mike, I forgot my damn glasses. I ain’t see nothing.” He told her, “They don’t know that they can’t see. Pretend you can see and start writing down. The next I know she’s saying, “Move away, sir. I can’t see that license plate.” She’s writing down stuff and couldn’t see five feet in front her, but those three elders turned that block around in one week.”

“When we become free enough to not let our fears override our moral authority, when we decide as a group of people to say I’m only here for a moment…,whether I live until I’m 20 or until you’re 90 or 96 like my daddy, we’re here for a moment…(the question is) what are we going” to do with their time?

“That is what we’re going to be judged on, not whether we go to church…,” said Pfleger. “God is going to look at us and say what did you do with the breath I gave you. We can stop this. Three old folks stopped it on their block. Imagine if the community decides to say, ‘you know what? This summer ain’t going to happen.

“We’re going to put our arms around our children. We’re going to talk to our neighbors. We’re going to come out of our houses, and we’re going to report everything we see because we’re not going to allow blood on our streets anymore…. I think it’s that simple when we decide that this community that we live in is what God gave us to watch over and we’re going to take it back,” said Pfleger.

He told the audience of how he complains all the time including calling 911 to the point where when the operator answers, she says, “Hello, Father Pfleger.” He also told of how he sent a message to the mayor that he was ticked off at the city’s response to this violence. He asked the mayor for tools to shut down some of these stores where gangbangers hang out.

Referring to the store located in the 1400 block on West 79th Street where six people were shot where one died and five were wounded, Pfleger said, “We closed it down and told the guy if you open it back up, I will come in here and drive a truck through your damn store because it’s nothing but a problem. He tried to open it up one day and we went over there and told him to close it down and it hasn’t opened since.”

Pfleger told about the small dog, an 8-pound Pomeranian that ultimately died, that was killed by a Pit Bull. The owner walked away; however, neighbors took pictures of him with his dog and it turns out the owner was an off-duty Chicago police officer.

“Everybody pulled out their cell phones taking pictures of this guy…. If we can get that upset on the North Side about a dog dying, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t, when somebody gets shot out on the street, how come people aren’t pouring out on that street taking pictures”?

Referring to 16-year-old Derrion Albert who in 2009 was beaten to death near his high school during a mob attack, Pfleger said, “Derrion Albert’s people got caught because everybody was taking pictures…and they put those guys in prison and I’m saying the same thing has to happen out on the street….

“If a brother or sister on the street doing wrong things knew that people are going to come out and respond…, they’re going to think twice,” said Pfleger. “They are not afraid of the police, and they have no reason to be afraid of the community because we don’t react and say this is not going to happen. When people respond, they say this is not a good location. We have to go some place else. We have to put pressure on people for programs and the money and if we don’t do that shame on us because I’m going to fight….”

“We have to become aggressive and we have to become the first responders in our neighborhoods…,” he told the audience.

 He opened up the discussion with the audience asking them what can or what are they doing to stem the violence. One woman heard shooting and she said, “I made up my mind that I am not going to walk around and be afraid. The next morning, some of the older guys rode around the neighborhood on their bicycles and we didn’t have anymore problems….”

Referring to gangbangers, Pfleger said, “Do you know how many folks have gotten killed innocently because they were coming after another member of that family. I’ve told some folks in my church, if you got an uncle, cousin or son in the gang, you make the decision if this is what you want to live with and who you want to be with and put yourself in that risk, fine, but you can’t come around this house anymore because you are not going to bring danger to everybody else who lives in this house.”

He said the 6-year-old girl who was killed Pfleger said “They were after a family member. We have to understand that these fools aren’t trained to shoot a gun. They just come to shoot, and they don’t even care if they get the person. If they can get a friend for a family member, they’ve made their point….” He said youth who are in the gangs must be banned from your home.

Jami Garton, who mentors with The Black Star Project’s, said, “our young boys what they’re doing right now are crying out and they’re using a weapon because they’re crying out. They don’t have the older men in our neighborhoods in their families that are reaching out to these young boys. They are not gangsters. They are not thugs. They are crying out for help. It’s our responsibility to take back our families…to take back our communities, our neighborhoods….”

Pfleger urged parents and neighbors to take youth out of their neighborhoods and to expose them to other environments. He told of counseling one 18-year-old boy who was crying. He wanted to die. He had run away from home and was afraid of getting hot.

When asked what did he want to be, the boy said he wants to be a fireman. Pfleger took him to a nearby firehouse and an African American fireman spent 25-minutes talking to him. Pfleger said that gave this youth the hope he needed and he talked to his mother who let him back into her home “because somebody brushed off his dreams that he already head.” He told the youth he could still do this….

Pfleger told a story about meeting an African American woman, who was one of a group of blacks who had worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. King’s son asked Pfleger to come and speak. Pfleger went over to the table of the Montgomery Improvement Association and knelt next to this woman and asked if he could talk to her.

When she told him to sit down, Pfleger told her, “No Ma’am. I don’t have the kind of courage you have. Can you just tell me what you did and why,” he asked referring to the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott.

She said every day she got up and walked to that white family’s house where she worked. She took care of their kids but the man called her nothing but the “N” word. “Every night, I’d walk back home.” And, because of the boycott, Pfleger said the woman recalled how the white man would make her work late. “There would be young people who would try to scare us, call us names and say they were going to kill us to get us to break the boycott…..”

Pfleger said the woman walked home and sat up all night with her feet in a bowl to bring the swelling down so I could put my shoes back on in the morning and walk to his house and do the same thing. He asked her, “What made you do this and kept you doing this for 381-days”? She told Pfleger, “My faith in God and because it was just right.”

“We have to talk to our children. We got to put pressure on the alderman. We have to close down bad stores. We have to run people out of our neighborhoods who are doing bad things and selling bad stuff. We have to do all of that not because we’re going to get a grant not because somebody is going to pay us.

Pfleger said, “It’s like that woman said, we have to answer to a God and number two because it’s just right. It’s time for us as a community to say, we’re going to do it because it’s right and we’re going to stop it; so plays like this are fiction and not real.”

Referring to Clo in the play, Pfleger said,” When Clo decided she was going to do something different, she didn’t need a drink that night.” He said we all have to play a role in taking back our communities and ending the “Code of Silence” is a good start.

The play, “Tangled,” will run through Sunday, May 19, 2012, at the ETA Creative Arts, 7558 S.  South Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60619, featuring Ameena Matthews, activist and star of “The Interrupters.” The play begins at 8 p.m.

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.

Sandz announces release of new novel, “Blood Plantation ”

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
“It’s the sins of slavery” “A real horror of the middle passage”
“Southern reality and history never forgotten” “Supernatural fiction at its best”
 
 
CHICAGO, IL –  Rising fiction author, Deno Sandz has announced the release of his new book, “Blood Plantation” at Amazon.com now.  His latest novel takes readers back into the history of slavery with a supernatural/thriller story that’s well written, shocking, heart wrenching, plot driven, spellbinding, and frightening.
 
 
The Novel, “Blood Plantation ” is a historical fiction set at a Bed and Breakfast owned by the great, great, great, granddaughter of Captain Rollins the 3rd once known as the big house on a plantation in Virginian.  The antagonist, the SOTO (The Soul of the Ocean) is a captured slave from the southern tip of Africa, thrown overboard near the shores of Shonwaay, Virginian where the Shonwaayians now call, “The Shores of the Evil Soul” in 1810 after a mutiny he spearheaded leading to the murder of crew members, slaves, and his wife by the evil hands of Captain Rollins the 3rd who owned the plantation.  It’s now 2010 and another fifty years has dawned and the SOTO has awakened again to seek his vengeance against the last of Rollins’ blood line for the death of his wife.
 
Sandz explores some of the most important connections with slavery such as pain, suffering, and reality in “Blood Plantation,”- the love a husband for a wife, an evil that can never be forgiven, and a spirit that never dies.  The novel will inflict remembrance and have readers examine the reality of history with a fictional supernatural eye.
 
About Deno Sandz
Deon C. Sanders (Pen name: Deno Sandz) was born in the south, raised and resides in Chicago, is a father of six working in the educational field and has been a Multi-Genre author for the last ten years.  He has published horror fiction novels such as: “Miss Mary Weather: A Southern Nightmare” (2000), “Pen of Iniquity” (2008), “I,AM” (2010), and has numerous unpublished works.  He is a motivational speaker, writes phenomenal articles on every aspect of society, short stories that transcends the heart, soul, and mind of the reader, poetry that convokes emotions, lyrics that embraces the genre of the music industry, and movie screenplays.  He is also the owner/creator of Deno Sandz Productions/Six Shortyes Films.  Fans can follow Sandz on facebook, twitter, and linkedin. 
 
“Blood Plantation” ISBN-978-1461187219 is available in paperback @   http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Plantation-1-Deno Sandz/dp/1461187214/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309299062&sr=8-1 (276 pgs.) Kindle Edition: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Plantation-ebook/dp/B007MNX6D6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332427254&sr=1-1and https://www.createspace.com/3613422 .  Sandz’s personal website can be visited at: http://www.wix.com/dsandzdsanders/sandz
 
For more information about Blood Plantation, please contact author@ dsanders4119@yahoo.com.

Psychotherapist Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham gives five reasons why women should not “Think Like a Man”

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On April - 23 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

New Book and Film Reveal How Single, Black Men Really Think


Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — Psychotherapist Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, LCSW, BCD gives a professional perspective on Steve Harvey‘s movie, Think Like a Man, which is based on the book, Think Like a Man, Act Like a Women: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment (2009).

On May 10, Dr. Buckingham will release his new book, Qualified, Yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single to reveal the abnormal thought patterns behind men’s emotions and actions, which women should not try to emulate. While Dr. Buckingham thanks Steve Harvey for sharing his perspective about men with millions of women and praises him for igniting a meaningful dialog, he points out that Steve Harvey is a professional comedian not a licensed relationship expert and can only provide an opinion based on his experiences.

Many understand that the movie, Think Like a Man is probably intended to be a humorous parody to make light of an ongoing situation, however Dr. Buckingham expresses that he is deeply disturbed by the fact that Steve Harvey is instructing women to play games and to use bribery to get what they desire from men – especially since love and relationships are highly cherished in the Black community. “Relationships built on game playing cannot, and do not, work. Steve Harvey’s advice to ‘think like a man’ is extremely irrational and flawed. An individual’s behavior is not only influenced by thinking, but is determined by it. It is impossible to think one way and act another. Flawed and irrational thinking will not, and cannot, lead to healthy emotional expression or behavior,” states Dr. Buckingham.

As a licensed and board certified psychotherapist with more than fourteen years of clinical and community outreach experience, Dr. Buckingham feels that his efforts to help Black women enter into and develop healthy relationships are being undermined by self-proclaimed relationship experts who are sabotaging and corrupting the mind-sets of women who desire to receive true love and commitment from men. He feels that self-proclaimed relationship experts give advice based on external behavior that is present to the eye, but often do not discuss the why behind behavior because they are not trained or truly qualified to do so.

Dr. Buckingham explains that in some cases it is okay to start at a person’s present situation and move forward, which is the basis of life coaching. However, in his professional experience with interacting with thousands of women and men in therapy, he explains that behind every behavior there is usually an underlying emotional or psychological issue that has not been addressed.

With so much attention being focused on Steve Harvey’s movie and book, which many believe its concepts and have taken Steve Harvey’s advice, Dr. Buckingham strongly advises that before taking advice from anybody the listener should research and check credentials of those who are providing blueprints based on their personal experiences. Dr. Buckingham explains that human behavior and development is much more complex than what is discussed on radio shows, blogs, and in barber and beauty shops.

From a professional assessment, Dr. Buckingham gives five reasons why women should not “Think Like a Man”:

1. Women should not “Think Like A Man” because men often think that minimizing and repressing emotions is acceptable. While both women and men experience emotional distress, men’s coping styles are usually very passive in nature when it comes to dealing with emotions. Men are repeatedly instructed to deny or minimize emotions; therefore men often ignore and avoid dealing with them until they become unbearable.

2. Women should not “Think Like A Man” because men think that expression of emotions is a sign of weakness. Expressing sensitive or nurturing emotions, or giving freely, is not praised or encouraged among men. The pressure to maintain masculinity and to remain strong often creates emotional roadblocks for men. As a result, feelings of remorse, forgiveness, sadness, and empathy are overshadowed by feelings of self-pity, anger, embarrassment, pride, and loss.

3. Women should not “Think Like A Man” because some men think that it is okay to make decisions with their “little heads” instead of their big heads. “Get all the sex, you can get” mindset appears to be the driving force that dictate most men’s behavior. Sexual dominance is often praised and encouraged among men and is used to demonstrate power and control. This mindset is the root cause of adulterous behavior among some men and is significantly contributing to the decline of the institution of marriage.

4. Women should not “Think Like A Man” because men think that it is acceptable to think then act. This is unhealthy and flawed thinking because the most important aspect of human bonding and understanding is centered on emotional intimacy, not intellectual or behavioral. A man or woman who operates without processing from the heart will often fail at developing meaningful relationships. Decisions to act should not occur without processing thoughts, feelings and behaviors (Think-Feel-Do).

5. Women should not “Think Like A Man” because some men think that they can play games and get positive results in their relationships. How defective is this thinking? Even the bible says, “You Reap What You So” (Galatians 6:7). If a relationship is started by playing games, those in the relationship will become a game. If a relationship is entered based on deception, the relationship will be maintained based on deception.
According to Dr. Buckingham, Steve Harvey’s claim that women should stop asking other women how to keep a man and take the advice from men on how to keep a man is baseless. Many studies have shown that men are dealing with the same issues as women of desiring relationships, but unable to achieve them. According to the U.S. Census there are over 40 million men who have never married. In his upcoming book and film, Qualified, Yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single, Dr. Buckingham gives an intimate look into the hearts and minds of several successful Black men who are being challenged in their pursuit of love due to their personal issues.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham is a renowned psychotherapist, motivational speaker, author and activist who provides individual and marital therapy to military soldiers and their families assigned to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, LLC located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com. You can follow Dr. Buckingham on Twitter @DrDBuckingham.

Photo Caption: Bookcover

Spiritual wealth grower doing it God’s way

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

1st of 3 free financial workshops at Saint Sabina

 

By Chinta Strausberg

 

Hundreds came out late to hear Minister Deena Marie Carr, who teaches Finance: According To Your Faith (FATYF), present the first of three free financial workshops at Saint Sabina Church late Tuesday night that are bible-based and where she told the class, “God’s not broke. You shouldn’t be, either.”

Carr, who blends modern business and financial strategies with biblical principles, provides her class with invaluable information and the tools they need to manage their finances.

Father Michael L. Pfleger introduced Carr saying she is a product of the Chicago Public Schools. Carr graduated from Whitney M. Young College Preparatory High School. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University; a MBA in finance from the University of Chicago is the recipient of a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Ministry and Finance from Hope Bible School and Seminary. She continues her education at the London School of Economics where she is enrolled in the Executive Program.

Carr is a partner at a major management-consulting firm and she specializes in helping the leadership of Fortune 500 Financial Services and Insurance companies develop “cutting edge business strategies that incorporate the strategic use of technology to reach their goals.”

Though she has adopted a son, she still finds time for her ministerial duties at the Christian Heritage Training Center, which is her home church. A “PK Kid,” Carr’s great-grandfather was a Baptist preacher; however, she was raised in the Pentecostal religion, and she uses biblical passages as the basis of her popular financial freedom classes.

Growing up as a child of a pastor, Carr said back then when you wanted something or money to pay your bills, you simply prayed for God to intervene and grant your wishes, but then she began to study economics, began working and consulting with businesses. That is when she learned that all the answers to financing are in the bible.

During her first workshop at Saint Sabina, Carr focused on “How do we structure our finances so that we are online in our financial lives the same way we are online with our spiritual lives with the word of God.”

“The believer and their finances first operate on a spiritual context…. We believe that the spirit of God is solvent. We must understand the economic context, the economic environment that is going on and how” your plan works in that environment. “If you don’t get that right, you’ll mess up everything,” she said pointing to the unpredictable real estate field as an example. “Real estate is a fantastic investment in the right economic environment. If you do it in a wrong economic investment, you’ll lose your shirt.”

Carr asked the class what metaphor is used when money is referenced in the bible. The answer is a seed. Asking for one of the students to pass her a bill, Carr held up a $5.00 bill. She told of how different people may spent that money like busying shoes that are on sale, a video, or a large screen TV almost as large as an apartment. But others are more responsible like spending their seed on gas. The question she asks was ‘what did you do with your seed”?

She asked how do go about gathering your seed and how do you manage your seed. How you grow your seed is key to maximizing your return for taking on a prudent risk. She spoke about leverage, which is debt.

“Debt is only used to acquire an asset,” Carr said. “An asset is something that increases in value and preferably produces an income. If you use debt to acquire something that is not producing value and is not producing income, you are misusing debt,” said Carr.

Too often, people use debt to acquire things that decrease in value. Debt is a financial instrument that is used to acquire an asset. That is the only way to use debt, she said. Debt is a tool for deal making.

 “If you are going to start a business and you need $250,000 to start that business, there are two ways to do that. You can either give me ownership in the business…or borrow the money from a bank and keep your business….” “Debt is a tool for deal-making. It is not the way to finance your way of life.”

The spiritual framework of her first workshop involve six steps:  1) spiritual context, 2) Economic context, 3) gathering seeds, 4) managing seeds, 5) growing seeds and 6) leverage which is debt which is only used to acquire an asset.

“An asset is something that increases in value and produces an income. If you use debt to acquire something that does not acquire income, you are misusing debt,” she warned. “Debt is a tool for deal-making. It is not the way to finance your way of life.”

“The financial decisions that you make have to have prayer and they have to align before God,” said Carr. “We must tap into the wealth He has created by obeying every rule that He makes. God will speak to you and tell you exactly what to do…. The more you tap into the wealth that God created for us and the more you tap into it by obeying the word of God and taking actions in our lives, the more wealth flows through us,” Carr stated.

Spiritual obedience is the key to building wealth, she said. “We must tap into the wealth He has created by obeying. God will speak to you and tell you exactly what to do. The more we tap into it, the more the it will flow through us.”

“God will take care of us,” Carr said. “We have to take our minds out of this notion of our money and our job are taking care of us. Our money and our jobs are not taking care of us…. You obey God and that job is your place of ministry to be your vessel to help that job, that company to walk the halls praying because God put you there for such a time as this to help Him in exchange for giving you some income, but they are not the source of the income. It’s what God is using at that time.

“And if they (your employer) get out of line and God tells me to leave, He is going to give me another source,” said Carr. She stresses that people should give to the Kingdom of God “because God is taking care of us.”

Carr emphasized that “God is our source and these (jobs) are just vehicles and conduits that God is using to challenge us…”to minister and to be the light and your salt and to be your revelation as what you should do in that situation….”

She urged them to understand that they are to tap into their wealth that God has already created and to be obedient to God. “He says I give you the power to get wealth. He said you’re going to have gold…lots of things,” Carr said referring them to Deuteronomy 8:6-20. *

After reading these verses, Carr talked about giving and the importance of tithing. She asks the class to refer to the Old Testament as the Covenant. “It was the Covenant that God made with us. And the Old Testament is to be referred to as the “fulfillment of Covenant. “There is only one covenant. Jesus said I am not come to destroy the law. I come to fulfill the law.”

On giving, Carr said, “Many people don’t give…. That covenant was given. Those things they were told to do that was something that God was telling them to do so that they could be his covenant people…..”

“What is more important is that you give out of Covenant which means you give out of obedience. The first step of applying our finances is through covenant debate.

“How do we as believers build up wealth? How we structure our finances so that we are aligned in our financial lives the same way we are aligned in our spiritual lives with the word”?

“People will tell you go right down all of your bills and write down how much money you got. That is a lot of effort to tell you what you already know. You have more bills than you have money. Stop spending so much money. That’s commonsense,” she told the class. “God’s not broke. You shouldn’t be either,” she said.

“How do we structure your finances to allow us to be successful and how do we take that to the next level whether you are working on a job or business?”

She talked about tithes, offering, budgeting or financial structuring and debt management and the importance of the return on your investment and how it is the reward for having taking a prudent risk. However, Carr warned, “You have to make sure that the return matches the amount of risk that you take.”

How does one deal with financial mistakes? Carr gave this advice: “It depends on where you are in a situation.” Carr’s main theme in wealth building is to always remember that “God is the one who gives the power to attain wealth” and that the bible is clear in saying God “is the one who gives you the power to get wealth.”

In her book, “Wealth-Grow It God’s Way,” Carr warns “No matter what our level of wealth, we have a responsibility to manage it to the best of our ability and to increase it.”

She asked the class what is the purpose of the tithes. Shrugging off incorrect answers such as tithes are for the preacher, she said, “The tithe was to take care of the Levites.”

Referring to the 12 tribes, Carr, who also teaches a graduate course at North Park University, said,  “It was the responsibility of the Levites to take care of the needs of the people. The tithe was a provision for the Levites….”

The offering is for the priest. She also talked about the first fruit where God was asked to bless the rest of the harvest. “If you want God to bless you, if you want to tap into wealth, you have to look at wealth as something that you are creating but something that God is unleashing. What ever you get, you must first give back to God with the understanding that you are asking God to bless the rest of it.”

“Giving becomes the mechanism that we physically demonstrate how God is first. If we cannot trust God we begin with a portion, then you cannot ask God to bless the rest. The more money you make, the more God tells you to give,” she said. “

“Our finances are not a separate entity from our spiritual lives but an intrical part, done as an instrument, not a way of life.” In her book, “Wealth – Grow It God’s Way: Financial Empowerment For Your Future,” Carr, who used to pray for a winning Lottery ticket, quotes from Proverbs 13:11 and the dangers of wealth quickly won.

Citing the many horror stories of those who do win huge amounts of Lottery prizes, Carr wrote this is not the type of wealth she teaches but rather “the wealth that is actually sustaining, that produces an income, allows us to live a life that is exciting and fulfilled, and, most important, allows us to extend the Kingdom of God.

“Think about it again. Does God want us to be wealthy? The answer is Yes, God does want us to be wealthy, but it is not the Lottery winning, riverboat gambling, or overnight riches that we focus on. The Lord is specific about wealth. He defines it, gives His children the ability to acquire it, and presents specific instructions on how to manage it,” she wrote.

What is the purpose of wealth? Car writes in her book, “The real question is: what are we growing our money for? We must tap into the fact that the purpose of our wealth is not just so we can be comfortable in this life. The bible tells us, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). The reason we increase wealth is so we can do more to make a difference in the Kingdom of God.”

For those who go into business for themselves, Carr made it clear that they should not believe they achieved this goal on their own. Rather, she says “God wants us to remember that we have been blessed with businesses, as He promised in Deuteronomy, but when we develop these enterprises, we shouldn’t think we did it by ourselves. It was He who gave us the ability and power.”

Wealth, she said, “does not begin in the natural; it begins in the spiritual” and the reason is that “wealth ultimately comes from and belongs to God. All you are doing is exercising your spiritual muscle to become one of His stewards.”

Quoting from Matthew 9:37, Carr wrote in her book, “Jesus said, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.’ I don’t think laborers exist just so we can all become preachers. I believe the Lord needs some individuals to have wealth because there are people in the world who are suffering, and these men, women and children need spiritual solutions, but they also need financial solutions.”

She said God has given people enough power to be as prosperous as He has ordained in order for us to make a difference.

Jesus, she wrote, “emphasized that salvation was based on the heart of man, and our focus should be beyond the accumulation of wealth; it should be on building the Kingdom of God. It should be centered on doing all that we can to make a difference, and wealth, no matter how large or small, does not serve that purpose, it is of no use.”

Carr gave the class a homework assignment: At her next free financial workshop at Saint Sabina, on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 7 p.m., she asked the class to write down these three things: 1) all of your expenses, 2) write down all of your sources of income including what you want your sources of income to be, 3) and beginning now, record all monies you spend including your debit or credit card or a newspaper.

Carr repeatedly told her students that God is their source of wealth. In her book, she wrote: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work….

“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 9:8, 10-11 NIV).

The class was also asked to look up the scripture that tells them not to obsess about getting wealth.  One scripture, Proverbs 23:4 sums up her warning: “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.” 

“Man runs out. Earth runs out. God never runs out. Thus, our Heavenly Father is not a resource, He is the source,” she wrote. If you want to generate an income, Carr asked, “wouldn’t it make sense to do that from the point of origin, from the Source”? She emphasized that a person’s employment “is a resource” for their income and is “what God directs” you to do “in order to fulfill His will” in their lives and the life of the company where they work.

If you have more questions about, click on Carr’s website: http://www.financeaccordingtoyourfaith.org/

*6 “Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;

9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land, which He has given you.

11 “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, 12 lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them;

 

13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— 17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’

 

18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. 20 As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God.

 

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.

TheBlackManCan.org and BlackCelebrityGiving.com team up to present the Inaugural BlackManCan Awards honoring extraordinary Black men and boys!

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
 Now accepting nominations for over 10 categories, celebrating the positive Black male image

Nationwide — (BlackNews.com) Often negative portrayals of black males make indelible impacts on how the people of the world view black men and boys. Media sources are saturated with such negative images, creating false perceptions in the minds of many. Minds from all races have absorbed many of these stereotypical images of our black men and boys; it is time for change.

These misconceptions still persist, thus great efforts to challenge the misperception of black men and boys are needed; the BlackManCan Awards will help aid in this effort. Born from the idea that positivity yields positivity, TheBlackManCan.org (BMC) and BlackCelebrityGiving.com (BCG) are excited to announce the Inaugural Black Man Can Awards! Recognizing accomplishments within the community and professional arenas, the awards will honor black men and boys in more than 10 categories who embody the definition of a positive black male!

The Inaugural BMC Awards will honor and celebrate the positive black male in the following categories: Campus King (College Male Student), Boys II Men (Young Males) under the age of 18, Higher Education, Media (Journalism), K-12 Education, Business, Technology, Non-Profits, Law, Politics, Celebrity and Medicine. Nominations are now being accepted and will remain open until midnight on May 15th, 2012.

“Even as a black women, I recognize the negative preconceived notions our black men will undoubtedly face. I see the Black Man Can Awards as an amazing opportunity to honor those everyday men who are positively shaping our world and the image of the black man and boy,” says Jasmine Crowe, Founder of BlackCelebrityGiving.com.

The BlackManCan Awards is slated to generate hundreds of thousands of impressions across the web as readers will nominate and vote online through a custom social media platform, developed by ContestIs. The community is encouraged to nominate individuals worthy of one or more of the distinguished BlackManCan Awards via www.TheBlackManCan.org.

Finalists will be announced May 28th, 2012 via a live Twitter Chat, with voting to take place June 1st – June 15th, 2012. Winners of the 2012 BlackManCan (BMC) Awards will receive an official crystal award trophy, website badge, bragging rights for one year and other sponsored products. Winners will be announced, Sunday June 17th, 2012, Father’s Day. For more information on the BlackManCan Awards and detailed category descriptions, visit www.BlackCelebrityGiving.com and www.TheBlackManCan.org.

“The only way to provide the positive contradiction to the prevailing Black Male image of today is to counteract negative images with positives ones,” says Brandon Frame Chief Visionary Officer of theblackmancan.org.

Media and Bloggers worldwide can support the BlackManCan Awards by grabbing the office banner ad for the Inaugural BlackManCan Awards. To grab a banner email: bmca@blackcelebritygiving.com.

Join in on the conversation: Follow Black Celebrity Giving @BlkCelebGiving and the Black Man Can @TheBlackManCan on Twitter. The Official Awards Hash-Tag: #BMCAwards

About the Black Man Can


TheBlackmancan.org (TBMC) is a media platform with the mission of actively promoting a positive black male image. TBMC offers readers uplifting, inspiring and empowering articles and features of Black Men across the world. Since its inception in the spring of 2010, www.TheBlackManCan.org has become the #1 source for positive images and narratives of Black Men and Boys.

About Black Celebrity Giving

BlackCelebrityGiving.Com(TM) (BCG) is a media platform offering readers uniquely positive content of all things surrounding the premise of “Giving Back”. BCG is committed to addressing leading issues in the black community including: education, health disparities and financial management among other causes. Since its inception in summer 2011, BCG has donated more than $15,000 to various causes and organizations around the world. Visit www.BlackCelebrityGiving.com daily for good news, missing person spotlights, contests, charities, causes and more.

About Contest.Is

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hustle & Code, LLC is a privately held technology company specializing in the development of Contest.is — a rich media social promotions platform that harnesses the power of social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Our technology enables brand marketers, corporations, small businesses, agencies, bloggers, and non-profits to create engaging social media campaigns (contests, sweepstakes, and polls) that enhance and extend brand awareness.

 

Madigan announces $20 million in funding for Legal Aid Services in Illinois to assist struggling homeowners

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that $20 million in funding from the national foreclosure settlement reached this year will be given to legal assistance programs in Illinois to address the current foreclosure crisis and to provide access to the justice system for homeowners and renters.

“The one sector of our economy that has shown limited signs of recovery is the housing market,” Madigan said. “Providing critical resources for legal assistance programs will create a domino effect in the marketplace. Helping a family stay in their home benefits not just that family but the surrounding community, as well as local and state governments, all of which must happen to stabilize the housing market and revitalize the economy.”

Madigan’s announcement stems from her role in securing a $25 billion national settlement in February with the nation’s five largest bank mortgage servicers – Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Bank, formerly GMAC. The settlement addressed allegations of widespread “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents and other fraudulent practices while servicing loans of struggling homeowners.

As part of the settlement, the Attorney General’s office will recover money from the banks to remediate the historic levels of foreclosure in Illinois. Madigan’s announcement is the first step in the distribution of that funding to be used to assist homeowners and communities to recover from this crisis through funding for legal assistance programs, housing counseling services and community revitalization efforts statewide.

“We need to give homeowners a fighting chance to save their homes from foreclosure,” Madigan said. “The best way we can help is by providing distressed borrowers with legal representation to ensure they have an advocate to fight for them in the courtroom and that they will be treated fairly in the process.”

The settlement will also provide direct relief to affected borrowers in Illinois and completely overhaul mortgage servicing standards to prevent future abuses by lenders that many consumers have faced while trying to save their homes during the foreclosure process.

Attorney General Madigan urged consumers seeking more information to contact her Homeowner’s Helpline at (866) 544-7151, or visit her website, www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/bankforeclosuresettlement.html.  Borrowers can also visit www.NationalForeclosureSettlement.com

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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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