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Archive for May 2nd, 2012

American Democracy examined at Racial Healing Conference

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2012 Comments Off on American Democracy examined at Racial Healing Conference

Legal, political and education scholars note importance of timing in challenging systems of privilege that are harming children of color



NEW ORLEANS Legal scholars, educators and community leaders from across the nation joined last week to discuss the impact of power and privilege on America’s democracy and the future of the nation’s children.


In a session moderated by Charles Ogletree, law professor and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard, four panelists highlighted the importance of civic engagement in communities of color, which have been most recently threatened by voter suppression efforts.


Joining the panel was Donna Brazile, political strategist, syndicated columnist and television commentator, who said she got her start in politics at the age of nine. “And it was simply a request to build a playground in our community that motivated a child like me to go door to door, urging my friends to get their parents to go and register to vote. That was 1969. And here we are in 2012…I never thought I would see the day when we would spend most of our time and our resources protecting and defending the gains that we’ve made.”


“Let’s be very clear,” said Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, “it [is] minorities, African-Americans, Asians, Native Americans, Latinos [and] students” who will be most affected by voter identification laws. The Brennan Center for Justice estimates the laws may prevent as many as five million persons of color, young people and the elderly from voting in 2012.


America Healing is the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s long-term effort to heal racial divisions by supporting dialogue, thoughtful research, and systemic policy change in local communities where inequities in health, education and financial security are limiting opportunities for children. Last week, nearly 500 leaders of community-based organizations, civil rights groups, academic research institutions and members of the media took part in the four-day meeting in New Orleans.


Joining Brazile and Arnwine in the conversation were Ian Haney Lopez, a law professor at the University of the California, Berkeley and Peggy McIntosh, associate director of the Wellesley Center for Women.


In addition to a focus on controversial state-level voter identification laws, the panel also discussed the importance of supporting teachers as they explore how the anti-democratic notion that privilege can be conferred and denied based on race and ethnicity, can make its way into the classroom and negatively impact the potential of students.


McIntosh, who leads an institute that trains teachers around issues of racial privilege, asserted that a “democratic” approach to education ultimately helps teachers understand the “reality and validity of every child in their care.”


Adding to the idea that power and privilege can harm vulnerable populations was Haney Lopez, who detailed how racism has evolved from the challenge of segregation in the 1950s and 1960s to now “mass incarceration,” which has a disproportionate impact on young African American and Latino males, and “mass deportation” of undocumented persons, which has led to thousands of parents having to leave their children behind in the care of the child welfare system-a sometimes dangerous and often damaging process, according to the Applied Research Center, which is a grantee organization of the Kellogg Foundation’s America Healing effort.


The 2012 elections were emphasized as critical in advancing policy and community-level solutions to many of the systemic challenges facing children of color and their families.


“We have to increase the level of civic engagement and civic information and civic education in communities of color. We cannot rely on politicians,” said Brazile, herself a formidable political operative. “We should not rely on political parties. And God, please do not rely on the media.”

Lt. Governor Simon testifies in support of College Choice Reports

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2012 Comments Off on Lt. Governor Simon testifies in support of College Choice Reports


Legislation to help shine light on Illinois’ higher education institutions


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon submitted written testimony to the Senate Higher Education Committee in support of House Bill 5248, Amendment 2. The legislation, approved 7-0, will require public and private colleges and universities to publish annual “College Choice Reports” with key student and institutional data.

The College Choice Reports could contain information such as degree and certificate completion rates, net costs, debt loads and job placement outcomes. Much of the suggested data is already collected by the Illinois Community College Board and Illinois Board of Higher Education, but HB 5248 will ensure it is published in an easy to find and digestible format.

“Future undergraduates will be able to access College Choice Reports online to comparison-shop among institutions,” said Simon, who helped draft the legislation following her Complete College Tour of the state’s 48 community colleges. “Think of this new tool as a consumer report, guiding parents and students toward high-quality, affordable higher education investments.”

Upon passage of HB 5248, Amendment 2, higher education stakeholders will convene a committee to determine the style and content of the reports by January 1, 2014. Public and private degree-granting institutions will publish their first College Choice Report by January 1, 2015. Simon, as chair of the Joint Education Leadership Committee of the P-20 Council, will monitor the committee’s progress.

The General Assembly, with guidance from the P-20 Council, recently revamped the elementary and high school report cards which have been required for more than a decade. The College Choice Reports will build on these resources, Simon said.

HB 5248, sponsored by Sen. Kimberly Lightford, now moves to the Senate for a vote.

Senators call for Backpage to end ads promoting child prostitution

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2012 Comments Off on Senators call for Backpage to end ads promoting child prostitution

Bipartisan Group Introduces Senate Resolution 439


Washington, DC – Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have introduced a Sense of the Senate resolution calling on Village Voice Media, the owners of Backpage.com, to end their facilitation of human trafficking and prostitution by eliminating the “adult services” section of their website.

“Senators have joined the call of law enforcement, state attorneys general, and former victims of Backpage in calling for Village Voice Media to ease the facilitation of sex trafficking and finally take down the portion of the website that continues to victimize children,” said a spokesperson for Senator Kirk. “The ‘profit first’ mentality at Backpage and Village Voice Media continues to prioritize the rights of pimps, not kids.”

“Unconscionably, Backpage is enabling prostitution and human trafficking through the adult section of the website, supporting an avenue for abuse and violence against women and children. Backpage must shutdown the adult section immediately ending its involvement in such repugnant and destructive practices,” said Senator Blumenthal.

“The so-called ‘Adult Entertainment’ section is nothing more than a front for pimps and child sex traffickers. This is absolutely sickening, and should be stopped with all the tools available to us,” said Senator Cornyn. 

Backpage.com, an online classified ad website owned by Village Voice Media, is a major facilitator of online child trafficking through its adult section. This section includes services such as “escorts” and “body rubs,” thinly-veiled codes for prostitution.

Watch Video: Child Sex Trafficking:The role of backpage.com 

According to AIM Group, Backpage.com is the leading United States website for prostitution advertising, generating nearly 80 percent of the online prostitution advertising revenue. In fact, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) found more than 50 cases in 22 states that tied child prostitution crimes to ads posted on Backpage. 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. The lawmakers join 51 attorneys general and more than 240,000 Americans who signed a petition in urging Backpage.com to remove the adult services section.

In an April 24th ABC Nightline special on child sex trafficking facilitated by Backpage, Village Voice Media’s legal council suggested that Backpage is actually “a tool to save children online,” even though the Attorney Generals have dubbed it a hub for human trafficking of minors. 

Recently, Senators Kirk, Blumenthal, Rubio, and Cornyn wrote to 40 organizations informing them that the parent company they advertise on, Village Voice publications, owns Backpage. The senators further requested that the organizations use their economic influence as revenue generators for Village Voice Media to end online child sex trafficking facilitated by Backpage. Additionally, 19 U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Chairman and CEO of Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC, the company that operates Backpage, demanding the elimination of the adult section that allows the website to profit from the human trafficking industry.

A Department of Justice report shows that approximately 300,000 children in the United States are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation.

Additionally, Senator Kirk’s office recently released Child Sex trafficking: The role of backpage.com, a short video outlining the ugly details of how Backpage.com enables child sex trafficking in the United States.




Social Justice Leaders express optimism towards children’s future through healing America’s racial wounds and addressing the impact of racial bias

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2012 Comments Off on Social Justice Leaders express optimism towards children’s future through healing America’s racial wounds and addressing the impact of racial bias

NEW ORLEANS – The nation’s leading social justice and civil rights advocates pledged last Thursday at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s (WKKF) America Healing grantee conference to work together for racial healing and racial equity across the country. They were optimistic that as a united force they can help improve life outcomes for vulnerable children and communities across the country.

Leaders of diverse organizations representing African Americans, Latinos, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and all low-income communities across the U.S. acknowledged they face obstacles ranging from a conservative-leaning Supreme Court to new laws aimed at suppressing the minority vote. Speaking at a lunchtime plenary session at the gathering of nearly 500 scholars, advocates and community leaders, they declared it was time to look past the many impediments and focus on making progress together.


Benjamin Jealous, executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), cited examples noting that the NAACP had worked with the Tea Party to get 12 progressive criminal justice reform bills signed by Texas Governor Rick Perry and that Connecticut had enacted a law abolishing the death penalty in the state. He said, “There are issues out there – and especially within criminal justice – where we can actually get consensus between the left and the right and get great things done in this moment that’ll drive down the incarceration rate and reform draconian sentences.”

In addition to Jealous, other panelists included Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League; Janet Murguia, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza; Jacqueline Johnson Pata, executive director of National Congress of American Indians; Rinku Sen, executive director of the Applied Research Center; Kathleen Ko, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum; Judith Browne-Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project; Ralph Everett, president and CEO of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; and Philip Tegeler, president and executive director of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council.

The group applauded WKKF’s America Healing goal to provide equal opportunities for vulnerable children throughout this country, while promoting racial healing and addressing structural bias in health care, employment, education, housing, the environment and other factors. The grantee convening was part of the foundation’s America Healing work that provides grants for organizations to promote racial healing and racial equity to improve the lives of vulnerable children in communities.

Murguia reminded participants of the enormous opportunity that has been building to bring people together around changing the current trajectory for all our children in this country.


When we can come together in this modern era and understand that it’s not just about our separate struggles, but it’s about Dr. King’s words – words that he wrote to Cesar Chavez at the height of his fast. He said our separate struggles are really one – the fight for justice, for humanity and for dignity,” she said. “We’ve got to come together. We’ve got to stay together and understand that together we will move forward and conquer these difficult challenges.”


She acknowledged, however, the severity and impact of the law that virtually legalizes racial profiling against Hispanics by allowing law enforcement to check their citizenship papers under various scenarios. She referenced a recent Washington Postarticle that quoted the architects of anti-immigrant bills as saying that in crafting the legislation they wanted to find the way to “create the most pain, make people the most uncomfortable and cause people to leave because they are so afraid, scared and its so painful.”

Murguia continued saying that people have a right to say what they believe, but that we have the right to engage ourselves and place a value filter on those assertions.


“Right now, we’re under attack,” she said. “I can’t sugarcoat it…we held a rally in front of the Supreme Court when they heard the Arizona law, S.B.1070 – a law essentially requiring law enforcement to check the immigration status of anyone they stop in Arizona. There’ve been other efforts across the country to mimic this law. We’ve seen pain and suffering in the lives of many families, particularly in Latino and immigrant families. And the civil rights nature of these laws is getting lost. That wasn’t an immigration case they heard yesterday. That was a civil rights case.”

Morial cited the Arizona law, as well as an array of obstacles to racial equity, calling it “the worst of times” for social justice in the U.S. But he quickly cited the unity of civil rights and social justice leaders, and shifted gears, saying, “But they’re the best of times. And one of the reasons why they are the best of times is because I look at this stage, I look at all of you, and I see the seeds of the future.”

Everett noted another sign of progress. In 1970, when the Joint Center opened, he said there were less than 1,500 black elected officials in the country. Today, there are more than 11,000.


“As part of our Place Matters program funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we are about to release a study that shows how your zip code determines how long you live. In fact, the release will show a 25 to 30 year difference in some cases,” said Everett.

Tegeler, meanwhile, reconnected to the theme of working with vulnerable children. He reasoned that segregated communities were preventing integrated schools, which would have dire consequences if not addressed.

“As long as we’re keeping white children and children of color apart, I think we’re going to perpetuate the divisions in this country,” Tegeler said. “You know, we’ve heard over and over again at this conference that racial and economic segregation is the driver of racial disparity – racial disparity in health, in education, in employment, in income, in incarceration. It’s an underlying structure that feeds disparity and division.”

He called for an effort to deal with the underlying problem of segregation and to bring children together into more integrated communities and schools. “To have a real multiracial democracy, we need to start to bring children together more intentionally to break down racial stereotypes, break down implicit bias and so on,” he said.

Johnson Pata also looked to the future, saying she looked forward to removing many of the restrictions that the federal government places on what Native Americans can do with their land. Her goal would be to dismiss the “paternalistic feeling” from these restrictions.

“Policies of empowerment that really make self-determination work can counter paternalism,” she said. “We can actually have our tribal leadership help make decisions about our school curriculum and not have the state government guide what cultural activities are acceptable for our communities; then we could actually have the governmental tools like other states and other communities – governments, so that we could have tax-exempt bond financing to stimulate our economic development.”

Browne-Dianis steadfastly raised the need to save the children. She cited instances where young minority children were arrested as if they were adults. And she noted the vast differences in resources between her child’s school in a predominantly black county in Prince George’s County Md. and the school where the child of a friend attends in a white community of Fairfax County, Va.

“We as a country cannot allow the mistreatment of our babies,” she said. “We have got to reform our schools, but not in the way in which we’re going. The trajectory of education reform in this country is wrongheaded. We are going down the road of privatization, which means that there will be sorting-out of our children, sorting that will disadvantage children of color for centuries. You may have heard in the past few days, in Philadelphia they have announced the dissolution of their public school system. How are we allowing this to happen?”


The panel concluded with a discussion of what can be done to continue to move the racial equity conversation forward.

“One of the conversations we were having this morning is about how we also try to do state-by-state strategies,” Ko noted. “We can push at the national level, but how do we start to bring coalitions together at the state level? I work in healthcare. But how do we do that in all the different areas that we’re working, whether it be for voter suppression or any of the other issues?”


Meanwhile, Sen said, “I want to suggest that one way we can deal with a range of policies is to establish a pattern or practice in government that requires racial equity impact analysis to be done on any of the policies we are considering putting in place.”

For more information about America Healing, visit www.AmericaHealing.org.


W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create the conditions where vulnerable children can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.

New Orleans was chosen as the site of this second annual grantee meeting because the foundation considers New Orleans a priority place for investments and has several grantees in the city involved in the conference.

For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

Fifth annual School Wellness and Recognition Conference tomorrow in Springfield, IL

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2012 Comments Off on Fifth annual School Wellness and Recognition Conference tomorrow in Springfield, IL


Conference highlights the best nutrition and physical education practices across the state 


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Educators will convene tomorrow in Springfield for the Fifth annual School Wellness and Recognition Conference sponsored by Action for Healthy Kids Illinois, the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Nutrition Education Program. 

The conference, to be held Thursday, May 3, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, will feature workshops on the New USDA school nutrition standards, Illinois Farm to School program and increasing physical activity during the school day.  

Illinois School Wellness Conference Agenda

Fifth Annual Wellness Conference for school administrators, food service staff, and teachers to learn about best school nutrition and physical education practices 

The conference will be held May 3, 2012 at the Springfield Crowne Plaza Hotel, 3000 S. Dirksen Parkway, in Springfield, IL, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

OneUnited Bank launches new economy boost programs and national ad campaign

Posted by Admin On May - 2 - 2012 Comments Off on OneUnited Bank launches new economy boost programs and national ad campaign


Offers Down Payment Assistance and More

Boston, MA (BlackNews.com) — OneUnited Bank recently launched the Economy Boost Program that provides up to $1,200 towards closing costs for a home loan, to qualified applicants, in Boston, Miami and Los Angeles. In its ongoing effort to assist consumers in “boosting” their budgets, OneUnited is pleased to announce several new programs for qualified applicants including:


OneUnited Bank was recently approved for the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) Equity Builder Program. OneUnited is offering down payment assistance of up to $10,000 for first‐time home buyers who meet certain eligibility requirements. MULTI‐FAMILY LOANS – OneUnited Bank is among the top 100 multi‐family lenders in the country, lending on properties with 5 to 50 units, including HUD Affordable Housing Units (Section 8).


OneUnited Bank is expanding its Home Loan Program, which focuses on homes with 1 to 4 units, in all of its markets.


OneUnited Bank will pay up to $1,200 for the cost of appraisal, credit report, and other closing costs for owner occupied single family homes in Boston, Miami and Los Angeles, for qualified buyers. This offer can be combined with the Equity Builder down payment assistance.
In addition, OneUnited is rolling out its first ever national television advertising campaign in Boston, Miami and Los Angeles. “OneUnited is passionate about its mission to make our inner cities stronger by leveraging their spending power and reinvesting those funds into urban communities,” said Kevin Cohee, Chairman & CEO of OneUnited Bank. “Our nationwide ad campaign provides a greater platform for raising awareness of our many products and services designed to boost customer budgets and meet their personal needs.”

For more information about OneUnited Bank and its services, visit the website at www.oneunited.com or call (877) One‐United or (877) 663‐8648. To see the new advertisement, visit www.oneunited.com/TVad.

About OneUnited Bank

OneUnited Bank (www.oneunited.com), a Minority Depository Institution (MDI) and a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), is a nine time recipient of the Bank Enterprise Award from the U.S. Department of Treasury due to its focus on community development lending. Its mission is to be the premier bank serving urban communities by promoting financial literacy and offering affordable financial services. OneUnited has grown through a combination of organic development and by acquiring community banks that share its mission, including Boston Bank of Commerce in Boston, Massachusetts, Founders National Bank and Family Savings Bank in Los Angeles, California, and Peoples National Bank of Commerce in Miami, Florida.
*Households with incomes at or below 80% of the area median income (based on the location of the property) may qualify for the Equity Builder Program. Other requirements apply. Offer only available while FHLB funds last and are offered on a first come, first serve basis, so apply today!

**OneUnited Bank will provide a credit up to $1,200 at closing to cover costs for appraisal, credit report, processing, underwriting, loan documents, tax transcript, tax service, flood certification, and flood monitoring fees for an OneUnited Bank single family loan in Massachusetts, Miami and Los Angeles. Payment for these services may be requested upfront and reimbursed or credited at closing. This promotion is valid for loan applications received prior to September 30, 2012 for the purchase or refinance of an existing single family or condo in OneUnited Bank’s lending areas in Massachusetts. One offer per household. Loan and credit qualifications apply. Please check with our representatives for our current annual percentage rate and full promotion rules.

Pfleger backs Rep. Rush’s prayer/protest march for jobs, contracts

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On May - 2 - 2012 Comments Off on Pfleger backs Rep. Rush’s prayer/protest march for jobs, contracts


Tells METRA ‘You’re not tearing down our houses in Englewood’


By Chinta Strausberg 


On the eve of the annual National Day of Prayer, Father Michael L. Pfleger late Tuesday night announced he is 100 percent behind Rep. Bobby L. Rush’s (D-1st) Thursday, May 3, 2012, 10 a.m. protest march for jobs and contracts being held being held outside of the METRA Headquarters, 547 W. Jackson Blvd. on the corner of Jackson and Clinton Streets.


Speaking before fiscal expert Deena Marie Carr’s last free financial workshop began, Pfleger asked the class to join Rep. Rush at Thursday’s protest march.


Pfleger explained that the march is being held to ask METRA to rebid its $86 million Englewood “Flyover” contract that currently has the participation of only one African American who received a $112,000 security contract. Pfleger said, “That’s unacceptable.”


“A major part of this contract takes place in Englewood,” Pfleger said. “We are demanding that they rebid the contract and supply more jobs. We have in Englewood and Auburn Gresham about 34 percent unemployment. You cannot transform communities or continue to talk about stopping violence when you don’t offer jobs. You got to offer jobs to people.”


Pfleger, who like Rush, has engaged in Civil Rights actions and stopped construction at sites that had no black workers, said, “We have to make sure we have representation from the African American and Hispanic communities.” Pfleger said when he goes around and checks on construction sites and sees there are no African American workers there “that is not acceptable.”


METRA, Pfleger said, does not have a good track record in the black community. For years, Pfleger said METRA “is still fight us to reopen the station at 79th and Fielding where it used to be for years…. They told us we don’t need any more METRA stations in the community, but there are six METRA stations in Beverly and there is a little pretend station on 87th….“


METRA, Pfleger added, “has a long record of disrespect; so we are going to demand that METRA gives jobs in the black and Latino communities.”


Referring to METRA, Pfleger said, “They are going to be tearing down houses in Englewood. They are crazy. I told METRA two-months ago that you are absolutely out of your mind if you think you’re going to tear down houses in Englewood yet not put a station on 79th Street and hire black people,” he said as the members applauded him.


Pfleger added, “We warned them. I’ve stood in front of tractors many times. I’ve never stood in front of a METRA train….” He asked them to join him at Thursday’s prayer/protest march against METRA.


Pfleger and Rep. Rush are both strong supporters of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his non-violent peace philosophy. In 1987, Rush, then alderman of the 2nd Ward, single handedly stopped the CTA from demolishing the 40th Street El Station on the Green Line. Rush, who Tuesday met with about 25 supporters including Pfleger and a number of Civil Rights and community leaders, have vowed to stop METRA’s Englewood “Flyover” project if METRA doesn’t hire more blacks and let more contracts from this $86 million mostly federally funded project.


Rush said he has several congressmen who are willing to pull METRA’s projects if it is not more inclusive of the community in which this project lies.


On other issues, Pfleger also reminded his members that this Sunday, May 6th at 10 a.m. is “Unity Youth Sunday” where Rev. Will Hall and other youth will conduct the entire worship service.


Also, he asked everyone to join him on Friday, June 15, 2012, for his annual “Peace in the Streets” anti-violence march being held at 7 p.m. at Saint Sabina Church, 1210 W. 78th Place, where he is hoping to double last year’s participation to 2,000 people.  Pfleger is calling on all ‘peacemakers” to share in the responsibility of reaching out to the youth to stop the violence.


Having invited, the mayor, the Chicago Public School superintendent, the police superintendent and many others, Pfleger said, “We want to send a message for the summer and for our city that everybody will be responsible for our young people. “ Pfleger said, “no one gets a pass” on helping to make Chicago safe and a call for more police is not the answer.


Explaining, Pfleger said, “We obviously can’t just say more police because there are 1,000 more police on the street than there were a year ago and yet murders are 52 percent.  That lets us know that police are not the answer alone. It’s the community and the churches” that are playing a vital role in “being the voices in the communities.”


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.

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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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