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Archive for May 26th, 2012

Honoring Our Troops, Supporting Military Families and Commemorating American Heroes this Memorial Day

Posted by Admin On May - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on Honoring Our Troops, Supporting Military Families and Commemorating American Heroes this Memorial Day

From Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (2nd District)


This Memorial Day we ekend, as you gather with family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy rest and relaxation, it is important that we remember the true significance of this holiday.

Each year, Memorial Day provides us with a time to commemorate and pay tribute to the millions of American men and women that answered their nation’s call, serving with strength, honor, and courage. We take this day to honor our friends, family, and the countless Americans that we have never met who made the sacrifice to protect us by serving in uniform. To our nation’s fallen heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice, our veterans, and the servicemen and servicewomen currently stationed overseas, we owe an impossible debt of gratitude.

There are many ways to show your appreciation for our nation’s military and honor the spirit of the holiday. Not sure how to get started? You may wish to:

  • Visit First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces Initiative, which helps mobilize volunteers for service opportunities to help veterans, military families, and active duty military forces.
  • Send a message of thanks and support to military families by clicking here.
  • Send needed personal items to our troops stationed overseas using the US Post Office’s guidelines.
  • Or visit a local military cemetery, participate in a Memorial Day event in your community, or volunteer at a Veterans’ Hospital.

No matter how much time you have, I urge you to take some time this Memorial Day weekend to give thanks to our nation’s active duty military, veterans and the military families that support them all across this great nation.

Black contractor seeks $12 million payout, refuses to be front firm

Posted by Admin On May - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on Black contractor seeks $12 million payout, refuses to be front firm


By Chinta Strausberg


In business since 2003, Harold J. Davis, Jr., president of Amer-I-Can Enterprises II, who had a $12 million contract with Aramark Correctional Services, Inc. which is one of the nation’s largest food service providers to jails and prisons, is still fighting to get his money but is running into brick walls after he blew the whistle on the owner he alleges tried to make him into a front company.

Davis recently appeared before the WE CAN, INC. Committee, chaired by Florence Cox , seeking help in getting justice. Cox  said, “According to municipal regulations, front companies are illegal. Some companies have been barred from doing business with the city when found to be operating in that manner. Front companies rob legitimate business owners of access and growth.”

WE CAN, INC. is a committee comprised of some of Chicago’s most successful black businessmen and women who are fighting to improve the quality of life in the African American community and to help nurture and gain equal access to contractual dollars.

Davis is taking his case to anyone who will listen and it’s a story of a black man seeking an equal opportunity he says was seized by a greedy white-owned corporation that ended up getting the entire contractual pie including the slices earmarked for minority firms.

Though he’s been allegedly threatened, Davis isn’t backing down on neither his goal of blowing the whistle on Aramark  nor his vow not to become a black front company as he was allegedly asked to do by Aramark.

Explaining, Davis said in 2007 he had a three-year $12 million contract with the Cook County Jail where he sub-contracted with Aramark. “I had six one-year addendums which would have brought the contract to $36 million.

“I thought I would be buying commissaries,” he said. “I thought I was going to be doing food, buying paper products. There were seven entities to the contract.” He was supposed to move the product, buy the product, which included purchasing food and black hair products.

“I was only supposed to get one entity of the contract. They gave me all seven of them. They told me, ‘we like you so much, we are going to give you all seven.’”

“No,” Davis told Aramark officials. “They didn’t want to have to cut seven checks. They figured if they gave it all to me (they would have one check where he would take his portion and send the bulk of the check to someone else). “I refused to do it,” Davis said.

Davis visited the Aramark distribution site located at 518 Hankes Ave., in Aurora. However, he said, “this site was substandard as a warehouse and perishable items were leaking through boxes. Many were opened and obviously in violation….”

Davis said Aramark officials asked if he knew of a better site. “They told me to go and find a warehouse. I found a warehouse (at 11444 S. Halsted), and they gave me the specs and said to me ‘this is what we mean how the warehouse should look like.’  They said they needed a tractor trailer to move the items to the jail which was another $35,000.”

Davis said he secured the site and paid for land use specialist and architects to prepare plans for the new location. He also constructed new walls and ceilings with doors to improve the layout. “Aramark broke through the wall to access additional space without permission and still didn’t pay for additional space.”

Davis secured the additional space for Aramark at a rate of $1,500 a month “Aramark has not paid one dollar towards this extra space in 11-months,” Davis said explaining initially he subleased the site to Aramark for $4,150.00 per month.

Davis said Aramark officials asked him to hold job fairs and told him they would have 120 people at the warehouse. “We did three or four job fairs,” he said explaining that local elected officials were also present.

“Aramark promised to bring at least ten jobs to the community and even visited the alderman to solicit help and names of qualified applicants,” said Davis. “When the names of applicants were ready, the jobs were gone.”

 “Once we got everything in the warehouse and the day they sent a check to me for $75,000, everything was in the warehouse,” said Davis. “They said they would supply the warehouse with all the stuff that I need…T-shirts, gym shoes, all the commissaries…everything.

“They told me they would finance me the first go round and after that’s it’s on me. We had the warehouse full. It was packed, and then I got this call from this guy, Scott Gleason, owner of Maxima Company in Lansing, Michigan, and he said, ‘You owe me….”

Davis said Aramark officials explained it was a “computer glitch” and that the check should have come to him three-days before Scott Gleason called Davis demanding his check. “The check came to me the day they said Gleason was supposed to have it.” Davis said Gleason “was the actual buyer of the Frito-Lay products, not me.

“They made it looked like the products came from me, but the stuff didn’t come from me. It came from him,” said Davis referring to Gleason. “They were going to add five percent to the check that they sent me.” Davis said that was supposed to be his cut from that $75,000 check.

“ I was only supposed to send him $72,000 and they said the $3500 was mine.  That is how the $17,400 a month I was supposed to get for three-years would have from by the products they ordered. They were going to increase it the next three-years to $25,000 and the next three-years they would have increased it to $30,000,” explained Davis.

“I say no. I’m not going to jail for none of y’all,” Davis told Aramark officials. “Ya’ll want me to commit some crime. I didn’t order this. How come I couldn’t have gotten on the phone with Frito-Lay and negotiated my own price? I could have done the same thing he (Gleason) did,” Davis told Aramark officials. “They told me, ‘That’s not how it’s set up.’”

“That guy (Gleason) was doing business for 45 jails. He had an office and a phone. That’s all he had. Out of 45 jails, he was doing upwards of $240 million a year with Aramark and all he had was an office, a phone, a fax machine and a desk.”

“They figured that my part for my ordering the products that would have been $4 million a year…my part would have been $200,000,” explained Davis who again said he was not going to jail for anyone.

According to Davis, the Health Department shut down Aramark operations allegedly for health-related violations. Davis assisted Aramark in correcting those violations and spent money reconfiguring the warehouse to code. Ultimately, Aramark vacated the site in violation of the lease leaving the exterior “in gross disarray and the interior unclean and unsecured.”

The city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation threatened to ticket daily if the site had not been brought into immediate compliance. Davis lost thousands of dollars trying to comply with city health rules and has never been reimbursed by Aramark, and his many questions about Aramark’s contractual money trail for various products and vendors remain unanswered.

Back on August 8, 2007, Davis and his lawyer, Lewis Myers, Jr., filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County against Aramark Correctional Services, Inc, et al that referenced a number of companies that had been indicted by the U.S. Attorneys Office.

Owners of those companies had been indicted “for illegally using minority firms to receive minority set-aside funds in violation of federal and state laws. “Unfortunately, most of the minority companies have been black,” said Myers in his complaint. “Black minority business people have been exploited for years under the minority set-aside program,” the complaint said referring to the Cook County Contract Compliance Office and the Minority Enterprise Business Program.

According to the complaint, Aramark operates a billion dollar business in Cook County and reportedly has subsidiary companies throughout the nation.

After Davis secured a contract as a minority business with Aramark to do business with the Cook County Jail, the complaint stated, “When Mr. Davis refused to allow his company to be used as a pass-through operation, Aramark abruptly canceled his contract as well as a sub-lease that had been entered into with Aramark to store and house goods for the Cook County Jail.”

A January 24, 2007 letter from the Cook County Office of Contract Compliance states that on December 12, 2006, “both Aramark and Amer-I-Can were informed that a prime contractor with Cook County could not stop utilizing or terminate an W/WBE subcontractor from a County contract without first requesting and receiving written permission from the office to do so.”

The letter stated that permission to cancel a contract of a M/WBE subcontractor couldn’t be done until the Cook County Office of Contract Compliance had launched an investigation and decided that the prime contractor “had demonstrated sufficient cause to remove an M/WBE subcontractor from a contract and substitute the firm with another M/WBE.”

In the complaint filed by Myers, he said, “This is typical of how majority white companies exploit minorities. Mr. Davis is one of the few who decided to stand up against this injustice.”

Davis believes by standing up and rejecting money by pretending to be a front firm, he can help other minority contractors “who have to fight off the evils of submitting to becoming pass-through corporations by majority white companies that do not have the interests of the black community” at heart.

Davis continues to call State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to help him in the investigating of Aramark’s alleged role in asking him to serve as a front company and for canceling his contract after he blew the whistle on the company. However Davis has yet to make inroads on his request.

Calls placed to Alvarez’ office were not returned and neither Aramark media representatives Thomas Sueta or Megan Haney returned this writer’s calls.

Besides refusing requests allegedly by Aramark to break the law by becoming a front company, Davis feels majority white firms that pay minorities to be front companies rob legitimate African American contractors of their fair share of the contractual pie. Davis vowed to keep fighting until he has received justice and hopefully serve as a warning to white firms to stop siphoning off monies earmarked for minorities.

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.

Mitchell Kapor Foundation celebrates college bound African American young men in the San Francisco Bay area

Posted by Admin On May - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on Mitchell Kapor Foundation celebrates college bound African American young men in the San Francisco Bay area

Event highlighting black male achievement part of $1 million effort aimed at boosting number of college-ready black male youth

Oakland, CA (BlackNews.com) — African American young men from the San Francisco Bay Area who are graduating from high school and heading to college will take center stage June 3 at a unique graduation ceremony aimed at celebrating and amplifying their achievements.

The event is part of the Mitchell Kapor Foundation’s College Bound Brotherhood, a college readiness program that aims to expand the number of young black men in the San Francisco Bay Area who are prepared for college. Youth participating in the event will be eligible for a $100 stipend to defray the cost of college books.

“African American young men are assets that we can’t afford to lose and, when they earn college degrees, the economic and social benefits impact all of us,” said Cedric Brown, CEO of the Kapor Foundation. “All too often, these young men and their accomplishments are overlooked and dismissed. The Kapor Foundation is proud to celebrate young black men who are on their way toward creating change for themselves, their families and our communities.”

Across the nation and locally, African American young men are graduating from high school at alarmingly low rates, and even fewer are ready for a college education. In 2009, for every 100 graduating Bay Area seniors, only four were African American males, and only one African American male was eligible to attend a California State or University of California institution. Since the launch of the College Bound Brotherhood in 2008, the Kapor Foundation has distributed more than $1 million in grants to organizations that support young black men through college readiness workshops, college tours, academic coaching, mentoring and much more. The Foundation issued a call May 15 for another round of $25,000 grants to community organizations working on college readiness for young black men. Information on how to apply are available on www.mkf.org.

“Black males are underemployed, undereducated and undervalued,” said Monique August, executive director of the Choose College Educational Foundation, a Kapor Foundation grant partner. “By investing in these youth, we are not only uplifting the lives of the young males, but enhancing the livelihood of our entire society. The graduation celebration combats stereotypes and statistics of black male achievement, and is a catalyst of hope and pride in our communities. ”

In addition to strategic grantmaking, the Foundation builds a college-bound culture for young black men through collegeboundbros.org, a public database of college-readiness programs; the Brotherhood Leadership Advisory Council; and the annual “Black & Proud to be College Bound” conference.

The 2012 College Bound Brotherhood Graduation Celebration, which takes place at 5 p.m. June 3 at the Kaiser Center, is supported in part by Mechanics Bank. Please visit http://Brotherhoodgradcelebration2012.eventbrite.com to RSVP.

About the Mitchell Kapor Foundation:
Founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Mitchell Kapor in 1997, the Mitchell Kapor Foundation supports organizations that provoke social change in communities of color en route to equality. Through strategic grantmaking, the Foundation currently supports efforts in three areas of work: Voting Integrity and Civic Engagement; the College Bound Brotherhood; and Information Technology for Social Impact. The Foundation also provides assistance and advising to build the capacity of the organizations it serves. For more information, www.mkf.org.

Journalist Strausberg remembers her cousin, a Vietnam War hero

Posted by Admin On May - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on Journalist Strausberg remembers her cousin, a Vietnam War hero

One of men saved still wonders why he paid the ultimate price


By Chinta Strausberg


For the first time, I will not be one of the speakers for the outdoor 16th annual ceremony and dedication of the General John A. Logan Monument being held Monday, May 28, 2012, 11 a.m. on Memorial Day at Michigan Avenue and 9th Street.

I was on the agenda that is until three-days ago when someone called and informed me that four speakers had to be cut from the outdoor ceremony due to time restraints. Unfortunately, I was one of them.

My heart sunk for a moment because I had promised my uncle, the late Milton B. Olive II, the father of Vietnam War hero Milton Lee Olive, III, I would do everything I could to lift up the name of his son, his only child.

But just as I reflected upon uncle’s death-bed wish, a woman from The Lawrence Pucci Wedgwood Society of Chicago, which along with the Chicago Cultural Mile Association is hosting this ceremony, informed me that I would be allowed to speak during the 12:30 p.m. luncheon being held at The Blackstone Renaissance Hotel following the outdoor program.

My heart skipped a beat then calmed down because it was the late Lawrence Pucci who worked with me in trying to get a flower peace garden planted at Olive Park, located at 500 North Lake Shore Drive that is named after young Olive whom we called Skipper.

At 18, Skipper was the first African American to have received the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. On October 22, 1965, Skipper, who was nicknamed by my paternal grandmother, spotted a live grenade during a search and destroy mission in Vietnam. Without hesitation, Skipper grabbed the device, placed it on his stomach allowing it to explode.

Skipper paid the ultimate price, his life, but he saved the lives of four of his comrades who were behind him. Of the four, only two are alive with one being in a nursing home in Washington State. Retired Captain Jimmy Stanford is alive and well and resides in Texas. We e-mail and call each other often. Stanford used to be a racist until Skipper saved his life.

As he once explained, hating blacks was normal if you were white and grew up in Texas. It was part of his culture, but all that changed on October 22, 1965 when Skipper chose to save his life.

In a taped interview on May 30, 2010, Stanford said back in 1965 he was assigned to Skipper’s U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade in Phu Cuong, Republic of Vietnam.

“I had a young black soldier assigned” to his unit “by the name of Milton Olive. I did not know Milton Olive. I had only been there a few days. I had learned who the platoon sergeant was…and who the people were that caused a lot of problems, but the people in between I did not get to know them too well before we started our operations,” Stanford recalled.

Referring to that fateful day, Stanford said, “We were assigned a mission of clearing this area…. On that day, we had been operating in conjunction with the other platoons in the company.

“We were moving through the jungles and we had been ambushed for the third time that day, and this time Milton was about a foot and a half to my left…. We were lying on the ground. The grenade fell between Milton Olive and me. I was scared. I left. I was very scared probably more so than my rank called for me to be, but I’m lying there and I’m looking at the yellow writing on this grenade and Milton grabbed this grenade and put it under him….

“The last thing I remember hearing him say was, ‘Look out, lieutenant, grenade and the next thing I knew was the grenade was going off and he died in the blast saving my life,” said Stanford. “A lot of times people have asked me why did he do this. What type of person does this? But, these are questions I can’t answer. There are a lot of what ifs…. What would have happened if he had picked it up and tossed it aside of me?

“A lot of time I go sleepless at night,” said Stanford. “I think about this and it’s been on my mind for many years. I’m beginning to be an old man and I’m still thinking about this, and I still don’t have the answers for this.”

Referring to Memorial Day, Stanford said, “this is the day that we need to think about things such as this and the sacrifices made not only by Milton Olive but by many soldiers like him.

“We can have our barbecues and our picnics and things like that, but we still need to think about these people. Our freedom is not free. People like Milton Olive have given their life to ensure that we have a life of freedom and prosperity,” he stated.

Asked how did Skipper’s saving his life change him, Stanford said, “It has changed my life tremendously. You might say I was a pretty redneck up until this time. It caused me to stop and think. He gave me another chance of life to do something with it, and I think I’ve done the best that I can. I’ve enjoyed it, but I think about this daily. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about this young man.”

“I was very much a racist,” he admitted. “I guess it was the atmosphere in which I was raised in. This changed my life. It wasn’t an over night, complete 380-degrees, no. It was not that, but it began as an acceptance and from there it evolved to 480 degrees. It took many years to undue what I had been taught as a youngster,” Stanford admitted.

Today, Stanford says he thanks God every day he wakes up but admits he doesn’t know why Skipper sacrificed his life for his friends.

Well, my family doesn’t understand why Skipper did what he did either, but as a teenager who was born in Chicago, we are proud of this Englewood war hero who was born on November 7, 1946 to Milton B. and Clara Olive. She died giving birth to Skipper who was a breech baby. My dad’s parents, Jacob Augustus and Zylphia Wareagle Spencer, raised Skipper at 6012 S. Loomis, a building Skipper’s dad purchased.

Skipper went to several schools in Englewood including Copernicus where I once planned Thanksgiving turkey giveaways for the children and their parents. I wanted to go there to see if I could feel some sort of connection with Skipper a young man my cousin, Dr. Barbara Penelton, who grew up with Skipper, described as being 5’6” and never weighing more than 140-pounds.

Penelton said Skipper “was often in the process of trying to prove that he could do what the ‘big guys’ could do” and that he was proud to be a paratrooper. It is with deep pride and respect that we recognize and appreciate his courage and his bravery because he truly did demonstrate that he could do what few others, big or small, could do. He could save the lives of others knowing that it would be at the expense of his own.”

Penelton admits she often tried to discourage Skipper from going to the service but he would write her back. “His letters often included descriptions of events that verified that he could be a soldier with the best of them,” she said. “He was proud of his uniform.

“I remember a time when he and my brother were both on leave. My brother hurried up and changed from his uniform so that he could go to the clubs to party. Skipper was too young to go to the clubs so he kept his uniform on and watched television with my grandparents,” Penelton recalled. Skipper, she said, “felt great pride at being a service man and we feel great pride in his heroism.”

I too feel a deep sense of pride in Skipper’s unselfish and heroic actions that fateful fall day, and I will always remember and cherish the many conversations I had with his father, Uncle Milton, especially his asking me over and over again to always let the world know what his son did for his country.

So, once again, Uncle Milton, I am keeping my promise to you and I miss our long talks. I miss seeing how your face and eyes would light up when you talked about your son, but if you were here today, I would tell you that your son’s blood that spilled in Vietnam is still having a healing effect today.

I would tell you how it has changed the life of Captain Stanford who is no longer a racist and like the others Skipper saved, Platoon Sergeant Vince Yrineo who is in a nursing home, Lionel Hubbard, a private from Texas who like John Foster, boxer from Pittsburgh are no longer alive, all have children and grandchildren because of the love and respect Skipper had for his comrades and his country.

Skipper’s life could have been quite different for he dropped out of high school because he was not challenged and went to Lexington, Mississippi to be with his paternal grandparents. When his father found out where his son was he was afraid that the KKK would kill Skipper so he gave him three choices: go back to school, get a job or join the military. The rest is history.

So, I say to soldiers of all wars, happy Memorial Day and thank you for your service to our great country. Thank you for your sacrifice you are and have made on our behalf. And to the families who lost their loved ones, I send you my deepest condolences, but I thank God for bringing your children our way for they have made America a greater and safer place for everyone.

Happy Memorial Day, America.

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.

African Americans should ignore the recent prostate cancer test recommendation

Posted by Admin On May - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on African Americans should ignore the recent prostate cancer test recommendation

By Thomas A. Farrington, PHEN President & Founder

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — I was in Atlanta, Georgia the past few days attending the American Urological Association’s (AUA) Annual Conference. While there we heard from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that it had ignored the voices of prostate cancer specialist, patients and patient advocacy organizations and that it was dancing to its own music by issuing a final “D” recommendation for the PSA test. This recommendation is against the routine use of the PSA test for the early detection of prostate cancer; this news made headlines across the country.

Since the draft recommendation issued by the USPSTF in October 2011, I have communicated PHEN’s opposition against the draft “D” recommendation. We stand firmly against this final recommendation and with many other organizations, prostate cancer specialists and some government agencies (see video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jIFcd8obfU&feature=g-upl) who accept data showing that the PSA test saves lives and is the major contributor to a decline of 49% in the prostate cancer death rate since the test has been used widely.

In a “Town Hall Meeting” held at the AUA conference that included a representative of the USPSTF it was clear that any argument made in opposition to the USPSTF recommendation was simply ignored by it. The moderator asked for a show of hands of those that disagreed with the USPSTF’s position and nearly all hands were raised.

At the heart of the “scientific evidence” used by the USPSTF to render its recommendation is the PLCO study. However the leader of this study, Dr. Gerald Andriole who participated on the panel for the Town Hall meeting has consistently stated his opposition to the conclusion that the USPSTF drew from this study and he supports the PSA test (see video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSouDkvH8cU&feature=relmfu). In addition, research experts emphatically point out that the PLCO data is too flawed to be used as the basis for a recommendation on the PSA test.

As I have pointed out since the PLCO study was released, African American men are not included in this study at a significant enough level that would allow the USPSTF to draw a conclusion on the effectiveness of the PSA test for Black men. However, the USPSTF has simply ignored this lack of data and included African American men and other high risk men in its final “D” recommendation. This action was taken in spite of calls from congressional leaders, medical specialists and patient advocates that such action would be reckless and without a scientific basis.

With its “D” recommendation, the USPSTF has issued a death sentence to those men that will need early detection of aggressive prostate cancer but will ignore their prostate health based on this recommendation.

PHEN will continue to focus on educating African American men about their prostate health and the importance of early detection of cancer. With a death rate 140% higher than for other men, Black men cannot simply ignore the killer within that is prostate cancer. PHEN will not be alone in its efforts as all of the organizations that focus on prostate cancer prevention, education and research that I have spoken with, strongly disagree with the USPSTF’s “D” recommendation (see additional information below).

African American men should ignore the USPSTF recommendation against the use of the PSA test. PHEN’s guidance is based on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network “Prostate Cancer Early Detection Guidelines” which calls for a baseline PSA test for African American and other high risk men at age 40 following a discussion with their doctor about screening for the early detection of prostate cancer.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is an alliance of 21 of the world’s leading cancer centers. The NCCN guidelines are widely recognized by oncology clinicians and payors. The prostate cancer early detection guidelines stress the importance of involving the patient and informing him of the implications and potential consequences that may arise from the decision to embark on an early detection pathway.

I am privileged to serve as the patient advocate member of the NCCN “Prostate Cancer Treatments Guidelines Committee” with the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading prostate cancer medical and research specialists. In consultation with these leaders and others I will continue to provide my thoughts, information, and guidance to the families most impacted by prostate cancer.

Additional Information:

Congresswoman Donna Christensen Expresses Disappointment in the USPSTF Prostate Cancer Screening Recommendations – Calls the Final Recommendation a Step in the Wrong Direction

New PSA Recommendations from U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are a Disservice to Men

AUA Disputes Panel’s Recommendations On Prostate Cancer Screening

Urologists Outraged over Government Panel’s Recommendation to Stop Life-Saving Prostate Cancer Testing

About PHEN:

PHEN is a non-profit 501c3 organization founded in 2003 by Thomas A. Farrington, a prostate cancer survivor and author of the books “Battling the Killer Within” and “Battling the Killer Within and winning.” PHEN’s mission includes eliminating the African American prostate cancer disparity and working towards a cure for the disease. Black men in the United States have a prostate cancer mortality rate 2.4 times higher than other men. Visit PHEN’s website at www.rapcancer.org

Motorola Mobility Foundation honors working women through the Eleanor Foundation

Posted by Admin On May - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on Motorola Mobility Foundation honors working women through the Eleanor Foundation

Award recognizes senior leadership and support the public grant-maker’s 10-year anniversary


CHICAGO, IL – The Motorola Mobility Foundation today became the first corporate foundation to bestow its highest recognition for volunteering to Eleanor Foundation Board member Courtney VanLonkhuyzen, Senior Commercial Counsel at Motorola Mobility, Inc. Motorola Mobility’s Volunteer Award for Leadership in Community awarded the Eleanor Foundation a $5,000 grant as part of the company’s 20-year program that recognizes its employees’ service. The company’s philanthropic arm, the Motorola Mobility Foundation, further supported working women as a sponsor of the Eleanor Foundation’s recent benefit that marked its 10-year anniversary as Chicago’s only public foundation dedicated to advancing the economic self-sufficiency of single working women and their families.

“We are grateful to the Motorola Mobility Foundation for supporting Courtney’s contributions to advancing our mission and our work as a whole,” said Nicholas J. Brunick, Eleanor Foundation Board Chair and Partner at Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen PC. “Courtney is a dedicated and dynamic member of our board and foundation committees whose passion for service is contagious. We deeply appreciate her tireless efforts as she engages her family, friends and colleagues to support other working women through the Eleanor Foundation.”

After 104 years of providing working women affordable housing and educational opportunities, in 2002 the Eleanor Foundation began building new programs for Chicago’s single working women who earn less than sustainable wages. The public foundation’s most recent grants awarded $850,000 to diversify job-training opportunities for working women through its Eleanor Network—a citywide collaboration of 14 programs delivered by 17 nonprofit organizations whose service delivery the Eleanor Foundation actively manages to identify what works in moving working women toward greater economic independence.

“One of the most important initiatives of the Motorola Mobility Foundation is the support and encouragement of the incredible work our employees do in our communities across the world,” said Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Mobility Foundation.  “We are proud to recognize Courtney’s dedication to the Eleanor Foundation and contribute to the cause she is so passionate about.”

About the Eleanor Foundation

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

Acclaimed Hip-Hop Artist & Activist Jasiri X releases powerful remix of new video, “You’re Fired,” for Recall of Scott Walker with Rebuild the Dream

Posted by Admin On May - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on Acclaimed Hip-Hop Artist & Activist Jasiri X releases powerful remix of new video, “You’re Fired,” for Recall of Scott Walker with Rebuild the Dream

Live Performance and Video Remixed at Rebuild Wisconsin Festival in Milwaukee last Saturday


MILWAUKEE, WI – Jasiri X, renowned emcee and community activist, released a remix of his new video, “You’re Fired.” The video is a direct response to the election to recall Governer Scott Walker in Wisconsin and can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY3NW95NXLI.

Already known for the controversial viral video “What if the Tea Party was Black?” and the hard-hitting “A Song for Trayvon,” Jasiri X cleverly uses Hip-Hop to provide social commentary on a variety of issues. Jasiri X said of the powerful remix, “What I saw in Milwaukee was a organized and energized community that’s had enough with being disrespected and is committed to recalling Scott Walker on June 5th.”

Jasiri X performed “You’re Fired” live at Rebuild Wisconsin on May 19th in Milwaukee, where he shot the live remix video with event participants. A cultural, political, grassroots, community-based festival, Rebuild Wisconsin brought together people in a one-of-its-kind powerful combination of arts and politics. Rebuild the Dream used the event to perform get-out-the-vote activities for the upcoming recall election and nonviolent direct action trainings.

In addition to Jasiri X’s performance, attendees saw Grace Weber, Prophetic, Doc B, DJ Willie Shakes, Comedian Lee Camp, along with talented local artists, musicians, and poets, and heard speeches from Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Rebuild the Dream co-founder and President Van Jones, and other community leaders.

Watch the Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY3NW95NXLI

Key moments in African American History celebrated with special Art Exhibit at High Museum of Art in Atlanta

Posted by Admin On May - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on Key moments in African American History celebrated with special Art Exhibit at High Museum of Art in Atlanta

Restored Talladega College Murals to Begin Multi-city National Tour June 9th; First Ever Tour For Hale Woodruff’s Murals From Talladega, Alabama

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — With 12 months of conservation work now complete, the historic Talladega Murals will be presented to a national audience for the first time in a new exhibition – “Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College” (www.high.org/Art/Exhibitions/Talladega-Hale-Woodruff.aspx) – on view at the High Museum of Art June 9 to Sept. 2, 2012.

The Museum and College announced dates and locations for several U.S. museums set to share the murals with audiences through 2015.

Following the High exhibition, the murals will travel to the African American Museum in Dallas Oct. 6 to Feb. 28, 2013. Other venues to host the murals include:

* The 80WSE Gallery at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture July 20 to Oct. 13, 2013

* The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture Nov. 22, 2013 to March 2, 2014, (on view at the National Museum of American History)

* The New Orleans Museum of Art June 13 to Sept. 14, 2014

* The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, Inc. at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Connecticut’s Old State House, Hartford, Conn., Oct. 4, 2014 to March 1, 2015

* Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History March 14 to May 24, 2015

* Alabama’s Birmingham Museum of Art June 14 to Sept. 6, 2015.

Conservation Partnership

In March 2011, the High Museum of Art and Talladega College in Alabama began a five-year collaborative project to restore, research and exhibit Hale Aspacio Woodruff’s renowned Talladega murals.

Commissioned in 1938 to commemorate the 1867 founding of Talladega College and celebrate its success as one of the nation’s first all-black colleges, the murals have been continuously viewed on campus since their installation in the lobby of Savery Library.

Considered among Woodruff’s greatest achievements, the Talladega murals underwent conservation at the Atlanta Art Conservation Center under the auspices of the High Museum of Art. With conservation work now complete, the murals will be presented to a national audience for the first time. The process addressed the effects of aging on the works and unveiled some surprising discoveries about Woodruff’s creative process.

The Murals

Comprising six monumental canvases arranged in two cycles of three, the vibrant murals portray heroic efforts to resist slavery as well as moments in the history of the college, which opened in 1867 to serve the educational needs of a new population of freed slaves.

The first cycle includes The Mutiny On The Amistad, which depicts the uprising on the slave ship La Amistad; The Trial of the Amistad Captives, depicting the court proceedings that followed the mutiny; and The Repatriation of the Freed Captives, portraying the subsequent freedom and return to Africa of the Amistad captives.

The companion murals The Underground Railroad, The Building of Savery Library and Opening Day at Talladega College show themes of the Underground Railroad, the construction of Savery Library at Talladega College, and the early days of the college campus, for which the murals were commissioned, respectively.

The Exhibition

The exhibition at the High Museum of Art will include works that span a good part of Woodruff’s early career with a particular focus on his important work as a muralist. In addition to the Talladega murals and studies, this exhibition will feature examples of Woodruff’s other mural commissions, as well as smaller-scale paintings he made while in Mexico, where he went in 1936 to study mural painting with Diego Rivera.

The project also explores Woodruff’s impact on the arts and the opportunities he provided for artists of color in his role as the first chair of the newly established art department of Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University) from 1931 to 1946. The exhibition project will be accompanied by a catalogue that includes essays on the artist, the murals, Talladega College, and American mural painting in the decades surrounding the Talladega project. A descriptive photo essay on the findings of the conservation work will also be featured. After the murals are restored and exhibited nationally, they will return to Talladega College in 2015.

“Preserving and exhibiting these murals holds a particular relevance for the people of Atlanta,” said Michael E. Shapiro, the High’s Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Director. “Hale Woodruff was of central importance to the burgeoning art scene here in the ’30s and ’40s and an integral figure in the history of public art in the Southeast. Seeing Woodruff’s newly restored Talladega murals in the context of his other works will be a significant experience for both local and national audiences.”

“This is a very historic event for Talladega College, not only getting the murals restored, but to share them on tour throughout the country during the next three years,” stated Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, President of Talladega College. “The tour will give the institution great exposure and help in our fundraising and recruiting efforts.”

Hale Aspacio Woodruff

Hale Aspacio Woodruff (1900-1980) was born in Cairo, Ill. He studied art at both the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis and the Fogg Museum of Harvard University. Woodruff contributed to the development of African American art, not only as an artist, but also as a distinguished arts educator.

Woodruff’s first mural project was in collaboration with Wilmer Jennings in 1934. The four-panel mural, titled The Negro in Modern American Life: Agriculture and Rural Life; Literature, Music, and Art, was part of a public works project and a teaching project that involved both Woodruff’s students and a local junior high school. In 1935, Woodruff worked on Works Progress Administration (WPA) murals for the Atlanta School of Social Work.

Between 1931 and 1946, Woodruff served as the first chair of the newly established art department of Atlanta University. During the summer of 1936, he studied mural painting in Mexico under the mentorship of Diego Rivera. In 1946, he became a teacher at New York University, where he taught art for more than 20 years until his retirement in 1968. During the mid-1960s Woodruff and fellow artist Romare Bearden were instrumental in starting the Spiral Group, a collaboration of African American artists working in New York. The Studio Museum in Harlem presented a retrospective of his work titled “Hale Woodruff: 50 Years of His Art” in 1979. The exhibition Hale Woodruff, Nancy Elizabeth Prophet, and the Academy was at the Atlanta-based Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in 2007.

Exhibition Organization and Support

“Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College” is organized by the High Museum of Art in collaboration with Talladega College, Talladega, Ala. This exhibition is made possible by generous support from American Express, Georgia-Pacific, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and the Friends of Hale Woodruff. The conservation of the murals is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and Mr. and Mrs. Jesse C. Crawford.

High Museum of Art

Founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, the High Museum of Art is the leading art museum in the southeastern U.S. With more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th and 20th century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High’s media arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005, the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, visit www.High.org.

The Woodruff Arts Center

The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Young Audiences. To learn more about the Woodruff Arts Center, please visit www.woodruffcenter.org.

Effective Estate Planning eases family worries

Posted by Admin On May - 26 - 2012 Comments Off on Effective Estate Planning eases family worries


(From the Better Business Bureau)



CHICAGO, IL - Estate planning is not only for the wealthy, but it is often a topic people avoid thinking about. However, the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) advises consumers who own items of value, which they want passed on to family or loved ones, to create an estate plan.


“Wills and trusts are documents that individuals can use to make sure their wishes are met,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “While no one enjoys thinking about their death, it’s important to create an estate plan so that assets go to the people you want and your successors are taken care of appropriately.”


Some main reasons for not having an estate plan such as a will or trust, according to Bernas, include not wanting to think about death, not knowing where to start or who to talk to about setting up an estate plan, and not believing one has enough assets to require one.


A will is one component of estate planning. This document indicates the distribution of assets and who will receive them. “Without a will,” Bernas explained, “You are leaving it up to the courts to decide where your money should go when you pass away or even who will take responsibility for your children.”


An estate plan can be as simple as drafting a will or as complex as setting up a trust and a living will. The BBB offers the following guidance on the basic components of an estate plan and advice on choosing what is necessary for different situations.

  • Will: At the very least, anyone who has possessions or property to pass on to specific individuals should create a will. A will can allocate assets as well as establish guardianship of children. Most wills have to go through probate after the individual’s death. In probate, a court oversees the payment of any debts and distributes inheritances-the process can last several months.
  • Living Trust: A trust is a tool for anyone who would like to set conditions on how and when their assets are distributed. A trust can also help reduce the amount of taxes paid on the inheritance and does not have to go through probate, unlike a will. An example of a reason for creating a trust includes wanting to give a child their inheritance over time, rather than in a lump sum, and restricting how the money can be spent.
  • Living Will: A living will provides a way for an individual to communicate in advance their desire for life-saving measures in case they are incapacitated. In addition to a living will, individuals can also assign medical power of attorney to someone they trust who can further ensure that their wishes are fulfilled.

For simple estates, many Web sites offer an inexpensive do-it-yourself approach to creating a will. For more involved estates, it’s best to enlist the help of a lawyer. The BBB advises first researching any estate planning companies or lawyers at www.bbb.org before paying for assistance.


After creating an estate plan, the BBB recommends communicating the terms of the plan with the family members and loved ones it impacts. An estate plan needs to be revised every time the individual moves, changes marital status or is affected by major financial changes, such as investments or buying or selling a business. An estate plan will also need to be reviewed if anyone the estate plan affects undergoes major life changes such as marriage or death.


For more advice you can trust from the BBB on managing personal finances visit www.bbb.org or www.facebook.com/chicagobbb

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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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