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Archive for June 18th, 2012

NAACP urges support for U.S. Attorney General Holder; says “taking a stand for what is right sometimes comes with grave consequences”

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

(From Hilary O. Shelton, Director, Washington Bureau, NAACP)


Taking a stand for what is right sometimes comes with grave consequences.

Since taking office as United States Attorney General in 2009, Eric Holder has successfully restored the integrity of the U.S. Department of Justice. He has revitalized the Civil Rights Division, fought governors seeking to block millions of Americans from voting and worked to advance and protect the promise of America for all.

Sadly, extreme elements within the U.S. House are threatening to issue and vote on a contempt of Congress citation against Attorney General Holder. They say he has not been forthcoming with information about the botched “Fast and Furious” illegal arms trafficking program.

The NAACP supports accountability and transparency at every level. However, this crusade in Congress reeks of partisan politics. All signs indicate the AG is complying with Congress on the “Fast and Furious” program. He has supplied Congress with thousands of pages of documents about the program and testified on the issue eight times in the past eighteen months.

Threatening to hold a sitting US Attorney General in contempt of Congress has serious consequences — in addition to being a criminal conviction, the citation carries up to 12 months in prison. These unwarranted attacks on the AG are nothing more than attempts to distract and prevent him from continuing to enforce the nation’s civil and voting rights laws.

The extremists in Congress threatening to file a contempt of Congress citation are the same members who led the movement to pass legislation that would prohibit the U.S. DOJ from going to court to protect our right to vote, stop state-sponsored racial profiling by law enforcement, defend gains made in comprehensive healthcare coverage or enforce an EEOC directive to help ex-offenders gain employment.

It is a dangerous, destructive and distractive political ploy that must end now.

Tell your member of Congress to reject these extreme tactics of mass distraction and division by opposing the circulation of a contempt of Congress citation.


With voting rights under siege across the country and our democracy’s ability to function properly hanging in the balance, we can ill afford for our nation’s top law enforcement officers to be besieged by partisan misfits. We will not allow a partisan persecution to continue under the guise of a civic-minded prosecution.

In the moment when Attorney General Holder is defending our democracy against the greatest wave of voter suppression laws in more than a century, none of us can afford for those who would further divide our nation to further distract.

Stand for justice. Tell your representative to reject this threat to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress.


Hilary O. Shelton
Director, Washington Bureau

Rev. Jesse Jackson: War against flow of guns is next Civil Rights struggle

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Father Pfleger: ‘We’re not afraid of the NRA. They’re punks.’


By Chinta Strausberg


While the death toll continued to rise even as they protested outside of Chuck’s Gun Shop, a diverse group of Civil Rights leaders Saturday called for a Marshall Plan that includes creation of jobs and a call for state lawmakers to pass a bill that would title guns like cars.

Since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed on April 4, 1968, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. said 1 million people have been killed due to gun violence, 350,000 blacks killed since 1976 and 7,000 since the Afghanistan, South Korean, Iraq conflict. “We are going to expand this struggle against violence,” he said.

Led by Jackson and Father Michael L. Pfleger, they were joined by scores of others including Jackson’s son, Jonathan, the national spokesperson for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Rev. Dr. Leon Finney, pastor of Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church, Rev. Rodney Reinhart, pastor of the Saint Clement’s Episcopal in Harvey, Ill, Colleen Daley, executive director of the Illinois Council Against handgun Violence (ICHV), Bishop Tavis Grant, Julian Deshazier, pastor of the University Church in Hyde Park, activist Denise Dixon, Joi Cornlious, the mother of Mackenzi Dowdy, 2, who lost her fiancée to gun violence, activists Eddie Read, Zakiyyah S. Muhammad and many others.

While protesters chanted, “Title guns like cars,” Chuck’s Gun Shop had closed. Three employees stood atop the roof filming the protesters.

Jackson told reporters, “We want a Marshall Plan, not just Marshall Law.” Jackson said they would be challenging gun laws around the country.  Jackson said this is a movement to stop the proliferation of guns. “We must intensify the protest. It took us nine-years to get a public accommodations bill to get to the front of the bus. It took us long enough to get the right to vote. “No one is safe until all of us are safe….

“In these very dangerous times, we’re finding a war against weapons of mass destruction…. More Americans are dying (from illegal guns) than in Afghanistan, Iraq and South Korea combined,” said Jackson.

Standing with Jackson, Pfleger said he is asking the state legislature to pass a bill to title guns like cars. “Why is the NRA and the gun manufacturers fighting us so hard on a simple gun registration like you register a car? One reason, it’s money.  It’s a business decision,” Pfleger told reporters. “If they stop easy access to guns in America, if they stop guns from flowing into the streets, it’s a business decision for them. The NRA has decided to support the gun manufacturers and make a whole lot of money off the bodies of our children in the street.”

To those who argue guns are not the problem, it is the people; Pfleger had an answer for them. “If I had a staircase and I had a skateboard on top of the staircase, I would have to teach my child to stay away from the skateboard on the staircase but I also have an obligation to remove the dangerous item, the skateboard.

“Guns are dangerous items in this country. They are killing. There is a genocide going on in Chicago and across this country, and we have to get rid of guns and we got to make gun owners responsible. We have to take the NRA down. We’re not afraid of the NRA. They are punks,” said Pfleger.

Jackson said guns are not the only problem blamed for the violence in Chicago. “It’s not just guns out but it’s also jobs in.” He said his Marshall Plan calls for stopping the flow of guns and the creation of jobs. “There is no present plan” of employment. He said 55 percent of all black men in these neighborhoods are unemployed. “Unemployment is unacceptable.” This is a war zone,” said Jackson as protesters chanted, “guns out, jobs in.”

Referring to the recently held NATO summit, Jackson said, “They protected our guests but not our residents…. In the glad three-weeks, there” have been a number of shootings. “There is a sense of urgency about this….

“In the contained zone, it’s acceptable, but when it goes north, it’s unacceptable. It should not go anywhere,” Jackson said referring to the increase shooting incidents. He said there is a double standard when blacks kill blacks and a harsher penalty when blacks kill whites. “Nobody has the right to kill anybody.”

Asked if the President should take on this issue, Jackson said banning assault weapons would be a step in the right direction. “We need a Marshall Plan, not just marshal law. That means a comprehensive urban policy,” he said in cities where unemployment especially among blacks is unacceptably high. “Every American deserve a chance, and they never have a chance in the war zone. We live in a war zone. We’re helpless” given the flow of illegal guns in urban America.

“The companies we helped to bail out, they closed, took our jobs to cheaper markets. They got paid to take jobs away. The gun shops get paid to bring the guns in; so between the money and bringing the guns in, the money taking the jobs, out, we’re left as carnage. This is unacceptable. This is not the American dream,” said Pfleger.

Looking at the gates outside of Chuck’s Gun store, Jackson said, “When people fight back, we can win this war for peace.”

Saying especially since in Woodlawn where guns are a major problem, Finney said, “We have to stop the manufacturing as well as the sale of handguns because they are the source of so much violence in our community. Our challenge has always been to use our moral force against those involved in political force to the degree and destruction of our people. We intend to stop the manufacturing of guns across this country.”

Finney said, “it is very important for us to make a statement that it is time to take the guns off the streets and the best way to do that is to begin with the sale of handguns” he said is very destructive. “The murder rate in the African American community exceeds any other community in any other time in history. It’s time for us to build a coalition of consumers to stop the sale of guns and this is one step of many.”

Daley told reporters: “More guns on the street is not the answer…. People need to be aware of what is going on. This is not a black issue. It is not a white issue. It is not a rich issue. It’s not a poor issue. A bullet doesn’t know what you look like or who you are. This is our problem.” “We need the people who are responsible gun owners…. We need things like titling guns like cars. It’s just that simple.”

Reinhart said while being inspired by Jackson for many years, he said, “It is important that we as people all stand together against places like Chuck’s Gun Shop and organizations like the NRA. You got to stand up against them because people are making massive amounts of money by creating death for our children and the children of all of our friends.” He said these deaths are attributed to the sale of guns from places where “no questions are asked.” “A single gun can be used many times” resulting in a number of deaths.

Jackson said what is surprising to him is that “We’re being attack fighting the end to violence…..”

His son, Jonathan, said, “This is how we are honoring Father’s Day. We will participate in Sunday’s Real Men Cook, but today men have to march to help put and end to gun violence. We know where guns are sold from in the state of Illinois in Cook County. We know that Chuck’s Gun Shop here in Riverdale is a major source of revenue for the township. We also know that it is a major source of violence and death for the citizens of Chicago.

“We know where the guns are coming from,” said Jonathan Jackson. “The children do not have a license to buy a gun. They do not have an ID to buy a hold to hold a (FOID) card. These are adults purchasing guns, reselling the guns. We’ve heard about a drug bust. Why not a gun bust? Why not find the people who are selling and reselling these guns? Children are not manufacturing them. They are not distributing them. The children are at the end of this vicious death cycle,” said the father of three.

Bishop Grant, the national field director for the Rainbow PUSH, said, “This store is closed today but we can close (gun) stores across the nation. “In Chicago in 2011, there were 361 murders of which 351 of them were handgun-related. Rolling back Stand Your Ground, going after the Castle doctrine as well as toughening and strengthening background checks and reviving a ban on assault weapons is the way to go.”

For Deshazie, it is his first protest. “I am out here representing us, the younger generation who said we are the victims, but I think we can do better,” said the 29-year-old Morehouse College graduate.

But not everybody agreed. Robert Ketcham, who described him as an unemployed union electrician and a Riverdale homeowner, said the protest against the gun shop is “Totally wrong. Yes, he is selling guns, but you have to have a license to get ammunition. The moral value is in the shooter’s hands. The shooter is the one who decides who to shoot, not the guns. If we didn’t have guns, we wouldn’t have had the Revolutionary War. We would not be free. Gun manufacturers create jobs. It’s the person shooting the gun is the one who doesn’t have the moral value.”

Pfleger accused Chuck’s Gun shop of “running and hiding every single time, but that’s a victory for us.” Pfleger said he has tried to communicate with the owners of the shop to no avail. “Our next step is to continue to educate the country and put pressure from the White House all the way down to local governments to say we need to make these laws, need to put in responsibility, need to stop easy access and have people get registration.”

Referring to the upcoming July 4th holiday, Pfleger said, “People are going to be coming from Indiana to buy fireworks and get stopped at the border for bringing fireworks back to Chicago. Why can’t we stop them at the border bring guns from Chuck’s Gun Shop to Chicago”?

Pfleger wants the Governor to push the registration bill. He wants guns titled like cars. “We have to get every resident to understand that you can’t sit back and be overwhelmed over the violence and the killing. You got to get mad, outraged and involved. When everybody feels like we feel, this will stop.”

Pfleger said his youngest son, Jarvis, 17 was killed by a gun in 1998. “I’ve had a whole lot of funerals of kids, 13-year-old, 11-year-old killed by guns. I am going to be passionate until we stop the killing of our children. This is genocide in America.”

Jackson said their battle to end the flow of illegal guns is the next Civil Rights movement. “There can be no growth in war zones. We demand equal protection under the law.” Jackson said there is a different standard when it comes to south and west side shootings. “We must reject any different standard for standard for any side of town. Stopping guns is one leg of the stool is stopping guns and creating jobs another.

Jackson said the impact of gun violence affects the cost of health insurance as well as affecting the budgets of municipalities.

Jackson and Pfleger said they would come back again with Pfleger vowing to march every Friday night at 6:30 p.m. He welcomed everyone to join him on his quest for peace.

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.

What Black parents must do this summer

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS


By Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu



Chicago, IL  – There is a 3-year gap between Black and White students. Many people love to believe it’s due to income, fatherlessness, educational attainment of the parent and lack of parental involvement. I believe that a major reason for the gap is that we continue to close school for the summer – as if we were an agrarian economy. And I doubt that many Black youth will be farming this summer. If you multiply 3 months by 12 years you will see the 3 year gap. It is my opinion that Black youth would have fewer academic challenges if their schools remained open during the summer and/or their parents kept them academically engaged.  


   Middle-income parents who value education enroll their children in some type of academic experience during the summer. They also visit libraries, museums, zoos and colleges. Other parents allow their children to sleep longer, play more video games, watch more television and play basketball until they can’t see the hoop. These students will have to review the same work they had mastered in May, when the school year begins in September.


Black parents cannot allow their children to lose 3 months every year. Black parents should not say they cannot afford to take their child to the library. It’s free! Most museums have discounted days. A male friend of mine shared his experience with me when he took his family to the museum. He wondered why so many people were staring at him. His wife and children had to tell him he was the only Black man in the building! I am appealing to every father to take his children to the library this summer, and to include a visit to the museum, and the zoo. And I am appealing to every mother to make other arrangements, if the father cannot or will not take the children.  


We need for every parent to make sure that their child reads at least one book per week and to write a book report. I am reminded of the formula Sonya Carson used to develop Ben Carson to become the best pediatric neurosurgeon. This low-income single parent, with a third grade education, had enough sense to tell her sons to turn off the television, read a book and write a report that her sister would grade!


I have a theory. I believe that I can go into your house and within 5 minutes tell you the type of student who lives there and predict his/her future. I believe that the items needed in the home of engineers, doctors, lawyers, accountants etc., are very different from the ballplayers, rappers, and criminals. I am very concerned that when I visit a house that has more CDs and downloads than books. My company African American Images has designed a special collection of books for boys. The specific set that I am referencing is titled, Best Books for Boys. We also have one for parents and teachers. We have found the sets to be very resourceful since research indicates that one of the major reasons why boys dislike reading is because of the content.  


Let’s work together to close the gap. I look forward to your children’s teacher asking them how they spent their summer,……and your children proudly answering by saying that they went to the library, museum, zoo, colleges and other great educational institutions.  


Enjoy your summer!  


Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu is the author of over 35 books including, There is Nothing Wrong with Black Students and Raising Black Boys.


For additional information, contact 1-800-552-1991, Fax# (708) 672-0466. P.O. Box 1799, Chicago Heights, IL 60412. Website: http://www.africanamericanimages.com, Email: customersvc@africanamericanimages.com.

State Board, IEA and IFT to recognize more than 25 educators for their outstanding performance in specific content areas

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Award recognition luncheon features teachers from across the state


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education, along with the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers, will honor 29 educators from across the state for their outstanding achievement in a variety of subject areas during a luncheon Thursday at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. The educators were chosen as the best in their field of expertise during the 2011-12 school year by their respective professional education organizations.

“These are teachers who go above and beyond expectations on a daily basis,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “They are professionals who set a high bar for themselves and work with the best interest of their students in mind at all times. We join their colleagues and local communities in recognizing them for their excellent skills and dedication.”

Thursday’s event will be the second annual Exemplary Teacher Recognition Award Luncheon hosted by the State Board and the two state teacher associations.

“Teachers are classroom catalysts; the people who make sure our students are engaged and learning,’’ said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “We’re proud to recognize these outstanding teachers who exemplify the great work taking place in schools throughout Illinois.”

Each fall, the ISBE names one teacher of the year and recognizes more than 150 educators nominated by their own district or members of their communities for outstanding service. Sixth-grade-language arts and social sciences teacher Josh Stumpenhorst was chosen as the 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year. Mr. Stumpenhorst teaches at Lincoln Junior High School in Naperville Community School District 203. Thursday’s event will honor teachers cited by their peers and leaders.

“We know teachers across Illinois do outstanding work with their students every day,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery. “This event is a great way to highlight top teachers who have been recognized by the private sector and professional organizations as true experts in the areas they teach.”

In addition to the teachers listed below, the Environmental Education Association of Illinois recognized Instructor (non-certified) Diane Kane as the Formal Environmental Educator of Illinois for her work in the Belvidere School District 100 and Instructor (non-certified) Dan Miller received the Association’s Malcolm Swan Award for his work in Rockford Public Schools District 205.

The following teachers will be recognized at Thursday’s luncheon:






Christine Adrian 2011 Outstanding Middle School Social Studies Teacher of the Year National Council for the Social Studies Jefferson Middle School, Champaign
Nancy Anding National Citizenship Education Teacher Award K-5 Veterans of Foreign Wars Wood View Elementary School, Bolingbrook
Susan Bober 2011 Davidson Award Recipient/Outstanding Chemistry Teacher Chemical Industry of Illinois and the Illinois Chemical Education Foundation Schaumburg High School, Schaumburg
David Bonner 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math & Science Teaching  National Science Foundation Hinsdale South High School, Hinsdale 
Eryn Brown Illinois State Dance Educator of IAHPERD & 2012 Dance Educator of the Year, Midwest District of AAHPERD/NDA Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and American Alliance for Physical Education, Recreation and Dance/National Dance Association Libertyville High School, Libertyville
Valerie Cawley Reading Teacher of the Year Grades 6-12 Illinois Reading Council Butler Junior High School, Oakbrook
Jason Dane 2012 Illinois Health Educator of the Year Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education , Recreation & Dance New Trier High School, Winnetka
Tricia Fuglestad 2011 IAEA Art Educator of the Year &2012 NAEA Illinois Art Teacher of the Year Illinois Art Education Association and National Art Education Association Dryden Elementary, Arlington Heights
Peter Goss Illinois Technology New Teacher of the Year Technology Education Association J B Conant High School, Hoffman Estates 
Carita Hall Star in the Classroom Illinois Council for Economic Education High Point School, Orland Park
Wendy Hegarty Star in the Classroom Illinois Council for Economic Education Lincoln-Way East High School, Frankfort
Zach Herrmann Promising New Teacher Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics Evanston Township High School, Evanston
Natalie Jakucyn TE Rine Award for Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Teaching Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics Glenbrook South High School, Glenview
Tina Johnson 2011 Excellence in Elementary Mathematics Teaching Award Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics Woodrow Wilson Primary School, Peoria
Don Jolly Gilder Lehrman History Teacher of the Year Gilder Lehrman Institute of America History Our Saviour School, Jacksonville
John Lawless 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching National Science Foundation Jacksonville High School, Jacksonville
Victoria Otto Secondary PE Teacher of the Year and Midwest District Regional Secondary PE Teacher of the Year Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and  Dance and Mid-American Association for HPERD Highland Park High School, Highland Park
Jeremy Paschke High School Physics Teacher of the Year Illinois Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers York High School, Elmhurst
Greg Petechki Illinois Secondary Art Educator of the Year Illinois Art Educator Association Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Flossmoor
Jason Pound Middle School Mathematics Teaching Award Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics Urbana Middle School, Urbana
Megan Schrementi Science Teacher of the Year Illinois Science Teachers Association Illinois Math and Science Academy, Aurora
Peg Seaman Star in the Classroom Illinois Council for Economic Education Victor J. Andrew High School, Orland Hills
David Smith Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year  Illinois Art Education Association McCarty Elementary School, Aurora
Jay Solomonson 2011 Outstanding Vocational Agriculture Teacher of the Year Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers Orion High School, Orion
Phil Truty Conservation Teacher of the Year Illinois Soil and Water Conservation District Morris Community High School, Morris
Bethanie Whittaker Clarissa Hug Teacher of the Year Illinois Council for Exceptional Children Pekin Community High School, Pekin  
Patti Wise DARE Teacher of the Year Illinois DARE Association Oakwood Grade School, Oakwood


Young Black entrepreneurs in tech: A dream in the making

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Two ambitious African-American entrepreneurs hope to enter Silicon Valley with new startup, CorQuests

.Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — After the airing of CNN’s “Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley,” a new dream was realized for many hopeful black entrepreneurs. Each year there are many new successful Silicon Valley startups, but black-owned tech companies are still not reaching the same potential. Silicon Valley continues to be dominated by mostly young, white male entrepreneurs.

Two ambitious African-American entrepreneurs hope to change this with their business, CorQuests. Nolan Ford and Adenike Sonaike, like many young entrepreneurs, have courageously focused on building their startup from the ground up and are hoping that their company’s services will provide a mechanism to help other entrepreneurs and business-minded people to reach their goals.

“We are passionate in seeing other businesses and entrepreneurs succeed with their corporate goals,” Nolan stated. “We hope that our business services can help them manage and conduct business activities simply and effectively.”

CorQuests stands for “CORporate QUESTS” and describes the vision of the company. The Cofounders believe that all business professionals are on a journey to complete certain goals pertaining to their careers or their businesses. They call this person’s journey a “corporate quest.” CorQuests plans to offer their users services such as cloud storage and sharing, online meeting and collaboration, financial and budgeting software, corporate task management software and other useful services along with a social network that allows users to connect with other professionals, while managing business activities. The advantage of CorQuests is that it combines all of these services at one affordable and competitive price. CQ offers all these services for the cost of one, allowing users to save hundreds of dollars.

The Cofounders launched their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo (www.indiegogo.com/CorQuests) in hopes to raise the required capital needed to complete the site development and to interact with future CQ users. The campaign goal? $150,000, which will be used to cover development cost such as domain hosting and transfer, server space, web and mobile graphic designers, web and mobile software architects, and other website and software programmers.

“We were nervous about starting this campaign but we are hoping to receive as much help and support as possible form the black community to complete our site development,” Adenike explained. Nolan went on to add that, “…we only need at least 1000 people to pledge to give $150 and our goal will be met.” The two hope with the support of the black and female entrepreneurial communities, as well as their hometown communities, their goal will be met.

The company is even offering interesting perks to get future users involved in their campaign. For a donation of $50 or more you will have the opportunity to join the development team! “We wanted our users to have power over what they see on our site, so we want them to vote on site layout, homepage, logo design, page templates and other visual aspects of the site,” Nolan said.

Other perks offered include an additional year of free services and involvement in the website software acceptance testing. Users who donate $150 or more will also be invited to be the first to test the official website in the CorQuests private beta testing round. The company has also given the maximum of 100 people the opportunity to receive a lifetime of services, where they never have to pay again, after their contribution of $1500 or more, to use all current and any future services, calling these people, “CQ Most Valued Members.” The cofounders say that this will be the best deal for businesses and business owners, which will save them thousands of dollars.

The cofounders hope the future users will contribute to the site and will get involved in the development process. “We are doing this for our users and we hope they find their involvement valuable. We appreciate all contributions, even if it’s only $1” said Nolan. Even if you cannot donate, the founders said sharing their campaign will be very helpful to their business and they are willing to do interviews and answer any questions.

“This has been a very enjoyable process so far and we look forward to working with our users and anyone else who wants to help make CorQuests an international success.”

If you would like more information about this topic, to contribute, to show support or to schedule an interview with one of the cofounders, please visit www.indiegogo.com/CorQuests or email info@corquests.com

Photo Caption: CorQuests co-founders Adenike Sonaike and Nolan Ford seated together during a birthday dinner celebration

Top 5 low income housing resources

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS


How to find the best and the safest available low income housing options


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — When the U.S. economy first entered a recession, millions of families were forced to take advantage of low income housing programs. And, according to federal statistics, those numbers continue to increase every month.

Low income housing properties are defined as apartments or houses that are a part of some kind of affordable housing initiative, usually sponsored by the federal government, the state, the city, or a non-profit organization. Such properties offer either an income-based rental rate or a flat rental rate designed to be affordable for needy individuals and families.

While there are many helpful programs available, finding the best and safest options can be a task. In addition, it can be difficult to find the best options available to families who qualify to remain in the home that they are already occupying.

Here are the top five resources to use:

1) HUD Office of Affordable Housing (OAP)
This government agency brings federal resources directly to the state and local level for use in the development of affordable housing units, or to assist income-eligible households in purchasing, rehabilitating, or renting safe and decent housing. Learn more at www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/

2) Making Home Affordable ® Program (MHA)
This program, sponsored by the Obama Administration, is a comprehensive plan to stabilize the U.S. housing market by helping homeowners get mortgage relief and avoid foreclosure. Learn more at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov

3) PublicHousing.com
This web site provides a listing of public housing properties across the country, and other types of housing deals. The vast majority of their listings are affordable housing bargains. Learn more at www.publichousing.com

4) Affordable Housing Institute
This non-profit organization provides housing finance expertise and thought leadership to other organizations working to make housing accessible to low-income people. Learn more at www.affordablehousinginstitute.org

5) Low Income Housing Authority
This organization produces a free online national resource that is dedicated to helping individuals and families find low income housing, apartments, shelters, and more. The web site also provides answers to frequently asked questions. Learn more at www.lowincomehousing.org

Dudley hair/beauty giant turns 75 –still inspiring generations to catch the entrepreneurial spirit

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

By Chinta Strausberg


When Betty Clawson’s brother, Johnny, introduced her to Black hair care giant Joe Louis Dudley, Sr. back in 1971her life has never been the same, but because of his energy and motivation she has passed on his dream to her children and generations of others.

Clawson, who is the director of the Dudley Beauty College, 8501 So. Green Street, was so awed by Mr. Dudley that she took a leave-of-absence from her job with the Southern Bell Telephone Company and clung to the dreams and hopes of Mr. Dudley.

“At that time, Mr. Dudley had a direct sales operation where he was teaching people to become self-sufficient in back of Dudley Beauty Center in Greensboro, S.C.,” she recalled. “At that point, he proclaimed that he would spread all over the country and teach people how to become self-sufficient. I was so impressed with his motivation that I began selling door-to-door.”

Clawson wanted to be a part of Mr. Dudley’s team to build up the African American community and she never went back to the Southern Bell Telephone company.

“I have been able to introduce my children, my siblings, relatives to this Dudley experience and all of our lives have been influenced in a better way because of the Dudley teaching,” said Clawson.

Her daughters moved to Brazil and opened up the Dudley operation where they had to learn to speak Portuguese. “I am truly blessed,” said Clawson. “I am blessed to have been introduced to the Dudley’s and for them to have given me the kind of responsibility and trust that they have. They trusted me to open businesses and they didn’t even have keys to those businesses. I am grateful to that,” she said. Dudley has been an excellent role model both for business and for hundreds of families.

Once a stutterer who planned to drop out of high school, Mr., who recently turned 75-years-old and is now a multi-millionaire, cherishes his family the most saying they are “God’s gift to me.”

Born on May 9, 1937 in rural Aurora, NC, Dudley is the fifth son born to second-generation farmers Gilmer and Clara Dudley who were the parents of 11 children and who never finished the eighth grade.

He and his siblings, Leroy, William, Clifton, Alfred, Joe, Martha, Cornelius (CC), Mardecia (Ruth), Elsie, MacArthur and George, grew up in a three-room shack. They had no indoor plumbing or heat. They had to use the outhouse. Later, their house burned to the ground.

All of the Dudley children worked the farm and could only go to school when it rained because they were needed to work the land. Mr. Dudley also had a speech impediment and when he did go to school his teachers initially would accuse him of being the “class clown” then later classified him as being mentally retarded.

Dudley thought he could out-smart his teacher by copying his sister Martha’s homework and it worked until one day he met the love of his life in 1953.

Dudley fell in love with his high school sweetheart walking 12-miles each way just to see her. Dudley thought he had it all figured out including his proposal to her after he quit high school. That didn’t happen because his heartthrob dumped him for his best friend and to add insult to injury she told Dudley her new beau was smarter than he was which crushed his ego, his pride and his spirit.

Turning to his mother, Dudley listened to her wise advice. “Don’t let this one bad thing ruin you,” she told her son. “You are a smart boy. I’ve always believed that you could do anything you set your mind to. I believe in you. You can be somebody. I want you to fool them all.”

So, Dudley took his mother’s advice and went to the library checking out books beginning from the first grade. He mastered them all and graduated Valedictorian of his S.W. Snowden High School in 1956. Dudley promised himself that he would never be dumb again. The Dudley’s were proud parents of 11 college graduates with some having higher degrees.

After changing majors at NC A&T State University, Dudley graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration.

He married Eunice Mosley, who worked at the Fuller Products branch in Brooklyn, NY, in 1961, and he worked under John E. Johnson, who is the brother of George Johnson of Johnson Products, Inc. They had three children, Joe Louis Dudley, Jr., Ursula Vondeece Dudley and Genea Yvette Dudley.

His son graduated from Northwestern University with an MBA degree in marketing and finance from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management majoring in marketing, finance and strategic planning. Ursula earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Harvard and Radcliffe College and a law degree from Harvard University. She and President Obama were law school classmates.

Mr. Joe Dudley met and was mentored by the late S.B. Fuller, who with a $25.00 investment began the historic Fuller Products Company, Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and Grow Rich” and other books and Clement Stone, a businessman and philanthropist. Fuller collaborated with the Dudley’s and by 1973 Dudley became the number one distributor of Fuller products.

In 1984, the Dudley’s moved to Greensboro and acquired the rights to Fuller Products and the manufacturing equipment.

After Fuller passed on October 24, 1988 at the age of 83, Dudley carried on the Fuller legacy saying, “I cannot give Mr. Fuller enough credit for what he has meant to my life. Today, I continue to build upon the foundation he laid down years ago. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been among the many lives that he touched, influenced and directed along the path of achievement.”

It was in 1957 when Dudley took his $10 Fuller Products sales kit and hit the streets of Chicago. In 1960 he met Eunice Mosely and his door-to-door salesmanship paid for the couple’s college education.

However, the Fuller Products met with financial problems and the 1969 acquisition of the Rosebud Cosmetics forced Mr. Dudley to began to study and experiment with the manufacturing of cosmetics. With no formal training, Mr. Dudley repeated his boyhood ritual of going to the library. After researching chemicals, he mixed and refined hair products right in his own kitchen.

As a father, Dudley quoted Mr. Fuller telling his children, “Reading people are ruling people.” He made them read books and the bible every day. When his daughter, Ursula, was in the sixth grade, she wanted a clarinet so she could be in the band. Mr. Dudley told her he would buy her one only if she would read the New Testament of the bible.

His wife, and children would package the products in the early morning, and his salesmen, who soon number more than 400, would sell them door-to-door. Dudley launched the Dudley’s Quality Plus (Q+) Products, which went national, and by 1976 his company included a chain of beauty supply stores, beauty salons, a beauty college and a manufacturing arm.

In 1971, the Dudley’s bought the Maco Beauty College in downtown Greensboro, NC and changed the name to Dudley Beauty College. They opened the second one in Charlotte, NC in 1988. Expanding their dream, the couple opened similar schools in Washington, D.C. in 1991, a beauty school in Chicago in 1993, which this writer covered, and a reopening in Greensboro in 1995.

In 1976, Dudley moved his family to Chicago to help rebuild the Fuller Products. Under Dudley’s leadership, the company expanded to London, England. In 1984, he moved back to the South and built a new 37,500 headquarters and plant in Greensboro in 1986. The majority of his employees followed him, and his business remains a “family affair” to this day.

In the late 1980’s, Dudley purchased 54.5 acres of land in Kernersville and opened his Dudley Cosmetology University, the Dudley Cosmetology University Inn, and later the Dudley Travel Agency. In 1994, Mr. Dudley built a new 80,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Kernersville. In 1995, his company expanded internationally to Brazil and Zimbabwe.

In 1999, Dudley included these products in the late Ken Bridges’ national “MATAH” network, which sold products online that were produced by African Americans. On October 11, 2002, Bridges, 53, was a victim of the D.C. Sniper. He was fatally shot by 17-year-old John Lee Malvo one of two snipers.

Bridges, a close friend, had just signed a $100 million contract for his MATAH Network. Before he left, his friends told him not to stop at a gas station near Fredericksburg, VA, he wanted to talk to his wife whom he affectionately called his princess. Bridges was shot while talking to her. He had been inspired by Mr. Dudley’s entrepreneurial spirit.

Dudley is the author of “Walking By Faith,” “I AM,” and  “I CAN & I WILL.” Today, Dudley Beauty Corp, LLC markets and distributes more than 400 products nationally and internationally and operates a number of beauty schools throughout the U.S. Mr. Dudley continues to push entrepreneurship to those who want to share his dream of being self-sufficient.

Many officials wished Dudley a happy birthday including North Carolina Gov. Beverly Eaves Perdue who said, “Yours is truly an American story of ingenuity, and North Carolina is proud that you call our state home. As co-founder of Dudley Products, you provide quality hair products and jobs that keep communities strong. Your commitment as an entrepreneur is matched only by your dedication to improving the lives of others, and many North Carolinians have been touched by your generosity and goodwill.”

Dawn H. Morgan, the mayor of Kernersville, N.C., issued a proclamation praising Dudley for heading one of the largest black owned manufacturers and distributors of ethnic hair care and cosmetics in America.

Mr. Dudley’s message and recipe of success has not changed since his high school days. He urges everyone to get an education because that is something “no one can take from you” and today at 75, he continues to educate and graduate students from around the world.

Happy belated birthday, Mr. Dudley, who has been a friend for many years and a source of inspiration to me and for generations to come.

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.

‘National Sales Network’ celebrates 20-Year Anniversary

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Organization Provides Skills Development/Resources for African American Sales Professionals

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — This June, 2012 marks the 20th year of resource sharing, professional development and career advancement opportunities provided by the National Sales Network (NSN) for African Americans in the sales industry. August 8-11, the organization will highlight this milestone at the annual conference and diversity career fair to be held in Baltimore, Maryland.

After working in the Food/Consumer Products industry for several years, founder David Richardson recognized the need for himself and others in the sales industry to be able to network and learn from each other. Joining forces with Joe Vinson, himself a sales veteran, and other committed professionals, they started the organization in Newark, NJ with a vision of becoming the premiere organization for African American sales professionals. Richardson said, “Being in sales, we knew how important networking was to developing leads and growing a business, so we were determined to create an organization that would give those in our industry an opportunity to both build their assets and help expand their careers.” Richardson, currently the NSN Executive Director, was the first chapter president and was previously the National Board Chair.

The NSN has nearly 2000 members and is comprised of 18 affiliate chapters across the country. The annual conference and career fair plays hosts to individuals from more than 30 states as well as international locations. Richardson said that after 20 years of struggles and hard work, their team has a lot to celebrate at this year’s event.

“We are proud of the fact that the conference and career fair holds the attendance record for the largest concentration of African-American sales executives in the world, and this year there will be over 40 corporations participating in the career fair that are actively looking to hire sales professionals,” he said. The conference, designed to provide best practices as well as motivate attendees, has featured well-known speakers, including Les Brown, Susan Taylor and Soledad O’Brien, among others.

The NSN is the leading networking organization for African-American sales professionals in the country, whose main goal is to provide resources that meet the professional and developmental needs of the African American sales and sales management professionals. Organization sponsorship is available for corporations at both the national and affiliate levels. For information, visit www.salesnetwork.org or call (678) 525-4507.

Photo Caption: David Richardson, Executive Director/Founder

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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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