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Archive for August 24th, 2012

Time to rally the troops and fight back against saboteurs of voting rights before the November 6, 2012 election

Posted by Admin On August - 24 - 2012 Comments Off on Time to rally the troops and fight back against saboteurs of voting rights before the November 6, 2012 election


By Juanita Bratcher


It is absolutely absurd and mind boggling that there are some conservatives in this country who are trying to undercut, undermine and sabotage the rights of some American citizens to vote in the upcoming November 6, 2012 election, specifically Blacks, other minorities, senior citizens and young voters.

Conservative governors and Republican-controlled Legislatures across the country are trying to undercut and undermine the vote in the November 6, 2012 election through Voter ID laws, the purging  of Voter Registration Rolls and shortening of voting hours, which, obviously, has the possibility of disenfranchising millions of voters.

Adding to that, are the millions of dollars in campaign contributions from Super Pacs that are being pumped into campaigns…flowing through deceptive ads like rushing waters in an all-out effort to buy the country?

Americans should be concerned about the millions of Super Pac dollars that are shamelessly floating through the hemisphere being used for the purpose of spitting out negative ads as a means of confusing uninformed voters. Much of what is being said are outright lies and misinformation. And even when they’re called on it, they continue to advertise the lies. Certainly, if you believe in something (ideology or opinions) why not tell the truth about it…“man up” or “woman up” and call a spade a spade. It’s like the Ku Klux Klan’s behavior – always emphatic in their hatemongering opinions and beliefs, yet wear hoods over their faces to cover up their identity. Are they shame of their stupid, ludicrous opinions that are certainly out of mainstream America?

It’s well past the time to start planning, strategizing and organizing – helping those who have problems getting IDs to vote in the election,  and making an all-out effort to make arrangements to get in on early voting during the time it is available, even if that means making changes in individual schedules. And, to see that those voters who need help to get to the polls on Election Day get it. It’s time to  rally the troops and make certain that every registered voter who wants to vote in the November 6 election gets the opportunity to vote, and that voting rights are preserved in this election and beyond.

As I stated in a previous article in CopyLine Magazine: The Black Church, activists and black organizations must step up to the plate and shore up its efforts in taking an active role in seeing that no voters, especially black voters, are disenfranchised anywhere in places where new Voter ID laws, purges and shorter voting hours are taking place.

I also noted in the article that efforts to Block the Vote is the last gasp to try and keep down the African-American vote and other voters who normally vote Democrat. And obviously, it was a well thought-out approach to legally disenfranchise certain voters.

Take for instance: Doug Priesse, Chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party and a member of the county’s Board of Election, told an Ohio newspaper that extended hours benefitted African-Americans.

Priesse, who voted against weekend voting hours, said “We shouldn’t try to accommodate African-American voters…I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban…voter-turnout machine…let’s be fair and reasonable,” he told the Columbus Dispatch.

Hours in Ohio were cut in all 88 counties.

African-American voters didn’t ask for special privileges or special accommodations to vote, as Priesse would want whoever his audience is to think. Voting laws apply to all – and they should apply to all. But it appears that these laws are designed to usurp Blacks from the voting process.

In another debacle, Jim Greer, former Chairman of the Florida Republican Party, admitted that during his tenure as chairman, the Republican Party of Florida intentionally tried to suppress minority voters to keep them away from the polls. He made the charges in a deposition in a civil lawsuit he filed against the Florida Republican Party and in an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton, host of PoliticsNation on MSNBC.

Greer, who served as chairman in Florida and is now up on criminal charges for alleged money laundering and fraud, said voter fraud was never on the Republican agenda, but that the strategy was to reduce early voting and manipulate the voter registration process which could lead to party gains in the November elections; to suppress minority voters, specifically Latinos, African-Americans and potential voters, and to make sure that what happened in the 2008 election never happens again.

And then there was Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai. In a speech in June 2012, Turzai, in listing a number of legislative accomplishments, said “Voter ID, which is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania: Done.”

It is of the utmost importance that African-Americans exercise their right to vote as any other American, understand the meaning of political power… political empowerment, keep a vigilant eye on what is happening politically in our country, and let their voices be heard through the ballot box on Election Day.

The late John Stroger, President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, believed in the power of the ballot. His motto was: “A voteless people are a hopeless people.” I served as Stroger’s Press Secretary during his last run for the County Board. He won the election but suffered a stroke after the primary election and couldn’t run in the General Election. He asked the Democratic Party to slate his son, Todd, in his place on the ballot. Todd won, but four years later lost his bid for re-election.

There’s a stark, glaring picture image in my mind of literally thousands of people waiting in line to vote in the first multi-racial election in South Africa in 1994. I talked about that picture image in my unreleased book, “Lest we never forget: The Power of the Ballot.”

As I sat there watching televised programs from South Africa on Election Day, staring relentlessly at the television screen and visually taking in the long lines of Blacks standing in the baking sun for well over eight hours to cast their ballots, my mind resonated over their obvious victory of gaining the right to vote; and the emotional gladness of realizing that the long battle to get there had finally come to an end; however, knowing full-well that this was just the beginning of new challenges ahead.

And I, as with many other Americans, rejoiced with them. Many of those rejoicing Americans had been cogs in the wheel, working with the disenfranchised and helping to push for this victory, this historical time in history. It had been a long time coming, but the sweetness of victory was overwhelming.

The final results would bring three-hundred-forty-one years of White rule and domination in South Africa. The old way of doing business was going up in smoke. And for the first time in the history of this apartheid regime, one man one vote had become a reality.

The White minority owned 98 percent of the wealth in South Africa at the time, and the Black majority had been denied both the ballot box and political power.

The first multi-racial election in South Africa was long overdue. The country’s population stood at 75.2 percent Black; 13.6 percent White; 8.6 percent Colored (racially mixed); and 2.6 percent Indian.

The number of eligible voters was placed at 22.7 million; 18 million of which were first-time Black voters. The country’s 9,000 polling places were swamped with voters, and heavily guarded during the three-day election.

Nomaza Paintin, the niece of South African President Nelson Mandela, was the first Black to cast her vote in the multi-racial election, which she cast in New Zealand, the place she had lived for the past eight years.

On May 10, 1994, Mandela, at the age of 75, was sworn-in as president of South Africa, four years after he was released from Victor Verster Prison on Feb. 11, 1990. He was incarcerated for 27 years.

Declaring, “Let freedom reign,” Mandela was sworn-in before some 50,000 people, including dignitaries from more than 150 countries. Black South Africans danced in the streets! It had been a longtime coming!

Nikosi Sikeli Afrika (God Bless Africa) was echoed all over the land as new changes were taking place, i.e., a new president, a new Constitution and Charter. South Africa’s 66-year-old flag, the Tricolor Standard, had its last gasp of breath going into oblivion.

What was happening in South Africa was an eye-opener for Blacks in America who were too young to remember the 1960s Civil Rights Movement; voter registration drives and marches in America, specifically in the Deep South. It was a refresher course for those who lived it, and perhaps a stark revelation for those who knew very little or nothing about it. That Blacks, in their attempt to register to vote, were faced with billy clubs, tear gas and water hoses. They were turned away by the Bull Connors of Alabama who would deny them their right to vote as American citizens.

That can be equated to what is happening in America today – those who are trying to turn back the clock in an effort to steal the Presidential Election.

That’s why it’s incumbent upon those of us that believe in a fair democracy and fair elections to get involved in the task of making sure that Democracy prevails.

Juanita Bratcher is an award-winning journalist and the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com. She is the author of several books, songwriter and poet. Bratcher has been a Journalist for more than 35 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics. 

Alabama state senator protests monument for Ku Klux Klan leader

Posted by Admin On August - 24 - 2012 Comments Off on Alabama state senator protests monument for Ku Klux Klan leader

60,000+ people have already signed the online petition at www.change.org/selma

Selma, AL (BlackNews.com) — Hank Sanders, Alabama State Senator representing Selma and Dallas County and eight other West Alabama counties, is challenging the building of a Monument to General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Sanders comments, “Nathan Bedford Forrest was one of the richest slave dealers in the South. Under General Nathan Bedford Forrest leadership, black soldiers who had surrendered were murdered in cold blood at Fort Pillow, Tennessee during the Civil War.”

After the Civil War, General Forrest took leadership of the Klan becoming its first Grand Wizard and built it into a national force that terrorized Black people across this country for decades. There is already a monument to Forrest at Live Oak Cemetery. We do not need a bigger monument of Forrest in Selma, the symbol for voting rights and freedom all over the world.”

“We have worked to eliminate memorials and anything else that honors Nathan Bedford Forrest including changing the name of an almost entirely black housing project just outside of town named for decades NBF Homes that stood for Nathan Bedford Forrest. We successfully renamed the housing project to MBA Homes in honor of Minnie B. Anderson,” Sanders said. He continued, “In the year 2000, we successful fought to remove a Forrest monument from a public building, the Smitherman Building. It was at that time, that the monument was relocated to the Live Oak Cemetery. We were not pleased then and continue to be displeased now that a memorial that honors a slave trader and a murderer of Black people is present in our town.”

Sanders also protested a document on the monument which called his wife, Faya Rose Toure; a “Domestic Terrorist. “No public property should be used to defame anyone, said Sanders. “A terrorist is a criminal. It is a sad day when a person who protest a terrorist like Nathan Bedford Forrest is called a “domestic terrorist” and it’s posted on public property.”

Sanders also spoke out against the physical assault on his wife, Faya Rose Toure. “The supervisor of the construction project grabbed and pushed my wife. He then put his finger in her face. I will not stand for anyone assaulting any one. I certainly will not stand for anyone assaulting my wife or any member of my family. This supervisor of the Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument must face justice.”

The Friends of Forrest, a Confederate organization and co-founded by Cecil Williamson and Patricia Godwin are behind the building of the monument. “They [Friends of Forrest] have been raising money for years for a permanent monument to Forrest by selling a packet of information that was originally published by the KKK right after the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march. They call the packet, Truth Uncensored and it attacks the Voting Rights Movement.” Among several articles in the packet are booklets called, Sex and the Civil Rights Movement – The True Selma Story, that falsely claims the Selma to Montgomery march was a drunken orgy; and Nightriders
, The Truth Surrounding Viola Liuzzo’s Killing falsely charges Mrs. Liuzzo with being a prostitute. You can see a description of all the racist materials in the packet at www.firstfreedom.net/68.htm

Cecil Williamson is the president of the Selma City Council and has a long history of involvement with secessionist and White supremacy groups including the John Birch Society and the League of the South. “We exposed his attendance at a Nathan Bedford Forrest birthday celebration in July 2010. Along with the Confederate flag, a racist caricature of a Black child eating watermelon was the display for their water melon station.” In spite of the fact that the Selma City Council was presented this evidence and other detailed evidence of Williamson’s racism,” Sanders said, “they failed to vote him out of the office of president of Council.”

Sanders said he has had enough. “I wrote a column on Nathan Bedford Forrest eleven years ago. We are still struggling with this issue today. This matter has gone way too far. We must take a stand. That’s why I am speaking out now. That’s why others must speak out.”

Please express your outrage and opposition to the building of this monument by emailing the Mayor George Evans at mayoroffice@selma-al.gov, Thomas C. Atchison at tatchison@pittsandpitts.com, Angela Benjamin at abenjamin@ward4selma.com, Greg J. Bjelke at gbjelk84@gmail.com, Corey D. Bowie at coreybowie2012@gmail.com, Susan Keith at susanmkeith@aol.com, Samuel L. Randolph at srandolphs@al.com, and Cecil Williamson at cresenthill@mindspring.com” Sanders appealed. He noted that emails to Bennie Ruth Crenshaw and Bennie L. Tucker should be sent to the Council Secretary at councilsecretary@selma-al.gov.

Online Petition: To sign the online petition to stop the monument, visit www.change.org/selma

Photo Caption: Cecil Williamson, president of Selma, Alabama City Council, is behind the building of the monument, and has a long history of involvement with secessionist and White supremacy groups including the John Birch Society and the League of the South.

Attorney General Madigan sues ‘Animals for Autism’ Charity for fraud

Posted by Admin On August - 24 - 2012 Comments Off on Attorney General Madigan sues ‘Animals for Autism’ Charity for fraud


Madigan: Settlement Will Require Downstate Woman Reimburse Families Waiting for Service Dogs



SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit and announced a settlement with a downstate woman who cheated families across the country out of thousands of dollars in payments for service dogs to assist children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Madigan filed her lawsuit in Sangamon County Circuit Court against Glenarm resident Lea Kaydus and her organization, Animals for Autism. The lawsuit alleges that for more than a year, Kaydus solicited donations and payments from families in Illinois and around the country to match them with specially trained dogs to serve as companions for their children. To date, Madigan said, none of the families who paid for the service has received a trained dog as promised by Kaydus.


“Animals for Autism turned out to be a heartless scam,” Attorney General Madigan said. “The organization targeted parents of children with autism who hoped that adopting a service dog would help their child. But instead of receiving a trained dog to assist their child, these families lost thousands of dollars and worse, had their hopes for their child dashed.”


Madigan’s lawsuit states that Kaydus’ Animals for Autism advertised it would specially train Alaskan Klee Kai puppies and Siberian Huskies for $3,000 to $8,000 and then pair the dogs with families to assist their children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kaydus promised families that they initially would be introduced to their dogs in person or via teleconference calls and then would receive frequent updates until the dogs were trained and ready to be placed in families’ homes.


Families in California, Ohio and Washington sent payments to Kaydus and were led to believe over the course of several months that Kaydus was training dogs to place in their homes. In some cases, families received pictures of puppies, though those images were taken years earlier and depicted dogs that weren’t involved in Kaydus’ supposed training program. One family received a photo of a puppy that was purportedly born in 2011, though Madigan’s investigation revealed the picture was actually taken in 2007.


Madigan said Kaydus has collected at least $5,190 from families in the scheme. The lawsuit alleges numerous violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and Solicitation for Charity Act against Kaydus and her organization. Under the settlement agreement reached with Kaydus, she must provide restitution to affected families and adhere to a court order requiring her compliance with the state’s charitable and consumer fraud laws.


Assistant Attorney General Melodi Green handled this case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

Cook County State’s Attorney’s Community Justice Center celebrates 1st Year

Posted by Admin On August - 24 - 2012 Comments Off on Cook County State’s Attorney’s Community Justice Center celebrates 1st Year

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez held an open house recently in celebration of the first anniversary of her office’s Central Community Justice Center. 

Community Justice Center-Central, located at 715 W. Maxwell Street, Chicago, serves the UIC Campus and the 11th and 12th Chicago Police districts.  It is the fourth Community Justice Center opened by Alvarez since taking office, in an effort to make the State’s Attorney’s Office more accessible to residents.

“The Community Justice Centers give residents a physical place in the community where they can go and talk to our staff to work together to problem solve and develop crime prevention strategies,”  Alvarez said.  “I am very proud of the staff at all the community justice centers for the hard work they do to help improve the neighborhoods they serve.”

In addition to charging and prosecuting criminal cases, Community Justice Center staff  are out in the community attending meetings and conducting informational seminars/workshops on topics such as avoiding scams, domestic violence, gang awareness and mortgage fraud.  They also assist residents in finding court case information and provide referrals to local agencies for assistance.

Other Community Justice Center locations are:

North Side Community Justice Center: 5333 N. Western Ave., Chicago

South Side Community Justice Center: 9059 S. Cottage Grove, Chicago

West Side Community Justice Center: 4 Chicago Ave., Oak Park

Special event with Jazz Fest Weekend: Jazz & Blues Tour by Bus with Chicago Detours

Posted by Admin On August - 24 - 2012 Comments Off on Special event with Jazz Fest Weekend: Jazz & Blues Tour by Bus with Chicago Detours

CHICAGO, IL – During Jazz Festival weekend, Chicago Detours will host 27 lovers of Chicago jazz, blues and history on their “Jazz, Blues & Beyond” tour by bus. Beginning at 10:30am on Saturday, September 1, this two-and-a-half-hour special tour will integrate multimedia, expert guide commentary, a live blues performance, and visits to sites tourists and even residents rarely see. (See sneak peaks in this video.)

Screens on the bus illuminate the past while the guide delves into the people, politics and culture that have made Chicago a hotbed for musical innovation. Guests get to make music of their own with a harmonica demo, and they get up close with relics of a former 1920’s and 1930’s jazz club where Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines once played. Tour ventures to Chicago neighborhoods from north to south.

Guests on the tour from last summer described it in five-star Yelp reviews: “An amazing adventure,” “Loved the harmonica lesson,” and “This is a MUST do if you live in Chicago.” Chicago Detours Founder Amanda Scotese will share vivid stories and thought-provoking perspectives on the Great Migration, Maxwell Street Market, and Chess Records. A game (with prizes) caps off a lesson on differences and similarities between jazz and blues. The photos and brief documentary clips presented on screens in the bus include performances of musical artists, and historic pictures of recording studios, clubs and theaters.

Tours are curated with a journalistic approach, as Scotese and her team consulted with local experts, such as music photographer Paul Natkin and former Blues Festival director Barry Dolins, in the development of the tour. “We curate our tours to include a wide variety of perspectives,” Scotese says. “Both by connecting with people who have lived the history, and also by studying archival materials like personal letters, club flyers, and old magazines.”

Currently about 40% of the seats are filled and the tour is expected to sell-out. Group is kept to a maximum of 27 guests to keep a personal dynamic and to permit exclusive access to a historic mural in a former jazz club, which is a highlight for many. Jazz Record Mart serves as the meeting and end point for the bus tour. Reservations for this tour, to be held September 1, 10:30am-1:00pm, are required via www.chicagodetours.com. Adult tickets for this premium experience, usually offered only to private groups, are $65; students/seniors $60; kids under 12 $50, and include bus transport, tour guide commentary, multimedia presentation, live blues musician performance, harmonica lesson and gift, and other extras.

About Chicago Detours:
Chicago Detours offers guided tours of history, culture and architecture that bring people to places that locals don’t even know. Since launching two years ago, the company has garnered 5-stars on both Yelp and TripAdvisor, and was voted a top tour in the Chicago Reader Best of 2011 polls. Founder Amanda Scotese honed her guiding skills while employed as a guide and guidebook researcher with Rick Steves, one of the nation’s most well-known travel authors and television personalities.

Contact: Amanda Scotese, Executive Director and Tour Curator

Harvard Law Alumni respond to President’s Education Initiative for African Americans

Posted by Admin On August - 24 - 2012 Comments Off on Harvard Law Alumni respond to President’s Education Initiative for African Americans

Innovative collaboration responds to President Obama’s Initiative on educational excellence for African Americans

Harvard Law School Alumni – Hill Harper, Raye Mitchell and Lisa Jones Johnson – launch the M.B.A. Series(TM) Mentoring and Training Program to support African American youth

On Wednesday, July 26, 2012 President Obama signed an Executive Order to improve outcomes and advance educational opportunities for African Americans. The Initiative aims to ensure that all African American students receive an education that fully prepares them for high school graduation, college completion, and productive careers.

Oakland, CA (BlackNews.com) — In keeping with the President’s initiative, three Harvard Law School alumni launched The M.B.A. Series(TM) – a new collaborative mentoring and training program to support African American youth. The M.B.A. Series (M.B.A. stands for Motivated Brilliant Achievers) is a multi-platform series that provides youth, ages 8 to 18+, with leading edge, inspirational and motivational advice and counsel bolstered with specific hard skills and technical skills development in leadership. Please visit www.TheMBASeries.org and www.facebook.com/TheMBASeries to learn more about the project, join the mailing list, or volunteer.

The M.B.A. Series is a collaborative effort of three Harvard Law School alumni and their respective non-profit foundations: Hill Harper, actor and NY Times best-selling author, and CEO and founder of MANifest Your Destiny; Raye Mitchell, published author, entertainment attorney and Chief Social Entrepreneur and founder of The New Reality Foundation and its G.U.R.L.S. Rock Global Leadership Training Program for girls and girls of color; and Lisa Jones Johnson, author, highly accomplished Entertainment Industry Executive, CEO of the NextGen Media Group, former USC Law School Adjunct Professor, and founder of The Micro Learning Centers of America, Inc., which has launched a unique approach to elementary education targeting African American boys K-5.

The M.B.A. Series is intended to go beyond motivational speeches and writings to develop a platform based on preparing youth of color to be competent, highly-skilled, and competitive global leaders and leaders of change. The project seeks to build on the groundbreaking and highly acclaimed works of author Hill Harper in his literary offerings Letter to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny and Letters to a Young Sister: Define Your Destiny.

The program exists to close the “access gap” for African American youth, allowing them to gain access to inside tips, high-level skills develop¬ment, mentor advice, and success strategies to enable them to grow ahead of the curve and develop as global leaders. The project is intended to move the next generation of leaders from inspirational-based messages to skill-based engagement.

Raye Mitchell, CEO and founder of The G.U.R.L.S. Rock Global Leadership Program, commented, “I am thrilled to support President Obama’s vision by working with Hill Harper and Lisa Jones Johnson to raise the bar in how we engage our youth of color, and to provide an intellectually rigorous, interesting and success-driven interactive learning program.”

About the new Reality Foundation, Inc. and G.U.R.L.S. Rock Global Leadership Program:

The G.U.R.L.S. Rock Global Leadership Program is a leadership-training initiative of The New Reality Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. As a Certified Social Impact Enterprise(TM), the G.U.R.L.S. Global Rock leadership model is diverse and inclusive, and is involved in closing the leadership-training gap for girls and girls of color by providing skills training to be SocialPreneures(TM), the initiators of solving the challenges in their lives, and local and global communities. To learn more about G.U.R.L.S. Rock, please visit www.GurlsRock.org and www.fb.com/GurlsRockPower.

About Hill Harper’s Manifest Your Destiny:

Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, is a non-profit youth organization established by Ivy League actor Hill Harper. Despite his many accolades and awards, or maybe because of them, Hill Harper made a commitment to work in service of our youth to pass along the lessons he learned and to provide a foundation for young men and women to use as a launching pad to success. Manifest Your Destiny provides underserved youth a path to empowerment and educational excellence through academic programming, college access skills, and personal development. For more details, visit www.ManifestYourDestiny.org

About the MicroLearning Centers of America:

The MicroLearning Centers of America (MLC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to innovative educational alternatives designed to create leaders of the future for this country and the world. The academic centers are a hybrid between a charter school and a home school, and combine the individualized focus of a home school with the best of traditional classroom teaching to provide an academically enriched environment where children have no limits on how far they can excel. MLC has created an innovative program, which is a hybrid between a home school and a charter school and is designed to provide a concrete solution to the crisis in education faced by many of our young men and boys. For more details, visit www.MicroLearningFoundation.org

Lt. Governor Simon awards grant to Uptown Farmers Market

Posted by Admin On August - 24 - 2012 Comments Off on Lt. Governor Simon awards grant to Uptown Farmers Market

Dedicates wireless Link card machine, tours rooftop garden


CHICAGO, IL – Pledging to connect low-income residents with healthy food options, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon presented a grant to the Uptown Farmers Market and dedicated a wireless machine that accepts Link, debit and credit cards.

Uptown is one of up to 50 farmers’ markets selected this summer by the state for the Illinois Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Wireless Project. The project reimburses markets up to $1,200 for wireless “card-swiping” machines so residents can purchase healthy, locally grown foods using their Link cards. Link cards are loaded with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits formerly known as food stamps.

The federally funded project is expected to double the number of farmer’s markets in Illinois that accept Link, making nearly one-third of farmers’ markets statewide accessible to low-income residents. A total of 49 SNAP-certified farmers’ markets and direct-marketing farmers accepted Link cards in 2011, up from 15 in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  

“One in seven Illinois residents receive food stamp benefits, and nearly all of those dollars are spent on foods imported to Illinois,” said Simon, who chairs the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council. “Increasing access to locally grown foods means stronger local economies in addition to healthier communities. I am happy to recognize and support the food connections being made here at the Uptown Farmers Market and show what is possible when a community is integrated into the operation of a farmers’ market.” 

The Uptown Farmers Market is run by Vanguard Weiss Memorial Hospital and is open on Thursdays between June 21 and October 25 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market, which started accepting Link, debit and credit cards this season, features between eight and 10 vendors throughout the season and hosts a variety of events including free health screenings and cooking demonstrations. Nearly one-third of weekly sales at the market are from Link users, according to market manager Terry Tuohy.

Uptown is in its third year of operation and helps to serve the nearly 10,000 households that receive SNAP benefits in the Uptown Chicago neighborhood, Tuohy said. The rooftop urban farm Weiss maintains sits atop a parking garage that features 20 planter boxes and 15 raised beds containing seasonal fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, kale and basil.

Space on the rooftop farm is open to community members, and many of the farmers are refugees from across the globe, including the countries of Bhutan and Haiti. Some of the produce grown on the farm is sold at the farmers’ market as well as donated to local food pantries. Community farmers plant their crop using compost collected from food waste at the hospital and irrigate their produce using water collected by rain barrels situated on the roof. The farm also has beehives that attract nearly 150,000 bees to pollinate the crop and produce honey for sale.

“We are honored to be the first farmer’s market in the state to receive this grant money,” said Weiss CEO Jeffrey Steinberg. “It will help us to invest even more into this growing effort that’s benefiting our neighbors and employees in a healthy way.”

 The Illinois EBT Wireless Project is jointly administered by the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Department of Human Services with assistance from the Lt. Governor’s office. Chicago not-for-profit Experimental Station, the Illinois Farmers Market Association and Southern Illinois University Carbondale also provide support for the program.

“This initiative is an exciting use of technology that will afford farmers the opportunity to expand their customer base while helping Chicagoland families get much needed access to affordable, healthy and fresh produce that is locally-grown,” said DHS Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler.

Funding for the program comes from USDA and is part of a $4 million nationwide effort to increase SNAP use at farmers’ markets. Before seeking reimbursement, participating markets must be certified to accept SNAP benefits by the USDA Food and Nutrition Services and sign a contract with the Illinois Department of Agriculture that requires disclosure of sales data, use of the wireless machine on all market days, and participation in required trainings that are being held this week across the state.

Applications for the program are still being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. To apply or learn more about the program, visit www.ltgov.illinois.gov. 


Expo Chicago, the International Exposition of Contemporary/Modern Art and Design, brings leading international galleries and dynamic programming to Chicago September 20-23, 2012

Posted by Admin On August - 24 - 2012 Comments Off on Expo Chicago, the International Exposition of Contemporary/Modern Art and Design, brings leading international galleries and dynamic programming to Chicago September 20-23, 2012


The Inaugural Fair Includes Site-Specific Work by

Tony Feher, Roy McMakin and Jaume Plensa


EXPO /Dialogues Speakers include Jerry Saltz, Sterling Ruby and Alec Soth




CHICAGO, IL —The inaugural EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary/Modern Art and Design, will host an exclusive list of the world’s premier galleries in Chicago Sept. 20–23, 2012 in Festival Hall at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Avenue). EXPO CHICAGO is produced by Art Expositions, LLC. Under the leadership of President and Director Tony Karman, the exposition includes an exclusive list of 120 of the world’s premier galleries.


Studio Gang Architects, led by MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, is creating EXPO CHICAGO’s design-forward interior environment. Navy Pier’s unparalleled views of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago provide the perfect backdrop for the inaugural exposition.


The new fair debuts with an impressive list of leading international galleries, many of which will bring new work and work never before seen in Chicago.


Highlights include: Alexander and Bonin (New York) exhibiting Willie Cole and Mona Hatoum; Galerie Buchholz (Cologne) featuring Dahn Vo; Cherry and Martin (Los Angeles) presenting a solo booth of new work by Brian Bress; James Cohan Gallery (New York, Shanghai) exhibiting a suite of paintings by Byron Kim; D’Amelio Gallery (New York) featuring Tamar Halpern; The Suzanne Geiss Company (New York) showing new work by Chris Johanson; Galerie Karsten Greve AG (Cologne, Paris, St. Moritz) featuring Cy Twombly; Rhona Hoffman Gallery (Chicago) presenting work by Spencer Finch, Jacob Hashimoto and Andre Butzer; Annely Juda Fine Art (London) exhibiting David Hockney and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy; Paul Kasmin Gallery (New York) featuring pieces by Ivan Navarro and Makoto Saito; Landau Fine Art (Montreal) showing works by Paul Klee and Fernand Léger; Luhring Augustine (New York) exhibiting Rachel Whiteread; Mitchell-Innes & Nash (New York) presenting William Pope.L, Jessica Stockholder and Amanda Ross-Ho; The Pace Gallery exhibiting Maya Lin and Kiki Smith and David Zwirner (New York, London) bringing work by Carol Bove and Alice Neel.


Designed to be an important component of EXPO CHICAGO, EXPOSURE allows young galleries the opportunity to participate in a major international exposition. Highlights from EXPOSURE include: Clifton Benevento (New York) bringing paintings by Chicago-based Paul Cowan. Jessica Silverman Gallery (San Francisco) showing a solo booth by Hayal Pozanti, who will have her Chicago premiere. Kate Werble Gallery (New York) exhibiting two videos by Christopher Chiappa and Luke Stettner. For a complete list of galleries exhibiting at EXPO CHICAGO, visit expochicago.com.


Situated throughout the exposition floor, IN/SITU provides a dynamic opportunity for exhibiting galleries to showcase large-scale installations, site-specific and performative works by leading international artists. “Temporary Landmarks and Moving Situations” is an itinerant exhibition included within IN/SITU, organized by writer and independent curator Michael Ned Holte, and featuring work by Robert Barry, Fiona Connor, Theaster Gates, Tony Feher, Roy McMakin, Sarah Rara, Steve Roden and Jan Tichy. Additional pieces by Jaume Plensa, Dzine and Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle will also be on view.


Presented in partnership with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, EXPO /Dialogues offers panel discussions, conversations and provocative artistic discourse with leading artists, curators, designers and arts professionals. Notable events include highlight talk by noted art critic Jerry Saltz on Thursday, September 20; a conversation between Los Angeles-based artist Sterling Ruby and art adviser Todd Levin on Friday, September 21; a panel discussion between internationally renowned curators, Michael Darling, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Lisa Dorin, the Art Institute of Chicago and Dominic Molon, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; a talk by the acclaimed artist Alec Soth and Associate Curator of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, Kate Bussard; and a conversation between artist Byron Kim and James Elkins, critic and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A complete schedule of /Dialogues events will be released at a future date.


Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is collaborating with internationally-recognized artist Maya Lin to present artwork that speaks to environmental issues in Chicago and around the world. Additionally, the NRDC and gallerist Rhona Hoffman have worked to create a new version of Gordon Matta-Clark’s “Garbage Wall” from 1970. It will be constructed with trash sourced from the Chicago, Illinois, Mississippi, and Ohio Rivers to highlight water pollution issues in the Midwest.


Artadia will display the work of the 15 Finalists for the 2012 Chicago Awards Cycle; awardees will be announced at EXPO CHICAGO on September 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm on the /Dialogues stage. Artadia’s mission is to encourage innovative practice and meaningful dialogue across the United States by providing visual artists in specific communities with unrestricted awards and a national network of support.


Other special exhibitions include: “Eclectic Coherence,” a curated exhibition by photographer Dawoud Bey and commissioned by EXPO CHICAGO, which features the work of artists Laura Letinsky, Kerry James Marshall and Barbara Kastan alongside pieces by upcoming Chicago artists; a new installation by Lauren Adams, whose “We the People” will be on view at the Front Room Gallery at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; an exhibition highlighting the new residency program “The Jackman Class” at Hyde Park Art Center opening after EXPO CHICAGO ; and seminal photos by the influential photographer Gordon Parks from the Weinstein Gallery and the Gordon Parks Foundation. Additionally, organizations including International Sculpture Center, Marwen, Chicago Sculpture Center, The Renaissance Society, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Bad at Sports and the Aperture Foundation will feature special exhibitions and programming for the fair. 


African American Expression announces release of its 2013 Obama Wall Calendar

Posted by Admin On August - 24 - 2012 Comments Off on African American Expression announces release of its 2013 Obama Wall Calendar

Sacramento, CA (BlackNews.com) — As the political realm heats up in preparation for the November presidential election, African American Expressions(TM) (AAE) has released its own hot-off-the-press 2013 Obama wall calendar.

For over twenty years, African American Expressions(TM) has faithfully served the Black community as the market leader in afro-centric gifts. Known for eye-catching designs and poignant art pieces, AAE offers America’s best selection of culturally authentic, inspirational gift items such as Christmas cards, figurines, journals and more.

Among a host of new 2013 calendars being introduced this season, AAE is incredibly pleased to launch the 2013 Barack Obama: Let’s Stay Together calendar, which celebrates the historical significance of the Obama Administration’s campaign for re-election.

The 12×12 calendar features a selection of expertly captured images, which highlight strategic moments of the Obama Administration in the last four years. Accompanied by descriptive captions, photographs include depictions of President Obama addressing constituents, attending a state dinner with First Lady Michelle, and greeting his dog, Bo.

The new calendar is one of over 70 new products introduced for this holiday season, available through AAE’s fundraising program. Since its inception two decades ago the fundraising program has partnered with African American communities to help raise money for thousands of individuals and organizations.

The program functions similarly to candy drives or Avon sales: fundraisers use the AAE holiday catalog to take orders from members of their community, selling items at retail price. Fundraisers then purchase the products at a 40% discounted price, with the difference being their profit to help fund their causes.

It is the hope of AAE that the 2013 Obama: Let’s Stay Together calendar will inspire a new generation of forerunners who will follow in the example set by President Obama and hone their God-given abilities to positively impact the world.

The calendar is available for purchase for $14.95 in the stationery section of AAE’s website, www.black-gifts.com.


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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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