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Archive for March 18th, 2013

New Immigration Law for employers

Posted by Newsroom On March - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
All businesses must implement new employment verification Form I-9

By Allen Orr, Orr Immigration Law Firm

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced the new Form I-9, (Rev. 03/08/13) on March 8. Employers should begin using the new form immediately for all new hires, re-hires and reverification. Using prior versions of the Form I-9 after May 7, 2013, will cause the employer to be subject to fines. Employers must use the Form I-9 to verify an employee’s work authorization in the US. The new form can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.

The new Form I-9 is a two-page document with seven pages of instructions. The flow and content of the form are similar to the previous version; however, the layout is revised to provide additional space and clarity to the preparer. The new version also has added data fields for an email address, phone number and foreign passport. The email address and phone number fields are optional, and have been added to assist the government in contacting individuals during an investigation. USCIS has also revised the Handbook for Employers, Form M-274, http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/m-274.pdf and the I-9 Central website, www.uscis.gov/I-9Central, to complement the instructions and format of the new Form I-9. In addition there will be several free webinars hosted by USCIS covering completion and implementation of the new form. The dates and times of the webinars are located on the I-9 Central portal.

Employers should use the implementation of the new form as an opportunity to ensure that company policies and procedures are current and compliant. Best practices include a written policy regarding Form I-9 rules and procedures, yearly audits and training, and appointing and I-9 czar for your company.

I-9 inspections by the government are at an all-time high. Neglecting to fill out I-9 forms or filling out I-9 forms incorrectly can result in fines of up to $1,100 for every incorrect form.

Allen Orr is the founder of Orr Immigration Law Firm PC, a minority-owned firm based in Washington, DC, and focusing on US corporate compliance as well as global representation and assistance on immigration issues. Mr. Orr previously helped to build one of the leading immigration practices at a global law firm, where he developed a network of immigration practitioners, government officials and business leaders. Mr. Orr received a BA in Philosophy from Morehouse College and a JD from Howard University’s School of Law. He is an active member of the DC, Virginia, American and National Bar Associations. For more details, visit www.orrimmigration.com

Bipartisan, Bicameral Group introduces legislation to end dumping in Great Lakes

Posted by Newsroom On March - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
Great Lakes Water Protection Act Hikes Fines for Sewage Dumping
Experts estimate 24 billion gallons of sewage dumped into Great Lakes each year
WASHINGTON – Illinois’ two Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) along with Illinois’ Representatives Daniel Lipinski (D-Western Springs) and Randy Hultgren (R-Winfield) unveiled legislation today that would end sewage dumping in the Great Lakes by 2033. The Great Lakes Water Protection Act increases fines to up to $100,000 a day per violation and provides communities 20 years to upgrade their sewage treatment facilities.
Money collected from fines would flow to a Great Lakes Clean-Up Fund to generate financial resources for the Great Lakes states to improve wastewater treatment options, habitat protection and wastewater treatment systems. In addition, the legislation would make it easier to assess fines at existing levels, beginning a year after the bill’s passage.
“We need to protect Lake Michigan, the crown jewel of the Midwest and the source of drinking water for millions,” Sen. Kirk said. “This bipartisan, bicameral bill is the right approach to stop polluters from dumping sewage in the Great Lakes.”
“We are faced with many challenges when trying to protect the health and safety of the Great Lakes – from invasive species to air pollution around Lake Michigan,” said Durbin. “This legislation tackles another significant threat to the water system – municipal sewage. I will continue to work closely with Senator Kirk and Congressmen Lipinski and Hultgren to ensure that this national treasure is around for generations, providing drinking water, recreation and commerce for Illinois and other Great Lakes states.”
“The Great Lakes are our region’s most precious natural resource and we must do more to protect them. We cannot continue to allow the dumping of billions of gallons of raw sewage in the waters we use for drinking, swimming, boating, and fishing,” said Rep. Lipinski. “By imposing penalties that will not only deter dumping but will help pay for infrastructure improvements that will help alleviate future dumping, this bill provides the type of innovative, bipartisan, bicameral action that we need to see more of in Washington. ”
“Protecting the quality of the Great Lakes is essential for Illinois families,” Rep. Hultgren said. “This bill addresses a critical public health concern and demonstrates how Congress can work together effectively to preserve our natural resources and improve the quality of life for families throughout the Midwest.”
Cities around the Great Lakes Basin continue to dump directly into the Great Lakes and their tributaries. Reports estimate that 24 billion gallons of sewage are dumped into the Great Lakes each year, posing environmental, financial and public health hazards.
Decreased water quality can pose serious risks to public health and can contribute to beach closures and swim advisories along freshwater beaches. Data from the Illinois Department of Public Health shows that Lake Michigan beaches continue to be inundated with hundreds of beach closures and contamination advisories each year. A University of Chicago study concluded the closings due to high levels of harmful pathogens like E.coli cost the local economy about $2.4 million each year in lost revenue.

Black clergy to members: ‘Call Black Caucus, tell them to vote ‘no’ on same-sex bill’

Posted by Newsroom On March - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
Pastor Hunter: ‘Marriage is between a man and a woman’

By Chinta Strausberg

A number of black ministers Sunday will ask their parishioners to call their state lawmakers and urge them not to pass the controversial same-sex marriage bill, according to Pastor Marvin Hunter, from the Grace Memorial MBC.

While the legislation is good until 2015, Pastor Hunter fears there may be some political Shenanigans played that could lead to the approval of this legislation when black lawmakers are unaware.

Explaining, Pastor Hunter said, “We don’t want them to use their political tactics and wait until we aren’t looking and then pass it later on. We don’t have a lobbyist in Springfield so we will not be aware if this bill comes up in the future and that it may be appended to another bill.
“The Black Caucus needs to know that this is not something the black preachers want passed,” said Hunter. “This is not a civil rights issue. It is a moral issue. Marriage is an institution of the church and it is sacred. Marriage should remain between a man and a woman as prescribed by the bible.
“No one is arguing about civil union because the core of this bill is the American right to share resources between people who say they care about each other,” Hunter explained. “When you talk about marriage, you are talking about the institution that is believed to be implemented by God. Therefore, the church should protect the institution of marriage which is believed to be between a man and a woman.”
At the request of their parishioners, the black pastors are asking their members who may not be aware of this bill to call their legislators urging them not to pass this legislation.
“The Constitution says there should be a separation between the church and the state; however, the law was not put there to protect the government from the church,” Hunter said. “It was put there to protect the church from the government.”
Sunday, the black ministers will distribute a list of the names and phone numbers of the legislators to their parishioners asking them to tell lawmakers that “the African American church does not support same-sex marriage.”
“The majority of the white legislators are against this bill and he LGBT community is depending on the Black Caucus to produce the votes needed for passage,” said Hunter.
“The African American pastors stand with the Cardinal in urging lawmakers not to pass this bill which can be pushed through any time through the year 2015. We’re asking the Black Caucus to not push it through now or ever,” said Hunter.
Sources say 12 votes are needed to pass this controversial bill.
Pastor Hunter shared his study on Paul’s questions about marriage:
After discussing disorders in the church, Paul moves to the list of questions which the Corinthians.
Had sent him, including subjects of marriage, singleness, eating meat offered to idols, and clothing in worship, orderliness in the Lord’s Supper, spiritual gifts, and the resurrection. Questions which plague churches today are remarkably similar to there so we can receive specific guidance in these areas.
1. Instruction on Christian marriage.
Questions about marriage:
1. Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
3. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
4. The wife hath not power of his owe body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power
of his own body, but the wife.
5. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
6. But I speak this by permission and not of commandment.
7. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner and another after that.
8. I say therefore to the married and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
9. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
10. And unto the married, I command, yet not I but the Lord, let not the wife depart from the husband.
11. But and if she departs let her remained unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
12. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13. And the woman who hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean: but now are they holy.
15. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
16. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
Paul’s answers to marriage were based on biblical principals from the natural laws of God.
1. God unequivocally forbids homosexual activity:
According to Leviticus 18:22, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”
2. God condemned Sodom and Gomorrah for their homosexuality. It is sin.
Genesis 18:20-21, “ Then the Lord said, The outcry against of Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin is so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.
3. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed on account of their unrepentant homosexuality:
Genesis 19th
Genesis 19: 4-5, “Before they had gone to bed, all men from every part of the city of Sodom- both young and old-surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came with you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
Genesis 19:24-25, “Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah-from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities-and also the vegetation in the land.
4. The example of Sodom and Gomorrah is given as a warning for people of all ages. God holds homosexuals fully accountable for their sin.
2 Peter 2:4-10
2Peter 2: 6-10, “If he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)-if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.”
Jude 6-7, “And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home-these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.”
5. God’s wrath is revealed against all of the godlessness and wickedness of men-including homosexuality.
Romans 1:18-32
6. Paul describes homosexuality as wicked perversion of God’s gift.
Roman 1: 26-27, “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same was the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”
7. The wicked including homosexuals-will not inherit the kingdom of God.
I Corinthians 6: 9-10, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexual immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, not thieves, not the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
8. There is hope for homosexuals-God forgives and cleanses persons of this sin.
I Corinthians 6:11, “And that (homosexual offenders) is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
According to the bible, homosexuality is a sin of the flesh and the Holy Spirit frees us from sin.
Romans 8: 1-8:
  1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them, which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.
  2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
  3. 3. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
  4. 4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.
  5. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
  6. 6. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
  7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
  8. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Madigan calls on Congress to curb for-profit college recruiting abuses

Posted by Newsroom On March - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
Attorneys General urge support for Bill to crack down on use of federal aid for recruitment, advertising & marketing
CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined with 13 of her counterparts to urge Congress to support legislation to crack down on the for-profit school industry’s use of federal aid for recruiting, advertising and marketing to students.

In a letter to ranking members of key Senate and House committees, Madigan and the states called for passage of the Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Kay R. Hagan, D-North Carolina, and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, would restrict institutions of higher learning, including the for-profit schools industry, from using federal financial aid for recruitment, advertising and marketing.

Madigan said the bill will help ensure that federal education funding is used to serve and educate students rather than to finance advertising campaigns and aggressive student recruitment and marketing operations.

“The tactics employed by many for-profit college recruiters put revenues ahead of student success and often leave students with little to show for their education other than life-crushing debt,” Madigan said. “This federal measure is necessary to ensure that for-profit colleges direct their focus where it belongs – on the quality of the education they provide their students.”

“I’m grateful for the support of more than a dozen attorneys general from around the country who understand that in these tough fiscal times, it’s imperative that every taxpayer dollar be spent wisely and responsibly,” said Sen. Hagan, a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “I introduced this legislation because taxpayer dollars should not be used on out-of-control marketing, advertising and recruitment budgets. I’m especially troubled that our veterans are being targeted by some for-profit schools, and these deceptive recruitment practices are unacceptable. I will continue working to pass this legislation that will benefit taxpayers, students and veterans in North Carolina and around the country.”

The Attorneys General highlighted several trends regarding the for-profit schools industry:

  • In fiscal year 2009, these for-profit education companies spent $3.7 billion dollars (23 percent of their budgets) on advertising, marketing and recruitment, which was often very aggressive and deceptive;
  • Nonprofit colleges and universities spend an average of one-half of one percent of their revenues on marketing;
  • Together, 30 education companies examined by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions spent $4.2 billion on marketing in 2009 or 22.7 percent of all revenue, which equates to $2,622 per student;
  • Of those 30 educational companies, 54 percent of students who started in 2008-2009 left without a degree by mid-2010. This translates to nearly 600,000 students leaving colleges without a degree;
  • Students who attended a for-profit college already account for 47 percent of all student loan borrowers in default; and
  • Fifteen of the largest for-profit education companies received at least 86 percent of their revenues from federal student aid programs, such as the G.I. Bill and Pell grant programs.

The letter is the latest effort by Attorney General Madigan to rein in the for-profit school industry’s abusive practices. Last year, Madigan filed a lawsuit against the national for-profit school Westwood College, alleging Westwood left many students with anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000 in debt for degrees that failed to qualify them for careers in criminal justice. Madigan’s lawsuit alleges that Westwood downplayed the ultimate cost of attending the college and failed to provide students with sufficient information about their loans.

Also in 2012, Madigan settled a national lawsuit with the company behind www.GIbill.com for deceptively steering U.S. service members and veterans to use their federal education benefits with the company’s preferred clients in the for-profit schools industry. Madigan has also testified before Congress on growing concerns about the industry.

In addition, for the first time in 2012, complaints against schools ranked among the top 10 received by Madigan’s office. Of the more than 1,300 complaints about schools operating in Illinois last year, nearly 95 percent concerned unfair and misleading practices employed by for-profit colleges, including deceptive recruitment and lending practices that have made for-profit college students in Illinois part of a growing generation of Americans trapped in a lifetime of financial insecurity.

Joining Madigan in sending today’s letter were attorneys general from Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Lt. Governor Simon’s Firearms Working Group meets with sponsor of gun legislation, gun owners

Posted by Newsroom On March - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CARBONDALE, IL – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon’s Firearms Working Group met with a sponsor of concealed carry legislation being considered by the General Assembly. The group also talked with gun owners to learn more about responsible gun usage and culture.

“As a resident of Southern Illinois, I know responsible gun owners who agree that gun regulations are needed to protect our children and keep guns out of the wrong hands,” said Simon. “These are parents who went hunting as children and now take their children hunting, and we need to protect that tradition of conservation and gun safety.”

The working group talked with Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), the sponsor of House Bill 997, which allows for concealed carry of firearms in Illinois.

Currently Illinois is the only state in the nation with a law that completely bans carrying concealed firearms. The law was declared unconstitutional in December by a three-member panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Illinois now has until June to pass a law that permits people to carry concealed guns in public spaces.

The working group has been meeting with stakeholders on all sides of the debate – from hunters to law enforcement officials to education professionals – to promote dialogue and work toward consensus on pending legislation. The group is working on a legislative checklist based on information compiled over the course of these meetings. More details will be released soon.

For additional information about the working group, visit www.ltgov.il.gov/guns

Fact Sheet: Illinois Education Funding & Recent Cuts

Posted by Newsroom On March - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Division of Public Information, Illinois State Board of Education

On January 24, the Illinois State Board of Education submitted its Fiscal Year 2014 budget recommendation to Governor Pat Quinn and the General Assembly, calling for an $874 million increase in P-12 education funding over the previous year. This represents an appropriation that would, for the first time in three years, fully fund General State Aid to districts at the level set in state statute. ISBE’s recommendation comes after years of funding reductions, totaling nearly $1 billion, that have led to the loss of thousands of teachers and aides, increased class sizes, and meant cuts to music, art, sports, and many other educational programs and local school services.

Recent Funding Issues

In recent years, districts have received less funding from local tax revenue, due to the recession and consequent decline in assessed home values. Additionally, the state’s General Fund allocation for P-12 education has been cut by more than $861 million, or nearly 12 percent, since Fiscal Year 2009. More than a dozen line items have been reduced, and more than 30 line items have been totally eliminated.

Since FY2009, these cuts have included:

  • · $320.9 million (7.0 percent) reduction in General State Aid (GSA), the most flexible fund to support district operations. For the past two years, funding shortfalls have forced district GSA receipts to be prorated below their claim amounts. Cuts to GSA impact education in many different ways. For example, statewide since 2009, at least 6,400 full time teacher and aide positions have been cut, often resulting in larger class sizes.
  • · $133.7 million (39.4 percent) reduction in Transportation. To make do with reduced funding, some districts have cut bus services and implemented longer routes. Many more have cut back on field trips.
  • · $80 million (21 percent) reduction in the Early Childhood Block Grant. Nineteen percent fewer children (roughly 18,000 3-5 year olds) will be served by ISBE-supported programs in FY13 than were served in FY09.
  • · $12.3 million (16.2 percent) reduction in Bilingual Education. In contrast, the number of Limited-English-proficient (LEP) students in the state has increased from 6.3 percent in 2003 to 9.4 percent in 2012.

Illinois State Board of Education

Reductions include:

1. $320.1 million (7.0 percent) reduction in General State Aid

2. $133.7 million (39.4 percent) reduction in Transportation

3. $80.1 million (21.1 percent) reduction in Early Childhood

4. $12.3 million (16.2 percent) reduction in Bilingual Education

5. $12.0 million (64.7 percent) reduction in Alternative Learning/Regional Safe Schools

6. $12.0 million (45.6 percent) reduction in Illinois Free Lunch/Breakfast

7. $10.5 million (91.3 percent) reduction in National Board Certification

8. $8.1 million (40.2 percent) reduction in Truant Alternative and Optional Education Programs

9. $5.0 million (64.3 percent) reduction in District Consolidation

10. $3.5 million (87.5 percent) reduction in Arts and Foreign Language

11. $2.7 million (90.0 percent) reduction in Children’s Mental Health Partnership

12. $1.6 million (46.8 percent) reduction in Agriculture Education

13. $1.4 million (5.4 percent) reduction in ISBE Administration

14. $1.2 million (28.1 percent) reduction in State and District Tech Support

15. $1.1 million (68.0 percent) reduction in Advance Placement Classes

16. $0.7 million (33.0 percent) reduction in Materials for the Visually Impaired

17. $0.5 million (1.3 percent) reduction in Career and Technical Education

18. $0.4 million (33.0 percent) reduction in Blind and Dyslexic Education

19. $0.2 million (50.9 percent) reduction in Educator Investigations and Hearings

Eliminated Programs include:

1. Reading Improvement Block Grant ($76.1 million)

2. ADA Block Grant ($74.8 million)

3. Textbook Loan Program ($42.8 million)

4. Summer Bridges ($22.2 million)

5. Transitional Assistance ($19.2 million)

6. Teacher and Administrator Mentoring ($14.0 million)

7. Transportation Reimbursements ($11.9 million)

8. After School Programs ($9.7 million)

9. Class Size Reduction Pilot ($8.0 million)

10. Fast Growth Grants ($7.5 million)

11. Gifted Education ($7.0 million)

12. Jobs for IL Graduates ($4.0 million)

13. Re-Enrolling Students ($4.0 million)

14. Targeted Interventions ($4.0 million)

15. Rural Technology Initiative ($4.0 million)

16. Charter Schools – Transition Impact Aid ($3.4 million)

17. Statewide System of Support ($3.3 million)

18. Principal Mentoring ($3.1 million)

19. Growth Model ($3.0 million)

20. Healthy Kids Chicago ($3.0 million)

21. Hard to Staff Schools Incentives ($3.0 million)

22. Homeless Education ($3.0 million)

23. Response to Intervention ($2.0 million)

24. Healthy Kids Cicero & Berwyn ($1.0 million)

25. Chicago Principals and Admins Association ($1.0 million)

26. Aerospace Education Initiative ($0.9 million)

27. School Breakfast Incentive Program ($0.7 million)

28. Minority Transition Programs ($0.6 million)

29. Illinois Economic Education ($0.3 million)

30. Adler Planetarium ($0.2 million)

31. Museum of Science and Industry ($0.2 million)

32. Metro East Consortium for Child Advocacy ($0.2 million)

33. Temporary Relocation Expense Fund ($0.1 million)

34. Teacher of the Year ($0.1 million)

35. IL Governmental Internships ($0.1 million)

36. Parental Participation Pilot ($0.1 million)

Students honored during the 31st annual Illinois Arts Education Week

Posted by Newsroom On March - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
Poster contest winners recognized at Governor’s Mansion
in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) honored student winners of the statewide arts education poster contest today at the Governor’s Mansion, a highlight of the 31st annual Illinois Arts Education Week that runs March 11-17 and celebrates the importance of the fine arts. Students across the state competed to create posters reflective of this year’s theme, “Arts 4 All!”
“Art education plays a vital role in the development of our students,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “I would like to congratulate not just the winning artists here today but also the instructors and parents who encourage such creativity.”
The statewide poster contest celebrating Arts Education Week alternates between elementary/middle and secondary students each year. The contest was open to students in grades 9-12 this year.
First place went to Holly Johnson, an 18-year-old senior at Hinsdale South High School in Hinsdale Township High School District 86. Her art instructor at Hinsdale South is Greg Gardner.
“I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember,” said Holly Johnson. “I decided to take art classes in high school to explore opportunities with art in the future and discovered I loved to create my paisley designs over bright colors with bold black lines.”
Holly’s winning design is featured on a poster promoting Illinois Arts Education Week. Gov. Pat Quinn issued a proclamation designating the special week.
“My inspiration for this piece was the freedom that comes with art. The crazy and random designs, in a way, represent the craziness that comes with art, allowing one to express oneself and find freedom,” Holly said. “When creating the picture, I knew I wanted to incorporate ballerina slippers, the drama masks, music notes and paint to cover all areas of the fine arts while also showing my own artistic style with the bright colors and paisley design.”
Second place in the poster contest went to Kelly Henaughan, 18, a senior at St. Charles East High School. Her art instructor in St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 is Louise Miller. Trystin Mansfield, a 16-year-old junior at DuQuoin High School, received third place in ISBE’s poster contest. His art instructor in DuQuoin Community Unit School District 300 is Andrea Collins.
In addition to honoring students, the 2013 award ceremony recognized individuals, community organizations and businesses that have contributed to the arts and art education. Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon was presented with the Public and Community Service Award from the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education.
“Education goes far beyond our math, science and English classes. The arts play a pivotal role in our students’ lives, fostering creativity and providing more avenues for them to excel,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon. “It is essential we recognize the arts and fight to keep them in our schools.”
Illinois Arts Education Week 2013 is sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education in conjunction with the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education (IAAE) and the Governor’s Office. The IAAE is a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network, receiving support, award recognition programs and professional development opportunities. ISBE is also a partner with the Illinois Arts Council. National, state and local activities are held throughout March to celebrate art education.
Additional posters can be requested by contacting the Illinois State Board of Education’s College and Career Readiness Division at (217) 524-4832; arts@isbe.net; or via mail at 100 N. First St., N-242, Springfield, IL 62777-0001.
The back of the poster contains references to the Illinois Learning Goals and Standards for the Fine Arts, upcoming art events for 2013, Internet resources and more. Go to http://www.isbe.net/grants/arts_week/default.htm to view the winning designs.

Leah Hope of ABC-Channel 7 to receive Better Business Bureau Excellence In Media Award

Posted by Newsroom On March - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Leah Hope, reporter at ABC-Channel 7, will receive the Diogenes Award for Excellence in Media from the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) at the 86th Annual Dinner, being held at the Chicago Downtown Marriott on Thursday, March 21, 2013. Hope will be honored with the award for her years of news achievement.

“The BBB Diogenes Award for Excellence in Media is presented to a news reporter who exemplifies the goals and principles of the Better Business Bureau to support and foster an ethical marketplace benefiting both consumers and businesses,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.

The BBB Diogenes Award is named after the ancient Greek philosopher, Diogenes, who was said to have traveled the streets of Athens with a lantern looking for an honest man.

Hope is a general assignment reporter for ABC 7 News. She is an award-winning reporter who focuses on special investigations and other important stories affecting the lives of Chicagoans. She joined ABC 7 in 1997 and served as the co-anchor of ABC-Channel 7 News This Morning until 2001.

Hope’s work covering important issues in the African American community has been honored on both national and local levels. In 2003, she won two awards from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) for reports on a group of “Lost Boys” attacked by a Chicago gang, as well as changes in the cosmetics industry that reflect the changing face of America. The NABJ Chicago Chapter awarded Hope the 2003 Russ Ewing Excellence in Journalism Award and recognized her again with the 2004 Excellence in Enterprise Journalism Award for a series of reports on affirmative action.

Hope serves as a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla. and participated in the 2001 AIDS Ride from Minneapolis to Chicago. She is a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, American Women in Radio and Television, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Instituto Cervantes of Chicago.

Hope received her B.S. degree in Broadcast Journalism/Political Science in 1989 from Syracuse University in New York. She is the great-granddaughter of John Hope, the first African-American president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga.

Hope is married and resides in the Chicago area.

Teaching and Learning: A Lifelong Path to Justice

Posted by Newsroom On March - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Susan Asiyanbi

Executive Vice President, Teacher Preparation, Support and Development

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — From the lunch counters in Birmingham to the March on Washington, reflecting on the 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Movement this year has made Black History Month especially poignant. As a little girl on the south side of Chicago, I grew up with parents who did not have many material things, but built a home rooted in love and a deep belief in my ability to achieve anything with a great education. I had the rare chance to attend schools that many of my peers could not access and, from a young age, I understood the disparity in the quality of education from school to school and neighborhood to neighborhood.

Today, as Teach For America’s executive vice president for teacher preparation, support, and development, I’m grateful for my home and my background, and draw from my experiences each day to inform my approach to how we develop teachers. I recently had the opportunity to collaborate and connect with hundreds of committed educators, instructional coaches, and experts to share my reflections on the social justice implications of work in education, and the importance of self-knowledge and community partnership as pathways to providing the quality of education that will open our students’ hearts and minds to their own potential and to future life opportunities.

From 36 states, we gathered in Memphis to discuss teaching as an act of leadership in the context of the city’s historical contribution to the fight for civil rights. Grounded in the history and spirit of that city, I challenged the group to embrace our collective responsibility to demonstrate the strength and assets of our students so they are supported and empowered to believe in their potential and chart a path to achieve their aspirations.

I am more convinced than ever that teachers who create personal transformational experiences for their students are leaders who reflect on their identity and the implications of it, given the narrative in our country around race, class, and privilege. They understand cultural context and its integration with pedagogy and help their students to see the great pride and beauty in their own heritage. Classroom leadership, boldness, and clarity of vision are central to what it will take to empower our students’ to reach their deep potential.

I am also convinced that our teachers and students cannot walk this journey alone. We need only look to exemplars of change to understand how change happens. During the Civil Rights Movement, a social, political, and economic shift in this country occurred because of visionary leadership and unprecedented cooperation. Our teachers and kids need leadership and cooperation from all of us — the parents, volunteers, advocates, allies, and concerned citizens of their communities.

Giving of ourselves is part of what will be required to reach that day when opportunity in our communities is equitably and consistently available. Being a part of the solution is not an easy task and does not come without some challenges along the way. So many people before us have sacrificed their lives so we can continue to forge the road ahead; and we too will have our own set of sacrifices to pave the road for those who follow us.

When I find myself looking for inspiration and the courage to sacrifice, I look to Dr. King. His words are a compass on the way to equity and justice: “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” I urge each and every one of us to think about the role we can and must play on the path to justice – our children’s futures hang in the balance.

Susan Asiyanbi is the Executive Vice President, Teacher Preparation, Support and Development at Teach For America.

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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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