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Archive for May 15th, 2013

A Message to the USDA: Continue to respect Black Farmers

Posted by Newsroom On May - 15 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Benjamin Todd Jealous

President & CEO of the NAACP

There is no way to make up for decades of discrimination that crippled the proud history of Black farm ownership in America. But we can do our best to move forward.

In 1999 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agreed to settle the civil rights lawsuit Pigford v Glickman. The settlement promised to compensate thousands of black farmers who suffered racial discrimination at the hands of the USDA’s farm loan program between 1981 and 1996.

In the last three years, Congress has started to provide monetary relief for black farmers who were left out of the original settlement. President Obama also agreed to compensate Native American, Hispanic, and women farmers who suffered discrimination of their own.

These initiatives have come under recent scrutiny, but many critics do not know the full story. The Pigford settlements only begin to make up for the long and ugly history of discrimination against black farmers and other farmers of color in the United States.

Like so many great ideas in our nation’s history, the USDA farm loan program was the product of compromise. Mired in the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt developed a plan to help struggling farmers pay off their debts and stave off bankruptcy. But the initiative first had to earn the blessing of White southern senators who dominated Congress.

These senators insisted that the federal funds should funnel through southern plantation owners and wealthy white farmers. The white farmers would then distribute the loans to their black tenants and sharecroppers.

In practice, they were often not inclined to pass the funds along.

This dynamic only grew more toxic in the 1960s. As civil rights protests rocked the nation, USDA staff intentionally withheld loans from black farmers who voted, helped register other voters, or joined the NAACP.This discrimination continued in the years that followed, and it had a devastating effect on farmers of color. According to the Census of Agriculture, between 1920 and 1992 the number of African American farmers declined from 925,000 to only 18,000.

Despite this history of flagrant discrimination, President Ronald Reagan abolished the USDA Office of Civil Rights in 1981, leaving farmers with no options for legal recourse. The office remained shuttered until 1996, when President Clinton re-opened its doors.

That 16-year period of lax oversight was the basis of the Pigford v Glickman lawsuit. During that time, thousands of farmers of color were denied access to loans, information on farm programs, technical assistance, and adequate loan servicing from the USDA. Some were denied loan applications outright, while others were asked to fill out an application only to watch the local USDA supervisor throw it in the trash. At the time, they had nowhere to turn.

In recent weeks the Pigford settlements has been attacked with accusations of fraud. These attacks are simply unfair and untrue. Since the first settlement in 1999, a careful process has been in place to weed out potential fraud. All farmers who claimed discrimination were obligated to sign a form under penalty of perjury attesting to the veracity of their claim. Out of 22,000 claims filed, only 60 of them were investigated for fraud by the FBI – less than one percent of the total.

As Judge Paul L. Friedman wrote in his 1999 opinion, the Pigford v. Glickman was a “significant first step” in addressing the USDA’s broken promises and history of discrimination. But it should not be the last. There are still many farmers of color who suffered discrimination but were left out of both settlements. One of the most important ways to further right these wrongs is to support the Farm Bill, soon to be debated in Congress, which will ensure funding for programs to further assist farmers of color.

I spoke about this issue with Ralph Paige, Executive Director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, one of the oldest and most respected black farmer coalitions in the country. He told me, “When we overcome racial injustices like this, we benefit society as a whole.” This is certainly true. The Pigford settlement has helped the USDA begin to move past its ugly history. We encourage the Department to continue to welcome farmers of color as partners and clients, and to offer them the respect they deserve and the services they still so greatly need.

Ben Jealous is president/CEO of the NAACP.

Contact: Ben Wrobel 917-846-0658 bwrobel@naacpnet.org @NAACPPress

Florida’s Child Health Care Law leaves thousands in limbo

Posted by Newsroom On May - 15 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Florida’s Child Health Care Law Leaves Thousands in Limbo

New America Media

By Anthony Advincula

When three of Khorshadul Kabil’s children came home from school with high fevers, dread set in for the 42-year-old immigrant from Bangladesh and his wife. Three of their four kids have severe asthma. In a few hours, the children— ages 3 to 14— were heavily wheezing and coughing. Their father rushed them to a nearby hospital.

Kabil knows all too well that those symptoms can quickly escalate to a dire situation. The couple’s 14-year-old daughter has had convulsions. The 3- and 7-year-old boys have shortness of breath and chest pains at least twice a month.

“Our situation [is] not good,” said Kabil, who lives in Florida. “My job [doesn’t pay enough for me to buy] health insurance,” he said in broken English.

He works part-time at a small grocery store a few blocks from their rented house in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. His wife is a stay-at-home mom. There are times, he said, when they can’t afford to pay for their kids’ medicines.

The state has a nearly free, low-income health insurance program for children called KidCare, but the Kabils don’t qualify to take advantage of it. That’s because that program, like Medicaid, has a five-year residency requirement. The family emigrated from Bangladesh to the area just two years ago.

Kabil and his wife could enroll their children in KidCare, but they would have to pay much higher fees for each child — almost $200 per child as compared to $20 per month for all his children.

Five-year ban slapped on new immigrants

When the Welfare Reform Act passed in 1996, the five-year ban was slapped on immigrants.

But in 2009, when Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA), states were given the option of extending eligibility to even newly minted immigrant children. CHIPRA even offered to pick up 70 percent of the costs if Florida did away with the waiting period.

Momentum had been building in the state to do away with the five-year ban. Two state bills, introduced last year and sponsored by Republican Sen. Rene Garcia (SB 704) and Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (HR 4023), would have eliminated the five-year waiting period for lawfully residing children.

Both bills failed to pass last week. Given the fact that Florida is in the midst of preparing for the onset of health care reform, including Medicaid expansion for low-income people, “there was only so much energy and time, and the Medicaid expansion — rightfully so — took a lot of that energy,” lamented Linda Merrell, the convener for Florida Child Healthcare Coalition. The Medicaid expansion program became a higher priority for lawmakers, she said.

The five-year waiting period impacts somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 immigrant children across the state, according to a Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy (FCFEC) report. According to Merrell, Florida has the second highest number of uninsured children in the nation.

Karen Woodall, executive director of FCFEP, said that unless the bill is reintroduced and is passed next year, these children would remain uninsured.

“The Affordable Care Act…does not remove the five-year wait,” she said. “These kids will continue to use a more expensive emergency-room treatment, and the government will pay more for these services.”


There was also misinformation and confusion about the costs of eliminating the five-year waiting period and expanding Medicaid to include those children.

A fiscal analysis by Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) reported that expanding healthcare to lawfully residing immigrant children would dramatically increase the healthcare costs for the state. Even though AHCA retracted its analysis later on, advocates said, the damage twas done.

The Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy contends that the maximum cost to the state to extend coverage to these children would be $17.6 million per year, an amount that could already be covered by unspent state funds already earmarked for children’s health coverage as well as funds freed up as a result of increased federal-match rates.

Florida currently receives about $39 million from the federal government, but that amount would increase to slightly more than $63 million if the state eliminated the five-year waiting period for legal immigrant children.

A strong anti-immigrant sentiment in the state also played a role in defeating the measures, advocates say.

“There’s still a very strong anti-immigrant sentiment among legislators,” Woodall explained. “It does not matter whether these children are lawful-residing immigrants.”

Sponsors of SB 704/HB 4023 pledge to reintroduce the bills again at the first congressional session in 2014 or even earlier at a special session.

Life-changing Accident

Palm trees and white beaches were part of the American Dream for Kabil and his family when they first came to Fort Lauderdale.

“We love it here. The weather [is] like Bangladesh; it’s comfortable,” he said.

But, just a year after they arrived, things took a bad turn. Kabil had a hit-and-run accident that left him nearly crippled. The driver has not been found.

“I was walking to my work and the car came [from behind me]. I did not see it,” he recounted. “I was on the ground, but the driver did not stop.”

Although he can still walk, the accident has affected his mobility. He gets tired easily, he says, particularly if he works for a long time in a day.

“I need a doctor. My kids need a doctor,” Kabil said. “Every day we have health problems, but we have no (access to health care.”

Governor Quinn announces $402,000 for upgrades at two transportation buildings in Chicago

Posted by Newsroom On May - 15 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Illinois Jobs Now! Project will improve State’s infrastructure and create construction jobs

CHICAGO. IL – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced a total of more than $402,000 in capital investments for needed maintenance and improvement work at two Illinois Department of Transportation buildings in Chicago. The projects are part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.

“Public buildings are important parts of our infrastructure and need to be maintained to ensure safety,” Governor Quinn said. “These projects will also employ a number of construction workers, which will help the local economy as well.”

The projects include upgrading the climate control systems and an emergency generator at the Emergency Traffic Patrol Headquarters at 35th and Normal; and plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and restroom work at the Dan Ryan Headquarters at 900 S. Des Plaines. Contracts were awarded for three separate portions of the jobs. The general remodeling and rehabilitation contract was awarded to Tri-State Enterprises, Inc. of Romeoville, the lowest of five bidders at $251,786. The ventilation work was awarded to Kirby Sheet Metal Works, Inc. of Chicago, the lowest of three bidders at $65,200. The plumbing contract was awarded to Calumet City Plumbing and Heating Co., Inc. on their bid of $85,495, the lowest of two bids.

The contracts were recently awarded following a competitive bidding process and address a critical infrastructure need while creating construction jobs. The Illinois Capital Development Board will manage the projects.

“This is a win-win initiative for our communities,” State Rep. Esther Golar (D-Chicago) said. “This economic stimulus and the public safety upgrades are desperately needed on the south and west sides of Chicago.”

“I am encouraged that these projects are moving forward as we work to rebuild our state’s economy and improve public safety,” State Rep. Arthur Turner (D-Chicago) said. “Economic opportunity is a top concern for local residents and I will continue working to improve job growth in our area.”

The projects are part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which is supporting more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest capital construction programs in the nation.

Saint Sabina’s Peace Basketball League promotes relationship building

Posted by Newsroom On May - 15 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Chinta Strausberg

Saint Sabina’s Peacemaker’s Monday night basketball games are not so much about who wins but how much love, peace and relationship building evolve from the bonding of youth who were once arch enemies in the neighborhood.

Last Monday, area youth wore either red or orange, blue or green, but when asked what do the colors stand for, without hesitation the referee said, “Peace, peace and more peace.”

And, that is the atmosphere the youth created as they played a very spirited and highly competitive game, and they do so without cursing or emotional outbursts. Younger children looked on soaking in that positive behavior. There were several young fathers holding their children as they yelled out game strategies.

Among those watching the youth sprint from one side of the Saint Sabina ARK court to another was Father Michael L. Pfleger who said, “The competition has become very fierce but at the same time we’re also watching the relationship that is going on.

“You have the contact disagreements of the games, but you never see a problem beyond that. We never had a problem in here, and the guys discipline each other and talk to each other. We’re seeing them keep the peace amongst themselves in here. They’re learning how to play hard, play strong and competitive but also disciplining themselves and the building of relationships with each other. That is what it’s all about…no problems.”

Father Pfleger has a very important meeting today that may be very good news in helping him expand his Peacemaker League.

Corey Williams, office manager for Saint Sabina, who explained that the red T-team is from the neighborhood that are not gang-related and that the orange team was the maroon team the last session.

“This is the fifth week of this cycle. Things have been pretty good,” Williams said noting the games are more competitive than before. “There is a different make-up to most of the teams. The champions from last time have come back together and are trying to repeat.

“There is a lot of spirited competition, a lot of close games, and we’re hoping we continue to build camaraderie between the guys on the team and on the opposite teams as well because this is not just about basketball but about building relationships between the buys,” said Williams.

Father Pfleger asked the community to support the youth by attending the Monday peace games starting at 6:30 p.m. at the ARK, 7800 So. Racine.

You may also make secured online donations to help expand this historic peace effort that Father Pfleger began last September by brokering a truce between four rival games by clicking on the following link: www.saintsabina.org, then click on “Giving.” There is an optional box for those who would like their donation to support the peace basketball league.

For more information, call Father Pfleger at: 773.483.4300.

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.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel visits Award-Winning Parent Mentor Program at Funston Elementary School

Posted by Newsroom On May - 15 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Mayor highlights program as successful model for parent engagement

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel visited Funston Elementary School’s Parent Mentor Program, highlighting it as a successful model for parent engagement. Funston, in partnership with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, was the first school to start the Parent Mentor Program back in 1995 and has seen hundreds of parent mentor graduate. Since 1995, the Parent Mentor Program has expanded to 42 CPS schools and 16 additional schools across Illinois engaging 420 parents in the classroom on a daily basis, giving a helping hand to 10,000 low-income early childhood students. Expansion of the Parent Mentor Program was one of the points included in the plan for the Mayor’s Office of New Americans.

“The most important door a child walks through for education is the front door to the home, and programs like the Parent Mentor Program help provide a critical connection between the front door of the home to the front door to the school,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We are working to build a school system that provides all children with the high-quality education they deserve to succeed, no matter where they live. And with parents as active partners in our children’s education, there is no limit to what our children can achieve.”

The Parent Mentor program, which is a partnership between a community-based organization and a local school, brings layer upon layer of benefit to schools and communities. Parents learn how to help their own children while getting actively engaged in school improvement, students receive extra individual attention, teachers get support and learn about the community, and the school climate is improved by the consistent presence of additional caring adults. Parent mentors— primarily low-income Latino and African American women—grow as leaders for themselves, for their families, for their schools and for their communities.

“Funston Elementary was a level 3 school and now it is level 2, on our way to level 1. This is the direct result of the social, emotional and academic support systems provided by the parent mentor program in collaboration with the school, teachers and community partners,” said Funston school Principal Nilma Osiecki, “Programs like Parent Mentors are vital to growing, vibrant communities.”

Over the past 17 years, LSNA and Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) have developed the Parent Mentor program in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in the Northwest and Southwest sides of Chicago. Interest in the Parent Mentor program is spreading like wildfire. In 2011, Harvard Education Press published a book on the program, A Cord of Three Strands: A New Approach to Parent Engagement in Schools.

How the Parent Mentor Program works: After a 5-day leadership training, parent mentors volunteer in the classroom with students four days a week, and come together as a cohort one morning a week for ongoing training and reflection. This Parent Mentor model has improved student test scores and built strong relationships among parents and staff. As part of a cohort in their schools, parent mentors grow as leaders, transforming their schools and communities.

Replication: The Parent Engagement Institute (PEI), housed at LSNA and SWOP, trains community-based organizations and school districts interested in replicating the Parent Mentor program. The Parent Mentor program is now operating at 42 schools in Chicago Public Schools and 5 communities outside Chicago (Aurora, Bolingbrook, Chicago Ridge, the Quad Cities, and Skokie). PEI is expanding the Parent Mentor program to 11 new Illinois organizations in collaboration with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

Parent Mentor programs have also started in Detroit, Silver Spring, Denver, and rural Colorado.

SAVE THE DATE: Tuesday, June 4, 2013, 10:30AM-12 Noon Parent Mentor Graduation – Over 400 parent mentors graduate from 59 schools. Location: Darwin Elementary School 3116 W. Belden, Chicago, IL

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a statewide coalition of more than 130 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.

For more information, visit www.icirr.org.

Riders for Better Transit launches Red Line South Riders’ Bill of Rights

Posted by Newsroom On May - 15 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Riders for Better Transit and partners across the South Side of Chicago have come together to sign the Red Line South Riders’ Bill of Rights, a statement that asks for accountability from the CTA during the upcoming CTA Red Line closure.

Riders for Better Transit urges South Side Red Line riders to join us for a Bill of Rights Day of Action on Monday, May 20 at the Garfield Green Line station. Learn more and sign on at www.activetrans.org/redline.

The goal of the bill of rights is to say that Red Line South riders have a right to quality public transportation even during the Red Line South reconstruction project. Many great South Side organizations are working hard to improve transit in their neighborhoods.

This Bill of Rights is a chance to bring together transit riders and community groups on the South Side of Chicago in unified voice. Transit is vitally important on the South Side of Chicago (and throughout the city) because it provides an affordable, convenient and healthy way to get around the city. As the backbone of our transit system, the Red Line connects many Chicago communities to schools, jobs and healthcare.

The scheduled five-month Red Line south reconstruction, slated to begin May 19, is necessary to improve our transit system and will result in a faster and more reliable Red Line. But the closure will be an inconvenience for many riders.

“CTA wants our fare, so we want to be treated fairly,” says Shiesha Smith, a resident speaking on behalf of Mercy Housing Tenant Leadership from their Englewood Apartments. “We are encouraged that the Red Line will soon serve us even better, but we have been frustrated and inconvenienced by infrequent, irregular shuttles and confusing timelines on past construction projects. We hope for dependable, fast and responsive service from CTA throughout the Red Line reconstruction. We want to know they’re listening.”

“The time is now to increase our care and attention to public transit matters on the South Side,” says John Paul Jones, president of Sustainable Englewood Initiatives. “The Red Line South Bill of Rights is an important first step.”

“Understanding safe and affordable transportation for all Chicagoans as an issue of justice — for our people, for our communities and for our environment. Bridgeport Alliance is pleased to work with Active Trans, as we uphold these values together, and united, we become more powerful advocates for a safe, accessible and healthier city for all residents, and for generations to come,” said Rev. Tom Gaulke, the pastor of First Lutheran Church of the Trinity and chair of the Bridgeport Alliance.

Chicagoland transit riders are organizing and speaking up about the Red Line service and communication they expect during the construction. On the May 20 Day of Action, Riders for Better Transit will pass out flyers, encourage residents to sign on to the Bill of Rights and share where to look for the most up-to-date Red Line information. For more information about May 20 and other ways to get involved, visit www.activetrans.org/redline.

The Red Line South Bill of Rights:

We deserve fast and reliable transit service, even during the Red Line construction.

We deserve transparency from the CTA on temporary service performance, the jobs promised and the status of construction.

We deserve clear & proactive communication from the CTA that ensures our communities understand the changes to transit service.

We deserve stations and amenities that can accommodate the additional passengers along alternative transit routes.

We deserve to be listened to during the Red Line closure.

Riders for Better Transit is a project of the Active Transportation Alliance (Active Trans). The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by nearly 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 40 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

Governor Quinn, Secretary White and State Superintendent Koch encourage students to use free reading tool during Summer Break

Posted by Newsroom On May - 15 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS


‘Find a Book’ Search Tool Aims to Fight Summer Learning Loss


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor Pat Quinn, Secretary of State Jesse White and State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch encouraged all students across Illinois to access a free online tool designed to promote summer reading and keep students’ brains active before school resumes in the fall. State leaders agree that summer vacation should not signal a break from learning for Illinois’ 2 million students.

“By reading during summer months, students can build a strong bridge from one school year to the next,” Governor Quinn said. “This free online tool is a great way for children to spend time with their parents while sharpening reading skills and preparing for the year ahead.”

The online “Find a Book” utility at www.lexile.com/findabook provides a way for parents and children to quickly and easily search books that match a child’s reading level and interests as well as locate a local library carrying each title.

Research shows that struggling learners score significantly higher on standardized tests taken at the start of summer than they do on the same tests taken at summer’s end. This summer learning loss is particularly evident in reading and is most pronounced among students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who may not have access to books. Studies show children who read through the summer months retain more of their academic skills and are better prepared to learn at the start of the school year.

Librarians, who have long promoted summer reading, are also encouraged to use “Find a Book.” Library staff can assist parents and students with the “Find a Book” utility and Lexile measures to help them find appropriate books.

“Libraries in Illinois promote reading year round, and the `Find a Book’ search tool complements those efforts,’’ said Secretary of State Jesse White, who serves as State Librarian. “I urge parents to read with their children every day to help them develop a lifelong love of reading and learning. When children begin reading on their own, they make gains in the classroom and open themselves to new and exciting worlds.”

The “Find a Book” utility uses a student’s reading score, reported as a Lexile® measure, from state standardized tests, including the ISAT, to provide a Lexile range and corresponding list of texts within that range. The Lexile range for a reader is from 50L above his or her Lexile measure to 100L below. If a student attempts to read material above their Lexile range, the text may challenge the student and his or her ability to construct meaning from the reading experience may decrease. Likewise, material below a reader’s Lexile range will provide him or her with little comprehension challenge.

The Lexile® Framework was used in the development of the reading standards for the new Common Core State Standards, which schools across the state are in the process of implementing. The new standards replace the outdated Illinois State Learning Standards and ensure students leave high school ready for college and careers.

Users of the “Find a Book” search tool can also find appropriate books without a Lexile measure through a search using the child’s grade level and comfort with the typical reading materials at that grade level. The search utility will produce a starting Lexile range that can be further refined.

“Reading builds knowledge and is crucial to students’ long-term success,” State Superintendent Koch said. “Good reading habits begin at home. Parents can help their children develop strong reading skills by using the ‘Find a Book’ site to find age-appropriate materials that will keep their students engaged and excited about learning.”

“Find a Book” also offers a Spanish option that allows users to search all of the titles with Spanish Lexile measures. More information on Spanish Lexile measures is available at http://www.lexile.com/about-lexile/el-sistema-para-leer.

State officials urge school administrators, parents and librarians to promote summer reading with letters and informational flyers posted online at the State Board of Education’s summer reading website:


They also encourage parents and educators to participate in Illinois Reads, a statewide literacy program launched by the Illinois Reading Council to encourage state residents of all ages to read books by Illinois authors. Secretary of State White serves as honorary chair of the program and more information, including recommended children titles, can be found at www.illinoisreads.org.

For the latest news from the Illinois State Board of Education, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/ISBEnews or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education/136022251779. Visit the official ISBE website at http://www.isbe.net. 

Wayward Productions & Chicago Fusion Theatre Announces the Full Remount Cast for the Extended Run at The Den Theatre!

Posted by Newsroom On May - 15 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Carlo Lorenzo Garcia
May 24 – June 29, 2013


CHICAGO, IL –  Wayward Productions in association with Chicago Fusion Theatre is pleased to announce the full cast list for the remount of its hit production of William Shakepeare’s tragic masterpiece RICHARD III at The Den Theatre.After a tour of duty at The Goodman Theatre, Carlo Lorenzo Garcia will be leading the pack and stepping into the role of Richard III, Carlo appears through the courtesy of the Actors’ Equity Association. He will be joined by new additions Hilary Williams as Lady Anne, Layne Manzer as Richmond, Sadie Rogers as Rivers, Jude Roche as Buckingham, Brian Hurst as Clarence, Gaby Labotka as Grey, Paul Krick as Prince Edward (Saturday performances) and fight director Alex Farrington will step up as the Sergeant At Arms.

They join Wayward company members Brittany Ellis as mad Queen Margaret,  Natalie DiCristofano as Queen Elizabeth and Ashley Rose as Mistress Shore, and original cast members reprising their roles  Charlesanne Rabensburg as Duchess of York, Christopher Marcum as King Edward, Gavin Robinson as Tyrell, Maximillian Otto Lapine as Ratcliffe, Eric Louglin as Stanley, Spencer Smith as Hastings, and Bill Daniels as Prince Edward.

Wayward Productions re-immerses itself into the underworld of a motorcycle gang to create an environmental reinterpretation of this classic Shakespearean Tragi-History. Wayward’s “royal family” is The Warlocks Motorcycle Club and their “castle”-London’s bar in early 1970’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Directed by Mary Arrchie Theatre’s Producing Director Carlo Lorenzo Garcia (Red Light Winter, Our Bad Magnet) Richard III is a high-octane theatrical experience for both outlaws and Shakespeare purists.
Featuring a classic rock soundtrack selected by Carlo Lorenzo Garcia & Brittany Ellis, scenic design by Ashley Rose, costumes by David Mitchell assisted by Chrystle Morman, lighting design by Claire Sangster, fights by Alex Farrington with Megan See (stage manager) and Rush Marler (TD)

Every Friday night we will be hosting LIVE AT LONDON’S, a post show concert series in London’s Bar (aka The Den). Admission is FREE with your RICHARD III ticket.  Otherwise, there is a $5 cover for just the concerts. The first of our announced LIVE AT LONDON’S shows are Run and Punch on May 24th at 10pm and Sadie and The Stark on June 21st at 10pm with more shows to be announced.

Title:                            RICHARD III
Playwright:                William Shakespeare
Director:                    Carlo Lorenzo Garcia

Cast:  Carlo Lorenzo Garcia* (Richard), Hilary Williams (Anne), Natalie DiCristofano (Queen Elizabeth), Brittany Ellis (Queen Margaret), Christopher Marcum (King Edward), Jude Roche (Buckingham), Charlesanne Rabensburg (Duchess of York), Spencer Smith (Hastings), Eric Louglin (Stanley), Gavin Robinson (Tyrell), Maximillian Otto Lapine (Ratcliffe), Bill Daniels & Paul Krick (Prince Edward), Alex Farrington (Sergeant at Arms), Layne Manzer (Richmond), Sadie Rogers (Rivers), Gaby Labotka (Grey), Brian Hurst (Clarence), and Ashley Rose (Mistress Shore).

*The Actor appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Location:                   The Den Theatre, 1333 N Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Dates:                        Previews: Thursday, May 23 at 8
                                    Press Opening: Friday, May 24 at 8 pm
                                    Regular run:  May 24th thru June 29, 2013
Curtain Times:          Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm
Tickets:                      $20. $15 students/seniors/industry/military.
Discounts available for groups of 6 or more.
Tickets available at www.waywardproductions.org or by calling (866) 468-3401 




American Heart Association and Macy’s announce Multicultural Scholarship Recipients

Posted by Newsroom On May - 15 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Dallas, TX (BlackNews.com) — The American Heart Association and Macy’s have awarded 16 scholarships of $2,500 each to increase culturally-sensitive, patient-centered care.

The Go Red(TM) Multicultural Scholarship, which is in its second year, champions greater inclusion of multicultural women in medical, nursing and allied health studies to meet the need that racial minorities have of healthcare providers who understand important aspects of various cultures.

The scholarship fund is part of Macy’s Multicultural Fund – which was created in 2009 to focus on increasing diversity in the medical field. Macy’s is a founding national sponsor of the association’s Go Red For Women® and Go Red Por Tu Corazón awareness campaigns.

Demand on healthcare continues to increase, but the number of qualified racial and ethnic nurses and physicians lags behind:

* Only 5.4 percent of African-Americans and 3.6 percent of Hispanics in the United States are registered nurses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

* In 2010, African-Americans made up only 6.7 percent of medical school graduates and Hispanics 7.5 percent, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

“It is extremely important to increase the availability of multicultural scholarships for minorities interested in health professions,” said Celia Trigo Besore, executive director and CEO of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. “There are fewer sources of funding, high poverty rates among minority populations and an escalating cost of education toward a career in health fields. All these conditions increase the barriers for interested minorities to study health career at a time when there is a growing need for additional qualified health professionals of any ethnic background.”

Numerous ethnic groups – including African-Americans and Hispanics – are at higher risk for heart disease. The Go Red Multicultural Scholarship aims to ensure women have access to healthcare providers who understand their culture and help make the best choices that lead to good health and strives to increase diversity in the healthcare industry for the future health of all women.

The 2013 scholarship recipients are:

* Mary Witherspoon: post-graduate nursing student at Chicago State University
* Azsha Matthews: undergraduate senior nursing student at Columbia University
* Nicole Sample: second-year student at NYU School of Medicine
* Whittney Work: undergraduate sophomore nursing student at Winston Salem State University
* Chiamaka Ike: senior pharmacy student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, School of Pharmacy
* Nefertiti Clavon: undergraduate junior in health promotions at the University of Houston
* Raisa Garcia: post-graduate student in clinical psychology at Alliant International University
* Myo-Sabai Aye: seeking a dual M.D./M.P.H. at Eastern Virginia Medical School
* Jainty John: undergraduate senior studying to be a physician’s assistant at Le Moyne College
* Jee Hae Jones: senior nursing student at Hawaii Pacific University
* Danielle Cipres: first-year obstetrics and gynecology student in the University of California-San Francisco’s School of Medicine
* Kristine Gallardo: post-graduate student in the nursing program at Azusa Pacific University
* Sylvia Estrada: post-graduate student in the nursing program at Western University of Health Sciences
* Yuliana De los Santos: post-graduate, studying osteopathic medicine at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
* Mariana Lucena: post-graduate student in the pharmacy program at the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy
* Nadia Elgoghail: senior studying to be a family nurse practitioner at Columbia University

“As a proud national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement since 2004, Macy’s has raised more than $40 million to help fund life-saving research and raise awareness of this preventable disease,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “With the Macy’s Multicultural Fund, we are able to bring our company’s long-standing and respected history of support for diversity together with our desire to find innovative new ways to build support for heart disease prevention.”

For more information, visit www.GoRedForWomen.org.

Editor’s Note: Registration for the 2013-2014 Multicultural Scholarship is open and can be accessed by visiting www.GoRedForWomen.org/goredscholarship

About Go Red For Women
Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s solution to save women’s lives. With one out of three women still dying from heart disease, we are committed to fighting this No. 1 killer that is preventable. GoRedForWomen.org, a premier source of information and education, connects millions of women of all ages and gives them tangible resources to turn personal choices into life-saving actions. We encourage women and the men who love them to embrace the cause. For more information please visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278). The movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s and Merck & Co., Inc.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Our mission is to build healthier lives by preventing, treating and defeating these diseases – America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit www.americanheart.org.

About Macy’s
Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Macy’s stores and macys.com offer distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Building on a 150-year tradition, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities that make a difference in the lives of their customers.

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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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