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Archive for May 23rd, 2013

My Tea Party ‘Taliban’ Comment…What is the Lesson Here?

Posted by Newsroom On May - 23 - 2013 Comments Off on My Tea Party ‘Taliban’ Comment…What is the Lesson Here?
By Julian Bond
julian bond(TriceEdneyWire.com) – I have always suspected that racists didn’t like being called out for their racism. Now I have proof.

When I told MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts on May 14th that the Tea Party was “the Taliban wing of American politics”, a firestorm erupted.

Arguing the IRS was correct to target them for extra scrutiny, I also said, “Here are a group of people who are admittedly racist, who are overtly political” and therefore worthy of IRS concern.

I was not prepared for the slew of angry emails, including two from self-identified Black people (your worst nightmare, one said) I received.

Many of them suggested I leave the country, reminiscent of the “Go back to Africa” chants racist crowds of Whites shouted at Black protestors in my youth.

One said my advanced age – I am 73 – meant I would not be around to make such mischief much longer, and I should prepare for that quick eventuality.

A few suggested my employer fire me, not knowing that I retired from that job a year ago. Several of the messages were badly written with misspelled words, including one from a relative by marriage – you can’t choose your in-laws – reading “Your calling folks Talabans borders on Traitorism.”

This same correspondent noted I had been “head of the most classic Racist group in our country,” referring to the NAACP, whose board I chaired for eleven years. Others characterized the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights group, interracial in membership and dedicated to racial integration since 1909, in the same way.

After an exchange of messages with some of them, trying to convince them that while I opposed it, I didn’t condemn every member of the Tea Party, the interactions became more civil and less hostile. Some even wished me well.

But to a person they rejected the labels “racism” and “racist”, even as I thought I had proved that the Tea Party has had racist, anti-Semitic and nativist elements from its beginning until today.

One source is a study conducted for the NAACP by the Institute for Research and Education for Human Rights.

Their study, called “Tea Party Nationalism”, found “Tea Party ranks to be permeated with concerns about race and national identify and other so-called social issues. In these ranks, an abiding obsession with Barack Obama’s birth certificate is often a stand-in for the belief that the first black president of the United States is not a “real American.”

It says Tea Party organizations have given platforms to anti-Semites, racists and bigots and “hard-core white nationalists have been attracted” to Tea Party protests.

The link between the Tea Party and the Taliban was made by a prominent Republican office holder.

In 2008, the Washington Post reported that former Chairman of the Republican Congressional Committee and present day Congressman Pete Sessions likened the GOP House minority to the Taliban, saying, “Insurgency, we understand perhaps a bit more because of the Taliban.”

Just as my arguments failed to convince my correspondents, so apparently does the actual evidence: Not the ugly racist signs and placards displayed at Tea Party rallies, not the shouts of the “n” word aimed at members of the Congressional Black Caucus, not the spittle hurled at civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis, not the racists expelled from the Tea Party for their venom, not the association of many members with the Council of Conservative Citizens, a lineal descendant of the White Citizen Council, not the anti-gay slurs aimed at former Congressman Barney Frank, not the members whose racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia should be an embarrassment – not all or any of this could get them to acknowledge the label “racist.”

My Black correspondents even claimed that their race prohibited them from being racists, as if skin color was a proscription against ignorance. And many of my presumably non-Black correspondents accused me of being a racist, so my race apparently offered me no protection from this evil.

What is the lesson here? That the label “racist” has become so toxic that almost everyone rejects it? That the toxicity makes the label unacceptable but its actual practice is still tolerable for many? Or that it is a defense against itself? As the relative-I-try-not-to-claim wrote, “I don’t know any White people who hate Blacks like you advocate Blacks should hate whites.” Or only that while the United States has made much progress in race relations, we still have a long, long way to go?

Julian Bond is Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP and a Professor at American University in Washington.

Once Again, Legacy of Malcolm X Will Outlive Tragedy

Posted by Newsroom On May - 23 - 2013 Comments Off on Once Again, Legacy of Malcolm X Will Outlive Tragedy

Once Again, Legacy of Malcolm X Will Outlive Tragedy

New America Media

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
May 19 marked what would have been the 88th birthday of Malcolm X, an anniversary that passed mostly unnoticed with little in the way of civic celebrations, pageants or parades. Yet the date is still worth remembering. Malcolm’s name is still revered by legions both nationally and internationally, and for good reason. A tireless, uncompromising foe of imperial wars, racism, economic exploitation and a staunch supporter of African and Third World liberation movements, Malcolm X rekindled black pride. His legacy and place in history decades after his brutal murder, a crime still shrouded in controversy and debate, are more secure than ever.

However, Malcolm’s standing in history has not exempted him or his legacy from questions, doubts or tragedies — a point we were reminded of when his grandson and namesake, Malcolm Shabazz, was beaten to death in a bizarre incident in Mexico City on May 13, only six days before the anniversary of his grandfather’s birth. The murder tossed a sad glare back at Malcolm X, and it wasn’t the first time since his assassination in 1965 that the slain leader’s family members have suffered publicly through a tragedy.

Nor was it the first time the young Shabazz was at the center of his family’s sad train of events. Back in 1997, when he was just 12 years old, Shabazz was convicted and sentenced for a home arson attack that resulted in the death of his grandmother, Dr. Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X’s widow.

There has been much speculation that the troubles plaguing Shabazz in his childhood stemmed from a tormented relationship with his mother, Qubilah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s second daughter. By all accounts, her life was a roller coaster of woes that included failed relationships, alcohol and drug abuse, and a roving lifestyle. She grabbed headlines in 1995 when she was indicted for allegedly plotting the revenge murder of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, whom her mother Betty Shabazz had publicly accused of inciting the murder of her husband. Eventually, Betty made peace with Farrakhan, even appearing with him at a fundraiser at Harlem’s Apollo Theater after he publicly expressed remorse over Malcolm X’s murder. But she did not forgive him. What part Betty’s antipathy toward Farrakhan played in Qubilah allegedly wanting to kill Farrakhan is subject to debate, but certainly the dramatic events had to have an effect on her son, Malcolm Shabazz.

The turmoil that engulfed some of Malcolm’s family members exploded into the news once again during a well-publicized spat over possession and sale of Malcolm’s memorabilia. And later, there was the arrest of Malikah Shabazz, another of Malcolm’s daughters, followed by a guilty plea on credit card fraud charges.

Then the inevitable happened. Malcolm himself, decades after his murder, was subject to the seemingly requisite historical revisionist take on his life in the best selling book, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” penned by the late Columbia University scholar and activist, Manning Marable.

In his exhaustive work, Marable tore apart what he considered myths and concoctions about Malcolm’s early and later life that had inflated him into a saintly superhero. Marable and his book were roundly attacked. But clearly, Malcolm’s life contained contradictions; like every other human being, he had real flaws.

Whether the bulk of the assertions in Marable’s version were true or not, however, they never succeeded in diminishing the towering contributions that Malcolm is today beloved for bringing to the freedom struggle. And for all the heart wrenching problems and lapses exhibited by some of Malcolm’s offspring, other family members have gone on to have successful careers in the arts and education, leading lives that add to the proud legacies of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz. The pain of losing a famous father at a young age at the hands of assassins, and the personal journey of overcoming that loss to attain success, was movingly captured by Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm’s third daughter, in her memoir, “Growing Up X: A Memoir by the Daughter of Malcolm X.”

Sadly, the tragedies of Malcolm X and his family will be painfully remembered. But they can never trump the triumphs of Malcolm, or the legacy of his name.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His new ebook is How the NRA Terrorizes Congress—The NRA’s Subversion of the Gun Control Debate (Amazon). He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KTYM 1460 AM Radio Los Angeles and KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network.

Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

State Senator Raoul’s Criminal Flash Mob Crack-down Becomes Law

Posted by Newsroom On May - 23 - 2013 Comments Off on State Senator Raoul’s Criminal Flash Mob Crack-down Becomes Law


CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) spoke about public safety and social media as the governor signed legislation he sponsored to crack down on criminal “flash mobs” and other mob actions. Senate Bill 1005, which became law on Saturday, allows a court to impose an extended sentence on a person who uses electronic means such as Twitter, Facebook, email or texting to commit criminal mob action or invite others to participate.

“Whether harassing shoppers on Michigan Avenue or coordinating a gang hit in a neighborhood, criminals are taking full advantage of new technology to organize themselves quickly,” Raoul said. “Residents and tourists alike have a right to feel safe in our city, so our laws need to keep up with developing modes of communication, not lag behind.”

Spelman College Leadership Conference challenges women of color to embrace future filled with increased financial responsibility

Posted by Newsroom On May - 23 - 2013 Comments Off on Spelman College Leadership Conference challenges women of color to embrace future filled with increased financial responsibility

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — Power, purpose, fitness and well-being provided the framework for the Ninth Annual Spelman College Leadership and Women of Color Conference (Spelman – WOCC). Thursday marked the conclusion of two days of discussions designed to equip attendees with action items to help achieve long-term financial success. Held at the Georgia International Convention Center, May 15 – 16, the Women of Color Conference attracted a diverse representation of more than 500 of the nation’s best and brightest women in an array of fields, including business, finance, arts, public policy, entertainment and education.

Hosted by Atlanta radio personality Jennifer Keitt of “Today’s Black Woman” on KISS 104.1FM, the Legacy of Leadership Awards Dinner honored entrepreneur, activist and actress Nicole Ari Parker and famed crisis communications expert/author Judy Smith — the real-life inspiration for ABC’s hit series “Scandal.” The elegant affair, featuring an electrifying spoken word and tribal dance tribute by Atlanta-based African dance company Giwayen Mata, paid tribute to Parker and Smith for their professional and philanthropic endeavors.

Both Smith and Ari Parker shared moving acceptance speeches and discussed the power of paying it forward, as well as the importance of health and wellness as the foundation for wealth building with the diverse group of attendees from around the country.

“I think it’s very important to pay it forward and each individual has to decide how they want to do that,” said Smith. “People think it has to be in big ways, but it doesn’t. It can be in small ways daily and that adds up… It doesn’t always have to be in a financial way either,” she added. “Sometimes just showing up and supporting each other is a great way to give back.”

“This is an entrepreneurial conference, but I love that we’re discussing how health and wellness are part of the wealth equation,” said Ari Parker. “Spelman is integrating the importance of physical, spiritual, emotional and relationship health into the whole spectrum of how to pursue your dreams, develop your entrepreneurial ideas and be successful… you can’t leave the body and spirit out of that. It’s been wonderful to be a part of this conference.”

Convened by Dr. Jane Smith, conference founder and Executive Director of the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement at Spelman, the Women of Color Conference gathered notable thought leaders and industry influencers to examine 21st century wealth building, developing businesses and using both to make important, sustainable contributions to their communities.

“The ultimate goal of the Spelman Women of Color Conference is to connect women of color from different demographic and socio-economic backgrounds, and help them realize their common interests,” said Dr. Smith. “One of the things that has grown out of this is the importance of inter-generational work. You have students and women from around the world as young as 18 into their 70’s all equal…talking to one another, with no gap between the young and the elders.”

To effectively convey the 2013 conference theme of Strategic Leadership: Building Wealth, Entrepreneurship and Paying it Forward, Spelman College invited a dynamic team to strategically deliver messages about personal finance and business development.

Key conference panelists included: Newsweek/ Daily Beast Senior Reporter Allison Samuels, CNBC Senior Commodities / Personal Finance Correspondent and “Today Show” contributor Sharon Epperson, Author/ Financial Advisor Gail Perry-Mason, Editor-In-Chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) George Curry, The Coca-Cola Foundation Executive Director Helen Smith Price, Chief Financial Officer of JP Morgan Chase Foundation and the JP Morgan Chase & Co. Global Philanthropy Division Dalila Wilson-Scott, and Delta Air Lines General Manager of Global Diversity Letty Ashworth.

Kicking off the 2013 pre-conference activities with a holistic message, Ari Parker joined clinical psychologist Dr. Brenda Wade to explore the direct impact of wellness on leadership and success. Both Parker and Wade highlighted the need for a “balanced life” and to start thinking of ways to better maintain a healthy “mind, body and spirit.”

Actress and sought after “Life Stylist” AJ Johnson shared those sentiments. “We [women] take care of everyone else, solve other people’s problems, while ignoring our personal physical and mental health issues,” declared Johnson. She urged attendees to “stop” and realize the connection between physical wellness and professional success. “If you are not doing everything you possibly can to optimize the health of your temple, you are asking to be less than your best,” Johnson said. “In this moment, choose to take care of your temple.”

With physical and emotional well-being in focus, participants engaged in wide-ranging discussions about implementing practical solutions to achieve financial success, dispelling long-held misconceptions about wealth building, developing tools to break negative cycles and steps to securing comfortable retirement. However, elevated discussions and critical information provided to participants from speakers such as Sharon Epperson and Dr. Valerie Daniels-Carter distinguish the WOCC.

A program highlight was The Role of the Media in Wealth Building panel, which featured veteran media experts Epperson (CNBC), Samuels (Newsweek), Perry-Mason and Curry (NNPA) and offered an analysis of economic trends in reporting. A commodities and personal finance expert, Epperson aims to motivate women to take more proactive approaches to long term saving and offered practical methods to making saving a fun and routine part of one’s life.

“The fact is, you’ll likely reach a point when you can’t or won’t want to continue working. Now is the time to start planning how you can make certain you’ll be financially secure,” she advised.

In the groundbreaking CEO to CEO session, Spelman College President Dr. Beverly Tatum teamed with President and CEO of V&J Holdings, Dr. Valerie Daniels-Carter for a candid conversation about the rewards and challenges of building a multi-billion dollar franchise and how commitment to empowering people through business and philanthropy is important to building wealth.

Dr. Smith says the decision was made to focus on women of color and not just African Americans. “The majority of the women who attend are African American but we have many others represented who contribute an important part to the dialogue which ultimately trickles down to our students and into our curriculum. Dr. Smith’s final words offer the best summation of what the Women of Color Conference espouses: “Yes, we are in the business of empowering women who are African American but those women must then empower the world!”

Photo Caption:

(L-R) Conference founder and Executive Director of the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement at Spelman Dr. Jane Smith, actress/ entrepreneur Nicole Ari Parker, Spelman College President Dr. Beverly Tatum, and crisis communications expert Judy Smith come together for the 2013 Spelman Leadership and Women of Color Conference.

Photo: Ben Kornegay, Courtesy of Spelman College/ The FrontPage Firm

Attorney General Madigan warns donors to be wary of scams tied to Oklahoma Tornado Relief

Posted by Newsroom On May - 23 - 2013 Comments Off on Attorney General Madigan warns donors to be wary of scams tied to Oklahoma Tornado Relief
Madigan Urges Illinois Contributors to Research Charities Before Donating
CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan urged Illinois residents who want to donate to charitable efforts to help the victims of Monday’s devastating tornado in Oklahoma to watch out for fundraising scams by con artists seeking to exploit the disaster for their personal profit.
“In the wake of such devastation, people understandably want to do what they can to help people in need,” Madigan said. “Unfortunately, scam artists try to take advantage of this goodwill. I urge Illinois residents who want to make charitable contributions to research organizations before making a donation to ensure it will directly benefit the victims in Oklahoma.”
Under Illinois law, fundraisers and charitable organizations are required to register each year with the Attorney General’s office. To assist potential donors in making wise giving decisions, Attorney General Madigan provides important information about charitable organizations such as income, expenditures and programs.
Attorney General Madigan suggested the following tips to ensure a donation will be used for its intended purpose:
  • Donate to charities you know and trust. Be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight in connection with current events such as natural disasters.
  • Be especially careful online. Make sure the website you are visiting belongs to a legitimate, established and registered charity, and that the website and the charity match. See if other legitimate websites will link to that website. Also, make sure the site is secure.
  • Check out the charity with the Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator, GuideStar and the Attorney General’s office.
  • Be wary of urgent appeals that play on your emotions for aid. Do not donate if the solicitor uses high-pressure tactics, asks for cash payment or insists on sending someone to pick up your donation. These are all hallmarks of a scam.
  • Ask how much of your donation will go to the charitable work and how much will be used to pay fundraising costs. If you don’t get a clear answer — or if you don’t like the answer you get — consider donating to a different organization.
  • Never send cash. You can’t be sure the organization will receive your donation, and you won’t have a record for tax purposes. And, don’t give out personal or financial information until you have reviewed all the information from the charity and verified its legitimacy.
Madigan encouraged donors to contact her office’s Charitable Trust Bureau to report suspicious solicitations at (312) 814-2595. The Attorney General recommended that, if possible, when solicitors call, keep notes detailing the date and time of the call, the organization’s name and the name of the solicitor. Madigan also advised consumers to try remembering the “pitch” as well as any other pertinent information so that it is easier to track the scam.

Lt. Governor Simon Introduces New 6th-12th Grade Math Courses

Posted by Newsroom On May - 23 - 2013 Comments Off on Lt. Governor Simon Introduces New 6th-12th Grade Math Courses

Urges districts to better prepare students for college math, careers

SPRINGFIELD, IL – As the state’s point person on education reform, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon and the Illinois State Board of Education today released the state’s first 6th-12th grade math curriculum and urged middle and high schools statewide to implement the new courses beginning this fall.

The new curriculum package aims to reduce remedial math needs for college-bound students and improve career readiness for those going into the workforce. In 2012, 58 percent of Illinois high school graduates failed to meet the math college readiness benchmark, according to the ACT. Research shows when students enroll in remedial math courses at college, they are more likely to drop out or graduate late.

To make sure Illinois students are better prepared for college-level math and careers, Simon worked with ISBE last year to pass Senate Bill 3244 and launch the Math Curriculum Task Force to design the first-ever statewide math curriculum units. The units outline teaching techniques aligned with Common Core standards, providing educators a better road map for math instruction than ever before.

“We want to put all middle and high school students on a track for success,” Simon said. “Colleges and employers expect our students to have certain skills, but find too many students unprepared. The tools we released should help educators better prepare students to compete in the global marketplace.”

Illinois adopted the Common Core standards in 2010. But how to implement or teach to those standards has been up to districts. Many rely on textbook companies to dictate curriculum not necessarily aligned to standards, while others can invest in curriculum directors to assist teachers.

The state-designed curriculum units, and soon-to-come lesson plans, provide new, high-quality tools that are aligned with the Common Core and can be adapted as needed to meet each classroom’s needs. Simon said this should help level the playing field for districts with fewer resources.

“This is not an unfunded mandate,” Simon said. “We are giving teachers, schools and districts an extra resource to incorporate within their classrooms in a way that is most beneficial to the students.”

In all, 24 middle and 28 high school unit outlines were developed, with major changes in high school curriculum. Currently, high school math progresses annually from one content area to the next – Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II. The new model introduces integrated high school math courses – Math I, II and III – which each teach elements of algebra, geometry and statistics at each grade level.

Although four years of math are not required to graduate from high school in Illinois, the new model also includes content recommendations for senior year courses. The fourth-year options include career and technical education courses and dual credit coursework offered in conjunction with a local community college or university. These can help better prepare students for college-level math or the workforce.

Schools can opt to follow the state-recommended scope and sequence of math study in part or whole, or continue to follow local curricula. Analysis of the models’ effect will be completed within four years.

“These math curriculum models can help districts continue to implement the more rigorous Illinois Learning Standards in the coming year,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Our new learning standards emphasize a holistic approach and ensure that students truly master math concepts and can apply them in their jobs and everyday life.”

ISBE has decided to go beyond its statutory charge and develop lesson plans to correspond with the proposed math curricula, as well as develop math curriculum units for elementary schools. The additional materials will be available in the fall.

“The units structure the way a topic should be approached and allow a common ground for all teachers to teach their grade level,” said Tai Williford, an 8th grade math teacher from Neal Math and Science Academy in North Chicago. “You can see the progression from one topic to the next and one grade level to the next. Using these units has been great for me and my colleagues because we know what we need the end result to be and we can discuss how to get our students there based on their current standings.”

For more information about the model curricula, click here.

Topinka: Tax Revenue up, but Bill Triage continues

Posted by Newsroom On May - 23 - 2013 Comments Off on Topinka: Tax Revenue up, but Bill Triage continues

Backlog expected to grow by up to $2 billion

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on Wednesday warned that a recent reduction in the state’s bill backlog is temporary and implored leaders to continue identifying efficiencies and savings that will allow the state to regain its fiscal footing in the long-term.

Topinka noted that a stronger-than-expected tax season allowed her office to cut the state’s bill backlog from $8.5 billion at the start of April to $5.8 billion today. The payment wait time for vendors also was cut drastically, with the state now paying bills from April 8, as opposed to December 3, 2012 at the start of April.

But Topinka cautioned that the progress will be short-lived, estimating the backlog could again hover around $7.5 billion in August and that prolonged payment delays will return.

“Illinois is the only state in the nation where $5.8 billion in unpaid bills sounds like real progress and one-month payment delays are something to celebrate,” Topinka said. “The sad truth is that even with more than a billion dollars in unexpected tax revenue, we owe schools, hospitals, not-for-profits and private businesses in every part of the state – and this is as good as we expect it to get.”

The state’s bill backlog traditionally fluctuates throughout the year, with the numbers dropping in high-revenue months and growing in leaner seasons. Spring typically proves to be the low benchmark, as residents and businesses make their income tax payments to the government. This year the state benefited from $1.3 billion more than expected in revenue, as taxpayers accelerated transactions to take advantage of 2012 federal tax rates.

But Topinka cautioned that those dollars have already been used to pay down bills to the current level, and the backlog could grow by up to $2 billion within three months. She encouraged state leaders to take those realities into account in the final days of the legislative session.

“Illinois must not let a strong tax season burn a hole in its pocket,” Topinka said. “This is not the time for new spending. Just the opposite, we need to use these final days of session to pass the leanest budget possible, and address the long-term challenges facing our state.”

Gen Con is Coming!

Posted by Newsroom On May - 23 - 2013 Comments Off on Gen Con is Coming!

Soap Box Rants

By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan
President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

If you haven’t heard of Gen Con, you’ve been missing out on some awesome entertainment and game-focused events for quite some time. Gen Con, short for “Geneva Convention” has been around since 1967. It was started by a small group of war game enthusiasts. Originally hosted in Geneva Wisconsin, Gen Con has seen tremendous growth evolving over the years and now takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Rooted in hobby gaming, Gen Con has spread its wings to attract a world-wide audience for games and entertainment. From playing cards to electronic games, costume contests, artists and celebrities, all ages are sure to enjoy this event. During all this, they also take time to support charities. Take a look at what they are doing and have done in the past to support the community.

Check out the exhibit halls and product demonstrations from game publishers, manufacturers and sellers. Check out some educational workshops on game development, painting miniatures or find out how to become a distributor for some of the wholesalers presenting products there.

Prepare to be dazzled by products that haven’t hit the consumer market yet. Manufacturers, publishers and educators look for networking events similar to the following that were held in 2007: “Increase K-12 Student’s Academic & Social Achievement with Board & Card Games,” “Hidden Secrets of the Internet,” and Buyer’s Training Session and Location Negotiations.”

Gen Con takes place August 15-18 this year. If you love card games, board games, miniature war games, video games, hybrid games, live-action role-playing games, you won’t want to miss it! You can sign up and purchase your badge here.

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

San Diego college students to restore home of a medically retired, wheelchair bound Marine Corps Captain as part of Embrace’s H3 Program

Posted by Newsroom On May - 23 - 2013 Comments Off on San Diego college students to restore home of a medically retired, wheelchair bound Marine Corps Captain as part of Embrace’s H3 Program

San Diego, CA (BlackNews.com) — Diego college students and volunteers will carry out the sixth home restoration project as part of Embrace’s “Healing our Heroes’ Homes” program on Wednesday, July 10 through Sunday, July 14.

The five-day effort will take place at the San Diego home of medically retired Marine Corps Captain Sarah Bettencourt. Bettencourt served with many different units across the country during the Global War on Terrorism and developed a rare neurological disorder in 2008. Despite her disability, she continued to serve in the Marine Corps as an Adjutant until significant neurological symptoms ended her military career. In 2012, Bettencourt was medically retired from the military with a 100 percent disability rating.

“The opportunity to serve another veteran who has given so much of herself to protect our nation is an honor for everyone involved. Sarah Bettencourt and her husband are wonderful people who deserve our assistance,” said Sean Sheppard, founder of Embrace.

With a focus to restore the homes of disabled veteran homeowners, H3 falls in line with Embrace’s mission to mobilize college student volunteers and community members to serve less fortunate members of civilian and veteran communities.

“When we reviewed Sarah’s application for the H3 program, and subsequently met her and her husband in person, we knew she was the perfect beneficiary for the program because of her personality and story,” said Sheppard. “Sarah is a strong, charismatic, positive individual who enjoys life and takes her disability head on. Everyone affiliated with Embrace is honored to be able to help her and her husband.”

The project for the Bettencourts’ home includes kitchen and bathroom remodeling, building ADA compliant disability ramps, widening their driveway to ADA standards, widening doorways and landscaping.

The title sponsors for this project are SDG&E, The Home Depot Foundation and Jack In The Box Foundation.

Embrace’s H3 program aims to create a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic service learning experience for college students, connect young adults to veteran community members in need, raise awareness of low income, disabled veterans, and increase the value and efficient use of their homes.

For more information on Embrace and the H3 program, visit www.embrace1.org/h3.

About Embrace
Founded in 2000, Embrace uses community service to bring diverse groups of people together to bring about social wellness in our society. The organization focuses on the utilization of college students and recent graduates to develop their leadership qualities and remedy community problems such as health disparities and homelessness on a volunteer basis. Founder Sean Sheppard’s ultimate goal is to bring about legislation that makes community service mandatory for all college students that attend state funded institutions of higher education.

For more information on Embrace, visit www.embrace1.org

For more information about Sheppard and his life, visit www.thegoodsheppard.tv

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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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