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Archive for June 17th, 2013

State of Equality and Justice in America: 50th Anniversary of Medgar Evers’ Assassination Reminds Us of Civil Rights Work That Remains

Posted by Admin On June - 17 - 2013 Comments Off on State of Equality and Justice in America: 50th Anniversary of Medgar Evers’ Assassination Reminds Us of Civil Rights Work That Remains
The 18th op-ed of a 20-part series
Opportunity for Young Activists to Address Unmet Needs

By Barbara R. Arnwine

Fighting for social and racial justice is the enduring component of the civil right movements. In the tumultuous 1960s many great leaders emerged, dedicating their lives to moving America toward justice. Iconic civil rights activist, Medgar Evers made tremendous efforts in fighting for positive change and social justice. June 12, 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Evers. Though only 37 at the time of his death, he had become a key civil rights leader who worked diligently to secure equal rights in the state of Mississippi.
It is vital to ensure that his work and legacy does not become blurred with other historical events. We must continue to teach younger generations of activists how we have been afforded certain rights, including voting rights, because of the bitter sacrifices of sheroes and heroes like Evers. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law extends its deepest appreciation for Mr. Evers’ courageous life and civil rights legacy.
Among my sheroes is Evers’ widow Myrlie Evers-Williams, who has valiantly upheld their shared ideals since his murder. The Lawyers’ Committee fully supports Myrlie’s efforts to build a memorial for her late husband at Alcon State University in Mississippi. More information about the memorial is available at www.mememorial.org.
After becoming the first field secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi, Medgar Evers organized and participated in voter registration efforts, demonstrations, and economic boycotts of companies that practiced discrimination. He also worked to investigate crimes perpetrated against African Americans. Evers’ many contributions to the civil rights movement, along with his untimely death, were both factors in the creation of the national Lawyers’ Committee, which I have been honored to lead for the last 24 years.
In the summer of 1963 demands for racial justice were increasingly being met with lawless intimidation and violence, and immediate action was needed. On June 11th President John F. Kennedy gave a nationally televised speech on civil rights stating that “it is better to settle these matters in the courts than on the streets.” Tragically, only hours after Kennedy’s speech, Evers was assassinated by a member of the White Citizens’ Council.
Shortly after President Kennedy heard the news of Evers’s assassination, he called for the best and the brightest attorneys in the nation to attend a historic meeting at the White House and urged them to defend the rule of law and the rights of civil rights demonstrators. Within a week, the Lawyers’ Committee was formed to obtain equal opportunity for minorities by leveraging the pro bono resources of the private bar to address legal factors that contribute to racial justice.
Today the Lawyers’ Committee and our partners remain vigilant on civil rights issues. We are currently fighting for stronger tenant laws in New Orleans, providing a voice for those who may not know how to speak up for their own fair housing rights. In addition, we are fighting to protect voters from voter suppression laws. We also strive to break the School to Prison Pipeline (STPP) through helping students who have fallen subject to the juvenile justice systems reenter into school to complete their education and educating teachers and parents on STPP issues.
In our efforts to uphold the legacies of civil rights activists, and encourage new activists to emerge, we have also implemented the Young Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights initiative. The goal of this initiative is to encourage lawyers in the first 10 years of their career who are interested or actively engaged in the work of the Lawyers’ Committee to join us in the fight. With our Young Lawyers Initiative, we are assisting the next generation to answer the call to action and become more knowledgeable about pressing racial and social justice issues by getting involved and connected with the civil rights issues nationally.
Leaders like Medgar Evers blazed a trail for generations to come; it is now up to us to continue fighting for justice. Let not the work of Mr. Evers be done in vain, but let it be a reminder of how far the civil rights movement has come and how much work remains.










Barbara R. Arnwine is president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity – work that continues to be vital today. Jaila Carter, a Psychology major at Howard University and intern for the Lawyers’ Committee, contributed to this editorial. For more information on the Lawyers’ Committee’s 50th anniversary, please visit www.lawyerscommittee.org or http://www.towardjusticecampaign.org/. For more information about the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute, please visit: http://www.eversinstitute.org
“The State of Equality and Justice in America” is a 20-part series of columns written by an all star list of contributors to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
The contributors include: U. S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) LCCRUL 50th Anniversary Grand Marshal; Ms. Barbara Arnwine, President and Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL); Mr. Charles Ogletree, Professor, Harvard University Law School/Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice; the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., President/CEO, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; the Rev. Joseph Lowery, Co-founder, Southern Christian Leadership Conference; U. S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.); and 14 additional thought leaders and national advocates for equal justice.


Rev. Jesse Jackson is the main speaker today at White House protest on Anniversary of the War on Drugs

Posted by Admin On June - 17 - 2013 Comments Off on Rev. Jesse Jackson is the main speaker today at White House protest on Anniversary of the War on Drugs

Day of Direct Action

Amidst growing disaffection in some quarters of Black America with President Obama’s failure to directly address a myriad of crises afflicting distressed Black communities, contingents of “Drum Majors for Justice” are planning a Day of Direct Action, Monday, June 17th in Washington, D.C., to mark the 42nd Anniversary of the “War on Drugs.” Mobilized by the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), drug and criminal justice policy reform advocates, faith leaders, heads of community-based organizations and formerly incarcerated leaders will call on President Obama to end the War on Drugs as a “pipeline” to the mass incarceration of Black people. Leaders will also demand massive, direct investment of jobs and economic development projects in urban inner-city neighborhoods plagued by joblessness, drugs, gun violence and fratricide.

Declaring the crises in distressed Black communities a “State of Emergency,” Dr. Ron Daniels, President of IBW states: “there is a direct connection between the so called War on Drugs as a racially biased strategy and the devastation, death and destruction in America’s ‘dark ghettos.’ The recent ALCU Study of marijuana arrests clearly confirms what we have known for some time, ‘the War on drugs is a war on us,’ a war that has severely damaged Black communities across the country. We need President Obama to go beyond lecturing us about ‘personal responsibility’ and declare the State of Emergency in America’s dark ghettos a moral and political crisis which requires immediate action!”

Date: Monday, June 17th – 42nd Anniversary of the War on Drugs

 Where: Washington, D.C.
Time: 10:00 AM – Pre-Rally, Historic Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M Street, NW 20005 

(Main Speaker – Rev. Jesse Jackson)

11:00 AM – March to Lafayette Park (Across from the White House)
12:00 Noon – 2:00 PM – Rally at Lafayette Park

For Further Information or to arrange interviews contact: Don Rojas, 410.844.1031 or Carolyn McClair, 917.686.0854 – www.ibw21.org

Moral Mondays: A Model Grassroots Movement

Posted by Admin On June - 17 - 2013 Comments Off on Moral Mondays: A Model Grassroots Movement

By Benjamin Todd Jealous

President/CEO of the NAACP 

On April 29, seventeen dedicated activists were arrested for civil disobedience at the North Carolina General Assembly as they protested attacks on education, health care, voting rights and the poor. Six weeks and six “Moral Mondays” later, nearly 400 people have been locked up, and the nation is watching.

This is what democracy looks like.

The peaceful protests were started by Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP State Conference. Rev. Barber has spent decades fighting for the poor and working class in his home state, building diverse coalitions like the Historic Thousands on Jones Street People’s Coalition and the Forward Together Movement. Despite name-calling and threats of violence, he has continued to build his grassroots movement to fight poverty, racism and the discriminatory policies of the “Old South”.

Those coalitions were put to the test when North Carolina lawmakers decided to embrace one of the most radical agendas in the nation. In the space of a few months, lawmakers rejected $700 million in federal unemployment benefits and passed up federal funds to expand Medicaid for half a million people. At the same time, they voted to raise taxes on 900,000 poor and working class people; slash funding for pre-school and kindergarten; and spend time pursuing wildly unpopular proposals, like a bill that would let legislators receive gifts from lobbyists.

Then, following a pattern we have seen across the country, they tried to cement their agenda by suppressing the vote. Rather than convince the public to vote for them on merit, legislators introduced a voter ID bill that would disenfranchise nearly 500,000 voters, and planned to roll back early voting, same-day registration and Sunday voting.

The community had seen enough. What followed was a textbook example of how grassroots organizing can and should work.

In late April, Rev. Barber and the HKonJ coalition organized the weekly Moral Mondays protests at the State House in Raleigh. Next, Rev. Barber engaged the NAACP’s broad network of 100 youth and adult units, organizing 26 local protest events across the state. In Halifax County, where one out of four people live below the federal poverty line, locals packed Mount Hope Baptist Church. In the small city of New Bern, more than 250 people packed a community center and cheered two community members who had been arrested at a Moral Monday. Each event made its own point while reinforcing the larger message.

Rev. Barber also took the advice of Dr. King: “If you are comfortable in your coalition, then your coalition is too small”. The protestors getting arrested each week are from all different backgrounds – veterans and students, schoolteachers and blue collar workers, professors and doctors, labor and environmental leaders, and clergy of different races, classes, faith communities and even physical abilities. They are unified by shared values and a belief in what Rev. Barber calls “a deeply moral and constitutional vision of society” where “the focus of public policy is justice for all and care for the common good.”

I was particularly moved by the words of Dr. Charles van der Horst, a white doctor from the UNC School of Medicine who would clearly benefit from the legislature’s agenda. He spoke outside the State House last week about the concept of fusion politics:

“This is not a black thing, this is not a white thing. This is not a poor thing, this is not a rich thing. This is not a Christian or Jewish or Muslim thing. What hurts one person, hurts us all.”

Dr. van der Horst is absolutely right, and his message should reverberate on a national scale. North Carolina will not thrive if it insists on selling off the rungs on the ladder to the middle and upper class. In the same way, America will not prosper if our leaders refuse to address wealth inequality and the same attacks on education and voting rights.

Luckily, America is listening. The protests have earned growing national press, and last weekend Melissa Harris-Perry devoted a segment of her national Saturday morning television show to the campaign. Moral Mondays have become a catalyst for a broader debate on public policy and the common good.

The question is whether North Carolina will listen to its own people. Only time will tell, but as Rev. Barber and the state’s activists have proven time and time again, they will not stop fighting until justice is won.

Ben Jealous is president/CEO of the NAACP. 

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

Torture cop called to testify in Serrano-Montanez hearing for a new trial Monday

Posted by Admin On June - 17 - 2013 Comments Off on Torture cop called to testify in Serrano-Montanez hearing for a new trial Monday

(From the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression)


Armando  Serrano   and Jose Montanez will have a hearing on their motion for a new trial on Monday, June 17, 2013  at 9:30 am in Courtroom 307  of the Cook County Criminal Court, 26 & California before Judge Maura Slattery Boyle.

Serrano and Montanez were convicted in 1994 of the murder of Rodrigo Vargas solely on the basis of testimony of a jailhouse snitch, who testified that the two had confessed to him in prison.   The snitch has since recanted, swearing that he implicated the two in exchange for a deal, and that Detective Reynaldo Guevara had beaten him up.  Serrano and Montanez are serving 45 year sentences for murder.  Serrano is in Dixon Correctional Center, and Montanez is in Danville Correctional Center.  Guevara is now retired.

Guevara and the snitch are both being called to testify at the hearing.  Guevara has been implicated in dozens of cases of wrongful conviction involving false confessions and torture of suspects and witnesses.

Fernando Serrano, Armando Serrano’s father, and Carmen and Norma Montanez, Jose Montanez’ mother and sister, will attend the hearing and will be available for comments,.  Serrano is represented by Atty.  Jennifer Bonjean of the Bonjean Law Group, and Montanez if represented by Atty. Russell Ainsworth, of the firm Loevy and Loevy.

Frank Chapman, Field Organizer for the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR), urged people to come to the hearing on Monday and “support these two innocent men.”

“They and their families are victims of a police crime,” Chapman charged.  “The fact that Serrano and Montanez are still in prison 20 years after this crime, and Det. Guevara is free, retired and collecting a pension just underscores the need for an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) to be over the Police Department. 

“CPAC will be able to refer cases like this to the Federal Grand Jury for deprivation of civil rights under the color of law, in violation of Title 18 of the U. S. Code Section 242.  Under this law Det. Guevara could be sentenced to natural life in prison.”

The Organizing Committee to Stop Police crimes of the CAARPR has called for a mass march on Chicago City Hall demanding passage of legislation enacting and empowering CPAC on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 11:00 am.  Information on the march can be obtained by calling the Alliance at 312-939-2750 or visiting www.StopPoliceCrimes.com.

For more information, contact Frank Chapman, 312-513-3795 or Ted Pearson, 312-927-2689.

The New ‘Realities’ Dictate a New Direction

Posted by Admin On June - 17 - 2013 Comments Off on The New ‘Realities’ Dictate a New Direction


By William Spriggs


This week, the Center for American Progress (CAP), a think-tank closely associated with President Obama’s Administration since it was the home of many key White House officials like Gene Sperling and Melody Barnes, changed course on backing a “grand bargain” with Republicans on cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits and raising taxes on high income earners to balance the budget in the long run.

After taking a position favoring a debate on shrinking government back in 2009, CAP now sees four years later, that the job crisis remains while the federal deficit and the size of government has plummeted. But, let’s hope this change in heart has a similar effect on the Obama administration.

Five years after the onset of the Great Recession, there are still 2.4 million fewer payroll positions in America than in January 2008. At the rate of job creation last month, it would take more than thirteen months to get back to the pre-recession level of employment-meaning a net job growth of zero jobs over an almost six-and-a-half year period. The result is a backlog of Americans looking for jobs-officially 11.7 million. The brunt of the difficulty in the labor market has fallen on young workers who are suffering from the lowest levels of employment on record; fewer than 38 percent of 18 and 19-year-olds have jobs.

Here are the “new realities” that moved CAP: Last month the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal deficit will be 4.0 percent of the nation’s output (the Gross Domestic Product measuring the value of all goods and services produced), less than half where it stood in 2009. By 2015, the deficit will shrink almost another half, to 2.1 percent of GDP.

The Washington consensus backed by the administration and Republicans in Congress was a view that the federal deficit had to be brought under control and the federal debt stabilized to promote a robust recovery. Well, we have been in “recovery” since 2009, but we have not recovered. There are still 12 million Americans chasing four million job openings, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, who are not feeling recovered.

Republicans have continued to hold up the discussion on creating jobs in favor of discussing shrinking government. Today, we are 2.4 million jobs short of a recovery because, in large part, we are down 735,000 workers in the public sector since January 2009; almost half of those being local education workers-cutting more than 300,000 teachers from our children’s classrooms. So, cutting government has meant less than stellar job growth by cutting government employment, cutting investment in our children and then ignoring a discussion on how to take on the crisis of employment that 18 and 19-year-olds are facing.

Further, the ramifications of shrinking public sector employment came home to roost in another way this week, when private sector sub-contractor Edward Swanson leaked the lax oversight of private sector contractors given access to America’s personal information through an NSA secret surveillance program. The federal work force is 40,000 smaller than in January 2009; in part, because the build-up in security has been through contracting out work that should remain under close public supervision.

As CAP points out, the experiment in Europe to use fiscal restraint to create stability for growth has failed to produce growth and has instead worsened the job prospects in Europe and hurt demand for American exports. The arguments those Harvard economists’ Reinhart and Rogoff made warning of shrinking economic growth if federal debt got too high has been discredited. So, even the conservative American Enterprise Institute is getting on board, advocating for the direct hiring into government jobs for the long-term unemployed. Clearly, America needs a new conversation.

Now if only the administration is also listening. The new policy conversation will start when President Obama disengages the Republicans over “a grand bargain.” When he says to the Republicans in Congress who are debating the size of cuts to the SNAP program (food stamps) that taking food off the tables of American children and starving American children is not going to generate jobs or improve the path to fast job growth, America can start to have a real conversation about jobs.

It is time for the president to come before the American people and rally behind us, because the American people know that cutting Social Security benefits will not create jobs today or in the future, or that another trade agreement with Vietnam is not going to generate jobs for them, or raising the interest rate that students pay on college loans, or any of the list of items Washington is poised to debate. President Obama deserves a better legacy than compromising over the meaningless. Just as the president got behind the American people on immigration reform, and the justice in marriage, we need the president on the right side of history in economic policy. Negotiating with Republicans on things that don’t matter-and won’t help-puts him on the wrong side. 


William Spriggs serves as Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO and is a professor in, and former chair of the Department of Economics at Howard University.  Bill is also former assistant secretary for the Office of Policy at the United States Department of Labor.

Father Michael Pfleger: “We got a war going on out there’

Posted by Admin On June - 17 - 2013 Comments Off on Father Michael Pfleger: “We got a war going on out there’
Needs ‘boots on the ground’ to combat violence
By Chinta Strausberg
Beginning with the elders and referring to Joseph who raised Jesus, Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday called all fathers to the altar charging them to be the Joseph’sof their communities and to be the foster fathers of the youth who may be fatherless because “there’s a war out there” and he needs “boots on the ground” if peaceis to prevail.
“We need you like we never did before,” Pfleger said towards the end of his annual Father’s Day progam where long time Saint Sabina members Phil Hunter, who is
the director of the churches Employment Resource Center, and Cory Williams th eofficer manager for the past 14-years, were keynote speakers.
Pfleger told the fathers when he tells young men on the street that he loves them the youth tell him no man has ever told them that. Pfleger said we have to make sure that our children know they are loved.
Asking for their presence at Friday’s, June 21, 2013, 7 p.m. “Occupy the Streets”peace march being held at Saint Sabina, 78th Place & Throop Streets, which marks the last day of public school and the beginning of what he wants to be a peaceful summer for the children, Pfleger said, “We must take back our streets.
“Since last Friday night, 6 people were killed and 29 shot. That is more than a classroom of people shot…. We have to be present in the street. There is a war out there…and we must be soldiers. We must be the boots on the ground,” Pfleger said urging them to stand up for the community. “
While police officials claim crime is down compared to last year, Father Pfleger said he’s been paying attention to the body count and he has his doubts. “Enough of the killing,” he said urging everyone to join him this Friday for a massive show of unity in demanding peace in our streets.
Earlier, Williams, a member of Saint Sabina since 1984 who was married in the church in 2007, was born in Chicago and is an only child. Pfleger said recently Williams told him he had a job offer but after Pfleger, whom he called his “spiritual father who has brought me closer to God,” matched that offer he decided to remain at the church.
Saying he is grateful for the men God placed in his life including Pfleger and family members, Williams said he grew up an angry man because his father was taken from him at a young age having been a victim of gun violence that left him to “grow up with a huge hole in my heart….”
When he learned he was going to be a father, Williams, who was raised by a single mother, said, “I did not know what it was like to be a dad…had no concept ofbeing a good father.” He said dads play so many roles in the lives of children.“We should give them what they deserve…but there is one gift we should always give them…the gift of introducing them to our Holy Father…to God. That is the most important gift we can give them….”
Looking back over his life, Williams said he knows God is his protector. He told of a time when he went on a skiing trip. His car went off the road. What stopped the car was a rock. “That is why I know God is my rock.” There was another time when he was wearing his friend’s jacket and was accosted by five individuals who tried to take his friend’s jacket at gunpoint. “I told them no. I was surrounded by five men.”  “My God showed up,showed he had my back and they had no choice but to flee.” He challenged parents to teach their children about God.
In addressing the church, Hunter said there are different types of fathers but all playing the same role including being “a hedge of protector” around theirfamilies. “As a father, you want to protect your children…. We know what’s out there and we want to make sure you don’t come into harmsway.”
Hunter is the fourth of five children and he and his wife have been members at Saint Sabina since the early1990’s.  Hunter said fathers have to be providers for their families. When Hunter worked at the steel industry, he worked double shifts and held several jobs around Christmas time just to buy toys for his children.
Parenthood, said Hunter changed his priorities in life because God had given him the giftof children. “I thank God for my children. He saved my life by giving me those children….”
Hunter said men must maintain a presence in their children’s lives and that just because you made a baby does not mean you are a father. “There’s something about being accountable to the children that makes you a father.” Hunter said there are too many absent fathers and that “we need to get away from that.”
While his dad provided for his family, Hunter said his father was not present in his life, as he would have liked.  His daughter opened his eyes when she asked him to be more involved in heractivities. “My children deserve that,” he said.
Hunter said the role of a father is to show children the right way…to make the right choices in life and to teach children to take responsibilities for their actions, to be the disciplinarian and the encourager for their children. “As fathers, we must be examples for our kids….” He also advised men to tell their children they love them.
Father Pfleger asked Lt. Col. Antonio Baggett, a father of ten who is an Army Chaplain, to pray.

IT internships for low income young adults

Posted by Admin On June - 17 - 2013 Comments Off on IT internships for low income young adults

National program offers Information Technology Internships (and jobs) to low income young adults

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Year Up is a one-year, intensive training program that provides low-income young adults, ages 18-24, with a combination of hands-on skill development, college credits, and corporate internships. Their program emphasizes academic and professional rigor, setting expectations high for quality of work and professional behavior. A strong structure guides students through the steps necessary for achieving success in the classroom and the workplace.

For the first six months of the program, students develop technical and professional skills in the classroom. Students then apply those skills during the second six months on an internship at one of Year Up’s 250+ corporate and government partners. Students earn up to 23 college credits and a weekly stipend, and are supported by staff advisors, professional mentors, dedicated social services staff, and a powerful network of community-based partners.

Since its founding in 2000, Year Up has served over 6,000 young adults.

For more details on how to apply, visit:

To search hundreds of other internship programs, visit:

Photo Caption: Students celebrate their recent graduation from the Year Up intensive training program.


Five decades later, the Moynihan Report still holds revelations about black families and fathers

Posted by Admin On June - 17 - 2013 Comments Off on Five decades later, the Moynihan Report still holds revelations about black families and fathers

 “The Moynihan Report Revisited” Set to Release by the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Fathers Incorporated and the Urban Institute at Fatherhood Forum

New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — On June 19, 2013, Fathers Incorporated (www.fathersincorporated.com) and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (Beta Psi Sigma Chapter), will be hosting a Practitioners Fatherhood Forum entitled “Bearing FRUIT: Fatherhood Resources United to Ignite Transformation.” The focus of the forum is to increase awareness of the detrimental effects of fatherlessness in ethnic communities. By identifying the public/private resources available to combat fatherlessness, the event aims to engage network practitioners to work with fathers, helping to establish a connection to the available services and resources. The event will take place from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM at the New York Botanical Garden located at 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY. To register visit: http://fisigmafatherhood.eventbrite.com.

As part of the program and in honor of Father’s Day, Fathers Incorporated and the Urban Institute will hold a press conference revealing an update of one of the most controversial social analyses, Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” which probed the roots of black poverty and the decline of the black nuclear family. The press conference will be held from 12:15 to 12:45 PM. Speakers will include: Gregory Acs (Urban Institute), Lynn Chwatsky (Sesame Workshop) and others.

Five decades after Moynihan’s analyses, “The Moynihan Report Revisited” www.opensocietyfoundations.org/reports/moynihan-report-revisited gauges how the circumstances of black families have changed and how they compare with other racial and ethnic groups. The report further documents how blacks still suffer from intersecting disadvantages that Moynihan referred to as a “tangle of pathologies,” with each negative factor reinforcing the other.

For instance:

* Between the early 1960s and 2009, the percentage of black children born to unmarried mothers tripled and remained far higher than the percentage of white children born to unmarried mothers.

* In 1960, 20 percent of black children lived with their mothers but not their fathers; by 2010, over half of all black children lived in such families.

The report concludes with suggestions for improving the circumstances of black families today and reducing racial disparities.
About Fathers Incorporated:

Established in 2004, Fathers Incorporated (FI), a national not-for-profit organization based in New York, is committed to eliminating fatherlessness and increasing the commitment of men to become mentors. Over the last several months, the campaign has garnered international attention and is supported by the White House and several major U.S. cities. Currently, FI is the contractor for the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For additional information, visit www.fathersincorporated.com; like on Facebook
www.facebook.com/FathersIncorporated; and follow on Twitter @Fathersincorp

Photo by:  Fathers Incorporated

Amy Herzog’s edgy thriller, Belleville, brings Parisian flare to Steppenwolf Theatre Company this summer

Posted by Admin On June - 17 - 2013 Comments Off on Amy Herzog’s edgy thriller, Belleville, brings Parisian flare to Steppenwolf Theatre Company this summer

Anne Kauffman directs Ensemble Members Alana Arenas and Kate Arrington with Chris Boykin and Cliff Chamberlain, June 27 – August 25, 2013, in the Downstairs Theatre


CHICAGO, IL  – Performances of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s season-concluding, Chicago-premiere production of Belleville by Amy Herzog begin June 27. Obie Award-winning director Anne Kauffman—who staged the play’s acclaimed world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre in 2011 and earlier this season Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop—makes her Steppenwolf debut directing ensemble members Alana Arenas and Kate Arrington with Chris Boykin and Cliff Chamberlain. Belleville begins previews June 27, 2013 (Opening night is July 7; Press performances are July 6 at 3pm and July 9 at 7:30pm) and runs through August 25 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Tickets ($20 – $78) are on sale now.

 Newly married American expats Zack (Chamberlain) and Abby (Arrington) live an enviably hip existence in the colorful, multi-ethnic neighborhood of Belleville, Paris, renting an apartment from their Senegalese landlords, Alioune (Boykin) and Amina (Arenas). But when a series of small, unexpected encounters escalates the tension between them, some surprising cracks in the foundation of their isolated yet idyllic life begin to show. Belleville is a taut, edgy psychological thriller that asks: does anyone really know who they’re with?

“The play is asking us to keep two things in view: the nature of the relationship between Zack and Abby, and the difference between the two couples in the play. I think Amy is extremely skilled in maintaining that dual focus. The deeply psychological inquiry into the relationship of Abby and Zack opens up onto a cultural question. How is it that Americans comport themselves on the world stage? Is there, finally, a difference in our sense of maturity and responsibility?” notes Artistic Director Martha Lavey. “The play is an engrossing and suspenseful mystery. It’s a great theatrical ride—funny, scary, insightful and surprising. We are delighted to bring this powerful voice to Steppenwolf.”

The cast of Belleville features ensemble members Alana Arenas as Amina, and Kate Arrington as Abby, with Chris Boykin as Alioune, and Cliff Chamberlain as Zack.

The production team for Belleville includes: James Schuette (scenic design), Janice Pytel (costume design), Matt Frey (lighting design) and Richard Woodbury (sound design and original music). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting), Deb Styer (stage manager) and Christine D. Freeburg (assistant stage manager).

Tickets to Belleville ($20 – $78) are currently on sale through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org. 20 for $20: twenty $20 tickets are available through Audience Services beginning at 11am on the day of each performance (1pm for Sunday performances). Rush Tickets: half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show. Student Discounts: a limited number of $15 student tickets are available online using promo code “BELLEVILLE15”. Limit 2 tickets per student; must present a valid student ID for each ticket. For additional student discounts, visit steppenwolf.org/students. Group Tickets: all groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org/groups.

OptionsHouse is the Corporate Production Sponsor of Belleville.

Free post-show discussions are offered after every performance in the Subscription Season. Steppenwolf is located near all forms of public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. Street and lot parking are available. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is America’s longest standing, most distinguished ensemble theater, producing nearly 700 performances and events annually in its three Chicago theater spaces—the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat Garage Theatre. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 43 actors, writers and directors. Artistic programming at Steppenwolf includes a five-play Subscription Season, a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season and three repertory series: First Look Repertory of New Work, Garage Rep and Next Up. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Off-Broadway, Broadway, London, Sydney and Dublin. Steppenwolf has the distinction of being the only theater to receive the National Medal of Arts, in addition to numerous other prestigious honors including an Illinois Arts Legend Award and nine Tony Awards. Martha Lavey is the Artistic Director and David Hawkanson is the Executive Director. Nora Daley is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre and twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.

Currently on stage is Next Up, featuring The Drunken City by Adam Bock, directed by John Michael DiResta; Fat Pig by Neil LaBute, directed by David Prete; and The Internationalist by Anne Washburn, directed by Erin Murray (May 28 – June 16, 2013) in the Garage Theatre (1624 N Halsted Ave). Upcoming productions at Steppenwolf include: Slowgirl by Greg Pierce, directed by ensemble member Randall Arney (July 18 – August 25, 2013) in the Upstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St); and First Look Repertory of New Work, featuring Annie Bosh is Missing by Janine Nabers, directed by Shade Murray; Buena Vista by Edith Freni, directed by ensemble member Tim Hopper; and The Gospel of Franklin by Aaron Carter, directed by Robert O’Hara (July 29 – August 25, 2013) in the Garage Theatre (1624 N Halsted St).

Free Angela and all Political Prisoners arrives on DVD, Digital Download and Video on Demand August 20th

Posted by Admin On June - 17 - 2013 Comments Off on Free Angela and all Political Prisoners arrives on DVD, Digital Download and Video on Demand August 20th


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — A gripping historic account of the tumultuous events that befell African American activist, writer and scholar Angela Davis and her cohorts in the turbulent 1960s, Free Angela and All Political Prisoners arrives on DVD (plus Digital UltraViolet), Digital Download and Video on Demand August 20 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
Hailed by the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival as “a fascinating chronicle of justice and strength,” Free Angela and All Political Prisoners tells the dramatic story of how a young professor’s social justice activism implicates her in a botched kidnapping attempt that ends with a bloody shootout, four dead, and her name on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list.
Year of Production: 2012
Title Copyright: Free Angela and All Political Prisoners © 2012 Realside Productions De Films en Aiguille Direct Cinéma – VISA d’exploitation 127.417. All Rights Reserved. Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2013 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Type: Limited Theatrical Release
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Documentary
Closed Captioned: English
Subtitles: English
Feature Run Time: 101 minutes
Format: 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)
DVD Audio Status: 5.1 Dolby Digital
EDITOR’S NOTE: A powerful story of justice, strength and political freedom, Free Angela and All Political Prisoners arrives on DVD (plus Digital UltraViolet), Digital Download and Video on Demand August 20 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. To discuss editorial opportunities beyond product reviews, please contact Geovani Rocha at geovani_rocha@bhimpact.com
For screener requests and/or box/scene art needs, please contact geovani_rocha@bhimpact.com
Photo Caption: DVD cover

Told for the first time by Angela and others who lived through the events firsthand, this fascinating true story of justice, strength and political freedom provides a candid and powerful account of how the woman with the signature Afro hairstyle became an iconic symbol of the political and social movement. Executive produced by Overbrook Entertainment and Roc Nation, and filled with a message of hope and redemption, Free Angela and All Political Prisoners will be available on DVD for the suggested retail price of $26.98.

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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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