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Archive for July 26th, 2013

Tough Standards, Diversity are Key Assets for the U. S. Military

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Jamie Barnett, Retired Rear Adm.
America’s Wire Writers Group

This month (July) marks the 65th anniversary of President Harry S. Truman’s Executive Order that led to the racial integration of America’s armed services.

We’ve come a long way since that time, and leadership at the Department of Defense (DoD) asserts that recruiting the widest possible pool of talent is not only the right thing to do, it is also a national security issue. As stated in the Department’s recent Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2012-2017, “It is critical that DoD strive to have a Total Force that not only possesses the diverse backgrounds and experiences to meet the complex challenges of the future global security environment, but that also reflects the face of the nation.”

This makes sense because the dedicated men and women who serve our country in the Armed Forces are the backbone of our national security- even more so than its ships, aircraft, tanks and weaponry. The United States military maintains rigorous eligibility standards because it needs competent, healthy and educated young men and women to fill the ranks of the most professional, respected, and technologically-advanced military in the world.

Unfortunately, many young Americans who want to join cannot. Startling statistics from the Department of Defense show that 75 percent of young people ages 17 to 24 are currently unable to join. The most common barriers for potential recruits are inadequate education, obesity, and/or a criminal record.

The DoD’s 2009 Military Leadership Diversity Commission found that up to 80 percent of age-eligible minorities do not meet the qualifications for the Marines. The barriers for young people to qualify for service include disparities in opportunity driven by historical segregation and inequities in access to quality education, early childhood programs, affordable quality food, and health care.

These disparities cut close to home for me. The Mississippi of my youth was segregated and openly harbored bigotry. In 1962, my distant cousin, Governor Ross Barnett, stood in the doorway of Ole Miss to deny enrollment to James Meredith, an African American. When the federal government enforced Meredith’s right to equality, riots ensued that left two people dead and scores of persons injured.

Likewise, the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was decided the year I was born, in 1954, but was not really enforced in Mississippi until I was a sophomore in high school. Public school integration was more peaceful, but it was no less momentous. I benefited because by going to school with white and black students I learned to be suspicious of discrimination toward any human being.

The U.S. military has led the way over the last sixty-five years to increase opportunity for millions of Americans through its leadership in recruiting a diverse and effective force. For our nation to dramatically increase the number of young people who can qualify for military service, it will require not only continued efforts to make improvements by all service branches but also partnerships with and leadership from other sectors of American society.

In order to embrace true change and continue on a positive path for inclusion, we must:

1) Take steps to eliminate both conscious and unconscious racism from the Armed Forces and promote diversity as described in the DoD’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan and in the Military Leadership Diversity Commission’s full recommendations.

2) Support evidence-based public investments in vulnerable children such as high quality early childhood education and obesity prevention measures.

3) As individuals, promote the difficult but essential discussions about race that can increase our understanding of unconscious bias, advance racial healing and “put racism in front of us, so we can put racism behind us.”

For those who meet the military’s minimum qualifications, joining the Armed Forces is a valuable option that builds leaders of character. Being well-educated, fit, and law-abiding are also qualifications that will result in the ability to compete in the private sector. No matter which path a young person chooses, a high level of personal and professional readiness will in all likelihood result in positive contributions to our society.

When all Americans succeed, our nation is stronger. If we have an honest dialogue and work together to tackle the challenges ahead, we will help young people succeed and strengthen our national security.

This article first appeared in STARS and STRIPES. Retired Rear Adm. Jamie Barnett served for 32 years in the U.S. Navy and is a member of Mission: Readiness, a nonpartisan national security organization of senior retired military leaders calling for smart investments in America’s children.

America’s Wire is an independent, nonprofit news service run by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Our stories can be republished free of charge by newspapers, websites and other media sources. For more information, visit www.americaswire.org or contact Michael K. Frisby at mike@frisbyassociates.com. )

Emmett and Trayvon: How Racial Prejudice Has Changed in the Last 60 Years

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Part Two of an Eleven-Part Series, Race in America – Past and Present



By Elijah Anderson

Separated by a thousand miles, two state borders, and nearly six decades, two young African- American boys met tragic fates that seem remarkably similar today: both walked into a small market to buy some candy; both ended up dead.  

The first boy is Emmett Till, who was 14 years old in the summer of 1955 when he walked into a local grocery store in Money, Miss., to buy gum. He was later roused from bed, beaten brutally, and possibly shot by a group of White men who later dumped his body in a nearby river. They claimed he had stepped out of his place by flirting with a young White woman, the wife of the store’s owner. The second boy is Trayvon Martin, who was 17 years old late last winter when he walked into a 7-Eleven near a gated community in Sanford, Fla., to buy Skittles and an iced tea.

He was later shot to death at close range by a mixed-race man, who claimed Martin had behaved suspiciously and seemed out of place. The deaths of both boys galvanized the nation, drew sympathy and disbelief across racial lines, and, through the popular media, prompted a reexamination of race relations.

In the aftermath of Martin’s death last February, a handful of reporters and columnists, and many members of the general public, made the obvious comparison: Trayvon Martin, it seemed, was the Emmett Till of our times. And, while that comparison has some merit-the boys’ deaths are similar both in some of their details and in their tragic outcome-these killings must also be understood as the result of very different strains of racial tension in America.  

The racism that led to Till’s death was embedded in a virulent ideology of White racial superiority born out of slavery and the Jim Crow codes, particularly in the Deep South. That sort of racism hinges on the idea that Blacks are an inherently inferior race, a morally null group that deserves both the subjugation and poverty it gets.  

The racial prejudice that led to Trayvon Martin’s death is different. While it, too, was born of America’s painful legacy of slavery and segregation, and informed by those old concepts of racial order-that Blacks have their “place” in  society-it in addition reflects the urban iconography of today’s racial inequality, namely the Black ghetto, a uniquely urban American creation. Strikingly, this segregation of the Black community coexists with an ongoing racial incorporation process that has produced the largest Black middle class in history, and that reflects the extraordinary social progress this country has made since the 1960s. The civil rights movement paved the way for Blacks and other people of color to access public and professional opportunities and spaces that would have been unimaginable in Till’s time.

While the sort of racism that led to Till’s death still exists in society today, Americans in general have a much more nuanced, more textured attitude toward race than anything we’ve seen before, and usually that attitude does not manifest in overtly hateful, exclusionary, or violent acts. Instead, it manifests in pervasive mindsets and stereotypes that all Black people start from the inner-city ghetto and are therefore stigmatized by their association with its putative amorality, danger, crime, and poverty. Hence, in public, a Black person is burdened with a negative presumption that he or she must disprove before being able to establish mutually trusting relationships with others.

Most consequentially, Black skin when seen in public, and its association with the ghetto, translates into a deficit of credibility as Black skin is conflated with lower-class status. Such attitudes impact poor Blacks of the ghetto one way and middle-class Black people in another way. 

While middle-class Blacks may be able to successfully overcome the negative presumptions of others, lower-class Blacks may not. For instance, all Blacks, particularly “ghetto-looking” young men, are at risk of enduring yet another “stop and frisk” from the police as well as discrimination from potential employers shopkeepers, and strangers on the street. Members of the Black middle class and Black professionals may ultimately pass inspection and withstand such scrutiny; many poorer blacks cannot. And many Blacks who have never stepped foot in a ghetto must repeatedly prove themselves as non-ghetto, often operating in a provisional status (with something more to prove), in the workplace or, say, a fancy restaurant, until they can convince others-either by speaking “White” English or by demonstrating intelligence, poise, or manners-that they are to be trusted, that they are not “one of those” Blacks from the ghetto, and that they deserve respect. In other words, a middle-class Black man who is, for instance, waiting in line for an ATM at night will in many cases be treated with a level of suspicion that a middle-class White man simply does not experience.  

But this pervasive cultural association-Black skin equals the ghetto-does not come out of the blue. After all, as a result of historical, political, and economic factors, Blacks have been contained in the ghetto. Today, with persistent housing discrimination and the disappearance of manufacturing jobs, America’s ghettos face structural poverty. In addition, crime and homicide rates within those communities are high, young Black men are typically the ones killing one another, and ghetto culture – made iconic by artists like Tupac Shakur, 50 Cent, and the Notorious B.I.G. – is inextricably intertwined with blackness.  

As a result, in America’s collective imagination the ghetto is a dangerous, scary part of the city. It’s where rap comes from, where drugs are sold, where hoodlums rule, and where The Wire might have been filmed. Above all, to many White Americans the ghetto is where “the Black people live,” and thus, as the misguided logic follows, all Black people live in the ghetto. It’s that pervasive, if accidental, fallacy that’s at the root of the wider society’s perceptions of Black people today. While it may be true that everyone who lives in a certain ghetto is Black, it is patently untrue that everyone who is Black lives in a ghetto. Regardless, Black people of all classes, including those born and raised far from the inner cities and those who’ve never been in a ghetto, are by virtue of skin color alone stigmatized by the place.  

I call this idea the “iconic ghetto,” and it has become a powerful source of stereotype, prejudice, and discrimination in our society, negatively defining the Black person in public. In some ways, the iconic ghetto reflects the old version of racism that led to Till’s death. In Till’s day, a Black person’s “place” was in the field, in the maid’s quarters, or in the back of the bus. If a Black man was found “out of his place,” he could be punished, jailed, or lynched. In Martin’s day-in our day-a Black person’s “place” is in the ghetto. If he is found “out of his place,” like in a fancy hotel lobby, on a golf course, or, say, in an upscale community, he may easily be mistaken, treated with suspicion, avoided, pulled over, frisked, arrested-or worse.  

Trayvon Martin’s death is an example of how this more current type of racial stereotyping works. While the facts of the case are still under investigation, from what is known it seems fair to say that George Zimmerman, Martin’s killer, saw a young Black man wearing a hoodie and assumed he was from the ghetto and therefore “out of place” in the Retreat at Twin Lakes, Zimmerman’s gated community. Until recently, Twin Lakes was a relatively safe, largely middle-class neighborhood. But as a result of collapsing housing prices, it has been witnessing an influx of renters and a rash of burglaries. Some of the burglaries have been committed by Black men. Zimmerman, who is himself of mixed race (of Latino, Black, and White descent), did not have a history of racism, and his family has claimed that he had previously volunteered handing out leaflets at Black churches protesting the assault of a homeless Black man.  

The point is, it appears unlikely that Zimmerman shot and killed Martin simply because he hates Black people as a race. It seems that he put a gun in his pocket and followed Martin after making the assumption that Martin’s Black skin and choice of dress meant that he was from the ghetto, and therefore up to no good; he was considered to be a threat. And that’s an important distinction.  

Zimmerman acted brashly and was almost certainly motivated by assumptions about young black men, but it is not clear that he acted brutally out of hatred for Martin’s race. That certainly does not make Zimmerman’s actions excusable, Till’s murderers acted out of racial hatred.  

The complex racially charged drama that led to Martin’s death is indicative of both our history and our rapid and uneven racial progress as a society. While there continue to be clear demarcations separating Blacks and Whites in social strata, major racial changes have been made for the better. It’s no longer uncommon to see Black people in positions of power, privilege, and prestige, in top positions in boardrooms, universities, hospitals, and judges’ chambers, but we must also face the reality that poverty, unemployment, and incarceration still break down largely along racial lines.

This situation fuels the iconic ghetto, including a prevalent assumption among many White Americans, even among some progressive Whites who are not by any measure traditionally racist, that there are two types of Blacks: those residing in the ghetto, and those who appear to have played by the rules and become successful. In situations in which Black people encounter strangers, many often feel they have to prove as quickly as possible that they belong in the latter category in order to be accepted and treated with respect.  

As a result of this pervasive dichotomy-that there are “ghetto” and “non-ghetto” Blacks-many middle-class Blacks actively work to separate and distance themselves from the popular association of their race with the ghetto by deliberately dressing well or by spurning hip-hop, rap, and ghetto styles of dress. Similarly, some Blacks, when interacting with Whites, may cultivate an overt, sometimes unnaturally formal way of speaking to distance themselves from “those” black people from the ghetto.  

But it’s also not that simple. Strikingly, many middle class Black young people, most of whom have no personal connection with the ghetto, go out of their way in the other direction, claiming the ghetto by adopting its symbols, including styles of dress, patterns of speech, or choice of music, as a means of establishing their authenticity as “still Black” in the largely White middle class they feel does not fully accept them; they want to demonstrate they have not “sold out.” Thus, the iconic ghetto is, paradoxically, both a stigma and a sign of authenticity for some American Blacks-a kind of double bind that beleaguers many middle-class Black parents.

Despite the significant racial progress our society has made since Till’s childhood, from the civil rights movement to the re-election of President Obama, the pervasive association of Black people with the ghetto, and therefore with a certain social station, betrays a persistent cultural lag. After all, it has only been two generations since schools were legally desegregated and five decades since Blacks and Whites in many parts of the country started drinking from the same water fountains.  

If Till were alive today, he’d remember when restaurants had “White Only” entrances and when stories of lynchings peppered The New York Times. He’d also remember the Freedom Riders, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Million Man March. He’d remember when his peers became generals and justices, and when a Black man, just 20 years his junior, became president of the United States. As I am writing, he would have been 73 – had he lived.

Elijah Anderson is the William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Sociology at Yale University. His latest book is The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life. This article, the second of an 11-part series on race, is sponsored by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and was originally published by the Washington Monthly Magazine.

Photo Captions: (L-R) Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin

and Elijah Anderson


Don’t fret … The Zimmerman case is not over! The Chief Judge, God, got this one!

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS


By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President of Probation Challenge/PCC Broadcast Network


Remember the scripture telling us that there is nothing new under the sun? The Trayvon Martin murder has been noted by God, and yes, vengeance is the Lord’s. And, yes the ‘criminal just us system’ did its thing – as expected by many! Ah, but God…

Remember the story of Jesus Christ, who was without guilt and/or fault… stood before an arrogant man called Pilot, in an unjust court? In that court Christ had no real public defender – nor a really good prosecuting attorney. Does this sound much like the ‘Trayvon-Zimmerman’ case?

However, the saving grace in this was that Christ knew he came for the purpose to die to redeem you and I! Giving of His precious blood would be an example to all of us – who were yet to set face on this earth. Trayvon Martin, is now included with others who have given their lives: Rev. George Lee, Lamar Smith, Emmett Louis Till, Willie Edward Jr., Mack Charles Parker, Herbert Lee, Cpl. Roman Duckworth, Jr., Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King and so many others too numerous to name… all enacted at the hands of injustices taking place in these Not-So-United-States! And dispositions out of our ‘Criminal Just Us System.

The redeeming power of Christ via the death of Trayvon Martin, is yet in the DNA of the Christ-believer, who without question knows that the all-seeing-eyes are upon the earth and without question is about the matters of true justice. Vengeance is the Lord’s.

We cannot fall to the tricks of the enemy and do all the evil things that were planned as the result of this verdict! Satan purposed in his heart that we would become as his spirit and: rob, steal and destroy. But, we are over-comers through the blood of Christ who said that we should endure to the end – and that the same would be saved.

God’s got this! And, all involved in the inner circle of this tragic display of justice – will not sleep well at night, and will not eat as well, because they themselves know that in spite of those things that they said justified the release of a man who committed murder – are unjustifiable.

Yes, they did Christ, the blessed Savior of the world the same way as Trayvon Martin, but the blood of Jesus Christ lifted a standard and Satan was defeated as he is even today. So, allow God to intervene in this matter and not fall into the hands of the Devil who predestined all this evil to take place.

We the believers are more than conquers through Christ, who has demonstrated that down through the years, Blacks, though beaten, downtrodden, chained, lied on, outcasted, were yet overcomers through the blood of Jesus who saw what was happening and delivered all the people from their troubles. It is the same Jesus – yesterday and forever more the same.

Let me admonish the believer that God is not dead but yet alive, sitting on the throne with an eye upon the earth – sees all we do and hears all that we say… And, He and his angels are writing all the time. And, in eternity we will have the Lamb’s Book of Life open to read what has taken place on this planet earth – and our involvement in it.

Zimmerman and all the host of partakers in this evil … are not going to wash their hands of this blatant murder scheme.

Advise: Do not get in the way of God and His vengeance… Shake the dust from your feet and move on because God is sure to come and we don’t want to be guilty of any wrong doing either.

Rev. Harold E. Bailey is the President of Probation Challenge/PCC Broadcast Network

Online car sales increases scam potential, warns Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Today there are an increasing number of consumers purchasing cars online. With that there is an increasing opportunity for consumers to be scammed. In some cases buyers purchase vehicles advertised, at a price often below book value, by individuals who don’t own them. The scammer never meets the customers in person and requires that payment be made via wire transfer. In the end, the scammer gets the money and the consumer gets nothing. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) advises consumers to look for the red flags with online car sales scams.

“Because consumers may see the price as a pretty good deal they are often act quickly, without any investigation and that’s where they get into trouble,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Consumers need to use the same, if not greater precautions on line, that they’d use making a purchase at a dealership.”

The BBB offers the following tips for online car shopping:

  • Check the vehicle’s price. Before buying a car, check out a similar make and model’s price on other websites. If the price is way below market value, it’s probably a scam.
  • Communicate with the seller. If a seller refuses to meet in person, this is a bad sign. Sellers should also allow the buyer to inspect the vehicle before making payment.
  • Be careful with the transaction. Be cautious of transactions in which the seller and the vehicle are in different locations. The seller may claim they are not able to take the car along because of military deployment, moving because of family circumstances, or job relocation. Scammers also try to push for quick payments via wire payment systems, so never send money using this payment method.
  • Check the vehicle identification number. When you check out the car, make sure the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) matches with the number on the paperwork. The VIN can be found on the car’s dashboard on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Make sure the VIN number on the card matches the number on the insurance card, insurance policy and vehicle title and registration.

For more advice on online car sales scams, visit www.bbb.org

Why does this keep happening to us?

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

From First Americans to Trayvon Martin

By Dr. David Imhotep

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — What would the first Americans think of this whole Trayvon Martin case? What Black people don’t know is killing them. America’s ugly secret is the big Black lie! Why does this keep happening to us? This is what every Black person in America must be asking themselves… while they are feeling really unsafe from racially inspired attackers. They are feeling unsafe especially from attackers – who during the attack – would kill you if you try to defend yourself. Then to add insult to injury, even if the attacker is arrested, they get off scott free. Now, we even hear our beloved African American President Barack Obama calling it justice, but it is not justice. Today we are sitting ducks! The world has gone mad again. These people are playing games with our lives.

Something is terribly wrong in America.

Just when many of us were ready to move on beyond the struggles of the past, hoping to embrace a new enlightened humanity, we are hunted down and murdered like run-away-slaves… again! The past has never left us and will continue if we don’t take massive action… now! Racism is here and more robust and savvy than ever. But why won’t it die? Why won’t it stop?

Racism has not died because we never had the courage to reset history and tell the truth. We need to teach true history to our children and let them know that young black children are not safe anywhere in America. Here in America they are not free they are targets.

They are only free by avoiding the George Zimmermans of this world. Why? It’s because America has lied to its Black citizens and has to protect that lie even at the cost of young innocent lives. We continue to propagate that lie ourselves every day. Now, in order to protect our children, we must rob them of their childhood innocence and tell them the truth about how Black people in America are viewed. Better we who love them, rather than: the teacher, neighborhood watchman, police officer, prosecutor, or prison guard that does not. Ignorance can be excused, but not the will to remain ignorant!

America’s ugly secrets begin with the untold histories and lies like Columbus discovering America — not only did he not discover America, according to the latest research, Africans were in the Americas some 50,000 years before the so called “Indians” were here. It’s ironic; the first Americans have been treated more like aliens by people who have been here, for the most part, only a few hundred years.

The fad today is “not to see race,” which implies they have won’t have racist attitudes towards you if they can somehow deny your appearance. The real dark secret is that we as Blacks were in the Americas for thousands of years before anyone else, and our children need to understand that. We are the first Americans and yet someone has stolen that birthright, and replaced it with the mythology of a navigator finding a new world that everyone except Europeans already knew was here. This is why our children are not safe, because they are a reminder of what the true American looks like. In the 1990’s, Public Enemy called it Fear of a Black Planet.

If youngsters like Trayvon Martin knew this, they would be more conscientious of the way others see them; as a threat, as a problem, as The Problem. He would see from a mile away that Zimmerman was going to kill him, in cold blood, like thousands before him. If we learn the lessons of history we won’t have to bear the pain of repeating it. Africans… Black people were the first Americans, how dare anybody try to make us less than human!

Dr. David Imhotep is America’s First PhD in Ancient African History and author of the book “Africans Were The First Americans: Documented Evidence”. For more information or to schedule him for an interview, please contact Marcus Malcolm at (786) 508-2032 or marcusmmalcolm@gmail.com


Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

In a few short weeks, Republicans from throughout the state will meet in Springfield to celebrate Republican Day. 

On Wednesday, August 14, an IRP fundraising reception will be held in downtown Springfield to help the Illinois Republican Party run the operations needed to help Republican candidates win in November 2014.  Join newly-elected State Party Chairman Jack Dorgan, along with candidates for U.S. Congress, Governor, Comptroller, Treasurer, and many other state and local offices. For details, click HERE. 

Thursday, August 15 is Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair. Join U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Gubernatorial Candidates Senator Bill Brady, Senator Kirk Dillard, Businessman Bruce Rauner, and Treasurer Dan Rutherford plus many other Republican officials and candidates for a free lunch and rally on the Director’s Lawn at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. For more details and to RSVP for your free Republican Day Rally passes, click HERE. 

In addition to the rally and fundraiser, there will be several other fun events in Springfield for Republican Day. Go to GOPDay.com for a complete list.

Simon announces updated Rural Development Resource Guide

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

New guide will help residents in rural communities access government services


CARBONDALE, IL – As chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council (GRAC), Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today announced the availability of an updated Rural Development Resource Guide. The guide will help residents of Illinois’ rural communities better access government programs and services.

“Residents of rural communities too often don’t know about state programs that meet their needs,” said Simon. “I hope all Illinois residents will take advantage of this comprehensive, user-friendly, online guide.”

Throughout fiscal year 2013, the GRAC and the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) worked to compile a list of state programs and services relevant to rural areas. This resulting online resource is a searchable database which lists programs by program name, organization, category or keyword. Rural residents, community leaders and elected officials can access information about available government programs and how they can be accessed. Programs included range from agricultural to business development and tourism.

“The state of Illinois has many programs and services that can help rural communities improve the quality of life for their residents. However, accessing those programs can be difficult, especially for the leadership of small towns who may be working as volunteers or on a part time basis,” said IIRA Director Christopher Merrett. “The Rural Development Resource Guide is intended to be a ‘one-stop’ resource for rural communities looking for solutions to the issues they face.”

The guide was initially created in 2007 by the GRAC and maintained by the IIRA; however, over the years it had become outdated. When work on the guide began during the past year, the guide contained 297 program listings that were only 25 percent up-to-date. By May of this year, the guide contained 352 programs and was 81 percent up-to-date. Outdated programs will be updated or removed as necessary. During fiscal year 2014, work will continue to update the remaining programs. Agency personnel can also update or add programs at any time.

The Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, led by Simon, approved the public launch of the resource guide Wednesday during a quarterly meeting. To access the guide, visit www.iira.org/data/resourceguide or find a link at the Lt. Governor’s website, www.ltgov.illinois.gov.

Sec’y of State Jesse White awards more than $5 million in Adult Literacy Grants

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has awarded nearly $5.5 million in FY14 Adult Literacy Grants to help students develop and enhance their reading, math, writing and language skills.

“I am pleased to provide nearly 200 local literacy providers with funding that will allow adult students to achieve their utmost potential,” White said.  “I will continue to do all I can to ensure that every citizen of this state has access to quality literacy programs.”

Nearly 22,000 students are served by adult literacy programs around the state.  More than 8,500 volunteer tutors provide training for students to obtain skills that put them on the path to lifelong learning. 

The Adult Literacy Program is administered by the Secretary of State’s Illinois State Library Literacy Office and awards grants in three categories:

  • Adult Volunteer Literacy Grants provide training for volunteers who tutor adults over age 16 in basic reading, math, writing or language skills. Participating literacy providers may include libraries, volunteer tutoring organizations, community-based organizations, community colleges, regional offices of education, schools (individual and public), pre-school programs, school districts, domestic-violence shelters and correctional facilities.


  • Penny Severns Family Literacy Grants provide educational services to parents and children to enhance basic reading, math, writing or language skills. Programs must partner with an adult literacy provider, child-at-risk agency and a library.


  • The Workplace Skills Enhancement Project provides onsite instructional services to employees of participating Illinois businesses, enabling them to enhance their basic reading, math, writing or language skills and improve their chances for promotion. Eligible employees must read at or below the 9th-grade level. Grantees must match the grant award and may also provide instructional services to prospective employees. The fiscal agent and submitting agency may be either the educational partner or the business partner.


People interested in becoming volunteer tutors are encouraged to contact the Illinois Adult Learning Hotline at 1-800-321-9511.

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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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