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Archive for August 19th, 2013

A Dedicated Life: Shirley Sherrod’s Ongoing Battle for Racial Cooperation in Georgia

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2013 Comments Off on A Dedicated Life: Shirley Sherrod’s Ongoing Battle for Racial Cooperation in Georgia

This article is the sixth of an 11-part series: “Race in America – Past and Present”

By Ryan Cooper

Almost three years ago, in late March 2010, Shirley Sherrod, who was then the USDA state director of rural development for Georgia, gave a forthright speech about her life story at an NAACP banquet. She told of how a White sheriff had lynched her cousin in 1943, how her father was killed by a White neighbor who went uncharged despite three witnesses, and how after her father’s death she dedicated herself to staying in Georgia to work for change. Initially, she said, her commitment was limited to the Black community, but in 1985, her mind was changed.
That year, while Sherrod was working for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, a nonprofit helping Black farmers hang on to their land, Roger Spooner, a White farmer in danger of foreclosure, approached her for help. She took Spooner to a White lawyer, assuming that one of his “own kind would take care of him.” But when she discovered that the lawyer would do nothing for him, she did what she could instead. Eventually, she helped Spooner to keep his farm. This was a lesson from God, Sherrod said during her NAACP speech, to teach her that it’s not all about Black and White, but about poverty also. “Working with him made me see that it’s really about those who have versus those who don’t,” she said.
Andrew Breitbart, the late conservative provocateur, published a video of that speech several months later. His version had been heavily edited to remove the context and ending, making Sherrod sound as if she were baldly discriminating against a White man because of his race. Although Breitbart’s reputation as a dissembler was well known, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack panicked after the video went viral. Sherrod’s supervisor called her later that day while she was driving home and asked her to pull over and type her resignation on her BlackBerry. Even the NAACP denounced her without watching the tape of its own event.
The next day, the truth came out. Spooner’s wife defended Sherrod on CNN, launching a full media firestorm. Vilsack called Sherrod to apologize and later offered her a high-level advocacy job in the USDA. Sherrod felt this was a “backhanded apology” and refused the new post. The president himself called as well to smooth things over.
To Sherrod, all that’s old news. These days, she has returned to the work she was doing before all the publicity. She still lives with her husband, Charles, in Albany, Ga., where they raised their children and where she still spends her days working with poor and minority farmers. At the USDA, she oversaw development programs for poor rural communities, and before that she worked on the other side of the fence, for several private organizations advocating for poor and minority farmers. Now, as she explained in an interview with the Washington Monthly and in her recent autobiography, The Courage to Hope, she and her husband run two nonprofits.
The first organization is called New Communities, which was started in 1969. Back then, it was common for Blacks who participated in the civil rights movement to lose their land on legally dubious grounds. White landlords would arbitrarily evict their activist sharecroppers, and White law enforcement would imprison workers on trumped-up charges. The idea behind New Communities was to form a collective farm for those dispossessed people, modeled on the Israeli kibbutzim, so they could work their own property without interference.
They acquired 5,700 acres, becoming one of the largest Black-owned properties in the nation at the time. It was a success that did not come without caveats. Racist terrorists would occasionally strafe the farm’s buildings with gunfire, and local banks still often refused financing to the community. They also faced systematic discrimination from the local and national government, especially the USDA. When drought struck in the early 1980s, the USDA refused New Communities an emergency loan for an irrigation system with no explanation, while giving loans out to white farmers in similar situations. In 1982, when New Communities sold some timber to raise cash, the USDA insisted on taking the profits from the sale before giving another loan. An arbitrator later wrote, “The payment smacks of nothing more than a feudal baron demanding additional crops from his serfs.” The following year, when New Communities applied for another loan, the USDA demanded the title to their land as collateral, but then did not disburse the loan. By 1985, New Communities was forced to close its doors.
In 1997, this and other similar cases of discrimination led to an enormous class-action lawsuit against the USDA, Pigford v. Glickman. It resulted in more than $1 billion in payouts-the largest civil rights settlement to date. A 2008 bill, passed over George W. Bush’s veto, expanded the criteria of who could apply for the Pigford funds, so in 2009 New Communities finally got restitution. The organization was resurrected after receiving $12.8 million. Sherrod and her husband got $150,000 each for pain and suffering.
With that money, and under Sherrod’s leadership, New Communities was able in June 2011 to buy a new piece of property, called Cypress Pond. A 1,638-acre estate, complete with a colossal white-pillared antebellum mansion, it was originally owned by the largest slaveholder and richest man in Georgia. Due to the housing collapse, the price had been marked down from $21 million to $4.5 million. Sherrod plans to establish an agricultural training program there, as well as a program that will bring local Blacks and Whites together in partnership and promote racial healing. The old mansion is currently being renovated to make room for a conference center and additional meeting space. “White and black together in this area, I think it becomes the perfect place for being helpful in getting folks to get beyond race,” she says. In the meantime, they’re doing some actual farming. Just over the last year, they harvested $50,000 worth of pecans from previously planted trees to help defray maintenance costs.
Sherrod and her husband’s second nonprofit is the Southwest Georgia Project, which helps poor farmers sell their food to local schools. While the organization is currently battling bureaucratic snags, the idea is to help local farmers increase revenue by selling to reliable local buyers while simultaneously providing healthy, fresh food to schoolchildren.
In addition to her work on these two organizations, Sherrod also received a grant in April 2011 from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. With that grant, she is working to help improve race relations and foster cooperation and partnership between Blacks and Whites in the often racially divisive region of southwest Georgia. She admits that so far it’s been an uphill battle. While things are “probably a little better” than they were in the 1960s, she says, people in southwest Georgia still “kind of know their place, and that’s the way it’s been through the years.” Institutionally, race relations have improved since the Jim Crow era, but in some ways things have gotten worse. “People can still go and sit in a restaurant, and eat. They can go and stay in a hotel somewhere. But when you look at what’s happening in the school system, they’ve almost been re-segregated again,” she said. Wilcox County High School, for example, does not have a school-supported prom, so Black students and White students organize their own proms separately. Sherrod and her colleagues are working to change that.
The irony of Shirley Sherrod’s burst of fame nearly three years ago is that it had almost nothing to do with her at all. A race baiter thrust her briefly onto the national stage, where she stood accused of doing the exact opposite of what she’d spent her life doing. She has since returned to the grassroots advocacy work to which she has dedicated her life, and it’s here, it seems, she’d like to stay.

Ryan Cooper is a Web Editor at the Washington Monthly. This article, the sixth of an 11-part series on race, is sponsored by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and was originally published by the Washington Monthly Magazine.

Cook County Democratic Party endorses Gov. Quinn and full slate of candidates for March Primary

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2013 Comments Off on Cook County Democratic Party endorses Gov. Quinn and full slate of candidates for March Primary

CHICAGO, IL  – The Cook County Democratic Party Friday endorsed Gov. Patrick Quinn for re-election and a full slate of candidates for the March Primary.

In addition to Gov. Quinn, the County Democratic Party endorsed U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, Secretary of State Jesse White and Attorney General Lisa Madigan for re-election. The Party also endorsed Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon for Comptroller and State Sen. Mike Frerichs.

For county-wide offices the party endorsed President of the Cook County Board Toni Preckwinkle, Sheriff Thomas Dart, Assessor Joseph Berrios, Treasurer Maria Pappas and Clerk David Orr for re-election.

“This is an open process we’ve set up,” said Berrios, chairman of the Cook County Democratic

Party. “The committeemen have done a great job choosing who they’ll support. The party will

continue to be strong and we’ll stick together with the endorsed Democratic ticket.”

For commissioner to the Metropolitan Water and Reclamation District the party endorsed Frank

Avila, Tim Bradford and Josina Morita, the first Asian-American slated for Cook County-wide. Board of Review 3  District Commissioner Larry Rogers Jr. was endorsed for re-election.

For the Appellate Court, the party slated David Ellis, Freddrenna Lyle and John Simon.  Alternates were John Kirby, Sheldon Harris, Raul Vega and William Boyd.

At the Circuit Court level the party slated Andrea Buford, Cynthia Cobbs, Dan Kubasiak, Maritza

Martinez, Kate Moreland, Bill Raines, Kristal Rivers, Diana Rosario, Patricia O’Brien Sheahan

and Al Swanson. The alternates were Thomas Carroll, Alfred Maldonado, Travis Richardson

and Sean Chaudhuri.

Cook County committeemen also endorsed the Freedom to Marry plank from the DNC

and Illinois Party Platform which supports “the right of all families to have equal respect,

responsibilities and protections under the law.”

The Democratic Primary is March 18, 2014. The Cook County Democratic Party is made up of

50 Chicago Ward and 30 Township Committeemen.

Connecting the Dots

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2013 Comments Off on Connecting the Dots


By William Spriggs

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has issued new directives to his U.S. attorneys in the field to use prosecutorial discretion and stop pursuing low-level drug possession cases that carry high minimum mandatory prison sentences.

While state prison populations are finally slowly going down, the federal prison system continues to grow with non-violent drug convictions. Also Judge Shira Scheindlin, a federal district judge in New York, has ruled that New York City’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy was clearly biased in stopping Black and Latino people out of proportion to the initial behaviors that made police instigate their searches. Thousands of innocent young Black and Latino men were being prejudged by the police, losing their Constitutional rights and liberties based more on their race than on evidence.

These two events will give extra meaning to the upcoming March on Washington, taking place to renew the national conversation sparked 50 years ago by the March for Jobs and Justice in 1963. There was already a renewed sense about the march because of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act and by the Trayvon Martin case in Florida. Attorney General Holder and Judge Scheindlin are moving the country in the right direction to discuss the racial implications of policies. And, there are dots connecting Trayvon Martin to Holder’s actions to Scheindlin’s ruling.

There are real costs to any action. And, the implications of policies that are not rational have costs for everyone. The need to discuss race is not just one of justice-though justice is the fabric of any sustainable society. Scheindlin’s ruling points to the cavalier attitude of New York City’s leadership in a policy that was inefficient, and therefore costly. A stated purpose of the stop-and-frisk policy was to reduce violent crime and get guns off the streets of New York and out of the hand of criminals.

Yet, the data from the police searches clearly indicated that police were more likely to find weapons when they stopped and frisked Whites than Blacks or Latinos. So, all the thousands of times and hours police occupied themselves detaining young Black and Latino men were the thousands of hours the real criminals were free to go unnoticed. Yet, blinded by their own view of race and crime, the police ignored their own statistics and defiantly challenged the ruling of Scheindlin in a press conference; calling her ill-informed.

What most disturbed the Black community in the ruling of the Trayvon Martin case was a similar issue. A young Black man, walking alone, quietly talking on a cell phone, minding his own business and eating Skittles candy was profiled, followed and stalked by a civilian neighborhood watch volunteer. Though Martin was not engaged in any suspicious activity, other than he was “Black” and a young man walking through the neighborhood.

The decision to cavalierly excuse his murder reflects a value on Martin’s life that underlies the defiance of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City police that black men do not have a value in society. Martin was disposable. And, the interrupted lives of the hundreds of thousands of innocent Black and Latino men stopped by the New York police have no value. In the big equation, Martin can be disposed and thousands of lives can be affected because society’s sense of safety outweighs the logic of the evidence of innocence on the part of Black and Latino men.

So, Holder’s step is in the right direction of reweighting the big equation. Locking up large numbers of people is not free. It is very costly. The dramatic rise in incarceration began in the late 1980s, blindly taking on costs and government resources was not free. At the state level, its clear manifestation was in the dramatic increase in the share of state budgets that had to go to building and maintaining prisons.

The costs rose so fast that many states were seduced into “privatizing” their systems, which increased the cost spent by states per prisoner. The National Association of State Budget Officers reported this year that the cost spent per prisoner rose from slightly more than $5,000 in 1985 to nearly $7,000 by 2008 (controlling for inflation), about equal to state expenditures per full-time college student. So, a state’s decision to incarcerate someone literally is a choice between the resources to support one more college student or jail one more person.

At the federal level, rising costs of incarceration have to be balanced against other priorities of the Justice Department, like reducing violent crime, financial misconduct and fighting terrorism. Locking up non-violent drug offenders for long periods means fewer dollars to go after the Wall Street criminals that helped collapse our economic system. The recent news that the Justice Department is likely to file charges against some J.P. Morgan employees for financial fraud should underscore this connection.

There must be a cost benefit analysis done of public policies like high incarceration rates. To the millions of America’s families struggling with college tuition costs, this is not a moot point. Ineffectual criminal justice policies cost families the support needed to keep public higher education quality high. The argument about tuition costs has ignored the quality issues. Gone is a conversation about keeping University of California at Berkeley and the University of Michigan competitive in quality with the Ivy League; we have reduced the issue to keeping them cheap-like Walmart.

In fact, the State Budget Officers, in their report, chastise the higher education community for seeking support of the college enterprise with all its bells and whistles of research, insisting that states should only bear the costs of operating budgets for basic instructional functions. Of course, a quality university is a place of research; the generation of new ideas and innovation, the very engine of economic growth. And, the challenge for America going forward is giving broad-based access to our children to the skills to innovate and invent prosperity for our nation. But, if the correction’s budget for the state goes unchallenged and can grow and gobble-up more resources, we cannot have the deep discussion we need on real priorities.

This is where the question of race enters. As long as a low value is placed on the liberties and rights of Black men, we will not question the rationality of policies that are ineffectual. Despite evidence that the crime rate has fallen in the United States, we still insist on ever higher prison expenditures. And, we do not look at the evidence showing high incarceration rates increase recidivism in the system and does not account for the decline in the crime rate; ignoring a separate trend of declining crime is also taking place.

We also do not discuss the implications of locking up non-violent drug offenders, or the disparities in who gets stopped by the police and thus swept into the criminal punishment system. But, turning a blind eye to the evidence means Wall Street bandits who rob the economy of billions and destroy the jobs of thousands will go unpunished; and states will underinvest in our children’s need for quality higher education; private prison companies will continue to profit; and instead of careful targeting of terrorists the federal government will instead pursue cheaper broad net collection of data on its citizens. Rational policies are not possible if we are irrational. And, too often, race makes America act irrational.  

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.

Follow Spriggs on Twitter: @WSpriggs.

Contact: Amaya Smith-Tune Acting Director, Media Outreach AFL-CIO 202-637-5142.


NPN Joins Forces with Hyde Park Neighborhood Club for South Side Preschool & Elementary School Fair September 21

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2013 Comments Off on NPN Joins Forces with Hyde Park Neighborhood Club for South Side Preschool & Elementary School Fair September 21

To help South Side families facing the overwhelming process of choosing a school for their children, Neighborhood Parents Network (NPN) and Hyde Park Neighborhood Club are joining forces to present the annual South Side Preschool & Elementary School Fair Saturday, September 21, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, 5480 S. Kenwood Ave., in Chicago. This event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available St Thomas the Apostle School (limited capacity), 5467 S. Woodlawn Ave. Street parking is also available. 

“NPN School Fairs are an invaluable and unmatched resource for Chicago families tackling school search,” said NPN Executive Director and parent Sarah Cobb. The fair provides families in and around Chicago’s South Side neighborhoods with access to public and private school options. Those in attendance have the opportunity to meet representatives from numerous schools, enrichment programs and family-friendly businesses from across the city, as well as the Chicago Public Schools Office of Early Childhood Education and other CPS departments. 
For more information on exhibiting at the event and for an up-to-date exhibitor listing, visit npnparents.org/expos/1159 or email schoolfairs@npnparents.org.
Neighborhood Parents Network
From pregnancy through preschool, NPN connects a diverse community of families with the resources they need to navigate parenting in the city. NPN makes it easy to find support, must-have information, and amazing city events. NPN has been connecting Chicago families for more than 30 years. More than 6,000 families come to NPN for school and childcare search, our active online Discussion Forum, new parent support, parent education, social events, support groups, and discounts.  Visit npnparents.org and join today.
Hyde Park Neighborhood Club
HPNC hosts the Baby Ph.D. Childcare Network, which provides personalized child care information and referral for parents of children up to three years old who live and work in Hyde Park. Baby Ph.D. also provides professional mentoring and support to new and existing in-home daycare providers and nannies. More information about Baby Ph.D. Childcare Network is available at babyphd.com. 

Besieged By Lies – Who Do We Believe…Perhaps God?

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2013 Comments Off on Besieged By Lies – Who Do We Believe…Perhaps God?

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President of Probation Challenge & the PCC Internet Broadcast


Often fractions of the media feed us with lies, lies and then more lies! And then after the lies comes their spirit of hypocrisy. Where does it ever end, or is it to remain with us until the Lord makes His second coming?

We hear so much, and we ponder and wonder if much of it is in-fact just a word of truth! We really don’t know because often we take the word of a person who perhaps in their mind believes it to be factual! As the result of our taking what has been fed to us, we end up often with a headache, bellyache, heartache and often with the spirit of suicide … in what someone else has declared as truth!

Wonder what would happen if we went back to the beginning of truth – and He who wrote it – and frame it into existence? There is but one truth and that is in fact the words that flowed from the lips of our God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All outside of that arena – are blatant lies brought to us by the deceiver – Satan!

The word of God said, Let every man be a lie – and let my word be truth! Then, who do we believe, man or God. I prefer to count up the cost before it’s too late – I choose God and His eternal life.

Rev. Harold E. Bailey, president of the noted Probation Challenge program, spoke briefly to Truth and Solutions’ at Probation Challenge’s 34th Annual “Portrait of Achiever’s Awards, Dinner, Entertainment and the Show of Shows August 16th at the Condesa del Mar. Bailey served 14 years as a Cook County Adult Probation Officer assigned to Justice R. Eugene Pincham’s Court, served 14 years as a member and chairman of the Cook County Board of Corrections,  and has served 34-years as President of Probation Challenge, the first court-mandated program of its kind in the country.

MLK’s Dream Unfulfilled: Addressing Economic Inequality in America

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2013 Comments Off on MLK’s Dream Unfulfilled: Addressing Economic Inequality in America


Forum at National Press Club This Week Aims for Answers


WASHINGTON – In the 50 years since the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, our nation has taken tremendous strides towards realizing MLK’s Dream of ending racial inequality and achieving civil rights freedom.  However, during  the same time, the disappearance of good jobs and growing economic inequality threaten to leave MLK’s Dream unfulfilled and out of reach for millions of Americans. In fact, President Obama recently stated that this economic inequality is weakening the country’s social fabric, undermining ordinary Americans’ belief in upward mobility and stoking race and class divisions as Americans feel they must fight for a piece of an increasingly shrinking pie.

This event will take place Wednesday, August 21st, 6-8 P.M., at The National Press Club, Holeman Lounge, 529 14th Street NW Washington, DC

 Civil rights legends, media commentators, and low-wage workers will discuss how MLK’s Dream – a vision that included both racial and economic equality – is relevant now more than ever, and what can be done today to make the Dream a reality.

Speakers are:

Civil Rights and Labor Leader BILL LUCY, who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela

ALVIN TURNER, 1968 Memphis Sanitation Striker Chicago Tribune


National Radio Commentator JOE MADISON

LOW-WAGE WORKERS, who have been striking for living wages 

Civil Rights Attorney MOSHE MARVIT, co-author of “Why Labor Organizing Should be a Civil Right”


To RSVP, please contact Paco Fabián at paco.fabian@changetowin.org. Space is limited.

Magnolia Jennings, 106, hailed by Gov. Quinn and Clerk Dorothy Brown

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2013 Comments Off on Magnolia Jennings, 106, hailed by Gov. Quinn and Clerk Dorothy Brown
Sister, niece deny grandparents were slaves
By Chinta Strausberg
Surrounded by her family at the Waterfront Terrace Nursing Home on the South Side, Magnolia Jennings Thursday smiled as she cut her own cake while celebrating her 106th birthday.
Born in Tchula, Mississippi,  Jennings, the mother of three, came to Chicago in 1945 where she married Curtis Jennings. They all preceded her in death with her husband passing in 1997, but Jennings is still going strong. She even tried to dance in her wheelchair to the music of Tiffany Renea and the Euphany Band.
According to Ruby Morris, marketing manager of the nursing home, Jennings’ favorite food is greens, and she spends her time crocheting, listening to gospel music and singing.
In an interview at the nursing home when asked if Jennings’ parents were slaves, Elaine Ennols, 65, her niece, said, “ I don’t know, but her parents were not slaves. Her mother had a very nice plot of land in Mississippi.  No one in my family spoke of slavery. My aunt talked about picking cotton, but my grandmother had her own land in Mississippi.
“She was not poor when she left the south. She had thousands of dollars when she left the south,” recalled Ennols. “When they came to Chicago in 1945, they bought a three-story home at 53rd and Wells. They were not poor. Money was in our family. None of my uncles ever needed welfare. They had a nice home. I never heard of slavery from them and I spent my summers in Chicago,” recalled Ennols.
Ennols’ mother Thelma Montgomery, 88, the youngest of one of nine children, also said, “I cannot remember of anyone speaking of slavery in our family. One of my grandmothers was a midwife.” Ennols said she would get her daughter to do research on her family.
Jennings smiled and put her face down as Denise Cole read a proclamation from Gov. Pat Quinn, a community liaison for the nursing home was read. Quinn declared Thursday, August 15, 2013 as “Magnolia Jennings Day,” and praised Jennings for her consistent voting record and “commitment to civic engagement.”
Jennings, who never went past the fourth grade but was a housewife all of her married life, smiled again as a salute to her read by Treana Johnson, a public information specialist representing Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Ennols brother, Leon Harris, 68, the nephew of Jennings and the son of Montgomery, said, “This is a real gift of God to have a person 106-years who lived a good clean life.”
Sitting by her sister, Thelma Montgomery, 88, and Lyvonne Miles, a niece who is a nurse, Montgomery cut her own cake and when asked by this reporter what was her wish, her eyes lit up and without batting an eye recited the entire Lord’s Prayer. Miles said Jennings “is a very religious woman. She loved the Lord and she loved going to church.”
Montgomery, the mother of nine children, said, “I feel great to be with my sister, 106-years old and I’m only 88. There are only two of us alive. “I love my sister.” 
Montgomery remembers her parents well. “They picked cotton and worked on the plantation.” Asked if they owned the land, and if her parents were slaves, Montgomery said, “They were not slaves, never. My grandmother was a midwife and my father worked on a farm. My dad worked on a farm and fished. I can’t complain about my family,” she said.
Ennols, the daughter of Montgomery who along with her husband owned a funeral home, said, Jennings “is very dear to me. She loves children and I do too. She has so much love for everyone and she loves God. She’s amazing.”
Asked her wish for Jennings, Ennols said, “I wish that God would continue to bless her with longevity and to keep the love she has in her heart.”
Morris and Howard Alter, administrator of the nursing home, called Jennings birthday “amazing” with Alter saying, “she is 106-years young, not old.” “Her mantra is to treat everybody well. Treat everybody in a God-like manner.” Morris said watching her grow old “is a blessing.”

Indie Film Producer Marshon Thomas helps fund Spike Lee’s Newest Hottest Joint on Kickstarter

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2013 Comments Off on Indie Film Producer Marshon Thomas helps fund Spike Lee’s Newest Hottest Joint on Kickstarter


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Marshon Thomas is an indie film producer from the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s best known as the Associate Producer for the short film “The Process” which won an award for best dark comedy at the 2012 Los Angeles Film TV and Webisode Festival.

 Marshon will be an Associate Producer on Spike Lee’s Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint via Kickstarter. The Kickstarter campaign (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0010BpBMSeeWeFZkcRVLrucVqzm09X2rvba_tb7GAv0icyVTFclw-rkC8cnhTSt3q26m4A3Pc3YVQ-pV84crPZJD2e3rPxE4-re0lvtRxP7mZrf-G90heu_1Xi42Q3Ax-2_cjX3YO1Q1iAk8JhU5tfppS9iUoM4k2RtGE3prkI_pv_hi-J_Z5YIFLd3RSM4kWEEQG1lA7jNV6Y=) will end Wednesday Aug 21, 12:15pm EDT.

The new feature is about “human beings who are addicted to blood.” Lee wrote this on his Kickstarter page, “Funny, Sexy and Bloody. A new kind of love story (and not a remake of Blacula).”

Marshon Thomas, is also the owner of a new relationship coaching service called Matchmakers Plus.The company is not only a relationship coaching service, it also serves as a “Virtual Street Team” for businesses who would like to reach the African-American community through social media, blogs, and magazines. Matchmakers Plus, distributes PR releases and media campaigns for both startups and corporations.

The Spike Lee Joint will be released in 2014 and will be cast by newcomers. The lead actress in the film is Ms. Zaraah Abrahams a British actress from London, England. Lee saw her in a NYU Thesis Film titled “Black Girl In Paris” and knew he had to get in touch with her. “I tracked her down and Zarrah is even better than I thought. If I know anything, I know Young Talent,” Lee wrote on his Kickstater page.

About Marshon Thomas

Marshon Thomas is a Certified Life Coach who received his certification from Fowler Wainwright International. He received his matchmaking training from Matchmaking Institute and received a Graduation Certificate from Dov Simens’ Film School. He is also known as a writer for several web sites, including YourTango.com and More.com.

Photo Caption: Marshon Thomas, Relationship Coach, Author and Indie Film Producer

State Senator Collins’ law removes statute of limitations for sex crimes against children

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2013 Comments Off on State Senator Collins’ law removes statute of limitations for sex crimes against children

When there is physical evidence or a mandatory reporter violation, charges may be filed at any time


SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) applauded the signing of a law that removes the statute of limitations on filing charges of sexual assault or abuse when the victim was younger than 18 and when there is either corroborating physical evidence or evidence that a mandated reporter knew about the crime but failed to notify authorities.

“This law gives the gift of time to victims of horrific crimes,” Collins said. “Letting them take all the time they need to come forward may offer these victims peace and closure, could prevent a child molester from victimizing others and — most importantly — gives justice a chance.”

According to the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, most child victims are not ready to report sexual abuse under after the current 20-year statute of limitations has expired. This means perpetrators may remain free to exploit and abuse other children throughout their lives. There are numerous reasons child victims may not be willing to come forward and press charges, even after they are adults. Most were assaulted or abused by a family member, and it may be difficult for them to put enough distance between themselves and their abusers – even in adulthood – to go through with a criminal prosecution. The adult victim may need to become economically independent, relocate or undergo years of counseling before being ready to come forward publicly against the perpetrator.

Thanks to advances in DNA testing and forensics, physical evidence can survive and be used in a criminal prosecution years or even decades after the crime was committed. Prosecutors will retain discretion over whether or not proceed with charges in an older case, and by requiring some corroborating evidence to be present, the new law protects against frivolous or harassing lawsuits.

“With 33 states already having abolished the statute of limitations for at least some sex crimes against minors, there is a growing movement toward allowing these prosecutions to be initiated at any time,” Collins said. “We are realizing there is no reason not to give a solid case its day in court.”

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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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