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Archive for September 12th, 2013

Anti-War Activists Rally to Respond to President Obama’s Speech, Still Say “No War with Syria!”

Posted by Admin On September - 12 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Anti-war groups will gather Thursday to keep pressure on the White House to end threats of war on Syria.

According to Hatem Abudayyeh of the U.S. Palestinian Community Network – Chicago, “Although President Obama said on Tuesday that the U.S. will now take the diplomatic plan developed by Russia, we believe that the U.S. drive to war has not ended, and our response remains the same: No War on Syria.”

The rally will be held today, Thursday, September 12th, 2013 at 5:00 P.M., at Michigan and Randolph, in Chicago

Protesters will also address the role of the military industrial complex in pushing for war in Syria.  Joe Iosbaker of the Anti-War Committee – Chicago, said, “Who would benefit from this war:  weapons manufacturers like Raytheon, which makes the Tomahawk missile. The value of their stock has soared in recent weeks, because the war could include 200 to 400 of these cruise missiles.”

In recent months, the Anti-War Committee has campaigned against Chicago’s own weapons manufacturer, the Boeing Company. Iosbaker points out, “The White House is planning to use Boeing’s long range bombers to attack Syria. Those bombers will be loaded with “smart bombs,” made by Boeing as well.”

Sponsoring groups: Anti-War Committee – Chicago; Syrian American Forum; ANSWER – Chicago; U.S. Palestinian Community Network – Chicago

On Friday the 13th, “terrified tenants” will tell First Merit: Convene negotiations now!

Posted by Admin On September - 12 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Close to a year after BJB Properties purchased the Astor House building at 1246 W. Pratt, tenants and a large number of supporters will gather outside the bank that made the purchase possible.

Tenants will demand that the bank immediately convene negotiations between current building residents and BJB, and they will discuss the horrifying situation they have found themselves in.

They will rally at 12:15 p.m. Friday Sept. 13 outside First Merit Bank at 20 N. Clark St.

In spite of superficial renovations paid for by First Merit’s $10 million loan to the company, the building is still filled with terrifying small creatures like rodents and a variety of bugs. The ghastly conditions include no hot water, lack of heat, and a death trap of an elevator.

Tenants, many of whom are on the brink of homelessness, urgently need to negotiate with the building’s owners for relocation assistance.

“If First Merit Bank does not convene a meeting between tenants and the property owners, people will end up on the street,” tenant Melvin Jennings says.

Adds former tenant Arbie Bowman: “The bank needs to have BJB sit down and negotiate with the tenants. It’s unfair what they are doing.”

ETA Honors Four Giants in the community with the Giving Award

Posted by Admin On September - 12 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Chinta Strausberg

ETA officials late Saturday night, bestowed the “Giving Honor To Those Who Give” award to three prominent activists and the historic WVON radio during a ceremony held at the ETA Creative Arts Foundation, 7558 S. South Chicago Avenue.

Saying “those who give are the lifeblood of a community,” the ETA board presented the awards to Lupe Fiasco, a Grammy Award winning artist who was represented by his mother, Shirley, Edward G. Gardner, humanitarian and a giant in the business community who is dedicated to service and who in 2012 came out of retirement to fight for economic justice in the black community, Spencer Leak, Sr., president/CEO of the Leak and Sons Funeral Homes who years ago led the fight to integrate the Oak Woods Cemetery, Dee Robinson Reid, president/founder of Robinson Hill Hospitality group, and WVON radio.

The MC was CBS weatherman Steve Baskerville who called Gardner a giant in the business who founded the Soft Sheen Company, spearheaded the successful campaign for Harold Washington and the Black-on-Black Love program to combat black crime. Receiving a standing ovation, Gardner credited God with his successful and that he is proud to give back to the community.

Armed with an umbrella, Baskerville and Iris Dunmore auctioned off a black diamond hat that was purchased by Reid for $450; however, she gave it back to the Theater.

Shirley, the mother of Lupe Fiasco, accepted the award on behalf of her son who is performing in Toronto.

In introducing Mr. Leak, Baskerville said he made it possible for hundreds of people to bury their love ones with dignity and who led the fight to integrate Oak Woods Cemetery.

In accepting the award, Leak said, “I’m just not content to sit in my house by the side of the road because those who sit by the houses by the side of the road are bystanders and I do not want to ever want to be defined as a bystander.” “I’d like for my life to exemplify the fact that I tried to serve my fellow man.”

In accepting the award, Mrs. Reid, president and founder of Robinson Hill Hospitality Group, said, “I am richly blessed…” and urged others to give back to the community.

WVON was represented by talk show hosts Cliff Kelley, Perri Small and Matt McGill who each about their radio station and the pride they have for its role in helping to educate its listeners every day.

Gwendolyn Armour and Lisa Marie James, the coordinating chairpersons of the event, thanked the sponsors and those who attended the event.

The Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago performed, and hundreds ate under a white tent adjacent to the ETA Theater that had a red carpet rolled out the honorees.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

George Tillman, Jr. to be honored at the Chicago International Film Festival’s Black Perspectives Tribute

Posted by Admin On September - 12 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
Academy Award® and Grammy®-Winning Actress and Past Black Perspectives Honoree Jennifer Hudson Joins Tillman for Special Presentation of Codeblack Films’ The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete
CHICAGO, IL – The 49th Chicago International Film Festival (October 10-24, 2013) will honor writer, director and producer George Tillman, Jr. with a Career Achievement Award at the 17th Annual Black Perspectives Tribute Friday, October 11. The red carpet event starts at 6:00 pm at the AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.) and will be followed by a special presentation of Tillman’s latest film The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete. Codeblack Films, a Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) company, will release the film in select theaters on October 11. Academy Award® and Grammy Award®-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson, who stars in the film, is scheduled to join Tillman on the red carpet and at the Tribute. An After-party at Altitude at the W Chicago Lake Shore Hotel will immediately follow the tribute and film presentation.

“As a producer, George Tillman, Jr. has played an important role in opening the doors of Hollywood to a new generation of African-American filmmakers and artists,” said Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival Michael Kutza. “As a writer and director, Tillman has told funny, inspiring and heartbreaking stories that capture the energy and complexity of the African-American experience. We are pleased and honored to present him with this award and we are also delighted to welcome back past Black Perspectives honoree Jennifer Hudson to the Festival. Hudson shares Tillman’s deep love for this city. I am quite sure this evening will be special for both of them.”

Directed by Tillman and written by Michael Starrbury, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete stars Skylan Brooks, Ethan Dizon, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Anthony Mackie and Jeffrey Wright. Jana Edelbaum, Rachel Cohen, and Bob Teitel produced the film with Alicia Keys, Susan Lewis, Clay Floren, Aimee Shieh, Julio Depietro, Keith Kjarval, Mary Vernieu, and Amy Nauiokas executive producing. Wright, Hudson and Mackie are previous Black Perspectives honorees.

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete is a beautifully observed and tremendously moving film about salvation through friendship and the way transformation sometimes can happen just by holding on long enough. During a sweltering summer in New York City, 13-year-old Mister’s (Skylan Brooks) hard-living mother (Jennifer Hudson) is apprehended by the police, leaving the boy and nine-year-old Pete (Ethan Dizon) alone to forage for food while dodging child protective services and the destructive scenarios of the Brooklyn projects. Faced with more than any child can be expected to bear, the resourceful Mister nevertheless feels he is an unstoppable force against seemingly unmovable obstacles. But what really keeps the pair in the survival game is much more Mister’s vulnerability than his larger-than-life attitude.

Columbia College Chicago graduate George Tillman, Jr. became inspired to make films on his own after seeing Cooley High and Taxi Driver. In 1994, Tillman wrote and directed his first feature film, Scenes for the Soul. Shot entirely in Chicago using local talent and resources, the film caught the attention of Doug McHenry and George Jackson who acquired it for Savoy Pictures for $1M. Following on the momentum of this success, Tillman began to write a script, loosely based on his own life – Soul Food. Soul Food’s cast included Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long, Mekhi Phifer, Michael Beach, Irma P. Hall, and Brandon Hammond. Modestly budgeted at $7M, Soul Food opened to critical and financial success, grossing over $43M domestically. George’s next directorial effort was Men of Honor, an epic story inspired by the life of Carl Brashear, a man who battled the obstacles of racism, a lack of education, and the loss of his leg to become the United States Navy’s first African-American Master deep sea diver. The film grossed $85M worldwide.

With partner Bob Teitel, Tillman co-produced the MGM film, Barbershop. Starring Ice Cube, Anthony Anderson, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve and Cedric the Entertainer, Barbershop opened to record-breaking box office success, spawning the sequel Barbershop 2: Back in Business and Beauty Shop starring Queen Latifah. Tillman returned to the director’s chair with Notorious – about the life and death story of the Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Christopher Wallace), which was released by Fox Searchlight and grossed over $43M worldwide.  Most recently, Tillman directed Faster, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Tillman resides with his family in Los Angeles.

An Academy Award®-winning actress, Grammy Award®-winning recording artist and best-selling author, Jennifer Hudson most recently finished production on Black Nativity, where she stars alongside Forrest Whitaker, Angela Bassett and Mary J. Blige. The film, directed by Kasi Lemmons, is based on Langston Hughes’ gospel musical re-telling of the Bible’s nativity story and will be released by Fox Searchlight Pictures in November 2013. This fall will also see Hudson starring alongside Terrence Howard in Darrell Roodt’s Winnie Mandela, in which she plays the titular role of activist, politician and ex-wife to South African President and revolutionary Nelson Mandela. The film will be released by Image this September. In 2007, Hudson won an Academy Award® for her role as “Effie” in the smash hit Dreamgirls. Her breakout film performance also garnered a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA and an NAACP Image Award.

Hudson has made the same kind of impact in the world of music that she has made in film with the successful release of both of her Arista Records albums. Her sophomore album, I Remember Me, debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 200 and R&B Albums charts and has since been certified RIAA Gold in the U.S. She went on to receive a 2012 Billboard Music Award nomination for Top R&B Album as well as taking home two 2012 NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Music Video and Outstanding Album. Hudson’s 2008 debut self-titled album won a Grammy® Award for “Best R & B Album,” which was presented by one of Hudson’s idols, Whitney Houston. The album then went on to win three awards at the 2009 NAACP Image Awards including “Best Album.”

Visit www.MisterandPeteMovie.com for film information & updates. Follow the social conversation at #MisterAndPete

About Black Perspectives
The Chicago International Film Festival’s Black Perspectives program was founded in 1997 in collaboration with legendary filmmaker Spike Lee. The program was created to showcase the talent of black filmmakers and to present films that break down barriers and shatter stereotypes. Past editions of the program have featured films by American luminaries such as Maya Angelou and Laurence Fishburne as well as the most recent works of African masters Djibril Diop Mambéty and Ousmane Sembene. The screenings are complemented by panel discussions and special screenings through our Education Outreach program. In addition to showcasing films that celebrate the depth and diversity of black cultures around the world, Black Perspectives has paid tribute to emerging and established film artists. The Black Perspectives Program is sponsored by State Farm and AARP.

Festival Passes and Theater Information
Festival Passes are on sale now. Pass options include:

Moviegoer (10 regular admissions): $95 for Cinema/Chicago members, $125 for non-members.
Passport (20 regular admissions): $180 for Cinema/Chicago members, $240 for non-members

Passes can be purchased online at www.chicagofilmfestival.com.

Individual tickets will be available to Cinema/Chicago members September 18-20. General public tickets will be on sale starting September 21.

Festival screenings will be held at the AMC River East 21 Theater (322 E. Illinois St.). The full schedule will be announced on September 17.

Festival Sponsors
Led by Presenting Partner Columbia College Chicago, the 49th Chicago International Film Festival’s sponsors include: Official Airline – American Airlines; Headquarters Hotel – JW Marriott Chicago; Producing Partners: AMC Theaters, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Major Partner: Intersites; Supporting Partners: DePaul University School of Cinema and Interactive Media, Stella Artois, Effen Vodka, WBBM Newsradio 105.9, Cultivate Studios; Participating Partners: State Farm, AARP, Tres Generaciones®, Comcast, Allstate, Spotlight Cinema Networks, Casale del Giglio, Second City Computers, Shutterbox Entertainment, Gibson’s Restaurant Group, Creative Technology.

About Codeblack Films

Codeblack Films, a division of leading global entertainment company LIONSGATE®, is a vertically integrated film production and distribution company focused on providing independent studios, filmmakers, globally-recognized celebrities, intellectual property rights holders and brands cross platform monetization solutions. Entertainment industry veteran Jeff Clanagan founded Codeblack Films in 2012.  Codeblack Films’ core objective is to super serve the global Black community with quality programming and help its content and brand partners access the enormous spending power of the rapidly growing African-American consumer market. Codeblack Films’ understanding of the social context of this fast evolving market — values, attitudes, behavior and current and emerging trends — provides the Company with a unique ability to position its content and brand partners in the center of influence.

Through parent company Lionsgate, Codeblack Films’ operational capabilities include motion picture production and distribution, strategic acquisitions, television programming and syndication, home entertainment distribution, digital distribution, new channel platform monetization and international distribution and sales.

About Cinema/Chicago
Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the International Screenings Program (May-September), the Chicago International Television Competition (April), CineYouth Festival (May), Intercom Competition (October) and year-round Education Outreach and Member Screenings Program.

AARP set to take over Atlanta during its three-day Life @50+ National Event and Expo

Posted by Admin On September - 12 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Whoopi Goldberg, Tyler Perry, Gloria Estefan, Martina Navratilova, Andy Garcia, Jean Chatzky, Dr. Adam Gazzaley, James “JB” Brown, Ed Begley, Jr. , Dan Marino, Chris Gardner, and Samantha Brown among those headlining AARP’s Life @50+ National Event and Expo

Attendees from Across the Country Will Meet for Three Days of Fun and Entertainment Uniquely Focused on the Wants and Needs of the 50+ Audience

WASHINGTON, DC – AARP, one of the world’s largest member organizations with more than 37 million members, and the leading organization for people 50+, will host its bi-annual Life@50+ National Event & Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Georgia World Congress Center, from October 3-5, 2013.This national event for AARP members and their families will give the community access to some of today’s most renowned celebrities including lifestyle, health, travel and financial experts. Attendees will discover new possibilities for their lives through community service activities, innovative exhibits, seminars and an exciting line-up of entertainment.

In addition to electrifying concerts by Grammy Award-winning artists, including Latin sensation, Gloria Estefan, gospel a capella group Sweet Honey in the Rock and R&B singer Regina Belle, Life@50+ attendees also will experience wide-ranging informational workshops led by various celebrities and lifestyle experts. Highlights include Life Reimagined sessions with television anchor and journalist Jane Pauley, motivational speaker Richard Leider and Fast Company founder Alan Webber; hands-on technology training in the AARP TEK pavilion; brain health exercises with board-certified neurologist Dr. Adam Gazzaley; the AARP Movies for Grownups® film festival highlighting pre-release and newly released films; and travel seminars. Special guests include actress Whoopi Goldberg, media mogul Tyler Perry, actor Andy Garcia, actor Ed Begley, Jr., music producer Emilio Estefan, football legend Dan Marino andEmmy award winning broadcaster James “JB” Brown, tennis legend Martina Navratilova, entrepreneur Chris Gardner, travel television personality Samantha Brown,NBC Today Show financial correspondent Jean Chatzky and relationship expert Dr. Pepper Schwartz.

“Life@50+ is a touchstone event that gives our members the unique opportunity to discover all
that AARP and information they need to build the life they want. We look forward to connecting with our community in a dynamic way and fostering our continued success and presence in their lives.”

Also, AARP will host a special feature session in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech on Saturday, October 5th.  This celebration, beginning at 9:15 AM, will bring together visionaries, notable speakers and those instrumental to the landmark occasion.  Dr. Janet Taylor will moderate the panel that includes former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, comedian/social activist Dick Gregory, and former Atlanta Mayor and UN Ambassador Andrew Young


Thursday, October 3rd

AARP will kick off with a Community Day of Service within and around the City of Atlanta. Beginning bright and early Thursday morning, NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Marino, CBS Sports and Newscaster James “JB” Brown and relationship expert Dr. Pepper Schwartz will engage the community in various activities to herald the beginning of Life@50+ through community building events. James “JB” Brown will host hands-on AARP TEK workshops to provide free technology and social media training for older community residents. Later that afternoon, Marino will host a clinic for young aspiring football players at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club at Peachcrest to coach and mentor the next generation of future Hall-of-Famers. The evening will close with an inspirational concert featuring a star-studded bill of entertainers, including Regina Belle,

Dottie Peoples, Kathy Taylor and the Atlanta Praise.

Friday, October 4th

To officially open the conference, actress and personality Whoopi Goldberg will be in conversation with Atlanta luminary and media mogul, Tyler Perry. That afternoon, AARP Financial Ambassador Jean Chatzky will be on hand to share The 5 Big Things You Need to Know About Your Money Right Now. The AARP Movies for Grownups® Film Festival will offer an advanced screening of the highly anticipated film “At Middleton,” with a special appearance by actor Andy Garcia and writer/director Adam Rodgers. Grammy-award winning producer Emilio Estefan will then lead a session on finding one’s own rhythm through Life Reimagined and the evening will close with a dance party featuring The Happy Together Tour, with The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night and more.

Saturday, October 5th

A morning fitness session with tennis champion Martina Navratilova will start the final day, followed by “Celebrate 50 Years of a Dream” a feature session with  Grammy-award-winning  a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock,  former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, comedian/activist Dick Gregory and  former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young.  Entrepreneur, motivational speaker and real-life inspiration for Will Smith’s character in the film “The Pursuit of Happyness,” Chris Gardner will impart his life lessons in a motivational seminar and Travel Channel personality Samantha Brown will inspire members with tales from her perpetual life on the road. The AARP Movies for Grownups® Film Festival will continue with screenings of “My Father and the Man in Black,” a documentary directed by Jonathan Holiff, the son of Johnny Cash’s former manager, and “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight,” starring Ed Begley, Jr. Both Holiff and Begley will make special appearances at the screenings. To end things on a high note, seven-time Grammy award-winning singer, Gloria Estefan will take the stage to celebrate the weekend and close out the event.


Admission to Life@50+ for AARP members is $25, $35 for non-members. The entry fee includes access to the Exhibit Floor, the opening show, and workshops/sessions for all three days. Non-Member registration includes a 1 year membership to AARP.   Online registration is open now at www.aarp.org/events or by phone at 1-800-650-6839.

Additional information on Life@50+, as well as the complete schedule, can be found online at www.aarp.org/events.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org

Homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments can turn to local housing experts to get free help applying for government aid

Posted by Admin On September - 12 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

(This article was revised)

Nationwide Partnership between the Federal Government and Local HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agencies Helps Families at Risk of Foreclosure Apply for Assistance from the Making Home Affordable Program for Free

Emeryville, CA (BlackNews.com) — NID Housing Counseling Agency is participating in a nationwide partnership to help families struggling with their mortgage payments apply for help from the Federal government’s Making Home Affordable Program – a key part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to help families avoid foreclosure and strengthen the housing market recovery. More than one million homeowners nationwide have already benefited from the Making Home Affordable Program, but hundreds of thousands of additional families are still eligible for help. NID Housing Counseling Agency – a housing counseling agency approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – is working in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, NeighborWorks® America and more than 700 housing counseling agencies across the country to help homeowners complete application materials for the program free-of-charge and successfully submit them to their mortgage company.

Homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments often delay reaching out for help because they feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn. Many homeowners have expressed difficulties working with their mortgage company to submit the documents required to apply for help, which has postponed getting them the help they need. Unfortunately, some homeowners have paid to get help only to discover that they have become the victim of a scam.

As part of this nationwide effort to help families apply for mortgage aid, NID Housing Counseling Agency offers these tips for homeowners struggling with their monthly mortgage payments:

* Homeowners should remember that they do not need to navigate through their mortgage difficulties alone. Homeowners can always work with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, like NID Housing Counseling Agency, free-of-charge to get help understanding their options and applying for assistance. Research shows that homeowners who work with a housing counselor are more likely to receive the assistance for which they are eligible.

* Homeowners should not delay reaching out for help if they are struggling with their mortgage payments. There are more options available today to help families avoid foreclosure than ever before. The Federal government’s Making Home Affordable Program is the first step for many families to access the help they need.

* There is never a fee to apply for help. Homeowners should beware of anyone who asks them to pay a fee for counseling services or for a mortgage modification.

To make an appointment with NID Housing Counseling Agency to get free help applying for mortgage aid, homeowners should call (877) 670-7360 to find a local office in your area. It is recommended that homeowners bring the following documents to their appointment to help their housing counselor document their monthly budget and financial hardship:

* Monthly mortgage statement
* Information about any other mortgages
* Two most recent pay stubs
* If self-employed, the most recent quarterly or year-to-date Profit and Loss Statement
* Documentation of income from all sources, such as benefits
* Two most recent bank statements
* Unemployment insurance letter, if applicable

NID Housing Counseling Agency is hosting National Housing Counseling Day, A Housing Counseling Marathon, in which LIVE HUD-Approved Housing Counselors will be available to all homeowners during the duration of the Marathon to call in to ask questions, learn about available programs, discuss your housing options and receive assistance and/or counseling from a HUD-Approved Housing Counselor

Housing Counseling Marathon
Dates: October 18-19, 2013
Time: 8AM PST – 5PM PST
Hotline: 877-670-7360

The Federal government has enlisted NeighborWorks America to administer this project with HUD-approved housing counseling agencies across the country that also participate in the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program – a program with funds appropriated by Congress to address the foreclosure crisis by increasing the availability of housing counseling for families at risk of foreclosure. For this nationwide effort, all homeowner applications will be submitted through Hope LoanPort®, an internet-based document delivery portal that allows HUD-approved housing counselors to upload documents directly to participating mortgage companies so that homeowners can be effectively evaluated for assistance.

About The National Investment Division-Housing Counseling Agency (NID-HCA)
The National Investment Division-Housing Counseling Agency (NID-HCA) is a HUD approved non-profit organization with over 25 years of experience in housing counseling and community building. NID-HCA has taken a leading role in advocating for our developing policies that would effectively address the housing and community development needs of underserved communities in need of traditional resources, products and services. NID-HCA leadership through the input of our dedicated counselor network and client memberships provides substantial input to both the public and private sectors on how to implement and utilize government and private sector programs and policies to create positive change for our client based -the underserved communities of America.

The agency comments, “We are proud of the commitment of our partnerships, client -family and the commitment of our dedicated counselors to continue to dissolve barriers of the underserved as we forge forward with a deepened commitment to help build and re-build communities thru outreach efforts, education and the creation of partnerships, uniting counseling, clients and community groups that foster healthier communities.”

About The Making Home Affordable Program
The Making Home Affordable Program is a free government program administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help families avoid foreclosure and strengthen the housing market recovery. Making Home Affordable offers options to help homeowners modify or refinance their mortgage loan to make their monthly payments more affordable, take a temporary break from their mortgage payments if they are struggling from unemployment, receive targeted principal reduction in certain circumstances, or transition out of their home through a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. For more information, please visit www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov.

About NeighborWorks America
For 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

Pinterest: You might find it useful – It’s a golden tool for marketing products

Posted by Admin On September - 12 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

SoapBox Rants

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

Many of you are aware of the great images that can be derived from Pinterest. It is a “golden tool for marketing.”

Pinterest is an online board where users share images related to their interest. It is a golden tool for marketing products as well. Many companies are taking advantage of Pinterest to promote their brands. Scientists are taking advantage of it to share their research and ideas, cooks are using it to share recipes, artists share work and mediums, etc. You get the idea, and it is all done visually.

If you decide that Pinterest may be useful to you, keep in mind that you should use great images. Otherwise, without interesting photos that are pleasing or attention getting at best, don’t waste your time. The idea is for people to become inspired and want to share in your world so keep it polished. An image with visual impact can be used to bring traffic to your website or spread the news about your product and services. It is also a great way to find like-minded people and exchange knowledge or learn something. You want to contribute in a way so that people want to share “repin” your images on their site.

Pinterest is also a great way to bookmark your ideas by pinning things that interest you to your board and being able to see at a glance what you want to focus on when you revisit the page. You don’t have to scroll through links to figure out if it is the page you are looking for. You will see it.

Keep in mind, however, that whatever images you use that you have the rights to them or permission to use them. You don’t want to end up with a lawsuit for using property that doesn’t belong to you. Not only can you “pin” pictures on your board, you can find like “pins” and keep abreast of what others are doing in your area of interest. Their “pins” will show up on your stream for daily updates.

Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and will definitely draw more attention than static text. You can find out more about Pinterest by visiting their website.

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al. She is also a weekly columnist for CopyLine Magazine

Illinois State Superintendent of Education named to serve on two national education organizations

Posted by Admin On September - 12 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Dr. Koch to bring expertise to groups focused on improving teacher preparation, educational policy

SPRINGFIELD,IL – Illinois State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch will lend his experience and expertise to two national organizations aimed at improving education policy to better prepare students for the workforce and higher education. Dr. Koch, a former teacher and longtime policy maker, will serve a two-year term as the Vice Chair of the Finance Committee of the policy-focused Education Commission of the States (ECS) and as a member of the inaugural Board of Directors for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the new accreditation body for educator preparation.

“Chris Koch will bring a wealth of experience, insight and passion to both these organizations,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico.

“Just as we’ve raised the standards for entrance into teacher preparation programs in Illinois, we’re moving toward national accreditation standards that also aim to ensure the best and the brightest become our future teachers.”

The Board of Directors will be responsible for making policy for CAEP; making appointments to committees and the Accreditation Council; reviewing the activities and organizational performance of CAEP and its affiliates, and reviewing and approving CAEP’s annual budget and annual independent audits.

CAEP’s mission is to advance excellence in educator preparation through evidence‐based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P‐12 student learning. More than 900 educator preparation providers will initially participate in the CAEP accreditation system, which serves all providers currently accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). Educator preparation providers include traditional institutions of higher education, as well as alternative pathways such as residency programs.

Koch, Illinois State Superintendent of Education since 2006, will serve a three-year term with the CAEP through June 30, 2016, while his two-year term as Vice Chair of the ECS Finance Committee will conclude in July 2015.  He will continue to serve as the Illinois State School Chief while volunteering for these organizations.

The ECS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that aims to improve public education by improving communication amongst state education chiefs and lawmakers.  Through the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices, ECS fosters state partnerships that work toward the common goal of high quality education for all students.

The ECS Finance Committee works in close conjunction with the Executive Committee and has several responsibilities, including reviewing the organization’s annual budget, recommending specific financial policies, providing input on which certified public accounting firm to hire, reviewing the public accounting firm’s annual audit, and overseeing the Commission’s portfolio and investment policies.

Superintendent Koch was elected in 2010 to serve a one year term as President of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).   He also served on the Presidential Transition Team for CCSSO in 2008 and co-chaired the Elementary and Secondary Reauthorization Committee.  CCSSO is a nationwide organization of leaders in K-12 education from all 50 states that works to advance education policy through collective state action.

Koch joined ISBE in 1994, holding positions including Director of Special Education and Chief Education Officer.  As an educator, he has worked in a college preparatory school, a youth detention center, a psychiatric hospital, and for an Outward Bound program.  He has worked for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education at the United States Department of Education as well.

A graduate of Brown County High School in Mt. Sterling, Illinois and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Superintendent Koch has long called Illinois home.  He received both his master’s and doctoral degrees from George Washington University in Educational Policy and Leadership.

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

PHEN to release a consensus statement for PSA testing for African American men

Posted by Admin On September - 12 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

“To address the need for clear guidance on the early detection of prostate cancer”

Quincy, MA (BlackNews.com) — The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) will release a consensus statement at its “Ninth Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit” on September 19th in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

The prostate health needs of African American men have been overlooked and ignored historically when considering data published by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) showing that Black men die from prostate cancer at a rate 2.4 times higher than white men. This represents the largest racial disparity for any major cancer in the United States. The U. S. Senate passed a resolution in July 2012 recognizing prostate cancer among African American men to be of epidemic proportions.

There is an on-going debate within medical circles about the PSA (prostate specific antigen) test for the early detection of prostate cancer that has captured media headlines nationwide. However, the needs of Black men are still being ignored. New PSA testing guidelines have been published during the past two years that rely heavily on data from two randomized controlled clinical trials. The problem is that Black men were not included within one of these trials at all, and not in statistically significant numbers in the other.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2012, while acknowledging the lack of data for Black men, simply substituted data from a non – PSA test clinical trial to justify including Black men within its recommendation that no men should have the PSA test for the early detection of prostate cancer. The American Urological Association (AUA) released its guidelines in May 2013 with the recommendation that men begin PSA testing at age 55. However, the AUA stated that they did not include Black men within its guidelines for lack of data from the two main clinical trials.

“Clear guidance on PSA testing is critical for Black men who are 1.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than other men,” says Thomas Farrington, PHEN president and a prostate cancer survivor. To address this need PHEN has formulated a “Consensus Statement for PSA Testing for African American Men for the Early detection of Prostate Cancer.” This statement has up to twenty (20) initial signatories which include some of the leading prostate cancer medical specialists in the country. “Without scientific evidence from clinical trials we must rely upon the expert opinion of those that have a history of diagnosing and treating men for prostate cancer – what options do we have? Black men’s prostate health needs cannot continue to be ignored simply because there is a history of being overlooked. NCI data shows that this is a deadly cycle which must be broken,” Farrington points out.

The PHEN summit will also address other important topics. Is it safe for Black men to delay immediate treatment for prostate cancer and enter into an “active-surveillance” or watchful waiting” program? Doctors at John Hopkins Medical Institute will present their research findings on this subject.

PHEN’s Ninth Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit is open and free to the public. Sessions on September 19th and 20th will be held in the Russell Senate Office Building; The Washington Convention Center, as part of the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference; and at the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Information on the program agenda, schedule, and registration is available on PHEN’s website at www.rapcancer.org.

About PHEN
PHEN was founded in 2003 by Thomas A. Farrington, a prostate cancer survivor and author. PHEN’s mission is to eliminate the African American prostate cancer disparity. The organization’s efforts are implemented through its national “Rally Against Prostate Cancer (RAP Cancer)” initiatives which include the annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit.

Writer Katherine K. Walker reaches out to those whose souls are hurting; healing through bold & heartfelt poetry

Posted by Admin On September - 12 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
With three compelling poetry books on the market, Katherine K. Walker is poised to change the lives of readers around the world. Poignant yet uplifting, each of her verses hits the heart where it hurts and proves that triumph will always prevail over adversity.

Indianapolis, Indiana – Just like many of her readers, author Katherine K. Walker has struggled with depression her entire life. However, rather than struggle in silence, Walker’s unique talent for writing has carried her through numerous bad spells and proven that there is always light at the end of life’s tunnel.

With three poetry books published and a fourth currently in the final stages of editing, Walker’s wholly unique and touching verses are helping others who are searching for solace.

‘Songs of the Feathered Wind’, ‘Copper Psalms & Dusty Rainbows’ and ‘My Soul Speaks’ glorify the Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

As the author explains, writing has become a vital part of her own coping mechanism.

“My poems are written directly from my heart to the reader – they are spiritual in nature, and since I have struggled with depression most of my life, some of them are rather sad. They are to help people who struggle with depression and want to have a closer walk with God. I began writing my books when I was a church secretary approximately 15 years ago,” says Walker.

Continuing, “I find writing is a wonderful prescription for the ‘blues’ and I love to touch people’s hearts with my words.

It appears Walker’s words are having a profound effect on readers; garnering a string of rave reviews.

For example, one reader commented, “This book is a wonderful compilation of poetry, and inspiration. The author has created an easy read format, her poetry reads of heart and soul that she has clearly poured into it.”

Walker is delighted with this feedback.

“It’s incredibly satisfying to put your books on the market and know that they’re available to those who need them. It’s even more satisfying to get glowing reviews directly from readers. I am excited about my future writing projects and can confirm that there are many more books in the works!” she adds.

With each of the three books expected to increase in popularity, interested readers are urged to purchase their copies as soon as possible.

Purchase links:

Songs of the Feathered Wind – http://amzn.to/18PfZSF

Copper Psalms and Dusty Rainbows: Poetry for your Soul – http://amzn.to/1awFJtU

My Soul Speaks – http://amzn.to/1akhSdp

The books can also be purchased from Barnes & Noble.com and directly through the publisher, PublishAmerica.com.

About the Author:

At the tender age of 9 months, I was adopted into the home of a loving couple in Michigan. They already had a son and could no longer have any more children, so they picked me! I was loved and nurtured in a Christian home where I grew to love the Lord but always felt a piece was missing by not ever knowing my birth family. I wanted so much to tell them about my Jesus, but at the same time I did not want to hurt my adoptive family.  On September 12, 2002 I discovered the truth. The State of Michigan cannot open the records unless the whole family is dead. They called me with the news that my birth Mother and a brother I never knew had both committed suicide. My father had died of a heart attack, but lived into his 80’s.  The news was devastating, but it also answered some of the many questions that I had. This lesson taught me that depression can sometimes be an inherited thing. That, too, has helped me cope.  Jesus and writing have also helped to fill in the gaps of my heart.

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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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