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Increased access to education would improve provider training  SPRINGFIELD, IL  – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – All of the State’s Veterans Service Offices will be closed for ...
CHICAGO, IL - As the new year begins, it is important that ...
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement after the discharge petition ...
                                                                                                SPRINGFIELD, IL– Illinois Speaker Michael J. Madigan has directed state Rep. Greg Harris, chair ...
Alderman Anthony Beale has declared war on Englewood Hero Englewood Political Task Force, P.E.A.C.E, Action Coalition ...
CHICAGO, IL - On Tuesday, June 23 at 5pm Chicagoans from across the city ...
CHICAGO, IL - Ryan Chiaverini, Co-host of Windy City Live on ABC7 ...
(From the  Gay Liberation Network) Minutes ago the Illinois General Assembly adjourned for the night without ...
  God is confusing the minds in the enemy’s camp   By Rev. Harold E. Bailey   The scriptures (Holy ...

Archive for September 17th, 2013

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation makes historic investment in minority banks

Posted by Admin On September - 17 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

As part of a new campaign to strengthen the economy in Black communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) will reveal its $5 million investment in African-American banking institutions as part of a broader effort to increase the availability of loans for businesses and individuals in African-American communities. CBCF is targeting banks in four regions of the country-the North, South, East and Midwest-in an attempt to achieve geographic balance in an initiative that could prove crucial in lifting the economic fortunes of black communities. In all, five banks will receive $1 million each.

The announcement will be made at a press conference today, September 17th at Noon to discuss CBCF’s record investment in minority banks, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center L Street Bridge, 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW, Washington, DC

Participants in the press conference are:

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (PA), board chairman, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

A. Shuanise Washington, president and CEO, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

Michael Grant, president, National Bankers Association

Doyle Mitchell, board chair, National Bankers Association and president, Industrial Bank

Russell Kashian, PhD, professor, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin Whitewater

Ron Busby, CEO, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., established in 1976, is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy, research and educational institute intended to broaden and elevate the influence of African Americans in the political, legislative and public policy arenas.

Sec’y of State Jesse White to hold Illinois’ U.S. Constitution and Citizenship Day Celebration

Posted by Admin On September - 17 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Marks the 226th Signing of the Constitution; 77 People from 27 Countries to be Sworn-In as Citizens

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will hold Illinois’ fifth official U.S. Constitution and Citizenship Day. Seventy-five people from 27 countries will be sworn-in as citizens by U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan.

The fifth official U.S. Constitution and Citizenship Day will be held today, Tuesday, September 17th at Noon at the Richard J. Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., outside on the plaza.

The event is held to observe and honor the many freedoms the Constitution provides and celebrate those becoming citizens of the United States of America.

Campaign for Better Health Care Executive Director Jim Duffett responds to U.S. Census Bureau 2012 Health Insurance Status Data

Posted by Admin On September - 17 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Statement by Jim Duffett,

This morning, the U. S. Census Bureau announced findings from the official report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage for the nation.  The news, as expected, was not great.  There are still too many Americans who do not have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that they and their families will be able to obtain quality, affordable health care when they need it.

The good news is that thanks to the Affordable Care Act, this is the last year in the history of our nation we will ever see such high numbers of uninsured Americans. Starting with next year’s report, these numbers will shrink by tens of millions as more Americans are covered because of all the different consumer protections and eligibility expansions contained in Obamacare.

The numbers will get smaller as more young adults stay covered on their parents’ insurance plans through age 26, protecting them through the  period of time between graduating college and finding work in a challenging job market.  More Americans will be insurable despite their pre-existing conditions.  And as more small businesses qualify for tax credits that allow them to offer health insurance coverage to their employees, yes – those numbers will keep going down.

Millions of Americans who will find coverage through the new Marketplace will know it is they that are in charge of their health care, not the insurance industry.  Millions of Americans will know peace of mind, the power of choice, personal responsibility, and fairness; all the values that we attach to health care will finally be realized. Those are the numbers that we look forward to seeing increase over the next few years, thanks to Obamacare.

State Senator Collins takes the SNAP Challenge

Posted by Admin On September - 17 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) is taking the SNAP Challenge this week to better understand the hardships faced by food stamp recipients. The SNAP Challenge, sponsored by the Greater Chicago Food Depository, invites elected officials, community leaders and others to spend only $35 on food for a week – the average weekly SNAP benefit for a single adult.

“I’m taking on this challenge to educate myself about the struggles poor families face when trying to put food on the table,” said Collins, a member of the Commission on the Elimination of Poverty. “With some members of Congress questioning the necessity of SNAP benefits, it’s important to draw attention to the barely adequate but still critical lifeline food stamps represent for the poor in Illinois.”

SNAP – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called food stamps – provides benefits to more than 820,000 Cook County residents and 47 million people nationwide. The average individual SNAP recipient in Illinois receives just $35 each week to spend on food. SNAP Challenge participants are asked to eat only food they have purchased using the $35 available for the week, include food purchased at restaurants and avoid accepting free food.

“Every day, low-income individuals and families must make heart-wrenching decisions between buying food or medicine, or between paying the rent or paying a doctor’s bill,” Collins said. “It’s a privilege to stand with ‘the least of these,’ even in a small and symbolic way, and challenge the apathy that consigns them to the margins of our awareness.”

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, a network of 650 food pantries throughout the Chicago region, distributes food to 678,000 individuals each year while offering training programs that help break the cycle of poverty. The Food Depository estimates that in order to compensate for the five percent cut in SNAP benefits proposed by some members of Congress, its pantries would have to increase the amount of food they provide by 50 percent.

2013 Ford HBCU Community Challenge to give away $40,000 in scholarships to Black college students

Posted by Admin On September - 17 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Deadline to Apply is November 10, 2013

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Ford Motor Company is reaching out to students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities for the 2013 Ford HBCU Community Challenge Competition. Up to $75,000 in scholarships, university and community grants will be awarded for the first-place student team and its project. The new program, conducted in partnership with the “Tom Joyner” and “Rickey Smiley Morning Shows,” encourages HBCU students to design community projects that address pressing local needs.

The challenge is a request for proposals addressing the theme of “Building Sustainable Communities.” The Proposal should take an innovative, fresh approach in defining what building a sustainable community means to one’s local community. The Proposal should not be restricted specifically to environmental issues; rather, “sustainable community” refers to all elements of a healthy, livable community which can thrive in a global economy encompassing a wide range of issues, including education, safety and mobility.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue in our efforts to support students attending HBCUs with the launch of this program,” said Shawn Thompson, manager, Ford Multicultural Marketing. “This program will allow students to make a difference in their education, schools and ultimately their communities.”

For more details about the Ford HBCU Community Challenge, visit:
www.scholarshipsonline.org/2013/09/ford-hbcu-challenge.html

To search hundreds of other 2013-2014 scholarships, visit:
www.ScholarshipsOnline.org

First West Nile Virus related death reported in Cook County

Posted by Admin On September - 17 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

IDPH Urges Vigilance Protecting against Infection

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting the first death of a person with West Nile virus in northern Illinois for 2013. A middle-aged man from suburban Cook County became ill with West Nile virus in late August and has died.

It is the second West Nile virus related death in Illinois for 2013. IDPH reported the death of a Logan County resident last week.

“The first West Nile virus related deaths this year occurred later than we typically see,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Even with the cooler temperatures, until the first hard freeze, you still need to protect yourself against mosquito bites and possible West Nile virus infection.”

To date, West Nile virus positive birds, mosquitoes and/or human cases have been reported in 59 counties. The first human case this year was reported on August 21st, in a McHenry County woman in her 50s. Last year the first death was reported in August.

For the 2012 season, IDPH reported the second highest number of West Nile virus human cases in state history with 290 residents and 12 deaths. So far this year, 10 human cases have been reported.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common West Nile virus symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 50 are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.

The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel and report.

REDUCE exposure – avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.

Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.

Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles.

REPEL – when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.

REPORT – In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report dead birds and areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm. Surveillance numbers are updated every Wednesday afternoon http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnvsurveillance13.htm.

Prosecutors drop “trumped up, politically motivated” Felony charges against Gary Wagaman

Posted by Admin On September - 17 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Four aggravated battery against a police officer charges reduced to one misdemeanor resisting arrest charge

CHICAGO, IL – Yesterday, Mr. Gary Wagaman entered a negotiated plea agreement to one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest on June 6, 2012 during a “casserole” march that was held in solidarity with student strikes in Montreal. He was originally charged with four counts of felony aggravated battery against a Chicago police officer and alleged to have thrown a deadly weapon—a frying pan—at the officer. Casserole marches typically include protesters using pots, pans, and kitchen utensils as noise makers. The prosecutors conceded that the evidence in the case did not show that the officer involved in the incident was hit with a frying pan, much less that Wagaman was guilty of those offenses. Wagaman received credit for the 16 days he spent in Cook County Jail after his arrest and did not receive any probation or fines.

Supporters of Wagaman and other protesters arrested at the casserole march last year noted that the prosecutors offered this negotiated plea agreement after stating at the last court hearing that they had not reviewed a video that had been entered into evidence. Reducing charges after reviewing evidence is a common occurrence in politically motivated cases since the charges are meant to punish and discourage dissent rather than maintain law and order, supporters have asserted. The prosecutors also clearly negotiated the plea agreement in a way that protected the police from being sued for an unlawful arrest and other civil rights violations, supporters noted.

“Gary was offered this plea agreement because the prosecutors knew that the evidence would show that the police officer completely fabricated the accusation that he had been hit with a frying pan,” said Adesina Clay, an activist in Chicago. “Reducing the charges to a misdemeanor shows that the prosecutors knew they couldn’t convince anyone to believe the cop, who was in fact the only one that day who was acting violently and hitting people. We’re glad Gary can finally put this whole ordeal behind him and get on with his life and his organizing for social justice.”

Wagaman sustained ligament damage during his arrest and was denied medical treatment for the first part of his two-and-a-half week incarceration in Cook County Jail. He was also held “in the hole” in jail and denied amenities such as toilet paper for seven days. His bond was set at $50,000 and funds were raised by activists and supporters in Detroit and Chicago to secure his release. Supporters assert that his treatment while in custody is part of the jail’s typical abysmal and inhumane treatment of prisoners, which is designed to break their spirits and strip them of their humanity.

For more information, contact: Adesina Clay, fight.false.charges@gmail.com, (312) 620-0405

Visit https://www.facebook.com/FreeGaryWagaman?fref=ts for more information.

Noted Family Attorney Lester L. Barclay on nationwide tour to promote groundbreaking book about divorce in the black community

Posted by Admin On September - 17 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
Tour making stops in major cities like San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston and Denver where the author will host book-signing events for The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama


Barclay to be featured at CBC Annual Legislative Conference’s Author’s Pavilion – Sept. 19, Wash. DC

CHICAGO, IL – Building on the successful late spring launch of his new book, The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down, Chicago-based attorney Lester L. Barclay has taken his message on the road with a nationwide book-signing tour hitting stops in San Francisco, Houston, Washington, DC and Atlanta, among others. The multi-city tour got underway August 17 at the Los Angeles Black Book Expo and runs through November (full schedule below); it will be highlighted by an appearance at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference’s Author’s Pavilion. The book officially went on sale June 27with a gala kick-off in Barclay’s hometown of Chicago and is available for purchase online at www.DivorceandDrama.com.


The first-ever comprehensive book on divorce tailored specifically for the black community, The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama is a277-page guide that skillfully shepherds readers through the often painful process of separation and divorce, while seeking to minimize the “drama” and trauma for them and their children. Its message focuses primarily on divorce and non-marital separation, alongside custody, visitation, child support, financial disputes, and related issues in the context of African-American cultural and social realities.


The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama is Barclay’s first book, and the initial offering from Khari Publishing, Ltd.   The guide, which features a foreword by TV’s Judge Mablean Ephriam, draws on the author’s more than 25 years of legal experience as a matrimonial lawyer. On the tour, Barclay will sign copies of his book and speak directly to audiences about the perils of drama-filled divorces and ways to avoid them.


“The purpose of this book has always been to empower black folk to successfully navigate through what is often among the most trying times of their lives,” says Barclay. “While there are many services that help prepare couples for marriage, the same does not hold true on the opposite end. I want to use this tour as an opportunity to get the message of finding a better path directly to the people who need it most, and meet them where they are.”


More than 50 percent of all African-American marriages end in divorce, not counting the non-marital breakups, and most often, the breakdown of a family affects the children. Throughout the U.S., families are torn apart by divorce and its consequences. Worse still, much of the emotional pain and fighting is unnecessary. A divorce does not have to be an emotional bloodbath. There is a better way.


Drama, as the author defines it, is “a situation (or a series of happenings) that marks a vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking impression on a person’s life…is highly emotional, turbulent, and sometimes tragic.”


With The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama, Barclay, a highly respected African-American attorney and managing partner of The Barclay Law Group, provides readers with a user-friendly guide that supplements the service of divorce attorneys and shows them how to make the divorce process as peaceful as possible. His aim is to help Black divorce litigants reduce the level of “drama” in their divorce cases.


Via the book’s 22 chapters and multiple sections, Barclay underscores the unique cultural distinctions underlying most African-American divorces and separations, including such areas as the matriarchal composition of many black families, the influential role of the Black Church, and the community’s general reluctance to seek mental health therapy, among others. The guidecovers divorce drama and its aftermath in five dimensions: personal, legal and financial, family, community, and life after.


Crafted to be informative and engaging, The African-American Guide To Divorce & Drama offers readers a 360-degree view of the divorce process, highlighted by such chapter and topic titles as “I’m Mad As Hell,” “I Need A Man,” “I Need A Woman,” “The Word At The Church,” “Money Versus Peace,” “25 Questions You Should Ask Your Divorce Attorney,” 11 Biggest Pre-Divorce Mistakes To Avoid,” “14 Biggest Post-Divorce Mistakes,”among many others.


There are also sections titled “Act Now,” where Barclay provides step-by-step directions and tips to guide divorced parties toward achieving a “drama-free” divorce. These timely suggestions encourage new ways to think and act by advising paths a divorcing man, woman, or parent should take, and certainly should not take. By applying “Act Now” recommendations, readers can successfully empower their emergence through breakup, divorce, its process, and aftermath.


Whether readers are contemplating separation or divorce, in the middle of divorce, or seeking to recover from a breakup, The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama will provide assistance for healing and wholeness, as well as protecting their children during the ordeal. Hardly any issue related to divorce and drama in the black experience goes uncovered.


The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down is available in hardcover and e-book versions.


For more information about the book, visit www.DivorceandDrama.com

Or follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DDrama2 and

FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/DivorceandDrama.

2013 TENTATIVE BOOK TOUR*

  1. August 17 Los Angeles, CA
  2. September 8  Chicago, Il
  3. September 19 Washington, D.C.
  4. September 20 Washington, D.C.
  5. September 27 Atlanta, GA
  6. October 4 Charleston, SC
  7. October 18 St. Louis, MO
  8. October 25 Denver, CO
  9. October 28 Chicago, IL
  10. November 1 Houston, TX
  11. November 8 Minneapolis, MN
  12. November 9 St. Paul, MN
  13. November 15 San Francisco, CA

*Dates/Places subject to change; venues to be announced.

About The Author

Lester L. Barclay is the managing partner of The Barclay Law Group in Chicago, Illinois. A graduate of Oberlin College and Case Western Reserve University School of Law, he has practiced matrimonial law since 1985. In that time, he has earned a sterling reputation as a skilled litigator who seeks to maintain the family’s integrity during and after divorce. His passionate calling is to help children, who are so often collateral damage in custody and divorce matters. Frequently, the court appoints him Guardian Ad Litem to protect the interests of children in marital breakups. His influential and ethnically diverse law firm serves an equally diverse clientele. The firm’s list of clients has included Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Estate of Emmett Till, the National Black Evangelical Association, and the handling of family law matters involving professional athletes Eddy Curry, Richard Dent, Antwaan Randle El and Dwyane Wade. Lester L. Barclay lives in Chicago with his wife, Dr. Sue Barclay, and their three children.

About Khari Publishing, Ltd.

Khari Publishing, Ltd. was established in 2013. Its mission is to fill a void in the African-American community by publishing media resources on divorce and related matters that are useful for reducing the relationship drama among African-Americans. The initial publication of Khari Publishing, Ltd., is the groundbreaking book released in Summer 2013: The African-American Guide to Divorce and Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down, by Attorney Lester L. Barclay.

The 49th Chicago International Film Festival announces films in competition

Posted by Admin On September - 17 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – The 49th Chicago International Film Festival announced today the full lineup of films selected to screen in the International Feature, New Directors, Docufest, After Dark, Q Hugo, and Short Film Competitions. The competitions feature a diverse mix of established and new filmmakers and genres as well as World, North American and US premieres. Sixteen films will compete in the International Feature Competition, thirteen on the New Directors Competition, ten in Docufest and seven in After Dark.

“Of the 180 films we will be presenting this year from 60 countries, more than half will be competing for the Silver and Gold Hugo film awards. They are the best of what’s new, innovative and exciting in cinema,” said Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival, Michael Kutza. “We are thrilled to have such a high caliber of films in competition.”

“The films in our various competitions demonstrate a broad concern with the political, while also focusing in on the deeply personal and intimate,” said Programming Director of the Chicago International Film Festival, Mimi Plauché. “Whether by rising young filmmakers blazing trails in their nascent national cinemas or by long-admired auteurs, in toto the competitions present an impressive mosaic of contemporary international cinema.”

In addition to the five competition categories, the Festival presents films in seven out-of-competition sections, including Special Presentations, World Cinema, Black Perspectives, Cinema of the Americas, City & State, Docufest, OUT-Look, REELWOMEN, and Spotlight Africa. The Festival has added a new program this year: Comedy Focus, a celebration of the role comedy has played in film history. As part of this program, the Festival will present Comedy, Italian Style, a look back at beloved comedies covering five decades.

For the 49th Chicago International Film Festival, 131 feature-length films were selected, representing over 60 countries. These films were selected from a total of 850 film submissions. 55 short films were accepted out of 1,900 submissions.

The 49th Chicago International Film Festival runs October 10- 24. The complete list of films is available at www.chicagofilmfestival.com.

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE COMPETITION
Representing a wide variety of styles and genres, these films compete for the Festival’s top honor, the Gold Hugo—as well as trophies for best actors, director, and writer—in North America’s longest-running competitive film festival.

Banklady Germany (Director: Christian Alvart) — Banklady tells the true story of Gisela Werler, a law-abiding factory worker from Hamburg who falls in love with a thief and becomes a media darling as Germany’s first and most notorious female bank robber. Cunning, sexy, and exciting, Gisela and her beloved Hermann pull off one daring heist after another. Banklady follows this outlaw who captured Germany’s imagination, boldly defying gender expectations and living a decades-long Bonnie and Clyde romance. North American Premiere.

Blue Ruin USA (Director: Jeremy Saulnier) — Blue Ruin is a classic American revenge story that recently won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival where it screened in the Directors’ Fortnight. The film follows a mysterious outsider whose quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. Chicago Premiere

How To Describe A Cloud Netherlands (Director: David Verbeek) — Liling, a hip young DJ, returns to her rural village to care for her ailing mother. On the advice of the doctor, she tries to slow her blind mother’s memory loss by describing the world around her. As Liling herself struggles to stay connected to the physical world, she begins to become subsumed in her mother’s world of mysticism and imagination. Beautifully dreamlike, this sincere and poignant film follows Liling as she grows closer to her fading mother. Chicago Premiere.

Just a Sigh France (Director: Jérôme Bonnell) — Between performances of an Ibsen play in Calais, actress Alix (exquisitely played by Emmanuelle Devos) travels to Paris for an audition. On the train, she meets a mysterious, stoic Englishman (Gabriel Byrne). Played out over the course of a day, the film beautifully chronicles the blossoming of an all-too-brief love affair between the two, a momentary romance that brings hope and passion into Alix’s harried life, and comfort to her lover. Chicago Premiere

Lifelong Turkey/Germany/Netherlands (Director: Asli Özge) — This expertly crafted, gorgeously shot drama explores the fading connection between Ela, a respected artist, and her husband Can, a successful architect. As the two grow apart, Ela worries that Can is cheating on her. Though in preparation for a major gallery show, Ela finds herself increasingly distracted. With the sophisticated tautness of a thriller and the devastating emotion of a tragedy, Lifelong tracks one relationship’s heartbreaking disintegration. North American Premiere.

A Long And Happy Life Russia (Director: Boris Khlebnikov) — Sasha, a city kid with agrarian ambitions, moved to the country to head up a collective farming project, determined to make the experiment work. A recent local government offer to buy up the farmland seems too good to resist, but Sasha becomes staunch in his decision to stay. Bolstered by the resolution of the local farmworkers, he is pitted against the stakeholders in a decision that may cost him his livelihood – or his life – in this heady social realist drama. Chicago Premiere.

The Miracle (Denmark) Director: Simon Staho — Jakob and Johanna were first loves, best friends, and ballroom dancers—until she found a better partner. Years later, embittered Jakob returns to find the once vibrant dancer wheelchair-bound and trapped in an unhappy marriage to the local priest, who makes the hoped-for miracle of her recovery the center of his ministry. Their romance rekindled, they must choose between love and security. A sense of mystery and doom pervade this gripping drama about passion, faith, and perversity. US Premiere.

My Sweet Pepper Land Iraq/France/Germany (Director: Hiner Saleem) — After the fall of Saddam Hussein, two unlikely allies converge in a war-torn Kurdish village at the borders of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. Both Baran, a former Kurdish independence war hero, and Govend, a beautiful young woman defying tradition by accepting a post at a newly-opened school, are hell-bent on seeing order and civilization restored to their damaged country. Elements of the Western genre combine with awe-inspiring landscapes in director Hiner Saleem’s socially-inflected frontier tale. North American Premiere.

The Notebook Hungary (Director: János Szász) — This atmospheric WWII thriller follows twin boys sent to the Hungarian countryside to wait out the war’s violent barrage with their embittered, cruel grandmother. Only 13 but grimly determined to survive, the brothers decide that the only way to endure the horrors of war is by extinguishing their own humanity. A chilling portrait of young psyches warped by inconceivable trauma, this critical and audience favorite took the top prize at the prestigious Karlovy Vary Film Festival. Chicago Premiere.

Pioneer Norway (Director: Erik Skjoldbjærg) — In this gripping, white-knuckle thriller, the Norwegian government has enlisted an American diving company to guide their efforts to tap into the North Sea’s immense oil deposits. Petter and a Norwegian team of divers take on the extremely perilous task of guiding the pipeline 500 meters below the surface. When a sudden accident leads to disaster, Petter must come to terms with the tragedy while attempting to uncover where responsibility lies, quickly running afoul of a sinister conspiracy. Chicago Premiere.

The Priest’s Children Croatia/Serbia (Director: Vinko Brešan) — Troubled by his small island’s dwindling population, the young and dogmatic Father Fabijan teams up with the local pharmacist and newsstand vendor to take family planning into his own hands. Soon the picturesque island town is awash with pregnant women and shotgun marriages, and word of the island’s fertility turns it into a vacation spot for foreign tourists. The unintended consequences of the plan soon spin out of control in this irreverent, hilarious dark comedy. US Premiere.

Stray Dogs Taiwan/France (Director: Tsai Ming-Liang) — The latest film from Taiwanese master Tsai Ming-Liang (The Wayward Cloud) tells the story of a father and his two children who live on the margins in Taipei. Squatting in an abandoned building, they get by on handouts and the father’s meager salary as a human billboard. Mysterious and affecting, the story of the father’s unwinding is told with the sublime, rapturous beauty that has come to be associated with Tsai’s work in one of his most emotionally powerful films. Chicago Premiere

A Thousand Times Good Night Norway (Director: Erik Poppe) — A Thousand Times Good Night follows driven war photographer Rebecca (Juliette Binoche in one of her most powerful performances), known for her willingness to tackle risky subjects. While photographing suicide bombers, she is badly hurt in an explosion. When she returns home to Norway, her husband (Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and daughter are tired of her risking her life on dangerous assignments. They give her an ultimatum, making her choose between her work and her family. US Premiere.

The Verdict Belgium (Director: Jan Verheyen) — A successful businessman with a beautiful wife and daughter, Luc Segers leads an idyllic life. It all falls apart when a botched burglary leads to the murder of his wife and the death of his daughter. Luc quickly identifies the killer but a procedural error lets him off scot-free, devastating Luc even further. A taut, award-winning courtroom thriller, The Verdict follows Luc’s obsessive efforts to enact justice. US Premiere.

Wałesa: Man Of Hope Poland (Director: Andrzej Wajda) — Lech Wałesa, an electrician, husband, and new father, works at the Gdansk shipyard. Arrested at a protest, Walesa discovers that he is a born leader. When he speaks, people respond, and he soon becomes the voice and face of the growing Solidarity movement. Aware of the dangers his position entails, he is still determined to fight for his country. Legendary director Andrzej Wajda (Ashes and Diamonds, Katyn) tells the inspiring story of a Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader. US Premiere

Le Week-End UK (Director: Roger Michell) — An unreservedly honest, emotionally resonant love story from director Roger Michell (Notting Hill) and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi (My Beautiful Laundrette), Le Week-End follows Meg (Lindsay Duncan) and Nick (Jim Broadbent), whose 30-year marriage is dominated by routine and built up resentments. An anniversary holiday to Paris only makes matters worse, with each word and action inciting deep-seated rancor. An accidental meeting with an old American colleague (Jeff Goldblum) challenges the couple to find some way to re-ignite the spark. Chicago Premiere.

NEW DIRECTORS COMPETITION
This selection of first and second feature films receiving their U.S. Premiere in Chicago celebrates the spirit of discovery and innovation, introducing the next generation
of the world’s great filmmakers.

The Blinding Sunlight China (Director: Yu Liu) — Three generations of men live together in a poor Beijing neighborhood: father Li drives an illegal motorcycle taxi; son Kai is trying to graduate before getting expelled; and Li’s father collects recyclables for petty cash. They do whatever it takes to get by, negotiating the systems of authority that rule their daily lives. With a raw visual style, this stark neo-realist drama presents a penetrating look at working-class life and the corruption and graft pervading every level of society. US P       remiere.

Chasing Fireflies Colombia (Director: Roberto Flores Prieto) — Manrique’s lonely existence watching over an abandoned salt mine in the remote Colombian Caribbean suits him just fine.
Content in his isolation, with a dog that spends its nights chasing fireflies as his sole companion, his world is upended when his teenage daughter Valeria shows up as if out of nowhere. As the days pass, Valeria’s determined but cheerful presence forces Manrique out of his routine in this beautiful, understated story about family, love, and the small joys of life. North American Premiere.

The Girls On Liberty Street USA (Director: John Rangel) — With only one week left until she leaves for the Army, teenager Brianna spends her final days at her home in the Chicago suburbs packing and saying goodbye to friends. But in her quiet moments and the seemingly mundane interactions with family members, Brianna’s anxiety about her decision is palpable. Eschewing melodrama, the film imbues this simple story with a deft style and effortlessly natural performances, creating an assured portrait of a young woman in transition. World Premiere.

Illiterate Chile (Director: Moisés Sepúlveda) — For fifty years, Ximena has managed to get by without being able to read. When Jackeline, a young unemployed teacher, comes into her life, Ximena’s isolation is disturbed. Jackeline’s efforts to teach Ximena how to read prove almost
Herculean as they clash, but it soon becomes evident that the two women need each other in ways they could never predict. Mesmerizing performances drive this intimate, engrossing chamber drama about learning and acceptance. North American Premiere.

La Jaula De Oro Mexico (Director: Diego Quemada-Díez) — Three Guatemalan teens depart on the treacherous 1,200-mile trek towards the United States, riding atop dilapidated trains in the hope of finding a new life. Together they must undergo an unrelenting, arduous journey in which no one they meet can be trusted and catastrophe waits around every corner. Constantly upending audience expectations, this unrelenting immigration thriller will leave viewers at the edge of their seats until its nail-biting climax comes to a shocking close. US Premiere.

Life Feels Good Poland (Director: Maciej Pieprzyca) — Mateusz is an intelligent, romantic young man tragically trapped inside his own body, suffering from severe cerebral palsy that makes speech and controlled movement nearly impossible. Born into a loving family, Mateusz’s protected world is shattered when circumstances place him in an institution where he is misunderstood and mistreated. Featuring an astonishing, virtuoso lead performance, Life Feels Good beautifully recounts the true story of one man’s extraordinary efforts to endure in the face of impossible odds. US Premiere.

The Major Russia (Director: Yury Bykov) — In the dead of a snowy Russian winter, police major Sobolev, rushing recklessly to the hospital for the birth of his child, causes a fatal accident. Panicked and under great pressure from his colleagues, he participates in the cover up of his crime. But that decision will have disastrous consequences, compounded at each step by the increasingly elaborate scheme and its violent results. The tension builds to an electric climax as the guilt-wracked Sobolev goes on the lam in this thrilling crime drama. US Premiere.

Miele Italy (Director: Valeria Golino) — This tautly written drama follows Irene – nicknamed “Miele” (Italian for “Honey”) – as she treads legal and moral boundaries performing assisted suicides on elderly hospital patients. Progressively dehumanized and alienated, Irene finds what’s left of her morals challenged when she is approached by a depressed, fatalistic, yet physically healthy architect who has lost his will to live. A thought-provoking, humanistic character study featuring sharp, sensitive performances, Miele represents a mature and capable directorial debut from celebrated actress Valeria Golino (Respiro). Chicago Premiere.

Of Good Report South Africa (Director: Jahmil X. T. Qubeka) — This modern day film noir tracks Parker, a shy high school teacher arriving at a new school. While he is earnest in his passion for teaching, his extra-curricular attentions are drawn to a gorgeous young woman. When he realizes she is a student at his very school—and forbidden fruit—he grows increasingly obsessed. When the girl goes missing, a female detective comes snooping around, fueling Parker’s unstable, even dangerous, behavior as she gets closer to the shocking truth. US Premiere

Stockholm Stories Sweden (Director: Karin Fahlén) — The lives of five seemingly unrelated lost souls intertwine in Sweden’s chilly capital in this delicate and wryly funny ensemble film. A precocious yet untalented young writer, a friendless advertising genius, a tight-lipped workaholic, a shy upper-class boy with a secret crush, and a recently dumped young woman all come to realize hard truths about love and life over the course of several days. World Premiere.

Suzanne France (Director: Katell Quillévéré) — Suzanne (beautifully played by the enthralling Sara Forestier) grows up an inquisitive, strong-minded girl in a loving but unstable home with her sister and much absent truck-driving father. When, as a teen, she falls in love with a local tough guy and becomes pregnant, her life takes a plunging trajectory as she continues to choose love above all else. This poignant family portrait explores the ties and limits of family bonds through one young woman’s heartrending journey. North American Premiere.

Wild Duck Greece (Director: Yannis Sakaridis) — Out of work and deeply in debt, telecommunications expert Dimitris abandons his rural hometown in northern Greece and makes for the capital at the behest of his former boss, who enlists his help in tracking down a shadowy group of phone hackers. But what was supposed to be a straightforward job soon grows exponentially more complicated when Dimitris happens upon some dark secrets his employer is hiding in this slowburning, suspenseful exploration of life in Athens. US Premiere.

Wolfschildren Germany (Director: Rick Ostermann) — A remarkable story inspired by true events, Wolfschildren follows 14-year-old Hans and his younger brother Fritz, orphaned after WWII, on the long and difficult journey to Lithuania where family friends might take them in. Almost immediately, the brothers are separated, and Hans must make his way alone through treacherous territory, fighting off disease and hunger while outrunning the Soviet army, praying that he and his brother will find each other again in this beautifully shot, true-life thriller. North American Premiere.

DOCUFEST COMPETITION
From history to personal stories, verite to semi-fiction, this collection of documentaries from around the world competing for the Gold Hugo presents the diverse and vibrant state of contemporary non-fiction filmmaking

American Vagabond Finland/Denmark/USA (Director: Susanna Helke) — Growing up gay in a family and a community that refuse to accept him for who he is, James leaves his hometown for San Francisco. Moving with his boyfriend Tyler, James imagines easily finding a home in the world’s gay Mecca, but without jobs they end up living among the city’s sizable community of homeless queer youth. Both stylized and deeply personal, this moving documentary presents an intimate portrait of its subjects’ joys and struggles. North American Premiere.

Despite The Gods Australia (Director: Penny Vozniak) — Filmmaker Jennifer Lynch, daughter of David and director of the notorious Boxing Helena, traveled to India in 2008 to make Hisss, a modern-day comedy horror-musical film about the beautiful but vengeful snake goddess Nagin. But everything devolves rapidly into chaos as the bloated production falls behind schedule, the set growing increasingly tense and combative as Lynch fights with her producers for control of the film, all the while trying to look after her young daughter and maintain her sanity. US Premiere.

The Exhibition Canada (Director: Damon Vignale) — In an attempt to deflect the public gaze away from Canada’s most notorious serial killer and onto the lives of his victims, artist Pamela Masik creates paintings of the women killed by Robert Pickton. However, her work is quickly met with a backlash from the victims’ families and the Vancouver Aboriginal community. Unafraid to confront moral ambiguity, this documentary examines every nuance of the debate over whether her work is art, tribute, or exploitation. US Premiere.

Honor Diaries USA/Israel/Canada (Director: Paula Kweskin) — Spurred on by the Arab Spring, nine courageous women’s rights advocates gather to discuss gender inequality and a long history of oppression. Provided a platform by filmmaker and human rights lawyer Paula Kweskin, these women speak from personal experience about the hardships women endure in Muslim-majority societies. This inspiring documentary gives voice to these women as they recount their efforts to effect change in their own communities and in the larger world. World Premiere.

Infiltrators Palestine/UAE/Lebanon (Director: Khaled Jarrar) — At the wall separating Israel and Palestine, artist and filmmaker Khaled Jarrar and his small, handheld camera observe people making the dangerous, difficult crossing into Israel under constant threat of discovery by patrolling border guards, and the smugglers that assist them. With urgency and immediacy, Jarrar documents their efforts in this raw and endlessly compelling film that captures the struggle and determination of those whose lives have been forever disrupted by the wall. US Premiere.

Mothers China (Director: Xu Huijing) — In rural China, the job of enforcing the Communist Party’s one-child policy falls on government bureaucrats tasked with imposing fines, birth control, and forced sterilizations. Xu Huijing documents this process in his native village of Ma, following the tenacious efforts of the local birth control chief during an increased sterilization quota period, revealing the absurd and tragic local consequences of high-level government policy. North American Premiere.

Stop-Over France/Switzerland (Director: Kaveh Bakhtiari) — Learning that his cousin Mohsen has left Iran illegally, filmmaker Kaveh Bakhtiari travels to Athens, a common middle ground for undocumented migrants hoping to reach other European countries. Stop-Over captures the constant tension of these immigrants’ everyday lives in the shadows, where every trip outside a crowded safe house is fraught with the danger of arrest and deportation, in a powerful first-person account of life lived under the radar. Chicago Premiere.

Tough Bond USA (Directors: Austin Peck, Anneliese Vandenberg) — On the streets of Nairobi, Tough Bond brand glue is the drug of choice for kids living on their own, numbing themselves to hunger while surviving off scraps. This incredibly moving documentary provides an intimate look at four of these kids – who call themselves “Survivors” – following them over the course of three years and taking the viewer deep into their lives. Filmmakers Peck and Vandenberg employ impressive technical virtuosity in capturing the world of these embattled but resilient children. US Premiere.

Trucker and the Fox Iran (Director: Arash Lahooti) — Newly released from a psychiatric hospital after a bout of severe depression brought on by the death of his pet fox, truck driver Mahmood Kiyani Falavarjani returns to his family, work, and favorite hobby – filmmaking. Having previously won awards for his short films starring his beloved, lamented fox, he sets out to film his most ambitious project yet: a love story between two donkeys. Arash Lahooti’s sympathetic documentary captures Mahmood’s fascinating life as family man, eccentric animal lover, and artist. US Premiere.

AFTER DARK COMPETITION
Flesh-eating zombies, bloodthirsty vigilantes, mysterious maladies, and more – this line up of the best new horror and extreme films is guaranteed to titillate and terrify!

Big Bad Wolves Israel (Directors: Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado) — When the seemingly meek schoolteacher Dror is arrested – and then released due to a police blunder – as the lead suspect in a brutal child murder, renegade detective Miki and enraged grieving father Gidi take the law into their own hands in search of information and bloody justice. Their violent rage quickly spins out of control in this fantastically intense, darkly funny revenge thriller from the pioneers of Israeli horror cinema. Chicago Premiere.

Borgman Netherlands/Belgium/Denmark (Director: Alex van Warmerdam) — Driven by the authorities from his underground hideout, the enigmatic Camiel Borgman is on the run. Covered in dirt, he arrives at Marina and Richard’s large suburban estate asking to use their shower, thus beginning a game of sly calculation as he insinuates himself into their home. He soon starts to manipulate the family with almost preternatural charisma as his more sinister plans make themselves known in this chilling demonic tale. Chicago Premiere.

Cheap Thrills USA (Director: E.L. Katz) — When down-on-their-luck buddies Craig and Vince are propositioned by insouciant wealthy couple Colin and Violet to perform increasingly risky dares, the cashstrapped duo agrees. Craig and Vince soon find themselves in the strangers’ living room, progressively degrading and debasing themselves and each other as the stakes get higher and higher. This twisted, darkly funny game of cat and mouse was the winner of the 2013 SXSW Audience Choice Award. Chicago Premiere.

Contracted USA (Director: Eric England) — When gorgeous lesbian Samantha has a drunken one night stand with a strange man, she contracts what she thinks is a sexually-transmitted disease. But the truth is far more disturbing. As her horrific condition worsens, her friends begin to fear for her… and themselves. A gory body-horror film in the vein of David Cronenberg, Contracted provides truly gut-wrenching, visceral terror. North American Premiere.

Go Goa Gone India (Directors: Krishna D.K., Raj Nidimoru) — A rollicking zombie rom-com, Go Goa Gone follows two stoner friends, Luv and Hardik, who are both having a rough time. In desperate need of a vacation, they tag along with their roommate Bunny on a trip to the gorgeous beaches of Goa. After following a beautiful woman to a remote island for a rave, they awake to discover the island’s population has turned into zombies. Along with a gun-toting Russian mobster, they must battle the undead hordes. Chicago Premiere.

Nothing Bad Can Happen Germany (Director: Katrin Gebbe) — One day, young Tore – a member of the “Jesus Freaks” Christian punk movement – meets Benno by the side of the road. Before long, Tore moves into a tent in Benno’s garden, gradually becoming part of his family. But Benno can’t resist playing cruel games designed to test Tore’s faith. As the violence becomes more and more extreme, Tore’s capacity for love is pushed to its limits in this disturbing, nihilistic drama. Chicago Premiere.

Raze USA (Director: Josh C. Waller) — A young woman awakens in a concrete bunker, quickly discovering that she is not alone. Before she realizes what is happening, she is in combat for her life. So begins the first round of a modern-day gladiatorial tournament in which young women fight each other to the death at the whim of their sadistic unseen captors. If they lose, their loved ones will pay the price. Starring Tarantino’s go-to stunt woman, Zoe Bell, this gritty, ultra-violent tale pulls no punches. Chicago Premiere.

SHORT FILM COMPETITION
The short film program, encompassing more than 50 films from 25 countries, offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the creative visions of some of the most talented, original new filmmakers working today. Including a gorgeous lineup of films from across Africa, a dozen spectacular animated shorts, a terrifying late night lineup, and a selection of inspired short documentaries, you’re sure to discover something new and unforgettable. The Chicago International Film Festival is an Oscar® qualifying festival for Narrative and Documentary short films. Seven Short Film programs will screen back-to-back throughout Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19. Visit www.chicagofilmfestival.com to view the full list of titles.

Shorts 1: City & State – Local Heroes
Our showcase of films made in Illinois or by Illinois-based filmmakers is a wild ride, including gripping horror, off-the-wall animation, and beautifully observed storytelling.

Shorts 2: Animation – Cel Division
Drunken rampages, the pains of puberty, and the ruthless nature of the food chain are brought to life through stop motion, cel animation, rotoscoping, pen and paper and more. Including new films by three former Festival award winners!

Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem – Night Terrors
There are wild, drug induced hallucinations. There are psychedelic monkey-infested forests. There is unicorn hunting with a side of death metal. There are marauding one-eyed men. Miss at your peril.

Shorts 4: Our Lovers’ Story
Prepare to be charmed, seduced, and heartbroken by these seven short films for anyone who has ever fallen in or out of love.

Shorts 5: Spotlight Africa – From Earth’s Center
These award-winning African short films tell us stories rich with sympathy and symbolism, hailing from across the continent and beyond.

Shorts 6: Nature or Nurture?
Seven insightful documentary studies of relationships with people, animals, and even inanimate objects, and the comfort, meaning, and sense of belonging they can bring to our lives.

Shorts 7: Anyway, Anyhow , Anywhere
Unexpected and often challenging situations lead to quite unpredictable outcomes in this lineup of unique and stylish short narrative pieces.

Tickets, Festival Passes and Theater Information
Festival Passes are on sale until October 9. 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 on September 18-20. General public tickets will be on sale starting September 21. Tickets can be purchased online via Ticketmaster www.ticketmaster.com/chicagofilmfestival; by phone at 312-332-FILM (3456); or by visiting the Festival box office at AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.) beginning September 21 or at the Cinema/Chicago office (30 E. Adams, Suite 800) beginning September 23.

Festival screenings will be held at the AMC River East 21 Theater (322 E. Illinois St.).

For more information, visit http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/festival_guide/tickets/

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 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.

Simon encourages civic engagement, working together while speaking to female leaders in Chicago

Posted by Admin On September - 17 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will urge civic involvement and highlight the importance of women in politics while speaking to the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) Alliance for Women and League of Women Voters of Illinois (LWVIL) in separate events today.

Simon will join a panel of female elected officials including Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno and State Representative Patricia Bellock at the LWVIL State of the State event at the Union League Club of Chicago. Later Simon will provide the keynote address at a CBA Alliance for Women event.

“I am excited to be participating in a dialogue with this great group of women,” said Simon.  “We should be thankful for the dedicated work of the women that paved the way for us and continue carrying on their efforts to help future generations of leaders.”

In an effort to commemorate the dedicated work of the courageous Illinoisans who worked to grant women the right to vote in Presidential elections over 100 years ago, the LWVIL is hosting a luncheon featuring a prominent panel of four female elected officials, including Simon, moderated by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich.  Proceeds from the State of the State benefit the organization’s education fund and its mission of promoting civic education and voter service.

Founded in 1992, the Alliance for Women credits itself for working within the Chicago Bar Association to advance the interests of women in the legal profession and the larger community. Through monthly programs, special projects, networking events and professional development the Alliance brings together the talents of its members to implement strategies that effect change. As an Assistant State’s Attorney in Jackson County, Simon prosecuted domestic violence cases, and as professor at Southern Illinois University’s School of Law, she helped launch a domestic violence clinic to train law students and to serve clients at no cost.

The Alliance for Women event is its annual kick-off meeting designed to welcome new members and promote involvement over the upcoming year.  Previous speakers have included Dawn Clark Netsch and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Hon. Anne Burke.


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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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