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Archive for October 8th, 2013

The National Black Church Initiative asks Black community to leave Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West alone

Posted by Admin On October - 8 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Take your hands off these brothers, they are our Black Princes

(From The National Black Church Initiative)


WASHINGTON, D.C.The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African American churchgoers, is standing strong with Tavis Smiley and Cornel West as they continue to educate on how the Obama administration has consistently ignored and vilified the Black community. The Black community has not been treated with the type of respect and assistance we need in the most devastating economic climate since the Great Depression. What is more, this comes after the Black community gave Mr. Obama over 98 percent of his vote both in 2008 and 2012.


So-called African American leaders like our dear brothers Rev. Al Sharpton, Radio Host Tom Joiner, and NAACP leader Ben Jealous have made the poor choice of cozying up to the Obama administration as the black community has literally gone to hell in a hand basket. There is a dire need for them to stop criticizing Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West.  These brothers are trying to force the administration to address the economic needs of the black community and to treat African Americans equally. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the traditional civil rights leadership on the other hand went around and told us to “lower our expectations.”  In other words, they wanted us for the first time in our history to “lower our expectations” of the new president.


In some sense, this was a reasonable request given the condition of the country. But, after six years of suffering in silence, and after all we gave to President Obama, we are in a much worse economic position.


We love President Obama and his family! We want him to the right thing by us. We want President Obama to succeed, but he cannot do this by ignoring his most loyal supporters – his people.

Sharpton is not the president of Black America; we have a God-given right under the Constitution to air our views. The Black community is not monolithic in its thoughts. We have diverse sets of viewpoints just like all Americans.


One can easily assess this by the massive complaints coming directly from the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who are in some sense treated like the Republicans when they want access to the White House to plead their case.


· We have lost 54 percent of black spending power during this recession.

· Black unemployment rates vary between 13 and 15 percent.

· Black businesses fell sharply under the Obama administration.

· Black students are saddled with more debt under this administration.

· Black poverty rate increased under this administration.

· Black home owners got little or any assistance from the President’s three foreclosure programs (all of the administration foreclosure assistance programs have been an utter failure of black families).

· Black women, especially black poor women, who have supported the President at 99.8 percent have nothing to show for their single mindedness of support for President Obama.

· Black youth employment numbers are worse under this President than under Presidents Bush or Clinton.

· Black colleges and universities are experiencing the worst economic downturn without any resource support from this administration. Will President Obama let Howard University fall?

· Africa was granted a five year $7.5 billion economic assistance package – pennies when compared to $200 billion in overseas investment in China.


Even more sad and indefensible, the Obama administration has no plan to correct these persistent and permanent conditions. They will give you the old Ronald Reagan line that the President is trying to help all Americans and he sees no difference between the African American middle-class position and the white middle-class economic condition. Hypercritically, President Obama once articulated that the economic scale clearly favored white America.


The economic statistical picture for African Americans continues to decelerate under the Obama administration. These are hard facts. We have invested so much hope in President Obama and he has consistently failed us with his drone and spy programs, and his thirst for killing and talking down to our children, especially at Morehouse. He has and continues to be a moral embarrassment to the black church and the black family by not addressing their real concerns. But when it comes to the gay community, he has and continues to use the full power of his presidency to push and promote the wicked policy of same sex marriage.The question here is to ask for what policy the administration has thrown its full weight behind to benefit Black America. If one will say healthcare, they will be wrong simply because the Affordable Care Act has not taken effect as of the date of this press release.

The Rev. Anthony Evans, President of NBCI says, “I am ashamed of my people that they will go after one of ours – Tavis and Cornel – as they defend the dignity of black people. When I heard that black people and some black women have threaten Tavis’ life I stopped being ashamed and was horrified of the way that we have begun to treat one another. The Black Church will have none of this in our community. The person who threatens and criticizes Tavis and Cornel is morally wrong and should be condemned.  Beloved, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West are defenders of dignity and what is good and honorable in the black community. They are not political opportunist who will kick these brothers and misrepresent their thoughts in the media and especially in the black press.  Shame on anyone who will harm these brothers by words or action. These two brothers represent the Christ who cared and loved the poor. The church according to our Lord and savior must defend the poor—NBCI speaks for the poor-this is our job.”


Against this backdrop of economic catastrophe in the black community, we face political isolation from the White House and African American leaders — Sharpton, Jackson, Jealous and others — telling us that we shall not use our political skills in pressuring the Obama administration to address the needs of the black community.  Tavis Smiley and Cornel West and many others who dare to question this administration as they trade off of the President’s blackness (or the lack thereof) that we should not challenge the President publicly as he ignores us. This makes Tavis and Cornel’s challenge important so that we can reclaim the manner of protest and the fight for human dignity. Travis is not perfect like Al Sharpton is not perfect but both of them love our people. This is why it is wrong to vilify Tavis and Dr. West for their approach concerning the President Obama leadership.


Tavis Smiley as you know has over the past 20 years committed himself and his company to come up with a plan to defeat the economic, political and moral issues that confront daily our reality in the black community. The plan was called the Covenant which every single black leader – men and women signed on to it and they were the first ones to violate the core principle of the Covenant which stated that: as leaders we will hold every president/politician to the principles of the Covenant for Black America irrespective of whether they were Republican or Democratic presidents/politician.  When President Obama was elected the same so-called leaders told us to – through away our minds. You should have no greater expectations (black people) for President Obama than you should have for a white president. The main advocate of this silly political philosophy of not holding President Obama to the same standards that we would hold any white president was Al Sharpton and Tom Joiner and Ben Jealous.


Both of them signed to covenant. They violated the Covenant that they signed and criticized Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West for upholding the core principle of the Covenant to President Obama and his administration.  As a result of this, they allowed a lynch mob of so-called black leaders including black women to threaten the life of our beloved brother Tavis and West because they were both willing to give the Obama administration a free pass just because he was the first one to achieve the presidency.  This makes Al Sharpton and Tom Joiner and the rest of the so-called black leaders who signed that covenant moral hypocrites.  Are they saying that we cannot have a civil discussion about the moral and political integrity of President Obama’s policies?  Or are we betraying the race if we question the leader of the free world about his commitment to his own people as we suffer worse than any other race in this county?


About NBCI

The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is a coalition of 34,000 churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. NBCI’s mission is to provide critical wellness information to all of its members, congregants, churches and the public. NBCI offers faith-based, out-of-the box and cutting edge solutions to stubborn economic and social issues. NBCI’s programs are governed by credible statistical analysis, science based strategies and techniques, and methods that work. Visit our website at www.naltblackchurch.com.

Time for a Dignified Minimum Wage

Posted by Admin On October - 8 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Benjamin Todd Jealous

President and CEO of the national NAACP

This summer, minimum wage workers in California abandoned their posts at fast food restaurants and retail stores for spots on the picket line. They joined workers in cities across the country to demand an increase in the minimum wage.

Their efforts paid off last month when California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to raise the state minimum wage over the next three years to $10 an hour.

For the first time in years, widespread minimum wage reform is a real possibility, and we need to keep the pressure on. The current federal minimum wage is inadequate, outdated, and out of touch with the modern cost of living. In this country, a full-time job should be enough to keep a family above the poverty line and off of welfare.

Imagine a mother working a steady, full time, year round job at the federal minimum wage – $7.25 an hour. Her annual salary will amount to just $15,080. That puts her below the poverty line for a family of two, and well below the poverty line for a family of four. To make matters worse, her paltry salary depreciates in value each year, since the federal minimum wage is not tied to inflation.

At this rate, she could put in 45, 50 or even 60 hour weeks in an effort to keep her family off welfare, but she would still qualify for – and most likely need – public assistance.

This is hardly a hypothetical situation. Thirty three U.S. states and territories use the federal minimum wage, and there are over three million mothers and fathers just getting by on full-time jobs. These are not the unemployed. These are not the underemployed. These are the over employed and underpaid.

It is a travesty that millions of Americans work full time but still struggle to support their families. They are making a decision to be hard-working employees and responsible parents, but their employers are also making a decision – to pay them poverty wages.

Raising the minimum wage is imperative, and the potential cost to businesses and consumers is less than you might think. According to a recent study by DEMOS, raising the federal minimum wage to $12.25 ($25,000 for a full-time, year round worker) would cost large retailers just one percent of total annual sales, and it would cost consumers just 12 to 18 cents extra per shopping trip. At the same time, this change would lift more than 700,000 people out of poverty.

There are several opportunities to make this a reality. In November, New Jersey voters will decide whether to raise the state minimum wage to $8.25 and tie it to the cost of living. President Obama recently suggested increasing the federal minimum wage to $9. Even below the Mason-Dixon Line, two Maryland counties are considering bills to raise their minimum wage to $11.25.

It is time for a new social contract for people at the bottom of the economic ladder. We need to stand up with workers in California and other states and demand a dignified minimum wage on the federal level and in our communities. We can no longer afford not to.

Benjamin Todd Jealous is the president and CEO of the national NAACP.

This column was first published in USA TODAY. Contact: Ben Wrobel 917-846-0658 bwrobel@naacpnet.org @NAACPPress

Illinois State Board of Education announces public hearings to guide FY 2015 budget development

Posted by Admin On October - 8 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Board will also use hearings to gather feedback on the state’s education finance system

SPRINGFIELD, IL – State education leaders once again urge local community members to weigh in on what education needs should be a priority as they prepare the Fiscal Year 2015 K-12 education budget. The Illinois State Board of Education is also encouraging citizens to share their opinions and ideas regarding the state’s current funding formula as the Board works with a Senate committee tasked with evaluating the formula and education funding.

ISBE’s Finance and Audit Committee will host the first of five public hearings immediately following the Oct. 23 Board meeting at Carbondale Community High School in Carbondale. The Board will submit its FY 2015 education budget recommendation by January to the Governor and General Assembly.

“One of the Board’s crucial roles is to be a strong advocate for sufficient funding for K-12 education and ensure each and every student in the state is prepared for the rigors of college and careers,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “At a time of renewed interest in examining how schools are funded in Illinois, the Board believes that significant changes are needed to improve the quality of education for the state’s two million public school students.”

In addition to developing the FY 2015 state education budget, the Board is assisting the Senate Education Funding Advisory Committee as it works to study the current method of distributing state funding to school districts. The Advisory Committee, co-chaired by Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, and Sen. Dave Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, aims to propose a state education funding system that provides adequate, equitable, transparent and accountable distribution of funds to school districts that will prepare students for achievement and success after high school. Testimony from the FY 2015 budget hearings regarding the funding formula will be shared with the Senate committee as it works to recommend a more equitable method of distributing available resources to schools. The committee is charged with having a proposal ready for the full General Assembly by next February.

State Board’s education funding principles:

The State Board believes that any recommendations for changing how education is financed should be measured against five key principles:

  1. Adequacy — provides a level of funding sufficient for a high quality education.

  1. Simplicity — provides districts a predictable, understandable revenue stream that is used to maximize student outcomes.

  1. Transparency — is easily accessed and understood by all citizens.

  1. Equity — begins with everyone contributing a minimum tax rate and adjusts for student need by weighting the formula to allow for additional resources to address impediments to student achievement.

  1. Outcome-focused — encourages student growth in learning.

“We look forward to working with lawmakers to develop a new funding formula that meets all five principles and best serves students and taxpayers,” said Jim Baumann, Chair of the ISBE Finance and Audit Committee. “Currently, Illinois continues to rank near the bottom of the nation in terms of state financial support for elementary and secondary education.”

Inequities exist as student funding and local tax rates vary across the state. Illinois’ Operating Expenditure Per Pupil can range from $6,016 to $25,289, depending on where a student resides, while local tax rates can fluctuate from 2.3 percent to 15.3 percent of property value, depending on where a taxpayer’s home is located.

Recent Budget History

Meanwhile, the ISBE has continued to advocate for increased state funding in recent years. The Fiscal Year 2014 state budget saw a nearly $140 million increase over the previous fiscal year, making it the largest budget for education the State Board has received since Fiscal Year 2009. The FY 2014 State Budget for Pre-K-12 education totals nearly $6.7 billion, an overall increase of $137 million from Fiscal Year 2013 appropriation levels. Much of that increase went toward funding General State Aid (GSA). Still, the state saw a $165-million reduction in General State Aid between FY 2009 and FY 2014. As a result, GSA is being significantly prorated for another year, this year by about 89 percent.

The GSA formula supports local school district general operations. Central to the GSA calculation is the “Foundation Level,” which is intended to represent the minimum level to adequately fund the education of a single pupil in the Illinois K-12 public school system. That Foundation Level has been set in statue at $6,119 per pupil since 2010. In recent years, however, funds appropriated for GSA have fallen short and districts have not received full reimbursement.

Between FY 2009 to FY 2013, the state education budget experienced an overall drop of $852 million. Most budget experts agree that the increase to the FY 2014 budget was the result of a one-time unexpected increase stemming from a change to a federal law.

The Board, aware that districts are implementing new initiatives to improve student and teacher performance as well as seeing an increase in students from low-income families, will continue to advocate for more education funding. The state saw level funding in FY 2014 in Early Childhood, Bilingual, Career and Tech Ed and Mandated Categoricals.

Budgeting for Results

Consistent with The National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting principles, Illinois requires state agencies to use a ”Budgeting for Results” model to establish spending priorities, meet goals and deliver excellent services and value to taxpayers. To meet the Budgeting for Results requirements, budget hearing participants are once again asked to provide the following information when presenting their FY 2015 budget requests to the ISBE Finance and Audit Committee:

  • Outcomes: What outcomes will the funding allotment achieve?

  • Measures: What are the measurable results of these outcomes?

  • Value: What is the value of the outcomes?

  • Historicals: What outcomes have been achieved in the past?

  • Moving forward: How does your organization plan to improve the value of services it provides using funding and other resources?

Budgeting for Results calls on every state agency to make the case for its budget based on its ability to successfully deliver results and value to Illinoisans.

State K-12 Budget Hearings Schedule

Those who are unable to attend one of the five public hearings are encouraged to email any guidance or feedback to ISBE at isbefy15@isbe.net. The public budget hearings for FY 2015 will be conducted at the follow dates and locations:

· Wednesday, Oct. 23 – Immediately following board meeting (4 to 6 p.m.) – Carbondale – Carbondale Community High School Library, 1301 E. Walnut St., Carbondale, IL 62901

· Tuesday, Nov. 12 – 4 to 6 p.m. – Champaign – Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820

· Thursday, Nov. 14 – 4 to 6 p.m. – Grayslake – College of Lake County,  Auditorium, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030

· Wednesday, Nov. 20 – 4 to 6 p.m. – Macomb – Macomb High School Library, 1525 S. Johnson St., Macomb, IL 61455

· Friday, Nov. 22 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Chicago – Thompson Center, Conference Room 16-503, 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601

The State Board’s Finance and Audit Committee conducts public hearings each year to gather opinions about local district’s education needs and priorities as they prepare the following year’s education budget. The Board generally recommends an education budget in January, several months prior to any General Assembly action on the next fiscal year’s budget. The Board can only make a recommendation. The Governor and legislators must determine how to generate revenue and set the final budget.

Governor Quinn and Serve Illinois Commission announce $7.5 million Federal Grant for AmeriCorps Programs

Posted by Admin On October - 8 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Begins yearlong 20th anniversary celebration of AmeriCorps

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor Pat Quinn and his Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service today announced that the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has awarded $7.5 million to enable 900 volunteers in 29 AmeriCorps programs to better serve Illinois communities. The announcement comes at the beginning of a yearlong 20th anniversary celebration for the program.

“Twenty years ago today, President Clinton signed the National and Community Service Trust Act,” said Brandon Bodor, Executive Director of Serve Illinois. “Since then more than 30,000 Illinoisans have taken up the charge to ‘get things done’ for their communities. Service is in our fabric as a state, and this AmeriCorps grant will help grow our commitment to selflessness and service in Illinois.”

This federal grant will go towards services in Illinois, including tutoring and mentoring at-risk youth, preparing communities to respond effectively to emergencies, and building connections between immigrants and their non-immigrant neighbors. CNCS is the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, and its goal with the grant is to develop and expand volunteer organizations across the country. The Serve Illinois Commission, a part of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and the Office of the Governor, administers the AmeriCorps programs in Illinois.

“Our AmeriCorps volunteers in Illinois are on the front lines of service, and they have been for the past two decades,” Bodor added. “These members are the bedrock of our volunteer infrastructure in the state. Illinois AmeriCorps members have served more than 37 million hours, which equates to about $858 million in impact.”

AmeriCorps programs receiving funds from CNCS:

· Academy for Urban School Leadership – Chicago

· American Red Cross, Safe Families – Chicago

· Asian Human Services – Chicago

· Chicago Bar Foundation, Illinois Justice Corps – Chicago

· Children’s Home Association of Illinois, Fostering Transitions AmeriCorps – Peoria

· City Year – Chicago

· Greater Chicago Food Depository – Chicago

· Illinois Public Health Association – Springfield

· Jumpstart Illinois – Chicago

· Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, AmeriCorps/East St. Louis – East St. Louis

· Literacy Volunteers of Illinois, Project VOCAL – Chicago

· Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, Prisoner & Family Ministries – Marion

· Northwestern University Settlement Association, Project YES! – Chicago

· PCC Community Wellness Center – Oak Park

· Public Allies, Inc. – Chicago

· Public Health Institute of Metro Chicago, Healthy Communities Corps – Chicago

· Rend Lake College, Land of Lincoln AmeriCorps – Ina

· Sauk Valley Community College, ABC AmeriCorps – Dixon

· Schuler Family Foundation, Schuler Scholar Program – Chicago

· South Suburban Training & Rehab Services, Healthy and Able Program – Chicago Heights

· Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville AmeriCorps – Belleville

· Springfield Urban League, AmeriCorps/Youth Corps – Springfield

· Teach For America – Chicago

· University of Illinois Board of Trustees, Project MORE – Chicago

· West Suburban PADS, Career Passport and Housing Program – Maywood

· Western Illinois University, Peace Corps Fellows Program – Macomb

· Western Illinois University – Quad Cities, Moline

· Youth Organization Umbrella – Evanston

About Serve Illinois
The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40 member, bi-partisan board appointed by the Governor. Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the state. The Commission is accomplishing this mission through the support of local community-based efforts to enhance volunteer opportunities and the administration of Illinois’ AmeriCorps program. For more information on Serve Illinois, or to find one of over 100,000 volunteer opportunities in the state, please visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov.

18 Chicago Arts Groups Receive MacArthur Support for International Collaborations

Posted by Admin On October - 8 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

MacArthur awarded grants to 18 Chicago arts and culture organizations to conduct artistic exchanges with organizations in 16 countries.

The International Connections Fund was initiated in 2008 to provide an opportunity for arts organizations to undertake new partnerships and creative endeavors. The program began at a time when there were few resources available for cultural organizations to undertake new projects beyond their basic programs. Since that time, the Foundation has made 84 grants for exchanges, bringing new work to Chicago audiences and raising Chicago’s artistic profile around the world.

“Cross-cultural learning and sharing of artistic experiences can bring fresh perspectives to the creative organizations involved, and help inform, engage, and entertain diverse audiences in Chicago and around the world,” said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci.

MacArthur awards more than $8 million annually to more than 200 arts and culture groups in Chicago and the region as an expression of its civic commitment to its headquarters city and the home of its founders, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur.

The following organizations will receive International Connections Fund grants:

American Theater Company – $7,000 for an artistic exchange with Glasgow, Scotland that will add an international perspective to a new play focused on public housing.

Anima Young Singers of Greater Chicago – $25,000 for a new choral piece inspired by Native American cultures, to be written and performed through an exchange with young people in Canada and Alaska.

Chicago Human Rhythm Project – $45,000 for intensive artistic residencies in Chicago, Brazil, and Argentina, which will include classes for youth in American tap, public concerts, and the creation of new, collaborative work.

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic – $50,000 for Cuban and Philharmonic musicians to perform a new composition in Chicago and Cuba.

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras – $50,000 for a joint premier performance by youth symphonies in Chicago and China of a new piece of music written for Western and Eastern instruments.

Clinard Dance Theatre – $20,000 for an exchange with a contemporary dance company in India to create new dance pieces, one for each company.

Deeply Rooted Productions – $40,000 to support a multi-year residency with a contemporary dance company in South Africa and participation in the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance festival.

Facets Multi-Media, Inc. – $40,000 for a collaboration with indigenous Brazilian filmmakers to produce social issue documentary films that highlight communities under pressure in both Brazil and the United States.

Guild Complex – $32,000 to host exiled Middle Eastern poets in Chicago to discuss issues of freedom of speech and then to support a group of Chicago writers to bring these discussions to an international literature festival.

League of Chicago Theatres – $20,000 to give Chicago area theatre companies an opportunity to connect with visiting artists and learn about theatre in other parts of the world through workshops and other coordinated activities.

MAKE Literary Productions – $25,000 to organize a live event in Chicago and a live event in Mexico City, combining many art forms and focusing on the subject of translation.

Northlight Theatre – $15,000 for an artistic exchange with Ireland and co-production of a new work that will premiere in Chicago and then at the Galway Arts Festival.

Old Town School of Folk Music – $48,000 for an exchange of music faculty with a conservatory in Turkey. Each organization will share its music and culture with the other’s students and communities.

Same Planet Different World – $47,000 for a collaboration with a contemporary dance company in Israel to jointly develop and premiere a new piece of work.

The International Contemporary Ensemble – $40,000 for a musical exchange with Japan. The visiting artists will perform a new concerto and present educational workshops for Japanese music students.

Theater Oobleck – $25,000 for a collaboration with El Circo Nacional de Puerto Rico, to co-write and produce a new show with premieres in Chicago and San Juan.

Third Coast Percussion – $10,000 for an exchange of Chicago and German percussion artists, who will perform a new work before traveling to Germany to participate in the first Lübeck International Percussion Festival.

Trap Door Productions – $20,000 for an artistic exchange with a French director to produce Albert Camus’ “The Just,” which will be presented in Chicago and France.

International Connections Fund grants are limited to Chicago area nonprofit arts and culture organizations that received a grant within the last three years from MacArthur or though the MacArthur Funds established at the Driehaus and Prince Foundations. Learn more about MacArthur’s International Connections Fund.

Grantee Profile: Anima-Young Singers of Greater Chicago, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Deeply Rooted Productions, Facets Multimedia, International Contemporary Ensemble Foundation, League of Chicago Theatres Foundation, Northlight Theatre, Old Town School of Folk Music, Third Coast International Audio Festival

– See more at: http://www.macfound.org/press/press-releases/18-chicago-arts-groups-receive-macarthur-support-international-collaborations/#sthash.Tc1lfFST.dpuf

AARP and Black Enterprise launch Small Business University

Posted by Admin On October - 8 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Four-Week Webinar Series offers expert guidance to entrepreneurs looking to start and grow small businesses

WASHINGTON, IL – AARP, one of the world’s largest member organizations with more than 37 million members and Black Enterprise, the leading small business resource for African Americans, announced today the launch of the Black Enterprise Small Business University. The four-week, online video course will offer expert advice to entrepreneurs looking to start and grow profitable small businesses.

Kicking off on Monday, October 7 with “Crowdfunding and the Future of Small Business,” Small Business University, sponsored by AARP, aims to assist entrepreneurs in three different stages of business development: the aspiring start-up, the part-time entrepreneur, and those with an already established enterprise. To register, visit http://www.blackenterprise.com/sbu.

“Many Americans dream of owning their own business, sometimes as a second or third career, and using their creative talents to do productive work that also helps them gain economic stability,” said Edna Kane-Williams, AARP Vice President, Multicultural Markets and Engagement. “AARP looks forwards to collaborating with Black Enterprise to provide valuable resources and information that will help strengthen small businesses and encourage more entrepreneurs to reimagine their careers.”

The Black Enterprise Small Business University will consist of three original video tutorials per week featuring a team of rotating business, marketing, branding and technology all-stars including ‘SmallBizLady’ Melinda Emerson; Vanguarde Consulting Group CEO Derrick Webster; Ramon Ray, Regional Development Director for InfusionSoft and Editor of Smallbiztechnology.com; and Alfred Edmond Jr., SVP/Multimedia Editor at Large of Black Enterprise.

In addition, Small Business University experts and the Black Enterprise editorial team will be available via Twitter chats to connect directly with participants, answer questions and provide additional resources.

“Over the past five years, Small Business University has become one of our most popular multimedia offerings at BlackEnterprise.com,” says Edmond, who produced the first series of Black Enterprise SBU videos in 2009 as Editor-in-Chief of BlackEnterprise.com. “Partnering with AARP to help new and aspiring entrepreneurs, including those who are pursuing business ownership as a new chapter of their work lives after a career of working for employers other than themselves, is a major opportunity for us to promote both entrepreneurial and financial success.”

The week-by-week schedule for the Black Enterprise Small Business University sponsored by AARP is as follows:



Melinda Emerson, acclaimed author, speaker, Small Business Coach (SucceedAsYourOwnBoss.com) and CEO of Quintessence Multimedia will discuss aspects of opening a business and what many would call the most important: finding a lawyer, choosing an accountant and finding alternate sources of funding.

Monday, October 7: Crowdfunding and the Future of Small Business s

Tuesday, October 8: What to Look for When Hiring a Lawyer

Wednesday, October 9: Picking an Accountant That’s Right for Your Business.

Derrick Webster, President and CEO of Vanguarde Consulting Group, will discuss competitors in the marketplace and how to establish competitive pricing for a product or service. This session will also explore the best online networks for promoting a small business.

Monday, October 14: How to Properly Assess and Compete With Your Competition

Tuesday, October 15: How to Determine Your Price point and Market Value

Wednesday, October 16: How to Decide What Online Networks are Best for Your Business

Ramon Ray, Regional Development Director for InfusionSoft and Editor and Technology Evangelist of Smallbiztechnology.com, will provide tips on how businesses can effectively interact with their customers online and how businesses can develop a web presence that’s attractive and easy to navigate.

Monday, October 21: From Start to Finish: Your First Website

Tuesday, October 22: How to Get Your Email Marketing Noticed

Wednesday, October 23: The ABCs of Customer Relationships

Alfred Edmond Jr., SVP/Multimedia Editor-at-Large of Black Enterprise, will discuss how to manage cash accounts and the positive and negative impact that social media can have on a business.

Monday, October28: Cash flow Management: Keeping an Eye on Your Bottom Line

Tuesday, October 29: Creating and Maintaining a Social Media Presence for Your Business

Wednesday, October 30: Social Media Dos and Don’ts for Your Business

To register for the Small Business University and for additional information, tools and resources about small business success, visit www.blackenterprise.com/sbu and www.aarp.org/blackcommunity. Follow us on Twitter @BlackEnterprise and @AARPBlackCom and join the conversation using Hashtag #SmallBizU.

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.

About Black Enterprise

black enterprise, your ultimate source of Wealth For Life, is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, be has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Every month, black enterprise magazine provides 4 million readers with information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management. A multimedia company, be also produces radio and television programming, business and lifestyle events, Web and mobile content, and social media engagement. black enterprise is the definitive source of information for and about African American business markets and leaders, and the authority on black business news and trends.

City Teams Up with Mike Ditka, the Chicago Sky and the Chicago Fire to Remind Chicagoans that Their Best Shot this Flu Season is a Flu Shot

Posted by Admin On October - 8 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Local Sports Celebrities featured in City’s New Awareness Campaign

CHICAGO, IL – The Chicago Department of Public Health launched its new flu prevention ad campaign that features legendary Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Sylvia Fowles and Chicago Fire defender Gonzalo Segares.

From now until December, the sports stars are featured on billboards and transit ads across the city to encourage residents to get a flu shot. The flu vaccine is the single best way to protect against the flu and the ad campaign is part of the city’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness about flu protection.

“Sports legends and rising stars at the top of their game know that the best way to stay in the game is to get your flu vaccine,” said CDPH Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D.  “We’re excited to have so many sports celebrities help us remind all Chicagoans to stay healthy this flu season.”

“I’ve always said the best defense is a good offense and it’s the same with your health,” said Coach Mike Ditka. “Get your flu shot early and prevent yourself from sitting on the sidelines!”

Segares made an appearance at the campaign’s launch event on Monday and got his annual flu shot from CDPH Immunization Medical Director Julie Morita, M.D.

“As the last line of defense on the soccer field, I know the importance of staying healthy and being in shape,” said Segares. “One of my best defensive strategies to ensure I’m out on the field all season long is getting my annual flu shot.”

Delle Donne and Fowles from the Chicago Sky also took special interest in helping CDPH raise awareness. En route to winning numerous all-league accolades, Delle Donne and Fowles lent their smiles to the campaign to let Chicagoans know that their best shot to be protected from the flu is a flu shot.

“I am very happy to be a part of this year’s flu shot campaign,” said Delle Donne. “I am excited to have the opportunity to spread the word about the importance of taking steps to promote individual health as well as the health of others.”

“Everyone should get their flu shot!” said Fowles. “I am really excited about being part of this campaign. It’s important to your health and the health of everyone around you to prevent the spread of the flu. I’m happy to be helping CDPH share this message.”


CDPH recommends that residents first contact their primary health care provider to get a flu shot.  For those without health care providers or whose health care providers do not administer flu shots, residents can visit a retail pharmacy.

Flu shots are also especially important for health care workers and anyone who lives with or cares for anyone at increased risk for flu complications including infants, pregnant women, senior citizens and people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease.

Last month, CDPH announced over 60 special flu vaccination clinics the department is hosting in communities across Chicago through December 14. CDPH also launched an updated version of its online Flu Clinic Finder that pinpoints CDPH clinics by zip code.

For more information on flu resources, residents can call 3-1-1 or visit www.CityOfChicago.org/FLU.

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) works to make Chicago a safer and healthier place by working with community partners to promote health, prevent disease, reduce environmental hazards and ensure access to health care for all Chicagoans. Visit us at www.cityofchicago.org/health to learn more about how CDPH is transforming the health of our city.

Johnnetta Cole to Receive 2013 Alumnae Award from The Alumnae of Northwestern University

Posted by Admin On October - 8 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

EVANSTON, IL -  Anthropologist, educator, humanitarian, writer and college president Dr. Johnnetta Cole is the recipient of The Alumnae of Northwestern University’s 2013 Alumnae Award.  The Alumnae Award recognizes a woman who has brought honor to Northwestern University through outstanding professional contributions in her field and who has attained national recognition.  Established in 1976, the Alumnae Award has been presented every year to an outstanding alumna who has had a significant impact in her field of endeavor.  Educators, journalists, doctors and artists are included among The Alumnae’s roster of award recipients.

Dr. Cole completed her undergraduate degree at Oberlin College and earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in anthropology from Northwestern University. In addition to receiving 61 honorary degrees from various institutions, she served on the faculty at various universities.  In 1987, she made history by becoming the first African-American woman to serve as president of Spelman College.  At her inauguration, Drs. Bill and Camille Cosby donated twenty million dollars to the college; during her ten-year administration, Spelman was named the number one liberal arts college of the South.  Dr. Cole proved to be a dynamic administrator, an energetic fundraiser, and a source of inspiration to both the faculty and the student body.  At a time when historically black colleges were deemed obsolete by some, she emerged as one of their most passionate advocates.

Dr. Cole has served on the Boards of Directors of Home Depot, Merck & Co., and NationsBank South and was the first woman ever elected to the Board of Coca-Cola Enterprises.  After 10 years as president of Spelman, Dr. Cole returned to teaching in 1998 as Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Women’s Studies and African American Studies at Emory University, subsequently retiring as professor emerita.

In 2002, she accepted an appointment as president of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina.  At Bennett College, Dr. Cole founded the Johnnetta B Cole Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute.  During her tenure at Bennett, an art gallery was opened and programs were initiated in women’s studies and global studies.

From 2004 to 2006, Dr. Cole chaired the Board of Trustees of United Way of America, the first African American to serve in that position.   She advised the Smithsonian Institute on the creation of a National Museum of African American History. In 2009, she was selected to serve as director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, which houses more than 10,000 objects representing nearly every area of the continent of Africa.  She currently serves on the Scholarly Advisory Board for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the construction of which will be completed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., by 2015.

Through her work as college president, university professor and through her published works, speeches and community service, Dr. Cole has consistently addressed racial, gender and all other forms of inequality, acting as a mentor to many young women and men.

“The Alumnae of Northwestern University is extremely proud to present the 2013 Alumnae Award to Dr. Johnnetta Cole,” said Alumnae Board president Dee Hanlon.  “She joins a distinguished group of women from such diverse fields as business, education, journalism, music, medicine, theatre and public service.  Remarkable woman that she is, Dr. Cole has been recognized for her contributions in several fields with numerous awards and honorary degrees.  The Alumnae takes great pride in presenting this year’s award to a woman whose life of achievement has brought honor to Northwestern University.”

Dr. Cole, married to James D. Stanton Jr., is mother of three sons and has one step-son and three grandchildren.  Dr. Cole will receive her award at a ceremony to be held at 4 p.m., Thursday, October 24, at Evanston’s Hilton Garden Inn.

The Alumnae of Northwestern University is an all-volunteer organization of women that raises funds for a wide range of projects to benefit the University and shares the University’s academic resources with the community through its Continuing Education program.  Founded in 1916, The Alumnae has given more than $6 million to the University in the form of gifts and grants, fellowships, scholarships, an endowed professorship, as well as funding for special university projects and summer internships.  For more information, visit The Alumnae website:  (www.nualumnae.org).

Support for Marijuana Legalization Grows in CA – What’s Next?

Posted by Admin On October - 8 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

 Support for Marijuana Legalization Grows in CA - What’s Next?

New America Media

By Anna Challet

SAN FRANCISCO — For the first time, over half of Californians are expressing support for the legalization of non-medical marijuana, according to new statewide survey results. With support having possibly reached a tipping point and efforts to produce a 2014 ballot initiative already underway, what might legalization look like in California?

The survey, conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from the James Irvine Foundation, shows that 52 percent of Californians, as well as 60 percent of likely voters, support legalization. As recently as March of last year, PPIC found that support was at 45 percent.

“Our state has for many years lived with medical marijuana – not to say it isn’t controversial in locations, but it’s generally accepted,” PPIC president Mark Baldassare told The Sacramento Bee. “It’s really now a different political context for having discussions about where does California go with legalization.”

Over 60 percent of both non-Hispanic whites and African Americans are supportive, as opposed to 36 percent of Latinos. Some 48 percent of Asian Americans express support. Across all age groups from 18 to over 55, support stands at about 50 percent.

Lynne Lyman, the California state director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), a national non-profit that advocates for drug law reform, attributes the shift to a more informed public. “There’s a consensus that marijuana is less harmful than tobacco or alcohol,” she says.

Lyman says that if a ballot initiative legalizing marijuana were to pass in California in 2014 or 2016, the state would have to “develop a regulatory infrastructure from scratch,” but she wouldn’t foresee it being challenged in the way that, for example, Proposition 8 was challenged in the context of same-sex marriages. And for now, she says, the Department of Justice is allowing Washington and Colorado to implement their recent legalization of marijuana, though the DOJ could decide to change its approach in the future.

Lyman adds that legalization would result in “tremendous tax revenue” for the state; according to DPA, California could raise $1.4 billion annually by taxing and regulating marijuana sales.

Law enforcement opposition

Lyman says that law enforcement groups constitute the primary vocal opposition to legalization efforts. The California Police Chiefs Association, for example, has consistently opposed legalization efforts; the last California ballot initiative to legalize marijuana was Proposition 19 in 2010, which the vice president of the association said, among other things, would be unsafe for workplaces and roadways and would generate far less revenue than supporters estimate.

Going against the trend is Stephen Downing, a retired Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief who sits on the board of directors of advocacy group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. He says that the greatest harm of the war on drugs has been the mass incarceration of non-violent drug users, especially African Americans and Latinos; according to DPA, two out of three people in state prisons for drug violations are African American or Latino, despite the fact that these groups use and sell drugs at rates similar to non-Hispanic whites.

Downing worked in South Central Los Angeles and in narcotics enforcement for much of his 20-year career in the 1960s and ‘70s.

“We’ve branded them for life as drug offenders. We deny them housing when they need it; we deny them employment. We fail to recognize that because they can’t find employment, they sell drugs. They can’t get a Pell grant to go to college,” he says. “So what we’ve done is destroyed lives, and we’ve destroyed the communities they come from, especially black and brown communities because of disparities [in enforcement and sentencing.]”

He points out that law enforcement groups come out against legalization in part because some local police departments have financial incentives to enforce federal anti-drug policies. Local law enforcement agencies in California use federal grants (for example, Byrne Justice Assistance grants) to fund narcotics enforcement, including task forces that focus on drug-related arrests and marijuana eradication.

Civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow law enforcement agents to confiscate private property that they believe is associated with illegal activity (often drug-related) without having to file criminal charges, are another source of revenue for local police departments.

Downing gives the example of a landlord in Anaheim who’s been served with a seizure notice by the federal government because he rented to a medical marijuana dispensary. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency worked in cooperation with local Anaheim police to investigate the dispensary, and if the property is seized, the DEA and Anaheim police would share the profits under a policy called “equitable sharing.”

Drawbacks for small commercial growers

Lyman acknowledges that with increased regulation, some growers will lose their businesses. “Not everybody has the means for playing by the rules,” she says. “Growers will need to obtain permits and show that they’re adhering to standards for safe growing, and not doing things like growing on federal park land.”

Central Valley native Jeremy Evans, who has been a marijuana grower and worked within Northern California’s marijuana industry for the past seven years, says that most of the growers he knows are opposed to legalization, but not only because it could put some of them out of business.

He says that many growers have spent years elevating the quality of their product; marijuana cultivation is labor intensive, and Evans says he works 14-hour days in the summer and fall, when the plants mature and are then harvested. With legalization some growers fear that the market could become dominated by mass-producing growers of greater financial means, who he says won’t approach cultivation with the same depth of knowledge, and might make use of chemical additives the way the cigarette industry has with tobacco.

“There will always be a niche, though, for [higher quality] marijuana,” he says. “It’s like microbrews in the beer industry – there will always be a market for it.”

Possible ballot initiatives

In September, a group called the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI) was authorized by the California Secretary of State to begin collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that would attempt to legalize marijuana in November 2014. The state Legislative Analyst’s Office has reported that CCHI’s initiative would save the state hundreds of millions of dollars related to law enforcement and incarceration, and would generate hundreds of millions in tax revenue.

In 2010, Proposition 19 failed, with 54 percent voting against legalization. Exit polls found broad opposition across all ethnicities, and the failure was alternately blamed on high opposition among older voters and low voter turnout among younger voters.

CCHI campaign coordinator Michael Jolson says that his group’s initiative protects small commercial growers by prohibiting excessive regulatory measures and limiting licensing fees.

“Prices [of marijuana] will be affected, but the demand for organic cannabis will continue. Our initiative prohibits the government from overly regulating growers or allowing them to get swamped by big corporations,” Jolson says.

The Drug Policy Alliance is not backing CCHI’s measure, in part because of its lack of emphasis on regulation. Lyman states that her group is undecided as to whether it will move forward with its own legalization initiative in 2014 or 2016, but that any initiative would include more comprehensive regulatory and safety requirements for the industry, as well as protections for minors and restrictions on advertising.

Lyman believes that legalization would result in minors having less access to marijuana because of the regulation of sales, so she hopes to engage parent groups and children’s advocacy organizations in the Drug Policy Alliance’s efforts.

The House Theatre of Chicago welcomes six returning cast members in The Nutcracker

Posted by Admin On October - 8 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
Annual Holiday Original Back at Chopin Theatre
CHICAGO, IL—The House Theatre of Chicago makes the holidays merry with the return of The Nutcracker for its fifth annual production. The family-friendly original play by Company Members Jake Minton and Phillip Klapperich with music by Kevin O’Donnell begins performances November 8, 2013 at The Chopin Theatre (1543 W Division St.)
Nutcracker gallery

ABOUT THE PLAY

House Company Member Tommy Rapley once again directs this innovative take on the classic Christmas tale. Six of last season’s cast reprise their roles. The Chicago production previews November 8 – 16 and opens on Sunday November 17th at 7pm at the Chopin Theatre (1543 W. Division St). THE NUTCRACKER will run through December 29.
The House’s fresh and moving take on this holiday classic centers on young Clara’s journey to rescue Christmas after the heart-breaking death of her older brother. With the help of a magical nutcracker, this brave little girl will fight the Rat King and unite her family! This modern holiday production weaves together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original song and intimate spectacle to tell a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope — a fun outing fit for the whole family.
The House’s original play version of THE NUTCRACKER first premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in 2007 under the Visiting Company Initiative, and enjoyed highly acclaimed new productions at The House in 2010 and 2011 as well as simultaneous productions in Chicago and Miami in 2012 .

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

THE NUTCRACKER is adapted by Jake Minton and Phillip Klapperich from “The Nutcracker and the Mouse,” a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann. THE NUTCRACKER is directed and choreographed by Tommy Rapley with original music by Kevin O’Donnell.
Six familiar actors reprise their roles from 2012. New Company Member Brenda Barrie returns in the dual roles as the mother, Martha, and Really Scary Rat. Fellow new Company Members Paige Collins and Kevin Stangler return as our young heroine, Clara, and as Fritz, the nutcracker. Company Member Johnny Arena dons the wool sweaters once more as Monkey, and Company Member Christine Perkins is back as Phoebe, the doll. Guest Artist Benjamin Sprunger (recently seen at About Face in The Pride) does triple duty as David, Clara’s father, Quite Scary Rat, and long-lost toy Teddy. Guest Artists Jason Grimm joins the cast as Hugo, the robot, and Karl Potthoff completes the cast in the role as Uncle Drosselmeyer.
Company Member Collette Pollard has designed a warm, cozy home where Clara’s family hosts their annual holiday party. This set in-the-round gives everyone an up-close experience with the magic of the season. Company Member Debbie Baer, along with associate Mieka van der Ploeg, craft whimsical costumes for family, toys and rats. Company Member Lee Keenan designs lights that carry us through the bright magic of the season to the dark losses the family must face and back again. Jeff Award-winning composer and Company Member Kevin O’Donnell shares a beautifully scored evening featuring well-loved numbers “Let’s Bake Cookies” and “Homecoming”. Company Member Michael Griggs (Sound), and puppet designer Dan Kerr-Hobart complete the team.
Join The House for one of the most affordable and well-loved traditions of the season, The Nutcracker!

LISTING INFORMATION

THE NUTCRACKER
Book by Jake Minton and Phillip Klapperich
Music by Kevin O’Donnell, Lyrics by Jake Minton
Based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann
Directed and Choreographed by Tommy Rapley
PREVIEWS: November 8 – 16, 2013
PREVIEW SHOWTIMES: Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sunday at 7:00pm.
REGULAR RUN: November 21 – December 29, 2013.
REG RUN SHOWTIMES: Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 3:00pm and 7:00pm.
NO performance on Thursday 11/28, and NO 7pms on Sunday 11/24 or 12/8.
ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCES:
Wednesday 11/27 at 7:00pm
Friday 11/29 at 3:00pm
Monday 12/23 at 7:00pm
and
Saturdays at 3pm on 11/30, 12/14, 12/21, 12/28.
LOCATION: The Chopin Theatre Upstairs Theatre (1543 W. Division St., Chicago, IL)
TICKETS: Previews are $15. Regular Run tickets range from $25 to $45 at www.thehousetheatre.com or by phone at 773.769.3832, $10 Student and Industry Same-Day discounted tickets available for all dates, seats permitting.
Tickets are now on sale.
ARTISTS
Featuring: Company Members Johnny Arena, Brenda Barrie, Paige Collins, Christine Perkins, and Kevin Stangler, with guest artists Benjamin Sprunger, Jason Grimm, and Karl Potthoff.
Production Team: Company Members Collette Pollard (Scenic), Debbie Baer (Costumes), Lee Keenan (Lights), Michael Griggs (Sound), Kevin O’Donnell (Composer), Tommy Rapley (Director and Choreographer) with guest artists Harrison Adams (Associate Sound), Mieka van der Ploeg (Associate Costumes), Dan Kerr-Hobart (Puppets) and Sarah Hoeferlin (Stage Management).
ABOUT THE HOUSE THEATRE OF CHICAGO
The House is Chicago’s premier home for original works of physical and spectacle storytelling. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago’s next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform.
The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience.
Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has been nominated for 60 Joseph Jefferson Awards (19 wins) and became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago’s Emerging Theater Award in 2007. Now in its 12th year of original work, The House continues its mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of Community through amazing feats of Storytelling.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT www.THEHOUSETHEATRE.com

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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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