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December , 2018
Tuesday

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is announcing that they do not ...
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has appointed a new Chief of Staff in the ...
How will you break the chains of slavery   By Chinta Strausberg Today, Tuesday, August 20, 2013, is ...
  Help create "Performance with a Purpose"    for CDE's 10th  Anniversary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 CDE will be holding auditions for ...
Travel Update SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) echoes CDC’s recent ...
BALTIMORE - The NAACP, the nation’s leading civil rights organization issued the following statement regarding ...
America SCORES' Red Carpet Poetry Slam benefit night will  celebrate and support the words of ...
Just A Thought   By Juanita Bratcher   Having set their sights high on running for various political offices ...
Eduardo Delgado, a U.S. Air Force veteran and Hispanic community leader, will be honored as ...
Reduced price ideal for holiday gifts   SPRINGFIELD IL – The countdown to the 2017 Illinois State ...

Archive for December 18th, 2013

Civil Rights Activist, Scientist take podiums for MLK Celebration

Posted by Admin On December - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Myrlie Evers-Williams and Warren M. Washington will be keynote speakers

EVANSTON, IL – Civil rights activist and author Myrlie Evers-Williams and internationally recognized atmospheric scientist and climate researcher Warren M. Washington will be the featured speakers at Northwestern University’s commemoration of the life and legacy of the late civil and human rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

The weeklong 2014 celebration will begin Jan. 20. Northwestern has suspended classes Monday, Jan. 20, on the Evanston and Chicago campuses for a University-wide, full-day observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. That evening Washington will speak at the Alpha Phi Alpha Candlelight Vigil at Alice Millar Chapel. The week of campus celebrations will conclude Jan. 27 with an evening program at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall featuring a keynote address by Evers-Williams and music and performances from Northwestern student groups. All events are free and open to the public.

Evers-Williams, the widow of slain Mississippi civil rights activist Medgar Evers, is the founder of the Medgar & Myrlie Evers Institute, an organization that promotes education, training and economic development.

Washington shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with scientific colleagues from around the world who were involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment, which provided greater knowledge about man-made climate change. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore Jr. also shared the prize.

EVANSTON CAMPUS EVENTS

• Washington will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at the Alpha Phi Alpha Candlelight Vigil at Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road.

• Evers-Williams will be the keynote speaker at the 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, observance at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive. Since there will be no keynote program on the Chicago campus this year, everyone is invited to attend the Evanston campus keynote event. Tickets are not required. Seating will be on a first-come, first-seated basis. Doors will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.

Other Evanston campus events will include a Jan. 20 staged reading of “Mogadishu,” by British playwright Vivienne Franzmann, at the Josephine Louis Theater, that dramatizes the experience of a white woman who teaches in a tough London secondary school; a Jan. 20 candlelight vigil featuring Washington’s talk; a Jan. 22 panel discussion on civil rights and social justice; a Jan. 23 film screening of “King: A Filmed Record,” a documentary on King’s rise from regional activist to world-renowned civil rights leader; a Jan. 24 Harambee, a Swahili-style get-together with free food, student performances and the presentation of this year’s Gardner/Exum Scholarship winners; and a Jan. 27 keynote program featuring Evers-Williams’ talk.

CHICAGO CAMPUS EVENTS

Plans for Chicago campus events are under way. For up-to-date information visit, www.northwestern.edu/mlk/program-ev.html

MYRLIE EVERS-WILLIAMS

Following the 1963 murder of her husband, Evers-Williams has emerged as a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement. For more than three decades, she has fought to carry on her late husband’s legacy, never relenting in her determination to change the face of race relations in America. She has become a symbol of courage and perseverance, steadfast in her march towards social justice by exposing new generations of students to the cause for which her husband died.

Evers-Williams was the first female chairperson to lead the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Her leadership rejuvenated the agency, helping ensure its relevance for generations to come. She also was instrumental in launching “Youth for Unity,” a diversity education program designed to fight injustice and intolerance.

In 1967, she co-wrote a book with William Peters about her husband, “For Us, the Living.” In 1999, she published her memoir “Watch Me Fly: What I Learned on the Way to Becoming the Woman I Was Meant to Be,” which charts her journey from being the wife of an activist to becoming a community leader in her own right. In 2005, she served as editor of “The Autobiography of Medgar Evers: A Hero’s Life and Legacy Revealed Through His Writings, Letters, and Speeches,” a book intended to preserve the memory of her first husband.

For more information on this speaker visit www.apbspeakers.com.

WARREN M. WASHINGTON

Washington is a senior scientist and chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Cooperative Agreement at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in the Climate Change Research Section.  He has published close to 200 papers in professional journals, garnered dozens of national and international awards and served as a science advisor to former presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

A specialist in computer modeling of Earth’s climate, Washington became one of the first developers of groundbreaking atmospheric computer models in collaboration with Akira Kasahara when he came to NCAR in the early 1960s. These models, which use fundamental laws of physics to predict future states of the atmosphere, have helped scientists understand climate change. As his research developed, Washington worked to incorporate the oceans and sea ice into climate models. Such models now include components that depict surface hydrology and vegetation as well as the atmosphere, oceans and sea ice.

An introduction to “Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling,” written by Washington and Claire Parkinson in 1986 and updated in 2005, is a standard reference in the field.

Washington’s past research involved using the Parallel Climate Model (PCM). His current research involves using the Community Earth System Model (CESM) to study the impacts of climate change in the 21st century. Both models were used extensively in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment, for which NCAR scientists, including Washington and colleagues around the world, shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

For more information on these and other Northwestern events commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. visit www.northwestern.edu/mlk/program-ev.html in Evanston or www.northwestern.edu/mlk/program-ch.html in Chicago. Additional information will be announced at a later date.

NORTHWESTERN NEWS: www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/

Madigan, Attorneys General call on Congress to fund Human Trafficking efforts, aid victims

Posted by Admin On December - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined with her counterparts across the country to urge Congress to fund the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act to better fight human trafficking and protect its victims.

Madigan and 46 other attorneys general sent a letter today to ranking U.S. House and Senate members, urging funding for the programs under the Act that are critical to fighting the growing problem of human trafficking and slavery.

Madigan and the attorneys general said funding programs established under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act will help protect minors who become victims of trafficking, provide prosecutors with more effective tools for prosecuting offenders and fund task forces across the country waging the fight against human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a sickening reality for innocent children in Illinois and across the country,” Madigan said. “Expanding resources to combat this horrific crime and to allow its young victims to recover and rebuild their lives is critical.”

In Illinois, Attorney General Madigan has fought to increase protections for human trafficking victims. In January, a new law crafted by her office and state Sen. William Delgado will take effect to allow victims who were branded by their trafficker to be reimbursed for the cost of removing the tattoos through the Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

The new law was passed in response to growing reports of traffickers forcibly tattooing their victims as a brand to serve as a sign of ownership. Removing the brand is seen as a critical step to help victims recover and rebuild their lives.

The law adds branding to the list of expenses covered by the Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Act and requires the victim to seek removal of the tattoo with an authorized or licensed tattoo remover.

Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, generating roughly $32 billion each year. According to a study that analyzed U.S. Department of Justice human trafficking task force cases, 83 percent of sex trafficking victims identified in the United States was comprised of U.S. citizens. The average age that U.S. children are first victimized in the commercial sex industry ranges from 12 to 14.

Many victims are forced to work in prostitution or other areas of the sex industry. Trafficking also occurs in forms of labor exploitation, including as domestic servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work, sweatshop factory work and migrant agricultural work.

Victims often experience severe trauma that requires intensive therapy. Due to the complexity and resource-intensive nature of human trafficking cases, law enforcement and victim services in the U.S. are in tremendous need of funding to support the fight against human trafficking.

Joining Madigan in sending the letter were attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Lt. Gov. Simon expands virtual legal clinic in Northern Illinois

Posted by Admin On December - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Provides free legal consultations to domestic violence survivors

CARBONDALE, IL – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon announced the expansion of her Virtual Legal Clinic to northern Illinois today. The clinic connects survivors of domestic violence in rural counties with lawyers for a free legal consultation using webcams and high-speed Internet technology.

Survivors at domestic violence shelters in Freeport, Rochelle and Rockford can now connect with attorneys across Illinois that specialize in family law for a single, free consultation. Legal topics for consultation include child custody and visitation, marriage and divorce, elder abuse, immigration and property issues.

“As survivors begin rebuilding their lives, they oftentimes need expert advice to help them navigate the complex legal system,” said Simon, a former prosecutor who helped found the domestic violence clinic at the Southern Illinois University School of Law. “Through the clinic, we are connecting survivors in the state’s most underserved areas with the tools they need to begin their recoveries.”

The clinics will expand to HOPE located in Rochelle, Remedies Renewing Lives located in Rockford and Voices in Freeport. The expansion means that approximately 4,000 survivors across 16 counties can access free legal consultations.

“I feel this is one of the most proactive projects we have been engaged in to support domestic violence survivors. An hour with an attorney to sort out possible legal needs is invaluable for creating safety plans,” said Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence Executive Director Vickie Smith. “Partnering with Lt. Governor Simon and her staff has really enabled us to expand our idea of helping survivors access legal assistance.”

In Illinois, nearly 40 percent of women will experience domestic violence by an intimate partner. However, there are 47 counties in Illinois with no attorneys practicing family law. An additional 33 counties have five or fewer attorneys practicing family law. The clinic helps survivors consult with volunteer attorneys about issues including divorce, child custody, debt and bankruptcy.

The Virtual Legal Clinic was developed by Simon, chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, in partnership with the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The first clinic was launched in 2011 at the Center for the Prevention of Abuse in Peoria, which then expanded to the center’s Pekin location in 2012. The Crisis Center Foundation in Jacksonville also joined in 2012, and the Cairo Women’s Shelter joined the Virtual Legal Clinic this summer.

Gay rights activists to Picket Nat’l Gathering of Catholic Leaders Tonight

Posted by Admin On December - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Gay rights activists angry at Catholic leaders’ opposition to marriage rights and other equal rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people will picket a national gathering of Catholic bishops, cardinals and other leaders at 6 p.m. tonight at the Drake Hotel, corner of Michigan Avenue and Walton Street, in Chicago, which is being organized to honor Chicago’s Cardinal Frances George upon his retirement.

Under the slogan, “no honor in anti-gay bigotry,” the protesters will note that while Illinois finally won formal legal equality for LGBTs with the passage of equal marriage rights in November, it was only over the vitriolic opposition of Cardinal George and his colleagues, who crowed when the bill failed last May, and who continue to oppose equal rights in the 34 states that still lack legal equality for LGBTs.

The protesters will also note that while LGBTs have finally won formal legal equality in Illinois, winning legal equality is only part of the battle for social equality and acceptance.  Programs for LGBT youth, seniors, Transgender people and others who face particularly high discrimination are still needed.

“We need LGBT-affirming education in all of our state’s public schools, for example, not unlike other programs which highlight the achievements of African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans and thus partially redress the injustices perpetrated against them,” said Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation Network, one of the protest organizers. “LGBT youth are particularly at risk for homelessness, suicide and substance abuse due to their isolation in frequently not having an immediate blood relative who is also LGBT.  The public schools are uniquely positioned to address that need.”

Cardinal George not only opposes equal employment, housing and access to public accommodations for LGBTs, in 2011 he was among a handful of religious leaders who got Mayor Richard M. Daley and his schools chief, Arne Duncan, to nix a proposal for an LGBT-affirming high school in the Chicago Public School system, despite overwhelming support for the proposed school shown at a series of public hearings.

Protest organizers also note the irony of the alleged “servants of the poor” feasting at the sumptuous Drake Hotel while the Chicago archdiocese’s budget is over $40 million in the red, and dioceses around the country struggle with school closings and bankruptcies due to many of the bishops’ and cardinals’ covering up of the Church’s endemic pedophilia scandals.

Tonight’s protest is organized by the Gay Liberation Network and the Rainbow Sash Movement, a pro-LGBT Catholic organization.  Both organizations applaud the fact that lay Catholics overwhelming disagree with their leadership on civil rights issues, supporting equal rights for LGBTs and women at greater rates than the U.S. population at large.

Illinois Violence Prevention Task Force meets creating alternatives to violence

Posted by Admin On December - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, and the chair of the Illinois Violence Prevention Task Force, recently convened the first task force meeting. In August of this year, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation creating the six member task force to stem the epidemic of violence impacting today’s youth

“Violence is something that impacts all of us, and it will take all of us working together to prevent it,” said Governor Quinn. “This task force will provide a fresh perspective and pursue new strategies that can help end the violence epidemic.”

“I am deeply concerned about the senseless violence in Illinois, where homicide among people aged 15–24 years accounts for more deaths than from cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, birth defects, influenza and pneumonia combined,” said Dr. Hasbrouck. “All totaled, nearly 1,000 young people die every three years here in Illinois. We must work to develop peaceful and productive alternatives to violence.”

Sponsored by State Representative LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) and State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), task force duties include preventing violence by raising awareness of job opportunities for at-risk youth, assisting religious and community groups and organizations whose mission is to curb violence, and coordinating with mental health providers to assure that they are present in communities that need them.

“I believe in the public health approach to violence, which sees violence as being preventable, not inevitable,” said Dr. Hasbrouck. “Governor Quinn has appointed me to chair this task force to carry out his vision of curbing violence and stopping it before it starts. Preventing violence is not solely a punitive approach. The task force will be working on comprehensive approaches to prevent violence, starting with developing a blueprint for action.”

To learn more about violence prevention, you can find Dr. Hasbrouck’s address at the City Club of Chicago at http://vimeo.com/81557566.

One key element included in that blueprint will be developing partnerships in communities across the state to prevent violence. The Illinois Department of Public Health is working to expand and cultivate its public and private partnerships to advance public health in the state, one of the priorities in the Illinois Department of Public Health Five Year Strategy 2014-2018. For a copy of the strategic plan, go to http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/StrategicPlan_Final_2014-2018.pdf

ReMARCs: Shop-And-Frisk stops here

Posted by Admin On December - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Marc Morial

President, National Urban League

Last week, I joined Rev. Al Sharpton along with other civil rights groups, retail executives and the Retail Council of New York State to unveil a newly-created “Customers’ Bill of Rights” aimed at protecting customers from “shop-and-frisk” practices.

The bill of rights, which is in direct response to several incidences of alleged racial profiling at major New York retailers, includes key practices for retailers to follow and informs customers of what they can expect when they visit store locations.  Several national retailers have agreed to post the bill of rights in their stores by next week.

We initially gathered last month to discuss the issue of loss prevention and racial profiling during a retail forum that was attended by Mark Lee, CEO of Barneys and senior executives from Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, The Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy. The bill of rights is the result of our subsequent task force meetings and is the first collective action to address this issue.

The statement at the heart of the bill of rights clearly articulates our position:  “Profiling is an unacceptable practice and will not be tolerated.”

We know that this issue is not isolated to New York.  Moving forward, we remain committed to working with the retailers to make recommendations on the creation of high standard, best-in-industry store security protocols and cultural sensitivity efforts that can be adopted by retailers across the country.

To view a copy of the Customers’ Bill of Rights, visit the Retail Council of New York State.

‘Roger & Me’ to be added to National Film Registry

Posted by Admin On December - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

“Thank you, Library of Congress” – Michael Moore

A note from Michael Moore

Friends,

This morning it was announced by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board that my first film, ‘Roger & Me’, has been placed on the National Film Registry — the official list of films that are, according to an act of Congress, to be preserved and protected for all time because of their “cultural and historical significance” to the art of cinema.

It is, to say the least, a huge honor that for me ranks right up there with the Oscar and the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The National Film Registry is a slightly rarefied list of movies in the history of cinema. Of the tens of thousands of films that have been made since the 1890s, only 600 are on the preservation list. Today, in addition to ‘Roger & Me’, the films that were announced selection to the preservation list include ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’, ‘Mary Poppins’, ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Forbidden Planet’, ‘The Quiet Man’, ‘The Magnificent Seven’ and ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’.

These films plus ‘Roger & Me’ now join ‘Citizen Kane’, ‘The Graduate’, ‘Dr. Strangelove’ and a host of other classics that make up the National Film Registry.

The news comes at just the right moment for ‘Roger & Me’. The upcoming year, 2014, is the 25th anniversary of the film’s debut. But last year I learned that there was not a single print of ‘Roger & Me’ in existence. Anywhere. I was stunned. I had received a call from the New York Film Festival asking if I knew where they could find a 35mm copy of the film. They were told there were no usable prints in North America — all of them had been damaged or destroyed or had faded in color. How could the largest grossing documentary of all time in 1989 just have vanished? Poof. Gone. And if this could happen to ‘Roger & Me’, what kind of shape are other films — especially documentaries — in?

I called up the good people of Warner Bros. to help me fix the problem — and they did. In the end ten new prints were made and are now being donated to archival vaults at UCLA, the Motion Picture Academy, the Museum of Modern Art and the George Eastman House.

But now, with the protection offered by the Library of Congress, ‘Roger & Me’ will be in good hands and around for a long time to come.

You should know that there is a serious film preservation crisis afoot and I’ve volunteered to help do something about it. I often hear of other films whose prints are all gone. I have personally paid to have new prints made for a number of films (‘Hair’ by Milos Forman, the old Roy Rogers classic ‘Don’t Fence Me In’, etc.) where not a single print exists. I have donated them to one of the above archival houses and I plan to keep doing this for other movies (Next up: Dalton Trumbo’s ‘Johnny Got His Gun’).

As for ‘Roger & Me’, if you haven’t seen it, check it out on iTunes or Amazon or (for a few hours for free) here. This movie, as most of you know, was my first chapter in a series of eight films that, in part, explore (often satirically) the crazy stupid thing we call “capitalism” — a never-ending quest by the wealthy to take as much as they can, while leaving the crumbs for everyone else to fight over. Today, according to the polls, more young people say they favor the ideals of socialism over capitalism. I hope to God I played a small role in making that happen, and I look forward to the day when the rich are forced to share the wealth created by their employees. It will happen. In our lifetime.

I thank the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board for this honor. And I encourage all of you to watch my film, a film that, sadly, is every bit as relevant today as when I made it 25 years ago.

I hope all of you are well and enjoying this holiday season. There is much work to do in 2014!

Yours,

Michael Moore
MMFlint@MichaelMoore.com
@MMFlint
MichaelMoore.com

President Obama on U.S. mission damned by haters: Simple and proper protocol put president on the lips of haters!

Posted by Admin On December - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President of Probation Challenge/PCC Broadcast Network


President Barack Obama is damned if he does things right and again damned when he as a human makes a simple error! As many know it to be, but won’t declare it, haters of the president dislike him because he is an African-American man that just happens to be the President of the United States of America!

Shameful to say but truth must prevail, and, I’m sure historians will agree that never in the history of this country has anyone sitting in the prestigious presidential seat has been treated so disrespectfully without just cause!

Take a moment and reflect, every previous president seeking to better this nation with constructive change was but for short season rebutted. This chastisement would only be for a short period, later overridden with agreement from both parties, as the country went on to become stronger as the result. However, with this historical black president leading the country, racism by a few slight-hearted persons is seeking to rewrite history and derail the course of a nation.

President Obama on a mission to Africa to attend the funeral services of former South African President Nelson Mandela followed a statesman’s proper protocol and shook the hand of an official representative from Cuba, which brought evil comments from the heart of haters who had watched with a jaundice eye.

Did not our Lord and Savior say that we should be like Him? Then without question we then should seek to love – even those that despitefully use us! President Barack Obama, as leader of these United States shook the hand of a person deemed to be an enemy – of whom? Would Christ in an effort to draw a sinner unto Him… not shake his hand … and, thusly in doing so would not only touch the hand but also the heart.  Who do we obey, God or man?

In order to be a friend, you must first show yourself to be friendly. Christ went among the sinners and was ridiculed by His own disciples for it but, He said to the followers that His mission on earth was not for those who were well, but those who were ill. President Obama reached out as he should have … as a gentle spirit beckoning to perhaps a willing heart wanting to become whole.

Rev. Harold E. Bailey is President of Probation Challenge

WWW.ProbationChallenge.org

Chicago Southside NAACP to hold advanced screening of “Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom” December 19th at the AMC Ford City Theatre

Posted by Admin On December - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – The Chicago South NAACP celebrates the life of activist and former South African president Nelson Mandela with an advanced screening of Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom.

Starring Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela, the film chronicles Mandela’s life as a young freedom fighter in South Africa, his 27-year imprisonment under the apartheid regime, and his ascension to the presidency.

The screening will be hosted at AMC Ford City Theatre at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 19, 2013. Tickets are $20 and will be available at the door. RSVPs are encouraged. To purchase online visit  search NAACP on Eventbrite.com.

Proceeds from this special event will support the Chicago Southside NAACP ACT-SO Program.

Advanced Screening of
Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom

Thursday December 19, 2013
7:00pm

AMC Ford City Theater
7601 South Cicero Avenue
Chicago, IL 60652

For more information email chgosouthsidenaacp@gmail.com or call 773-429-9830.

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Illinois EPA launches Annual Environmental Education Competition for Fifth and Sixth Grade Students

Posted by Admin On December - 18 - 2013 1 COMMENT

Agency encourages youth creativity about how to protect environment


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Fifth and sixth grade writers and artists from around Illinois are invited to compete in this year’s Poster, Poetry and Prose Contest sponsored by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) and with the partnership of the Illinois State Board of Education. This year’s contest is focused on environmental justice and how to balance people with industry and learning about environmental issues in their own communities.

Each school can enter up to eight (four posters and four written) works. Entries must be postmarked and sent in to the Illinois EPA by February 3, 2014. An in‑house panel from the Illinois EPA judges all entries to select the finalists, whose entries are then judged by an outside panel of authorities to determine the top twelve winners. Following the awards ceremony and reception, these entries will be on exhibit in the atrium of the Illinois EPA’s headquarters building in Springfield from March 31 through April 30, and the top winners will be featured on the Illinois EPA’s homepage at www.epa.state.il.us.

All finalists, together with their families and teachers, are invited to an awards ceremony and reception that will be held on March 29 at the Old State Capitol Historic Site in Springfield, IL. During the 1840s and 1850s, the Old State Capitol was the scene of debate over issues that led the nation to war in 1861. During the Civil War, as the seat of government, it was the center of the state’s wartime mobilization. The capitol also provided space for local events aiding the needs of local residents as well as soldier relief efforts.

“You’re never too young to start learning about the environment,” said Lisa Bonnett, Director of the Illinois EPA. “We hope that students can learn more about the environmental issues facing their own communities and have fun showing off their creativity at the same time.”

“Environmental protection is an important topic for all Illinois students because it impacts them throughout their lives,” said Dr. Christopher Koch, Superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education. “This contest is a great way for students to better appreciate our natural resources and learn how to protect them.”

The Illinois EPA is one member of the Illinois Commission on Environmental Justice, which operates under the principle that environmental justice requires that no segment of the population, regardless of race, national origin, age, or income, should bear disproportionately high or adverse effects of environmental pollution. The commission is charged with advising state entities on environmental justice; analyzing the impact of state and local laws and policies on environmental justice and sustainable communities; developing criteria to assess whether communities in the state may be experiencing environmental issues and recommending options to the Governor’s office and legislators for addressing these issues.

Information about the annual event can be obtained by contacting Kristi Morris, Environmental Education Coordinator for the Illinois EPA, at 217-558-7198, or by mail at 1021 North Grand Avenue E., P.O. Box 19276, Springfield, IL 62794‑9276.

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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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