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Archive for February 19th, 2014

Legislators introduce Bill to provide funding for Wellness and Medicaid through tax on sugary beverages

Posted by Admin On February - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Legislators introduce Bill to provide funding for Wellness and Medicaid through tax on sugary beverages

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Representative Robyn Gabel (D-18th District) and Senator Mattie Hunter (D- 3rd District) have introduced a bill [HB 5690/ SB 3524] to fight the Illinois obesity epidemic and invest in our residents’ health through a penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugary beverages. Introduced with the support of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity, the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Act is estimated to raise over $600 million for prevention and health care.

“We know our communities are suffering from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.  It is critically important to generate revenue to invest in solutions to these complex problems, especially in communities that are burdened the most by these diseases,” said Representative Robyn Gabel (D-18th District).

Studies show that an excise tax like the one in the bill may reduce consumption of sugary beverages. A study in Illinois found that in just one year, the excise tax could lead to a 9.3% reduction of  childhood obesity, could reduce 3,400 new cases of diabetes , and may save taxpayers more than $150 million in state and private healthcare spending.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are the single biggest source of added sugar in the American diet.  Each day, more research continues to show the harmful and dangerous impacts of sugar.  The sugar in sugar-sweetened beverages not only raises one’s risk for diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer and obesity, the human and financial toll is a burden we can no longer afford,” said Elissa Bassler, CEO of the Illinois Public Health Institute, the convening organization of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity.

The proposal places half of the new revenue into a Wellness Fund to support initiatives that promote nutrition, physical activity, school health and wellness, oral health, access to healthy foods, worksite wellness, and community-level public health leadership around obesity prevention.  The other half of the funds will support the Illinois Medicaid Program, expanding the set of prevention services available to Medicaid recipients as well as restoring cuts to the program from previous years, such as coverage for adult dental care.

“My district has been disproportionately hurt by the obesity, diabetes, and heart disease epidemics, as well as the cuts to health services over the past several years,” says Senator Mattie Hunter (D- 3rd District). “This initiative will help us invest in solutions we know work and help people live healthier lives.”

Polls in other states show that the public supports a tax on sugary beverages when the funds go to help children and families stay healthy. “We support the Heal Act for its health benefits and because it will generate money to invest in programs we know work. Funding in Medicaid for adult dental care  is crucial to the overall health of Illinois’ adults, and funding for prevention initiatives like physical education and healthier food in schools and child care centers, bike and walking paths in communities, farmers markets and community gardens are important ways of reducing our obesity rates,” says, Beth Fiorini, MS, President of the Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators.

The Act places a penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugary beverages, which include beverages with added caloric sweeteners, like soda (pop), fruit drinks, sweetened teas and coffees, energy drinks and sports drinks. Not included in the tax are diet or no-calorie drinks, milk or milk substitutes, and un-sweetened seltzer water.  Because its an excise tax, consumers will see the extra cost before they make their purchase.  “Up to one third of cancers are caused by poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and overweight and obesity.  I support this bill because it would make sugary drinks that are full of empty calories less appealing and make it easier for people to choose healthier beverages that promote a healthy weight,” said Rhonda Pour, volunteer for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

According to Dr. Goutham Rao, Chairman of the American Heart Association’s Obesity Committee, who also serves as the Vice Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Chicago and Associate Director of the Center for Clinical Research Informatics of the NorthShore University Health System, “Sugar sweetened beverages are an ideal target for obesity prevention for several reasons:  SSBs are the number one source of added sugar in American diets; The evidence linking SSBs to obesity and related risks is very strong; While obesity is complex and has many causes, discouraging SSB consumption is a simple, single behavior which can have a positive impact; Assessment and education about SSBs is relatively simple compared to assessing overall diet and providing dietary counseling (about food labels, for example); Assessing SSB consumption can be as a simple as asking, ‘Do you drink anything besides water? Or, what did you drink besides water yesterday?’ If we are serious about tackling the problem of obesity, we should start with a target, like SSBs, which will allow us to have early and significant success.”

Organizations that have signed on in support of this Act include (list in formation):

* AIDS Foundation of Chicago

* American Cancer Society- Cancer Action Network

* American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate

* EverThrive Illinois (formerly the IL Maternal and Child Health Coalition)

* Illinois Academy of Family Physicians

* Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance

* Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators

* Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

* Illinois Public Health Association

* Illinois Public Health Institute

* Illinois Society of Public Health Educators (ISOPHE)

* McLean County Wellness Coalition

* Ounce of Prevention Fund

* SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana

* Seven Generations Ahead

* Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center

More information about the HEAL Act is available via factsheets on the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity’s website-www.preventobesityil.org. More information about the health impact of sugary beverages can be found at http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sugary-drinks-fact-sheet/.

Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity: www.preventobesityil.org

The primary goal of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity is to ensure that trends in obesity in Illinois are stable by 2015 and moving downward by 2018. The statewide coalition of over 140 organizations works to implement solutions to the obesity epidemic through coordinated and comprehensive policy, systems, and environmental changes.

The NAACP Commends Verizon for Selecting Diverse Underwriters for Retail Note Listing

Posted by Admin On February - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on The NAACP Commends Verizon for Selecting Diverse Underwriters for Retail Note Listing

Washington, DC — The NAACP commends Verizon Communications for their recent decision to select 11 minority and women-owned underwriters for its $500 million retail note listing.

“Verizon should be commended for recognizing the value of diversity in selecting well qualified underwriters for this retail note listing,” stated Hilary O. Shelton, NAACP Washington Bureau Director and Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy.  “Verizon continues to demonstrate strong and effective leadership and should serve as an example for all other companies that seek to successfully incorporate diversity into their business model.”

In addition to selected minority and women-owned businesses, Verizon has also selected two firms that are owned and operated by service-disabled veterans.

Verizon’s retail notes are designed to permit individual investors the opportunity to easily and affordably purchase Verizon debt. This is their first offering of retail notes in more than a decade.

Madigan Proposes Statewide Petcoke, Coal Dust Regulations

Posted by Admin On February - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Madigan Proposes Statewide Petcoke, Coal Dust Regulations

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced new legislation to regulate bulk materials storage facilities that handle petroleum coke and other refinery production materials in response to air pollution violations linked to several facilities on Chicago’s southeast side.

House Bill 5939, crafted by Madigan’s office and Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, would require facilities used for trans-loading of petroleum coke, metallurgical coke and coal to fully enclose the bulk materials if the facility is within 5,000 feet of communities, specifically near homes, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other vulnerable populations.

“The goal of this legislation is to protect the health and safety of residents living near storage facilities and to prevent companies from relocating and perpetuating this problem in other Illinois communities,” Attorney General Madigan said. “We are committed to working with communities, the industry and environmental advocates to find a workable solution that protects public health.”

The bill would impose several additional protections on coke and coal storage:

  • Loading, unloading, transferring and processing of coke and coal must be conducted indoors or while dust suppression systems specifically designed to minimize emissions of the materials are in operation.
  • Trucks, railcars, boats and barges delivering coke and coal to and from a facility must be covered to minimize emissions during transit.
  • Roads inside and within a quarter of a mile of a facility used for coke or coal traffic must be paved and cleaned daily.
  • Facilities must obtain construction, air and water permits from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), and maintain an IEPA-approved fugitive dust plan that includes public input and establishes their method of operations and how they are designed to reduce emissions and comply with the law.
  • Facilities must conduct air monitoring and sampling to ensure they are in compliance with all applicable emissions limitations and submit the results to IEPA in quarterly reports.

“Everyone in Illinois has the right to a healthy place to eat, sleep, live and work,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “Last year, I directed the Environmental Protection Agency to do whatever was necessary to protect Illinois residents from being exposed to this harmful dust, and this legislation is the next step. Together with the permanent administrative rules we are working to pass through the Pollution Control Board, this bill will help put a lid on petroleum coke and protect people.”

“This legislation complements Chicago’s efforts to impose tough requirements on these facilities by not allowing companies to simply relocate elsewhere in the state,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This legislation will help protect residents across Illinois and Chicago by making sure our residential areas are not impacted by this dust. Just as we fought to shutter the two remaining coal power plants in the city of Chicago, we will continue our efforts to force these petroleum coke facilities to either clean up or shut down.”

“We know that unregulated piles of petcoke in our state are hazardous to the health of our people,” said Rep. Currie. “This bill will provide the rules, regulations, and enforcement we need to make sure our friends and neighbors are safe.”

“Pet coke” is the solid by-product of petroleum refining that generally contains high concentrations of carbon, sulfur and also may include trace elements of metals such as vanadium, nickel, chromium and lead. It can be used to fuel coal-fired power plants and cement kilns. “Met coke” is produced by subjecting bituminous coal to extremely high temperatures to produce a harder fuel used in the iron and steel industries. Inhaling dust from these materials can contribute to serious respiratory health problems, particularly for individuals who suffer from heart and lung disease and asthma.

In late 2013, IEPA referred the two cases to Madigan’s office for enforcement. In early November, the Attorney General filed suit in against KCBX Terminals Co., which manages piles of coal and coke produced by a BP facility in Whiting, Ind. A second complaint was filed in late November by Madigan and the City of Chicago against Beemsterboer Slag Corp. That action has resulted in an interim court order requiring Beemsterboer to remove piles of petcoke at its 22-acre facility on the city’s southeast side along the Calumet River. The interim court order also requires Beemsterboer to cease accepting any additional waste materials and implement emissions control measures during removal of the waste. Both lawsuits are ongoing.

Tell Congress: Investigate Racial Disparities in Hospital Care

Posted by Admin On February - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Tell Congress: Investigate Racial Disparities in Hospital Care
Letters to Editor
care2 petitionsite actionAlert
action alert!
Minority groups continue to face a higher mortality rate in hospitals. This is a huge disparity that must be addressed in our nation’s efforts to reform health care.
Please sign the petition today! Tell Congress: Investigate Racial Disparities in Hospital Care

take action
A study released by Jama Surgery revealed that the mortality rate for patients is much higher for minority patients. Several other reports found similar results, yet this major gap isn’t being addressed in Congress’ efforts to improve our healthcare system.

Tell Congress: please get serious about healthcare reform by investigating racial disparities in hospitals.

Excluding socioeconomic factors, hospital quality, and a patient’s medical history, the mortality rate was still significantly higher. Congress has the opportunity to improve the welfare of all Americans, and they must start with the conversation around racial disparities.
Send a message to Congress to investigate and address this crucial gap in hospital care.

Thank you for taking action,

Roseanne C.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Greyhound Package Express Announces Partnership With United We Ship

Posted by Admin On February - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Greyhound Package Express Announces Partnership With United We Ship

DALLAS, TX (BlackNews.com) – Greyhound Package Express (GPX), Greyhound’s expedited shipping service, announced its new partnership with United We Ship LLC, a Los Angeles-based, single- source shipping and logistics provider. Through this partnership, customers can schedule and track shipments directly from the company’s website and receive same-day courier service in numerous locations throughout Southern California, all while saving an average of 70 percent over other major shippers.

The timing of GPX’s partnership with the Black-owned company, United We Ship, is even more meaningful as it comes during Black History Month, a time Greyhound reveres as an opportunity to honor African-Americans who have helped shape the country into what it is today. Greyhound has been America’s bus company for a century, and during that time it has been a primary influence in Black history. Most notably, the company helped transport a group of civil rights leaders, known as the “Freedom Riders,” to the Deep South to protest state-sponsored segregation in intercity bus terminals.

“We’re pleased to work with United We Ship to offer customers a convenient, hassle-free option to ship packages at affordable rates,” said Dave Phillips, vice president, GPX. “We applaud the company for providing an excellent shipping solution with overnight delivery and same day door-to-door courier service for Southern California customers.”

James Smith, president of United We Ship and former Postmaster of the U.S. Postal Service of Los Angeles County, believes this partnership is a huge milestone for the company.

“I feel honored to have this opportunity to work with Greyhound Package Express,” said Smith. “It’s a privilege to be a Black-owned, Minority Certified business serving our customers’ logistics and shipping needs, while providing excellent employment opportunities to the community.”

About Greyhound Package Express
GPX has been a leading provider of expedited shipping solutions for more than 90 years. Greyhound moves more than one million shipments per year in the United States. GPX offers a wide range of same-day, expedited and deferred ground delivery services using the Greyhound network of more than 3,800 North American destinations. GPX is the one-stop source for shipping same day and overnight packages at very attractive rates, offering flexibility with shipment weight and size as compared to other package shipping providers. For additional information visit the GPX website at www.shipgreyhound.com.

About United We Ship
United We Ship is a single source logistics provider and contract courier for Greyhound Package Express that provides same day courier, less-than-truckload, full- truckload and intermodal domestic and international shipping services throughout the United States. To learn more, visit www.unitedweship.com or call 877-229-0577.

IDOT reminds drivers to watch for standing water on pavement

Posted by Admin On February - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on IDOT reminds drivers to watch for standing water on pavement

Thawing snow could lead to flooding and dangerous driving conditions in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) advised motorists Tuesday to travel with extreme caution as rain and thawing snow could lead to standing water on low-lying roads. The expected combination of a quick warming, rain, current river levels, ground frost depth, and then a temperature drop late in the week are creating the potential for flooding around the state. IDOT is monitoring the conditions to ensure safety across Illinois. Crews are working to clear storm drains and will respond to problem areas as necessary.

“The forecasted rain and thawing snow may lead to standing water and possible hazardous driving conditions on roadways throughout the state,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “Motorists are encouraged to use extreme caution when encountering standing water over the next several days.”

Flooding-related driving tips:

· Do not drive through flooded areas

· If a road covered by water seems shallow enough to cross, do not attempt to do so

· If your car stalls, do not attempt to push it out; seek higher ground

Other Winter Safety Tips to Remember:

·       Allow extra time for travel.

·       Don’t crowd the plow – a snow plow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.

·       Be aware that black ice can form on roads that appear clear and the unseen ice can be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady areas – all are prone to black ice, which is often invisible.

·       Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.

·       Do not travel during bad weather unless absolutely necessary – if you do have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route and schedule.

·       Always carry an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.

·       Carry a few extra blankets in your car, and perhaps an extra coat to ensure protection in case of a breakdown.

·       Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway assistance in case of emergency (but remember using handheld phones while driving is illegal if it is not an emergency situation).

·       Always wear a seat belt, front seat or back – it’s the law.

·       Check travel and road conditions routinely before any trip. You can get road condition information by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368), Illinois Tollway information by calling 1-800-TOLL-FYI or online at www.gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the “winter road conditions” icon.

First Science Fiction Film independently produced by African American launches $100,000 Kickstarter Campaign

Posted by Admin On February - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on First Science Fiction Film independently produced by African American launches $100,000 Kickstarter Campaign

Hollywood, CA (BlackNews.com) – More than a dozen supporters including family members, colleagues, and the general public, have pledged to change the color of Hollywood, $1 at a time.

A 60-day Kickstarter campaign has been launched, Monday, February 10, 2014 to secure the necessary $100,000 budget to independently produce the first Science Fiction film written and directed by an African American. Titled Vice Versa, the film’s producer, Ryan A. Cole is no stranger to blazing new trails. As the first student Emmy winner in Howard University’s history, four years later, Cole continues to shoot for the stars, literally.

The first two things that come to mind when thinking of Sci-Fi are big budgets and predominantly white casts. Cole would like to change that. The film takes place in the year 2025, where a new technology called Extraction allows for the removal of sin, in return for a “perfect life”.

What seems like an ambitious concept proves to champion the support of a once overlooked and marginalized demographic. “The lack of quality scripts, stale stereotypes, and flat out ignorance are a few factors resulting in the African American moviegoers’ dissatisfactory experience,” says Cole. “Hollywood is programmed to exploit these black tropes for maximum profit.” There are thousands of untold stories Cole believes can ultimately lead his community into what he calls, a “Black Renaissance”.

With the bar set high, $20,000 raised in less than a day, it is up to the African American public to make a bold statement. “We have to raise our own funds and write our own scripts, so that we can create diverse roles for black actors.”

If you would like to contribute to the film, please visit Vice Versa’s Kickstarter page by clicking the link: http://kck.st/1g0oTnB

Photo Caption: Filmmaker Ryan Cole is seeking to raise $100K for his new film “Vice Versa”

208,400 Job Openings Online in January

Posted by Admin On February - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on 208,400 Job Openings Online in January

Median earnings between $10 and $48 an hour

Local Data Available Below

CHICAGO, IL – Employers in January advertised online for more than 208,400 individual job openings, according to the Conference Board and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Eight-five percent of the advertisements were for full-time work.

The advertising reflects help-wanted activity for newly created and replacement positions. The actual number of openings exceeds 208,400 because some industries, such as construction, do not typically advertise online.

“This independent report shows well paying career opportunities are abundant in our state,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “We know that educational attainment is the best predictor of employability. The most-often advertised jobs in January represent careers attainable through job training and college degrees.”

Statewide, the five top advertised positions in January were truck drivers (7,014), registered nurses, (5,869), retail salespersons (4,644), marketing managers (4,181) and first-line supervisors of retail sales workers (4,145). The median hourly wage for a truck driver is $20.57; registered nurse, $31.34; retail salesperson, $9.85; marketing managers, $48.78; and first-line supervisors of retail salesperson, $17.03. Typically, the positions include some benefits, such as health insurance, vacation and sick days.

Included in the data are more than 130,000 positions advertised on Illinoisjoblink.com. IDES operates the state’s hiring board. Job seekers can build multiple resumes to emphasize different skills and experiences. Business owners can use keyword matching technology to search resumes and find the best candidate. Illinoisjoblink.com is free for workers and employers. It compares favorably to private efforts that cost hundreds of dollars. No-cost HR recruitment services are available at the website and at (877) 342-7533.

Using Illinoisjoblink.com to apply for jobs or record other work search efforts can ensure on-going eligibility for current and future unemployment insurance benefits.

The Conference Board collects the Help Wanted Online data. The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association. The data measures new, first-time online jobs and jobs reposted from the previous month on internet job boards, corporate boards and smaller, niche websites.

HWOL Data for Economic Development Regions – January 2014

Top 5 Occupations:

Top 5 Occupations:

Region 1 – Central

Cass, Christian, Greene,

Logan, Macon, Macoupin,

Menard, Montgomery,

Morgan, Sangamon, Scott,

Shelby Counties

· Sales and Related Occupations: 1,016 jobs

· Transportation and Material Moving Occupations: 847 jobs

· Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations: 741 jobs

· Office and Administrative Support Occupations: 579 jobs

· Management Occupations: 456 jobs

Region 2 – East


Champaign, Douglas,

Ford, Iroquois, Piatt,

Vermilion Counties.

· Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations: 819 jobs

· Sales and Related Occupations: 696 jobs

· Transportation and Material Moving Occupations: 557 jobs

· Management Occupations: 458 jobs

· Office and Administrative Support Occupations: 455 jobs

Region 3 – North


De Witt, Fulton, Livingston,

Mc Lean, Marshall, Mason,

Peoria, Stark, Tazewell,

Woodford Counties.

· Sales and Related Occupations: 1,312 jobs

· Transportation and Material Moving Occupations: 922 jobs

· Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations: 853 jobs

· Office and Administrative Support Occupations: 780 jobs

· Computer and Mathematical Occupations: 591 jobs

Region 4 –


Cook, De Kalb, Du Page,

Grundy, Kane, Kankakee,

Kendall, Lake, Mc Henry,

Will Counties.

· Management Occupations: 19,966 jobs

· Computer and Mathematical Occupations: 19,550 jobs

· Sales and Related Occupations: 17,689 jobs

· Office and Administrative Support Occupations: 13,543 jobs

· Business and Financial Operations Occupations: 13,356 jobs

Region 5 – Northern


Boone, Ogle, Stephenson,

Winnebago Counties.

· Sales and Related Occupations: 823 jobs

· Transportation and Material Moving Occupations: 662 jobs

· Office and Administrative Support Occupations: 655 jobs

· Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations: 579 jobs

· Management Occupations: 381 jobs

Region 6 –


Bureau, Carroll, Henry, Jo

Daviess, La Salle, Lee,

Mercer, Putnam, Rock

Island, Whiteside Counties.

· Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations: 677 jobs

· Sales and Related Occupations: 509 jobs

· Transportation and Material Moving Occupations: 436 jobs

· Office and Administrative Support Occupations: 374 jobs

· Computer and Mathematical Occupations: 349 jobs

Region 7 –


Clark, Clay, Coles,

Crawford, Cumberland,

Edgar, Effingham, Fayette,

Jasper, Lawrence, Marion,

Moultrie, Richland


· Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations: 300 jobs

· Sales and Related Occupations: 227 jobs

· Transportation and Material Moving Occupation: 221 jobs

· Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations: 205 jobs

· Office and Administrative Support Occupations: 159 jobs

Region 8 –


Alexander, Edwards,

Franklin, Gallatin,

Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson,

Jefferson, Johnson,

Massac, Perry, Pope,

Pulaski, Saline, Union,

Wabash, Wayne, White,

Williamson Counties.

· Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations: 494 jobs

· Sales and Related Occupations: 434 jobs

· Office and Administrative Support Occupations: 263 jobs

· Transportation and Material Moving Occupations: 262 jobs

· Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations: 253 jobs

Region 9 –


Bond, Calhoun, Clinton,

Jersey, Madison, Monroe,

Randolph, St. Clair,

Washington Counties.

· Sales and Related Occupations: 632 jobs

· Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations: 581 jobs

· Computer and Mathematical Occupations: 466 jobs

· Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations: 462 jobs

· Office and Administrative Support Occupations: 420 jobs

Region 10 – West


Adams, Brown, Hancock,

Henderson, Knox, Mc

Donough, Pike, Schuyler,

Warren Counties.

· Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations: 419 jobs

· Sales and Related Occupations: 264 jobs

· Transportation and Material Moving Occupations: 176 jobs

· Office and Administrative Support Occupations: 151 jobs

· Management Occupations: 147 jobs

Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards’ Marks 20th Year February 20th

Posted by Admin On February - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards’ Marks 20th Year February 20th

“The Power of Neighborhoods” – the 20th Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards will be held February 20, 2014 at Chicago Hilton & Towers, 720 S. Michigan Ave.

CHICAGO, IL — We all talk a great deal about innovation- prognosticating the success of “start-up’s,” discovering the new Groupons, tracking the buzz at 1871, throwing around words like “incubator” and “accelerator.” But often overlooked is the fact that Chicago’s neighborhoods have for generations been their own incubators of innovative ideas and economic development. Solutions to some of our most seemingly intractable problems have come from entrepreneurs literally in our own backyard.

The Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA) was launched twenty years ago to lift up the rock stars of community innovation— the “shark tank” of development before contests were cool. Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago (LISC Chicago) initiated the awards in 1995, when few across the nation were confident in either the sustainability of cities or the power of neighborhoods. It was – and remains – the nation’s only juried awards for community based architecture, development and organizing. CNDA both honors and inspires the work that makes Chicago’s neighborhoods a model for the nation.

The CNDA Awards have served as a catalyst for innovation, best practices, and urban transformation– recognizing that it was not only in corporate boardrooms or city planning departments that innovation occurred and strategy developed, but also in the neighborhoods.

On Thursday, February 20, more than 1,500 cross-sector leaders from throughout the city will join Mayor Rahm Emanuel for what has been called “the Oscars of community development.” Themed The Power of Neighborhoods, the event will honor paramount projects of 2013, and celebrate 20 years of community development and gathered leaders to discuss and address the challenges facing communities and the city today.

While there have been literally hundreds of innovators honored over the years, this year’s honorees include:

Raul Raymundo and The Resurrection Project: With foreclosures mounting and threatening the Pilsen and Back of the Yards Neighborhoods where the organization works, TRP innovatively joined forces with Wintrust, bought the local bank, refinanced the mortgages and when not possible purchased, rehabbed and sold the properties, stabilizing the neighborhood, reducing crime and ensuring its future.

Lawrence Benito of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights – who with immigration reform stalled in congress and more hundreds of thousands of undocumented workers at risk in Illinois, came up with the idea and successfully led the battle to procure drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants

Theaster Gates and the University of Chicago for the (much already written about) adaptive reuse of a long abandoned building on Garfield Blvd as an art’s incubator, nurturing artists and the community alike

The Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) for its reimagining of an entrance way to Woodlawn and its creation of Woodlawn Park as a mixed income, mixed use gateway to the community.

Just Pay for All Coalition for its first-ever and successful fight against the long invisible wage theft – a fight which not only changed Illinois and Chicago law but also regulations that now prevent this egregious but all too common practice.

And many more.

Prior to the Awards ceremony there will be a panel discussion, moderated by WBEZ’s Natalie Moore, and featuring Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky; David Doig, CNI Group; Demond Drummer, Teamwork Englewood; and Michael D. Rodriguez, Enlace Chicago. With past as prologue, the panel will address the current challenges that the city faces and the innovative solutions being forged to meet them.

Panel discussion: 3:00 p.m. Awards ceremony: 4:30 p.m.

Who: Panel: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, WBEZ Reporter Natalie Moore, Pullman’s David Doig, Little Village’s Mike Rodriguez, Englewood’s Demond Drummer

There will be a film featuring former Mayor Richard M. Daley, community leaders document changes, prestigious awards honor this year’s Best in Community Development, Organizing and Architecture, Panel Offers View of Future Challenges and Opportunities

Award Ceremony: Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Edward J. Wehmer, Wintrust, special film presentation featuring Valerie Jarrett, Mayor Richard M. Daley, others, 1,600 Chicago community development leaders and elected officials

This year’s event is chaired by Edward J. Wehmer, Founder and CEO of Wintrust Financial, presenting sponsor of CNDA. CNDA is underwritten by lead sponsors: Allstate; Citi; MB Financial Bank; The PrivateBank; Bank of America; The Chicago Community Trust; Northern Trust; The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; BMO Harris Bank; LISC Chicago; PNC; State Farm; Charter One; The Habitat Company; Peoples Gas; US Bank; Chase; Polk Bros. Foundation; Woods Fund Chicago.

CNDA is also supported by: Accion Chicago; Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen, PC; Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council; Brinshore Development; Camiros, Ltd.; Chicago Bears Chicago Community Loan Fund; Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership; Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives; CohnReznick LLP; ComEd; Comcast; Community Investment Corporation; Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.; Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago; Fifth Third Bank; First Merit Bank; Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses; Greater Southwest Development Corporation; Hispanic Housing Development Corporation; Holsten Real Estate Development; IFF; Illinois Housing Development Authority; Illinois Housing Council; Lighten-Gale Group; Matanky Realty; Mercy Housing; Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C.; Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago; North Lawndale Employment Network; Pierce Family Foundation; Preservation of Affordable Housing; Teska Associates, Inc.; The Community Builders; University of Chicago; Urban Partnership Bank; Walsh Construction; Wight & Company

Established in 1995 by Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago (LISC Chicago) – one of the nation’s most respected leaders in community development – CNDA is typically attended by more than 1,500 civic, community, government, corporate and philanthropic leaders. The awards were created to honor the extraordinary development activity in Chicago’s neighborhoods and to inspire emulation of the quality and boldness demonstrated by the awardees.

For more information, visit www.lisc-cnda.org or email cnda@lisc.org

First Minority Teen Academy for Girls at Princeton University seeks applicants

Posted by Admin On February - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on First Minority Teen Academy for Girls at Princeton University seeks applicants

New York, NY (BlackNews.com) – For the fourth straight year, the At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy will be held on the campus of Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. The Academy is one of the only summer institutes for minority teen girls held on an Ivy League campus and the first to be held at Princeton University. The program is geared towards building leadership skills for minority girls entering the tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grades of high school. This year’s program is scheduled for July 27 – August 8, 2014 at The Friend Center, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544.

The Academy offers dynamic speakers, standardized test-taking strategies, math, critical reading courses, college essay writing classes, tutoring, interactive studies, group activities, and field trips. Each year, special guest speakers provide dynamic presentations. In 2013, actor Jasmine Guy offered an unforgettable address. Ms. Guy notes, “It is very important for us to reach out to these young girls.” Other noted speakers have included Brandi and Karli Harvey along with actor Brian White.

The Academy provides on-campus housing at Princeton University that allows the students to experience college life in an Ivy League setting. In addition, the two weeks of learning, studying, and communing together helps the students to bond and experience the Academy from an intimate perspective. The curriculum has been developed to encourage critical thinking and problem-solving skills along with increasing leadership confidence. Speakers include business leaders, entrepreneurs, and Princeton University staff who teach select classes.

The academic achievement gap between minority teen students and their white counterparts prompted Jacqueline B. Glass, CEO and Founder of At the Well Conferences, Inc., to create the Academy. According to Glass, “The U. S. Department of Education statistics state African Americans account for about 13% of the entire college enrollment. The low performance of African American students in math and on standardized tests is alarming. Our program addresses these issues head-on.”

The process is selective, as students must meet criteria based upon recommendations, an interview, an essay, extracurricular activities, and grade point average. Scholarships are available. The F.I.S.H. Foundation has supported the Academy for three years with generous grants. Crystal Lee, a 2011 and 2012 scholar, praises her experience: “At the Well provided me with a great experience and exposed me to a diverse array of people. I was constantly learning about others, as well as myself. I was able to get a better idea of what kind of leader I wanted to be. As a result of this program, I have a better sense of self-worth and more of a willingness to step outside of my comfort zone.”

At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy is a program of At the Well Conferences, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization empowering teens since 2009. “The Academy seeks to empower young women locally to become effective leaders globally. By promoting excellence in education, these young women will transform their communities,” states Glass.

For more information, go to www.atthewellconferences.org

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