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Archive for April 25th, 2014

Cases of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and HIV on the Rise Nationally

Posted by Admin On April - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Residents are Encouraged to Get Tested for STDs

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is encouraging residents who are sexually active to talk with a health care professional about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and get tested. In the United States 20 million new STDs, including 50,000 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections occur each year. Almost half of those cases are among young people age 15 to 24 years.

Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are on the rise in Illinois. Between 2008 and 2012, reported cases of chlamydia increased 14% while syphilis increased by 82% and gonorrhea by 15% (between 2010 and 2012).

“Getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases and seeking prompt medical treatment if you find that you are infected can reduce your risk for further complications and passing the infection on to others,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Knowing the status of both you and your partner is essential to protecting your health and stopping the spread of these and other preventable diseases.”

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are bacterial infections that can easily be cured with antibiotics; however, most people do not have any symptoms and infections are often undiagnosed and untreated. Syphilis can cause long-term complications and/or death if not treated correctly. Symptoms in adults are divided into stages: primary, secondary, latent and late syphilis. Without treatment, STDs can cause serious health complications, including infertility among women.

Actions you can take to protect yourself against STDs:

  • Abstinence or reduction of the number of sex partners
  • Consistent and correct use of condoms
  • Regular screening – getting tested and treated for STDs

For more information about STDs, call the HIV/STD Hotline at (800) 243-2437 (TTY – 800-782-0423) or log onto http://www.idph.state.il.us/health/std/index.htm. To find a testing site near you go to http://HIVtest.cdc.gov or text “IL” plus your zip code to 36363.

Providing essential health information is one way IDPH is continuing its mission of protecting health, improving lives and implementing IDPH’s Five Year Strategy. For a copy of the strategic plan, go to http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/StrategicPlan_Final_2014-2018.pdf.

Madigan Encourages Illinois Residents to Safely Dispose of Prescription Drugs

Posted by Admin On April - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Attorney General Alerts Illinoisans to DEA’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan alerted Illinois residents to Saturday’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day organized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that will provide free drop-off sites for expired or unused medication as part of a national effort to combat prescription drug abuse.

Collection sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday throughout Illinois to allow residents to safely dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs. Visit the DEA’s website for a list of the hundreds of locations in Illinois.

“Too much prescription medication gets into the wrong hands if not properly disposed,” Madigan said. “This program is a safe and easy way for anyone with expired or unused prescription medicine to properly dispose it.”

The national Take-Back Day was created by the DEA in 2010 to prevent pill abuse and theft. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, currently ranking second to marijuana use as the most common form of drug abuse in America. Pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal street drugs when used without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision. Unused or expired prescription medications have been linked to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse.

The majority of prescription drug abusers obtain drugs from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Prescription drug abuse is also a persistent problem among teens. Recent studies cited by the DEA show that nearly one in five teens reported using prescription medicines at least once to get high, and nearly one-third of teens believe there is “nothing wrong” with using prescription drugs without a medication “once in a while.” Emergency room visits for prescription drug use among children under 20 increased by 45 percent between 2004 and 2010, according to the DEA.

National Take-Back sites provide a safe method of disposal to decrease the availability of prescription drugs for abusers and maintain the water supply. Medicine thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or sold illegally, and unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply.

Similar take-back sites will be hosted across the country by law enforcement agencies working with community groups and public health organizations. The service is free and anonymous. Only solid medicines will be accepted for disposal. Liquids, injectable medications and needles will not be accepted. Since its creation, National Take-Back Day has resulted in the removal of more than 3.4 million pounds of medication nationwide.

If a take-back program is not available, the DEA has issued advice to properly dispose of medications:

Take the medication out of its bottle,

Mix the drug with something unappealing such as coffee grounds or kitty litter, and

Seal them in a bag or disposable container to throw away.

For more information on National Take-Back Day and prescription drug abuse, visit the DEA’s website.

Unemployment Falls Across State

Posted by Admin On April - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Six Metro Areas Record Lowest Rate Since 2008

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Metropolitan Area















Davenport-Moline-Rock Isl.









Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI












St. Louis (IL-Section)



* Data subject to revision.

CHICAGO – Local unemployment fell in 10 of 12 metropolitan areas in March. In six of the 10, the March rate was at its lowest point since 2008, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The six metros are Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Kankakee-Bradley, Lake-Kenosha, Rockford and St. Louis. Illinois businesses added jobs in five metros. Largest increases: Lake-Kenosha (+1.9 percent, +7,400), Champaign-Urbana (+1.8 percent, +1,900), Kankakee-Bradley (0.9 percent, +400) and Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (+0.6 percent, +24,000). Largest decreases: Bloomington-Normal (-2.0 percent, -1,800), Decatur (-1.6 percent, -800) and Danville (-1.4 percent, -400). Much of these decreases continue to reflect a temporary slowdown in global manufacturing demand. Industry sectors recording job growth in the most metros: Leisure and Hospitality (nine of 12), Wholesale Trade (seven of 12).

“Our economy continues to improve as people feel more confident about the future,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “To continue this growth, we need to ensure that our workforce has the skills demanded in today’s economy.”

Not seasonally adjusted data compares the current month to the same month of the previous year. The March 2014 not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 8.3 percent and 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in March and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits. Historically, the state unemployment rate is higher than the national rate. 454**14

Total Non-farm Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted) – March 2014

Metropolitan Area



Over-the-Year Change

Bloomington-Normal MSA




Champaign-Urbana MSA




Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metro Div.




Danville MSA




Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA




Decatur MSA




Kankakee-Bradley MSA




Lake County-Kenosha County Metro Div.




Peoria MSA




Rockford MSA




Springfield MSA




Illinois Section of St. Louis MSA




*Preliminary **Revised

Nearly 200 schools recognized for academic excellence and improvement on 2013 Illinois Honor Roll

Posted by Admin On April - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Annual list shows continued and improved academic achievement as state moves toward new accountability system in 2014

SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced that 177 schools made the 2013 Illinois Honor Roll for their continued academic progress or excellence. The state’s annual recognition program, based on the previous spring’s state standardized tests and demographic information, shows a dozen schools that are being recognized for the 10th or 11th consecutive year. All of these outstanding schools are being honored for their accomplishments in making progress toward or maintaining academic excellence.

“These Honor Roll schools once again show us that rigorous standards, great teachers and persistence are key to improved student performance,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “We raised our expectations in 2013 but these 177 schools accepted the challenge. Many more will meet these new more rigorous expectations and better prepare students for college and careers.”

The State Board establishes criteria, identifies winners of the awards and administers the Illinois Honor Roll, which is divided into three categories – Spotlight Schools, Academic Excellence and Academic Improvement. Each award has unique criteria that best reflect the diverse circumstances of Illinois schools.

  • Spotlight Schools – Recognizes 37 high-poverty, high-performing schools that are beating the odds by overcoming the achievement gap.
  • Academic Excellence Awards – 23 schools have sustained high performance over at least three years.
  • Academic Improvement Awards – 125 schools are showing substantial improvement.

The 2013 Illinois Honor Roll roster includes elementary, middle and high schools, including charter schools, and represents 99 public school districts statewide. Downstate schools represent 47 percent of the Honor Roll schools, suburban schools represent 15 percent and Chicago schools make up the final 38 percent this year. The schools earned a total of 185 awards in the three categories.

The following districts earned the most awards:



Winning Schools

Total District Schools

City of Chicago SD 299




Joppa-Maple Grove UD 38




Northwestern CUSD 2




Other 2013 Illinois Honor Roll facts:

· At all 125 Academic Improvement Award schools, the number of students meeting or exceeding standards increased by at least 7.5 points over one year or 15 points over two years.

· One school, Gregory Elementary School in Chicago, won the Academic Improvement Award, sustaining annual 7.5 improvements, for the fifth year. Six schools won the Academic Improvement Award for the fourth time.

· Two Spotlight School are receiving their 10th award this year, having maintained high level performance since 2004. Another three schools earned the award for the ninth year, and seven schools earned the award for the eighth year.

· Jones College Prep in Chicago has won an 11th consecutive award under the program in either the Spotlight or Academic Excellence category. In 2013, Jones earned an Academic Excellence Award.

Ten-Year Winners of the Spotlight Schools Award

Sheridan Math & Science Academy


Aroma Park Primary School


Jones College Prep


In 2013, eight Academic Excellence schools sustained their long-term high achievement and won a tenth award, another eight schools are being recognized for the ninth time and one school for the eighth time.

Tenth-Year Winners of the Academic Excellence Award

Decatur Classical Elementary School


Edison Regional Gifted Elementary School


Lenart Regional Gifted Center


Northside College Preparatory High School


Half Day School


Washington Gifted School


Lincoln Elementary School

River Forest

Iles Elementary School


· In 2013, eight Academic Excellence schools showed increases in scores from last year, even though they started at a baseline above 90 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards.

· This year, eight schools won both the Spotlight Schools award and the Academic Improvement Award. Here is a list of those winners:

Winners of both Spotlight Schools and Academic Improvement Awards

Aroma Park Primary School

Aroma Park

Clark  G R Elementary School


Honeywell Elementary School


Medora Elementary School


Maple Grove Elementary School


Northwestern Junior High School


Tampico Elementary School


Deland-Weldon Middle School


A complete listing of the 2013 Illinois Honor Roll Schools can be found online at http://www.ilhonorroll.niu.edu.

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

Posted by Admin On April - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Jason Collins – Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
  • Misty Copeland – Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
  • Alonzo H. Mourning, Jr. – Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
  • Rachael Ray – Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
  • Robert Thomas Shepardson – Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
  • Michèle Taylor – Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council

President Obama said, “I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country.  I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Jason Collins, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

Jason Collins is a professional basketball player with the Brooklyn Nets, where he has played since 2014.  Previously, he played for the Washington Wizards, the Boston Celtics, the Atlanta Hawks, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Memphis Grizzlies, and the New Jersey Nets.  He joined the National Basketball Association in 2001 after playing for Stanford University, where he was a National Association of Basketball Coaches third team All-American and a member of the All-PAC-10 first team.  Mr. Collins is a partner with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students.  Mr. Collins received a B.A. from Stanford University.

Misty Copeland, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

Misty Copeland is the first African American female soloist in more than two decades at American Ballet Theatre (ABT), a company she joined in 2000.  She actively supports the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BCGA) and is its Youth of the Year Ambassador.  In 2012 she was inducted into the BCGA Alumni Hall of Fame.  She recently helped launch ABT’s Project Plié, a national diversity initiative in ballet.  Ms. Copeland received the Council of Urban Professionals’ inaugural Breakthrough Award in 2012 and was the Black Girls Rock! Young, Gifted & Black honoree in 2013.  In 2008, she received the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts.  Ms. Copeland studied at the Lauridsen Ballet Center, the San Francisco Ballet School, and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive Program.

Alonzo H. Mourning, Jr., Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

Alonzo H. Mourning, Jr. is Vice President, Player Programs for the Miami Heat Basketball Organization, a position he has held since 2009.  Mr. Mourning played with the Miami Heat from 1995 to 2002 and from 2005 to 2008 and was a member of the Heat team that won the 2006 National Basketball Association (NBA) Championship.  Previously, he played for the New Jersey Nets and the Charlotte Hornets.  Mr. Mourning is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2014.  He is a seven-time All-Star, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and was named to the All-NBA First Team in 1999.  In 2009, he became the first Miami Heat player to have his number retired.  He is a founder of a number of charitable organizations, including the Mourning Family Foundation, Athletes for Hope, Zo’s Fund for Life, and the Overtown Youth Center.  Mr. Mourning received a B.A. from Georgetown University.

Rachael Ray, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

Rachael Ray is the host of a syndicated daytime television show, The Rachael Ray Show.  Additionally, she is the founder of the lifestyle magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray and has created her own brands of cookware, cutlery, kitchen tools, and signature food ingredients.  In 2008, she created a line of pet food called Nutrish, from which she donates her proceeds to help support animals in need.  In 2007, Ms. Ray launched Yum-o!, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering kids and their families to develop healthier relationships with food and cooking.  Ms. Ray’s television shows have received three Emmy Awards.

Robert Thomas Shepardson, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

Robert Thomas Shepardson is a Partner with SS+K, a firm he co-founded in 1993.  He has worked for over 25 years in public affairs, advertising, and marketing.  At SS+K, his portfolio has included work for the Obama for America campaigns in 2008 and 2012 as well as for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! and Joining Forces initiatives.  Previously, he was a managing director at the Sawyer Miller Group from 1988 to 1993.  Mr. Shepardson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and several business and charitable boards, including the New York advisory board of Enterprise Community Partners and the advisory board of the Center for Health Communication at Harvard University’s School of Public Health.  Mr. Shepardson received a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College and an M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Michèle Taylor, Appointee for Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council

Michèle Taylor has served since 2004 as a member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Outward Bound School, where she is also Chair of the Governance Committee and immediate past Secretary.  She also volunteers as a Lead Instructor and Course Director for the school.  Ms. Taylor is a member of the Southeast Regional Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League and a member of Atlanta’s Midtown Improvement District Board of Directors.  She is also a member of the American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Black-Jewish Coalition.  She is an advisor to Atlanta’s Mayor, Kasim Reed, and served as Co-Chair of his 2013 re-election campaign.  Previously, she served on the board of Congregation Or Hadash, the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault, and Ahavath Achim Synagogue.  Ms. Taylor received a B.A. from Mills College and an M.A. from Boston University.

1,000+ Music Students From All Over Chicago to Perform at Symphony Center, May 12&19 AT MERITFEST

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On April - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

How do you get to Symphony Center? Practice, practice, practice…

and Merit School of Music’s Bridges students have been
practicing all year for the experience of a lifetime
Photos from last year’s MeritFest by Jasmin Shah. Click here to download hi-res.

CHICAGO, IL – More than 1,000 2nd-12th grade students from 30 schools in Chicago, the suburbs and Northwest Indiana will be rewarded with the opportunity of a lifetime – to perform live on the stage of Chicago’s renowned Symphony Center – at Merit School of Music’s 23rd annual MeritFest.

The students, who all take music classes year round at their own schools via Merit’s Bridges: Partners in Music in-school program, have been practicing all year for the two-day public concert.

Performances are Monday, May 12 and May 19 from 11 to 12:30 pm. Orchestra Hall is located at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Avenue. Admission is free.

On May 12, Merit’s string players are the stars. Chicago’s renowned Lincoln Trio, Merit’s first-ever artists-in-residence, will make a special MeritFest appearance. The program also features the Merit School of Music Honors Jazz Combo and Merit’s Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, accompanied by saxophonist Shane Woods, winner of the 2013-14 Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory Concerto Competition.

Woods, a resident of Richton Park and a junior at Southland College Prep Charter High School, has been a Merit student for seven years. He also plays for Merit’s award-winning Precipice Saxophone Quartet, which travels to Seattle this weekend to perform on NPR’s From the Top, and to Notre Dame, Indiana next month to compete in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the largest chamber music competition in the world.

On May 19, highlights of the MeritFest Band and Choir Concert include the Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory Choir, the Conservatory Honors Bass Quintet performing selections from Arthur Frackenpohl’s Brass Quintet and Canadian Brass Rag by Eldon Rathburn, and a return performance by the Merit School of Music Honors Jazz Combo.

“MeritFest gives students an experience that few musicians will ever have, even in their professional lives – an opportunity to perform on stage at Orchestra Hall,” said Thomas Bracy, Executive Director, Merit School of Music. “Meeting other music students from all over the city and performing with more advanced musicians from Merit’s Conservatory program creates a strong sense of belonging and accomplishment for them.”

In addition to overseeing operations and programs at Merit, Bracy leaves his executive office at Merit’s West Loop headquarters three times a week to teach band at Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy, a CPS elementary school in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood that participates in Merit’s Bridges: Partners in Music program.

About Merit School of Music

Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2013-2014, Merit School of Music is devoted to giving children-especially children living in economically disadvantaged communities-the opportunity to grow through music.

As part of Merit’s commitment to providing access to a high quality music education, substantial financial support is provided to young musicians through program subsidies, need-based tuition relief, low-cost instrument rental, and music supplies so that motivated students can participate in every program regardless of their economic circumstance.  The goal is to ensure that children, regardless of their family income, have access to high quality music education and all of its benefits in developing personally as well as musically.

To learn more about Merit’s music education programs, visit meritmusic.org or call 312.786.9428.

Make Your Wedding Picture Perfect – Choose the Right Photographer, Says the Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On April - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – As wedding season begins, couples are finalizing plans for their special day. Photographers and videographers use their skills to make the day a lasting memory. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises couples to do their research ahead of time to choose the right business.

Capturing a memory such as a marriage in a photograph or video takes skill. It also takes commitment and professionalism. The BBB says couples need to search for a photographer that will be timely and offer fair pricing.

“When looking for this service, it is important to research carefully,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Before signing anything, make sure that any promises made verbal or written are included in the contract.”

The BBB offers the following suggestions to prospective brides and grooms:

  • Check with the BBB for Business Reviews and listings of photographers and videographers you are considering at www.bbb.org.
  • Schedule interviews with two or three to get a feel for the types of services they offer, the quality of their work and related fees.
  • Ask for references and talk to previous clients.
  • Ask the photographer if he/she is the one who will be photographing your wedding.  If so, that should be stated in the contract.  If not, request to meet personally with the photographer who will be shooting your wedding and review photos from several events before making a decision.
  • Is the photo package fixed or customized?  How many photos are included and what about reprints, enlargements and albums?
  • What is the time frame for delivery of proofs and other products?  Is there a Web site to view your images?  Can you keep the proofs or negatives?
  • What is the payment schedule?  Is a deposit required; if so, how much and by when? This information should be included in the contract.

Bernas added, “A written contract should also specify what happens if your photographer doesn’t show up, as well as the cancellation/refund policy.”

For more consumer tips, visit www.bbb.org, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

State Insurance Regulators Urge Property Owners to Review/Add Coverage to Protect from Floods & Water Damage

Posted by Admin On April - 25 - 2014 1 COMMENT

Most homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Andrew Boron today urged people to prepare and protect their homes from possible flooding. As Illinois communities welcome springtime weather after the significant snowfall during this winter season, potentially heavy rains could result in another rough year for flood-prone areas throughout the state. Spring is a visible reminder of the potential for floods with torrential rain and damaging winds. In 2013 flooding in 49 Illinois counties broke all-time records. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States and one of the most expensive.

“Consumers should be aware that standard homeowner, condominium, and renter policies do not cover flood damage,” said Director Boron. “Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. We urge consumers to be prepared. Know your insurance policy limits before damage occurs.

The Department of Insurance offers the following information for property owners and renters:

*Call an insurance agent to inquire about the availability of flood coverage in your area. Flood insurance becomes effective 30 days after it is purchased, so the sooner you secure coverage the better.

· Get a premium quote on flood insurance. Cost depends on where you live and amount of coverage you choose.

· Standard flood coverage does not typically cover damages resulting from sewer backups or sump pump issues. Ask if additional coverage is appropriate to add to your policy. Ask your insurance company or agent for clarification on how flood vs. water/sewer back up vs. sump pump are defined.

· There are steps you can take before a disaster strikes to make it easier to file and recover insurance claims. For example, homeowners and renters should regularly review all of their insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage and affordable deductible levels; take an inventory of personal property, make photocopies of their insurance policies and keep all such important papers in a secure location away from their home. Taking pictures of various rooms and the contents is great documentation.

For more information about insurance coverage in the event of a flood or other disaster, visit DOI’s website at http://insurance.illinois.gov or see the consumer fact sheet When Disaster Strikes: What to Do After an Insured Homeowners Loss at http://insurance.illinois.gov/HomeInsurance/disaster.asp.


Amiri Baraka’s Final Tribute, a Eulogy by His Son Ras Baraka, is Now Available From Black Classic Press

Posted by Admin On April - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Photo Caption: Bookcover

Baltimore, MD (BlackNews.com) – Black Classic Press (BCP) announced that A Black Fire!, Ras Baraka’s eulogy for his father, Amiri Baraka is now available in print and e-book formats. Ras Baraka delivered the eulogy as a final tribute at Symphony Hall in Newark on January 18, 2014. The eulogy closed the four-hour “home going celebration” for Amiri Baraka, the renowned literary figure and activist.

“We are excited to publish A Black Fire!,” says BCP Director Paul Coates. He continues, “Ras Baraka’s rhapsodizing tribute follows the tradition of his father, who was an extraordinary master of presenting eulogies as praise songs. Amiri Baraka honored the famous and well known, such as James Baldwin, and John Coltrane. He also honored lesser known individuals, including friends and relatives. One of Baraka’s more moving eulogies was for his daughter, Shani, who was tragically killed.”

“In that audience with three thousand other people,” says Coates, “I was transfixed. Ras’ delivery was a spiritual combination of poetic humor, sarcasm, irony, passion, and praise, bestowed rhythmically on his father, just as Amiri had done for so many others.” Coates continues: “He captured for all of us, the struggles and energy that his father represented to African Americans and people worldwide. His eulogy energized the room and seemed to make it ok that Baraka’s spirit had moved on. I knew in my heart that this dynamic praise song had to be published.”

The print edition of A Black Fire! is available from leading retail and online bookstores and directly from the press at www.blackclassicbooks.com for $5.95 (paperbound, 26 pages.) The e-book edition is available in Kindle format at Amazon.com for $2.99.

About Ras Baraka
Ras J. Baraka’s parents are the renowned poets Amina and the late Amiri Baraka. Ras is the father of three daughters. His latest published work is Black Girls Learn Love Hard, and is dedicated to the life of his late sister, Shani Baraka. He is running for Mayor of Newark in the 2014 election.

About Black Classic Press
Founded in 1978 by W. Paul Coates, Black Classic Press specializes in publishing vintage and contemporary popular and academic works by and about people of African descent. BCP is one of the oldest independently owned Black publishers in the United States. The press’ notable authors include Walter Mosley, Amiri Baraka, Walter Rodney, E. Ethelbert Miller, Dorothy Porter, John Henrik Clarke, George L. Jackson, and Bobby Seale.

Dance Center Offers Afro-Latin@ Diaspora Summer Dance Intensive Workshops, Classes, Symposium and Performances July 7-18

Posted by Admin On April - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago explores the ways Africanist and Latin@ aesthetics influence each other in its 2014 Afro-Latin@ Diaspora Summer Dance Intensive July 7–18.

“The term ‘Afro-Latin@’ refers to ‘Latina/o,’” explained Assistant Professor of Dance Raquel Monroe, Ph.D. “The ‘@’gives the reader/speaker the option to use the masculine or feminine pronunciation.”
Classes in Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian, capoeira (Brazilian), Bomba y Plena (Puerto Rican), salsa (Cuban) and samba (Brazilian) dance styles are taught by Dance Center faculty and other special guest artists. Contra-Tiempo Artistic Director Ana Maria Alvarez teaches classes and conducts a workshop in Urban-Latin@ Dance Styles. Other instructors include Victor Alexander, Tosha Alston, Blanca Aviles, Dill Costa and Joshua Grainger,. Classes are open to students for college credit and to the general community.

A symposium, “Roots and Routes: Afro-Latinidad in Motion,” takes place Monday, July 14, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. at the Columbia College Chicago School of Media Arts, 1600 S. State St., Room 105, Chicago. Guest artists and scholars explore dance and music in the Afro-Latin@ Diaspora. The symposium is free and open to the public.
The Intensive concludes with a series of performances, $15 each for the general public:
• AfriCaribe Performance Group: Tuesday, July 15, 8 p.m., AfriCaribe Cultural Center, 2547 W. Division St., Chicago.

• Postmodern Afro-Latinidad: Wednesday and Thursday, July 16 and 17, 8 p.m., The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, 1306 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

• Latin Rhythms in Performance with Intensive Participants and Guests: Friday, July 18, 8 p.m., Latin Rhythms, 210 N. Racine, Chicago

Community Partners
The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago’s Afro-Latin@ Diaspora Summer Dance Intensive is presented in partnership with The Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University, AfriCaribe and Latin Rhythms.

The Dance Center
The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago is the city’s leading presenter of contemporary dance, showcasing artists of regional, national and international significance. The Dance Center has been named “Chicago’s Best Dance Theatre” by Chicago magazine and “Best Dance Venue” by the Chicago Reader, and Time Out Chicago cited it as “…consistently offering one of Chicago’s strongest lineups of contemporary and experimental touring dance companies.” Programs of The Dance Center are supported, in part, by Alphawood Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, New England Foundation for the Arts, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Irving Harris Foundation, National Performance Network and the Arts Midwest Touring Fund. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. Special thanks to Friends of The Dance Center. For information, call 312-369-8330 or visit colum.edu/dancecenter.

Registration and performance Admission
The Dance Center’s 2014 Afro-Latin@ Diaspora Summer Dance Intensive takes place July 7–18. For a detailed schedule of classes, pricing for classes and workshops or tickets to the public performances, call 312-369-8330, email danceinfo@colum.edu or visit colum.edu/dancecenter.

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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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