Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Brazil, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic during the week of June 16, 2014. In each country, the Vice President will meet with key leaders to discuss the full range of bilateral, regional and global issues. While in Brazil, the Vice President will attend the June 16th match in Natal between the United States and Ghana, and continue on to Brasilia to meet with President Rousseff and Vice President Michel Temer.Â In Colombia, the Vice President will meet with President Santos to follow-up on the bilateral and regional prosperity and security agenda.Â In the Dominican Republic, the Vice President will meet with President Danilo Medina to discuss a broad range of bilateral issues, as well as regional cooperation.
Archive for May, 2014
Englewood Resident Association President Responds to Shooting on Her Block While Being Interviewed by NPR
CHICAGO, IL -Â In the wake of a shooting on her block, Asiaha Butler, co-founder and President of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood, affirms her resolve to continue working for change in her community and invites Chicagoans of all stripes to join the efforts of the resident group she leads.
â€œAlthough this unfortunate incident took place on my block, I remain committed to Englewood, the neighborhood Iâ€™ve called home for my entire life,â€ says Butler.
The shooting occurred during Butlerâ€™s interview with NPR National Correspondent David Schaper. Butler and Schaper were talking on her porch when 15 shots rang out mere feet from her home. The incident bore witness before a national audience what far too many children and families experience in parts of Chicago each and every day.
Butler extends an open invitation for Chicago residents, businesses, non-Âprofit organizations, universities and government to join R.A.G.E.â€™s efforts in Englewood.
â€œThe issues we address every day are not Englewood problems, South Side problems, nor West Side problems, says Butler. â€œThey are Chicago problems, and itâ€™s going to take all of Chicago to tackle these challenges head on.â€
â€œR.A.G.E. believes â€˜The City that Worksâ€™ can work together to make this city -Â the entire city -Â a Chicago we can all be proud to call home,â€ says Butler.
Formed in 2010, R.A.G.E. engages and mobilizes residents house by house, block by block, and online to bring change to the Englewood community. Most recently, R.A.G.E. worked closely with the Chicago Department of Planning and Development to create the $1 Large Lots program, a policy designed for residents to purchase and maintain City-Âowned lots on their block.
In the wake of school closings, R.A.G.E. convened a broad base of stakeholders to repurpose recently closed school buildings in Englewood. This summer, R.AG.E. is bringing So Fresh Saturdays as a part of the citywide Night Out in the Park events, a series of music-Âfilled, family-Âoriented festivals, to six different parks in Englewood. The kick off for this event is June 7th, 3-8p.m., at Hermitage Park located at 59th and Wood.
R.A.G.E. also calls for a higher standard of journalism and service from news media, encouraging local and national news outlets to not only report on incidents of crime, but to investigate the unjust laws and discriminatory policies that create the conditions in which crime thrives.
For more information about R.A.G.E. efforts, visit www.ragenglewood.org.
Resident Association of Greater Englewood www.ragenglewood.org | 866.845.1032 | firstname.lastname@example.org | @join_rage
CHICAGO, IL â€” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Whiteside County Stateâ€™s Attorney Trish Joyce praised a Rock Island County jury for finding Nicholas T. Sheley guilty of the murder of 29-year-old Brock Branson; 20-year-old Kilynna Blake; her son, 2-year-old Dayan; and 25-year-old Kenneth Ulve in Rock Falls, Ill. Sheley was found guilty on four counts of first-degree murder. His sentencing is set for August 11.
These are theÂ latestÂ convictions against Sheley,Â who Madiganâ€™s officeÂ previously secured convictions against for two otherÂ murders that occurred during a seven-day crime spree that left six people dead in Illinois and two in Missouri. Sheley is currently serving life sentences for the slayings of Ronald Randall, 65, of Galesburg and Russell Reed, 93, of Sterling.
In response to todayâ€™s conviction, Attorney General Madigan made the following statement:
â€œJustice has been a long time coming for the family and friends of the victims. I can only hope that this verdict brings them some closure. I thank the members of the jury for their service, and I commend the prosecutors for their hard work and relentless commitment to bringing this case to a successful conclusion.â€
Whiteside County Stateâ€™s Attorney Joyce added:
â€œThe families of these victims have waited over five years for justice in this case. All of the attorneys who worked on the case throughout that lengthy period of time have come to know the families and the other witnesses well, and we thank them for their patience and support throughout this long and arduous process. My thanks go out to all of the law enforcement officers and agencies, the civilian witnesses, and to the Attorney General and the Criminal Prosecutions & Trial Assistance Bureau of the Attorney Generalâ€™s office, without whose involvement justice would not have been achieved.â€
Stateâ€™s Attorney Joyce requested the assistance of Attorney General Madigan’s office in prosecuting Sheley. Working with State’s Attorney Joyce, Assistant Attorneys General Bill Elward and Steven Nate handled the case for Madigan’s Criminal Enforcement Division.
SPRINGFIELD, IL â€“IllinoisÂ State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) moved Illinois one step closer to protecting workers paid using payroll cards, a method previously unregulated in the state. The Senate approved an agreement he reached with banks and business groups to limit excessive fees and unreasonable practices associated with the cards so employees are not vulnerable to exploitation when accessing and spending their earnings.
â€œState government has a responsibility to ensure that the earnings of the low-wage workers most likely to be paid using these cards are not unfairly diminished through high fees and hidden terms,â€ Raoul said. â€œMy message to the banks and card issuers was that they donâ€™t have to nickel and dime employees out of their hard-earned pay, one fee at a time, in order to recover their reasonable costs. Iâ€™m pleased we were able to negotiate these very strong protections for Illinois workers.â€
The legislation would require employers using payroll cards to disclose all applicable terms and fees and allow their workers to choose a different payment method if they would rather not use the debit card-like products. Fees for overdrafts and point-of-sale purchases would be prohibited, and employees would be entitled to two fee-free declined transactions each month. A worker would be allowed to withdraw his or her entire paycheck once every two weeks without penalty and check the cardâ€™s balance over the phone at any time for no additional cost.
The House must now approve changes made to the legislation in the Senate; a favorable House vote will send the measure to the governor.
The My Brotherâ€™s Keeper Task Force Report to the President can be found HERE.
Over the past five years, the hard work and grit of the American people pulled our economy back from the brink of collapse.Â We are now moving forward again.Â But there is more work to do, and for decades opportunity has lagged behind for some, including millions of boys and young men of color.Â Boys of color are too often born into poverty and live with a single parent.Â And while their gains contributed to the national high school graduation rate reaching an all-time high, in some school districts dropout rates remain high.Â Too many of these boys and young men will have negative interactions with the juvenile and criminal justice system, and the dream of a college education is within grasp for too few.Â Our society can and will do more to help remove barriers to all young peopleâ€™s success, because America prospers not only when hard work and responsibility are rewarded but also when we all pull forward together.
Rebuilding that core American valueâ€”communityâ€”is why the President launched My Brotherâ€™s Keeper, an initiative designed to determine what works to help young people stay on track to reach their full potential.
The Administration is doing its part by identifying programs and policies that work, and recommending action that will help all our young people succeed.Â Since the launch of My Brotherâ€™s Keeper, the Presidentâ€™s Task Force has met with and heard from thousands of Americans, through online and in-person listening sessions, who are already taking action.Â Cities and towns, businesses, foundations, faith leaders and individuals have made commitments to helping youth get a strong start in school and life and later connect them to mentoring, support networks and specialized skills they need to find a good job or go to college and work their way up into the middle class.Â As President Obama has said, â€œWe are stronger when America fields a full team.â€
Today, the President met with his Cabinet to discuss the Task Forceâ€™s initial assessments and recommendations and the President called on the American people to get engaged through mentorship opportunities nationwide.
Call to Action
The President is calling on Americans interested in getting involved in My Brotherâ€™s Keeper to sign up as long-term mentors to young people at WH.gov/mybrotherskeeper.Â This effort will engage Americans from all walks of life to sign up to develop sustained and direct mentoring relationships that will play vital roles in the lives of young people.
It is important that all children have caring adults who are engaged in their lives.Â But too many young people lack this support.Â For example, roughly two-thirds of Black and one-third of Hispanic children live with only one parent.Â Â Moreover, research suggests that a father’s absence increases the risk of his child dropping out of school among Blacks and Hispanics by 75 percent and 96 percent respectively.Â We see significant high school dropout ratesâ€”as high as 50 percent in some school districtsâ€”including among boys and young men from certain Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander populations. And some 27 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives live in poverty, compared to 11.6% of White Americans.
Presidential Task Force 90-Day Report
As part of its 90-day report, the Task Force has identified a set of initial recommendations to the President, and a blueprint for action by government, business, non-profit, philanthropic, faith and community partners.
In developing its recommendations, the Task Force identified key milestones in the path to adulthood that are especially predictive of later success, and where interventions can have the greatest impact:
- Getting a healthy start and entering school ready to learn;
- Reading at grade level by third grade;
- Graduating from high school ready for college and career;
- Completing post-secondary education or training;
- Successfully entering the workforce;
- Keeping kids on track and giving them second chances.
By focusing on these key moments, and helping our young people avoid roadblocks that hinder progress across life stages, we can help ensure that all children and young people have the tools they need to build successful lives.Â Focused on areas of action that can improve outcomes at these key moments, the Presidentâ€™s Task Force today presented him with recommendations including:
- Launch a public-private campaign to actively recruit mentors for youth and improve the quality of mentoring programs.
- Make the status and progress of boys and young men of color and other populations more visible by improving data collection and transparency.
- Support locally driven efforts that are more comprehensive â€“ addressing the educational, physical, social and emotional needs of young peopleâ€“ and that span multiple life stages from cradle-to-college.
A Healthy Start and Ready for School
- Eliminate suspensions and expulsions in preschool and other early learning settings.
- Implement universal early health and developmental screenings
Reading at Grade Level by the End of Third Grade
- Close the word gap by launching a public and private initiative to increase joint and independent reading time outside of school and build a reading culture in more homes.
Graduating from High School
- Increase focus on transforming the schools and districts producing the majority of the country’s dropouts.
- Promote the use of alternative discipline practices to help teachers teach and keeps kids in school.
Completing Post-Secondary Education or Training
- Increase college completion by expanding studentsâ€™ access to and successful completion of rigorous courses, such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and dual enrollment options in high school.
Entering the Workforce
- Help grow and improve youth summer employment and use of pre-apprenticeships as good entry-level jobs.
- Enact broader growth and opportunity agenda through investments in infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, job training, and raising the minimum wage.
Reducing Violence and Providing a Second Chance
- Employ methods to address racial and ethnic bias within the juvenile and criminal justice systems and remove unnecessary barriers to successful reentry and employment.
The recommendations identified by the Presidentâ€™s Task Force mark the starting point of what must and will be a long-term effort.Â The Task Force and public, private and philanthropic actors will continue to develop recommendations and support community solutions well beyond this 90-day progress report.
In addition to todayâ€™s announcements, in coming weeks and months, leading foundations will independently announce specific commitments to help ensure young people can succeed.Â The following foundations will together seek to invest at least $200 million:Â The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The California Endowment, The Ford Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Open Society Foundations, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Kapor Center for Social Impact, and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.
SPRINGFIELD, IL â€“IllinoisÂ State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) issued the following statement on her support of education funding reform and a ballot referendum on raising the minimum wage:
Public servants have an obligation not only to provide short-term relief and assistance to people in need, but to bring an end to the generational poverty that traps so many of our neighbors in a cycle of hopelessness persisting through good times and bad. Those caught in the cycle are disproportionately men, women and children of color. Yet whatever their race, national origin or zip code, they are crushed by the same appalling yet familiar litany of wrongs: few jobs, unfair pay, underfunded schools, subpar housing, predatory loans, decaying blocks and unsafe streets.
This week, I was proud to support two legislative measures with the potential to attack the root causes of generational poverty. One will let voters in this Novemberâ€™s election tell legislators whether or not they support raising the minimum wage â€” a policy popular in all regions of the state and among people of all political persuasions. No one who works full-time should live in poverty, unable to provide for his or her family.
The other would radically reform Illinoisâ€™ broken and unjust education funding system. Because of the inequitable way state funds for public schools are distributed in Illinois, poor communities tax themselves at high rates yet struggle to provide a barely adequate education for their young people, while wealthier communities pay far lower property tax rates but can afford luxuries. Senate Bill 16 would base state aid on a combination of local resources and student need, acknowledging that more resources are needed to overcome barriers to learning in communities with higher concentrations of poverty.
High-quality education and fair pay are essential to lifting families and communities out of generational poverty. I commend my colleagues for letting votersâ€™ voices be heard on the minimum wage. I urge members of the House to follow the Senateâ€™s lead on school funding and not turn their backs on children who could not choose where they were born but with a world-class education can choose a better future.
Dr. Christine King Farris, Linda Johnson Rice and Hiroko Tatebe Honored with Legacy of Leadership Awards at Tenth Anniversary Spelman College Women of Color Conference
18 Groundbreaking Women Inducted into Inaugural Academy of Game Changers Include Major General Marcia Anderson, Access Hollywoodâ€™s Shaun Robinson, Media Trailblazer Paula Madison, Essence Magazine’s Vanessa Bush, Coca-Cola’s Dr. Shell Huang, and KeyCorp Executive Margot Copeland
Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — Spelman College celebrated the impact and influence of women of color as global leaders during the 10th anniversary of its pre-eminent annual leadership and women of color conference by honoring exceptional women leaders, including retiring Spelman College professor Dr. Christine King Farris, Johnson Publishing Chairman Linda Johnson Rice and global women’s leadership advocate Hiroko Tatebe with Legacy of Leadership Awards. In addition, for the first time, 18 dynamic women were inducted into the Spelman Women of Color Conference inaugural Academy of Game Changers during the “Game Changers: A Decade of Success” Luncheon. The two-day event was held at the Georgia International Convention Center, May 14 -15, 2014, in Atlanta.
Featuring groundbreaking women across a variety of disciplines, the conference was themed “Twenty-First Century Leadership: Leading Forwardâ€ and hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist and Access Hollywood host, Spelman alumna Shaun Robinson.
Jane E. Smith, Ed.D., Spelman College executive director of the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement highlighted her selection of this year’s Legacy of Leadership honorees. “We wanted to recognize Christine King Farris because of her 50-plus years of service to the Civil Rights Movement, to education of young women, and to her retirement from Spelman College,â€ said Smith. â€œHiroko Tatebe’s focus on leadership development from a global perspective is a primary objective of the College, and we wanted to highlight her work in this area. We are recognizing Ebony and Linda Johnson Rice because the magazine has chronicled civil rights and women’s development in the workplace, and has handled that beautifully.”
A Game Changer is a 21st century leader who is powerful, forward-thinking and embraces her drive for excellence. Recognized for their exemplary leadership and commitment to creating positive change, Spelman College President Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum conferred Game Changer awards upon Rep. Stacey Abrams, U.S. Army Reserve Major General Marcia Anderson, social advocate Analisa Balares, Navajo Times Editor Candace Begody, The CW Network executive Traci Lynn Blackwell, Francisca Brown of American Family Insurance, Essence Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. Bush, publishing executive Kimberly Casiano, strategic marketing expert Anna C. Catalano, KeyCorp executive Margot Copeland, JPMorgan Chase diversity executive Patricia David, Teneo Holdings’ Kimberly Davis, Coca-Cola’s Dr. Shell Huang, communications expert Sachi Koto, media mogul Paula Madison, public policy public relations leader Elizabeth Oliver-Farrow, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO Tisha Tallman, and Bank of America diversity executive Geri Thomas. The luncheon was hosted by author and Essence Editor-at-Large Mikki Taylor.
Thought leaders and industry influencers from business, public policy, media and education engaged in detailed discussions centered on the theme, Leading Forward, including NPR’s Michel Martin, Ebony Editor-in-Chief Mitzi Miller, policy expert and media pundit Michelle D. Bernard, media consultant Debra Langford, JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Dalila Wilson-Scott, Atlanta University Center Consortium CEO Dr. Sherry Turner, U.S. Dept. of Energy Director LaDoris “Dot” Harris, Georgia-Pacific corporate affairs executive Charmaine Ward, Coca-Cola executive Cathy Ramos, UPS Global Manager Estella Cramer, media brand expert Tai Beauchamp, and McDonald’s executives Sharlene Smith, Millie Vergara, Debbie Roberts, and Michele Bradley, among others. In an exclusive tweet-up session, Mikki Taylor also presented insights on topics such as work, relationships, spirituality, personal branding and style from her book “Commander In Chic: Every Woman’s Guide to Managing Her Style Like a First Lady.”
Sponsors, partners and contributors for the 10th Anniversary Spelman College Leadership and Women of Color Conference include UPS, American Family Insurance, Delta Air Lines, JPMorgan Chase, The Coca-Cola Company, Georgia Power, McDonald’s, The Bonner Office for Community Service & Student Development, AT&T, BNY Mellon, Chick-fil-A, Comcast Universal, AGL Resources, Cigna, Deloitte LLP, Georgia-Pacific, PNC Bank, Fox HBCU Media Alliance, Innovative Women’s HealthCare Solutions, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, with media partners Essence, Johnson Publishing Company and KISS 104.1FM.
About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the college’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer; JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Kimberly Davis; former acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley; Harvard University professor Evelyn Hammonds; author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.
Collaboraction announces Crime Scene Chicago 2014: Let Hope Rise summer parks tour, plus fall world premiere of Have You Seen Our Future?, an explosive new work about the dysfunction of Chicago’s education system
CHICAGO, IL – Collaboraction is thrilled to be invited back by the Chicago Park District to remount and tour the company’s hit production, Crime Scene Chicago: Let Hope Rise, to four city parks in August.
Continuing with the company’s new “incite change” mission, Collaboraction also announces their fall production, the world premiere of Have You Seen Our Future?, an explosive piece of theatre inspired by the dysfunction of Chicago’s education system, premiering September 18-October 26, 2014.
Crime Scene Chicago 2014: Let Hope Rise
Crime Scene, Collaboraction’s theatrical reaction to the violent crime in Chicago, will continue to incite change at a hyper local level as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks initiative this summer. Crime Scene couples nonfiction source material such as interviews, articles, and online comments with true Chicago crimes to raise critical questions surrounding segregation, poverty, the news media, and popular culture. Artistic Director Anthony Moseley is reconceiving the show for the 2014 summer parks tour to include up-to-the-minute stories of Chicago violence.
Universally lauded by press, the 2013 world premiere of Crime Scene was described as “gripping,” “direct, visceral, youthful and winningly honest” using “elements of history, testimony, song and hip-hop oration.” Along with each park performance, Collaboraction will host a pre-show barbecue, invite neighborhood residents to participate in the Dome of Dance and offer a pre-show showcase of community groups doing a pro-peace performance. Every performance includes opportunities for audience participation, and concludes with a post-show Town Hall meeting to reflect on ways to incite change and combat crime.
Crime Scene Chicago 2014: Let Hope Rise will kick off its summer remount with a weekend of performances at Collabraction’s Wicker Park home on Wednesday, July 30, Thursday, July 31 and Friday, August 1 at 7:30 p.m. Collaboraction is located on the 3rd floor of the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave in Wicker Park. Tickets are pay-what-you-can. Reserve tickets online at collaboraction.org or call 312.226.9633.
Crime Scene will then hit the road and tour four Chicago parks for four consecutive weekends in August:
Thursday and Friday, August 7 and 8 at Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St., in Englewood
Thursday and Friday, August 14 and 15 at Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St., in Austin
Thursday and Friday, August 21 and 22 at Loyola Park, 1230 W. Greenleaf, in East Rogers Park
Thursday and Friday August 28 and 29 at Taylor Park, 39 W. 47th St., in Bronzeville
All park performances are free and open to the public. Pre-show barbecue and Dome of Dance tournament begins at 5 p.m. Showtime is 6:30 p.m.
Coming Fall 2014 – Have You Seen Our Future?
In fall 2014, Collaboraction presents the world premiere of Have You Seen Our Future? Conceived and written by Sarah Moeller, with co-writers Adam Seidel and Michele Stine, this new work promises to be an explosive piece of theatre inspired by the dysfunction of Chicago’s education system.
Constructed from extensive research, Have You Seen Our Future? tackles the key issues of inequities, standardized testing, cultural barriers, and moreÂ through the eyes of students, teachers, parents and administrators. The result will beÂ a unique, interactive theatre piece designed to entertain and inform the audience, as well as motivateÂ dialogue.
Have You Seen Our Future? will debut September 18 – October 26, 2014 at Collaboraction on the 3rd floor of the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave in Wicker Park. Press opening is Thursday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. Industry nights are on Monday, October 6 and 20. Have You Seen Our Future? will run approximately 90 minutes, followed each night by a facilitated discussion. Tickets are $15-$30. Purchase tickets online at collaboraction.org or call 312.226.9633.
Collaboraction (collaboraction.org) celebrates its 18th year as a Chicago-based arts organization and has recently moved its theater and operation headquarters to the historic Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., in the heart of Wicker Park. By incorporating innovative artists and interdisciplinary collaboration, Collaboraction creates groundbreaking theatrical and art-based experiences.
The overwhelming response to Crime Scene in 2013 was the first step in Artistic Director Anthony Moseley’s new vision for Collaboraction to be used as an artistic tool to explore critical social issues in an effort to create dialogue and incite change. To do so, Collaboraction collaborates with artists, community leaders, health professionals and citizens from throughout the city to create original theatrical experiences that push artistic boundaries and explore critical social issues with a diverse community of Chicagoans. More recently, Collaboration’s world premiere This is Not a Cure for Cancer was an immersive live theater experience that used the same provocative, docudrama style conceived via Crime Scene to attack cancer, its treatment and the way we live.
Collaboraction has worked with more than 2,500 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 50,000 audience members. Presenting such smash hits as 2010’s Chicago premiere of 1001 by Jason Grote, 2008’s world premiere of Jon by George Saunders and directed by Seth Bockley, and 2007’s critically acclaimed production of The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow: an instant message with excitable music by Rolin Jones, as well as the annual SKETCHBOOK Festival, Collaboraction has worked with more than 2,500 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 50,000 audience members.
Clinics provide free legal advice to thousands of domestic violence survivors
CHICAGO, IL â€“ Hundreds of domestic violence survivors in underserved communities could receive free legal advice thanks to a $100,000 grant presented by Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon and funded by Verizon Wirelessâ€™ HopeLine project.
The grant to the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) will grow the Virtual Legal Clinic, an online legal service system piloted by Simonâ€™s office and ICADV to aid women and children in rural areas that lack family law attorneys. The award comes as state funding for critical services face cuts.
â€œThrough the generosity of Verizon, individuals in need can get access to critical legal advice,â€ said Simon. â€œToo many survivors, especially those in rural communities, have no access to a lawyer. The Virtual Legal Clinic aims to provide survivors not only with free legal consultations but also to better prepare them to proceed in court without an attorney when necessary.â€
Through the Internet and webcam, domestic violence survivors are able to consult with attorneys who provide services on a pro bono basis. Many survivors are faced with questions about divorce, child custody and visitation, and other critical legal issues. In rural and underserved Illinois communities, where there are few, if any, attorneys practicing family law or who have experience with legal matters related to domestic violence, the Virtual Legal Clinic is a lifeline to information.
â€œThis is the single largest grant HopeLine has given in the state,â€ said Brian Pascoe, region president, Verizon Wireless. â€œWe expect it to make an impact very quickly. This should enable the Coalition to expand this innovative service to survivors of domestic violence.â€
The Virtual Legal Clinic was developed by Simon, chair of the Governorâ€™s Rural Affairs Council, in partnership with the ICADV. Since its launch in December 2011, the Virtual Legal Clinic has expanded to 16 mostly rural counties, reaching survivors across the state in Cairo, Freeport, Jacksonville, Rochelle, Rockford, Peoria and Pekin.
â€œSupport from Verizon is absolutely critical to our ability to continue to serve our communities,â€ said Vickie Smith, executive director, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. â€œWhile we work together to end domestic violence through education and community programs, we also need to provide a voice to survivors so they can achieve independence and self-sufficiency.â€
As of May 2014, the Virtual Legal Clinic is serving 16 counties at agencies reaching more than 6,300 survivors of domestic violence. By 2015, the organization projects growth into 40 counties, potentially serving more than 15,000 survivors of domestic violence.
Simon serves as the chairperson of the Governorâ€™s Rural Affairs Council and is working to improve services in rural communities. Prior to being Lt. Governor, she prosecuted domestic violence crimes as a Jackson County assistant stateâ€™s attorney and helped found a domestic violence legal clinic at Southern Illinois Universityâ€™s school of law.
More information about the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Virtual Legal Clinic can be found at http://www.ilcadv.org/.
CHICAGO, IL â€“ U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today that after conducting more definitive laboratory tests, it found the Illinois resident was not infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) while having a business meeting with the man later hospitalized in Indiana with MERS-CoV. Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck has this message to the public.
â€œWe initially conducted respiratory testing of the Illinois resident â€“ with negative test results for being infectious. The CDC tested the residentâ€™s blood, and found indications the resident may have been infected at one time. CDC conducted additional and more definitive tests, and we are relieved to learn the Illinois resident was never infected.
â€œAlthough the Illinois resident was never thought to have been infectious, there was an indication the man had previously been infected. Out of concern for the publicâ€™s health and safety, we moved quickly to alert the public and identify any potential close contacts. We would rather err on the side of caution as we learn more about this virus.
â€œI want to reassure residents that if there is an indication a person may be infected with MERS-CoV, health officials in Illinois will vigilantly follow-up with this person and take all precautions, as we did with this Illinois resident, to protect the health and safety of our residents.â€
For more information about CDC testing and MERS-CoV cases, visit
IDPH continues to implement its Five Year Strategy 2014-2018 to maximize IDPHâ€™s effectiveness, influence and value for promoting wellness, health equity, safety and improved health outcomes. Strategic plan priorities include developing and expanding partnerships; improving data utilization; reducing health disparities; improving regulatory compliance; and branding, marketing and communicating IDPHâ€™s value.