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December , 2017
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Archive for May 14th, 2014

President Obama Presents Medal of Honor to Sergeant Kyle J. White, U.S. Army

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Remarks by President Barack Obama at Presentation

“It has been said that true courage is “a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to incur it.”  For more than 12 years, with our nation at war, the men and women of our armed forces have known the measure of danger that comes with military service.  But year after year, tour after tour, they have displayed a selfless willingness to incur it — by stepping forward, by volunteering, by serving and sacrificing greatly to keep us all safe.

“Today, our troops are coming home.  By the end of this year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.  And we’ll welcome home this generation — the 9/11 Generation — that has proven itself to be one of America’s greatest.

“And today, we pay tribute to a soldier who embodies the courage of his generation — a young man who was a freshman in high school when the Twin Towers fell, and who just five years later became an elite paratrooper with the legendary 173rd Airborne — the Sky Soldiers.  Today, we present our nation’s highest military decoration — the Medal of Honor — to Sergeant Kyle J. White.

“Kyle is the second Sky Soldier to be recognized with the Medal of Honor for service above and beyond the call of duty in Afghanistan.  Today, he joins Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, and a proud brotherhood of previous honorees, members of the Medal of Honor Society — some of whom are with us here today.

“We have a lot of VIPs here, but I’d like to acknowledge the most important — Kyle’s parents, Cheryl and Curt, and Kyle’s girlfriend, Helen.  I am told that back home in Bonney Lake, Washington when Kyle wanted to enlist, at first he had his sights set on the Marines.  But his dad Curt is a veteran of the Army, Special Forces.  So I’m told there was a difference of opinion.  (Laughter.)  And, I suspect, a good family discussion.  As Commander-in-Chief, I cannot take sides in this debate.  (Laughter.)  The bottom line is Kyle joined the Army.  And in doing so he carried on his family’s proud tradition of service, which found its expression on a November day over six years ago.

“Across Afghanistan, base commanders were glued to their radios, listening as American forces fought back an ambush in the rugged mountains.  One battalion commander remembered that “all of Afghanistan” was listening as a soldier on the ground described what was happening.  They knew him by his call sign — “Charlie One Six Romeo.”  We know it was Kyle, who at the time was just 20 years old and only 21 months into his military service.

“Earlier that afternoon, Kyle and the 13 members of his team, along with a squad of Afghan soldiers, left an Afghan village after a meeting with elders.  The Americans made their way back up a steep hill — single file, along a narrow path, a cliff face rising to their right, and a slope of rocky shale dropping on their left.  They knew not to stop, that they had to keep moving.  They were headed into an area known as “ambush alley”.

“And that’s when a single shot rang out.  Then another.  And then the entire canyon erupted, with bullets coming from what seemed like every direction.  It was as if, Kyle said, the whole valley ‘lit up.’

“The platoon returned fire.  Kyle quickly emptied a full magazine, but as he went to load a second, an enemy grenade exploded and knocked him unconscious.  He came to with his face pressed against a rock.  And as he moved to get up, enemy rounds hit a rock just inches from his head, sending shrapnel and rock shards across his face.

“Most of the unit had been forced to slide down the cliff to the valley below.  But Kyle saw a teammate — Specialist Kain Schilling — trying to treat his own shattered arm, using a tree as cover — what Kain later called “the smallest tree on Earth.”  I’m sure that’s how it felt.  Kyle sprinted through enemy fire to Kain’s side and began applying a tourniquet — shielding Kain with his own body as gunfire shredded that tree.

“Then Kyle saw another man down — Marine Sergeant Phillip Bocks — in the open, 30 feet behind them, but too injured to reach cover.  Kyle remembers thinking, “It’s just a matter of time before I’m dead.  If that’s going to happen, I might as well help someone while I can.”

“With bullets impacting all around him, Kyle ran to Bocks and began to pull the injured Marine to cover.  But worried that he’d expose Bocks to more gunfire, Kyle retreated.  The enemy rounds followed him.  He ran out again, pulling Bocks a little farther.  And once more he retreated to distract the enemy fire.  Once more he went out — over and over thinking to himself, “I’m not going to make it.”  Kyle could feel the pressure of the rounds going by him.  But somehow, miraculously, they never hit him.  Not once.  One of his teammates said it was as if Kyle was moving “faster than a speeding bullet”.

“And finally, Kyle succeeded in pulling his comrade to cover.  Tragically, there on that cliff, Sergeant Bocks succumbed to his wounds.  But in his final moments, this American Marine surely found some solace in Kyle White — the American soldier who, until the very end, was there by his side.

“Now, that other injured soldier, Kain Shilling, was still out there.  And he had sustained another injury, this time to his knee.  Kyle ran out once more to Kain’s side.  Kyle ripped off his own belt for a tourniquet, and soon got his hands on a working radio.  The voice of Charlie One Six Romeo came into base.  Crouching behind that lone tree, Kyle began calling in airstrikes to take out enemy positions.

“Kyle stayed with Specialist Schilling as night fell.  And Kain was too badly injured to move.  Kyle was starting to feel the fog of his own concussions set in, but he knew that he was Kain’s best chance to get out alive, so Kyle took charge and ordered the Afghan soldiers to form a security perimeter.  He called in a MEDEVAC and made sure Kain and the other injured were safely on board.  And only then did Kyle finally allow himself to be lifted out.

“As the helicopter pulled away, Kyle looked out the window, watching the darkness as they pulled away from that single tree on the cliff.  “When you’re deployed,” he later said, “those people become your family.  What you really care about is:  I want to get this guy to the left and to the right home.”

“This family was tested that day.  Not a single one of them escaped without injury, and six brave Americans gave their lives — their last full measure of devotion.  And we remember them today.  Sergeant Phillip A. Bocks.  Captain Matthew C. Ferrara.  Specialist Joseph M. Lancour.  Sergeant Jeffery S. Mersman.  Corporal Lester G. Roque.  And Kyle’s best friend, Corporal Sean K. A. Langevin.  Some of their families are here today.  I’d ask them to please stand so we can recognize their extraordinary sacrifice.

“The legacy of these fallen heroes endures in the courage and strength of their unit — 14 men, forever brothers-in-arms.  We’re proud to welcome those who fought so valiantly that day:  Specialist Kain Schilling, the soldier that Kyle saved, and members of the 2nd Battalion, Chosen Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.  Would you please stand.

“We honor Kyle White for his extraordinary actions on that November day.  But his journey from that day to this speaks to the story of his generation.  Kyle completed the rest of a 15-month deployment in Afghanistan.  He came back home and trained other young paratroopers as they prepared to deploy.  When he completed his service, Kyle decided to pursue a different dream, and with the help of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, he went to college, he graduated, and today works for a bank in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“When Kyle walks into the office every day, people see a man in a suit headed to work.  And that’s how it should be — a proud veteran welcomed into his community, contributing his talents and skills to the progress of our nation.  But Kyle will tell you that the transition to civilian life — and dealing with the post-traumatic stress — hasn’t always been easy.  More than six years later, he can still see the images and hear the sounds of that battle.  Every day, he wakes up thinking about his battle buddies.

“And if you look closely at that man in the suit on his way to work, you’ll notice the piece of the war that he carries with him tucked under his shirt sleeve — a stainless steel bracelet around his wrist etched with the names of his six fallen comrades who will always be with him.  “Their sacrifice motivates me,” he says, to “be the best [that] I can be.  Everything I do in my life is done to make them proud.”

“Kyle, members of Chosen Company, you did your duty, and now it’s time for America to do ours:  After more than a decade of war, to welcome you home with the support and the benefits and opportunities that you’ve earned.  You make us proud, and you motivate all of us to be the best we can be as Americans, as a nation; to uphold our sacred obligations to your generation and all who have faced that “measure of danger” and “the willingness to incur it.”

“May God bless you, and may your courage inspire and sustain us always.  And may God continue to bless the United States of America.

“With that, I’d like to have the citation read.”

MILITARY AIDE: The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to Specialist Kyle J. White, United States Army.

Specialist Kyle J. White distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a radio telephone operator with Company C, 2nd Battalion Airborne, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade during combat operations against an armed enemy in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on November 9, 2007.

On that day, Specialist White and his comrades were returning to Bella Outpost from a shura with Aranas village elders.  As the soldiers traversed a narrow path surrounded by mountainous, rocky terrain, they were ambushed by enemy forces from elevated positions.  Pinned against a steep mountain face, Specialist White and his fellow soldiers were completely exposed to enemy fire.  Specialist White returned fire and was briefly knocked unconscious when a rocket-propelled grenade impacted near him.

When he regained consciousness, another round impacted near him, embedding small pieces of shrapnel in his face.  Shaking off his wounds, Specialist White noticed one of his comrades lying wounded nearby.  Without hesitation, Specialist White exposed himself to enemy fire in order to reach the soldier and provide medical aid.

After applying a tourniquet, Specialist White moved to an injured Marine, providing aid and comfort until the Marine succumbed to his wounds.  Specialist White then returned to the soldier and discovered that he had been wounded again.  Applying his own belt as an additional tourniquet, Specialist White was able to stem the flow of blood and save the soldier’s life.

Noticing that his and the other soldiers’ radios were inoperative, Specialist White exposed himself to enemy fire yet again in order to secure a radio from a deceased comrade.  He then provided information and updates to friendly forces, allowing precision airstrikes to stifle the enemy’s attack and ultimately permitting medical evacuation aircraft to rescue him, his fellow soldiers, Marines, and Afghan army soldiers.

Specialist Kyle J. White.  Extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Company C, 2nd Battalion Airborne, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, and the United States Army.

(Prayer.)

THE PRESIDENT: That concludes the ceremony, but not the celebration.  I hear the food here is pretty good.  (Laughter.)  And the drinks are free.  (Laughter.)  Who gave a big shout on that?  I heard somebody.  (Laughter.)  But I hope all of you enjoy the hospitality of the White House.  I hope we all remember once again those who are fallen.  We are grateful to the families who are here.  And to Kyle and all who serve in America’s Armed Forces, we want you to know that we will always be grateful for your extraordinary service to our country.

Youth, I dare you to trust God!

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

With careful consideration, coupled with effectual prayer, I have decided not to disappear into the depths of retirement. I have been spiritually reminded, as I was admonished some years ago while in Israel. It was on one of Israel’s steep mountains that I went to pray to beg God to grant me leave from my work with troubled youth!  God’s response was then as it is now: In a resounding echo of truth the response was loud and quite clear: What have you done? When looking at my life, it really was nothing in comparison to what our Lord and Savior did for us! It was there in that moment that the spirit of God revealed to me that the only retirement for those chosen for work… is from earth to glory! Needless to say, I came back with a spirited determination to work the work of He who has sent me!

And so, on this mission, I will continue to fight a good fight and trust that many of the things I’ve said and done to spiritually restore youth and elders to the Cross, did not fall on stony ground.

Youth and Elders, I fall to my knees and beg you by the mercies of God: Stop killing one another! The instructions to murder, rob, steal and destroy are of Satan!

Stop destroying the body with drugs – for it is the Temple of God…and is not to be defiled.

Pull up your pants and stop exposing your behind. Slave behavior and inmate mentality has no place in a respectable society. Respect women and give them a decent man to respect! Defy the stench of yesterday’s slave behavior that only lives in and through you… Kill the evil’s off … and let it begin and end with you.

1.) Obey your parents in the Lord for this is the right thing to do – that your days will not be shortened upon the earth.

2.) Parents, don’t provoke your children to do the things that are wrong. Parents with sound reasoning know quite well when they are breaking the laws of man  … and parents also know when they are breaking the laws of God.

The enemy of God is Satan, who is the ruler of this age. You must remember that Satan is the prince of darkness. But youth must know that it won’t be long for Satan to reign, for Christ is coming again real soon!

Youth: Take a chance and read the Holy Bible! I dare you to trust God as you trust those who have said they ’love’ you.  When in court or jail … where were the folk who said they loved you?

Try Trusting God with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding, for in all your ways acknowledge God and He will direct your path. Things only get better from there!

Rev. Harold E. Bailey, President of Probation Challenge and The PCC Network WWW.ProbationChallenge.org – The Truth Network

Nearly 3,000 Members of Historic Black Church Celebrate Mother’s Day with Prayer Vigils in Support of #Bring Back Our Girls

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia hosted prayer vigils on Sunday, May 11th at both of their worship services in support of the 200 + school girls who were kidnapped from Nigeria

History Black Church Prayer Vigil For Missing Nigerian Girls

Alexandria, VA — Nearly 3,000 members of the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church (ASBC), the oldest and largest African American church in Alexandria, Virginia; celebrated Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 11th, 2014 with prayer vigils at both the 8am and 11am worship services-to raise awareness for all of the kidnapped and missing girls in Nigeria. Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, senior pastor, led the ASBC congregation in a powerful, poignant and moving prayer for the 200+ school girls who were kidnapped from Nigeria as well as all kidnapped and missing girls and women worldwide. Nigeria remains one of eight countries with the highest rates of human trafficking in the world.

In a show of solidarity and support for the mothers of the abducted school girls in the Chibok Borno State region of Nigeria, ASBC raised awareness of human trafficking by asking everyone to hold up their ASBC “Pray For Our Girls” signs; which were disseminated to members as they entered the sanctuary. Members, visitors and volunteers of Alfred Street Baptist Church joined together in the global effort to #BRING BACK OUR GIRLS on Sunday with their call for prayer.

“You’re not alone (to the Mothers of those abducted school girls in Nigeria). These young innocent girls belong to all of us. They are all of our daughters,” commented Wesley. “Many of us go into a panic if we look away for one moment, and can’t find our child in Walmart; imagine the pain and anguish you would feel if your child was taken from your home in the middle of the night. We believe in the power of prayer and therefore we are calling on ALL believers to join us prayer to #BRING BACK OUR GIRLS,” he continued.

Alfred Street Baptist Church says they are committed to empowering African American girls and women through education, spiritual guidance and more importantly prayer – the “Pray For Our Girls” prayer vigils were held throughout the ASBC sanctuary and overflow rooms on Sunday, May 11th-Mother’s Day. “We are supporting the #BRING BACK OUR GIRLS global movement and whole heartily denounce violence of any kind against girls and women of all ages and ethnicities,” Wesley stated.

ASBC distributed thousands of “Pray For Our Girls” signs and special gifts to all mothers who were in attendance for their Sunday Mother’s Day worship services. Everyone in attendance on Sunday, May 11th participated in the church-wide photo in support of the #BRING BACK OUR GIRLS campaign which was sent out via social media to show ASBCs support.

“Many people ask what can I do, I don’t have any money, and I can’t travel to Nigeria to help, what can I possibly do? We here at Alfred Street Baptist Church know that there is power in prayer, and prayer can change any situation,” continued Wesley. Millions of African-American girls and women have gone missing including Relisha Rudd, the 8-year-old girl that has been missing from the homeless shelter in Washington, DC since February. “Brazen abductions and violence against our innocent girls and women must stop,” Wesley stated emphatically.

For more info, visit www.AlfredStreet.org

Orrin Hudson Needs Your Vote – Help this Non-Profit Leader Win $10,000 for his Inner City Kids “Be Someone” Organization

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Supporters and fans can vote online everyday at www.besomeone.org/vote

Orrin Hudson Needs Your Vote

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com — More than 2,000 people applied for the Delta Community Credit Union’s “Home Sweet Home” loan contest, and Orrin C. Hudson is now one of only five finalists competing for the $10,000 prize.

For more than two decades, Hudson has helped change the lives of hundreds of young people. As the founder of “Be Someone Inc., a non-profit using the game of chess to teach life-lessons to youngsters, Hudson has made move after move for the betterment of young people across the nation. His goal is to touch the lives of more than one million children.

Hudson is the father of six, but thousands of children have benefited from his unique approach of teaching them how to really play the game of life. His work has earned him recognition from organizations across the nation, including the FBI that recently presented him with a Community Leadership award.

Time is running out to show your support for what Hudson continues to do. From May 12th until Sunday, June 1st, visitors can vote for Orrin Hudson online at www.besomeone.org/vote. If he receives the most votes, he will be able to reach out even more and continue to make a difference in the world. (Only one vote each day will be allowed from each individual computer/smart phone.)

Time is short, so vote early and often!

Photo Caption: Orrin C. Hudson, founder of Be Someone, poses with some of his inner city students

Education Funding Advisory Board establishes benchmark for equitable funding for Fiscal Year 2015

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Equitable funding for Illinois schools requires $4.8 billion more in state funds


CHICAGO, IL — After convening last month to begin work on its recommendation for adequate education funding, the Illinois Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) voted unanimously to update their recommended Foundation level to reflect inflation.  This would increase the state’s per-pupil Foundation Level to $8,767 for Fiscal Year 2015.  Based on current forecasts of General State Aid (GSA) funding for FY15, this recommended foundation level would require an additional $4.8 billion in state funds for K-12 education.

Additionally, EFAB urges state legislators and Governor Quinn to take action to maintain state revenues for schools and to consider directing more resources to the State Board of Education to distribute to districts.

“The EFAB’s latest recommendation highlights the continued need for greater state funding for education in Illinois,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico.  “Fully funding the foundation level shows we put children and education first and that’s an investment that will pay dividends for generations and for the future of the Illinois economy.”

The committee’s latest recommendation reflects the Employment Cost Index for workers in elementary and secondary schools.  In EFAB’s last report, issued in January 2013, the committee recommended a foundation level of $8,672.  The foundation level is currently statutorily set at $6,119.

“While EFAB recognizes the dire financial position of the State of Illinois, the lack of adequate funding for basic education is a failure of the state’s moral and fiduciary responsibilities,” said Sylvia Puente Chairwoman of EFAB.

The foundation level is the minimum per-pupil funding necessary to adequately educate each public K-12 student in Illinois.  Districts with less local funding are meant to receive greater assistance from the state in order to meet the foundation level.

It is important to note that the state currently fails to fund the already insufficient statutorily set foundation level of $6,119.  This has forced across-the-board proration of district GSA payments for the third consecutive year.  In FY14, which runs July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014, GSA was prorated at 89 percent of the total GSA claim.

State law requires EFAB to provide education funding recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor every two years.  The committee last issued a report in January 2013 and must formally submit its next report by January 2015.

Four members serve on the EFAB: Chairwoman Sylvia Puente, Executive Director of the Latino Policy Forum; Sheila Harrison-Williams, Superintendent of Hazel Crest School District 152.5; Cinda Klickna, President of the Illinois Education Association; and Daniel Montgomery, President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.  There is one vacancy.

Chicago Children’s Theatre Announces a Fun New Summer Camp Experience of Epic Proportions at its New Location, the National Hellenic Museum, July 14-25, 2014

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Registration also open for Camp Red Kite
for children on the autism spectrum, June 23-July 11, 2014


CHICAGO, IL – Calling all Sirens, Argonauts, Nymphs, Furies, Dragons, Minotaurs and Cyclopes! Enrollment is now open for Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Summer Camp – an amazing opportunity for children to unleash their creativity and bring their imaginations to life.


This year, Chicago Children’s Theatre is excited to announce it will hold its annual Summer Camp in a beautiful, convenient and exciting new location, the National Hellenic Museum, 333 S. Halsted St. in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.


Chicago Children’s Theatre campers can look forward to a mythic summer of epic proportions filled with art, imagination, performance and adventure. Kids will work together and with professional theatre artists to write, design, compose, build, rehearse and ultimately perform a world premiere play with music inspired by ancient Greek history and culture.


Summer Camp dates are July 14-25, 2014, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chicago Children’s Theater welcomes kids ages 4 to 12 years, with separate sessions for 4 to 5 year olds, 6 to 8 year olds, and 9 to 12 year olds. Summer Camp will culminate with a live performance on Friday, July 25 at noon, followed by a potluck lunch.


Price is $650 plus a $25 registration fee, which is waived if tuition is paid in full when registering. Sign up a sibling and receive a 20% discount on the second registration. Some scholarships and financial aid are available. To register or for more information, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org/summercamp or call David Amaral, Education Manager, (773) 227-0180 x 15.


More about Chicago Children’s Theatre Summer Camp

Youth education programs at Chicago Children’s Theatre help kids build confidence, boost creativity and ultimately gain a competitive edge by teaching them important life skills like how to think fast on their feet, solve problems, and be better team players. Plus, they’re a ton of fun.


Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Summer Camp, presented in association with the National Hellenic Museum, promises children amazing opportunities to unleash their creativity and bring their imagination to life.  Over the course of two weeks, campers are guided along the process of creating their very own, entirely original theatrical production.


Each day, all campers will let their creativity shine while moving between workshops in acting, storytelling, music and arts/design. When it comes to collaboration, campers will work together as a team to create the story and ultimately bring their play to life. As they do so, they’ll develop friendships and skills that will last long beyond Summer Camp.


Summer Camp also creates a supportive environment in which each child gains confidence by performing in front of a group and working as part of a team. Each camper also experiences the pride of seeing their imagination brought to life on stage and shared with family and friends. Finally, there’s a reason why it’s called a play. Campers should come ready for large quantities of fun and hilarity.

Under the guidance of Chicago Children’s Theatre Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell and CCT’s Camp Staff, Summer Camp is designed and run by artists with extensive experience in the Chicago theatre industry and as arts educators throughout the city. Russell launched the first summer camps at The Old Town School of Folk Music, and created Lookingglass Theatre’s Summer Camps. She also consulted on the creation of Summer Camps at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

CCT also offering Camp Red Kite for children on the autism spectrum, June 23-July 11

Jacqueline Russell also oversees CCT’s annual Camp Red Kite, a three-week summer camp experience exclusively for children on the autism spectrum. Camp Red Kite is led by a team of artists, administrators, and special education teachers dedicated to creating a safe, welcoming, and comfortable environment for children affected by autism. The aim is to foster a shared arts experience that encourages self-expression, social engagement, creative exploration, and above all, FUN!

Camp Red Kite will run June 23-July 11 at Cleveland Elementary School, 3121 W. Byron St., Chicago. To sign-up, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org/red-kite-project/camp-red-kite/ or call David Amaral, Education Manager, (773) 227-0180 x 15.


About Chicago Children’s Theatre

Chicago Children’s Theatre aspires to enrich our community through diverse and significant theatrical and educational programming that engages and inspires the child in all of us. In addition to Summer Camp and its year-round roster of theater classes for kids, Chicago Children’s Theatre is internationally known for the creation and production of first-rate professional children’s theatre with top writing, performing and directorial talent and high-quality design and production expertise.

Since the company was launched in 2005, Chicago Children’s Theatre has presented the world premieres of The Selfish Giant, The Hundred Dresses, Jackie and Me, Dot and Ziggy, The Houdini Box, The Elephant and The Whale (in association with Redmoon) and Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money. To enhance the impact of any given production’s themes, CCT offers educational materials and programs for families and educators.

Led by Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell and Board Chair Todd Leland, the company is supported by a committed Artistic Council of Chicago-based actors, directors, musicians and designers and a dynamic Board of Directors comprised of dedicated individuals from the fields of entertainment, philanthropy and business. Officers include David Saltiel, President; Jacqueline Tilton, Vice Chair; Lynn Lockwood Murphy, Vice Chair and Secretary; and David Chung, Treasurer.

Chicago Children’s Theatre is sponsored in part by ComEd, Goldman Sachs Gives, JPMorgan Chase and Target.

For more information about Chicago Children’s Theatre visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org, call CCT’s dedicated box office line, (872) 222-9555, or the administrative office, (773) 227-0180.

IDES Website Becomes Mobile Friendly

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Upgrades Help Workers Apply for Jobs

4.4 Million Unique Visitors in Past Year

CHICAGO, IL – People using mobile devices can better interact and communicate with the Illinois Department of Employment Security following website improvements launched this week, the Department said.

Automatically sizing to a user’s mobile device and the ability to sign-up for news alerts are key improvements that make the website’s tools more user-friendly. The enhancements will improve the user’s experience no matter their comfort level with the technology.

“These new website tools will help workers gather information, update resumes and apply for jobs,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “The latest news on career information, hiring events and no-cost HR services for employers is now available whether you are sitting comfortably at your computer, doing a quick search on your tablet or breezing through your smart phone.”

Workers can use the website to apply for unemployment insurance, certify for benefits and manage their account. They can apply for 150,000 jobs at Illinoisjoblink.com, the state’s help wanted hiring board operated by IDES. Employers can confirm a worker’s eligibility for unemployment insurance, research data to evaluate business opportunities and review 75,000 resumes.

The IDES website has evolved into a critical tool for employers and employees and has had more than 4.4 million unique visitors in the past year. Information is available in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and Russian. Interpreters are available for other languages.

State agencies are working together to deliver services to unemployed Illinois workers. Access to services for basic needs such as job training, food, clothing and shelter are located at www.ides.illinois.gov/assistance.

Black Star Chief: It’s not wise to ask officials to protect us from our own children’ – Help has not come, yet

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
‘Because help has not come’
By Chinta Strausberg

While both the body bag count and the cost of incarcerating black youth continue to rise, Phil Jackson, the executive director of the Black Star Project Tuesday said it isn’t wise for African Americans to ask the police, the courts and the schools to protect them from their own children. Jackson never received a reply from his letter to President Obama he wrote in 2009.

“While we have been asking for help for many years, it has not come and it is not coming from the White House. Quit asking at this point and don’t expect the police to protect us from our children. Some people are asking for the National Guards to protect us from our children and we should stop asking for that.

“It is the president’s job to do the right thing for all Americans. I am not asking him to do anything that is not in his job description. Help me to protect and develop our children,” said Jackson.

“To keep a juvenile 17-years and under in Illinois jails for one year it cost more than $111,000 and for an adult it cost between $40,000-50,000 a year,”said Jackson. The variance between the adults and juvenile incarceration rest with mandatory guidelines when it comes to housing and providing social services for the youth.  While that might sound like a lot of money to jail a youth, Jackson said other states cost more.

“In New York, it is closer to $200,000 to keep a juvenile locked up. It is a waste of money, and it seems as though rather than providing mentoring and proper educational services for our young people, it seems as though we are more willing to lock them up than to invest in and develop these young people,” he said.

Making it clear, Jackson said he is not advocating the abolishment of juvenile centers. “I think some of our young people are very difficult to work with and sometimes it might be better to have some of our young people in a facility to not only protect them but us as well. However, that is not the majority of the young people currently in the system.”

He gave as an example in the public school system where he says, “young black men especially are suspended, expelled or arrested at a disproportionate rate to the rest of the student body. The same thing happens with incarceration, and I think that is a major problem because once you get into the system…get accustom to the system you pretty much stay in it.”

Jackson said juvenile detention centers are nothing more than “incubators for adult facilities. It is a waste of money and bad social policy on our part as well.

Jackson said it is pointless to play the political party finger-pointing game when it comes to laying blame for the increased violence. “It is not one party or another party,” he said. “It is the way we think as a society, as a country and to a certain degree black people are leading the charge. Many blacks say lock them up and throw away the key to our children.”

When the dust settles, Jackson said,  “We’re going to have to pay for this and it may not be today or tomorrow, but in the next 10-15 years we will see all of this wasted potential…future doctors, future lawyers…engineers that we could have been developing. Instead, they will either be in prison or coming out and that will decimate our communities,” warned Jackson.

Asked about the alarming rate of female incarcerations, Jackson said, “I am totally not alarm because this has been a developing trend for the past ten-years. The young girls are doing the exact same thing the young boys are doing including selling drugs, committing violent acts…and even murdering and killing. The fastest population in our prison system cross the country is young black women, and this is not a new thing…. It is a trend that we have not responded to….”

When asked how can this trend be halted, Jackson said, “We can do the same thing that I am suggesting that we are not doing to the boys. We can connect to these young women, give them guidance and show them another way, but we are not doing it.

“We are more willing to invest in WIC medical cards, TANIF benefits, housing choice vouchers. We will invest in those, but we won’t invest in doing things to protect young women from all of these social ills…like education” investing inhuman infrastructure, he said.

“That’s how you stop these girls from having all of these babies. You don’t give them condoms or (offer them service at) daycare centers. That won’t stop them from having babies. You invest in their minds and their spirits and we’re not doing it… We’re not doing it enough….”

Jackson said there are some programs and some people “who are working mightily in this area, but it’s too few and not enough resources directed toward us. We can expect more and more horrific crimes from especially young black girls over the next few years,” he predicted.

On the media, Jackson accused the media including the social media of spearheading the negative and violent images that are being fed to the public every day. “This image of what a young Black girl should be is not coming from their parents,their churches or schools. It’s coming from the media and that portrayal is often they had better be a tough ‘b….’ Unless we’re able to counter that with positive African American women spiritually touching and guiding them, then we will not be able to compete with the media.”

“We should look for more and more for these Facebook feuds…look more for girl gangs” he said are now jumping on other girls, boys and older men. “We are not doing the things to prevent that,” Jackson said.

“Our destiny is in our hands. It’s not in the hands of the police, or the court system and it’s not in the hands of the schools, but we don’t realize it. We keep asking other people to save us from our children. No other race of people does that. Until we decide that we are going to take control of the minds, the learning, the hearts and the spirit of our children, then we should expect worse than what we have now….”

Jackson, who continues to fight for funding for his 18-year old program, keeps a huge sign on his wall addressed to President Barack Obama. “Please send help for the sake of these young people in Chicago who have died and for the many children and United States citizens in dire distress who will surely continue to be killed without an effective response. Communities across America await your actions on this matter.”

“I will be 64-years-old this September,” said Jackson, “and I’m tired of begging elected officials to do their jobs.”

Jackson has another huge sign on his office wall that contains the names of some of the students who were killed as a result of gun violence including actress/singer Jennifer Hudson’s 7-year-old nephew, Julian King. Jackson has vowed to help protect the children whom he says are “in a war” they did not declare.

While he calls on parents to monitor their children’s behavior, he feels it is also the responsibility of the federal government to provide aid in ending this “war on the children.” In the interim, the Black Star Project is offering mentoring to both boys, girls and young men, tutoring to children 5-25 years-old,parenting classes, violence reduction activities, college preparation and job preparation.

When asked how is the Black Star Project funded, Jackson said, “While we get some small state and city government support and some small foundation support, our most important programs have no support like our parenting, tutoring and college support classes. They have no support. “

The Black Star Project is located at 3509 South King Drive on the Second Floor. For further information, call Jackson at: 773.285.9600.

While both the body bag count and the cost of incarcerating black youth continue to rise, Phil Jackson, the executive director of the Black Star Project Monday said it isn’t wise for African Americans to ask the police, the courts and the schools to protect them from their own children.  Jackson never received a reply from his  letter to President Obama he wrote in 2009.  (Photos by Chinta Strausberg)

Photo Caption: Phil Jackson
(Photo by Chinta Strausberg)

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

May is Asthma Awareness Month

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Know Your Triggers and Develop an Action Plan for Effective Management

CHICAGO, IL – Nearly 26 million Americans suffer from asthma, a chronic lifelong disease that affects the lungs. Asthma causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing at night or early in the morning. In the United States, approximately half of people with asthma had at least one asthma attack in 2012. More children (55%) than adults (49%) had an attack. Asthma attacks cause adults to miss work and children to miss school.

To raise awareness about the health consequences and personal costs of asthma, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is urging Illinoisans to take control of their asthma.

“While there is no cure for asthma, there are ways to manage it and keep it under control,” said IDPH Director Dr. Hasbrouck. “Taking your medicine exactly as prescribed by your physician or health care provider – and avoiding your triggers – can help you avoid having an asthma attack.”

The IDPH encourages Illinoisans to speak with a health care provider to develop an action plan to manage their asthma effectively, and to learn what triggers their asthma. Common triggers like tobacco smoke, dust mites, mold, outdoor air pollution, furry pets and cockroaches can trigger an asthma attack – which can range from mild to life-threatening.

In Illinois approximately 850,000 people have asthma. Seventy-four percent of adults and 76.5 percent of children do not have their asthma under control. National guidelines recommend that persons with asthma seek at least two routine checkups per year. In 2011, there were 72,810 emergency room visits and 18,968 hospitalizations with asthma listed as the primary diagnosis.

African Americans are 2 to 3 times more likely to die from asthma than any other racial or ethnic group.

In 1999 the Illinois Asthma Program was established to develop strategic goals and long-range planning in the effort to reduce asthma in Illinois. In 2009, the 3rd Illinois Asthma Strategic Plan was released with long-range goals and solutions to reduce the burden of asthma for people with asthma and their caretakers.

In August 2010, the Illinois General Assembly passed Public Act 96-1460 making it simpler for students to carry and self-administer rescue inhalers at school.

To learn more about asthma control and management, visit CDC at www.cdc.gov/asthma.

IDPH continues to implement its Five Year Strategy 2014-2018 to maximize IDPH’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 IDPH’s value.  http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/StrategicPlan_Final_2014-2018.pdf

Symposium to remember renowned scholar and his work on black politics and popular culture

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

‘FEELING THE BLACK FANTASTIC’


Symposium to remember renowned scholar and his work on black politics and popular culture

EVANSTON, IL -  Leading scholars in African-American studies, history, political science, political theory, and gender and sexuality from Canada, the Caribbean, and the US will gather this weekend (May 16-17) to remember the work of Richard Iton, known nationally for his insights on the ways black popular culture forged community and affected politics.

Iton, a professor of African American studies at Northwestern University, died in April 2013 after an 11-year battle with leukemia. Iton was a political thinker, one who was animated by questions of the black left as well as many aspects of progressive politics, especially black popular culture.  And while only 51 years old at the time of his death, Iton had distinguished himself as a leading critic in the areas of postcoloniality, diaspora, black politics and black musical forms of what his colleague Barnor Hesse has termed his “blues archive.”

The event, titled “Feeling the Black Fantastic,” will be held at the Hilton Orrington Hotel, 1710 Orrington Avenue in Evanston, and is open to the public.

“In addition to this being something of a memorial, this major symposium brings to campus leading international scholars working on black politics and popular culture to engage the work of professor Iton’s body of work,” said Sherwin K. Bryant, associate professor of African American studies and director of Northwestern’s Center for African American History.

Events begin at 2 p.m., Friday, May 16 with opening remarks by Dwight McBride, dean of The Graduate School, Sarah Manglesdorf, dean of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and Martha Biondi, professor and chair of the department of African American studies. Bryant will serve as the opening event’s master of ceremonies.

Topics to be covered by a variety of panels and roundtables include:

  • Black popular culture
  • Black leftism
  • Intersectionality and coloniality
  • Race and public policy

“These themes represent the range of areas where Richard distinguished himself as a leading voice,” Bryant said.

For more information, visit the Center for African American History’s website.

NORTHWESTERN NEWS: www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/

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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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