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Archive for August 19th, 2014

NAACP Missouri State Conference Announces Efforts to Support Federal Investigation

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on NAACP Missouri State Conference Announces Efforts to Support Federal Investigation

Ferguson, MO — Leaders with the Missouri State Conference and St. Louis Branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) today announced its efforts to support the federal investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown and other policing complaints, and to assist the Ferguson community deal with civil unrest.

NAACP leaders are working with attorneys and senior staff from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and special agents with local and federal FBI offices, to bring forward witnesses, gather evidence and hear testimony from individuals with knowledge of the August 9 incident.

In addition, the NAACP announced it would expand its prior civil rights complaints filed with DOJ, and request comprehensive reviews of policing practices across the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. These include reports of police intimidation, misconduct, brutality and racial profiling against citizens of St. Louis County and St. Charles County, among others.

According to Adolphus Pruitt, NAACP St. Louis City President, mediation agreements between NAACP and the police departments in St. Louis and City of Pinelawn are also moving forward as a result of assistance provided by the Department of Justice. “With DOJ, we negotiated an agreement that required the St. Louis police department to adopt an electronic device policy preventing officers from utilizing their personal electronic devices unless to document a crime underway,” said Pruitt.

In its investigation of Pinelawn, the NAACP documented over 150 cases of police issuing citations as a form of intimidation. “We are working to require the City of Pinelawn to establish a citizen’s review panel to eliminate — or greatly reduce — these infringements of the civil rights of the community,” said Pruitt.

To support the resident affected by police actions in Ferguson, local leaders are requesting more community policing, and that “free zones” be established where individuals can assemble peacefully to discuss community concerns about police activity and personal safety. Young leaders and students of the NAACP’s Missouri Youth and College Division organized a forum on the Michael Brown case with Judge Greg Mathis—asking witnesses to come forward.

Additional local outreach efforts include identifying needs and resources for families and businesses in Ferguson, and requesting assistance from the state Departments of Economic Development, Health and Human Services, as well as housing agencies.

A Unified Statement of Action to Promote Reform and Stop Police Abuse

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on A Unified Statement of Action to Promote Reform and Stop Police Abuse

As national civil and human rights organizations and leaders committed to the protection of the rights of African Americans and all Americans, we come together as a unified collective to urgently impress upon elected officials, law enforcement, the legal profession, businesses and all those in this nation interested in social justice, that we must not allow the killing of Michael Brown and other unarmed individuals across this nation to be in vain. As organizational leaders we represent millions across this country who are, as the old saying goes – “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

As we all mourn the loss of Michael Brown and remain steadfast in our unyielding support for his mother and father who have suffered a loss no parent should endure, we also continue to call upon the community at large to make sure that this tragedy results in future systemic change to prevent similar tragic shootings and the use of excessive force. We commend the actions of President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. and other elected officials for their strong stance against the senseless use of deadly force and the militarization of law enforcement in Ferguson, Missouri. We are now extremely concerned with the increasingly unstable situation in Ferguson and encourage more respectful responses from elected officials, along with a permanent restructuring of law enforcement so that it is more reflective of the racial and gender diversity and the overall needs of the community.

Beyond Ferguson, we must similarly demand mutual respect from law enforcement and elected officials toward other affected communities where lives have been tragically lost and endangered.

As we call for immediate and short term remedies to address the challenges in Ferguson, we know that more must be done to prevent future abuses across the nation. Nothing will be resolved until there is systemic change throughout this nation in the implicit and explicit bias against people of color and particularly African American youth who are routinely targeted by law enforcement even within their own communities.

Furthermore, it has not gone unnoticed that the images of militarized law enforcement personnel surrounding peaceful demonstrations in Ferguson are eerily similar to those we equate with the inhumane and racist tactics used against protestors during the Civil Rights movement in the 50’s and 60’s. This sight reminds us that despite the tremendous progress this nation has made in many areas, including the election of the first African American President, we are not and will never realize a post-racial society until we honestly acknowledge, confront and address the systemic structures that maintain the old vestiges of racial segregation and de-humanization in this country, particularly in law enforcement.

State’s Attorney Alvarez to Propose Reforms Before Criminal Justice Committee

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on State’s Attorney Alvarez to Propose Reforms Before Criminal Justice Committee

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez will testify today (Tuesday, Aug. 19) in Chicago before a joint legislative committee exploring criminal sentencing reform in Illinois.  Alvarez will propose several new legislative initiatives to the county and statewide criminal justice system.

During her testimony before the Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee, State’s Attorney Alvarez will propose five specific legislative initiatives designed to crack down on repeat gun offenders and also reduce criminal penalties for marijuana and property crimes in an effort to reduce jail populations and divert offenders into cost-saving alternative sentencing programs.

The Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee includes a bipartisan panel of legislators.  The committee has scheduled four hearings throughout the summer and fall of 2014 and will submit a report of legislative recommendations by December 1, 2014.

The hearing will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 19 and is scheduled to begin at 10 am  at the Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 N. Lasalle, on the 6th floor in room C-600.

Madigan Visits SIU Edwardsville to Raise Awareness of Financial Abuse & Scams Targeting Students, Graduates

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Madigan Visits SIU Edwardsville to Raise Awareness of Financial Abuse & Scams Targeting Students, Graduates

Edwardsville — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan visited with representatives of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) to spread awareness about a number of financial abuses and scams that target current and former higher education students.

Attorney General Madigan’s office has seen an increasing number of complaints filed with her office about abuses in student loan debt servicing and scams targeting students struggling to pay off their loans. In response, Madigan is leading the nation in investigating and enforcing consumer protection violations in higher education. Her work includes leading a multistate investigation into Sallie Mae (now Navient) for loan servicing and debt collection abuses, becoming the first state Attorney General to file lawsuits against emerging student loan debt scams, and pursuing investigations and litigation against for-profit colleges for fraudulent marketing practices.

Madigan convened the meeting at SIUE to discuss her work and learn more to inform her efforts to help current and former students facing unprecedented levels of debt to avoid being taken advantage of by loan servicers or con artists preying on borrowers’ desperation.

“Student loan debt has reached a scale that makes borrowers prime targets for scams and financial abuse,” Madigan said. “It is critical that we work in partnership with leaders in higher education to ensure students are informed about the realities of student loan debt and what their options are so that they can protect their financial security.”

Madigan is leading a multistate investigation into the student loan servicer Sallie Mae (now called Navient) for servicing and debt collection abuses. She also is cracking down on a new scam targeting borrowers who are struggling to repay their student loans. Last month, Madigan became the first attorney general in the country to file lawsuits against two companies for charging up to $1,200 upfront for bogus services, including assistance enrolling in a fake “Obama forgiveness program,” or help obtaining actual government debt relief services that are already free of charge through the U.S. Department of Education. These scams seek to exploit the nearly 40 million Americans who hold $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt.

Madigan said that student debt problems are increasingly difficult for students who attend for-profit schools. Complaints about for-profit schools make up 50 percent of the higher education-related complaints coming into her office. Students complaining about for-profit schools report that their degrees, which cost thousands and thousands of dollars, often fail to earn them a job in their chosen field. These students also experience a disproportionately higher rate of default on their student loan debt. In the case of national for-profit Westwood College, Madigan filed a lawsuit against the school for engaging in deceptive practices that left Chicago area students with up to $70,000 each in debt for degrees that failed to qualify them for careers in criminal justice.

Madigan’s visit to SIUE comes on the heels of her testimony before the U.S. Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on the role of states in higher education. Madigan testified that the lack of information available to borrowers about assistance and repayment options has created an environment ripe for scam operations, which are seeking only to profit off of struggling borrowers. Madigan urged Senators to enact stronger protections under federal law for these borrowers, including:

  • Stronger controls over the level of federal funding that for-profit schools receive to ensure those funds are only used to provide students with high quality, affordable higher education that helps them obtain jobs after graduation;
  • Uniform standards for student loan servicers to provide struggling borrowers options for repayment;
  • A streamlined and accessible system within the U.S. Department of Education to provide information to students about their options and the federal programs that may be able to assist them with repayment; and
  • Support for legislation to allow students to refinance their federal loans to take advantage of today’s low interest rates, similar to what is already offered to homeowners.

Data Breach Involving Major Healthcare Company Affects 4.5 Million People, says Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Data Breach Involving Major Healthcare Company Affects 4.5 Million People, says Better Business Bureau

CHICAGO, IL – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers that the most recent data breach that has impacted Community Health Systems Inc., is yet another example of how easily your personal information can be compromised.

Community Health Systems Inc., which owns 206 hospitals in 29 states, says that it is the victim of a recent cyber-attack from a sophisticated group of hackers located in China. This cyber-attack has resulted in the theft of personal data from 4.5 million patients including their names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers and social security numbers.

Three of the 206 hospitals that could be affected are located in the northern Illinois area including Metro South Medical Center located in Blue Island, Vista Medical Center located in Waukegan and Vista Medical Center West, also located in Waukegan.

“This most recent attack is the perfect example of how vulnerable your personal information really is. Not only are hackers trying to steal information to hack into bank accounts, but they have also resorted to stealing health care information in order to obtain prescriptions,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the BBB serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. Additionally, he says, “As consumers, we must always be vigilant in protecting ourselves against becoming a victim of identity theft.”

Should you find that you have become a victim of a data breach, the BBB recommends five things you need to do:

  • Contact the organization that suffered the breach – they should have a hot line setup to address your concerns and answer your questions.
  • Monitor your banking and credit statements closely – Check every item on your bank statements and credit card statements to be sure they are legitimate charges and expenditures.
  • Contact any affected financial companies – If your bank accounts, credit card accounts, or investment accounts are affected, immediately contact the companies and request that the account be closed and a new one opened.
  • File a fraud alert with all three credit reporting agencies – The credit reporting agencies are required by law to flag your credit report for 90 days if you file a fraud alert. Then if someone tries to open a new account using your information you should be contacted for verification.
  • Sign up for any free credit report monitoring that’s offered – If the company that compromised your information offers a free monitoring program take advantage of it [One credit report provider is www.annualcreditreport.com].

Bernas adds, “Identity theft is still the fastest growing white collar crime. The BBB is here for consumers not only when they need help finding a trustworthy business, but also to help protect their identity.”

For more tips on protecting yourself against a data breach, visit www.bbb.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First Human West Nile Virus Positive Case in Illinois For 2014

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on First Human West Nile Virus Positive Case in Illinois For 2014

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has confirmed the first human West Nile virus case reported in Illinois for 2014.  The Chicago Department of Public Health reported a woman in her 70’s became ill in July.

“This first human case is a good reminder that we all need to take precautions,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck.  “The mosquitoes that typically carry West Nile virus, commonly called the house mosquito, are not as noticeable as the swarms of floodwater mosquitoes we see with the heavy rains.  Even if it does not look like there are a lot of mosquitoes outdoors, house mosquitoes are stealthy biters so make sure to use insect repellent when you’re outside.”

A bird collected in Henry County on May 29, 2014 and a mosquito sample collected in Madison County on May 30, 2014 were the first West Nile virus positive results this year.  To date, West Nile virus has been reported in birds, mosquitoes and/or human case in 32 counties.  At this time last, year, West Nile virus was reported in 49 counties.

In 2013, a total of 76 counties in Illinois reported West Nile virus.  Last year there were 117 human cases, including 11 deaths.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.  Common West Nile virus symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.  Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks.  However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms.  In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur.  People older than 50 are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.

The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.  Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel and report.

  • REDUCE exposure – avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.

­   Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.  Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings.  Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.

­   Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles.

  • REPEL – when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions.  Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
  • REPORT – In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report dead birds and areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm.  Surveillance numbers are updated every Wednesday afternoon http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnvsurveillance13.htm.

President Obama Announces Intent to Nominate Haywood Stirling Gilliam, Jr. and Jeanne E. Davidson

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on President Obama Announces Intent to Nominate Haywood Stirling Gilliam, Jr. and Jeanne E. Davidson

President Obama announced his intent to nominate Haywood Stirling Gilliam, Jr. to serve on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California

President Obama also announced his intent to nominate Jeanne E. Davidson to serve on the United States Court of International Trade

“I am pleased to nominate Mr. Gilliam to serve on the United States District Court bench,” said President Obama. “I am confident he will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.”

Haywood Stirling Gilliam, Jr.

Haywood Stirling Gilliam, Jr., has been a partner at Covington & Burling LLP since 2009, where he is Vice-Chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice group.  From 2006 to 2009, he was a partner at Bingham McCutchen LLP.  Gilliam was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of California from 1999 to 2006, during which time he served as Chief of the Securities Fraud Section from 2004 to 2006.  He worked at McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen from 1995 to 1998 and served as a law clerk to Judge Thelton E. Henderson of the United States District Court for the Northern District Court of California from 1994 to 1995.  Gilliam received his J.D. in 1994 from Stanford Law School and his B.A. magna cum laude in 1991 from Yale University.

Jeanne E. Davidson:  Nominee for the United States Court of International Trade

“I am proud to nominate this outstanding candidate to serve on the Court of International Trade,” said President Obama.  “Ms. Davidson has a long and distinguished record of service, and I am confident she will serve on the federal bench with distinction.”

Jeanne E. Davidson is the Director of the Offices of Foreign Litigation and International Legal Assistance as well as the International Trade Field Office in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division at the United States Department of Justice.  Previously, Davidson worked for more than 25 years in the National Courts Section of the Commercial Litigation Branch, where she served in various leadership roles, including as Director from 2007 to 2013.  From 1992 to 1993, Davidson served as Associate General Counsel in the Office of the United States Trade Representative.  She began her legal career as an associate at Steptoe & Johnson from 1980 to 1986.  Davidson received her J.D. in 1980 from the New York University School of Law and her A.B. in 1976 from the University of California at Berkeley.  She is currently the President of the Federal Circuit Bar Association.

Stop the Attack on Voting Rights Now: Sign the Petition

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on Stop the Attack on Voting Rights Now: Sign the Petition

The petition to Congress reads:

“The Supreme Court’s Shelby County vs. Holder decision completely gutted the Voting Rights Act and left millions of Americans’ voting rights in jeopardy. Protect voting rights by immediately passing the Voting Rights Amendment Act.”

Add your name:

Sign the petition â–º
Fix the Voting Rights Act now!

Nearly 50 years ago, with Martin Luther King Jr. standing beside him, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law to protect African-Americans and other minorities from racist policies that made it harder for them to register to vote and participate in the political process.

But last summer, the right-wing ideologues on the United States Supreme Court handed down a shameful decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act, ending 40 years of protection for minorities against discriminatory and unfair attempts to limit voting based on one’s race.1

Fortunately, Representatives John Conyers, John Lewis and others have now introduced legislation that would restore and modernize the Voting Rights Act for the 21st century.2 We need to stop Republicans in states around the country from enacting racist voter ID and voter suppression laws. Passing the Voting Rights Amendment Act now is the best way to do it.

Tell Congress: Stop the Republican attacks on voting rights. Click here to sign the petition.

While the Supreme Court did not invalidate Section 5, a key part of the Voting Rights Act, it threw out the basic formula that has been used practically since the bill’s passage in 1965 to determine where the Justice Department must provide approval before local election rules that would suppress the votes of African-American and Latino citizens can be put into effect. Voter suppression rules can still be challenged by the Department of Justice after the fact, but this often happens too late to prevent minority voters from being blocked from the polls. The court’s decision effectively guts the Voting Rights Act, rendering it useless until Congress updates the coverage formula for Section 5.

Republicans didn’t waste any time in taking advantage of this ruling for electoral gain. Within hours of Supreme Court’s decision, several states in the South immediately announced that they would pursue onerous new voter ID laws that were clearly designed to make it harder for African-Americans and Latinos to vote.3

It’s the same old story of using the irrational fear of voter “fraud” as cover while they work to disenfranchise eligible voters. The truth is, voter fraud is exceedingly rare. More Americans are struck by lightning than commit voter fraud. The real problem, the one that can affect the outcome of our elections if we’re not vigilant, is voter suppression.

Sign the petition: Tell Congress to fight voter suppression and pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act now. Click here to sign the petition.

For decades the Voting Rights Act protected voters in pockets of the country with a history of racially discriminatory voting practices. In 2012, it allowed the Justice Department to block attempts by Texas, South Carolina and Florida to implement discriminatory voting rules. But until Congress restores the Voting Rights Act, right-wing efforts to make it harder for African Americans and Latino citizens to vote will run completely amok.

The Voting Rights Amendment Act would fix Section 5, our strongest tool for fighting voter suppression efforts, by updating the formula for determining which states and municipalities need pre-approval from the Department of Justice to change their voting laws. We need to show Congress massive public support for this crucial bill. Let’s put the extreme right-wing Republicans in Congress on the hook for not going on the record against efforts in the states to make it harder for African-Americans and Latinos to vote.

Tell Congress: Restore the Voting Rights Act now. Click the link below to sign the petition:

Thanks for fighting to stop Republicans from stealing future elections.

Josh Nelson, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition â–º

1. “‘Shelby County’: One Year Later,” Brennan Center for Justice, June 24, 2014
2. “H.R. 3899: The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014,” Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner
3. “Voting Rights in the Post-Shelby county Era,” American Constitution Society, June 20, 2014

The Chicago International Film Festival Partners With the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for Two Special Events Commemorating the Festival’s Illustrious 50-Year History

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on The Chicago International Film Festival Partners With the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for Two Special Events Commemorating the Festival’s Illustrious 50-Year History

A Special Screening of “Strictly Ballroom” Lights Up Millennium Park and Retrospective Photography/Video Exhibit “Because Everybody Loves Movies” Opens September 4, 2014

CHICAGO, IL – Celebrating 50 years of making Chicago an international destination for acclaimed filmmakers, bold young directors and lovers of cinema, The Chicago International Film Festival, returning October 9 – 23, 2014, has teamed with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) to produce two special events leading up to the Festival. On September 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Chicagoans will be treated to a special screening of director Baz Luhrmann’s first film “Strictly Ballroom,” which won the Best First Feature Award at the Festival in 1993. That day will also see the opening of an exhibit of photography, video and posters looking back over the Festival’s 50 years. “Because Everybody Loves Movies,” will remain on display through October 30 at Expo 72 (72 E. Randolph St.). Both events are open to the public and free of charge.

About “Strictly Ballroom”

“Strictly Ballroom,” along with “Romeo + Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge,” make up “The Red Curtain Trilogy,” Luhrmann’s three successive films with theatre-related motifs. The film follows ballroom dancer Scott Hastings as he struggles to insert his personal dance style, which is not “strictly ballroom,” into his routines. After finding a new competition partner, Scott learns how important it is to dance from the heart, and not for the prize. Film buffs can enjoy the screening from the Jay Pritzker Pavilion’s 4,000 seats or lounge on the Great Lawn.

About “Because Everybody Loves Movies”

Sponsored by Dark Horse Wines, the Chicago International Film Festival will host a special exhibit, “Because Everybody Loves Movies,” an expansive display of posters, images and videos from its venerable five-decade history.  Upon entering, visitors will be greeted by the iconic “eyes” logo that has been the Festival’s logo since 1967.  Along one wall, guests will enjoy an assortment of four-foot by four-foot photographs by Victor Skrebneski highlighting the many film icons that have attended the Festival throughout the years, including Sigourney Weaver, François Truffaut, Orson Welles, Kathleen Turner, Robin Williams, Bette Davis, Colleen Moore, Oliver Stone, Dennis Hopper, Liv Ullmann and others.

Also included in the exhibit will be archival Festival trailers voiced by Ken Nordine, as well as interviews with celebrity honorees and Festival guests.  Rounding out the exhibit will be photos of past Festivals and a colorful mosaic comprised of posters from other international film festivals, speaking to cinema’s global reach.

The exhibit will be on display from September 4 through October 30 at Expo 72, 72 E. Randolph St., and will be open to the public Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Fridays 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sundays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

2014 Festival Schedule and Ticket Information

The 2014 Chicago International Film Festival will be presented October 9 – 23, 2014.  The complete schedule will be announced at a future date. Passes are now on sale. Moviegoer (10 regular admissions) and Passport (20 regular admissions) passes are available at www.chicagofilmfestival.com at a discounted rate until August 31 by using promotional code 50PASS10.


At Dark Horse Wines their passion is crafting bold wine that deliver the unexpected.  They marshal the best agricultural and winemaking practices from around the world to guarantee the highest quality.  Their winemaker Beth Liston, believes winemaking is a treasure hunt.  She is constantly experimenting with different grape varietals and new winemaking techniques.  From bold Red Blend to smooth Chardonnay, her passion for creating exceptional wines that out perform their price is unsurpassed.


The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.


Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit arts and education organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is one of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the Hugo Television Awards, CineYouth Festival, INTERCOM Competition, International Screenings Program, and Education Outreach.

The 32nd Annual African World Festival Celebrates its “Higher Ground”

Posted by Admin On August - 19 - 2014 Comments Off on The 32nd Annual African World Festival Celebrates its “Higher Ground”

The festival returned to the grounds of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

African World Festival

Detroit, MI (BlackNews.com) — More than 100,000 visitors mark summer with annual visits to this free, city-wide celebration of African culture. The African World Festival is for the entire community, featuring an African marketplace with more than 150 vendors of imports, visual arts, hand crafts, apparel & accessories, foods and more.

The festival took place Friday, August 15, through Sunday, August 17, from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. each day at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, Michigan 48202. The wide variety of festival stages and activity areas included portions of the Museum’s interior spaces. Museum exhibitions were free with Museum admission and there were extended Museum hours during the festival: 9 am – 7 pm Friday through Sunday. Festival grounds also included the Museum’s exterior grounds and nearby Peck Park, at Brush and Frederick streets.


* Opening Ceremony – 4 pm
Museum officials, Detroit City Council members and cultural activist Joann Watson welcome the Legendary Kim Weston, soul singer and activist, with her renowned rendition of the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”

* African Drums and Dance – 7 pm
* Neo-Soul artist Cody ChesnuTT – 9 pm | www.cchesnutt.com
* Lady Champagne & The Motor City Blues Crew 7pm


* Parade of Nations beginning from Peck Park at Brush and Frederick streets – 11am
* Grammy Award-winners, Karen Clark Sheard/The Clark Sisters, along with Kierra Sheard, and Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ’s Mass Choir & Dancers headline a soul-stirring program of word & music, hosted by Bishop J. Drew Sheard 6-8pm
* Kuumba Artist Village – Sculpture, art and paint works created 11am-11pm
* For The Love of Literacy Children’s Book Fair 10am-6pm
* Detroit Rocks the Runway – Fashion gets cultured at the hottest runway show in Detroit! Trending designs, innovations in hair & headgear. Music, dance & drums. Don’t miss! 9-11pm


* Forum: Water – Information sharing and discussions on this hot-button topic hosted by the People’s Water Board Coalition, working with Universidad Sin Fronteras, University Without Borders.
* GM Theater 11am-2pm
* Peck Park at Brush and Frederick streets 3-4pm
* Film – Bob Marley: Spiritual Journey GM Theatre 5:30-7:30pm


* Marketplace with textiles, imports, books, apparel, fine art & prints, jewelry, music & films, bath & body products, food & drink, “Tastes of the Diaspora”
* African Folk Life Village presented by The Heritage Works
* Elder Village with seating, water and snacks for those over age 60
* Quilt Exhibit Masterful handcrafted quilts by textile artists in the Great Lakes African American Quilt Network, on display in the beautiful Museum Ford Freedom Rotunda
* The Legacy of Africans & African Americans In Agriculture – dialogue series, including careers and food justice, presented by FoodPLUS|Detroit and MSU Vice President’s Office of Governmental Affairs
* Detroit Association of Black Storytellers
* Dance & Drums interaction and performance
* Soccer & Martial Arts demos
* “Liberation Film Series” in the Museum’s GM Theater
* Natural hair and head-wrapping demonstrations
* Nile River Jazz & Blues stage
* “Good Times” Thelma – BerNadette Stanis with a book signing. All day Friday – Sunday.
* Watoto Children’s Village – Festival of Fun for our Youth: Stage performances, games, prizes and “make & take” fun for children and families.
* Saturday & Sunday noon – 8 p.m.

The African World Festival was made possible by the support of the Ford Motor Company and the Knight Foundation. Event sponsors also included: Heritage Works, Greater Emmanuel Institutional C.O.G.I.C., Food Plus Detroit, the MSU Vice President’s Office of Governmental Affairs, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Clear Channel Radio, The Michigan Chronicle, Great Lakes African American Quilters Network, Cruisin’ The D, McDonalds and The Gathering.

For more information the public is asked to visit the Festival website at www.AWFDetroit.com, call the Festival office at (313) 494-5824 or email communications@chwmuseum.org.

Watch the 2014 African World Festival 30 Second Video:

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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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