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Archive for December 9th, 2014

Attorney General Holder Announces Federal Law Enforcement Agencies To Adopt Stricter Policies To Curb Profiling

Posted by Admin On December - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Justice Department will take new steps to bar profiling by federal law enforcement agencies, building upon a 2003 policy that had previously only addressed the consideration of race and ethnicity in conducting federal investigations. The new policy will address the use of other characteristics as well—including national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, and sexual orientation—and applies a uniform standard to all law enforcement, national security, and intelligence activities conducted by the Department’s law enforcement components. The new guidance also applies to state and local law enforcement law officers who participate in federal law enforcement task forces.

The issuance of the new policy completes a thorough review first launched by the Attorney General shortly after taking office, and reaffirms the federal government’s deep commitment to ensuring that its law enforcement agencies conduct their activities in an unbiased manner.

In announcing the new policy, the Attorney General said that biased law enforcement practices not only perpetuate negative stereotypes and promote mistrust of law enforcement, but also are counterproductive to the goal of good policing.

“As Attorney General, I have repeatedly made clear that racial profiling by law enforcement is not only wrong, it is misguided and ineffective – because it can mistakenly focus investigative efforts, waste precious resources and, ultimately, undermine the public trust.  Particularly in light of  recent incidents we’ve seen at the local level – and the concerns about trust in the criminal justice process which so many have raised throughout the nation – it’s imperative that we take every possible action to institute sound, fair and strong policing practices.”

The Attorney General added: “With this new Guidance, we take a major and important step forward to ensure effective policing by federal law enforcement officials – as well as state and local law enforcement participating in federal task forces throughout the nation.  This Guidance is the product of five years of scrupulous review.  It codifies important new protections for those who come into contact with federal law enforcement agents and their partners.  And it brings enhanced training, oversight, and accountability to federal law enforcement across the country, so that isolated acts do not tarnish the exemplary work that’s performed by the overwhelming majority of America’s hard-working law enforcement officials each and every day.”

The new policy, which is spelled out in a memorandum circulated Monday, instructs that, in making routine or spontaneous law enforcement decisions, officers may not use race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity to any degree, unless listed characteristics apply to a suspect description. Under the policy, federal law enforcement officers will be prohibited from acting on the belief that possession of a listed characteristic by itself signals a higher risk of criminality.

In all activities other than routine or spontaneous law enforcement, officers may consider the listed personal characteristics only to the extent there is trustworthy information, relevant to the locality or timeframe, that links individuals with a listed characteristic to a particular criminal incident, criminal scheme, organization, a threat to national or homeland security, a violation of federal immigration law or an authorized intelligence activity.  In relying on any of the listed characteristics, an officer must also reasonably believe that the activity to be undertaken is merited under the totality of the circumstances.

A copy of the memorandum outlining the new policy is available here.

University of Chicago to Raise Age of Pediatric Trauma Unit

Posted by Admin On December - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

A Press conference will be held today, Dec. 9th, to announce increased Trauma Care for South Side at 12 p.m. (noon) at 58th & Maryland, in Chicago.

Trauma center activists announce decision as ‘first step to South Side adult trauma care.’

CHICAGO, IL — Trauma center activists from across the South Side and the University of Chicago will announce a recent concession from the University of Chicago Medical Center to provide coverage for trauma patients up to 18 years of age. Activists, including UCMC doctors and medical students along with community organizers, mothers, clergy and student activists, will hold a press conference on Tuesday, December 9th at noon outside the main UCMC hospital at 58th and S. Maryland to announce the decision and explain how it affects the ongoing campaign to bring a trauma center to the South Side.

The University of Chicago currently treats pediatric trauma patients up to 15 years of age, and activists have long asked for a raise in age limit as an interim measure to providing full trauma care for adults on the South Side. “The trauma center desert on Chicago’s southside is both unjust and a significant public health problem,” explained UofC ICU physician Dr. Philip Verhoef,  “Such an expansion is an exciting opportunity for the U of C to further its mission of improving health and access to quality care on the South Side of Chicago.”

In the past, UofC officials, including hospital Dean Kenneth Polonsky, have claimed that they would not raise the age of their pediatric trauma unit above 15 years because they are bound by Illinois Department of Public Health regulations which define “pediatric patient” as 15 years and under. However, in a public letter to the Trauma Care Coalition, IDPH Director LaMar Hasbrouck wrote that, “if an Illinois Designated Pediatric Trauma Center sought to voluntarily increase the age of Trauma Patients for whom it would provide trauma care, the EMS administrative code would not restrict the upper age limit of a pediatric trauma center at 15 years.”

Woodlawn youth organizer and trauma center campaign leader Veronica Morris-Moore called the announcement a “huge victory. It’s a clear sign we are moving forward.” But, she explained, the fight for adequate trauma care on the South Side is far from over: “We will continue with our efforts to get the University of Chicago to assist in providing an adult level 1 trauma center on the South Side.”

The announcement comes three weeks after over 150 students and community members disrupted the gala launch of the UofC’s $4.5-billion capital campaign in Hyde Park and just one week before the University will submit its proposal to host Barack Obama’s presidential library in Hyde Park. Trauma center activists and supporters have been consistently demanding that the UofC not be selected to host the library until they commit to opening a trauma center.

The community’s demand for trauma care was sparked by the death of Woodlawn youth leader Damian Turner, and is led by the Woodlawn-based Fearless Leading by the Youth, along with the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, Students for Health Equity at the UofC, National Nurses United and many faith groups including the United Church of Christ. The call for trauma care is also supported by new research by Dr. Marie Crandall of Northwestern Hospital on “Trauma Deserts” which shows that longer travel times to a trauma center increase the likelihood of dying.

Recent stories on the trauma center campaign:

“Trauma center protesters target U. of C. capital campaign,” The Chicago Tribune

“Chicago Faith Leaders Sing, Pray For A South Side Trauma Center ,” Progress Illinois

“Religious leaders march for South Side trauma center,” Hyde Park Herald

“South Side Hospital Patients Caught in Trauma Deserts,” (Feature Story), Chicago Tribune

“University of Chicago Alumni: No Donations Until Trauma Center Opened,” Progress Illinois

“Chicago needs help, not Obama Library,” LZ Granderson, CNN.com

“Activists protest university’s bid for Obama Library,” USA Today

“Why This Hospital Turned a 18-Year Old Away After He Was Shot,” The Huffington Post

Support the NAACP: Make a Contribution to Help Raise $100,000 For Justice in December

Posted by Admin On December - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
From Cornell William Brooks
President and CEO
NAACP

Across the country, we’ve been coming together with our brothers and sisters to say, “we’ve had enough”: Enough of chronic injustice, enough of racial profiling, and more than enough of police brutality.

We are speaking out, contacting our elected officials, peacefully marching hand in hand, holding ourselves to the highest standard of advocacy—and it’s incredible to see.

We have to keep this up. We cannot organize only in the midst of tragedy. We need to gather our resources now for the long road ahead toward justice, so I’m issuing a

challenge:

Let’s raise $100,000 for justice in December. Make your first contribution to the NAACP today to show the nation that we aren’t going anywhere—this isn’t one moment, it’s an entire movement.

Donate toward our goal today!

I just spent a week marching across Missouri alongside hundreds of community activists, fighting for an end to police brutality and racial profiling locally and nationally. It was truly awe-inspiring to watch generations of everyday leaders walking together, learning from one another, and working for the greater good.

But one march won’t be enough. This conversation we’re having, and the presence we’re building, must be maintained all year long. The NAACP will lead the charge, helping our communities and our organization maintain the highest standard of advocacy. So much has been done for the movement in the past few weeks, and it’s our mission to support fellow civil rights activists however we can, juanita.

These initiatives require more than just conviction and determination. Every demonstration, march, and teach-in requires support from people like you who are willing to invest in these efforts—we can’t do it without your help.

Will you chip in toward our $100,000 goal today? We need your support to make the largest impact possible in 2015:

http://action.naacp.org/Highest-Standard

For justice,

Cornell William Brooks
President and CEO
NAACP

White House Announces the Departure of Sam Kass

Posted by Admin On December - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
The White House announced the departure of Sam Kass, Executive Director of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, the first-ever White House Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition, and personal chef to the First Family.  Kass will leave the White House at the end of the month to live full-time in New York City.  His departure concludes a tenure of dedicated service not only to the First Family, but also to the Obama Administration as a key player in the development of nutrition policy.

“From constructing our Kitchen Garden to brewing our own Honey Brown Ale, Sam has left an indelible mark on the White House,” said President Obama. “And with the work he has done to inspire families and children across this country to lead healthier lives, Sam has made a real difference for our next generation.  Over the years, Sam has grown from a close friend to a critical member of my team, and I am grateful for his outstanding work and look forward to seeing all that he will continue to achieve in the years ahead.”

“Sam has been an integral part of Let’s Move! from its very beginning — from discussions about children’s health around my kitchen table in Chicago, to setting the strategic vision of a national campaign in the White House, to spearheading efforts with the private sector across the country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.  “Sam leaves an extraordinary legacy of progress, including healthier food options in grocery store aisles, more nutritious school lunches, and new efforts that have improved how healthy food is marketed to our kids.  I wish Sam success in all his future endeavors, and I know he will continue to be a leader in the vitally important work to build a healthier country.”

Kass will remain engaged with the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative and the continuing effort to advance childhood nutrition.  His successor will be named in the new year.

Black Lives Matter!

Posted by Admin On December - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Nicole Bratcher–Bouyer

Journalism Major at Howard University


I am writing to ask for your help in a matter that I take very seriously and to the heart. Many unarmed black men, women, and children are being killed by police, and these police officers are receiving no kinds of punishment for their actions. Recently, there has been an uproar over the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Numerous witnesses have stepped up to say that Darren Wilson was in the wrong and took his police powers too far, yet, he was not indicted, thanks to the ruling of a grand jury composed of 9 whites and 3 blacks, when only 9 jurors were needed to make the decision.

This injustice along with many similar stories of police-related deaths has sparked a movement in the black community and support from non-blacks. There have been multiple protest marches on major highways, sit-ins, and now what they call “die ins.” These protests have made a mark on the world so far, but they are only the beginning of what is needed to be done to fix this injustice.

In writing this letter to CopyLine Magazine (www.copylinemagazine.com), I am asking for your help in this matter. As a strong political voice in the African-American community, I am asking you to broadcast this injustice on your widely viewed website to spread the word even more about this problem and possible solutions. I also have website that focuses on this matter of injustice towards shootings of unarmed Blacks by police officers. Please take a look at my website and view some of my articles. The public is also invited to view the website.

My website can be viewed at: http://nicolebratcherbouy.wix.com/blacklivesdomatter

Thank you in advance.

Sincerely,

Nicole Bratcher – Bouyer

Howard Journalism Major

AG Gaston Conference Seeks to Increase Buying Power in Black Communities

Posted by Admin On December - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The 2015 AG Gaston Conference brings economic leaders to Birmingham to cultivate the next generation of black millionaires committed to serving their communities


Birmingham, AL (BlackNews.com) — The AG Gaston Conference will be held at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex on Tuesday, February 17 through Wednesday February 18, 2015. Economic leaders from the black business community will gather to honor the legacy established by business pioneer AG Gaston while also discussing current trends in business and strategies to cultivate the next generation of black millionaires committed to serving their community.

Event Organizer Bob Dickerson says, “The AG Gaston Conference was created to not only look back at where we have come from but to also pave a path to greater prosperity within the black community. Rather than being driven as consumers, we need to develop a mentality focused on reinvesting in black businesses and black communities.”

According to Nielson, “African-Americans have a current buying power of $1 trillion that is forecasted to reach $1.3 trillion by 2017”; however, the NAACP notes that the dollar only circulates in the black community for six hours compared to 17-30 days in other communities. Additionally, only two cents of every dollar an African American spends in this country goes to black owned businesses.

The AG Gaston Conference was established in 2004 by Bob Dickerson, Executive Director of the Birmingham Business Resource Center and Gaynelle Adams Jackson, Owner of Advance Planning Services as an effort to combat these disturbing trends and to focus on economic empowerment. The goals of the conference include motivating attendees to become more involved in their community, strengthening the resources available to entrepreneurs and addressing concerns in the workplace.

Speakers at the 2015 Conference include John Hope Bryant, appointee to President Obamas Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans and Founder/President of the Hope Coalition of America; Mark Anthony Peterson, Managing Executive for Ceyero Consulting and Michael V. Roberts, a modern day AG Gaston in the St. Louis community. The two-day conference will also address strategies to eliminate poverty in Birmingham through the enhancement of economic opportunities.

Registration for the conference is available online at www.AGGastonConference.com

Comedian Michael Colyar Will Headline His Very Own One-Hour Special on Bounce TV on Wednesday, Dec. 10th at 10 p.m. EST

Posted by Admin On December - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Michael Colyar One Hour Comedy Special on Bounce TV

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — Comedian Michael Colyar will headline his very own one-hour special as the third season of Bounce TV‘s popular, family-friendly original comedy series Off The Chain continues with Off The Chain: Michael Colyar premiering on Wednesday, December 10 at 10:00 p.m. (ET).

Off The Chain features some of the most hilarious African American comedians on the stand-up scene and for season three, Bounce TV turns over the microphone to one comic per show, expanding to an hour-long format.

Best known for his performances on Venice Beach in California, Michael Colyar entertained the crowds, bringing together people from all parts of the world with his thought-provoking humor. Dubbed “The King of Venice Beach,” Colyar would perform five one-hour shows a day, every Saturday and Sunday. HBO came calling and he did his first HBO Special “Live” from the historic spot.  Colyar also won the Grand Prize Comedy championship of $100,000 on the popular television show “Star Search” and donated $50,000 to the homeless of LA.  He went on to become the first host of “BET Live From LA” and had supporting roles in the comedies “Hollywood Shuffle,” “Johnny Be Good” and “House Party 3.” In 2011, he was the voice of Buford the Frog in Disney’s first Black animated film “The Princess and the Frog” and also lended his voice talent to “The Cleveland Show.”

Colyar is known for his high energy, perfect delivery and dynamic stage presence. “My show is full of fast paced, funny, and witty rants! I promise it will have you howling with laughter,” says the comedian about his Off The Chain special.

The third season premiere of Off The Chain - headlined by Actress/Comedienne Kim Coles – was seen by more than 1.7 million people during its premiere week. Other top comedians to be featured this season include Rodney Perry, Cocoa Brown, Nore Davis, Jordan Carlos, Rudy Rush and Roy Jackson.


The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal Warns Residents of Dangers of Improper Use of Space Heaters and Ovens to Stay Warm

Posted by Admin On December - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Early Low Temperatures Prompt Fire Safety Concerns


CHICAGO, IL – With an early blast of winter hitting Illinois, the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) today warned the public not to rely on kitchen ovens for heat and to use caution and common sense when using space heaters.

“Fire safety ought to be part of our daily lives. Using space heaters too close to flammable materials, or the oven or stove as ways to heat the home could pose a serious fire hazard,” said State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis. “We urge residents to use common sense to prevent a tragedy.”

Brutal Illinois winters often leave residents searching for heat from any available sources. However, fire authorities warn that the use of unsafe alternatives as a heat source could be risky. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in recent years heating equipment fires have been the second leading cause of home fires nationally (cooking fires remain the leading cause).  These incidents occur mostly during the winter, with approximately half of all home heating related fires occurring between December and February annually.

In Illinois last year, 467 fires incidents involving heating equipment were reported.  Some of the equipment involved in these incidents included fireplaces, stoves, space heaters, and heat lamps. Stationary and portable space heaters are typically determined to be the cause of one-third of reported home heating fires in the U.S. each year according to NFPA research.

OSFM offers the following advice to stay warm and fire-safe:

  • All heaters need space. Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding, and furniture at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
  • Do not allow children and pets within three feet of open fires and space heaters.
  • Plug space heaters directly into the wall outlet, not into extension cords.
  • Use portable heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Turn space heaters off when you leave a room or go to sleep.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instruction.
  • Maintain heating equipment, gas fireplaces, and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
  • Wood-burning fireplaces should always be kept clean to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning or smoke inhalation.

For more information about fire safety and prevention, please visit www.sfm.illinois.gov or www.nfpa.org.

Operation AmeriCorps Funds Available from IDPH

Posted by Admin On December - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Grants designed to improve, strengthen Illinois communities

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), and the Serve Illinois Commission today announced that funding is available for local governments interested in administering AmeriCorps programs in the state.  AmeriCorps members serve their communities by improving education opportunities, public health, safety, the environment, disaster preparedness, and promoting economic development.

Operation AmeriCorps allows for local governments (municipalities, school districts, counties, etc.) to apply to host AmeriCorps volunteers in support of community needs.  Up to $15 million in federal funds will be available to communities to support these programs.  Applicants will identify a high-priority local challenge that AmeriCorps members can holistically address in two years or less.  The proposed solution may be a new initiative, or it may utilize national service to scale up an existing successful effort. Unlike other CNCS programs, applicants may request AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps NCCC resources in a single application.  Concept papers are due to Serve Illinois by January 5. For more information on how to apply, visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov.

“AmeriCorps is the ‘domestic Peace Corps’ where people can volunteer up to a year in support of their communities,” said Scott McFarland, Executive Director of the Serve Illinois Commission.  “Illinois has a strong tradition of supporting national service programs, and AmeriCorps members make a real and lasting difference in the communities in which they serve.”

AmeriCorps members dedicate a year to helping communities meet their unmet human service, education, public safety or environmental needs.  They can receive a modest living allowance, student loan deferment and training.  Members who successfully complete their service receive an educational award of up to $5,730 to help pay for college, graduate school, vocational training or to pay off student loans.

The Serve Illinois Commission, part of IDPH and the Office of the Governor, administers the AmeriCorps state programs in Illinois, and is charged with enhancing and supporting community volunteerism.  The federal Corporation for National and Community Service funds AmeriCorps and Serve Illinois.  Serve Illinois currently supports 26 AmeriCorps programs and over 1,700 AmeriCorps Members throughout the state.

For more information about AmeriCorps or Serve Illinois, please visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov or call 800-592-9896.  The website is a valuable resource for Illinoisans seeking information about volunteer agencies, trainings, nonprofit resources and national service programs, including AmeriCorps.  The website includes a user-friendly volunteer matching portal where you can search for a volunteer opportunity in your area.

Women’s Business Development Center Hosts Free Webinars in December

Posted by Admin On December - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Free webinars offered in December by the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) from 12 to 1 p.m. (CST) include:

· Wednesday, December 10, 2014, “How to Leverage Your WBENC Certification”

This is a webinar for Women Business Enterprises (WBE) certified by the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) who want to escalate the growth of their business. Moderated by Cynthia Johnson, WBDC Director of Established Business Services and a former WBE, the webinar will provide valuable information about leveraging certification to gain access to contract opportunities with major corporations.

Registration: http://goo.gl/jCZpEU

· Wednesday, December 17, 2014, “What’s Up With Mentoring?”

During this seminar, business owners can learn how a mentor/protégé relationship can work for their business.

Registration: http://goo.gl/5RFEIZ

For further information about these or other WBDC workshops, visit http://www.WBDC.org or call (312) 853-3477. Now in its 28th year, the WBDC provides a continuum of business development services to prospective and established women entrepreneurs including counseling, training, financial, certification and procurement assistance in Spanish and English. More information is available at www.WBDC.org.

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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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