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Archive for December 17th, 2014

U.S. Senator Kirk Condemns Taliban Execution of 141 at Pakistan School

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on U.S. Senator Kirk Condemns Taliban Execution of 141 at Pakistan School

132 Children and Nine Staff Members Murdered At Peshawar School

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement condemning the Taliban murder of 141 people at the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar, Pakistan, 132 of whom were children aged 12-16 years old:

“The Taliban’s sickening execution of 141 schoolchildren and school officials in Pakistan reminds us that the group’s reign of barbarism is far from over.  The United States stands with the people of Pakistan against terrorists who would attack the most innocent and vulnerable members of society.”

State Senator Raoul to Reintroduce Merger of Comptroller, Treasurer Offices

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on State Senator Raoul to Reintroduce Merger of Comptroller, Treasurer Offices

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) pledged today to reintroduce legislation that could give voters the opportunity to approve a merger of two state constitutional offices: comptroller and treasurer. The move, which would require amending the Illinois Constitution, would save an estimated $12 million per year.

“As we remember the extraordinary life of Judy Baar Topinka and mourn her passing, many of us are reflecting on her passion for protecting taxpayers by exercising frugality in state government,” Raoul said. “Judy believed eliminating her own office was the right thing to do, and now is the time to honor her legacy while winning a victory for government efficiency.”

Raoul has sponsored a constitutional amendment to merge the two offices every year since 2010. In 2011, the Senate passed the resolution without opposition. (It never received a vote in the House.) If both chambers approve Raoul’s proposal in the upcoming legislative session, voters at the November 2016 general election will be asked whether or not they agree with changing the state constitution to eliminate the position of comptroller and assign its duties to the state treasurer. The constitution will be amended only if a majority of individuals casting ballots in that election (or three-fifths of voters who answer the ballot question) vote yes.

“Great public servants like Judy Baar Topinka teach us never to rest in pursuit of better, more responsive government,” Raoul said. “So many core state services — from education to Medicaid to youth employment programs — are in dire need of funding. That $12 million will be put to good use each year.”

The new legislative session begins Jan. 14, 2015.

Fact Sheet: The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions & Their Impact on Asian American Immigrant Communities

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on Fact Sheet: The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions & Their Impact on Asian American Immigrant Communities

From DREAMers to high-skilled workers to those seeking to reunite with their family members, Asian Americans are one of the most rapidly growing populations in the United States. According to the U.S. Census, the Asian American population in the United States grew 46% from 2000 to 2010, faster than any other major race group nationwide. There are now over 17.3 million Asian Americans living in the United States—almost triple the number in 1990—and this rapid growth is largely driven by immigration. Asian Americans are impacted by every facet of our immigration system. They are undocumented immigrants, family members, temporary workers, refugees, asylum-seekers, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and naturalized U.S. citizens. And like many other immigrant communities, Asian Americans are impacted by every layer of our broken immigration system.

President Obama believes in fixing our Nation’s broken immigration system by working with Congress to pass comprehensive, commonsense immigration reform. It’s been over 500 days since the Senate passed a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration bill to fix our system, but House Republicans have refused to bring it up for a vote. In the absence of legislative action, on November 20, 2014, President Obama issued his Immigration Accountability Executive Actions to fix as much of our broken immigration system as possible within the scope of his existing legal authority.

According to a 2014 survey, 65% of Asian American voters strongly supported the President’s taking executive action on immigration. Asian American communities and many other immigrant communities stand to benefit from the President’s actions, which increase accountability, focus our immigration enforcement, and streamline legal immigration to boost our economy and promote naturalization.

Providing deferred action for parents of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) and U.S. citizens, and for additional DREAMers. Approximately 1.3 million Asian Americans are undocumented immigrants, making up 12% of the total undocumented population, with the highest numbers coming from India, China, the Philippines, and Korea. Under the President’s plan, parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who have lived in the United States for at least five years, pass background checks, and are not priorities for removal will be eligible to seek deferred action on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, eligibility to apply for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be expanded to include individuals who entered the United States by January 1, 2010 and before they turned 16 (regardless of their age today).  Relief from deportation through these programs will be granted in three-year increments. South Korea, the Philippines, India, and Pakistan are among the top twenty countries from which DACA requests were submitted in fiscal year 2013.

Reducing family separation for those awaiting their green cards. Many Asian Americans are unable to access immigration options available through the family-based legal immigration system because of barriers in the existing system, including for individuals who are currently undocumented in the United States. DHS will expand an existing program that allows certain family members of LPRs and U.S. citizens to apply for a provisional waiver of certain restrictions before they depart the United States to attend visa interviews at U.S. consulates abroad.

Providing portable work authorization for high-skilled workers awaiting green cards and their spouses. A significant number of Asian Americans come to the United States through our employment-based system, particularly as temporary workers through high-skill visa programs. In fact, individuals from India, China, the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Pakistan, and Nepal made up over 75% of all H-1B visa beneficiaries in 2012. Similarly, in 2013, India, Japan, China, and South Korea were in the top ten countries of origin for L-1B beneficiaries. Many individuals who come to the United States through the employment-based system are later sponsored by their employers for a green card. In 2013, nearly 102,000 Asian immigrants obtained green cards through employment-based immigrant visa petitions. Unfortunately, individuals might have to wait several years before they can adjust status, even after their application has been approved, because they must wait for an immigrant visa to become available.  During this time, they are limited in their ability to change jobs or accept a promotion. Their spouses also have limited options to apply for work authorization. Under President Obama’s actions, these workers will gain greater work flexibility. Spouses of H-1Bs will also be able to receive work authorization if the H-1B holder is on the pathway to obtain a green card.

Enhancing options for foreign entrepreneurs. China, India, and Korea are among the top ten countries from which immigrant entrepreneurs come to the United States. Under the President’s plan, DHS will expand options for entrepreneurs who will provide a significant public benefit by creating jobs, attracting investment, and generating revenue in the United States.

Strengthening and extending on-the-job training for STEM graduates of U.S. universities. Many Asian Americans come to the United States to pursue their education and acquire the skills they need to advance their careers. A great majority of foreign students in the United States are Asian with the highest numbers coming from China, India, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Approximately 79% of Indians on F and M student visas pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and 37% of Chinese students in the United States pursue STEM degrees. DHS will propose changes to expand and strengthen the existing Optional Practical Training (OPT) program in order to allow students to receive the skills they need to further their education.

But these executive actions are just one step towards fixing our broken system.  We still need Congress to make these reforms permanent and to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The Senate’s bipartisan bill includes many pieces to improve the system for Asian American communities, including:

  • Providing a lengthy but fair path to earned citizenship, bringing undocumented members of the Asian American communities out of the shadows and creating an expedited path for DREAMers.
    • There are an estimated 1.3 million undocumented immigrants from Asia in the United States, and six percent of potential DREAMers are of Asian origin.
    • The Senate bill would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status if they entered the United States by December 31, 2011 and met a rigorous set of eligibility requirements, including registering; paying fees, fines, and taxes; learning English; and passing extensive background checks. RPIs would be allowed to work, travel outside of the United States, and apply for RPI status for their spouse and children living in the country.
    • It would provide an expedited five-year path to earned citizenship for DREAMers, making them eligible for citizenship immediately after applying for green card status if they held RPI status for at least 5 years, were younger than 16 when they initially entered the United States, earned a high school diploma or a GED certificate in the U.S, and completed at least 2 years or college, earned a bachelor’s degree or served in the military for at least 4 years with an honorable discharge.
  • Reuniting families by eliminating the backlog of family-based visas. Current family immigrant visa backlogs can separate family members for years and even decades.
    • Family-based immigration is the most common pathway to the United States for Asian immigrants. In 2013, nearly 221,000 Asian immigrants became green card holders through petitions filed by their U.S. citizen or permanent resident family members.
    • As of November 1, 2014, there were approximately 1.8 million Asian family-based immigrant visa applicants waiting to join their families. Immigrant visa applicants born in mainland China and India must wait up to 12 years depending on their visa category. Immigrant visa applicants born in the Philippines must wait up to 23 years depending on their visa category. Some 54% of Asian Americans surveyed in 2012 said that visa backlogs presented a significant problem for their families.
    • The Senate bill would eliminate the visa backlog, in part by exempting spouses and unmarried children of LPRs from annual limitations on family-sponsored green cards, treating them like spouses and children of U.S. citizens.
    • By adopting backlog reduction measures and increasing the limit on the number of immigrants allowed each year from individual countries, the Senate bill would eliminate current family visa backlogs in seven years and reducing future wait times for nations with the highest rates of immigration to the United States.
  • Streamlining legal immigration by cutting red tape for employers and providing expanded opportunities for STEM students
    • In 2013, nearly 102,000 individuals born in Asia obtained green cards through employment-based immigrant visa petitions. But immigrants from India can wait 11 years for some employment-based immigrant visas. Over 78,000 individuals waiting in the employment-based immigrant backlog as of November 1, 2014 are from Asian countries with the top five countries of individuals including individuals from India, China, and South Korea.
    • The Senate bill would eliminate the existing backlogs for employment-based green cards, exempt certain employment-based categories from the annual cap, and remove annual country limitations altogether.
    • The overwhelming majority of those who enter as students are Asian with those from China, India, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam ranking among the highest. Approximately 79% of Indians on F and M student visas pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and 37% of Chinese students pursue STEM degrees in the United States.
    • The Senate bill would exempt STEM PhD and Master’s graduates from the annual cap of 140,000 visas. This provision would effectively “staple” a green card to the diplomas of advanced STEM graduates from U.S. universities.
    • The Senate bill would also exempt certain physicians from the overall visa cap. In 2009, 58% of all immigrant doctors, and 52% of immigrant nurses were from Asian countries.
  • Creating pathways for entrepreneurs and making key improvements to the H-1B program.
    • China, India, and Korea are in the top ten sending countries of immigrant entrepreneurs. The Senate bill would create a new visa program for foreign entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses in the United States.
    • The new INVEST visa (“Investing in New Venture, Entrepreneurial Startups, and Technologies”) would allow entrepreneurs who attract a threshold level of financing from U.S. investors or revenue from U.S. customers to start and grow their businesses in the United States, and to remain here permanently if their companies grow further and create jobs for American workers.
    • The Senate bill would also improve the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, and increase the number of available green cards for immigrant investors from approximately 10,000 annually to approximately 14,000 annually.
    • Petitioners from India (64%) and China (7.6%) continue to be the largest users of the H-1B program. The Senate bill would increase the number of available H-1B visas by raising the baseline cap from 65,000 visas to 115,000 visas per year.
    • Improvements to the H-1B program would allow spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the United States and increase worker mobility by establishing a 60-day transition period for H-1B workers to change jobs.

Information Source: whitehouse.gov

Olga Bautista Slams Deceptive KCBX Plan for “State-Of-The-Art” Pet Coke Facility

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on Olga Bautista Slams Deceptive KCBX Plan for “State-Of-The-Art” Pet Coke Facility

“A Koch Brothers trick that will make us sick…”

From: Committee to Elect Olga Bautista 10th Ward Alderman, 2015

CHICAGO, IL – 10th Ward Aldermanic Candidate Olga Bautista has labeled the KCBX’s proposed $125 million coal and petroleum coke terminal to be “a trick” and plans to unveil startling new evidence of KCBX regulatory fraud at a 2:00 pm press conference today, December 17, 2014 at 10109 S. Commercial Ave., Chicago, IL 60617.

Says Bautista, “They are proposing to build an ‘enclosed’ building 1,000 feet long, 200 feet wide and 100 feet high. That means — at the least– that thousands of tons more dangerous petroleum coke will be moving in and out of that facility on uncovered railroad cars, uncovered river barges and uncovered trucks for which KCBX claims they are “not responsible.”

Owned by the infamous Koch Brothers, KCBX admits that the project will require almost four years to complete during which time they will seek extensions and variances that will let them continue to pile up wind-blown, toxic coke putting the health and lives of 10th Ward seniors, children, and adults with respiratory disorders and heart conditions at risk.

“Promise” of jobs is phony…

“KCBX is trying to entice us by promising ‘150 construction-related’ jobs,” says Bautista, “but most of these jobs will go to unionized, skilled building tradesmen from outside our community and not to the long-term unemployed and young people in the 10th Ward. We need permanent jobs, healthy and productive jobs; let’s build affordable homes for people, not warehouses for pollutants.”

Bautista –a lifelong resident on the front lines of this battle for years–is calling on voters in the 10th Ward to stay strong and continue to demand that petcoke be banned altogether as other U.S. cities have done. She blames her opponent, incumbent 10th Ward Alderman John Pope, for rolling out the red carpet for KCBX while introducing “phony, toothless ordinances” and falsely minimizing the dangers of pet coke exposure.

“(Mayor) Rahm Emanuel and (Alderman) John Pope said they would ‘regulate pet coke out of Chicago.’ Obviously, that strategy has failed. When I’m 10th Ward Alderman, I will protect the people, not the polluters. Ban pet coke now!”

Who: Olga Bautista, 10th Ward Aldermanic Candidate determined to ban Petcoke and protect the people of South Chicago

When: Wednesday, December 17th at 2:00 p.m.

Where: 10109 S. Commercial Ave., Chicago. Press conference and press availability to be held outside on the North Side of the building.

For further information visit www.olgabautista.com or call 510-301-1472

The School Project Teams Up With University of Chicago’s Consortium on Chicago School Research to Revisit the Aftermath of Chicago’s 2013 School Closings

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on The School Project Teams Up With University of Chicago’s Consortium on Chicago School Research to Revisit the Aftermath of Chicago’s 2013 School Closings

Second segment of unprecedented collaboration between Chicago’s top documentary and media companies premieres at University of Chicago Logan Center on Thursday, January 22 at 6:30pm

CHICAGO, IL – Five of Chicago’s top documentary production companies will present the world premiere of the second installment of a new web and TV series examining public education after the fallout from the city’s historic closing of 49 public schools. The second installment of The School Project, “Chicago Public Schools: Closed”  follows Rousemary Vega, a parent turned activist, through the maze of hearings and protests that preceded the largest school closings in American history. We hear from major figures in public education—Terry Mazany, Linda Lutton, Andrea Zopp, Karen Lewis, David Vitale, and Jitu Brown—who help connect the dots between decades old education policies, demographic shifts, and the challenges facing CPS today.

FREE, RSVP here: http://schoolprojectfilm.com/events

TRAILER: http://youtu.be/Yhrh0D5l7Ao

Also on January 22nd, the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research will release a new report exploring where the 10,000 students affected by the closings in 2013 ended up. The research looks at whether displaced students from closed schools enrolled in the welcoming schools assigned by CPS, if they ended up in higher- or lower-rated schools, and which factors shaped their decisions.

From The School Project, “Chicago Public Schools: Closed”:

“We didn’t have the whole school just pick up and move here. It didn’t work that way. When they closed [our school], they fractured a lot of relationships, not only amongst the faculty, but amongst families as well,” said orchestra teacher Arturs Weible.

Elaine Allensworth of the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research explains that “I’ve been studying school reform for 15 years now, and I see people trying the same things over and over and they always think this time we’re going to get it right. They did try to do things somewhat differently this time but social systems are very complex.  There are always going to be unintended consequences.”

“Chicago Public Schools: Closed” will premiere with a free public screening and discussion moderated by Laura Washington of the Chicago Sun-Times in the Performance Hall at the University of Chicago Logan Center on Thursday, January 22 at 6:30pm. Panelists TBA. The screening will be followed by a presentation of new research on school closings by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research. A subsequent panel discussion will engage the audience in a conversation about the school closings and what the city can do moving forward and how to handle important issues surrounding public education. FREE, RSVP here: http://chicago-school-closings.eventbrite.com. The event is sponsored by the University of Chicago Logan Center.

The segment will launch simultaneously on the interactive website www.schoolprojectfilm.com.

The School Project series examines the interrelated issues that are affecting Chicago Public Schools right now and helps to define terms and dispel misinformation about the context of public education. This is the first series to gather so many voices of the major public figures of education in Chicago: Terry Mazany, Karen Lewis, Mike Koldyke, Andrea Zopp, Linda Lutton, Elaine Allensworth, Linda Lenz, David Vitale, Jitu Brown, and Diane Ravitch, along with many parents, teachers and students whose voices are seldom heard. Future segments will look at the expansion of charter schools, the controversy surrounding standardized testing, school discipline policies, and the history of reforms and educational models. The series examines the roots of these issues and how each policy impacts the wider school community in Chicago and its implications on a national level. The first segment premiered to a sold-out crowd in October of 2014. This is the second in a series of six live, free public events, premiering new installments of The School Project over the 2014-2015 school year.

The School Project’s co-production partners include Free Spirit Media, Kartemquin Films, Kindling Group, Media Process Group, Siskel/Jacobs Productions, and producers Rachel Dickson and Melissa Sterne. Outreach partners include WTTW/Channel 11, the Chicago Sun-Times, Catalyst Chicago, the Chicago History Museum, Ebony.com, CANTV, StoryCorps, and Community Media Workshop.

The interactive website, www.schoolprojectfilm.com, will allow visitors to watch the documentary and see how it maps to the Chicago Public Schools system. Users can explore news media and content related to individual schools, data trends and demographics, and share their stories and opinions about public school education.

Chicago’s PBS station WTTW will also broadcast each segment during their flagship “Chicago Tonight” News Program, and the Sun-Times, Ebony.com and Catalyst Chicago will contribute additional web-based content.

The School Project has also partnered with StoryCorps, the national oral history organization, to record and share the personal stories of people from all backgrounds and beliefs about public education. Interested people of all ages can make a reservation online (storycorps.org/reservations) to record their story at a recording studio located at the Chicago Cultural Center (mention The School Project in the NOTES section). These stories will be shared online at schoolprojectfilm.com, and archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

“A collaboration like this has never been done before, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it,” said Dustin Park, the Executive Producer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Funders for the series include the MacArthur Foundation, the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund, and the Driehaus Foundation.

Collectively, the filmmakers have won multiple Emmy, Peabody and DuPont Columbia awards, and are responsible for acclaimed projects such as Louder Than a Bomb, Radical Disciple: The Story of Father Pfleger, Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, and The Calling.

Event located in Performance Hall on First Floor. Logan Center has ample free parking located just west of the building, as well as street parking, and many public transportation options. There is a cafe in the lobby as well.

The School Project Timeline

October 28, 2014: Chicago Schools – The Worst in the Nation?

Chicago History Museum

January 22, 2015: Chicago’s School Closings

University of Chicago Logan Center

March 5, 2015: The Impact of School Discipline Policies

North Lawndale College Prep Collins Campus

March 31, 2015: Testing Season

Chicago Cultural Center

April 25, 2015: Charter Schools: For Better or Worse

Chicago Cultural Center

May 2015: Effective Education in Neighborhood Schools


facebook.com/theschoolproject @theschoolpr #theschoolproject


Media Process Group is a 29 year old Chicago-based production company whose work has been shown on PBS, IFC, Discovery Channel and TLC. Their DP’s shoot regularly for PBS’ Frontline, CBS’ 60 Minutes and for Oprah Winfrey’s Prime show. They produced the award-winning Radicle Disciple: The Story of Father Pfleger and are currently producing Maya Angelou: The People’s Poet. http://mediaprocess.com/

Kartemquin Films is an award-winning social issue documentary company based in Chicago since 1966. Films such as The Interrupters, Hoop Dreams, and The Trials of Muhammad Ali have left a lasting impact on millions of viewers. A revered resource within the film community on issues of fair use, ethics, story and civic discourse, Kartemquin is internationally recognized for crafting quality documentaries backed by audience and community engagement strategies. www.kartemquin.com

Siskel/Jacobs Productions is a Chicago-based documentary and televisión production company founded in 2005 by Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs. Their work has been seen widely on Discovery Channel, OWN, A & E and the National Geographic Channel. Their most recent film, Louder Than a Bomb was shown on OWN in 2012 and won the Audience Award at the Chicago, Philadelphia, Palm Springs, Cleveland and Woods Hole film festivals. They also produced the Emmy award-winning 102 Minutes That Changed America for the History Channel in 2009. http://www.siskeljacobs.com/

Kindling Group crafts powerful documentaries and engagement campaigns to ignite change. They are known for their innovative strategies that take media and impact across platforms, genres, and technologies. They have produced many acclaimed documentaries including the PBS series The Calling (2010), A Doula Story (2007), and Legacy, a feature length documentary for HBO, which was nominated for a 2001 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and an Emmy for Best Documentary. www.kindlinggroup.com.

Free Spirit Media provides education, access, and opportunity in media production to over 500 underserved urban youth every year. Free Spirit won a Midwest Emmy in 2010 for a PSA they produced and have won several Media That Matters Awards. https://www.freespiritmedia.org/

Consumer Alert: Email Phishing Scams Escalate

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on Consumer Alert: Email Phishing Scams Escalate

CHICAGO, IL – Between now and Christmas Eve consumers will make millions of online transactions. This traffic has cyber-criminals prepped and ready to pounce. For each legitimate confirmation email that will be sent by online retailers, there will be just as many that are fraudulent. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is issuing an alert to consumers warning of “phishing” scam emails that may hit their inboxes.

“The scammers target individuals posing as major online sellers like Amazon, eBay and airlines,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Because consumers are anxious to receive confirmation of their purchases, they more easily fall into the trap of opening phishing and other malicious emails.”

The criminals are out to get personal and financial information to use for identity theft and other illegal activities. As an example the Amazon phishing emails have a subject of “Your order on Amazon.com” and return address of “amazon.com” and use actual Amazon graphics making them appear real. The email also has an attachment that when opened, installs a Trojan virus that creates a process that will harvest banking information, email logins and social media accounts.

Bernas also suggests employers warn their employees not to open attachments from major retail sites. “Trying to stay ahead of their Christmas shopping employees try to get some purchases done during the work day. However, doing so can put your company at risk for a security breach. Because it’s difficult to monitor this kind of activity it’s important to make sure you company’s computers have reliable email filters that will prevent spam, protect inboxes and check for suspicious content.”

Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of a cyber-crime:

  • If you are expecting a confirmation receipt, log into your account and check for confirmation there.
  • Be cautious of emails that contain attached files.
  • Don’t respond to unsolicited emails.
  • Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails.
  • Avoid filling out forms contained in email messages asking for personal information.
  • Make sure that all links in an email match.
  • If you are requested to act quickly or are told that there is an emergency it may be a scam.
  • Install anti-virus software and keep it up to date.
  • Install a personal firewall and keep it up to date.

If you might have been tricked by a phishing email:

  • File a report with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint.
  • Visit the FTC’s Identity Theft website. Victims of phishing could become victims of identity theft; there are steps you can take to minimize your risk.
  • Forward phishing emails to spam@uce.gov – and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email.

For more information on scams, visit www.bbb.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Washington, DC-Based Entrepreneur Helps Successful Local Women Make Meaningful Connections

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on Washington, DC-Based Entrepreneur Helps Successful Local Women Make Meaningful Connections

Carolyn E. Howell launches “Sterling Women of Washington DC” Showcasing Women of Sterling Worth!

Carolyn E. Howell, founder of Sterling Women of Washington, DC

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — Carolyn Howell, Founder, President and CEO of Fun Company Events, LLC recently launched an exciting and highly effective business networking luncheon called Sterling Women of Washington, DC (SWOWDC). This monthly networking luncheon powered by, Fun Company Events; will take place on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm at Clyde’s Restaurant Gallery Place, 707 “7th” Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001.

The luncheon provides an opportunity to support, cultivate and forge growth for the powerful group of diverse women in the heart of the DMV and showcasing women of sterling worth! SWOWDC is dedicated to driving forth this mission by encouraging, inspiring and strengthening women to reach their full potential both personally and professionally. SWOWDC will highlight the dynamic success behind one woman’s story.

Originally founded in 2008 by Kristina Bouweiri, President and CEO of Reston Limousine, her brilliant idea to provide a new networking opportunity for business women in the Sterling, Virginia area was well received and the quality of speaker and sponsor interest has excelled.

Carolyn is excited about offering women a space to connect, collaborate and celebrate each other’s successes. She welcomes both men and women an opportunity to meet, greet, network and shop. Fun Company Events, LLC is an exceptionally vibrant event planning and minority woman-owned small business with an impressive customer base of Fortune 500, regionally notable corporations and federal agencies. Carolyn leads its’ consistent growth, strategic planning, long term vision and commitment to quality. With a strong focus on team building and supporting the needs of today’s corporate culture, Fun Company Events, LLC provide clients with ways to recognize, reward and retain employees.

Tickets for the SWOWDC event are $74 each. Annual sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more details, visit www.sterlingwomenofdc.com

Photo Caption: Carolyn E. Howell, founder of Sterling Women of Washington, DC

New Web Site, Everyblackevent.com, Launches as Online Comprehensive List of African American Events

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on New Web Site, Everyblackevent.com, Launches as Online Comprehensive List of African American Events

Durham, NC (BlackNews.com) — A new web site has been launched at EveryBlackEvent.com to provide a comprehensive list of African American events of the past, present and future. The site provides a way for any African American organization to easily submit information about upcoming events for immediate, worldwide distribution. There is no cost to submit an event or organization. The website slogan is, “Every Black Event; Past, Present and Future!”

The website provides:

* A list of upcoming events with details regarding the date, place, time, sponsor and cost of the event.
* A list of African American organizations including profile and contact information.
* Featured video clips of past events.
* Surveys relating to the African American community.
* An online slot machine that displays random pictures of past events and prominent African Americans.
* An opportunity to volunteer to help manage the site or make a donation.
* Access to a professional speaker on the subjects of the Internet, technology and/or entrepreneurship.
* The ability to purchase EveryBlackEvent.com paraphernalia.

The EveryBlackEvent.com website is the brainchild of Jimmy J. Davies of Durham, North Carolina. Mr. Davies is an entrepreneur in the computer field with over 26 years of experience providing computer training and database development services. In light of recent events concerning the deaths of unarmed African American men at the hands of police, Mr. Davies asks the public to submit details about upcoming events including planned protests, visit the site often to see what others are doing and share the website address with everyone.

For more details, visit www.EveryBlackEvent.com

State Seeks Nominations for Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on State Seeks Nominations for Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards

Winners to be honored at a special ceremony at the Executive Mansion

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service is accepting nominations for the sixth annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards.  These awards recognize individual volunteers to highlight the importance of volunteerism and community service in the State of Illinois. For-profit businesses that support service will also be recognized.

“Illinois is fortunate to have thousands of volunteers who donate their time and talents to help others and to build stronger communities,” said Scott McFarland, Executive Director of Serve Illinois.  “With these awards, we recognize those whose initiative, creativity and energy have made a positive change and has set an example for others.”

Individual awards will be presented to one youth (18 years and under), one adult (19-54 years old) and one retiree/senior (55 years and older) in each of the Commission’s five service regions across the state (Northeast, Northwest, East Central, West Central and Southern).  National Service Awards will be presented to one AmeriCorps and one Senior Corps member in each of the five regions. One award will be given to a for-profit business in each of the five service regions. Within each category, applications will be given special priority based on the areas: economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, disaster preparedness/response, health, and veterans and military families.

Nominations are due to Serve Illinois by January 30, 2015.  Please visit www.serve.illinois.gov for the nomination forms and more information. Recipients will be selected and notified by March 30, 2015.  The Serve Illinois Commission will host a ceremony to honor recipients on April 20, 2015 at the Executive Mansion in Springfield.

The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40-member (25 voting and 15 non-voting), bi-partisan board appointed by the Governor and administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).  Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the State.

“All citizens have an opportunity to recognize their ability and help strengthen their communities through voluntary service.  Through Serve Illinois, we expand volunteerism throughout rural, suburban, and urban Illinois, and involve people of all backgrounds, cultures, and ages,” added Scott McFarland.

The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens, or Scrooge You! Extends at Goodman Theatre Through January 3 With Additional Cameo Appearances by Rick Bayless, JC Brooks, Orange is the New Black’s Adrienne C. Moore, Che Smith “Rhymefest” and TJ and Dave

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens, or Scrooge You! Extends at Goodman Theatre Through January 3 With Additional Cameo Appearances by Rick Bayless, JC Brooks, Orange is the New Black’s Adrienne C. Moore, Che Smith “Rhymefest” and TJ and Dave

Special New Year’s Eve Package Available For the December 31 Performance

CHICAGO, IL -  Due to high demand for tickets, Goodman Theatre extends Twist Your Dickens, Or Scrooge You!, The Second City’s version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, with seven additional performances through January 3, including a special bar package on New Year’s Eve. Tickets start at $20 for the added performances (prices are subject to change) and can be purchased at GoodmanTheatre.org/Twist, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Twist Your Dickens is appropriate for adults and savvy teens age 16+. Please be advised that the show incorporates the use of strobe lights, smoke and haze.

Additional performances include:

Monday, December 29 at 4pm and 8pm
Wednesday, December 31 at 6pm and 10pm*
Friday, January 2 at 8pm
Saturday, January 3 at 4pm and 8pm

*Additional $40 New Year’s Eve package includes beverages pre-show through intermission, a champagne toast at midnight and party favors with promo code NEWYEARS.

The seven-member cast includes Francis Guinan as Scrooge (note: Brian Boland replaces Guinan for all performances starting December 26); Frank Caeti as the Ghost of Christmas Past; Peter Gwinn as Jacob Marley; Sayjal Joshi as Tiny Tim; Beth Melewski as the Ghost of Christmas Present; Robyn Scott as Mrs. Cratchit; and Tim Stoltenberg as Bob Cratchit. The creative team includes Tom Buderwitz (sets), Rachel Lambert (costumes) and Gina Patterson (lights). Mara Filler is the Production Stage Manager. Headshots and bio information, along with rehearsal and production photos can be found in the Press Room.

Additionally, the show includes a special Chicago-based celebrity guest in a cameo role at each show, though audiences won’t know who appears in this spot from night to night. Newly confirmed appearances include chef Ricky Bayless; musician JC Brooks, author Aaron Freeman; comedian Shad Kunkle; Orange is the New Black’s Adrienne C. Moore; comedian Eddie Mujica; hip-hop artist Che Smith aka “Rhymefest”; comedy duo TJ and Dave; NPR’s Peter Sagal; Windy City Live’s Ji Suk Yi; co-owner of The Hideout Tim Tuten; and actor Jonathan Weir (a former Scrooge in A Christmas Carol). As previously announced, other expected appearances include comedian and Vocalo host Brian Babylon; WBEZ’s Niala Boodhoo; WXRT’s Lin Brehmer; Senator John Cullerton; actor Allen Gilmore (Scrooge alternate in A Christmas Carol); chef Stephanie Izard; Chicago Tribune’s Candace Jordan; Chicago Cubs’ Len Kasper; WBBM-TV’s Bill Kurtis; musician Jon Langford; Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, B96’s Showbiz Shelly; and sommelier Alpana Singh.

Written by former The Colbert Report writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort and directed by Artistic Director of The Second City Training Center Matt Hovde, Twist Your Dickens—a “riotous havoc” (Los Angeles Times) that blends legitimate theater, parody, sketch comedy and improvisation, including the integration of audience “misdeeds” that are written in the lobby preceding the show—finds Scrooge and Tiny Tim hopelessly mixed up with characters from the Peanuts holiday special, the Island of Misfit Toys and even Little Orphan Annie. While the set and costumes reflect The Second City’s minimalist aesthetic, audiences can expect to see backdrops of their favorite holiday television specials and the ensemble sporting “business casual Dickensian” wear inspired by ugly sweaters and other pop culture icons.

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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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