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All-Britten Program with Chicago Children’s Choir December 18   The Music Institute of Chicago presents the 25th ...
Attorney General Delivers Remarks at the Department of Justice Women’s History Month Celebration   Washington, DC Attorney General ...

Archive for February 26th, 2015

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus Call Foul on House Republican Bill Allowing Billions in Cuts for Largest School Districts Serving High Populations of Black Students

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative G. K. Butterfield (NC-01), Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), responded to the House Republican proposal to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which the U.S. Department of Education estimates would cut more than $3 billion in federal funding over the next 6 years to school districts with high concentrations of Black and Hispanic students. These cuts in education spending would allow states to divert money from schools serving vulnerable student populations to wealthier districts and lock in sequestration funding levels.

CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield said, “This proposal by House Republicans will enable states to cut funding from schools and communities that need it most. If the Republican legislation is allowed to move forward, school districts which serve high concentrations of Black students would be faced with devastating federal funding cuts of more than $1.3 billion which would cripple schools, teachers and our children’s futures. Education is a fundamental civil right and it is the responsibility of Congress to invest in all students and provide opportunities for them to succeed. The Republican proposal would be detrimental and a travesty, and if allowed, would fail our students who are most in need.”

The following school districts serving high concentrations of black students are among the 100 largest school districts in the country, and could lose more than $1.3 billion in federal funding:  Baltimore City Public Schools (MD), Detroit City School District (MI), Prince George’s County Public Schools (MD), Shelby County School District (TN), Atlanta City School District (GA), Clayton County School District (GA), DeKalb County School District (GA), Cleveland Municipal School District (OH), Columbus City School District (OH), Milwaukee School District (WI) and Philadelphia City School District (PA). Specifically, Detroit City Schoolsand Shelby County Schools in Tennessee,which both have more than 80 percent Black students, stand to lose $265 million and $114 million respectively.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act – also known as No Child Left Behind – was last reauthorized in 2001. The Obama Administration has called for a bipartisan overhaul which ensures all students are prepared for college, careers and life. The Administration has threatened to veto the Republican House proposal scheduled for a vote later this week.

Since its establishment in 1971, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) have joined together to empower America’s neglected citizens and address their legislative concerns. For more than 40 years, the CBC has consistently been the voice for people of color and vulnerable communities in Congress and has been committed to utilizing the full Constitutional power and statutory authority of the United States government to ensure that all U.S. citizens have an opportunity to achieve the American Dream. To learn more about the Congressional Black Caucus, visit http://cbc-butterfield.house.gov.

Kirk Condemns Iran for Military Drills to Kill U.S. Aircraft Carrier & 5,000 Americans Amid Nuclear Talks

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) issued the following statement after Iran released a provocative video in which the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces practiced attacking a replica of a Nimitz-class U.S. aircraft carrier:

“While Iran practiced a military strike today to kill a U.S. aircraft carrier and its over 5,000 crewmen, the Administration keeps offering ever more dangerous nuclear concessions to Iran in negotiations.  We should never forget that the Iranian terror state, working with Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies, has killed more Americans than the Islamic State (ISIS).”

Chicago Theological Seminary to Participate in Commemorative March in Selma, AL on March 7, 2015

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CHICAGO, IL
– Chicago Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that our president, Rev. Dr. Alice Hunt, and Rabbi Dr. Rachel Mikva, Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Director, Center for Jewish, Christian and Islamic Studies, will represent Chicago Theological Seminary during the 50th anniversary commemoration of the historic march for voting rights in Selma, Alabama on Saturday, March 7, 2015.

For 160 years, CTS has pushed at the growing boundaries of the church and the world in order to make our faith relevant and transform our society towards greater justice and mercy. Our faculty and students have been on the front lines of many progressive initiatives and social movements, including the American Civil Rights movement. In 1957, CTS became the first seminary in America to award the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree for his activism in the civil rights movement, and our support of the movement and its leaders continued to grow.  In April, CTS will convene a conference around the Selma Voting Rights March anniversary called “Selma at 50: Still Marching.” The 2-day event will trace a thread through the legacy of civil rights activism to current activist movements in Chicago and around the country using workshops and discussions to create solutions leading to direct action.

“CTS was part of the original Selma march in many ways. CTS students—including alums Rev. Jesse Jackson and Gary Massoni—left their classes against the expressed wishes of then President Howard Schomer, only to find President Schomer himself taking part in the march,” President Hunt said.

In 1965, President Schomer, the students, Dr. King, and several other march leaders also wore leis sent by prominent CTS alumnus Kahu Abraham Akaka (B.D. 1943), who served as pastor of the historic Kawaiaha’o Church (United Church of Christ) in Hawai’i from 1957 to 1984. The act of the march leaders wearing the lei is significant: in Hawaiian culture, white leis are not only adornment, but also symbols of peace among warring tribes.

Next week, Drs. Hunt and Mikva will stand in solidarity during the commemorative march in Selma, reinforcing CTS’s commitment to training leaders who honor cultural and racial diversity while decisively combating division and domination in a society fractured by racism.  “Our presence is important because, as was the case 50 years ago, Black Lives Matter,” President Hunt said. “We live in a land that was stolen from brown bodies, in a society that was built on the backs of black bodies. Instead of focusing our actions one what was done wrong, we are looking to find what harm was done, and then take action to restore wholeness as a community.”

Rev. Dr. Alice Hunt, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible and Theological Education, was ordained at the historic Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church, National Baptist Convention, in Nashville, Tennessee.  She holds dual standing with the United Church of Christ in the Chicago Metropolitan Association.  Involved in the broader issues of religious affairs and theological education, Hunt has chaired the American Academy of Religion Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession and the Social-Scientific Studies of the Second Temple Period Section for the Society of Biblical Literature. She served on the Board of Commissioners for the Association of Theological Schools and chaired
the Historical Books section for the Society of Biblical Literature’s international meeting.

Rabbi Dr. Rachel Mikva is currently the Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, and the Director of the Center for Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Studies. She served as a congregational rabbi for thirteen years before returning to academia, where much of her work explores the intersections of exegesis, culture and ethics. She is currently engaged in various projects related to religious teaching about restorative justice and its importance in combatting systemic racism and structural violence.

About Chicago Theological Seminary
Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) is a seminary of the United Church of Christ that serves over twenty-five different Christian and non-Christian faith communities by preparing men and women for the next generation of religious leadership, whatever that may be. Founded in 1855, CTS promotes a progressive, forward-looking philosophy and is at the forefront of religious scholarship, interreligious dialogue and transformative leadership. CTS graduates, students, faculty and staff have been advocates for social justice and mercy since the days of the Underground Railroad.

Chicago Theological Seminary helps individuals discern and articulate an evolving faith for the future, whether in ministry, teaching, advocacy, activism, social work or social justice.

Music Institute of Chicago Presents Community Music Festival, 100 Concerts in Sixteen Days! April 17 – May 3, 2015

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Music Institute of Chicago, transforming lives through music education for 85 years, is giving back to its communities with a Community Music Festival of unprecedented scope: 100 concerts across the Chicago area at community centers, libraries, seniors centers, and other grassroots venues from April 17 to May 3, 2015.

The Festival showcases some of the more than 1,600 students from 86 communities in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, all volunteering their time. Locations of some public performances include the McGaw YMCA in Evanston April 25 at noon; Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview April 28 at 4 p.m., the Crystal Ballroom and Lounge in Evanston May 1 at 10:30 a.m. (featuring the Music Institute’s adult Community Symphony and the New Horizons Band); the Fine Arts Building in Chicago May 2 at 4 p.m.; and Skokie Public Library May 16 at 4 p.m.

“The Music Institute exists to lead everyone in our community toward a lifelong engagement with music,” said Music Institute President and CEO Mark George. “To truly fulfill this vision, we must share what we do with our neighbors, especially those who normally do not have access to live music. We consider this Festival a true community service, a way of giving back to our communities by sharing our students’ talents and spreading the joy music so often brings. We also want to remind people that the Music Institute is an important resource for Chicagoland families, engaging thousands of students of all ages and levels of experience in music-making, as well as presenting music concerts and cultural events to nearly 15,000 audience members each year.”

Media sponsorship for the Community Music Festival is provided by Make It Better. For information, visit musicinst.org/cms-festival or follow the Music Institute on Twitter @MICcommunity.

Book-ending the community events are two world-class chamber music concerts, sponsored by Gael and Robert Strong and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, at the Music Institute’s Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston:

• Cavani Quartet – Sunday, April 19, 3 p.m.
Called “warmly lyrical” by the New York Times, the highly regarded Cavani Quartet, ensemble in residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music, celebrates its 30th anniversary at Nichols Concert Hall. The program includes the Mendelssohn Octet, also featuring students from the Music Institute’s Academy for gifted pre-college musicians.

• Ying Quartet – Saturday, May 2, 7:30 p.m.
The Grammy Award-winning Ying Quartet has established itself as an ensemble of the highest musical order. Quartet-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music, this distinguished Music Institute alumni group performs classic repertoire along with works the quartet has commissioned. Special media sponsor for this performance is Mandarin Quarterly.

Tickets for each concert—Cavani Quartet on April 19 at 3 p.m. and Ying Quartet on May 2 at 7:30 p.m.—are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for students, available at brownpapertickets.com/event/851979 or 800-838-3006.

Music Institute of Chicago
The Music Institute of Chicago is a community music school dedicated to transforming lives through music education. The institution exists to lead everyone in its community toward a lifelong engagement with music. Founded in 1931, the Music Institute has grown to become one of the largest and most respected community music schools in the nation. Offering musical excellence built on the strength of its distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services, the Music Institute is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Pre-collegiate Arts Schools (ACCPAS). Each year, the Music Institute’s teachers and arts therapists reach thousands of students and clients of all ages and levels of experience. Music Institute locations include Chicago, Evanston, Winnetka, Lincolnshire, Lake Forest, and Downers Grove. In addition, the Music Institute is proud of its longstanding partnership with the Chicago Public Schools through its Arts Link program. The Music Institute offers lessons and classes, creative arts therapy, and concerts through its Community Music School, Academy, Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA), and Nichols Concert Hall.

Jarrett Payton Foundation’s 2015 “Strike Against Bullying”

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Celebrity Bowling Event Set for March 5 at Kings Bowl in Rosemont

Rosemont, IL – The Jarrett Payton Foundation is set to host its first ever “Strike Against Bullying Celebrity Bowling Event” Thursday March 5, 2015 at Kings Bowl, located at 5505 Park Place in Rosemont. This event is expected to grow into an annual gathering where celebrities and the general public come together for a night of great bowling, delicious food and festivities to support a great cause. Proceeds from the event will help fund Jarrett Payton Foundation programs, which include Project: No Bull and the Jarrett Payton Leadership Academy.

The Jarrett Payton Foundation’s mission is to positively impact the lives of children and adolescents by creating and providing programs that develop leadership skills and enrich their lives. In support of this mission, Jarrett travels to schools around Chicagoland to spread his anti-bullying message and the Foundation puts on numerous events a year to support this cause.

Jarrett will be joined by celebrity guests George McCaskey, Charles “Peanut” Tillman, Jerry Azumah, Rashied Davis, Peggy Kusinski, Ryan Baker, Dionne Miller, John Garcia, David Haugh, David Kaplan, Jim Cornelison, Israel Idonije and Chris Boden, to name a few. In addition to ticket sales and donations, this event is made possible by the generous support of sponsors. Current sponsor commitments include: Associated Agencies, Isi Midwest, LG-PR, Metlife, Millenia Metals, PowerForward DuPage, Tat Cave, Serafin & Associates, Inc, and Sprovieri’s. Limited sponsorships, which include a lane of six bowlers, are still available for this event. Those interested in a sponsorship can learn more on the event page at http://jarrettpayton.org/events.

“Helping people is my passion and I am beyond grateful that my foundation gives me the opportunity to help kids that were bullied just like I was,” said Payton. “This cause means a lot to me and I hope that we can gather a lot of people to come out in support of something so important for children today.”

Ticket prices are $50 for General Admission and $100 for VIP. VIP tickets include VIP Reception with Meet and Greet and food. Both General Admission and VIP tickets include: two drink tickets, pizza, upper viewing deck to watch the bowling, and access to celebrity bowlers. Registration for the “Strike Against Bullying Celebrity Bowling Event” is open to the public and can be completed at http://jarrettpayton.org/event/strike-against-bullying/.
About The Jarrett Payton Foundation

The Jarrett Payton Foundation is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to positively impact the lives of children and adolescents by creating and providing programs that develop leadership skills and enrich their lives. The two main programs of The Jarrett Payton Foundation, Project No Bull and The Jarrett Payton Leadership Academy, are dedicated to spreading the sentiment Jarrett’s father repeated to him time and time again: “We are all more similar than we are all different.” For more information, visit http://www.JarrettPayton.org.

About Kings Bowl of America, LLC

Kings Bowl first opened its doors in 2002 in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay. From the start, Kings has focused on rekindling the fun and escape of bowling by creating a memorable entertainment experience, emphasizing good food, cold beer, creative cocktails and great music.  Each Kings location features upscale, retro-inspired décor and executive-chef designed menus brought to life by “best-in-industry” service. With varied entertainment options, themed nights and state-of-the-art audio visual equipment, Kings sets itself apart as an unparalleled social scene for all occasions. Whether one is looking to host an unforgettable party, share a superb meal or catch tonight’s big game, Kings is committed to insuring that when you leave, you’ll be planning to return soon to Kings, “The Classy Bowling Joint”! For more information, visit http://www.kingsbowlamerica.com.

Students Can Now Easily Enroll Online to Black Colleges and Universities at This New Website

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
HBCUBound.com is a new online student platform that alleviates the stress of the college admissions process to HBCUs.
HBCU Bound

Atlanta, GA — The college admissions process is among the most stressful things for a college bound high school seniors. However, one online platform, HBCUbound.com, is helping to reduce stress for students with a desire to attend historically black colleges and universities (HBCU).

According to a 2010 survey conducted by the American College Counselling, Inc., 76 percent of high school students bound for college admit that they feel stressed about the college admissions process. The reason cited was the lack of resources for expert guidance.

HBCUbound.com was launched to increase enrollment at historically black colleges and universities and facilitate a smooth transition from high school to an HBCU. The website provides a wealth of information on financial aid, SAT/ACT prep information, essay writing, internships, the college admissions process and other necessary resources.

The website was founded by Barry Roberson Jr. and Samuel Sims Jr. who both have an undying passion for HBCUs. Roberson Jr. said: “We are aiming to be an online guidance counselor for high school students. We do understand how challenging the college admissions process is; so we created this platform to help reduce the stress on students through the provision of useful resources about HBCUs.”

Choosing the right institution can be a challenge in itself. Nevertheless, the website provides further help to students by narrowing down their choices by matching them with an HBCU of their choice. All that is required of the student is to register on the website, which may result not only in them being contacted by one of the institutions, but they will automatically be entered for a chance to win a scholarship.

The college admissions process doesn’t have to be a stressful event and HBCU Bound is seeing to that. For further information or to sign up on the website, visit www.HBCUbound.com

Dori Maynard, Diversity Champion, Dies at 56

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Dori Maynard, Diversity Champion, Dies at 56

Maynard Institute

By David DeBolt
Dori J. Maynard, president of the Robert C. Maynard institute for Journalism Education and longtime champion of diversity in journalism and civic life, died Tuesday at her West Oakland, Calif., home, the Institute announced. She was 56.

Maynard died of lung cancer and kept her illness closely held.

She became president of the Institute in 2001. In that role, she kept alive the memory and the goals of her father, Robert C. Maynard, a co-founder of the Institute and publisher of the Oakland Tribune, and Nancy Hicks Maynard, also a co-founder, co-publisher of the Tribune, and Dori Maynard’s stepmother.

“Maynard advocated tirelessly for the future of the institute and its programs, reminding all that the work of bringing the diverse voices of America into news and public discourse is more vital than ever,” Tuesday’s announcement said.

“Under her leadership, the Institute has trained some of the top journalists in the country and helped newsrooms tell more inclusive and nuanced stories. New programs are empowering community members to voice the narrative of their own lives. On the morning of her death, she was discussing plans with a board member to help the institute thrive and to attract funding to support that work.”

It was Dori Maynard’s idea to begin a column about developments in the news industry geared toward diversity and journalists of color. That became the online column “Journal-isms,” which debuted in 2002, after having existed previously only in print. At the time, the online media column by Jim Romenesko was a staple of the industry, but Maynard considered its focus too limited.

“That’s why we started it, actually,” Maynard said. ‘I was so disturbed by Romenesko. There was [rarely] any notice of people of color.”

Under Maynard, the Institute’s training included Fault Lines, “an inclusive framework that looks at diversity through the prisms of race, class, gender, generation and geography and BrotherSpeak, a video series looking at the lives of black men through the eyes of black men, done in partnership with The Washington Post.”

Maynard also served on the board of the American Society of News Editors.

A 2000 news release announcing her appointment as Institute president said:

“Dori J. Maynard is at home at the Institute for many reasons.

“She is the daughter of Institute co-founder Robert C. Maynard for whom the Institute is named.

“She began working full time at the Institute after her father’s 1993 death when she edited ‘Letters to My Children,’ a compilation of her father’s newspaper columns for which she wrote additional essays.

“Maynard currently is the director of the Institute’s History Project, which preserves the stories of courageous journalists of color who broke into the mainstream media against the backdrop of the turbulent 1960s and 1970s. She also directs the Fault Lines Project which is designed to help journalists reflect more accurately their multicultural communities and organizes other Maynard Institute events.

“Before joining the Institute, Maynard worked as a reporter at the Bakersfield Californian, the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, MA, and the Detroit Free Press, where she covered senate and mayoral campaigns and City Hall.

“In 1993 she and her father became the first father-daughter duo ever to be appointed Nieman scholars at Harvard University. She worked regularly with her father, researching and preparing for his appearances on ‘This Week With David Brinkley’ and the ‘MacNeil/Lehrer Report.’

“Dori J. Maynard graduated from Middlebury College, Vermont, with a BA in American History.”

In 2001, the Society of Professional Journalists named her a Fellow of the Society, in 2003, she was named one of the 10 Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area and in 2008 she received the Asian American  Journalists Association’s Leadership in Diversity Award. The editor of “Letters to My Children,” a compilation of her late-father’s nationally syndicated columns, Maynard’s writing has also appeared in the Oakland Tribune, The Huffington Post, American Journalism Review and Nieman Reports.

She is on the board of the American Society of News Editors, Homeland Production, Sigma Delta Chi and on the board of visitors of the John S. Knight Fellowship and the Journalism and Women Symposium advisory board.

Maynard’s husband, Charles Grant Lewis, the principal of an Oakland-based architectural firm bearing his name, died in 2008 at 59. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2006, the year of their marriage.

CTS to Present Spiritual Cantata for Black History Month with Chicago Community Chorus and the Marian Catholic High School Gospel Choir

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago Theological Seminary’s Center for Black Faith and Life, Charles Shelby Rooks Society and Office of Community Life is pleased to present “Changed My Name,” a cantata for Black History Month on campus Thursday, February 26, 2015. The cantata will share the stories of freedom fighters Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth through song. The performance takes place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26 at CTS in the fourth floor chapel and feature the Chicago Community Chorus under the direction of Dr. Keith Hampton and Marian Catholic High School’s Gospel Choir and Marian Catholic High School’s Gospel Choir.

“We are so excited for the opportunity to have this work performed at CTS, “ said CTS director of community life, Rev. Lisa Goods.  “Changed My Name” so powerfully depicts the lives, the struggles, the resilience and the tenacity of our African American Ancestors that it is a must for all to experience. By combining this great work with a performance by the Marian Gospel Choir we hope to engage a new generation into the legacy of our history as depicted in the genre of spirituals.”

Linda Twine, composer of “Changed My Name,” is a veteran Broadway conductor and has been music director for such hits as Jelly’s Last Jam; Big River; Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music; Ain’t Misbehavin’, Caroline, or Change, The Color Purple, and The Wiz. She was the conductor for the European tour of Andre Heller’s highly acclaimed Body and Soul and the Manaichi Broadcasting System production of Harlem Symphony in Osaka, Japan. Ms. Twine has also been a guest conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony and Harlem Festival Orchestra. She has conducted for Leslie Uggams, The Persuasions, Ben Vereen, Shirley Horne, Linda Hopkins and many others. As a composer, she has written Sisters of Freedom, which premiered by the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble. She also she served as music supervisor for the off-Broadway production Thunder Knocking on the Door.

About Chicago Community Chorus

The Chicago Community Chorus (CCC), founded in 2003, provides an advanced choral experience to anyone who loves to sing. CCC seeks to reflect the diversity of Chicago by involving singers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, and now numbers over 130 members presenting at least three performances each year in a variety of venues. CCC’s repertoire spans a wide variety of choral music from gospel, hip-hop and cantata to oratorio, jazz and pop. CCC is under the direction of Artistic Director and Founder Dr. Keith T. Hampton, a renowned organist, performer, composer, educator, church musician and clinician. A specialist in the field of Gospel Music, the North Central American Choral Directors Association in 2010 selected Dr. Keith Hampton as one of the top 25 Contemporary Composers “whose composition, Praise His Holy Name, should be standard repertoire for choirs today and for the next 25 years.”

About Marian Catholic High School

Marian (MCHS) was founded in 1958 by the Dominican Sisters of Springfield on the corners of Ashland Avenue and Joe Orr Road in Chicago Heights, Illinois. The Marian student body has approximately 1,100 students from 70 communities in Illinois and Northwest Indiana. Marian students have been extremely successful academically both before and after graduation.

The Gospel Choir, under the direction of Marian Catholic senior, Julian Goods and supervised by Mrs. Erin Russell works to preach the Gospel Message through song by offering concerts in the community and enhancing MCHS liturgical celebrations with song.

About Chicago Theological Seminary’s Center for the Study of Black Faith & Life (CSBFL)

CSBFL is the first theological center within a denominational seminary to seek connections with the larger Black faith community inclusive of a variety of Black religions and to offer Master and Ph.D. degree concentrations in Black faith and Black life. The CSBFL is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of leaders who will speak with a prophetic voice that lifts high the African American heritage of faith, freedom and justice. The Center, through research, critical examination, theological reflection, and contextual engagement, addresses the forces of oppression and dehumanization for the betterment of academy, church, and community.

About Chicago Theological Seminary

Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) is a seminary of the United Church of Christ that serves over twenty-five different Christian and non-Christian faith communities by preparing men and women for the next generation of religious leadership, whatever that may be. Founded in 1855, CTS promotes a progressive, forward-looking philosophy and is at the forefront of religious scholarship, interreligious dialogue and transformative leadership. CTS graduates, students, faculty and staff have been advocates for social justice and mercy since the days of the Underground Railroad.

Chicago Theological Seminary helps individuals discern and articulate an evolving faith for the future, whether in ministry, teaching, advocacy, activism, social work or social justice.

IDHS Helps More Than 5,000 Individuals With Disabilities Find Jobs

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Program offers necessary tools to earn a living wage and become more independent

SPRINGFIELD, IL – More people with disabilities are finding jobs with help from a special program operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS). The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program helped 5,291 individuals with significant disabilities find gainful employment in 2014.  This figure represents a 5.1 percent increase over the number achieved in the same time period last fiscal year.

“The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program helps people with disabilities find quality employment that pays a living wage and offers a chance for advancement and independence,” said IDHS Acting Secretary Gregory M. Bassi.  “This is just one of the many ways we work in partnership with people with disabilities and their families to help them achieve full community participation through employment, education, and independent living opportunities.”

2014 was the third consecutive year of positive growth for the VR program, with more than 15,000 people with disabilities becoming employed during that time period.  Overall, the VR program served 42,422 people with disabilities last year.

The VR program success stories include Laura Martinez, a blind chef who achieved her dream of opening her own restaurant, Matt Buchi, whose passion for teaching and basketball led to a coaching position at the University of Illinois, and Nancy Swisher who works as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) caring the senior citizens.

Specialized VR services are offered for people who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, Hispanic/ Latino, or Asian with disabilities.  The program also assists high school students who have disabilities plan for their futures after graduation through our Transition and Secondary Transitional Experience Program (STEP).                         153**15

The Work Incentive Planning and Assistance Program helps people who receive SSDI/SSI benefits understand how working will affect their benefits. The Supported Employment Program (SEP) serves eligible people with significant disabilities who want to go to work and need on-going support services to succeed on the job.

Many people with disabilities of working age (16-64 years old) are eligible for VR services. To be eligible, they need to have a significant physical or mental impairment that makes it difficult to go to work. IDHS provides services in 46 local offices located in communities throughout the state.

The Division of Rehabilitation Services, the state’s lead agency for services for people with disabilities also works with corporate partners and offers training, education and incentives to increase the number of people with disabilities in the workforce.

To meet some of the people who have achieved success through the VR program visit:  http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=51120

State’s Attorney Alvarez Recognized Local Law Students in Celebration of African-American History Month

Posted by Admin On February - 26 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez recognized local law school students during a recent ceremony held in celebration of African-American History Month.

Alvarez honored Adenike Adubifa, currently attending DePaul University Law School and Andrea Williams, a student at Loyola University School of Law.

The law school students were recognized for their exemplary performance as law clerks with the States’ Attorney’s Office.

State’s Attorney Alvarez recognized the students during the 25th Annual C.F. Stradford Awards Ceremony, which was held on February 18th at the Parkway Ballroom in Chicago.

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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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