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Archive for April 15th, 2015

Fatal Police Shooting Moves Clergy to Launch National Campaign Titled “Driving On E”

Posted by Admin On April - 15 - 2015 Comments Off on Fatal Police Shooting Moves Clergy to Launch National Campaign Titled “Driving On E”

Baltimore, MD – A coalition of African American clergy announced the launch of a new initiative titled, Driving on E. The subsequent release of the Walter Scott footage, a 50-year-old Black man who was fatally wounded by a South Carolina police officer, is prompting the faith community to respond. After relentless past protests and petitions around the country in response to racial unrest, faith leaders say they are now on “E.” Frustrated by years of racial profiling, minimized funding in the Black community, and low-paying jobs, the men and women of the cloth and countless parishioners are preparing to take action against the inequities facing African Americans.

With an estimated 500,000 churches across America, representatives of leading Black Christian organizations have strategized a national economic stimulus plan to move the African American community forward in business, employment and education. Using economics as the catalyst for change, Rev. Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, Pastor of the Empowerment Temple Church in Baltimore, Maryland is also the President of the Empowerment Movement, which is the organization that will spearhead the massive undertaking. Bryant’s goal is to utilize the Driving on E campaign as the bases for educating African Americans to redirect their annual consumer spending power of $1.1 trillion to facilitate precise objectives that will create foreseeable change within the Black community.

WHAT: Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, along with leaders of multiple denominations and corporate partners, have launched the Driving on E campaign:a national, economic stimulus plan to facilitate change within the Black community related to economics and employment.

Phase 1 of the Driving-on E campaign is the push to “Buy Black.” The plan is specifically targeted to increasing and sustaining the growth of Black-owned, small-businesses. “The goal is to start with small tangible action items, then add on,” explains Dr. Bryant.

Phase 2 of the plan will be implemented after six weeks of heavy promotion of “Buy Black” business campaign. The Driving on E campaign will then roll out a national summer jobs plan. The idea is to leverage support for Black-owned businesses through summer employment for Black youth.

“It’s the foundation to creating a shift in our community, and that shift starts with inserting funding back into our communities. This plan takes small actionable steps that can yield substantial results! It takes 21 days to start a new habit. The habit we want to enforce is support for Black business,” states Dr. Bryant. “The re-circulation of the Black dollar moves us to Phase 2 of the Driving on E campaign.”

WHEN: The Empowerment Movement along with other supporting denominations will hold a press conference on April 20, 2015 – 11 am (CST) at the Hilton St. Louis Airport, 10330 Natural Bridge Road, St. Louis, MO 63134

WHO: Dr. Bryant of the Empowerment Movement will announce key action points of the Driving on E campaign. The non-partisan organization was launched with the support of the AME, AME Zion, COGIC, Progressive, Bible Way, Full Gospel, CME and United Covenant churches. Other national campaign partners include the National Bankers Association, the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. and the Rejoice Musical Soul Food Network.

WHY: Dr. Bryant was heavily involved in the Trayvon Martin case as the family’s advocate and spiritual adviser. Today, he serves in the same capacity for the family of slain teen and Ferguson, Missouri resident Michael Brown, who like Martin was brutally murdered. According to Bryant, the intended message to those who join in the movement is to underscore the reality that Black lives matter by “flexing your spending power!”

Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant: Minister of the New Millennium

Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant has broken the stereotype of yesterday’s clergyman. He is the leader of a new breed of ministers who embrace the idea of capitalizing on the ever- increasing marketplace of Internet and technological innovations to spread the gospel. Dr. Bryant is a pastor with a global mission, with more than 10,000 members at Empowerment Temple, located in Baltimore, Maryland, his mission is to “empower people spiritually, develop them educationally, expose them culturally, activate them politically, and strengthen them economically.” This new millennium minister is now an impassioned social activist, community developer, and cultural philanthropist. facebook.com/jamalbryant / twitter.com/jamalhbryant

Attorney General Holder Statement on the 75th Anniversary of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Posted by Admin On April - 15 - 2015 Comments Off on Attorney General Holder Statement on the 75th Anniversary of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement on the 75th anniversary of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund:

“On behalf of the United States Department of Justice, I congratulate the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund on 75 years of passionate legal advocacy and extensive educational outreach in its tireless pursuit of equality and justice throughout the nation.  Since 1940, the NAACP LDF has stood at the forefront of America’s struggle to ensure that equality under the law is protected by the law.  From the historic victory in Brown v. Board of Education, achieved under the leadership of legendary founder Thurgood Marshall, to the wide-ranging efforts of the visionaries who continue to build on Brown’s promise today, the NAACP LDF has made once-unimaginable progress in expanding democracy, drawing attention to persistent disparities, and securing the more just society that all Americans deserve.  As this vital organization celebrates 75 years of civil rights achievements, I look forward to all that it will accomplish in the days and years to come.”

Joint Economic Committee & Congressional Black Caucus Release National Report Gauging Economic Challenges Facing the African American Community

Posted by Admin On April - 15 - 2015 Comments Off on Joint Economic Committee & Congressional Black Caucus Release National Report Gauging Economic Challenges Facing the African American Community

Report Observes Broadening and Persistent Inequities in Employment, Income and Wealth Among Blacks

WASHINGTON, DC – African Americans face an unemployment rate double that of white workers and are nearly three times as likely as white Americans to live in poverty, according to a new report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC) released today by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Ranking Democrat on the JEC, and Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

The report reveals that African Americans continue to confront a range of economic challenges, including disproportionately high rates of poverty, unemployment and long-term unemployment as well as significantly lower incomes and slower wealth accumulation than white households.  When examining various measures to determine economic well-being, the report finds black Americans lag far behind the white population.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • The median income of African American households is $34,600—nearly $24,000 less than the median income of white households ($58,300).
  • The median net worth of white households is 13 times the level for black households.
  • Black Americans are almost three times more likely to live in poverty than white Americans.
  • At 10.1 percent, the current unemployment rate for black Americans is double the rate for white Americans.
  • Black Americans currently face an unemployment rate that is higher than the national unemployment rate ever reached during the recent recession.

“The numbers are stark, they are troubling and they are unacceptable,” said Congresswoman Maloney, Ranking Democrat on the Joint Economic Committee.  “What’s especially concerning is that the already-large racial gap in household wealth has grown even wider since the recession. This report is a powerful, sobering reminder that policymakers must do more to open doors of opportunity for African Americans.”

“Today’s report detailing the disparities that African Americans face comes as no surprise to those who experience the reality of such inequities in their daily lives,” said Congressman Butterfield. “Much of the country has experienced an economic recovery over the last six years, but there is still much work that remains and nowhere is this more evident than in the African American community.  This report sheds light not only on the state of affairs for blacks in America but on the country as a whole and the divide that has persisted for generations due in large part to our country’s history of racial divide, oppression and lack of access.  The JEC report brings about a renewed focus on our work in Congress and what lawmakers must do in order to level the playing field so all Americans can have a fair shot and an opportunity to achieve the American dream.”

“This report documents persistent economic barriers African Americans face, even as the rest of the country recovers from the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) “If we are to meet the challenge of the promise of equality in America we need to address these inequities in employment, income, wealth, housing and education through policies designed for inclusive prosperity.”

The collapse in home values during the recession hit black households especially hard, since a high proportion of African American wealth is comprised of homeowner equity.  While housing has rebounded in recent years, the recovery has not kept pace with the returns in the stock market, leading to a slower recovery in black household wealth than for whites.

Education helps to boost employment and earnings prospects, but college-educated African American workers continue to face lower earnings and higher unemployment compared to white college-educated workers.  Black workers with a bachelor’s degree earn over $12,000 less annually than white workers with a bachelor’s degree.  The unemployment rate for black workers with at least a bachelor’s degree is more than two percentage points higher than for white workers with the same education level.

The report includes state-by-state data comparing the unemployment rate, poverty rate and median household income levels for African Americans and white Americans.

Apple’s Teachable Moment

Posted by Admin On April - 15 - 2015 Comments Off on Apple’s Teachable Moment

Op-ed By Ben Jealous and Heather Warnken

Ben Jealous

Inclusion inspires innovation. This mantra, featured prominently on Apple’s website, was put to the test last week when the company came under fire for dismissing several construction workers who had been convicted of a felony.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, anyone who had been convicted of a felony in the past seven years was banned from working on the construction of Apple’s new Cupertino campus. Apple and its contractor, DPR Construction, also denied employment to people with felony arrests, not just convictions.

Since then, Apple has taken a step in the right direction by rescinding the policy. But in an industry already notorious for being out of touch with the broader opportunity gap in America, the company’s leadership has an opportunity to do much more: to lead the tech field on inclusion as much as it already leads on innovation.

Apple’s quick response was encouraging. In a statement yesterday, the company noted that its policy “may have excluded some people who deserve a second chance”, and that it has “never had a blanket ban on hiring people with felony convictions”. This was an indication that Apple understands the devastating impact of blanket discrimination on the 12 million Americans with a felony conviction in their past. Still, the company’s response leaves too many unanswered questions about the status of the fired workers, the contours of Apple’s internal policy, and the company’s commitment to ensuring that this will never happen again.

Life is hard for someone with a felony conviction. People returning to their communities not only have a difficult time finding a job. That’s more than 60 percent are unable to find work in their first year out. But also face other challenges that make landing gainful employment even harder. Even someone who served a short sentence for a low-level crime will often run into barriers to stable housing, healthcare, educational opportunities, and public benefits. In 2008, the reduced job prospects of people with felony convictions cost the US economy between $57 and $65 billion in lost output.

The Cupertino campus project, expected to yield thousands of construction jobs, can still provide a unique opportunity for Apple to support the local economy and provide work for an underserved population. It is not too late for Apple to right a wrong, prove its commitment to inclusion, and become a leader on fair hiring practices. Here are three steps that Apple can take in coming days:

Apple should publicly address the fate of the fired employees.

Reports have indicated that Apple may have plans to reevaluate or rehire the impacted employees, but it should make this intention publicly clear. The number of workers fired may have been small compared with Apple’s national employee base, but a job is important for any single worker, especially one operating in the context of perpetual discrimination. Apple should clarify its hiring policies and publicly “Ban the Box”.

In yesterday’s statement, Apple leaders denied practicing blanket discrimination. But at the same time they acknowledged that workers on the campus project had been victims of discrimination. In order to clear things up, Apple should work with community leaders to develop transparent and inclusive hiring policies that ensure that all applicants are considered regardless of their past mistakes. Crucially, the company should agree not to deny employment to people whose crimes are irrelevant to the job at hand.

Apple should also follow in the footsteps of large companies in other fields and announce a companywide “Ban the Box” program.

The company already claims that it considers all applicants on a “case by case” basis, and it could stand by this promise by removing questions about job applicants’ criminal records from initial employment applications. Walmart and other major companies have already “banned the box”, alongside cities like San Francisco, 15 states and over 100 other cities and counties nationwide.

Apple should move Silicon Valley forward on second chance employment.

Finally, Apple should use its perch as an industry leader to move Silicon Valley forward on fair hiring practices for applicants with criminal records.

Apple could convene a Business Leaders Summit to encourage its peers to learn from their mistake. The summit could provide the tools and encouragement for others in the tech industry to commit to fair hiring practices. It could also impart an important lesson to others in the industry: discrimination is not only unfair to qualified job seekers who have made amends for their past mistakes (or been arrested but not convicted). It also means employers may be blindly screening out some of their best and brightest applicants.

There is a growing bipartisan consensus, echoed by leaders as diverse as Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Rand Paul, that mass incarceration has failed the nation. Seventy million people in the United States, more than 1 in 4 adults, have some type of record of arrests or convictions. These records last a lifetime. This is long after the individual has been held responsible for the crime committed.

Apple’s policy has already led to the dismissal of employees succeeding in their positions, supporting themselves and their families. This is exemplary of the problem. It is also the way forward. Apple can move closer to realizing its stated vision of a diverse and inclusive workforce where inclusion inspires innovation. With these steps, Apple can ensure that the reality of this vision does not leave millions of Americans with records behind.

If Silicon Valley is going to achieve its goal of becoming a true meritocracy, it is not enough for us to focus on treating our most privileged workers more fairly. We need to ensure just treatment of the least privileged as well.

Ben Jealous is Partner at Kapor Capital and former president and CEO of the NAACP.

Heather Warnken is a Program Director at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, UC Berkeley School of Law, and Criminal Justice Fellow for The Women’s Foundation of California.

Photos: Ben Jealous

Heather Warnken

Broadway Musical to Resurrect the Legacy of the Late E. Lynn Harris

Posted by Admin On April - 15 - 2015 Comments Off on Broadway Musical to Resurrect the Legacy of the Late E. Lynn Harris

Proteus Spann, producer

“Invisible Life the Musical” will Showcase at The Apollo in NYC June 25-30

Castings in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Set for April and May

National Tour, Broadway Bound Musical and Film Productions in the Works

Proteus Spann, producer “Invisible Life the Musical”

New York, NY (BlackNews.com)– Producer Proteus Spann celebrates the 20th anniversary of New York Times best-selling author E. Lynn Harris’ classic American love story Invisible Life with an explosive new musical adaptation that addresses the conflicts of sexuality, religion, HIV/AIDS and family in America.INVISIBLE LIFE: THE MUSICAL (LIVE YOUR LIFE IN TRUTH) will premiere Thursday, June 25th, 2015 and will run for six performances through Tuesday, June 30th at The World Famous Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street, New York, NY 10027.

Harris was a vibrant and expressive voice of a 21st generation that sought to demystify bisexuality, AIDS and other social mores that were not addressed in traditional artistic formats. In his book, Invisible Life, E. Lynn Harris coined the phrase “on the down-low.” This commitment represents not only years of work but a huge leap of faith! Proteus risked personal financial security to invest in the preservation and oversight of these prized literary works so he could personally see that their artistic and commercial interpretations were honoring the author’s intentions. In 2010, the Los Angeles Times listed E. Lynn Harris Invisible Life as one of the top 20 “classic works of gay literature” ever written.

A journey that has spanned two decades of friendship and professional collaboration between Harris and Spann has resulted in the launch of several entertainment properties that are centered around the iconic author’s literary works. Mr. Spann and his company Proteus E2 Productions owns Harris’ catalog of Intellectual Property rights and his first offering is a staged production of INVISIBLE LIFE: THE MUSICAL on which he has brought together some of the top creative talent in theatricals including a musical score by Motown legends Ashford and Simpson.

Learn more about the musical at www.InvisibleLifeTheMusical.com

Proteus E2 Productions Presents E. Lynn Harris Invisible Life: The Musical (Live Your Life in Truth)

Written and Directed by: Proteus Spann and Javon Johnson
Music & Lyrics by: Motown Legends Ashford & Simpson
Additional Lyrics by: Stanley Bennett Clay

Raymond, a college football player, dreams of a future as a lawyer and family man with his childhood sweetheart Sela, but is seduced into a “Down-Low romance” by star Quarterback, Basil Henderson. Pressured by his father to continue his NFL legacy, Raymond escapes to NYC and falls madly in love with a Broadway Diva, Nicole. Raymond’s scandal-reunion with Basil, and fashionista best friends Kyle and JJ, threatens his Perfect World and forces Raymond to

Written and Directed by Proteus Spann and Javon Johnson. Mr. Spann conceived and developed INVISIBLE LIFE (THE MUSICAL) and is the sole owner of the Intellectual Property rights to the catalogue of the late (12 times) New York Times best-selling author E. Lynn Harris. Spann is a Syracuse University graduate and former Hollywood Casting Director. Spann produced the critically acclaimed musical Sanctified written by Javon Johnson at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington DC 2010.

Javon Johnson was awarded the Kennedy Center Lorraine Hansberry Award, the New Professional Theatre Playwriting Award, a Sundance Theatre Laboratory participant and Eugene O’Neil National Playwrights fellowship. Johnson’s play, “Hambone,” at the Victory Gardens Theatre during their Tony Award Winning season was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award. Johnson is a Broadway actor, a gifted playwright and protégé of the late great August Wilson. In a Q&A with August Wilson and Javon Johnson, moderated by Ralph Wiley, August Wilson was asked what influenced his early writing in the 60s and the honored playwright said, “Black life in all its richness and fullness without sentimentality, an honesty I hadn’t seen expressed before. You can do that, I thought.” Without a doubt, Javon Johnson honors his mentor’s influence in the new work Invisible Life, co-written and co-directed with Proteus Spann.

Music & Lyrics by Motown Legends and Grammy award winning artists Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. The original score for INVISIBLE LIFE was one of the last projects the pop-soul singing couple completed together. Their extraordinary talents as writers, producers and vocalists are already receiving acclaim from those who have heard the compositions. “This is a story that needs to be brought to the masses; a very important one,” said Valerie Simpson.

Additional Lyrics by Stanley Bennett Clay has received three NAACP Theatre Awards for writing and directing the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway play Ritual. He produced and directed Armstrongs Kid Off-Broadway and directed the award-winning production of James Earl Hardys B-Boy Blues*The Play (currently touring).

Musical Director: eMarcus Harper is a Grammy Award-nominated, Kennedy Center Music Conductor, that has recorded, performed and/or toured with Lionel Ritchie, Carlos Santana, Michael Jackson, and Aretha Franklin. The Music Director/Arranger for CROWNS by Regina Taylor at Arena Stage (D.C.), Studio Arena (NY), The Alliance (ATL), The Goodman (Chicago). Nominated for a 2015 Helen Hayes Award for “Best Musical Direction” for Theatre Alliance’s production of BLACK NATIVITY by Langston Hughes, and is Artist in Residence at Howard Universitys Department of Theatre Arts.

DJ: Teddy Douglas has produced dance classics for Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Erykah Badu and Crystal Waters legendary Gold single Gypsy Woman (la da dee, la da da). INVISIBLE LIFE (THE MUSICAL) features Soul-stirring R&B mixed with Paradise Garage grooves, everybody will Sing, Vogue & Live!

Executive Producer: Reginald Van Lee is an Executive Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton. He is a founding member of the Clinton Global Initiative, appointed by President Obama to the Presidents Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and the Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts Board of Trustees. Mr. Van Lee is the Treasurer of the MAC AIDS Fund Board and Chairman of the Board of the Washington Performing Arts Society. Mr. Van Lee has been recognized as one of New Yorks Finest Philanthropists, recipient of the Percy E. Sutton Civic Leadership Award from the Apollo Theater Foundation and Consulting Magazines Top 25 consultants in the world.

Casting Director: Wojcik / Seay Casting

Showtimes & Tickets: Thurs Jun 25 at 7:30PM, Fri Jun 26 at 7:30PM, Sat Jun 27 at 3PM, Sat Jun 27 at 7:00PM, Mon Jun 29 at 7:30PM and Tues Jun 30 at 7:30PM. Tickets may be purchased at the Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tickets: $18 in person at the Apollo Box Office or Online at Ticketmaster.com. Phone at 800-745-3000

Proteus E2 Productions is a Film, Television and Theater production company based in NYC/LA. Proteus Spann founded the company to exploit his Ownership of the Intellectual Property Rights Catalog of (16) Books written by the late great E. LYNN HARRIS, which generated over 100 million in Publishing Revenues for Random House.

Proteus Spann has developed and co-written with Javon Johnson and Ted Witcher (LOVE JONES) the Feature Film Script for INVISIBLE LIFE (THE MOVIE).

Mr. Spann welcomes Visionary Partnership Opportunities.

For more details, visit www.InvisibleLifeTheMusical.com

Photo Caption: Proteus Spann, producer “Invisible Life the Musical”

Part II – ‘First You Cry’: Jim Clingman, His Family, Their Faith and Their Fight

Posted by Admin On April - 15 - 2015 Comments Off on Part II – ‘First You Cry’: Jim Clingman, His Family, Their Faith and Their Fight

By Hazel Trice Edney

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – It was the perfect plan. After living in his native Cincinnati, Ohio for all of their 22 years of marriage, Sylvia and Jim Clingman were preparing to move to another state and start a new life.

Mrs. Clingman, a neonatal intensive care nurse manager, had accepted a new job at the Greenville Memorial Hospital in Greenville, S.C., one of the nation’s best cities for retirees, according to AARP. In the comfort of their new home in a beautiful quiet subdivision, Jim would continue writing his national “Blackonomics” column for weekly Black newspapers and serve as a consultant to his clients while also enjoying bicycling, one of his favorite pass times, along the rolling hills of Greenville.

Kiah, their only child, was independent and away at college most of the time. The popular student leader and graduating senior at Howard University was focused on her career in advertising and marketing.

“My goal was that we would enjoy a place where I’d anticipated, number one, starting a new life,” recalls Mrs. Clingman. “A warmer place, where I would take up some cycling with him, where we would start our cycling together. Where we would grow old and start our downhill retirement at least enjoy being here together.”

Having met Jim, who is 19 years older, more than two decades ago at a reception in her native city of Chicago, Sylvia was smitten by this distinguished gentleman. Even now, she seems to blush when she speaks of how debonair he is in a suit. “Jim is the only man to me who looks just fabulous and handsome in a suit. No one can wear a suit like Jim.”

Though they only spoke a few minutes at that event where they met, he was obviously equally impressed. A few weeks later, he called her at the hospital where she worked and the rest is history. They married on Dec. 15, 1991, and were now preparing to start a new season in their lives.

But, that dream took a sudden and traumatic turn 18 months ago when Jim Clingman was diagnosed with ALS, so-called “Lou Gehrig’s disease”. It is the neurological illness in which the normal prognosis is that the patient gradually becomes paralyzed and then dies within two to five years, although some have lived much longer and some patients have even seen their symptoms stop, according to the ALS Association.

While Mrs. Clingman had moved ahead to start the new job as her husband prepared to join her, his weakened left foot and calf continued to grow worse despite surgery and batteries of tests. Finally, there came the devastating diagnosis August 23, 2013.

“We put her on speaker phone,” he recalls. “She just lost it. I immediately got in the car and drove down there and just spent a couple of days so we could both be together and just accept it.”

“Accept it?” How does one “accept” a prognosis like that of ALS? According to Jim Clingman, “First you cry.” But, then what?

Contemplating the question, he speaks slowly, thoughtfully, a man who has never even spent a night in a hospital, now trying to wrap his mind around what has become the spiritual test of his lifetime. Miraculously, he has found blessings, even in the midst of this tragedy.

“It’s a day to day thing. I have to put it like that,” he explains. “I try to look at the positives like the fact that it started in my foot instead of in my face. It can start in arms, hands, etc. The doctor told me that, ‘If there’s anything good about this it’s where it started in you because it started in your foot and has to work its way up.'”

Jim’s faith in God’s will for his life has been his rock. “If I didn’t have that Hazel, I’d be a wreck. I know it…If it weren’t for that, I’d be a basket case.”

It also helps that he is not physically alone in this journey. In addition to Sylvia, Kiah and extended family members, the popular columnist, speaker and author of four books has scores of friends and thousands of fans. They include His lifelong pastor and his new pastor in Greenville. Both marvel at how Jim Clingman is handling this.

“I remember when Jim decided to give his life to God. It was on a Mother’s Day,” recalls Richard A. Rose, Sr., then pastor of Gray Road Church of Christ in Cincinnati. “He came down that aisle at church and never looked back,”  Rose recalls that moment 17 years ago. “He became a teacher, he even delivered sermons in my absence. Wherever he was needed, he was ready. There was no job too big or too small. So, he’s the leader in that family when it comes down to the faith. His faith will help Sylvia and help Kiah.”

While leaning on God for his future, the blessing is also in the life that he has lived and continues to live, says Rev. Rose. “Everybody in Cincinnati knew who Jim Clingman was. He did so much for so many people. And, so when the doctor’s first told him that he had ALS, it kind of set him back a little bit…But, God is greater than any doctor, than any degrees, and if it is not his will to deliver you from it, he will give you the strength to take you through it.”

Now attending Grace View Church of Christ in Anderson, S.C., Clingman has remained steadfast in service.

“He’s not wavered in his faith at all,” says Grace View pastor, Bryan Jones. Clingman even preached at his church earlier this year.

Seated in the pulpit, he encouraged the congregation with the message titled, “Tickets Please”. From Hebrews 9:10, it was about “how Christ died once for all. Everybody has a free ticket,” Clingman recounts.

“There’s been some challenging times in which I would see him high and see him low,” says Jones. He calls Clingman his “hero” because of his thoughts of others in the midst of his own trials. “Every time I saw him have a weak moment, it was never because of his own personal illness or health. Any time he’s ever been down, it’s always because of the pain he has because of his family having to deal with it. Not himself.”

A major part of that pain has been his concern for their beloved Kiah. Always a daddy’s girl, she too was naturally devastated by the diagnosis.

“My Dad actually tried to hide it from me for a while,” Kiah recalls. She was about to leave for London for an educational endeavor in the fall of 2013 when she found out from a relative who mistakenly let it slip out during Thanksgiving break.

“I didn’t want to go anymore,” she recalls. “After I read the diagnosis two to five years to live immediately what was going through my mind was he’s had these symptoms for two years now so how long does he have left? That was the only thing on my mind.

Fast forward through the tears, her parents convinced her to go to London. Eighteen months since the diagnosis, his faith has indeed encouraged the entire family.

“I guess my Dad has actually been the reason I’ve been able to keep going, keep fighting, his resilience, his drive,” says Kiah. “My Mom and I have no choice but to be strong for him and sometimes it feels like we have ALS. But, his drive to keep going every day is what keeps us going.”

Like her father, Kiah is also a fighter. When the Veteran’s Administration turned him down for assistance, she persisted, searching the Internet and making phone calls until she found someone who would listen.

Finally, Clingman, a veteran of the U. S. Navy, was informed that he would receive full benefits.

That moment was part of an answer to his prayers that his wife would never be saddled with debt because of his illness. His other greatest concern is still in the works.

Now, his heart’s desire is to “Get Kiah off into her adult life and to be there when she graduates” Saturday, May 9, 2015. “I’m praying that my strength lasts at least until then because I don’t want to be there so debilitated that the focus is on me rather than her and her achievements. Then, I want to see her on firm footing as she moves into adulthood.”

Meanwhile, America is to hear much more from Jim Clingman. He has just completed his fifth book, “Black Dollars Matter! – Teach Your Dollars How to Make More Sense.” And he continues to write his Black press column, “Blackonomics”, which he also posts on his website, Blackonomics.com.

No matter what the doctors say, this family still has hope. “The doctor gave me a death sentence, but God has already given me a ‘Life Sentence,’ and enternal life sentence,” Clingman said.

“I never refer to it as false hope because God can do anything,” says Rose. “There is hope, the hope in God. Any hope that you have is not in science, but in God.”

Jim Clingman can be reached at JClingman@Blackonomics.com.

Photo Captions: Jim and Sylvia Clingman

Jim and Kiah Clingman, now a graduating senior at Howard University.

IDOT’s Operation Teen Safe Driving Program Announces 2014-15 Winning Schools

Posted by Admin On April - 15 - 2015 Comments Off on IDOT’s Operation Teen Safe Driving Program Announces 2014-15 Winning Schools

Innovative Program Helps Save Lives, Promotes Safe Driving Habits

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation, Ford Motor Company Fund, Allstate Foundation, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and Illinois State Police today announced the winning schools from each of the seven regions of the 2014-15 Operation Teen Safe Driving (OTSD) program.

OTSD began in 2007 in Tazewell County and expanded to a statewide program in 2008. Since the onset of the program the teen fatalities have dropped by 54.2% percent. The program lets teens create their own safe driving campaigns and share them with their peers, in an effort to promote safe driving habits among a traditionally high-risk age group.

“Through this educational initiative, we are working to reduce the number of teen injuries and deaths on Illinois roads,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “This engaging, peer-led program leaves a lasting impression on the students and their communities. We congratulate this year’s winners and all schools that participated.”

A total of 102 schools completed this year’s OTSD program, modeled after the Ford Motor Company Fund’s nationally recognized Ford Driving Skills for Life teen safety program. These schools each received $2,000 to implement their safe driving programs.

“The Allstate Foundation is proud to support Illinois students in their efforts to promote safe driving in their schools,” said Bill McGrath, Regional Sales Leader for Allstate’s Midwest Region.

“The Foundation’s research shows that peer-driven campaigns can have a powerful effect on teen driving attitudes and behavior while also helping foster leadership skills and advocacy among teens. Through Operation Teen Safe Driving, we’re truly harnessing the power of peer influence to change the way teens think and act in the car.”

“Teens face many challenges as new drivers in today’s society such as increased distractions, new laws and more vehicles on the roadways,” said Illinois State Police Colonel Mike Zerbonia. “Operation Teen Safe Driving is a valuable opportunity for a positive interaction between teens and law enforcement to develop innovative ways to reduce teen fatalities.”

Final judging was held in Springfield in March. The top five winning schools from each OTSD region receive prizes ranging from $500 to $2,500 to host a post-prom event, and an invitation to the Ford Driving Skills for Life “Ride and Drive” events.

More than 35 schools will be invited to participate in the “Ride and Drive” events held in Springfield April 27-28 and Chicago April 30-May 1. Professional drivers will provide young drivers with rigorous behind-the-wheel driving exercises, including hazard recognition/accident avoidance, vehicle handling/skid control, and speed/space management.

“All of us at Ford Driving Skills for Life are so proud of the great student, parent and school engagement this program has seen over its eight year span. Working together with such great partners as IDOT, Illinois Secretary of State and Allstate Foundation, great strides have been made in reducing crashes across the state. We are excited to continue to see great enthusiasm by all involved,” said Jim Graham, Manager of Ford Driving Skills for Life.

“When I established the Teen Driver Safety Task Force the goal was to overhaul Illinois’ graduated driver licensing (GDL) law in a manner that would save lives,” said Secretary of State White. “I am encouraged that teen driving deaths are down by over 54 percent since the law took effect January 1, 2008. Illinois’ comprehensive GDL program, in conjunction with the Operation Teen Safe Driving initiative, is having the intended impact on teen driving safety. Congratulations to the winners as well as to the schools that participated in this important program.”

Here are the winning schools in each region:

Region One: 1st place, Oak Forest HS; 2nd place, Hillcrest HS; 3rd place, Whitney Young College Prep; 4th place, Notre Dame College Prep; 5th place, Thornton-Fractional North HS

Region Two: 1st place, Gifford Street HS; 2nd place, St. Anne Community HS; 3rd place, Woodstock HS; 4th place, Seneca HS; 5th place, IC Catholic Prep

Region Three: 1st place, Sandwich HS; 2nd place, Riverdale HS; 3rd place, Galva HS; 4th place, West Carroll HS; 5th place, Aquin Catholic HS

Region Four: 1st place, Beardstown HS; 2nd place, Quincy HS; 3rd place, Fieldcrest HS; 4th place, Farmington HS; 5th place, ROWVA HS

Region Five: 1st place, Gibson City Melvin Sibley HS; 2nd place, Lutheran School Association; 3rd place, Clifton Central HS; 4th place, Okaw Valley HS; 5th place, Tuscola HS

Region Six: 1st place, Waterloo HS; 2nd place, Griggsville-Perry HS; 3rd place, Mater Dei Catholic HS; 4th place, Jersey HS; 5th place, Litchfield HS

Region Seven: 1st place, Casey-Westfield HS; 2nd place, Patoka HS; 3rd place, Herrin HS; 4th place, Gillespie HS; 5th place, Beecher City HS

A Total Disregard for Our Lives

Posted by Admin On April - 15 - 2015 Comments Off on A Total Disregard for Our Lives

From: Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO, NAACP

On April 4, Walter Scott was stopped by North Charleston police officer Michael Slager for a broken taillight. Minutes later, he was dead.

This sequence of events is becoming all too familiar:

Police kill an unarmed person of color. The officers claim they were fearful for their lives, that there was a struggle for a weapon. Later, video footage shows that the only person in danger wasn’t wearing a uniform.

We need to end this abuse of power.

Let’s start here: Click to send a tweet to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley urging her to mandate statewide use of police body cameras.

We’ve seen it in Staten Island, Miami Gardens, and Tulsa. What would’ve happened without these videos? More of the same unchecked, unpunished disregard for black lives—and it’s shameful for our country.

Videos can go a long way to ensure that justice is served in our communities. We must demand that body cameras become standard for police officers in South Carolina — and across the country.

In the days after the release of the video of Scott’s shooting, Michael Slager was fired from the police force and charged with murder. And North Charleston ordered body cameras for all of their police officers.

It’s a start. But it’s not enough—not even close.

While we fight for sweeping reforms to policing practices and culture, we need immediate protections put in place nationwide. We need all law enforcement officers equipped with body cameras, and we need it now.

Tweet at Nikki Haley demanding the statewide adoption of body cameras by police.

Thank you for standing up for our safety and our communities,

Cornell William Brooks
President and CEO

Michael Johnson’s 6th Annual Youth Football & Cheer Camp Kicks Off in Selma April 17th

Posted by Admin On April - 15 - 2015 Comments Off on Michael Johnson’s 6th Annual Youth Football & Cheer Camp Kicks Off in Selma April 17th


Selma, AL (BlackNews.com) – Cincinnati Bengals defensive end and Selmas hometown hero Michael Johnson proudly announces the 6th Annual Michael Johnson Football and Cheer Camp Weekend Friday and Saturday, April 17-18, 2015.

The MJ93-90 Fund will kick off the 2015 weekend on Friday, April 17th 9am-11am with a positive message of inspiration by sought after youth motivational speaker Donnie Thurman, and an Educational Forum, Q & A with guest recruiters from the University of South Florida, Wallace Community College, Concordia College and Selma University at Wallace Community College.

On Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 9am-3pm, Johnson and his NFL buddies will teach boys ages 8 to 17, basic football fundamentals while professional cheer and dancing coaches teach routines and teamwork to girls. Activities will take place at Selma Memorial Stadium.

Registration is open on Eventbrite, for more info on Michael Johnson and the 6th Annual Michael Johnson Football and Cheer Camp Weekend visit MJ93.org. PR or sponsorship inquiries contact Trea Davenport at treadaypr@gmail.com or directly at 678-327-8281.
About Donnie Thurman Jr.
Donnie is one of the most prominent youth motivational speakers nationwide. Since 2004, he has spoken to over 850,000 youth for various schools, churches and organizations. Donnies keynotes have been described as meaningful and life-altering. Youth and adults alike have been amazed at his ability to convey such powerful messages and make them laugh at the same time.
About MJ93-90 Fund
The Michael Johnson foundation, a component fund of the Community Foundation of Middle TN, a 501 (c) 3 organization. The mission of the of the MJ93 is to educate kids on the importance of capitalizing on their talents and abilities with educational and technological programs, to increase their awareness of proper nutrition and exercise for healthier bodies to avoid obesity, diabetes and heart disease, and to mentor and encourage them on how to be successful.

Free Press Book: Published as Author’s “Life Blueprint” to Children

Posted by Admin On April - 15 - 2015 Comments Off on Free Press Book: Published as Author’s “Life Blueprint” to Children

A Journey in Thoughts: Bold New Poetry Collection Stimulates the Mind & Touches the Heart; Published as Author’s “Life Blueprint” to Children.

Masterfully crafted by Isaac Mack Toney Jr, ‘A Journey in Thoughts’ captures the true beauty of the human experience, its relationships and the intense responsibility that surrounds it all. With some of the verses first penned two decades ago, Toney finally publishes them to the world not only to help readers live with a new sense of perspective, but to provide his children with a life-changing legacy.

Trenton, NJ– While in sixth grade, Isaac Mack Toney Jr stood up in front of his entire school and delivered an uplifting self-written address titled ‘Keys to Success’. Since these early formative years, Toney has had a unique way with words, often penning poems and prose that parallels experiences ranging from blissful marriage to the dark torments of grief.

But, until now, Toney has kept his work strictly for friends and family. Bowing to recent pressure, he has finally compiled the best and most inspirational of his poetry into a new collection titled ‘A Journey in Thoughts – A Collection of Poems that will Stimulate the Mind and Touch the Heart’.

Each line captures the innate beauty of human relationships and the inescapable sense of responsibility that goes along with them. Both grounding and thought-provoking, Toney’s work spans the full spectrum of life from anger and happiness to love and determination.

“Relationships form a central theme of my work, and I hope that all readers will use my verses to reflect on the relationships they are currently in, the ones they hope to foster and even those for which ties are broken,” explains Toney. “I want to fill each reader’s heart with focus and meaning, while urging them to remember that the past isn’t the driving force behind life – but rather the determination and vision for where each person wants to be. If they continue to rise, there is nothing they can’t achieve.”

The author’s work also serves an immensely powerful dual-purpose.

“I’m not going to be around forever, so created this book to exist as a proven “blueprint for life” for my children. The story is far from finished, and further volumes will continue to document and dissect my life and experiences. While written for my family, the power and wisdom contained on every page will appeal to readers from a huge cross-section of life and cultures. Relationships know no boundaries, as does the power of the written word.”

With the volume expected to be in popular demand, interested readers are urged to purchase their copies as soon as possible after publication. ‘A Journey in Thoughts – A Collection of Poems that will Stimulate the Mind and Touch the Heart’ is due for release in June of 2015.

About the author, in his own words:

I was born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey. Being the 3rd of 4 children in a middle class family with both a loving mother and father, I came to have a wide range of experiences in life. From elementary school, I would sometimes sit at the window in my room that I shared with my older brother, on the 3rd floor and just muse over life, love, and happiness.

As I reflected on those key elements, I would begin to write. From poems to speeches, I would seek to write from the heart and stimulate the mind. My first acclaimed work was a speech that I gave at my 6th grade graduation entitled, “Keys to Success.” This speech inspired a journey of committing my thoughts to paper over the next almost 2 decades.

Over the last 17 years, I have picked up the pen from time to time. When prodded by my mother on occasions as endearing as anniversaries or as heartrending as a death, I have written to confirm the love of the marital union or to reflect appreciatively on the years spent with a loved one who is no longer here.

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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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