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Archive for May 18th, 2015

Michelle Obama Speaks Truth About Racism in America

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On May - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

By Juanita Bratcher

Publisher & CEO, CopyLine Magazine

Thank you, First Lady Michelle Obama for speaking the truth about racism in America.

First Lady Michelle Obama talks facts while some Right Wingers engage in “Lies and Crazy Talk”

Why is it that when high-profile Blacks speak the truth about racism in America they’re accused of “race baiting” and playing the “race card”? Perhaps those who accuse them of this atrocity have a problem with them telling the truth or bringing it to the raw attention of others. How dare they have the audacity to open up the eyes of others as to what is really going on in our country. Why is it so hard to deal with the truth…the facts that are dangling right before our eyes?

In most cases, many of them are aware of what is going on already. So why not get it out in the open. Young blacks should know the history of racism in this country toward Blacks and other minorities. Some are too young to remember or were not born when we were living mostly in a segregated America – which really hasn’t changed that much even with a Black president serving his second term in office. They should know the truth. Let’s face it, racists have never had a problem ditching out their malicious, racist rhetoric. They never had a problem spewing out their hatred, evil, and mean-spirited thoughts. And how often do you hear or see them being taken on for their racist slurs and rhetoric?

In case you missed it, about a week ago, FLOTUS, when giving the Commencement Address to the 2015 graduating class at Tuskegee University in Alabama, among other things, focused on her experiences as First Lady. She said during the 2008 presidential campaign she had to fight misperceptions due to her ethnicity; and told graduates they would encounter “daily slights” throughout their lives in the US, where “age-old problems are stubborn and they haven’t fully gone away.

“As potentially the first African-American first lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations, conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others.”

“Was I too loud or too angry or too emasculating? Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman?” she noted.

Obama also talked about The New Yorker’s cover in 2008 that parodied her as a radical and a terrorist. “It was a cartoon drawing of me with a huge afro and a machine gun,” she said. “Now, yeah, it was satire, but if I’m really being honest, it knocked me back a bit. It made me wonder just how are people seeing me.”

Then there were the media that accused her of “a little bit of uppity-ism”, and described a celebratory fist bump with her husband as a “terrorist fist-jab”.

“Back in those days, I had a lot of sleepless nights worrying about what people thought of me, wondering if I might be hurting my husband’s chances of winning his election, fearing how my girls would feel if they found out what some people were saying about their mom.”

Moreover, Obama told the graduates that “the road ahead is not going to be easy”, that it never is, “especially for folks like you and me. Because while we’ve come so far, the truth is that those age-old problems are stubborn and they haven’t fully gone away.”

Obama noted that there will be times when they’ll feel “like folks look right past you, or they see just a fraction of who you really are”, and in many cases they will make assumptions about them based on their limited notion of the world. And would not be seen as the hard-working graduates they appeared on the day of their graduation who had struggled to achieve their education, pay for it, and give back to their communities.

Needless to say, Obama’s speech to Tuskegee graduates brought some Right Wingers out of the woodwork, the same as when Media Mogul Oprah Winfrey, in an interview with BBC while on a promotional tour for the film “The Butler”, a real life story of Cecil Gaines, an African American man who served as a White House butler for eight different presidents, said President Obama was a “victim of racism,” that there are ongoing issues of prejudice which is also a generational one.

“There is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs,” Winfrey said in the interview, “And that occurs in some cases and maybe even in many cases because he’s African American. There’s no question about that, and it’s the kind of thing that nobody ever says but everybody is thinking it.”

Those comments were truth to power!

Commenting further on generational prejudice and at the same time noting that race relations have improved, Winfrey said: “Of course, the problem is not solved. As long as there are people who still, there’s a whole generation – I say this, you know, I said this, you know, for apartheid South Africa, I said this for my own, you know, community in the South – there are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die.”

No sooner than said, Oprah’s remarks were attacked by conservatives and conservative media. After stating the truth?

Multi-Billionaire Oprah Winfrey was a victim of racism in August, 2013 when a shop store clerk in Switzerland refused to show her a purse that cost $38,000. Winfrey made note of the incident while appearing on the Larry King Show.

It’s amazing how people are verbally attacked for telling the truth! Facts are facts, lies are lies, and spin is spin. So why is it a problem when one expresses a truthful opinion and is bombarded with contempt over their remarks or confronted by a large attack crew that questions the validity of what was said and try to wreck it? Is it because they don’t want to hear the truth or, they don’t want others to hear or know the truth? More often than not, it’s a combination of both.

Some Right Wingers said Michelle Obama’s speech was nothing short of “race baiting”, that she was playing the race card. Really? I think not.

Now, anyone that says that racism doesn’t exist in this country are living under a rock or in a world of “make believe” and refuses to accept what is actually happening in the real world, whether it’s intentionally or not. Why is it that some people get “riled” up when a high-profile Black speaks the truth about racism in this country?

Just because the problems of racism that exist in this country are pointed out doesn’t say that Blacks don’t have a love for our country. We do love our country. And that should never be questionable. Even in married life, one can love their partner but can still point out a problem or two in the marriage, discuss them, and hopefully try to find a solution or solutions to resolve them.

When you take a look back from whence Blacks have come in this country, of course we have come a long way from the segregation era of yesteryear, but the struggle for equality and against racism in this country continues.

Juanita Bratcher is an Award-Winning Journalist, the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com and the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 39 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.

Years of County Investments in Juvenile Temporary Detention Center Bring Facility into Compliance with Federal Standards

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Judge Holderman orders transition to the control of County’s Chief Judge

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle hailed a federal court’s ruling that the County has reached substantial compliance in a federal lawsuit involving conditions at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC), and that control of the facility should be transferred to the Chief Judge of Cook County effective May 20.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge John Holderman came as the result of the County’s efforts to bring the JTDC, located at 1100 S. Hamilton, Chicago, up to standards, which involved numerous stakeholders and departments under the Office of the President, including her own office, Preckwinkle said.

“We’ve invested a lot in this facility, including installation of a secure video system, a tracking system for employee movement and wellness checks on youth.  We have contracted for the implementation of a state-of-the-art resident management information system to track real-time data, moving the facility towards fully electronic medical records,” Preckwinkle said.

“Today’s ruling is the result of years of collaboration between the Justice Advisory Council, Capital Planning, Facilities Management, Bureau of Technology, the JTDC Transitional Administrator, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which brought the original lawsuit, the County’s Budget Office, our counsel in the case — Assistant State’s Attorneys John Curran and Andy Creighton — and with the appointment of Superintendent Dixon, the Chief Judge’s office.

“Additionally, we have established rooms in each housing unit for young people to have private medical and mental health consultations, and improvements to facilities for suicide prevention. Many of these improvements will pay for themselves by protecting young people and employees and making us eligible for state reimbursements for certain expenses.”

The ruling ends federal control of the JTDC under Transitional Administrator Earl Dunlap, appointed by the court in 2007.  By agreement of the parties, Dunlap will monitor the facility for the next 90 days and the case will then be dismissed unless good cause is shown to continue.

“It is easy now to forget that 16 years ago when the ACLU filed suit, the children held at the JTDC were subjected to violence and filthy conditions, and they often were denied essential health and mental health care,” said Benjamin F. Wolf, ACLU of Illinois Associate Legal Director. Wolf has been the lawyer representing the children detained at the JTDC.

“Although previous administrations were slow to respond to the crying need of the youth held at the facility, we have made great progress over the past few years working cooperative with County officials, led by President Preckwinkle, and under the remarkable leadership of Transitional Administrator Earl Dunlap and his staff.  We must never permit the facility to backslide into disrepair and neglect.”

“The challenge of reforming the JTDC has been a complex and often frustrating process.  An undertaking of this nature, even with the authority provided by the U.S. Federal Court, if it is to be successful, requires the leadership and cooperation of many stakeholders in the Cook County community,” said Transitional Administrator Dunlap. “It would be irresponsible and frankly an injustice not to acknowledge the proactive efforts of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, many of the members of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and specifically the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Toni Preckwinkle.

“President Preckwinkle’s leadership and solution-oriented approach toward improving the ‘conditions of confinement’ at the JTDC has served to expedite and all but ‘closed the door on this litigation. As a result, the quality of life for residents and staff of the JTDC is greatly improved and now meets the requirements as set forth by the U.S. Federal Court.”

Preckwinkle said the conditions youths in the facility faced prior the County’s investments  “unconscionable”, and said management systems at the facility was sorely lacking. “All of the projects had been stalled before I took office, and I made it a priority to move them forward,” Preckwinkle said.
“With these improvements, those youth who are assigned to the JTDC will be able to live, learn and receive the supports they need in more appropriate settings, and the technology for better management control of the facility is vastly improved.

“I look forward to working with the new Superintendent and all of the other juvenile justice stakeholders to continue our progress and work to reduce our reliance on detention.”

National Urban League Urges Congress to Pass a Reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Bill

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Infrastructure Investment: Rail Safety and Jobs
Opening ReMARCs
By Marc Morial

In the wake of Tuesday night’s tragic Amtrak derailment that left at least eight people dead and hundreds more injured, our prayers go out to the victims and their families.

We at the National Urban League have called for a surface transportation bill, not only for the safety of travelers, but for the nation’s economic future.

As part of the National Urban League’s 12-Point Plan for putting Urban America Back to Work, we urge Congress to pass a reauthorization of the surface transportation bill that:

  • Guarantees jobs for low and moderate income households in communities near the projects.
  • Incentivizes workforce training for underserved communities to secure these jobs.
  • Provides small minority business access to contracts and subcontracts.

Investments in our nation’s infrastructure should be one of the government’s top priorities, as Tuesday’s tragedy sadly demonstrates.

Attorney General Lynch Statement on the Sentencing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch released the following statement on the sentencing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev:

“Dzhokhar Tsarnaev coldly and callously perpetrated a terrorist attack that injured hundreds of Americans and ultimately took the lives of three individuals: Krystle Marie Campbell, a 29-year-old native of Medford; Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student from China; and Martin Richard, an 8-year-old boy from Dorchester who was watching the marathon with his family just a few feet from the second bomb.  In the aftermath of the attack, Tsarnaev and his brother murdered Sean Collier, a 27-year-old patrol officer on the MIT campus, extinguishing a life dedicated to family and service.

“We know all too well that no verdict can heal the souls of those who lost loved ones, nor the minds and bodies of those who suffered life-changing injuries from this cowardly attack.  But the ultimate penalty is a fitting punishment for this horrific crime and we hope that the completion of this prosecution will bring some measure of closure to the victims and their families.  We thank the jurors for their service, the people of Boston for their vigilance, resilience and support and the law enforcement community in Boston and throughout the country for their important work.”

State’s Attorney Commemorates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez honored two Chicagoans widely recognized for their extensive legal and social contributions to the Asian community during a recent ceremony held in commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

The Honorable James T. Hyun, Cook County Administrative Law Judge and Tony T. Shu, Attorney and Entrepreneur, received the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Community Service Award during the ceremony.

Judge Hyun has practiced civil and criminal litigation for nearly 23 years and has an exceptional reputation for his legal and community-based accomplishments.  Judge Hyun began his legal career as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office before entering private practice and forming the Hyun Law Group.  He was the first attorney in the United States to litigate a case under the US-Korean Extradition Treaty and he has been recognized for his dedication to providing pro bono work in Chicago and for teaching legal advocacy at various schools in Asia.

Mr. Tony T. Shu is a prominent attorney and distinguished businessman who has an accomplished record of professional and community achievements that have served to improve the lives of countless citizens in the Chinese and Asian communities.   In his current role as the Director of the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Shu has assisted thousands of clients from Asian countries by connecting them with important resources to become productive and successful business owners and entrepreneurs.  Mr. Shu led efforts to build an award winning, state-of- the- art Fieldhouse at Ping Tom Park as well as overseeing the successful relocation of the Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library.

The Asian Pacific American Heritage Awards were held on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the New Furama Restaurant in Chicago.

Regina Taylor Launches New Website www.StopReset.org and Free Community Events Around Her New Play

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Regina Taylor engages audiences beyond the stage with community collaborations and conversations around her Chicago Premiere of Stop. Reset.

The Goodman launches the interactive website, www.stopreset.org, a virtual gathering place and digital portal into the world of Taylor’s play

CHICAGO, IL -  Goodman Theatre and Golden Globe winner Regina Taylor unite Chicago communities through art and technology with the new play, stop. reset., which explores the intersection of race, class, sex and gender and the tensions between old ways and new digital-driven ways. Taylor, who celebrates 20 years as a Goodman Artistic Associate this year, has curated an extensive series of artistic collaborations and free live events throughout the city to ignite conversation inspired by the play’s themes—including several dinner parties, the “OUTSIDE THE BOX” symposia series (May 17 and 18, June 5 and 9) and the “INSPIRES” series of artistic presentations (June 8, 14 and 15), involving community thought leaders from a cross-section of fields and generations, as well as student and professional artists. All discourse is documented and appears on StopReset.org, a special website Taylor developed as a virtual gathering place, featuring digital portals for theatergoers to explore and engage with the play prior to attending, while they are at the theater and continuing the connection post-performance. Written and directed by Taylor, stop. reset.appears May 23 – June 21  (opening night is Monday, June 1) in the Owen Theatre. Tickets ($10 - $40; subject to change) are on sale now by phone at 312.443.3800, at GoodmanTheatre.org/StopReset or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). Visit Goodman Theatre Press Room for artist bios and photos. Edelman Worldwide is the Major Corporate Sponsor for the Owen Theatre season. Baxter International is the Contributing Sponsor and HSBC North American Holdings is the Opening Night sponsor for stop. reset. Flat Panel Televisions generously provided by Abt. The Joyce Foundation is the Principal Support of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives.

“The idea of stop. reset. came to me when my favorite bookstore closed, and I started to think about what the future will hold for books, what it will look like, and if I can accept it. The play is about change—and it’s also about identity, legacy and how we pass those things down in a time of societal upheaval with technology,” said playwright and director Regina Taylor. “I’ve had the unique opportunity in the last 20 years working at the Goodman to find my own voice, and part of that is having dialogue with the communities in Chicago that have helped shape my work. I’m excited to expand the life of the play beyond the stage, finding new ways to break down the walls of the theater and have conversations with audiences.”

In stop. reset., e-books and digital technologies are transforming the literary world, and Chicago businessman Alex Ames (Eugene Lee) must try to save his long-standing African American book publishing company from extinction. While his employees Jan (Jacqueline Williams), Chris (Eric Lynch), Deb (Lisa Tejero) and Tim (Tim Decker) fret over losing their jobs, Ames finds unlikely inspiration from a mysterious teenager—J. (Edgar Sanchez), who seems to be plugged into the future. The aging Ames is forced to discover how far he’s willing to go to survive. stop. reset. made its world premiere in 2013 at Signature Theatre Company in New York, where Taylor is a Residency Five playwright.

About the Website

Digital portals of storytelling within the show’s website, StopReset.org, immerse audiences in the world of the play. “The Play” portal houses detailed information about stop. reset., including bios and photos of the cast and creative team. The “Blogs” portal includes two web logs—“Director’s Blog” and “J’s Blog”—that give insight into Taylor’s creative process and more insight into the character of “J,” the mysterious teenager whose inventive, forward-thinking ideas may provide the solution to preserving Alex Ames’ legacy. The “Artist Responses” portal features two sub-components, “Student Interpretations” and “Artists & Innovators,” which feature projects by Chicago students, professional artists and institutions inspired by the play. The “Community” portal includes videos and podcasts of a cross-section of community thought leaders and leaders from various fields discussing their response to the play and its themes; four sub-groups in this portal include “Interviews,” “Symposia,” “Dinners,” and “Events.” The “Media” portal gives professional writers, comedians and filmmakers the opportunity to create their own works of art around the ideas of stop. reset., expanding the play’s themes beyond the stage. Audiences can digitally mingle with the cast and creative team in “Connect”—the site’s social media portal, using Twitter, Instagram, Vine and Tumblr using the hashtag #StopReset—as they document the rehearsal and production process. Taylor and the Goodman are grateful to these individuals and community partners who have contributed to the website.

About the “OUTSIDE THE BOX” Symposia Series
To reserve tickets to these free topical digital age discussions, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/stopreset

  • ENDANGERED SPECIES | Sunday, May 17 | 2pm at DuSable Museum of African America History (740 E. 56th Pl.)

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Voter’s Rights Act, this intergenerational discussion addresses how African American identity has evolved over the last five decades. Moderated by Tracye A. Matthews of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, panelists for ENDANGERED SPECIES include WVON’s Melody Spann Cooper, Desirée Rogers, Robert Blackwell, Sr. and Reverend Vance Henry.

  • ARTISTS, SOCIAL CHANGE AND IDENTITY| Monday, May 18 at 7:30pm | Gallery Guichard (436 E. 47th St.)

This symposium focuses on technology’s impact on cultural identity, gender and sexuality. Moderated by Barbara Allen, panelists for ARTISTS, SOCIAL CHANGE AND IDENTITY include Sandra Delgado, Billy Ocasio, Ginger Leopoldo, Roderick Hawkins and Jyreika Guest.

  • STUDENTS AND STOP. RESET.│Friday, June 5 at 12 noon│Starter League (30 N. Racine Ave.)

Students age 16-21 discuss the technological and social changes occurring in their times.

  • PLACE IS THE SPACE| Tuesday, June 9 at 7:30pm | Little Black Pearl (1060 E. 47th St.)

This symposium tackles community transformation in a technology-driven world. Panelists discuss topics such as re-shaping communities through art, and the future of communities that have been decimated by the destruction of public housing, the loss of industry, the foreclosure crisis and chronic disinvestment.

About the “INSPIRES” Series
To reserve tickets to these free events featuring Chicago artists’ response to the play, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/stopreset

  • stop. reset. INSPIRES at the Center for Inner City Studies | Monday, June 8 at 7pm | 700 E. Oakwood Blvd.

An eclectic evening of original pieces inspired by stop. reset. Artists from across Chicagoland respond to the play with their own creations in a variety of mediums.

  • stop. reset. INSPIRES at Black Cinema House | Sunday, June 14 at 7pm | 7200 S. Kimbark Ave.

An eclectic evening of original pieces inspired by stop. reset. Artists from across Chicagoland respond to the play with their own creations in a variety of mediums.

  • stop. reset. INSPIRES Storytelling | Monday, June 15 at 5pm | Goodman Theatre

A multigenerational group of artists from Goodman’s various Education and Community Engagement programs explore the themes of stop. reset. through the writing and performing of personal narrative pieces.

2015 Top Supporters of Black Colleges

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Career Communications Group, Inc. Announces 2015 top supporters of Historically Black Colleges and Universities Engineering Schools

Baltimore, MD (BlackNews.com) -  Diverse media company, Career Communications Group, Inc. has released the names of top supporters of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The “Top Supporters of HBCU Engineering Schools list surveys the deans of the 14 ABET-accredited, HBCU engineering programs, and the corporate-academic alliance, Advancing Minorities Interest in Engineering (AMIE).

The survey asks these individuals to list the corporate and government/non-profit organizations that provide the most support to their schools. In completing the annual survey, the institutions consider the following factors: support for infrastructure modernization and enhancement, research and mentorship projects, participation on advisory councils, faculty development opportunities, scholarships, student projects, stipends, co-ops, and career opportunities.

Supporting HBCUs is essential to the development of our nations potential. Americas HBCUs have produced many leaders across all professions, and continue to be an engine of economic growth, both in the surrounding communities and for the graduates of the institutions. President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13532 on February 26, 2010 to increase opportunities for these institutions to participate in and benefit from Federal programs, and ensure that the United States of America has the highest proportion of college graduates in the entire world by the year 2020.

About Career Communications Group, Inc.
Career Communications Group (CCG) is the leader in celebrating diversity and promoting equal opportunity for minorities and women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). CCG provides leadership in talent management and career development, enabling employers to recruit, retain, and recognize highly qualified minorities. For more details, visit www.ccgmag.com

Top Supporters of HBCU Engineering Schools:

Top 20 Industry Supporters
Lockheed Martin Corporation
The Boeing Company
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Chevron Corporation
The Raytheon Company
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Shell Oil Company
Xerox Corporation Ltd.
Procter & Gamble Co.
United Technologies Corporation
Deere & Company
General Motors Company
Nucor Corporation
Alabama Power Company
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.
L-3 Communications Holdings
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)
Avaya Inc.

Top 20 Government Supporters
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Naval Sea Systems Command
Air Force Office of Scientific Research
U.S. Navy
National Science Foundation
United States Department of Transportation
U.S. Army Research Lab
Missile Defense Agency
National Security Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory
U.S. Army
U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
Naval Air Systems Command
U.S. Department of Energy
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Defense

Top Supporters
Abbott Laboratories
Advancing Minorities Interest in Engineering
Alabama Power Company
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Alcoa Inc.
Altria Group, Inc.
Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC)
BAE Systems
BASF Corporation
Battelle Memorial Institute
Boston Scientific Corporation
Booz Allen Hamilton
BP America, Inc.
California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology
Central Intelligence Agency
CH2M Hill
Chevron Corporation
Chrysler Group LLC
Clark Construction Group
Coalition Against Major Diseases (CAMD)
Corning Incorporated
Deere & Company
Dominion Resources, Inc.
Duke Energy Foundation
EMC Corporation
Entergy Corp.
Exelon Corporation
ExxonMobil Corporation
General Electric International, Inc.
General Electric Foundation
General Motors Company
Genesis Energy, L.P.
Golden LEAF Foundation
Google Inc.
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Harris Corporation
Hewlett-Packard Company
Honda Aircraft Company
Honeywell International, Inc.
Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.
iAM Solutions
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)
Intel Corporation
Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.
JP Morgan Chase and Co.
L-3 Communications Holdings
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Lockheed Martin Corporation Foundation
The LONI Institute
Louisiana Board of Regents
Louisianas Quality Education Support Fund
Maryland Environmental Service
Maryland Department of the Environment
Maryland State Highway Administration
MeadWestvaco Foundation
Merck & Co., Inc.
Meridian Management Group
Michigan State University
Microsoft Corporation
Missile Defense Agency
National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Geospatial- Intelligence Agency (NGA)
National Nuclear Safety Administration
National Science Foundation (NSF)
National Security Agency (NSA)
Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)
Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Norfolk Southern Corp
Northrop Grumman Foundation
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Nucor Corporation
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PPG Industries Foundation
Procter & Gamble (P&G)
Purdue University
Que Options
Raytheon Company
Riverside Foundation
Rockwell Collins, Inc.
Sandia National Laboratory
Shell Oil Company
Southern Company
Southwest Airlines Co.
Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.
Texas Instruments
The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)
The Boeing Company
The Freelon Group
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
The MITRE Corporation
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Unisys Corporation
United States Department of Transportation
United Technologies Corporation
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory
U.S. Army
U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
U.S. Army Research Laboratory
U.S. Army Research Office
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Defense
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Energy
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Navy
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
Virginia Department of Transportation
Virginia Department of Aviation
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Xerox Corporation Ltd.

Brown County, IN Celebrates Music Legend at John Hartford Memorial Festival, May 28-30

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Celebrating Life, Music and a Legend at the John Hartford memorial Festival, May 28-30

Brown County hosts the ‘most laid back festival in America’

NASHVILLE, Ind– Back for a fifth year, the John Hartford Memorial Festival will bring together both musicians and music lovers to celebrate the life, music and legacy of the late John Hartford. Taking place May 28-30 at the historic Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground in Bean Blossom, Ind., this three-day, family-friendly festival will feature over 40 performers on three stages, around the clock campground jamming, a songwriting contest, and an Old Time Fiddle contest.

Dubbed the ‘most laid back festival in America,’ the John Hartford Memorial Festival is unlike any other. Keeping with John Hartford’s trail blazing spirit, this festival will include performances that are fresh and original, as well as from a wide variety of genres. Guests can bring their lawn chairs for the day or opt to camp on site for the entire weekend. Either way, this festival is a guaranteed good time.

A tribute to John Hartford, this festival honors the innovation and talent of a legend. It was Hartford’s unique musical style that paved the way for today’s updated version of bluegrass, better known as “Newgrass” or Americana music. Responsible for starting the music movement that forever changed the landscape of bluegrass, Hartford was a true visionary and artist.

A jam-packed line up of performers reflect Hartford’s impact on the contemporary music scene. Headliners for the festival include Hot Rize with Red Knuckles and the Trail Blazers, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Hackensaw Boys, Split Lip Rayfield, Jamie Hartford and Friends, Bawn in the Mash, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, The Larry Keel Experience, Rumpke Mountain Boys, and many more. A complete line-up of all 43 performers is available online at www.johnhartfordmemfest.com.

Music performances on the three main stages will be ongoing each day from late morning through late evening. Guests also can expect acoustic jamming to continue 24/7 at the campground throughout the duration of the festival. New music additions for 2015 include sound check parties on Wednesday night and Sunday morning music on the Hippy Hill Stage.

This year’s Old Time Fiddling Contest, a festival favorite, will be held Saturday, May 30 at 1 p.m. on the Boogie Stage, with the Songwriter Contest Showcase slated for Friday, May 29 on the Main Stage. Plenty of fun activities at the Cuckoo’s Nest, a children’s craft and activity area, will keep the kids busy as well. The Cuckoo’s Nest will be open Friday and Saturday from 12-5 p.m.

Three-day festival tickets can be purchased online in advance at www.johnhartfordmemfest.com/tickets for $110 or can be purchased at the gate for $125. Single-day tickets also are available online, ranging from $40 – $50, or can be purchased at the gate for $50 – $60. On site camping at beautiful Bill Monroe’s Campground will be available during the festival as well; camping cost is not included in ticket price.

With such a stellar music line-up and picturesque Brown County setting, no wonder it is America’s ‘most laid-back festival.’ Kick back, relax and experience the legacy of a legend at the John Hartford Memorial Festival this May.

For more information on festival activities, including music performances, camping, and tickets, please visit www.johnhartfordmemfest.com.

Race & Justice News: Why Are 1.5 Million Black Men “Missing”?

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

From: The Sentencing Project

Race & Justice News


Over one quarter of police officers are people of color

A new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveals that over one-quarter (27%) of full-time local police officers were people of color in 2013. The proportion has nearly doubled from 15% in 1987. Larger jurisdictions were more diverse than smaller ones: white officers comprised 53% of departments serving populations of 1,000,000 or more, but 84% of departments serving 2,499 or fewer people.

In 2013, 73% of all officers were white (vs. 63% of the US population), 12% were black (vs. 13%), 12% were Hispanic (vs. 17%), 2% were Asian / Pacific Islander (vs. 5%), 0.6% were American Indian (vs. 1.2%), and 0.5% were two or more races (vs. 2.4%).

Connecticut study identifies racial disparities in traffic stops

A comprehensive study of Connecticut policing data has revealed significant racial and ethnic disparities in traffic stops, which may point to racial profiling by certain police departments or officers. In the yearlong study, researchers at the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP) at Central Connecticut State University analyzed 620,000 traffic stops and found that a small number of departments were responsible for the disparities. While disparities alone do not prove racial and ethnic bias, statistical analyses suggest bias may be the cause. For instance, drivers of color were more likely to be stopped during daylight hours, when their race and ethnicity were visible. Further analysis by The Hartford Courant shows that racial disparities persist after a vehicle is stopped: black and Hispanic drivers were 11-41% more likely to receive a ticket for the most common moving violations than white drivers stopped for the same actions.

In response, law enforcement representatives have expressed an openness to reform but skepticism of the analysis, proposing that the disparities might be caused by factors like equipment violations or more aggressive ticketing in cities with larger minority populations. Advocates point to the study’s conservative approach of not equating racial disparities with discrimination. Study authors call for further analysis of the root cause of these disparities in the interest of promoting meaningful dialogue between Connecticut police and the communities they serve.


Justice Department faces challenges in ensuring constitutional policing

Simone Weichselbaum of The Marshall Project examines the challenges facing the Department of Justice’s interventions in local police departments suspected of engaging in a “pattern or practice” of civil rights violations. In cities such as Detroit and New Orleans, local officials have bemoaned the expenses of implementing reforms; elsewhere, officials have resisted reforms in federal court. “Then there is the challenge of making the policing reforms last,” writes Weichselbaum, explaining that the Justice Department has returned to cities like Cleveland and Miami, where it had previously instituted reforms. Justice Department officials have acknowledged that some of their earlier reform plans have fallen short because they did not select the right benchmarks, or they insufficiently monitored or enforced agreements. Published in Time, the article also describes the hard-won progress in Los Angeles and the partial success in New Jersey.


“Missing” black men due to high incarceration and mortality rates

One and a half million black men between the ages of 25-54 are missing from daily life due primarily to imprisonment and early deaths according to a recent analysis by The New York Times. For every 100 black women in this age group not incarcerated, there are only 83 black men, compared to an almost equivalent number of white women to white men. Incarceration accounts for 600,000 of the 1.5 million missing black men.

The analysis found that the largest proportion of missing men can be found in the South. In a letter to the editor, Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project argued that this is unsurprising given the South’s long-term low levels of social welfare spending and high incarceration rates. Countries that invest a greater proportion of their GDP on social welfare have lower levels of incarceration, and researchers have found similar patterns among U.S. states. As Mauer explained: “Higher rates of welfare spending pre-empt premature deaths by improving health outcomes and reduce the risk factors for violent crime. States that take a preventive approach to crime are generally less punitive as well.”

The Urban Institute notes that many black men appear to be “missing” because of the Census Bureau’s undercount of low-income populations. The researchers applaud the Times for highlighting the limited social and economic progress of black men, and agree their disappearance has far-reaching implications. For example, a recent study in Social Science and Medicine notes that in addition to felony disenfranchisement, premature deaths among African Americans have had a significant impact on the racial composition of the U.S. electorate. The study finds that between 1970 and 2004, many close state-level elections would likely have had different outcomes if blacks had a similar mortality rate as whites.

Fines and Fees

States suspend driver’s licenses over court-related debt

This year, California Senator Bob Hertzberg (D) introduced a bill that would make it easier to reinstate driver’s licenses after the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area reported that more than 17% of California adults have suspended licenses for failure to pay traffic fines and associated court fees. California uses license suspensions as a tool to collect unpaid traffic citation debt to fund government operations, including the courts. Suspensions stem not only from traffic tickets – which can range from speeding to failure to have proof of insurance – but also from non-traffic related offenses, such as littering.

The report, “Not Just a Ferguson Problem – How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California,” explains that a suspended license makes it significantly harder for people to get and keep jobs, creating even more of a challenge for them to pay their debt. The license suspension policy disproportionately affects people of color, who are more likely to be stopped for traffic infractions. The report recommends ending the use of license suspensions as a collection tool for citation-related debt, eliminating barriers to due process for low-income individuals, standardizing payment plans and reducing the financial burden of citation fines for low-income people based on ability to pay, and implementing an amnesty plan to provide relief to millions of Californians.

The New York Times reports that five of the 15 states with the largest prison populations have laws that suspend driver’s licenses for failure to pay traffic fines. States like Tennessee suspend licenses for unsatisfied debts stemming from any criminal case, including misdemeanors. In 2013, Washington state stopped suspending licenses for failure to pay non-moving violations (such as expired registrations), resulting in a 50% drop in suspensions, 500 fewer arrests for driving with a suspended license each month, and an estimated 4,500 saved hours of patrol officers’ time.

School Discipline

Virginia schools top the nation in sending students to law enforcement

Virginia schools are leading the nation in sending students to law enforcement agencies for disciplinary reasons, according to a recent analysis by the Center for Public Integrity. Using data from the U.S. Department of Education, the Center ranked states by their rate of student referrals from schools to law enforcement during the 2011-12 school year. The national rate of referrals was six students for every 1,000 students. Virginia had a rate of about 16 referrals for every 1,000 students, followed by Delaware with about 15, and Florida with more than 12. Nationwide, the Center found that children of color and special needs students were disproportionately referred to law enforcement agencies. Special needs students—children with a physical or learning disability—represent 14% of U.S. enrollment but made up 26% of students referred to law enforcement. Black students were 16% of U.S. enrollment, but accounted for 27% of students referred to law enforcement.

The Center says the volume of student referrals to law enforcement raises questions around which incidents require police or court intervention, and whether zero tolerance policies and school policing are creating a school-to-prison pipeline, particularly for historically disadvantaged students. Catherine Lhamon, Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights, says her office is ready to provide guidance and training on effective discipline methods so school police are only handling actual criminal activity, not behavior historically handled by school personnel. Don Bridges, Vice President of the National Association of School Resource Officers, cautions against over-zealous school policing: “As long as there’s nothing where there’s a weapon, something that’s going to cause immediate public harm, charging a student within a school setting should be an absolute last resort.”

Illinois Leads Nation in Latino Student Participation on AP Exams

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Traditionally underserved populations continue to make strides as more Latino and low-income students test to gain college credit

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois continues to lead the nation in eliminating the equity gap for Latino students taking Advanced Placement tests, providing more minority high school students access to these challenging, college-level courses with each graduating class. The latest AP data shows that the percentage of Latino Class of 2014 graduates who took AP exams during high school exceeded the total percentage of Latino graduates statewide for the third consecutive year.

“Latino and other minority students traditionally are underrepresented in these rigorous courses as well as among the portion of AP test takers who post successful scores,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Illinois continues to put more minority and low-income students in AP classrooms, where they gain the knowledge, skills and resources to thrive and prepare for postsecondary life.”

Advanced Placement exams measure a student’s content mastery of college-level studies in specific academic disciplines. The national report’s data show that Latino students made up 18.1 percent of Illinois’ Class of 2014, but they represented 20.4 percent of graduates who took at least one AP exam during high school. Furthermore, the number of Latino graduates taking AP courses has more than quadrupled in the last decade, with 9,287 in 2014 compared to 2,160 in 2004. The percent of Latino students scoring a 3 or higher — the recommended score for earning college credit — also shows significant growth, with 17.3 percent of those Latino test takers earning a 3 or higher in 2014, compared to 8.2 percent in 2004.

With an increasingly diverse student population and more than half of students considered to live in low-income households, Illinois still reports record numbers of graduates taking AP exams, with more than 45,000 graduates taking at least one AP exam and slightly more than 30,000 of those students scoring a 3 or higher in the Class of 2014.

Just less than 30 percent of graduates who took AP exams in 2014 are low income, compared to only 21.8 percent in 2009 and 12.7 percent in 2004. Meanwhile, the number of low-income graduates scoring a 3 or higher roughly doubled in the last four years from 3,133 in 2010 to 6,081 in 2014. Research shows that minority and low-income students who earn at least a 3 on an AP exam are more likely than their peers to earn higher degrees in college and a college degree within five years of enrolling.

AP exams measure a student’s content mastery of college-level studies in specific academic disciplines. A total of 45,415 graduates or 35.4 percent took at least one AP exam during high school in 2014, more than double the 21,710 graduates or 17.4 percent who took the test in 2004.

Illinois ranks 13th in the nation for the percentage of 2014 graduates – 23.5 percent – who scored at least a 3 on an AP exam during their high school career. The national average is 21.6 percent. Additionally, the percentage of Illinois graduates who reached that benchmark grew by 10.9 percentage points from 12.6 percent in 2004, putting Illinois among only 16 states that exceeded the national average of graduates scoring a 3 or higher in 2013.

The College Board and the American Council on Education recommend that colleges and universities award credit for AP scores of 3 and higher on any AP exam. Additionally, research shows that students who earn a score of 3 or higher typically achieve higher grade point averages in college, are more likely to graduate college on time in four years, and have higher graduation rates.

Additionally, 26 Illinois school districts have been named to the AP Honor Roll, which recognizes districts that increase access to AP coursework while also increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. These districts are:

Archdiocese of Chicago

Aurora West School District 129

Barrington Community Unit School District 220*

Batavia Unit School District 101*

Beecher Community Unit School District 200-U

Carterville Community Unit School District 5

Central Community Unit School District 301*

Champaign Community Unit School District 4

Chicago Public Schools*

Community High School District 155*

Crete-Monee Community School District 201-U*

Dunlap Community Unit School District 323*

Galena Unit School District 120

Grant Community High School District 124*

Huntley Consolidated School District 158

LaSalle Peru Township High School District 120

Leyden Community High School District 212*

Macomb Community Unit School District 185

McLean County Unit District Number 5*

Morton Community Unit School District 709

Niles Township High School District 219*

Ottawa Township High School District 140

Township High School District 211*

Tri-Valley Community School District 3

Williamsville Community Unit School District 15

Woodstock Community Unit School District 200

*District has achieved the honor for multiple years.

Other highlights for the Class of 2014 include:

·         Black/African-American students made up 11.1 percent of graduates who took at least one AP exam for the second consecutive year in 2014, higher than the national average of 9.4 percent. Ten years ago, this student group made up only 6.2 percent of test takers. In the last decade, the number of Black/African-American students who scored a 3 or higher more than tripled from 409 in 2004 to 1,377 in 2014.

·         The 10 most popular AP exams taken by the class of 2014 are English language and composition, U.S. history, psychology, English literature and composition, calculus AB, U.S. government and politics, biology, statistics, Spanish language and culture, and chemistry.

To see AP participation by district, visit: www.isbe.net/news/2015/pdf/ap-participation.pdf

To see AP success by district, visit:  www.isbe.net/news/2015/pdf/ap-success.pdf

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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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