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Farmers Market Promotion Program helps fund farmers markets, local food projects   SPRINGFIELD, IL – An advocate ...
African American breast cancer survivors "Stop The Silence®"! ATLANTA, GA (BlackNews.com) -- Sisters Network Atlanta ...
Judge Holderman orders transition to the control of County's Chief Judge Cook County Board President Toni ...
Will keep seven state facilities open, avoid nearly 2,000 layoffs   Carbondale, IL – Lt. Governor Sheila ...
Dr. Charles Booth, Pastors John K. Jenkins, Co-Pastor Susie Owens, Tasha ...
  Weekly events to support food truck operators will run from March through October   For the second ...
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) released the ...
Infrastructure Investment: Rail Safety and Jobs Opening ReMARCs By Marc Morial In the wake of Tuesday night's tragic ...
Motti Lerner’s PAULUS - A World Premiere, now playing through December 15th Set between 58 A.D. and ...
Statement from Marc H. Morial, President & CEO of the National Urban League, ...

Archive for June, 2015

NAACP Denounces U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision on Lethal Injection

Posted by Admin On June - 30 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

BALTIMORE, MD — Oklahoma and other states can continue to execute death-row prisoners with a three-drug combination that includes a chemical used in several botched lethal injections, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in a 5-4 vote. Subsequently, the NAACP has issued the following statement.

From Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO:

“The NAACP stands firmly and unequivocally against capital punishment, as well as the tools used to induce it. A lethal injection that caused a person to convulse between life and death for several minutes is, by any inhumane definition, cruel and unusual punishment. Lethal injection is no more than a cocktail of cruelty – antiquated morally and outdated constitutionally. We believe that the death penalty undermines trust and integrity in the criminal justice system, because it is racially biased, inhumane, and poses the grave risk that government actors will take the lives of innocent people. If wrongly prosecuted, an individual can be released from prison but not from a grave as demonstrated by the 330 people wrongly convicted and subsequently exonerated. Because the death penalty is applied in an arbitrary and inconsistent manner, it violates the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment found in the U.S. Constitution. The goal of our Association is to abolish capital punishment in its entirety throughout the United States.”

Comptroller Munger Returns $500,000 to Taxpayers

Posted by Admin On June - 30 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Comptroller slashes spending by merging divisions, cross-training employees

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger on Monday announced her office will return $500,000 to taxpayers after implementing efficiencies and cost saving measures that allowed it to end this fiscal year with a budget surplus.

The announcement comes two months after Munger presented the General Assembly with a budget that includes a 10 percent cut to Comptroller’s Office operations costs for next fiscal year.

“After inauguration in January, I worked with my staff to identify ways to deliver the same high level of service at a lower cost – and today we’re seeing the result of those efforts,” Munger said. “If we are going to ask taxpayers, businesses and organizations to do their part to help clean up the state’s fiscal mess, then we should do the same across state government.”

Munger delivered the taxpayer savings by consolidating operations and cross-training employees to maximize staff time. In fact, the Comptroller’s Office staff headcount is lower than at any time in its history. At the same time, she continues to advocate consolidation of the state’s fiscal offices of Comptroller and Treasurer, which would save an additional $12 million annually without sacrificing services.

“The bottom line is Illinois does not have the money to cover current costs,” Munger said. “It is incumbent on each of us to find ways to become more efficient and deliver critical services more affordably.”

Attorney General Madigan Provides Constitutional Officers, Legislative Leaders Information to Prepare for Budget Impasse

Posted by Admin On June - 30 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an overview of information her office has provided to Illinois’ constitutional officers and legislative leaders to help prepare for the possibility that a State budget will not be in place for the new fiscal year. Attorney General Madigan issued this guidance in an effort to make sure that all offices and agencies have a legally supported plan in place to ensure that the State provides services critical to the people of Illinois in spite of the budget impasse.

The State’s new fiscal year starts July 1, 2015. If a budget is not in place on July 1, the Illinois Constitution and State statutes severely constrain the State’s authority to make payments to fund operations and services. While there are limited payments that the Comptroller is authorized to make in the absence of a budget, Illinois law is clear that the State cannot continue to fund all government operations and services in the absence of a budget passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor.

As background on this issue, the Appropriations Clause of the Illinois Constitution provides that “The General Assembly by law shall make appropriations for all expenditures of public funds by the State.” Ill. Const. art. VIII, § 2(b). In keeping with that constitutional provision, the State Comptroller Act prohibits the Comptroller from paying vouchers that are not “pursuant to law and authorized.” 15 ILCS 405 /9(b) (2012). Additionally, the Finance Article of the Illinois Constitution provides the “The State . . . shall incur obligations for payment or make payments from public funds only as authorized by law or ordinance.” Ill. Const. art. VIII, § 1(b) (emphasis added).

The Illinois Appellate Court has specifically addressed the issue of whether the State can pay employees in the absence of a budget. During the budget impasse in 1991, a number of State employee unions sued the Comptroller and asked the court to issue an order compelling the Comptroller to issue paychecks due on July 15.  In AFSCME v. Netsch, 216 III. App. 3d 566, 568 (4th Dist. 1991), the court held that the Comptroller could not pay State employees in the absence of an appropriation and “any attempt by the comptroller to issue the funds in the absence of an appropriation bill signed into law by the governor would create obvious problems under the separation-of-powers doctrine.” The Netsch court determined that an appropriation was necessary “to prevent government operations from being brought to a complete stop.” Id. at 568-69 (citing People ex rel. Kirk v. Lindberg, 59 III. 2d 38, 42-43 (1974)).

As the Netsch court clearly stated, the Illinois Constitution and statutes prevent the Comptroller from continuing to pay expenditures, including the State’s payroll, without a budget, and even a court cannot order all of these payments to be made. In requiring a budget before the State can expend money, with limited exceptions, Illinois law is similar to federal law and the law of other states. That is why the federal government and numerous states have faced shutdowns over the years when budgets have not been implemented.

The State has experienced budget impasses in two recent years – 2007 and 2009. In 2007, after the legislature and the Governor enacted a one-month budget, the State began August without a budget in place. In early August, while the legislature was meeting to consider a budget, AFSCME sued the State, asking a court to order the Comptroller to issue paychecks. The arguments in that case focused on whether the State was prepared to comply with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which mandates that employees who are covered by that law must be paid the federal minimum wage on the date that their regular paychecks are due or the State will be liable for damages and interest. Because federal law takes precedence over the Illinois Constitution, the State is required to comply with the FLSA, even in the absence of a budget. At the time that AFSCME sued in 2007, State agencies and offices were not prepared to pay a FLSA-compliant payroll in time to meet with August payroll deadlines.

The court’s order thus allowed the State to pay the full payroll only to the extent it was not feasible to pay a payroll limited to FLSA compliance. In doing so, the court made clear that the order did not establish any precedent for such an order in the future. No Illinois court has ever entered an order authorizing full payment of the State’s payroll in a situation where compliance with the FLSA was feasible and no budget was in place.

The only other recent example occurred in 2009, when the State did not have a budget in place in mid-July. AFSCME sued on July 14, 2009, seeking a court order to compel the Comptroller to issue paychecks. The Attorney General’s Office opposed that suit based on the clear requirements of the Illinois Constitution. On July 15, 2009, prior to the resolution of that suit and another suit by the Fraternal Order of Police, the legislature passed a budget.

Based on the Illinois Constitution, and consistent with previous litigation, the Attorney General has provided the constitutional officers with an overview of the application of the FLSA, so that State offices and agencies can be prepared to comply with that law in time for the payroll deadlines in mid-July. A copy of that guidance is attached.

Additionally, to ensure that all State offices and agencies are prepared, if necessary, to continue providing essential or core government services, the Attorney General also provided the constitutional officers with an overview of the process for identifying essential personnel and services. The Attorney General’s Office has indicated it will work with the respective constitutional offices to ensure that their essential government functions and personnel are appropriately identified and maintained in the interest of the health, safety and welfare of the people of Illinois. A copy of that overview is also attached.

Attack on Conservative Congressman Backfires

Posted by Admin On June - 30 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Letters to Editors
Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) was punished for opposing President Obama’s trade powers, but he fought back and won.

I have some great news to share.

Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) has been reinstated as subcommittee chairman on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after being stripped of the position for voting against Obamatrade.

Thanks to the support of thousands of freedom-loving Americans across the country, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) announced that he would reverse his earlier decision to punish Meadows.

This is a major victory that was won for two reasons:

First, rather than backing down, Congressman Meadows fought back. When asked to resign his post, he refused and made Chaffetz fire him. Then he went public and vowed not to back down.

“There is no honor in bowing to a bully,” Meadows said. “There is only honor in fighting a good fight –win or lose. This is not a fight I will back down from.”

Second, people in North Carolina and across the country spoke out against these attacks and supported Congressman Meadows.

SCF set up the GoFundMeadows.com website to bundle contributions for the congressman, and as of this morning, more than $27,000 has been contributed to his campaign!!

Conservatives won this battle, but the war is far from over.

House Republican leaders will be even more motivated now to hurt Congressman Meadows, and they’re planning to punish other conservatives in the coming weeks.

According to a report published by POLITICO:

Top Republicans warn that the punishment for dissenters will get worse. They should expect no fundraising help, no prime committee posts and no trips abroad if they don’t help the Republican team.

And top GOP aides and lawmakers, speaking anonymously to discuss internal conversations, say they will continue to encourage a crackdown against lawmakers who try to sabotage their ability to bring legislation to the House floor.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) believes that every Republican is obligated to do the following three things:

  • Vote for him for Speaker;
  • Vote to bring bills to the floor even if those bills violate clearly established conservative principles; and
  • Donate money to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) so he can elect more spineless Republicans.

If a Republican congressman refuses as a matter of principle to do all three things, Speaker Boehner believes that congressman should be punished.

If you haven’t donated to Congressman Meadows, please do so now.

His party’s leaders will continue to look for ways to retaliate against him, and we need to keep strengthening him so these tactics backfire.

Thank you for supporting principled leaders like Congressman Meadows.

Sincerely,

Ken Cuccinelli II
President
Senate Conservatives Fund
Former Attorney General of Virginia

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission

Posted by Admin On June - 30 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch released the following statement today after the Supreme Court ruling in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission:

“I am pleased that the Supreme Court has vindicated the rights of voters who want their electoral districts drawn fairly, independently and without undue emphasis on partisan affiliation or political creed.  Arizona’s approach to redistricting is an innovative and effective advance in the effort to reduce gerrymandering and give all Americans an opportunity to make their voices heard.  Today’s decision is a victory for the people of Arizona, for the promise of fair and competitive elections and for the principles of democratic self-governance that make our nation exceptional.”

Beyond Charleston: 7 Steps Forward

Posted by Admin On June - 30 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Op-Ed By Barbara Arnwine

They were our best, the pride of our country. The Charleston 9. They were college graduates, members of fraternities and sororities, a state senator, a librarian, ministers, all deeply committed to their church, faith, city, state and nation. In them a community found hope and dedicated service. A hate filled white supremacist stilled their mighty hearts with shots that tore through their flesh and into the souls of a shocked, barely comprehending nation.

More than a week after this tragic massacre a thick fog of sadness still pervades. Black America is stunned, mournful, many crying out to our God to give us strength to rise again. We hear the mockery in the assassin’s action, “Now, where is your God.” Whites and people of all races are horrified at the evil ideology of white supremacy which propelled the actions of Dylann Roof.

We, the living, are called in this moment to not let the deaths of the Charleston Nine be in vain. Our nation must embrace the challenge of this moment and take concrete actions seeking to address our racial realities to prevent another racially motivated massacre.

First, we must recognize that leadership demands truth. Racial healing is impossible without truth and reconciliation. President Obama in response to this national tragedy initially called for gun control which evoked the reaction that is clearly needed but not enough! Many wanted to hear a denunciation by him of the racial hate behind this heinous act. Not acknowledging the role of racism here is a fundamental error no matter the inevitable criticism from those who will resort to denial and complain about race baiting. On Friday, June 26th, he delivered the nationally televised eulogy for State Senator Clementa Pinckney. Although deeply moving and steeped in emotion and faith and directed to individuals, the President’s speech did not propose a comprehensive and collective framework of action for addressing the issue of racism moving forward.

Similarly, initially, Nikki Haley wrongfully called for the imposition of the death penalty ignoring complicity of the symbol of racial hate flying at her state capitol. Again, national and local protest forced her to call for the removal of the confederate flag from the capitol grounds.

And the Governor of the State of Alabama has ordered the removal of the confederate flag from the capitol grounds calling it “the right thing to do.” Still these steps are not enough.

No amount of deflection or denial can avoid the obvious. White Supremacy and Structural Racism are the culprits here. Hate, denigrating stereotypes, fear, violence, terrorism and slaughter are the handmaidens of white supremacy. And the confederate flag is the rallying symbol of white supremacists, nurturing notions of loss, resentment, revenge, and the hope that one day the south will rise again. President Obama has stated that the flag didn’t cause the murders of the Charleston 9 but is instead a representation of systemic racial subjugation. When Roof spoke of black men raping white women, as he pulled the trigger of his gun, he also pulled from the racist motif of the confederacy and post-Reconstruction era. And that he killed six Black women bespoke of his true genocidal purpose. When he spoke of taking back our country, he was echoing the rebel yell with flag in hand to re subjugate Blacks or worst.

Again, many in the media are missing the clues. We must stop using the language of loner, sick, mentally disabled and accept the fact that Dylann Roof is just the latest actor in a string of ugly slayings and attempted killings by white supremacist domestic terrorists of Blacks, Jews, Latinos, Muslims and Asians, seeking to spark their much desired Race War. And let’s be clear, the language of Race War or new Civil War that Roof and others proclaim is designed to produce one horrific result: Black extermination, Black annihilation, or Black removal from the U.S. with the same fate for all others in their crosshairs of racial hate. This genocidal vision should and must be renounced by all Americans.

Furthermore, it is imperative that we eliminate or lessen any possible recurrence by taking strong action as follows:

1. Remove the confederate flag throughout the nation from all governmental and corporate sponsorship. Colleges, universities, schools and sport teams all have to eliminate the presence of this symbol of hate.

2. Brand the flag as a hate symbol. We have to understand that the primary purpose of the flag is a symbol of racial hatred and division. The South Carolina flag was absent from the capitol until the 1960’s when it was hoisted as a symbol of resistance to the civil rights movement.

3. Insist that entertainment and media stop the negative portrayals of Blacks, especially the disproportionate images of Blacks as criminals. It is easy to hate and dehumanize that which you fear.

4. Teach in every school, church and available forum about the evil of racism and implicit bias. It is telling that Dylann Roof is only 21 years of age. The mythology that the young will automatically with the passage of time become better on race has been disproven time and time again this year as young whites have been featured nationally for various hate crimes or racist expressions. One thing is clear, in the absence of affirmative teaching about race, Whites will learn from their popular culture and the gratuitous racism which pervades that culture.

5. Center equality for women of color in all of our discussions about gender equality and racial justice. Six Black women are dead as the killer professed a desire to protect white womanhood. As the narrative of the endangered Black male has dominated the national conversation, the plight of our African American women and girls have been ignored at our peril. We must Say Their Names.

6. Seminal of all needed actions is the imperative to build a nationwide truth and reconciliation process which would hold hearings and programs in every state of this nation to facilitate racial healing. Racial healing cannot occur without a national truth and reconciliation process which engages all races in an honest national dialogue about the history of racial oppression in their states and communities and the continuing impacts and presence of these scars on modern society. Mr. President, we must as a nation talk about the impact of race in our society and take action to dismantle its adverse consequences.

7. Build a real White movement for racial justice to fight for inclusion, equality and opportunity for all Americans. Only a truly multi-raical coalition can win the struggle to advance racial justice in our society and Whites need to be more proactive and engaged in advocating for concrete new laws and policies that will combat racial injustice. The battle for a new Voting Rights Act needs to be a priority for all Americans not just African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans who have relied upon this act for protection from racially discriminatory practices and procedures. Similarly, we all must seek to enact policies and legislation that will reverse the impacts of the unjust criminal justice system, racially motivated policing and violence, segregated housing, unequal education, employment discrimination, intersectionality of race and gender, and environmental injustice. These inequalities fuel the racial divisions that allow haters to breed.

It is heartening to see people of all races banding together in unity to renounce the most recent progeny of the white supremacist creed even as others continue to trade their wares of denial and inaction. And we must compel our multiracial nation forward beyond this tragedy by taking concrete action to actualize racial harmony and racial justice.

All of these things and more must be done not just to help people of color but to save the soul of our nation.

Barbara  Arnwine is founder and president of the Transformative Justice Coalition (TJC). Ms. Arnwine launched “Igniting Change with Barbara Arnwine” in March 2015 on Radio One’s WOL 1450 AM. The hour-long show, which airs on Tuesdays from 12-1 p.m. EST, provides provocative and empowering information and discussion designed to ignite change and inspire action in achieving racial justice, social justice and equality.

Contact Barbara Arnwine at: barnwine@barbaraarnwine.com.
For more information, please contact Dijon Kruas at: DKraus@BarbaraArnwine.com,

Photo: Barbara Arnwine

*Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike* Opens at Goodman Theatre

Posted by Admin On June - 30 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Opens at Goodman Theatre

Steve Scott directs the Chicago Premiere of the Tony Award-Wining Broadway Smash

Ross Lehman, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Mary Beth Fisher and Jordan Brown star in the title roles, along with Chicago favorites E. Faye Butler and Rebecca Buller

CHICAGO, IL – Hilarity and sibling rivalry and middle-aged regret and complexities of a culture evolving faster than its citizens are themes that take center stage in Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike—the Tony Award-winning Broadway smash hit that has since become the most-produced play in the country. Goodman Theatre produces the Chicago premiere—and the first Durang play in its history—directed by Artistic Associate Steve Scott, who has overseen more than 200 Goodman productions during his 33 years as the theater’s Producer. Hailed “deliriously funny” (The New York Times) and “hugely entertaining” (USA Today), the “brainy and witty and clever and cute” (Variety) play follows two sullen siblings and the wild weekend that unfolds when their famous sister returns home with her hunky young boy toy. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike runs through July 26 in the Albert Theatre. Tickets ($25-$86; subject to change) are on sale now at GoodmanTheatre.org/Vanya, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Headshots and bio information can be found in the Goodman Theatre Press Room. The Northridge Group and Ogletree Deakins are the Opening Night Sponsors of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

“A great comic writer who is authentically and proudly offbeat, Christopher Durang has become one of the foremost contemporary American playwrights through a body of work that has been variously described as absurdist, iconoclastic and hilariously surreal,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike has brought him widespread acclaim, and deservedly so; it contains much of the loopy wit and idiosyncratic vision that marked his early works—but uses those elements to explore universal themes. My longtime Goodman associate Steve Scott has assembled a dream cast for this Chicago premiere production, and I am delighted to introduce audiences to an artist who is a true original.”

Playwright Christopher Durang’s works include A History of the American Film (Tony Award nomination, Best Book of a Musical); The Actor’s Nightmare; Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (Obie Award); Beyond Therapy, Baby with the Bathwater; The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award and Dramatists Guild Hull Warriner Award); Laughing Wild; Durang/Durang; Sex and Longing; Betty’s Summer Vacation (Obie Award); Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge; Adrift in Macao; Miss Witherspoon (Pulitzer Prize finalist) and Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Loved Them.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike earned unanimous acclaim in its 2013 Broadway debut; awards included the Tony Award for Best Play, the Outer Circle Critics Award for Best Play, the Drama League Award for Best Production of a Play, the Drama Desk Award for Best Play, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Production and the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Play.

Siblings Vanya (Ross Lehman) and Sonia (Janet Ulrich Brooks) have spent their adult years trapped in mundane lives at their family’s cottage, caring for their ailing parents. Meanwhile, their self-involved sister Masha (Mary Beth Fisher), a glamorous movie star, has traveled the world in decadent style. After their soothsayer/cleaning woman Cassandra (E. Faye Butler) warns Vanya and Sonia of impending doom, Masha arrives unannounced, accompanied by her young lover Spike (Jordan Brown), who sparks a friendship with the beautiful girl next door Nina (Rebecca Buller) much to Masha’s dismay. When Masha reveals plans that will upend the family, long-repressed resentments bubble over in a weekend full of wild costume parties, voodoo dolls and surprise romance. The creative team includes Charlie Corcoran (sets), Amy Clark (costumes), Robert Perry (lights) and Richard Woodbury (sound). Alden Vasquez is the production stage manager and Neena Arndt is the dramaturg.

Steve Scott (director) is the Producer at Goodman Theatre and a member of the Goodman’s Artistic Collective; his directing credits include Horton Foote’s Blind Date, Rabbit Hole, Dinner with Friends, Wit and the 2011 and 2012 productions of A Christmas Carol. He has also directed for a wide variety of Chicago theaters including Northlight, Silk Road Rising, Next Theatre Company, Shattered Globe, Redtwist, Porchlight, Theatre Wit, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Eclipse and the Lyric Opera Center.  He is a faculty member at the Theatre Conservatory of the College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, a board member of Season of Concern and a member of the Jeff Committee’s Artist and Technical Team.  He has also served on advisory panels for Theatre Communications Group, United States Artists, the O’Neill Center, National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Office of Fine Arts. He is the recipient of six Jeff nominations, an After Dark Award, the Illinois Theatre Association’s Award of Honor, and the Eclipse Theatre’s Corona Award.

Music Institute of Chicago Announces 2015-16 Nichols Concert Hall Season

Posted by Admin On June - 30 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS


Highlights Include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Anat Cohen, Rachel Barton Pine and Matthew Lipman

The Music Institute of Chicago announces the 2015–16 season of its Faculty and Guest Artist Series, showcasing women in jazz, illustrious alumni, and the 10th anniversary of its Academy for training gifted pre-college musicians. All concerts take place at the historic Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in the heart of downtown Evanston.

Name That Tune: Classical Gems with Memorable Monikers
Saturday, September 19, 7:30 p.m.
Music Institute faculty members perform a delightfully engaging program of classical favorites affectionately known by their musical nicknames. Works include Chopin’s “Revolutionary” Etude, Beethoven’s “Ghost” Trio, and Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.”

Issam Rafea Trio
Sunday, October 18, 3 p.m.
Issam Rafea, one of Syria’s elite musicians, is now a refugee in the United States. The Trio plays an astonishingly emotional and virtuosic repertoire of traditional Syrian music and new compositions for oud, tabla, and voice.

Sixth Annual Jazz Festival: Celebrating Women in Jazz
Anat Cohen Quartet
Thursday, November 19, 7:30 p.m.
Voted “Clarinetist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalist Association for eight consecutive years, the Israeli clarinetist and sax player brings her unique brand of jazz to Nichols Concert Hall.

Tammy McCann Strings Attached
Friday, November 20, 7:30 p.m.
Chicago’s own Tammy McCann performs a joyful concert of jazz standards and the premiere of arrangements for jazz quartet and strings.

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Saturday, November 21, 7:30 p.m.
The three-time Grammy Award winner and Tony Award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater performs a powerful tribute to jazz great Billie Holiday, joined by members of the Music Institute’s Jazz Studies faculty.

Academy 10th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, February 20, 7:30 p.m.
Academy musicians perform an exciting concert of chamber music with prominent alumni guest artists.

Academy 10th Anniversary Celebration featuring Rachel Barton Pine and Matthew Lipman
Saturday, May 14, 7:30 p.m.
The Academy Orchestra performs Beethoven’s First Symphony and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, with alumni soloists Rachel Barton Pine, violin, and Matthew Lipman, viola.

Nichols Concert Hall
Noted architect Solon S. Beman designed the architecturally and acoustically magnificent First Church of Christ, Scientist, located at 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston, in 1912. In 2003, the building was sensitively restored to become Nichols Concert Hall, a state-of-the-art, 550-seat performance space and music education destination, easily accessible to numerous restaurants, on-street and metered parking, and the Davis Street CTA and Metra stations. The converted building, featuring a fully restored, 1914 E. M. Skinner pipe organ, received the Richard H. Driehaus Award for best adaptive use by the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois.  Each year Nichols Concert Hall reaches approximately 15,000 people and hosts a world-class chamber music series, workshops and master classes, student recitals, and special events.

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

All concerts take place at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Tickets, except where noted, are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students, available online or 847.905.1500 ext. 108. All programming is subject to change.

National Survey: Small Businesses Report Decline in Economic Conditions

Posted by Admin On June - 30 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Thumbtack.com Releases Monthly Economic Sentiment Survey of 10,000 Small Businesses in the United States; Inflation Expectations Remain in Check

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Thumbtack.com today released the third installment of its Small Business Sentiment Survey, a monthly survey of more than 10,000 independent businesses in the U.S. Designed with Bloomberg, the survey is housed and integrated into the economic functions of the Bloomberg Professional service.

The report is unique both in its ability to survey a large number of small businesses on a regular basis and in its focus on businesses with five employees or fewer. Small establishments such as these make up 90 percent of small businesses in the country (according to the U.S. Economic Census), yet, due to their size, are difficult for other researchers or government statisticians to reach. Thumbtack can collect responses from among its user base of 150,000 active service professionals, most of who are sole proprietors in service industries.

In June, respondents nationwide indicated reduced optimism about the economy for the third month in a row, though sentiment about current and future conditions continues to be higher than it was one year ago.

Key findings include:

  • For the second month in a row, small businesses expressed increasing pessimism about future economic conditions; this has been the largest contributor to the decline in overall sentiment.
  • Inflation expectations continue to remain in check, having been mostly flat over the last six months after a one-time jump in the middle of last year.
  • Expectations of future credit conditions were the most resilient of the 11 indicators Thumbtack looked at, continuing to reflect a general increase in the ease of obtaining loans over the last two years.
  • Economic conditions in the South continue to be generally more positive than in the nation overall.

Small Business Sentiment Visualization

Thumbtack.com Small Business Sentiment Index: Southern States continue to report stronger economic conditions than the rest of the country

“The third monthly release of Thumbtack’s Small Business Sentiment Index reflects a slowdown in economic conditions that started at the beginning of the year,” said Thumbtack’s Chief Economist Jon Lieber. “The small businesses we survey provide personal services to families across America, and by studying their sentiment in real time we can get an advanced look into the outlook for American household spending.”

Thumbtack has created a data visualization to capture the results of this survey nationally and in each state and city for which responses were submitted, along with quotes from professionals surveyed. The visualization offers detailed demographic breakdowns of survey responses across self-reported factors such as age, gender, ethnic origin, and employer status.  Separate pages are available for each state and city included in the index.

Bloomberg Professional service customers can access this data and additional industry level analysis at {ECST T TACKUSBS <GO>}.

About the Thumbtack Small Business Economic Sentiment Survey

Thumbtack.com has surveyed tens of thousands of small businesses quarterly since December 2012. The survey asked questions about how small businesses are feeling about the general economic environment and the health of their business, such as:
  • How would you rate your company’s financial situation today?
  • Have you attempted to fill any part-time or full-time positions over the past three months?
  • How do you expect the prices you charge to your clients or customers to change over the next three months?

Thumbtack.com and Bloomberg then used the survey responses to create a weighted index that demonstrates Small Business Economic Sentiment in one easy-to-understand number between 0 and 100 – an index score above 50 means sentiment is positive; an index score below 46 means sentiment is negative.  The full methodology paper can be found here.

In March 2015, Thumbtack began collecting results on a monthly basis. Results are released the Tuesday before the first Friday of the month; the data visualization on Thumbtack’s website is updated on the same day.

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Thurgood Marshall Center Trust Presents a Film and Panel Discussion on Wilmington 10

Posted by Admin On June - 30 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, July 2, on what would be Thurgood Marshall’s 107th birthday, the Thurgood Marshall Center Trust will screen the documentary film, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington 10.” “Pardons of Innocence” recounts the turbulent history of desegregation from the late 1960s to 1971 as protestors fought for equal education for students of North Carolina’s New Hanover Public Schools.

Following the movie, a distinguished group of panelists will discuss the film against the backdrop of the range of social and racial issues that is riling the United States. The event, is free and open to the public, begins at 5:30 p.m., and takes place at the Thurgood Marshall Center for Service and Heritage, 1816 12th Street, NW.

The panel will be moderated by Civil Rights historian and labor activist Jamaal L. Craig. The other participants are Civil Rights leader Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., currently president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association; Harvard University professor Lani Guinier; Elaine Jones, former president/director-counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and James Ferguson, founder and president of Ferguson, Chambers & Sumpter, P.A.

About Thurgood Marshall: Marshall holds a special place in African-American history. Before he became this country’s first black Supreme Court justice, he forged a stellar legal career as a lawyer, judge and Civil Rights activist.

In 1936, Marshall became the NAACP’s chief legal counsel and founded the NAACP Legal Defense Fund four years later where he served as its first Director-Counsel. He was the key strategist and one of the lead attorneys in the decades-long effort to end racial segregation, and litigated a series of cases that would ultimately topple the pillars of segregation. As NAACP counsel, Marshall used the judiciary to bring about equality for African Americans, in an effort to ensure that blacks enjoyed all the rights and privileges of other Americans.

He argued “separate but equal” cases twice before the US Supreme Court in 1952 and 1953 and successfully challenged the law that legitimized “separate but equal” facilities for blacks and whites. In 1954, he and the NAACP legal team won the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, as the US Supreme Court ended racial segregation in public schools.

He was the first African American appointed to the US Supreme Court in 1967 by President Lyndon Johnson and retired as Associate Justice in 1991.
About Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington 10. The documentary film, produced by filmmaker Cash Michaels, details the labyrinthine road the activists had to travel to secure justice. After protests against an educational system that discriminated against black students, Wilmington, North Carolina authorities arrested 10 protestors: Chavis, eight black male students and a white female community organizer. A judge sentenced them to a total of 282 years in a sham trial for standing up for the rights of equal education for African-American students.

The protests by activists and hundreds of school children, led to an explosion of racial violence from white supremacists who drove through Wilmington’s black community, where they shot and killed several innocent blacks and burned buildings, including a white-owned grocery store. The Wilmington 10 was charged with conspiracy in connection with the firebombing and shootings. In 1977, after years of failed appeals in North Carolina courts, three witnesses for the state recanted their stories and admitted perjuring themselves.

Then-Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt refused to pardon the group but commuted their sentences in 1978. In 1980, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions based on gross prosecutorial misconduct and a mélange of violations of the activists’ constitutional rights. While the appeals court directed North Carolina officials to retry the defendants or dismiss all charges, the state dragged its feet for the next three decades.

In March 2011, the NNPA, at the urging of Wilmington Journal Publisher Mary Alice Thatch, voted to pursue pardons of innocence for the Wilmington Ten. Several NNPA stories after an examination of previously unseen court records by reporters, showed compelling evidence of prosecutorial corruption and mainstream publications such as the New York Times joined the chorus of demands that the Wilmington Ten be pardoned.

In 2013, outgoing Gov. Beverly Perdue granted pardons to each member of the Wilmington 10.

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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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