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Archive for June 3rd, 2015

How Many More Will We Mourn?

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Op-Ed By Cornell William Brooks

President/CEO of the Baltimore-based NAACP

cornell_williamsFreddie Gray wasn’t the only person to die at the hands of the police in April. Before Mr. Gray suffered three broken vertebrae during the course of his arrest by Baltimore police, 17-year-old Justus Howell was fatally shot by an unidentified officer in Zion, Ill. Like the death of Mr. Gray, Mr. Howell’s death was ruled a homicide.

On the day that Mr. Gray was laid to rest and protests and demonstrations against police brutality rung out in Baltimore, a group of local and federal law enforcement officers arrived at the home of 20-year-old Terrance Kellom, who was a suspect in a robbery case. Less than 10 minutes after police entered Terrance Kellom’s home, he was dead, shot several times by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer who was part of an inter-agency fugitive task force for reasons that remain unclear.
Then there was 37-year-old Natasha Mckenna. This 130-pound woman died after she was taser shocked four times by the Fairfax, Va. police Feb. 3, with her hands cuffed behind her back, shackled around her legs, with a hobble strap connecting both of the restraints. Police say they are still investigating.

More than 400 people have died while in police custody this year and the list keeps growing, according to an online database that compiles news reports of instances of use of deadly force. While there is no comprehensive national database compiled by law enforcement agencies of police’s use of excessive or deadly force in the United States, the number of people both severely and fatally injured while in police custody underscores a distressing symptom of the untested and overaggressive policing culture that has become commonplace in communities of color all across the country.

How many more lives of unarmed Black men and women, tragically and senselessly killed by police, will our nation have to mourn before our country moves to fix its unjust and ineffective criminal justice system?

The NAACP says no more.
The fight for better policing and greater accountability has been at the forefront of the NAACP’s work since its inception, and it’s a fight that we know how to win. One of our most recent achievements: the NAACP alongside its valiant coalition partners helping to dismantle the practice of stop and frisk in New York and leveraging a successful collaborative campaign to pass anti-racial profiling and police accountability measures. And we have no intention of slowing down.
Now the NAACP is doubling down on advocating for body worn cameras, car cameras and gun and taser cameras. The availability of video evidence of police interactions with civilians can lead to significant improvements in police accountability and trust among a community. Additionally, we must deploy the use of independent investigation bodies and the use of civilian review boards. But we cannot do it alone. Join us in our fight. Here are three simple ways that you can help.
  • Join the NAACP: Become a part of the largest civil rights organization in the nation. When you become a member of the NAACP, you are doing more than joining an organization; you are becoming a part of a community. Our membership community is the reason we’ve been able to protect, defend, and fight for our civil rights and human rights for over a century.
  • Help us pass the End Racial Profiling Act: The End Racial Profiling Act has been re-introduced in both the U.S. Senate the U.S. House of Representatives. The End Racial Profiling Act comprehensively addresses the insidious practice of biased treatment by law enforcement because of who you are, or who you are perceived to be, by law enforcement. Call your U.S. senators and representative in Washington and tell them to pass the End Racial Profiling Act. The switchboard phone number is (202) 224-3121.
  • Support America’s Journey for Justice: Last year, our “Journey for Justice” campaign began with a 134-mile, 7-day march from Ferguson to Jefferson City, Mo., to join members of the Ferguson community in protesting the death of Michael Brown at the hands of the police, and to provide leadership to the predominantly young activists, participants in democracy. This year, we are continuing our work with America’s Journey for Justice – a trek along the 850-mile route from Selma, Ala., to Washington, DC – through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia – to highlight the need for criminal justice and voting reforms because our lives matter and our children deserve to live.
Every American deserves the opportunity to grow and thrive and reach their full potential. And every American child has the potential to become our nation’s leading scientists, entrepreneurs, scholars, lawmakers and law enforcement officials. It is us who must protect them. The NAACP remains committed to this promise – fighting to ensure that communities of color, our children especially, are judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin in the eyes of the law. For 106 years, this is what we have stood for and we will not waver.
Cornell William Brooks is president/CEO of the Baltimore-based NAACP.

This article is part of an op-ed series on behalf of the Civil Rights Coalition on Police Reform.  The coalition, convened and led by the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, is comprised of over 30 national civil and human rights organizations, faith and community leaders who are working to address the nationwide epidemic of police brutality and lethal shootings, which are claiming the lives of Black men, women and youth. The series is intended to provide insight on necessary reforms to change the culture of policing in America.  For more information, please visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

Better Business Bureau Alert: Fake Court Orders to Arise

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – A scam email that orders recipients to appear in court has resurfaced. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is issuing an alert to consumers regarding spam emails that claim to come from local Court Systems. The emails generally have a subject heading with the recipient’s name and the title “Notice to Appear in Court”. The message states that they are to appear in court to answer to “unspecified” charges.

The message may also instruct the recipients to bring documents and witnesses with them. They are warned that the case will proceed without them and that they may be sanctioned if they don’t appear.

There is a supposed “court notice” attached to the email, which will likely download malware onto your computer if you click it. Once loaded onto your computer the malware can trick consumers into purchasing fake virus protection as well as find important personal information such as passwords and other personal or financial information.

“Unless you have supplied the Clerk of the Courts with an email address, they would not use that method of contact,” said Steve J. Bernas president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “If you have any concerns about issues with the court, do not click on the attachment. Contact the Clerk’s Office directly.”

Here are the red flags to look for these types of emails:

  • There has been no U.S. mail correspondence
  • There is no court room number listed
  • The name does not appear in the email

For more tips, visit www.bbb.org/chicago, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or add us on Pinterest.

Young Black Leaders Meet With Mayor to Present Demands

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — On Tuesday, June 2nd, young Black leaders from all over the city met with the Mayor’s office to discuss specific actions the Mayor can take to prioritize young people at the city level. The community organizers that met with the Mayor’s office Tuesday afternoon are inextricably tied to youth led organizing projects across the city.

“We appreciate the Mayor’s attention but if his administration is going to have a felt impact in the lives of marginalized young folk they need to not only be hearing us out but start following our lead,” says Veronica Morris Moore, a youth organizer and founding member of the Trauma Center Campaign.

Members from BYP 100, We Charge Genocide, Fearless Leading by the Youth, Circles and Ciphers, #LetUsBreathe Collective, SOUL & IIRON Student Network and other youth led organizations will be presenting a list of demands they have for the city that reflect ongoing community organizing work and the basic principles of the Black Lives Matter movement. The demands reflect a movement towards ending the criminalization of young Black people, ensuring more police accountability, and securing necessary resources to prevent gun violence within our communities. These demands include:

  • The passage of the S.T.O.P. ordinance which would make CPD reconfigure contact cards to require inclusion of race, gender, reason for stop, etc & allow data transparency of arrests, instances of sexual assault, & other police misconduct

  • The lowering of ticket prices for misdemeanor marijuana possession to $50 dollars in Chicago

  • Trauma Center Regional Solutions Meeting – We demand Mayor’s Office to begin meeting the process of healthcare providers, legislators & southside communities to come together & find a trauma center the Southside

  • The termination of Detective Dante Servin without pension, the killer of Rekia Boyd

  • Publicly support comprehensive bail bond reform in the state’s attorney office.

  • The immediate allocation of $5 million to restorative justice hubs

  • As the most effective gun violence prevention program on record we request a fully funded youth job program that ends unemployment of Chicago’s young people.

  • No new police hires – instead use the money saved to invest in effective gun violence prevention strategies

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has committed to “preventing another lost generation of our city’s youth” during his second inaugural speech. Mayor Emanuel devoted much of his speech to expressing what he felt necessary to support young people in Chicago who live in poverty, and as he describes, “lack the spark of hope in their eyes”. Despite his sentiments, Mayor Emanuel did not speak about the specific actions his administration would take to expand resources for young people. It is the intention of us young people at the meeting to provide the Mayor with tangible actions that can make communities a place of freedom, justice and safety.

Collins to Fight for Senate Democrats’ Agenda for Working Families

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Millions in corporate tax loopholes would be eliminated, students admitted to community colleges could attend for up to two years tuition-free and the minimum wage would rise to $11 an hour under a legislative agenda Illinois Senate Democrats are rallying behind as negotiations with Governor Rauner have stalled.

“With budget negotiations now held hostage to a pro-corporate agenda, working families stand to lose,” State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) said. “We will put them front and center this summer as we address the barriers ordinary Illinois residents face on the path to a better life.”

The agenda contains five key provisions:

·        Corporate loopholes (SB 2148): Ends a variety of corporate tax loopholes, including automatic tax breaks for production outside Illinois. Ending these corporate giveaways will bring the state $334 million in additional revenue.

·        Minimum wage (SB 2145): Increases the state minimum wage to $9 per hour on July 1, 2015 and by $0.50 each subsequent year until the minimum wage reaches $11 on July 1, 2019. Provides a three-year tax credit for employers with fewer than 50 employees.

·        Illinois College Promise Program (SB 2146): Covers tuition and mandatory fees for up to two years at any of the state’s 48 community colleges as long as the student continues to meet all applicable eligibility requirements.

·        Healthy Workplace Act (SB 2147): Guarantees up to seven paid days of sick time to full and part time employees. Sick time would accrue at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employees would not be able to take sick time for the first 120 days of employment.

·        Tuition Tax Credit (SB 2149): Qualifying parents or students who are Illinois residents can claim a tax credit for higher education expenses incurred at any eligible public or private university, community college, vocational school or other postsecondary educational institution located in Illinois.

“This agenda puts people ahead of profits and communities in need ahead of corporations,” said Collins, who has consistently spoken out against the devastating budget cuts the governor proposes. “The governor, his wealthy allies and the large corporations that siphon tax dollars away from education and essential services are threatening to spend unprecedented sums of money to influence the political process, but when we stand united for economic justice, we will prevail.”

The introduction of this agenda, which embodies many of the longtime core concerns of Senate Democrats, comes as Gov. Rauner threatens to shut down state government and all state services unless lawmakers erode legal protections for workers and their families and slash billions of dollars in aid to the most vulnerable.

The economic plan, which Collins will co-sponsor, was filed at the Capitol today and could be in final form for possible votes should lawmakers be called back into session this summer.

Raoul, Colleagues Unveil Ambitious Economic Plan

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

College access, paid sick leave, living wage will help Illinoisans get ahead

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois students could have the opportunity to attend community college for up to two years tuition-free, workers would be guaranteed paid sick time and a gradual increase in the minimum wage would help working families get a foothold in tough times under a legislative agenda many Senate Democrats are rallying behind as negotiations with Governor Rauner have stalled.

“I’m concerned that the priorities of the middle class and families struggling to get by have been neglected as the rhetoric at the Capitol has heated up,” Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul said. “These initiatives are basic ingredients of a more competitive, compassionate Illinois: education access, workplace protections, a living wage and tax reforms so working families aren’t forced to shoulder more than their share.”

The agenda contains five key provisions:

·        Illinois College Promise Program (SB 2146): Covers tuition and mandatory fees for up to two years at any of the state’s 48 community colleges as long as the student continues to meet all applicable eligibility requirements.

·        Healthy Workplace Act (SB 2147): Guarantees up to seven paid days of sick time to full and part time employees. Sick time would accrue at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employees would not be able to take sick time for the first 120 days of employment.

·        Tuition Tax Credit (SB 2149): Qualifying parents or students who are Illinois residents can claim a tax credit for higher education expenses incurred at any eligible public or private university, community college, vocational school or other postsecondary educational institution located in Illinois.

·        Corporate loopholes (SB 2148): Ends a variety of corporate tax loopholes, including automatic tax breaks for production outside Illinois. Ending these corporate giveaways will bring the state $334 million in additional revenue.

·        Minimum wage (SB 2145): Increases the state minimum wage to $9 per hour on July 1, 2015 and by $0.50 each subsequent year until the minimum wage reaches $11 on July 1, 2019. Provides a three-year tax credit for employers with fewer than 50 employees.

“This is an ambitious agenda but one that is profoundly commonsense, extending opportunities to our hard-working residents trying to improve their standard of living and give back to their communities,” Raoul said. “Illinois’ most successful reforms rarely come about without a commitment to cooperation — something our law enforcement reform package shows we can still muster — and I hope we can join together to help the people we represent get ahead and stay ahead.”

The introduction of this agenda, embodying longtime core concerns of many Senate Democrats, comes as Gov. Rauner threatens to shut down state government unless lawmakers erode legal protections for workers and their families and slash billions of dollars in essential services to seniors, at-risk youth and the state’s most vulnerable residents.

The economic plan, which Raoul will co-sponsor, was filed at the Capitol today and could be in final form for possible votes should lawmakers be called back into session this summer.

Attorney General Applauds Legislative Passage of Measures to Support Women Consumers, Seniors

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan highlighted legislation initiated by her office that will be heading to the governor’s desk for final approval. The measures build on Madigan’s efforts to protect women, consumers and Illinois’ most vulnerable residents.

The Illinois General Assembly passed House Bill 821, House Bill 2462 and Senate Bill 1833, all of which the Attorney General initiated this spring. The measures will be sent to the governor for final approval.

“These bills will position Illinois as a leader on many fronts,” Attorney General Madigan said. “With final approval, these new laws will ensure that Illinois residents are afforded greater protections, whether they are students attending college, families looking after their loved ones in nursing home facilities, or if they are among the millions of Americans whose personal information has been compromised in a data breach.”

Improving Response to Campus Sexual Violence

Attorney Madigan spearheaded House Bill 821 to address sexual violence on college campuses. Madigan convened summits around the state to discuss the legislation, which will set standards to prevent and respond to sexual violence at higher education institutions throughout Illinois.

The Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act will ensure that Illinois colleges and universities take steps to develop clear, comprehensive campus sexual violence policies. Some of the requirements include notifying student survivors about their rights; providing a confidential advisor to survivors to help them understand their options to report the crime and seek medical and legal assistance; adopting a fair, balanced process for adjudicating allegations of sexual violence; and training students and campus employees to prevent sexual violence and improve awareness. The legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg) and Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields), passed the House and Senate almost unanimously.

Greater Protections for Nursing Home Residents

Attorney General Madigan initiated House Bill 2462 in response to complaints from nursing home residents and families concerned for their relatives’ care and security. Madigan’s proposal would allow residents of nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities or their family members to purchase and install video or audio monitoring devices in their rooms. Some provisions include requiring resident and roommate consent before devices can be installed, making residents or their families responsible for purchasing and maintaining the devices, and prohibiting facilities from retaliating against residents who use the devices.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan) passed both chambers of the General Assembly with strong legislative support. If enacted, Illinois would become the fourth state to explicitly allow electronic monitoring devices to be installed in resident rooms in nursing homes.

Upgrading Illinoisans’ Personal Data Security Protections

Madigan also drafted Senate Bill 1833 to strengthen the state’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). Originally passed in 2005 at Attorney General Madigan’s direction, PIPA made Illinois among the first states in the country to require entities that suffer a data breach to notify Illinois residents if the breached information included residents’ drivers’ license numbers, Social Security numbers, or financial account information. Since the law’s enactment, the extent of sensitive information collected about consumers has greatly expanded, and the threat of data breaches has increased significantly, necessitating the need to update and strengthen the state’s law.

Madigan’s bill, sponsored by Sen. Dan Biss (D-Evanston) and Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago), will expand the type of information that triggers a breach notification to consumers, including medical information outside of federal privacy laws, biometric data, contact information when combined with identifying information, and login credentials for online accounts. The bill also requires entities holding sensitive information to take “reasonable” steps to protect the information, to post a privacy policy describing their data collection practices, and to notify the Attorney General’s office when breaches occur. Entities will also have to notify the Attorney General’s Office in the event of a breach of geolocation information or consumer marketing information. Madigan has said her office would create a website that lists every data breach that affects Illinois to increase awareness among residents.

For more information about the Attorney General’s programs and services to Illinois constituents, please visit www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.

Film, Black Pastor Grieves Loss of Daughter

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

“Runaway Island” with Oscar-Nominated Director at the helm set to premiere at the American Black Film Festival in NYC Film starring A. Russell Andrews explores love and loss


Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) – Multi-award winning actor A. Russell Andrews is starring as Rev. Clinton Hines, a grieving father dealing with the loss of his daughter in the original movie Runaway Island, a story about a group of troubled strangers looking to escape their woes, and who end up sharing a transformational experience on an island – Isle due Soleil, a secluded 1700s Gullah Sea Island resort – steeped in African American heritage and culture. There will be a World Premiere screening of the film at the 2015 American Black Film Festival (ABFF), the nations largest gathering of Black film and TV enthusiasts in New York City, June 11- 14, 2015.

Oscar-nominated Dianne Houston (Tuesday Morning Ride) is at the helm of this unique story written by Christopher Brandt, the 2014 American Black Film Festival screenplay competition winner. In the film, Andrews is a successful pastor who recently lost his daughter to leukemia. He is forced to deal with his loss while taking stock of his life and renewing his love for his wife.

“My character, Reverend Clinton Hines, is struggling with his faith, and rightly so. But I dont think its about whether a greater power exists, but is it just? Is it fair?” said Andrews, who recently finished working on the short film RESET with award-winning director Arun K. Vir who was voted one of HBO’s ‘Women to Watch. Andrews is also featured in the upcoming N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton directed by F. Gary Gray.

The film is produced by Gingi Rochelle of GR Entertainment Group and Allison Wilmarth Kovak of Cottonseed Studios, and is slated to premiere on TV One on Saturday, July 25 at 8 PM/ET.

Additionally the cast stars Lorraine Toussaint (Orange is the New Black), Aisha Hinds (Star Trek) Erica Tazel (Justified), Tom Wright (All My Children), Thomas Q. Jones (Being Mary Jane), Leon Thomas III (Victorious) and Melanie Liburd (Stalker).

About A. Russell Andrews
With a career that spans nearly 25 years, Andrews is the founding member and producing artistic director of the multi-award winning Los Angeles-based stage company, StageWalkers. The company has received over 30 LA Theatre award nominations with wins that include 2 NAACP Theatre Awards and 2 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards (L.A.s version of the Tony Award) for his work with Pulitzer Prize winning author August Wilsons Piano Lesson, Jitney, and Ma Raineys Black Bottom in which Andrews received his first NAACP Theatre Award for Best Actor. Considered a Wilson hired gun, Andrews played the role of Youngblood in the cast of August Wilsons Jitney that was honored with Londons prestigious Sir Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. Andrews other credits include The In-Laws (with Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks), The Punisher (with John Travolta and Tom Jane) and Hanelle Culpepper’s award-winning short, A Single Rose. Selected television credits include guest star and recurring roles in Greys Anatomy, Harry’s Law, The Defenders, The Nine, Boston Legal, CSI: Miami, Bernie Mac and Numb3rs. For more information, visit www.arussellandrews.com.

NYC, Black Dads To Dance With Their Daughters For Father’s Day

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Dads, Kids Gear up for Real Dads Network Events across New York City

Real Dads, Daddy Daughter Dance

New York City, NY (BlackNews.com) – Real Dads throughout the New York City tri-state area will join hundreds of their peers across New York City to celebrate the eighth annual Real Dads Week of events from Saturday, June 6 to Saturday, June 13, 2015. The events are free and open to the public, excluding the Daddy Daughter Dance. Registration is required for all events.

In preparation for Fathers Day, Real Dads Network expects hundreds of men, children and women of all ages to celebrate and honor Black dads who are both exemplary role models and community leaders. The events will incorporate social, cultural, and intellectual activities and a networking meeting. Women are highly encouraged to participate along with the fathers to serve as support systems.

The events include a Black fathers and family picnic on Saturday, June 6th @ Roy Wilkins Park, Jamaica, NY, a Father & Son Day at P.S. 47 in the Bronx on June 6th, an After-Work Mixer and Networking on Wednesday, June 10th in Brooklyn, a Celebration and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 11th at Medgar Evers College, and the 8th Annual Daddy Daughter Dance on Saturday, June 13 at The Alhambra Ballroom, 2116 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, NYC. Cost: $110 for dad & daughter, $45 for each additional child. Real Dad Members receive 10% discount. (Schedule Attached)

The money raised by the Daddy Daughter Dance helps Real Dads Network run the Real Dads Clubs around the city, and to support the organization throughout the year. This dance is supported by Fathers Incorporated. The media sponsor is Radio 103.9FM.

“I had an amazing time at the Daddy and Daughter’s dance. It has been a blessing. This is something really special and I hope to continue to play a part,” said Allan Houston, Former New York Knicks Player.

Real Dads Network is asking all those who believe that involved fathers should be celebrated, to join in as they bring Real Dads together for a week of positive enjoyment and recognition for the important role they play. Children who grow up without an involved father are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior (National Fatherhood Initiative).

For media inquiries contact Keith Honeywell, keith.realdadsnetwork@gmail.com or (212) 875-7725. For more event information, registration and tickets visit www.RealDadsNetwork.org.
About Real Dads Network
Real Dads Network (RDN) is an organization committed to strengthening the institution of the Black family by promoting positive images of Black fathers in the media, as well as providing men with resources and support designed to encourage them to be more actively involved in the parenting process. RDN believes that children flourish developmentally and in attainment of life opportunities, when both parents are actively involved in their parenting, regardless of the marital or living circumstances.

Photo Caption: Dads at the 2014 Daddy Daughter Dance singing to their daughters.

#TraumaCenterNow! Activists and UofC Alums Say #NoMoreBusinessAsUsual During Univ. of Chicago Alumni Weekend Celebrations

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Organizers say University of Chicago doesn’t care about Black lives. Week of actions aims to educate alumni and calls on them to demand that UChicago open an adult Level 1 trauma center.

CHICAGO, IL – This week, a coalition made up of South Side youth, mothers, clergy, doctors, nurses and university students, joined by UofC alumni, will stage a series of actions to shine a light on the University of Chicago’s refusal to open a Level 1 Adult Trauma Center. The latest week of actions is timed to coincide with the University’s Alumni Weekend Celebrations, a time of heightened tensions at UofC, because it is during this time that it makes the majority of its money from alumni donations.

“The University of Chicago has shown that they do not not care about black lives,” says Veronica Morris-Moore, a Woodlawn resident and youth organizer with the trauma center campaign. “We want to make sure alumni know where their donation dollars are going, and we want to say we can’t live with [UofC President] Robert Zimmer’s definition of ‘business as usual’ any more. University of Chicago needs to open a trauma center now.”

Organizers are demanding that:

UofC open a level one adult trauma center now

UofC raise the age of the Level 1 pediatric trauma center care to 21

UofC President Zimmer set a meeting with the Trauma Care Coalition by the end of the week

UofC include community input in the current trauma center feasibility study

UofC agree to a comprehensive community benefits agreement on the Obama Library

The actions will encompass the duration of the UofC’s alumni weekend celebrations and will be joined by alumni supporters of the ongoing push for a trauma center. “As a student at the UofC I saw first hand the best and the worst of what the institution can do — how many resources they have, but also how they put up barriers around themselves and keep out the rest of the South Side,” explained UofC alum Alex Goldenberg, B.A. ’06.

The community’s demand for trauma care was sparked by the death of Woodlawn youth leader Damian Turner, and is led by the Woodlawn-based Fearless Leading by the Youth, along with the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, Students for Health Equity at the UofC, National Nurses United and many faith groups including the United Church of Christ.

The South Side is currently a trauma desert for adults, meaning that victims of shootings and other serious injuries must be taken over ten miles away, to the Near North Side or south west suburbs. The call for trauma care is also supported by a new study by the Illinois Department of Public Health which states that longer travel times to a trauma center increases the likelihood of dying, the study also states that the U of C is best positioned to expand access to trauma care, and that the U of C could further raise the age limit of their pediatric trauma center.


Trauma Care Coalition @traumacenternow #TraumaCenterNow!
#BlackLivesMatter  #StillWaitingUChi  #DecolonizeSouthSide

Week of Action for #TraumaCenterNow

During UChicago Alumni Celebrations

Wed 6/3:  4PM – Protest at UChicago President Zimmer’s house (59th & University)

Thur 6/4:  6:30PM – Prayer Vigil, 58th & Maryland

Fri 6/5:    11AM – T-Shirt Action Calling for a #TraumaCenterNow (Location TBA
Friday Morning)

8PM – Large-Scale Visual Action for #BlackLivesMatter (details to be

Sat 6/6:  all morning – On campus protests and rallies (details to be announced)

In the News
“Here’s What U of C Should Do for the City” Crain’s Chicago Business
“Protestors link Obama library with #BlackLivesMatter,” Bloomberg
“UofC Wants to Raise Age Limit at Pediatric Trauma Center,” The Chicago Sun-Times
“UofC Aims to Expand Treatment at Children’s Trauma Center,” The Chicago Tribune
“Trauma center protesters target U. of C. capital campaign,” The Chicago Maroon
“Chicago Faith Leaders Sing, Pray For A South Side Trauma Center ,” Progress Illinois
“Religious leaders march for South Side trauma center,” Hyde Park Herald
“South Side Hospital Patients Caught in Trauma Deserts,” (Feature Story), Chicago Tribune
“University of Chicago Alumni: No Donations Until Trauma Center Opened,” Progress Illinois
“Chicago needs help, not Obama Library,” LZ Granderson, CNN.com
“Activists protest university’s bid for Obama Library,” USA Today

mRelief Launches in Garfield and North Area Community Service Centers

Posted by Admin On June - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

With a fully redesigned site and a host of convenience features, mRelief integrates with centers in the north and west side extending it’s reach to more Chicagoans living in poverty.

CHICAGO, IL – mRelief will launch in community service centers, sites that administer public assistance and economic mobility in Chicago, in Garfield and North Area. The app refers eligible users to online and in-person application assistance and ineligible users to their nearest community resources provided by Purple Binder. The city’s integration with mRelief’s modernized web-based tools reduced eligibility determination time by 75 percent and now the nonprofit organization is scaling its reach.

mRelief’s online eligibility screener which calculates eligibility for 12 safety net programs in food, transportation, housing, health, and child welfare first launched in partnership with the City at the King Community Service Center, located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, on October 9, 2014. In 2015, over 1100 clients have been screened using mRelief at the King Center alone.

“We are really excited to provide a new interface that caters to making eligibility determination even more convenient for people already burdened with the stressful circumstance of poverty,” says co-founder Rose Afriyie.

mRelief’s site attracts low income Chicagoans who sustain their households on $1,321 on average a month. The site’s expansion to the center near Garfield is particularly important as census data showed that 39.7 percent of households in East Garfield Park were below the poverty level. Additionally, 22.7 percent of households in the Uptown community surrounding the North Area community service center is below the poverty level.

With the help of a grant from the Smart Chicago Collaborative’s Civic Works Project, which is funded by the Knight Foundation, the team re-envisioned the entire user experience and design of the site. Marina Goldshteyn, mRelief Product Designer and former designer for healthcare giant Humana, led the design effort and Genevieve Nielsen, mRelief CTO, executed backend development of the site redesign. The efforts resulted in mRelief’s new design which is chock full of features that make it easier for the user at each phase of eligibility determination.

Users can now start screening for eligibility on the very first page. When starting with the “All Programs At Once,” option on the homepage, users can utilize a calculator for income math. In addition, mRelief now stores inputs so users never need to retype unchanging information as they navigate between forms. As an additional boost, popovers explaining income specifications and other requirements in detail are hidden unless users are entering their information into the pertinent fields. Finally, eligibility results pages for food stamps and rental assistance now link to documents needed for the interview so users can arrive prepared and save even more time.

The mRelief team is comprised of all-women software developers who work out of 1871 in The Merchandise Mart.

mRelief is modernizing public benefits through web tools and an unprecedented use of text messaging in social services that empowers people with whether they qualify and tells all users their best next step. For more information and to view the redesigned site, visit mRelief at www.mrelief.com

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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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