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Archive for August 18th, 2015

CopyLine Magazine Interviews EWAC Officials About Proposed Medical Marijuana Dispensary Headed for the Eighth Ward

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On August - 18 - 2015 Comments Off on CopyLine Magazine Interviews EWAC Officials About Proposed Medical Marijuana Dispensary Headed for the Eighth Ward

Juanita Bratcher, Editor & Publisher of CopyLine Magazine and Host of One On One TV, interviews Jerry Brown and Linda Hudson of the 8th Ward Accountability Coalition (EWAC). Brown and Hudson discuss a proposed medical cannabis dispensary headed to the 8th Ward, located at 1111 E. 87th Street. The 8th Ward Community is up-in-arms about the dispensary. The bottom line: They don’t want it.

Renown Cameraman and Tech Production Expert Clarence McMillan and Pamela McMillan, Executive Producer of One On One TV and CEO of Petal et al, produced the video. Clarence is also an executive with One On One TV.

A meeting about the proposed dispensary is scheduled before the Zoning Board of Appeals on August 21, 2015, at 121 North LaSalle Street, Room 200 at 2 p.m.

LINK TO INTERVIEW:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW0pTxuH7t0&feature=youtu.be

President Obama Signs Executive Order Making Presidential Innovation Fellows Program Permanent: FACT SHEET

Posted by Admin On August - 18 - 2015 Comments Off on President Obama Signs Executive Order Making Presidential Innovation Fellows Program Permanent: FACT SHEET

“My hope is this continues to encourage a culture of public service among our innovators, and tech entrepreneurs, so that we can keep building a government that’s as modern, as innovative, and as engaging as our incredible tech sector is.  To all the Fellows who’ve served so far – thank you.  I encourage all Americans with bold ideas to apply.  And I can’t wait to see what those future classes will accomplish on behalf of the American people.” –- President Barack Obama

President Obama signed an executive order that makes the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program a permanent part of the Federal government going forward. The program brings executives, entrepreneurs, technologists, and other innovators into government, and teams them up with Federal employees to improve programs that serve more than 150 million Americans.

The Presidential Innovation Fellows Program is built on four key principles:

  • Recruit the best our nation has to offer: Fellows include entrepreneurs, startup founders, and innovators with experience at large technology companies and startups, each of whom leverage their proven skills and technical expertise to create huge value for the public.
  • Partner with innovators inside government: Working as teams, the Presidential Innovation Fellows and their partners across the government create products and services that are responsive, user-friendly, and help to improve the way the Federal government interacts with the American people.
  • Deploy proven private sector strategies: Fellows leverage best practices from the private sector to deliver better, more effective programs and policies across the Federal government.
  • Focus on some of the Nation’s biggest and most pressing challenges: Projects focus on topics such as improving access to education, fueling job creation and the economy, and expanding the public’s ability to access their personal health data.

Additional Details on Today’s Announcements

The Executive Order formally establishes the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program within the General Services Administration (GSA), where it will continue to serve departments and agencies throughout the Executive Branch. The Presidential Innovation Fellow Program will be administered by a Director and guided by a newly-established Advisory Board. The Director will outline steps for the selection, hiring, and deployment of Fellows within government.

Announcing New Fellows

Today, the Administration is also announcing 6 new Presidential Innovation Fellows from industry that will begin serving in the coming weeks. Since the launch of the Presidential Innovation Fellows pilot program in 2012, 96 top innovators have been recruited into this highly-competitive program from across the country.

The new Fellows being announced today are:

  • Adam Bonnifield, from Washington, DC, a digital strategist, developer and the co-founder of Spinnakr, a platform for making big data accessible and actionable.
  • Ross Dakin, from Palo Alto, CA, a software engineer who has created novel financial services at Upstart Network, cyber threat intelligence tools at BrightPoint Security, and same-day infrastructure at Deliv.
  • Luke Keller, from Brooklyn, NY, a product designer and strategist who developed products to help educators introduce character development to their classrooms at Character Lab.
  • Kate McCall-Kiley, from Kensington, MD, a designer specializing in human-centered design and social change who previously served on innovation teams at Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One, and Design for America.
  • Josh Patterson, from Columbia, SC, a data scientist and economist who most recently lead the development of big data systems at Accenture Technology Labs.
  • Alexandra Pelletier, from Jamaica Plain, MA, a product manager who most recently served as the digital lead for the Innovation Acceleration Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Building on Success: Additional Details on the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program to Date

Since the launch of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program in 2012, 96 top innovators have been recruited into this highly-competitive program from across the country, including places like: Silicon Valley; New York City; Austin; Washington, D.C.; and Boston.

Recruit the Best

A core element of the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program is to recruit leading entrepreneurs, innovators, developers, designers, and engineers into government for “tours of duty.” In the past three years, Fellows who have served include:

  • Director of Engineering at Macromedia, Sarah Allen
  • Open Source Health Developer and Navy Veteran, Tom Black
  • Lecturer at the d.School (Institute of Design at Stanford) and Director of Social Innovation at Hot Studio, Sarah Brooks
  • Manager of Mobile Analytics at The New York Times, Rachel Harrison Gordon
  • Partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures, Scott Hartley
  • Business Development Lead at IDEO, Ashley Jablow
  • Co-Founder of Blue State Digital, Clay Johnson
  • Lead Developer at Google Maps, Susannah Raub
  • President and CFO of Shutterstock, Adam Riggs
  • Director of Enterprise Information for City of New Orleans, Denice Ross
  • Co-Founder of DMV.org, Vidya Spandana
  • Founder of the weather service Weather Underground, Alan Steremberg
  • Principal Software Architect at Boston Children’s Hospital, Gajen Sunthara
  • Senior Medical Director at Aetna, Henry Wei, MD

From Fellow to Leader

To date, 35 Fellows have stayed on inside government to continue to serve in new roles once their Fellowship ended. These former Fellows include:

  • Chief Architect of Data.gov, Phil Ashlock (2012 Fellow)
  • Chief Data Officer of the Department of Commerce, Ian Kalin (2012 Fellow)
  • Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Marina Martin (2012 Fellow)
  • U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer at the White House, Ryan Panchadsaram (2012 Fellow)
  • Executive Director of 18F, Aaron Snow, and Deputy Executive Director of 18F, Hillary Hartley (2013 Fellows)
  • Director of the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program, Garren Givens (2013 Fellow)
  • Chief Technology Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency, Gregory Godbout (2013 Fellow)
  • Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Secretary at the State Department, Adam Riggs (2013 Fellow)
  • Founding team of the United States Digital Service, Charles Worthington and Mollie Ruskin (2013 Fellows)

The full list of Fellows and their backgrounds can be found here: https://presidentialinnovationfellows.gov/fellows/.

Presidential Innovation Fellow Projects and Accomplishments

Fellows have partnered with leaders at more than 25 government agencies, delivering impressive results in months, not years, driving extraordinary work and innovative solutions in areas such as health care; open data and data science; crowd-sourcing initiatives; education; veterans affairs; jobs and the economy; and disaster response and recovery. Examples of projects include:

Open Data

When government acts as a platform, entrepreneurs, startups, and the private sector can build value-added services and tools on top of federal datasets supported by federal policies. Taking this approach, Fellows and agency stakeholders have supported the creation of new products and services focused on education, health, the environment, and social justice. As a result of their efforts and the agencies they have worked with:

  • To date, the Administration has opened more than 130,000 data sets. Fellows working with GSA prototyped and delivered an upgrade to Data.gov, making it easier for agencies to provide data to the public, while also spurring innovation around new tools and services to make that data more useful. In addition, Fellows helped drive the rollout of open data standards at nearly a dozen agencies in support of the President’s Executive Order making open data the default practice for the Federal Government.
  • Millions of adverse event and medication error reports on FDA-regulated drugs are now online. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) partnered with a Fellow to launch openFDA, an initiative that puts millions of adverse event and medication error reports on FDA-regulated drugs in the public domain and available through an application programming interface (API).
  • Leveraging open data to build trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities that they serve. A team of Fellows, in collaboration with the White House Domestic Policy Council, the Office of Science Technology & Policy, and other White House offices and Departments and Agencies, have been at the forefront of the Police Data Initiative, which responds to the recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.  The initiative has brought together police chiefs, municipal chief technology officers, and the private-sector to facilitate the efforts of law enforcement agencies to publish open data about police activities such as officer-involved-shootings, vehicle stops, and citizen complaints. There are currently 26 jurisdictions working to make available new data sets to the public through this initiative.
  • More than 150 utilities and vendors have committed to providing over 60 million households in the United States access to their personalized energy data. Fellows, in collaboration with the Department of Energy, National Institute of Standards and Technology, the North American Energy Standards Board, utilities and vendors, worked to double the reach of Green Button, which aims to reduce waste and shrink energy bills by providing consumers with secure, easy-to-understand information about how they are using energy in their households.
  • With more than 205,000 downloads, the OSHA Heat App is helping to protect workers and save lives. As part of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) effort to help outdoor workers prevent heat illness, a Fellow worked with OSHA to release of a new version of the Heat Safety Tool mobile app. Since the update, the app has 30,000 new users. The app informs employers and workers about current weather conditions and provides information to help users plan work schedules accordingly and take other precautions to prepare for extreme heat.

Jobs and the Economy

Fellows continue to work on solutions that will give the government better access to innovative tools and services. This is also helping small and medium-sized companies create jobs and compete for Federal government contracts.

  • Fellows learned that greater transparency on procurements led to more competitive bids. Working with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Fellows helped SBA pilot an online platform called RFP-EZ in only six months to make it easier for small tech businesses to bid on government contracts. Critical feedback from this pilot showed that greater transparency led to more competitive bids, benefitting both the agencies and the taxpayers they serve.
  • Fellows are helping small businesses search for opportunities to work with the Federal government. Working with GSA, a team of Fellows designed FBOpen, a platform that opens the catalogue of Federal opportunities to a larger audience, and helps small business more easily find opportunities to work with the Federal government.
  • Fellows are working to make it easier for government to engage modern software development services. Fellows partnered with GSA’s Office of Integrated Technology Services to begin the process of establishing a government-wide Agile Delivery Services Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). When finished, this product aims to enable agencies to buy agile web and mobile development services in a more cost effective and easier way.
  • A Fellow helped streamlined the review process for international development grants. A Fellow advised USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) fund leaders on methods to streamline operations and improve the selection and review process for grants.

Digital Government

The Presidential Innovation Fellows Program is a part of the Administration’s strategy to create lasting change across the Federal Government by improving how it uses technology. The Fellows played a part in launching 18F within the General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Digital Services (USDS) team within the Office of Management and Budget.

  • Helping agencies better deliver on their missions through advancing a collaborative, creative and modern approach to software development. 18F is the consultancy inside the GSA that helps government agencies build and buy digital services. In just 18 months, 18F has grown from its founding team to over 110 specialists providing software delivery, consulting, infrastructure and talent services to nearly every major federal agency.
  • Transforming government’s most important digital services. The United States Digital Service brings America’s best technical talent into the Federal government to apply their skills and knowledge to improve the nation’s most important citizen-facing digital services. USDS teams work side by side with agency partners and leadership across government to transform some of our most important services to work better for users.
  • These teams are employing the best of product design and engineering practices to ensure projects are delivered, scale, and meet the needs of the public.

Supporting Our Veterans

  • Launched an online tool to make it easier for Veterans to calculate their education benefits. Fellows helped the Department of Veterans Affairs launch an online GI Bill Comparison Tool that makes it easier for Veterans, Servicemembers, and dependents to calculate their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and learn about the VA’s approved colleges, universities, and available education and training programs across the country.
  • Built a one-stop shop for finding employment opportunities. The Veterans Employment Center was developed by a team of Fellows working with the Department of Veterans Affairs in connection with the First Lady’s Joining Forces Initiative and the Department of Labor. This is the first interagency website connecting Veterans, transitioning Servicemembers, and their spouses to meaningful employment opportunities. The portal has resulted in cost savings of over $27 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Education

  • More than 1,900 superintendents pledged to more effectively leverage education technology in their schools. Fellows working at the Department of Education helped develop the idea of Future Ready, which later informed the creation of the Future Ready District Pledge. The Future Ready District Pledge is designed to set out a roadmap to achieve successful personalized digital learning for every student and to commit districts to move as quickly as possible towards our shared vision of preparing students for success. Following the President’s announcement of this effort in 2014, more than 1,900 superintendents have signed this pledge, representing 14 million students.
  • Launched a resource for students to learn how to respond to and prevent sexual assault on campuses. As part of a recommendation from the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, Fellows contributed to the launch of NotAlone.gov, a Department of Education website that provides resources for students, schools, and citizens on how to respond to, and prevent, sexual assault on college and university campuses and in schools. NotAlone.gov has received over 540,000 page views to-date.
  • Crowdsourcing platform enabled volunteers to review more than 18,000 historic and scientific records. A team of Fellows helped develop a crowdsourcing platform for the Smithsonian Transcription Center that allows the public to transcribe handwritten historical documents and records, support important research, and provide an important avenue for Americans to help preserve the Nation’s history. In just six months, working with partners at the Smithsonian, Fellows launched an end-to-end solution for creating digital records for historic files, leading to a cost-savings of $6 million for outsourcing transcriptions.

Health and Patient Care

  • More than 150 million Americans are able to access their health records online. Multiple rounds of Fellows have worked with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to expand the reach of the Blue Button Initiative. As a result, patients are able to access their electronic health records to make more informed decisions about their own health care. The Blue Button Initiative has received more than 600 commitments from organizations to advance health information access efforts across the country and has expanded into other efforts that support health care system interoperability.
  • Fellows were part of the Healthcare.gov rescue team that helped stabilize and support enrollment website. Two Fellows were part of the initial Healthcare.gov “rescue” team.  After stabilizing the site, the team continued to support the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services via open enrollment, ultimately enrolling millions of people in affordable health coverage.

Disaster Response and Recovery

  • Communities are piloting crowdsourcing tools to assess damage after disasters. Fellows developed the GeoQ platform with FEMA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency that crowdsources photos of disaster-affected areas to assess damage over large regions.  This information helps the Federal government better allocate critical response and recovery efforts following a disaster and allows local governments to use geospatial information in their communities.

Calling All Innovators

The Presidential Innovation Fellows program is on the lookout for more of the most talented innovators and technologists to join the team and work on our Nation’s most pressing challenges. Fellows serve for 12 months as entrepreneurs-in-residence, working quickly and iteratively to turn promising ideas into game-changing solutions. The first step is to apply online at www.pif.gov.

Source: whitehouse.gov

Nationwide Survey of Nearly 18,000 Firms Highlights Best States and Cities for Small Business — Thumbtack Small Business Friendliness Survey

Posted by Admin On August - 18 - 2015 Comments Off on Nationwide Survey of Nearly 18,000 Firms Highlights Best States and Cities for Small Business — Thumbtack Small Business Friendliness Survey

Texas, New Hampshire, and Utah top annual rankings of small business friendliness, while New York and California are among the least friendly states


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — State and city governments that promote local business training and focus on ease of regulatory compliance are consistently perceived as being friendliest to small business, according to Thumbtack’s annual Small Business Friendliness Survey. Entrepreneurs’ perceptions of their tax burdens were among the least important factors in judging governments.

The survey, now in its fourth year, reached nearly 18,000 small business owners in the United States and asked them to rate their state and city governments across a broad range of policy factors. Thumbtack then evaluated states and cities against one another along more than a dozen metrics.

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“Small business owners on Thumbtack have consistently told us that they welcome support from their governments but are frequently frustrated by unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles,” said Jon Lieber, Chief Economist of Thumbtack. “Given that there is a crisis of entrepreneurship in the United States, seen in the broad collapse of self-employment across industries and states, creating the right environment for business start-ups is more important than ever.”

For complete results, please visit https://www.thumbtack.com/survey/.

Best and Worst Climates for Small Business

States Cities
Top Ten Best-Ranked
  1. Texas
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Utah
  4. Louisiana
  5. Colorado
  6. Idaho
  7. Tennessee
  8. Virginia
  9. Georgia
  10. Kansas
  1. Manchester, NH
  2. Dallas, TX
  3. Richmond, VA
  4. Austin, TX
  5. Knoxville, TN
  6. Nashville, TN
  7. Houston, TX
  8. Fort Collins, CO
  9. Boulder, CO
  10. San Antonio, TX
Bottom Five Worst-Ranked
  1. Rhode Island
  2. Illinois
  3. Connecticut
  4. California
  5. New York
  1. Hartford, CT
  2. Albuquerque, NM
  3. Buffalo, NY
  4. New Haven, CT
  5. Providence, RI

Key Drivers of Business Friendliness

States Cities
  1. Training Experience
  2. Tax Regulations
  3. Labor Regulations
  1. Training Experience
  2. Licensing Regulations
  3. Website Experience

Licensing was again more important than taxes – When evaluating their cities, small businesses said the ease of compliance with licensing rules mattered far more than tax rates. Tax equity – the actual rate at which business owners pay taxes – mattered far less than any measure of regulatory compliance. For example, labor rules were 88 percent more important in driving state friendliness scores when compared to tax rates.

Effective licensing was just as friendly as no licensing – Small business owners who found licensing compliance to be “very easy” were just as favorable towards their city governments as respondents who weren’t required to be licensed at all. By contrast, licensed professionals in cities with complicated requirements or inconsistent enforcement reported the lowest approval rates.

Training experience was the top factor in both state and city rankings – Offering training on developing a business and navigating the local economic and policy environment was the single biggest factor that influenced perceptions of friendliness. In cities, training was 78 percent more important than the number two factor.  On the state level, small businesses who had a positive training experience were 1.5 times more likely to rate their states as being very supportive.

High quality websites matter – Investing in a high quality, easy-to-use website that provides useful information and decreases the costs of regulatory compliance improves overall perceptions of a local or state government. Business owners who said their city had a “great” website ranked their cities 13 percent higher, while there was no difference in the rankings of business owners who were either unaware of or had had a bad experience on city websites.

Survey Methodology

Thumbtack surveyed 17,633 small businesses across the United States. The 36-question survey asked about the friendliness of states and cities toward small business, including specific questions about the regulatory environment for labor, tax, and licensing rules.

Thumbtack evaluated states and cities against one another along more than a dozen metrics. Respondents to the survey were largely very small service businesses with five or fewer employees. Every state in the country was represented, although only states with more than 50 responses and cities with more than 30 responses were given a grade.

Visit https://www.thumbtack.com/blog/2015-friendliness/ for information about survey methodology.

About Thumbtack

Thumbtack is a technology-based marketplace that connects Americans with experienced local professionals to help them accomplish more than 5 million personal projects each year. More than 150,000 small business professionals actively use Thumbtack each quarter, across nearly a thousand categories including house remodeling, event planning, and music lessons. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in San Francisco, Thumbtack has raised a total of $150 million from Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management, Javelin Investment Partners, and Google Capital.

Fathers Incorporated Partners With Omega Psi Phi Fraternity to Encourage 20,000 Black Fathers to Join “The Honorable Man” Campaign

Posted by Admin On August - 18 - 2015 Comments Off on Fathers Incorporated Partners With Omega Psi Phi Fraternity to Encourage 20,000 Black Fathers to Join “The Honorable Man” Campaign

The effort seeks to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the upcoming Million Man March by focusing on the importance of Responsible Fatherhood

Kenneth Braswell

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — Current trends are showing that black fathers in America are spending more time day-to-day with their children than any other segment of the population. While no one thing can take credit for the shift in behavior or exposing more clarity on existing behavior, the news is something to be recognized and be celebrated.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the historic Million Man March of October 1995. Its a perfect occasion to highlight the positive trends of black fathers. What better partnership to have than one with one of the most respected fraternities in the country; Omega Psi Phi, says Kenneth Braswell, Executive Director of Fathers Incorporated. The momentum is building for our Honorable Man campaign. In just a few short weeks the campaign has signed black fathers from more than 86 U.S. cities.

Omega Psi Phi represents over 750 undergraduate and graduate chapters, both nationally and internationally. Formed in 1911, the fraternity has built its foundation on its cardinal principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift. The Men of Omega firmly believe that the family nor the community will ever be complete without the contribution of the father or a Black male father figure. The lives of those in our communities will be better when our young Black Men are given the chance to live to their full potential and contribute their talents and skills to society. We are committed to help make this happen, says Antonio F. Knox Sr., Grand Basileus, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Up until the march, the Atlanta based not-for-profit and its partners will encourage at least 20,000 black fathers across the nation to sign the HONORABLE man pledge on its website (www.millionblackfathers.com) in order to represent the new 21st Century dad at the October 10th, twentieth anniversary celebration of the Justice or Else Million Man March in Washington, DC.

As a member of the Talented Tenth we have a duty to be actively involved in working with our fathers through highlighting the importance of their being involved in the lives of their children. As we face these most difficult times the family structure with the father present provides a strong support element to insure survival. We are committed to working to this end in every possible way, continues, Robert W. Fairchild, Chair, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative Activities include a comprehensive social media campaign in order to generate conversation around the principles of the HONORABLE man, word of the week, video of the week and contest challenges to sign up fathers to take the pledge. The hashtag #honorableman will be used to capture the excitement created by the effort.

For more information to support or promote the campaign, send an email to info@millionblackfathers.com. You can also join them on Twitter @millionblkdads, Facebook at www.facebook.com/millionblackfathers and our website at www.millionblackfathers.com.

About Fathers Incorporated
Fathers Incorporated is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit (S) corporation and is dedicated to strengthening the community and family infrastructure by encouraging and enabling the positive involvement of fathers in the lives of their children.

About Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated
Since its founding in 1911, Omega Psi Phi’s stated purpose has been to attract and build a strong and effective force of men dedicated to its cardinal principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift. Over 100,000 men have been initiated into Omega Psi Phi Fraternity throughout the United States, Bermuda, Bahamas, Canada, Ghana, Virgin Islands, South Korea, Japan, Liberia, Germany, and Kuwait.

Photo: Executive Director of Fathers Incorporated, Kenneth Braswell

CPS is Helping Kids Read Better and Hunting for Dropouts

Posted by Admin On August - 18 - 2015 Comments Off on CPS is Helping Kids Read Better and Hunting for Dropouts

By Chinta Strausberg

As September 8th’s first day of school nears, two organizations are working closely with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) by providing free reading programs and literally hunting for more than 60,000 dropouts before school begins.

If you are 50-years or older who are retired willing to be trained to help children in K-3rd grace, Myrna Torres with the AARP Foundation, is looking for you.

“Unfortunately, with CPS students by the end of the third grade they are behind in reading, and we’re on a mission to help children read while they are in the early grades,” she said during the “God’s On The Block” party held Saturday at the Greater Institutional A.M.E. Church headed by Rev. Dr. Walter B. Johnson, Jr.

Her program is in 13 schools mostly on the South and West Sides of Chicago. Accompanying Torres was Janice Bryant Foney, the branch administrator for the AARP Foundation Experience Corp, who said, “Our program is fantastic” calling their volunteers “wonderful.”

According to Torres, last year her program served 554 students in 10 schools and of those schools 47 percent of them were able to make grade level reading and 62 percent had advanced 1 to 2-years or more in reading levels. “We are really on a mission to help CPS teachers to help children learn to read.”

“Unfortunately, in Illinois they build prisons based on end-of-third year reading levels…. We want to turn that around…prevent children from going down that path. We’d rather have them learn to read,” said Torres.

She explained the program is held in the two-hour reading block, which is mandated for all K-3rd graders. “The volunteers work with three children in one group for a 30-minute intervention.”

And, while Torres’ group is improving reading scores for students K-3, Alvin Rider, re-Engagement Center Coordinator for the Student Outreach and Re-Engagement Center, is literally looking for CPS dropouts.

“We go after kids who have dropped out of school, and we bring them back in with a number of options whether that is an option school or a former CPS high school,” Rider said of the age group 15-21. “We have online credit recovery at our site, and we help them with a grand plan to get them back into school” so they can graduate.

According to Rider and Mamisha Webber, his center opened at 945 W. 59th at the Salvation Army, Red Shield Center and Morgan two-months ago and is having an open house on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Our goal is to go after every single one of the 60,000 dropouts and bring them back into school,” Rider said.

Mark Walsh, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV), said, “About 90 percent of all crime guns come from five percent of dealers in the country. In Chicago, 20 percent come from four dealers the most notorious being Chuck’s gun Shop in Riverdale.”

Walsh said he works closely with Saint Sabina’s Father Michael L. Pfleger. He urged them to sign his petition calling for federal background checks on all gun sales, a state license for gun dealers and a bill entitled Lethal Gun Violence Order of Protection Act.

This bill would “empower immediate family members who are concerned about a loved one hurting themselves or others.” It is similar to a domestic violence restraining order; however, it would allow courts to remove a person’s access to guns if he or she poses a significant risk of personal injury to him or her by possessing a gun.

Tiny Montgomery, program coordinator for Colgate had a van where students under the age of 12 were given free dental screening. On the opposite end of the event free books were given away by Bernie’s Book Bank. There was also a basketball and a hoop for young boys who played a rigorous game of basketball.

Rev. Donna Anderson introduced Antonio Paris, a former Chicago Bears player who spoke to hundreds of people who attended the block party.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

“Inside Ferguson” Author Devin S. James Urges Leaders to Acknowledge Systemic Racism and Listen to the Voice of the Community

Posted by Admin On August - 18 - 2015 Comments Off on “Inside Ferguson” Author Devin S. James Urges Leaders to Acknowledge Systemic Racism and Listen to the Voice of the Community

Inside Ferguson by Devin S. James

Ferguson, MO (BlackNews.com) — Despite angry protests and national outcry after the police killing of unarmed Michael Brown, Jr., a year ago Aug. 9, the police shootings of Black citizens and ensuing uprisings continue to occur across the country. Diversity expert and author, Devin S. James, warns the tragedies and conflict will continue until government leaders make a real commitment to cultural sensitivity training, diversity recruiting, and accountability. In his new memoir, Inside Ferguson: A Voice for the Voiceless, James offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges he experienced while working with Ferguson city officials and leaders resistant to change.

When protests turned violent after Michael Brown was killed, St. Louis County leaders called upon James to help bridge the gap between Fergusons all-white leadership and its outraged Black community. They thought his background made him the perfect for the task. James has firsthand experience of the ambiguity of the criminal justice system, making him a very unlikely success story. An abused child, high school drop out, victim of gun violence and former gang member, his transformation as an astute, educated communications professional speaks volumes about his intellect, character and integrity.

Inside Ferguson is James chilling account of the hypocrisies of Fergusons leadership and the consequences he suffered when he tried to do his job and dared to become a voice for the voiceless. The mentalities displayed by leadership in Missouri demonstrate how devalued Black people are in America, states James, whose expertise includes crisis management and community engagement.

The leaders pretend to be concerned about the issues impacting the black community however, they refuse to listen to the needs of the community or make any significant changes. Rather than acknowledge systemic racism exists and try to understand why residents were offended by their actions, the leaders often defended their actions and denied any wrongdoing, adds the CEO of The Devin James Group.

Inside Ferguson explores the City Councils inability to address any real issues, and the subsequent character assassination that occurred when James refused to play along and pushed for real change.  The book details shocking, yet insightful, conversations based on memories, experiences, e-mails, text messages, audio recordings and transcriptions of events as they unfolded according to James.

Despite the tragedies and challenges evident during his time in Ferguson, James still remains hopeful about what can be done: Ultimately, its my hope that my book can help put the focus back on what really matters: why racial inequality and discrimination is still a major crisis in America today. In the wake of Ferguson and similar tragedies occurring nationally, government officials across the country must examine the racist laws and policies that foster an environment in which the killing of Black men and women is acceptable.

Inside Ferguson: A Voice for the Voiceless is an explosive missile of truth from a man uniquely positioned to uncover the real mechanics of damage control and race relations. The insider game he reveals is gut wrenching as he exposes the Black community as pawns in a war that rages deeper than the death of one victim. Jamess account will make you question the progress America has made in the quest for racial equality and reflect upon the true meaning of Black Lives Matter.

Inside Ferguson: A Voice for the Voiceless will be available Friday, August 14th, 2015 at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Please visit www.insideferguson.com and connect with Devin S. James on www.facebook.com/pages/InsideFerguson/1608803709402908, Twitter: @Devin_S_James, and Instagram: @devinsjames. Check out the trailer at www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Pzigt_Ma0A.

Photo: Bookcover


National Urban League Mourns Civil Rights Icon Julian Bond

Posted by Admin On August - 18 - 2015 Comments Off on National Urban League Mourns Civil Rights Icon Julian Bond

National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial released the following statement on the death of Julian Bond:

“The Urban League family deeply grieves the loss of Julian Bond, a true warrior for civil rights and social justice. He embodied integrity, passion and dignity, and was a role model for all Americans.

“He was a bridge between the civil rights pioneers of the 1960’s and the dynamic young activists of today, employing both a deep sense of history and a keen instinct for action.

“Our prayers and heartfelt sympathy are with his family. “

Official 2015 HBCU Homecoming & Football Classic Schedules Now Available Online

Posted by Admin On August - 18 - 2015 Comments Off on Official 2015 HBCU Homecoming & Football Classic Schedules Now Available Online

HBCU marching band

Columbus, OH (BlackNews.com) — HBCUConnect.com has once again published a complete listing of Homecoming dates and Football classics for the nations 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

A tradition that has gone back now for over 100 years, Black College homecomings draw thousands of professional African Americans to their alma-maters to enjoy tailgating, college football, and reconnecting with old classmates. “Homecomings are actually the largest draw to our HBCU campuses each year, so we thought we would do our part and make it an annual tradition to publish an official list for our members and website visitors,” says Will Moss, founder and CEO of HBCU Connect, LLC.

African Americans take note, as forward thinking companies have also capitalized on the opportunity to connect with the growing population of professional African Americans that participate in the homecoming festivities. Companies like Microsoft, Walgreens, IBM and many others have leveraged to tap into this market through sponsorships.

As black college alumni gear up for the homecoming trips this fall, HBCU Connect also maintains the largest online marketplace of HBCU related products (www.hbcuconnect.com/marketplace/) featuring over 6,000 HBCU related products to make your search for tailgating attire that much easier.

The list of HBCU Classics can be found at:
www.hbcuconnect.com/classics.shtml

The list of HBCU Homecoming dates can be found at:
www.hbcuconnect.com/homecoming/

About HBCU Connect:
HBCU Connect is an on-line based community formed in 1999 to link graduates and students of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The community now consists of HBCU students, alumni, family and friends. The company has extended to not only link graduates, but students; offering money for college, graduates with employers as well as maintaining an active presence in the HBCU community. For more details, visit www.HBCUconnect.com


Chicago Doctor Warns About Sun Damage

Posted by Admin On August - 18 - 2015 Comments Off on Chicago Doctor Warns About Sun Damage

CHICAGO, IL – Dr. Omeed Memar stresses there is no such thing as total protection against the sun.

There are numerous sun protection products currently on the market.  However, with all these products come hype and confusion! Recently, actress Jessica Alba’s eco-friendly skin product company, (HONEST,) came under fire for not providing consumers adequate sun protection. Dr. Memar says when it comes to protecting your skin and your life, you need the facts not the hype.

Keys to Buying Sun Block:

  • Sunscreen will not give you all day total protection
  • What ingredients to look for in products
  • What are the best sunscreens or sunblocks
  • How to apply them? and how often?
  • What does SPF (the sun protection factor) stand for?
  • How important is the strength of SPF
  • How long can you stay out in the sun without burning?
  • What are the best times to stay out of the sun?
  • The dangers of burning  unprotected  and protected
  • Always wear a hat in the sun

Dr. Memar can describe the difference between UVB rays and UVA rays.

What full-spectrum sunscreen will protect your skin from both long-wave UVA’s and short-wave UVB’s.

UVB’s are the rays that cause sunburn

UVA’s are those that cause sun damage.

How does sun damage affect skin tones?

The effectiveness of sunscreen depends on your skin tone.

The doctor can recommend sunscreens that are affordable.

About Dr. Omeed Memar:

Dr. Memar is an active clinical assistant professor at Northwestern University and medical director of Academic Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute. He is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Memar graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch with a “M.D., Ph.D.” in the field of immunopathology of skin, with an extensive hands-on experience in pathological preparation and examination of skin tissue. Dr. Memar started his residency training in dermatology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was trained by leaders in the field of dermatology, dermato-pathology, hair biology and dermatologic surgery. Dr. Omeed Memar trained under the world renowned Dr. Virginia C. Fiedler in dermatology.

Skin Cancer Facts

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation;

  • There’s a 250 percent increase in non-melanoma skin cancer in women.
  • 1 in 50 men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma of the skin during their lifetime.
  • 90% of non-melanoma cancers are associated to the ultraviolet/UV rays from the sun.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common skin malignancy among African Americans and Asian Indians, and the second most common skin cancer among Hispanics and Chinese/Japanese Asian.
  • The deadliest type of skin cancer, melanoma forms when a pigment cell called a melanocyte (a skin cell that produces melanin and manifests itself as a mole or freckle) turns malignant and starts to reproduce out of control.
  • About 9,940 Americans will die from melanoma cancer, and it’s the most common form of cancer in people ages 25 to 29.
  • Melanoma kills one person every 57 minutes.

http://www.skincancer.org/

Recent studies from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and American Journal of Preventive Medicine show that an enormous 63 percent of African Americans have never even worn sunscreen.

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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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