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August , 2018
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 State to seek flexibility from NCLB through federal waiver process   Springfield, IL – The Illinois State ...
The FBI is hiring its first senior level data scientist (SLDS) position and is currently ...
  Attorney General Madigan & Secret Service Announce Charges Against Florida Defendants for Gas Station Credit ...
New book, "Black Author Secrets: How I Make $2,500 + In Book Sales Every Month!" ...
Deadlines to apply are in September and October 2013 Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- ...
Madigan & State Board of Elections Urge Voters Who Requested Mail-In Ballots to Monitor Ballot ...
  Cleveland, OH (BlackNews.com) -- In an unprecedented move, Ohio swore in its first African-American County ...
Free Sheikh Nimr” Demonstration, Sunday, October 26, 2014″ ELMHURST, IL -  UNITED FOR NIMR, a grass ...
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Remarks at White House Event Commemorating 50th Anniversary of ...
Funding expands access to treatment and prevention for opioid and heroin crisis for second straight ...

Archive for August 25th, 2015

Attorney General Madigan and Mayor Emanuel Demand Answers on Recent Gas Price Spike

Posted by Admin On August - 25 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent a letter to the Illinois Petroleum Council and its member oil companies demanding an explanation for the recent gas price spike that is impacting hard-working Illinoisans and Chicago residents in particular. A copy of their joint letter is attached.

The skyrocketing gas prices were allegedly caused by a major outage at BP’s refinery in Whiting, Indiana on August 8. BP has stated that gas prices will lower when the largest of its three crude distillation units is repaired, but the company still has not said how long those repairs will take. But this action alone does not explain the entirety of the spike in local gas prices.

“Gasoline is not an optional purchase for many hard-working Illinois residents, and paying more for gas means less money to spend on other essentials like rent, groceries and medicine,” said Madigan. “Unfortunately, every time gas prices rise, the oil companies give us excuses. The oil companies need better contingency plans because drivers deserve answers and relief from these outrageous prices.”

“Rising oil prices mean a rising cost of living for Chicagoland residents,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “It’s time for the highly profitable oil companies to stop playing games with the wallets of Chicagoans and to stabilize prices at the low levels seen throughout the United States.”

Immediately following the outage at BP’s refinery, a gallon of regular gas in the Chicago metro area cost an average of $3.46, up 70 cents from the week before, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. At the same time, the report stated the current national average for gas was $2.66 – the lowest in six years. Today, the lowest gas price listed in Chicago is $2.93, according to Chicago Gas Buddy.

Vice President Biden Announces New Communications Director

Posted by Admin On August - 25 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Washington, D.C. – The Vice President announced that Kate Bedingfield will serve as his Communications Director, starting Monday. She succeeds Shailagh Murray, who was appointed Senior Advisor to President Obama. Bedingfield comes to the Vice President’s office from Motion Picture Association of America, where she was the Vice President of Corporate Communications.

“Kate is a talented individual who brings a range of communications experience to the team,” Vice President Biden said. “She will be a key advisor to me, a terrific asset to our office, and an important member of the entire White House organization.”

Prior to working at MPAA, Bedingfield was an associate communications director at the White House where she managed communications planning around the Administration’s priorities. While at the White House, Bedingfield also served as the Deputy Director of Media Affairs and the Director of Response. In 2008, Bedingfield was the communications director for Jeanne Shaheen for Senate.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Bedingfield graduated from the University of Virginia. She and her husband live in Washington, D.C. with their son.

Mass March on Chicago City Hall Demanding Community Control of Police

Posted by Admin On August - 25 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

From: Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Stop Police Crimes Campaign

Thousands of people from communities most affected by police murders and             other police crimes, together with unions and religious organizations will kick-off a mass march on Chicago City Hall demanding community control of police, Saturday, August 29, 2015 at Noon, beginning at the Federal Plaza, Adams and Dearborn.

The marchers are demanding that the Mayor and City Council pass an ordinance creating and empowering an all-elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC).  Organized by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, the coalition for CPAC has gathered over 20,000 signatures on a petition demanding its passage.

Why?

Because over 120 people have been murdered by police in Chicago since 2007 and not a single officer has been held to account.

Because torture and coercion are still practiced by police to extract confessions from suspects.

Because over 100 Black men are still in prison after being tortured by Chicago Police.

Because the Independent Police Review Authority and the Chicago Police Board have never taken action against a police officer for an unjustified shooting.

Labor Day Drunk Driving Crackdown Begins in Illinois

Posted by Admin On August - 25 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Law enforcement looking for drunk drivers to help stop deadly crime


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Drunk driving, especially around holidays such as Labor Day, is one of the deadliest crimes we face in Illinois and the nation as a whole. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois State Police (ISP) are committed to saving lives and today the agencies announced the kickoff of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign leading up to Labor Day.

From today through Labor Day, state police will join more than 250 local police departments and county sheriff’s offices to step up enforcement with roadside safety checks and hundreds of additional hours of drunk and drugged driving patrols. In addition, motorists are being warned to buckle their seat belts no matter where they are sitting in a vehicle, especially during the deadly late-night hours.

As with all of the state’s high-visibility holiday enforcement campaigns, an important aspect of the Labor Day crackdown is getting the truth out to the public. That truth is that drunk and drugged driving destroys lives every day. Campaigns like this one aim to end the devastation caused by motor vehicle crashes.

“Progress in recent years is encouraging, but data clearly shows drunk and drugged driving remain a devastating problem on Illinois roads,” said Jared Thornley, IDOT’s Director of Traffic Safety. “Getting the word out about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving is a big part of why we do these holiday enforcement crackdowns. Unfortunately, the facts often aren’t enough to get the driving public’s attention. That’s why enforcement is necessary to keep Illinois roads as safe as they can be.”

Illinois has experienced improvements in the past decade with drunk and drugged driving fatalities, but impaired drivers still play a role in more than 300 highway deaths and hundreds more serious injuries every year.

“Labor Day weekend remains one of the busiest travel periods of the year and we want all motorists to reach their destination safely,” said ISP Colonel Mike Zerbonia. “ISP Troopers and our law enforcement partners will saturate predesignated areas to strictly enforce DUI laws. Designate a driver before going out this holiday weekend to help ensure everyone makes it home safe,” he stressed.

According to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 475 traffic crash fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver in 2004 in Illinois. That number dropped to a low of 278 in 2011. However, 322 drunk driving deaths occurred in Illinois in 2012 and 2013.

The Labor Day crackdown is part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” programs in Illinois, funded with federal traffic safety dollars and administered by IDOT.

White House Appoints 2015-2016 Class of White House Fellows

Posted by Admin On August - 25 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – The President’s Commission on White House Fellowships announced the appointment of the 2015-2016 class of White House Fellows. The Fellows come from diverse backgrounds, and varied professions, and have demonstrated a strong commitment to public service and leadership. The 2015-2016 class of Fellows and their biographies are included below.

The White House Fellows program was created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to give promising American leaders “first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government, and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs.” This unique opportunity to work within our nation’s government is designed to encourage active citizenship and a lifelong commitment to service. The Fellows take part in an education program designed to broaden their knowledge of leadership, policy formulation, and current affairs. Community service is another essential element of the program, and Fellows participate in service projects throughout their year in Washington, D.C.

Selection as a White House Fellow is highly competitive and based on a record of professional achievement, evidence of leadership potential, and a proven commitment to public service. Each Fellow must possess the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute meaningfully at senior levels of the Federal government. Throughout its history, the program has fostered leaders in many fields, including government, business, law, media, medicine, education, diplomacy, and the military. Additional information about the White House Fellows program is available at www.whitehouse.gov/fellows.

2015-2016 Class of White House Fellows:

C. Spencer Abbot, Yorktown, VA, is a Commander in the United States Navy. He recently served as Commanding Officer of Strike-Fighter Squadron 27 in Atsugi, Japan. The squadron was recognized with the “Battle E” award as the top FA-18E/F squadron in the Pacific Fleet for 2014. He established the first afloat foreign language program for a carrier air wing, and organized a partnership with a Japanese elementary school. In 2001 and 2003, he flew combat missions at the outsets of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. He then studied Spanish at the Defense Language Institute, and worked as a volunteer diver at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He later served as an EF-18 Hornet exchange pilot with the Spanish Air Force. He received the 2008 Exceptional Pilot Award from among all Navy pilots after combat operations in Iraq.  He worked in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, and coordinated with the Japanese government from U.S. Embassy Tokyo following the 2011 tsunami. Author of a number of published articles, he served as Brigade Commander at the U.S. Naval Academy, holds a Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School, and an Executive M.B.A., taken in Spanish, from Instituto de Empresa in Madrid.

Teeb Al-Samarrai, Oakland, CA, is a physician and epidemiologist who served as Deputy Health Officer and Tuberculosis Controller at the Santa Clara County Public Health Department in California. Her work focused on immigrant and refugee health issues, particularly tuberculosis and hepatitis B. Prior to this, Teeb served as a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She’s worked internationally in diverse settings and in 2010, participated in CDC’s emergency response to the Haiti earthquake. She completed her internal medicine residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she partnered with a local NGO, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, to establish a multidisciplinary, patient-centered refugee clinic. For this work, she was recognized with the Fred L. Sachs Award and Chief Residents’ Service Award. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at national meetings, and cited in the New York Times. Teeb served on the California Tuberculosis Controllers Association Executive Committee and the TEDMED Editorial Advisory Board. She graduated as a Regents and Alumni Scholar from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.S. in Neuroscience. She received her M.D. and an M.S. in Neuroscience from Yale University.

Andrew Anderson, Douglas, WY, is a Major in the U.S. Air Force.  He recently served as the program director for a classified Department of Defense system that supported operations of highest national priority.  Previously, Andrew was a Flight Test Engineer for the Air Force Test Center, where he led a team testing combat enhancements to Air Force bomber aircraft.  In this role, Andrew was also the Chief Test Director for the recent X-51A hypersonic air vehicle program and led execution for this joint DoD-NASA effort that achieved a record-breaking final flight at Mach 5.  In 2008, he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and fielded specialized electronic jamming equipment to roadside bomb disposal teams throughout Northern Iraq, earning the Bronze Star.  Andrew received a B.S. in Astronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy as a distinguished graduate, and earned M.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.  His volunteer work has included service with homeless outreach programs in the Washington, DC area, and as a mentor, math teacher and leadership seminar facilitator for inner-city middle school students with the Higher Achievement program.

Alexander Billioux, Simpsonville, SC, is an internist focused on primary care and improving health care delivery globally. He served as Assistant Chief of the Osler Medical Service at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he trained and mentored more than 140 internal medicine residents while treating patients in East Baltimore. He served as Co-Chair of the Department of Medicine’s High Value Care Committee, through which he led system-wide interventions to promote high value medical care. This included developing an innovative behavior change intervention aimed at reducing wasteful and potentially harmful medical practices, which the Society of Hospital Medicine recently adopted. Alex’s prior work and research has focused internationally on diseases of poverty such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in India, Guatemala, Haiti, and South Africa. As an Afya Bora Fellow in Global Health Leadership, he spent a year developing a public-private partnership to improve tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment in rural Uganda, and ran a clinical trial to improve tuberculosis management at rural health centers. He is a Marshall and Goldwater Scholar who received an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University, a D.Phil. in clinical medicine from the University of Oxford, and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University of Louisiana.

Sara Bleich, Baltimore, MD, worked as an Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She was responsible for leading research teams, speaking nationally and internationally, teaching, and advising students. Sara has published more than 75 papers in top journals of public health and medicine and is widely known for her research on obesity prevention. Prior to Hopkins, Sara worked as a Research Associate at the RAND Corporation and The Measurement Group.  Sara has received several awards: “most outstanding abstract” at the International Conference on Obesity, “best research manuscript” in the journal Obesity, and first prize for “excellence in public interest communication” from the Frank Public Interest Conference. Sara is the recipient of several competitive grant awards: a Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health and multiple Healthy Eating Research grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Sara is a Board Member at Garrison Forest School, an independent girls’ school. Sara volunteers for the Baltimore Education Scholarship Trust by speaking to donors to raise funds for low-income, minority students to attend independent school. Sara received a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Health Policy from Harvard University.

Naomi Dennis, Houston, TX, is a Major in the United States Air Force and most recently served as Deputy Staff Judge Advocate to the Commander of the Air Force Expeditionary Center.  Having served as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, Naomi has frequently lectured on advanced trial advocacy and used her experience in sexual assault litigation to create an interactive training module for Air Force senior leaders on how to manage sexual assault allegations from trauma to trial.  During her deployment to Baghdad, her work in the Central Criminal Court of Iraq led to the successful prosecution of several high value targets.  In 2010, she was named the American Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Military Lawyer of the Year.  Naomi also co-founded Pink Isn’t Always Pretty, a 501c(3) non-profit grassroots organization promoting breast health and awareness among young women of color.  She served as PIAP’s Executive Director from 2009-2013.  Naomi received her B.A. from Howard University and her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law where she was appointed to the National Order of Barristers.  Prior to her appointment as a Fellow, Naomi was selected to serve as a judge on the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.

Shereef Elnahal, Baltimore, MD, is taking a leave from residency in Radiation Oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has authored over a dozen publications on health care quality, operations management, and patient safety. Shereef co-developed a published methodology that doubled clinic efficiency in the Johns Hopkins Pancreatic Multidisciplinary Clinic, cutting patient wait times by half. As an operations consultant for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Pittsburgh VA hospitals, he expanded on this work to improve care access for veterans and active duty servicemembers. He was a Fellow in the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, and served as Chair of the House Staff Patient Safety and Quality Council at Hopkins. Shereef served on advisory boards for two firms focused on patient education and clinical operations. He also co-founded the Baltimore chapter of The Triple Helix, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that publishes an internationally-circulated journal on science in society. His civic contributions earned him the 2015 National Quality Scholar Award from the American College of Medical Quality. Shereef received a dual-degree M.D. and M.B.A. with Distinction from Harvard University, where he was President of the Harvard Longwood Muslim association. He also graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University.

September Hargrove, New Orleans, LA, served as Chief Operating Officer of the PowerMoves. NOLA Initiative at the New Orleans Startup Fund, where she led a national effort to address the lack of racial diversity in tech entrepreneurship and provide access to venture capital for high-growth entrepreneurs of color. Her efforts have supported nearly 90 startups collectively raise over $17 million. In 2014, she was recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in tech and entrepreneurship throughout Louisiana. Prior to this, September was the Economic Development Policy & Program Manager for Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, LA. Her work focused on creating an economic opportunity agenda and the development of the City’s Reentry Workforce Strategy for ex-offenders. September began her career as a gubernatorial appointee and legislative specialist in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Administration. She is an alumnus of the California Senate Fellowship and Public Policy International Affairs (PPIA) programs. September has served on the boards of the Young Leadership Council, New Orleans Women’s Shelter, New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute, and the Sacramento County Children’s Coalition. She holds a Master in Public Policy and Urban Planning from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Corey Harrison, Browns Mills, NJ, was the Corporate Strategy Executive at iCIMS, a leading talent acquisition software company. At iCIMS, Corey drove the development and execution of corporate strategy and evaluated merger and acquisition opportunities. Before joining iCIMS, Corey was an Associate Director at UBS Investment Bank where he advised private equity general partners on raising institutional capital. Corey began his career in information technology and operations, first as an Analyst in the Johnson & Johnson Information Management Leadership Development Program, in which he received the highest performance rating and finished at the top of his class worldwide, and later as a Six Sigma Black Belt for AIG and the Tata Group. Concurrent with his professional and academic endeavors, Corey has held several community leadership roles and has spent fifteen years mentoring and training thousands of young professionals on leadership and entrepreneurship. Corey received an M.B.A. from Yale University, where he was awarded the Mendillo-Earle Scholarship and fellowships from the Robert Toigo Foundation, Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management, and Goldman Sachs. Corey received a B.S. in Business and Economics from Lehigh University and an M.S. in Leadership and Information Technology from Duquesne University.

La’Shanda Holmes, Fayetteville, NC, is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard and is the Coast Guard’s first African-American female helicopter pilot.  After growing up in the foster care system, she put herself through college, became a pilot, and amassed over 1,500 flight hours conducting search and rescue, counter drug, and law enforcement missions. She was previously stationed at Air Station Atlantic City as an Aircraft Commander and managed over 6,800 flight hours for the Coast Guard’s largest MH-65 helicopter unit.  She deployed five times to Washington, DC, as a Rotary Wing Air Intercept pilot where she supervised an 18-member team and sustained two strip alert aircraft to defend the President and the Nation’s capital in support of Operation Noble Eagle.  Her honors include the 2014 Blacks in Government award, selection as one of Grio’s Top 100 History Makers, and a nomination for an NAACP award for her work on The Smithsonian’s “Black Wings” documentary.  She is a Bonner Scholar, graduated Spelman College with a degree in psychology, and is a graduate student at Oklahoma University.  She sits on the board of directors of two non-profits that enrich youth through aviation: Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum and Girls Fly!

Rayden Llano, Miami, FL, was Program Director of Health Policy and Economics at LSE Enterprise, where he worked with public institutions on health policy issues and conducted healthcare research. Previously, he worked with the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Rwanda and as a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Asia, where he developed a tuberculosis and migration framework providing policy guidance to WHO member states. As a Luce Scholar at the University of Tokyo, he was the lead author of a study published in The Lancet and helped secure funding for the establishment of a global health committee within the Japanese parliament that has been chaired by two former prime ministers. Collectively, he has worked on healthcare issues in the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. He is an advisor to the president of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and mentors Hispanic high school and college students. A Marshall Scholar, he received an M.P.P. from the University of Cambridge, an M.Sc. in International Health Policy and Health Economics from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University.

Jennifer Macdonald, St. Cloud, MN, is a veteran of Oper­­ation Iraqi Freedom and a Family Medicine physician at UCLA. She served 11 years in the Minnesota Army National Guard and completed a tour abroad, during which she volunteered as a medical provider in addition to her primary duties as a musician. She completed morale missions to remote bases as a keyboardist and traveled as a solo vocalist to high profile international Transition of Authority ceremonies, performing the American and Iraqi national anthems as territories of Iraq were relinquished from American back to Iraqi authority. She participated in humanitarian aid missions to benefit disabled children of Basra, Iraq, and was awarded a U.S. Army Bronze Star for her collective efforts. She is committed to care of the underserved, and toward this end, co-led a humanitarian mission to East Africa and co-founded an NGO during her undergraduate years at the College of St. Benedict, served as a class representative and free clinic volunteer during her time at the University of Minnesota Medical School, engaged in multiple patient outreach and quality initiatives with the UCLA Family Medicine Residency Program, served on the California Academy of Family Physicians Resident Council, and established a lasting connection between her institution and the West Los Angeles VA Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team. A rich family life with her husband and two young children balances her professional aspirations.

Erik Malmstrom, West Hartford, CT, was a Business Development Manager for Cargill Grain and Oilseed Supply Chain Mideast and Africa at Cargill, Inc., a leading multinational agribusiness. He was responsible for sourcing, analyzing, and managing investment opportunities across Africa, including his business unit’s largest ever acquisition of an oilseed crush plant in Zambia. Prior to Cargill, he served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army, graduating from Army Ranger and Airborne Schools and earning the Bronze Star Medal for outstanding combat service as a rifle platoon leader in northeastern Afghanistan. Subsequently, he worked as an impact investor, strategy consultant, and independent researcher in Afghanistan, Egypt, Haiti, and other transitional economies before co-founding CrossBoundary LLC, an investment advisory firm dedicated to unlocking the power of capital to make strong returns and lasting impact in frontier markets. He has been a contributing writer to the New York Times, term member on the Council on Foreign Relations, and co-president of Harvard Alumni for Agriculture. He received a B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and a joint M.B.A. and M.P.P. from Harvard Business and Kennedy Schools, and was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at Makerere University in Uganda.

Rei Onishi, Citrus Heights, CA, was a Deputy Attorney General in the California Department of Justice. He was responsible for defending the constitutionality of California’s laws, and helped craft and implement the legal strategy to defend California’s 2012 public pension reforms. He also played a leading role in developing and implementing the Department’s agenda to fight transnational organized crime, and served as an adviser to the Department’s Bureau of Children’s Justice. Before joining the Department, Rei clerked on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, worked on justice sector reform in West Africa, taught in Japan through the JET Program, co-authored travel books, and was a California Senate Fellow. As President of the Buck Scholars Association, Rei co-founded the Buck Fellows Program, a mentoring and scholarship program for low-income high school students whose parents never graduated from college. He also served on the Board of Directors of Wu Yee Children’s Services and the American Constitution Society Bay Area Lawyer Chapter. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa/magna cum laude from Harvard and received his M.P.P. from the Kennedy School of Government and J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor on the Harvard Law Review and a Chayes International Public Service Fellow.

Maxeme Tuchman, Miami, FL, served as the Executive Director of Teach For America Miami-Dade and was responsible for overseeing daily regional operations for 26 staff members and cultivating $6M of private and public support in service of over 500 current teachers and alums. Prior to that, she served in Mayor Bloomberg’s bullpen managing the NYC Waterfalls, a public art installation that generated $69 million in economic activity. She also co-created the NYC Civic Corps, an AmeriCorps VISTA program that in its first three years had 448 participants hosted by 97 organizations that then were able to utilize 1.7 million new volunteers. Her commitment to educational equity began as a Teach For America corps member, teaching 480 high school students in inner-city Miami, and has led to working on educational innovation projects with organizations such as the Harlem Children’s Zone, DC Public Schools, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  She is a graduate of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs and the Miami Fellows Leadership Program. Maxeme received her B.A. from New College of Florida and holds an M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

Kamillah Wood, Washington, DC, served as the Associate Medical Director of Mobile Health Programs at Children’s National Health System, providing comprehensive medical care to underserved children in the Anacostia region of Washington, DC.  In addition to providing direct clinical and wraparound services, she created an educational program for parents and families called the Legislative Educational Advocacy Program (LEAP), which helped to inform local community members about current policy issues, the legislative process and the importance of civic engagement. Prior to this position, Kamillah completed a fellowship in health policy and health disparities as a Mongan Commonwealth Fund Fellow in Minority Health Policy where she also obtained an M.P.H. from the Harvard University School of Public Health.  In addition to her fellowship training, Kamillah completed her pediatrics residency at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she was selected to be a Chief Resident.  In this leadership role, she worked on several hospital-wide committees to address issues from emergency preparedness to implementation of an inpatient electronic health record.  She received her M.D. from George Washington University School of Medicine as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, and graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Howard University.

Source: whitehouse.gov.

Illinois State Board of Education Celebrates the Year of the Volunteer

Posted by Admin On August - 25 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Former Oak Park PE teacher recognized at August Board meeting

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Members of the State Board of Education honored Sandy Noel of Oak Park as part of Illinois’ “Year of the Volunteer” program. The initiative, established by a Senate resolution, aims to “engage all generations as participants, planners, organizers and leaders of the volunteer infrastructure.”

“Sandy is a committed member of her community who works hard to help improve the lives of children and adults alike,” said Board member Eligio Pimentel of Oak Park. “I’m honored to recognize such a key component in Illinois’ health community.”

During 2015, Board members are choosing to honor individuals within their communities for their dedication and volunteer service. Pimentel selected Noel, a former physical education teacher, for her outstanding service in promoting health and fitness to children around the state.

“Health and fitness serve a vital role in students’ education,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Healthy habits are developed at a young age and it’s valuable to have a role model in young lives to encourage those habits on a daily basis.”

Noel, a physical education and fitness instructor for more than 35 years, has encouraged thousands of students to increase activity and make good food choices in order to lead healthier lives. In 2012, Noel was selected to co-chair the Governor’s Council on Health and Fitness. In that role, she has worked on issues such as requiring daily physical education for students and urging teachers to get creative with fun, physical, educational activities in the classroom.

While working at Hatch Elementary in Oak Park, Noel helped create a healthier environment at the school by implementing a waste reduction program, school garden, healthy classroom parties, and healthy family events. She also promotes quality PE and school health to other educators by presenting at state, regional, and national conventions.

Noel has also served on the core team for Oak Park’s Pioneering Healthier Communities (PHC) initiative, a national program created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to focus community resources on reducing community barriers to healthy living.

Noel is a recipient of numerous awards throughout her career, including the 2003 Those Who Excel teacher excellence award, the Golden Apple Foundation award for excellence in teaching, and the USDA Certificate for Leadership in Promoting Wellness. Noel is currently a professor of education at Concordia University.

The Senate established the Year of the Volunteer in response to the “Volunteering and Civic Life in America” report by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship that showed only about a quarter of Illinoisans volunteered in 2013. According to Senate Resolution 1002, research shows that “Illinoisans who do not volunteer would like to, but simply do not know how to get connected to service opportunities.” In cooperation with fellow organizations, ISBE urges community members of all ages to explore volunteer opportunities, particularly those related to children and their education.

ISBE supports the initiative in cooperation with Generations Serving Generations, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Illinois Department on Aging, the Serve Illinois Commission, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Illinois Community College Board, and the Illinois Senate via Senate Resolution 1002.

For more information on how to take part in the Year of the Volunteer, go to www.serve.illinois.gov.

PHEN to Address Black America’s Prostate Cancer Burden and Publish National Consensus Agenda

Posted by Admin On August - 25 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

11th Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit takes place September 17-18, 2015, in Washington, DC


phen_2015_summit

Boston, MA (BlackNews.com) – The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) will host its Eleventh Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit, on September 17th, at Hotel Monaco (700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004), from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., and on September 18th, at the Washington Convention Center (801 MT. Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20004), as one session of the annual Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) event from 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. This years Summit is titled “Black Americas Prostate Cancer Burden, A National Review.”

Black America suffers the nations largest prostate cancer burden with incidence and mortality rates 60 % and 150 % higher, respectively, than all other men. PHEN was instrumental in helping to draft U.S. Senate Resolution 529, which passed unanimously in July 2012, recognizing prostate cancer among Black men as a health crisis of epidemic proportions. Nonetheless, the May 2012 recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force against PSA testing, is changing prostate cancer healthcare policies and practices. These changes have created an urgent need for a national review of the prostate cancer crisis in Black America towards developing a focused consensus strategy for its elimination.

“This issue is critical and timely,” said Thomas A. Farrington, president and founder, PHEN. “September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, and the fight against prostate cancer is at a crossroads. At the center sits every patient and man who needs to know his prostate health, who are oftentimes confused,” said Farrington, who is also a 15-year prostate cancer survivor. Therefore, PHEN will initiate a national review of Black Americas prostate cancer burden, at its Eleventh Annual “African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit.” The organization will assemble a panel of leading experts from cancer centers and organizations to provide input, including Department of Defense (DOD) Prostate Cancer Research Programs; Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center; Carolina Urology Partners; Roswell Park Cancer Institute; and Karmanas Cancer Institute.

The national review has four main objectives, including:

1) To raise the level of awareness about the prostate cancer burden in Black America;
2) To focus on topics of primary importance in addressing the burden;
3) To review changes to key prostate healthcare policies and practices and associated impacts;
4) To outline a national consensus strategy/agenda towards eliminating the prostate cancer burden disparity.

Following the Summit, PHEN will publish a National Consensus Agenda, towards eliminating the African American Prostate Cancer crisis, based on Summit presentations, discussions, focus groups and public feedback. Ultimately, the organization will work with national leaders and stakeholders to promote the consensus agenda as a unified call to action to spread awareness about Black Americas prostate cancer burden.

The Summit is FREE and open to the public. Click for Summit Program Overview and Schedule.

About PHEN
The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) is the leading patient education and advocacy organization addressing the needs of African American prostate cancer patients and survivors. About 1 in 5 African American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime; with the highest prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates in the United States. Based in Quincy, Mass., PHEN, a 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 2003 by Thomas A. Farrington, a prostate cancer survivor. PHEN Initiatives include monthly live educational webcasts, the Annual Father’s Day Rally, educational symposiums with church partners, and the Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit in Washington, DC. For more information, visit PHEN’s website: www.prostatehealthed.org.

Zina Pierre Ministries, Inc. Hosts “The Breaking Room Encounter 2015 Conference”

Posted by Admin On August - 25 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The conference will be held August 27-29th. This Empowerment Conference will be headlined by Pastor Zina Pierre with guest speaker, Reverend Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant, Pastor, Empowerment Temple


Arlington, VA – Hundreds of men and women from across the country and the Washington, DC Metropolitan area are expected to convene at The Westin Crystal City Hotel, 1800 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA on August 27-29, 2015 for “The Breaking Room Encounter 2015 Conference.” This year’s theme, “Positioned for the Promise” will provide conferees with the tools for how to reposition their lives and live an accelerated life.

“Last year’s conference held at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel was life changing for hundreds of attendees, and I’m believing God for another power shift. From the Conference workshops to the Thursday and Friday evening worship services, (which are free and open to the public), we are preparing conferees to become “movers and shifters” in their communities and their churches, said Pastor Zina Pierre. Dr. Jamal Bryant, as well as numerous pastors, life and faith coaches from the DMV will provide workshops and worship services focusing on physical and spiritual health and wellness, as well as strengthening families and marriages.

We will also collect clothing items and toiletries to be donated to local clothing banks, domestic violence shelters, and transitional housing for homeless women in the DMV. The Breaking Room is a virtual ministry that reaches thousands of men and women across the country and abroad via social media, an interactive website, webinar trainings and prayer conference calls. Our professionally trained team of ministers and lay persons work collectively to empower men and women to understanding their life’s purpose and helping others. This takes place through weekly webinar training, mental and spiritual health, as well as wellness planning and practice.

Through the “Share the Love Outreach” program, TBR members visit and donate blankets to the elderly and the sick, participate in reading programs for the youth, and donate toiletries and clothing to battered women shelters and transitional homes throughout the year. Pastor Zina Pierre will also release her new book, “Your Prayers Matter to God: 30 Day Strategic Prayer Guide and Devotions” prior to the Conference available through The Breaking Room Store on the Ministry’s website at www.thebreakingroom.com. She will also autograph and sell her book at the Conference. Visit our website for up-to-date information on the conference, and our numerous outreach programs, including the Share the Love Outreach initiative. To book Pastor Zina Pierre or to secure media interviews, contact Dr. Unnia L. Pettus, Director of PR and Marketing at (202) 696-2790 or via e-mail at upettus@thebreakingroom.com. See Conference schedule attached.

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Registration: 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Opening Worship Service:
7:30 p.m.
Pastor Zina Pierre
The Breaking Room, Lanham, Maryland

Friday, August 28, 2015
Morning Glory Workout: “Building a Better You”
6:30 a.m. – 7:15 a.m.

Strategic Prayer:
8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
Prayer Breakfast:
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
“Standing in the Midst of Trials”

Workshop I:
9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
“Behind the Veil”

Workshop II:
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
“The Weight of the Wait”

LUNCH BREAK: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Midday Worship Service:
1:30 p.m. -2:30 p.m.
Prophet Orin Perry
House of Mandate
Roanoke Rapids, NC

Evening Worship Service:
7:30 p.m.
Rev. Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant, Pastor
The Empowerment Temple
Baltimore, MD

Saturday, August, 29, 2015
Morning Glory Workout: “Building a Better You”
6:30 a.m. – 7:15 a.m.

Strategic Prayer:
8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.

Prayer Breakfast:
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
“Your Health Matters to God”

Plenary Session:
Real Talk:
9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
“Spiritual DNA of Boaz vs. Ruth, Balancing Healthy Relationships”

10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
“Single, Saved and Scared or Secure?”

Workshop I:
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
“Living an Accelerated Life”

Workshop II:
1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
“Mover and Shifter: Go Get Your Life Back”

Closing: Divine Impartation Service
2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Pastor Zina Pierre


For more information, contact: Dr. Unnia L. Pettus at (202) 696-2790 or e-mail: upettus@thebreakingroom.com

The Reverend Zina C. Pierre is founder of Zina Pierre Ministries and The Breaking Room Ministry (TBR), a virtual prayer and deliverance ministry in Lanham, Maryland. She is also President and CEO of The Washington Linkage Group, a government relations and strategic consulting group specializing in lobbying, advocacy and political consulting. Prior to full-time ministry, Pastor Zina served as a high-ranking member of President Bill Clinton’s administration from 1993-2001 working on issues and programs affecting the lives of women, small business owners and local government. She last served as Special Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs in the Executive Office the White House serving as Clinton’s liaison to the nation’s mayors and local municipalities. The former White House Aide currently serves as an Associate Pastor at the Temple of Praise Church in Washington, DC.
Recently, Pastor Zina, who is also a federal lobbyist, and a select group of female clergy leaders from the DMV area held an interfaith prayer vigil on the grounds of the U.S.Capitol. Pastor Zina rendered a prayer at the April 15, 2015 vigil seeking divine intervention demanding a Senate vote be held to confirm President Barrack Obama’s Attorney General Nominee, Loretta Lynch, after a 6 month delay. The female clergy delegation then marched to the U.S. Capitol to speak with female members of Congress to put pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to hold a Senate vote. The “pray-in” and lobbying event was covered by national media including The Washington Post and the Religion News Service. Approximately, 8 days later, on April 23, 2015, the Senate voted 66-34 to confirm Lorretta Lynch as U.S. Attorney General. In 2003, Pastor Zina was honored as a “History Maker” for her outstanding contributions in the field of politics by The History Makers Hall of Fame with the ranks of the then Senator Obama. This honor was especially distinguishing as she was one of the youngest inductees in her class.
Born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, Pastor Zina gave her life to Christ in 1971 at the tender age of seven. In 1998, Pastor Zina began breaking barriers and became the first woman licensed to preach in the 135 year history of her childhood church at the First Baptist of Annapolis where she served as youth minister for 8 years. During her tenure she established a weekly community youth bible study where she physically and spiritually fed youth from across the city of Annapolis. After the death of her childhood pastor where she served, God called Pastor Zina to the Temple of Praise. In 2006, Pastor Zina was ordained by Bishop Glen A. Staples and became an associate pastor in 2009.

On Friday, December 5, 2014, Pastor Zina served as the Officiant of the Community Celebration of Life Memorial Service and Public Viewing held at the Temple of Praise church for the late Honorable Marion S. Barry, Jr. Bishop Staples eulogized his devoted church member, affectionately called “Mayor for Life.”In January 2015, she received the Anne Arundel County MLK Clergy of the Year Award for her community service. Pastor Zina has lectured and preached in venues across the world including: Woman Thou Art Loosed, Bishop David G. Evans Pastors & Leadership Conference, National Conference of Black Mayor’s Business Trade and Missions trip to South Africa, the Temple of Praise Holy Convocation and Annual Spring Conferences workshops, Women World Leaders with Abbie Disney and Gloria Steinem, World Conference on Racism in South Africa, etc. She is a graduate of Anne Arundel Community College, Catholic University of America (CUA), attended Howard University School of Divinity and recently completed her doctorate of religious philosophy from Tabernacle Bible College and Seminary.

NJ Hotel Conversion to Affordable Housing Project Complete

Posted by Admin On August - 25 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Hurricane Sandy Grant Money Provided to Egg Harbor, NJ

Egg Harbor Township, NJ — Egg Harbor Affordable Housing LP is pleased to announce that renovation of the Atrium Apartments at Egg Harbor is complete. The plan to convert a languishing hotel in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, where township leaders wanted to redevelop, into affordable housing received millions in Hurricane Sandy grant money in 2013. State officials invested in the plan to create rental housing for low and moderate income people affected by the storm. Formerly the Clarion Hotel & Convention Center, this adaptive reuse converted the hotel rooms into 84 one-, two- or three-bedroom apartments.

“The amenities and features here, we think, will raise the level of whats usually associated with affordable housing,” Developer Ron Rukenstein said. Various social services have also been incorporated into the building to benefit residents who may need additional help. With the close proximity to Atlantic City (Black Horse Pike is less than half a mile east of the Garden State Parkway and one mile south of the Atlantic City Expressway), Atrium Apartments at Egg Harbor will offer affordable housing conveniently located close to major highways, shopping, recreation, entertainment, and employment opportunities. There are also several bus routes along the Black Horse Pike including bus stops at the entrance to the site.

Working closely with government agencies, the plan for this project complies with the requirements of ReNew Jersey Stronger, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA), and US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) as an equal housing opportunity. Handicap accessible units are also available.

The building improvements to Atrium Apartments at Egg Harbor are being completed to the LEEDS Gold Standard, while providing a high level of on-site amenities for the tenants including a two-story entrance, six story light filled atrium, playground, brick patio, and pavilion.

Applicants must meet minimum income requirements to demonstrate ability to pay rent and priority will be given to qualified Hurricane Sandy impacted victims.

For more information, call the Leasing Office at 609-645-1000 or visit the website at www.atriumeggharbor.com.

AN OPEN LETTER TO 8TH WARD ALDERMAN MICHELLE HARRIS: We are “Deeply Disappointed” in the Weak Show of Support You Displayed at the Zoning Board of Appeals Hearing

Posted by Admin On August - 25 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

From: The EIGHTH WARD ACCOUNTABILITY COALITION   630-542-7320 lhudson426@sbcglobal.net

August 22, 2015

Dear Alderman Harris,

Speaking on behalf of your 8th Ward constituents, we are deeply disappointed in the weak show of support you displayed at the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on August 21st for the proposed Harborside-IGM medical marijuana dispensary at 1111 E. 87th Street.  You asked for a vote from the residents so you could gather an accurate measure of the support or opposition to the dispensary and, as we understand from your staff, the votes in opposition outnumbered those in support by a huge margin.    As such, we expected a much stronger statement from you regarding the dispensary. Given the overwhelming opposition by the residents of the 8th Ward, we expected you to declare in a clear and concise statement that you opposed the dispensary coming to your ward and no longer supported the Harborside-IGM proposal in any way.  When asked by Chairman Swain for your comment, you said only that you stood with your community.  That was simply not good enough.

One of your colleagues, Alderman Tom Tunney of the 44th Ward, was recently faced with this same situation – a medical marijuana dispensary was proposed for a location within his ward.  The differences in the way each of you have handled the matter could not be more striking.   Alderman Tunney not only advised his constituents about the proposed dispensary but he held two community meetings giving residents the opportunity to hear from the company and their proposed operation.  He posted information on his web site about the company and their proposal.  There was no secrecy or deliberate omissions of the facts when the Alderman was asked about proposed businesses in his ward.  When his constituents stated their opposition, he withdrew his support and made a strong statement to the Zoning Board of Appeals which resulted in the necessary special use permit being denied.

Had you made a similarly strong statement yesterday, advised the Zoning Board that your constituents had conclusively voted against the dispensary and actually stated that you were withdrawing your support, the Zoning Board could have possibly denied the Harborside-IGM request for a special use permit then, instead of granting another continuance.  The continuance was granted on the basis of further outreach taking place.  Alderman Harris, your constituents understand medical marijuana and know what is being proposed.  They have stated their opposition in the clearest of terms:  they do not think the location or the company is in the best interests of 8th Ward residents.  Further outreach will not change their minds and to ask for another vote is outrageous.   It is time to honor the will of your constituents. WE ASK THAT YOU TELL THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS THAT HARBORSIDE-IGM IS NOT WELCOME IN THE 8TH WARD. We demand nothing less of you to end this matter once and for all.

Respectfully,

THE EIGHTH WARD ACCOUNTABILITY COALITION

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