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By William Spriggs Congress has itself to blame for its low ratings among the American people. ...
Popular experiential expo slated for three city tour in 2016  CHICAGO, IL – The Black Women’s ...
CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released her annual Safe Shopping Guide detailing recalled ...
CHICAGO, IL  -  The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has proposed plans for new barrier-protected bike ...
(Distributed through BlackNews.com) By Mary Barr On November 3, 2009, I was elected to the Pontiac School ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan on Tuesday announced the ...
Op-Ed By Joe Gibbons Much has been made about America's new role as the world's ...
NEW YORK -- The National Urban League and its South Carolina affiliates today launched ...
  Obama's response to winning Nobel Peace Prize I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the ...
BOSTON – Massachusetts’ voters will be able to cast their ballots up to 11 days ...

Archive for November 10th, 2015

New Police Data Tool Makes 56,000 Misconduct Complaints Public

Posted by Admin On November - 10 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Citizens Police Data Project is largest known interactive repository of police complaint records

 

CHICAGO, IL –  Today the Invisible Institute, a journalism production company, launched an online data project of misconduct complaint records for more than 8,500 Chicago Police officers — the most expansive public database of its kind. Designed to serve as a national model of transparency and accountability in law enforcement, the Citizens Police Data Project is the product of a more than decade-long collaboration with the University of Chicago Law School’s Mandel Legal Aid Clinic.

 

“Transparency doesn’t happen on its own. It’s up to us as citizens to make it happen and address abuses when they occur,” said Jamie Kalven, founder of the Invisible Institute and the plaintiff in Kalven v. City of Chicago, a watershed court decision in Illinois that made police misconduct records public in 2014. “Information is key to our ability to do that.”

 

Analysis of 56,370 misconduct complaints reveals that less than 3% of allegations lead to disciplinary action, with even lower rates for officers charged with high numbers of complaints. The data also shows a significant pattern of racial bias, with black Chicagoans accounting for over 60% of total complaints, and less than 25% of sustained complaints.

 

Other findings, based on complaints available from the periods of 2001-2008 and March 2011 through March 2015, include:

 

  • Even when misconduct by an officer is proven, 85% of disciplinary actions are zero to five days of suspension.

 

  • Punishment for proven offenses is not aligned with the offense. The average discipline for administrative violations, such as having secondary employment, was 16.5 days, while the average punishment for proven rape or sex offenses was six days.

 

  • Most officers, around 80% of the total force, have zero to four complaints, and approximately 90% receive zero to 10 complaints.

 

  • Officers with more than 10 complaints, who represent 10% of officers, account for 30% of all complaints, and have four times the amount of misconduct complaints per officer as the rest of the force. These repeat officers have an even lower rate of “sustained” findings – 4% versus 9% for the rest of the department – with only 0.05% (1 in 2,000) of these complaints resulting in a major penalty.

 

  • Black officers are disproportionately found guilty of offenses and suffer higher punishments. Black officers with sustained findings are punished more than twice as often as white officers.

 

“To be clear, this information does not tell us whether an officer is abusive or not,” Kalven said. “But what it does tell us is complaints are not being properly addressed, and until now, the public hasn’t been given the department’s own evidence of that.”

 

The Invisible Institute obtained the majority of the data through Freedom of Information Act requests and civil rights litigation, resulting in three major pools of misconduct allegations: May 2001 to May 2006, for all allegations against officers with more than 10 complaints; May 2002 to December 2008, for all allegations against officers with more than five excessive force complaints; and March 2011 to September 2015, for all allegations against all officers. The Chicago-based civic technology company DataMade participated in early analyses of the data.

 

In a bold move for open government, earlier this year the City of Chicago agreed to turn over its full list of misconduct complaints for all officers, dating back to 1967, to the Invisible Institute, Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. However, access to this information was blocked by a temporary injunction secured by the Fraternal Order of Police that bars the City from releasing all but the last four years of data. The FOP argues that release of the information would violate the terms of its contract with the City. The City appealed, and the Invisible Institute filed an amicus brief in support of the City’s position.

 

“A great deal is at stake here,” said University of Chicago law professor Craig Futterman, founder of the Mandel Clinic’s Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project. “More than a hundred people remain in prison who have charged that they were tortured by former Commander Jon Burge and his henchmen. If the union prevails, the documentation of their torture would go up in smoke.”

 

Meanwhile, the Citizens Police Data Project launches alongside a collaboration with City Bureau, a new neighborhood newsroom and journalism training lab aimed at regenerating civic media within Chicago’s historically disenfranchised and underreported neighborhoods. The first cycle of this new program will train young South and West side reporters to cover issues of policing and police misconduct alongside veteran and working journalists. Among the Invisible Institute’s other initiatives, in partnership with the Mandel Clinic, over the last two years the Youth and Police Project has been talking with teenagers on the South Side of Chicago about their experiences of police.

The Invisible Institute is a nonprofit Chicago-based journalistic production company that works to enhance the capacity of civil society to hold public institutions accountable. Toward that end, we develop strategies to expand and operationalize transparency. We seek to make visible perspectives too often excluded from public discourse. And we develop social interventions designed to leverage necessary reforms. Among the tools we employ are human rights documentation, investigative reporting, civil rights litigation, the curating of public information, conceptual art projects, and the orchestration of difficult public conversations.

For more information, contact: Alison Flowers, 303-246-6297, alison@invisibleinstitute.com

Darryl Holliday, 773-819-5188, darryl@invisibleinstitute.com

 

Madigan Asks for Investigation into Peoples Gas and Calls for Restructuring of its Costly Main Replacement Program

Posted by Admin On November - 10 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced her office has filed two petitions with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in response to a shocking audit report that found Peoples’ Accelerated Main Replacement Program (AMRP) could cost consumers an astronomical $8 billion, an estimate the company may have withheld from the ICC in attempting to secure approval of its recent merger with Wisconsin Energy Group.

One petition asks the ICC to investigate whether Peoples violated the Public Utilities Act by withholding the exorbitant $8 billion cost estimate from the Commission and to impose appropriate penalties. Peoples did not reveal the existence of this estimate to the ICC during the merger proceeding or in public statements made by Peoples and Integrys executives in response to questions from the Commission earlier this year. The second petition asks the ICC to open an investigation into the restructuring of the controversial AMRP, encouraging the Commission to “start from scratch.”

“This project is a disaster that raises serious questions about the safety, reliability and affordability of Peoples Gas service,” Madigan said. “The shocking report from the ICC’s auditors is a call to action to completely reexamine the Accelerated Main Replacement Program and immediately address whether Peoples Gas executives misled consumers.”

An expert in the Attorney General’s office determined that at a cost of $8 billion, AMRP would cost every Peoples residential heating customer an average of nearly $7,700 over the remaining life of the project. Peoples’ customers already pay some of the highest natural gas rates in the Midwest.

Liberty Consulting Group’s audit, dated September 30, 2015, called Peoples’ AMRP a “out-of-date and out-of-touch” program that should be completely restructured. Liberty was engaged by the ICC in 2013 to conduct a two-phase audit of the AMRP, after ICC Staff reported serious concerns with management of the AMRP, including a lack of cost controls.

Bureau Chief Janice Dale, Assistant Bureau Chief Karen Lusson, and Assistant Attorneys General Ron Jolly and Sameer Doshi are handling the petitions for Madigan’s Public Utilities Bureau, which represents the people of Illinois on public utilities matters and advocates for adequate, efficient, reliable, environmentally safe and least-cost public utility services.

Federal Jury Convicts Ohio Man in Sex Trafficking Ring Involving Minors Brought to Chicago from Iowa

Posted by Admin On November - 10 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
CHICAGO, IL —An Ohio man was convicted for his role in a sex trafficking conspiracy involving minor girls who were transported to Chicago from Iowa to engage in prostitution.

WILLIE WOODS, 44, of Toledo, Ohio, helped transport the minor girls from Iowa City in 2012. Once in Chicago, Woods and his co-conspirators forced the girls to engage in prostitution. At the time, one victim was 14 years old and the two other victims were each 16 years old.

After a seven-day trial in federal court in Chicago, the jury convicted Woods on one count of sex trafficking conspiracy; three counts of sex trafficking of minors by force, fraud or coercion; one count of transporting minors to engage in prostitution; and one count of obstruction of justice.

The counts for sex trafficking of minors by force, fraud, or coercion are punishable by a mandatory minimum of fifteen years in prison to life and the transportation count is punishable by a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison to life. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman will schedule a sentencing hearing at a later date.

Woods is among three defendants charged in the case. MALIK McKEE and his sister, SHUNTINA McKEE, both of Iowa City, previously pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking conspiracy. Judge Coleman sentenced Malik McKee to 102 months in prison, plus restitution of $6,000. Shuntina McKee is awaiting sentencing.

Evidence at Woods’ trial revealed that the defendants forced the minor girls to engage in prostitution in Iowa and Chicago. The defendants took photographs of the minors and used them in advertisements on websites, including Backpage.com. When a prospective “date” responded to the advertisement, the defendants arranged the meeting and then pocketed the proceeds.

The three minor girls testified at trial about their ordeals. The girls described the defendants’ violent and abusive acts, which included using power and coercion to force the girls to perform sex acts for money. One of the girls testified that Woods starved her by withholding food until she would submit to his demands to engage in prostitution.

The conviction was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Garry F. McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The FBI and Chicago Police conducted the investigation, in coordination with the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force. Federal prosecutors and law enforcement authorities in the Southern District of Iowa and the Northern District of Ohio also provided assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant United States Attorneys Megan Cunniff Church and Bethany Biesenthal.

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 06, 2015
  • Northern District of Illinois (312) 353-5300

Student ACCESS Bill Campaign Launch

Posted by Admin On November - 10 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Currently, undocumented students in Illinois attending public universities are ineligible to compete for scholarships and tuition assistance. The passage of the Student Access to College and Career – Education for Statewide Success (ACCESS) Bill would provide legal authority to 4-year public universities to offer financial aid to every student enrolled at their institution on a competitive basis. If passed, the bill would provide scholarship opportunities for roughly 1,500 university students in Illinois. The legislation is revenue neutral, and has no fiscal impact. Providing access to financial aid will help students complete their degrees, enter the workforce and ensure Illinois secures a return on its investment.

WHAT: Student ACCESS Bill Launch Campaign

WHERE: University of Illinois at Chicago, Student Center East Tower, Room 302

    750 S. Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60607

WHEN: November 11th, 2015

TIME: 1:30pm

To further these efforts, The Student Access Bill Campaign is hosting this launch event where community leaders such as University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen, UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis, Chairman Emeritus of Exelon and Co-Chair of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition John Rowe, State Representative Lisa Hernandez and State Senator Iris Martinez will be joining us and publicly stating their support towards this bill.

 
Students from the following universities form part of the collective: University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Northern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Malcolm X, and Harold Washington. To contact a student representative from any of these institutions please reach the media contact provided above.*
For more information, visit www.studentaccessil.com

 

The Student ACCESS Bill Campaign is led by a collective of university students (undocumented, immigrant and allies) from public and private educational institutions along with ally community organizations from across the state of Illinois. This collective is working towards making higher education more accessible to undocumented students in Illinois.

Why Are Boys Falling Behind?

Posted by Admin On November - 10 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Northwestern-led research suggests boys more sensitive than girls to disadvantage

 

By Julie Deardorff

EVANSTON, IL –  Boys, especially African-American boys, are falling behind — both behaviorally and educationally — according to new Northwestern University research.

Young males, it appears, are extra sensitive to disadvantage, perhaps because poor families are more likely to be led by single mothers, and young boys lack male role models.

The research team, which included David Figlio and Krzysztof Karbownik of Northwestern, David Autor and Melanie Wasserman of M.I.T., and Jeffrey Roth of the University of Florida, analyzed birth, health and education records for more than 1 million Florida children to figure out why boys are falling behind.

They found the effects of family instability are worse for boys than for girls, in particular African-American boys.

Relative to their sisters, boys born to poorly educated, unmarried mothers show a higher incidence of truancy and behavioral problems throughout elementary and middle school, perform worse on standard tests, are less likely to graduate high school and are more likely to commit series crimes as juveniles.

A surprising implication of these findings is that, when compared with white siblings, black boys fare worse than their sisters in significant part because black children — both boys and girls — are raised in more disadvantaged environments,” the researchers wrote in the working paper, which was recently presented at an Education Writers Association conference in Chicago.

“Family disadvantage is responsible for a large chunk of the gender gap,” Figlio said. “We don’t know precisely how disadvantage affects the gap, or if some elements of disadvantage matter more than others, but if we want to improve the outcomes of African-American boys, reducing disadvantage would be a good place to start.”

Both disadvantage and gender should be considered when devising ways to help poor children, said Figlio, the Orrington Lunt Professor of Education and Social Policy and of Economics and the director of the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at Northwestern. Karbownik is a visiting scholar at IPR.

School Truancy Needs a Career and Technical Solution

Posted by Admin On November - 10 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

By Carol Randolph

A sobering report released by the Children’s Law Center and D.C. Lawyers for Youth says District of Columbia high schools are struggling with a chronic truancy problem that at any given time involves more than half of their enrollment. The report is critical of anti-truancy measures that increase administrative and legal interventions without addressing the underlying cause.
Many factors contribute to poor school attendance, particularly for low-income and disadvantaged youth. The root cause is lack of engagement in learning that is relevant to everyday life, gives students a sense of accomplishment, and connects them to employment.
District of Columbia schools are not alone. Research shows more than 1 in 4 African American youth in the U.S., ages 16 to 24, have little or no connection to school and work experiences as they enter adulthood.
A decade ago, the nonprofit District of Columbia Students Construction Trades Foundation founded the Academy of Construction and Design at one of Washington, D.C.’s oldest public high schools. Our goal was to increase the skills and readiness of individuals seeking jobs in the region’s booming construction industry.
We met extensively with school, industry and community leaders to address diverse needs and concerns. After listening intently to a description of our proposed technical academy in an early meeting with the D.C. Board of Education, a student representative to the board remarked that more students would stay in school and avoid dropping out if they were able to participate in the hands-on math, carpentry, electrical, blueprint reading, and science courses we planned to offer.
Over the ensuing decade, outcomes for students in our career and technical education (CTE) classes would prove him right. The Academy of Construction and Design has maintained a greater than 90 percent graduation rate. CTE pathways combine academic and technical studies to encourage students to stay in school and graduate with skills and credentials that open doors to employment, further education and viable careers.
Skilled trades CTE changes the way students see themselves and their future prospects. However, D.C. and other urban school districts continue to overlook or eliminate these programs entirely. Anyone who dismisses the need for accredited instruction in carpentry, electrical and other building trades should remember that heavy snow, arctic temperatures and high winds shut down much of the country last winter causing broken pipes, collapsed roofs and downed power lines.
Odds are, if this happened to your home or business, you called a professional for help. Without education and training, individuals with those essential skills and capabilities would be harder to find.
To begin to understand why skilled trades education has been pushed aside, we can look back to debates between the nineteenth-century leaders, W.E.B. Dubois and Booker T. Washington. Washington advocated training students in craft, industrial and farming skills, while Dubois focused on college-educated African Americans whom he called the “Talented Tenth.”
This planted the seed of thought that college education holds much more value and commands greater respect than vocational education. This misconception lingers today, even as educators struggle to reduce truancy, improve student performance, and close the achievement gap for black and Latino students.
In Washington, the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation just opened its newly renovated and constructed training facility at IDEA Public Charter School, one of the city’s longest operating and top performing high schools. These classrooms and training labs are the new home of the Academy of Construction and Design during school hours and the DC Apprenticeship Academy, which offers evening classes for apprentice trainees employed by contractors in the District of Columbia.
Our science, technology, engineering, design arts and math partnership with IDEA is a replicable model for educating and employing the next generation of skilled trades professionals who will keep technology-smart homes and buildings from being cold, dark and flooded. Something to think about!
Carol Randolph is chief operating officer for the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation and co-founder of the Academy of Construction and Design in Washington, DC. Contact: Paula Ralph, 301.622.4145 phone, news@dcstudentsctf.org,

Photo: Carol Randolph

Vice President Joe Biden: It’s On Us to Stop Campus Sexual Assault

Posted by Admin On November - 10 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Op-Ed by Vice President Joe Biden

Twenty-one years ago, I wrote the Violence Against Women Act to end the scourge of violence against women and hold perpetrators accountable. It’s been a great success, but even one attack is one too many.

So I held a number of calls with hundreds of students, administrators, advocates, and survivors and asked what we can do to make colleges safer. The overwhelming answer—get men involved.

So President Obama and I started It’s On Us—to wake-up our colleges and universities – and the country – to the epidemic of sexual violence on their campuses.

Over the past year, we’ve gotten celebrities, major companies, sports leagues, and leading broadcasters to participate in public service announcements and display logos and information, showing how everyone can help prevent these heinous crimes from ever happening.

One thing students can do is take the It’s On Us pledge. Over 250,000 students have already pledged:

  1. To intervene instead of being a bystander.
  2. To recognize that any time consent is not – or cannot – be given, it is sexual assault and it is a crime.
  3. To do everything you can to create an environment where sexual assault is unacceptable, and all survivors are supported.

The response has been overwhelming. More than 300 campuses have hosted over 1,000 It’s On Us events, and nearly 300 colleges and universities have created their own It’s On Us public service announcements, reaching millions of people online and at football and basketball games.

But this year, we want to do even more. That’s why between November 8th to November 14th, I’m traveling across the country calling for a Week of Action to get more students involved.

This week, the University of Wisconsin is hosting an It’s On Us flag football game with student athletes, members of Greek organizations, and other student groups. At Stonehill College in Massachusetts, students, faculty, and staff are wearing nametags that say how they have been affected by sexual assault: “I am a survivor,” and “I will not be a passive bystander.” Middle Tennessee State University is hosting discussions in the student center and online about consent and stopping sexual violence.

In addition to taking the pledge, consider other steps:

  • Organize drives to get more students to take the It’s On Us Pledge.
  • Ask businesses, libraries, hospitals to display an It’s On Us logo.
  • Encourage sports teams, fraternities, sororities, bands, and other student organizations to get involved.
  • Hold press conferences and roundtables with school administrators and community leaders about campus sexual assault.
  • Use social media to spread the word using #ItsonUs.

You have to demand that your Universities be held accountable. President Obama and I have made it crystal clear that schools that fail in this responsibility are in violation of Title IX and risk federal investigation and financial penalties. And each of you can make it clear that you expect nothing less.

I also encourage your colleges to partner with local rape crisis centers, local law enforcement, and women’s health centers to coordinate a robust community response and ensure that victims are supported in every way possible.

We have more to do to change the culture that asks the wrong questions, like why were you there? What were you wearing? Were you drinking?

We have to ask the right questions—What made him think that he could do what he did without my consent? Why on Earth did no one stop him instead of standing by? What can we do to make sure everyone has the courage to speak up, intervene, prevent and end sexual assault once and for all?

You know that survivors are not statistics. They’re our sisters; they’re our classmates; they’re our friends. They’re at every university, every college, in every community—large and small. For all of them, everywhere, we can and we must end sexual and dating violence on campus.

But we can’t do it without you. Visit www.itsonus.org to find out what you can do during this Week of Action and throughout the school year.

It’s on me. It’s on you. It’s on us—and it’s within our power to end sexual violence on campus once and for all.

The following op-ed by Vice President Joe Biden will appear in college newspapers and online outlets this week for the It’s On Us Week of Action. Schools running the op-ed include: Clemson University, Purdue University, The George Washington University, University of Northern Iowa, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, University of Pennsylvania, Western Connecticut State University, Grand Valley State University, Valparaiso University, Fresno State, and Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Handy Man Charged With Sexual Abuse of a Child

Posted by Admin On November - 10 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

A 56-year-old Chicago resident, who was working as a handyman, has been charged with sexually abusing the 8-year-old grandchild of the person who hired him, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Bond was set at $300,000 today for Larry Duncan, 56, who is charged with one count of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse for an incident that occurred on Oct. 25, 2015, in the apartment of a woman who had hired him to do repair work. The 8-year-old victim was visiting her grandmother in the apartment when the abuse took place.

According to prosecutors, Duncan waited until the grandmother briefly left the room and then fondled the victim under her shirt. As the child attempted to run away, Duncan grabbed her buttocks and attempted to kiss the victim. Duncan abruptly left the apartment after the victim was able to break free and run away. The victim told a parent later that day about the incident and it was reported to police. The victim was able to identify Duncan in a photo array and an alert was issued for Duncan, who was arrested on Nov. 7, 2015.

Duncan appeared at a bond hearing today at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago where his next court date was scheduled for Nov. 30, 2015.

The public is reminded that criminal charging documents contain allegations that are not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Author and Healthy Foods Advocate Designated American Diabetes Association Ambassador

Posted by Admin On November - 10 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Texas-based lecturer and meal consultant says wellness can come naturally
Debra Peek

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – Author Debra Peek-Haynes, a long-time holistic health and nutrition champion, has been recognized recently for her exceptional work with faith-based communities around the country. Because of her commitment to community wellness, she was recently appointed by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) as the community health ambassador.

 
Known as a lifestyle consultant and for appearing in local and national media where she shares her personal story of transformation through diet, as in a recent TV One interview (www.newsone.com/3201070/holistic-nutrition-healthy-living-debra-peek-haynes-with-infertility/), Peek-Haynes has gained attention as a leading voice in health advocacy.

 
Peek-Haynes, who was once told she couldnt have children, adopted a regimen of natural foods and recently saw her daughter graduate from college. Her book Healing Kitchen: The Beginners Guide to Healthy Living was published in 2013 and remains one of the top-ranked Amazon.com books in its category.

 
Its a great privilege to share what Ive learned during the past 25 years, especially in communities where diet and lifestyle choices are having a negative impact, Peek-Haynes says.

 
After relocating to Texas from Detroit, Peek-Haynes was diagnosed with early menopause and told she couldnt conceive. Consulting Michigan Dr. Jewel Pookrum changed her life, giving her a new outlook that led to pregnancy and a mission to teach others how green vegetables and organic food products can change their lives, too.
You dont have to sacrifice good, flavorful meals to do whats best for your body, adds Peek-Haynes, who conducts cooking workshops and gives recipe demonstrations. You just have to make wiser choices.

 
Available for media interviews, speaking engagements and cooking demonstrations, Peek-Haynes is eager to help others begin journeys toward good health. Her book Healing Kitchen: The Beginners Guide to Healthy Living is available at www.debrapeekhaynes.com or Amazon.com. For additional information, visit the website or contact Brenda Peek at 248-227-1350.

 

Photo Caption: Author Debra Peek-Haynes is now the community health ambassador for the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Hosts 40th Anniversary Gala, May 14, 2016

Posted by Admin On November - 10 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

From a Highland Park basement to America’s Premier Ensemble Theater, Steppenwolf celebrates four decades of extraordinary, artist-driven work in Chicago

 
CHICAGO, IL – Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s world-renowned ensemble will join more than 600 members of Chicago’s corporate, civic and cultural communities to celebrate 40 years of groundbreaking theater at Gala 2016 on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at Steppenwolf, 1650 N Halsted St. New this year, members of Steppenwolf’s ensemble—Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro and her husband, ensemble member Ian Barford, as well as ensemble member Tracy Letts and his wife, actress Carrie Coon—will co-chair the event alongside Board Chair Nora Daley and Sean Conroy, Caroline and Keating Crown and Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, bringing an exciting mix of artistic and board collaboration to the event.

The evening will showcase a special tribute to the ensemble of 44 remarkable actors, directors and writers whose talents and tenacity have made Steppenwolf the creative powerhouse it is today.

“We owe our stamina and success to the talented individuals in our ensemble who together form an incomparable force. With this gala marking our 40th anniversary, it felt right to have members of our ensemble join in the creation of this milestone event, which is a true celebration of who they are,” shares Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro. “It’s a big year for us, and I can’t wait to collaborate with my fellow co-chairs on what will be an epic Steppenwolf party.”

Guests will enjoy the unique opportunity to mingle with ensemble members, a festive cocktail reception, a gourmet seated dinner and live and silent auction. Steppenwolf co-founder Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band will have the dance floor packed until late in the evening.

Gala 2016 is hosted by Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees and the celebrated ensemble of artists. Steppenwolf’s 2016 Gala benefit raises approximately $1 million in crucial support for the theater’s adventurous, thought-provoking work and vital arts outreach in Chicago schools and neighborhoods.

Single tickets starting at $1,000 and tables for Gala 2016 are currently available by contacting Steppenwolf’s Special Events Department at 312-654-5632 or specialevents@steppenwolf.org.

Event: Gala 2016
Date: Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 6:00pm
Performance: Special tribute to the Steppenwolf ensemble, plus live performance by co-founder Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band
Highlights: A cocktail reception, dinner, live auction with members of the Steppenwolf ensemble
Tickets: To purchase tickets, contact Steppenwolf’s Special Events Department at 312-654-5632 or specialevents@steppenwolf.org.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is America’s longest standing, most distinguished ensemble theater, producing nearly 700 performances and events annually in its three Chicago theater spaces—the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat Garage Theatre. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 44 actors, writers and directors. Artistic programming at Steppenwolf includes a five-play Subscription Season, a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season, First Look, a new play development series and Visiting Company engagements. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Off-Broadway, Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Steppenwolf has the distinction of being the only theater to receive the National Medal of Arts, in addition to numerous other prestigious honors including an Illinois Arts Legend Award and 12 Tony Awards. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Managing Director. Nora Daley is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre and twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.

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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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