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The American Dream on Hold: Economic Challenges in the African American Community WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman ...
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Archive for December 24th, 2015

Significant Changes Secured in Illinois Prisons

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

 

Landmark federal court settlement ensures prisoners with mental illnesses will have increased care, reduced time in solitary confinement


CHICAGO, IL— Dentons, the global law firm, along with Uptown People’s Law Center, Equip for Equality, and assistance from Mayer Brown, has secured a major pro bono victory in a seven-year legal battle to improve the treatment of thousands of prisoners with mental illnesses currently incarcerated throughout the Illinois state correctional system. Under the terms of a groundbreaking settlement delivered yesterday in Federal District Court for the Central District of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) will be required to provide specialized healthcare and services for approximately 11,000 mentally ill people as well as create facilities and hire staff to treat this fragile segment of the prison population.

Harold C. Hirshman, a partner with Dentons, led the legal team representing the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit Rasho v. Walker. “This truly is a humane and monumental settlement that will have a lasting impact on the people of this state,” said Hirshman. “For too long, we have ignored and mistreated the mentally ill population of our correctional institutions due to a systemic failure to recognize their unique circumstances. I believe this settlement will redress and protect the Constitutional rights of these members of our society.”

As part of the settlement:

  • For the first time ever, Illinois will provide both long-term and acute care for prisoners who are so seriously mentally ill that they require hospitalization. Previously, these very ill people were either relegated to solitary confinement, or left for months in “crisis cells,” where they are stripped of all possessions, left totally isolated from other prisoners, and watched 24 hours a day to ensure they do not commit suicide.
  • More than 300 new clinical staff will be hired to treat prisoners with serious mental illnesses, along with over 400 new security staff to work at the new residential treatment units. This will allow IDOC to provide group therapy and one-on-one therapy for prisoners, which was virtually unheard of previously.
  • Four residential treatment units will be constructed at Logan, Pontiac, and Dixon Correctional Centers, and the now-closed Illinois Youth Center in Joliet. This will allow the release of many people currently held in long-term solitary confinement into more appropriate, treatment-oriented housing.
  • IDOC will review the mental health of all prisoners with more than 60 days left in solitary, to determine if they should be given early release. IDOC will also release from solitary all prisoners with serious mental illnesses who are confined there for minor, non-violent offenses, and in the future will consider mental health before sentencing someone to segregation.
  • Prisoners with mental illnesses who are in solitary confinement for over 60 days will have their out-of-cell time increased from less than an hour a day to 20 hours a week.

Construction costs for the new facilities are estimated to be $40 million and the new personnel costs are expected to be approximately $40 million annually. This spending will be a part of the appropriations process.

“I’ll never forget a man I saw at Menard who had suffered severe childhood trauma, and had serious mental illness,” said Alan Mills, Executive Director of Uptown People’s Law Center. “He was involuntarily injected with powerful anti-psychotic drugs, but was left otherwise untreated. He was locked in a tiny airless solitary cell 24 hours a day, with 30 more years to do there. He had developed bedsores, as he literally did nothing but lie in bed, zoned out on drugs 24/7. This agreement will end horrors like his. People will get treatment, be allowed out of their cells, and the use of solitary confinement will be reduced. We look forward to working with the IDOC to make this agreement a reality for our clients.”

“Just because a person with mental illness is in prison doesn’t mean they lose their rights under the Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Barry Taylor, Vice President for Civil Rights and Systemic Litigation at Equip for Equality. “This agreement will ensure that people with serious mental illness will be given critical treatment they are entitled to under the law.”

“Consistent with our Firm’s core values, we are deeply committed to making a positive impact on the communities in which we live and serve,” said Mike McNamara, Dentons’ US managing partner. “This resolution, after nearly seven years and countless hours of hard work, truly embodies that spirit and we are proud of our colleagues for their leadership in attending to these important social issues.”

About Dentons:
Dentons is the world’s first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world’s largest law firm, Dentons’ global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.

About Equip for Equality:
Equip for Equality is a private, not-for-profit legal advocacy organization and is the federally mandated Protection & Advocacy System designated to safeguard the rights of people with physical and mental disabilities.

About Mayer Brown:
Mayer Brown is one of the largest global law firms both by number of lawyers and revenue. The firm has lawyers in key business centers across the Americas, Asia and Europe. Mayer Brown serves many of the world’s largest companies and financial services organizations, including a significant proportion of the Fortune 100, FTSE 100, DAX and Hang Seng Index companies and most of the major investment banks. Mayer Brown provides legal services in areas such as Supreme Court and appellate; litigation; corporate and securities; finance; real estate; tax; intellectual property; government and global trade; restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency; and environmental.

About Uptown People’s Law Center:
Uptown People’s Law Center (UPLC) is a nonprofit legal services organization specializing in prisoners’ rights, Social Security disability, and tenants’ rights and eviction defense. UPLC currently has nine pending class action lawsuits regarding jail and prison conditions.

Alfred Street Baptist Church Pledges $1 Million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

One of the oldest, largest and most prominent African American congregations becomes the first and only faith-based organization to become a founding donor of the Smithsonians National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Alfred Street Baptist Church members

Alexandria, VA (BlackNews.com) — In the final days of 2015, Alfred Street Baptist Church (ASBC), one of the nations oldest historically African American churches located in Alexandria, Virginia announced that it is pledging to donate $1 million to the Smithsonians new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). As such, the $1 million donation to the museum is the largest from a faith-based organization to date, thus allowing the church to be designated as a founding donor of the museum. Scheduled to open in the fall of 2016 on the National Mall in Washington, DC adjacent to the Washington Monument, the museum will be a place where visitors can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to the lives of the American people, and how it helped shape this nation.

 
Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, the esteemed pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church said, We are very proud and honored to make this contribution to a museum that promises to contribute immensely to the knowledge base of African American history and culture. This historic attraction will be an astounding and visionary force in our communities and lives for decades to come. More importantly, we as a church, understand the importance of learning about the accomplishments of African American people. Therefore, we realize that if we dont tell and preserve our own history, our children will never know their real value.

 
Accepting the donation on behalf of the Smithsonians NMAAHC was, Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the museum, who said, We are honored to have the support of Alfred Street Baptist Church, an institution that has generously served its community for more than 200 years and whose support will help ensure that the museum fulfills its mission to tell the American story through an African American lens.

 
James McNeil, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Alfred Street Baptist Church, continued, We are pleased to be the first faith-based organization to contribute $1 million to this magnificent cultural development. I challenge others in the faith-based community to follow suit to ensure that the history of African Americans will be celebrated and shared with everyone regardless of their background. The story of our countrys greatness cannot be told without sharing how we live and work together to help America thrive.

 
Several members of ASBC have also individually supported the museum as founding donors: Earl W. and Amanda Stafford, donated $2 million in support of the museums Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts; James L. and Juliette McNeil, gave $1 million; Craig and Diane Welburn, $1 million; Margaret Pemberton, $300,000; Donna L. Scott, $25,000; and Janet Sledge $25,000.

 
Alfred Street Baptist Church is an important part of African American history. We celebrated our 212th anniversary in November, and we understand the important role that black churches have always played in the black experience, said Patricia Johnson, chairman of the Alfred Street Baptist Church Deacon Board. Our donation represents our commitment to helping to ensure the preservation of the knowledge base of African American history.

 

 

About Alfred Street Baptist Church
Established in 1803, Alfred Street Baptist Church is home to the oldest and largest African American congregation in Alexandria, Va. With nearly 7,000 members, the church has served as a prominent religious, educational and cultural organization in the Northern Virginia community. The church celebrated its 212th anniversary on Sunday, November 15, 2015 under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley. For more information, visit www.AlfredStreet.org

About the Museum
The Smithsonians National Museum of African American History and Culture broke ground in February 2012 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The 400,000-square-foot building is being built on a five-acre tract adjacent to the Washington Monument at a cost of $540 million. While construction is moving forward, the museum is hosting public programs, organizing traveling exhibitions and producing books and recordings. Its eighth exhibition, Through the African American Lens: Selections from the Permanent Collection, is on view in the museums temporary gallery at the Smithsonians National Museum of American History. For more information, visit http://nmaahc.si.edu.

Photo Caption: Alfred Street Pastor Howard-John Wesley with James McNeil, Board of Trustees, Chair and Pat Johnson, Deacon Chair

President Obama’s Statement on Persecuted Christians at Christmas

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

President Barack Obama:

 

During this season of Advent, Christians in the United States and around the world are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  At this time, those of us fortunate enough to live in countries that honor the birthright of all people to practice their faith freely give thanks for that blessing.  Michelle and I are also ever-mindful that many of our fellow Christians do not enjoy that right, and hold especially close to our hearts and minds those who have been driven from their ancient homelands by unspeakable violence and persecution.

In some areas of the Middle East where church bells have rung for centuries on Christmas Day, this year they will be silent; this silence bears tragic witness to the brutal atrocities committed against these communities by ISIL.

We join with people around the world in praying for God’s protection for persecuted Christians and those of other faiths, as well as for those brave men and women engaged in our military, diplomatic, and humanitarian efforts to alleviate their suffering and restore stability, security, and hope to their nations.  As the old Christmas carol reminds us:

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men.

Illinois Department Of Corrections Reaches Agreement in Rasho v John Baldwin

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Illinois Department of Corrections has entered into a settlement agreement in the case of Ashoor Rasho v. John Baldwin.  The judge has preliminarily approved the settlement and concluded that it is fair, reasonable, and adequate in terms of how the Department will treat offenders with mental illness. The class members will receive notice and have an opportunity to object.  A full hearing will be held in May.

While the IDOC does not admit any liability regarding the allegations made in the suit, it recognizes that adequately treating offenders with mental illness will require a shift in departmental operations. The Department has already implemented significant initiatives to enhance the delivery of mental health services and continues to make improvements. Construction has already begun on Residential Treatment Units (RTUs) at Dixon, Pontiac, and Logan Correctional Centers, which will provide individualized care for offenders with serious mental illnesses.  A fourth RTU is under construction at the former Illinois Youth Center in Joliet.

 

The Department is also committed to boosting staffing levels, adopting new policies and procedures that provide clear direction on housing and treatment plans for mentally ill offenders, and enhancing training curriculum to help staff better interact with, communicate with, and understand the needs of those who require treatment.

 

“Illinois prisons were not intended to be psychiatric hospitals but the reality is, they have become holding places for people who suffer from serious mental illness,” says IDOC Acting Director John Baldwin.  “Our end goal is to get them stabilized and help them cope and adjust to their environment.  This will improve correctional outcomes for those with mental illness and increase safety for our dedicated staff, all offenders, and the citizens we serve.”

The case has lingered in the courts since 2007 after an offender at Pontiac Correctional Center filed suit challenging the delivery of mental health services within the IDOC. The Department reached a partial agreement in 2013 but had not been able to fully implement a plan to streamline mental health services. Governor Rauner’s commitment to improving the state’s correctional system put the case on a fast track and if approved, the settlement agreement will mean improved care for all offenders who struggle with mental illness.

Ukrainian National Extradited from Poland to Face Charges Related to $10 Million Cyber Money Laundering Operation

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC — A Ukrainian national made his initial appearance today in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina, after being extradited from Poland to face charges relating to a $10 million international money laundering operation, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose of the Western District of North Carolina and Special Agent in Charge John A. Strong of the FBI’s Charlotte Division.

Viktor Chostak, 34, of Ukraine, along with three other individuals, are charged in a 25-count indictment with conspiracy to commit money laundering, eleven counts of money laundering, conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to transport stolen property, conspiracy to commit access device fraud, four counts of transporting stolen property and six counts of aggravated identity theft.

According to a redacted version of the indictment unsealed today, beginning in September 2007, Chostak and three other conspirators were members of an international money laundering organization. The organization created and operated a sophisticated online infrastructure that allowed hackers to obtain and conceal stolen money, primarily from U.S. companies’ bank accounts, and transfer it to countries outside the United States. The organization created seemingly legitimate websites for fake companies, then sent spam e-mails advertising employment opportunities. When an individual responded to the spam solicitations, the organization put the applicant through what appeared to be a legitimate hiring process. The organization falsely represented that the individual’s job was to receive payments from businesses into their personal bank accounts, withdraw the money, then wire the funds to the company’s partners overseas. In reality, the individuals merely acted as money mules, processing hackers’ stolen proceeds and wiring them out of the country to other conspirators. The organization allegedly laundered at least $10 million in stolen money from the United States overseas.

According to the indictment, Chostak recruited, hired and managed others who oversaw the money mule operations. Chostak also allegedly worked with computer programmers to meet the needs of the organization’s online infrastructure.

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Charlotte Division. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs also provided assistance. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Jocelyn Aqua and Ryan K. Dickey of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Zolot of the Western District of North Carolina.

U.S. Department of Justice December 23, 2015
  • Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202) 514-1888

“Chicago Stands up for Sheikh Zakzaky, Saturday, January 2, 2016″

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL Chicago Muslim Community will hold a  protest in Chicago to demand the immediate release of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky in Nigeria.

“We strongly condemn the brutal massacre of thousands of innocent civilians by the Nigerian army,” organizers of the protest stated.

On Saturday, December 12th 2015, Nigerian forces invaded Sheikh Zakzaky’s house; after having attacked an IMN (Islamic Movement of Nigeria) ritual gathering that was going to see a public lecture by Zakzaky, leading to death of hundreds of IMN members. The peaceful Nigerian citizens in Zaria had gathered in this religious ceremony that was open to all. The army alleged that the violence was in response to an alleged attempt by the IMN members to assassinate the army chief. But the IMN and human rights organizations have strongly denied the army’s claim arguing that the attack was pre-planned. Sheikh al-Zakzaky along with his wife were injured and arrested. Three sons of the Sheikh were also killed in this attack.

Protesters will gather at the Wrigley Building, 400-410 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL. on January 2, 2016 at 1 p.m.

 


U.S. Senator Sanders Discusses Criminal Justice Reform in Chicago

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders discussed criminal justice reform during a round-table meeting Monday at the Village Leadership Academy on the city’s near West Side. Illinois State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford of Chicago led the discussion.

At a news conference afterward, Sanders recalled his participation in civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s when he was a student at the University of Chicago. “Institutional racism existed then. Institutional racism exists today. The criminal justice system was broken then. The criminal justice system is broken today,” he said. “I consider reforming our criminal justice system one of the most important things that a president of the United States can do.”

Sanders called it an international embarrassment that the United States has more prisoners than any other country and a disproportionate number of those behind bars are minorities. And reciting shocking statistics, Sanders said one in four black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetime. He said blacks are imprisoned at six times the rate of whites and that minorities are sentenced to death at significantly higher rates than whites, which is one reason why he would end capital punishment. He also noted that the Department of Justice found that blacks were three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop compared to white motorists. “That is unacceptable,” Sanders said.

Sanders also mentioned the prison death of Sandra Bland who died last July in a Texas jail cell after her arrest and jailing for a routine traffic violation. Bland, 28, had lived in Naperville, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. A grand jury on Monday declined to press charges against personnel in the sheriff’s office jail where she was found dead.

Sanders’ criminal justice reform proposals include eliminating for-profit prisons; ending mandatory minimum sentencing and giving judges the discretion to better tailor sentences to the specific facts of a given case. He also would remove marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances and let states decide whether possession should be a crime.

He also called for ensuring that police forces reflect the diversity of our communities. The senator would require greater civilian oversight of police departments. He would make law enforcement officers wear body cameras to help hold them accountable while protecting the privacy of innocent people. And he would provide federal funding to help state and local governments adopt new policing standards.

Unemployment Rates up in Most Metro Areas

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

 Job Growth Continues to Lag                 

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Metropolitan Area

November 2015

November 2014

Over-the-Year Change

Bloomington

5.4%

5.0%

0.4

Carbondale-Marion

6.9%

6.3%

0.6

Champaign-Urbana

5.7%

5.3%

0.4

Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights

5.2%

5.8%

-0.6

Danville

7.7%

7.3%

0.4

Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL

5.8%

5.8%

0.0

Decatur

7.6%

7.4%

0.2

Elgin

6.1%

5.9%

0.2

Kankakee

7.2%

6.9%

0.3

Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI

5.6%

5.5%

0.1

Peoria

7.1%

6.3%

0.8

Rockford

7.5%

7.2%

0.3

Springfield

5.7%

5.5%

0.2

St. Louis (IL-Section)

6.7%

6.5%

0.2

Illinois Statewide

5.8%

6.0%

-0.2

* Data subject to revision.

CHICAGO Unemployment rates increased in 12 metro areas, decreased in one and was unchanged in one. Eight metro areas across the state saw job loss compared to a year ago, according to preliminary data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Not seasonally adjusted data compares November 2015 with November 2014.

 

Illinois businesses lost jobs in eight metro areas including Carbondale-Marion (-1.8 percent, -1,000), Quad Cities (-1.7 percent, -3,200), and Lake-Kenosha (-1.5 percent, -6,300).  Illinois businesses added jobs in six metros, in which the largest increases were seen in: Elgin (+2.0 percent, +5,000), Champaign-Urbana (+1.5 percent, +1,700), Danville (+1.4 percent, +400), and Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division (+1.3 percent or +46,900).  The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metros were: Transportation, Warehousing and Public Utilities (nine of 14), Leisure and Hospitality (eight of 14), and Education and Health Services (eight of 14).

 

“While the increase in unemployment rates will garner most of the headlines, more troubling is Illinois’ extremely low employment growth rate this past year,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Out of 102 counties in Illinois, 96 remain below their pre-recession 2007 peak employment levels.”

 

The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 5.8 percent in November 2015 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010.  Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in November and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak.  The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work, and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.

Total Nonfarm Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted) – November 2015

Metropolitan Area

November
2015*

November
2014**

Over-the-Year Change

Bloomington MSA

96,400

95,500

900

Carbondale-Marion MSA

55,100

56,100

-1,000

Champaign-Urbana MSA

111,800

110,100

1,700

Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division

3,672,800

3,625,900

46,900

Danville MSA

29,800

29,400

400

Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA

181,400

184,600

-3,200

Decatur MSA

51,000

51,600

-600

Elgin Metro Division

260,000

255,000

5,000

Kankakee MSA

45,900

46,100

-200

Lake-County-Kenosha County Metro Division

400,200

406,500

-6,300

Gene Siskel Film Center Celebratees Awards Season With Oscar Nominations Panel on January 14 and Hollywood on State: Where You’re The Star on February 28th

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of The Art Institute of Chicago Showcases Black Cinema Year-Round With Black Harvest Presents, Including the Chicago Premiere of Sembene!, First Chicago Runs of My Friend Victoria and Horse Money, Return Engagements of a Ballerina’s Tale and 70 Acres in Chicago Cabrini Green, Plus a Week-Long Run of Rosenwald

Series
The annual series Stranger Than Fiction: Documentary Premieres (January 2-February 3) showcases the new and unusual in documentary filmmaking, including Sembene! (January 15 and 21), a portrait of Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene, the father of African cinema. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/strangerthanfiction2016

Runs
Back by popular demand! A Ballerina’s Tale (January 2-7), the story of Misty Copeland, whose accomplishments have been compared to those of Jackie Robinson, as she became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre in 2015. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/aballerinastale

Rosenwald (January 2-7), the story of Jewish philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, long forgotten except in the African American community and how his fortune running Sears, Roebuck & Co. ingeniously financed Rosenwald Schools, providing an unprecedented opportunity for black children in rural communities. The Gene Siskel Film Center Movie Club (January 6) explores Rosenwald with Peter Ascoli, biographer of Julius Rosenwald, as facilitator of the post-show discussion at Virgin Hotels Chicago (203 N. Wabash). http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/rosenwald

First Chicago run! My friend Victoria (January 8-14), based on the Doris Lessing story Victoria and the Staveneys but relocated from London to Paris, concerns a young African French woman bedazzled by the life of a French affluent white family. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/myfriendvictoria

First Chicago run! Horse Money (January 8-13), by Portuguese director Pedro Costa, looks at protagonist Ventura’s eerie journey as he looks back on his life and how his memories coalesce with Portugal’s troubling colonial past. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/horsemoney

Back by popular demand! 70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green (January 29-31), a documentary 20 years in the making that celebrates the housing development as a unique community and mourns its destruction. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/70acresinchicagocabrinigreen

Awards Season is Here!
Oscar Nominations Panel (January 14; free admission) features local film critics as they weigh in on predictions for the 88th Annual Academy Awards. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/oscarnoms2016

Chicago’s longest-running awards-viewing benefit, Hollywood on State: Where You’re the Star (February 28; tickets start at $100), is a memorable evening filled with glamour, gourmet food and libations, and the live Oscar telecast in two state-of-the-art theaters with Tommy Walton, MasterChef star, designer, and SAIC instructor, and Kate Pankoke, Project Runway designer, as the red carpet co-hosts. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/hollywoodonstate2016

All screenings and events are at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, located at 164 N. State St. To learn more about Black Harvest Presents, visit: http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/blackharvestpresents
Tickets to each screening–unless stated otherwise–are $11/general admission, $7/students, $6/Film Center members, and $5/Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) staff and School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) faculty, staff, and students. All tickets may be purchased at the Film Center Box Office. Both general admission and Film Center member tickets are available through the Gene Siskel Film Center’s website www.siskelfilmcenter.org/content/tickets or through the individual films’ weblinks on www.siskelfilmcenter.org. There is a surcharge of $1.50 per ticket. The Film Center and its box office are open 5:00 to 8:30 pm, Monday through Thursday; 1:00 to 8:30 pm, Friday; 2:00 to 8:30 pm, Saturday; and 2:00 to 5:30 pm, Sunday.

Note that for the return engagement of Misty Copeland documentary A Ballerina’s Tale (January 2-7), the Gene Siskel Film Center would like to extend the offer BALLERINA 2-FOR-1 for any parent-child, aunt/uncle-niece/nephew, and mentor-mentee. The code BALLERINA 2-FOR-1 is valid in-person-only at the Film Center box office during box office hours (note it’s not a day-of-show offer – tickets may be purchased in advance, if desired).

A Gene Siskel Film Center membership is a year-round ticket to great movies for only $6 per screening! Memberships are $50 (Individual) and $80 (Dual). For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org/content/membership.

Discounted parking is available for $18 for 10 hours at the InterPark SELF-PARK at 20 E. Randolph St. A rebate ticket can be obtained from the Film Center Box Office.

The Film Center is located near CTA trains and buses. Nearest CTA L stations are Lake (Red line); State/Lake (Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple lines); and Washington (Blue line). CTA bus lines serving State St.: 2, 6, 10, 29, 36, 62, 144, and 146.
For more information about the Film Center, call 312-846-2800 (24-hour movie hotline) or 312-846-2600 (general information, 9:00 am-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday), or visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
About the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Since 1972, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has presented cutting edge cinema to an annual audience of 80,000. The Film Center’s programming includes annual film festivals that celebrate diverse voices and international cultures, premieres of trailblazing work by today’s independent filmmakers, restorations and revivals of essential films from cinema history, and insightful provocative discussions with filmmakers and media artists. Altogether, the Film Center hosts over 1,500 screenings and 100 filmmaker appearances every year. The Film Center was renamed the Gene Siskel Film Center in 2000 after the late, nationally celebrated film critic, Gene Siskel. Visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org to learn more and find out what’s playing today.

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program ranked number two by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, and LeRoy Neiman. Learn more at saic.edu.

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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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