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Archive for February 23rd, 2016

Body Bags to be Delivered to Mayor Rahm Emanuel to Draw Attention to City’s Mental Health Crisis

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Today, mental health advocates will deliver body bags full of testimonies about the disastrous impact of clinic closures.

“Body Bag Project” will be held outside the Mayor”s office; will gather testimony, and deliver body bags full of it to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Participants include people who receive services at City Mental Health clinics and allies. The event will be held Tuesday, February 23rd, 10:30 a.m. -3 p.m., in the City Hall 5th floor lobby – 121 N. LaSalle Street in Chicago.

Mental Health Movement members have spent months collecting stories of the disastrous impact of Rahm Emanuel’s policies on Chicago neighborhoods, from the closure of 6 of 12 mental health clinics to the closure of 50 schools to covering up police shootings. They will spend most of the day today outside of Rahm Emanuel’s office gathering additional stories from the public and placing them all into body bags that will be delivered to the Mayor at the end of the day.

“Our goal is to help our brothers and sisters living in our city heal and be well and erase painful tears with this event. The Mental Health Movement has been working daily for seven years to ensure that the City of Chicago offers refuge in a safe place to heal and be well. We are sponsoring this event because we love Chicago and want all of it’s precious citizens to be well,” says N’Dana Carter, Mental Health Movement spokeswoman and lead organizer and a consumer at one of the remaining City of Chicago public mental health clinics.

Attention has once again been called to the disastrous impact of Rahm Emanuel’s closure of half of the city’s public mental health clinic and ongoing inaction to stabilize and save services at remaining mental health clinics. In light of the police shooting of Quentonio Legrier and Betty Jones, many in Chicago have been asking the Emanuel administration why police – rather than trained mental health professionals – are ending up in so many encounters people experiencing mental health crises. While the Emanuel administration has denied a link between increasing mental health crises and his 2012 closure of 6 of Chicago’s 12 mental health clinics, WBEZ pulled data showing that emergency room visits for mental health crises have been skyrocketing, with the biggest jump happening in 2012, the same year that Rahm Emanuel closed the clinics. Meanwhile, lived experience of those who have received services at city mental health clinics have attested to the increasing difficulty in accessing services in the neighborhoods that saw clinics close. Four of the six neighborhoods where clinics closed were on the south side in service deserts (Auburn/Gresham, Woodlawn, Beverly/Morgan Park and Back of the Yards), and since the clinic closures, two other major providers have gone out of business and one was bailed out by Cook County.

Advocates have recently introduced an ordinance to stabilize Chicago’s remaining mental health clinics by obliging the city to join managed care networks, publicize its services, adequately staff its clinics, and report to city council. Additional efforts are in the works to renew pressure for the re-opening of closed clinics.

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus: Black Students Feel the Blow of Rauner’s MAP Grant Veto

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

A recent report published by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth examines how African-American students are disproportionally affected by the student debt crisis. This report was issued just before Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed MAP grant funding, which provides tuition assistance students who qualify both academically and financially.

“The governor added yet another obstacle, impeding the path of many of our smart, talented scholars who chose to stay in Illinois. He heard from his constituents and received thousands of petitions urging him to prioritize our state’s youth,” said Assistant Majority Leader Donne Trotter, chairman of the Appropriations committee. “Students face skyrocketing unemployment, diminishing opportunities and unprecedented student loan debt. Vetoing MAP funding is a slap in the face of the very students who will soon fuel our economic engine.”

A report released in early December published by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus explains how minority students are disproportionately low-income; therefore, programs that help low-income students attend college are likely to help minority students. The MAP grant helps close the achievement gap between blacks and whites.

“The governor’s veto sends a clear message that he doesn’t care about qualified students who need help achieving a quality education,” said Senator Emil Jones III, Chairman of the Senate Black Caucus. “Minority students are disproportionally low-income. The Governor is putting so many students who face challenges in the community at a blatant disadvantage. The Governor is out of control, and this is another instance that exemplifies his inability to lead Illinois in the right direction. ”

The MAP grant allows lower- and middle-income black families to send their children to college, which gives the next generation the qualifications for a higher-paying job. Middle-class students cut off from financial aid may have to drop out.

“It’s embarrassing that we have to fight our governor to get funding for a program that helps put poor students through school,” said Senator Napoleon Harris. The governor is out of touch with reality. Students in need, especially those at Chicago State, need this program to escape poverty, violence and trouble. It’s time Governor Rauner steps away from his political agenda and stops forcing people to suffer. It’s reckless.

Press Conference by One-Million Conscious Black Voters & Contributors

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS




A cadre of Black people residing in 35 states/nation that is dedicated to obtaining reciprocity for our votes and for our dollars. Our commitment to achieving said reciprocity is grounded in political quid pro quo activism and economic leverage relative to our collective and individual financial resources. Our movement is exemplary of action over rhetoric and substance over symbolism in the economic and public policy arenas. Not only do we demand positive political and economic change, we are well prepared and determined to initiate action-oriented responses in return for support and positive change. On the other hand, we are similarly prepared to use our resources, i.e. votes and dollars, against those who refuse to support our demands.
The press conference will be held Thursday, February 25, 2016, 9:00 A.M. to 12 Noon, at the African-American Civil War Memorial & Museum,1925 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington, DC. Doors open at 9:00 A.M. Press Conference begins promptly at 10:00 A.M.


The purpose of the press conference is to introduce the One Million Conscious Black Voters & Contributors and our Political Platform to the National African-American community; to challenge the rights of states to pass laws that contradict the United States’ Constitution (especially ‘laws of attainder’); to lay claim to being the nation’s preeminent “Black Constitutional Patriots” in line with stalwarts such as Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, and Martin Luther King, Jr.; to remove the clause ‘…except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted…’ from the 13th Amendment to the U.S, Constitution; and to call on all like-minded believers in Black self-reliance to join our movement to empower African-Americans, economically and politically!


Photo Caption: Conference Speakers (Left-Right): Atty. Nkechi Taifa ,National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) confirmed; Pastor Willie Wilson, Union Temple Baptist Church, confirmed; Jerroll Sanders, President, Change is ON US, and URLEIA, confirmed; D.J. Jordan, President, US Lifting Us Economic Development Cooperative, LLC, confirmed; Amefika Geuka, Co-convener, OMCBV&C, confirmed; and Dr. Claud Anderson, Harvest Institute and Powernomics, Inc. (Invited).
For more information, call (202) 667-2667.

Kirk to VA: Fire Official in Charge of Vets Crisis Hotline That Sent Calls to Voicemail

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

VA Inspector General Report Finds Veterans’ Calls to 24-Hour Crisis Hotline Went Unanswered, Unreturned

CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), called for the immediate firing of Dr. Mary Schohn, the Director of Mental Health Operations for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), who is responsible for overseeing the crisis hotline that reportedly allowed veterans’ calls to go unanswered and unreturned. 

In a letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, Senator Kirk demanded Dr. Schohn be terminated effective immediately and suggested she be replaced with an official from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a federal agency that administers a suicide hotline effectively.

The letter is available here. The text is below.

February 22, 2016

Hon. Robert McDonald
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20420

Dear Secretary McDonald,

As Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), I am writing to call for the firing of Dr. Mary Schohn, Director of Mental Health Operations for the VA’s Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The VA Office of Inspector General (VA OIG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have identified patterns of failure and consistent disregard for improvements within VA call centers, and the suicide hotline specifically. As head of the office that oversees the VA’s crisis hotline, Dr. Schohn has failed veterans in their darkest hour. 

The horrific revelations contained in the recently released VA OIG investigative report, “Veterans Crisis Line Caller Response and Quality Assurance Concerns (Report No. 14-03540-123), include repeated instances of the VA ignoring veterans’ needs for suicide assistance. Specifically, the report, which was based on a review of Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) records from FY 2014 through the first quarter of FY 2015, found that calls to the VCL, which is a component of VA’s Suicide Prevention Program, may have been put on hold for 20 minutes or more and often went to a voicemail system no one on the call center staff even knew existed.

The VA’s Office of Mental Health Services and Operations, which oversees the VCL program, has been aware of these unacceptable examples of disregard for veterans dating back to at least April 28, 2014. At that time, the Coalition of Veterans Organizations wrote a letter  to then-Secretary Eric Shinseki expressing concern over documented occurrences in which the VCL was “seriously deficient,” citing the familiar examples of extended wait times and poorly trained staff.  

For several years, media reports have also highlighted problems in the program, all under the direction of Dr. Mary Schohn. A video posted online in 2014 shows a veteran who called the hotline on hold for more than 35 minutes.

And again last year, after you had assumed your current role as Secretary, my colleague Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) wrote to you with concerns that his constituents were being placed on hold repeatedly when they sought help through the VCL.  

Moreover, a November 2014 GAO report, “VA Health Care: Improvements Needed in Monitoring Antidepressant Use for Major Depressive Disorder and in Increasing Accuracy of Suicide Data (GAO-15-55), found “that VA policies lacked clear direction for how staff at VA facilities should document information about veteran suicides as part of VA’s behavioral health autopsy program (BHAP). The BHAP is a national initiative to collect demographic, clinical, and other information about veterans who have died by suicide and use it to improve the department’s suicide prevention efforts. In a review of a sample of BHAP records from five VA facilities, we found that more than half of the records had incomplete or inaccurate information. The lack of reliable data limits the department’s opportunities to learn from past veteran suicides and ultimately diminishes VA’s efforts to improve its suicide prevention activities.”

Even since May 2010, the VA OIG identified clear problems with VA call centers. The report, “Veterans Benefits Administration: Audit of National Call Centers and the Inquiry Routing and Information System” (Report No. 09-01968-150), identified the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) eight national call centers and pension call center did not have an adequate process to ensure callers reached a call agent. From the 2010 report:

  • During FY 2009, 76 percent of the call attempts reached a public contact representative (call agent). Of the 24 percent who did not reach a call agent, the callers either received a busy signal (blocked call) or hung up while on hold (abandoned call).
  • This occurred because: VBA’s telephone system did not route calls to ensure the efficient use of the call agents. VBA did not implement performance standards to hold personnel at call centers accountable for timeliness of responses. Call agents did not have easy access to the information needed to answer callers’ inquiries in a timely manner.
  • Timely Access During FY 2009, callers made 7.41 million attempts to contact the eight call centers. Of these attempts, 1.77 million (24 percent) were not completed because the call was either blocked or abandoned. Blocked call rates measure the percentage of attempted calls that received a busy signal.
  • In FY 2009, 1.26 million (17 percent) of the 7.41 million call attempts were blocked. Abandoned call rates measure the percentage of calls (calls not blocked) that the caller abandoned before reaching a call agent. In FY 2009, 6.15 million (7.41 million – 1.26 million) calls were connected, but .51 million (8 percent) were abandoned.

You’ve often stated that you are changing the culture at the VA. There can be no higher order within the VA than taking seriously the suicide rates of our service men and women when they return from the battlefield. Use the authority you have to demonstrate that repeated failure at the VA is unacceptable by firing Dr. Schohn, and consider replacing her with someone from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a government agency that is using a suicide hotline effectively.

Mark Kirk
United States Senator


A recent report by the VA Office of the Inspector General found that veterans who called the VA Crisis Hotline, which is supposed to be monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, were transferred to a voicemail box and never had their calls returned. The report also found that those who are contracted with the VA to provide backup for the crisis hotline may not be properly trained on how to help a veteran seeking help.

Since the VA scandal broke last year, Senator Kirk has been working with local whistleblowers to expose the misconduct at our nation’s VA centers and hospitals that are hurting veterans and costing lives. A timeline of the Senator’s work can be seen here.

Senator Kirk has been working with whistleblowers like Germaine Clarno, a social worker at Hines and president of the AFGE Local 781, and Dr. Lisa Nee, a former Hines cardiologist who experienced retaliation from VA officials after reporting a backlog of hundreds of unread echocardiogram tests and unnecessary surgeries – both of whom have faced retaliation and intimidation from VA officials, and whose calls to improve care for veterans have been ignored.

Earlier this month, Senator Kirk wrote to Secretary Robert McDonald about complaints in Illinois and nationwide over the “Choice Act,” a new program allowing vets to access private care. A VA Office of the Inspector General report confirmed veterans in Colorado are denied access to basic diagnostic testing and delaying veterans’ requests to use the Choice Act. Senator Kirk called on the VA Secretary to acknowledge the problems using the Choice Act and identify solutions for veterans immediately. 

Senator Kirk has introduced S. 2291, the Veterans Patient Protection Act, which forces the VA to address reports of abuse and punishes the managers who retaliate, ignore and intimidate VA whistleblowers.

Atlanta Executives and an Internet-Based Promoter Charged with Scheme to Defraud Investors

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

ATLANTA, GA – The co-owners, chief operating officer, and an alleged paid promoter of Sterling Currency Group, which at one time billed itself as one of the largest sellers and exchangers of the Iraqi dinar in the U.S., have been indicted for their roles in a scheme to fraudulently induce investors into purchasing the Iraqi dinar.  Tyson Rhame, James Shaw, Terrence Keller, and Frank Bell, have been indicted in this case and had their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman.

“Investors in the Iraqi dinar, like all investors, are entitled to make an informed choice based on honest and transparent information,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “These defendants are alleged to have defrauded investors by spreading misinformation about the investment potential of the Iraqi dinar in order to profit from sale of the currency.  We urge anyone who believes they were impacted by this scheme to contact the FBI.”

“This federal indictment represents extensive efforts by the government to protect investors from those who would make alleged unsubstantiated claims involving the potential revaluation of certain foreign currency.  The FBI, along with the IRS Criminal Investigative Division, has made every effort to provide some protection for those who have already invested by seizing millions of dollars, the disposition of which will be further determined as this case now moves into the U.S. Courts system,” said J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.

“Investment fraud schemes are designed to appeal to people’s hope, often resulting in the total loss of their investment,” stated Special Agent in Charge Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Individuals who line their pockets with money gained through deceiving others should know they will not go undetected and will be held accountable. The indictment of these individuals illustrates our commitment, along with our law enforcement partners, to pursue those individuals who victimize investors, violate the public trust and enrich themselves financially at the expense of the investor.”

According to U.S Attorney Horn, the indictment, and other information presented in court:  During the scope of the conspiracy, the Iraqi dinar – which is the currency of the country of Iraq – was touted by some as a potential investment opportunity. Information publicly available on certain internet websites, blogs, chat rooms, and conference calls fueled this speculation by predicting that a “revaluation” of the Iraqi dinar would occur imminently.  A “revaluation” or “RV,” in this context, meant a sudden, exponential rise in the value of the Iraqi dinar as compared to the U.S. dollar and other relatively stable global currencies. Individuals who owned Iraqi dinar would realize potentially enormous gains if an “RV” ever occurred in this manner.

Sterling Currency Group, LLC, which also did business as Sterling Online Processing Services, LLC, and Dinar Banker (collectively, “Sterling”), was a Georgia corporation with its principal place of business in Atlanta, Georgia. Sterling sold and exchanged so-called “exotic currencies,” including most predominantly the Iraqi dinar.Tyson Rhame and James Shaw were co-owners of Sterling, which began operations in 2004. Frank Bell began working for Sterling in 2010 and became Sterling’s Chief Operating Officer in 2011.

According to the indictment, Terrence Keller, who was also known as “TerryK,” led an internet-based group known as “The GET Team,” which consisted of a website, an internet chat forum and weekly conference calls in which, among other things, information was disseminated to participants concerning the potential investment value of the Iraqi dinar.Keller, through The GET Team, was one of the leading internet-based proponents of the “RV” theory.  On The GET Team’s website, internet chat forum, and on weekly conference calls, Keller is alleged to have falsely claimed to have information from, and verified by, high-level confidential sources in the United States government, the Iraqi government, international organizations, and major financial institutions, regarding an imminent “RV.” However, Keller did not have information from, or contact with, these supposed high-level confidential sources. The indictment alleges that Keller, Rhame, Shaw, and Bell knew and believed that representations concerning an imminent “RV” of the Iraqi dinar, particularly claims that the information came from one or more supposed high-level confidential sources, would boost sales for Sterling.

Keller allegedly claimed, directly and indirectly, to The GET Team followers that he had no financial or other ulterior motive to promote the Iraqi dinar as an investment, but, rather, that he was simply disseminating his knowledge and information so that others could benefit from it as well. To that end, Keller affirmatively told his followers that he did not make substantial profits from his dealings with Sterling and other dinar dealers that advertised with the GET Team.Keller allegedly had a secret arrangement with Rhame, Shaw and Bell to promote and “pump” the Iraqi dinar in exchange for payments made by Sterling to benefit Keller.  Since at least as early as August 2011, Sterling paid Keller over $160,000.  Keller consistently downplayed these financial benefits to his followers and listeners.

The correlation between Sterling’s increased sales and Keller’s promotion of the Iraqi dinar was allegedly further cemented by the presence of a Sterling representative, including, at times, Rhame and Bell, on The GET Team’s conference calls and internet forums. At various times, Rhame, Bell and other Sterling representatives participated in conference calls and internet forums in which Keller made representations to followers concerning the imminent Iraqi dinar “RV,” his access to high-level confidential sources, and claims that he was just trying to be helpful and received no financial benefit for providing this information to others.  The presence and participation of Rhame, Bell, and other Sterling representatives on The GET Team’s conference calls and internet forums provided further validation to followers that Keller’s claims about an imminent “RV” of the Iraqi dinar should be believed.

The indictment alleges that the promotional activities of Keller and other dinar promoters were essential to Sterling’s financial success and generated Sterling millions of dollars in dinar and other currency sales. In December 2010, Rhame is alleged to have told colleagues that Keller and the GET Team pushed 80% of Sterling’s business.  In December 2011, Bell is alleged to have referred to the GET Team as Sterling’s “largest referrer.”  Between approximately 2010 and June 2015, Sterling grossed over $600 million in revenue from the sale of the Iraqi dinar and other currencies.  During this same time period, Rhame and Shaw received over $180 million in distributions from Sterling.

Tyson Rhame, 51, and James Shaw, 53, both of Atlanta, Georgia, Frank Bell, 54, of Decatur, Georgia, and Terrence Keller, also known as “TerryK,” 55, of Grayson, Kentucky, are each charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as several counts of mail fraud and wire fraud.  Rhame and Shaw are also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and 12 counts of money laundering.

The indictment also includes criminal forfeiture listing numerous assets to which the defendants may have an interest.  Specifically, the government is seeking the forfeiture of millions of dollars held in financial accounts, foreign currencies, three private airplanes, three automobiles, numerous corporate and trust entities, as well as real property in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and Iowa.  Also, the government filed motions to amend two civil forfeiture complaints, which similarly seek the forfeiture of a variety of assets allegedly linked to this scheme.  The government’s motions and amended civil forfeiture complaints can be found at United States v. 225 Valley Road, NW, Atlanta, GA et. al., 1:15-CV-2032-LMM (Doc. 217) and United States v. Approximately 8,671,456,050 in Iraqi Dinars, et. al., 1:15-CV-2677-LMM (Doc. 212).

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas J. Krepp, Steven D. Grimberg, and Jamie L. Mickelson are prosecuting the case.  Assistant United States Attorneys Kelly K. Connors, Dahil D. Goss, and Thomas J. Krepp are handling the parallel civil forfeiture actions.

Members of the public who believe they were impacted by this scheme are encouraged to contact the FBI at https://forms.fbi.gov/iraqi-dinar-investment-investigation.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov

Email links icon or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Filmmaker Spike Lee to Speak at Northwestern University March 2

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Lee to participate in discussion following screening of his recent film “Chi-Raq”

Discussion open to media and Northwestern community; not open to general public.

EVANSTON, IL – Filmmaker Spike Lee will participate in a discussion following a screening of his most recent film “Chi-Raq” on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus Wednesday, March 2.

The event is open only to the Northwestern community, not the general public
Hosted by the University’s department of political science, dean of Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the student-run Contemporary Thought Speaker Series (CTSS), “An Evening with Spike Lee” includes a screening of “Chi-Raq” at 5 p.m. followed immediately by a conversation with Lee at approximately 7 p.m. Both the screening and the discussion will be held in Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson Street.
As part of the discussion, Lee will be joined on stage by local activists involved with the film’s production on location in Chicago.

The event also is co-sponsored by the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the department of African American studies, and the department of classics.
NORTHWESTERN NEWS: www.northwestern.edu/newscenter.

PBS Chicago to Air New Black Talk Show

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
Garrard McClendons New TV Show to Air on PBS

Chicago, IL/ Merrillville, IN (BlackNews.com) — Lakeshore Public Media will present CounterPoint with Garrard McClendon, a new public affairs program premiering March 4 on PBS. From education to the economy to politics, CounterPoint will offer viewers in-depth interviews and commentary with newsmakers representing different perspectives across Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland.

CounterPoint with Garrard McClendon will be hosted by Emmy Award-winning talk show host and college professor, Dr. Garrard McClendon. In Chicago, he hosted Garrard McClendon Live on CLTV, Off 63rd on WYCC Chicago, and the McClendon Report on WVON.

Matt Franklin, Vice President of TV Operations for Lakeshore Public Media, says, Garrard is known all across Chicago and Northwest Indiana as a great moderator for engaging discussions about diverse topics. This program will bridge communities by educating, inspiring and connecting people through the power of public media.

Carrie Kuck, Director of Programming and Membership, says, CounterPoint is a vehicle to address common issues we face, offering viewers multiple perspectives. The show will incorporate viewers comments and questions through advanced social media platforms.

CounterPoint with Garrard McClendon will air Fridays at 8pm on Lakeshore Public Television in Chicago, IL, and NW Indiana, starting March 4.

About Lakeshore Public Media
Lakeshore Public Media provides quality local and original programming that educates, enlightens, and informs. Lakeshore Public Media chooses the best of PBS and public broadcasting to millions of homes throughout Northwest Indiana, Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

First Lady Teams Up With PBS and WGBH Boston to Launch Fifth Nationwide Healthy Recipe Challenge

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Invites Kids to Create Healthy Lunch Recipes for a Chance to Win a Trip to Washington, D.C. and Attend the Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House

First Lady Michelle Obama is teaming up with PBS flagship station WGBH Boston, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to host the fifth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” to promote cooking and healthy eating among youth. Teaching kids to cook is a great way to ensure they learn healthy habits early in life. Research shows that children who help with cooking and meal preparation are more likely to consume fruits and vegetables, and they are more aware of the importance of making healthier food choices.

“The Kids’ “State Dinner” is one of my favorite events to host at the White House, and I am thrilled to announce the fifth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Every year, I am amazed by the healthy, delicious dishes that kids across the country create, and I am excited to see what kids cook up this year!”

WGBH Boston joins the First Lady to present the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” in an effort to raise national awareness about the importance of healthy cooking and eating. To make the challenge possible for kids and their families across America, support is being provided to WGBH by Newman’s Own Foundation.

“Supporting the healthy development of children is at the core of our work in public media, so we are very pleased to once again partner on this important effort with the First Lady,” said WGBH Executive in Charge Brigid Sullivan.

The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” invites kids, ages 8-12, in collaboration with a parent or guardian, to create an original lunch recipe that is healthy, affordable, and tasty, which their parent or guardian can submit at pbs.org/lunchtimechallenge. In support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative to help kids and families lead healthier lives, entrants are encouraged to reference ChooseMyPlate.gov to ensure recipes meet the USDA’s recommended nutrition guidelines. Entries should represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. In addition, in celebration of the MyPlate, MyState initiative, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge is putting a spotlight on homegrown pride across the country and encouraging entries to include local ingredients grown in the entrant’s state, territory, or community.

Kids from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands) are invited to create a recipe.  One winner from each and a parent or guardian will win the opportunity to be flown to Washington D.C., courtesy of United Airlines, and the opportunity to attend the Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House, where a selection of the winning healthy recipes will be served. Kids will also have the opportunity to learn from television personality and member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Rachael Ray.

“My Yum-o! organization and I are so happy to be a part of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kids’ “State Dinner” and can’t wait to meet all the winners this summer at the White House,” said Rachael Ray.

“Since the First Lady began hosting this challenge in 2012, it has been wonderful to see so many young people embracing the principles of MyPlate and using their creativity to come up with such delicious, nutritious recipes. This year, kids have a chance to not only show off their culinary skills, but also their local pride by featuring ingredients that are locally grown and produced,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “By showcasing local foods through ‘MyPlate, MyState,’ this year’s challenge provides children an opportunity to see how the bounty of American agriculture provides the nutritious food they need to learn and grow.”

“It’s wonderful to see our students setting an example for their classmates – and for adults – on the critical role healthy eating plays in academic success. I love to see the excitement and enthusiasm that these young chefs bring to this competition as they dream up fresh, new lunch recipes that are both nutritious and delicious,” said John B. King, Jr., Acting Education Secretary.

The winning recipes will be chosen by a panel of judges that includes: Let’s Move! Executive Director Debra Eschmeyer, representatives of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Editor-in-Chief of Rachael Ray Every Day Magazine Lauren Purcell, an Executive Chef from United Airlines, previous Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winners, and Founder of Cooking Up Big Dreams Tanya Steel. The winning recipes will be featured in a downloadable, printable free e-cookbook that includes a nutritional analysis and photos of the winning chefs, and their recipes and will be available on the contest website: pbs.org/lunchtimechallenge, as well as on letsmove.gov, USDA.gov, and Ed.gov.

Parents and guardians can submit their child’s recipe from February 22 through April 4 online at pbs.org/lunchtimechallenge. Winners will be notified in June, and the White House Kids’ “State Dinner” will take place in the summer of 2016. Accommodations for the winning families will be provided by The Westin Georgetown. For contest rules and complete details including how to enter by mail, visit pbs.org/lunchtimechallenge.

Source: whitehouse.gov

Rev. Dr. Harold Bailey, Recipient of Three Awards During Golden Rule International’s Black History Month Celebration

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On February - 23 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

By Juanita Bratcher

Publisher of CopyLine Magazine



Rev. Dr. Harold Bailey, President of Probation Challenge and the PCC Broadcast Network, was the recipient of three awards during Golden Rule International’s Black History Month Celebration. Bailey was overwhelmed, overjoyed and grateful for the awards he received at an event that celebrated many outstanding awardees who have gone beyond the call of duty in their various career fields.


After receiving the awards, Rev Bailey said it was one of the most “rewarding nights” of his life.


“I am humbled to have had one the most rewarding nights of my life! All my adult life I’ve been about the matters of giving, and especially encouraging youth to stay on the straight and narrow by way of education. These unexpected awards represents a cup of cold water in the desert of my life.
“I’ve received The ‘Global Leadership Award’ along with the ‘Golden Rule International Award’, and an Honorary Degree of ‘Doctorate of Philosophy in Humanities’.

“To God be the glory for the great things He has wrought.”

The 2016 Black History Month Culture of Honour event was held February 21, 2016, at Sullivan High School, 6631 North Bosworth Ave., in Chicago.

Esteemed Participant leaders who organized and attended the event on hand at the Black History Month celebration were: Dr. Gladys Loggin, Ambassador Dr. Clyde Rivers, President, I Change Nations and Panama Peace Ambassador; Dr. Melida Harris-Barrow, Coordinator, Andrea Graham, MCs; – Drs. Birdy Haggerty, Tony Rush, Dr. Deon Lopez, Dr. Clyde Rivers, Dr. Gladys Folorunsho, Dr. Kelechi Ibe-Lambert, and Chad Adams, principal of Sullivan School, .

Housekeepers, Nannies and Caregivers Launch Job Creation & “Fair Trade Hiring” Program

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Domestic workers will hold a press conference announcing the launch of a new community economic development and job creation program, Tuesday, March 8, 2016, at the Albany Park Workers Center, 3416 W. Bryn Mawr, beginning at 10:30 a.m..


The program will allow ethical employers to connect with experienced nannies, caregivers and home and office cleaners, filling a critical demand in the domestic work market.


About the Albany Park Workers Center

Since 2004, the Albany Park Workers Center has been Chicago’s trusted source for construction, moving and handyman needs — connecting living-wage employers with quality workers. The Albany Park Workers Center is a program of Latino Union of Chicago.

About Latino Union of Chicago

Latino Union collaborates with low-income immigrant and U.S.-born workers to develop the tools necessary to collectively improve social and economic conditions.

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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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