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Archive for March 17th, 2016

BYP100: Defeat of Cook County State’s Attorney Alvarez Was a Victory Won by Sacrifices of Young Black, Queer and Femme Organizers

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2016 Comments Off on BYP100: Defeat of Cook County State’s Attorney Alvarez Was a Victory Won by Sacrifices of Young Black, Queer and Femme Organizers


BYP100 statement on defeat of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez

CHICAGO, IL – “Political freedom has been at the forefront of our minds as we engaged in #ByeAnita actions, street-team canvassing, phone-banking and voter education events focused on young Black voters to remove the anti-Black Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. Though the entire governmental structure is anti-black, the current Cook County States Attorney took devaluing Black life to extreme lows from covering up our deaths to even charging sexual assault survivors for defending themselves. Alvarez consistently resisted the call to serve in a way that showed she held those in consideration that are most affected by state violence


“This victory was won by the sacrifices of young Black, Queer and Femme organizers. Thank you Assata’s Daughters, Black Lives Matter: Chicago, and our beloved members of F.L.Y., who we joined with to secure this historical win. We are so much stronger together and are committed to taking power back from the systems that seek to kill us. We also thank the Workers Center for Racial Justice, Action Now and SOUL for their organizing work throughout the community.

“To Kim Foxx, we urge you to honor the lives of Black people and lead with compassion. We’ll be looking for you to stay true to your platform and work for an elected civilian police accountability council. We expect the culture of police impunity to end with you. We demand that you cut off the school to prison pipeline, end prosecutions for low-level drug possession and a work with us to create mass expansion of alternatives to incarceration. If not, our membership is ready to organize and hold you accountable too.”

In The News
Black Lives Matter won on Tuesday. Prosecutors Lost
How Black Youth Helped Unseat Anita Alvarez and Transform the Face of Criminal Justice in Chicago
Black Lives Matter Notches Wins in Chicago and Cleveland

Kirk, Manchin, Collins Introduce Bill to Speed Development of Regenerative Medicine

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2016 Comments Off on Kirk, Manchin, Collins Introduce Bill to Speed Development of Regenerative Medicine


REGROW Act Accelerates New Therapies to Help Patients Living with Disease

Stem Cell Therapies Help Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Sickle Cell Patients


WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced The REGROW Act, S. 2689, bipartisan, bicameral legislation to reduce barriers to medical innovation and accelerate the development of new regenerative medicine treatments, which have the potential to restore or establish normal function in damaged human cells, tissues and organs.

“As a stroke survivor, I know how much potential new regenerative therapies have for the thousands of other stroke survivors nationwide,” Senator Kirk said. “The REGROW Act provides clarity for companies and doctors who are developing breakthrough products and helping their patients. By expanding options for those living with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and stroke,  we can help more patients live the life they want on their own terms.” 

“We must support important medical research to find cures and treatments to the many medical challenges we face,” Senator Manchin said. “This bipartisan legislation will improve the approval process of low risk therapies that could have significant benefits to someone struggling with burns and wounds, arthritis, ALS, and may be able to be used to help people recover from stroke. I am glad to join my colleagues to ensure these therapies are accessible to help treat these injuries and diseases.”

“Regenerative medicine holds incredible potential for the future of health care in our country and around the world. Through the development of innovative therapies and products, regenerative medicine could one day fully heal damaged tissues and organs, providing needed cures for diseases and conditions that are untreatable today,” said Senator Collins. “The bipartisan REGROW Act will help make certain that the regulatory framework in the United States facilitates and helps support the development and continued progress in this important area of medicine.”

“The development of regenerative medical treatments is one of the most exciting aspects of modern medicine. These products, developed from adult stem cells, show potential to fully restore or establish normal function in damaged human cells, tissues, or organs,” said U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), who introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

According to a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “virtually any disease that results from malfunctioning, damaged or failing tissues may be potentially cured through regenerative medicine treatments.” Stem cell and tissue-based treatments have already proven to be successful in curing diseases like sickle cell, and recovering stroke victims have been helped during their rehab phase by utilizing stem cells to repair damaged brain tissue. 

The promise of stem cell and tissue-based treatments is already evident in Illinois. In 2012, Ieshea Thomas was successfully cured of sickle cell disease after receiving a stem cell transplant at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Additional patients have been successfully treated by UIC, suggesting stem cell transplants are a viable alternative to chemotherapy for some individuals, especially children. Dr. Richard Burt, a professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, is also pioneering new advances in the field

Unfortunately the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified the current lack of regulatory standards in this area of medicine as an impediment to treatment development. Countries like Japan and England are outpacing the U.S. in regenerative medicine therapy development due to new regulatory policies that the U.S. has yet to mirror. 

The REGROW Act addresses these issues by requiring the FDA to collaborate with stakeholders to develop standards that will lead to manufacturing processes and controls for safe regenerative medicine products. The legislation protects existing drug approval pathways under section 351 and 361 of the Public Health Service Act, while creating a new approval for regenerative medicine products. S. 2689 will allow the United States to regain prominence in the field of regenerative medicine science and bring therapies quickly to the patients that need it most. 

In December 2015, the Bipartisan Policy Center published recommendations for advancing regenerative cellular therapies, which aim to “restore health rather than merely treat disease.” The REGROW Act builds on that report by establishing a novel, conditional approval pathway that will ensure products are safe and effective before they can be marketed. It also includes post-market surveillance measures to ensure continued safety during the conditional use period.

The REGROW Act is supported by the Bipartisan Policy Center, National Stroke Association, Alliance for Aging Research, Regenerative Medicine Foundation, and Alliance for the Advancement of Cellular Therapies.

Illinois School Finances Show Improvement on Latest Financial Profile Report

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2016 Comments Off on Illinois School Finances Show Improvement on Latest Financial Profile Report

ISBE analysis shows fewer districts earned lowest financial rating; without full funding, more are expected to deficit spend in current fiscal year 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The number of school districts earning the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) top financial rating grew this year, despite the fact that many districts operated with less funding. ISBE’s annual review of district financial data also found more districts are expected to deficit spend this year unless the General Assembly fully funds General State Aid (GSA), which would end proration and provide districts much-needed financial relief.

“The 2016 Financial Profile data shows a positive trend in Illinois’ average score; however, this data point does not reflect the missed opportunities for our students resulting from the General Assembly cutting state education funding for many years,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “By fully funding GSA, school districts will have more flexibility to fund vital services and programs to sustain daily operations. We believe fully funding GSA will provide a lifeline to these districts by providing the necessary supports their children deserve.”  

Gov. Bruce Rauner and ISBE have a shared priority to rebuild and invigorate Illinois’ K-12 educational system by combatting inequality in school funding. The first step to achieve this goal is to fully fund GSA and end proration. GSA has not been fully funded at the statutory Foundation Level of $6,119 per student since fiscal year 2012, meaning the state has been forced to prorate GSA payments for several years. Fully funding 100 percent of General State Aid at the Foundation Level with no proration is historic and highlights the joint commitment to ensure all students in Illinois receive access to a high-quality education. 

The 2016 Financial Profile is based upon FY 2015 data received from school districts and provides a snapshot in time that helps ISBE gauge school districts’ financial health. The profile’s designation categories and FY 2016 and FY 2015 statistics are:




FY 16 # of Districts

FY 15 # of Districts

Financial Recognition


The highest category of financial strength. Districts require little or no review or involvement by ISBE.



Financial Review


Districts receive a limited review by ISBE but will be monitored for potential downward trends.



Early Warning


ISBE monitors these districts closely and offers proactive technical assistance. ISBE also determines whether they meet the criteria set forth in Article 1A-8 of the School Code to be certified in financial difficulty and possibly qualify for a Financial Oversight Panel (FOP).



Financial Watch


ISBE monitors these districts very closely and offers them technical assistance. Districts are also reviewed to determine whether they meet the legal criteria to be certified in financial difficulty and qualify for a FOP.



The 2016 profile shows 15 more districts earned Financial Recognition than in 2015, despite the General Assembly prorating GSA to 87.1 percent in FY 2015 compared to 88.7 percent in FY 2014. Overall, there are fewer districts in the three lowest categories: Financial Review, Financial Early Warning, and Financial Watch.

Of the 32 districts on Financial Watch status, 18 districts received this designation last year. Six of these Financial Watch districts saw a decrease in their financial score, including the City of Chicago School District 299. After first moving to the Financial Watch designation in 2015, Chicago’s financial score continued to decline this year to 2.10 from 2.45.

The School Code specifies the criteria to determine if a school is in financial difficulty. If any one of the criteria is met, ISBE can require the district to submit a financial plan. If a district fails to comply with its financial plan, the State Board has the ability to implement a Financial Oversight Panel.

Earlier this year, ISBE requested financial information from six Financial Watch districts – Chicago, Streator Elementary School District 44, South Wilmington CCSD 74, Edwardsville Community Unit School District 7, Johnsburg Community School District 12 and Lincoln Way Community High School District 210 – in order to investigate if the districts qualify for certification of financial difficulty.

“The Board’s sincere hope is that this investigation will identify opportunities for steps that will improve financial conditions, avoid certification of financial difficulty, and most important, result in financial stability for each of these districts,” Smith said.

A district is categorized for the Financial Profile based on its Annual Financial Report from FY 2015, which ended June 30. The rating is created by using five indicators of performance:

  • Fund Balance to Revenue Ratio
  • Expenditure to Revenue Ratio
  • Days’ Cash on Hand
  • Percentage of Short-Term Borrowing Ability Remaining
  • Percentage of Long-Term Borrowing Ability Remaining

The Financial Profile alone does not provide a complete picture of a district’s financial condition, but it provides a valuable tool for ISBE staff to use with other data and information to assess an individual district’s financial status.

The 2016 Financial Profile for all districts in Illinois will be available in alphabetical order or via Financial Profile designation through ISBE’s School Business Services page at www.isbe.net/sfms/P/profile.htm.

Pennsylvania Man Charged with Hacking Apple and Google E-Mail Accounts Belonging to More Than 100 People, Mostly Celebrities

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2016 Comments Off on Pennsylvania Man Charged with Hacking Apple and Google E-Mail Accounts Belonging to More Than 100 People, Mostly Celebrities

LOS ANGELES – A Pennsylvania man was charged with felony computer hacking related to a phishing scheme that gave him illegal access to over 100 Apple and Google e-mail accounts, including those belonging to members of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles.

Ryan Collins, 36, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has signed a plea agreement and agreed to plead guilty to a felony violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. In the plea agreement also filed today, Collins agreed to plead guilty to one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information.

Although Collins has been charged in Los Angeles, the parties have agreed to transfer the case to Harrisburg in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, near Collins’ home, for the entry of his guilty plea and sentencing. Once he enters the guilty plea, Collins will face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. The parties have agreed to recommend a prison term of 18 months, but that recommendation will not be binding on the sentencing judge.

“Today, people store important private information in their online accounts and in their digital devices,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Lawless unauthorized access to such private information is a criminal offense. My Office remains committed to protecting sensitive and personal information from the malicious actions of sophisticated hackers and cyber criminals.”

According to factual basis in the plea agreement, from November 2012 until the beginning of September 2014, Collins engaged in a phishing scheme to obtain usernames and passwords for his victims. He sent e-mails to victims that appeared to be from Apple or Google and asked victims to provider their usernames and passwords. When the victims responded, Collins then had access to the victims’ e-mail accounts. After illegally accessing the e-mail accounts, Collins obtained personal information including nude photographs and videos, according to his plea agreement. In some instances, Collins would use a software program to download the entire contents of the victims’ Apple iCloud backups.

The charge against Collins stems from the investigation into the leaks of photographs of numerous female celebrities in September 2014 known as “Celebgate.” However, investigators have not uncovered any evidence linking Collins to the actual leaks or that Collins shared or uploaded the information he obtained.

Many of Collins’ victims were members of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. By illegally accessing the e-mail accounts, Collins accessed at least 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts, most of which belonged to female celebrities.

“By illegally accessing intimate details of his victims’ personal lives, Mr. Collins violated their privacy and left many to contend with lasting emotional distress, embarrassment and feelings of insecurity,” said David Bowdich, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “We continue to see both celebrities and victims from all walks of life suffer the consequences of this crime and strongly encourage users of Internet-connected devices to strengthen passwords and to be skeptical when replying to emails asking for personal information.”

The case against Collins is the product of an ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Source: FBI

National Urban League President Urges Swift Senate Action on Scotus Nominee Garland

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2016 Comments Off on National Urban League President Urges Swift Senate Action on Scotus Nominee Garland


NEW YORK – National Urban League President Marc H. Morial congratulated Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, on his nomination to the US Supreme Court and called upon the Senate to act swiftly to confirm the appointment.

“There is far too much at stake to leave the Court hobbled while some senators engage in political gamesmanship,” Morial said. “There is absolutely no question about the Constitutional duty of the Senate and the urgency to ensure the Supreme Court is able to fulfill its critical functions.”

Morial noted that Garland  has served with distinction on the Court of Appeals and as a private lawyer and prosecutor, and is held in high regard by both peers and observers alike.

“I look forward to the confirmation process and learning in greater detail about Judge Garland’s record, particularly in regard to civil rights and social justice matters,” Morial said.

“For nearly a century and a half, the Senate has managed to transcend partisanship to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to “advise and consent,” Morial said. “I have faith that the Senate will recognize the ultimate destructiveness of the path some senators have chosen and return to the normal practice of holding a hearing and a confirmation vote for Judge Garland.”

Soul Music Legend Charles Wright New Autobiography, “Up From Where We’ve Come”, Garners Rave Reviews

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2016 Comments Off on Soul Music Legend Charles Wright New Autobiography, “Up From Where We’ve Come”, Garners Rave Reviews
A revised article
Up From Where We've Come by Charles Wright


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Among the most profound new literary entries to be released in 2016 is a bitter true to life tome from culturally conscious Rhythm & Blues legend Charles Wright, the singer/songwriter/guitarist best known for singing and composing 70s soul smash Express Yourself still heard daily on radio, in movies and dozens of television commercials.
The multi-talented messenger has taken up his pen to complete the first in a planned series of autobiographies that details his painful early life stories as a southern Black man that miraculously brought himself from poverty to prosperity. The inaugural installment, Up From Where Weve Come, is an up close and intimate telling of the Wright familys backbreaking struggles as sharecroppers near Clarksdale, Mississippi through the 40s and early 50s. Written in the raw dialects of how Blacks and Whites communicated during that era, its a riveting insiders glimpse into the realities of the times.
Do we truly know the full extent of our history? Write challenges. Im willing to bet that most of us do not have the slightest idea. Up From Where Weve Come is the history of me as a child growing up in the cotton fields of Mississippi at a time few, except people such as myself, remember. Its an intimate slice of Americas history.”

Here’s what people are saying about the book:
“Charles Wright is a gem and a real national treasure.” — Little Richard Pennyman
…Charles Wright gets it right in this tell all memoir. It is heartbreaking, intriguing I was drawn in as if I was there myself. A must read for all who understand what it means to ‘Express Yourself’. – Roland Bynum, KJLH-FM Radio Personality
Beautiful! A wonderful introduction to a warm and interesting man – the words took me back to a time I never experienced but I felt as though I was there.” — Regina Womack (Wife of the late great Soul Music Legend Bobby Womack)
A powerful read! It was my intention to read the book over a period of time but once I started I could not stop until I reached the final page. This brutally honest book has all of the ingredients for a compelling film. — Andrea R. Garrison, Host Online with Andrea
Educational yet inspiring. — David Humphrey
His story is heartfelt and at times utterly chilling. There were times when I laughed out and others when I came close to tears. Whether youre a Wright fan or not, it shines a light on the racial injustices that continue to plague our country. Exceptionally good book! — Andrew Davis
The author has this unique ability to blow my mind with his great imagination and the way he skillfully paints vivid pictures. This is one book you will not want to put down! – Bleuocéan

An important piece of history:
Up From Where Weve Come is an important piece of history which every true American should seek to experience… especially those who are seeking the truth. Through his hindsight insights as an older/wiser man, Wright imparts knowledge, culture and context in each of the tomes 56 chapters. Along with the struggle, there is the warmth of family and a love story that blossoms against all odds.
Up From Where Weve Come emerges as a triumphant and highly unique literary statement from a man whose music has touched several generations.
People whove read my book always say, I simply could not put it down, proclaims Wright, and for this, I am so very thankful.
For more details about Up From Where Weve Come, visit www.expressyourself.net or purchase the book on Amazon.com

Photo: Bookcover


Black Churches Engage in Winning the Fight Against Prostate Cancer

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2016 Comments Off on Black Churches Engage in Winning the Fight Against Prostate Cancer

PHEN Credits Churches with Progress in Recent Prostate Cancer Death Decline
Black Churches Fight Against Prostate Cancer

Boston, MA (BlackNews.com) — The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) announced today that it credits its partnership with Black churches for helping to make important progress in the fight against prostate cancer within Black America. Over the past 12 years, the overall death rate for prostate cancer has dropped by 40%, and declined at a rate 6% faster for black men than for white men, according to government statistics. PHENs mission is to eliminate the African American prostate cancer disparity and partnering with churches is a key part of its strategy.

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer for men in the U. S., and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, following lung cancer. However, within Black America the incidence rate is 60% higher and death rate 130% higher than for white men, making this the largest racial disparity for any type of major cancer among men or women.

Some of our most effective educational outreach efforts are in partnership with churches, and we are anxious to accelerate this success by expanding our church partnerships in 2016, the need for more progress within Black America remains urgent, said Thomas A. Farrington, PHEN president and founder.

We host a prostate cancer educational symposium with PHEN each year that is growing in attendance, said Bishop Robert Jackson, Pastor, Acts Full Gospel in Oakland, CA. This event is a tremendous success and helps to increase prostate cancer knowledge and also provides free prostate cancer screening to the community.

PHEN offers churches a number of ways to partner, including:
* PHEN’s 8th Annual Father’s Day Rally is a prostate cancer awareness campaign, to be held in churches nationwide, on June 19, 2016.
* PHENs 4th Annual Educational Symposium Series is held in partnership with a number of churches from April through September of this year.
* Partnerships For Education, Support and Outreach (PESO) is a new PHEN initiative launched this year, to provide churches with the capability to host monthly prostate health educational meetings.

All of these initiatives are FREE and open to the public, at no cost to churches who partner with PHEN.

Twelfth Baptist Church, located in Boston, MA has been a PHEN church partner since 2008, We have helped to raise awareness through hosting the PHEN Fathers Day Rally and two highly successful educational symposiums, said Rev. Dr. Arthur Gerald Jr., Pastor. These events help to spread prostate health knowledge within our congregation and community.

St. Pauls has made great progress in raising prostate health awareness and knowledge as a PHEN partner with the Fathers Day Rally and educational symposiums, and we are looking forward to launching a PESO this year, said Rev. Dr. Lance Watson, Pastor of The St. Pauls Baptist Church in Richmond, VA.

I know the tremendous blessings that knowledge provides when facing prostate cancer, because this is my testimony! said Farrington, a 16-year prostate cancer survivor. We pray for more church partnerships to help PHEN bring these same blessings to even more congregations and communities and to eventually eliminate the prostate cancer disparity.

Churches can find more information about PHEN partnership opportunities and register to join on PHENs website at www.rapcancer.org

About PHEN
The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) is the nations leading patient education and advocacy organization addressing the prostate health needs of Black America where men are diagnosed at a rate 60% higher and die at a rate 130% higher than white men. PHEN monthly support group meetings have been held at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA since its founding in 2003. Based in Quincy, Mass., PHEN, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, an was founded by Thomas A. Farrington, a prostate cancer survivor. PHEN Initiatives include monthly live educational webcasts, the Annual Father’s Day Rally, educational symposiums with church partners, and the Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit in Washington, DC. For more information, visit PHEN’s website at www.prostatehealthed.org.

Innovative Web Series on Filming Police and Civil Liberties “Rights Lab” to Premiere Latest Episode

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2016 Comments Off on Innovative Web Series on Filming Police and Civil Liberties “Rights Lab” to Premiere Latest Episode


Civil rights web series ‘Rights Lab’ by Scrappers Film Group and Truthout.org will screen at Music Box on March 21st


Filming police is legal in all 50 states – but numerous people have been arrested while doing so. 

The third episode of Rights Lab, a cross-genre web series using cinema verite techniques to explore the most pressing civil liberties questions of our day, explains the discrepancy between the law and what happens on the ground, with the help of performance artists Ricardo Gamboa and Steven Beaudion.


Scrappers Film Group, in collaboration with Truthout.org, invites you to the third event in our four-part series of screenings, conversations and performances at Music Box Theater.

March 21, 2016
7:00 pm
Music Box Theater
3733 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL

Along with a screening of the Rights Lab episode, the event will include a compilation of documentary footage of police and local activists at the Cabrini-Green Homes and a panel discussed led by Beckie Stocchetti with performance artist Ricardo Gamboa, civil rights lawyer Jerry Boyle and documentarian Tom Weinberg of Media Burn Archive.

Rights lab is funded in part by Chicago Filmmakers and The Voqal Fund’s Chicago Digital Media Production Fund.

About Scrappers Film Group
Scrappers Film Group takes their name from their documentary Scrappers, which chronicles the story of two men and their families who collect scrap in Chicago’s alleyways and was named one of Roger Ebert’s best documentaries of 2010. Their work has included Central Standard: On Education, a web series about disparities in public education for PBS Digital Studios and Popcorn Politics, a series about the hidden ideologies of Hollywood blockbusters for the A.V. Club.

About Truthout.org
Truthout is an online newsmagazine which works to spark action by revealing systemic injustice and providing a platform for transformative ideas, through in-depth investigative reporting and critical analysis. Truthout’s investigative reporting has touched on issues including the environment, Guantanamo Bay, immigration and transgender rights.

About Music Box Theater
For the last two decades, the Music Box Theatre has been the premiere venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films. It currently has the largest theater space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD and television markets throughout the United States.

About Media Burn Archive
Media Burn Archive collects, restores and distributes documentary video and television created by artists, activists and community groups. Our mission is to preserve these audiovisual records of history and culture for future generations and to make them available to as wide an audience as possible via the internet.

The space is wheelchair accessible.

NAACP Statement on the Nomination of Chief Judge Garland to the US Supreme Court

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2016 Comments Off on NAACP Statement on the Nomination of Chief Judge Garland to the US Supreme Court

BALTIMORE, MD – NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks today released the following statement after President Barack Obama’s announcement of Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit as his nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court:

“President Obama’s nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court unquestionably fulfills the President’s Constitutional duty to put forth a well-qualified nominee.  Based on what has been shared publicly, Judge Garland brings a wealth of legal and judicial experience as a nominee to the nation’s highest court and we look forward to engaging in a thoughtful and thorough analysis of Judge Garland’s record. As the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, the NAACP expects nominees to the Supreme Court to possess not only superior legal acumen, but also an acute understanding of, and sensitivity to, how the Court’s decisions impact  the diversity of the people and communities across the country and a demonstrated commitment to enforce our nation’s civil rights laws. 

“We appreciate the President’s timely action in putting forth a well-qualified nominee and expect the same swift action in the Senate confirmation process.  We urge members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to put aside partisanship and obstructionism and fulfill their Constitutional duty.  The Committee should give Judge Garland a fair and timely hearing, and the Senate should then give him an up or down vote. 

“We urge our members in nearly 2,200 branches across the country to call their U.S. Senators, particularly those on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and demand they move forward expeditiously with a hearing on Judge Garland’s fitness to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

75th Anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen (“The Red Tails”) Begins With the Release of an Important Documentary Film

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2016 Comments Off on 75th Anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen (“The Red Tails”) Begins With the Release of an Important Documentary Film

Luft Gangster Documentary Featuring Col. Alexander Jeffers

Nationwide — Honoring the 75th Anniversary of the first African-American fighter pilots in American history, a multiple award-winning documentary called The Luft Gangster: Memoirs of a Second Class Hero features Tuskegee Airmen, fighter pilot (Red Tail), Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson, 94.
Director/Producer, Mike Rott stated, Alex is one of the few Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilots still living and our goal is to share his incredible story with as many people throughout the world as possible. Its apparent that racial tensions are still alive and well in America based on many current events and we all stand to gain from learning about Alexs experiences, both now and for future generations.
Lt. Col. Jefferson said, Our story is one of survival, which everyone can relate to. We want the world to know… we held our heads high and we survived and flourished.
Website (Trailer, Order Copies):
Audience Reaction Video:
Mitch Albom Radio Show Interview with Mike Rott (Director):


Racism, Bigotry, and Segregation Welcomes P.O.W. Hero
Film Synopsis:
In many ways, Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson, USAF (Ret) was fighting a fierce battle before, during and after his days as a Tuskegee fighter pilot (Red Tail) in World War II. Jefferson was shot down during a strafing mission over German-occupied southern France and spent nine months in Stalag Luft III, the same P. O. W. camp that was the scene of The Great Escape. When liberated by General Pattons 3rd Army, Lt. Col. Jefferson unknowingly became an eyewitness to the atrocities at Dachau, a Nazi Concentration Camp. After heroically serving his country in the worlds worst war, Alex joyfully returned home only to be greeted by racism, bigotry and segregation.
The Luft Gangster: Memoirs of a Second Class Hero, an award-winning film, is an inspirational and fascinating account of bravery, perseverance and character. When he wasnt fighting for his country, Jefferson was battling racism in his country.


Additional storylines:
Mike Rott (Director/Producer) and Sheldon Rott (Co-Producer/Music Director) were recently honored and inducted as members by The Macon-Thomas Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. for their efforts.
This film was featured pre-release on American Airlines Inflight Entertainment worldwide for Black History Month. Actor Gary Sinise recently introduced the film at an American Airlines VIP event in Fort Worth, TX.

Photo Caption: Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilot Col. Alexander Jefferson, who is now 94-years old, is featured in a new award-winning documentary.

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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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