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Archive for May 18th, 2016

Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners Accused of Racism in Firing of African American Employees

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2016 Comments Off on Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners Accused of Racism in Firing of African American Employees

Clarence Roby

New Orleans, LA (BlackNews.com) — The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners is being Accused of Racism in the Firing and forced retirement of 11 long term African American women employees from the accounting department.

Cases are pending with the EEOC and one Federal Case is pending. Clarence Roby is the Attorney of Record.

Dr. Cecilia Mouton, Executive Director and Lead Investigator for the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners is directly responsible for the firing or retirements of these women. Dr. Mouton was appointed by Bobby Jindal and now serves at the discretion of Governor Jon Bel Edwards. In the Federal filings Dr. Mouton is accused of unprofessional conduct, screaming at the women publically and in private conferences, discrimination based on age and race, hiring private investigators to follow and gather information to be used against the women during their lunch breaks. Dr. Mouton allegedly tried to force the women to sign complaints against each other which could be used for dismissal.

One of the female employees died of a drug overdose in an apparent suicide after a closed door meeting in which Dr. Mouton could be heard screaming at the employee.

The women are asking for the Governor to launch an investigation into Dr. Moutons actions, place her on administrative leave until the investigation is completed, and have her drug screened and physiologically evaluated because of her violent mood swings and loud angry outbursts.


Photo Caption: Clarence Roby, Attorney of Record.


Welch Denounces Gov. Rauner’s Veto of Fair Arbitration Measure, Pushes for Override

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2016 Comments Off on Welch Denounces Gov. Rauner’s Veto of Fair Arbitration Measure, Pushes for Override

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Rauner’s veto of House Bill 580, which would require interest arbitration between the governor and public employee unions to resolve collective bargaining impasses:


“I am disappointed, yet not surprised, that Gov. Rauner turned his back on thousands of state employees by vetoing this measure to prevent a potential government shutdown. After walking away from negotiations with state employee unions months ago, it’s clear that the governor is more focused on trying to weaken unions rather than negotiate with them on a fair, responsible contract.


“This measure is a fair compromise that would require interest arbitration, which is a well-respected, fair process that has worked in past disputes and, most importantly, would prevent a disruption in critical state services that many families rely on.


“I promise to continue fighting for the hardworking public employees – including correctional officers, firefighters, and police officers – who perform essential work to ensure that they are paid a fair wage and receive adequate job protections, and that’s why I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand with me in overriding this veto.”


Welch represents the 7th District which includes all or portion of Bellwood, Berkeley, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, La Grange Park, Maywood, River Forest and Westchester.  For more information, contact Welch’s constituent service office at 708-450-1000, e-mail repwelch@emanuelchriswelch.com or visit www.emanuelchriswelch.com.



Kirk to TSA Administrator: Improve Wait Times by Memorial Day or Resign

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2016 Comments Off on Kirk to TSA Administrator: Improve Wait Times by Memorial Day or Resign

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) called on Transportation Security Administration Administrator Peter Neffenger to resign if the hours-long wait times at airports like Chicago O’Hare and Midway are not resolved for travelers by Memorial Day. Reports have shown passengers waiting in security screening lines for over three hours, causing countless travelers to miss flights and become stranded at the airport. Senator Kirk sent a letter to Administration Neffenger requesting details on how the recently approved $34 million in funding for TSA will be used to hire more screening personnel and address the current delays at checkpoints.

“The flying public is experiencing a high security risk and economic burden from unnecessary wait times and missed flights due to insufficient staffing at TSA. Congress just approved $34 million for TSA to focus funding where it is needed most – at our nation’s busiest airports like O’Hare. TSA should also immediately deploy bomb-sniffing dog teams to advance hours long lines at Midway.  If travelers do not have relief by Memorial Day, TSA Administration Neffenger must resign and be replaced with a leader who can provide fast and secure screening.”

Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression: Our Attitude Toward the Mayor’s Proposal to Abolish IPRA and Restore Trust

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2016 Comments Off on Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression: Our Attitude Toward the Mayor’s Proposal to Abolish IPRA and Restore Trust

Frank Chapman, Field Organizer CAARPR 
Last week the Mayor announced the following:


“Today I can announce that in the coming weeks, we will have the final details worked out on a comprehensive plan to fundamentally reshape our system of police accountability and it will be introduced at the following meeting of the full City Council on June 22. It will be based on the thoughtful suggestions made by my Police Accountability Task Force. It will also be informed by the conversations my administration is having with aldermen, community leaders, the U.S. Department of Justice and experts in the field. We want to make sure the police accountability system is trusted by the members of the Chicago Police Department and the residents of Chicago.”

I have received many calls about this statement and have seen and heard many reactions. The reaction of some of our friends and supporters is that the Mayor has opened a window of opportunity for CPAC advocates to walk right in and take a seat at the negotiating table. Then there are some who feel that the Mayor is stealing the thunder of our movement by getting rid of IPRA and replacing it with a civilian version with the same authority. And finally there is the vast majority of the people in our movement (Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Teachers Union, Trinity United Church of Christ and others) who clearly see that the people in our communities have been left out while the experts (from legal think tanks), political deal makers on the City Council, orchestrated community leaders, and whoever else the Mayor knows he can manipulate, is invited to the negotiating table. People who have been fighting for community control of the police, who represent tens of thousands in our communities as well as victims/survivors of police crimes and torture, have not been invited to the table.

But don’t get it twisted. We are not lamenting because we have not been invited or because we are vying to replace IPRA with yet another appointed body that can only make recommendations. Another appointed body that:

  • STILL has no one elected or chosen by the people.
  • STILL gives Mayor Rahm Emanuel decisive appointment power.
  • STILL can be overruled by an Appointed, police board.
  • STILL can be overruled by the present Mayor Appointed, Superintendent.

And where, if police crimes perpetrated against victims like Howard Morgan, Flint Farmer, Rekia Boyd, Ronnieman Johnson, George Anderson, and countless others happened tomorrow… the appointed “civilians” of this appointed body would STILL HAVE NO VOTE.

We want and we demand that the powers of IPRA, the Police Board and the Internal Affairs Dept be put squarely in the hands of the people through an all elected, all Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). We are fighting for our inalienable democratic right as a people to determine who polices our communities and how our communities are policed.

By their actions the Mayor and the existing City Council have been complicit in the murder of Laquan McDonald and should be co-defendants of Jason Van Dyke, and his fellow officers who perjured themselves. However, here they are devising yet another scheme to make sure the people are forced to trust a police force over which they have no power or control.



See also Op-Ed:
We Don’t Need Another Mayor Controlled Chicago Police Review Board

Stop Police Crimes Campaign




Rihanna Launches Global Scholarship Program Via Her Clara Lionel Foundation

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2016 Comments Off on Rihanna Launches Global Scholarship Program Via Her Clara Lionel Foundation

The deadline to apply is June 16, 2016, and awards range from $5,000 to $50,000 

Rihanna Promoting Scholarship Program

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Multi-platinum international superstar Rihanna started the the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) in 2012 in honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. Grants funded by the foundation are used to promote global programs in areas that Rihanna is most passionate about including health, education, arts and culture.

Current programs include the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program and the Barbados Micro Grants for Schools Program.

Applicants to the scholarship program must be citizens or natives of the following countries: Brazil, Barbados, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana, or Jamaica. They also must have already been accepted into an accredited four-year college or university for the entire upcoming academic year.

Renewal of the award is contingent upon the student’s academic performance, maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. The award can be renewed every three years or until a bachelor’s degree is met, depending on which occurs first.

Rihanna, who was born and raised in Barbados, says she believes that “to be able to give the gift of an education is actually an honor.” Every year, she raises millions of dollars for education at her foundation’s annual Diamond Ball.
For more details and/or to apply for the Rihanna Global Scholarship Program, visit:

For hundreds of other 2016-2017 scholarships, visit:


Photo Caption: International superstar, Rihanna, promoting her global scholarship program



Black Families Make This Common Tax Mistake Every Year – And They Miss Out On Up To $5K in Tax Deductions!

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2016 Comments Off on Black Families Make This Common Tax Mistake Every Year – And They Miss Out On Up To $5K in Tax Deductions!

By Randy Hughes
African American family

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — A common mistake that many African Americans make is ignoring the importance of tax planning. This is a mistake that costs many families hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year.The Problem

Imagine having to walk to the store, which is about 5 minutes away. Youre in a hurry, so you decide not to grab your raincoat and umbrella so you can save time. You leave and come back soaked. Now, the time it takes you to clean up and change takes longer than it would have to grab the raincoat and umbrella.

Something similar happens when effective tax planning throughout the year is ignored. The time and effort that is sacrificed to save time throughout the year ends of costing more time – and lots and lots of money – at the end of the year, leaving the taxpayer soaked in tax debt that could have been avoided.

Tax Planning vs Tax Preparation

Tax planning and tax preparation are not the same. The reality is, there are a myriad of ways to prepare a tax return. A common misstep is preparing ones own taxes to save money. Further, annually shuffling a box of receipts and invoices to a tax preparer and crossing ones fingers is not the most conducive way to stay on top of tax planning concepts and potential deductions. If the information stream stays constant throughout the year, a taxpayer can often save hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, though, unfamiliarity with tax code, deductions, credits, and timing often render the hopeful recipient with a smaller tax refund or larger tax balance due at tax time.

Effective Tax Planning

Effective tax planning involves a conscience and deliberate look at ones financial situation during the year and making adjustments and decisions that will result in a more favorable tax outcome by years end. And many times, timing and knowledge of tax law can make all the difference between a taxpayer owing the government money or the government owing the taxpayer money. For example, deferring the receipt of income by a few days, choosing which house to live in once married, selling a home too soon or too late, changing ones withholdings with their employer… all can have serious tax implications.

Every family should have a professional tax accountant that can help them with both tax preparation and tax planning.

Randy Hughes is the founder of Counting Pennies, a nationwide tax and accounting firm that specializes in tax preparation, bookkeeping and debt management. Contact him at (800) 234-1449 or randy.hughes@cpennies.com or visit www.cpennies.com.


Atlanta Embraces Critically Acclaimed Broadway Production Alive And Kickin!

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2016 Comments Off on Atlanta Embraces Critically Acclaimed Broadway Production Alive And Kickin!

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — Child First USA will present the inspirational Broadway production titled, ALIVE! 55 and Kickin on July 30, 2016 at the Atlanta Symphony Hall in Atlanta, GA. Originally birthed in New York, the production has spent the last three years receiving critical acclaim on Broadway, after being featured on CBS news staple 60 Minutes. Created by Vy Higginsen and Ken Wydro, ALIVE! is a moving musical testament to overcoming adversity and living victoriously at any age. Featuring singers and performers 55 years and older, the production has been described as soulful, emotional, funny, and powerful.

Conceived and written by Vy Higginsen and Ken Wydro (the creators of MAMA, I WANT TO SING, and directed by Wydro, ALIVE! is about healing and the transformative power of story and song. The cast is comprised of everyday people ages 55 and over, from all walks of life, representing everything from hard working mothers to an ordained minister. ALIVE! features a unique blend of gospel, jazz, R&B and pop music songs that served as a soundtrack for the last four generations. Through the music and through authentic stories and testimonies, ALIVE! offers a realistic backstory but also suggests there is no limitations on the future, proving its never too late to live a dream, the cast and their stories are the embodiment of the title; ALIVE! and Kickin’.

The Atlanta production will include four new local cast members selected from two upcoming auditions. The producers insisted on including talent from Atlanta for the upcoming premiere. Atlanta is a talented city and we know there are talented people here that will be perfect for this production. Were looking forward to meeting them at our audition dates on May 17th and May 18th, says Higginsen.

ALIVE! and Kickin is a production of Child First USA with partnerships with AARP and Clear Channel. For more information on auditions or being a corporate partner contact christal@enchantedpr.net.

Learn more about the upcoming Atlanta production of Alive & Kickin here:
About the producers:
Vy Higginsen is an award-winning author, publisher, playwright, and media personality. Vy is the first female advertising executive at Ebony magazine and went on to become a contributing editor for Essence. She created her own magazine, the African-American lifestyles publication Unique NY and served as its publisher and editor. Vy also spent a decade behind the microphone at major New York radio stations, including WBLS-FM, WWRL-AM, and WRKS-FM. On camera, she has been a contributing reporter for WNBC-TV (including the long-running “Positively Black” segment) and The Metro Channel. In 1983, Vy co-wrote, produced and directed the classic gospel musical, MAMA, I WANT TO SING.

Ken Wydro is a published author, producer, playwright, and seasoned professional speaker. Ken has an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Rochester and a Master’s Degree in Theater from University of California, Berkeley. His published works include Think on Your Feet and Flying Solo: The Art of Living Single. Wydro also co-wrote, produced and directed the long-running gospel theatrical, MAMA, I WANT TO SING. Wydro is also an active Broadway producer with credits including THE MOUNTAINTOP, EVITA, THE BEST MAN, AMERICAN BUFFALO, and JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE. He is also the author of two original plays: SECRETS: THE UNTOLD STORY OF SIGMUND FREUD AND CARL JUNG, and VICE VERSA.
ALIVE & KICKIN! is a celebration and exaltation of life thru song that should be celebrated by all ages and not just those over 55. ALIVE awakens your inner-self, bringing you to a realization that regardless of your struggle or challenge you are going to be alright. It calls you to celebrate that fact that you are alive!
This show will blow you away! — Jacque Reid, Tom Joyner Morning Show

Preserving the sounds of Black America, Socially, Spiritually, and Culturally. — Vy Higginsen.
For more information on Alive & Kickin or for sponsorship information, contact Christal Jordan, Enchanted Branding & Public Relations, 678-499-0297 or christal@enchantedpr.net


Springfield Latin Kings Leader Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Distribution and Firearm Charge

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2016 Comments Off on Springfield Latin Kings Leader Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Distribution and Firearm Charge

BOSTON – The former “enforcer” of the Massachusetts Latin Kings gang pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Springfield to distributing cocaine and a federal firearm charge.

Bienvenido Nuñez, 38, of Springfield, Mass., pleaded guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm and distributing cocaine.  U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Aug. 19, 2016.

In October 2014, an investigation was initiated in an effort to disrupt and dismantle the Latin Kings’ criminal activity in Springfield and Holyoke.  According to court documents, members and associates of the Latin Kings were engaged in the distribution of narcotics.  In addition, disputes with rival gangs over criminal activity and drug turf were on the rise and resulted in serious crimes of violence, including armed assaults with firearms and murder.  The investigation led to the arrest of 12 alleged Latin Kings members, including Nuñez, in connection with drug and firearms offenses in November 2015.

As alleged in court documents, Nuñez held the position of “enforzador,” or “enforcer,” of the Massachusetts chapter of the Latin Kings gang at the time of his arrest on Nov. 9, 2015.  Nuñez pleaded guilty today to distributing seven grams of cocaine in Chicopee on Aug. 4, 2015, and to possessing a .40 caliber Beretta pistol on the day of his arrest.

The charge of distribution of cocaine provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million.  The charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine A. Wagner of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office.

Source: FBI

Association for Enterprise Opportunity Releases “Trusted Guidance” Recommendations to Assist Businesses in Low-Wealth Communities

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2016 Comments Off on Association for Enterprise Opportunity Releases “Trusted Guidance” Recommendations to Assist Businesses in Low-Wealth Communities

WASHINGTON, DC – With microbusinesses making up almost 90 percent of the nation’s businesses and even more of the businesses in low-wealth communities, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) issued a report of the “Trusted Guidance” that is available to help these Main Street and neighborhood businesses realize their potential as “engines for wealth-creation and employment growth.”

The report, generously supported by Capital One, included findings from interviews with non-profit organizations involved in the microbusiness industry and a meeting of more than 80 non-profit lenders and service providers.

“The passion among Main Street and neighborhood business owners in low-wealth communities is electric,” said Connie Evans, AEO’s President and CEO. “However, when it comes to being able to access the resources available to assist microbusinesses, the knowledge and information about these resources too frequently doesn’t reach entrepreneurs in underserved communities. We want to change that with our new strategy and approach that will lift barriers to services in low-wealth communities and allow business owners to achieve their dreams, contribute to the economy and create jobs.”

As the report notes, Trusted Guidance is the leveraging of local, tailored, community-level support, including an expanding marketplace of products, services, counselling and access to credit, to address the essential needs of small business owners, especially those operating in low-wealth communities.

“What these business owners need is wise counsel and access to solutions to meet their needs delivered by someone or a process that has earned credibility as a trusted authority through shared experience and empathy,” said Tammy A. Halevy AEO’s Senior Vice President of New Initiatives. “Organizations – nonprofit, for-profit and government – must design and deliver support to meet the needs of the business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in low-wealth communities.”

Ms. Halevy warned that this process “is not” about designing a single training course or tool. “It’s about bringing to bear available products, services and resources while creating social networks and new market opportunities to solve for access,” she said. “Achieving these objectives requires a new model. We’re calling this new model “Trusted Guidance.’ ”

AEO is releasing its report on this assistance in conjunction with “EconoCon25,” AEO’s national conference and 25th anniversary celebration, running May 18, 2016, to May 20, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill. The conference includes a discussion of how to improve services to business in low-wealth communities.

“These hardworking businesses include barbers, chefs, shop-keepers and many others on Main Street and cross-streets across the country,” the report says. “Their potential for impact as engines of both wealth-creation and employment-growth is undeniable: These businesses could grow to employ far more than the 26 million people across the United States that they presently employ. Microbusinesses grow and hire when they get the right mix of capital and support.”

To provide that “right mix of capital and support,” AEO recommends:
 Expanding existing national programs, designed to support business building, into low-wealth communities
 Lifting barriers that currently hinder the reach of local programs and initiatives to entrepreneurs in low-wealth communities

 Developing the flow of new technology services to low-wealth communities, where it seems adoption is “slower or less intense than in wealthier communities.

“Too many small business owners toil away for years without building a durable operation that can be transferred or sold,” the report says. “Effectively unlocking a system of trusted guidance would enable business owners to build durable businesses that match their aspirations, whether that is to sustain a family or grow into a much larger operation.”
About Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)

The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is the voice of innovation in microbusiness and microfinance in the United States. For 25 years, AEO and its more than 450 member/partner organizations have helped millions of entrepreneurs contribute to economic growth while supporting themselves, their families and their communities. AEO members and partners include a broad range of organizations that provide capital and services to assist underserved entrepreneurs in starting, stabilizing and expanding their businesses. Together, we are working to change the way that capital and services flow to underserved entrepreneurs so that they can create jobs and opportunities for all. Learn more about The Association for Enterprise Opportunity at http://www.aeoworks.org/

Growing Inspiration—17 Farming Heroes!

Posted by Admin On May - 18 - 2016 Comments Off on Growing Inspiration—17 Farming Heroes!

From: Foodtank

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that there are more than 570 million farms in the world. Behind each farm – at least 90 percent of which are considered family farms – is a farmer, or team of farmers, collectively responsible for growing the world’s food. Food Tank is highlighting farmer heroes who go beyond cultivating the land, acting as employers, experimenters, keepers of tradition, and contributors to healthy lifestyles.SHARE this list with your social network: http://foodtank.com/news/2016/05/seventeen-farmer-heroes-for-sustainability-equality-and-defense-of-traditio

Family farmers are key players in job creation and healthy economies, supplying jobs to millions and boosting local markets, and are vulnerable to difficult climate and financial hardship, particularly because of the disproportionate amount of work required given the financial returns in farming. Farmers aren’t just food producers–they’re business women and men, they’re teachers in their communities, they’re innovators and inventors, and they’re stewards of the land who deserve to be recognized for the ecosystem services they provide that benefit us all.

Meet seventeen farmer heroes from around the world, working for innovation, sustainability, the environment, and local economy, all doing more than putting food on our plates. And don’t forget to SHARE this list: http://foodtank.com/news/2016/05/seventeen-farmer-heroes-for-sustainability-equality-and-defense-of-traditio

Janki Bai (Madhya Pradesh, India): In the Madhya Pradesh state of India, Janki Bai sacrificed an acre of her semi-arid land for the digging of a watershed pond in 2013 – a significant economic project for the community. Not only could she begin to grow rice on her land, but the pond, built with the help of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) quickly began to benefit farms within a half a kilometer of hers. Today, her family has increased financial stability and her community has a more reliable water source.

Mary Seton Corboy (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.): Founder of Greensgrow, a Philadelphia urban agriculture non-profit, in 1998 on the former site of a galvanized steel plant. Greensgrow has since become a model for sustainable food systems in Philadelphia and beyond. With CSAs, farmers markets, and more, Corboy is heralded for not only growing vegetables, but changing attitudes around food.

Ibrahima Coulibaly (Mali): Chosen as one of six Special Ambassadors for the International Year of Family Farming in 2014, Ibrahima Coulibaly is the President of theNational Coordination of Farmers’ Organizations of Mali (CNOP). Under Coulibaly, CNOP has contributed to the first agricultural policy in Mali focused on family farming. CNOP has projects for food security, natural resource management, and for strengthening farmers’ organizational and financial capacity.

Jess & Matt Fealy (Mareeba, Queensland, Australia): In 2012, the Fealys moved across Australia to begin lives as family farmers. In Australia, 99 percent of farms are family farms. Their farm, Blue Sky Produce, makes them proud to contribute to their rural community. They are grateful for the opportunity to use a variety of skills: “one day you’re repairing a wiring harness on the tractor, the next you’re stripping down a chainsaw, the day after that you’re pouring over soil and leaf analysis,” the Fealys say.

Bryan Gilvesy (Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada): Originally a tobacco farmer, Bryan Gilvesy has become an ecological agriculture champion throughout Ontario with his sustainable cattle ranching operation, Y U Ranch. He works with Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS), which supports farmers in restoring and preserving natural resources throughout Canada.

Thomas Harttung (Jutland, Denmark): Thomas Harttung is the Co-Founder of Aarstiderne an organic produce and meal box delivery program that now supplies over 45,000 customers across Denmark and Sweden with fresh, nutritious food. He serves as the Chair of the Trustees for the Sustainable Food Trust, a nonprofit committed to building a food system that causes the least possible harm to humans and the environment. Harttung is also on the board of the Nordic Food Lab which is dedicated to exploring food diversity and potential in the Nordic region. He has an 1,8000 acre biodynamic estate in Jutland.

Larry Jacobs (California, U.S.):  Larry Jacobs suffered illness from pesticide exposure as a young farmer and dedicated his work to pesticide-free farming. Jacobs Farm, now 35 years old and the largest organic culinary herb provider in the United States, won a notable lawsuit over a pesticide applicator whose application on a nearby field found its way to Jacobs’s dill crop. Jacobs and his wife, Sandra Belin, have also helped a cooperative of family farmers in Baja California, Mexico, form an organic growers association called Del Cabo, which now imports millions of pounds of organic produce into U.S. markets.

Rahab Kithumbi (Ng’arua Division, Laikipia West, Kenya): Rahab Kithumbi began her research with observation of poultry in a farmer-to-farmer exchange visit. After the visit, Kithumbi experimented with rearing chickens and turkeys and found an increased hatching rate when reared together. Turkeys also provide food for her family and more manure than chickens, useful as fertilizer. She displayed her innovation in 2013, becoming one of the first participants in Prolinnova’s Farmer Innovation Fair in Nairobi and earning the name “Mama Turkey” in her village.

Robert Morris & Gigi Pontejos-Morris (Padre Garcia, Batangas, Philippines): In 2005, Robert and Gigi Morris bought a traditional mango orchard in the Philippines and named it MoCa Family Farm. Certified for agri-tourism, MoCa is a “blueprint for family farming,” lending insight into the business of farming. With “several small-scale business operations running at the same time,” MoCa has incorporated specialty crops, niche market and branded farm products, farm accessory item sales, and hospitality services. The Morris family promotes farm-to-fork and local food.

Edward Mukiibi (Uganda): Edward Mukiibi is the current Vice President of Slow Food International. Living in Uganda, Mukiibi has experience developing community and school gardens in Africa through his Developing Innovations in School and Community Gardens project and sees great potential in Slow Food International’s 10,000 Gardens in Africa goal. Mukiibi is working “to promote our own food gastronomy, to strengthen traditional food systems and communities, and to defend African biodiversity.”

Kathy Ozer (Washington, D.C., U.S.): Kathy Ozer is the Executive Director of the National Family Farm Coalition, where she has worked in farm policy for more than two decades. Ozer dedicates her work to ensuring that “family farmers and fishers can not only survivebut thrive in order to support themselves, their families, and their communities.” She has expertise in the global credit and food crisis and the dairy farmer crisis.

Denise O’Brien (Ames, Iowa, U.S.): An Iowa native, Denise O’Brien founded the Women Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) in 1997 to coordinate information and networking for women as supporters of sustainable agriculture and healthy food systems. WFAN provides women with agricultural educational opportunities, an apprenticeship program, as well as tools for serving as political advocates for agriculture. O’Brien farms and raises organic chickens and turkeys with her husband on their farm in southwest Iowa.

Bernie Prince (Washington, D.C., U.S.): Bernie Prince is the Co-Founder of FRESHFARM Markets, an operator of producer-only farmers markets in the Chesapeake Bay region. Since 1997, FRESHFARM has been helping to provide opportunities for local farmers and has branched into other areas, like the FoodPrints nutrition and healthy eating education program for elementary school children. After retiring as Co-Executive Director of FRESHFARM in 2015, Prince now spends more time on her 10-acre farm in Georgetown, Delaware, where she and her husband grow organic fruit, vegetables, and flowers.

Flora Cañete de Sanabria & Edita de Jesús Franco de Sanabria (Caaguazú District, Paraguay): Once the only women members of the Paraguayan Ministry of Agriculture’s Sustainable Rural Development Project committee of rural producers, Flora Cañete de Sanabria and Edita de Jesús Franco de Sanabria have influenced rural development and agriculture decisions in Paraguay and increased the involvement and voice of women in local grass-roots projects.

Lindsey Lusher Shute (Hudson, New York, U.S.): National Young Farmers Coalition(NYFC) Executive Director Lindsey Lusher Shute is a young farmer with a background in policy. NYFC believes in affordable land for farmers, sustainable practices, fair labor, farmer-to-farmer training, diversity among farmers, and independent family farms for sustaining young farmers in the future. Its awareness campaigns include topics like student loans, land access, water conservation, and federal policy. The White House named Shute a Champion of Change in 2014. She has a particular interest in structural issues in family farming.

Mike & Gayle Thorpe (East Aurora, New York, U.S.): The Thorpes run two organic family farms – one in New York and the other in Florida – with an over 540-member CSA. The Thorpe family began farming in 2001, supporting a 42-member CSA, always with a “[belief] in nurturing the soil” by using well-composted material for the healthiest nutrient balance. The Thorpe farms are successful examples of true family farm CSA.

Arkhiben Vankar (Gujarat, India): Arkhiben Vankar is known as The Pesticide Lady in her community in the Indian state of Gujarat. She developed a toxin-free pesticide from herbal plants that has shown to be as effective as chemicals on pests like mealy bugs, white flies, and aphids. Not only is this pesticide safer for farmers, but Vankar’s pesticide is cost-effective too.

What farmer heroes inspire you? Share them with us at Danielle@foodtank.com and SHARE this list with your social network: http://foodtank.com/news/2016/05/seventeen-farmer-heroes-for-sustainability-equality-and-defense-of-traditio



Danielle Nierenberg
President, Food Tank


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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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