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Archive for July 26th, 2016

Don’t Declare Racism Dead: That Tough Cookie Will Survive

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On July - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

This article is a REPRINT. It was published in 2008 when Barack Obama first won the presidency of the United States.


“The White House and Capitol were built on the back of slave labor. Slaves were not paid for that hard labor they performed. The money instead went to their slave owners – $5 per month.”

By Juanita Bratcher 

Let’s face it, racism will always have a chilling, schism and debilitating effect on American society, no matter how many Americans would like to move ahead and leave it behind, handcuffed in the annals of time. And anyone who thinks differently or otherwise – that racism will end simply because America elected its first African-American president – is in for a rude awakening. You can’t change the hearts and minds of people overnight. Sometimes never.

The election of Barack Obama is indeed a historic moment, a historic time in American history; and a step forward in the right direction. But in just a few days, his election has  set-off a backlash in the U.S.

According to an article in the Christian Science Monitor, “After Obama’s Win, White Backlash Festers in U.S.”, it noted that the Southern Poverty Law Center stated that more than 200 hate-related incidents have occurred since the election of America’s first black president.

On the flip side of the coin, however, there is enthusiasm and elation abound that America saw fit to elect its first African-American president in 2008 and, by an enthusiastically wide margin over his Republican opponent.

Yet, the article in the Christian Science Monitor is shrewd reality: that there are those who are determined to put a damper on this celebratory, historic occasion.

Obviously, under an Obama presidency change in some form or fashion will come to America. Change is always inevitable when there’s a changing of the guard – it happens all the time when a new, incoming presidential administration takes over the White House. And there’s that fear, on the part of some, that change, even when unaware of what change will come about, tend to feel ill at ease…they are uncomfortable because they want things to remain the same. But there are others who tend to think outside the box and welcome change.

So there are both positives and negatives being bombarded over the Internet and through media reports in the aftermath of the presidential election.

Winning the presidency by no means came on a silver platter for President-Elect Barack Obama. It’s an adventure (running for President) that takes a toll on any candidate that has his/her eyes set on the Presidency, win or lose.

But it’s the negative incidents that are appalling. Victory came to Obama only after an extensive travel schedule, traveling to states across the country taking his message of change, sacrificing enormous time away from his loving family, an overwhelming and tiredsome life on the campaign trail, making numerous speeches, and working hard in his quest to become America’s 44th President.  And lastly, by making a convincing case to the American people that he had what it takes to be President and Commander-in-chief, and worthy of the post to lead America for the next four years, maybe the next eight.

This commentary, by no means, is meant to take away from the gleanings and profound proudness of President-Elect Barack Obama’s historical victory; but to be looked upon as a dose of reality in regards to what has been happening in our country over the years, dating back to the days of slavery.

Obama is a bright, brilliant, intelligent man, and in the eyes of the majority of Americans who cast a vote for him, the best man suited for the job. He garnered a commanding mandate from the American people – wrapping up 365 electoral votes, a long way from the 270 needed.

Many Americans are ecstatic over his win; even people in other parts of the world. But there is also the after effect; cyberspace was bombarded with racist, disparaging and negative remarks over Obama’s win.

Racism is one “tough cookie” to get rid of. And it won’t vanish or go into oblivion anytime soon. Change can be a hard pill to swallow. Afterall, racism and its counterpart, discrimination, have a long history in this country, and they’re strong enough to survive the slings and arrows of our times, despite a hue and cry by some who hope that they’ll just go away. But rather than hope for that almost impossible dream, it would be a wee bit wiser for Americans to hope that sanity prevails and we can all get along as Americans.

One only has to go into cyberspace, read newspapers or turn on television sets to be subjected to a quire of racist and stupid remarks – below the pale actions by some who can’t stomach the idea of an African-American president in the White House.

Reportedly, there have been hundreds of hatred incidents occurring in places around the country – death threats made against the president-elect, effigies turning up in various places, cross burnings, racial slurs and insults, some voicing hope that Obama is assassinated, and negative remarks by some that “our country” is being taken away. How absurd!

Barack Obama is an American. All Americans are Americans. I resent those words (our country) said in such a negative tone. This country belongs to all Americans. Who behooves anyone to question the patriotism and love of country by others?

The White House and Capitol were built on the back of slave labor. Slaves were not paid for that hard labor they performed. The money instead went to their slave owners – $5 per month.

Quotes from the annals of history:

“If this society fails, I fear that we will learn very shortly that racism is a sickness unto death.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Showdown for Violence”, 1968.

“Racism is a contempt for life, an arrogant assertion that one race is the center of value and object of devotion, before which other races must kneel in admission” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Where Do We Go From Here?”, Look Magazine, 1958.

“Racism is so universal in this country, so widespread and deep-seated, that it is invisible because it is so normal.” – U.S. Congressman Shirley Chisholm, “Unbought and Unbossed”, 1970.

“…What can we do about racism? We can talk about it, not in an acrimonious way, but in a clinical way. And maybe by talking about it, we can reach a few of those borderline white people who have never consciously thought about racism or prejudice to think about it and maybe want to do something about it.” – Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, 1986.

“Racism can’t be overcome. It will be there for the rest of your life. There will always be people who don’t like you because you’re Black, Hispanic, Jewish. You have to figure out how to deal with it. Racism is not an excuse to not do the best you can.” – Tennis Superstar Arthur Ashe, in Sports Illustrated, July 1991.

Obama’s election came about through a multi-ethnic pool of voters – Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Jews, Asians and others. They deviated from the norm and voted outside the box to bring change to a country that was at the crossroads of history and needed change. It’s time for all Americans to heed that message of change, realizing that sometimes it can be a challenging endeavor to simmer raw emotions.


96th Year of Red, Black and Green Being Designated Symbol of All Black People

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
August 13, 2016 begins the 96th year of red, black and green AKA World Melanin Day

The colors Red, Black and Green are approaching 100 years since being designated the symbol of all Black people. The Mhotep Corporation encourages celebration of the 96th year of RBG by wearing Red, Black and Green on August 13. (#RBG96)

Nnamdi Azikiwe
Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — Picture this scene: It’s August 13 and millions of people are wearing Red, Black and Green! The Mhotep Corporation announced today its plans to make Saturday August 13, 2016 the Reddest, Blackest and Greenest day ever. August 13 begins the 96th year of Red, Black and Green as the colors of Black people worldwide. In recognition of that milestone and in anticipation of the centennial of the Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World on August 13, 2020, which gave us the Red, Black and Green, everyone is invited to celebrate, take the #RBGChallenge and Wear Red, Black and Green on August Thirteen.2016 also marks 116 years since Will A. Heelen and J.Fred Helf wrote the song Every Race Has A Flag But The Coon which belittles Black people for not having a flag. On August 13, 1920 20,000 people met at Madison Square Garden. They gathered for the reading of the Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World. Declaration 39 proclaims, That the colors, Red, Black and Green, be the colors of the Negro race. The Declaration of Rights was drafted and published by members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA) during their first annual international convention chaired by UNIA President General Marcus Mosiah Garvey.In the 1921 Universal Negro Catechism drafted by Reverend George Alexander McGuire under the auspices of the UNIA High Executive Council the symbolic meaning of the colors are given. Red is the color of the blood which men must shed for their redemption and liberty; black is the color of the noble and distinguished race to which we belong; green is the color of the luxuriant vegetation of our Motherland. The symbolism of the colors Red, Black and Green connect us to the origin of the entire human race on the continent of Africa.That was part of the inspiration for The Mhotep Corporation’s Shield of Audacious Power. A Red, Black and Green symbol of the power of the human spirit with a gold Kemetic ankh at the center, the shield represents pride, dignity, nobility and self-respect. It is emblazoned upon t-shirts sold through the company’s Keyamsha.com website.It is a known fact Black people are black because of more than just color or pigment. Melanin is the aromatic biopolymer and organic semiconductor that makes Black people black. The chemical melanin puts the B in RBG and the black in Red, Black and Green. At this moment, melanin is worth over $300 a gram more than gold. There are also over 230,000 scholarly articles on melanin. Currently, there are over one million patents involving melanin. Melanin is ubiquitous in nature. Melanin is responsible for the appearance of crows, of black cats, and Angus Cattle. Black Panther’s are black because of melanin. Curiously, the mainstream media talks of race but never in all their discussions of race is melanin or any of the facts pertaining to it mentioned. Here is to carrying on an open conversation about melanin.Nevertheless, melanin is still worth over $300 a gram more than gold. Universal Law is being enforced. The Mhotep Corporation’s Melanin Is Worth Over $300 A Gram More Than Gold and the #MelaninMattersMost products are part of a paradigm shift in awareness, perception and power taking place at the quantum level, the level of pure energy.

Melanin is worth… is actually a conversation piece which appears to be a t-shirt. Reading the message on it starts an internal dialogue. The viewer’s brain chemistry literally lets go of limitations. They then become aware of an awareness beyond their present state of awareness after which perceptions are perceived that they were previously unaware existed. Those who sought to counter the idea of #BlackLivesMatter by responding #AllLivesMatter have nothing with which to counter #MelaninMattersMost. It stands alone as truth.

Suggested activities for August 13th celebrations range from holding Red, Black and Green flag raising ceremonies, displaying Red, Black and Green flags at home, placing Red, Black and Green stickers on cars, wearing Red, Black and Green buttons & shirts, public readings of the Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World and hosting public viewing parties for the documentary This Flag of Mine: Towards 100 Years of Red, Black and Green.

The Mhotep Corporation produced the documentary in 2011 in anticipation of the 100th year of RBG (#RBG100). Nnamdi Azikiwe, President and CEO of the Mhotep Corporation, comments, We produced TFOM to document the origin, purpose and history of Red, Black and Green. Years ago, a friend asked us to make a presentation to her elementary school students about the history of the flag. The documentary is a result of that presentation. Now Azikiwe intends to teach the world the history of our flag, the Red, Black and Green. The first thirteen days of August 1920 were spent discussing what the people wanted. On August 13th they made it clear what they hoped to see happen. That hope became the Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World.
About The Mhotep Corporation
Since its founding in 2003, The Mhotep Corporation has created quality, original multimedia experiences drawn from a diverse legacy of storytelling. Its media and consumer products provide family entertainment for children of all ages through content that engages, entertains and educates. As a result, value for value relationships are created for mutual benefit. For more details, visit www.keyamsha.com or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Keyamsha/


Photo: Nnamdi Azikiwe, President and CEO of the Mhotep Corporation



Second Annual Citywide Peace Walk

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Saturday, July 30th: Making Peace Starts With Me

CHICAGO, IL – This Saturday, July 30th, the Chicago International Youth Peace Movement will hold their second annual Citywide Peace Walk. The walk begins at 11:00am at the Bronzeville Community Garden, located at 51st St. and Calumet Ave. in Chicago, and will end at 1:00pm on 52nd St. and Calumet Ave. after cleaning up trash in vacant lots to beautify the community.

This year’s Citywide Peace Walk is themed, “Making Peace Starts With Me” and calls for love, justice, peace and accountability. Organizers say the goals of the walk are to gather their community and grow solidarity while mobilizing and organizing against community violence and police brutality in Chicago’s neighborhoods.

The Citywide Peace Walk in Bronzeville will gather activists, organizers and community members who will hold a peace circle at the Bronzeville Community Garden at 51st St. and Calumet Ave. There they will lead a discussion on peace building in the community and social services that residents believe are needed in their neighborhoods. The peace walk will begin following prayer at 11:00am, and will walk to 52nd St. and Calumet Ave,. the site where 23-year-old Rachee Williams was gunned down on Saturday, July 16th, 2016.

Activists who will help lead the peace walk include Jessica Disu (FM Supreme), Ja’mal Green and William Calloway. As the walk progresses, participants will pray, singing freedom songs, and clean up trash and litter on vacant lots with missing buildings.

“Our time is now to peacefully reclaim our communities through prayer, organizing, political education, voter registration and civic engagement,” says Jessica Disu, one of the organizers of the Citywide Peace Walk. “Together as a community, we can come together to build potential solutions to community violence and work towards transformative justice. We hope to educate the community about systemic violence and demonstrate how social inequalities such as poverty and joblessness lead to senseless violence. It is out of desperation that misguided youth are shooting. Our time is now to come together and respond to the cries of our young people.”

On Tuesday, July 26th Jessica Disu will speak on a panel at The Girl Talk, a monthly show at The Hideout focused on Chicago women. According to DNAInfo Chicago, Jessica will discuss how comments she made on Fox News about abolishing the police led to hate mail that inspired her music.

In June and July of 2015, the Chicago International Youth Peace Movement held a peace walk and conference that brought together social change leaders for events focused on of mobilizing, activating and empowering young people, in grades 5-12, to get organized and use their voices for peace and social change.

For updates on the July 30th, 2016 Citywide Peace Walk, follow #ChicagoYouthPeace on Twitter.

Chicago Homicide Statistics: 2016 Year to Date
Shot & Killed: 340
Shot & Wounded: 1979
Total Shot: 2319
Total Homicides: 378


Remarks by the First Lady at the Democratic National Convention

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Wells Fargo Center

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


First Lady Michelle Obama:


Thank you all. Thank you so much.  You know, it’s hard to believe that it has been eight years since I first came to this convention to talk with you about why I thought my husband should be President. Remember how I told you about his character and conviction, his decency and his grace -– the traits that we’ve seen every day that he’s served our country in the White House.

I also told you about our daughters –- how they are the heart of our hearts, the center of our world.  And during our time in the White House, we’ve had the joy of watching them grow from bubbly little girls into poised young women -– a journey that started soon after we arrived in Washington, when they set off for their first day at their new school.

I will never forget that winter morning as I watched our girls, just seven and ten years old, pile into those black SUVs with all those big men with guns. And I saw their little faces pressed up against the window, and the only thing I could think was, “What have we done?” See, because at that moment, I realized that our time in the White House would form the foundation for who they would become, and how well we managed this experience could truly make or break them.

That is what Barack and I think about every day as we try to guide and protect our girls through the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight — how we urge them to ignore those who question their father’s citizenship or faith. How we insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country. How we explain that when someone is cruel, or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level -– no, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.

With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us.  We as parents are their most important role models.  And let me tell you, Barack and I take that same approach to our jobs as President and First Lady, because we know that our words and actions matter not just to our girls, but to children across this country –- kids who tell us, “I saw you on TV, I wrote a report on you for school.”  Kids like the little black boy who looked up at my husband, his eyes wide with hope, and he wondered, “Is my hair like yours?”

And make no mistake about it, this November, when we go to the polls, that is what we’re deciding -– not Democrat or Republican, not left or right.  No, this election, and every election, is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives. And I am here tonight because in this election, there is only one person who I trust with that responsibility, only one person who I believe is truly qualified to be President of the United States, and that is our friend, Hillary Clinton.

See, I trust Hillary to lead this country because I’ve seen her lifelong devotion to our nation’s children –- not just her own daughter, who she has raised to perfection — but every child who needs a champion:  Kids who take the long way to school to avoid the gangs.  Kids who wonder how they’ll ever afford college.  Kids whose parents don’t speak a word of English but dream of a better life.  Kids who look to us to determine who and what they can be.

You see, Hillary has spent decades doing the relentless, thankless work to actually make a difference in their lives — advocating for kids with disabilities as a young lawyer.  Fighting for children’s health care as First Lady and for quality child care in the Senate.  And when she didn’t win the nomination eight years ago, she didn’t get angry or disillusioned. Hillary did not pack up and go home.  Because as a true public servant, Hillary knows that this is so much bigger than her own desires and disappointments.  So she proudly stepped up to serve our country once again as Secretary of State, traveling the globe to keep our kids safe.

And look, there were plenty of moments when Hillary could have decided that this work was too hard, that the price of public service was too high, that she was tired of being picked apart for how she looks or how she talks or even how she laughs.  But here’s the thing — what I admire most about Hillary is that she never buckles under pressure.  She never takes the easy way out.  And Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life.

And when I think about the kind of President that I want for my girls and all our children, that’s what I want.  I want someone with the proven strength to persevere.  Someone who knows this job and takes it seriously.  Someone who understands that the issues a President faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters. Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military in your command, you can’t make snap decisions.  You can’t have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady, and measured, and well-informed.

I want a President with a record of public service, someone whose life’s work shows our children that we don’t chase fame and fortune for ourselves, we fight to give everyone a chance to succeed — and we give back, even when we’re struggling ourselves, because we know that there is always someone worse off, and there but for the grace of God go I.

I want a President who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters –- a President who truly believes in the vision that our founders put forth all those years ago:  That we are all created equal, each a beloved part of the great American story. And when crisis hits, we don’t turn against each other -– no, we listen to each other.  We lean on each other.  Because we are always stronger together.

And I am here tonight because I know that that is the kind of president that Hillary Clinton will be.  And that’s why, in this election, I’m with her.

You see, Hillary understands that the President is about one thing and one thing only -– it’s about leaving something better for our kids.  That’s how we’ve always moved this country forward –- by all of us coming together on behalf of our children — folks who volunteer to coach that team, to teach that Sunday school class because they know it takes a village.  Heroes of every color and creed who wear the uniform and risk their lives to keep passing down those blessings of liberty.

Police officers and protestors in Dallas who all desperately want to keep our children safe. People who lined up in Orlando to donate blood because it could have been their son, their daughter in that club. Leaders like Tim Kaine  — who show our kids what decency and devotion look like.  Leaders like Hillary Clinton, who has the guts and the grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in that highest and hardest glass ceiling until she finally breaks through, lifting all of us along with her.

That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves — and I watch my daughters –- two beautiful, intelligent, black young women –- playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.  And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters –- and all our sons and daughters -– now take for granted that a woman can be President of the United States.

So don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again.  Because this, right now, is the greatest country on earth. And as my daughters prepare to set out into the world, I want a leader who is worthy of that truth, a leader who is worthy of my girls’ promise and all our kids’ promise, a leader who will be guided every day by the love and hope and impossibly big dreams that we all have for our children.

So in this election, we cannot sit back and hope that everything works out for the best.  We cannot afford to be tired, or frustrated, or cynical.  No, hear me — between now and November, we need to do what we did eight years ago and four years ago:  We need to knock on every door.  We need to get out every vote.  We need to pour every last ounce of our passion and our strength and our love for this country into electing Hillary Clinton as President of the United States of America.

Let’s get to work.  Thank you all, and God bless.

Zika Virus And The 2016 Summer Olympics

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS


Travel guidance for those heading to Brazil for the Olympics


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is offering travel recommendations to help those going to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil protect themselves from the Zika virus. 

“Because Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects, IDPH wants to urge individuals visiting Brazil to protect themselves from mosquito bites,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “This advice also applies to other destinations in the Americas that are currently experiencing and outbreak of Zika virus.  While most people get Zika virus from a mosquito bite, the virus can also be sexually transmitted, so it is important to take precautions against both modes of transmission.”

Recommendations for travelers:

• All travelers to the Olympics should take precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites.  Use insect repellent on exposed skin that contain active ingredients such DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, or para-methane-diol; wear long sleeves and long pants when possible; and stay in air conditioned or screened-in rooms.

• Pregnant women should not go to the Olympics.  For those who must go, talk with a health care provider before going, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites, and use a condom or do not have sex.

• Women who could become pregnant or are trying to become pregnant should talk with a health care provider about the risk of Zika virus infection, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites, and use a condom or do not have sex. 

• All travelers should either use a condom or do not have sex.

Zika virus can be spread through anal, oral, and vaginal sex.  A man can pass Zika virus to his partner(s) even if he does not have symptoms at the time, or if his symptoms have gone away.  While there is one documented case of Zika virus transmission from a woman to a man, more is still being learned.  Condoms can reduce the chance of getting Zika virus from sex.  All pregnant women with sex partners who live in or have traveled to an area with Zika virus should use condoms or not have sex during their pregnancy, even if their partners do not have Zika virus symptoms or if their symptoms have gone away.  People who live in or have traveled to an area with Zika virus should consider using condoms to protect their sex partners.

CDC has guidance for how long to wait before trying to get pregnant or have sex without a condom.

Possible exposure via recent travel or sex without a condom



     Zika virus symptoms Wait at least 8 weeks after symptoms start Wait at least 6 months after symptoms start
     No Zika virus symptoms Wait at least 8 weeks after exposure Wait at least 8 weeks after exposure.

Talk with your healthcare provider

People living in areas with Zika virus



     Zika virus symptoms Wait at least 8 weeks after symptoms start Wait at least 6 months after symptoms start
     No Zika virus symptoms Talk with doctor or healthcare provider Talk with doctor or healthcare provider

When returning home, watch for symptoms of Zika virus and call your health care provider if you suspect you may be infected.

For more information, check out the Zika Virus Information Center on the IDPH website.

Project Gives Free Passports to Minority Teen Girls

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
Getting Teens’ passport ready: The Passport Party Project to gift 365 passports to underrepresented youth, ages 11-15 nationwide

National Geographic Travel award-winning global awareness initiative will give away one passport a day for one year with the help of travel advocates worldwide 

Passport Party Project

Oakland, CA (BlackNews.com) – The Passport Party Project, a National Geographic Travel award-winning philanthropic global awareness initiative for underrepresented American girls 11-15, just announced its Phase 4 initiative The #365PassportProject, which will put passports in the hands of 265 girls. And, for the first time, 100 boys with the help of travel advocates worldwide will receive passports as well. Spearheaded by travelpreneur Tracey Friley, the projects goal is to encourage young underrepresented tweens to start down the path to global citizenship early by becoming passport holders and travel ambassadors who ultimately pay it forward by encouraging passport ownership, teen travel and study abroad amongst their peers.

According to passport statistics, less than 39% of Americans hold a U.S. passport and study abroad statistics indicate that only 25% of underrepresented youth (8.3% Hispanic/Latino American; 7.7% Asian/Pacific Islander; 5.6% African-American; 3.6% Multiracial; 0.5% American Indian/Alaska Native) make up the study abroad population. In line with Diversity Abroad and the Institute of International Educations #GenerationStudyAbroad initiative, The Passport Party Project aims to make a difference in both passport and study abroad stats in its own way by shifting the global mindset of teens in their formative years so that they are prepared for international travel and ultimately, the global marketplace.

To date, Passport Party Project passport scholarship applicants have hailed from cities like Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, and passport gifts have come in from as far away as Beijing China and Toronto Ontario with even more world travelers being encouraged to give via Frileys social media channels as well as those social media channels of Passport Party Project advocates. This is a true grassroots effort for our kids, says Friley.

Imagine being 11-15 years old and getting your very first passport. Imagine knowing a world traveler who possibly even looks like you bearing that gift. Imagine the global mind shift. Imagine the possibilities. With or without a plane ticket or immediate travel plans in sight, being in possession of a global permission slip changes everything, don’t you think?

Phase 4 opened July 15, 2016 and closes July 15, 2017 or whenever 365 passports have been gifted. Towards the end of Phase 4, any teen girl who obtained her first passport via the #365PassportProject will be in a position to compete to get her first passport stamp on her first trip abroad during a Passport Party Project trip currently in the works.

For more information about The Passport Party Projects Phase 4 #365PassportProject initiative, please visit www.PassportPartyProject.org. Follow along on Facebook at @PassportParty and Twitter @TraceyFriley #PassportPartyProject.
About The Passport Party Project
The Passport Party Project is a National Geographic Travel award-winning philanthropic global awareness initiative for underrepresented American girls 11-15 spearheaded by travelpreneur and teen travel advocate Tracey Friley. The initiative has completed 3 phases so far with sponsors such as Expedia, HomeAway, Toronto Tourism, Porter Airlines, Heys Luggage, and more. Featured in American Airlines American Way and on such web sites as NationalGeographicTravel.com, AOLMakers.com, TravelChannel.com, Yahoo! Travel, and BlackEnterprise.com, the initiative has served over 200 teens to date.


Photo Caption: Phase 3 of The Passport Party Project in Toronto, Canada


Illinois Mortgage Industry Benefits from SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act Changes

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – “House Resolution 2121, currently before the US Senate, creates a positive economic impact on Illinois’ mortgage industry, removing barriers to employment for experienced loan originators as they work to fulfill requisite SAFE ACT education and testing,” said Bryan A. Schneider, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Secretary.  “By providing temporary licensure for registered mortgage loan originators moving from a financial institution to a state licensed mortgage company or interstate to a state licensed loan originator in another state, employers can hire experienced mortgage originators without delays and interruptions in business operations. I support this approach because it is consistent with our desire to create a regulatory environment conducive to strong economic growth and opportunity for Illinois’ mortgage industry, while maintaining appropriate licensing safeguards.”   

Choreographer Nora Chipaumire Enters the Ring to Explore African Masculinity at The Dance Center October 20-22

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
CHICAGO, IL — The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago welcomes choreographer-performer nora chipaumire with her most recent artistic investigation of the black body, Africa and the self, portrait of myself as my father (“father” is crossed out in the title), co-commissioned by the Dance Center. Performances are October 20–22, 2016 at the Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Performed by chipaumire, Senegalese dancer Kaolack (who danced with Compagnie Jant-Bi for many years) and Shamar Watt, the evening-length portrait considers the African male through the lens of cultural traditions, colonialism, Christianity, liberation struggles—and how these ideas might impact the African family and society on a global scale. portrait is timely in its examination of black maleness as it asks, “What is it about the male body, which happens to be black, that we are afraid of?” The work takes place within a boxing ring and invites the audience to sit close as well as at a distance in witnessing the performance. portrait premiered in April 2016 at Montclair State University.

nora chipaumire
Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe and based in New York City, nora chipaumire is a graduate of the University of Zimbabwe’s School of Law and holds an M.A. in dance and an M.F.A. in choreography and performance from Mills College. She has studied dance in Africa, Cuba, Jamaica and the U.S. and has performed in France, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Zimbabwe and many other places. She is a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant recipient, a 2015 Doris Duke Artist and a three-time Bessie Award winner.

Residency activities
There will be a post-performance conversation with the artists Thursday, October 20 and a pre-performance talk with Dance Center faculty member Raquel Monroe and guest artist Tommy DeFrantz, on faculty at Duke University, Friday, October 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Sherwood Community Music School Recital Hall, 1312 S. Michigan Ave. (next door to the Dance Center), both free to ticket holders. Additional residency activities with community partners and Columbia College Chicago students take place throughout the week leading up to the performance weekend.

The Dance Center’s presentation of nora chipaumire is funded, in part, by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Dance Center is a co-commissioner of this work through the Creation Fund of the National Performance Network.

The Dance Center
The Dance Center’s 2016–17 season begins with a performance by Tadashi Endo Sept. 17 and two Chicago companies, Lucky Plush Productions Sept. 29–Oct. 1 and The Seldoms Oct. 13–15. After nora chipaumire’s residency, the season continues with the Chicago debut of Tere O’Connor Dance Nov. 3–5; Ballet de Lorraine on its first U.S. tour, a collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Feb. 18–19; Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s ensemble BAM! Feb. 23–25; the Chicago debut of Malpaso Dance Company of Havana Mar. 9–11; and the Chicago debut of Liz Gerring Dance Company Apr. 6–8. The B-Series festivals celebrating hip hop and street dance forms take place Nov. 11–12 and Apr. 14–15.

The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago is the city’s leading presenter of contemporary dance, showcasing artists of regional, national and international significance. The Dance Center has been named “Chicago’s Best Dance Theatre” by Chicago magazine, “Best Dance Venue” by the Chicago Reader and Chicago’s top dance venue in 2014 by Newcity, and Time Out Chicago cited it as “…consistently offering one of Chicago’s strongest lineups of contemporary and experimental touring dance companies.” Programs of the Dance Center are supported, in part, by the Alphawood Foundation; The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; Marcia E. Lazar Challenge Grant; The Irving Harris Foundation; Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation, N.A., Trustee; the Arts Midwest Touring Fund; and the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Special thanks to Friends of The Dance Center for their generous contributions to the work of The Dance Center.

Tickets and information
The Dance Center presents nora chipaumire October 20–22, Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Ave. Seating for these performances is general admission. Single tickets are $30; subscriptions to three or more performances during the season offer a 25 percent savings. All programming is subject to change. The theatre is accessible to people with disabilities. For information and tickets, call 312-369-8330 and or visit colum.edu/dancecenterpresents.

Photo by Elise Fitte-Duval.

Additional images and photo credits: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/evhxpg2b17qkkue/AAAhenmbjXwSTxD3sBV2RIgna?dl=0

Lyrics to my Soul: Abuse Victim’s Raw, Soul-Spilling New Book Proves Boundless Healing Power of Music. Hailed “Very Inspirational” by Critics

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Sheena Carter’s ‘Lyrics to my soul: Sometimes the Only Comfort the Soul Can Find is Through Music’ takes readers deep into the life of the author, as she runs away from an abusive marriage, realizes just how deep her scars actually ran – and into the discovery that music is the only thing that can ease her pain. Spreading a powerful message to at-risk women around the world, Carter’s story is profoundly uplifting.


Bradenton, FL – For thousands of years, music has held the power to move people, inspire them and ultimately change their lives. It’s a powerful tonic that has become somewhat forgotten in the modern world, yet something still helping millions remember that hope can be found in the darkest of corners.

Florida’s Sheena Carter knows this first hand, using music to turn her life from an endless spiral of abuse into a victorious and triumphant existence that gets more prosperous by the day. For the first time, Carter is now taking her story public.

It comes in the form of ‘Lyrics to my Soul’, a most unlikely yet life-changing memoir.


After leaving an abusive marriage, I thought things would get better. Unfortunately, my journey down this dark road wasn’t over. While I was able to get away from the abuse, the scars were deeper than I thought. The only thing that helped ease my mind was music. When I finally decided that I deserved a better life, amazing things started to happen. I hope to inspire others with my experiences and share these life lessons:

  • Don’t Allow Others to Set Your Value.
  • Life CAN Change Dramatically in a Short Period of Time.
  • You Deserve to Be Happy Now!

Since its release, readers and critics have come out in their droves with overwhelmingly positive reviews. For example, Penny comments, “This is a great book which describes a journey that many of us (women & men) have unfortunately gone through. What a brave young woman to open her heart and soul to tell her readers her very personal story. This should be a lesson to us all that there is hope and we can turn our lives around in a short period of time. Highly recommend this book!”

KJ adds, “I enjoyed reading this book not because it was a happy book for most of it, but because it shows that even in really dark times there is hope and it had a happy ending. Definitely recommend this book to someone who needs some hope that things can get better. I also liked the way the author tied in the songs as I can related to those songs too.”

Terri Vinovich writes, “A very inspirational book. And more so since I met Sheena several months ago and I can see how far she has come. Thanks for sharing your story!”

‘Lyrics to my Soul’, from Portable Empire Publishing, is available now: http://amzn.to/29xFofC.

For more information, visit the author’s official website: http://lyricstomysoul.com.

About the Author:

Sheena lives on the Sun Coast of Florida and enjoys spending time with family and friends, relaxing on the beach, painting, and playing with her furbaby Josie. Recently she made one of her dreams come true by opening Sparkles Boutique (www.sparkles-boutique.com).

Music has a powerful impact on Sheena and she looks to if for inspiration every day. She is committed to living a life filled with happiness, love, excitement, and adventure. It’s her goal to inspire others through her own personal experience, find happiness while establishing their own set of values through faith, and to never stop dreaming.


Executive Producer of Fox 5 DC to Speak at Power Networking Luncheon for Women in the Washington DC Area

Posted by Admin On July - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Terri Toliver
Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — Carolyn E. Howell, Founder and CEO of Fun Company Events and Director of Sterling Women of Washington DC is inviting all women entrepreneurs and professionals in the DC area to an amazing event in August. On Wednesday, August 10, 2016, she will present Terri Tolliver as guest speaker at her power networking luncheon. The luncheon will take place on Wednesday from 11am to 2pm at Clyde’s Restaurant Gallery Place, 707 “7th” Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001.
Terri Tolliver is a dynamic, never say never, talented producer with years of diverse experience in news, documentary, long and short features, and celebrity profiles. This native Washingtonian has worked in a top ten news markets for her entire career, working every job from assignment editor, writer, special investigations producer, to now… Executive Producer.Her first assignment as a special projects producer, working at Fox 5 DC was to produce a half hour documentary on the AIDS pandemic in Africa. It was a topic her team tackled before it became the “cause de jour.”

She traveled to 4 countries in 16 days with former anchor, Tracey Neale and came back with stories that changed lives, hers included. They received 2 Emmy Awards, a Murrow, a Presidential commendation from Bill Clinton, and a $5,000 award from the World Health Organization to start a non profit and build a school for girls on the Masai reserve in Kenya. That’s right, it’s a goal they reached before Oprah! Not bad for her first producing gig ever.Terri went on to add 13 more regional Emmys to her collection as well as 2 National Emmys. She produced stories on everything from hand washing temperatures in restaurants to underground lap dance clubs to pigeon racing. She’s done just about everything. Including posing as a stripper to bust a local illegal club owner who set up shop in a residential neighborhood.


About Sterling Women of Washington DC
Sterling Women of Washington DC is a non-membership monthly networking luncheon that is welcoming, inclusive and non-competitive. ‘Making Meaningful Connections’ is more than just a statement, it is our mission. We understand the value and necessity of good networking for entrepreneurs, business owners and corporate professionals and are committed to helping our guests grow personally and professionally. Both men and women are invited to attend.


Tickets for the SWOWDC event are $75 each. Annual sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please contact us info@sterlingwomenofdc.com or visit www.sterlingwomenofdc.com for more information.


Photo: Terri Toliver, Executive Producer at Fox 5 DC



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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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