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Archive for September 6th, 2016

Clergy for Community Change Protests Seizure of Black-Owned Property

Posted by Admin On September - 6 - 2016 Comments Off on Clergy for Community Change Protests Seizure of Black-Owned Property


Labor Day is a Recognition of Work, But For Many in Chicago’s Black Community It’s a Reminder of Systematic Disinvestment and Lack of Opportunity


An African-American landlord on Chicago’s South Side will lose several properties to a bank this week despite repeated offers to pay his loans in full, and dozens of families could be displaced in the process.

Clergy for Community Change held a rally and press event yesterday at one of the  properties, 1501 E. 68th St., to call attention to the case and keep black-owned, affordable apartments available in the community.

Michael Shorter has owned buildings in Chicago for more than a quarter century. During the recession he took loans on some of them, but since the economy has recovered has made multiple attempts to pay them off. His bank, however, has tied him up in a continuous morass of confusing procedures and prevented him from reclaiming his property.

He has had three of his seven buildings repossessed and four more are in jeopardy.

Some of his buildings have been placed in the hands of a management company during proceedings and the company actively chased renters away. Stronger points to this as proof the bank is trying to chase away tenants and take his properties for a fraction of their value.

“Every time I have tried to work things out with my bank there is another layer of complication that pushes a solution off, making things more complicated and more expensive at every turn,” Stronger said. “I’ve made it very clear I have the money to handle all of these matters, but I can’t even get them to listen long enough to take my money.”

An attorney who consulted on the matter said it’s clear the bank is trying to take advantage of Stronger and that he has been given poor counsel throughout the matter. He deserves a chance to have his matter resolved in his best interests.

Stronger simply is asking for a chance to pay his loans and take back his own, long-held properties.

Led by Pastor Kenyatta Smith of Another Chance Church, Clergy for Community Change is a group of dozens of spiritual leaders from churches around the Chicago area who put their faith into action. The organization has rallied on critical community issues such as economic opportunity and juvenile justice.

“For our communities to thrive spiritually, or in any way, our people need assurances there will be fruit harvested from their labor,” Smith said. “A community can’t thrive without opportunity and the basic needs like a home.”

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Newly Expanded Exhibit Showcase at 46th Annual Legislative Conference

Posted by Admin On September - 6 - 2016 Comments Off on Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Newly Expanded Exhibit Showcase at 46th Annual Legislative Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) will kick off its newly expanded exhibit showcase with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 15, 2016 as part of its 46th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC), September 14 – 18, 2016,  at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

“Our exhibit showcase is a major draw at ALC this year, and attendees will benefit from the expanded variety of sponsors and exhibitors on the exhibit hall floor which is open for three days of the conference, September 15 – 17,” said A.Shuanise Washington, president and CEO of the CBCF.  “In addition to the premium sponsors and nearly 200 exhibitors, ALC attendees will have the opportunity to participate in daily promotions with raffles and giveaways and connect with businesses in the community long after the conference as well.”

The ALC  ’16 Exhibit Showcase provides the unique opportunity to offer hands-on
demonstrations with exhibiting organizations and businesses, specialty pavilions and stages featuring the latest authors, and numerous related fun events. This is also a great opportunity to highlight the exhibit floor’s impact and influence on various industries and is an integral part of learning, professional development, and networking for conference attendees.

Along with celebrating the 40-year anniversary, the CBCF is excited to offer new business opportunities for vendors and attendees participating in this year’s exhibit showcase. New to the showcase this year are movie trailer premiers and screenings, financial planning seminars, fashion show, art seminars, and much more. This is a multi-faceted conference. Exhibiting companies participating in the exhibit showcase will highlight the best and the brightest in business, health, procurement, the arts, and policy.

The Exhibit Showcase Hours
Thursday, September 15 11:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday, September 16 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 17 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Booth sales for ALC  ’16 2016 Exhibit Showcase are still open. Please contact Victoria Fore at exhibits@cbcfinc.org for more information.

Specialty Pavilions
The ALC Exhibit Showcase offers special pavilions some of the best-known brands and products to help conference attendees get an in-depth look at what is new, including the latest publications, products, and technologies. Specialty Pavilions include:


Health Pavilion

Health Pavilion will offer important and potentially life-saving health screenings
to all exhibit hall visitors. Vital information on health issues and preventative measures will be provided to increase awareness of the negative impact of health disparities for African-Americans in particular and on society as a whole. Meet with experts and talk about living an active and healthy lifestyle, see demonstrations on cooking healthy, tasty meals and sample healthy foods, and practice new exercises to stay fit.

Enterprise Pavilion
This pavilion is designed to attract influential industry leaders from around the world tointroduce new products, services or advanced technology. Exhibitors can showcase the latest communication devices, computer accessories or industry updates to attract new buyers and generate new sales leads The Pavilion will include excellent business seminars such as promote your business through social media; professional photos; franchise opportunities and business card exchanges.

Authors Pavilion
Meet the Authors! The nation’s premier African-American literary and scholarly talent from all over the country converges at the ALC to greet conference attendees. Prominent authors share the spotlight with a diverse range of novelists, scholars, poets and self-published authors.

Marketplace Pavilion
Exclusively for professional artisans, designers and unique craftsman and businesses the Marketplace Pavilion is a source for one-stop shopping and features handmade artistry at its best. ALC attracts high-end consumers seeking one-of-a-kind, high-quality artistry, jewelry and apparel.

ALC ’16 Exhibit Showcase will also feature: Career & Job Diversity Connection 

The Career & Diversity Connection will provide a platform for individuals to learn about various opportunities in the federal and private sectors, as well as, give minority owned businesses an opportunity to engage with government agencies and private industry around the contracting process.

ALC College Fair
The fair is designed to expose students to the Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) and meet locally with HBCUs and other colleges/universities. In addition, the CBCF
Permanence Project Staff members will be on hand to offer students exposure to the usage of social media and technology to become informed and engaged in public policy discussions and decision. Visit www.cbcfinc.org/alc to plan your schedule today!


The ALC is the leading policy conference on issues impacting African Americans and the global black community. The conference features more than 70 public policy forums on health, education, economic empowerment, the environment, and more. Signature events include the National Town Hall, Celebration of Leadership in Fine Arts, Community Breakfast and Health Fair, Gospel Extravaganza, Black Party, Prayer Breakfast, and the culminating event, the Phoenix Awards Dinner.

This year’s theme, “Defining the Moment, Building the Movement,” will highlight social and political moments in American history that define the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.

To register for the ALC, visit  www.cbcfinc.org/alc. Sign up to receive the e-newsletter and follow the CBCF on social media using hashtag, #CBCFALC16 for updates.

Twitter: twitter.com/CBCFInc#CBCFALC ’16

Facebook: facebook.com/CBCFInc ALC ’16

Instagram: instagram.com/CBCFInc ALC ’16

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/CBCFInc ALC ’16

Google+: google.com/+CBCFInc ALC ’16

YouTube: youtube.com/user/CBCFInc ALC ’16



Author Mike Jordan’s New Novel is the Story of Arkansas Plantation, Escaped Slaves and Underground Railroad

Posted by Admin On September - 6 - 2016 Comments Off on Author Mike Jordan’s New Novel is the Story of Arkansas Plantation, Escaped Slaves and Underground Railroad



The book can be purchased on MikeJordanBooks.com, at Amazon.com, or at any book outlet around the world.


The Freedom Song by Mike Jordan


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — On Feb. 7, 1989, writer Mike Jordans 92-year-old great-grandmother called him over to her lounge chair and said she had something very important to tell him. The Bohannans of Bohannan Mountain, Ark., she said, secretly hid escaped slaves before and during the Civil War and nursed them back to good health, then got them off on their way toward Canada and freedom.

They were, she said, part of the Underground Railroad. But, she said, few people knew it or talked about it. Because he was a writer, she urged her great-grandson to track the story down and write about it.

One week later, on Feb. 14, 1989, Valentines Day, Jordans great-grandmother passed away.

The result of that conversation, all these years later, is The Freedom Song, a just-released novel, based on a true story, that tells the story from both the perspective of the Bohannans and the escaped slaves they helped at Lakeport Plantation in Southeastern Arkansas.

The Freedom Song is the second book in the authors Lost Heroes Series. Crocketts Coin, the first installment that launches the story from a Tennessee perspective, was also released this summer. The books can be purchased on mikejordanbooks.com, at Amazon.com, or at any book outlet around the world.

Reviewer Stephanie Baker, the first professional reviewer to read The Freedom Song, gave it her highest ratings (A+) in overall readability and content, and a letter grade of A for writing and story line.

I was particularly moved by the main female characters, one white and one slave, Baker wrote. Winnie is a strong matriarch who is loving and loyal… a strong force and lifesaver to many in the community. Mary is somewhat of a mixture of virtually every woman: she is at times a part of the white plantation owners realm because she serves as a model, literally, for the plantation owners wife.

Mary is also part black, so there is her African heritage, which ties in with the novels title, The Freedom Song. She is young, yet has an old soul due to her past experiences as a young orphan. She is feminine, yet has strength and convictions.

Jordan, an award-winning writer who is professor emeritus at Pepperdine University, was thrilled with the review.

When you are a writer it is more than just the story, it is the hope that your readers are moved and inspired by the characters and the storylines and connect with what you had in your mind and in your heart, Jordan said. This reviewer got it, and I was thrilled and humbled.

Baker cited the major themes in The Freedom Song, as religion, romance, politics, racism, war, psychological conflicts, loyalty and true friendship.

The reviewer also loved the character Nancy Green, calling her a young orphan who is an angelic character who saves John, one of Hendersons sons from suicide, and who seems a genius who always imparts wisdom.

Baker hailed the characterization of Jordans villains, the Fergusons. Jake (Ferguson) loves snakes and loves to scare people with them even more. He terrorizes Champ (Ferguson) with snakes, but the two remain companions of sorts throughout the novel.

The plotlines, Baker wrote, are wonderfully complex, citing the James Brooks character and especially the two Marys in the beginning of the novel. This cute, yet seemingly insignificant matter serves as a catalyst for later events in the novel.

Crocketts Coin, the first book in Jordans series, tells the story of many of the same characters when they lived in Tennessee, as children and teens. It is also available at mikejordan.com, Amazon.com or any book outlet around the world.

The MikeJordanBooks.com website was highlighted by Amazon.com Createspace team members as having unique features for readers of fiction, including a patent-pending interactive author-reader process called Coffee Break.

Coffee Break pages are integrated into both the paperback version and the Kindle version of Jordans novels that direct readers to chatrooms to discuss the book with the author and other readers while they are still reading the book.

The website also includes a Photo Gallery feature allowing readers to view photos of the people and places in Jordans novels while they are reading, and a Back Story page that lets the reader in on Jordans writing and researching process and explains the original ideas that led to his books.

The story of Jordans research and writing of both novels is a dramatic tale of perseverance and discovery that resulted in the award-winning journalist and professor emeritus of journalism at Pepperdine University traipsing all over Tennessee and Arkansas.

On the Back Story section of MikeJordanBooks.com, Jordan tells a personal story of how he discovered that the mansion at Lakeport Plantation was still standing.

Norma Chancellor and her late husband Harrell, who still lived on Bohannan Mountain, five miles west of Huntsville in the Ozarks, told Jordan that the slaves who came to Bohannan Mountain were from the plantations of the Delta Lands of Southeastern Arkansas and specifically mentioned Lakeport.

In 1998, I decided I should travel down to where this Lakeport Plantation was and walk the walk continuing my research for The Freedom Song, Jordan explained. I was sure any remnants of the old plantation probably were long gone, but at least I could walk along the Mississippi River and get a good feel for it.

I checked into a little motel in Lake Village in Chicot County, then headed out toward where the plantation was located. Imagine my shock and joy when I discovered that the Lakeport mansion still stood after all these years. I was delirious with excitement.

Jordan continues that story, and how he came to interview the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of slaves who toiled at Lakeport, on www.mikejordanbooks.com.

The research at Lakeport ends on a high note. The boarded up and dilapidated old mansion there was donated to Arkansas State University in the mid-2000s and the mansion has been restored to its original grandeur as a museum, open to the public. An in-depth website, http://lakeport.astate.edu, displays the results of the four-year restoration.

Jordans next novel in the series, The Runner, also set at Lakeport and at Bohannan Mountain in the Ozarks, is due in 2018.


Photo: Bookcover


Critical Flaws in Election Security Confirmed by Dominion Voting Executive

Posted by Admin On September - 6 - 2016 Comments Off on Critical Flaws in Election Security Confirmed by Dominion Voting Executive


On Friday, August 26th, during a meeting at the Illinois State Board of Elections, the Vice President of Engineering for Dominion Voting, Dr. Eric Coomer*, was asked if it was possible to bypass election systems software and go directly to the data tables that manage systems running elections in Illinois. His response was, “Yes, if they have access.”

Bypassing the election systems software means whoever has access can potentially manipulate the vote without many risks of detection. So the question needs to be asked, who has access to these data tables? 

We asked Dr. Coomer that question. Dr. Coomer replied, ‘Vendors, election officials, and others who need to be granted access.’

This is explosive information. Dr. Coomer’s statement is an admission that various vendors, election officials, and others have access to the back end data tables that permit bypassing the operating system’s configuration. It is notable that when someone accesses these systems from a data table, their actions are not logged by the system; thereby making detection much more problematic. This contradicts Dr. Coomer’s assurances that the system is secure.

Our letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections on August 17th specifically requested the Board to answer the following questions:

5)  At the ISBE level:

  1. Who has access to software produced by vendors?
  2. Has the ISBE had an expert examine the computer code?
  3. How is access granted and documented?
  4. What role does the ISBE play in monitoring the GEMS software used in each election jurisdiction?

As is typical for the Board members at the Illinois State Board of Elections, with its rich history in treating citizens concerned about election security with disregard and disrespect, the Board refused to say a single word regarding Defend the Vote’s concerns expressed during ‘public comments’. Only 4 of the 8 members of the Board bothered to stay to hear our comments. To date, the Board has failed to provide answers to the questions asked in our letter.

And that is not all! The Board asked Dr. Coomer if he had any comments. In direct response to the Illinois State Board, Dr. Coomer made the following statement

 “We are constantly assessing different threat models against all of our systems we have fielded across the US and internationally as well. Due to the certification environment that we are in, no we are not allowed to do routine updates without having to go through re-certification efforts, but we do routinely give guidance on how to best secure systems and also going back again, the final mitigation against all of this is a robust auditing canvasing process which all of our jurisdictions have implemented.”

Dr. Coomer failed to mention that Illinois does not have any auditing procedure for absentee mail-in ballots. In 2014, mail-in paper balloting was 8% of the vote. Across Illinois, many election jurisdictions are working to increase this percentage! Illinois does not require any justification when audits show a vote discrepancy. They simply correct the total votes that are reported to the new totals found in the audit. Further, it is not a blind audit.  Auditors know what vote totals were reported before they begin the post-election re-count. So much for Coomer’s robust auditing process… 

Dr. Coomer’s statement brings to light a very serious issue all voters should understand. Voting systems must be re-certified each time they make changes to the hardware or software. Recertification is an expensive and time consuming process. What Dr. Coomer told the Board is that Dominion Voting does not go back for recertification of software when threats to their code are discovered. Rather, they rely on post-election audits and providing advice to election jurisdictions about security. I have reviewed recertification documents produced by Dominion for Illinois, and I do not recall any software adjustments for security purposes.

This is the reality of the security of your vote. Software systems that count and record the vote across Illinois and throughout the USA are not updated to address security problems, and even if they were, the software can be completely bypassed by going to the data tables that drive the systems.

I am not an expert on how other states audit the vote after an election. Some do not have a paper audit trail for the electronic vote and some do not have post-election audits at all. I do know that in Illinois, at least 8% of the vote never see any post-election audit. At least that amount of the vote is vulnerable to be manipulated without much chance for detection.

*Dr. Coomer has quite a history in election systems. He held senior management roles with both Sequoia and Smartmatic.  Before coming to Dominion Voting, Dr. Coomer was Senior Information Services Manager of Smartmatic Corporation and Vice President of Research and Product Development for Sequoia Voting Systems Inc. Read more about how massive voter irregularities at Sequoia and Smartmatic were alleged and investigated worldwide – which included the 2006 elections in Chicago. Wikipedia.

 NOTE: This is the third in a series of articles addressing the security of software code that is used to administer, count, and report votes in elections across the USA.  The software code is part of the GEMS, WinEDS, and Hart voting systems that are used in all or most of the voting districts in Illinois.*

 This article was inspired and based off of the credible research done by Blackboxvoting.org, which has obtained a legitimate copy of the GEMS application.  Bev Harris and Bennie Smith have conducted the investigation into voting system software.  Blackboxvoting.org has posted Fraction Magic, a 6-part series on the subject, with more EXPLOSIVE information yet to come!  Defend the Vote is taking the questions raised in these articles to the election authorities in Illinois. 

Microsoft and HBCUCONNECT.COM Target Black Tech Professionals in Dallas for VIP Event on September 22, 2016

Posted by Admin On September - 6 - 2016 Comments Off on Microsoft and HBCUCONNECT.COM Target Black Tech Professionals in Dallas for VIP Event on September 22, 2016

HBCU Connect Black Tech Professionals

Every few months, HBCU Connect hosts networking events in various cities for African American tech professionals who may be interested in career opportunities at Microsoft. 


Nationwide(BlackNews.com) Microsoft and HBCUConnect.com Target Black Tech Professionals in Dallas for VIP Event on Sept. 22, 2016– In partnership with Microsofts IT Business, HBCUConnect.com is offering black technical professionals in Dallas, Texas (and surrounding areas) the opportunity to meet with representatives from Microsoft to learn more about career opportunities, network with their peers, as well as open up one on one discussions with Microsoft team members that could lead interviews as soon as the next day for high paying tech careers!

HBCU Connect has executed on events for Microsofts recruitment efforts in the past, hosting a similar event in May of this year that resulted has resulted in 15 hires already!

This event for black tech professionals on Thursday September 22nd will target software engineers, service/network engineers, Mobile Developers, Technical Support Professionals and experienced IT/Security professionals in the region. The decision to host the event in the Dallas area was based largely on the large population of black technical professionals that are members of HBCUConnect.com.

We expect to see 100+ professionals in attendance that will be looking to land interviews with Microsoft leadership, as well as learn more about what life at Microsoft is like as an African American, said Will Moss, CEO of HBCUConnect.com. What is really exciting about this particular event, is that Microsoft will be setting up interviews with some of the event attendees as soon as the next day, right after the event! This shows how serious Microsoft is about hiring talent from the African American professional community.

This will be a great opportunity for African Americans working in software, networking, or IT to make new connections, expand their network, and explore new career opportunities.

The event will be held on September 22nd from 5pm to 7:30pm and will be RSVP only. Once attendance is confirmed, the exact location of the event will be shared as well as details on parking and an agenda for the evening.

For more information, details and/or to register, visit:
About HBCU Connect
Founded in 1999, HBCUConnect.com is the first and largest media outlet targeted towards the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community. Boasting over 1.5 million registered members and encompassing a complete web portal, magazine, recruiting engine, social networking site, forums, blogs, news feeds and shopping, HBCUConnect.com serves the needs of HBCU aspirants, students, alumni, faculty and staff by providing a single destination and launching point for the entire diaspora. For more details, visit www.HBCUConnect.com



Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) Agrees to Pay $450,000 to a Man Punished and Humiliated by Prison Officials

Posted by Admin On September - 6 - 2016 Comments Off on Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) Agrees to Pay $450,000 to a Man Punished and Humiliated by Prison Officials
Illinois Prison Officials Retaliated Against Rape Victim
$450,000 settlement believed to be among the largest for prison retaliation case

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The after he reported his Logan Correctional Center cellmate had sexually and physically assaulted him.

The Fontano v. Godinez settlement, which was announced Friday, is believed to be among the largest payments made for a prison retaliation case. James Fontano was represented by attorneys from the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center and the Uptown People’s Law Center.

“Whether in prison, in the Catholic Church, in a school or anywhere else, any person who reports a sexual assault deserves to be treated with concern and respect,” said Locke E. Bowman, Executive Director of the MacArthur Justice Center. “Those in charge must investigate the allegations fairly and aggressively.  Sexual predators must be brought to justice.”

“The response of prison officials to James Fontano in this case is a model of what not to do,” Bowman said. “Instead of concern, James was met with derision and disbelief.  The investigation was designed to cover up the rape, not to hold the perpetrator accountable.  We need to ask: Just how prevalent is rape within Illinois’ prisons?”

Fontano, who was imprisoned in IDOC for eight months on a minor drug offense, served the majority of his sentence at the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln.

Fontano was celled with an older, physically larger and stronger prisoner serving a lengthy sentence for armed robbery. In August 2011, shortly before Fontano’s scheduled release date, Fontano’s cellmate repeatedly raped Fontano over the course of two nights while he and Fontano were locked together in the cell they shared.

Fearing that the assaults would escalate and with nowhere else to turn, Fontano reported the assaults to prison authorities. Although Fontano’s report was detailed, graphic and credible, prison officials responded by punishing Fontano, not his assailant.  Fontano was forced to spend the rest of his prison sentence in segregation, purportedly because he had lied about being raped.

Eventually, Fontano’s report was corroborated by a finding that his cellmate’s DNA was present on the rear inside panel of Fontano’s underwear. Even with this information, prison officials refused to rescind Fontano’s punishment.

Fontano sued Alex Dawson, the former warden of Logan Correctional Center, and Kevin Standley, the IDOC investigator who recommended that Fontano be disciplined.  The suit, filed in the federal court in Springfield, claimed that Dawson and Standley retaliated against Fontano for exercising his First Amendment right to report the rape.

“Men in prison learn quickly there are two things you don’t want to be known for,” said Alan Mills, Executive Director of the Uptown People’s Law Center. “First, if other prisoners believe you are a snitch, you are in danger of being beaten, stabbed and worse. Second, if you are viewed as a weakling and easy mark to be used for sex by another man, you will always be in danger of a sexual assault. Those are the reasons – fear of being known as a snitch and weakling – James endured two sexual and physical assaults and decided to seek help when he could break away during the third attack.”

“Immediately after James reported the rapes, prison officials punished James, threatened him with extra time in prison and pushed him to withdraw his report,” said Sheila Bedi, an attorney with the MacArthur Justice Center. “Enduring this kind of punishment for reporting his rape came at a great cost to James. For the rest of his life, he will carry the emotional scars of the trauma of sexual assault, as well as the repercussions of reporting the crime to the public servants who were supposed to keep him safe.”

“This settlement should serve to motivate IDOC to change its practices,” Bedi added. “IDOC needs to respond appropriately to prison rape, to do much more to protect the men and women locked in state prisons, and to encourage victims to report sexual assaults.”

The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center advocates for human rights and social justice through litigation. As one of the nation’s premier civil rights organizations, the MacArthur Justice Center has played a prominent role in bringing Chicago police misconduct and torture to the public’s attention and has helped wrongfully convicted men and women win multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements as compensation for the time they spent in prison.

Uptown People’s Law Center (UPLC) is a nonprofit legal services organization specializing in prisoners’ rights, Social Security disability, and tenants’ rights and eviction defense. UPLC currently has nine pending class action lawsuits against the Illinois Department of Corrections.

ISBE and Partners for Release Reader’s Guide to Accompany First Draft of ESSA State Plan

Posted by Admin On September - 6 - 2016 Comments Off on ISBE and Partners for Release Reader’s Guide to Accompany First Draft of ESSA State Plan

Guide to encourage public feedback during second listening tour


SPRINGFIELD, IL — On Aug. 25, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) shared its first draft of the Illinois Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan with the public. ISBE and Partners for Each and Every Child have worked together to develop a Reader’s Guide (for the ISBE ESSA State Plan Draft #1). The Reader’s Guide will help stakeholders reflect on the questions raised by ISBE throughout the draft plan and provide a structure for sharing feedback.

Beginning Sept. 6, ISBE will be gathering input on the ESSA Draft Plan #1 during its second listening tour across the state. Thirteen meetings are planned between Sept. 6 and Sept. 28. The listening tour schedule and regularly updated information regarding ESSA can be found at www.isbe.net/essa.

“So that we may collectively maximize the opportunities that ESSA presents for educating ‘the whole child’ and ensure the law’s equitable implementation, ISBE recognizes the need to meaningfully engage all Illinois stakeholders,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “We hope Illinoisans join us in this once-in-a-decade opportunity to work together on what it means to educate our students—and hold ourselves accountable when we don’t.”

The first listening tour, which occurred in April and May, focused on an overview of ESSA and ideas and questions from meeting participants. The second round of meetings will focus on sharing the substance of the draft and receiving feedback from the field. Individuals and groups are encouraged to review the plan and Reader’s Guide and express their thoughts at these meetings.

Stakeholders can also provide feedback by emailing essa@isbe.net. Feedback is essential as staff and stakeholders work together to refine this initial draft. It will then be posted again later this fall for review before being brought before the Board for its vote.

“In order to move the needle on equity, we are going to have to have strong and informed engagement between state and local decision makers and the rest of the public, especially equity advocates. The public needs a real chance to participate actively in critical policy decisions. Superintendent Smith and the Illinois State Board of Education are working hard to ensure the people of Illinois are informed and at the table at this critical time for equity in education,” said Christopher Edley Jr., chair of Partners for Each and Every Child and founder/president of the Opportunity Institute.

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability’s executive director, Ralph Martire, also addressed the need for informed and sustained stakeholder engagement.

“The reduced federal role in holding states and districts accountable for being equitable makes having the tools and processes for meaningful stakeholder engagement a core element of ESSA implementation—especially when it comes to ensuring equity and excellence for all Illinois’ student populations,” Martire said. “National, state, and local partnerships can inform and support greater participation to create an effective pathway for achieving these ends.”

Partners for Each and Every Child is a project of the Opportunity Institute. Its mission is to build an infrastructure of interconnected work that will encourage a growing portion of the education policy community to break down barriers to advance sound educational policies; to address matters of equity; and to respond to the needs of at-risk, underserved, and politically underrepresented students.

President Obama to Deliver Final Keynote at 46th ALC Phoenix Awards Dinner

Posted by Admin On September - 6 - 2016 Comments Off on President Obama to Deliver Final Keynote at 46th ALC Phoenix Awards Dinner

Event to Honor Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton, U.S. Representatives Charles B. Rangel and Marcia L. Fudge, Business Magnate and Philanthropist Robert F. Smith, and Emanuel A.M.E. Church in honor of the “Emanuel Nine” for their strong commitment and contributions to improve the well-being of African-American communities through their leadership and service.

WASHINGTON, IL- The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) announced that President Barack Obama will deliver his seventh and final keynote address at its 46th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) Phoenix Awards Dinner. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The evening’s co-emcees will be Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, and actress Sanaa Lathan, who has a new show premiering this fall on FOX. Honorary co-chairs of this year’s conference are U.S. Representatives Karen Bass of California and Lacy Clay of Missouri.

“President Obama is our nation’s most influential and demonstrable voice. We are honored to have him speak at the Phoenix Awards dinner,” said R. Donahue Peebles, chairman of the CBCF board of directors. “In the face of great challenges, his historic two terms in office have strengthened America’s resolve to close the persistent gaps between the daily realities and the actual well-being and security of African Americans.”

The Phoenix Award is the CBCF’s highest honor, presented to individuals whose extraordinary achievements strengthen communities and improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities, nationally and globally.

“We are extremely proud of the leadership, civic engagement and commitment shown by this year’s honorees-and salute their efforts to promote empowerment and respect for and among all people,” said CBCF president and CEO, A. Shuanise Washington. “Our honorees embody the foundation’s 40-year commitment to raise awareness and address the challenges African Americans face every day in education, health care, minority business development and entrepreneurship.”

This year’s distinguished honorees are as follows:

* Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton will receive the inaugural Trailblazer Award, in recognition of becoming the first woman presidential nominee of a major party in the United States and her remarkable contributions to the nation. The Trailblazer Award recognizes a leader who is the first, in his or her chosen field, to make a global or national groundbreaking achievement and whose vision, perseverance and lifework has created opportunities for African Americans and minorities.

* U.S. Representative Charles B. Rangel will receive the first-ever Congressional Black Caucus Founder’s Award, recognizing his leadership as a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and his unparalleled contributions to the nation.

* U.S. Representative Marcia L. Fudge will receive the Barbara Jordan Award in recognition of her exceptional public service and long-standing commitment to improving social and economic conditions for the people of Ohio and the nation.

* Robert F. Smith, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Vista Equity Partners, will receive the CBCF Chair’s Award for his outstanding contributions as an investor and entrepreneur, and for his long-standing commitment to improving the social conditions of communities around the world.

* Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church will receive the Congressional Black Caucus Chair’s Award in honor of the “Emanuel Nine” for their extraordinary strength and courage in the face of adversity.

The Phoenix Awards Dinner is the primary fundraising event for the CBCF, a 501©3, non-partisan, nonprofit, educational and research institute. This black-tie event showcases the CBCF’s education and leadership programs, and provides an opportunity to recognize outstanding individuals who make humanitarian contributions to society. To purchase tickets to the dinner and to register for the ALC, visit cbcfinc.org/alc.


The ALC is the leading policy conference on issues impacting African Americans and the global black community. The conference features more than 70 public policy forums on health, education, economic empowerment, the environment, and more. Signature events include the National Town Hall, Celebration of Leadership in Fine Arts, Community Breakfast and Health Fair, Gospel Extravaganza, Black Party, Prayer Breakfast, and the culminating event, the Phoenix Awards Dinner.

This year’s theme, “Defining the Moment, Building the Movement,” will highlight social and political moments in American history that define the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.

To register for the ALC, visit  www.cbcfinc.org/alc. Sign up to receive the e-newsletter and follow the CBCF on social media using hashtag, #CBCFALC16 for updates.

September is Fruits & Veggies – More Matters® Month

Posted by Admin On September - 6 - 2016 Comments Off on September is Fruits & Veggies – More Matters® Month
Washington, D.C. – The Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE) is celebrating Fruits & Veggies-More Matters® Month by promoting the many benefits of eating plenty of fruits and veggies. Fruits & Veggies-More Matters® Month highlights the importance of healthy eating in keeping our community strong and healthy.

“Adding more fruits and veggies to your diet doesn’t have to be expensive,” said DHPE Project Director Cheryl Welbeck. “There are many low-cost or no cost alternatives.” For example, you may add chopped vegetables to pasta sauce or replace your afternoon snack of a bag of chips with an apple. And simple changes like these can really pay off-eating healthy can help lower the risk of many chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Fruits and veggies are also delicious! This is a great time to try a new recipe that features produce-or to bring home a fruit or vegetable that your family hasn’t tried before for fun. Remember, good habits start early-if you have kids, encouraging them to eat lots of fruits and veggies can go a long way in helping them develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. To get you and your family started, follow Fruits & Veggies-More Matters® Month activities on Twitter.

Currently, DHPE is implementing a National Implementation and Dissemination to Prevent Chronic Disease Program to increase access to healthy foods through population-based strategies at the community level. This effort focuses on improving nutrition, enhancing community linkages for clinical care, increasing physical activity, improving chronic disease prevention, and reducing tobacco use and exposure through community engagement that supports opportunities to make healthy living easier where people live, learn, work, and play.

This program is part of a larger initiative by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Community Health to demonstrate promising practices other communities can replicate. To learn more about the 47 communities implementing such efforts to improve community health, visit www.bit.ly/Partnering4Health2.

The Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to build on principles and practices of health promotion and education to strengthen public health capacity in policy and systems change, thereby improving the health of all and achieving health equity. DHPE, founded in 1946, is legally known as the Association of State and Territorial Directors of Health Promotion and Public Health Education (ASTDHPPHE). DHPE is located at 1432 K Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. For more information, visit www.dhpe.org or contact Communications Manager Thometta Cozart at tcozart@dhpe.org.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) provides funding for the project and leads the national conversation to create healthy communities. This grantee program is made possible through a grant provided to DHPE as part of Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DP14-1418: National Implementation and Dissemination for Chronic Disease Prevention.

“Humerican 360” a New Powerful Seven-Part Series by Filmmaker Qasim Clarke Gives Audiences a Thought-Provoking Virtual Reality Perspective Into Civil Rights and Racial Tensions

Posted by Admin On September - 6 - 2016 Comments Off on “Humerican 360” a New Powerful Seven-Part Series by Filmmaker Qasim Clarke Gives Audiences a Thought-Provoking Virtual Reality Perspective Into Civil Rights and Racial Tensions




#AllissuesMatter; Racism, Gender Equality, education, obesity, trafficking, LGBT Rights and domestic violence, will be The focus of seven part film series

Los Angeles, CA. -Acclaimed filmmaker Qasim Clarke of Aristo-crat Film is broadening the awareness of many social and racial issues today that peo-ple face in everyday life. His newly released film, “Humerican 360”, depicts the recent struggles endured by African Americans with police officers, in an innovative virtual way never before experienced. The film is inspired by the gruesome murder of Alton Sterling, which stirred up a lot of controversy, outrage and anger. The short 7 minute film gives a gripping insight to what reportedly happened on that tragic night in a real life virtual reality (VR) format. The storyline chronicles a day of unjustified death start-ing out with him spending quality time earlier in the day with his son to never coming home that night.

Trailer #1: https://vimeo.com/178921175 
Trailer #2: https://vimeo.com/178922711
Full Film: http://youtu.be/ASMVXkPhnSg (TRT: 7.5 minutes)

“I made the film to show that we are all here trying to accomplish similar goals and to bring social and racial issues to life in a human way. I am hoping people will watch and understand the huge impact a senseless and unjustified death has on a family and society. The irony is, my film became a reality personally, I almost lost my life being accosted unjustly by over 13 police officers, the same night this was filmed, which made me even more determined to bring awareness to this issue, too many innocent lives are being lost.”, explains director Qasim Clarke. (See real footage; https://vimeo.com/178922711)

Qasim uses a 360/VR format to bring his films to life, by putting the viewer right in the middle of the action to experience it like they were actually there. Humerican 360 was released on Zeality an application that supports the 360 format by allowing the viewer to either rotate their device or use a finger to pan around and see all angles. Although this state of the art format is more challenging than the conventional method of film making, Qasim is dedicated to making people feel like they are part of the story. (www.zeality.co)

His film brings light to the sensitive subject of race in our society. Qasim explains, “As a filmmaker the ability to make time stand still makes me feel like a contributor to chang-ing the future. I am currently finishing 6 more short 360/VR films to bring attention to many social issues, emphasizing #AllissuesMatter. I just want to create visuals that contribute to the human perspective.”

When asked what he wanted his audiences to take away from Humerican 360. The talented director responded by saying, “I want the audience to understand despite other differences we all want the same things! We have to work together to make this world a better place for our families, our children, their children and ourselves. I am unapologetic in the belief that we all have the right to life, love and succeed while treating each other with respect and decency.”

Trailer #1: https://vimeo.com/178921175
Trailer #2: https://vimeo.com/178922711
Full Film: http://youtu.be/ASMVXkPhnSg (TRT: 7.5 minutes)

Social Media
Website; www.Allissuesmatter.com or www.qasimfilm.com, aristocratfilm.com
Twitter; www.twitter.com/allissuesmatter (@allissuesmatter)
Instagram; www.instagram.com/allissuesmatter/ (@allissuesmatter)
Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/QasimClarke/posts/10207390218258375

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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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