September , 2018

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  National Kick-Off on Sunday, September 25, 2011   Washington, DC - The National Black Church Initiative, in ...
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Archive for November 22nd, 2016

The Nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as Potential Attorney General is “Deeply Troubling”: NAACP

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

BALTIMORE, MD – NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks issued the following statement regarding the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as potential Attorney General by President-elect Donald J. Trump:


“The nomination of Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to be Attorney General, to serve as chief law enforcement officer of the United States, is deeply troubling. Based on the disdain for our nation’s civil rights laws that Senator Sessions has consistently demonstrated throughout his career, his fitness to be the chief protector and enforcer of them falls into dire question.


.“Senator Sessions was denied appointment as a federal judge in 1986 for a slew of racist comments, including calling the work of the NAACP and ACLU ‘Un-American.’ He has also repeatedly spoken out against the federal Voting Rights Act. We just lived through the first presidential election in over 50 years without the Act’s full protections and witnessed the suppression of millions of votes. To appoint an Attorney General who dismisses the need for these critical protections is even more despicable and unacceptable.

“Senator Sessions’ record suggests that he will carry on an old, ugly legacy in this country’s history when civil rights for African-Americans, women and minorities were not regarded as core American values. While Lady Justice may be said to be blind, we need an Attorney General with 20-20 vision in seeing racial injustice. Whether Senator Sessions, with decades of failing grades on the NAACP’s report card, possesses a racial vision and commitment to justice is in serious question.


“We need to move forward, not backward. Our nation needs federal action to protect basic voting rights, to reform outrageous abuses and racial profiling by police departments in Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago and across the country, and to protect rights for LGBT Americans and other vulnerable populations in an era of rising hate and in the face of an administration threatening to wage war on basic civil liberties.


“Through Congress, our membership and by every means available, the NAACP will continue to stand against the regressive and intolerant views that Senator Sessions espouses.”


Jewish Activists Gather to Call on Chicago’s Jewish United Fund to Denounce Appointment of White Nationalist Steve Bannon

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Protest part of growing national chorus of progressive Jews urging communal institutions to break silence on bigotry of Trump appointments

The march, organized by Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago and If Not Now-Chicago, will take place Tuesday, November 22. Protesters will meet at the Federal Plaza at 4 p.m., on to the Offices of Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, 30 S. Wells at 4:15 p.m., and arrive at JUF at 4:25 p.m.

Chicago-area Jews will converge on the office of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF) Tuesday, November 22, to demand that its president, Steven Nasatir, break his silence on President-Elect Trump’s appointment of notorious anti-Semite Steve Bannon to the role of Chief Strategist. They will also deliver a national Jewish Voice for Peace petition signed by tens of thousands of individuals and seventy-five organizations condemning Bannon’s appointment.

Bannon’s appointment has been celebrated by leading white nationalists. He is the former Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, a website that traffics in anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT, anti-woman and anti-immigrant content.

Thus far, Nasatir’s only statement was issued within hours after the Facebook event for Tuesday’s demonstration was posted. In it, he and Board Chair Michael Zaransky make no mention of the Bannon appointment, while welcoming “the calls for unity that have come from both President Obama and President-elect Trump.” (Full text of the letter available here).

Nasatir and the JUF’s hedging on this high-level appointment of a leading enabler of anti-Semitism stands in stark contrast with his and the JUF’s past eagerness to label supporters of Palestinian human rights “evil” and “anti-Semitic.”

Leah Fried, Coordinating Committee member with Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago: “JUF President Steven Nasatir apparently wouldn’t recognize anti-Semitism if it stared him in the face. He’ll call activists for Palestinian human rights evil but stay quiet about an appointment celebrated by literal neo-Nazis.”

NATIONAL BACKGROUND: The JUF’s parent organization, the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), sent a letter to President-Elect Trump, congratulating him on his win and specifically expressing its appreciation for his “recognition of America’s and Israel’s shared values to the U.S.-Israel relationship.”  When pressed nationally on their silence, the JFNA responded simply that “Trump needs to be given an opportunity to lead.

JVP-Chicago is the local branch of Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jvp.org), a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 200,000 online supporters, over 60 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.

If Not Now-Chicago is the local chapter of If Not Now (ifnotnowmovement.org) a movement to end the American Jewish community’s support for the occupation and gain freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians.

For more information, contact:
Michael Deheeger, Jewish Voice for Peace

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch: Recent Statistics Suggest That 2016 Has Been an Especially Dangerous Year for Police Officers

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch statement on the recent acts of violence and ambush style shooting of law enforcement officers:

“Over the last several days, the nation has witnessed a disturbing spate of violence against law enforcement officer across the country.  Since Friday, Nov. 18, two law enforcement officers – U.S. Marshals Service Deputy Commander Patrick Carothers and San Antonio Police Department Detective Benjamin Marconi – were killed, and three others were wounded.  These reprehensible acts cannot be tolerated and they again remind us of the significant hazards that public safety officers confront each and every day on our behalf.

“Unfortunately, recent statistics suggest that 2016 has been an especially dangerous year for police officers, with a significant increase in the number of officers killed in the line of duty since Jan. 1.  As Attorney General, I regard this increase with the utmost seriousness and the Department of Justice is working closely with our partners in the field to improve officer safety and resilience.  In the days ahead, the Department of Justice will continue to assist state and local law enforcement officers in any way that we can to reduce the frequency and deadliness of these tragic incidents.

“I ask all Americans to join me in expressing condolences to the family and loved ones of Deputy Commander Carothers and Detective Marconi and in praying for the swift recovery of the officers who were wounded.  They – and all law enforcement officers – deserve our undying respect, gratitude, and support.”

Tri-Caucus Leadership Condemns Selection of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Congressional Tri-Caucus – which is comprised of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following joint statement regarding the selection of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General:

“The Congressional Black Caucus is deeply concerned over President-elect Trump’s selection of Alabama junior Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General and his confirmation would be a travesty to equality and race relations in America,” said CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield. “Senator Sessions has been denied a nomination by members of the U.S. Senate once before over concerns about his treatment of African Americans, and the CBC is ready to fight his confirmation once again in the interest of protecting civil rights for the most vulnerable individuals and communities among us.”

“The naming of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General-Designate is troubling to all who believe in the rule of law,” said CHC Chairwoman Linda Sanchez. “Our nation’s core value has been ‘equal justice under the law’, since the end of the Jim Crow era. The Republican controlled United States Senate has the responsibility to do the same due diligence as it did in 1986 when it uncovered blatantly racist comments made by Sen. Sessions when he was a judicial nominee. If the same measure of decency is applied, I am confident that Sen. Sessions will remain in the United States Senate.”

“As Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I am alarmed by President-elect Trump’s choice of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to be our next Attorney General,” said CAPAC Chairwoman Judy Chu. “As the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, the Attorney General plays a critical role in overseeing our criminal justice system and protecting the civil rights of all Americans. Yet Senator Sessions has a troubling record of opposing everything from even legal immigration reform to undermining efforts to protect voting rights. President-Elect Trump promised unity, but his nominations so far tell a very different story, one of xenophobia and division. Senator Sessions’ racist, divisive rhetoric is not a suitable fit for this position, and CAPAC urges President-elect Trump to reconsider this nomination.”

Former Madison County Deputy Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Lying Under Oath to Obstruct Investigation into Beating

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

HUNTSVILLE – A federal judge sentenced former Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Watson to three years in prison for lying under oath with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.


U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre sentenced Watson, 32, on the charge, which he pleaded guilty to in January.

According to his plea agreement, Watson, while off-duty, got into a bar fight with a handyman. Watson searched for the man over the next several weeks, and when he observed the man driving down the highway, Watson pulled him over and ordered him out of his truck. Watson proceeded to strike the man in the face, hit him with a baton and choke him until he was unconscious. At a criminal proceeding arising out of those charges, Watson knowingly and falsely claimed, under oath, that he had never seen the man before the traffic stop and that he had not gotten into a bar fight with the man.


“Watson lied under oath to obstruct an investigation into his allegedly flagrant abuse of power and violent assault,” Gupta said. “When officers deliberately try to impede rather than cooperate with federal investigations, their actions violate the law.”


“Although the vast majority of police officers perform their duties with integrity, Justin Watson did not, using his badge to interfere with an investigation into police misconduct,” Vance said. “Communities must be able to expect fair treatment from law enforcement. Watson violated the community’s trust and will now go to prison as a result.”


This case was investigated by the FBI, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Stuart Burrell and Trial Attorney Christopher J. Perras of the Criminal Section of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.

Source: FBI





New Paper Investigates Black Teens’ Interactions with Chicago Police

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

5-year research project with Chicago Black high school students about police experiences, reveals surveillance, alienation, and impunity


CHICAGO, IL – The University of Chicago Legal Forum published a paper titled “Youth/Police Encounters on Chicago’s South Side: Acknowledging the Realities.” A collaboration between the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School and the Invisible Institute’s Youth/Police Project, the paper reports on what the authors learned from their conversations with Black teenagers over the last five years. It describes in the words of the teens the constant presence of police in their lives, the alienation they feel from law enforcement, and their sense that the police have unchecked power over their lives. The paper offers a concrete policy, advocacy, and research agenda to address these issues within the legal process.


The authors of the paper are Professor Craig Futterman of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School; Chaclyn Hunt, director of the Youth/Police Project; and Jamie Kalven, executive director of the Invisible Institute.


“Too often, public conversations about police accountability tend to exclude the important perspectives of young Black people,” said Hunt. “Yet they’re the ones most affected by police practices. Every student we work with lives with the constant possibility of being stopped, searched and treated like a criminal.”


Rather than focusing on high profile incidents of police abuse, the paper examines the routine encounters between police and Black youth that take place countless times every day in cities across the nation.


Richard, a teenage participant in the Project, said, “They’re over you and you’re under them. Therefore, you don’t matter. Their word will prevail over yours.”


The methodology for the paper was straightforward: The authors listened to Black high school students speak about their interactions with the police. Because of the daily surveillance the teens experience, they often curtail their own freedom at critical times in their development to avoid being stopped by the police. Most of the teens interviewed for the article so distrust the police that they do not feel safe seeking police assistance even when someone close to them is the victim of a violent crime. The single greatest barrier to building a relationship of trust with police, the authors found, was the ongoing lack of accountability the teens routinely observed in their neighborhoods.

This paper offers a policy agenda that would, for example, hold individual officers accountable during the complaint process. The policies proposed around structural mechanisms of accountability and procedural legitimacy are directly informed by the perspectives of Black youth.

“We must first acknowledge the realities of the young people living in marginalized communities,” said Futterman.

The Invisible Institute is a nonprofit Chicago-based journalistic production company that works to enhance the capacity of civil society to hold public institutions accountable. Toward that end, we develop strategies to expand and operationalize transparency. We seek to make visible perspectives too often excluded from public discourse. And we develop social interventions designed to leverage necessary reforms. Among the tools we employ are human rights documentation, investigative reporting, civil rights litigation, the curating of public information, conceptual art projects, and the orchestration of difficult public conversations.

Illinois’ First Competency-Based Learning Pilot Launches With Call for Applications

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Pilot program will allow 12 innovative school districts to replace high school graduation course requirements with a competency-based learning system

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois’ Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program, administered by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), launched today with a call for applications from school districts serving grades nine through 12. The 12 districts ultimately selected for participation in the state’s first competency-based learning pilot will replace select high school graduation course requirements with an alternative system of the district’s design. In competency-based learning, educators assess and advance students based on demonstrated mastery of specific skills, abilities, and knowledge, rather than on time in the classroom.

“We know our students are coming into high school with so many assets and experiences that we haven’t figured out how to access. This new opportunity to work on competency-based learning will help students share those strengths and get more specific support where they need it. Illinois is taking a giant leap forward in meeting our students where they are and better preparing them for the future,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program provides schools and districts the opportunity not only to adapt classroom instruction to the individual student but to personalize each student’s entire pathway through high school. This pilot encourages community partnerships and customized learning to support individual students’ interests and needs. ISBE hopes to learn from the pilot about the potential of competency-based learning to improve student outcomes on a large scale.”

Illinois Public Act 99-0674 (the “Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act”), passed unanimously by both legislative houses and signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on July 29, established the Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program as one of a number of strategies to prepare more students for meaningful career opportunities.  ISBE consulted with the Illinois Community College Board, Illinois Board of Higher Education, representatives from higher education, and national experts on the development of the pilot.


The competency-based learning systems proposed in districts’ applications must have students:


  • Demonstrate mastery of all required competencies to earn credit.
  • Demonstrate mastery of adaptive competencies (foundational skills needed for success in college, careers, and life, such as, but not limited to, work ethic, professionalism, communication, collaboration and interpersonal skills, and problem-solving) defined by the school district, in addition to academic competencies.
  • Advance once they have demonstrated mastery.
  • Receive more time and personalized instruction, if needed, to demonstrate mastery.
  • Have the ability to attain advanced postsecondary education and career-related competencies beyond those needed for graduation.
  • Be assessed using multiple measures to determine mastery, usually requiring application of knowledge.
  • Be able to earn credit toward graduation requirements in ways other than traditional coursework, including learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom setting, such as supervised career development experiences.

Districts interested in applying for participation in the pilot program may access the application online and must submit completed applications to ISBE no later than Jan. 27, 2017.

“The work of other states, districts, and schools around the country has allowed us to glimpse what’s possible through competency-based learning,” said Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Jason Helfer, Ph.D. “From deeper integration of technology, to better utilization of teacher talent, to an all-around more relevant learning and skill-building experience for students, competency-based learning has the potential to reinvent the way we prepare students for college and career. ISBE encourages districts of all shapes and sizes to apply.”  


ISBE will provide an online library of research, pilot program implementation plans, and models to support future replication, as well as technical assistance and networking opportunities to districts participating in the pilot.


Districts will not receive special or additional state funding to apply for, develop, or implement the pilot program. 

National Urban League President and CEO Issues Statement Regarding Nominee Senator Sessions for U.S. Attorney General

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial issued the following statement regarding the nominee Senator Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General:

The National Urban League is deeply troubled by the nomination of Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, who has called the Voting Rights Act “intrusive,” to serve as Attorney General of the United States.

We expect the Senate Judiciary Committee will conduct a thorough and complete examination to determine if he is fit to serve as the nation’s chief enforcer of civil rights law.

His 1986 confirmation hearings after President Reagan nominated him to the federal bench revealed his deep hostility to civil rights laws as US attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. Attention focused on his failed and possibly retaliatory prosecution of three voting rights organizers, and disturbing comments such as calling a white attorney who defended black voting rights “a disgrace to his race.”

The committee rejected Sessions’ nomination, having made what Sen. Ted Kennedy called a ”clear and convincing case to gross insensitivity to the questions of race.”

We expect the committee also to examine closely his public statements and speeches, the composition of his Senate staff, and his association with John Tanton, a hate group leader who, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “has white nationalist beliefs and has written that to maintain American culture, ‘a European-American majority’ is required.”

Every American should be concerned about the direction of the U.S. Department of Justice and oppose any nominee who threatens to turn back the clock on civil rights by 50 years.

We, along with a broader civil rights coalition, are conducting our own review of Sen. Sessions’ record. If our examination does not determine that he is fit to serve as chief enforcer of civil rights laws, it will be our responsibility to oppose his nomination. We encourage all senators who are champions of civil rights to refrain from committing their support to this nomination until our examination is complete.

Cook County Building & Zoning Announces Online Permitting for Businesses, Residents

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS


Overhauls outdated paper process with digital service for unincorporated areas

In order to improve customer service and efficiency for businesses and residents who reside in the unincorporated areas of Cook County, the Department of Building and Zoning, working jointly with the Department of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), has launched a new on-line permitting system.

“I am pleased that this new solution to permitting is being offered by Cook County as it improves an existing service, one of our governing principles,” Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said.  “In addition to being an important management tool, the online application will allow businesses and residents in the unincorporated areas to receive permits faster and more efficiently. “

The permit tracking application has automated the entire permitting process from beginning to end and adds much more than a public interface.  The new application also streamlines the workflow for staff. 

Highlights include:             

·         Intuitive user interface

·         Online permit status tracking

·         100% paperless process

·         A digital file management system replacing storage needs for paper documents

·         Online access to e-permits

·         Department is able track statistics related to payment, types of violation, and the amount of revenue received through permitting

·         Online payment

·         Ability to attach documents

·         Replaces the need to print permit documents

·         New ability for mobile access to the system for field inspectors

·         Reviewer/inspector message board to enhance communication

·         Ability for Department of Building and Zoning to analyze permitting metrics

If you are a business owner or a resident in the unincorporated areas of Cook County and wish to apply for a permit, go to the Department of Building and Zoning Website at: www.cookcountyil.gov/buildingzoning.

You can apply on-line using your personal computer, but you can check the status of your application and pay for it using your smart phone. 

For answers to your questions while using the application, please email: intake.bnz@cookcountyil.gov.


Gene Siskel Film Center Presents First Chicago Run of the New Restoration of Julie Dash’s Landmark African American Feature, Daughters of The Dust

Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 Presented one week only, November 25-December 1

“A film of spellbinding visual beauty…an extended, wildly lyrical meditation on the power of African cultural iconography and the spiritual resilience of the generations of women who have been its custodians.”—Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“Distinctive, original…every image, every moment is a full creation…Dash is one of the heroines of the modern cinema.”—Richard Brody, The New Yorker


A film of breathtaking beauty and haunting cultural resonance, this landmark independent film by the first African American woman to ever receive theatrical distribution in the U.S. returns in a fully remastered restoration on the 25th anniversary of its release.  On a summer day in 1902, a large African American family descended from slaves gathers for one last picnic in their Sea Island home on the eve of their move North. The knowledge and mystical traditions of the clan’s West African heritage are manifest in the women of the family, from the matriarch Nana to the unborn baby girl in her granddaughter’s womb, as the family confronts the conflicts and challenges of a new century.

First Chicago run! DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, 1991, Julie Dash, USA/UK, 112 min., with Alva Rogers, Bahni Turpin, In English and Gullah dialect with English subtitles, DCP digital.

Friday, November 25-Thursday, December 1
Friday, 11/25 at 2 pm and 4:15 pm;
Saturday, 11/26 at 7:45 pm;
Sunday, 11/27 at 5 pm;
Monday, 11/28 at 8 pm;
Wednesday, 11/30 at 8:15 pm;
Thursday, 12/1 at 8:00 pm

All screenings are at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, located at 164 N. State St.

Tickets to each screening–unless stated otherwise—are $11/general admission, $7/students, $6/Film Center members, and $5/Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) staff and School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) faculty, staff, and students. Friday 2:00 pm matinee tickets are $8/general admission and $5/Film Center members and students. All tickets may be purchased at the Film Center Box Office. Both general admission and Film Center member tickets are available through the Gene Siskel Film Center’s website www.siskelfilmcenter.org/content/tickets or through the individual films’ weblinks or visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org of $1.50 per ticket. The Film Center and its box office are open 5:00 to 8:30 pm, Monday through Thursday; 1:00 to 8:30 pm, Friday; 2:00 to 8:30 pm, Saturday; and 2:00 to 5:30 pm, Sunday.

Please note that the Gene Siskel Film Center’s theaters, box office, and main office will be closed on Thursday, November 24. The Film Center’s main office will be closed on Friday, November 25; its box office will open at 1:00 pm on that day.


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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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