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Archive for January 18th, 2017

NAACP Death Penalty Fact Sheet: The Death Penalty is Plagued With Racial Disparities

Posted by Admin On January - 18 - 2017 Comments Off on NAACP Death Penalty Fact Sheet: The Death Penalty is Plagued With Racial Disparities

In states across the country, African Americans are disproportionately represented on death row and among those who have been executed.  Black people make up 13 percent of the population, but they make up 42 percent of death row and 35 percent of those executed. [i]   In addition, many studies have found the race of the victim to affect who receives the death penalty, with homicides of white victims more likely to result in the death penalty.[ii]


Federal death row is no different.  There are 63 people on federal death row, and 37 are people of color.  Twenty-seven of these individuals are black.[iii]  Several reviews of the federal death penalty have found troubling racial disparities in charging, plea bargaining, sentencing, and executions.[iv]  For example, a review conducted by the United States Department of Justice found that 48 percent of White defendants were able to receive a sentence less than death through plea bargaining.  Yet, only 25 percent of Black defendants and 28 percent of Hispanic defendants were able to plead guilty in exchange for life sentences.[v]

Innocent people have been sentenced to death and executed.

If innocent people can be convicted, sentenced to death, and executed, the criminal justice system cannot be trusted to reliably separate the innocent from the guilty. Between 1973 and 2016, 156 people who had been sentenced to death were subsequently determined to be innocent.[vi]  During the same period, 1,142 people have been executed.[vii]  This means that for every ten people executed, more than one person has been exonerated.  This number does not include the people who were executed despite compelling evidence of innocence, or for whom evidence of innocence was found after execution.[viii]  As Troy Davis’s case demonstrates, innocence does not protect people from execution.[ix]

The death penalty consumes an enormous amount of resources without improving safety.

There is no reliable evidence that the death penalty deters people from committing crime.[x]  In fact, murder rates are higher in states that have capital punishment than they are in states without it.[xi]  At the same time, the death penalty drains resources from the legal system, prisons, and law enforcement.[xii]  Contrary to popular belief, the death penalty is much more expensive than a sentence of life without parole.  Before Maryland abolished the death penalty, a detailed study showed that the average death penalty case cost $2 million more than a death-eligible case in which prosecutors decided not to pursue the death penalty.[xiii]

Most of the world has rejected the death penalty, and national support for the death penalty has plummeted.

Two-thirds of countries either have formally abolished the death penalty or have ceased to use it.[xiv]  In 2016, the United States executed the sixth-highest number of people in the world.  The only countries that executed more people were China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Pakistan.[xv]

In the United States, the number of executions and new death sentences are at historic lows.  In 2016, 20 people were executed, the lowest number since 1991.  Thirty death sentences were imposed, the lowest in the modern era of the death penalty.[xvi]  Polls show that between 49 and 60 percent of the American public support the death penalty.  These numbers are also the lowest in the modern era of the death penalty. [xvii]

Footnotes and Further Reading:

[i] NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, Death Row U.S.A., pp. 1,9 (Summer 2016), http://www.naacpldf.org/files/publications/DRUSA_Summer_2016.pdf; Matt Ford, Racism and the Execution Chamber, The Atlantic, June 23, 2014, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/06/race-and-the-death-penalty/373081/.


[ii]Scott Phillips, Continued Racial Disparities in the Capital of Capital Punishment: The Rosenthal Era, 50 Houston L. Rev. 131 (2012), http://www.houstonlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/4-Phillips.pdf; Sheri Lynn Johnson, et al., The Delaware Death Penalty: An Empirical Study, Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-24 (2012),https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2019913; Michael L. Radelet & Glenn L. Pierce, Race and Death Sentencing in North Carolina: 1980-2007, 89 N. Carolina L.Rev. 2119 (2011), http://scholarship.law.unc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4522&context=nclr; Christopher Slobogin, The Death Penalty in Florida, 1 Elon L. Rev. 17 (2009), http://www.elon.edu/docs/e-web/law/law_review/Issues/Slobogin.pdf; David C. Baldus & George Woodworth, Race Discrimination in the Administration of the Death Penalty: An Overview of the Empirical Evidence with Special Emphasis on the Post-1990 Research, 41 No. 2 Crim. L. Bull. 6 (April 2005); Raymond Paternoster, et al., Justice by Geography and Race: The Administration of the Death Penalty in Maryland, 1978-1999, 4 Margins 1 (2004), http://digitalcommons.law.umaryland.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1050&context=rrgc.[iii] Death Penalty Information Center, Federal Death Row, http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/federal-death-row-prisoners#list (last visited January 17, 2017).[iv]ACLU, The Persistent Problem of Racial Disparities in The Federal Death Penalty (June 25, 2007), https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/capital/racial_disparities_federal_deathpen.pdf.[v] U.S. Dept. of Justice, The Federal Death Penalty System, A Statistical Survey, pp. 34-35 (September 12, 2000),http://www.usdoj.gov/dag/pubdoc/dpsurvey.html.  A later DOJ review attempted to downplay the significance of this disparity.  U.S. Dept. of Justice, The Federal Death Penalty System: Supplementary Data, Analysis and Revised Protocols for Capital Case Review, pp. 14-15 (June 6, 2001), http://www.usdoj.gov/dag/pubdoc/deathpenaltystudy.htm.[vi] Death Penalty Information Center, Innocence: List of Those Freed From Death Row, http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/innocence-list-those-freed-death-row (last visited January 8, 2017).[vii] Death Penalty Information Center, Executions by Year, http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/executions-year (last visited January 8, 2017); Death Penalty Information Center, Part I: History of the Death Penalty: Reinstating the Death Penalty, http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/part-i-history-death-penalty#reinst (noting that no executions occurred between 1968 and 1976) (last visited January 8, 2017).[viii] National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Executed and Innocent: Four Chapters in the Life of America’s Death Penalty (2013), http://b.3cdn.net/ncadp/d245477f2f03c18f99_1pm6bsa34.pdf ; Richard A. Stack, Grave Injustice: Unearthing Wrongful Executions, Potomac Books, 2013.[ix] Ed Pilkington, Troy Davis Executed After Supreme Court Refuses Last-Minute Reprieve, The Guardian, September 21, 2011, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/sep/22/troy-davis-execution-goes-ahead.[x] National Research Council, Deterrence and the Death Penalty (2012), https://www.nap.edu/read/13363.

[xi] Death Penalty Information Center, Deterrence: States Without the Death Penalty Have Had Consistently Lower Murder Rates, http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/deterrence-states-without-death-penalty-have-had-consistently-lower-murder-rates#stateswithvwithout (last visited January 8, 2017).

[xii] Death Penalty Information Center, Smart on Crime: Reconsidering the Death Penalty in a Time of Economic Crisis (2009), http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/CostsRptFinal.pdf.

[xiii] John Roman, et al., The Cost of the Death Penalty in Maryland, Urban Institute (2008), http://www.urban.org/research/publication/cost-death-penalty-maryland.

[xiv]Amnesty International, Death Sentences and Executions in 2015, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/research/2016/04/death-sentences-executions-2015/ (last visited January 8, 2017).

[xv] Reprieve, Global Executions in 2016, December 29, 2016, http://www.reprieve.org.uk/press/global-executions-2016/ (This report estimates the number of executions in China because China does not disclose this figure.) (last visited January 8, 2017).

[xvi] Death Penalty Information Center, The Death Penalty in 2016: Year End Report (December 21, 2016), http://deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/2016YrEnd.pdf.

[xvii] Baxter Oliphant, Support for Death Penalty Lowest in More Than Four Decades, Pew Research Center, September 29, 2016, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/29/support-for-death-penalty-lowest-in-more-than-four-decades/; Jeffrey M. Jones, U.S. Death Penalty Support at 60%, Gallup, October 25, 2016, www.gallup.com/poll/196676/death-penalty-support.aspx.

Chelsea Manning Supporters Jubilant Over Her Impending Freedom

Posted by Admin On January - 18 - 2017 Comments Off on Chelsea Manning Supporters Jubilant Over Her Impending Freedom

After fighting more than seven years to free transgender whistle-blower Chelsea Manning, her supporters are cheering the Obama administration’s announcement yesterday of her freedom to begin on May 17 – perhaps not uncoincidentally, the “International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia.”


From exposing the slaughter of civilians by U.S. soldiers in Iraq, to U.S. support for dictators and oligarchs in the Middle East, to illegal U.S. support of a 2009 military coup in Honduras, Manning is hailed by her supporters as a consistent champion of human rights.


Arrested and prosecuted by the Obama administration during what the New York Times called “an unprecedented criminal crackdown on leaks of government secrets,” Chelsea ended up being the longest-imprisoned whistle-blower in U.S. history. Her lengthy terms in solidarity confinement are considered torture by international human rights authorities. “Depending on how they are counted,” said the Times, “the Obama administration has prosecuted either nine or 10 such cases, more than were charged under all previous presidencies combined.”


In Chicago, Manning’s foremost supporters have gathered in the Gay Liberation Network, which has organized numerous Pride Parade contingents [2] and other protests themed around demanding her freedom, including one as recently as December 17th on her 29th birthday.


Here are reactions to the announcement of Manning’s impending freedom, from GLN members who have supported Manning since her 2009 arrest to thru the present day:


“Although I am grateful that President Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence, the fact she was prosecuted at all by Obama’s DOJ, persecuted at Quantico, and finally slapped with an outrageous thirty-five year sentence was just one more Obama betrayal of a 2008 campaign promise—this one involving the protection of whistleblowers in order to promote something of great public moment, the people’s right to know what their government is doing in their name.”


“By the way, the American killers of Iraqi civilians in the infamous Apache helicopter video that Chelsea helped get released to the world—a video we would never have seen had she not—were never prosecuted; they didn’t spend a day in jail.”

— Roger Fraser, Gay Liberation Network


*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *


“Candidate Obama praised whistle-blowers and promised transparency, but Commander-in-Chief Obama declared “war on whistle-blowers,” and set about initiating new laws and conducting record prosecutions.  Now we are to be grateful to the man who jailed the hero, Chelsea Manning?”

— Bob Schwartz, Gay Liberation Network


*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *


“From ‘postcards for Chelsea’ booths at Market Days to ‘Free Chelsea’ floats in the Pride Parade; and events from Buckingham Fountain to Leavenworth, KS: I’m so glad Gay Liberation Network has kept Chelsea in front of the Chicago LGBT community and can be part of this victory for all people.”

— Brent Holman-Gomez, Gay Liberation Network


*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *


“Chelsea Manning exposed not only Democrats’ and Republicans’ contempt for human rights abroad, she also inadvertently exposed the hypocrisy of many falsely-named ‘human rights’ organizations here at home. When push came to shove, the Human Rights Campaign, the National LGBT Task Force and a host other LGBTQ non-profits showed their primary fealty was to their Democratic Party allies rather than to any notion of LGBTQ solidarity. While quick to make excuses for the failings of their political allies, the long years of LGBTQ non-profits’ silence about Chelsea’s often torturous imprisonment showed their bankruptcy as agents of genuine progressive change. The courage of Chelsea Manning stood in stark contrast to the political cowardice of the NGOs.”


— Andy Thayer, co-founder, Gay Liberation Network


More information about Chelsea Manning’s extraordinary contributions to human rights can be found here.





Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Host “State of the Black Community Legislative Update”

Posted by Admin On January - 18 - 2017 Comments Off on Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Host “State of the Black Community Legislative Update”

CHICAGO, IL – The 100th General Assembly began just days ago, and the mounting tension at the state Capital has led to a substantial amount of uncertainty for programs that service the Black Community. The depletion of programs and services have led to an all-time high in violence in Chicago. The community deserves answers, which is why the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (ILBCF) is hosting a State of the Black Community town hall meeting. At the event, legislators will give a brief legislative review, and then open the floor for a community discussion.

WVON radio host Cliff Kelly is moderating the discussion.

Below are details about the event:

Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Date: January 19th, 2017

Location: Chicago State University – Library Atrium 4th floor – 9501 South King Drive, Chicago Il.


Criminal Justice Rep. Elgie Sims
Education Rep. Will Davis
Higher Education Rep. Andre Thapedi
Budget Sen. Donne Trotter
Human Services Rep. Camille Lilly
Public Safety Rep. Sonya Harper


College Student Pleads Guilty To Developing Malicious Software

Posted by Admin On January - 18 - 2017 Comments Off on College Student Pleads Guilty To Developing Malicious Software

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Zachary Shames, 21, of Great Falls, pleaded guilty today to charges of aiding and abetting computer intrusions.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Shames developed malicious software, known as a keylogger, that allowed users to steal sensitive information, such a passwords and banking credentials, from a victim’s computer. Shames sold his keylogger to over 3,000 users who, in turn, used it to infect over 16,000 victim computers. Shames developed the initial versions of his keylogger while attending high school in Northern Virginia, and continued to modify and market the illegal product from his college dorm room.

Shames faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and will be sentenced on June 16. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Paul Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer and Senior Counsel Ryan K. Dickey of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-CR-289.

Source: FBI

2017 Illinois Tax Filing Season Begins Monday, January 23rd

Posted by Admin On January - 18 - 2017 Comments Off on 2017 Illinois Tax Filing Season Begins Monday, January 23rd

IDOR fraud efforts resulted in over $20 million in savings in 2016

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Revenue (“IDOR”) will begin accepting 2016 state individual income tax returns on Monday, January 23rd, the same date that the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) begins accepting federal individual income tax returns.  IDOR is reminding taxpayers that filing tax returns electronically and requesting direct deposit into a checking or savings account is still the fastest, most secure way to receive a refund.  IDOR begins this tax season with a continued focus on protecting taxpayers and state government against fraud.


“The State of Illinois’ continued resolve to detect and prevent tax return fraud has resulted in an overall savings of more than$20 million in calendar year 2016 – a $14.5 million or 250% increase from 2015,” said Connie Beard, IDOR Director.  “That’s money that would have otherwise fallen into the hands of criminals that continue in their attempts to perpetrate fraud at the state and national level.  Protecting our taxpayers and ensuring refunds go to the right individual is our top priority.” 

As fraud prevention measures continue, IDOR anticipates direct deposit refunds will be issued four weeks from the time of filing for electronic returns submitted error-free.  


MyTax Illinois, IDOR’s free online account management program will begin accepting Individual Income Tax returns on January 23rd.  Taxpayers can file their Form IL-1040 for free using MyTax Illinois.  Individuals may also utilize MyTax Illinois to make payments, check the status of their Illinois Individual Income Tax refund using Where’s My Refund?, and look up their IL-PIN, estimated tax payments, and 1099-G amounts.

For tax year 2016, over six million individual income tax returns were filed with IDOR.   Of those, 84% were filed electronically.  Over 4 million or 66% of those who filed an individual income tax return received a refund.  The tax rate remains the same for tax year 2016 as it was for 2015:   3.75%.   


For the most up-to-date information, forms, schedules, and instructions for the 2016 tax year, please visit IDOR’s website at: tax.illinois.gov.

Activists Move for Court to Quash TIF Subsidy for Luxury Housing

Posted by Admin On January - 18 - 2017 Comments Off on Activists Move for Court to Quash TIF Subsidy for Luxury Housing

Lawyers for activists who last year filed an Open Meetings Act lawsuit against the Chicago City Council, today moved for the court to quash a City Council vote last June that approved a notorious TIF subsidy for luxury hi-rises in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.


The City Council approved the Montrose-Clarendon $15.8 million TIF subsidy for luxury housing on prime lakefront property despite numerous protests by many who saw it as an insulting expenditure of taxpayer dollars while homeless literally shivered underneath Lake Shore Drive viaducts just yards away. Several advisory referendums in the ward had also opposed the use of TIF funds such purposes.


After months of testimony and document releases, today’s motion noted that “It is undisputed that not a single member of the public waiting in line without a preferential seat reservation was able to attend the June 22, 2016 CITY COUNCIL meeting [that voted to approve the TIF subsidy] until hours after it started…. This is a violation of the plain text and ‘express purpose’ of the Open Meetings Act and necessitates declaring the vote null and void pursuant to OMA Section 3(c).”


In the event that the City attempts to appeal a favorable ruling by the Court on today’s motion, it notes that “As the Appellate Court noted, where OMA’s purpose ‘is undermined by non-compliance with its provisions,’ a public body’s actions will be declared null and void. Id. (emphasis added). The ‘express purpose of [OMA] is to require public bodies to deliberate and act openly.’ Here, CITY COUNCIL violated OMA’s ‘express purpose’ and took final action by voting on the TIF provision when not a single member of the public without a seat reservation was allowed in. As a result, this vote should be declared null and void.”


On December 20, Judge Diane Larsen ruled that the Chicago City Council violated Illinois’s Open Meetings Act (OMA) by refusing to allow members of the public to testify at its meetings in accordance with the Act. Larsen issued her order in response to activists Andy Thayer’s and Rick Garcia’s July 25th motion for a preliminary injunction to force the Chicago City Council to follow the OMA after the general public was largely barred from attending and testifying at both the May 18 and June 22 meetings of the City Council. The City has said it will appeal that ruling.


Affordable housing activists from the Uptown Tent City Organizers and North Side Action 4 Justice groups contend that the Council and the ward’s Alderman James Cappleman rushed through the $15.8 million TIF ordinance at the Council’s June meeting so as to beat a July deadline under which it and all other future developments using city funds would be required to set aside significantly higher resources for affordable housing units. At the June Council meeting, Alderman Ed Burke noted “there is an urgency to this matter,” according to the minutes of the meeting (01:16:37).


“The City should cut to the chase and admit that barring the general public from Council meetings is indefensible under the Open Meetings Act,” said co-plaintiff Andy Thayer. “Mayor Emanuel and Alderman Cappleman should stop wasting public tax dollars on fruitless actions by city attorneys and handouts to politically connected luxury developers, and instead spend that money on housing the homeless.”



Goodman Theatre Presents “Black Words Matter: Celebrating Black Voices on Stage and Beyond,” Commemorating Black History Month

Posted by Admin On January - 18 - 2017 Comments Off on Goodman Theatre Presents “Black Words Matter: Celebrating Black Voices on Stage and Beyond,” Commemorating Black History Month

Free four-part series includes partner orgs DuSable Museum of African American History, AMC Dine-In Theatres Black 37, Harold Washington Library and League of Chicago Theatres


CHICAGO, IL – This February, Goodman Theatre is proud to join citywide celebrations of Black History Month with its “Black Words Matter: Celebrating Black Voices On Stage and Beyond” series of events. Partnering organizations and free offerings include: the DuSable Museum of African American History with a reading of Gee’s Bend by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder; AMC Dine-in Theatres Block 37 with a film screening of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson (1995); Harold Washington Library with panel discussions with acclaimed African American playwrights and directors; and a diversity-focused career fair with the League of Chicago Theatres. More details about each event follow. Events are free, but reservations are required due to limited capacity; visit GoodmanTheatre.org/BlackWordsMatter.


 “Weaving Our Stories: A Community Read-in and Viewing”

Tuesday, February 7 at 2pmDuSable Museum of African American History (740 E. 56th Place)

In partnership with DuSable Museum of African American History, the Goodman invites audiences to participate in a community read-in of the play Gee’s Bend by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder. Wilder’s play focuses on the turbulence of 20th century race relations and the real-life quilting community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. The reading is presented alongside DuSable’s featured exhibit “Unpacking Collections: The Legacy of Cuesta Benberry, an African American Quilt Scholar.”


Film Screening of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson (1995)                                                                  

Monday, February 13 at 6:30pm | AMC Dine-in Theatres Block 37 (108 N. State St.)


In partnership with AMC Dine-in Theatres Block 37, the Goodman presents a special screening of the film adaptation of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson (1995) with an introduction by artist and scholar Ron OJ Parson—who has previously directed stage productions of August Wilson’s Fences and The Piano Lesson. Please note: Availability is extremely limited.


“Chuck Smith Lecture Series: Playwrights From Past to Present”

Thursday, February 23 at 6:30pm | Harold Washington Library – Pritzker Auditorium (400 S. State St.)


Goodman Theatre Resident Director Chuck Smith continues his popular lecture series with a discussion with Northwestern University Professor Harvey Young about the future of Black Theatre in Chicago and the generation of post-August Wilson writers. Chicago-based playwrights Lydia R. Diamond, Ike Holter and

Dawn Renee Jones will join Smith and Young in conversation.


Panel Discussion: “Diversity in Theater Administration & Intern/Apprentice Networking Event”

Monday, February 27 at 5:30pm | Goodman Theatre – Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement (170 N. Dearborn St.)


Goodman Theatre partners with the League of Chicago Theatres to present a diversity-focused career fair and panel, in response to continued need for more diverse representation in theater administration. Young professionals will have the opportunity to have face-ime with theater administrators from acclaimed Chicagoland theaters, such as the Goodman, Congo Square Theatre Company, Silk Road Rising and more.


About Goodman Theatre

America’s “Best Regional Theatre” (Time magazine) and “Chicago’s flagship resident stage” (Chicago Tribune), Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit organization distinguished by the quality and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Founded in 1925, the Goodman is led by Robert Falls—“Chicago’s most essential director” (Chicago Tribune), who marks 30 years as Artistic Director this season—and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, who is celebrated for his vision and leadership over nearly four decades. Dedicated to new plays, reimagined classics and large-scale musical theater works, Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned hundreds of awards for artistic excellence, including: two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, nearly 160 Jeff Awards and more. Over the past three decades, audiences have experienced more than 150 world or American premieres, 30 major musical productions, as well as nationally and internationally celebrated productions of classic works (including Falls’ productions of Death of a SalesmanLong Day’s Journey into NightKing Lear and The Iceman Cometh, many in collaboration with actor Brian Dennehy). In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” For nearly four decades, the annual holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol has created a new generation of theatergoers.


The 2016 opening of the Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement (“the Alice”) launched the next phase in the Goodman’s decades-long commitment as an arts and community organization dedicated to educating Chicago youth and promoting lifelong learning. Programs are offered year-round and free of charge. Eighty-five percent of the Goodman’s youth program participants come from underserved communities.


Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.

Today, Goodman Theatre leadership includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Joan Clifford is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Cynthia K. Scholl is Women’s Board President and Justin A. Kulovsek is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.  Visit the Goodman virtually at GoodmanTheatre.org—including OnStage+ for insider information—and on Twitter (@GoodmanTheatre), Facebook and Instagram

Inauguration Day: Chicago Mobilizes Against Right-Wing Trump agenda

Posted by Admin On January - 18 - 2017 Comments Off on Inauguration Day: Chicago Mobilizes Against Right-Wing Trump agenda

Action, which coincides with student walk-outs and feeder marches, sets stage for growing local and national movement against extremist incoming administration.


CHICAGO, IL –  As the nation braces for the formal installation of the Trump administration, cities across the nation are mobilizing to jumpstart a sweeping movement against his reactionary agenda — including a series of actions in Chicago on inauguration day on Friday, January 20.

The Chicago Movement For The 99% is coordinating a 3PM rally at Daley Plaza, with students planning walkouts across the city as part of a national student walkout against student debt and the lack of living wage jobs. Immigrant rights groups are also converging at Daley Plaza at 4PM, in the run-up to a 4:30 march on Trump Tower to protest the new administration’s platform of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and pro-corporate policies.

Trump has declared war on immigrant communities by vowing to deport two to three million immigrants shortly after taking office. He’s said “wages are too high” and embraced a national version of anti-union “right to work for less ” rules already in place in 26 mostly Republican-run states. Members of his incoming cabinet have made no secret about their intentions to mount a sweeping campaign against women’s right to control their bodies, LGBT rights — including the right to marry, basic protections for workers, environmental safeguards, and a host of other initiatives that undermine civil rights, the economic safety net, and the public good.

The action is among a series of protests and rallies being organized that weekend to telegraph to Trump that his agenda against workers’ rights, immigrants, women, Muslims, people of color and environmental protections will provoke growing mass resistance — from grassroots organizing to mass protest.

# ChicagoResist #PartyOfThe99 #OccupyChicago @Chi4th99

Department of Human Services Announces Illinois School for the Deaf Superintendent

Posted by Admin On January - 18 - 2017 Comments Off on Department of Human Services Announces Illinois School for the Deaf Superintendent

Julee Nist brings vast experience as educator and leader to the school


JACKSONVILLE, IL – The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced today the selection of Julee Nist to serve as the next Superintendent for the Illinois School for the Deaf (ISD). Nist brings a wide range of experience, from interpreter and teacher to principal, which will be beneficial to the continued success of ISD students. Nist will assume her role as Superintendent in February 2017.

“Julee Nist is a well-versed educator whose strong commitment to delivering quality education will be a tremendous asset to the entire Illinois School for the Deaf community,” Illinois Secretary of Education Dr. Beth Purvis said. “I look forward to Julee Nist leading the school as Illinois strives to provide the highest level of education and support for the students that attend ISD and their families.”

“We are pleased to welcome Julee Nist as the next Superintendent of the Illinois School for the Deaf,” said IDHS Secretary James Dimas. “Julee Nist is a success-driven leader whose vast experience makes her uniquely qualified to lead ISD. Her desire to motivate students to embrace a pursuit of continuous learning, as well as her ability to build collaboration with all levels of professionals and the community will help lead ISD into a new era of educational excellence.”


Nist most recently held the role of school principal at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. In this role, she oversaw all programs and staff. Prior to serving as the school principal, she oversaw multiple services including athletics, after school programs, interpreters, high school education and the extended school year program. Her efforts helped students excel and earn higher test scores over previous years.

Nist has also taught as an adjunct professor for the Interpreter Training Program at the Community College of Philadelphia. She began her career as an interpreter and later became a teacher of American Sign Language, English, and early childhood.


Nist earned her Masters of Education in Administration, Superintendent Certification, bachelor’s degree in Communication with the Deaf and a minor in Speech Communication from Sam Houston State University. Nist earned her associate’s degree in Communication with the Deaf at Houston Community College. Nist also holds multiple certifications including Alternative Certification in Deaf Education and Education Specialist in Administrative Leadership for Teaching.

Baltimore, Black Business Workshop – “Be Unstoppable”

Posted by Admin On January - 18 - 2017 Comments Off on Baltimore, Black Business Workshop – “Be Unstoppable”
Be unstoppable in 2017 – “Marketing and Branding Your Business to Success” workshop for black entrepreneurs

Be Unstoppable Workshop

Baltimore, MD (BlackNews.com) — African American entrepreneurs and business owners are invited to join Anary Bellamy, Your Simple Mommie Marketer and Leroy Mckenzie Jr., the Authorpreneur Consultant for a one-day workshop that is going to move their business to the next level.

This results-driven workshop teach attendees:

* How to build a solid business foundation
* How to establish a 12 month marketing plan
* How to publish a book in 6 months
* How to identify your target market
* How to create a sales funnel
* How to implement the elements of customer service… and much more!

This workshop will take place on Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 9am to 4pm at the Maryland Non-Profits Building located at 1500 Union Ave. Baltimore, Maryland 21211. This workshop experience will offer entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, authors and aspiring Authors the opportunity to begin 2017 by putting in place their marketing plan and branding strategy to become UNSTOPPABLE as well as connect with others who are interested in taking their businesses to the next level or starting their entrepreneur journey.

Attendees will have the opportunity to put together their marketing and branding plans that will allow them to immediately implement them into their business and gain other information, knowledge and resources that will assist them to take their brand to another level.

Co-sponsors of this event include: Life Giving Word Ministries and BlackPR.com

For more details and updates about the workshop, visit www.beunstoppable.info or contact Leroy Mckenzie Jr. at 443-762-2324 or jnfenterprises@yahoo.com; or contact Anary Bellamy at 704-500-8691 or info@beunstoppable.info


Photo Captions: Workshop facilitators Leroy Mckenzie Jr. (left) and Anary Bellamy (right)



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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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