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February , 2018
Monday

Grassroots group kicks off National Nutrition Month with screening of award-winning film "Soul Food Junkies" ...
(A Message from the Better Business Bureau)                                                        Chicago, IL - If Black Friday was the ...
Baltimore, MD – On Friday, December 5th, marchers from the NAACP, including President & CEO ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) will host the 23rd ...
Baltimore, MD - The NAACP released findings from its Opportunities & Diversity Report Card: ...
 Money Raised From the License Plates Will Support Public Schools   Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White ...
Partnership will expose students of all race and income levels to challenging academic programs SPRINGFIELD, ...
Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute Commend the Howard G. Buffett Foundation Detroit, MI (BlackNews.com) -- Elaine ...
  By Nadra Kareem Nittle Contributing Writer Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism   Victims of police brutality typically remain ...
Statement by the President on Syria Rose Garden President Barack Obama: Good afternoon, everybody.  Ten days ...

Archive for February 6th, 2018

Marc Morial Responds to State of the Union Address

Posted by Admin On February - 6 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

National Urban League president and CEO, Marc H. Morial, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s first State of the Union address:

 

“While encouraged by the President’s polished words and reconciliatory tone, successfully delivering a speech is not the same as effectively governing a country.  Over the past year, we have heard a lot from President Trump, but have seen very little action consistent with the unity and progress he spoke of during last night’s State of the Union address.

“He promised safety, but rolled back civil rights for people of color.  He spoke of lowering healthcare costs, then gutted the Affordable Care Act.  He touted a low black unemployment rate, but didn’t propose policies to aid its decline.  And he called for inclusion, while actively trying to close America’s borders.

“Although I want to believe President Trump is sincere in putting an end to divisive rhetoric and hyper-partisan policies in order to work together to create jobs, modernize infrastructure, reform immigration and restore voting rights, his actions speak louder than his words.

“In the weeks ahead, the National Urban League looks forward to evaluating President Trump’s infrastructure plan to see if he makes good on this promise, and holding Congress accountable to ensure it includes the necessary investments in urban communities that will bring our cities and residents into the 21st century and beyond.”

NAACP’s “Real State of Our Union” Refuted Trump’s Misleading Claims, Rallied Black Community to Vote in November

Posted by Admin On February - 6 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
BALTIMORE – On the night of President Trump’s first State of the Union Address, NAACP, the nation’s foremost civil rights organization, hosted its own rebuttal, “The Real State of Our Union,” hosted by acclaimed journalist, Roland Martin.In direct response to President Trump’s racism, detachment and disinterest towards African-Americans and immigrants, many in the advocacy community gathered at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. to have a candid and forthright conversation about the true politics of Trump’s first year in office.While President Trump rallied for a wall on the border and credited his presidency for the drop in the Black unemployment rate, panelists at “The Real State of Our Union” called attention to key Trump policies that plague the Black community: voter suppression, an unequal criminal justice system, and the ostracizing of immigrants. The powerhouse panel urged participants to wield their power in the polls this November, using the midterm elections as a means to steer the country back on the course towards freedom and equality for all.“We have to be steadfast on our course of resistance,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “Our right to vote, the quality of our children’s educations, and so much more is at risk. We must stay focused.” Bringing attention to the Trump administration’s repeated attempts at voter suppression and the need for the Black community to participate in the midterm elections, Johnson said, “In a democracy, our vote is our currency. We must protect it with everything we have and use it at every turn.”Adding to Johnson’s call for Black civic engagement, Tiffany Loftin of the National Education Association added, “We must support candidates that stand with our families and our communities. Skip the coffee in the morning and donate to a black woman running for office.”Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, chimed in on the issue saying, “I am deeply troubled by the wedge the President has placed throughout the country. Our unity at the polls can help close it.” Clarke also drew attention to another area of concern: the stark lack of diversity in the court system.  Clarke said, “We can’t turn a blind eye to what this administration is doing to the court system in this country. 91 percent white; 81 percent male.”

With the sting of President Trump’s recent racist remarks towards immigrants of African descent still in the air, Johnson reminded participants of the importance of immigration and the significance of DACA’s promise to protect America’s most vulnerable residents – a promise that must be kept. Panelists encouraged people to urge Congress to fight for a Clean DREAM Act.

By the close of the event, it was clear that the one antidote to President Trump’s penchant for divisive policies, tactics and rhetoric, is to vote in the November midterm elections. “In this moment, we have got to be clear it’s movement time,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. “We’ve got to take action every single day.”

Supporters can take action by texting “NAACP” to 40649 to take the NAACP’s pledge to vote.

New Report on Gang Database Details Harms to Chicago Residents

Posted by Admin On February - 6 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Report released today shows how the Chicago gang database decreases job opportunities for Black and Latino youth, increases levels of policing in communities of color, and puts city’s immigrants at risk for deportation.
Read the full report here

Chicago, IL — A new report from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Policing in Chicago Research Group, Tracked and Targeted: Early Findings on Chicago’s Gang Database, provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on the Chicago Gang Database and the harms that it causes Black and Latinx communities in Chicago.

“The report makes clear why communities of color in Chicago are upset about the gang database. The CPD overwhelmingly targets Black and Latinx youth for inclusion in the database,” says Andy Clarno, director of the Policing in Chicago Research Group that conducted the research. “And, as the report shows, federal law enforcement agencies such as ICE and the FBI have access to this information, putting immigrants on the list at heightened risk for deportation. People on the database are also subject to police harassment as well as more severe bail, bond and sentencing decisions,” he concluded.

Janae Bonsu, the lead author of the report, and organizer with the advocacy group Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) adds, “This report shows that CPD’s  targeted surveillance of Black and Latinx people in Chicago is not only steeped in inaccuracies, but is likely unconstitutional and has real implications for people’s lives. But there’s still information that we don’t know and the City needs to be fully transparent about their policies and practices of this state-sanctioned profiling, and accountable for its adverse effects.”

The report includes information on:

  • The Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) increasing emphasis on “data-driven” policing

  • The ways that gang affiliation is documented and recorded by the CPD;

  • CPD policies regarding gangs in Chicago;

  • Demographic information on the race and gender of people labeled “gang affiliated”

  • The ways that the CPD shares information with federal law enforcement agencies, including DHS and the FBI;

  • Harms caused by the gang database to communities of color;

  • The consequences for U.S. born and immigrant Chicagoans for being labeled as gang members;

  • The campaign organizing against the gang database in Chicago; and

  • Recommendations to address the issues named in the report.

The report has been sent to Chicago Aldermen and other elected officials as part of a city-wide campaign to end the Chicago Gang Database.

There are more than 128,000 people on the Chicago Gang Database.  A large majority of the list (95%) is Black and Latinx, disproportionately affecting communities of color. As this report highlights, approximately 11% of Chicago’s total Black population, 4% of the Latino population, and 0.6 %of the white population are in the gang database.

The Campaign to Expand Sanctuary is a cross-issue interorganizational collaboration to defy, defend, and expand what it means for Chicago to be a Sanctuary City. The campaign pushes for the City to strengthen its protections for immigrants and refugees and address criminalization and police violence against Black people and communities of color. The campaign is anchored by Black Youth Project 100, Mijente, and Organized Communities Against Deportations. Read more at http://erasethedatabase.com/

Madigan: Let Illinois Workers Keep Their Tips

Posted by Admin On February - 6 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

AG Madigan & 16 AGs Oppose Federal Government’s Effort to Rescind RuleAllowing Hourly Workers to Keep Their Tips

 

CHICAGO, IL – Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed comments in opposition to a proposal by the federal government that would rescind a rule protecting hourly workers’ tips.

 

Madigan and the attorneys general from California and Pennsylvania led a coalition of 17 attorneys general in filing the comments with the U.S. Department of Labor against the Department’s proposed rescission of the 2011 rule. The rule had clarified that tips earned are the sole property of employees in all circumstances. Under the Department’s proposed rule change, employers would be allowed to keep tips earned by employees who are paid the federal minimum wage – currently $7.25 per hour.

 

In Illinois, an estimated half a million workers could see their tips taken by the federal government’s action, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationwide, the Economic Policy Institute estimated it could result in employers taking up to $5.8 billion of workers’ earned tips.

 

“The Department of Labor’s proposal is outrageous,” Madigan said. “Not only do workers deserve the money they have earned for the service they provided, but millions of customers who leave tips expect that money to go to the employee who helped them. Hardworking people will see their earnings essentially stolen by their employer.”

 

The proposal could also have a disproportionate impact on women, as the National Women’s Law Center reports that over 65 percent of tipped workers in Illinois are women. Women in tipped occupations also experience a high wage gap in Illinois, making 84 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. In addition, 17 percent of Illinois women in tipped occupations are living in poverty.

 

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to pay their hourly employees the federal minimum wage. Employers can meet this requirement either by paying employees the full cash federal minimum wage or by paying a lower cash wage, no less than $2.13 per hour, and making up the difference with the tips that the employee earns. The latter practice is known as a “tip credit.” The Department’s proposed rescission of the 2011 rule would allow employers who pay employees the federal minimum wage to take the employees’ tips.

 

The comments by Madigan and the other attorneys general state, in part:

 

“The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asserts that, by providing employers with greater flexibility to allocate tips among tipped and non-tipped workers, such as cooks and dishwashers, the primary beneficiaries of rescinding the 2011 rule will be the workers themselves. Yet, absent concrete definitions of or limitations on valid tip pool participants, the rescission would permit employers to share in such tip pools or even collect all employee tips as their own. In fact, the Notice itself acknowledges that rescinding the 2011 rule would permit employers to use gratuities left for servers to ‘make capital improvements’ or ‘lower restaurant menu prices’ and notes that tips may be ‘utilized in part (or in full) by the employer.’ As currently drafted, nothing in the rule would prevent employers from simply pocketing gratuities as additional profit. The results could be devastating for tipped employees and misleading to consumers.”

 

The U.S. Department of Labor, in its work spearheading the rule change, reportedly decided to shelve an economic analysis that highlighted the billions of dollars in tip earnings that workers could lose.

 

Joining Madigan in filing today’s comments were the attorneys general of: California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Vermont, and Virginia.

 

Illinois Department of Human Rights Launches “Fairness and Equality Campaign” for Illinois Bicentennial

Posted by Admin On February - 6 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Statewide initiative for local governments announced at Black History Month Celebration in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) is celebrating the state’s 200th birthday by focusing on inclusion and diversity.

IDHR Acting Director Janice Glenn today announced the launch of the “Fairness and Equality Campaign” in recognition of the Illinois Bicentennial. The campaign aims to get at least 200 local government entities to commit to improving cultural relations in their communities.

“We are excited to collaborate with statewide partners to end discrimination and build upon our core values of diversity and inclusion,” said Acting Director Glenn. “It is fitting to announce this impactful campaign during our celebration of Black History Month, where we all take time out to recognize the inspiring history and achievements of the African-American community in Illinois.”

Local municipalities, counties, townships, and school districts are all encouraged to sign on to the “Fairness and Equality Campaign.”  Those who formally join will be offered a variety of partnership opportunities such as joint-public events, media resources, and training opportunities to promote awareness of the State’s anti-discrimination protections.

“There is no place for discrimination in our society,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “We are focused on ending discrimination in Illinois. Focusing on fairness and equality will not only help us build a greater understanding of our friends and neighbors, it will also help us build communities where people can thrive.”

The campaign’s formal launch was made during IDHR’s Black History Month Celebration at the Illinois State Library in Springfield, where Mayor James Langfelder reiterated the City of Springfield’s commitment to the effort.

“I am proud that the Springfield City Council unanimously adopted a resolution last August that affirmed our commitment to civil rights and the opposition to racism and discrimination in our community. It was done because as a governing body representing the residents of our city, it was the right thing to do,” stated Mayor Langfelder. “Through IDHR’s campaign, we hope other communities will take part in solidifying their efforts, serving as a beacon of inclusion, tolerance and demonstrating respect for all.”

The event, which was sponsored in part by the Springfield and Central Illinois African American Museum, also featured a keynote address by Teresa Haley, President of the Illinois Chapter and Springfield Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and a Harriet Tubman portrayal performance by Kathryn Harris.

Those interested in learning more about the campaign can contact IDHR by phone, at (312) 814-1830, or email, at IDHR.Webmail@illinois.gov. Units of local government interested in the campaign can submit an online interest form at www.surveymonkey.com/r/FairEqual.

Company Collected Kids’ Info Without Permission

Posted by Admin On February - 6 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

No doubt, there are a lot of talented kids out there. Aspiring young actors, singers, dancers, models and other artists often network to find auditions, casting calls and other professional opportunities. Online talent search companies often advertise that they can help make dreams come true. These companies may ask for information about budding artists, including names, postal and email addresses and phone numbers.

In their eagerness and excitement, children may think it’s okay to share information about themselves online — especially if it means getting a gig they really want. As a parent, you know better. You have control over the personal information companies collect online from your kids under 13. This includes your child’s name, address, phone number, email address, and, in some instances, information the companies can use to track your child’s online activities. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) gives you tools to do that. If a site or service is covered by COPPA, it has to get your permission before collecting personal information from your child and it has to honor your choices.

According to the FTC, a Nevada corporation failed to follow the law and is now paying the price. The FTC alleges that Explore Talent allowed children under age 13 to set up online user accounts and profiles. Explore Talent required children who set up accounts to submit personal information, including contact information, gender, and birthdate, including year, and also requested that users submit detailed physical descriptions. The FTC alleges that Explore Talent has collected, used, and disclosed children’s personal information without accurately describing its practices, and without notifying or obtaining consent from children’s parents. Much of the personal information provided by users in setting up their online accounts became publicly available on users’ profiles. Despite these practices, Explore Talent falsely represented in its Privacy Policy that it did not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 13.

The proposed federal court order would stop these business practices and would also bar the defendants from engaging in other practices that have caused injury to consumers.

If you think a site has collected information from your kids or marketed to them in a way that violates the law, report it to the FTC. Need help talking to your kids about online safety? Check out Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online as the basis for the conversation.

State Senator Raoul Protects Voters by Ending Participation in Crosscheck System

Posted by Admin On February - 6 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed legislation ending Illinois’ participation in a controversial voter registration system.

The Illinois Board of Elections currently subscribes to two national voter database systems designed to help election authorities identify voters who may be registered in more than one state: the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program and the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). This legislation will remove Illinois from the Crosscheck system but allow the state to remain in ERIC, widely viewed as the better system.

“We have heard from numerous experts that the Crosscheck system is unsafe and that it can be used as a tool to discriminate and suppress voters,” Raoul said “There is no reason to continue using this system when we have a better option readily available.”

Cyber security experts testified to a joint committee last year that the Crosscheck system has several security concerns that make private information easily accessible.

Additionally, many voting rights activists say that Crosscheck is a vehicle for discrimination at the voting booth. The system compares first and last names of state voter databases, ignoring middle names and designations like Jr. or Sr. This is viewed as problematic by experts because communities of color are more likely to share last names, making them easy targets for voter suppression.

Raoul initially joined advocates in asking the Illinois State Board of Elections to withdraw from Crosscheck, but the Board voted last November to stay in the system. 

“I am proud that the legislature stood up for the voters of Illinois after the Board of Elections failed to do so,” Raoul said. “The right to vote is sacred, and we are making sure that voters know their information is secure when they cast their ballot.”

Senate Bill 2273 passed 35-17 and now moves to the House for consideration.

CTU: Rauner Ignores Disastrous ‘State of the State’ he’s Created

Posted by Admin On February - 6 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Rauner’s Agenda, Says CTU, is to Shift Even More Power and Desperately Needed Public Dollars to the Wealthy and Connected, at the Expense of the Solvency of Our State and the Needs of Our People.

 

CHICAGO, ILChicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey issued the following statement today in response to Governor Rauner’s State of the State address.

“Despite Rauner’s attempts to paint himself as one ‘to speak truth to power’ (as if the governor is not a source of power) and against ‘vicious form(s) of oppression,’ the governor has been all too willing to wage dishonest divide-and-conquer attacks on Illinois residents. For example, on the same day that a sea of women in black descended on the state Capital to protest sexual harassment and sexual violence, Rauner continued his assaults on women: those supported by state social services, the public employees who provide those services, and the retired public servants whose retirement security he constantly attacks..

“Rauner’s biggest assault on our State’s future has been his refusal to raise revenue from those most able to pay – an attack with real consequences: lower state economic growth, the undermining of public universities, and reduced or eliminated support for those who most need it. If Rauner really wanted to help Illinois, he would end his dishonest spin around property taxes, which are high because Illinois doesn’t have a progressive tax structure, and instead follow the Minnesota model, which raised taxes on those most able to pay and invested those funds in education, infrastructure, and wraparound services. That strategy has had powerful positive benefits in Minnesota, where growth and employment today far outpaces the rest of the Midwest. Rauner, instead, promotes a public bailout of Exelon and offers Amazon billions of dollars in corporate giveaways. It’s no surprise that Rauner — a billionaire who got a massive Trump tax cut and does personal business deals out of the governor’s mansion — believes that he should sacrifice nothing while the rest of Illinois bears the burden of his destructive agenda.

“On education, Rauner has consistently undermined rather than championed this critical state responsibility. Fortunately, his veto of the budget that increased revenue to hard-hit schools was overridden. He also vetoed a more fair education funding formula just to score right-wing political points by claiming he opposed a so-called “Chicago bailout.” And he only agreed to sign an education bill at the eleventh hour because it added a giant tax break for his wealthy peers and shovels public money to private schools. He vetoed a follow-up bill that his own appointed State Board of Education requested. This is the same Governor who clouted his daughter into the highest rated public high school in the State — a unionized public school in Chicago – while he champions school privatization.

“On criminal justice issues, Rauner continues to pursue a mangled policy. He opposes the legalization of marijuana – driving up the socially and economically costly criminalization of non-violent arrestees – at the same time that he demands lower funding for healthcare, including mental healthcare, ratcheting up costly and unnecessary stays in correctional facilities. He pushes budgets that eliminate social services, eviscerating the wraparound supports that ex-offenders need to turn their lives around.

“Rauner’s real agenda is to enrich himself and his wealthy donors like Ken Griffin, instead of investing in Illinois’ people and communities. If he were serious about growing our economy, Rauner would focus on the root cause of Illinois’ challenges: regressive and insufficient revenue. There’s no need for Rauner to wait until his budget address to advocate for a surcharge on millionaires. He could support a graduated income tax today. He could immediately propose eliminating corporate tax loopholes that cost our residents hundreds of millions in public dollars, instead of shoveling public funds at Jeff Bezos, the richest man on the planet. Instead, Rauner has added saddled Illinois with another major challenge: his relentless agenda to shift even more power and desperately needed public dollars to the wealthy and connected, at the expense of the solvency of our state and the needs of her people.”

Pennsylvania Firearms Dealer Sentenced To 100 Months Imprisonment

Posted by Admin On February - 6 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

HAMMOND – The United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, Thomas L. Kirsch II, announced that Vahan Kelerchian, 58, of Richboro, Pennsylvania, doing business as Armament Services International “ASI”, was sentenced before Senior District Court Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen for his role in the acquisition of machineguns and restricted laser aiming sights.

Kelerchian was sentenced to 100 months imprisonment, ordered to pay a $100,000 fine and $28,200 in restitution along with serving 1 year of supervised release upon release from prison.  Kelerchian was found guilty after a two-week trial that ended October 15, 2016.  Kelerchian was taken into custody upon sentencing to begin serving his sentence.

According to evidence presented at trial, Kelerchian conspired with Joseph Kumstar and Ronald Slusser, now former Lake County Police Officers, to knowingly make false statements relating to the acquisition of firearms.  Kumstar and Slusser, who have plead guilty, used their positions as sworn law enforcement officers in coordination with Kelerchian using his position as a Class 3 Federal Firearms Licensee to acquire approximately 71 fully automatic machineguns in the name of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department knowing that the Lake County Sheriff’s Department was not going to be the true owner of these weapons.  Kelerchian, Kumstar and Slusser conspired to use law enforcement letter head to create letters which falsely represented that the machineguns were going to be used by the Lake County Sheriff’s Department to carry out its law enforcement responsibilities since machineguns manufactured after 1986 can only be acquired by law enforcement agencies and not individual officers.  The machineguns were purchased for a cost of $1200 and $1600 and then when received by the Sheriff’s Department, transported offsite to be parted out.  The barrels (also known as the “upper”) were split with the officers and some were sent back to Kelerchian.  The “uppers” sold between $3000 and $3600 due to post-1986 parts not being available to the public because only law enforcement agencies or the military can acquire these weapons.

Kelerchian also used his company (Armament Services International “ASI”) to assist Kumstar and Slusser to acquire 74 restricted laser aiming sights again using law enforcement letterhead from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and the Lowell Police Department.  These class 3b laser sights were restricted by the Food and Drug Administration.  These lasers were designed, per a variance from FDA, to be used for law enforcement and military use only because they did not have the audible or manual safety locks as required for class 3b lasers.  The laser aiming sights had a visible laser that could be seen in excess of 50 feet and an invisible laser that could be used for targeting with infrared goggles in excess of 1 mile.  Kelerchian along with the officers used their positions to acquire these devices and sell them to the general public or keep the devices for themselves.

In addition to the charges above, Kelerchian was also found guilty of money laundering and false statements to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regarding false demonstration letters involving high powered belt-fed machine guns.  Kelerchian was also charged with bribery but was acquitted of that charge.

United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II said, “ Mr. Kelerchian abused the authority entrusted to him for criminal purposes.  The 8 years that he will spend in federal prison, which began today, should be a deterrent to others similarly situated that act for illegal purposes.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to aggressively prosecute our nation’s firearm laws and seek meaningful sentences of offenders to both punish and deter this type of criminal behavior.

As reported previously, Joseph Kumstar was sentenced to 57 months; Edward Kabella was sentenced to 24 months; and Ronald Slusser was sentenced to 70 months for their involvement in this case.

This case is a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Services; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations; and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Philip C. Benson and Thomas M. McGrath.

This Summer Stacy Keach Returns as Ernest Hemingway in the Highly-Anticipated Rescheduled Pampona by Jim Mcgrath, Directed by Robert Falls at Goodman Theatre

Posted by Admin On February - 6 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

The World Premiere Production Appears July 10 – August 19, 2018: Tickets on Sale February 23

CHICAGO, IL – Goodman Theatre announces the Summer 2018 return of Jim McGrath’s Pamplona starring stage and screen veteran Stacy Keach as Ernest Hemingway, directed by Artistic Director Robert Falls. Originally scheduled for Spring 2017, Pamplona appeared for 11 preview performances but closed prematurely after its star suddenly fell ill on Opening Night and doctors ordered recuperation. Keach’s return to Pamplona marks the stage and screen actor’s second exploration of the literary legend: he earned a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award nomination for his portrayal of Hemingway in the eponymous 1988 television mini-series. Pamplona appears July 10 – August 19 in the Owen Theatre. Previous ticket holders and Goodman Members will have the opportunity to purchase priority tickets on February 16; general on sale is February 23 at GoodmanTheatre.org/Pamplona and at 12noon by telephone, 312.443.3800, or in person at the Goodman Box Office (170 N. Dearborn).

 

“I’m thrilled to reunite with Stacy Keach and Jim McGrath for what I know will be a triumphant return to this beautifully rendered work about one of our most charismatic yet complicated literary titans—and a Chicagoland native—Ernest Hemingway,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls.

 

Falls and Keach previously collaborated King Lear (2006) and Arthur Miller’s final play, Finishing the Picture (2004).

“I’m deeply grateful to Robert Falls, Goodman Theatre, and the good people of Chicago for encouraging me and allowing me to ‘get back on the horse,” said Stacy Keach. “I’m so excited to be returning to Pamplona and the great city.”

In Pamplona, after the prize comes the pressure. Basking in the glory of career-defining awards—the 1953 Pulitzer Prize and the coveted Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954—legendary writer Ernest Hemingway insists his best work is yet to come. Five years later, holed up in a Spanish hotel with a looming deadline, he struggles to knock out a story about the rivalrous matadors of Pamplona. But his real battles lie outside the bullfighting arena; in declining health, consumed by his troubled fourth marriage and tormented by the specter of past glories, he must now conquer the deepening despair that threatens to engulf him.

 

Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961) was born in Oak Park, IL, and got his start as a journalist writing for The Kansas City Star after attending Oak Park and River Forest High School. Shortly after, he joined the Red Cross during World War I, receiving the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery in 1918 for assisting soldiers, an experience that would inspire one of his most beloved works A Farewell to Arms (1929). Following the war, he spent time in Paris, befriending the likes of Gertrude Stein, James Joyce and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and published his first collection of stories Three Stories and Ten Poems (1923). Next came his first novel The Sun Also Rises (1926), about a group of British and American expatriates traveling to Pamplona, Spain. Among his many other great works are the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Old Man and the Sea, For the Whom Bell Tolls (Pulitzer Prize nomination), Green Hills of Africa, Death in the Afternoon and To Have and Have Not. On assignment, Hemingway was also present for some of World War II’s most noted events including the liberation of Paris, and received a Bronze Star for bravery for his coverage of the war. Following the war, he spent an extensive amount of time in Cuba and in 1954, shortly after publishing The Old Man and the Sea, received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Hemingway was married four times, often tumultuously, to Elizabeth Hadley Richardson, Pauline Pfeiffer, Martha Gelhorn and Mary Welsh Hemingway. He had three sons, Jack, Patrick and Gregory. Troubled by financial issues, familial burdens and alcohol abuse, Hemingway took his own life in Idaho in 1961.

 

Stacy Keach (Ernest Hemingway) performed in top motion picture and television projects while continuing to add to his stage work, both classical and Broadway. His most recent motion picture, Gotti, starring John Travolta, is set to premiere in 2018. Other recent films include director Stephen Gaghan’s Gold, starring Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez and Bryce Dallas Howard; Truth, teamed with Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford; and the film adaptation of the Stephen King novel Cell, also starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. Keach’s filmography also includes John Huston’s Fat City co-starring Jeff Bridges, Alexander Payne’s Academy Award-nominated NebraskaIf I Stay, The Bourne Supremacy, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, The Ninth Configuration,; The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, Doc, Up In Smoke, American History, and the classic western The Long-Riders, which he produced with his brother James Keach. Keach recently finished filming the second season of the CBS award-winning comedy series Man With A Plan, alongside Matt LeBlanc and Kevin Nealon. He was one of the stars of the NBC comedy series Crowded, and he guest-starred on Showtime’s Ray Donovan, starring Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight. He also guest-starred on Starz’s second season of Blunt Talk, starring Sir Patrick Stewart, and continues on a recurring role on CBS’ Blue Bloods, starring Tom Selleck. His prior television series credits include his title role performance in Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer and Titus. He has been seen on many hit shows such as Two and a Half Men, Prison Break, NCIS: New Orleans and Hot In Cleveland. As a narrator, he has been heard in many documentaries and books on tape. He is also the narrator on CNBC’s American Greed. Keach is considered a pre-eminent American interpreter of Shakespeare, with his Shakespearean roles including Hamlet, Henry V, Coriolanus, Falstaff, Macbeth, Richard III and King Lear (at Goodman Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., directed by Robert Falls). He also led the national touring company cast of Frost/Nixon, portraying Richard M. Nixon. Keach’s memoir, All in All: An Actor’s Life On and Off the Stage, was an initial recipient of the Prism Literary Award for work addressing overcoming addictive behavior. His performance honors include a Best Actor Golden Globe Award, three OBIE Awards, three Vernon Rice Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, three Helen Hayes Awards, the prestigious Millennium Recognition Award and the Will Award, and he has been nominated for Emmy and Tony Awards. In 2015, he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. In 2016, Keach received a Hollywood Film Award for Best Ensemble in the film Gold. He also received the 2016 Best Narrator Award from the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences in the category of Crime and Thriller for his work on the Mike Hammer  audio novels. Keach was a Fulbright scholar to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and attended the University of California at Berkeley and the Yale School of Drama. Keach has been married to his wife Malgosia for 31 years, and they have two children, son Shannon and daughter Karolina.

 

Jim McGrath’s first short play, Trail of the Westwoods Pewee, was presented at the West Bank Theatre in New York City in 1987. The next year saw the production of his first full-length play, Bob’s Guns, at the Director’s Company in New York. In 1992, New Jersey’s Passage Theatre produced his play Roebling Steel. In 1995, the Met Theatre in Los Angeles premiered The Ellis Jump, which won McGrath the Ovation Award for Best Writing of a World Premier Play. For television, he wrote detective stories for Simon & Simon, The Father Dowling Mysteries, Matlock, Mike Hammer and Over My Dead Body, as well as the children’s series Wishbone and Liberty Kids, science fiction series Quantum Leap, Codename Eternity and Dark Realm and the television films Elvis: The Early Years and Silver Bells (starring Anne Heche). He also co-wrote the screenplay for the feature film Kickboxer: Vengeance. In 2012, he produced and wrote the documentary Momo: The Sam Giancana Story, which won Best Documentary Awards at the Bel Air Film Festival and The Monaco International Film Festival. He has taught creative writing courses at Patton State Prison in San Bernardino, California State Home for Veterans in Los Angeles and The Center Theater in Chicago. He was trained as an artist leader with Imagination Workshop, by founders Margaret Ladd and Lyle Kessler in 1983, for which he worked with mentally ill and homeless clients for decades as a theater artist. In 2010, he became Executive Director of Imagination Workshop. McGrath is a native of Dallas, Texas. After graduating SMU, he attended Princeton Theological Seminary for two years before embarking on his playwriting career.

Robert Falls (Goodman Theatre Artistic Director) previously directed at the Goodman the world premiere of Rogelio Martinez’s Blind Date, the Chicago premiere of Rebecca Gilman’s Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976, and partnered with Goodman Playwright-in-Residence Seth Bockley to direct their world premiere adaptation of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 (Jeff Award for Best Adaptation). Falls will direct a new production of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (March 10 – April 15, 2018) at the Goodman, and also remount his Lyric Opera of Chicago production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni for the Dallas Opera (April 2018). Recent productions also include The Iceman Cometh for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Rebecca Gilman’s Luna Gale for the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, Measure for Measure and the world and off-Broadway premieres of Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian. Among his other credits are The Seagull, King Lear, Desire Under the Elms, John Logan’s Red, Jon Robin Baitz’s Three Hotels, Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio and Conor McPherson’s Shining City; the world premieres of Richard Nelson’s Frank’s Home, Arthur Miller’s Finishing the Picture, Eric Bogosian’s Griller, Steve Tesich’s The Speed of Darkness and On the Open Road, John Logan’s Riverview: A Melodrama with Music and Rebecca Gilman’s A True History of the Johnstown Flood, Blue Surge and Dollhouse; the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn’s House and Garden; and the Broadway premiere of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida. Mr. Falls’ honors for directing include, among others, a Tony Award (Death of a Salesman), a Drama Desk Award (Long Day’s Journey into Night), an Obie Award (subUrbia), a Helen Hayes Award (King Lear) and multiple Jeff Awards (including a 2012 Jeff Award for The Iceman Cometh). For “outstanding contributions to theater,” Mr. Falls has been recognized with such prestigious honors as the Savva Morozov Diamond Award (Moscow Art Theatre), the O’Neill Medallion (Eugene O’Neill Society), the Distinguished Service to the Arts Award (Lawyers for the Creative Arts), the Illinois Arts Council Governor’s Award and induction into the Theater Hall of Fame.

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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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