April , 2019

 Class of 2010: Most Illinois students in history take ACT     Springfield, IL – The Illinois State Board ...
The C2B Chess Club & Mentoring Program is a 10-week program for South Florida students ...
  By Pat Brady, Chairman, Illinois Republican Party                                     The Illinois General Assembly recently passed a measure ...
Homebuyers Will Get Keys to Success; Mother of RGIII to Speak At Event Hyattsville, MD ...
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- The National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) will convene for its 15th ...
Proposal to Ban Those Convicted of Meth Crimes from Purchasing or Possessing Pseudoephedrine Moves to ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the availability of ...
The Apollo Theater and London's Hackney Empire present Hackney vs. Harlem, a Transatlantic Talent Competition ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) and Sen. Dan ...
Social Media Huge Factor in Success   Chicago, IL – Social media has been at the forefront ...

Archive for March 2nd, 2018

Black Congressional Leadership Crisis Must End

Posted by Admin On March - 2 - 2018 Comments Off on Black Congressional Leadership Crisis Must End

State of Emergency: The Black Congressional Leadership Crisis in America Must End

By the Black Conservative Activist Coalition


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — The Congressional Black Caucus Democrats sat down on Black America at this year’s State of The Union Address. They have shunned an unprecedented opportunity to help the black community; and have chosen to resist the will of the people at every turn.

Rather than work with President Donald Trump who has offered real solutions to long ignored problems in the black community, these strident members of Congress have staged childish protests. They have declined White House invitations, yet continue serving as pawns of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

The CBC sat down on news of the black unemployment rate hitting an all-time low – down in December of 2017 to a record 6.8% – from a whopping 16.8% in March of 2010. The new rate is projected to drop even more as a result of the massive tax cut and reform initiative recently signed by the president.

Would the CBC have been happier if conditions were becoming worse for an already struggling black community if such a tragedy had served to help the CBS’s attempts to further discredit Donald Trump?

The president’s dynamic economic news represented in falling unemployment, rising wages, record-breaking stock market, and a strengthening of the business environment is wonderful news for the black community. These gains represent our best hope to lift our people out of poverty and despair and to deliver us from the crippling effects of government dependency that the CBC continues to peddle as our best hope.

The CBC majority’s choice of government run policies consisting of entitlements and handouts, reportedly designed to alleviate poverty in America has been a dismal failure by all accounts.

Since 1966 when the poverty rate in America was 14.7 percent, U.S. taxpayers have spent over 20 trillion dollars in poverty reduction programs only to see the poverty rate decrease by a little more than one percentage point. Today, after 53 years of pursuing the policies that the Congressional Black Caucus continues to champion for black America, the poverty rate is at 13.5 percent.

The resistant CBC continues to promote and pursue the failed policies of the past; blocking productive discussions with the White House that could open up increased access to the flowing economic rivers for the people they pretend to care for and repre-sent.

Meanwhile, the Latino Coalition has met with Vice President Pence to discuss entrepreneurship and economic development among Hispanics in America, mapping ways to increase what is already a record-breaking surge of Hispanic business development in America.

In addition, the White House has increased its already blossoming open door access policy to Black leaders who are on board for pro-growth socioeconomic justice.

The CBC is not only sitting down on the job, they are failing the black community regarding our economic health, as well as failing us miserably in probably the most important effort of all; defending the sanctity of life. Rather than stopping the practice of black genocide where millions of black children are being aborted, the CBC supports bolstering tax subsidized abortion providers and institutions such as Planned Parenthood.

The CBC’s failure to join the current administration in turning back the horrific gains that the abortion industry realized during the previous administration is unconscionable, and a clear indicator as to exactly where the CBC’s priorities are. They obviously are not prioritizing the dreams of black children in the same way they chose to defend Hispanic “dreamers,” as evidenced by their lack of courage in standing up against a government that continues to subsidize the legal killing of millions of black children who will never even get to have a dream.

Some CBC legislators were willing to shut down the federal government to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients because they said: “It would be cruel to deport children who came here illegally at no fault of their own.” We would remind the CBC that the child in the womb of the black mother got there “by no fault of their own” as well. Therefore, we would think the CBC would be equally willing to shut things down in the black child’s defense… especially in shutting down Planned Parenthood.

In the final analysis, the current black congressional leadership is morally bankrupt and inadequate to lead their constituents towards availing themselves to the benefits of the positive economic trends currently taking place in this country. If this current class of black congressional leadership does not experience a monumental transformation in their approach to moral and ethical governance, black Americans must somehow summon the courage and intestinal fortitude to consider other options that include sitting the existing petulant CBC down permanently by removing them from office and starting anew.

For the more details about the Black Conservative Activist Coalition, visit www.blackconservativeactivist.org


NAACP Mobilizes North Carolina Members and Legislators in Opposition to Trump Federal Court Nominee Thomas Farr

Posted by Admin On March - 2 - 2018 Comments Off on NAACP Mobilizes North Carolina Members and Legislators in Opposition to Trump Federal Court Nominee Thomas Farr
NAACP Mobilizes North Carolina Members and Legislators in Opposition to Trump Federal Court Nominee Thomas Farr  


WASHINGTON, DC  – The NAACP, the nation’s foremost civil rights organization, hosted a press conference on Capitol Hill to publicly speak out against President Trump’s nomination of Thomas A. Farr to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.


NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton were joined by NAACP North Carolina State Conference President Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman; Wendell Wake NAACP President Charles Upchurch; New Hanover County NAACP President Deborah Maxwell; NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Policy Director Todd Cox and about 50 NAACP members from North Carolina for an inspirational rally calling for the Senate to stand against Farr’s nomination.


“You cannot be unqualified, you cannot be a racist, and you cannot be a liar and sit in the seat of justice,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO.


“We find ourselves with an unusual number of judicial nominees whose records show an animosity to civil rights – and Thomas Farr stands out even among them,” said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).


After the press conference, NAACP leadership met with other legislators on the Hill to rally support to stop Thomas Farr’s confirmation.


Farr’s career has been marred by a history of malicious efforts to intimidate, misinform, or otherwise disenfranchise African-American voters. Farr represented Jesse Helms’ Senate campaigns in two of the most notoriously racist campaigns in modern American history. The racist nature of the 1984 campaign against North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt was so pronounced that judges in a North Carolina redistricting case cited it as an example of how racism continued to flourish in North Carolina politics.


Now, President Trump attempts to appoint Farr to a district that is home to roughly half of the African-American population in North Carolina. This same district has yet to have a judge of African descent in its 143-year history.


The NAACP will always be opposed to any judicial candidate who attempts to suppress or disenfranchise the African-American vote, and is calling on supporters to tell their Senators to oppose the confirmation of Thomas Farr and stand on the right side of justice.


A livestream of the press conference can be viewed here.

FTC: The Top Frauds of 2017

Posted by Admin On March - 2 - 2018 Comments Off on FTC: The Top Frauds of 2017


By Monica Vaca

Associate Director, Division of Consumer Response and Operations


The numbers are in, the counts have been made, and  the FTC announced what we heard from you during 2017. Here are some highlights:

This year’s top fraud is again Imposter Scams, with nearly 350,000 reports. Nearly 1 in 5 people who reported an imposter scam lost money – a whopping $328 million lost to someone pretending to be a loved one in trouble, a government official, tech support, or someone else who’s not who they say they are, but who wants your money.

We heard from nearly 2.7 million people last year. There were fewer debt collection reports in 2017 (23% of all reports), but it’s still the top category by a wide margin, followed by identity theft (14%), which overtook imposter scams (13%) for the number two slot in 2017.

For everyone who reported identity theft, credit card fraud tops the list, and continues to grow. Reports of tax fraud are down 46%, but it was still reported by nearly 63,000 people.

Of the more than 1.1 million people who reported fraud, 21% told us they lost a total of more than $905 million. That’s an increase of $63 million from 2016.

People reported that scammers mostly contacted them by phone, and they mostly paid for frauds – once again – by wire transfer. But check out the $74 million in losses on credit cards, which are charges that could potentially be disputed and recovered, if done in time.

Median losses tell an interesting story: for all fraud reports in 2017, the median loss was $429. Compare that to a $500 median loss to imposters, a $720 median fraud loss to scams that come in by phone, a $1,710 median loss related to travel, vacations and timeshares. Among military consumers, median losses were higher than the general population — $619.

More younger people reported losing money to fraud than older people – but when people aged 70 and older had a loss, it was a much higher median loss than other groups.

And, based on reports per 100,000 population, the top states for fraud reports were Florida, Georgia and Nevada. For identity theft, it’s Michigan, Florida and California.

Have you spotted any scams? If so, tell the FTC – and then come back this time next year to hear what happened during 2018.


Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2017 Snapshot. 2.7 million reports. Top three categories: 1. Debt collection 2. Identity theft 3. Imposter scams Of 1.1 million fraud reports, 21% reported a loss. $905 million total fraud losses; $429 median loss. Younger people reported losing money to fraud more often than older people. 40% of reports from people age 20-29 reported a loss; 18% of reports from people age 70+ reported a loss. But when people aged 70+ had a loss, the median loss was much higher. Median loss $400 for age 20-29; median loss $621 for age 70-79; median loss $1,092 for age 80+. Imposter scam reports: 1 in 5 people lost money to a reported imposter scam. $328 million reported lost; $500 median loss. Identity theft reports: Credit card fraud increased 23% from 2016. Tax fraud decreased 46% from 2016. Federal Trade Commission. ftc.gov/sentinel2017

Leading Black Legislator Calls for Economic Unity, Action as Black Wealth 2020 Celebrates Second Year

Posted by Admin On March - 2 - 2018 Comments Off on Leading Black Legislator Calls for Economic Unity, Action as Black Wealth 2020 Celebrates Second Year

Rep. Gregory Porter tells voters: ‘You can’t be the invisible.’

By Hazel Trice Edney

Indiana Rep. Gregory Porter, president, National Black Caucus of State Legislators
Indiana Rep. Gregory Porter, calls for unity behind direction of Black Wealth 2020.
PHOTO: Rodney Minor

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – The president of America’s largest organization of Black legislators has called for unity behind economic development initiatives prioritized by Black Wealth 2020, a movement launched two years ago to forge progress for Black-owned businesses, banks and homeowners.

“Economic development is the cornerstone for everything. It’s kind of interesting to talk to you all because you’re living it every day. You know what it takes,” said Indiana Rep. Gregory W. Porter, president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL).


He was speaking to Black Wealth 2020 founders, executives and associates at its second anniversary luncheon. “What it takes is for a community to get along. Also, we don’t spend with our people like we should and we know that. The bottom line is this: We know the whereases. We know what the problems are. Therefore, what are we going to do? Jesse [Jackson] said years ago ‘Can’t nobody save us but us.’… That’s what we’re doing right now, saving us.”


Backing from the NBCSL adds significant momentum to Black Wealth 2020, founded two years ago by Ron Busby, president/CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers Inc.; Michael Grant, then president of the National Bankers Association; and Jim Winston, president of the National Organization of Black Owned Broadcasters. At least a dozen other major Black organizations have either joined or expressed support for its economic initiatives.

“We own too little land. We have too lower median income than other Americans. We have much lower family wealth than our White brothers and sisters and we’ve got to make that change,” Porter said to shouts of “Amen” and applause from the audience.

A strategy to unify with other organizations will be the key to success, said Porter, a Democrat serving his 13th term in the Indiana General Assembly.

“We’re working with the NAACP, Urban League, other groups and National Organizations because if we do that we’ll be strong together. We can’t continue to be silos. So, I know as we go forth, we will do it as a community. And so, remember, you have 600 legislators, we represent 60 million people. We’re in 45 states, plus U. S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. We have the means. It’s up to all of us to come together and have the will.”

Speaking to the luncheon gathering at HomeFree-USA, Porter listed a number of economic policies currently being pushed by NBCSL, which has a membership that blankets the nation; plus the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, DC. “We represent about 60 million people in rural communities and we come together two or three times a year in an annual conference.”

Pointing to long-held discussions about Black wealth, Porter, ranking minority member on Indiana’s Ways and Means Committee, stressed that the most important need now is less talk and more strategic action. “The bottom line is that we can talk all we want to, but we’ve got to have our independence in regards to economics,” he said.

As an example of action, he said he and like-minded legislators have had to hold up certain projects in order to assure Black participation.

“We’re the super minority, so a lot of us are fighting to stay relevant in this whole process,” he said. “They always go to the big company, but we’ve got to know how we’re going to build our capacity by choosing minority companies…We’ve worked very hard in dealing with minority access for sustainable financial institutions through our resolutions. As Black Caucuses across the country, we’re increasing our fair contracting opportunities and practices for economic parity. These are resolutions that we’ve passed.”

Among key economic issues being dealt with in legislatures daily are homeowner protection, anti-predatory lending, home affordability resolutions, anti-discrimination and gentrification issues. Preparation for the 2020 Census and making sure African-Americans are fully counted will also be key, he said. NCBSL’s next legislative conference will be held Nov. 28 at which time they will “look at Black wealth.”

Echoing the importance of unity in order to accomplish economic goals, HomeFree-USA President/CEO Marcia Griffin appealed to those in the room to “be our ambassadors, our messengers, etc. because we need to reach thousands with a sense of understanding and get people to wrap their arms around our goals. … We’re from all sorts of different segments of the Black community, but we’ve come together to work together to empower ourselves and empower our community and empower our country.”

Grant, now based in Nashville, where he is regional president of United Security Financial, a mortgage banking company, agreed with the appeal for harmony. “We’re not trying to upstage anybody,” he said at the Feb. 15 event. “We’re not trying to compete with anybody. What we’re trying to do is pull our strength together so that when we speak with one voice, they’re looking at all of these organizations coming together and it’s hard to say no to that kind of power.”

Porter also underscored the importance of constituents holding lawmakers – including Black legislators – accountable and not taking for granted that they will automatically push for economic inclusion. He suggested that constituents:

  • Have their own kitchen cabinet and invite legislators to neighborhood and community meetings.
  • Come to state houses, visit the representatives’ offices.
  • Attend and speak at public hearings.

“You can’t be the invisible,” he said. “We’ve got to stay woke about economic development and the process that we have. We did build this country. We need to manage this country.”

Expressing the importance of this year being the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Dr. King’s Poor People’s Movement, Porter said, “It does mean a lot to us…You’ve got to know where you came from to know where you’re going.”


Book Debunks Myths Around African Talent

Posted by Admin On March - 2 - 2018 Comments Off on Book Debunks Myths Around African Talent


Rudy Massamba, author of Debunking Myths Around African Talent

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Black people tend to think that their “present” is chaotic, because their “past” was not glorious. Without, supposedly, a bright past, as well as a bright present, most people from the African continent, but not only, are convinced that they have no future unless they are guided by other races, mainly the White race.

Debunking Myths Around African Talent by Rudy L. Massamba brings much needed truths about the role and importance of African inventors, and ties the historical role and accomplishments of Ancient African innovators and inventors to contemporary African inventions.

Why is there a negative perception about African inventors?

This perception or belief is due to the fact that the Blacks were indoctrinated through the educational system, in Africa and in the Western World. And this perception is what the author refers to as “The Mental Destruction of Black People” that stems from slavery and colonization.

Debunking Myths Around African Talent, available on Amazon, reminds us that Africa’s true history is exceptional; a reality that the Western World has methodically tried to erase or occult in the world’s collective consciousness. The unfortunate consequence of this denial is that claiming lies as truths about black people, using powerful media, made these lies become truth for humanity!

Can this trend be reversed?

According to the author, this perception can be reversed if there is a paradigm shift within the educational system that will bring about a mind shift. This implies that black people in Africa, America, etc. become in charge of their education so as to restore historical facts from Ancient times to present – as no other people can really be expected to do it for them.

Massamba comments, “The grandeur of the Black race rests on the bosom of the African continent – cradle of humanity.” This is, undeniably, the subliminal message conveyed by the author. “Until Africa rises as a Super Power, black people will have to keep on proving, to the world, that they have talent. While this should not be the case, as they have always had talent,” he adds.

In a world of negativity, this book finally attempts to offer positive motivation for the invention of great things that will propel Africa into the industrial and economic arena as a force to be reckoned with – thanks to the plurality of contemporary African inventors, among others. Indeed, some of these inventors and their inventions are portrayed and grouped in 7 industrial sectors. However, most of them are not yet truly appreciated by Africans themselves; thus the author’s attempt to value and celebrate the African genius.

Watch the book trailer and purchase Debunking Myths Around African Talent from www.Amazon.com

About the Author
Rudy L. Massamba is enthusiastic about Africa
’s development and writes in English and French. Thus, a new edition of his first book L’Afrique Noire Industrielle (French only) was released on September 2017. He’s also the founder of KUMATOO which is a platform that enables African inventors (from Africa and the diaspora) to exhibit virtually their inventions and innovations.

Rudy’s official website (www.RudyBooks.com) and blog (www.RudyBooks.com/blog).

Photo Caption: Rudy Massamba, author of Debunking Myths Around African Talent


State Senator Raoul Seeks Stronger Protections for Sexual Assault Survivors

Posted by Admin On March - 2 - 2018 Comments Off on State Senator Raoul Seeks Stronger Protections for Sexual Assault Survivors

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) introduced legislation that provides additional protections and rights for survivors of sexual assault or abuse.

Senate Bill 3404 creates the Survivors’ Bill of Rights, filling in gaps in Illinois’ current laws and bringing the state in line with federal guidelines.

In drafting the legislation, Raoul worked closely with Rise, a national civil rights nonprofit that worked with Congress to pass a federal Survivors’ Bill of Rights in 2016. The organization is working to create legislation in every state to protect the estimated 25 million survivors of sexual assault.

“It is vital that we do everything we can to provide resources for those who have suffered trauma related to sexual assault,” Raoul said. “We need survivors to know that their basic civil rights will be protected when they report this crime.”

The measure puts several protections for victims of sexual assault or abuse in place, including:

·         allowing them to shower at the hospital post-examination;

·         allowing them to obtain a copy of the police report relating to the incident;

·         allowing them to have a sexual assault advocate and a support person of their choosing present for medical and physical examinations;

·         allowing them to retain their own counsel; and

·         prohibiting law enforcement from prosecuting the victim for a crime related to use of alcohol, cannabis or a controlled substance based on the sexual assault forensic evidence collected.

Currently, nine states have passed laws that are consistent with the federal recommendations.

First Black Woman to Own a NASCAR Team

Posted by Admin On March - 2 - 2018 Comments Off on First Black Woman to Own a NASCAR Team
Melissa Harville-Lebron, the first Black woman to own a NASCAR team
Melissa Harville-Lebron


Diversity in sports racing is lacking as only a few people of color are part of racing organizations such as the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). But Melissa Harville-Lebron is a Black American woman that owns a NASCAR team franchise.

The 47-year old started her career in the entertainment industry when she worked as an intern at Sony Music. She already launched her own music label in 2005 while working for New York City’s Department of Correction Office. But after a severe asthma attack ten years later, she had to retire early.

Yet it seems that it had been a blessing in disguise. In 2014, she took the risk and opened a multifaceted entertainment company, W.M. Stone Enterprises, Inc. She then created E2 Northeast Motorsports and just recently, she signed a deal with NASCAR, making her the first black woman to own a NASCAR team.

It all started unexpectedly when she brought her sons, Eric and Enico, to a NASCAR experience event. She told Black Enterprise, “I got invited to a NASCAR experience and I brought my boys along thinking that it would discourage them from driving.”

However, her sons loved the sport even more and so she learned to also love her sons’ passion. As she got more involved in the sport, she noticed the lack of diversity since it is dominated mostly by white males. So she decided to bridge the gap and create her own team.

Her team, E2 Northeast Motorsports, is the first multicultural team to race competitively in NASCAR. It consists of four black and Latino drivers, two in the Camping World Truck Series and two in the Whelen All-American Series, and two of which are her sons.

On February 16, her team also competed in its first race in the Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) at Daytona where Scott Stenzel finished 15th place at Daytona.

In a statement, she said, “This team truly exemplifies diversity that is sure to attract a younger multicultural fan base. It’s an honor to announce that Stenzel is now a part of this racing family.”

She also emphasized the relevance of her endeavor. She said, “It’s important for our culture to push generational wealth to our children. It’s important to lead by example. All too often our children see negative images of our culture and I think it’s very important for people of our culture actually succeeding in business.”

Jennifer Holliday and Frenchie Davis to Headline Star-Studded Gala to Raise Money for Underprivileged People of Color Living with Advanced AIDS

Posted by Admin On March - 2 - 2018 Comments Off on Jennifer Holliday and Frenchie Davis to Headline Star-Studded Gala to Raise Money for Underprivileged People of Color Living with Advanced AIDS

Celebrating 31 Years Of Service, Bliss 2018 Will Feature The Grammy & Tony Award Winning Singer/Actress Jennifer Holliday With Appearances by Frenchie Davis, Jason Stuart, Jonny Zywiciel and hosted by Dale Johannes.

Jennifer Holliday and Frenchie Davis

San Francisco, CA (BlackNews.com) — On May 6th, 2018, at the iconic Julia Morgan Ballroom located at 465 California Street, San Francisco CA, Maitri Compassionate Care (Maitri) will host its 31st annual Bliss Signature Gala & Auction. Hosted by Auctioneer Dale Johannes, the star-studded gala will pay tribute to Maitri’s years of service towards the underprivileged living with advanced AIDS and also honoring former Executive Director Bill Musick and Kirsten Havrehed for their 20 years of service to the Maitri. Additionally, and in grand fashion, Maitri will be welcoming new Executive Director Anne Gimbel, M.A., LMFT, to the Maitri family.”

Anne Gimbel brings, to Maitri, seasoned leadership experience with aging populations, and a proven track record of development success in the non-profit sector. We feel fortunate to have been able to attract such a talented, facilitative leader to the role. In welcoming Anne, I would like to thank Bill Musick for his 5 months of interim service. Bill completed several initiatives related to Maitri’s commercial space and fund development plan that are key to supporting Maitri’s mission well into the foreseeable future.” — Michael Niemeyer, Maitri Compassionate Care, Board President

Featured guest, Jennifer Holiday is an American singer and actress who began her career on Broadway in the musicals Dreamgirls and Your Arms Too Short to Box with God; she later became a successful recording artist, most known for her single, the Dreamgirls pop hit, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”. Jennifer Holiday is a highly decorated artist, winning a Tony Award in 1982 and a Grammy Award in 1983. Along with Fox’s American Idol contestant, Frenchie Davis, comedian Jason Stuart, singer/songwriter Jonny Zywiciel, and special celebrity guests, Bliss 2018 will be an enchanting evening to be remembered.

To inquire about sponsorship opportunities and/or group ticket purchases, please contact to Toni Newman, Maitri’s Development Director, at tnewman@maitrisf.org or 415-558-3003. For individual ticket purchases, please visit www.maitrisf.org.

For the May 6th gala, sponsorship packages begin at $1,000 and individual tickets are $275. This will be a sold out event and prospective attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets as soon as possible.

Maitri provides compassionate residential care to men and women in need of hospice or 24-hour care and cultivates the deepest respect and love for life among its residents and caregivers. Maitri is the only AIDS-specific residential care facility in California focusing on the underserved community of those dying of or severely debilitated by AIDS.

Photo Caption: Jennifer Holliday and Frenchie Davis

For more information on Maitri and/or Bliss 2018, please visit www.maitrisf.org

Or follow them on social media at:

Facebook – www.facebook.com/maitrisf
Twitter – www.twitter.com/maitrisf


CTS Receives Gift from Muslim Philanthropists to Build Bridges, Combat Islamophobia

Posted by Admin On March - 2 - 2018 Comments Off on CTS Receives Gift from Muslim Philanthropists to Build Bridges, Combat Islamophobia

CHICAGO, IL–  Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) and its newly launched InterReligious Institute (IRI) are pleased to announce a 3-year, $450,000 gift commitment from a family of Muslim philanthropists to fund interfaith initiatives to build bridges across faith communities.

Funding will allow CTS to develop workshops on combating Islamophobia and understanding Christian privilege for Christian churches and other organizations, and other educational initiatives to increase interfaith understanding, such as podcasts and videos.

“This tremendous gift allows us to deepen our work here at CTS and in the world, creating fresh approaches to challenge anti-Muslim bias and all forms of religious intolerance,” affirms Rev. Lisa Seiwert, project director of the IRI.

The gift provides scholarship funding for Muslim Studies students to help increase the religious diversity of students studying at CTS. A United Church of Christ (UCC) affiliated seminary, CTS currently has students from more than 40 faith traditions enrolled, including a number of Jewish and Muslim students.

The gift will also enable CTS to add a concentration in Muslim Studies to its curriculum, and to fund an affiliated professor in Muslim Studies. The seminary first began offering courses in Muslim Studies with the appointment of Dr. Rami Nashashibi as Visiting Professor for Sociology of Religion and Muslim Studies from 2014-2017. CTS has been offering courses in Jewish Studies since 2009, under the direction of Rabbi Dr. Rachel S. Mikva, Rabbi Herman Schaalman Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies.

CTS hopes to leverage the initiatives launched with this gift to highlight fundraising efforts to fund an endowed chair in Muslim Studies. Through the IRI, CTS plans to increase its interfaith initiatives. The IRI will be hosting its RIOTcon conference April 19-20 entitled, Beloved is a Verb: Challenging Anti-Muslim Bias & Christian Privilege. For more information about RIOTcon please visit ctschicago.edu/riotcon/2018.

About the InterReligious Institue at CTS
The InterReligious Institute at Chicago Theological Seminary is dedicated to interfaith engagement in our community through academia, theology, and public dialogue for a more just and pluralistic society.
About Chicago Theological Seminary
Based on Chicago’s Southside, CTS is committed to creating leaders for the next generation of religious leadership… whatever that may be. A leader in social justice, CTS is committed to interreligious engagement, and LGBTQIA, gender, racial and environmental justice.
CTS is a seminary affiliated with the United Church of Christ and an academic home to students from over 40 faith traditions. Since its inception in 1855, CTS has pushed the boundaries of the church in order to make faith more relevant and transform society toward God’s greater justice and mercy.

Massachusetts Man Arrested for Mailing Threatening Letters Containing Suspicious White Powder

Posted by Admin On March - 2 - 2018 Comments Off on Massachusetts Man Arrested for Mailing Threatening Letters Containing Suspicious White Powder

BOSTON – A Beverly, Mass., man was arrested today in connection with mailing five threatening letters containing suspicious white powder to high-profile individuals around the country.

Daniel Frisiello, 24, was charged in a criminal complaint with five counts of mailing a threat to injure the person of another and five counts of false information and hoaxes. Frisiello was arrested this morning and will appear in federal court in Worcester later this afternoon.

As alleged in court documents, law enforcement has connected Frisiello to at least five incidents of high-profile individuals around the country who received an envelope that bore a Boston postmark, containing suspicious white powder and a note indicating or implying that the powder was dangerous or intended to cause harm.

“This investigation should remind people that law enforcement will prioritize finding and charging those who try to cause panic by sending threatening letters containing what looks like dangerous substances,” said United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew E. Lelling. “Beyond terrifying the victims, these incidents caused law enforcement agencies around the country to spend time and money deploying emergency response units. Thankfully, the white powder in these letters was inert and no one was harmed. This does not change the fact that the defendant allegedly used the internet, the U.S. Mail, and popular fears of biological weapons to threaten and frighten people who did not share his views, and that is something we will prosecuted accordingly.”

“This investigation by the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force sends a strong message to those who seek to terrorize the public by sending powder letters through the mail. Whether real or a hoax, don’t do it. There are plenty of appropriate, lawful ways, to express your opinion and voice your displeasure, but inducing panic and sending what is believed to be a weapon of mass destruction through the mail is certainly not one of them. As alleged, Mr. Frisiello sent letters from the Boston area containing white powder that required emergency responses all over the country,” said Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Boston Division. “While we determined that the mailings did not contain toxins or poison, each of these incidents required a significant law enforcement response, a field screening of the letter’s contents, and a methodical analysis by FBI weapons of mass destruction and laboratory experts. All this comes at a cost to taxpayers’ money and diverted first responders and other limited resources away from actual emergencies.”

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed to keeping the U.S. Mail, its employees, and customers safe,” said Raymond Moss, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division. “When the U.S. Mail is used to transport dangerous or potentially dangerous items or substances, it is taken very seriously. The arrest of this individual is a result of a coordinated investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, and other federal, state and local partners. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service will continue to investigate and bring criminals to justice to ensure the public’s trust in the U.S. Mail.”

“This case demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. Secret Service to fully investigate any type of threatening behavior directed towards our Protectees.  It also highlights the ongoing collaborative efforts with our law enforcement partners, specifically the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and all of our state and local partners involved in the Joint Terrorism Task Force,” said Stephen Marks, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service Boston Field Office.

It is alleged that the first envelope was addressed to “DonalD trump Jr,” the son of President Trump, and was postmarked in Boston on Feb. 7, 2018. The addressee’s wife opened the envelope, which contained an unknown suspicious white powder, and the following printed message:

You are an awful, awful person, I

am surprised that your father lets

you speak on TV. You make the

family idiot, Eric, look smart. This is

the reason why people hate you,

so you are getting what you

deserve. So shut the **** UP!

The second envelope was addressed to Nicola T. Hanna, the Interim United States Attorney for the Central District of California. Also postmarked in Boston on Feb. 7, 2018, the envelope contained an unknown suspicious white powder, which spilled out when it was opened. The letter inside the envelope bore the following printed message:

That’s for murdering Mark Salling! I

Hope you end up the same place as Salling.

As alleged in court documents, Mark Salling, who committed suicide in January 2018, was a defendant in a child pornography case being prosecuted by Hanna’s office.

Subsequent envelopes containing threatening letters were mailed to Michele Dauber, a Professor of Law at Stanford University; U.S. Senator Deborah Stabenow of Michigan; and Antonio Sabato Jr., who is running for a congressional seat in California.

After each envelope was opened, a hazardous material response was required by law enforcement.

It was determined that there were notable commonalities among the envelopes, including that all five envelopes contained an unknown powdered substance, which has since been determined to be nonhazardous. Further investigation revealed that Professor Dauber was also sent a “glitter bomb.” A glitter bomb is a letter containing glitter sent to an unsuspecting individual that, when opened, spills out onto the recipient. Law enforcement traced financial records to Frisiello who ordered and paid for the glitter bomb to be delivered to Professor Dauber. Furthermore, on Feb. 21, 2018, agents recovered trash from Frisiello’s residence that appeared to contain remnants of the cut-out messages that Frisiello allegedly sent to the victims.

The charge of mailing a threat to injure the person of another provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, 10 years in prison for threats addressed to a federal official, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of false information and hoaxes provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Lelling, FBI SAC Shaw, Acting Inspector in Charge Moss, USSS SAC Marks and Beverly Police Chief John G. LeLacheur made the announcement today. This investigation was conducted by the FBI Boston Division’s Joint Terrorism Task Force led by members of the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service and the Beverly Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Garland of Lelling’s National Security Unit.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations.  The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Source: FBI

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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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