April , 2019

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CTU President to Students on National Student Walkout: I am so Proud of You   Karen Lewis: ...
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Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) -- MojaMoja celebrated its 10th Anniversary of music discovery on ...
Unemployment Rates Continue Downward Trend     CHICAGO, IL - Unemployment rates in Illinois fell in 12 metro ...
 By Nadra Kareem Nittle Maynard Institute for Structural Inequalities     With state and national Republicans emphasizing religious wedge ...
Most comprehensive assessment of health security preparedness to date SPRINGFIELD, IL –The Illinois Department of ...
Winter Tour schedule announced   Chicago, IL -- Chicago Detours announces the release of their wintertime schedule ...
Washington, DC - “Last week I personally telephoned top city, state and federal law enforcement officials ...
Encourages passage of marriage equality during veto session SPRINGFIELD, IL – As ...

Archive for March 6th, 2018

Indivisible Chicago Motivational Rally to Prepare for the Upcoming Primary and November Midterm Elections

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2018 Comments Off on Indivisible Chicago Motivational Rally to Prepare for the Upcoming Primary and November Midterm Elections

The rally will be held Saturday, March 10, 2018, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Malcolm X College, 1900 W Jackson, Chicago, IL


1,000+ grassroots activists will come together for a high energy, motivational rally in preparation for the upcoming primary and November midterm elections. This free event kicks off with a panel discussing millennials in politics featuring inspiring Chicago youth activists and ends with a mass signup for community organizing and Getting Out The Vote.


A second panel features leaders from Let America Vote, Chicago Votes, Voto Latino, Indivisible, Flippable and Swing Left ready to help Chicago recharge and refocus on taking back Congress in the 2108 midterm elections.


The event closes with a high energy call-to-action, where participants will sign up for election activities in their communities.


Indivisible Chicago:


Keynote Speaker:  Jason Kander, president of Let America Vote. A former Army captain who served in Afghanistan, he’s the first millennial in the country to be elected to statewide office, as Missouri’s 39th Secretary of State.


Panel:  Millennials in Politics, includes the following

Bushra Amiwala, age 19, a DePaul student and also running for Cook County Commissioner

Ugo Okere, age 21, a Loyola student, 40th Ward community Organizer, and aldermanic candidate


Nicole Johnson, a native of Englewood on Chicago’s southside and aldermanic candidate


Panel:  How You Can Make a Difference in the 2018 Midterms

Adrienne Lever, Swing Left

Catherine Vaughn, Flippable

Angelica Magana, Voto Latino

Stevie Valles, Chicago Votes


WHY:      The most positive thing Donald Trump has done for this country is to ignite a grassroots, progressive movement across the county. It started with the January, 2017 Women’s marches, magnified by the me,too movement, and continues today with the youth-led struggle for gun control. We’re on track to match 1960s activism for impact on national policy, and are laser-focused on the November midterms.

HOW:  Register at indivisiblechicago.com. Or, text “summit” to 66866. Admission is FREE; a suggested donation of $10 to cover the cost of the venue is appreciated.
Seating is first come, first serve. A ticket does not guarantee a main room seat, but there is an ample overflow room in the Malcolm X auditorium with theater viewing. Free parking included in adjoining parking garage.
Indivisible Chicago is a group of Chicago-area residents alarmed by the 2016 election and organizing at the grassroots to advocate for progressive values , policies and candidates. Click here for Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda, which focuses on direct actions that small, local groups can take to influence their representatives in Washington. Learn about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and find your nearest neighborhood chapter at indivisiblechicago.com.




State Senator Raoul Measure Promotes Stricter Enforcement of Employment Laws

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2018 Comments Off on State Senator Raoul Measure Promotes Stricter Enforcement of Employment Laws

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed legislation in the Senate that gives the Illinois attorney general greater ability to enforce employment laws.

Currently, the attorney general can file suit under the state’s employment laws with a referral from the Illinois Department of Labor. This legislation removes that requirement and empowers the attorney general to bring suits related to violations of such laws as the Prevailing Wage Act, the Minimum Wage Act and the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act.

“We know there are workers who are getting their hard-earned wages taken from them by employers and having their rights violated in other ways,” Raoul said. “Valid claims should not get lost in bureaucratic red tape. It makes no sense to have laws on the book to protect workers if we don’t enforce them.

Raoul worked closely with Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville), who sponsored the measure in the House.

“Corporate interests that take advantage of their employees must be held accountable,” Hoffman said. “This measure will give the attorney general’s office more tools to ensure Illinois workers have the right to a safe work environment and that they receive their rightfully owed wages.”

Senate Bill 193 also creates a task force to promote cooperation between the attorney general and state’s attorneys in enforcing criminal violations of employment laws. It passed the Senate 35-16 and heads to the governor’s desk.

New Medicare Cards Coming Soon

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2018 Comments Off on New Medicare Cards Coming Soon

New Medicare cards are coming soon. Here’s what you need to know about your new card. Plus, how to avoid related scams.

Starting in April 2018, Medicare will begin mailing new cards to everyone who gets Medicare benefits. Why? To help protect your identity, Medicare is removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. Instead, the new cards will have a unique Medicare Number. This will happen automatically. You don’t need to do anything or pay anyone to get your new card.

Medicare will mail your card, at no cost, to the address you have on file with the Social Security Administration. If you need to update your official mailing address, visit your online Social Security account or call 1-800-772-1213. When you get your new card, your Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.

If your sister who lives in another state gets her card before you, don’t fret. The cards will be mailed in waves, to various parts of the country, from April 2018 until April 2019. So, your card may arrive at a different time than hers. You can check the rollout schedule to get a better idea when you may be receiving yours.

When you get your new card, be sure to destroy your old card. Don’t just toss it in the trash. Shred it. If you have a separate Medicare Advantage card, keep that because you’ll still need it for treatment.

As the new Medicare cards start being mailed, be on the lookout for Medicare scams. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t pay for your new card. It’s yours for free. If anyone calls and says you need to pay for it, that’s a scam.
  • Don’t give personal information to get your card. If someone calls claiming to be from Medicare, asking for your Social Security number or bank information, that’s a scam. Hang up. Medicare will never ask you to give personal information to get your new number and card.
  • Guard your card. When you get your new card, safeguard it like you would any other health insurance or credit card. While removing the Social Security number cuts down on many types of identity theft, you’ll still want to protect your new card because identity thieves could use it to get medical services.

For more information about changes to your Medicare card go to go.medicare.gov/newcard. And if you’re a victim of a scam, report it to the FTC.

New Medicare Cards are coming!
New Medicare cards are coming! Medicare is mailing new cards between April 2018 and April 2019. The new card has a Medicare Number unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number.

Immigrant Rights Activist Submit FOIA to Mayor’s Office to Uncover Information About Potential Ice Raids in the City

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2018 Comments Off on Immigrant Rights Activist Submit FOIA to Mayor’s Office to Uncover Information About Potential Ice Raids in the City

Activists in Chicago submitted two FOIAs requests today for the Mayor of Chicago to release any information on pending ICE activity in the city

CHICAGO, IL — Immigrant rights organizations gathered at Daley Plaza to announce the submission of two FOIAs requesting that the Mayor’s office and the Chicago ICE field office release any and all  information and communication about pending immigration operations in the city. Last week Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf  defended her actions to warn Oakland residents about ICE activity targeting undocumented residents in the Bay area.

Over the last year, immigrant communities in so-called “Sanctuary” cities have been living under constant uncertainty and fear because the current federal administration has given  ICE free reign to detain and deport. From home raids to “Operation Mega”, the Trump administration is using ICE to target people in cities they consider sanctuary for immigrants and Chicago is not an exception. Although there is still work to be done for Chicago to truly be a Sanctuary city for all, the Mayor should make public any information about imminent raids and allow our communities to protect themselves.

“Last week we launched a petition to the Mayor’s office to release information of potential ICE raids in Chicago. Today we are submitting two official requests to obtain this information. We hope that the Mayor and his office will make any information public for the protection of our communities. If Chicago is a ‘Sanctuary city, then our city officials should share any knowledge of immigration enforcement and allow Chicagoans to defend their,” said Barbara Suárez Galeano, organizer with Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD).


Read FOIAs here: http://bit.ly/2oNCae7


Preventing Gun Violence: An Update From the NAACP

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2018 Comments Off on Preventing Gun Violence: An Update From the NAACP
Gun violence is of a major concern to our nation, and especially to the communities served and represented by the NAACP.  Curbing that violence, at every opportunity, is a major goal.  Roughly 50% of gun-related deaths in our country in 2015 were African American men, despite the fact that we make up just 6% of the U.S. population.  The leading cause of death among African American teens, ages 15 to 19 in 2008 and 2009 was gun-related homicide.  African American children and teens were less than 15% of the total child population in 2008 and 2009 but accounted for 45% of all child- and teen-related gun deaths.
Given the disproportionate damage gun violence is having on our communities, the NAACP has advocated for a number of sane, sensible laws which will help eliminate or decrease the damage and death caused by gun violence.  We strongly support several sensible proposals which together will do a lot to help keep dangerous firearms off our streets and out of the hands of those who should not have access to them.  To review those proposals, please take a few minutes to read the attached Issue Brief, which provides a brief summary of the problem, outlines measures supported by the NAACP, and then goes on to describe the proposals in more depth.

New Documentary Highlights Music’s Impact on Corruption and Politics in Uganda

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2018 Comments Off on New Documentary Highlights Music’s Impact on Corruption and Politics in Uganda

The Confused African documentary

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — On March 6, Netflix award-winning director Jonny Von Wallström is premiering his new documentary series The Confused African exclusively on YouTube. It is a story about identity, music and corruption in Uganda. Featuring Ugandan artist and TV personality Ken Daniels and well-known rapper Navio who uses music to speak about the countries issues.

Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch? v=9nNR1gzVKmE&t=2s

In 2017, Ugandan was ranked among the top 25 countries with escalating corruption by the Transparency International Uganda (TIU) report. Ken and Navio are two creative artists who care deeply about what’s happening in the country. In the series, they explore culture, talks politics, and are using music to help make a change.

Ken Daniels is a nomad who has lived his whole life in western countries such as The United States and Sweden. He is a well-known Ugandan Hip Hop/ R&B musician and music critic who has for a long time sung under the music act ‘Swahili Nation’.

It started out in 1992 when he joined Swahili Nation that was formed in the 90’s by Kenyan brothers called Muturi. A couple of years ago, he decided to move back to Uganda because he felt responsible and wanted to ba a part of the change that was happening in the country.

What it is like to leave your mother country?

“It is tough to come to a new country, whether it is Sweden, Uganda or The United States. You have to learn the language and adapt to the society. For me, it was tough to move to The U.S and Sweden, but it was also tough to move back to Uganda after all those years away,” he says.

He has not been living in the country for a long time, and now he share his story of what it is like to come back.

“I think that my political view and world view have changed since I left Uganda. There is a difference between The United States and Uganda in many ways. Good and bad.”

“What I have realised is that Uganda is not what it used to be. Today, Uganda is in a very good place, the Infrastructure and the whole society is improving. In 5 years, I think it will be a big difference if you compare to now. I also feel like many more people are willing to fight for the right to speak up and change things. It was in a different way before. Back in the days, people did not do that.”

Navio is using his music to make a change

As a side story to Ken, we also get to follow Daniel Lubwana Kigozi, known as Navio. He is a well-known Ugandan rapper who started his career when being a part of the award-winning group Klear Kut. Today, he is best known for his hits “Ngalo”, “One & Only” and “Bugumo”.

Navio are using music for his freedom of speech. He has written songs about corruption, and in the documentary he talks about his point of view on the economically situation and the fact that Uganda is suffering very badly. We get to follow him in Uganda, but also in a studio in Sweden where to records a new single. The whole documentary series will be available for free on YouTube, starting March 6, on www.youtube.com/creativenorthtv

Publishing Date – March 6
Release Episode 1 at 10am EST on http://youtube.com/creativenorthtv

Link to YouTube trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nNR1gzVKmE&t=2s

Whole series for Preview Watch
Password: documentaryuganda

WeTransfer Link to 1 minute trailer (works for Facebook/Instagram, Web)
Available for download – https://we.tl/Bei9NBoo7p

Link to Press Photos

For more information and interviews, contact Producer Andre Wallstrom, andre@roughstudios.com

For more information about production company, visit www.roughstudios.com

Six Former Employees of Chicago Post-Secondary School Indicted for Allegedly Swindling Federal Financial Aid Program out of Millions

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2018 Comments Off on Six Former Employees of Chicago Post-Secondary School Indicted for Allegedly Swindling Federal Financial Aid Program out of Millions

CHICAGO, IL — Six former employees of a non-profit Chicago post-secondary education institute schemed to enroll fake students in classes as part of a conspiracy to swindle federal financial aid programs out of millions of dollars, according to an indictment returned in federal court in Chicago.

The six defendants were employed at the Chicago campus of the Center for Employment Training, a California-based institution of post-secondary, non-degree, vocational and technical education with campuses throughout the country.  From 2005 to 2013, the defendants applied for and obtained federal grants and loans for students who were ineligible to receive the funds, the indictment states.  One of the purported students was marked present at CET classes even though the student was deceased at the time, the indictment states.

The scheme caused the U.S. Department of Education to disburse to CET millions of dollars in fraudulent financial aid, the indictment states.

The indictment was returned Thursday.  It charges the defendants with one count of conspiracy to fraudulently obtain federal financial assistance, one count of fraudulently obtaining federal financial assistance, and three counts of wire fraud.  The defendants are MARIE PICKETT, 59, of Chicago; JANIE BLAKENEY, 63, of Chicago; DEBORAH WILLIAMS, 58, of Chicago; JENNY MORALES, 36, of Cicero; HEATHER SMITH, 43, of Cicero; and TAMAURA BALARK, 45, of Chicago.  Arraignments in federal court in Chicago have not yet been scheduled.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; and Thomas D. Utz, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General’s Midwestern Regional Office.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Mitchell.

According to the charges, Pickett served as the Director of CET’s Chicago campus; Blakeney was the Admissions Advisor; Williams and Morales were Financial Aid Officers; and Smith and Balark were instructors in the Medical Assistance Program.  As part of the conspiracy, some of the defendants created and furnished to the Department of Education phony Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applications on behalf of purported students who were not eligible to receive financial aid because they had not graduated from high school or received an equivalency certificate, the charges state.  For one purported student, the conspirators created a fictitious diploma that fraudulently alleged the student had graduated from a Chicago public high school, the indictment states.  The fictitious diploma was then placed in the student’s CET file in an effort to meet the Department of Education’s requirements for financial aid, according to the indictment.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, while the financial assistance fraud counts carry a maximum sentence of five years.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

Source: FBI

Deeply Rooted Brings South African Choreographer Fana Tshabalala’s Indumba to Bam Fishman’s Space April 28 and 29

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2018 Comments Off on Deeply Rooted Brings South African Choreographer Fana Tshabalala’s Indumba to Bam Fishman’s Space April 28 and 29

Celebrated Arts Professional Baraka Sele Leads Post-Performance Dialogue

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT) returns to New York City in April with the New York premiere of its 2017 evening-length work INDUMBA by acclaimed South African choreographer Fana Tshabalala. Performances take place Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 29 at 3 p.m. at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Fishman Space, 321 Ashland Place in Brooklyn. Noted arts professional Baraka Sele participates in a discussion with artists and audience following the April 29 performance.

The program
Originally creating INDUMBA to illuminate the perpetual impact of unresolved apartheid politics in his native South Africa, Fana Tshabalala, artistic director of Broken Borders Arts Project, spent three weeks in residence with DRDT in July 2017 to adapt INDUMBA for an American audience. “Indumba” means African healing hut, promising a work of stirring resilience and reconciliation. Tshabalala noted, “As an artist, I am fascinated by how social politics affect human interaction and spirituality. …I created INDUMBA to provide individuals and communities with opportunities for this important spiritual cleansing through dance.”

DRDT Co-founder and Artistic Director Kevin Iega Jeff, who founded his first company, JUBILATION! Dance Company, in New York City in 1982, said, “INDUMBA forges an expanded aesthetic direction for the company. We welcome all who wish to come prepared to witness work that is newly found.”

INDUMBA premiered in December 2017 as part DRDT’s 20th anniversary finale performances, “Deeply Free,” at Chicago’s Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. Chicago Tribune dance critic Lauren Warnecke called INDUMBA “unequivocally the dance of the year.”

Following the April 29 performance, independent arts consultant Baraka Sele will lead a discussion with Jeff, company artists and members of the audience. Sele has more than 30 years’ experience as a performing arts curator, consultant and producer. She has held leadership positions including assistant vice president of programming at New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the first artistic director of performing arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and vice president of performing arts of The Houston International Festival. She has also served on local, national and international advisory committees, boards and panels for numerous organizations. She has traveled throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America, focusing on collaborations and presentations with artists of diverse cultures to facilitate intercultural exchange. Her work and presentations have been featured in a wide range of publications, including American Theatre, Dance, Essence, Inside Arts, The New York Times and the Washington Post. National and international awards and recognition include the William Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence, which the Association of Performing Arts Professionals gives to an individual or organization for “quality, innovation and vision of program design, audience building and community involvement.” At Rutgers University-Newark, Sele served as a Gustav Heningburg Civic Fellow for the Institute of Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience and taught a graduate course in Leadership and Diversity.

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater performs INDUMBA
Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 29 at 3 p.m.
at BAM Fishman Space, 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, New York.
Tickets are $49–79 and are available at 718-636-4100 ext. 1 and
A $150 “Rooted Benefactor” ticket includes
admission to the Sunday performance and a post-show reception
as well as a contribution to the company’s dance education programs.
All programming is subject to change.
For information about Deeply Rooted, visit

Debuting in 1996, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater is rooted in traditions of modern, contemporary and African dance, as well as storytelling, in universal themes that spark a visceral experience and ignite an emotional response in diverse audiences worldwide. Collaborating with nationally renowned choreographers across the spectrum of modern, ballet and African dance, DRDT presents work that reflects eclectic voices in contemporary life.

DRDT Co-founder and Artistic Director Kevin Iega Jeff founded his first company, JUBILATION! Dance Company, in New York City in 1982 out of a need to provide a forum for African-American artists to be engaged holistically in the arts—spiritually, intellectually, physically, socially and economically. For 10 years the company toured nationally and internationally, helping to bring the stories, histories and art of African-American people, as well as Jeffs unique approach to contemporary dance, to a global audience. In 1995, Jeff joined forces with Gary Abbott in Chicago, and together they founded Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, which has performed from coast to coast in the U.S. as well as in South Africa, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, France, Brazil and Canada.

Deeply Rooteds programs are partially supported by the Alphawood Foundation Chicago, the Bloomberg Foundation/AIM, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Community Trust, the Illinois Arts Council, the Irving Harris Fund, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), MacArthur Foundation funds through the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund, The Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation and the Deeply Rooted Family of Friends. Special thanks to Ballet Chicago and Chicago Dance Forum for their partnership and support.

Race & Justice News: Chicago Lags in Hiring African American Officers Despite Attracting More Applicants

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2018 Comments Off on Race & Justice News: Chicago Lags in Hiring African American Officers Despite Attracting More Applicants

Race & Justice News

The Sentencing Project


Chicago Lags in Hiring African American Officers Despite Attracting More Applicants

Although the Chicago Police Department (CPD) has successfully attracted more black applicants for its force, it hired whites and Latinos at more than twice the rate of blacks in 2017, reports the Chicago Reporter. Following the CPD’s fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald in 2014, Mayor Rahm Emanuel launched a campaign to recruit more black officers to improve the CPD’s relationship with black communities. While one-third of Chicago’s residents are black, only 23% of the police department is black.

African Americans comprised 13% of the 990 people recommended for employment as officers since 2016, while whites made up 37% and Latinos 38%. Experts argue that black applicants are deterred by the lengthy application process—which can sometimes take years. In addition, few legacy black police families can usher in young recruits and aspects of the hiring process—including a credit check—disadvantage African American applicants who are more likely to have faced financial hardship.

Chicago Reluctant to Correct Gang Database Errors Despite Deportation Risk

Errors in Chicago’s gang database are unnecessarily exposing black and Latino immigrants to deportation and the Chicago Police Department says that changes to the database would be “unworkable,” reports NPR. The CPD gang database has grown to include 65,000 individuals, 95% of whom are black or Latino. Luis Pedrote-Salinas is suing the CPD for his inclusion in the gang database, an inaccurate designation that he thinks cost him the chance for protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Pedrote-Salinas says he is not in a gang but there is no official process to be removed from the database in Chicago, reports Odette Yousef.

In another case, CPD acknowledged lacking evidence for labelling an undocumented man as a gang member, thus clearing his way to apply for a visa from which he was disqualified because of the label. Michael Martin, a member of the Midwest Gang Investigators Association, argues that gang databases should regularly be cleared of wrong information to protect people’s civil rights. Police departments that fail to do this, he notes, could eventually be forced to dismantle their databases.


Proposition 47 Narrowed Racial Disparities in San Francisco’s Criminal Cases

Black-white disparities in jail admissions and sentence lengths have declined in San Francisco since the passage of Proposition 47, according to a study reported in the San Francisco Chronicle. A statewide reform passed in November 2014, Prop. 47 reclassified several nonviolent offenses as misdemeanors and raised the felony theft threshold to $950. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, a major proponent of the reform, commissioned the study. The narrowing of racial disparities in case outcomes for African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians “appears to operate through a diminished effect of pre-trial detention and criminal history in determining case outcomes,” explain report authors John MacDonald of the University of Pennsylvania and Steven Raphael of the University of California, Berkeley.

Specifically, African Americans, who comprise 6% of the city’s population, had accounted for 43% of the jail bookings in the years prior to Prop. 47, but 38% afterward. The reform has also halved the black-white differential in sentence length from 3.4 months to 1.8 months. “I’m pleased we learned that the work we are doing is being done on an equal basis, but I recognize there is still disproportionality. Now we have seen the results, we can continue to evolve in what we are doing,” said Gascón.

Seattle, San Francisco, and San Diego Apply Marijuana Reforms Retroactively

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes will vacate misdemeanor marijuana-possession convictions prosecuted by the city prior to Washington state legalizing marijuana in 2012, reports the Seattle Times. The reform, which will not require action by impacted individuals, is estimated to affect up to 600 people with convictions from 1997 to 2010, the year when the city stopped such prosecutions. Durkan noted that these convictions have disproportionately impacted African Americans and created barriers to obtaining housing, credit, jobs, and education. “While we cannot reverse all the harm that was done, we can give back to those people a record that says they were not convicted, because that is the more just thing to do,” said Durkan, adding that she hoped that officials at the county and state levels who handle felony marijuana cases will follow the city’s lead.

Other cities are also retroactivity applying marijuana reforms. In San Francisco, District Attorney George Gascón will apply California’s new marijuana legalization laws to misdemeanor and felony convictions going back to 1975. San Diego will also clear or downgrade past misdemeanor marijuana​ ​and felony​ ​marijuana convictions, respectively.

Cherokee Nation Lacks Jurisdiction to Sue U.S. Opioid Distributors in Tribal Court

Last year, the Cherokee Nation filed an unprecedented lawsuit against some of the largest U.S. drug distributors and pharmacies for allowing what they termed as an irresponsible amount of opioids into the tribe’s district in Oklahoma, reports High Country News. The lawsuit alleged that Walgreens, CVS, and Wal-Mart, along with the nation’s three largest pharmaceutical distributors, “flouted federal drug-monitoring laws and allowed prescription opioids to pour into the Cherokee territory at some of the highest rates in the country.” As a result of the influx of opioids, the Cherokee Nation spent $1.5 million on substance abuse treatment in inpatient facilities. However, in January, U.S. District Judge Terence Kern found that the Cherokee Nation does not have jurisdiction to file the lawsuit in the tribe’s court system. The decision comes as other tribes in the Dakotas are also filing lawsuits against the same companies.


Indefinite Solitary Confinement Ruled Biased and Unconstitutional in Canada

British Columbia’s Supreme Court has ruled that the use of prolonged and indefinite solitary confinement in Canada is unconstitutional and disproportionately impacts Aboriginal individuals and those who are mentally ill, reports CBC News and The Globe and Mail. In his ruling, Justice Peter Leask noted that “beyond the risk of psychological harm inherent in the segregation experience itself,” the disproportionate use of such segregation on Aboriginal individuals limits their access to programming, thus reducing their ability to obtain conditional release from prison.

The lawsuit, which was brought against the federal government by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the John Howard Society of Canada, relied extensively on the expert testimony of University of California Santa Cruz psychology professor Craig Haney. Justice Leask said he was willing to suspend the ruling for 12 months while legislators create hard limits on the amount of time that individuals can be isolated.


As Cities Become Safer, Racial Disparities Decrease

In Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence, Patrick Sharkey examines how U.S. cities have seen a dramatic decline in violent crime since the 1990s, reaching their safest levels ever by 2014. As the rate of violent crime plummeted, other societal conditions began to improve. For example, the life expectancy of African American men, who are most affected by violent crime, increased so that the gap between black and white men’s life expectancy decreased from 8 years in 1991 to 5 years in 2012. Sharkey notes that the reduced threat of violence also improves children’s academic performance and raises their future income levels.

While Sharkey concludes that certain policing and incarceration measures contributed to the crime decline, he notes that “the progression toward mass incarceration is neither efficient, just, nor humane as a mechanism to control violence.” Sharkey demonstrates that community organizations also made a dent into violent crime. Resilient community members made their neighborhoods safer by mobilizing to clean up abandoned lots, create community centers, and provide jobs for community members. Sharkey views increasing investment in such community organizations as “a blueprint for a new model of urban policy.”

American Dream Business Pitch Competition Starts U.S. Tour with Black Expo America

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2018 Comments Off on American Dream Business Pitch Competition Starts U.S. Tour with Black Expo America

Washington, DC –  ‘American Dream Business’ announces the US tour with Black Expo America ‘American Dream Business’ pitch competition will travel across the U.S. hosting casting calls for business owners to pitch their business idea or concept to win $1,000, after the 2018 tour, American Dream Business Pitch Competition will award $20,000 at the finale in Washington, DC The Black Expo America tour kicks off in Washington DC on March 10, 2018 at the Renaissance Hotel 999 9th Street from 10 am – 6:00 pm.

Contestants are invited to register to pitch their business to qualify to become one of the Top Ten to pitch on stage to win $1,000. Business icons serving as judges include Warren Brown, Celebrity Chef at CakeLove, Denise Rolark Barnes, Publisher of The Washington Informer Newspaper and others.

‘American Dream Business’ (ADB) is the brainchild of D. Yvonne Rivers, Principal of Phoebe Marketing Group and Creator and Producer of DC Shark Tank established in 2015. Business Pitch competitions are popping up across the globe. ADB beings a fresh and unique approach and perspective to pitching your business. Win or lose a pitch competition, business owners will be linked with business resources in all cities to grow and sustain a profitable business which is the ‘American Dream Business. ADB will be filmed on September 27th to produce a trailer to market to television networks.

About Phoebe Marketing Group (PMG) www.phoebemarketing.com ceo@phoebemarketing.com

  1. Yvonne Rivers has been the Principal of The Phoebe Marketing Group since 1997, a business development, marketing and training company serving globally and headquartered in Washington, DC. She also provides motivational speaking to social entrepreneurs to grow globally with webinars, books, tapes and LIVE events. Yvonne is a graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and studied graduate marketing at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.


Yvonne has over twenty-five years of business experience and is the creator and producer of ‘ DC Shark Tank ‘and ‘Phoebe Pitch Tank’ now, ‘American Dream Business’ which is a business pitch competition established in 2015 that has developed tremendous accolades including being featured ‘Black Enterprise Magazine’ and speaking and pitch competitions across the United States. Yvonne has expanded to Johannesburg, South Africa, London and Tamale, Ghana with her business ventures.

About Black Expo America Inc.: www.blackexpoamerica.com info@blackexpoamerica.com


Black Expo America Inc. was established by Mark Anthony Jenkins in 2013 in New York City. Black Expo America Inc. is a tradeshow, expo planning, and marketing company that has produced business expos and conferences in major cities such as New York, NY, Newark, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA. Black Expo America Inc. will emerge as the leading event planner uniting distinguished African-American, Caribbean and African entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals by showcasing their products and services nationwide. Black Expo Inc. will travel to 30 tour cities in 2018 with Black Expo America and Phenomenal Black Woman Expo events to cities including: Washington, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Memphis and more. Our mission is to restore, revitalize and re-energize the African American, Caribbean and African community through the promotion of entrepreneurship coupled with personal growth and business development.

We seek to encourage African American, Caribbean American, and African business owners to follow their dreams, whatever they may be; and to inspire the belief that the capacity for success and greatness lies within oneself.


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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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