April , 2019

Storied Poet, Author, Educator & Activist Debuts Show February 2011 on Public Radio (Distributed through RCW Media ...
Says Mark Kirk's answer for American jobs being shipped to China: Let's do more of the same   Chicago, ...
Thomas W. Lucas, Jr. convinced more than 250 investors that Disney had plans to build ...
  SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement on ...
  Attorney General Files Suit Against Jimmy John’s Corporate Entities for Unfair Labor Practice   CHICAGO, IL  ─ ...
Most Chicagoans are unaware of the heroin epidemic. They honestly don't know that ...
New America Media By Earl Ofari Hutchinson In less than 24 hours after two Las ...
(News from the Better Business Bureau)     Chicago, IL - Summer vacation season is underway. While this ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the following meeting for Oct. ...
   WASHINGTON, DC - Supporters of African-American businesses across the country can now access real-time information ...

Archive for April 7th, 2018

8th Ward Residents Left Out in the Rainy-Cold Due to a False Telephone Call That Toppled Their Important Community Meeting

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On April - 7 - 2018 Comments Off on 8th Ward Residents Left Out in the Rainy-Cold Due to a False Telephone Call That Toppled Their Important Community Meeting

By Dr. Juanita Bratcher

Editor   & Publisher, CopyLine  Magazine



About 200,  8th Ward residents showed up for a scheduled community meeting at St. Ailbe church in the rainy-cold only to find out in the church’s parking lot that the meeting had been canceled.

Residents cried foul, they believed that their meeting had been toppled and killed off by someone, but by whom? Nonetheless, they vowed that it would make them more determined in their efforts to keep out of the neighborhood a 134-unit, 7 story low income Section Eight proposed housing project which is scheduled to be built in Calumet Heights at 9329 to 9429 S. Stony Island Ave., in the middle- and upper-middle class neighborhood

Certainly, the 200 attendees were baffled and taken aback when they got the cancellation news in the parking lot. They were angry and felt that someone had sabotaged their plan of getting together to discuss their opposition to a project the alderman has sanctioned and the majority of the community residents do not want.

“This just put more gasoline on the fire,” said one of the residents, when hearing that the meeting had been canceled without notice. “This will only make us work harder to keep it out. We don’t want it in our neighborhood, the alderman wants it there. I say put it somewhere else.” That was the overall feeling of all people who attended the meeting in their interaction with each other in the parking lot. That’s why they came to the meeting in the first place – to find ways together to stop the building from coming to the area.

Said another 8th Ward resident: “We want the alderman to know that we don’t want this huge, low-income building in our neighborhood. We will fight tooth and nail to keep it out. She better take heed or she will be voted out of office in the next election. This is the same alderman that was going to bring a marijuana business and pawn shop into the 8th Ward. 8th Ward residents fought back and kept them both out.

However, the setback didn’t stop some of the attendees from finding another meeting place. They were successful in their efforts to seek refuge at a nearby restaurant about two blocks away. They were accommodated in their efforts to hold the meeting there. Much planning went on between the people who stayed. But one thing was certain; they said they will “fight like hell” to keep the building out of the 8th Ward community

Many of the prospective attendees voiced disappointment and anger that St. Ailbe had canceled the meeting at the last minute. But according to a staff person at St. Ailbe Church, the meeting was canceled sometime ago after they learned that a woman had falsely called in and used the name of another person to use the meeting room, and there was no telephone number listed to call the person back. She had used the name of a woman several in the church was familiar with.

The staff person said the woman whose name was used was part of the Calumet Heights group that meets at St Ailbe every month. The lady that called in and scheduled the meeting used her name, but the woman whose name was used said she didn’t call and schedule a meeting.

“So we took the meeting off the book because we didn’t know who or what was going on,” said St. Ailbe’s staff person “There was no telephone number for the person who called in under false pretense and we had no way of notifying her that the meeting was being canceled. We would have gladly called back if she had left a telephone number.”

While St. Ailbe has always been a good neighbor in the community and has provided availability to many organizations to utilize their facility for meetings over the years, they had to cancel the meeting because someone had called the church and falsely used the name of someone else.

“It’s like we did something wrong,” the St. Ailbe staff person added. “We do not deal with politics and who’s running for what. Alderman Michele Harris doesn’t run our office, facility, and who we let into our meeting room. No one can tell us what to do. We had no idea what was going on (in the parking lot because there was no meeting being held), and we didn’t know about the guy out there in the parking lot passing out flyers (brochures about the low-income housing project).”

Linda Hudson, a perspective candidate for 8th Ward alderman, said when the alderman held a meeting regarding the low-income Section 8 seniors building, she said she had sent a survey to residents and they wanted it. “But everyone at the meeting said they were not aware of the survey. She (alderman) told us it was not a done deal and she would like more meetings with the community to discuss it.”

The alderman had a meeting on March 27 at the Montclare senior residence on East 78th Street. “The meeting should have been held in Calumet Heights where the people who will be affected live.” said Hudson.”  Reportedly, the alderman told people at the meeting that “We need to jump on this opportunity because some white alderman would want it….We really don’t need more senior housing in the ward. The ones that are here already have vacancies.

“We sent her (Alderman Michelle Harris) an invite for the meeting last night (the one that was canceled). We were disappointed when we got to meeting and it had been canceled. One of her staff persons was passing out flyers in the parking lot and told people that the meeting had been canceled.

“Our voices should be heard on projects like this coming into our ward,” Hudson continued. “Every time a project comes into the ward we never know about it until it happens. But it will never happen on my watch. The community will get input and transparency.”

8th Ward Alderman Evades Yet Another Meeting with the Concerned Citizens of the 8th Ward About Proposed Low Income Senior Housing

Posted by Admin On April - 7 - 2018 Comments Off on 8th Ward Alderman Evades Yet Another Meeting with the Concerned Citizens of the 8th Ward About Proposed Low Income Senior Housing

By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan

Once again, the alderman of the 8th ward had the opportunity to talk to residents immediately affected by the low-income senior housing she tried to sneak into the neighborhood, but she didn’t show up. Why is the alderman evading the very people she said she had the support of in the community meeting last week?

According to 8th ward staff that attended the meeting, they have been working on this development since 2015, but no one attending the meeting knew about it, except them! If you are new to this, especially Pill Hill residents, what the 8th Ward alderman is trying to do is force a private and publicly owned 7 story, 1-2 bedroom, 134 unit mammoth shadowing over your homes.

Unlike the community meeting last week, attended by what looked like most of the residents that lived in the Montclare residence on 78th street. It appeared most of the people that attended the meeting never left the building. Another interesting thing that came out about their waiting list (since last week meeting it has gone from 200 to 400-500 people according to them) was that many of the residents at that location would be coming to the proposed location on Stony Island Ave.  You can’t help but wonder how those units were issued out and have a waiting list, and no one knew about it coming in the Pill Hill area.

8th ward alderman staff representatives

8th Ward Alderman Staff Representatives

Although this 38.6 million property being developed by MR Properties, LLC, a private owned company in Des Plaines, Illinois, made contributions to several of the current 8th ward alderman’s’ organizations. (You can request a copy of the contribution list for the 8th Ward Alderman) which is approved by the Illinois Housing Development Authority on September 29, 2017. And the community didn’t know about it. When concerned citizens found out about the scheduled zoning meeting, somehow it was rescheduled and staff couldn’t give the community an idea when it would be ready. I might add that three of the alderman’s staff sent to once again attended the meeting to fill in for the 8th Ward alderman were ill-prepared and hostile when they couldn’t answer some important questions, often returning questions with personal questions unrelated to the issue.

One of the 8th Ward Representatives, when asked how much of the community property taxes were supporting the TIF money being used with the proposed development, was misinformed that TIF money only came from businesses and not citizens when it does, instead of being given an answer. They obviously showed up with no real data. An audience member also pointed out to the alderman’s staff member that she needed to curb her tone which was way out of line and disrespectful to the concerned citizens in the room.

They are also floating around mixed materials. Some say the building will only house 62 year old seniors with a maximum income of $44,250 while other handouts from the alderman’s office state “For people age 55 years and older with an annual income that does not exceed $31,680 for one person, or $36,180 for two people.”

It was also pointed out to the 8th Ward alderman’s office by an audience member that people want to protect their life investment, and they should understand it. “Something is amiss here. Something doesn’t smell right,” was also stated by an audience member. There is an obvious lack of transparency on the alderman’s part, and it was also discussed that there may be some issues with an alderman that runs unopposed to not look out for the good of the community. It was pointed out by another audience member that it was important to develop a community for young families, including the types of businesses they like to frequent to help develop the community. They have the buying power.

There was a lot of enthusiasm on the part of the alderman’s staff to keep discussing issues that had nothing to do with what the residents were there for which ate away valuable discussion time. Concerned Citizens stressed the importance of scheduling another meeting with the alderman because she did not attend the other two meetings the organization had invited her to attend, but stressed that they didn’t want the alderman to hold any more meetings at any senior housing complexes. “No career type jobs will be created so young people can continue to live in the community” said Jerry Brown.

A young man at the meeting asked why young people had been excluded from the meetings to make decisions about what takes place in the community. And the whole room was fed up with the alderman’s exclusions and lack of transparency, mentioning that the office needed to be monitored because a lot was probably going on with the community not being included.

The question was raised about eminent domain, would it  be used to seize homes to alleviate traffic issues if necessary that will be caused by cars coming off the highway from under the viaduct at a high speeds on Stony Island Avenue at 94th street.

Jerry Brown, Community Activist

Jerry Brown, Community Activist & Concerned Citizen of the 8th Ward

99.9% of people at the meeting were totally against the development coming to the community, and said they would fight it. Someone asked why the community wouldn’t be included in decisions about what comes into the neighborhood, and the answer was they were. The room was met with responses that it didn’t include the immediate community, and why would the whole 8th Ward make a decision about a part of the Ward they don’t live in, and won’t come directly in contact with?

Jerry Brown, a concerned citizen and community activist who lives in the 8th Ward community, stated that he will be paying for a precinct survey, out of pocket, for the proposed location. He also pointed out that public and private money will be used; that CHA is providing subsidies for this project, and the Chicago Low Income Trust is also providing money. Low Income Housing Trust can provide units that could be made available for homeless leaving shelters, homeless people, people leaving drug facilities, etc., to live in the building and was agreed to by the 8th Ward Alderman’s staff that it is true.

If you are concerned about these developments taking place around your homes without your consensus, the Concerned Citizens of the 8th Ward is asking that you attend the following meetings to voice your concerns about this project taking place in your neighborhood without your input.

Please come out and support the people that have been fighting for you to keep your community a family and business area; and let the Community Development Commission and Chicago Planning Commission know our community is not up for grabs. There will be buses provided by the Concerned Citizens of the 8th Ward for people that need a lift downtown.

Community Development Commission Meeting
City Hall, 2nd floor City Council Chambers
121 N. LaSalle Street
April 10th at 1:00 pm

Chicago Plan Commission Meeting
City Hall, 2nd floor City Council Chambers
121 N. LaSalle Street
April 19th at 10:00 am

Elect Linda Hudson for 8th Ward Alderman

Not Just in Flint, Michigan – Bad Air and Bad Water Affect African Americans Disproportionately all Across the Country

Posted by Admin On April - 7 - 2018 Comments Off on Not Just in Flint, Michigan – Bad Air and Bad Water Affect African Americans Disproportionately all Across the Country

New coordinated effort aims to force Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, who ignores how pollution disproportionately impacts communities of color, out of office.

Pollution in African American communities

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — Ten of the nation’s largest and most influential environmental groups, including Hip Hop Caucus and Green for All, today launched a coordinated campaign to drive Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt from office, calling him a dire threat to Americans’ health and our environment. Communities of color, who already are disproportionately impacted by the effects of exposure to toxic and hazardous substances, bad air quality and bad water, will face heightened threats to their health and environmental safety.

Representative Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) tweeted Pruitt must be booted out:

“As EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt has undermined climate and public health protections, jeopardized the health of communities of color, and wasted taxpayer $$ on luxury travel. It’s time to #BootPruitt #LetusBreathe”

The ‘”Boot Pruitt” campaign issued this statement explaining why Pruitt must go:

“The time has come. In just over one year, Scott Pruitt has taken dozens of actions to ensure the EPA fails in its mission to protect our health and environment; allowed hundreds of major industrial polluters to dramatically increase the amount of mercury, arsenic, lead and other toxins they can dump into our air and water; turned his back on the dangers from climate change; stamped out science and gagged EPA’s scientists; and wreaked all this damage while spending lavishly on himself, prompting several investigations into ethical breaches. Mr. Pruitt has unquestionably failed the people he’s meant to protect, and failed the standard of ethical conduct required of a public official. We are standing together and standing up for the millions of children and families being exposed to deadly pollution by Scott Pruitt’s dangerous policies.”

As EPA chief, Pruitt has ignored how pollution disproportionately impacts communities of color and vulnerable communities that surround power plants and major industrial facilities. According to the recent NAACP-Clean Air Task Force report, Fumes Across the Fence-Line:

“More than 1 million African Americans live within a half mile of existing natural gas facilities and the number is growing every year. As a result, many African American communities face an elevated risk of cancer due to air toxics emissions from natural gas development. The air in many African American communities violates air quality standards for ozone smog. Rates of asthma are relatively high in African American communities.”

One in six black children has asthma, a rate that is about double the proportion of white children with the disease. The death rate from asthma of African-Americans in the U.S. is higher than people of other races or ethnicities. (Source: www.aafa.org) With his rollback policies, EPA Administrator Pruitt is putting polluters first at the expense of the health of our children.

To join the campaign to Boot Pruitt visit us online at www.BootPruitt.com or follow them on Twitter at @BootPruitt.


Today’s Critical Struggles are Embedded in Dr. King’s Vision of Racial and Economic Justice

Posted by Admin On April - 7 - 2018 Comments Off on Today’s Critical Struggles are Embedded in Dr. King’s Vision of Racial and Economic Justice

Dr. King Condemned the “Triplets of Racism, Extreme Militarism and Materialism” – the Locus of Today’s Struggles for Equity and Justice

CHICAGO, ILChicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey issued the following statement to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King::

Fifty years ago, an assassin’s bullet cut down one of our nation’s most beloved civil rights leaders. Yet Dr. King’s legacy – and his values – abide today. We see his impact in every protest against police violence, every picket that demands funds for public schools over cop academies, every lawsuit opposing Chicago’s racist gang database. The white supremacy that Dr. King defied has not ended in the years since he was gunned down – yet the heartbreak of his murder did not defeat his peers or the generations of activists that have stepped up since April 4, 1968. The struggle for racial and economic justice is growing today in this nation, despite fierce opposition from the highest ranks of government.

Dr. King denounced the “triplets of racism, extreme militarism and materialism.” Those distorted practices continue to afflict our city and our nation today, often in the guise of policies promoted by those who proclaim themselves ‘progressive’ while they foist terrible injustice on poor people and people of color.

In Chicago, we’ve seen the ranks of Black teachers cut in half in just the last five years alone – with a lower percentage of Black teachers today in our city than when Dr. King came to Chicago in 1966. We’ve seen our schools shuttered and our students dispossessed by a callous, unelected autocracy that promotes segregationist policies and educational apartheid for the bulk of our students. We’ve seen unarmed Black and Brown people gunned down by state agents who face few – if any – consequences for their actions. We’ve seen our Black and Latinx neighborhoods robbed of their fair share of funding for housing, health care and living wage work.

In the face of all of this inequity and opposition, the movement for racial and economic justice endures. A growing number of Chicagoans are mobilizing to demand an elected, representative school board, an end to racist school hiring practices, and sustainable community schools that offer poor Black and Brown children the supports they need and deserve not just to survive, but to thrive. Progressive projects – with youth of color in the lead – are demanding living wage work, an end to handouts of public lands and public dollars that privilege the wealthy few, and a city that protects all of its residents from the perils of poverty, eviction, criminalization, deportation and violence.

Dr. King died in Memphis defending the rights of striking Black city workers. Chicago’s mayor has simply privatized many of these workers – including in our schools. Yet the struggle to advance labor rights continues, including the battle in Springfield to close the 4.5 loophole – Section 4.5 of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act. Ending that loophole will return to Chicago’s teachers the power to challenge intolerable conditions like overcrowded classrooms and third party contracts that leave our schools filthy while Aramark and Sodexo get filthy rich.

In the last month, teachers’ strikes have broken out across the nation, as educators join with parents, public workers and grassroots residents to demand equity and take a stand for the dignity of their labor. We saw a wave of truly progressive Black and Latinx political candidates win races in last month’s primaries, ousting some of the region’s most intransigent political hacks. And Chicago is the locus of a growing movement against school privatization and the lie of school ‘choice’, grounded in a deeper drive for economic equity – the thrust of Dr. King’s work in the last years of his life.

For Dr. King, racial justice was intrinsically coupled with economic justice – and today’s activists and allies do not merely acknowledge that intimate connectedness, but demand its embrace.

Today’s critical struggles link directly to Dr. King’s memory, legacy and vision – and his values are as relevant today as they were fifty years ago. The Chicago Teachers Union is proud to stand today with Chicago’s Black and Brown communities in our ongoing struggle to bring into being Dr. King’s vision for a more just and equitable nation.

The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information, please visit the CTU website at www.ctunet.com.

Flight Academy to Increase Minority Pilots

Posted by Admin On April - 7 - 2018 Comments Off on Flight Academy to Increase Minority Pilots
The legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen Continues: The eyes above the horizon event promises to inspire minorities interested in aviation

Legacy Flight Academy

Oak Park, IL (BlackNews.com) — The Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen Continues: The Eyes Above The Horizon Event promises to inspire minorities interested in Aviation. At-risk youth from all over the country are encouraged to participate.

Minorities make up about 2% of all aviators. Pilots are in demand. The Legacy Flight Academy seeks to increase those numbers by exposing minorities and at-risk youths ages 8 to 18 to careers in aviation.

On April 21, 2018 the LFA will host “The Eyes Above The Horizon”. Participants will fly in a single engine airplane, receive instruction in basic aviation principles, and explore the STEM Principles incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Event Details:
8am to 4pm CST
4300 Vector Drive
Cahokia, IL 62206

Participation in LFA programs are open to all students, just as the Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen transcended ethnic, racial and gender barriers. This event is free of charge. To learn more, visit www.legacyflightacademy.org

Their Community Support Helps Them Offer These Amazing Opportunities

Active and retired military and civilians are always encouraged to join our organization through volunteer opportunities, and corporate sponsors and donations help us fund our year round programs.

On April 9th, 2018, the LFA is hosting their annual fundraiser #Tuskegee99 which seeks donations from 99 supporters to donate $99 on the 99th day. 100% of proceeds go towards tuition, camps, manuals, supplies, and scholarships and is tax deductible.

About The Legacy Flight Academy
The LFA is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization that conducts character-based youth aviation programs that draw upon the LEGACY of the Tuskegee Airmen. Their program helps minorities and at-risk youth achieve success as aerospace professionals, particularly emphasizing military career opportunities.

Photo Caption: Future aviators pose with the staff of the Legacy Flight Academy


Gov. Scott Appeals Court Order to Reform System for Restoring Voting Rights

Posted by Admin On April - 7 - 2018 Comments Off on Gov. Scott Appeals Court Order to Reform System for Restoring Voting Rights


Disenfranchisement News

From Marc Mauer

The Sentencing Project



Gov. Scott Appeals Court Order to Reform System for Restoring Voting Rights

Florida officials appealed U.S. District Judge Mark Walker’s order that the state change its process for restoring voting rights to people with felony convictions. Judge Walker ruled that the current process is unconstitutionally arbitrary because it gives state officials unfettered discretion to grant or deny voting rights for any reason. He gave the state until April 26th to create a new system.

Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an appeal on behalf of the state and asked that the order be placed on hold or the April 26th deadline extended while the case moves to the federal appeals court. Judge Walker denied the request and criticized Gov. Scott and state officials. “Rather than comply with the requirements of the United States Constitution, defendants continue to insist they can do whatever they want with hundreds of thousands of Floridians’ voting rights and absolutely zero standards,” Walker wrote. “They ask this Court to stay its prior orders. No.”

Iowa and New Jersey

State newspapers call for felony disenfranchisement reform

After Judge Walker struck down Florida’s process of rights restoration, the Quad-City Times editorial board argued that Iowa’s system is also unconstitutional. “Florida’s discredited system of enfranchisement is bad enough, requiring the direct approval from the governor or one of his cabinet for the restoration of a felon’s voting rights. Iowa’s is even worse…only the governor can restore voting rights.” There are more than 56,000 people disenfranchised in Iowa, and about 49,000 are not incarcerated. The editorial board called on the Legislature to take up the issue of restoring rights to people who have completed their sentence during the next session. In the meantime, they called for a creation of a committee to expedite the petitions that have been ignored by the Governor’s office.

The New Jersey Star-Ledger editorial board recently came out in strong support of a bill to remove all voting restrictions for people with felony convictions—including for those in prison.  New Jersey law requires that individuals complete their prison, probation and/or parole sentence before regaining their voting rights. The bill, sponsored by Senators Ron Rice, Sandra Cunningham, and Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, would put New Jersey in line with Maine and Vermont as the only states without any felony disenfranchisement restrictions. “Some say felons have bad judgment, and that we don’t want such people picking our representatives,” wrote the editorial board. “We don’t set up voting barriers for racists or other ill-informed yokels who probably do more damage to their community with their reprehensible ballot choices than somebody who did time for tampering with a lobster trap.”


Unlock the Vote campaign registers voters in jail

California allows individuals incarcerated in jail awaiting trial, serving a misdemeanor or probation violation, and those serving a county jail sentence for a low-level offense to vote. As part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s “Unlock the Vote” campaign, volunteers have been going inside Los Angeles and Orange County jails to register and educate eligible incarcerated voters. The campaign aims to have thousands of people in jail registered to vote for the June primary and November election.

In addition, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently approved a countywide initiative to promote voter education and registration for current and formerly incarcerated individuals. “No one should be denied their constitutional rights,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who co-authored the plan. “I think voter registration efforts in the jails ought to be viewed as a significant piece to anti-recidivism and reentry.”


Lawsuit calls state’s disenfranchisement laws unconstitutional

On behalf of five plaintiffs, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a class action lawsuit against the state of Mississippi to automatically restore voting rights to individuals upon completion of their sentence. The suit called the state’s felony disenfranchisement laws “racially-biased, unconstitutionally arbitrary, and a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.”

Mississippi bans people with felony convictions from voting for life if they have been convicted of one of 22 disenfranchising crimes. In order to regain voting rights, impacted individuals have three options: apply for a pardon from the governor; apply for an Executive Order Restoring Civil Rights from the governor; or have the State Legislature pass a bill of suffrage on their behalf (which must pass with two-thirds majority). This process results in very few people actually regaining their right to vote. According to The Sentencing Project, only 30 percent of Mississippians who have attempted rights restoration have had their rights restored.

Paloma Wu of SPLC said they decided to bring the suit now after seeing the progress made with lawsuits in Alabama and Florida. “There have been, in both of those lawsuits, some quite extraordinary decisions that we feel here in Mississippi are leading the way for a state like ours,” said Wu.


Woman sentenced to 5 years for voting with a felony conviction

Crystal Mason, 43, was sentenced to five years in prison for illegally voting in the November 2016 election. In Texas, individuals with felony convictions are barred from voting until they have fully completed their criminal sentence. Mason was on supervised release when she voted in the election, and testified that she did not know she was prohibited from voting. During her testimony, Mason said that an election worker walked her through the process of filling out a provisional ballot after they failed to locate her name on the voter roll.

“There is a great deal of misinformation even among elections officials,” said Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project. “People are assured that they have the right to vote by elections officials and often they are operating on erroneous information.”

The judge could have sentenced Mason to anywhere between two to 20 years in prison or probation. Mason’s defense attorney has filed an appeal.

Tom Joyner Announces Scholarship Winner

Posted by Admin On April - 7 - 2018 Comments Off on Tom Joyner Announces Scholarship Winner

Daudreanna Baker wins Tom Joyner Foundation (R) ‘Full Ride’ Scholarship to Historically Black University

Tom Joyner with scholarship winner, Daudreanna Kimbrough

Dallas, TX (BlackNews.com) — Daudreanna Baker of Hazlehurst, Miss. is the winner of the 2018 Tom Joyner Foundation® “Full Ride Scholarship” that will cover full tuition, room and board (on campus only) and books up to 10 semesters. Baker, who is the oldest of four raised by a single mom at her home about 30 minutes south of Jackson, Miss., plans to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she plans to become a Chemistry/Pre-Med major.

Tom Joyner, the Foundation’s chairman and founder, announced his scholarship today during the Tom Joyner Morning Show, which airs on 100 stations and reaches a broadcast and digital audience with more than 10 million listeners every week. Baker, who is graduating from Hazlehurst High School, was selected from hundreds of applicants from around the country for the scholarship. Click here to listen to her interview on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.

“I want to help somebody, help themselves,” Baker says. “My mom is a nurse and I always watched her help people and I always appreciated that. I just feel that’s my calling. I want to be extraordinary.”

Baker says she wants to become an orthopedic surgeon. She has been class president, editor of the school’s newspaper, the Indian Inquirer, serves on the Mayor’s Youth Council and has been a mentor at the Boys and Girls Club. In her essay, she talked about one of her classmates who was expelled and is now an inmate at Mississippi State Penitentiary. “I need to go to school so I can show my community that you can do other things,” she said during her scholarship interview. “I want to show my community that you can do better.” You can see her full interview here: https://youtu.be/qIlKxPuOSYc

Tom Joyner, host of the nationally syndicated morning radio show, said, “Daudreanna, I love your passion to help people.”

In his recommendation for the scholarship, Burnell Ramsey said, “She is one of the most brilliant minds I have ever encountered. She is one student who I am sure will go on to do great things in life.” Robin Brumfield of Hazlehurst High School wrote, “I have great respect for her as a professional… Daudreanna is driven, engaging and dependable… she is always learning and growing, an impressive strength that will continue to serve her well in college and beyond.”


Baker is our eighth Tom Joyner Foundation Full Ride Scholar. Previous winners include Z’Kijah Fleming, who is attending Howard University, where she is majoring in business. Morgan Brown, who is attending Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga., pursuing a career in psychiatry; JoAnn Jones who is attending Winston Salem State University in Winston Salem, N.C., pursuing a career in nursing; Titus Ziegler Jr. of Atlanta’s Inman Middle School who served as a commander of the elite Junior ROTC Color Guard and Cheyenne Boyce of Detroit’s Cass Technical High School, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Spelman College in Atlanta was a Fulbright Scholar in Malaysia and now works at the Confucius Institute in Washington, D.C.

Blaine Robertson of Reserve, La. graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. with a B.S. in mathematics and a B.A. in history with a minor in secondary education. The first winner, Britney Wilson of Brooklyn, N.Y., recently passed the New York Bar. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Howard University. Ms. Wilson has worked in the New York offices of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and is now a Bertha Justice Institute Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights.


To retain the scholarship, students had to meet the required academic standards each semester. Graduating high school seniors applied for the scholarship by going to www.TomJoynerFoundation.org. To be eligible, students had to meet the following criteria: 1) Be a United States citizen; 2) Be a current high school senior attending school in the United States. Each applicant must complete high school in the spring of 2018; 3) Have a minimum high school grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 grade scale, excluding home school studies) and minimum SAT score of 1400 (combined math essay and verbal score) or ACT score of 30; 4) Applicants had to apply and be accepted to an HBCU by July 1, 2018; 5.) Applicants had to demonstrate leadership abilities through participation in community service and extracurricular activities.


Founded in 1998, the Tom Joyner Foundation has raised in excess of $65 million to help keep students enrolled in black colleges. It has assisted more than 29,000 students and worked with more than 100 HBCUs. To learn more about the Foundation, go to www.TomJoynerFoundation.org.


Photo Caption: Tom Joyner, nationally syndicated radio show host and founder and chairman of the Tom Joyner Foundation standing next to Full Ride scholarship winner Daudreanna Baker of Hazlehurst, Miss., her mom, Lillian Tillman, and the scholarship banquet keynote speaker Dr. Walter Kimbrough, president, Dilliard University.

Photo credit: Jesse Hornbuckle



Opening ReMarcs: 50 years After MLK

Posted by Admin On April - 7 - 2018 Comments Off on Opening ReMarcs: 50 years After MLK

50 years after MLK. This week, the nation’s eyes turned to Memphis, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was slain in 1968. 

10,000 Small Businesses program. A recent study shows that Black-owned businesses could be a key to closing the racial wealth gap. 

Plan your summer now.
Time is running out to save on registration to our 2018 Conference, featuring celebrities, influencers, and leaders from all over.

Making homeownership a reality. The Urban League of Greater Madison has received an award for its work in helping people become homeowners.
Path to economic prosperity. McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity initiative is a great example of how companies can and should invest in employees.

Be counted. The 2020 Census is critical for communities of color but is currently in a state of crisis. Get the facts in our latest episode.

CBS “Code Black” Star to Host Black Film Festival

Posted by Admin On April - 7 - 2018 Comments Off on CBS “Code Black” Star to Host Black Film Festival
CBS “Code Black” star, William Allen Young to host Film Festivals opening night gala celebrating diversity in Hollywood

The 24th Annual African-American Film Marketplace and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase — one of the best short film festivals in the country — opens April 27-29, 2018 celebrating the work of diverse filmmakers.

Award-winning actor, William Allen Young of the CBS hit, Code Black

Hollywood, CA (BlackNews.com) — On Friday, April 27, 2018, award-winning actor, William Allen Young of the CBS hit show Code Black, will host the opening gala celebration, “A Great Day in Black Hollywood” at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center to kick off the 24th Annual African American Film Marketplace (AAFM) and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase held April 28 – 29, 2018 by The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC).

The popular gala honors diverse leading and legendary professionals, as well as the filmmakers selected for the 2018 S.E. Manly Film Showcase (“SEMSFS”), one of the top short film festivals in the industry. In fact, some of the filmmakers who have had their shorts exhibited at the SEMSFS, as they were launching their now extraordinary careers include: Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler; Oscar-nominated writer-director of Mudbound, Dee Rees and writing-directing icon Gina Prince-Bythewood.

While the SEMSFS puts the spotlight on up and coming talent, the opening gala that Young is hosting recognizes those already established in the business. The 2018 Class of Honorees are: revered ABC executive Tim McNeal, recipient of the Community Service Award; sound editing legend, Bobbi Banks, recipient of The Ivan Dixon Award of Achievement; famed location manager Kokayi Ampah, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and renowned humanitarians, Charisse Bremond Weaver and George Weaver, who are jointly receiving the President’s Award.

Though Young is presiding over an awards gala bestowing accolades on luminaries in the business, he, too, has been an illustrious standout in entertainment. A graduate of USC’s acclaimed School of Dramatic Arts he’s starred in over 100 television, stage and feature projects, including the Oscar-nominated films, District 9 and A Soldier’s Story. Among his television projects are Emmy-winning and Emmy-nominated TV series and TV-movies, such as: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Good Luck Charlie; Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (starring Glenn Close); and The Women of Brewster Place (starring Oprah Winfrey). Notwithstanding, his current series Code Black – where he stars as “Dr. Rollie Guthrie” – is a People’s Choice Award drama series nominee. And of course, he’s also lauded for his groundbreaking portrayal of “Frank Mitchell”, the tough-but-loving father on the hit TV series, Moesha. In addition, Young is a director and member of the DGA (where he’s served as a Co-Chair of the DGA’s African American Steering Committee), as well as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the American Film Institute.

“We are proud to have William Allen Young join again as our Host for our Opening Celebration,” said BHERC Founder and President, Sandra Evers-Manly. “William is not only a gifted actor he is a treasured Humanitarian who gives so much to the community.” Indeed, the Washington D.C. born/South Central Los Angeles-raised Young – also a Ford Foundation Freedom Unsung Award recipient – has maintained his connection to the community through his non-profit, the Young Center for Academic & Cultural Enrichment. It has created opportunities for thousands of underserved youths to obtain a college degree and become successful business and community leaders. Students from over 250 schools have participated in the organization’s award-winning programs and its alumni have been accepted at over 80 U.S. colleges and universities to date.

Similar to the mission of Young’s nonprofit to help youth, the SEMSFS seeks to help aspiring filmmakers achieve their dreams of a careers in the industry. As one of the first film festivals to screen diverse short films more than two decades ago, the S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase continues to provide an opportunity for the artistry of emerging African American and diverse Filmmakers by hosting this annual festival. Over 60 Films are screened in blocks with a moderated Q & A with directors, cast and crew at the end of each block and provides the audience insight and a chance to engage in the dialogue.

Though the gala takes place at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, the SEMSFS takes place at the Raleigh Studios on Saturday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29, 2018. Films are screened on both days from 10 am until 10 pm. The BHERC Youth Diversity Short Film Festival, featuring young aspiring filmmakers of tomorrow from local arts organizations and High, as well as communities across the country takes place Saturday morning, 9 am to Noon beginning with breakfast. This portion of the Festival is Free to the Public. Sunday Morning, Films With A Purpose hosts the LA Premier of “21 and Done”. The untold story of youth aging out of the foster care system. This special event features a post-screening Q and A session with the filmmakers followed by Brunch. Closing the Festivities on Sunday night includes the classic Soul Food & Film Reception at 9:00 p.m. The costs include: Opening Night Festivities $55 (at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4708 W Washington Blvd, LA, CA 90016); a pass for a block of films is only $15 for students with ID and $20 for the general public; All Day Pass is $50; “21 and Done” Premier is $25; Closing Night Reception is $25 (Soul Food & Film); and the Weekend Pass (includes Opening Night, All Day Pass for films, Closing Night Reception, T-Shirt and BHERC Commemorative Bag) is $150.

To purchase tickets and for the complete schedule, please visit www.BHERC.org or call (310) 284-3170. To attend the Film Festival consider riding LA Metro – GO METRO: Take the Metro Local Line 10/48 to Melrose Ave. & Van Ness. Raleigh Studios is right across the bus stop on Melrose Avenue. Plan your trip on metro.net or call 323.GO. METRO (323-466-3876).

Photo Caption: Award-winning actor, William Allen Young of the CBS hit, Code Black

Stolen Identities: Hackers Infiltrated Mortgage Company Computers to Steal Customer Information

Posted by Admin On April - 7 - 2018 Comments Off on Stolen Identities: Hackers Infiltrated Mortgage Company Computers to Steal Customer Information


Conceptual image depicting an FBI agent in a raid jacket fading into a rack of computer servers and code.

A recently closed California hacking and identity theft case sadly illustrates the misery that can be visited on unsuspecting victims when their personal information is compromised.

Between 2011 and 2014, four U.S. citizens who resided in San Diego—but carried out their crimes from across the Mexican border in Tijuana—hacked the computer servers of major U.S. mortgage brokers, stealing detailed loan application information from thousands of customers and then using the victims’ Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers to open unauthorized lines of credit and take over and drain victims’ retirement accounts.

“The damage crimes like these have on victims, the economy, and society in general are significant,” said Special Agent Chris Christopherson, who investigated the case from the FBI’s San Diego Division. “Individuals had their finances wrecked and their credit destroyed, through no fault of their own. For many of them,” he added, “the impacts are still being felt.”

One of the fraudsters in the conspiracy, John Baden, was the chief hacker. He infiltrated mortgage companies using a common hacking technique known as “fuzzing,” which works by overloading a web server with massive amounts of data that can lead to the server revealing security loopholes.

Once Baden had access to victims’ information, he and his conspirators, Victor Fernandez, Jason Bailey, and Joel Nava, went to work. Fernandez—the group’s ringleader—identified multiple victims’ brokerage accounts and took control of them by calling the companies and providing the victims’ personal information to change passwords and contact information. Then it was simple for him and his conspirators to wire funds—sometimes up to $30,000 at a time—from the victims’ accounts to accounts they controlled.

Victims stretched from California to Florida, and one individual lost nearly $1 million in the scheme, Christopherson said. A second part of the scheme involved extensive credit fraud. The criminals used victims’ detailed personal information to set up bogus lines of credit and retail credit card accounts to which they charged thousands of dollars for goods and services. Most of the proceeds from the sale of items in these crimes were used to buy drugs.

“The damage crimes like these have on victims, the economy, and society in general are significant.”

Chris Christopherson, special agent, FBI San Diego

In all, Christopherson estimated there were more than 25,000 victims, and although charging documents listed victim losses at approximately $2.5 million, “in reality the amount was much higher than that,” he said. “There was so much retail fraud over such a long period of time, it was impossible to calculate an accurate and provable loss amount.”

The FBI was alerted to the fraud by a financial institution that noticed irregularities, and about the same time, FBI cyber investigators detected that many victims had a “common point of compromise,” Christopherson said. “They had all recently applied to the same mortgage company.”

Armed with that information, investigators worked backward from the mortgage company, eventually identifying the hack—and the hackers. By that time, Baden was hiding in Mexico. In 2014, he was named to the San Diego FBI’s Most Wanted Cyber Fugitives list, and the reward offered in the case eventually led to his capture in Mexico, Christopherson said.

All four subjects pleaded guilty to their roles in the fraud scheme. In 2015, Baden was sentenced federally to nine years in prison. In January 2018, Fernandez was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison. Bailey received a sentence of more than five years, and in February 2018, Nava was the last subject to be sentenced, to 44 months in prison.

But even years after the crimes were committed, Christopherson said, “the court was still receiving victim impact statements.” Many victims were unable to get jobs or be approved for mortgages or car loans because their credit had been ruined by the fraudsters.

“We are pleased that these criminals are now behind bars and will not be able to victimize anyone else,” said Christopherson, who encouraged the public to regularly check their credit information to make sure their personal information has not been compromised.

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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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