April , 2017

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Archive for the ‘People, Places and Things’ Category

StoryCorps in Chicago, Community Partners to Host Event “Dismantling Barriers to Life: A Speak Out on Mass Incarceration” on March 11th

Posted by Admin On February - 28 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

StoryCorps Justice project partners with local community organizations to record stories about impact of mass incarceration in Chicago

CHICAGO, IL – StoryCorps in Chicago is partnering with several Chicago community-based organizations for an upcoming event on March 11th, “Dismantling Barriers to Life: A speak out on mass incarceration”, to explore the impacts of mass incarceration within the Chicago community.

Co-hosts for the event include Cabrini Green Legal Aid, Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, Community Renewal Society, Growing Home, and Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois. These organizations are among those in Illinois providing direct services to individuals and families impacted by mass incarceration. They have also partnered with StoryCorps in Chicago to record first-person accounts so that these experiences are preserved in this nation’s historical record. Some of these interviews have aired on WBEZ and are archived at StoryCorps, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Museum.

After forging these partnerships in which dozens of participants shared their intimate experiences with incarceration, partners gathered with StoryCorps to see if an event to showcase the stories and the work of these organizations could be possible. The event’s MCs are Colette Payne of Cabrini Legal Aid and Marlon Chamberlain Community Renewal Society.

“Behind every social injustice there is a personal story,” says Colette Payne. “I tell my story, because it will change the world.”

Produced audio stories will be interwoven with personal testimonies, facilitated circle discussions, tabling by advocacy organizations, and a panel discussion on barriers to life after re-entry. Light refreshments will be served.

The event is affiliated with the StoryCorps Justice Project (SCJP), Storycorps’ newest initiative, which aims to amplify and preserve the stories of people whose lives have been impacted by mass incarceration and the justice system nationwide.

On February 17th, the Justice Project partnered with WBEZ to broadcast a conversation recorded at the Chicago StoryBooth with Darryl Cooke and Terry Baines. These two men sat down at the Chicago Cultural Center to reflect on their understanding of historical trauma, and how their brotherhood has supported them through the challenges of re-entry.

The StoryCorps Justice Project is a grant recipient of the Safety + Justice Challenge Network, an initiative of John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


Sat, March 11, 2017

1PM – 4:00 PM CST

Doors open at 12:30PM


First Baptist Congregational

1613 West Washington Boulevard

Chicago, IL 60607


To RSVP, please visit our eventbrite, dismantlingbarriers.eventbrite.com


#dismantlingbarriers #storycorps

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1427167563961663/

Playlist of stories:


For accessibility needs please contact Chicago@StoryCorps.org.

About StoryCorps:

StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. Founded in 2003 by Dave Isay, the nonprofit organization StoryCorps has given 350,000 people the chance to record interviews about their lives, pass wisdom from one generation to the next, and leave a legacy for the future. It is the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered. StoryCorps shares edited excerpts of the stories we record through popular weekly NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books.

In 2014, StoryCorps in Chicago opened a permanent booth in the Chicago Cultural Center dedicated to recording stories from the public and expanding community engagement by partnering with organizations that serve diverse communities. Since 2014,  StoryCorps in Chicago has recorded and partnered with over 140 organizations and recorded over 3,000 interviews.

About Colette Payne:

Colette Payne is an organizer, leader, student, mother, and grandmother. Since 2014, Colette has acted as the head of the Visible Voices program for the CLAIM (Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers) Program and now serves as the Community Organizer for Cabrini Green Legal Aid. In 2015 Colette joined the delegation to assess women’s prisons in Illinois, becoming the first formerly-incarcerated woman to serve in this role in the entire United States. Colette was also selected as a 2016 Fellow for JustLeadershipUSA.

About Marlon Chamberlain:

Marlon Chamberlain was released from Federal Prison on May 29, 2012 after serving 10 years. Following his release, he began working with the F.O.R.C.E. Project (Fighting To Overcome Records & Create Equality), an initiative of the Community Renewal Society led by people with records, and currently serves as its Organizer. Marlon is also a student at Kennedy King College in pursuit of his Master’s degree in Social Work. He is a devoted family man, who continues to put his faith into action by building relationships with congregations and like-minded people to fight against racism, discrimination, and poverty.


Chicago Celebrates International Women’s Day- ‘Be Bold For Change’

Posted by Admin On February - 28 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Keynote Speaker Iram Shah of Schneider Electric


WorldChicago will hold its 16th Annual International Women’s Day Fair at the Union League Club in Chicago.

March 8, 2017 marks International Women’s Day, a date reserved to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and a ‘call-to-action’ for accelerating gender parity. In honor of this occasion, WorldChicago is proud to present its 16th Annual International Women’s Day Fair & Luncheon, an event that has helped raise awareness of Women’s Day in the Chicago community.

The luncheon features a keynote speaker whose unique background reflects that women’s success is not limited to any sector or place. 2017 Keynote Speaker Iram Shah, who was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the UK in 2005, is no exception. Now Senior Vice President of Customer Transformation at Schneider Electric and Chairman of the Sonia Shah Organization, Ms. Shah has worked for multiple Fortune 500 companies in five countries.

“I feel that America really is a land of opportunity, where your hard work pays off,” Ms. Shah remarked. “However, no country is beyond improvement, and it has been a valuable experience living in so many countries and learning about the challenges women must cope with in each of them.” This experience, Ms. Shah noted, reinforced to her the importance of creating opportunities for other women and girls, which the Sonia Shah Organization does through educating girls in Pakistan and in the U.S.

Prior to the luncheon, WorldChicago holds an International Fair where Chicago organizations from a variety of fields highlight their work in key issue areas, from Chicagoans Helping Haiti to the Chicago Cultural Alliance. The fair continues the tradition of bringing hundreds of Chicagoans together to celebrate women’s successes and encouraging collaboration on solutions to unmet challenges.

“Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women join the conversation about gender parity and our role in supporting women around the world,” said Peggy Parfenoff, President of WorldChicago.


The International Women’s Day Fair & Luncheon is hosted by WorldChicago, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that hosts citizen diplomacy programs that connect the Chicago community with international professional and youth leaders participating in U.S. Department of State exchanges in Chicago. A core part of WorldChicago’s values is supporting women’s empowerment and equality by creating opportunities for women in entrepreneurship, technology, social sectors, and by elevating the potential of women and girls in STEM fields.


Schneider Electric develops connected technologies and solutions to manage energy and process in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable.

Schneider Electric has supported and implemented policies that advance and empower women in the workplace. That includes being one of 10 corporate champions for the United Nations’ #HeForShe global solidarity movement. Schneider Electric puts gender equality on the top of its agenda, making diversity not just a human resource focus, but a key business strategy.

The International Women’s Day Fair & Luncheon starts at 10:30 am on March 8 at the Union League Club of Chicago, 65 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604. Tickets and more information can be found at http://www.worldchicago.org/all-event-list/2017intlwomensday/. We also encourage you to be part of the conversation #WorldChicagoforBeBoldforChange


For more information about WorldChicago, please visit: www.worldchicago.org

For more information about the Sonia Shah Organization, please visit: http://soniashahorganization.com/

For more information on IWD, please visit: http://www.chicagowomensday.org

Real Men Charities Ushers in a New Generation of Leadership with New Executive Director and Expanded Board of Directors

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

As part of an overarching mission to build on its legacy for decades to come, Real Men Charities, Inc.’s co-founders, Kofi and Yvette Moyo, have appointed 27-year-old Ayinde Cartman as Executive Director. An organizer and artist with extensive experience in revitalizing communities and schools, Cartman succeeds Ms. Moyo, who will remain as Associate Director. To illustrate its forward vision, the Charities’ board added a carefully-selected group of new trustees. These leaders, like Cartman, are inspired by the Founders’ commitment to Real Men Cook’s goals and its evolving service dynamic. At the same time, they bring their own vision of growth that will enable Real Men Cook to thrive well into posterity.

Under the Moyos’ leadership, Real Men Charities has gained notoriety as one of the nation’s most successful organizations focused on building healthy families and communities. As executive director, Cartman is charged with building on the Moyos’ mission while expanding its youth reach, increasing its mentoring activities, and taking an even more actively-consistent role in the community.

Cartman, a graduate of Morehouse College, brings an impressive and diverse record of activism to his new role. He has almost a decade of experience organizing, mentoring youth and adults for a multitude of organizations and perfecting his talent as a performance artist.

After graduation, Cartman held poetry and theater sessions through After School Matters, and continues to uphold the importance of the arts with his teaching position with Alternatives Youth Services. As an organizer with Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100), he was involved in street-team campaigns to raise the minimum wage for workers across the city, and cultivated strategies to build membership and involvement in community initiatives. He has also worked with Lawndale AMACHI Mentoring Program, building relationships with Black boys in need of guidance. Cartman’s participation in the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (AAPRP) gave him a cultural and political foundation of the African diaspora. His wide array of experiences and his proven accomplishments have gained him valuable national networks and resources that will help him in his new role.

He continues the dedication to Real Men Charities cultivated by his parents, who were longstanding members of Real Men Charities and supported the organization’s events and endeavors.  Cartman gives particular credit to his late father Thabiti Cartman, a noted chiropractor, whose practice was devoted to wellness and healing.

In making the announcement, the Moyos chronicled Real Men Charities’ journey that was incorporated in 2003.  It was created to serve as a charitable-organization umbrella for Real Men Cook, which is now entering its 28th year. Driven by the Moyos’ leadership, this signature event has evolved from a one-day celebration that showcases responsible fatherhood, to a year-round movement.  It has centered much of its expanded effort on health awareness including childhood obesity, prostate cancer, diabetes, heart disease, HIV AIDS and other community health challenges. Real Men Charities’ national focus includes work on the White House Fatherhood and Male Responsibility initiatives.

Like the organization he is charged to lead, and inspired by his father’s example, Cartman is committed to promoting a threefold platform centered around revitalizing the state of wellness in Black men. Cartman has committed to using REAL MEN Comprehend, REAL MENding and REAL MENtality to “suffocate Chicago’s gun-violence by providing youth-led opportunities.”

In praising Cartman’s appointment, Ms. Moyo said: “Ayinde Cartman’s experiences make him uniquely qualified to seize the Real Men Cook reins while strengthening the Real Men Cook brand with an array of forward-thinking ideas.”

Rael Jackson, whose team led the Real Men Cook events for nearly a decade and serves as a member of Real Men Charities’ board of directors, also applauded Cartman’s selection.

The new members of the Real Men Charities’ board represent a cross section of leaders who are bound by their commitment to build a strong leadership foundation that will last for many generations.  They join an existing board that has charted the organization’s growth. Each board member has a compelling story that underscores a passionate commitment to the community and to Real Men Cook. The complete list of board members and their bios can be accessed at http://www.realmencook.com/Board.html

Ms. Moyo said that the selection of Ayinde Cartman as executive director and the new board “build on a strong tradition of increasing, uplifting and celebrating the roles of Black men in the community. I am confident that the new leaders will steer the futures of countless male youth into brighter directions.”

To connect with Ayinde Cartman, or Real Men Charities, Inc., call 773.484.0624, or email ayindecartman@gmail.com. For more information on Real Men Cook, visit www.realmencook.com or e-mail info@realmencook.com.

About Real Men Cook

Real Men Cook was conceived and launched in Chicago in 1990 by entrepreneurs Yvette Moyo and Kofi Moyo as a local Father’s Day family celebration. The original concept grew to being celebrated in as many as 13 cities and evolved into a national Father’s Day tradition. Real Men Cook’s success spawned the creation of a number of products including Real Men Cook Sweet Potato Pound Cake® and the book REAL MEN COOK. Formerly REAL MEN COOK: Rites, Rituals and Recipes for Living, the book was published by Simon & Schuster with a Foreword by then State Senator and now former president Barack Obama. The book highlights family celebrations around food and pays tribute to the participants. It includes a compilation of the favorite recipes of almost 100 of the nation’s– and Chicago’s –famous men. It is available for purchase on amazon.com

Photo: Ayinde Cartman, the newly appointed Executive Director of Real Men Charities

Ayinde Cartman, Executive Director of Real Men Charities


Clarence Darrow Symposium to Explore Populism

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Annual commemoration of Clarence Darrow takes place Monday, March 13


CHICAGO, IL –  Famed attorney Clarence Darrow, inspired by his defense of Patrick Prendergast in Chicago in the 1890s, became attracted to a burgeoning populist movement. The Debs Rebellion, named for labor organizer Eugene Debs, was in full force, and Darrow began to see how judges were under the control of corporations. “The experience left him angry and alienated,” author John A. Farrell writes in his biography of Darrow.

What Darrow said in the late 1800s could easily be said of 2017 in the U.S.: “Today the privileged institutions of America, fattened by unjust laws and conditions, boastfully proclaim that monopoly is king.” Darrow joined the Cook County central committee of the Populist Party in 1892.

Flash forward 125 years, and you have a redefined populism of a billionaire as president, staking his claim as the leader of working people. How does this take on populism compare to the populism of Darrow? Come hear author Farrell’s take on this interesting series of events at the annual Clarence Darrow symposium on the seventy-ninth anniversary of Darrow’s death, Monday, March 13.

The title of the program is, “Robber Barons & Populists: Would Clarence Darrow recognize today’s Populism?”

The day begins with a brief ceremony and wreath-tossing near the Darrow Bridge in Jackson Park at 10 a.m., where Darrow’s ashes were scattered after his death and where, as a bet, he once agreed his spirit would return if it turned out communication was possible from the afterworld. The bridge is closed due to construction, so the ceremony will be just to the east of the Darrow tribute marker. For the past 60 years, through the annual commemoration ceremony and lecture, Darrow’s spirit has returned—usually to remind us that his work is not yet done.

Special guest speakers at the Darrow Bridge include Ald. Leslie Hairston, activist Bernardine Dohrn, ACLU of Illinois Associate Legislative Director Khadine Bennett and Gene Winkler, adjunct faculty at the Divinity School, University of Chicago.

After the ritual outdoor wreath-tossing, guests will move inside to the Museum of Science and Industry’s Rosenwald Room (formerly the Columbian Room) for light refreshments and presentations at 10:45 a.m. by author Farrell.

Darrow, who died March 13, 1938, is remembered for his crusading role as “attorney for the damned” in such controversial cases as the Scopes Monkey Trial, the Leopold and Loeb murder case, and the pardoning of the Haymarket anarchists.

DIRECTIONS: The Clarence Darrow Bridge is behind the Museum of Science and Industry. Since it is currently under constructions, the wreath-tossing ceremony will take place just east of the bridge. Driving south on Lake Shore Drive, pass the light at 57th Drive and turn right at the next light [Science Drive]. You will come almost immediately to Columbia Drive. If you turn left and follow Columbia Drive there is metered parking near the bridge. You may park at meters near the OmniMax Theater and walk south to the bridge.

For more details see www.darrowbridge.org.

JOHN A. FARRELL: John A. Farrell is the author of Clarence Darrow: Attorney For The Damned, a biography of America’s greatest defense attorney (2012), and of Tip O’Neill and the Democratic Century, the definitive account of House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr.(2002).  His most recent biography, Richard Nixon: The Life, will be released March 28. Farrell is a contributing editor to Politico Magazine and a contributor to The Atlantic, after a prize-winning career as a journalist

Thousands to Gather at U.S. Supreme Court Over Presidents’ Day Weekend

Posted by Admin On February - 15 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Case Before the U.S. Supreme Court Could Void 2016 Primary and General Elections

Jerroll Sanders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thousands will travel to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Presidents’ Day weekend to participate in a two-day appeal to the Supreme Court Justices to overturn the 2016 primary and general elections due to election hacking. The Revote Coalition is hosting the two-day event, which will begin with a 6 p.m. Candlelight Vigil on Sunday, Feb.. 19, and conclude with a rally that starts at noon on Monday, Feb. 20, which is Presidents’ Day.

Jerroll Sanders, spokesperson for the group and legal strategist who wrote the writ of mandamus that is now before the Court, explains that courts are obligated to function as objective triers of fact: “The Presidents’ Day Weekend events have the same purpose as an amicus [friend of the court] brief. It is our way of providing citizens from all parties, persuasions and backgrounds an opportunity to express lack of confidence in the 2016 elections and to call for a revote.”

Sanders adds that the revote effort is not intended to advance the interests of any particular party or candidate, but rather to protect citizens’ rights to vote and select the people who occupy the highest positions in our land.

“A revote is good for everyone, including President Trump,” Sanders states. “President Trump and congressional leaders who may have benefited from the hacks will remain under a shroud of illegitimacy until the question of who really won the elections is answered. If President Trump actually won, he will win again.” Sanders notes that a revote can be accomplished within a few months, using paper ballots cast under the watchful eyes of citizens.

The pending revote case before the Supreme Court argues that Article IV, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution requires the United States to protect States against invasion, which Sanders argues includes cyber invasion as well: “In 2016, the U.S. Government failed to protect States against invasion. As a result, cyber terrorists invaded our cyberspace and intruded into our election systems, leaving States unable to determine the source of winning votes with certainty. A revote is the only appropriate remedy.”

The coalition will share its stage with entertainers, speakers, artists and advocates from across the nation who are working on a variety of issues. The U.S. Supreme Court is located at 1 First St NE, Washington, D.C. 20543. For more information, visit www.Revote.info or email contact@Revote.info.

Bill Dotson Creates Obama Commemorative Collection

Posted by Admin On February - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

World renowned African American ball point pen artist, Bill Dotson teams up with company to produce limited edition Barack H. Obama commemorative collection.
Bill Dotson Bama Mamma Collection

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – Bill Dotson has received worldwide acclaim for his brilliant work. From contracts for national sporting events to international commissions of famous world leaders, Dotson has been heavily sought after for his unique ability to capture the underlying essence of these transient moments in history. He is renowned for his interactive exhibitions and masterclasses, where he demonstrates his exceptional ballpoint pen technique.

Unique in form, he developed this eccentric style while recuperating in the hospital from a serious injury. Able to move only his wrist, he spent his time doodling on letter correspondence paper. These small circular motions would later mature into the distinct craftship of which he would become known.

It was only fitting that he devote his time, energy, and expertise into creating this masterpiece of one of the greatest presidents and most influential world leaders of all time. Appropriately entitled “Life”, “Liberty”, and “Happiness”, the three works draw inspiration from our inalieble rights and the strides President Obama has arduously taken to champion these values.

“I was very excited about the opportunity of having this collection distributed,” Dotson said. “I know a lot of families have wanted a momento to remember this historic period. This is my way of giving back.”

The company

Dotson’s company, Bama Momma, has the sole goal is to provide the African American community with a high quality but affordable keepsake of this monumental period.

In order to pursue this momentous endeavor, they will be partnering with organizations (newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV) and individual proprietors (bloggers, journalists, social media Influencers) in a cross promotion throughout Black History Month. In return for advertising, they will direct 50% of all proceeds from those advertisements back to your organization. They will provide you with a personalized promotional code (or phrase) which can be used by your content viewers to receive half off on all purchases. This code will also allow us to effectively track orders and promptly issue payments back to your organization.

They will also be offering extreme discounts for bulk orders. This will be beneficial to vendors, organizations who will be hosting large events, and various other fundraising initiatives.

For bulk orders, they can provide shipping anywhere in the continental United States. Depending on location, they can also offer personal delivery and assist with unloading and stocking.

Individuals who assist in initiating bulk order sales during this cross promotional period will also be entitled to 25% of proceeds from those sales.

The Product

Focused on longevity, their 16″ x 20″ prints are manufactured in the USA with high grade material. A supportive backing board is included for additional strength. To prevent scratches and general wear, each of our prints come enclosed it a protective cellophane sleeve.

Feel free to explore their website at www.Bamamomma.us for more information.
To take part in this national cross promotional opportunity, please contact:
Bryan J Pegues
Bama Momma
(330) 333-2071
** For physical and digital publications, ad formatted material are readily available.


Photo Caption: The Bill Dotson Collection


Community Group’s New Space Offers Access to Jobs, Immigrants Rights Programs

Posted by Admin On February - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Latino Union of Chicago’s new office, which opened last week in the heart of the thriving Lawrence Avenue business district, will provide employers and community members alike with easier access to economic development and immigrants rights programming.


This Thursday, the organization will host a forum to update members of Albany Park’s immigrant community on President Trump’s immigration executive orders.

The forum will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 9 at 4811 N. Central Park, with staff and members available to speak to the media from 5 to 5:30 p.m.


Located just two blocks west of the Kimball Brown Line station, Latino Union serves residents who are looking for help with home maintenance, house cleaning, child care and elder care with a worker-run hiring hall that is open from 7am to 11am Monday through Friday. Anyone interested in hiring a worker can contact the hiring hall by calling 773-588-2641 or emailing workercenter@latinounion.org.


“Our door is always open to our members and supporters, and we invite community members and the media to come visit us in our new location,” says Latino Union Executive Director Analía Rodríguez.


About Latino Union of Chicago

Latino Union of Chicago is a membership-based organization that strives to create safer work spaces for day laborers and domestic workers, develop community leadership and build a larger movement for immigrants’ and workers’ rights. For more information, visit www.latinounion.org


Team PETAL et al Creates Two Video Games During Global Game Jam’s Annual Event in North Carolina

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Team PETAL et al. Global Game Jam 2017Team PETAL et al. completed another Global Game Jam successfully during this year’s annual event in North Carolina
PETAL et al’s team jammed the weekend (January 20 – 22, 2017) at the UNC Chapel Hill site in North Carolina. The team of three with one guest team member presented two video games (one being a simulation) within 48 hours.
The first project, “Inchworm Simulator”, was created using GameMaker Environment Art (Young Huer), GML coding by
PMac (Pamela McMillan).and CMac (Clarence McMillan) designed & animated the character for the Inchworm simulator. Hard coding by team member 651 (Michele McMillan) in Javascript produced the second game. 651 started out with a game engine, but determined it would be quicker and would allow for more flexibility and customization if she hard coded the “Surf Your Wave!” game instead. She completed that task in less than twenty four hours, after working on the Inchworm Simulator.
In addition to GML (Gamemaker Markup Language), PMac provided for Inchworm, she also contributed background vocals to a third game during the jam known as “Wet Willie” for one of the other teams.
Global Game Jam is an annual event held toward the end of January whereas developers all over the world come together and develop games within 48 hours during the weekend at different sites across the globe. It is not a competition, but a collaboration where people work together to get games completed.
There were 68 participants at this year’s Global Game Jam’s Chapel Hill site.
Global Game Jam 2017

Remembering Coretta Scott King Among Those Who Moved Us Forward

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Remembering Coretta Scott King Among Those Who Moved Us Forward


By Barbara Reynolds

(TriceEdneywire.com) – Coretta Scott King died on January 30, 2006.  Yet her legacy is very much alive as a coalition builder, a strategist and a moral voice that confronted detractors but insisted upon non-violent approaches, such as dialogue, protests and economic boycotts with the end goal of peaceful reconciliation.


In their own analysis 60-era civil rights leaders used to refer to a Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times, which divine dimension that summons leaders exactly when needed most.  That certainly describes the timing of human rights activist Coretta Scott King who is experiencing a resurgence as people take a fresh look at those who successfully moved themselves and others forward through the heavy thicket of discrimination such as the leading ladies in the wonderful new film, Hidden Figures.


A second look at King’s legacy should focus on but go beyond her well known decades ordeal of successfully lobbying to make King’s birthday a national holiday and building the Dr. Martin Luther King Center for Social Change in Atlanta. Tourists from around the role visit this site, where her crypt and that of Dr. King are located near Ebenezer Baptist church where Dr. King preached and was funeralized.


Coretta King certainly should come to mind as millions gathered in Washington and in sister cities around the world last week to mount an overwhelming rebuke to President Donald Trump’s anti-human rights campaign and his denigration of women, minorities, immigrants and the physically challenged. Her name was scrawled on home-made signs scattered throughout.


It is appropriate that we remember her appeal to women and her global human rights efforts. That was the capstone of King’s 38 year mission as she shifted from civil rights to a more global inclusive human rights agenda after the assassination of her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in 1968.  A favorite slogan was: “Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.”


In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed her a nonvoting delegate to the 32nd General Assembly of the United Nations, where she advocated for more international focus on the human rights of women. That same year in Houston, she served as Commissioner on the International Women’s Year Conference where she created quite a stir over her support for gay rights, an unpopular issue at the time.


In her memoir she tells how she opposed the various women’s groups at the Conference who were advocating a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. “I feel that gay and lesbian people have families and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. I believe unequivocally that discrimination because of sexual orientation is wrong and unacceptable in a democracy that protects the human rights of all its citizens.”


In the historic 1963 March on Washington-which catapulted Dr. King to fame–women, however, were not allowed to march with the leaders or give a major address. But without a doubt King, would have played a supportive role in the Women’s march as did her daughter, Bernice King.


King was a spokeswoman for social justice causes, both large and small, writing a syndicated news column on issues from gun violence, to environmental racism, to apartheid in South Africa. She was rarely missing in action.  “Sometimes you win, just by showing up,” she said, often referring to her role as a ministry of presence.


King believed that it is citizen action that is crucial to the making of a president.  She often said that   Ronald Reagan did not warm to the idea of a Dr. King holiday until the movement created a groundswell for it with three million signatures, marches and years of lobbying Congress.  He signed it on November 20, 1983.


In recent weeks several black leaders have been publicly scourged for meeting with President Trump through his transition stage. King, however, would have been knocking on his door, as she did with all the other presidents in her heyday.  And she would not have been there for photo-ops or “selfies.”  As a seasoned coalition building she would have prepared a well- crafted agenda, which called upon Trump to govern as president of all Americans.



In past years, King’s influence was mammoth in the shaping of the political landscape.  She successfully campaigned to elect scores of liberals to political office, worked with Carter in the selection of federal judges and threw her weight against those who stood in the way of voting rights.


Typical of her role is how she confronted and helped block Alabama U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions who in 1985 was vying for a federal judgeship. Sessions, who was called “brilliant,” by Trump is his choice for U.S. Attorney General. In a recently surfaced 10-page letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, King had called him “lacking in judgement and temperament who would irreparably harm the work the movement had done to seize a slice of democracy for disenfranchised blacks.”


King opposed Sessions for his 1985 attempt to prosecute three civil rights activists from Marion, Alabama for voter fraud – accusations that were later proved unmerited. Her opposition to Sessions ran deep because she grew up right outside of Marion which before the movement launched its successful voter rights drive were unable to counter terrorizing attacks om their lives and property.  Civil rights activists fear that Sessions will not hold law enforcement officials accountable for the episodic incidents of unarmed black men being murdered, as was done under the Obama administration.


In the battle to stop Sessions and others who seemed primed to push back advances in human rights, Coretta would not have panicked. In her memoir, she said, “Struggle is a never-ending process and freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.”


And so it goes.


Rev. Dr. Barbara A. Reynolds is the author of seven books. Her latest is the Life, the Love and the Legacy of Coretta Scott King. Dr. Reynolds can be reached at Reynew@aol.com



Photo: Dr. Barbara Reynolds


Charles Ogletree to Receive NAACP Chairman’s Award

Posted by Admin On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

NAACP Chairman’s Award to be Presented to Harvard Law Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. at 48th NAACP Image Awards

Ceremony Airing February 11 on TV One, Hosted by Anthony Anderson

LOS ANGELES, CA – Harvard Law professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., who taught Barack and Michelle Obama, will be honored with the prestigious NAACP Chairman’s Award which is bestowed in recognition of individuals who demonstrate exemplary public service and use their distinct platforms to create agents of change. Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors will present Ogletree with the award at the 48th NAACP Image Awards on February 11, 2017 live at 9 p.m. /8 p.m. central on TV One.

Ogletree Jr. receives the honor in recognition of his impressive work in the field of education as a prominent legal theorist who works to secure equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone, and for his work as founder of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice which ensures that ‘Education Does Not Skip This Generation.’

“It is a privilege to honor Professor Ogletree, an accomplished educator, author, and justice advocate whose distinguished community service and charitable efforts spotlight the importance of education and activism,” stated Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. “He has not forgotten what it is like to be a person of color in America – his contribution to society exemplifies what this award symbolizes.”

Past honorees of the Chairman’s Award include Tyler Perry, Ruby Dee, The Neville Brothers, Bono, Danny Glover, Former Vice President Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, then-Senator Barak Obama, Former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, TV One Founder and Chairman Cathy Hughes, U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Michele Howard, Brittany “Bree” Newsome, Justice League NYC, University of Missouri Concerned Student 1950 Collective, University of Mississippi NAACP College Chapter, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, Rev. Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant, and Jussie Smollett.

Professor Ogletree opened The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice in September 2005 as a tribute to the legendary civil rights lawyers and teachers such as Thurgood Marshall and Oliver Hill. The Institute has engaged in a wide range of important educational, legal, and policy issues for the past 12 years to carry out its mission. He is the author of several important books on race and justice, most recently, he co-edited The Enduring Legacy of Rodriguez: Creating New Pathways to Equal Educational Opportunity with Professor Kimberly Jenkins Robinson of University of Richmond School of Law.

Additional publications include: All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education, The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class, and Crime in America, and Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct in Minority Communities (co-authored); and several publications co-edited with Professor Austin Sarat of Amherst College titled: Punishment in Popular Culture, Life without Parole: America’s New Death Penalty?, The Road to Abolition: The Future of Capital Punishment in the United States, When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice, and From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America.

For additional information and the latest news, please visit the official NAACP Image Awards website at http://www.naacpimageawards.net.

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