Monday, May 5, 2014

Mentoring Young Girls Keeps Them Away from Violence;

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Making Progress; Moving Forward!
Mentoring for Black Girls
My Brother's Keeper Won't Fund Black Star Project and Other Organziations
Community Plan to Reduce Violence
Is Chicago Reverting Back to Education before Brown versus Board of Education
Education, Violence and Community Culture
Reduce Truancy; Improve Educational Outcomes
Hear Kelley Williams-Bolar Speak on Education for Children
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Today, The Black Star Project Begins to Mentor Girls 9 to 14 Years Old in Honor of Endia Martin
Endia Martin, 14, was shot and killed in Chicago on April 28th by another 14 year old girl after a Facebook fight. Click Here to read the full story on her death.
Bring Your Girls 9 to 14
Thursday, May 1, 2014, 6:30 pm
The Black Star Project
3509 South King Drive
Chicago, Illinois
Parents should call 773.285.9600 to enroll their daughters or nieces into this program. Our first event will be a girl's fun and crafts day on May 1, 2014.
New My Brother's Keeper Rule Means Almost No Black Organizations Can Participate
Who Will Be Able to Participate in My Brother's Keeper? The 45 state rule requirement would mean that small community based organizations would be out of the running for funding.
By lauren victoria burke
April 30, 2014
A letter sent to the Obama Administration expressed concerns that a new grant requirement in the My Brother's Keeper initiative would effectively exclude almost all African American social, civic and mentoring organizations from participating.
The new rule (at bottom) requirement for My Brother's Keeper grant eligibility states that applicants must be "national organizations defined as having active chapters or subawardees in at least 45 states."
A letter expressing concern over the change, written by the national President of 100 Black Men of America, Inc., states that President Obama originally announced on February 24, 2014 that a group must have a "active presence" in 30 states - not 45. Brown's letter requests a reversal of the rule change. See the entire letter here.
The change from 30 to 45 states would effectively mean that almost no Black civic, social or mentoring organizations, other than perhaps the NAACP, would be eligible for funding under My Brother's Keeper. Only the NAACP has a "active presence" in at least 45 states.
The 45 state rule requirement would mean that small community based organizations would be out of the running for funding.
"I am writing to express our concern for the change in direction for the President's My Brother's Keeper initiative," wrote Michael J. Brown, President of 100 Black Men of America, in a letter to the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The letter was dated April 28, 2014.
Brown added that the requirement change, "dashed any hopes that such venerable institutions as the National Urban League, the NAACP and each of the nine Historically Black Greek Letter Organizations may have had in competing in this significant funding opportunity."
Click Here to Read Full Story
This ruling eliminates The Black Star Project and almost every other Black male achievement program from participating in the My Brother's Keeper initiative.
The Community Plan to Reduce Violence in Chicago
(If you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail.)
Inspired by the peacemaking efforts of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in Chicago, the Fruit of Islam men of Muhammad Mosque No. 45 in Houston took to the streets to promote peace on July 16, 23 & 28, 2012. The brothers visited the Southwest Side. And also Crestmont and Villa Americana Apartment Complexes in the Southeast area. (Photo by Jesse Muhammad)
Community Asking for a Re-Direct of
$100 Million in Police Overtime in 2013
to $100 Million in Community Literacy, Mentoring, Parenting and Employment Programs to Reduce Violence
The community plan includes:
1) Establish and fund 8 Community Enterprise Zones for $12 million each with police overtime money, which will include job training, entrepreneurship, small business development, jobs and corporate/community partnerships in the communities with the highest rates of violence. A community advisory board made up of community members and some government officials will govern the Community Enterprise Zones.
2) Establish Community Safety Patrols of community members that will operate on main thorough fares, in business districts, at transportation hubs and in the communities with the highest rates of violence. These men and women are not police officers will not have police powers. Their job is to promote community safety in ways that the police cannot. We would request The Nation of Islam to do the training of the Community Safety Patrols.
3) Establish a street corner mentoring of young men that puts mentors in the lives of young men on street corners, at liquor stores, at barbershops and other places that these young men frequent. Arm these mentors with resources that include educational opportunities, fatherhood programs, employment opportunities, expungement, recreational activities, gang deactivation programs and other needed resources.
4) initiate a "Ban the Box" legislative initiative to de-criminalize citizens who are returning to their communities from prison. They have served their time. This will help rebuild the workforce and family units in these communities.
5) Establish a Community Clean-up Corps of young men cleaning, building and beautifying the communities of which some of them are now terrorizing.
Please call Chicago's City Hall at 312.744.5000 and ask for the Mayor's Office or go to www/ and click on "Contact us" to request this plan. Please request that the City of Chicago support and implement the "The Community Plan to Reduce Violence!"
Click Here to see the men from the Nation of Islam, Mosque No. 45 bring discipline, order, peace and hope to the streets of Houston.

Please call The Black Star Project at 773.285.9600 for more information about this plan.
Is Chicago Reverting Back to Education before Brown versus the Topeka Board of Education in 1954 with one school system for Whites and one for Blacks?
Report: Chicago's Top Public Schools Admit More White Students
By Erin Carson
April 28, 2014
Northside College Prep (Photo provided by
The Black Star Project)
Chicago's top-ranked public high schools have enrolled more white students in the years following a judge's 2009 decision to strike down a desegregation decree, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
The four "selective-enrollment" schools -- Walter Payton College Prep, Jones College Prep, Northside College Prep and Whitney Young College Prep -- lead the district in test scores, and are frequent targets for white applicants, according to the paper.
Since U.S. District Judge Charles P. Kocoras ended a 1980 agreement to desegregate the city's schools -- which had capped the percentage of white students at 35 percent -- the North Side's Payton has seen a spike in white student admissions, up 41 percent in 2013 from 29 percent four years ago.
Meanwhile, the Class of 2018 at Jones, on the South Side, is 38 percent white as compared to 29 percent in 2009. At Whitney Young, on the West Side, statistics show a downward trend in black freshmen enrollment and an uptick in the percent of white students admitted.
An all Black school in Chicago
(Photo provided by
The Black Star Project)
"We saw that coming in 2009," Julie Woestehoff, executive director of the organization Parents United for Responsible Education, tells the Sun-Times, adding: "I consider these schools to be gated communities for children of privilege."
The city is pouring more resources into these schools amid ongoing tension between CPS and supporters of lesser-performing institutions that risk being shuttered in the wake of last year's mass closures.
Jones recently enlarged its incoming freshmen class to include some extra 100 students while Payton is undergoing an expansion. Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the city will open a new selective-enrollment high school, named for President Obama, on the North Side in 2017 with $60 million in tax increment financing and a goal of enrolling 1,200 students.
A Loyal Black Star Member Featured in Chicago Tribune on Issues of Education, Violence and Community Culture
Trice: Shoring up the abandoned class
Marc Sims, a lifelong South Sider and limo driver, stands outside a Chicago elementary school. He believes the answer to Chicago's violence and poverty is education. (Antonio Perez, Chicago Tribune)
By Dawn Trice
April 28, 2014
Marc Sims is not a politician. He's not a preacher. He's not a police officer. Nor is he a professor of sociology or an executive director of a nonprofit.
Marc Sims is a limousine driver, a lifelong South Sider, who traverses the city's more affluent neighborhoods and suburbs and gets an almost daily reminder of the sharp contrasts in opportunity and well-being in Chicago's communities.
He believes that in the battle to combat gun violence, there's something everybody can do and must do. No job is too big or too small, and defeat is only imminent when people feel powerless to do anything.
Since 1991, Sims, 51, has been the host of a cable-access show called "Viewpoint." On the show and in his blog, he is strident, and his views are at times Bill Cosby-esque. Remember that the famous comedian said: "The lower economic people are not holding up their end of the deal. These people are not parenting."
"Right now, a lot of folks I know (who moved away) would never move back to the South Side because of the crime and 'those people' and 'that element.' You can talk about the history here, the culture, how close you are to downtown. It used to be there were places you avoided, but now everywhere seems sketchy whether it is or not."
He recalls that it was about the mid-1990s when his community began to change. A few home burglaries and car thefts evolved into drug dealing and drive-bys. He said some of his neighbors left fairly immediately. Others tried to hold on, but eventually they moved too.
"You began to see that there were so few men left," he said. "The kids might see a man at school, the gym teacher or the custodian. But there were no men going to work in a suit and tie. And that makes a difference."
He refers to the dispirited young men who now hang out on the corners and the young women who have babies too soon as part of the abandoned class.
Click Here to Read Full Story
Reduce Truancy;
Improve Educational Outcomes
April 24, 2014

Dear Friends,

When children are chronically absent from school, their educational outcomes diminish and state funding for the school district dries up. That is happening here in Chicago, where more than 10 percent of students in Chicago Public Schools were truant four or more weeks during the 2010-2011 school year.

Illinois State Rep. Chapa LaVia
Last year, I sponsored legislation establishing a task force to study the truancy and absenteeism crisis in CPS. This task force has gathered input from Chicago communities on the effectiveness of current CPS truancy policies and what can be done to improve attendance in the city.

On Saturday, join us for this public discussion on truancy. I sit on this task force along with state Representative Linda Chapa LaVia. Here are the event details:
Truancy in CPS Task Force Public Hearing
Saturday, May 3, 2:30 - 4 p.m. Doors open 2 p.m.
Pilgrim Baptist Church of South Chicago
3235 East 91st Street, Chicago, IL 60619
Improving attendance not only improves educational outcomes. Because state aid is based on attendance, reducing absenteeism will also bring in more money to our district. If we can improve attendance in CPS by just one percentage point, CPS will receive an extra $8 million in state funding.
Please join the discussion on this issue of pressing importance to our community.


Senator Jacqueline Collins
16th District - Illinois
The Black Star Project
supports The Answer Inc.
and their work with Autism

Please call 708-296-5651 for more information
Please click here to donate to The Answer Inc.
Please click here to learn more about The Answer Inc.
Hear Kelley Williams-Bolar
Speak About Going to Jail
For Trying to Get a Good Education for Her Daughters
Saturday, May 10, 2014
1:00 pm at The MET
(Metropolitan Apostolic Church)
4100 South King Drive
Chicago, Illinois
Admission Free - Please RSVP
We need 20 sponsors at $100.00 each to sponsor Ms. Williams-Bolar's travel, board and speaking fees for this event.
Please call 773.285.9600 to RSVP for this event or to help sponsor this event.
Click Here to Read Full Story
Black Men United
are sponsoring
No Murders In May
Mother's Day Luncheon
Omaha, Nebraska

Black Men United in partnership with Goodwill Industries Omaha and Risen Son Baptist Church are challenging the city of Omaha to stop killing one another for at least one month.

No Murders in May is a gift we are asking all of Omaha to give to their mothers and grandmothers whose children will not be able to be with them or to wish them a Happy Mothers Day! We are pleading with the community to rally around the theme of mothers. In honor of our mothers and our grandmothers and in honor of our children; No Murders In May!

We will be honoring mothers and grandmothers who have lost their children to violence with a Mothers Day Luncheon on Saturday, May 10, 2014 11:00am to 1:00pm at the Goodwill Industries Durham Room.

Our guest speakers this year will be Ms. Amy Hadan who lost her 24 yr old daughter on December 15, 2013 at 108th and Q Street when her daughter, a mother and pre school teacher heard gunfire and while trying to run from it, ran into the line of fire and Tabatha Manning who lost her 5 year old daughter Payton Benson while she was sitting at her kitchen table eating breakfast. We are so appreciative that these two strong dynamic women have agreed to participate.

We hope in some small way, this luncheon shows the love, support and admiration we have for our mothers and grandmothers who have had to bury their child. Today! We honor and salute you!

Click Here to Register for No Murders in May Mother's Day Luncheon.
Click Here to Learn More about Black Men United

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