Recently, dozens of Englewood residents completed a six-hour computer technology course through Smart Communities Chicago, which ended as a celebratory graduation ceremony on Sep. 15.
Community members in the training class learned basic computer skills and how to effectively use the internet to become civically engaged. The event was held at the Kennedy-King College Center for Working Families located at 63rd and Halsted.
Smart Communities Chicago is a citywide initiative in place to close the technological divide in five target neighborhoods: Auburn Gresham, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, Humboldt Park and Pilsen.
The initiative is a 2 year program funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce that works to ensure digital access for children and families, businesses and agencies.
Smart Communities Chicago began in June 2010 and will continue through June 2012.
“We are thrilled that today’s graduates are setting off on a path of true digital access and empowerment,” said Rosalind Moore, program manager of the Englewood Smart Communities Program “Digital access and basic computer skills are vitally important in today’s globally networked world, and today these committed individuals have taken the next step in using this critical technology to participate in the civic and economic life of our city and nation.”
At the graduation, students received free computer notebooks which are funded through the program.
According to Dionne Baux, a Smart Communities’ program officer, the computers are distributed to students so they can continue to practice the skills they learned while taking the technology class.
In addition, Baux said the purpose of the program is to grant digital access to individuals with low to moderate income backgrounds.
Smart Communities is a free program and is launching an awareness campaign with door to door promotions, post card mailings and it will also feature advertisements at CTA bus and rail stops. Anyone living in the city of Chicago can participate in a Smart Communities training class; however, only individuals living in one of the five target communities can receive a free notebook at the end of their training.
For more information about Smart Communities or to learn how to join a training class, please log on to www.smartcommunitieschicago.org
By Thelma Sardin
On Sept. 19 representatives from U.S. Bank, along with state and city officials, broke ground on an economic development project in Pullman Park which has been in the works for at least two years. Fifty- two acres of land formally occupied by the Ryerson Steel Company plant, at 1000 E. 111th, will be transformed into a supercenter providing area residents access to groceries, basic retail goods and services. The development will create 1000 permanent and 700 construction jobs.
In addition, a $ 4.6 million grant was announced by the State of Illinois to make road and infrastructure improvements on Woodlawn/ Doty Ave between 103rd and 106th streets which is near the soon to be shopping center.
“This funding will help Pullman Park make much needed repairs to flood-damaged roads and water mains. Projects like these build on our commitment to restoring communities, putting people to work and paving the way for future economic growth,” said Governor Pat Quinn in a press release issued by U.S. Bank.
“This is a great day for the Pullman and Roseland communities,” said 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale said. “My ward has been hit by unemployment, and when complete, this development is expected to provide up to 1,700 jobs for area residents.”
Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, has signed on as the site’s first anchor tenant and will build a 148,000 square foot store complete with a full service grocery department, general merchandise, pharmacy and a garden center.
“Although the identities of future businesses in that area are unknown, we hope Walmart will draw other businesses to the area.” said Lisa H. Clark, U.S. Bank’s spokesperson.
The financing assistance by U.S. Bank will provide to the Chicago Neighborhoods Initiatives (CNI), 40,000 square feet of land along 111th and the Bishop Ford Expressway.
“There is a bright day ahead because housing developments will come, a youth recreation center, detention ponds and parks.” said Clark.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel who attended the ground breaking ceremony stated in a press release,
“I am committed to creating an environment in Chicago where residents can live, work, raise families and thrive. U.S. Bank’s partnership will help to rebuild our infrastructure, revitalize our neighborhoods and bring jobs to hard working residents of Chicago.”
The complete buildup of 111th street will take time, but the end result should be worth the wait because residents of Pullman Park and neighboring communities will travel shorter distances to access daily necessities.
The town of Pullman was established in 1880 by George M. Pullman, president of Pullman’s Palace Car Company. He chose to make a community for his workers that had employee housing, shops, park land and other public facilities. In 1897 Pullman died and later the Illinois Supreme court required the company to sell the town which eventually became part of the city of Chicago. The Pullman factory shut down in the 1980’s and the property was used by the Ryerson Steel Company for metal fabrication until 2008.
Sources: www.pullmanil.org, press releases
By: Abbréa Stiffend
Chicago’s Chatham, West Chatham and South Shore neighborhoods host a bounty of historic bungalow homes. The brick, robust style dwellings, befittingly called “Chicago Bungalows,” have helped define the city’s communities for generations and have gained national attention. In fact, South Shore and West Chatham bungalows are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The NRHP is an official list of sites around the country that are worthy of preservation.
Faith Rackow, deputy director, Historic Chicago Bungalow Association (HCBA) told the Chicago Citizen, that in her opinion, a national recognition such as placement on the NRHP fosters community pride.
A Chicago Bungalow is a 1 ½ story brick single family structure built between 1910 and 1940. The prairie style home has overhanging eaves, limestone highlights and detailed windows. In addition, the bungalow has a roofline that is perpendicular to the street. Born out of the Arts and Crafts movement, Chicago Bungalows were designed to fit on the city’s urban lots.
The South Shore district has 318 original structures and 229 are Chicago Bungalows. The homes were designed by over 35 different architects. Despite the many developers, the bungalows in this area maintain uniformity. With its mixture of frame, stucco, and brick structures, the South Shore district exhibits a natural variety of forms, texture and colors, according to the HCBA.
West Chatham began to flourish as a bungalow neighborhood in the 1920’s. Out of 347 structures in the community, 281 are Chicago Bungalows.
According to Rackow, every bungalow community is unique because the developer left their imprint on the neighborhood through design and architecture. For example, F.A. Fielder was a West Chatham developer who left an indelible mark on the community. Fielder, designed bungalows on south Yale Avenue. His bungalows included distinctive features like flat or polygonal bays with side entrances, low-pitched, hipped roofs and brick and limestone detailing on the facades. And, according to the HCBA, Fielder brought an Art Deco twist, which set south Yale Avenue apart from the rest of West Chatham.
On Oct. 26, HCBA is hosting a workshop series at Avalon Library, 8148 S. Stony Island Ave. The session will provide tips on energy efficiency, seasonal maintenance and preserving architectural features of historically significant homes. Matt Cole from Neighborhood Housing Services will be the keynote speaker.
The seminar is free and space is limited. To RSVP please call 312-675-0300 x 10 or e-mail email@example.com
Source: Historic Chicago Bungalow Association
by Thelma Sardin
The next time you drive down 46th and State St., pay close attention to the large white building on the west side of the street (if headed north). Take the building in because it’s loaded with rich Chicago history and savory sausage. It is no other than, the Parker House Sausage Company, where everyday, busy Parker House employees prepare the company’s famous line of products including smoked sausage links, hot head cheese, sagey souse and polish sausages.
Founded in 1919 and incorporated in 1927, Parker House is the first African American owned and operated meat processing plant in the Midwest, according to its website. Judge H. Parker, Sr., began the company in his kitchen, selling the meat products door to door each day before he reported to work at the Chicago slaughter houses.
In time, Parker, Sr. was able to purchase several refrigerated delivery trucks which allowed black salesmen the rare opportunity to drive commercial delivery vehicles. More importantly, the refrigerated trucks resulted in the company breaking racial barriers for meat distribution in the Midwest.
In 1921, Parker, Sr. purchased a plant at 4605 S. State Street, the current home of Parker House. This achievement is just one reason why Parker, Sr. is considered by many as an entrepreneur who refused to accept the limits of race and paved the way for many others to follow.
“We’ve accomplished quite a bit and we’re proud of that. The community is very familiar with the Parker House Company name,” said Belinda McFolling, vice-president of Parker House and the widow of former Parker House president Maurice J. McFolling.
Maurice McFolling was Parker Sr.’s stepson and started working for Parker House when he was 19. He held every position in the company, according to Mrs. McFolling.
McFolling also told the Chicago Citizen that many people are not aware that Parker House is still a family owned business.
“Surprisingly, some people are unaware that we are still a Black owned family business,” she said. The vice-president attributes the company’s longevity to an enduring relationship with the Black community.
Parker House has significantly given back to the Black community through the years. From sponsoring local boy scouts to participating in fundraising groups, the company has left an indelible mark on Black Chicago.
The meat company’s relationship with Chicago State University (CSU) is arguably one of the strongest bonds it has with the Black community.
In 1974, Mrs. Elsie V. Parker, wife of Parker, Sr., found a volunteer organization at the university, The Ancillary Group (TAG). Through this benevolent vehicle, Mrs. Parker organized fundraisers and events that benefited CSU culturally, financially and academically. The group’s aim is to foster and encourage support for educational and research programs at CSU while also nurturing an everlasting bond with the surrounding community.
Over 37 years later, TAG is still active at CSU and Mrs. McFolling is the organization’s current president.
Today, Mrs. McFolling says her primary focus is launching a scholarship to honor the memories of her late husband, Mrs. Parker, Parker, Sr. and Judge H. Parker, Jr. (also a former president of Parker House).
“What I’m doing is keeping up the legacy. This is what my mother in law started over 37 years ago,” said Mrs. McFolling. The McFolling/Parker Scholarship Fund is a TAG initiative.
On Oct. 15, an afternoon lunch will be celebrated at CSU honoring the memory and legacy of Mrs. Parker and her late sons Maurice J. McFolling and Judge H. Parker, Jr. The event will be held at the CSU Academic Library, Schienbuks Sunroom, 4th Floor. Tickets are $55 dollars and include lunch, entertainment and a silent auction.
For tickets and more information please call 773-980-9488 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
by Thelma Sardin
Occupation: Community Outreach Liaison, New Life Pentecostal Church of God in Christ
Why does she stand out?
Elaine Capers has been volunteering for more than 40 years. A resident of South suburban Riverdale, she presently serves as a community outreach liaison for New Life Pentecostal Church of God in Christ. Her role entails helping out whenever and however she can at area hospitals, assisting families during bereavement and celebrating births.
Capers also participates in New Life Pentecostal’s Mission of Hope ministry. The ministry provides food and clothing for the homeless.
According to Capers, her most significant accomplishment as a volunteer is hosting an annual community health and back to school fair where she along with sponsors, provide school supplies for local children.
Moreover, Capers volunteered with the Thornton Township Food Pantry and distributed food to the homeless and less fortunate for seven years.
Outside of volunteering, Capers has been an educator for 30 years. A self-proclaimed lifelong learner, she is learning to swim after 50 years of reluctance.
by Thelma Sardin
Must-have wardrobe essentials this season include pencil skirts, dresses and winter shorts, so the must-have accessory is legwear.
Legwear is an integral part of any trend-right ensemble and great for adding that finishing touch. The two most important fashion trends are Vintage Glamour and Simple Layering.
Fashion welcomes back a sense of glamour—layers of sheer and lace mix with modern details to create a new femininity. Traditional luxuries are matched with modernized classics. Sumptuous fabrics and rich jacquards create a sense of savoir faire. Classic nets, thigh highs and beautifully sheer hosiery add a touch of elegant sophistication that can make any woman feel like true royalty.
Sportswear separates reflect cleaned-up classics with a menswear influence for a new sophisticated yet casual trend that is polished and pulled together. Taking a cue from sweaters, tights provide color and comfort in a variety of opacities and textures and continue to be a wardrobe staple. Seasonless sheer tights provide the right balance between sheer and opaque. The newest look from runway to reality is the “blackout tight,” a soft, sleek black tight with maximum coverage. Tights can make any outfit chic and modern; they’re a true showstopper. NAPSI
An iconic Chatham community leader and entrepreneur was honored during an outdoor street naming ceremony last Friday. As a large enthusiastic crowd cheered, Mr. Joseph Caldwell Sr., CEO of TailoRite Complete Clothing Care Company, modestly stood and watched the unveiling of a street sign that marks what is now, Joseph Caldwell Sr. Way.
The new street sign was installed at 85th and Cottage Grove, directly in front of the TailoRite business there. Joseph Caldwell Sr. Way runs between 84th & 85th & Cottage Grove.
Throughout the ceremony, family, friends, and elected officials expressed gratitude and appreciation for Caldwell. Todd Stroger, former Cook County Board President, described Caldwell as a true friend and a pillar of the community.
“I not only value your friendship and hard work but also what you do for the community” said Stroger.
“Joseph Caldwell has been giving back to the community for years. It’s time that we give back to him, and this street sign is just a start of what we can do to thank him,” said Sen. Roland Burris who was also in attendance.
Veta Caldwell-Charles, Caldwell’s daughter and organizer of the event spoke lightheartedly about her father.
“My father always talks about cloning himself. That might be impossible but we are here to learn everything he knows about the business.” Charles said.
In 1956, Caldwell and three business partners began TailoRite Complete Clothing Care. Being trained at the Metropolitan School of Tailoring, Caldwell was able to service the tailoring/alteration needs of TailoRite’s south-side clientele. In 1973, Caldwell decided to expand and venture out on his own. That is when he incorporated a dry-cleaning/ laundry aspect to the business, making TailoRite a pioneer of the garment services care industry and a community icon.
Tailorite has two other locations at 6507 S. King Dr. and 8335 S. Racine Ave.
By: Abbréa Stiffend
By Charles D. Ellison
Special to the NNPA from the Philadelphia Tribune
Seeking to match the intensity and scorched earth politics of the Tea Party movement, liberals are scrambling to muster their own form of grassroots punch to offset Republican momentum in 2012. It’s a colorful patchwork of efforts seeking an opportunity to coalesce around one central theme, and it remains to be seen just how much Democrats and their leader, President Barack Obama, can gain from it.
Among plans to even the 2010 midterm score and take back lost ground is Rebuild the Dream, a new mix of progressive groups and organizations tightly wrapped as one of MoveOn.org’s more ambitious projects heading into next year’s cycle. But, it’s also a fresh new attempt by former Obama administration official Van Jones, the controversial White House environmental adviser fired from his gig in 2009, to recast himself as a leading voice in the Democratic universe. Observers say Jones is eagerly waiting for his political stars to align, teaming up with MoveOn.org not only as a way to bring muscle back into a deflated liberal movement, but to also use the opportunity as a platform for future ambitions.
Ari Melber in The Nation dubbed it the “ … liberal alternative to the tea party” with subtle praise for Jones as the next biggest thing in the progressive world. But, it’s still not clear the American Dream Movement, with its conspicuous patriotic tones, will be an effective counter punch to the down-and-dirty tea party rank and file.
Hiram College’s Jason Johnson, author of “One Day to Sell” and a prominent political scientist, is skeptical.
“That stuff does not work if you don’t go to the mat for what you want,” argues Johnson. “That’s the thing about the tea party — they don’t have any real policy platform.”
“If [Jones] wants to create a movement like the tea party, then he has to obstruct until he gets what he wants. The movement is nothing but a bunch of words, means nothing if you’re not willing to use it as a vehicle to force the change you want.”
Johnson suggests Rebuild the Dream should be willing to “primary” Democrats into submission, similar to how tea party activists threatened Republicans in key Congressional districts with primary challenges.
ColorofChange.org Executive Director Rashad Robinson partly attributes some of RTB’s growing pains to it “still growing” and being relatively young. “I think they’re just getting started and it’s been less than a year.”
And while ColorofChange might be highlighted as a major partner in the RTB consortium of liberal titans like Sierra Club, Daily Kos, AFSCME and others, Robinson is quick to emphasize that “… our work is separate from Rebuild the Dream.”
But, Robinson cautions against Rebuild the Dream or any movement making this only about the election. “Voting is just a piece of … political participation,” argues Robinson. “Many on the left confuse an election with a movement. It’s not about a candidate.”
Governors State University (GSU) is seeking college graduates who want to teach.
Through its Alternative Teacher Certification (ATC) program, the university prepares individuals for careers as educators in the South suburban area.
ATC is a rigorous 17 month teacher preparation program. After five months of classroom instruction, participants transition into a one year classroom residency.
The residency consists of co-teaching with a certified teacher and should not be confused with student teaching. Karen Peterson, a TQP grant co-director said the residency has a more rigorous structure than student teaching and provides students with the ability to benefit from having two teachers in the classroom simultaneously.
ATC also has a new program incentive. Last year, GSU received a $7.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to create the Chicago Southland Region Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP).
TQP provides ATC participants with a unique opportunity to earn a $30,000 stipend while co-teaching with a certified teacher during their residency.
Previously, ATC residencies were unpaid. But now with the TQP grant in place, participants are able to earn a salary while gaining certification and teaching experience.
The program is open to college graduates with five years post baccalaureate work experience.
Peterson said ATC alumni include people from a myriad of professions including attorneys and social workers.
ATC began more than 12 years ago and has over 300 participants who are successful educators in the South suburbs and Chicago.
ATC alumni are placed in high needs communities such as Calumet Park, Posen, Robbins, Harvey and Chicago Heights. As part of the program, participants make a commitment to work in schools in these areas for at least three years.
On Oct. 4 at 7:00 pm, GSU will host a session providing more insight on the process for earning an elementary or middle school certification and securing a teaching position through ATC.
The application deadline for the spring 2012 cohort is Dec. 15.
For more information, call (708) 534-4399 or log on to www.govst.edu/altcert
by Thelma Sardin
WASHINGTON–African-Americans’ buying power is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015, according to The State of the African-American Consumer Report, released today, collaboratively by Nielsen, a leading global provider of insights and analytics into what consumers watch and buy, and The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers across the U.S.
The report, the first of annual installments in a three year alliance between Nielsen and NNPA, showcases the buying and media habits and consumConsumer trends in the report include facts such as:
•With a buying power of nearly $1 trillion annually, if African-Americans were a country, they’d be the 16th largest country in the world.
•The number of African-American households earning $75,000 or higher grew by almost 64%, a rate close to 12% greater than the change in the overall population’s earning between 2000 and 2009. This continued growth in affluence, social influence and household income will continue to impact the community’s economic power.
•African-Americans make more shopping trips than all other groups, but spend less money per trip. African-Americans in higher income brackets, also spend 300% more in higher-end retail grocers more than any other high income household.
•There were 23.9 million active African-American Internet users in July 2011 – 76% of whom visited a social networking/blog site.
•33% of all African-Americans own a smart phone.
•African-Americans use more than double the amount of mobile phone voice minutes compared to Whites – 1,298 minutes a month vs. 606.
•The percentage of African-Americans attending college or earning a degree has increased to 44% for men and 53% for women.
The report is also available at www.nielsen.com and www.nielsen.com/africanamerican – Nielsen’s microsite which highlights tailored information to the African-American community. er trends of African-Americans. BLACK PR WIRE