Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bill McKibben, Keystone XL, and Barack Obama : The New Yorker

NYC Stimulus Tracker E-Newsletter - Nov 2011 Edition

Stim Tracker E-Newsletter Issue 14_FINAL.pdf Download this file

You can look at types of projects federal stimulus funded in your area and associated jobs. I'm interested in how this very useful info could help your research, fundraising and advocacy.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Light, Michelle" <>
Date: Nov 23, 2011 10:49 AM
Subject: NYC Stimulus Tracker E-Newsletter - Nov 2011 Edition
To: "Light, Michelle" <>

Friends and Colleagues:


As you may be aware, the ninth round of stimulus data, as mandated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), was made available to the public on October 30, 2011. 


The federal government, via, offers a snapshot of all the contracts, grants and loans to prime and sub-recipients across the country, such as states, municipalities, non-profit organizations, businesses, hospitals, and universities.     


Here in New York City, we continue to update our Stimulus Tracker website as our City continues to benefit from ARRA funds.  Our goal is enhance transparency, share key statistics, and engage our citizens, so that you can see our progress with these grants.  I have attached the latest edition of our Stimulus Tracker E-Newsletter, which was circulated earlier this week.  You can sign up to receive these “Stimulus Tracker Updates” on our website.


In September 2011, we also launched a new Tumblr site to help tell the story of ARRA in New York City.  Follow us.  There will be new posts for you to check out on a weekly basis. 


Hope that you find this information useful.  Please feel free to share with others who may be interested.  The next quarterly reporting period for all ARRA recipients begins January 1, 2012.


Enjoy a happy Thanksgiving.






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Monday, November 21, 2011

2nd Annual If I Had a Trillion Dollars (IHTD) Youth Film Festival | American Friends Service Committee

I'm working in a census area that has the highest youth unemployment and 7th highest overall unemployment, in the nation, according  to the Chicago Reporter. Any suggestions for how a trillion could help communities like this?

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“Stick Together” Obama Tells Black Misleadership Class At White House Conference | Black Agenda Report

Emanuel Reflects On Time With Clinton, Obama White Houses « CBS Chicago

Daley nephew was biggest guy at Koschman scene — but not lineup - Chicago Sun-Times

Apps for Metro Chicago News from MCIC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Metro Chicago Information Center" <>
Date: Nov 21, 2011 4:32 AM
Subject: Apps for Metro Chicago News from MCIC
To: <>

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Metro Chicago Information Center
In This Issue
Sustain Apps
Inspiring Technology
Energizing Developers
New Crime Data
Building Community
Important Links
Sustain Apps
Help MCIC continue with open data and civic apps initiatives! Invest in Chicago's tech start up company, help us build long term bonds between developers and community organizations, and support open data.

Donate today and sustain Apps!

Civic Cultivator,   Connector & Curator :
MCIC & Apps 4 Metro Chicago IL-
Past Present & Future
Launched in June of 2011, Apps for Metro Chicago Illinois (A4MC) is a competition designed and facilitated by Metro Chicago Information Center (MCIC). Its mission is to inspire the development of software applications that benefit Metro Chicagoans. 

But A4MC is unlike any other apps competition. MCIC has taken the unique role of fostering relationships between civic organizations, Chicago residents and apps developers. Through A4MC, MCIC has been instrumental in helping developers and start ups, creating bonds between community organizations and technological experts, and pushing for greater availability of public data.
Now in the Grand Challenge, the third and final round of the competition, draws to a close,the Competition has already created  collaborations and applications whose depth, dimension  and potential have surpassed not only previous open data civic app efforts but also MCIC and the A4MC Team's own expectations!!  However, your help is critical to enuring these groundbreaking advances in community  innovation continue beyond the Competition! Click here to donate and help MCIC continue with its open data and civic apps initiatives.

Read on to learn more about A4MC's successes.    

A4MC Creating Truly Inspirational Technology- Community Finalist IFindit Chicago's Story
Community Finalist IFindit Chicago's Story
A4MC Creating Inspirational Technology


"It's not technology at the core; it's people," says Elizabeth Park, the newbie Android developer whose app won first prize in A4MC's community round.


Park's app, iFindIt Chicago, is an android app that is designed to help low income and homeless residents connect with critical resources such as medical clinics, food pantries, and shelters. Park was inspired to put together the app and make a team after hearing Apps for Metro Chicgao Illinois speak at Tech Week.


A vital part of that team was Matt Peron, treasurer of the IL Hunger Coalition.  Together, Park and Peron were part of an MCIC-facilitated collaboration for the Community round of the Apps for Metro Chicago competition.  A4MC has aimed to bridge the tech and nonprofit communities, and Park's and Peron's relationship shows how these two groups of people, with their entirely different vocabularies, talk to one another. 


Park and Peron designed a project beyond what either of them originally had in mind, and brought their strengths to bear on the award-winning app.  Peron understood the population, and Park saw the difficulties in the data. Together they made something that Peron correctly predicted has "all reason to be a huge success."


Watch the video to hear Park talk more about creating her team and building iFindIt Chicago. 


Check out the award winning iFindIt Chicago app here.


Apps 4 Metro Chicago IL Rd 1 Winner Spot Hero- Secrets to Success
Apps 4 Metro Chicago IL Rd 1 Winner Spot Hero- Secrets to Success
A4MC Energizes Chicago's Developer Community
One of A4MC's goals has been to energize Chicago's growing tech and development company. In this video, Jeremy, developer of  SpotHero, talks about how winning first place in the Transportation Round of A4MC has helped him with his app and business and gives advice to future finalists. 
A4MC Makes Use of Ten Years of City Crime Data

Over the course of A4MC competition, MCIC's partners have released over 250 data sets. Recently, the City of Chicago released 10 years of crime data as part of an unprecedented open data initiative. To show what this date can be used for, MCIC and Rutter Design collaborated to create the Chicago Motor Vehicle Visualization, a visual demonstration of a time series analysis of reported motor vehicle theft throughout Chicago. 

"This type of data is in very high demand from community organizations, and this will forever change lives of the people working in neighborhoods to combat crime because they can target interventions in ways they couldn't before, down to the block and down to the individual crime" said MCIC's President Virginia Carlson.  

MCIC and Rutter Design hope their auto theft visualization example will help Chicago residents begin to understand invaluable program and advocacy resource provided by the City of Chicago's Data Portal.


Check out the motor theft crime data visualization!
Developing Smarts Team up with Environmental Justice
MiParque is a bilingual participatory placemaking web and smartphone application that helps residents of the community contribute and share their vision for the future of Little Village's new park. It encourages community involvement and was created by an all women team in collaboration with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO). 

MiParque won second prize and the MPC placemaking prize in round 2. They donated all $5,500 of their winnings to their community partner LVEJO.

Watch the video to hear more from the developers. And check out this link to learn more about the app and Little Village's fight for a park. 
Mi Parque

A4MC is only one of many exciting projects conducted by MCIC. Founded in 1990, The Metro Chicago Information Center (MCIC) is a nonprofit (501C(3))research, consulting and information resource that is deeply rooted in the community. Our mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate valuable data. Our partners are philanthropic organizations, businesses, civic institutions, local governments, and national agencies and our work extends across a broad range of issues. The breadth and depth of our experience leads us to creative solutions in data sourcing, preparation, and visualization. We give individuals and institutions digestible and useful information that empowers them to make informed individual, agency and social policy decisions. Simply put: We turn data into action.  


Kathryn Auerbach
Metro Chicago Information Center
This email was sent to by |  
Metro Chicago Information Center | 17 N. State Street | suite 1600 | Chicago | IL | 60602

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Message from Joe Lake

Joe Lake:

(Sent via Seesmic

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Recession hitting young men hardest: 1 in 5 now back at home - Chicago Sun-Times

Oprah Winfrey Network Orders More Episodes of "Welcome To Sweetie Pie's"

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "William Massey" <>
Date: Nov 20, 2011 12:53 AM
Subject: Oprah Winfrey Network Orders More Episodes of "Welcome To Sweetie Pies"

SAY WHAT? OWN finally has a hit show? I'm referring to their reality program "Welcome to Sweetie Pie's" and being grateful, the network has ordered an addtional 10 more episodes of the show, bringing the total to 18 episodes to date. The new episodes start shooting next month to air in the spring.

The show follows the lives, loves and struggles of Robbie Montgomery and her family, who run the well knownSweetie Pie's soul food restaurant in St. Louis. The network claims that the show "made ratings waves," up73 percent from a year earlier, and the most recent episode was the high rated show ever.

According to Sheri Salata, co-president of OWN: "We've all fallen in love with the Montgomery family. You never know what they'll do or say next. We couldn't be more pleased viewers are tuning in to enjoy all the fun."

Just goes to show what people have been saying all along - just put some black people on OWN and watch viewers tune in.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Author asks: Is marriage for white people? -

Occupy The Hood - The Civil Rights Movement for This Generation; Rumble Young Man Rumble - Black Male Achievement Summits; 54.9% Black Teen Unemployment Predicts Violence; "Woke Up Black!" - Youth Express Their Feelings

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "The Black Star Project" <>
Date: Nov 2, 2011 9:11 AM
Subject: Occupy The Hood - The Civil Rights Movement for This Generation; Rumble Young Man Rumble - Black Male Achievement Summits; 54.9% Black Teen Unemployment Predicts Violence; "Woke Up Black!" - Youth Express Their Feelings
To: <>

You're receiving this email because of your relationship with The Black Star Project. Please confirm your continued interest in receiving email from us.
You may unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive our emails.

Black Star Logo

This is the Civil Rights Movement
for This Generation!

Black Star Logo  

Guest Commentary

Occupy The Hood Calls On Young People of African Descent to Uplift the Community 


By Phillip Jackson  
November 1, 2011 


(Liberia, West Africa) The Occupy Wall Street Movement has captured the imagination of the world.  We now have Occupy Tokyo, Occupy Berlin, Occupy Mexico, Occupy Australia, Occupy Brazil, Occupy Denmark, Occupy Asia and even Occupy Antarctica.  But where are the voices of young people of African descent and why are their voices silent?

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, people of African descent are being encouraged to join the Occupy Wall Street Movement  in their cities and in their communities.   But before occupying Wall Street or any street, we need to properly and successfully occupy the minds and spirits of people of African descent with thoughts of improvement, achievement, excellence, progress and cooperative labor. We must do this every day until we have created a new  world in which people of African descent will thrive!


Black Star Logo
Photo courtesy of Black Youth Project.

To look at the evening news on the occupations, it would seem as though young White men and women suffer most from the problems of our societies and the world in which we live.  That is absolutely not true!  In fact, the suffering from social and economic ills of people of African descent around the world is hugely disproportionate.  So why has the "Occupy Movement" not inspired more young Black people across the globe to demand change and improvement in their world?

Some say Black people have too many "real" problems to be concerned about the volatility of the stock markets or whether Fortune 500 companies will each capture another billion dollars.  Some say that Black Americans have forgotten the lessons learned from the civil rights movement.  And others say that young Africans and young Black Americans today have been reprogrammed with technological toys, various forms of entertainment and other relatively mindless distractions.  Regardless, young Black people around the world do not understand that decisions that govern the quality of their lives are being made without their input.  

But a glimmer of hope has come to us in the form of a spinoff from Occupy Wall Street.  It is called Occupy The Hood. While Occupy Wall Street addresses the viciousness of capitalism, uneven distribution and control of world resources, corrupt and ineffective governments, lack of human well-being across the world, climate change and the environment, wars and global violence and other dire issues, Occupy The Hood is being led by young people of African descent and addresses issues that cause people of African descent to suffer.  And while we must absolutely stand in solidarity with our White, Asian, Arab and Hispanic brothers and sisters working to change the world, we must also organize to directly improve the conditions in our "hood". 

Black Star Logo
Photo provided by
The Black Star Project

If things are going to change for us for the better, young people of African descent around the world must begin the real work of nation-building.  This work begins by getting in action in their communities, in their villages, in their cities and in their countries-to generate and ensure safe and prosperous places for us.  We cannot wait for our parents, our leaders, Wall Street or those who occupy Wall Street before we take control of our futures and our destiny.  We must organize and get into action now doing the work to save our race!

On November 19, people of African descent around the world will join in this work to Occupy The Hood.  This work calls us to mentor youth in schools and in communities, assist and support senior citizens, work with men in jail, prison and ex-offenders, clean up neighborhood paper, trash, etc., walk safety patrols in communities, take youth to faith-based services, read to children at local schools, organize community health walks/runs, hold community-wide voter registration drives, organize men to take their children to museums, parks, sporting events and cultural events, organize volunteers to help at local hospitals, shelters, recreational and park-district facilities, shop at Black-owned stores, and design and develop additional community-building direct actions.

For young people of African descent, Occupy The Hood is this generation's civil rights movement!  Launching Occupy Wall Street took only three days.  How long will it take us to Occupy The Hood?

Phillip Jackson

Founder and Executive Director     

The Black Star Project                       
3509 South King Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60653
773.285.9600 office 



In Chicago, you can connect to Brittany Gault and the "Occupy The Hood" Movement by calling 773.285.9600.
On November 12, 2011, Black Men Across America Will Organize, Plan and Act for Achievement
Black Star Logo


Cities that will host Black Male Achievement Summits on November 12, 2011:


Albany, New York
Altanta Georgia
Baltimore, Maryland
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Cincinnati, Ohio
Detroit, Michigan
Jackson, Mississippi
Los Angeles, California
Louisville, Kentucky
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
New York City,  New York
Newark, New Jersey
Omaha, Nebraska
Peoria, Illinois
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix, Arizona
San Bernardino, California
Washington DC
With the Jobless Rate for
Black Teens in Chicago at 54.9%,
Economic Violence Will Follow!!!
Those who are interested in solutions to mass teen unemployment must joins us tonight

for a
Youth Unemployment
Town Hall Meeting
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Columbia College
618 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois
5:30 pm
  • Chicago Sun-Times columnist and Channel 7 political analyst Laura Washington -
  • Jack Wuest of the Alternative Schools Network
  • Illinois State. Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (8th District)
  • Phillip Jackson of the Black Star Project
  • Anton Seals Jr. of U. S. Cong. Bobby Rush's office,
  • Teen panelists from Chicago Public Schools 
    If we can't get Black and Latino young men and teens employed, then we cannot stop the violence in Chicago and all of our current anti-violence efforts are just pretending.
    Black Star Logo 
    Critiquing Post-Race and Post-Feminist Media
    Black Star Logo
    Saturday, November 5, 2011
    12:00 pm
    Ida Noyes Hall, Max Palevsky Cinema
    1212 East 59th Street
    Chicago, Illinois


    Description: This interactive event includes a panel of scholars, activists and artists in discussion with the audience about the politics of media representations of race and gender in this current period, which has been characterized by some as post-race and post-feminist. We will dissect contemporary moments in popular culture and political debates where race, gender, class and identity come center stage. Films like The Help, reality television shows like Basketball Wives, and hot button political issues such as immigration, Islamophobia, and the burgeoning Occupy Wall Street campaign lead the list. Panelists: Rosa Clemente, Bakari Kitwana (moderator), Joan Morgan, Mark Anthony Neal, Vijay Prashad, and Che "Rhymefest" Smith.


    Contact: Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture (CSRPC) / 773-702-8063
    Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance.
    Hear Young Black People Tell Their Own Story


    Arguably more than any other underrepresented group of Americans, African American youth reflect the challenges of inclusion and empowerment in the post-civil rights period. However, in contrast to the centrality of African American youth to the politics and policies of the country, their perspectives and voice have generally been absent from not only public policy debates, but also media, art and film projects. Increasingly, researchers and policy-makers have been content to detail and measure the behavior of young African Americans with little concern for their attitudes, ideas, wants and desires. This documentary will work to fill that void.


    For the last two years we have followed five youth and have witnessed family and social interactions, school and work life activities. The youth, ages 16-21, (three young women and two young men) represent a diversity of backgrounds and interests. A youth advisory panel has provided input on interview questions and screened footage throughout the production.


    We have now completed shooting and need money to complete the post production - editing, music scoring - for the film. This is a critical stage. Your donation will also enable us to begin the construction of the website which will feature a curriculum/discussion guide to encourage ongoing dialogue on issues raised in the film.


    We hope you'll join us in telling real stories about real lives, not just the typically negative, twenty second sound bytes we see on the evening newscast.

    Private tutoring is not just for students who are behind. It is especially for students who want to excel!

    Give your child The Black Star edge!  

    Black Star Logo

    "Take a Young Black Man to Worship Day" 
    On Sunday, November 20, 2011, if your faith-based institution is not inviting, embracing and supporting young Black men, WHY NOT?  On this day, every Black man is a father. You have plenty time to organize a successful "Take a Young Black Man to Worship Day." Call Bruce at 773.285.9600 for an organizing kit or to register your faith-based organization. 
    Take a young Black man to worship at your church, mosque, temple, synagogue or place of worship in your home town on Fathers Day.

    The Men of St. Elisabeth Catholic Church in Chicago surround their young Black men with love and support at the last "Take A Young Black Male to Worship Day".

    The Black Star Project's Million Father Movement is partnering with the most dynamic force in the Black community--the Black church.  Black churches, mosques, temples and synagogues across the country are working together on "Take a Black Male to Worship Day," Sunday, November 20, 2011.  Faith-based institutions throughout America are participating in this event.
    We are especially asking fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers, mentors, deacons, trustees, male choir members, significant male caregivers and family friends to join The Black Star Project in this movement.  Women and men of all ethnicities are also encouraged to "Take a Black Male to Worship Day." 
    Please email or call Bruce Walker at 773.285.9600 to bring this effort to your city, to receive a complete organizing kit or for guidance concerning this event.   Participating faith-based institutions will be listed in our national directory.
    If your faith institution is not participating, why not?

    Please ask your faith leader to ensure that your faith-based institution participates in this event.  If you wish to participate in or lead the effort in your city or in your congregation on Sunday, November 20, 2011, (or your day of worship near this date), please call Bruce Walker at 773.285.9600 for an organizing kit and to register or email  

    Those who want to educate their children rather than wait for others to educate their children should join The Black Star Project in this effort at 773.285.9600 or visit our educational programs at

    Support the Work of

    The Black Star Project

    For more information on our other programs and how you can get involved, click on these links below or please call 773.285.9600:

    This email was sent to by |  
    The Black Star Project | 3473 South King Drive, Box 464 | Chicago | IL | 60616

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    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Kindle Fire or iPad 2?

    By Brian Barrett
    Kindle Fire or iPad 2?

    Since the launch of the original iPad, Apple's had effectively zero competition. But wait! With the sleek, cheap Kindle Fire shipping Nov. 15th, we've suddenly got a legitimate contender. Choice is great. But, uhm, which choice should you make?

    You're gonna hate this answer, but... It depends: on who you are, what you want to do with your tablet, how much you want to spend, and so on. Step into our office; we've got this.

    I just want to watch movies on the couch

    You don't always want to watch football, but football is always on, which is weird because aren't they only supposed to play on weekends? Whatever. All you want to do is watch what you want to watch, maybe read a magazine or two, and hit up Etsy and such—all from the comfort of your couch. The Kindle Fire may not have quite the app selection at its disposal as an iPad, and it's lacking a few features, but it's got a beautiful 16:9 screen, access to Amazon's massive content library, and a supafast browser that uses Amazon's cloud to pre-load your favorite pages.

    Just looking to soak in some media? You should buy the... Kindle Fire

    I travel a lot for business

    On the one hand, the Kindle Fire is smaller and lighter, and will some day support Office docs. On the other hand, uh, everything else? You can get a 3G iPad 2, meaning you can connect anywhere. It has content creation tools so you can get a little work done on the plane. It's got Bluetooth and a front-facing camera that'll videoconference like a mofo. And its storage doesn't rely on the cloud, so you can load up as many Vin Diesel (business people, you like that guy, right?) movies as your eyeballs can handle on that redeye. Plus, there's a decent chance you can talk your company into buying you one.

    Mr. or Ms. Platinum Elite, you should buy the... iPad 2

    I already own at least one Apple product

    Trying new things and broadening horizons is great, and you should never regret that one magical night in college. But let's be honest: one of the reasons Apple is so successful is that they've built up the most powerful, isolated ecosystem in tech. Which means that if you have a MacBook, or an Apple TV, or even an iPhone, they'll make your iPad 2 exponentially more useful—and vice versa: from iMessaging to Apple's awesome remote app, all the way up to that beautiful iCloud in the sky, and beyond. There are times you should fight the system, and times when the system works so well that you just kind of shrug and keep floating merrily along.

    Cupertino Kid, you should buy the... iPad 2

    I'm on a tight budget

    Okay, if you're on a strict Ramen-slurping diet you probably shouldn't be shelling out for either of these. But for a lot of us, the price gap between the $200 Kindle Fire and the (minimum) $500 iPad 2 is way more influential than any spec sheet. And the things you sacrifice—taking pictures and video, modest content creation, bigger screen, more onboard storage—can either be replaced by another device you already own, or honestly doesn't matter that much.

    Tight-belted Technophile, you should buy the... Kindle Fire (duh)

    I want to get a tablet for my folks

    Your parents birthed you, reared you, sheltered you, fed you. The holidays are approaching, and you want to go big this year. And I'll tell you this from personal experience: they will love a tablet. The iPad 2's got the name cred, a terrifically intuitive user interface, and FaceTime for weekly check-ins. The Kindle Fire's got everything they actually need for less than half the price, it's not like they've never heard of Amazon, and maybe you'd rather not video chat on account of your general disregard for hygiene. What it really comes down to is this: they'll appreciate the thought no matter what. Especially if you throw a 10 minute tutorial in the bargain.

    Dear child, you should buy your parents the... Kindle Fire

    You can keep up with Brian Barrett, the author of this post, on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.
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    Message from Michael C. Dawson: 11am Wednesday webcast on the "The Future of Black Politics"

    Message from Michael C. Dawson
    Michael C. Dawson:
    Update on the 11am Wednesday webcast I'm doing on the "The Future of Black Politics" for the University.  Here's the direct link.

    (Sent via Seesmic

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