Mayor Brandon Johnson introduced Larry Snelling as Chicago's new Chief of Police today at City Hall Monday morning, August 14, 2023.
(Photo by Marcus L. Robinson)
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson announced Larry Snelling, a 28-year member of the Chicago Police Department, as his new Chief of Police, ending speculation that the appointment would be someone from another major city. Officer snelling currently serves a the department's Counter Terrorism Chief, a position he held since 2022. He previously served as commander of the Englewood (7th) police district. He was also a sergeant at the police academy. Officer Snelling was selected from the three finalists suggested by the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability after a months-long search for an individual who would fit the needs of Chicago. Officer Snelling’s extensive career as well as his familiarity with one of Chicago’s most economically challenged neighborhoods, Englewood, were factors in his favor, as Mayor Brandon Johnson seeks to create a more community sensitive police force. Mayor Johnson praised Officer Snelling for his accomplishments and expressed faith that this new appointment would be a positive sign to the city’s residents that the Mayor is listening to their concerns.
Allison Jordan from The Brain Truth Podcast (R-with guest), takes questions from the audience during the appearance of Reality TV star NeNe Leakes of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” at the 2023 Black Women’s Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago. (Photo by Parthenia M. Luke)
The McCormick Place was overflowing with enthusiastic women during the recent three day Black Women's Expo held in Chicago. Black Women's Expo (BWe), founded by marketing guru Merri Green, is the nation’s largest, longest running, most-respected, intergenerational exposition targeting Black Women and their families. It is said to be "where Sisters gather for information, inspiration and ultimately elevation!"
Now in its 28th year, the event was held from Friday August 11 to Sunday August 13. This year’s event features more than 400 booths that offered everything from business advice to hair care tips and had products for sale, ranging from clothing to insurance. Participants explored the many exhibits and attended sessions that covered different topics, including a panel discussion on crime in Chicago as well as health equity, financial help for growing a business and mental wellness.
A high spirited dance team energetically entertains the crowd along the parade route at this year’s Bud Billiken Parade. (Photo by Marcus Robinson)
Considered to be the largest African-American parade in the United States, the Bud Billiken is the second-largest parade, behind the Rose Parade.
Hundreds of thousands of people lined the parade route that ran south on Martin Luther King Drive, starting near Oakwood to Washington Park.The parade marks the end of summer, and the start of a school year for Chicago kids. It is designed to highlight success and show city youth they can become anything they desire. Businesses, elected officials, schools and organizations use it as an opportunity to advertise and promote their presence, while local celebrities appear on floats and interact with the crowd. This year marked the 94th anniversary of the event created by Chicago Defender Founder Robert S. Abbott that winds through the historic Bronzeville community.
Chicago Bears Running back Trestan Ebner (25) scrambles to elude Tennessee Titan linebacker Jack Gibbens (50), gaining more yards toward Chicago’s 23-17 victory Saturday over Tennessee. (Photo by John L. Alexander)
Although the Titans scored first with a first quarter touchdown by Tennessee quarterback Malik Willis and extra point by Tennessee kicker Caleb Shudack, the Bears came back with a 62 yard pass from quarterback Justin Fields to wide receiver DJ Moore and a 56 yard pass from Justin Fields to running back Khalil Herbert, pulling the Bears ahead 14-7. By the third quarter both teams were tied 17-17, but a third quarter field goal by Bears’ kicker Cairo Santos broke the tie and his fourth quarter field goal sealed a victory for the Bears, 23-17.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton greet U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris as she arrives at Midway Airport for the annual Gun Sense University Conference.
(Photo by John L. Alexander )
CHICAGO - Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in Chicago Friday morning August 11, 2023, prepared to address one of the nation’s most pressing emergencies.“Gun violence is the leading cause of death of our children,” declared Vice President Harris, adding that one in five families have been affected by gun violence. “We need elected leaders to have the courage to act." The Vice President praised the work of Illinois government leaders in supporting the work of the Biden- Harris Administration. As Illinois gears up for the 2024 Democratic Convention to be held in Chicago, public safety is a top concern. Everyone should be alarmed at the epidemics of deaths from guns, Vice President Harris said, noting that children are dying from suicide, homicide, and accidental shootings from adults’ unsecured weapons.
Vice President Harris pointed out, “Our administration, President Joe Biden and I, were able to pass the first meaningful gun safety legislation in 30 years.” Under their administration, she said, substantial resources have been put into solutions involving mental health services and community based response, but more needs to be done to pass common sense gun laws to protect lives. “We love our country and we will challenge our country to live up to its promise.”
Vice President Harris remarked that unlike when she was growing up and on the first day of school children focused on learning their teacher’s name and where the bathroom is, “Our babies are learning the teachers name, where the bathroom is and how to sit quietly if there’s an active shooter!” The suggestion of strapping guns on teachers is definitely not the answer to mass shootings in schools, Vice President Harris said emphatically.
Addressing the young people in the audience, she told them, “Your generation is critical. When your generation starts to vote in numbers I see this changing completely. Your generation is everything to this issue.”
President Biden assured Americans that his economic plan "Bidenomics" would help families in emergencies and times of economic crisis during his address in Chicago in June of 2023. (Photo by Naimah Latif).
CHICAGO – Tuesday, August 15, 2023, President Joseph Biden signed a Disaster Declaration, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) to offer Individual Assistance for residents in Cook County, Illinois who were impacted by severe weather in July. FEMA’s Individual Assistance could include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and businesses owners recover from the effects of the storms.
“Thank you to President Biden and FEMA for recognizing the devastating effects of recent extreme weather on Chicago and its surrounding neighbors and taking the appropriate action to ensure impacted residents can get back on their feet,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Residents and businesses, especially those on the West Side of Chicago who were most brutally hit, are now able to access additional resources necessary to rebuild and revitalize, and I know Cook County will build back stronger than ever.”
Beginning June 29, several rounds of severe storms passed through Illinois producing heavy rainfall, flash flooding, hail, tornadoes, and straight-line winds. Central Illinois experienced a derecho that brought damaging straight-line winds resulting in five confirmed tornadoes, along with wind gusts in excess of 100 miles per hour across multiple counties. The tornados and straight-line winds resulted in large debris fields, affecting homeowners, businesses, utilities, and local governments. The storms also caused disruptions to transportation due to flash flooding and debris on the roadways.
On July 2nd, additional severe storms dropped eight inches of water in a short period of time in a historic rainfall total. This caused flash flooding in and around the Chicago area. The storms also downed numerous trees and caused widespread power outages in northern Illinois.
Apply online at disasterassistance.gov
Barbara Arnwine, (center), Founder and President of the Transformative Justice Coalition led a panel discussion about the current assault on voting rights. Among the participants were Rommel Sandino, National Organization Director, League of Women Voters (left) and Griselda Vega Samuel, Midwest Regional Counsel, MALDEF (right). (Photo by John L. Alexander)
CHICAGO - The Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Transformative Justice Coalition assembled a panel of the nation's most prominent voting rights advocates for a special Voting Rights discussion held July 18th during the Rainbow PUSH Annual International Convention at the University of Chicago, David Rubinstein Forum, 1201 E. 60th Street, Chicago, Illinois. The goal of this panel is to educate, inspire and ignite our national audience to fight the assault on voting rights and to lift up the best practices for protecting all Voters, particularly, African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, Youth Voters, and Voters with Disabilitie In order to make America a better place to live. Attorney Barbara Arnwine, Founder and President of the Transformative Justice Coalition, pointed out the many election victories for black and brown candidates across the south during Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1984 and 1988 Presidential campaigns which inspired record numbers of new voters. Panelists discussed strategies on how to protect access to voting in America. .
DJ Casper performs his iconic ”Cha Cha Slide,” engaging a large audience at a popular summer festival in Chicago. (Photo by Parthenia M. Luke.)
The "Cha Cha Slide" was a favorite at weddings, family reunions, cookouts, school dances, anywhere that people gathered, young and old. It's creator, DJ Casper, was regularly invited to public events to orchestrate crowd participation in this popular dance. He reportedly succumbed after a long struggle with cancer, passing away at the age of 58. A Chicago native, he first created the dance in 1998 for his nephew, a personal gym trainer. It quickly became a theme for social gatherings, in that anyone, young or old, in or out of shape, could participate. After touring internationally and performing the song worldwide up until 2016, Casper returned to Chicago and was diagnosed with cancer. He performed most recently at the Taste of Chicago, the Chicago Sky basketball game halftime shows and other local events as he continued to work toward regaining his health.
Mayor Brandon Johnson addresses th 2023 Parliament of World Religions on Monday August 14, its opening day in Chicago. (Photo by Naimah Latif')
CHICAGO - This week the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions is being hosted at McCormick Place Lakeside Center from August 14-18.
It has returned to the birthplace of the modern interfaith movement after 30 years away to celebrate 130 years of history in the city of Chicago. Parliament Convenings attract participants from more than 200 diverse religious, indigenous, and secular beliefs and more than 80 nations.Those who register for the event can enjoy access to all the plenary sessions, hundreds of breakout sessions, art & cultural exhibits, performances, a film festival, and countless opportunities to connect with individuals and organizations committed to justice, peace, and sustainability. This Parliament will be the most important and largest gathering of the world’s religious and spiritual leaders, and practitioners, uniting in a collective, courageous, and clear reply to the most dangerous crisis confronting the world today - authoritarianism.
Event organizers say that this is what has created the resurgence of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, misogyny, and racism.
“Every faith has, at its core, a summoning to ease the suffering of others and to contribute to a just, peaceful, and sustainable world,” The Parliament of the World’s Religions states. This week the Parliament is issuing its Call to Conscience to people of faith and spirit, to all people of conscience, to stand together in defense of the dignity, freedom, and human rights of all.
The Festival grounds in Chicago’s Washington Park will once again come alive in a simulated African village Labor Day weekend, Friday September 1 to Monday September 4, 2023. Attendees will be transported across the Diaspora with interactive engagements, vibrant drumming, museum quality and collectible artifacts, colorful and rich handwoven fabric and textile, and other program spaces and Interactive spaces include: Drum & Afro-folk Village, Children and Family, African Heritage, African Spirituality, Wellness (Health) Village, Books and Authors, Fine Art, Film and Video, Food Court, Seniors and Quilting, and the African Marketplace. Africa International House USA, Inc, named one of Chicago’s cultural treasures, is presenting this annual festival inWashington Park in a space that is anchored by President Obama’s Presidential Library and the southside museum district. The Festival is one of Chicago’s largest neighborhood festivals and the nation’s largest Labor Day Weekend celebration of Black global cultures. The children can witness extraordinary sites like the towering S.P.I.R.I.T. Stilt Walkers or engage activities from computer coding to arts and crafts with the Betty Shabazz Academy. New and experienced musicians are invited to the Drum Circle where hypnotic rhythms will revitalize you and inspire the dancer in you! Discover natural healing practices and learn from the masters in the Spiritual, Health and Wellness Pavilions in the Ancestral Grove that feature interactive activities Including cycling, yoga, meditation and Zumba dancing.
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