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Iconic A. Philip Randolph Milestone Celebration

Published in ADVENTURES


Iconic A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum partnering with UAW to observe milestone

Chicago, Illinois -January 2015 - The year 2015 marks a milestone in the life of the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter (APRPP) Museum because it celebrates two decades as the premiere guardian of the black union movement and keeper of A. Philip Randolph's legacy. To commemorate this occasion, the APRPP Museum, United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 551 - Union Solidarity Committee & Human and the Civil Rights Committee - will host a gala celebration at the historic Parkway Ballroom in Chicago, at 4455 S. King Drive on Saturday, February 28 from 5 to 9:30 PM.

The dual purpose of the event is to congratulate the Museum on its milestone and to present the 2015 A. Philip Randolph Gentle Warrior Awards. This coveted honor is presented to deserving Americans who “push gently, yet forcefully, against the boundaries of conventionality with a warrior spirit, in much the same manner as A. Philip Randolph did throughout his career.”  The presentation represents the climactic high point of the evening.

Dr. Lyn Hughes

Dr. Lyn Hughes, Founder

The Museum is located at 10406 S. Maryland in Chicago's Pullman Community and was founded in 1995 by historian/visionary/author Dr. Lyn Hughes.  Its history is rooted in Dr. Hughes' resolve to make the cultural institution the foremost chronicler of the black union movement -- with emphasis on the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters -- and to provide an enduring tribute to A. Philip Randolph.  While the Museum is small in size, it is large in stature because of its unique niche within the pantheon of Museums worldwide. Within its walls are artifacts, memorabilia, interactive displays, exhibits and rare documents. Among the offerings are original porters' items donated by descendants of the labor pioneers.

Over one million people have visited the Museum since its founding.  This includes researchers, students, union members, history buffs, the curious and those wishing to become acquainted with this era. All have been exposed to the Museum by visiting the site, by coming to one of its many traveling exhibits or by attending one of the many programs the Museum sponsors.


Considered a “crown jewel” among cultural institutions, the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum is also one of the centerpieces of the National Park Service's quest to designate the Pullman community as a National Park Service site.

Founder Hughes swells with pride as she reflects on the 20-year journey and this year's gala.  She is particularly proud to be partnering with the United Auto Workers in hosting this anniversary event.    “It is fitting for the Museum and the UAW Local 551 Union Solidarity Committee & Human and Civil Rights Committee to collaborate on this event because of our shared vision. That is to promote the union movement and to keep the life and legacy of A. Philip Randolph alive and vibrant. Proceeds from the celebration will allow the Museum to continue and strengthen this mission,” said Hughes.

Principals from the UAW, founder Hughes and Museum President David Peterson invite the public to support the event. “Those interested in preserving the rich history of the Black labor movement should join us on February 28 for this special anniversary. This celebration will shine a light on the black union movement and will remind us of the power of the movement, the sacrifices made and the ultimate victory by a committed group of men,” declared Peterson.

For more information on the Museum and to purchase tickets to the A. Philip Randolph “Gentle Warrior Awards,” log on to


Read UP: An Anthology on Women's Growth

Published in TRENDS

Inspirational Book
Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth Through Change
Recently Released
(January 9, 2015 – Chicago, IL) Trina Sotira and Michelle Duster recently released Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth Through Change, which they edited and published. The anthology features poems, short stories and essays by 35 women who represent diversity in age groups, geographic locations, marital status, parenting status, professions, and sexual orientations. It highlights the strength of women as their life shifts ultimately lead to increased confidence and internal peace.
The writing in the anthology addresses divorce, becoming parents, children leaving home, job situations, losing loved ones, and many other pivotal experiences that created change in the lives of women.  Both Sotira and Duster, who have faced their own transformative shifts in life, found the writing of the other women to be healing and inspiring.  “There’s a sense that even if we’ve never met, we, as women, are one community that has common experiences,” said Sotira. 
The development of the anthology started over two years ago as an extension of the group, MuseWrite, that Sotira and Duster originally founded in 2009 with two other women.  MuseWrite conducts writing and publishing seminars to help other writers develop and finalize their work.  The idea to give others an opportunity to publish their work grew through helping others develop their work.
After they received hundreds of submissions and began the editing process for Shifts, Sotira and Duster, weighed their publishing options.  “Between the two of us, Trina and I had four published books and over 40 years of combined experience,” Duster said. “We realized that we had enough knowledge and experience to start something on our own. We decided to establish MuseWrite Press in order to publish the Shifts anthology.”
Sotira teaches college composition and creative writing as a full-time faculty member at College of DuPage. A former television news producer, her first novel, In Her Skin, received recognition for revealing the struggles of a transgender teen. She has published articles on writing, as well as flash fiction. Duster has an extensive background in marketing and teaches writing for business courses at Columbia College Chicago. She co-authored the popular children’s history book Tate and His Historic Dream and has written articles, essays and published two books that include the original writing of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells – journalist, civil rights activist, and suffragist. 

3 M's to Remember for 2015

Published in Parent



Being messy is okay. Get down and dirty with your kids when exploring and encouraging their creativity. Value the disorganization that lives between you. Take in those priceless moments and remember, you can always clean up- tomorrow!





Be present. Don't worry about the Facebook or Twitter hits. Don't upload another pic to instagram. Enjoy the moment- in the moment. Be present. Listen to your children and enjoy authentic conversation. In 2015, it's about brain power, so take care of yourself and your children by being there. Remember, your children will remember your presence, more than your presents.



Never forget that you matter and are the expert on your children. No one knows your children better that you and no one can replace your role as parent. You matter and the world needs you to be you and do you to keep us all balanced and moving forward! Don't give up my friend, you matter.



Good Deeds Scholarship

Published in Uncategorized


Do you have experience feeding the homeless, mentoring children, or volunteering for a nonprofit organization? Maybe you've started your own charitable program, project, or group?

Well guess what- MOM was right- It's pays to be good!

The Good Deeds scholarship is for anyone who has volunteered or is planning to volunteer. So, if you have a good heart or great idea that will help others, submit it and you could win $1,000. Deadline: December 31.

Whatever you do, don’t believe the hype that you need to wait until senior year to start applying. Next year, you’ll have plenty on your plate and won’t need the added pressure of finding enough scholarships to help finance your dream college. By starting the process now, you’ll have a clearer picture of what you may be able to afford in terms of tuition and can continue to build your scholarship bank. It may take a few applications before you get the hang of things, so do yourself a favor and start your scholarship search today!

Source & Apply at: https:


New Year, Back to School Safety

Published in Uncategorized



It's a new year and it's back to school time! Keep children safe. While our nation's schools are expected to be and usually are safe havens for learning, unintentional injuries and even violence can occur, disrupting the educational process and negatively affecting the school and surrounding community. Fresh haircuts, new clothes, and backpacks stuffed with markers, pencils, and binders—everything a child needs to start a new school year. As millions of students return to school this fall, teachers will plan their school supply list, and parents will carefully make sure their child is prepared with each and every item. However, safety should also be on every teacher's and student's back-to-school list. Parents, students, educators, and community members can all take action to keep children safe—in and away from school.

Get to School Safely

  • Walk to School Safely Children face an increased risk for pedestrian injuries. You can help by learning more about these risks and steps you can take to promote pedestrian safety in your community.
  • Child Passenger Safety Motor vehicle injuries are the greatest public health problem facing children today. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children in the United States. Learn how to keep children safe by using an age- and size-appropriate restraint system.
  • Teen Driver Safety One out of three deaths among US teens are the result of a motor vehicle crash. During a teen's first year of driving, crash risk is particularly high. Learn tips and facts to help a new driver arrive at school safely.
  • Teens Behind the Wheel: Graduated Driver Licensing Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) systems address the high risks new drivers face and are proven methods for helping teens to become safer drivers. Research shows that strict and comprehensive GDL systems reduce both fatal and nonfatal injury crashes.
A teacher with her students

School Safety

  • Youth Violence Homicide is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the United States. Behaviors such as bullying and hitting often start at a young age and may continue into young adulthood. Youth violence can often lead to serious injury or death.
  • School Violence While US schools remain relatively safe, any amount of violence is unacceptable. Parents, teachers, and administrators expect schools to be safe havens of learning. Acts of violence can disrupt the learning process and have a negative effect on students, the school itself, and the broader community.
  • Sexual Violence Sexual violence begins early in life. Approximately 80% of female victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25 and almost half ex­perienced the first rape before age 18. Most victims do not tell friends and family about the abuse and suffer alone. Those who do disclose the violence may be stigmatized by friends, family, and their community.
  • Youth Suicide Suicide (taking one's own life) is a serious public health problem that affects even young people. It is the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24. Suicide results in approximately 5,100 lives lost each year.
  • School Health Guidelines to Prevent Unintentional Injuries and Violence School Health Guidelines are designed to prevent unintentional injuries and violence. Guidelines promote safety and teach students the skills needed to prevent injuries and violence. They are designed for all grade levels and provide support for a coordinated school health program.
  • School Health Index School Health Index (SHI) is a self-assessment and planning tool that enables schools to identify strengths and weaknesses of health and safety policies and programs, develop an action plan for improving student health and safety, and involve teachers, parents, students, and the community in improving school services.

Safety During Sports and Physical Activity

  • Playground Injuries Each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries. Learn about risks and how to avoid severe injuries associated with playgrounds.
  • Heads Up to Schools: Know Your Concussion ABCs A child can take a spill, knock his/her head, and get a concussion in any number of school settings ranging from the hallway, the playground, the cafeteria, and beyond. This flexible set of materials was developed for professionals working with grades K-12 and helps principals, school nurses, teachers, or other school professionals identify and respond to concussions and learn strategies to help support students returning to school after a concussion.

Students in a classroom

For additional resources visit the source of this article:


Finding Supermom: Coping with Crying

Published in BABY



Why Babies Cry?

  1. Hunger
  2. Too hot or too cold
  3. Diaper needs changing
  4. Discomfort/pain,fever/illness
  5. Teething
  6. Colic
  7. Boredom/ over-stimulation
  8. Fear- of loud noises or a stranger

Understanding you Baby


Taking care of your baby is the most amazing time of your life! But, when your baby won't stop crying, it can be very upsetting for you and caregivers. Yet, it is normal for your baby to cry. In fact, a baby may cry for two to three hours a day- sometimes more!

Nonstop crying is difficult got all parents to cope with. Here are some tips on when to spot and stop crying:

  1. Crying happens most often in the evenings
  2. Crying may start or stop and you don't know why
  3. Crying may not stop no matter what you do
  4. Your baby's crying will not harm him or her

Ways to calm your baby


It may seem like your baby cries more than others, but ALL babies cry. You can do the following things to try to sooth your baby.

  1. Check the reasons your baby may be crying such as basic needs (see above)
  2. Offer your baby a pacifier
  3. Hold your baby against your chest
  4. Massage, rock, or walk with your baby
  5. Sing, hum, or talk to the baby
  6. Take the baby for a ride in the carseat or stroller
  7. If your baby is not in distress, place the baby in a safe place (such as a crib) and let him cry; check on him every 5-10 minutes to make sure he or she is alright

In the end, check with your baby's doctor if you think your baby is crying too much. Remember, you may be a Supermom, but it's always okay to ask for help!


Tips on handling Frustration or Mommy Fatigue

  1. Think about about you love your baby
  2. Relax, take a bath, shower, exercise, or play music
  3. Call a trusted friend, relative, or neighbor and ask them to watch the baby and to give you a needed break
  4. Sit down, close your eyes, and take 20 deep breaths
  5. Talk to someone. Call one of the crisis hotlines- 911 (Don't take your frustration out on your baby. NEVER shake a baby!)



Wellness Wed: Medication Restrictions Affect Mental Health Outcomes

Published in TRENDS


November 2014 (Washington, DC): A new study administered by the National Council for Behavioral Health and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and published in Psychiatric Services today found many common insurance and state Medicaid policies may negatively impact patient health and impose a major workload on psychiatrists that takes time away from patient care and other important duties.

More than 50 percent of psychiatrists surveyed practicing in community mental health centers pointed to formulary restrictions, prior authorization and step therapy protocols as the most frequent roadblocks to prescribing an optimal treatment regimen. Step therapy protocols are sometimes referred to as “fail first” policies, as they only allow psychiatrists to pursue different drug options after other treatments fail to help patients. 

“Our research shows that many obstacles continue to limit mental health providers’ ability to effectively provide care,” says Dr. Ruth Shim, one of the study’s authors. “The next step is to take policy action to remove these barriers to increase access to and quality of care for individuals living with mental illnesses.”

These policies burden providers with additional bureaucracy, time which could otherwise be used treating patients. Three-quarters of psychiatrists spend more than 10 percent of their time on utilization management-related administrative tasks, with one in ten reporting they spend 40 percent or more of their time on such tasks.

Most importantly, the study found medication restriction policies directly impact patient wellness. Three-quarters of psychiatrists state that patients had trouble complying with medication plans, while 62 percent said patients experienced increased emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and increased health care costs.

Increasing medication options will provide better care and improve patient results according to those surveyed. Nearly 90 percent of psychiatrists agreed that multiple medication options are important in allowing them to find the best fit for patients based on potential side effects in relation to their condition.

“Mental health treatments are not one size fits all,” according to Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council. “Choosing the right plan should be the decision of a patient and their doctor, not rigid health plan policies. Increasing options, reducing paperwork and restoring physician authority ultimately results in better patient care.”

“The survey confirms what individuals and families affected by mental illness know from direct experience,” said Mary Giliberti, NAMI’s executive director. “Having a choice of medication is critical for positive outcomes. Too much time is being spent on needless authorizations rather than treatment. Policy change is needed to empower individuals and their doctors to make the right choices based on personal needs and goals, rather than on lists and failures.”

The study was jointly funded by a grant from Sunovion, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and Lundbeck, LLC to the National Council and NAMI. A poster based on this data was presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s Institute on Psychiatric Services conference in San Francisco October 31-November 1 and an overview of the survey’s results was published in the November issue of the American Psychiatric Association’s journal Psychiatric Services, available at


The National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council) is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with 2,200 member organizations, it serves more than eight million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. The organization is committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. The National Council pioneered Mental Health First Aid in the U.S. and has trained more than 250,000 individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and addictions care in their communities. To learn more about the National Council, visit

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.


Access to Quality Child Care

Published in Parent


“In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, we need affordable, high-quality childcare more than ever. It’s not a nice-to-have -- it’s a must-have. So it’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or as a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.”
– President Obama, State of the Union Address, January 20, 2015

Helping working Americans meet the needs of their jobs and their families is a key part of the President’s plan to bolster and expand the middle class. Access to high-quality child care and early education not only promotes a child’s development, but it also helps support parents who are struggling to balance work and family obligations. A safe, nurturing environment that enriches children’s development is critical to working families and is one of the best investments we can make in our economy. Yet today, a year of child care costs higher than a year of in-state tuition at most colleges – putting a significant strain on parents.


Ensuring that children have access to high quality and affordable early childhood programs can help children prepare for school and succeed in later life while strengthening parents’ ability to go to work, advance their career, and increase their earning potential. Research shows that money spent on young children is an effective investment, yielding benefits immediately to parents and for many decades to come for the children. For example, the President’s Council of Economic Advisors’ report on the Economics of Early Childhood indicate that investments in high-quality early education generate economic returns of over  $8 for every $1 spent.

Today, President Obama outlined his plan to make affordable, quality child care available to every working and middle-class family with young children. His plan includes:

  • Making a landmark investment in the Child Care and Development Fund that helps every eligible family with young children afford high-quality child care.
  • Tripling the maximum child care tax credit to $3,000 per young child.
  • Creating a new innovation fund to help states design programs that better serve families that face unique challenges in finding quality care, such as those in rural areas or working non-traditional hours.

Two years ago, the President called for a continuum of high-quality early learning for America’s children – including support for children and their parents beginning prenatally with evidence-based home visitation for young children and new and expecting parents and continuing through high-quality preschool for America’s 4-year olds. Over the past two years, the federal government, states, philanthropists, and business leaders have invested nearly $3 billion in high-quality preschool and early education. Today’s announcement builds on these continuing efforts to make high-quality early education and child care available for all. These investments to expand and strengthen child care and early education programs complement the Administration’s other efforts to help working families, including offering workers the opportunity to earn paid sick and family leave, a higher minimum wage, and equal pay for women.



Parents who work in low-wage jobs can face real difficulties affording quality child care – in 2013, the average cost of full-time care for an infant at a child care center was about $10,000 per year – higher than the average cost of in-state tuition at a public 4-year college -  and much higher in some locations. Without help, many families can face the untenable choice of not working or leaving their children in unsafe, unstable, or poor quality child care arrangements. Affordable, quality childcare can help parents so they can go to work to support their family.

Learning begins at birth, and the earliest years of a child’s life are those most critical for building foundational cognitive skills, social and emotional skills, and patterns of engagement in school and learning. Studies show that children who attend high-quality early learning programs – including high-quality child care – are more likely to do well in school, find good jobs, have fewer interactions with the justice system, and have greater earnings as adults than those who don’t.  Increasing the supply of high-quality, affordable child care can help parents balance work and family responsibilities while also investing in young children.

That’s why this year the President proposes unprecedented investments in making quality child care affordable and available for working families by:

  • Expanding access to child care assistance for all eligible families with children under four years of age, within ten years. The federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) helps low- and moderate-income families with the cost of child care and increases the availability and quality of that care. States contribute matching resources for a portion of the CCDF funding they receive. But currently, federal and state funding for child care assistance falls well short of the need, and only a small share of young children receive federally-funded child care subsidies. The President’s proposal will ensure that all low- and moderate-income families (those with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty line, or approximately $40,000 for a family of three) with children age three and under have access to a subsidy to pay for quality child care so they can work or attend school or job training. By 2025, this investment will expand access to high-quality care to more than 1 million additional young children, reaching a total of more than 2.6 million children served monthly through the child care subsidy system. To qualify for this funding, states will be required to develop sound plans for how they will build the supply of quality care for infants and toddlers and ensure that the subsidies they provide (when combined with reasonable copayments families can afford) will  cover the cost of quality care.
  • Cutting taxes for families paying child care with a credit of up to $3,000 per child. The President’s tax proposal would streamline child care tax benefits and triple the maximum child care tax credit for middle class families with young children, increasing it to $3,000 per child. The President’s child care tax proposals would benefit 5.1 million families, helping them cover child care costs for  6.7 million children (including 3.5 million children under five), through the following reforms:
    • Triple the maximum Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) for families with children under five, increasing it to $3,000 per child. Families with young children face the highest child care costs. Under the President’s proposal, they could claim a 50 percent credit for up to $6,000 of expenses per child under five.
    • Make the full credit available to most middle-class families. Under current law, almost no families qualify for the maximum CDCTC. The President’s proposal would make the maximum credit – for young children, older children, and elderly or disabled dependents – available to families with incomes up to $120,000, meaning that most middle-class families could easily determine how much help they can get.
    • Eliminate complex child care flexible spending accounts and reinvest the savings in the improved CDCTC. The President’s proposal would replace the current system of complex and duplicative incentives with one generous and simple child care tax benefit.
  •  Improving the quality of child care. Last year Congress acted on a bipartisan basis to pass child care legislation that includes much-needed reforms to improve the quality and safety in child care settings, including  requiring training for providers to prevent sudden infant death syndrome, instituting annual inspections of child care facilities, and comprehensive background checks of all providers. This proposal would provide the resources to help states implement those important reforms and support the expansion of access to quality child care programs staffed by early educators that can provide developmentally appropriate services that promote the healthy development and school readiness of young children
  •  Promoting Innovation in the Child Care Subsidy System.  The President will also invest $100 million in new competitive grants to states, territories, tribes and communities to develop, implement and evaluate models of providing child care to address the unmet needs for families who face unique challenges to securing child care. These pilots could be used to develop promising practices for families in rural communities or have children with disabilities, parents who work non-traditional hours, and other families who struggle to find and use high-quality child care.



In addition to the historic investment in helping every low-income and middle-class family afford child care, the President’s FY16 budget will make critical investments to expand access to high-quality early education, including:

  •  Providing Preschool for All:  In his 2013 State of the Union, the Obama Administration announced a proposal to provide high-quality preschool to every American child and the FY 2016 Budget will continue to support this historic public investment in early education and in the future of America’s children.  This $75 billion partnership with states would extend federal funds to expand high-quality preschool to reach all low- and moderate-income four-year-olds from families at or below 200% of poverty.  The proposal, financed through an increase in tobacco taxes which will discourage youth smoking and save lives, also encourages states to broaden participation to reach additional middle-income families and to expand the availability of full-day kindergarten. In December 2014, the President and Vice President hosted the White House Summit on Early Childhood Education, highlighting over $1 billion in investments dedicated to early childhood education and development, including new efforts to expand preschool across 18 states and in over 200 high-need communities, reaching an additional 33,000 children.
  •  Supporting Infants and Toddlers  through Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships: This Administration has more than doubled the number of infants and toddlers in Early Head Start and, in 2014, created the new Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships program – an effort to  provide quality care to tens of thousands of additional infants and toddlers through a partnership between Early Head Start and child care providers that meet the highest standards of quality to serve children from birth through age three.  The Obama Administration has invested $500 million to support communities and proposes additional funding as they improve and expand comprehensive early care and education through the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships program, reaching over 30,000 infants and toddlers this year.
  • Increasing the duration of Head Start to a full school day and year. Head Start is a key element of the Administration’s efforts to help all children meet their full potential. The Obama Administration has already taken dramatic steps to raise the bar on Head Start quality, including requiring low-performing programs to compete for continued funding, and is revising performance standards to reflect the best available science on early learning and development. The President’s Budget includes a new proposal to further increase the impact of Head Start – while also helping the working parents of Head Start children – by providing enough resources to make sure all children in Head Start benefit from a full school day and full school year (at least six hours a day, 170 days a year), which research shows leads to better outcomes for young children.
  • Investing in Voluntary, Evidence-Based Home Visiting: Established in 2010, the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program builds on research showing that home visits by a nurse, social worker, or other professional during pregnancy and in the earliest years of life has benefits to parents and to children. These programs have been shown to significantly improve maternal and child health, development, and learning.  These effects have proven to be long-lasting, with one study showing improved language and math abilities at age 12.  Additionally, these programs have led to increases in parental employment and reductions in child maltreatment. To date it has supported more than 1.4 million visits in over 700 communities. The President’s Budget would ensure the program does not end when funding is scheduled to expire in March 2015 and expand the program to reach additional families and communities. This proposal is also supported by the increased tobacco tax.


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