Category: Community Written by Cathy Nedd
On October 1 uninsured Michiganders and their families will be able to obtain affordable health care coverage by access the new Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov. A central part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the Health Insurance Marketplace was designed for the uninsured and individuals who purchase their own coverage.
To assist in spreading the word throughout the community about the Marketplace, the Michigan Chronicle is launching a campaign to maximize awareness and educate many who have not previously purchased health insurance about the process and the importance of preventive care.
“For many, purchasing health coverage online will be complicated and confusing,” said Hiram E. Jackson, publisher of the Michigan Chronicle. “As the longtime voice of the community, the Michigan Chronicle is a trusted brand that is uniquely positioned to reach hard-to-reach populations that will benefit from the Marketplace.”
Named the “Got You Covered” campaign, the Michigan Chronicle is mobilizing a small army of community organization partners and trained volunteers to educate the community about the Affordable Care Act, accessing the Health Insurance Marketplace, expanded health care options and information that must be considered while purchasing health insurance.
“Many people have never purchased health insurance before and are likely not familiar with the terminology and details they need to know in making their decisions,” Jackson continued. “Our campaign will work to ensure that everyone can successfully navigate the landscape to ensure better options and better health for our community.”
Promoting Medicaid Expansion is also expected to be an integral part of the campaign. Medicaid expansion will provide health care coverage for 470,000 Michiganders who earn less than $15,000 annually. Now back from the summer recess, the state legislature is expected to vote on health care expansion this week.
Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace is October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. After this period, those who do not have health coverage may be accessed a fee and still continue to pay out-of-pocket for all of their care.
Spearheaded by Cathy Nedd, chief operating officer of the Michigan Chronicle, the campaign will operate via the Michigan Chronicle’s Marketing Services Division.
“I am excited to be a part of helping the community access the necessary coverage to receive health care,” Nedd said. “Urgent care is expensive if paid out-of-pocket. For too long, too many people have used emergency rooms to take care of their health care needs. And they have not been able to get the preventive care that they need, only using the emergency rooms when their situations have become critical.”
Elements of the “Got You Covered” campaign include town hall meetings, educational marketing materials, a special Michigan Chronicle open enrollment tabloid insert, educational videos, digital and social media campaigns, and a church component. The Michigan Chronicle is also recruiting and training volunteers to represent the campaign at churches, clubs, bars, grocery stores, block club meetings and other community gatherings.
Another key element of the campaign is connecting the uninsured with “navigators,” individuals who are unbiased and trained to assist people in “navigating” the new online Health Insurance Marketplace.
The campaign will kick off in late September with a town hall meeting of community and health care industry experts.
For more information about the “Got You Covered” campaign, or to become a community partner or volunteer, contact the Michigan Chronicle at (313) 963-5522.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 10:28
Category: Community Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Charter One has named Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit a 2013 Champion in Action® in the category of Arts & Culture. Mosaic will receive a $35,000 unrestricted grant and extensive promotional and volunteer support for its outstanding arts and culture work in the community. Charter One has given more than $600,000 grants and support to nonprofit organizations in Southeast Michigan through its Champions in Action Program, which gives awards for outstanding community service.
“Helping such a creative and talented group like Mosaic is truly gratifying,” said Ken Marblestone, president of Charter One, Michigan and Ohio. “This internationally recognized theater group is a civic gem for Detroit, and they represent all the qualities of a Charter One Champion in Action.”
“With this award, we look forward to working with Mosaic to help carry on and increase their rich tradition of art and culture in Detroit. They are an inspiration and we applaud them for investing their energies so positively and so creatively,” Marblestone said.
As part of the Champions in Action program, nonprofits receive financial, volunteer and public relations support.
Charter One will match funds donated to Mosaic through a month-long viral outreach campaign in October to help support Mosaic’s programs. To celebrate the end of the campaign, Mosaic will host a day-long community “Perform-a-thon” event in which more than 150 young artists will provide approximately 35 free performances at metropolitan Detroit area homeless and domestic abuse shelters, nursing homes, juvenile detention centers, hospitals and other residential facilities on October 26, 2013.
Mosaic, which was founded in 1992, was born out of the need to fill the void in arts education as it had been eliminated in many Metro Detroit schools. The organization provides three tiers of professional arts training split between entry level, intermediate and advanced categories to more than 400 students annually, many from Detroit’s most underserved neighborhoods.
Mosaic’s founder and CEO Rick Sperling said: “We are truly elated to be selected by Charter One as a Champion in Action. This award helps us continue our core-training program which provides young artists with access to professional artists and educators to gain invaluable experience for professional/college development. The award also helps increase our organization’s visibility and grants us the opportunity to have our senior staff interact with the leaders of Charter One. Our entire organization thanks Charter One for this honor.”
As a Champion in Action, Mosaic will receive:
A $35,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Charter One Charitable Foundation.
Volunteer support from Charter One.
The opportunity for the organization’s executive director to participate in a “president-to-president” mentorship with Charter One President Ken Marblestone, which allows the organization to further hone their partnership skills, corporate business acumen and increase stability and growth.
Extensive public relations support.
Promotional support highlighting the Champion in Action® in all Charter One branch DCN screens and on its ATMs.
Exposure on Charter One’s Web site and through its social media platforms.
Launched locally in 2006, Champions in Action is an initiative of Charter One to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to communities in Southeast Michigan. The Champions in Action program is part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, the bank’s program designed to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in local communities.
To date, 24 local nonprofits have been recognized and have received over $600,000 in grants and promotional support. This year marks the 11th anniversary nationally of the Champion in Action® program that has provided more than $6 million in support to more than 245 nonprofit organizations throughout the Citizens Financial Group footprint.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 10:27
Category: Community Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Gov. Rick Snyder announced today that Detroit will get $52.3 million in federal funds for blight removal and approximately $37.4 million will go to four other Michigan cities to fund large-scale projects to stabilize neighborhoods, preserve property values and fight crime.
The governor announced in June that the U.S. Department of the Treasury approved $100 million for anti-blight efforts in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Pontiac and Saginaw through the Hardest Hit Fund. While Detroit will get about half of the funds, Flint will get $20.1 million; Grand Rapids $2.5 million; Pontiac $3.7 million, and Saginaw $11.2 million. About $10.2 million is being held in reserve to tear down additional abandoned properties that may become eligible for demolition during the pilot program and for unanticipated project costs.
The targeted demolitions represent a major expansion of an ongoing effort by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and other state partners to aggressively address blight in Michigan.
“With these federal funds, we’ll be able to launch large-scale demolition programs that strike at the blight that is weakening too many neighborhoods in these cities,” the governor said. “This aggressive anti-blight effort will help stabilize neighborhoods that have been struggling for years. As the abandoned properties come down, property values will go up, and crime will go down. That will encourage the people who live in these neighborhoods to stay in their homes and be part of the revitalization of their communities.”
Step Forward Michigan, administered by MSHDA, has established several programs to steady the state’s housing market and curb foreclosures under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The Hardest Hit Fund was created under that federal law in 2010. The $100 million blight elimination program has been designed to further enhance neighborhood recovery in these targeted areas.
“Our experience in responding to the foreclosure crisis taught us that there is a direct link between foreclosure and blight. We sought to modify the program to include blight removal because it offered a more holistic approach to helping our Hardest Hit communities recover,” MSHDA Executive Director Scott Woosley said. “We have greatly appreciated the governor’s leadership on this issue and the federal, state and local partnerships that have been forged during this process.”
MSHDA’s team worked with officials from the five cities to pick the neighborhoods and properties that align with federal Hardest Hit program goals, to identify local resources needed and their availability, and to establish a timeline for the work.
They used a formula that weighed vacancy and blight elimination data, among others, to arrive at the award amounts. They then reviewed community plans to determine the amount requested, available pool of qualifying property and administration capabilities. Modifications to the formula award were then made accordingly.
“Neighborhoods across Michigan that have been struggling with the damaging effects caused by vacant and abandoned properties will soon see the benefit of these federal funds,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Domestic Finance Mary J. Miller. “The launch of this program seeks to prevent foreclosures by addressing blight in a way that has never been done before. We are proud to work with the leadership in Michigan on its rollout and hope it contributes in a broader way to the revitalization of these communities.”
Woosley explained that while this money has been set aside to address needs in five hardest hit cities, the program will be part of an ongoing MSHDA and state effort to spread demolition resources throughout Michigan.
“This new program is a critical next step in reducing blight in our urban areas, but it cannot be the last,” he said. “As our team worked on the program’s development we quickly recognized that the problem is much larger than the funding streams that, so far, have been dedicated to address it. We are hopeful that successful implementation of this pilot program will lead to more dollars being accessible, allowing us to continue this critical work for the people of Michigan.”
Demolition work is scheduled to begin later this month in Detroit and within several weeks in the other cities.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 10:22
Category: Community Written by Kenya King
Baring narratives that elucidate the importance of African American history and civil rights has been a life passion for critically acclaimed, multicultural visual artist Synthia Saint James.
Whether revealing the story of the only hospital to treat Black patients during the 1800s or bringing awareness to the needs of children in Haiti, Saint James uses her craft to lend voice to unheeded disparities and to convey messages that evoke change.
Indeed, a change has come 50 years after the 1963 March on Washington when more than 250 thousand people marched for jobs, freedom and equality.
In honor of that pivotal day and Dr. King’s historic speech, Saint James completed what she says is one of her most important pieces of work to date – a painting titled “The Dream,” inspired by the words embedded in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a Dream” speech. Saint James says she drew most inspiration from Dr. King’s words that foretold how little children, both Black and White, would one day “walk together as sisters and brothers.”
Equally as motivating to Saint James were Dr. King’s words that signaled how men and women of different religions would unite for one cause and “sing the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last!”
Saint James acknowledges her initial intention was to include a choir director but that most people consider the director to be Dr. King.
“I’m going to leave it up to the people, because he could very well be directing the choir,” said Saint James. “It seems to me like a good emphasis is on song and rejoicing. So that’s why I thought it should feel and look a lot like a choir, and the children on the front coming toward you, is now in the future.”
In an interview with Saint James weeks before the 50th anniversary of the march, it inexplicably appeared that people were going about their daily lives, planning other activities as if the anniversary march was not taking place. What has happened to the spirit of a people who were once so passionate they were willing to risk their lives fighting for justice? Saint James is optimistic that her painting will make a difference.
“My hope is that this painting brings that together because I painted it for us all to celebrate,” said Saint James. “This is coming from the heart and I feel like this is one of my most important paintings because it’s celebrating that speech. I can so much remember the anxiousness and somewhat anxiety that I was feeling 50 years ago.”
The official unveiling of “The Dream” will be held before the California State Assembly at the State Capitol Building in Sacramento, California on August 29, 2013. California Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown arranged for Saint James’ work to be recognized.
“The Dream” is released as Limited Edition Prints and a Limited Edition Giclees on Canvas. This is Saint James’ first major effort to bring awareness to a single event. Until now she has been busy working on raising money for orphaned children of Haiti, in conjunction with the non-profit group Child of Haiti (www.childofhaiti.org).
Since 2012, she’s completed a series of 14 painting about Haitian life and culture, and plans to keep Haiti at the forefront of her fundraising efforts.
“My mission is to share the rich culture and beauty of the island and the people, which has been overshadowed by all the bad news that we only hear,” said Saint James.
Exemplifying Dr. King’s mantra on service to others through donations of her work, Saint James says she believes people will identify themselves in some way through “The Dream” and become reeducated on Dr. King’s contributions.
Synthia Saint James is a world renowned multicultural visual artist, an award winning author and or illustrator of 17 children’s books, and author of an autobiographical art marketing book, three poetry books, a book of affirmations and a cookbook. She is most celebrated for designing the first Kwanzaa stamp for the United States Postal Service in 1997, for which she received a History Maker Award, and for the international cover art for Terry McMillan’s book “Waiting to Exhale.” Her artwork has been featured internationally in several embassies in the Art in Embassies Program since the 1990s.
For more information about “The Dream,” visit www.synthiasaintjames.com
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 10:23
Category: Community Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
DETROIT, MI – On Sunday, September 8, 2013, Bob’s Classic Kicks will hold a Day Party sponsored by Red Bull from 2pm-6pm. This event is open to the city of Detroit including entrepreneurs, business owners and students of Wayne State University who would like to network and meet new people in their surrounding area.
“This event is for the community. I think it’s important to bring people together of various backgrounds and interests who share the same vision of being an entrepreneur. Networking is a vital aspect in any field of business; not just the athletic shoe industry”, said co-owner Christian Dorsey.
This networking event will give aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners the opportunity to share their business ventures with other professionals. For those interested in selling products and/or services at this event, there is no fee for setting up vendor tables. All vendors are required to bring their own tables for their own setup.
Bob’s Classic Kicks is the culmination of Detroit’s long time desire for a sneaker shop for the real ‘sneaker heads’. Open for nine years now, Bob’s Classic Kicks is a unique shop that is a direct reflection of the Great Spirit and body of the city of Detroit. Bob’s Classic Kicks carries brands including Nike, Reebok, and Adidas. The boutique is located in Midtown at 4717 Woodward off of Forest.
Light refreshments will be served.
Last Updated on Friday, 23 August 2013 16:01
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