Citizen Week of July 11, 2018
| Vol. 1 | No. 48 | www.thechicagocitizen.com
SUBURBAN TIMES WEEKLY
Franciscan St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights is set to close at the end of this month which has Southland Mayors and emergency service providers working together to prepare for the stress that the closure will put on surrounding emergency rooms and ambulance services..
CLOSURE OF ST. JAMES HOSPITAL COULD CAUSE LONGER WAIT TIMES FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES
For the last two years, South Suburban residents, emergency service providers, hospital staff and municipal government officials have been working together to prepare for the closure of Franciscan Health’s St James Hospital in Chicago Heights. See more on Page 3
Art Scene: African American Expressions announces partnership with Caged Bird Legacy LLC — Page 2 Politiscope: Why are Democratic voters more approving of compromise than Republicans? — Page 3 |
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ART SCENE African American Expressions announces partnership with Caged Bird Legacy LLC SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Dr. Maya Angelou had a spirit full of love and hope. The power of her words and the stories she told were precious gifts given to us all. Now with the help of Caged Bird Legacy LLC, African American Expressions has created a multitude of products. Featuring products such as the “Still I Rise” calendar from AAE’s best-selling series, to journals that will inspire you to write your own story, to tote bags, to home décor and the first ever Christmas card with words from Dr. Angelou’s ‘Amazing Peace’ poem, these items are almost certain to disappear off the shelves as soon as they make their debut. “Legacy is so important. Dr. Angelou empowered so many with her words of love, courage, and hope. With that in mind we created a line of products that not only reflected the beauty of her remarkable spirit, but products that allow everyone the chance to give that special someone the gift of her words,” said Greg Perkins, chief executive officer of AAE. Though these products are soon to flood brick and mortar shelves around the world, African American Expressions are now offering a sneak peek at the full line of Dr. Angelou products as well as over 100 additional new products at the America’s Mart in Atlanta now through the 16th. For more information, visit www.black-cards.com.
The legacy of Maya Angelou carries on as African American Expressions announces partnership with Caged Bird Legacy LLC.
Giving Back on Your Summer Vacation Hitting the road this summer and want to do something good for the world along the way? Consider using your summer road trip as an opportunity to give back to the communities you visit. For some inspiration, check out these great ways Americans are rethinking vacations to include a touch of philanthropy.
Driving for Good
All those miles you log on the road can be for a good cause, if you look in the right places. Check out organizations and brands hosting fun fundraising or volunteer events on the road. For example, “MINI Takes the States,” a biannual rally for MINI Cooper owners, gives participants an opportunity to explore America’s beauty while raising money for Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization dedicated to fighting domestic hunger through a network of food banks. In 2016, rally participants raised enough money to provide 1,301,969 meals to families in need,
and this year’s goal is over 2 million meals. Occurring July 14 – 22 this year, MINI Takes the States will see owners kick off in either Orlando, Fla. or Portland, Ore. and converge in Colorado, passing through some of America’s most interesting and beautiful sites and cities. A portion of each registration fee is donated to Feeding America and participants are encouraged to start fundraising pages online and spread the word to friends and family to contribute to the cause. Each dollar raised will provide at least 10 meals to people in the U.S. struggling with hunger. To learn more, visit MINITakesTheStates.com or follow the conversation at #DriveForMore.
Transform Your Road Trip
America’s parks need your help, particularly their hiking trails. Volunteer opportunities abound for those who wish to combine a road trip with trail stewardship. After traveling to your favorite park, join a volunteer crew to build or maintain a trail, increasing accessibility
Give back to the community when hitting the road this summer.
to America’s most beautiful natural wonders. Or, be someone who brakes for animals -- animal volunteer opportunities that is. Many animal www.thechicagocitizen.com
sanctuaries welcome vacationing volunteers to provide extra hands. From socializing dogs to feeding horses, certain opportunities even include lodging to those giving their
time. By giving back to the places you visit, you can take the concept of the ultimate summer road trip to new heights.
CITIZEN | Suburban Times Weekly | Week of July 11, 2018
POLITISCOPE Why are Democratic voters more approving of compromise than Republicans? BY JAMES GLASER AND JEFFREY BERRY At a time when political division is heightened and the parties in Washington are deeply polarized, it is worth asking whether there is any payoff for politicians to work together. Will they be rewarded by their constituents for getting things done, balancing different interests for the public good and working across the aisle with civility and respect? Or will they be punished for abandoning core principles, offering concessions to the other side and sitting down with people who view the world so differently? Political scientists like us view compromise as an essential feature of our bicameral, three-branched political system. Not everyone will agree that compromise on every issue at every time is a good thing. But it is essential if a democracy in a diverse society is to function, if laws are to be passed and policies set. If compromise is so important to the functioning of our government, what can we say about how people – citizens – view compromise?
Compromise looks different to Ds and Rs Our starting point is that not everyone views it the same way. Pollsters have found that most voters support their elected officials compromising rather than sticking to principle when forced to make the choice. But among those who prefer sticking to principle, a disproportionate percentage are Republicans. Republicans, it seems, are more worried about their representatives being compromised, which they do not see as a good thing. Democrats are more sanguine about compromise in government and considerably more likely to view the ability to compromise as a virtue when evaluating their repre-
sentatives. To illustrate: In a 2014 Pew survey, 64 percent of Democrats and 49 percent of Republicans agreed with the statement, “I like elected officials who “make compromises with people they disagree with” rather than elected officials who “stick to their positions.” In a 2015 survey conducted for Al Jazeera America, when asked “What causes more problems in the federal government?” 71 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Republicans chose “elected officials who are not willing to compromise” as opposed to “elected officials who are not willing to stand up for their principles.” This is a relationship that we have seen time and again in surveys that
ask, in various ways and at various times, whether respondents approve of political compromise. How do we explain this partisan difference? Of course, Republicans and Democrats profess different beliefs, care about promoting different values and have different economic and political interests. But none of that would really explain why they would view political process differently. Perhaps there is something in the DNA of Republicans and Democrats that leads them to view compromise differently? The hidden role of uncertainty Many studies have demonstrated that conservatives and liberals have different predispositions and traits, which might explain the Republican-Democratic difference given that partisanship and ideology overlap so much. Psychologists have shown that conservatives, more than liberals, tend to be “rigid” in their thinking, prefer “purity” and “order,” and view the world in black and white terms. These psychological predispositions might explain why Republicans are less likely to approve of compromise than comparable Democrats.
But we argue that there is something else at work here, another way to think about the Republican/ Democratic difference that consistently appears in surveys. We look to the pioneering work of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky for guidance. Kahneman and Tversky’s “prospect theory” is based upon a simple notion: Under conditions of uncertainty, people weigh loss much more than gain when making assessments about the future. That is, when making decisions that entail risk, the fear of losing what one already has dominates the possibility of gaining more of what one wants. How might this explain the difference between Democrats and Republicans in their view of compromise? As a general proposition, conservatives believe in “conserving” the status quo and progressives have a friendlier view of change and “progress,” and this difference in orientation is the predominant dynamic at work in politics. So if Republicans, as conservatives, look at a particular political compromise as a loss from their Continued on page 4
Closure of St. James Hospital Could Cause Longer Wait Times For Emergency Services Continued from page 1 BY KATHERINE NEWMAN
For the last two years, South Suburban residents, emergency service providers, hospital staff and municipal government officials have been working together to prepare for the closure of Franciscan Health’s St James Hospital in Chicago Heights. Now the time has come and the century-old facility is set to remove its critical care service on July 31. The closure is part of a restructuring of services that will utilize the Franciscan Health Olympia Fields Hospital for emergency room services and in patient care. Last month, the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA), an intergovernmental agency providing information and technical services to forty-three municipalities in the southern suburbs of Chicago, held a meeting with about 70 people representing Southland hospitals, police departments, and fire departments. The general consensus was that the closure of St James Hospital was going to be a challenge.
“I think the biggest issue is the ambulance and hospital turn around time, that’s the major one. The second major issue for every hospital that we had represented at our meeting, and we had roughly about 70 people and four different hospital groups that are in the Southland area, I know that their biggest concern is that they are already at capacity or over capacity of what their ER rooms were designed for,” said Bob Kolosh, mayor of the village of Thornton and chairman of public safety for SSMMA. In January of 2016 Franciscan Alliance Incorporated submitted an exemption application to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board requesting permission to discontinue a 312-bed acute care hospital. Following the exemption application, a public hearing was held. During the public hearing in 2016, Arnie Kimmel, chief executive officer of Franciscan St. James Health, listed the reasons for wanting to close St. James Hospital. First, Franciscan Health has two hospitals within 10 minutes of each other, St. James and Olympia Fields. The St. James Hospital building is over 100 years old
and it would take $50 million in repairs to bring it up to code. The hospital suffered a $66 million operating loss between 2011 and 2014 and lastly the health network wanted to be sure they were making the best use out of the Olympia Fields facility. Since the application was submitted, community healthcare stakeholders have been preparing for the closure of St. James Hospital. “We want to make sure that we have those lines of communication open and that we are responding and are sensitive to the issues that are created. I think the overall conclusion, and this was stated by a number of individuals that were there representing various constituencies, both police and fire within the municipalities along with the EMS coordinators and the hospitals, that the closure is going to have a dramatic impact on patients and have a significant impact on EMS service,” said Kristi DeLaurentiis, executive director of SSMMA. The SSMMA will hosts another public meeting after the closure is complete to receive community feedback and make a plan on how to best meet the emergency medical needs of South Suburban residents.
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FOOD DARK CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 18 minutes Servings: 2 1/2 tablespoon Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil, plus additional for coating pan 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for coating pan 4 ounces 70 percent cocoa dark chocolate 1 ounce 30 percent heavy cream 3 egg whites 2 egg yolks pinch of cream of tartar Heat oven to 375 F. Grease two 6-ounce ramekins with olive oil and dust with sugar. In double boiler, melt chocolate, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and cream; let cool. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Whisk egg yolks into cooled chocolate mixture; fold in egg whites, 1/4 cup sugar and cream of tartar. Pour into prepared ramekins; bake 15 minutes. Tips: This recipe can be easily doubled. Garnish with fresh berries, if desired.
Healthier Baking with Olive Oil Family Features - Olive oil is a flavorful and versatile cooking oil that is often trusted in popular cooking methods such as sauteing, stir-frying, dressing, marinating and grilling. It can also earn your trust when it comes to baking. With seven olive oil varieties to fit almost any need, each Filippo Berio olive oil has its own distinct color, aroma and flavor characteristics. Among those seven, the Extra Light Olive Oil offers a delicate aroma and subtle flavor that can complement your favorite baked goods. Its high smoke point helps keep those goodies moist, and with strong flavors like chocolate, it also lets the
sweetness come through. Additionally, it provides high levels of mono-unsaturated fat (“good” fat) and low levels of saturated fat (“bad” fat), making it a more nutritional choice when compared to butter or margarine. Because you need less olive oil than butter in baking, you’ll save calories as well. One easy way to incorporate olive oil in your baked goods is during the prep work: where recipes call for buttering or flouring pans, instead brush the pan with olive oil and dust with flour for the same effect as butter. Explore more tips and recipes using olive oil at filippoberio.com.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Servings: 40 3 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup cocoa powder 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil, plus 1 tablespoon for coating pans 1 cup packed light brown sugar 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk 1/3 cup milk 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate morsels On sheet of waxed paper, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside. Using electric mixer, beat olive oil with sugar until smooth and light. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add milk and vinegar; beat until smooth. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating until
just combined. Stir in chocolate morsels with large spoon; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Heat oven to 325 F. Grease two large baking sheets with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil each. On lightly floured surface, divide dough into quarters. Roll each piece of dough into log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place logs on baking sheets, leaving space in between. Bake about 30 minutes, or until golden and set. Transfer to rack; let cool 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 F. On cutting board using serrated knife, cut each log into 3/4-inch-wide slices diagonally. Place slices, cutside down, on baking sheets. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until toasted. Transfer to racks; let cool. Source: Filippo Berio
POLITISCOPE Why are Democratic voters more approving of compromise than Republicans? Continued from page 3 present position, and Democrats, as progressives, tend to view it as a gain, prospect theory would predict that there should be a difference in how they respond to it. In a recently published study, we tested whether this is the case and found evidence that prospect theory does indeed apply to the understanding of compromise. When looking at an issue like the minimum wage, where the liberal position is to raise the wage and the conservative position is keep it the same, we found Democrats to be much more willing to compromise their position
than Republicans, and to compromise further when asked how far to go. But what about an issue like tax reform, where Republicans are pushing to bring down tax rates, as they did in last December’s legislation, and Democrats are defending the status quo? This is a reversal of the logic that often prevails in politics. Notably, our study found that on this issue, Republicans are just as likely to approve of compromise as Democrats. So on an issue where a compromise means that Republicans gain and Democrats lose, the partisan difference in attitudes toward compromise that we see so frequently goes away.
And since Republicans and Democrats tend to have a different philosophical orientation toward progress and change, this would explain the different orientation toward compromise that we see in the surveys discussed above. Do our representatives have an ability to compromise? Could we return to a day where our leaders sit down together and resolve differences with give and take? Can we even imagine a contemporary minority leader to be like Everett Dirksen, who once famously said, “I am a man of fixed and unbending principle, and one of my principles is flexibility”? We get there only if constituents give legis-
lators the freedom to compromise. In an ideal world, we believe representatives would be rewarded – or at least not punished – because legislation includes a compromise solution. We hope that our insight helps political strategists to create that freedom. By shaping interpretations of loss and gain, we believe they can – even Republicans, who must face a more resistant constituency. James Glaser is a Professor and Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at Tufts University. Jeffrey Berry is a John Richard Skuse Professor in the Department of Political Science at Tufts University.
CITIZEN | Suburban Times Weekly | Week of July 11, 2018
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New Mural On The Major Taylor Trail Honors World Champion Cyclist BY KATHERINE NEWMAN
A new mural on the Major Taylor Trail honors the story of legendary cyclist Marshall “Major” Taylor. The mural was designed by Bernard Williams and produced in partnership with Archi-treasures as part of a larger effort by local groups to make environmental and aesthetic riverfront improvements to the Little Calumet River. Local groups involved in the larger effort to make riverfront improvements include the Community and Neighborhood Improvement Project, Friends of the Major Taylor Trail and Terra Engineering. Archi-treasures is a Bronzeville based non-profit organization that works with community partners across the city to develop urban beautification projects in public spaces, affordable housing developments and neighborhood common spaces to revitalize areas that have been targeted for redevelopment. “Our art projects are normally done with local partners and we engage community members in the design process and the creative process to develop artworks such as murals and then try to integrate opportunities for community members to come out and actually help us with the mural,” said Manwah Lee, executive director of Archi-treasures Community painting days for the Major Taylor Trail mural were recently held on June 29 and 30 and community members were invited to come out to paint their own piece of the mural and learn about Major Taylor.
Community members recently worked together to help paint a new mural on the Major Taylor Trail that honors the story of legendary cyclist Marshall “Major” Taylor. Photo: Archi-treasures
During his brief time as a competitive cyclist, Major Taylor earned several world records and competed in events around the globe. In 1899, Taylor was crowned a nation and international champion in cycling which made him the second African American to hold a World Champion title in any sport. By the age of 32, Taylor retired from cycling because of the demanding schedule and the stark racism he experienced while competing. He died in Chicago in 1932 and is buried in Mount Glenwood Cemetery, according to biography.com. “Not a lot of people know who Major Taylor is and that is one of the reasons why this mural is being created because he actually has a really interesting story. Essentially, he was a world champion cyclist from the turn of the century and is significant because not only at that time was he facing a ton of
discrimination, but he was able to overcome that and become a champion cyclist, not just in this country, but also across the world. The trail features highlights of his life as a world champion,” said Lee. The Major Taylor Trail Mural spans about 4,000 square feet and is painted on the steel wall of a pedestrian bridge that crosses over the Little Calumet River near the corner of 129th St. and S. Eggleston Ave. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the completed mural on July 21 at 8 a.m. at the Whistler Woods Forest Preserve. The ceremony will also honor the 10-year anniversary of the Major Taylor Trail and the Major Taylor Cycling Club Chicago with a 5k Run and Walk following the ribbon cutting.
Students get 'Full-Ride Scholarships' to SSC The South Suburban Chicago Chapter of the Links presented $15,000 in scholarship funds to South Suburban College students Jasmine Carter (Country Club Hills), Cherise Miskell (Dolton), and Adeline Hodge (South Holland) at the SSC Foundation’s Academic Achievement Reception May 8th. All three women have GPAs ranging from 3.2-4.0. Carter is studying Radiologic Technology, Miskell is a Science major and Hodge is pursuing her Business degree. The South Suburban Chicago Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, has served the South Suburban community for over 40 years by providing financial and educational support with social and civic awareness to enrich and ensure the cultural and economic growth of our communities. The Links has had a relationship with the SSC Foundation for nearly 10 years, sharing in like-missions and providing scholarship funding.
Pictured: Members of the South Suburban Chicago Chapter of the Links presented academic scholarships to Jasmine Carter (3rd from left), Cherise Miskell (5th from left), and Adeline Hodge (6th from left) covering a full year of school for each student at South Suburban College.
“The South Suburban College Foundation’s mission to support the educational objectives of SSC with the primary focus on student scholarships aligns with our mission to give back to our community by providing
scholarships to deserving students,” said Jacqueline James Lewis, Links President. “The South Suburban Chicago Links are extremely grateful for the opportunity to support the educational component of this mission by providing three, www.thechicagocitizen.com
$5,000 scholarships. We are so pleased with this partnership and the newly established South Suburban Chicago Chapter of The Links Scholarship Fund.” The SSC Foundation provides students of all ages, backgrounds
and academic pursuits with critical scholarship assistance. Many SSC students are struggling to balance family, employment, and school responsibilities while they are often unable to receive Financial Aid. Scholarship money is raised primarily through the annual spring Showcase Gala and fall Scholarship Donor Drive, providing both a charitable gift opportunity and tax-deduction for all donors. The SSC Foundation once again awarded over $100,000 in scholarship funds for Academic Year 2019 and has now surpassed $2 million in total scholarships since 1989. All three of the Links recipients said their scholarships would have a significant, lasting impact on their lives and Carter added, “This scholarship is just the beginning to a new journey and helping me to complete my goals.” For more information, please contact the Foundation Office at (708) 596-2000, ext. 2463 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CITIZEN | Suburban Times Weekly | Week of July 11, 2018
NEWS AME Church and Black Banks Launch New Partnership for Black Wealth BY HAZEL TRICE EDNEY
The Black church, among the most prosperous institutions in America, has long led movements for the spiritual, social and civic uplift of Black people. When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, he had just launched the Poor People's Movement, which quickly fizzled after his death. With this historic backdrop, the African Methodist Episcopal Church - with a legacy of leadership in its own right - has announced an innovative economic partnership with Black-owned banks across the country. The partnership aims to be a catalyst to spur business development, homeownership and wealth in the Black community. "We are now pleased to announce a partnership with the presidents of the nineteen (19) Black banks in the United States, with the goal of increasing Black wealth," said Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, president of the Council of AME Bishops. "This initiative will strengthen Black banks across the United States and increase their capacity to lend to small businesses, to secure mortgages, to provide personal lines of credit, and to offer other forms of credit to AME churches and our members. This, of course, includes enabling members and their families to become homeowners." Bishop Jackson made the announcement during a press conference held during the 2018 Council of Bishops and General Board Meeting in Atlanta June 26. The specific details of a memorandum of understanding are being formulated and will be announced this summer. But the goals are as follows: Increase deposits and loans with Black banks; · Increase Black homeownership to over 50 percent nationwide. This means 2,000,000 more Black homeowners than now exist; and · Grow the number of Black businesses from 2.6 million to 4 million and total gross receipts from an average of $72,500.00 to $150,000.00. "The spirit in which you all have shared the commitment to the community, to the banks and to what we can do together is outstanding," responded Preston Pinkett, III, chairman and CEO of the City National Bank of New Jersey and chairman of the National Bankers Association. "Thank you for your willingness to step outside of the norm to do something that I would say is extraordinary here in
AME Church Bishops pose with Black bankers and business leaders after announcing historic partnership. Photo: Klarque Garrison/Trice Edney News Wire
America and extraordinary in the world." Pinkett says the church-bank partnerships are already beginning around the nation. "It is safe to say that this kind of commitment; this kind of demonstration will go a long way in supporting our banks and the banks to be able to support the community...With God's blessings, we will accomplish great things." Amidst an atmosphere of excitement, the bankers, bishops and supporters of the movement packed into a meeting room in a Downtown Atlanta hotel. Jackson was surrounded by all 20 Bishops of the 231-year-old denomination as well as supporters of the movement. They included principals of the growing economic movement, Black Wealth 2020, which Jackson credited as inspiration for the idea. "This partnership grows out of an initiative formed in Washington, DC in 2015, called Black Wealth 2020 which is providing an economic blueprint for Black America," Jackson said. Michael Grant, one of the founders of Black Wealth 2020, presided at the press conference. He connected the new partnership directly with the movement begun by Dr. King. "The great civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others has now morphed into a full-fledged movement for economic empowerment," Grant said. "The offspring of African slaves and their unrewarded labor have catapulted a small Colonial outpost into the greatest industrial giant the world has ever known. Now, as a people, we are turning our efforts toward our own enrichment. We must now create those economic opportunities for ourselves." Opening the press conference, Grant underscored the historicity
of the moment. "For those of you who are students of history, you would not be surprised that the Church of Richard Allen would be leading an effort to close the wealth gap across the United States of America." Allen, among America's most influential Black leaders, founded the AME church in 1794. It was the first independent Black denomination in the U. S. "And we do this with malice towards none," stressed Grant. Bishop James L. Davis, of the Second Episcopal District, likened the partnership to a marriage - a marriage between a church and its community. "It is a marriage that says a church that is concerned about its people, concerned about the good and the bad, all of the things our people have had to go through." The prophetic voices of Black church leaders not only articulate ideas, but strategies. "In the next decade in the global church and in the AME church and in Black banking, we will see both evolution and revolution. Banks must reinvent themselves, not just to respond to the pressures of the day, but to be flexible enough to adapt to the world of tomorrow. The ecclesia, the church, must also evolve its business knowledge, educational platform, and its missional thrust without losing its stance in the Word of God," said General Board Chair Bishop Vashti Murphy Mckenzie. "Both of our institutions are dealing with increasing assertive governmental intrusion, higher membership and customer demands along with increasing change in the wider world." The announcement of the new partnership was met with applause from national civil rights leaders. "Thank you and your fellow www.thechicagocitizen.com
bishops for making economic development a priority of your denomination," wrote civil rights icon Georgia Congressman John Lewis in a letter to Bishop Jackson. "Hopefully, your visionary leadership will inspire other denominations to replicate your efforts nationwide." National Urban League President/CEO Marc Morial also weighed in with a letter: "I want to express the support of the National Urban League for your leadership and initiative in addressing the challenges of Black homeownership and the need to increase the support, viability and profitability of our African-American businesses," he wrote. Morial is among economic leaders who have determined that among the reasons homeownership among African-Americans is disparately low is, in part, because of discriminatory lending practices. Mortgage Banker Lois Johnson, president/CEO of Salt Lake Citybased United Security Financial, said she takes "great pride in our HUD designation as a fair practice lender. We provide loans to all who meet the minimum criteria, especially people of color who have been denied the opportunity to have their own homes." Johnson, who is licensed to operate in 49 states, says she intends to travel to each of the AME church's episcopal districts to "create hope and opportunities." The principals agreed that the key to the success of the partnership must be mutual respect for Black spending power and mutual support of Black businesses. "We hear about Black folks have a trillion dollars in spending power," said Ron Busby, president/CEO of the U. S. Black Chamber, Inc. and co-founder of Black Wealth
2020. "But that's usually White folk talking about our dollars and how can they get their share of it. We came together to say how can we deal with the Black wealth, the gap of it and really to move our agenda forward inside our own community." Busby pointed to the USBC's new app called the USBC Mobile Directory with 109,000 Blackowned businesses in order to help consumers make targeted purchases inside the Black business community. Robert James, CEO of the Carver State Bank in Savannah discussed how the movement will be sustained. “There was a time that no church got financed in Savannah Georgia unless we financed them at Carver State Bank,” James said to applause. “This program will get us back on the path.” James says he knows the relationship can be sustained because the bishops have authority to oversee and encourage AME church leaders to do business with Black-owned banks. “We can talk to the Bishops about those local churches. And you can talk to your elders and your preachers,” he said. Bishop Jackson underscored the fact that the U. S. partnership is only the beginning. He indicated that the movement will also expand abroad. “The possibilities extend throughout the Diaspora. The African Methodist Episcopal Church has over 4,000 churches in Africa, the Caribbean, West Indies and Europe. These churches and members can also benefit from this partnership,” he said. To augment this expansion, Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, ambassador for the African Union, spoke to the Bishops the day before the press conference, promising to encourage Africans in America to also put their deposits in Black banks. She stressed the need for Black-owned institutions to unify, cooperate and not turn on one another. “I hope we will all come together and support the idea of putting all of our money in Black banks. I have already taken the initiative and listed all of the Black banks in the country on our website,” Chihombori-Quao said. “I’m already encouraging all Black people when I do presentations to say we’ve been stupid for too long. We drive past Black banks to give our money to people who don’t give a hoot about us. And they take our money so they can get rich; not only here, but in Africa. We’ve got to change this.”
8 | CITIZEN | Suburban Times Weekly | Week of July 11, 2018
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