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Southside Chicago Perspectives Charter Schools Students March For Peace Jam Fest To Combat The Violence in Chicago Southside Chicago Perspectives Charter Schools Students March For Peace Jam Fest To Combat The Violence in Chicago(0)

By Raquel Harris – Bronzeville – Chicago, IL

Earlier this morning, hundreds of students and teachers from two Perspectives Charter School campuses marched through the streets of Chicago to fight for peace, and the very cause that they were fighting for brought some participants to tears.

I Am for Peace: A Student Documentary For Change



Perspectives Charter Schools students are leading a campaign to promote peace in Chicago—”I’m for Peace.” Through the A Disciplined Life education model they are developing strategies and actions to curb violence and promote peace. These same students are creating a documentary video to showcase their efforts.

“It was very powerful to walk with my students holding the peace sign, it was pretty moving actually,” said Samantha Mondro.
The march was titled “I Am Peace,” and started around 9:30 a.m. at South State Street and West Cermak Road. The march ended on East 36th Street and South Wabash where the open “Peace Jam Fest” was being held. The Peace Jam Fest was the resting stop for the marchers where they were able to enjoy music and other activities.

The word “peace” can have a variety of different meanings, but for the city of Chicago peace is ironically a war that Chicagoans are fighting daily to win.

Chicago is known for its festivals, music, and culture, but what some may not know is that it also a haven for gun violence, gang activity, and high death rates. The city became so infamous for these traits that citizens nicknamed the city “Chiraq” because of the war-like similarities to the War on Terror in Iraq.

Scimone Williams is an 11th grade student at Perspective Charter School, Math and Science Academy, and talked about the violence in her community.


I’m For Peace—Perspectives Charter Schools from Perspectives Charter Schools on Vimeo.


“Things are really getting crazy, you can’t go out with friends or family without even worrying about your house getting broken into, or getting killed, you know? It’s not fair that students can’t go out and have fun,” said Williams.

Mondro, is an 11th grade English and Composition teacher and said that she participated in this march because her students are important to her. “We think of each other as a family, and whatever affects my students affects me so I think it’s really important that we take responsibility for each other because that’s all that we have,” Mondro said.

Tears began to fill Mondro’s eyes as she expressed what the march meant to her emotionally. “This is why I became a teacher to see them [the students] doing something that’s real. It made me proud to be a charter school teacher and an educator; these kids are definitely a part of my family.” Mondro said.



Chicago Loop Alliance second ACTIVATE series event for summer 2014 features art in its natural habitat Chicago Loop Alliance second ACTIVATE series event for summer 2014 features art in its natural habitat(0)

By: Vince Wallace

The other day I read a magnificent article by writer, reporter and well-reputed “St. Louis commenter” Sarah Kendzior on the dangers of using art as a tool to cover over so-called urban blight. Her recent work has included a lot of incisive commentary on the cultural fallout of economic inequality. About a North Philadelphia art installation which proports to tackle the dilapidated area’s aesthetic by essentially covering it over she writes:

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“People” are those who can afford to view poverty through the lens of aesthetics as they pass it by. Urban decay becomes a set piece to be remodeled or romanticized.

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She offers a lot to think about in terms of how modernizes often fail to build inclusiveness into the mix as they conceptualize urban spaces and design a city’s future. In this case, art is being used – probably unwittingly, but used nonetheless – to assist the nefarious project of gentrification. It’s being used to cover over the process of pushing out people who have resided there for generations to make room for a new, but strangely familiar brand of hipster appropriators and colonizers.

In other words, it’s a pretty bad rap for art.

Taking up Sarah’s challenge to abandon this kind of superficiality and think about how art can, and should be used to bring people together instead of rip neighborhoods apart, I can’t help but think about the work of the Chicago Loop Alliance and their ACTIVATE series of downtown events. Tonight they will transform a downtown alley into a space for artists from around Chicago. Some of the artists are established, some lesser-known. Some are artists of color and those representing various minority communities around town. Not enough, but some. And that representation is growing as the event series becomes more popular.


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The last ACTIVATE party (that’s really all it is, just a party y’all) took an alley section on Monroe between State and Wabash that Chicagoan have passed by perhaps thousands of times in our daily ramblings and made it into a space inviting all Chicagoans to enjoy some interesting (and sometimes a bit oddball) diverse multimedia sculptures, a few drinks, a DJ who could go from playing one track of ambient beats facilitating conversations between people who rarely get the chance to stop and talk to one another to spreading the gospel of Phantogram the next. It was a good show. It was art, and music, and business-people chatting with baristas, Occupy protesters having a cold one with non-profit pros. It wasn’t quite the North side hugging it out with the South side or the Gold Coast discovering the city west of Ashland. Not yet. But it’s getting there.

And now I still pass by that alley a couple times a week as I have for years. But instead of looking past it, it’s that place where they had that party that time and I met some very interesting people. Because why should cultural memory necessarily be connected places built for the purpose like Millennium Park or Wrigley? They can happen anywhere really.

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Tonight they’ll be doing it again on State St between Lake and Randolph, 5 pm til 10. 21 and over can RSVP for a complimentary drink ticket, or bottled water for those of us inclined to temperance in our off hours. Why not stop by? Everyone’s invited, yes even hipsters. That’s the point.

Two Chicago Loop Alliance street team volunteers who will be working ACTIVATE.

June 3, 2014 City of Chicago Hosts Tribute to Frankie Knuckles, Godfather of House Music in Millennium Park June 3, 2014 City of Chicago Hosts Tribute to Frankie Knuckles, Godfather of House Music in Millennium Park(0)

Is house music the genre that will unite the City of Chicago? If last night’s jam packed tribute to Frankie Knuckles, the “Godfather of House Music” was any indication, Chicago is on its way to being a truly multicultural city. Last night at the “Bean” thousands of Frankie Knuckles fans gathered for a dance party with djs spinning music below the city’s Bean sculpture in Millennium Park. People from every segment of society was present, black white, latinos, Asians, young old, gay, straight all danced to the beats of house music.

The Frankie Knuckles Tribute presented by The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events was held 6:00pm-9:00pm in Millennium Park Central Promenade the “Bean”.

The lineup for the Frankie Knuckles Tribute event featured house music djs from around the world

DJ’s include:

      • Mike Winston
      • Craig Loftis
      • Greg Gray
      • Elbert Phillips
      • Words by:
      • Robert Williams
      • Alan King

Watch #BVNews video as the diverse crowd of thousands dance to Frankie Knuckles “Whistle Song.”


Chicago is known to be a city of neighborhoods, each separated by borders of culture and class. Last night looked crowds at the Frankie Knuckles Tribute seems as if every part of the city was represented for a truly diverse melting pot.

#BVNews was live at the historic house music event. The “Bean” looked like colorful cornucopia with the variety of people mirrored in its reflection.

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Without too much lyrics, the mixed beats is driving force behind house music. Regardless of the language of culture one represent, the beats make the body move. Frankie Knuckles house music has been popular for thousands of “house heads” since 1980s.

Born Francis Nicholls, he was known for his stage name, Frankie Knuckles, he passed away suddenly at age 59 in Chicago. Some fans held up programs from the Frankie Knuckles memorial service.


Chicago Tribune Music Critic Greg Kot wrote an article April 1, 2014 about the death of Frankie Knuckles. Kot wrote: 


He championed house music that wasn’t just about rhythm, but that embraced humanism and dignified struggle. It was in keeping with his belief that the dancefloor was a safe haven for the gay, African-American and Hispanic communities that first embraced him.”

 “God has a place on the dancefloor,” he once told the Tribune. “We wouldn’t have all the things we have if it wasn’t for God. We wouldn’t have the one thing that keeps us sane – music. It’s the one thing that calms people down.”

Greg Kot, “Frankie Knuckles, house music ‘godfather,’ dead at 59” –  Chicago Tribune

One fan, told #BVNews about his moving to Chicago from Memphis and listening first to Frankie Knuckles music, which he now identifies with being a Chicagoan. Watch #BVNews interview below.

This is the second time the City of Chicago hosted a Frankie Knuckles tribute since his passing on March 31, 2014. Within days of his death The Chicago Cultural Center held a gathering that turned into a large dance party to honor the great house music dj. This second and bigger tribute shows the city know the importance Knuckles played in bringing Chicago on the international scene for house music.

ABOUT Frankie Knuckles

Knuckles was born January 18, 1955 in The Bronx, New York.  He later moved to Chicago where is developed his career as a dj in house music. He played an important role in developing and popularizing house music in Chicago during the 1980s, when the genre was in its infancy. Due to his importance in the development of the genre, Knuckles was often known as “The Godfather of House Music.” Chicago named a stretch of street and a day after Knuckles in 2004 for this role. His accomplishments earned him a Grammy Award in 1997. Knuckles was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2005 as recognition for his achievements. Knuckles passed away March 31, 2014.

Are you a fan of Frankie Knuckles music? Share your comments below with #BVNews

Angela Davis comes to Chicago for National Forum on Police Crime & Racism Angela Davis comes to Chicago for National Forum on Police Crime & Racism(0)

By: Vince Wallace
The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression welcomes renowned civil rights and prison reform activist Prof. Angela Davis to Chicago this weekend for a National Forum on Police Crime. The two days of events on Friday May 16th and Saturday the 17th will include: A forum on the fight against unaccountable police (Fri 9am) at University of Chicago International House (1414 E. 59th Street), the 2014 National Alliance Human Rights banquet (Sat 5pm)hosted by Trinity United Church of Christ (400 W. 95th St), and a rally following the banquet (Sat 7pm) with keynote address by Angela Davis.

The National Forum grows from years of struggle in cities like Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Atlanta”, explained Ted Pearson, one of the event’s organizers. The importance of the event to Chicagoans, he says is that “the police are a power unto themselves with no sense of responsibility”, and that while individual officers may conduct themselves honorably, “The system as a whole is broken”.

The event grows out of the “people’s hearings” held in Chicago in July 2012 and February 2013 where victims of police crimes and their families testified about their ordeals. The goal of the weekend is to compare notes with other cities – some which have had successes like New York’s campaign to end stop and frisk in minority communities – and build momentum for the creation of civilian-police accountability councils nationwide that will be empowered to forcefully address police actions and policies which violate citizens’ civil and human rights.



Actor Delroy Lindo Speaks About Black Males During “Question Bridge” Exhibit at The DuSable Museum of African American History Actor Delroy Lindo Speaks About Black Males During “Question Bridge” Exhibit at The DuSable Museum of African American History(0)


April 12, 2014 – Chicago, IL

On Saturday, April 12 English actor Delroy Lindo spoke to an audience at The DuSable Museum of African American History about the state of black males as part of “Question Bridge” exhibition. The exhibition focuses on black males and includes a series of video interviews by African American males. In the video series black men from around the country pose questions about their life and experiences as a black males. The questions posed are answered by other black males across the country.


“Question Bridge: Black Males opens a window onto the complex and often unspoken dialogue among African American men, creating an intimate and essentially genuine experience for viewers and subjects and providing new opportunities for understanding and healing. This project brings the full spectrum of what it means to be “black” and “male” in America to the forefront. “Blackness” ceases to be a simple, monochromatic concept.” (DuSable Museum of African American History)

As Executive Producer for “Question Bridge” exhibition Lindo said it is an important exhibit he believes everyone should see. Question Bridge: Black Males runs through May 18, 2014 at The DuSable Museum of African American History located at 740 E. 56th Place, Chicago, IL 60637.

Lindo who has 13-year-old son shared with #BVNews his relationship to his son and the teen generation of black boys. He spoke about the responsibility he and other black men have to help guide younger black males to achieve self expression.

“The most important thing we can embrace for ourselves is our humanity. And on so many levels we are the same as any other human beings on the planet and often times that gets lost,” Lindo said.

Watch Part 1 of #BVNews interview with actor Delroy Lindo.

#BVNews asked Lindo why question and answers are important ways to discover truth. Lindo responded by sharing how important it is for black men to have places to express themselves.

Watch Part 2 of #BVNews interview with actor Delroy Lindo

The museum provided a space during the evening where an audience that included black men young and old, who got the opportunity to hear Lindo speak and ask questions about his life and acting career.

Like a father giving advice to his children, Lindo spoke directly with words of encouragement to groups of young black boys seated front row at the discussion. Lindo acknowledged how important it was to have their presence in the audience.

“You are the future of this country,” he said. “The fact that you can take it upon yourself to come and to participate in an evening like this says a lot about who you are. So thank you very much for being here.”

Lindo’s film career began in 1970s after he graduated from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. His film credits include Malcolm X (1992), Crooklyn (1994), Get Shorty (1995), The Cider House Rules (1999), The Core (2003), Up (2009), and The Big Bang (2011). His television acting credits include The Chicago Code (2011) and Believe (2014).

Lindo expressed the joys and hardships being a successful actor in Hollywood.

Watch the #BVNews video with Delroy Lindo talking about being a black actor in Hollywood.


About Delroy Lindo

On the stage and on the big screen, Delroy Lindo projects a powerful presence that is almost impossible to ignore! Lindo has been nominated for the Tony and Screen Actors Guild awards and has won a Satellite Award. He is perhaps best known for his roles as Harold Loomis in August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, West Indian Archie in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, Catlett in Get Shorty, Arthur Rose in The Cider House Rules, Detective Castlebeck in Gone in 60 Seconds and Woody Carmichael in the Spike Lee film Crooklyn. He is also known for having starred as Alderman Ronin Gibbons in weekly series the Chicago Code. Currently, Lindo stars in the new NBC drama Believe.

Lindo was born in 1952 in South East London, England to Jamaican parents. He shared the historical facts that brought his family to England. Below is highlight of Lindo discussion his Jamaican roots.


Old St. Pat’s Church in Downtown Chicago Host The World’s Largest Block Party Old St. Pat’s Church in Downtown Chicago Host The World’s Largest Block Party(0)


By : Jeannine Chavez


Hosting 20,000 people in the Old St. Pat’s neighborhood for two nights is no small task. Old St. Pat’s Church, Chicago’s oldest public building as well as a treasured historic landmark will be the the host of the 28th annual World’s Largest Block Party.

Among the most anticipated and popular summer events in Chicago, The World’s Largest Block Party, is an annual tradition for young adults to gather to meet, mingle and listen to nationally recognized entertainment.


Ben Folds Five, Lifehouse, Joe Pug, Brett Dennen, Out For Hours, Vintage Blue, No Love For Linus, Spazmatics, Mike & Joe, Number Nine…

Throughout the years, countless people have shared the World’s Largest Block Party’s mission of hospitality and community. More than a thousand volunteers each year help host the event. The World’s Largest Block Party is one of Old St. Pat’s most significant fundraisers.

Proceeds support the mission and outreach activities of Old St. Pat’s including the Education Center, the Outreach Group, Horizons For Youth, Career Transitions Center of Chicago and Global Alliance for Africa. This event is a party for a good cause.

Official World’s Largest Block Party Website:

Dates: Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30, 2012

Time: 5:30 – 10:30 p.m.

Place: Outdoors, Des Plaines between Monroe and Adams, Chicago

Cost: To be announced. Tickets: To be announced.

Walk up Sales

Tickets can be purchased at Old St. Patrick’s office, 711 West Monroe Street, 3rd floor.

Monday–Thursday—9:00 am–7:00 pm

Friday & Saturday—9:00 am–2:00 pm.

Tickets can be purchased by cash, money order, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and AmEx. NO CHECKS

For more information, contact Block Party Hotline 312-648-1590

130 Chicago Kids Paint Mural in Northside Neighborhood Inspired By San Diego Artist/Illustrator Rafael Lopez at Addison & Blue Line. 130 Chicago Kids Paint Mural in Northside Neighborhood Inspired By San Diego Artist/Illustrator Rafael Lopez at Addison & Blue Line.(0)

By : Anna Zolkowski Sobor , Addison/Avondale Mural Executive Committee & Vice President, Old Irving Park Assn.


Chicago, Illinois—it all started when one young mother got tired of trudging through a dreary, pigeon-spotted viaduct on the way to her local park.  Joanie Friedman’s hope to paint a mural at Addison St. and the Kennedy Expressway resulted in a transformation, but not only of a blank wall.  It snowballed into a cross-country, cross-cultural and cross-community effort.

130 children age 5 and older are scheduled to finish painting the 100+ foot long Addison/Avondale mural this Thursday, June 21 beginning at 9 AM.  A ceremony thanking mural designer Rafael Lopez is planned for 3 PM at the mural site.  Friday, June 22 marks a community celebration, with a group photo at 5:45 PM, and then a parade to nearby Athletic Field Park led by funky marching band Environmental Encroachment.

The mural was gridded, traced and painted in one week after a year long local planning and fundraising process. San Diego, California based artist and illustrator Rafael Lopez was welcomed at a reception at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen on June 13, 2012. He’d offered his design and one week of time to paint a mural with both experienced volunteer artists and over one hundred children on Chicago’s Northwest side.  Irving Park resident Cesareo Moreno, chief curator of the Museum, volunteered to be the Addison mural’s project manager.

Located at the intersection of the Avondale and Irving Park community areas, the railroad underpass is at the crossroads of the CTA’s Blue Line subway, the Kennedy Expressway and Addison Street.  It serves as an entry point to Chicago for hundreds of thousands of Cubs fans, as well as being a major bus and pedestrian commuter hub.

Over 500 neighbors responded to emails, a stencil on the blank wall announcing a mural and a Facebook page (  They came together to organize and secure donations of time, materials, food and funds.  As a result, people who’d lived and worked in the area for years forged new friendships and alliances.  Both pedestrians and motorists have stopped to cheer on the work in progress.  The effort spilled over onto the adjoining vacant piece of land on Avondale Ave., which is being transformed into a community perennial garden.

The impact of a little paint on the wall resulted in another ripple effect.  Ineffective pigeon netting & years of pigeon waste were removed from above the viaduct’s southern sidewalk and new pigeon spikes installed thanks to Ald. Rey Colon’s (35) intercession.  Pedestrians now have a healthier and cleaner environment when walking to the bus, park or Blue Line.

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Taste of Randolph Street – Best Chicago Street Festival Taste of Randolph Street – Best Chicago Street Festival(0)

by: Erin Bassett



Growing up in the Milwaukee area, I got used to weekly festivals on the lakefront. Summerfest was the big one, but we also had Irish Fest, German Fest and Festa Italiana among others. Local restaurants and breweries would have carts or storefronts and several hundred bands made their way through.

When I moved to Chicago, I had no idea how similar street festivals were to my fests at home. Each neighborhood’s has a different flavor without drawing the massive crowds that Taste of Chicago and Lolla seem to.

The one not to miss? Taste of Randolph Street.


Each year, the restaurants of Restaurant Row come out in full force to serve up their dishes. It is a great way to try some of the top notch restaurants in the city without committing to a whole meal! I’m looking forward to splitting small items with people and visiting as many different vendors as possible.


If the food doesn’t get you, the music will. Two stages, one at each end of the six block festival, are booked with acts ranging from new punk rock bands to dance performances and DJs spin hits in the middle of the festival to keep the party rockin.


Visit the Taste of Randolph Friday, June 15 (5 to 11 PM) through Sunday, June 17 (noon to 11 PM) on Randolph Street between Peoria and Racine. The Halsted bus drops visitors off 3 blocks from the East end of the festival. The new Morgan Street Green/Pink line stop is one block from the East end.


The Taste of Randolph costs $10 admission and you should have cash with you for beers, food and wares.


Full musical act line-ups and restaurant lists are available online,


I’ll be attending the Taste of Randolph Street on Sunday. Follow me on twitter (@ebdaily) for updates!



The “Avengers” 3D Screening at Chicago AMC River East & The S.H.E.I.L.D. Acura Hosted After-Party The “Avengers” 3D Screening at Chicago AMC River East & The S.H.E.I.L.D. Acura Hosted After-Party(0)

By: BV Staff

Like most, when we discovered that we had advance tickets to see the “The Avengers” three days before the general public at the AMC River East theater because of the partnership between Marvel Studios and Chicago Acura dealers, a inner child from the 80’s jumped out of us all like scientist Robert “Bruce” Banner does when he turns into ” The Incredible Hulk”.


When the world is threatened by Loki (brother of Thor), Nick Fury as the director of S.H.I.E.L.D, an international peace keeping agency, must rely on Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow to fight what may be that last stance for the human race. As most know, the movie was 143 minutes with the entire cast really delivering a amazing performance from the likes of hollywoods biggest stars such as Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner & Samuel L. Jackson.


For this review, we are going to leave the typical theatrical reviews to the professionals at the Chicago Tribune, NYTimes, IMDB, and Rotten Tomato to tell you if you should see it or not…… PS: If you think this movie sucks, you suck (Jk). For this review, we are going to talk about the amazing after party sponsored by Acura Motors at the River East Art Center. The after party included top shelf alcohol, appetizers, sketch artists, video games, photographs with the Acuras, and a very nice swag bag with a dvd copy of “Caption America”.

WBEZ 91.5 Chicago Public Radio Sponsors Global Activism Expo Hosted By Jerome McDonnell WBEZ 91.5 Chicago Public Radio Sponsors Global Activism Expo Hosted By Jerome McDonnell(0)

In a world that needs more positive actions from more people, the Global Activism Expo hosted by UIC Social Justice Initiative last year featured global activist representing over 100 countries. The Global Activism Expo is a gathering of Chicago-area global Non-governmental organizations that want to share knowledge with attendees about conditions in other countries like Tanzania, India, Nigeria, and many others that need more volunteer services to over come the issues facing individuals within those communities NGO’s serve.

The Global Activism Series hosted by Worldview’s Jerome McDonnell of WBEZ in Chicago welcomed organizations that provided services from Haiti To as far east as Kenya in hopes to helping those that have no voice. The Global Activism Expo grew out of the weekly segment called ” Global Activism”, which is apart of the WBEZ daily news program Worldview.


The purpose of this event is to feature those amazing people that make the world a better place by getting involved personally by building bridges to others through food, music, dancing, networking, film, and lectures on such subjects as Infant Mortality, solar-energy, Malaria, and many other issues that face third-world countries. This event is free and open to the public. The conference opens doors at Noon on Saturday with classes, presentations, food vendors and a remarkable music line-up. The entire event is free for all attendees.

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