The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 17, 2013

VA marks Black History Month with speakers

BY MARY WICOFF
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Music and messages will spotlight Black History Month during a program Tuesday at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System.

The program, which is open to the public, will begin at 11 a.m. in Building 104, Social Activities Room. Refreshments will be served.

Keynote speaker will be Tricia Teague, publisher of the Progressive Black newspaper. Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer and Tommy Miller, pastor of the New Life Church of Faith, will share messages, while Aaron Wilson will present spoken word.

The VA’s choir will sing gospel songs.

Katasha Butler, chairman of the VA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, said of the program, “I think it will be an appropriate celebration of Black History Month.”

The committee works year-round to put the spotlight on different groups and cultures, she said.

Teague, a Danville native, was chosen because she’s relevant to the times, Butler said, and her publication brings out Danville history and people’s positive accomplishments.

Progressive Black is the brainchild of Teague and a subsidiary of Plethora Publishing, Inc., founded by Teague in 2005. The vision of Progressive Black is to shine a light on all things positive and progressive in Danville’s black community.

Teague said she might speak on the Emancipation Proclamation and the civil rights movement.

“I’ll expound on those themes and what our mandate will be for the 21st century,” she said, adding her message will apply to everyone.

She encouraged people to come to the program, saying it’s good to support the VA and all that it does — not just for veterans, but for the community.

Teague returned to her hometown about a year ago. After living in other communities for 20 years, she concluded all black communities are faced with challenges similar to Danville’s. Danville’s black community, she said, isn’t lacking in positive people and news; instead, the positive people and news are overshadowed by the negative.

A 1991 graduate of Danville High School, Teague earned a bachelor’s in journalism from Bradley University in 1995 and a master’s of business administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management in 2004.

Teague worked as a sports reporter at the Peoria Journal-Star, and was product manager, technology liaison, at Wolters Kluwer.

She’s author of the book, “Football is Just like Shopping,” which was released in 2008; the book is the ultimate female guide to understanding the game.