BNICEH (be nicer), the Black Network in Children's Emotional Health, consists of BNICEH SmokeOut Campaign, IMPRUVE (Independent Movement of Paratransit Riders for Unity, Vehicles and Equality), and Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Consortium.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Black Network In Children's Emotional Health Celebrates 24 Years as of March 24 - Yeah, Yeah!

Black Network In Children's Emotional Health 
Twenty-four Years

Still Here, Hanging In There, for Disability, 
Paratransit, Civil and Human Rights.  
Standing Firm for Human Services, 
Black Lives, All Lives

With No Funding, With Volunteers
Moving Forward In 2016 
Until We No Longer Can

 Actress , former model  and youth spokeperson for BNICEH
Miss Ramissa

Board Meeting at Advocate Masonic Medical Center
over 10 Years ago 

Dr. Maat at NorthSide Community Federal Credit Union (CU) 
Annual Meeting representing Black Network In Children's Emotional Health, 
PWDs, persons with low income, served 19 years on CU board

 2006 at Pace headquarters -  ParatransitRiders 
Prayer before Board Meetingin Arlington Hts

Paratransit Herb Hoffman outside RTA headquarters
protesting Pace increase and poor service

Grateful to President Obama for his statement
that Landlords should not discriminate against 
ex-offenders by refusing to rent to them solely 
based on having  a record or having been arrested

Some events we have supported or participated in or that some of our members participated in:

Not Dead Yet rally (photo by Dr. Maat)

Protest at children's nursing home in Rogers Park where 
12 children died
in which PWDs want the nusring home shut down
(photo by Dr. Maat)

ADAPT, AFSCME, IL Single Payer Coalition, 
IMPRUVE, NA4J (Northside Action for Justice)
The Alliance For Community Services

Dr. Maat at Network 49 - Loyola Park meeting
with collegaues, Network 49 organizers
Katy Hogan, Ed Mullen, Michael Harrington

Marchers around City Hall from diverse groups neigborhoods (photo by Dr. Maat)

Kathy Powers protesting closing of Chicago city public health clinics
 that affect many Blacks, women, children and cost only 25 cents monthly. 
Great sign  (photo by Dr. Maat)

One of my favorite tee shirts at MH protest at City Hall (photo by Dr. Maat)
Could you see me wearing a similar tee shirt.  
It would fit a variety of situations for me related to race, gender,
 wheelchair use, activism, advocacy, education, beliefs,
disability, religion, spirituality, political affiliation.... ((~_~))

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fix Paratransit, Set up Rider-Owned Green Paratransit, Hire Youth, too, to Stop Violence: Impruve Video 5 22 15 by Wanda Carter

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Stand Up With BNICEH in 2015-16: Black Lives Matter, Lives of PWDs Matter, Youth Lives Matter, Paratransit Riders' Lives Matter

Black Lives Should Not Be Neglected To FulFill a Gentrification Plan Or Reclaim Of their Neighborhoods or the City By Those Escaping the Suburbs

Lives of PWDs (Persons with Disabilities) should not be put on hold to FulFill a Plan to Institutionalize Them in Nursing Homes and Jails

Youth Lives Matter

 They should not be Misled to Think that they Can Earn the Same Living Without An Education In School or Online

 Or Without 1-On-1 Mentoring By A Successful Entrepreneur 

Reach the Same Financial and Social Status As A Millionaire or Billionaire Who Has Political Connections Or Inherited Wealth 

Whether that Millionaire or Billionaire Dropped Out of School or Graduated Magna Cum Laude

Black Youth Should Be Trained to Identify
  the Signs of Racial Profiling and Racism and 
Learn How to Avoid Them, Reverse Them or Obtain Credible Evidence to Prove Them 
Should They Be Arrested

All Youth, Especially Black & Hispanic Youth, 
Should Be Provided with Tools of Survival 
Other Than Guns, Bullying, Drug Sales and 
Other Unlawful Activity

 Paratransit Riders Should Not Have to Wait  2 hours on A Ride Scheduled In Advance 

Nor Be Rode Around for 2-3 Hours From One End of the City to Another Many Miles Away In the Opposite Direction When They Are Only A Few Minutes From Their Destinations

Paratransit Riders and People In Wheelchairs Should Not Have to Wait 6 Hours on an Open Taxi Order  

or Never Be picked Up By a Wheelchair Taxi on an Order Placed with Open Taxi here or elsewhere

Whether Called from the App or hailed from the street  or phoned in the day before


All Lives Matter


We stand up for fairness, inclusion, youth, human rights, civil rights, disability rights and the right to live. We have a right to run for office whether our disability is hidden or visible, whether we have a million dollars in campaign funds or personal wealth or only a few dollars.

We have a right after arrest to be represented in Court by an advocate or lawyer who overstands or innerstands or comprehends disability law or disability rights and when the disability requires medical intervention, receive it.

We have a right to a fair trial by judge or jury.  We have a right to compensation for false arrest due to racial profiling or disability discrimination that causes us distress, more disability or illness, or loss of income, dignity, employment or housing. We demand that judges, lawyers, and law enforcement be trained in disability rights and policy , so as not to mistake seizures, muscle spasms, involuntary movements due to cerebral palsy or Parkinson's, ADD, ADHD, PTSD, deafness or hearing loss, and Tourette's, etc.,  for intoxication or intentional disrespect of law enforcement.

We are green. We support organic, plant-based dining, health, tobacco prevention, IT literacy, government of the people, employment of people who are disabled at equal pay for supported employment or equal work,    and real government transparency.

We are hosting two Black History programs:

 FREE - Monday Feb. 16, 2015 * at Eisenhower Center Conference Room 1701 S. 1st Ave. Maywood IL 
12-4 pm. Doors open at 11 a.m. for vendors to setup and program setup RSVP on facebook or to Cecelia Jackson 773-544-9488 Bring children, guests, but be sure to register.  Refreshments served.  Black History charades and youth Black history Quiz.  Vegan, vegetarian, organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and without canola oil Vendors, contact Dr. Maat 773-916-MAAT Bring your own tables.  Small love offering required of vendors. Call for information or.  Limit: 5-10 vendors
* This is a federal holiday. President's Day. No school.

 FREE - Sat. Feb. 21 1-4. Doors open at noon. No admittance during libation, candlelighting so arrive early or after 1:30 pm. at 21st Century Classroom pictured above
846 S. 17th Ave, Maywood IL  Light refreshments. Smaller venue. RSVP to Cecelia Jackson  773-544-9488  No vendors except performers selling their books or DVDs or CDs and volunteer selling her hair products.

Looking for seven Black elders, each one  to represent one of the 7 principles of Black living, aka Nguzo Saba; people who are 65 and over to give one sentence explanation of the principle they represent and why.
Must actually be an example of that principle and a positive force in the family, church, school or community. Dress Africentric.

Looking for 7 youth who represent positive ideals or walking in the footsteps of wisdom to escort them and one to bear the Afrikan flag during the march-in of elders to be seated.  Any age from 13 to 40 as escorts. Any age from 10 and up to carry the flag.


Black Network In Children's Emotional Health, an IL nonprofit, which has been affectionately referred to as BNICEH "be nicer" or abbreviated by financial institutions and others, as it is generally too long a name to fit in their database name field, was founded at a time in March 1992 when Black youth were being labeled with psychiatric disorders at high rates and warehoused at alarming rates in juvenile detention facilities, group homes or psychiatric facilities without adequate holistic treatments that did not require them to have chemical treatments or electroshock therapy or be removed from their families or homes to be treated properly.  It was lucrative for residential treatment facilities to recommend institutionalization for the child and no respite care for the family caregivers.

The youth were falling through the cracks and miseducated or abandoned due to their race, behavior or being at risk of mental illness, or having fetal alcohol syndrome, fetal crack cocaine addiction or severe reaction to toxic environments or trauma.

Some had labels of ADD, ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, Tourette's syndrome, and OCD, though most were labeled with conduct disorder and oppositional defiant behavior.

Some had primary physical disabilities with secondary behavioral health issues or disabilities that parents and school systems misunderstood or could not or would not handle effectively.

Black Network In Chldrens Emotional Health (BNICEH) eventually became a voice for Black youth in behavioral health, child welfare and juvenile justice in December 1992 whether from Chicago, New York, Mexico, Jamaica, Peru, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, Compton, Europe or the nations of Afrika (intentionally spelled in the Swahili language) and  a charter chapter in the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health.

Other children were just labeled juvenile delinquents. Our programs were so successful that others began calling us to help their children who were not Black, but were from families that had low income.

In the disability movement, we prioritize our focus to work with and on behalf of youth from the Black community, but we work with youth of any race or culture who are both disabled and non-disabled, referred to as simply one term when we say "This-Abled," a word coined by Javier Robles.  In addition, we have the Independent Movement of Paratransit Riders for Unity, Vehicles, Equality or  IMPRUVE, our accessible transit arm to prioritize its work in accessible services and paratransit and organize with other disability advocates and activists.

In this time of trials and thinkers, we call on youth to join our movement, register and vote in massive numbers, and help us stop the violence against them, reverse the economic downturn and boot out unworthy and shameful elected officials not only in Chicago and Illinois but across the nation.

Black Network n Children's Emotional Health is the parent company to IMPRUVE,
Independent Movement of Paratransit Riders for Unity, Vehicles, Equality, a member of Chicago ADAPT and Alliance for Community Services.

Though a state nonprofit in Illinois, we are a national group, intentionally not a 501 (c)(3), seeking help from volunteers and supporters of humane human services, justice, political equity, and higher quality of living with and for those we represent and those we support.

Dr. Ayo Maat recommends William Dock Walls III in the February 24, 2015 mayoral race and a massive demonstration against those and their sponsors who refuse to invite and allow him to speak in equal time at mayoral forums with the other four candidates.

Dr. Maat also recommends in 2016, Bernie Sanders for President, and ran for delegate in March 15, 2016 IL primary.

In paratransit activism, we call for a massive letter writing campaign, phone calling to the appropriate legislative and FTA offices, and federal service provider/contractor, and demonstration against those who refuse to help paratransit riders regain dignity in services and provide us with on time drop offs and pickups and fair and appropriate routing by all carriers.

At this time, BNICEH's affiliate IMPRUVE, which assisted in lawsuit in 2007 Crosby et al v. Pace et al 07 C 6235 in which plaintiffs settled with Pace, RTA and CTA in 2012 for the same or similar violations of the ADA and FTA policy as occuring now, recommends six actions now and throughout the year:

1. Target SCR, a multimillion dollar Black paratransit provider first for the most incompetent routing, late pickups and arrivals way beyond Pace standards and inhumane service to seniors and other riders of paratransit who are disabled without thought for their well-being, need to get to work or healthcare or school or theatric performances, need to get home to allow personal caregivers to ASSIST THEM WITH FOOD, MEDICINE or GETTING TO BED, or fact that they have taken them miles out of the way in circuitous routes often riding them around for 2-3 hours after being one hour late on pickups that occur during good weather and no traffic disaster or war that caused the delay !!!!!!!

2. Renew efforts for Congressional Transit Summit on Paratransit, Wheelchair Taxis and Medicars with Congresswoman Janice Schakowsky (IL-9) at the helm with several Congressmen as co-sponsors and possibly Senators and Congressional transportation Committees from both Houses of Congress working with the Planning Committee already formed by  Rep. Schakowsky, but step up the pressure and stop allowing this to be pushed back every year while people suffer and the states and cities do nothing

3. Target CDT, an even more lucrative multimillion dollar paratransit provider next for having the next  incompetent routing, equal late pickups and arrivals way beyond Pace standards and inhumane service to seniors and other riders of paratransit who are disabled without thought for their well-being, need to get to work or healthcare or school or theatric performances, need to get home to allow personal caregivers to ASSIST THEM WITH FOOD, MEDICINE or GETTING TO BED, or fact that they have taken them miles out of the way in circuitous routes often riding them around for 2-3 hours after being one to two hours late on pickups that occur during good weather and no traffic disaster or war that caused the delay!!!!!!!

To their credit, CDT has a bit more compassion and will often call you when running late.  Or you can ask for relief through supervisors if you can reach one at night that will intervene if you are the victim of such inhumanity.  In most cases, they will send another vehicle if you know that they are about to take you on a route that takes you in opposite directions far from your destination and would keep you in the vehicle far too long.

4. Target the Mayor's Office, Pace, RTA and FTA for protests and relief from unfair and circuitous actions of the paratransit instead of more years of time wasting meetings with Pace that have led to empty promises and worse service even for people who are blind despite meetings that the Friedman Place and ADA Advisory Committee have had with Pace.

5.  File Public Accommodation complaints with Chicago Commission on Human Relations, Cook County Commission on Human Rights and Illinois Department of Human Rights to show unequal transportation service that is not comparable to fixed route trains and buses using federal and state dollars and failure to provide reasonable accommodations for protected classes: seniors and persons who are disabled

6. Work with Independent Movement of Paratransit Riders for Unity, Vehicles, Equality (IMPRUVE) to establish our own green paratransit owned by people who are not only disabled and competent,

but people who have compassion for persons who are disabled, care about improving the service first and employing screened and qualified persons who are disabled,  retirees, youth and ex-offenders.  Then Lobby the federal government (FTA US DHHS) and Congress, state and city government  (CTA, IDHS, RTA, IDOT, MOPD (Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities), Mayor's Office, City Council Dept. of Transportation, Chicago Dept. of Economic Development to award us the contracts to supplement this horrible impostor of compassionate service and professionalism.

Though some of my friends from the Disability Network supported another candidate and are not acquainted with what William Dock Walls III has to offer to the disability community and all other persons in Chicago, I still recommended and supported him.

He is the real thing, unbossed and independent of the machine that holds the 99% hostage to false promises and the wiles of the rich and powerful as they refuse to pay their fair share while we are taxed, services cut, wages below a fair living standard, have low disposable income, and need a champion for our cause who does not take orders from the elite political empire that has eroded Chicago with its privileged system of favors and corruption.  

In 2016, I am proud to support Bernie Sanders as a clean, honest human being and no-nonsense public oficial and presidential candidate. He is the real thing for all people, unbossed, indeendent, democratic, and is not bought by the billionaires on Wall Street. He will clean up campaign reform financing, unfair tax loopholes to the billionaires,  disproportionate incarceration of Black males, unfair labor contracts, fracking, and other issues.

I remain as always in Love and Peace bringing order to chaos as your local and national advocate for disability, civil, human, political  and organic, non-GMO food rights, and animal rights.  I am pro-Life, pro-God, pro-choice for women, and pro-good. No malice intended toward any human being. Maat  (two syllables pronounced mah-ott as in Mama and dot)


Monday, December 08, 2014

Stay in Touch- BNICEH will be 23 in March 2015

Still there after all this time
Now we are counting on your help. 

Call Secretary Cece to volunteer 
or get invite to annual meeting 
TBA for December 2014


Thursday, August 07, 2014

Calling All Youth, This-Abled, to Stand Up for Human Services and Human Rights

Youth are the present and future face of

human rights, disability rights, civil rights, 

IT and Government Transparency movements,

Political Revolution, Spiritual Evolution & Entrepreneurship 

 In the disability movement, we work with youth who are both disabled and non-disabled, referred to as simply one term when we say "This-Abled," a word coined by Javier Robles.  In this time of trials and thinkers, we call on youth to join our movement,vote in massive numbers, and help us stop the violence against them, the economic downturn and boot out unworthy and shameful elected officials.


 Black Network In Children's Emotional Health (BNICEH)
Independent Movement of Paratransit Riders for Unity, Vehicles, Equality (IMPRUVE)


First, local action in your city and state
Next stop:  The Capitol
Rally for what is right
Stand up for your rights
Be something to reckon with that is great
Do not let a gun or criticism dictate your life
Be a vessel for Light, Truth, Honor and Integrity Based on 
The Demand For Better Leaders
Contact Just Unity in Illinois to train to run for office 
and Wellstone Foundation in Minnesota
 to train to organize communities and win elections

Youth and seniors are our biggest assets.
Don't Count Yourself out if you are in either category


Housing, Personal Care, Education, Employment
Job Coaching, Mentoring, Business Development
Tutoring, Vocational Training

Your help and comments are welcome

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This is How I Used to Travel to get to Doctor in Suburbs - trip_to_howard_train_station.mp4

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Chicago September 13, 2013: Physicians, Activists, Clients Coming Together To Take Action on Medicaid and Maximus Pvt Contract

FYI and post or tell clients, persons who are disabled, seniors, young people, relatives, friends, physicians, therapists, church members, club members,  healthcare advocates 
Services by Maximus Have Not Improved Human Services in Illinois

We can't leave behind those who are not green and do not have healthcare, or stop fighting because our next door neighbor and doctors can't or won't  IMPRUVE takes pride in marching annually and being supported by our non-disabled peers in our advocacy work on behalf of Persons who are disabled. We take pride in rallying with ACS against the Maximus contract that drains funds from the state budget to pay for services by a private contractor that are not user-friendly  by people who are not accessible, and may have cut 42,000 persons from the program who still qualify for services. 

Who Do You Stand with Regarding Medicaid Cuts 
and  Maximus Private Medicaid Contract?

Julie Hamos, secretary of Illinois Health and Family Servoecs whoch propvidies Medicaid, Link, SNAP, Aid to Aged, Blind, Disabled (AABD)
stands with Maximus.

IMPRUVE, BNICEH and I stand with the people and Alliance for Community Services.  

Take action Friday September 13. Meet at Starbucks at 7:45 am, then rally on at 8 am to 401 S. Clinton to demand that the contract for Maximus be cancelled now, not extended, not cancelled much later, but now. 

The action on Friday Sep. 13 at 8 am by Alliance for Community Services (ACS)   of which BNICEH and IMPRUVE are members is at 401 S. Clinton is important if we truly support a govt that represents the people and less privatization that lays off real workers certified to deliver the social and human services that support the needs of real people who need affordable healthcare.

Many of you know me, IMPRUVE, BNICEH, NA4J,  Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), Illinois Chapter  Illinois Single-Payer Coalition (ISPC)  ISPC People with Disabilities Committeedisability advocacy groups and others who are opposed to the State of Illinois giv9nga  contarct to Maximus whiel people deteriorate in health and well-being, and experienced, certified workers are not allowed to work or help  people who  apply, re-apply or want to apply for benefits.

 All activists, advocates, seniors, people who are disabled, spiritually-directed people (and even if you are not spiritually-directed), human service providers, healers, healthcare providers, please get the word out and try to attend. This is very important. Many of us who receive Medicaid are unjustly being removed or services delayed by inefficiency and intentional misdirection by Maximus.
Illinois is paying Maximus  $78 million to do a  hatchet job on Medicaid recipients.
Love & Peace,
Come tell your story or the stories of clients, relatives, friends.
Don't assume that Secy Julie Hamos will do the right thing.  She wants to extend the Maximus contract.  She refuses to meet with us and she  is the one who can cancel Maximus' contract.

Don't assume that your state legislators will stand up for you.  Come out and be counted, so everyone knows where you stand and that you want real people to determine your benefits, real people certified by the state to  mange your human services case, and real people to answer why there is money to pay Maximus and its staff, but not provide caseworkers at the Skokie IHFS office; no money to pay your healthcare providers, and no money to pay caseworkers at certain other offices.

If you are hearing-impaired, how does Maximus communicate with you?  If you are confined to the bed and have no special equipment to answer your phone and your home services provider is not there, are you at risk of Maximus cutting you off from Link, Medicaid and others services such as AABD if you do not answer your phpne or your substitute mailman returns your letter?  Have you called and not gotten an answer yet from IHFS?

It took me 8 months, 2 faxes, 2 emails, a letter and 8 phone calls from December to May or June  to get Part B Medicare--just received the notice and card September 9 retroactive to March 2013.  I also called twice and visited twice--my State Rep and State Senator's office. Thanks to Cathy Smith in Sen. Steans office --she found out  a week ago that I had been approved.  They just had not notified me!!!

Do you have that type of persistence and time to spend pleading with the state to approve your application for anything?  

Most seniors, people with disabilities, people with catastrophic health issues,  persons with huge unpaid medical bills, and persons who work, yet qualify for Medicaid or Link or SNAP do not.  Most people don't. 

Note:  I was in collection for my opthamology care and was receiving past due bills for physical therapy. 

The phone system-robot-absentee-caseworker  of Maximus is unfairly denying people benefits--People such as Ray Smith, whose doctor says he is dying and needs surgery.  He does not have Medicaid. He has no income.  He is not working. He was denied SSDI though he qualifies and is severely disabled.  He is mainly confined to bed and his oxygen is delivered to him--or maybe he is no longer receiving it, since  he moved...long story.  Does he still need it?  Yes.  

Counting on your help,
Maat  (Ayo Maat, Ph.D, 

"Order to chaos"