Monday, October 15, 2007

Looking for Silver Linings

It's a manic Monday as I recoup from a whirl wind weekend of events, meetings, and other goings on around town. I'm alway perplexed by folks who keep telling me that there's nothing going on or nothing to do. I don't know what circles they are running in, but I'm here to tell ya that there's plenty of stuff to do and places to be, because I'm out and about to much of it. That's why I keep stating that if you really want to know what's going on, you have to stay locked in to CorneliuOnpoint. Now, with all that said, let's get cracking.....

AIDS Agency Freefall: In my last post I led with a peice on the venerable agency known as the Arkansas AIDS Foundation aka Consortia Care District 1. I hit upon a variety of items that I felt warrant concern and future observations. Even though it seemed that I was assessing a gloomy situation, I try to stay optomistic. Enter Yolanda West, AAF case manager who was on the scene of the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day community outreach event held, 9.13.o7. Ms. West while representing AAF also assisted with coordinating the event based around the theme, "Wake Up! Take Control!" featured Giovanna Polack,(far right picture) a Gilead HIV/AIDS educator whom addressed attendees in their native tounge, greetings from Gov. Beebe's Office and entertainment provided by Mexican Folklore dance troupe.(pictured below) After a sumptous mexican buffet provided by La Haceinda, I found the presentation to be informative and culturally sensitive in nature. Unfortunately, I don't speak spanish, but I didn't feel out of place since the power point accompaniment allowed me to follow along with ease. I believe that Ms. West and sponsors deserve a way up high five for putting together a broad base partnership that included Stamp Out Smoking, Big Brother, Inc and Hola Arkansas. I was somewhat taken aback, when Ms. West told me that sometimes her efforts are not always viewed as progressive and often get lackluster support. I found this to be quite eye opening with all the uncertainty surrounding the agency. Also while I was in attendance, I didn't see any AAF board members, community activist or other local advocates. Perhaps they assumed that this was a latino event exclusively, yet I did'nt encounter that attitude. Everyone was welcome and I mean everyone. Congrats to Ms. West on a job well done, keep up the good fight and best wishes for next year. For more information go the websites:,,,,

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