Big City, Bright Lights! Urban living and grabbing a hefty dose of culture was all achieved from my travel to Philadelphia for the 29th Annual Convention of the NABWMT. It was a world wind of workshops, seminars, guest speakers, rekindling old acquaintances and networking that concluded on Sunday, 8.2.09. I did it all right up to the fond farewells and anticipations for next years outing slated for the Sunshine state, Fort Lauderdale!! Here's the final overview, outtakes as well as shoots from the hip while on the road.
Mabin elected to full NABWMT Board Term
After a round of balloting, some political maneuvers and a final vote, I was elected for a two year term to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Black and White Men Together. Earlier this year, I was appointed to fill a vacancy and wasn't sure if I would seek an elected term, however, I believed that I had a skill set and foresight to assist the organization to continue to be viable for years to come. If you've been staying on point and I know that you have, you've seen my coverage of the convention, and I've offered overviews of the purpose of the organization and it's mission. During my tenure I plan to continue to work on the newly revamped newsletter,"Q-Visions, which I shared the winning re-branding contest with another member. The media piece jumped to the 21st century and is now being circulated to the membership, via the Internet. During this challenging economic times, the organization has also experienced financial set backs and internal reorganizing that will require my full attention to keep the entity moving in a positive vein and discovering the best financial footing. I'm proud to share this new post with Soda Nobuhle, the board's first female director and noted Philadelphia activist. She is the Executive director of The Womyn's Village, serves on the Mayor's LGBT Advisory Board and Liberty City Democratic Club. As I move to pursue this latest chapter in my advocacy mission, I have high anticipations of making an impact on the organization, bringing my unique perspective to deliberations and firmly representing Arkansas with dignity and pride. For more information about NABWMT, view the new interactive website at: http://www.nabwmt.org/ Is Central City ready for chapter development? Well, why not. If you have an interest in the mission statement and concept get busy and contact this forum. Let's hear from you, TODAY!!
OUTTAKES: What would an adventure be without some quirkiness and observations that make you go, "Hmmmm!?" It seems that every time I take it out on the road, I can't help but be amused by some aspects of where ever my latest journey takes me. Of course, Philly was no exception. So here's some final quick random thoughts:
Price is right?: As I've stated, travel can not only be dicey due to delays, but also pricey depending on circumstances. I've already mentioned that my luggage needed a $80 "ticket" to go with me to my destination after I had to pay additional $150 "change" fees and hadn't left the ground. I knew that in metro areas prices are elevated but I was some what amused at local gay bars that charged, are you ready...$4.25 for a COKE! Yesireee, that's Coca-Cola alone. Of course, that's on top of that cover charge at the door. If you plan on visiting, bring lots of cash and I mean lots. If not, forget about it. Trust me.
Diva Cash Dash: While at Convention 09, I was amused but not surprised at the news that our girl Patti Labelle, whom had been invited to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the organization, had declined to show due to "scheduling conflicts." It seems that Ms. La Belle's peeps had forwarded some "rider" information to the organizers that caught them off guard. Performers have contractual bullet points called "riders" that explain their needs in order to make an appearance. According to the announcement, Ms. L's upfront requirements included:
1. $1500.00 for a Hair Stylist for her fabulous up do's or hair extravaganzas.
2. $1500.00 to secure a Make Up artist to beat her mug into perfection in case their would be photo op opportunities. Of course, that would have be approved by the diva prior to attending.
3. $1500.00 for her brand of Homeland Security, as you know she is an national treasure and she needs body guards to keep those too overly excited at arms length.
What was even more glaring was the fact that the organization had already produced the beautiful glass plaque for the presentation, Ms. La Belle's folks appeared to be a bit messy with their follow up and subsequent trite explanation that their were scheduling conflicts despite the back and forth steeped in the possibility of her presence. Her published tour schedule didn't list any dates during July and her next date 8.19.09 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Of course, when you are the fabulous LaBelle, you could be busy without really being busy. Apparently, it comes with the aura of being famous. Hey, Ms. Labelle we'll hold that award for next year, just in case you feel the need to come by to pick up it when you're not too busy.
BARWATCH: There's some movin and shakin happening in the bar scene and we are gathering the latest updates. If you want to get it first, then you'll have stay locked IN to COP:24/7. We will have the announcements and so much more before anyone....