Friday, July 31, 2009

Philly Shuffle

What more can you say about a jammed packed week of workshops, networking, chit-chat, empowerment and renewing acquaintances? Well, believe it or not, there's more that I can share about the 29th NABWMT national convention in Philadelphia, P.A. It's fast and furious as I count down to my Sunday farewell to the city of brotherly love. Let's go...
BWMT: What's the Frequency again: As I've been embracing this weeks activities and programming, I realized that my experience with this organization may not be translating as I would hope. I've had questions about BWMT in the past and I felt that most likely those who follow this forum were probably still unclear as to revelency of this organization or it's function. BWMT was founded in 1980 by Michael Smith of San Francisco to establish a group of like minded men whom shared the desire to openly deal with the interaction as well as their SGL(same gender loving) attraction of a different race. The group was formed in response to the lack of gay centric environments in which such men could openly share these experiences and the impact of this choice on their daily lives. Over it's existence, NABWMT has ebbed and flowed with a network of chapters in a cities coast to coast. Each local chapter governs itself in a self styled manner ranging from social to volunteer activities. As a national social justice entity, NABWMT in 1996 established the Bush-Mallon Institute For Social Justice (BMI) facilitated by certified trainers as a model to address racial and cultural barriers. This series of workshops is available to companies, municipalities, college campuses and others interested the learning and dealing with issues surrounding racism in our society. Despite our moniker, NABWMT is an inclusive organization with a diverse roster of stakeholders and officers. Everyone is welcomed as member prospects, allies and supporters. For more info I encourage you to check out our newly designed website at Is Little Rock a prospect for chapter development? Well, why not! If you want more information on what's percoulating locally, hit us up in our comment icon. I'd love to hear from you TODAY!!

Philly at Night: All work makes COP:24/7 a dull boy and we certainly can't have any of that, now can we. Therefore, I hit the streets of Philadelphia in search of what's really going on and yes, by golly I found it. Everywhere. In case you haven't been to this city, Philly as it's commonly known, is a very walkable city with plenty of sights and sounds to encounter while in motion. Personally, I loved every moment. The hustle and bustle, cobbled streets, sirens blasting, trains shuffling, unique neighborhoods and the smells of urban living every now and then tinged with a whiff of urine to remind you that mankind moves about day and night. It's all their for the taking
and so much more. As I joined the pace, during the day I set about to see the Franklin Institute with it's impressive Ben Franklin statue in the rotunda. This museum also had a Star Trek exhibit and an interesting exposition on entitled RACE. There are wonderful parks and fountains that seem to pop out of now where especially the LOVE art piece adjacent to a soaring center city fountain. On a one of the hot days, I felt the cool spray mist while surveying the imposing cityscape, especially City Hall with it's artful facade. Ultimately, I arrived at the Independence Museum and the Liberty Bell complex where I strolled through the sections while reading the history of this historic icon. At the rear of the building, I stood face to face with none other than the item itself, the Liberty Bell. Upon exiting, I quickly moved on to the famed Independence Hall where founding fathers hammered out the origins of this land. Dusk falls, enter Philly at Night. I was warmly welcomed at all the local nightspots throughout the "gayborhood," which is a noted area south of City Hall featuring street signs with "rainbow decals." I met local entertainer Ms. Karen at Woody's, who gave me the 411 on where to go, when and who to see while I was in town. Later, I spent time at Uncles, Bike Stop, and the three story 12th Air Command. Meanwhile over at Bob's and Barbra's, I got the affectionately official "Fuck U and Welcome to Philadelphia," from Ms. Lisa Lisa and crew. Actually, this shout out is reserved for in-houe birthday's, but I shared some time with Club Hostess Ms. Lisa at a convention party night in the skylounge where she gave me the head's up on the Philly scene. Each place had it's own distinctiveness or offering that I found quite appealing. Usually there were the basics, boys, bounce and pricey booze admist a parade of others filling the streets and shadowy allyways. I didn't expect to see so many individuals strolling the streets, especially many gay youths who may or may not be homeless. The entire area is vibrant, boisterous at times and open for all to just be gay and proud. Check out the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Tourism Caucus for everything going on in the Love city.
Have you Chipped In Today...It's all about Pride 2010 and what you gonna do to show some pride. The secure and safe ChipIn icon located in the margin has been established to begin fund raising for programming and actitivities for next year. Look for more info, upadates coming soon! So ChipIn TODAY, what are you waiting for?....

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