Monday, June 06, 2011

Busting a Blazzing Monday Move

Amazing as it may seem, it's 100 degrees already and yes, Virginia it's not even officially summer yet! No mind that because not only is hot on the outside, it's heating up in COP 24/7 as well. No need for any intro small talk, let's down to some business.

OUT in America not in Arkansas

Last week COP24/7 posted a link to a PBS documentary" Out in America", from award winning producer Andrew Goldberg slated to shown during June to coincide with Gay Pride month. Sounds good until, wait for it..."only in selected major markets," which this forum didn't emphasize until we got questions from readers wanting to know the air date. Resulting in going into research mode, which we often have to do when putting this forum together, to actually determine the status of the program. According to Matt Kane, Associate Director of Entertainment Media of GLADD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), Arkansas was listed as one of a handful of states including Hawaii, South Carolina and Louisiana that wouldn't be showing the presentation. After learning of this fact and to be fair, this forum contacted AETN over the weekend for response and is awaiting that comment to be posted as soon as we get it or not. Now, most likely the response will be a polite and "tippy toed" corporate explanation about community standards, budget constraints and audience research that didn't warrant choosing to air the program. Yeah Right.  This is not the first time AETN has found a means to not air gay related programming for this or that reason which amounts to no real good reason except not to become a flash point for any gay controversy. I've been a strident watcher of this channel for most of my life, especially as I clamored for culture, art and thought provoking programming that has broaden my world view while keeping me in learning mode. To my chagrin I've never been a member as I should have been and most likely many of you have not as well but our interest should still be considered. I realize that their business model utilizes donations and memberships that help acquire that expensive PBS programming and other sources. The recent congressional mash-up of  to cut Public Broadcasting funding has its pros's and con's, but ultimately in my opinion public broadcasting has been an invaluable outlet for myself and undoubtedly can be a tool to teach, enrich and educate. It's for this reason, Out in America deserves to be seen in this state in an era of bullying, suicides and the need for more cultural competency. 
In the meantime since this is Gay Pride month ( and we've got some smart talk about that a bit later) here's a few "Call to Action" opportunities to the GLBTQ community. Contact ATEN's Executive Director, Allen Weatherly at:  or call his office at 501.682.4183  Or the programming info line at: or reach out and touch them at 501.682.4198 Tell them you heard here first at COP 24/7!! Share your concerns and comments with this forum. We will be monitoring with updates to come...stay tuned!

Arkansas' 20 most Influential in Minority Health

The Arkansas Minority Health Commission celebrated it's 20th Anniversary by including in its Bridges publication a listing of their 20 influential Minority Health Advocates in Arkansas. Among the notables, was Ms. Deidra Levi of The Living Affected Corporation. The article cites her efforts to continue to battle HIV/AIDS awareness as new trends and needs emerge in the LGBTQ community. Levi assisted the Arkansas Department of Health to create Arkansas' first policies for a Syringe Exchange Program, a national program through the Harm Reduction Coalition. LA Corp has produced numerous events including a mass testing event during it's 2010 Drag Ball and Northwest Arkansas Advocacy mini-conference in Fayetteville in 2011.She is also the recipient of the 2010 National Leadership Award from the National Association of People of AIDS. LA Corp is a charitable, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to provide HIV prevention, testing and other supportive services for low-income and high risk communities.  For more information on LA Corp contact: , toll-free 877.902-7HIV or

October Diversity Mini-conference

October 14-16, The Midland Regional meeting of The National Association of Black and White Men Together will hold their meeting in Little Rock. The group choose the city based on a presentation during it's fall meeting in Oklahoma City in 2010 and the national board of directors of NABWMT has expressed interest in hosting their bi-annual meeting simultaneously. During the weekend the regional group will meet to assess the organizations inner workings as well as do some sightseeing while engaging locally. With the notice of the groups attendance, other area entities have expressed an interest in partnerships, sponsorships and offering presentations to those visiting and invited guest. Local organizers and host, would like to open the meeting to the concept of creating a Diversity Mini-conference to allow a wider reach within the community. Plans are underway to achieve this programming and other organizations are invited to submit their suggestions or offer  proposals for consideration. Donations, contributions of products or in-kind services are also being sought by the host committee. The La Quinta Inn & Suites downtown will serve as the host hotel offering a value rate for visitors. Reservations can be secured by calling 1.800.531.5900 using the code:NABWMT  Updates will be forthcoming on this site, social media and the NABWMT platforms at   Local contacts: or 501.517.4978

Diversity Conway Takes Off

COP24/7 congratulates the organizers of Conway's yearly event celebrating Gay Pride Month. With floats, trucks and flags the event rolled to Simon Park,despite blistering afternoon heat. Individuals from all factions were on hand to check out vendors, entertainers and enjoy the message of diversity and tolerance. Local channel KARK (4) seemed to be the only TV outlet present but the chatter on the social networks complete with pictures were making the rounds even before the event ended. I have gotten a few notices as well as the quips on the net about "why doesn't Little Rock have a  parade?" This forum assisted with promoting Pride in the Park in 2009 which was successful, however, we learned then as we've seen lately, its all about the people power that make anything happen. If you want a parade dear readers then you've got to plan for it, fund it and execute it. Sounds simple doesn't it. Yet, it doesn't happen overnight nor will it happen if no one takes the bull by the horn and throw it. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the phrase, "why don't we..." have this or that which other cities have. The basic reason they have it is because they have a base of supporters, allies, contributors and volunteers to make whatever venture they decide to do come to fruition. As Gay Pride month unfolds, this forum has more to say about past, present and future possibilities. It's no doubt that the power of the Internet definitely allows individuals or either this forum to keep the community connected on what's really going on. Viva Conway on your 5th year for bringing it to your area and being proud about it!

COP24/7 Readers Speaks
Let me say "thanks" to those of you who have re-discovered this forum and have sent your well wishes as well as you personal acknowledgements. So far most have expressed their affirmation to our return and are ready to journey on with this medium as we continue to be Arkansas foremost portal for news, updates, opinion and commentary for the LGBTQ community and beyond. If you are thinking about it, then you know we will be talking about it. Tell all your firends we are back on the scene. Come grow with us!!!

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