Zuna Institue Announces 2011 Conference Line UpThe Zuna Institue has announced it's keynote speaker, Linda Villarosa, author, jouranlist and public speaker and C.C. Carter, writer, poet and performance artist as the event host of it's 2011 National Black Lesbian Conference, August 25-28, 2011 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Under the theme, "Black Lesbians Matter," the conference will have workshops and forums that focus on the education and advocacy within the Black lesbian Diaspora as well as offer a national voice on gay and lesbians issues. Zuna released in 2010 a ground breaking report also entitled "Black Lesbians Matter," which was a comprehensive look a the lives of Black lesbians in America. The report can be accessed on their website. It's worth reading to gain understanding into the unique prespecitves, experiences and priorities that instersects and connects within the GLBTQ community.
Ms. Villarosa penned "Coming Out," an article featured in Essence Magzine (1991) which set a precednet on articles concerning Black Lesbians in a mainstream publication. Recently Villarosa wrote "Passing for Black," about a "quest for identity - being black, female and gay." Ms. CC. Carter won the 5th Annual Guild Open Mic Competition, as well as, several local and national slams and she hails from Chicago. According to Francine Ramsey, Zuna Institute's Executive Director, "having Linda Villarosa means so much to the community, we have come full circle since 1991 when we read the words fo a Black lesbian, Linda Villarosa, coming out in Essence magazine. The Zuna Institute is a national advocacy organization for Black Lesbians that addresses such issues such as economic development, health, education and public policy. While striving to eliminate barriers that are deeply rooted in public policies that encourage homophobia, economic injustices and other forms of social discrimination. For more info contact: email@example.com
Meetings A-Go-Go in the City
In case you didn't know and for some reason I believe that you don't. There are lot's of meetings going on in the city concerning various topics and subjects revelant to the GLBTQ community and beyond. I know that you don't care for meetings and as many that I have to attend, would like to attend or either just can't get to, they are happening all around you and if you are not engaged then may I encourage you to do so. So you ask, what meetings...I never hear about any meetings.?" Well, as I have stated before, you will have to "pull your head off it or out of it," to become more aware such things. If you are interested in the HIV/AIDS area, there's the Community Planning Group which meets monthly at the Arkansas Department of Health. This entity is designed to assist with planning prevention approaches and directions to the disease utiltizing the imput of both those infected or affected. Contact Mark.Moorehad@arkansas.gov or Courtney.Hampton@arkansas.gov for more information. Also, there's Arkansas Community HIV Advocates which meets on the second Wednesday of each month at the Cox Building in downtown Little Rock. This group is a collaborating incubator that assess practices, operating issues and loopholes within the services offered by contracted HIV/AIDS providers and the impact on clients. The group was created from an initiative entitled the SHARP (State Healthcare Access Research Project) report that cited the both disparities and postive outcomes in Arkansas. The group hopes to outreach to policy makers as well as lawmakers to clarify the issues surrounding those who are living with HIV/AIDS statewide.For schedule information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org The Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) holds it's monthly meeting by teleconference as a means of connecting interested parties from each sector to the state. Each meeting is hosted by a quadrant leader featuring varying agendas on topics directly related to endusers or consumers. The meetings allow participants to openly share their concerns, questions and difficulty in accessing services in their respective areas.This meeting is supported by ADH. For more info contact Kellye at 1.888.499.6544 Don't forget that area CBO's (community based organizations) have regularly schedule meetings and always in search of committed volunteers and energetic board members. Don't know how to engage? It's quite simple, call, e-mail, text or stop by any of the agencies that we highlight in this forum to share your interest. Each of these groups need "people power" to full fill their missions and visions for the GLBTQ community. Bring your time or treasure and get involved TODAY!
Maximizing the EITC: Did U Know???
In an effort to offer helpful resources to stretching your dollar or putting more dollars in your purse. COP 24/7 will post a series of "Did you Know" items for your consideration. I believe that knowledge is power and it's worked for me for the last 5 decades and hopefully until we reach shangrala. The EITC, "earned income tax credit" is one such tool that everyone should at least take a look at and see if they qualify. The program is an income based module and through a computation the credit can be claimed. So how does it work? Here we go...
The Earned Income Tax Credit or the EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families. When the EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit.
To qualify, taxpayers must meet certain requirements and file a federal (IRS-NOT State of Arkansas) tax return, even if they did not earn enough money to be obligated to file a tax return. Details on EITC can be found on the Ark. Department of Finance and Administration website: http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/offices/incomeTax/individual/Pages/eitc.aspx.
Only 296,416 people claimed EITC in 2008 out of an estimated projection of 787,628 eligible. As the table below shows 491,212 Arkansans who qualify for EITC failed to take advantage of the credits. This is money that they qualify for and entitled to claim from the federal government. It is their tax refund. It is estimated that if only 10% of the 491,212 had filed for the EIT credits, a total of $107,575,428 would have come in to the state for these individuals.