Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Tuesday Hustle and Flow

I'm not sure how these days are slip, sliding away like they are, but all I know is that they are pressing on with a quickness. Wasn't it just January a few weeks ago? No matter its now the 3rd quarter of 2011 and busting a move toward the fall. With that said, this forum keeps busting it out as well with more of what we hope that you are looking for in news, updates, links, opinion and video. If you have not subscribed then you should. If you are not a follower, why the hell not?  Don't be left out the info loop because you never know we could be talking about you!


The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has been doing a "rope a dope" in the last few months with board members exiting, bloggers wise cracking and onlookers not sure what to make of it all. This is the outfit that dropped in and then dropped out the Obituary mash up earlier this year while trying to deal with its own in-house fire. At the nexus of their problems was former President, Jarrett Barrios, who resigned during the public meltdown involving sketchy decision involving the Federal Communications Commission.  Barrios was a firm supporter of broadening GLAAD's influence and moved to embrace a proposed merger between ATT& T and T-Mobile. Somehow, Barrios envisioned that this move would help gay people by improving their access to the Internet. Really? However, the mutual support was discovered to have some financial "glad handing" going on behind the scenes to which a few folks called a "foul." The organization has subsequently engaged Mike Thompson as acting President and charged him with clean up duty of this messy affair. He had rescinded GLADD's support of the merger, taken a "neutral" position on the issues and called a "time out" while up to 8 more board members took a walk from the organization. To date, Thompson has rebuffed suggestions that GLADD dissolve and has prepared to rehab the group image and message while continuing to do damage control. Thompson asserts that GLADD holds a space not to mention that there would be a void or vacuum in the GLBTQ community.  

Red Dirt: The Words and Artistry of Tim'm West

While I'm out on the road, even though I spend much of my times in meetings, its the networking and people watching which charges my batteries. Through all the stats, updates, charts and graphs, there is time to wind down and feel the vibe of fellow participants. Such was the case at the recent NASTAD BGM Technical Assistance meeting in Washington D.C. where I was boldly introduced to phenom, Tim'm T. West. The organization offered West and counterpart, KAOS, as apart of their "hip hop" programming portion of the meeting. At first I wasn't sure if this was for myself or if I was out of place for this performance. However as it stepped off, the words and music spoke to me on numerous levels and not to mentioned that I liked it. From his website West speaks volumes by stating that he is Black, gay-identified, feminist, POZ, and working class. He continues that he has embraced all of who he is and, with laser-beam precision, harnessed the power of his truth to illuminate, celebrate, inspire, provoke, and bear witness. As a teacher, performance artist, author, and culture producer, Tim'm has become an exemplar among contemporary Renaissance personalities of the early 21st Century as he brings others to voice through education for critical consciousness. Indeed, that Tim'm has been interviewed by such dizzying array of media outlets from Newsweek to the New York Times is a testament to his importance to the spirit and history of the times as a foundational maverick among black, multi-disciplinary artists. Even a restricted Google' search of just his name yields thousands of Internet occurrences. As an Educator and Scholar Mr. West affirms that his "foundation" can be found in the red dirt of Taylor, Arkansas where Tim'm grew up before leaving for Duke University where he completed his BA. From there, he went on to earn an MA in Liberal Studies/Philosophy from the Graduate Faculty of The New School for Social Research in 1998 and another MA in Modern Thought & Literature from Stanford in 2002. On the secondary level, he served as the Department Chair of English and Creative Writing at the Oakland School of the Arts before relocating to Washington, DC where he taught in the English Department of the Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School. In various capacities, since 1995, Tim'm has also worked for College Summit, Inc. notably as a High School Coordinator in DC in 2006-07 helping to the build capacity of high schools to get more of their students into college. West not only performed but was a panelist on Black Masculinity during the meeting. He captured my attention at every turn with his frankness swathed in a edgy renaissance cloud of complexity. I've been rocking his CD "Songs from Red Dirt," in my ride ever since with one my favorites being the cut, "Red Dirt." His current outing is entitled "Fly Brotha's" available on his website at http://www.reddirt.biz/  West has appeared in films, Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Ryhmes and Pick up the Mike. I'd like to bring Mr.West here to this city to share his vibe, words, and inspiration to our gay youth. He stated to me that he would love the chance to do so and I believe he could offer a "wow" factor presentation. Can a brotha get some back talk, sponsorships, donations or a Hell yeah. I dare ya!!

The Names Game Signs Off

Remember my posts entitled "The Names Game" in reference to the mash up of e-mail list involving some local CBO's? Well in case you don't remember, Its was a hiccup that involved two similarly named entities. The Lucy M. Hamilton drop in center and Lucie's Place slated to address GLBTQ homelessness became a source of confusion for the Center for Artistic Revolution's e-mail list recipients whom shared their concern that their info had been usurped. Consequently there were meetings, dueling e-mails, misconceptions, alleged or perceived threats, creative differences and may be a kitchen sink or two. In my opinion, what it all boils down too is a much a do about not much. Except for the fact that there was an admission that their was some overlapping of e-mail addys that unexpectedly went out to those on the CAR list. Of course for those of you not in the NPO (non-profit organization) game, every name represents a "financial prospect" for your next fundraising cycle or volunteer opportunity. This aspect of running an organization is vital since forging those relationship with your stakeholders is apart of the life blood of organizations. Therefore, having mixed or confusing signals being forwarded could be problematic. Furthermore, this entire situation seems to have been plagued with mis-steps and mis-fires that from what I can assess probably didn't build any bridges of love. Unfortunately we reside in a small city with limited resources especially for the GLBTQ community. However, as we struggle to survive in these economic times, we all must "get out of the box"  with our revenue pursuits and activities. In the meantime, I want to continue to encourage those in the GLBTQ community who can give to continue to do so either in volunteer time, in-kind contributions, donations or bequeaths. It takes every dollar to make a difference. What have you done lately?  

1 comment:

Tim'm T. West said...

Thanks so much for the love. What my bio perhaps misses is that I was raised, as much, in Little Rock up until Jr. High School: Terry Elementary, Franklin, Bozo shows, Fair Park, James Pennick, Christ Temple, Highland Court hardships and the memories go on. I look forward to getting back for my first AR performance since 2004 when i read from my first book at Pyramid. Let's make it happen, brotha!