Thursday, October 06, 2011

Lavender Visions

Its been a jammed packed week thus far as we keep moving into that ready for the weekend mode. COP 24/7 has been burning the candle at both ends while being a road warrior but keeping it funky fresh with the latest updates, observations, links and whatever is really on point. With that said, ain't no stopping us now...

Speaking to Power
LA Corp's CEO addresses Arkansas Black Caucus

The Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus Retreat, October 4-6 in Hot Springs, Arkansas featured a wide range of activities during a three day run chaired by Sen Linda Chesterfield (D-34) and centered at the Arlington Hotel and Spa. In an unprecedented effort, Diedra Levi, CEO of The Living Affected Corporation, Inc served as a State of the State panelist to address caucus members concerning the issues of HIV/AIDS and STD's in Arkansas. With striking statistics, Levi demonstrated that despite African Americans cited as 18% of the population, new cases within the African American community continue to rise despite current prevention and education methods. "There are 4,617 HIV positive Arkansans not receiving the treatment that decreases the spread of the disease," stated Levi.  She concluded, " I am asking you to be the hero's who will held stop this epidemic." During the Q & A session led by Senator Joyce Elliot (D-33), legislators quizzed and engaged Levi on a variety of topics. Legislator Frederick Love ( D-35) speculated that "statistics could be spinned and used to support any issue." He continued, "are these statistics including "repeat cases?" Also he openly stated that he couldn't connect how current education efforts are not being more effective in addressing the health dilemma." Levi retorted that even though there are viable educational nodes in place, it is parental input that's needed prior to later intervention plus additional prevention funding. We are not asking to throw money at the problem but rather sufficient funding to support CDC defined prevention methods." Elliot joined the conversation denoting the fact of a lack of empowerment among today's youth especially young girls who are impacted by sexual messages across the board. " Some men are still referring to their 20 year old daughters as "daddy's little girl" Elliot said. " We must began to be careful with the messages we are sending are daughters," she said. Representative Tracy Steele responded to Levi's statement to the lack of a line item in any of the Arkansas budgets for HIV/AIDS prevention. She suggested a starting point of at least $2.3 Million in addition to the current CDC funding set aside for the health crisis. Representative Tracy Steele (D-39) inquired as to the nature of the lack of a line item in the Arkansas budget for prevention and urged Levi to submit a detailed plan of action to the caucus for discussion. A poignant moment accented the dialogue as co-panelist and educator Todd Speight commented that the issue of HIV/AIDS was personal to him because he lost his mother the disease while living in Florida. He pondered to the caucus as to why that body had not discussed the priorities needed for this issue previously and encourage support otherwise.

I -tech Titan Jobs Passes

I have been somewhat bemused by the coverage and outpouing for techincal pioneer Steve Jobs. Certainly he was an iconic innovator whom brought a wave of gadgets, guru speak and gonzo pioneering that appealed to the masses. I'm glad for those who believe that Job's visionary products "changed" their lives but I for one am not caught up in the Apple/Jobs fervor that has upswept the globe after his passing. Suprise, I don't own an I-phone, no I-pod nor and "ta dah" I-pad. None of them and actually haven't really given any of it much thought. I have no hate for those egger beaver consumers ready to plunk down those big headed Benjamins for his latest "keep me connected because everyone else has one" items. I've found myself still quite connected without tapping into anything "I" except for the basic "I" will call you or speak to you method that serves me well. Let me be clear, I have no hate for those who keep finding their way back to the local Apple store for another "I" feel good fix via the latest pricey must have. Even though I wasn't totally converted to the I wizardry, however Jobs verbiage did resonate with me as well as his no nonsense approach tempered with his legendary perfectionism which supports my own belief that it is all about passion no matter what direction you going. He spoke that one must not live for some one ese but rather define your own path. Even though Jobs spoke these words to many, I had deduced this long ago before Jobs ever uttered the phrases. I found the courage to be "me" when much of the world wasn't ready to embrace my uniqueness or be open to the fact that presence was worthy and had value. Even though I didn't create any nifty tool, my contributions to advocating for human rights, solidering on the front lines for the LGBTQ community and having staying power while doing it, are the unsung "gadgets" that I've tried to perfect and sell to the masses. I have to admit that my tool deployment hasn't been "sexy" nor "flashy" but no matter when you need them, they will always work. Thanks SJ for bringing your imagination to the universe that will continue to allow me to share my imagination with the world as well. RIP.

Save the Date
Welcome to Little Rock Mixer, October 14, 7 pm-until La Qunita Inn 617 south Broadway in Downtown Little Rock. $5.00 donation. Come welcome our visitors from all points kicking off the 2011 Fall Midland Regional/NABWMT national board meeting. Need more info:

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