Monday, December 05, 2011

Which Way Did They Go Monday

If you haven't been in tuned with the last 72 hours of the news cycle, then you don't know what you've missed. If aliens had landed and tuned into the boob tube they would probably be wondering "WTF" is going on with these humans. As for myself, I''m wondering the same damn thing and so much more! So without any more small talk, let's just go get em....

OBAMA in a Lavender Sweep and Beyond

This forum has posted numerous articles and items citing the commitment of the Obama Administration to policies and issues that directly affect the LGBTQ community. President Obama's World AIDS Day commemoration speech again rose to the occasion of seeking to outreach to the LGBTQ community with realigned resources designated to get 6 Million more into a care regimens. His $50 Million dollar step up coincides with the administrations National AIDS Strategy which cross pollinated government agencies from HUD to HRSA to work in concert to this health dilemma. As an activist in this arena the president has been steadfast to address HIV and AIDS across the board. I would be remiss to the fact that the administration has had openly LGBTQ staff who also have championed many causes including the "Don't Ask - Don't Tell" measure among others. Yet with all these moves, it appears that there is still grumbling and mumbling among some "gay elites" who believe that not enough has been done. Wow. Really? Can we recall any other administration that has forged a concerted effort to address LGBTQ issues and although perhaps measured has sought to full fill the task. There is much that is traversing across the Net swathed in vile and negative garbage that is just overwhelming. Often some of this trash talking falls into my in-box which fueled this post. I've tired of the absurd and juvenile unfunny jokes that are circulated in a mean spirited fashion. Even though you may not care for the man, I would at least think that those of you who embrace this shit would at least respect the office. It saddens me that much of this mindset has flowed from Gays and Lesbians who will benefit from President Obama's tenacity and forward thinking moves at inclusiveness and diversity. This is not about parsing political affiliations but rather making sure that President Obama gets the props he so deserves with these accomplishments. After all depending who follows his administration what most Gays and Lesbians need to be concerned to whether these policies will continue to stand. John Mc Cain GOP stalwart and failed Presidential contender stated that repealing DADT would wreck the military and he does not sit alone in this thinking. The waggons are circling and it behooves us to be informed and empowered to who stands where.

Making a Difference can began with U

The following items are being sought by local activist Penelope P. as a means to continue doing homeless outreach this winter. If you have any of these and would be willing to donate them, please call me (Penelope) at 501-912-3780 or send me an e-mail to Once the contact has been established each party will figure out an appropriate time to meet. COP 24/7 would like to remind our readers that each of us can be apart of the change that we seek to see. We encourage you to donate items to this cause or the effort of your choosing. The items requested are as follows:Ground coffee, Coffee cups, Sleeping bags, Socks, Gloves, any warm clothing (long sleeve shirts, pants, hats, etc), Personal hygiene supplies (toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, etc), Toilet paper, Canned foods (we always use fruit, beans and tomatoes).

World AIDS Day: A Double Take

After all the WAD activities that took place last week, surely someone is now doing an "assessment" of those activities and their impact or lack of thereof. This seems to be the mode of trying to figure out the who, what, when where or why dollars were expended for such spectacles. So, seeing that there is an assessment for "this and that," I'm looking forward to the release of this information that is suppose to guide organizations or what have you in producing World AIDS Day 2012. But while we wait on those impending "white papers," the staff at COP 24/7 was able to hammer out observations with a quickness. First up, The Future Builders AIDS Symposium emblazoned "HIV: Complications, Cost and Care, was held on the campus of Pulaski Tech for the first time. For all practical reasons it appeared well organized and staffed. The only exception I experienced was the fact that I had no actual place in the information that was forwarded. In other words, where on the campus will this mash up be held. Thanks to a knowledgeable info person contacted through campus services I was able to navigate the campus and still be on time. Overall, symposiums such as this although certainly needed often follow a "module" approach using the "it worked last time and it should do so this time too." When following this thought process, it is my opinion that you have a tendency to "repeat and repeat" not only some of the same folks you trotted out previously but search out those "safe speakers" who will not cause to much sensation. Beginning with Dr. Nate Smith with power point show in tow, we were treated to his "when we know better, we do better" mantra concerning numerous situations in Arkansas. The mixed audience audibly gasped when statistics rolled out about MSM transmissions, Black Women and OMG- the elderly. They were stunned to know that we've had a 48% increase of incidence rates among Black youth and even more out done when they learned that former inmates are not tracked into care once released. I kept thinking obviously there's some disconnect among this audience.  Keeping real and staying on point was Gisele Hudson ADH Community Outreach Specialist who had the computer show but her handling of the message spoke volumes. In short, she put it out there for consumption and basically stated that it was up to the listener to adhere or find them self otherwise. After a invigorating lunch, the afternoon panelist continued to offer the audience perspectives ranging from the SAMHSA Project Director Sybil Ward who shared her overarching experiences from top to bottom, to the young set who gave glimmers of insights on selected topics including smoking. Just as an observation, as I keep moving about meeting "A" or program "B" I am still bewildered at the participation of Black Gay Men either living affected or infected. Amazing as it seems, these individuals are subject matter 1 but appear to "missing in action" to put a face on this dilemma. I'm glad that many of the educated sisters and few brothers have engaged what has been tossed around as the "HIV/AIDS Industrial Complex" to fuel their latest thesis or dissertation.  But what I'm concerned with is where are the Black men that they are so adequately researching and crafting prevention message for. Why can folks from the faith based community, sexual health educators or advocates make these meetings, yet the very population that being discussed "Black men having sex with men" seem to be "the missing elephant in the room." In my opinion, having these efforts without those who need to hear it or share about it does not measure up in the "when we know better- we do better" mode.  As the event ended, it appeared that most of the appropriate "boxes" had been checked to meet the funding threshold. All in all, I enjoyed it and moved on to the next outing, a press conference at the Arkansas Department of Health.  Join us tomorrow as we call like it like we saw it and then some... stay tuned.  

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