Thursday, January 12, 2012

Keep on Moving Thursday

National Stonewall Democrats Announces New Leadership

National Stonewall Democrats is proud to celebrate the New Year with the announcement of a new executive leadership team. Jerame Davis has been selected as the organization’s new Executive Director. The group’s board of directors has also elected a new executive committee.

Davis has been serving as the NSD interim Executive Director since late 2011. Before joining the staff, Jerame was vice president of the Indiana Stonewall Democrats affiliate and was actively involved in Democratic politics in the Hoosier state.

In addition to serving in the leadership of many Indiana LGBT organizations, he has consulted for a variety of clients on using technology for better organizing and messaging. He is also the co-founder of a popular national LGBT politics and culture website.

“Democratic politics runs through my veins,” said Davis. “Living most of my life in a red state dominated by GOP gave me a first hand view of just how regressive and dangerous Republican dominance can be – especially for LGBT people. I am honored to be taking the helm of NSD at such a crucial moment.”

In addition to Davis assuming the role of Executive Director, the NSD Board of Directors has elected a new executive team to lead the organization through 2012. Stephen Driscoll (Pembroke, MA) and Laurie McBride (Sacramento, CA) return as co-chairs to succeed outgoing chair Craig Roberts. Aaron Schaler (Indianapolis, IN) will serve as the new secretary and Bill Jacobs (Las Vegas, NV) continues his role as treasurer.

“NSD’s new executive director and leadership team bring a solid perspective tempered with institutional knowledge,” said Roberts. “Working with Jerame for the past few months has been fantastic and I am confident he is the right person to lead NSD at this critical time. I know NSD is in good hands going into 2012 with this team in place.”

“Jerame’s outside-the-beltway perspective and political experience positions National Stonewall Democrats as the national voice for pro-equality Democrats as we head into a presidential election,” said McBride. “With so many affiliates around the country providing vital grassroots support for LGBT Democrats and our allies, I am confident we are ready to win.”

“Anti-gay Republicans and their apologists are on notice,” said Driscoll. “Jerame understands that partisan is not a dirty word. Partisanship in pursuit of the greater good is a very high calling indeed. As we swing into campaign mode, a refocused and repurposed NSD will help pave the road to victory in November and to progress beyond.”
Pariah: Love and Grace Under Fire
The new film, Pariah is making noise and waves around the country. Including here in Little Rock as a campaign of sorts is being started to get this film shown at art house Market Street Theatre. Due to the limited release of this piece,usually the large metro markets get first screenings and maybe, just maybe it will find its way to a local theatre. But if locals share their interest with the Market Street, then this might get their attention to make sure that the film gets on their schedule. Are you with me on this? Get out your gadgets and text, IM, video, e-mail that you want to see this film to  Tell em your heard about it at COP 24/7!  Who knows if the film gets a showing maybe we can have a movie night where we pack the house! Anyone game for it!  For those not in the know, this film  was especially noticed at the 2011 Sundance Film festival and there's even some Oscar buzz being mentioned. The film is a deeply felt human drama is the feature debut of writer/director Dee Rees. Adepero Oduye portrays Alike (pronounced "ah-lee-kay"), a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents (Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell) and younger sister (Sahra Mellesse) in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood. A gifted student, Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. With the support of her best friend Laura (Pernell Walker), she is especially eager to find a girlfriend. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity. Directed by first time director Dee Rees the Cast includes Adepero Oduye, Pernell Walker, Aasha Davis, Charles Parnell, Sahra and Kim Wayans who makes her dramatic debut with a tour de force performance that will make folks sit up and take notice. She brings her character full circle and every parent dealing with kids coming of age or coming out should view this film. She may not be nominated for the Oscar, but somebody needs to take this sister serious about her acting chops. If I had my way she would get the nod. Check out the trailer and don't forget to share your thoughts with the Marker Street.

The Church and Same Gender Relationships:

This issue poses one of the most painfully divisive and polarizing moral issues in the church today. Conservatives are suspicious that liberals have thrown away the Bible, while liberals are suspicious that conservatives are being driven by mere prejudice. The only way for the church to go forward in struggling with this issue is to really listen to what the Spirit is telling us through both the experience of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, and through the Scriptures that have always been at the heart of our Christian way of life.

To this end, we have planned an important event on January 24th and 31st, 7:00-8:00pm, in Wesley Hall. At our first gathering we will hear from a guest speaker, Mary Lou Wallner. Mary Lou and Bob have travelled across the country speaking about their experience with their lesbian daughter Anna, who tragically took her own life in 1997. They are one of the families featured in the highly-awarded documentary For the Bible Tells Me So. Mary Lou and Bob have founded T.E.A.C.H. ministries (To Educate against the Consequences of Homophobia) and work tirelessly to help the LGBT community to know that God loves them.

The next week Rev. Heath Bradley will offer an overview of the debate about what the Bible says, and doesn’t say, about same-gender relationships. Our final presentation that evening will be from Rev. Britt Skarda, and will focus on the place of sexual minorities in the United Methodist Church today. At the end of the presentations both weeks we will take time for Q & A with the presenters. Childcare is available for those who request it.


Don't forget that this platform is all about being interactive with our readers, allies, supporters and yes even those who don't agree with us. Your comments and observations are always welcomed and encouraged. Hit us up in our comment section where you can leave your message and a emoticon on how a certain piece may made you feel. I love hearing from any and all of you. So speak up! If you've got tips, or something bothering you, then share it with COP 24/7. We're all ears, 24/7!!!!

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