Thursday, March 29, 2012

Standing in Brotherhood

No Justice, No Peace: The Case of Trayvon Martin Awaits Action
There's been lots of "standing" this week as individuals from Clay Akiens donning a "hoodie" to the legendary Chaka Khan who in this tribute to the slain youth Trayvon Martin sings in her signature bravado about "Fear kills, Luv Heals." The tragedy of his murder and the subsequent fall out of the messy investigation is still propelling the social justice pot on its way to a boiling point. I certainly hope that the Sanford officials don't fuck it up and cause this entire matter to explode into a societal outbreak. Especially with explosive talk from the New Black Panther Party and their alleged "dead or alive" bounty on Mr. Zimmerman's head. Then there's the push back from right wingers and other as- sundry entities weighing in with incendiary rhetoric and images. Radio personality Michael Baidsen has literally hi-jacked his own show and dedicated it keeping up the pressure for an "arrest" meanwhile calling for answers to too many loose ends. He's not not only speaking to the issue but putting his money where his mouth is by donating $10,000 to the Martin family for expenses. And he's not alone in that effort as many other high profile figures and companies offer assistance to the family as they struggle the local justice system. Ultimately this situation is actually putting the Black community on blast concerning its engagement to issues impacting its citizens. Even local Little Roc€k City Director, Erma "fingers" Hendrix has gone old school saying that "we as Negros need to get busy and be responsible for our neighborhoods and children." She quipped in this weeks board meeting that "we don't always need the White folks to come fix our problems and nor should we always expect it." The Trayvon Martin case has ignited conversations and protest from coast to coast. The untimely death of this promising youth, has reminded many of us how vital it is that "each of us reach one and teach one" about life's realities and the importance of our personal responsibility to self and community. COP 24/7 stands with Trayvon's family and those who decry: "No Justice, No Peace."    

Anti-same-sex marriage group’s racial wedge strategy revealed

The blogosphere is abuzz with the story that broke last night, when the Human Rights Campaign released internal memos from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's largest and most visible anti-same sex-marriage group, calling for the use of a racial wedge strategy to fight campaigns for marriage equality.
“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks -- two key Democratic constituencies,” one of the NOM memos says.
“The documents, marked “confidential,” were unsealed yesterday afternoon in Maine by court order, as part of that state’s ongoing ethics investigation into NOM’s campaign finances.
The memo spells out specific steps to enact, including:
Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots…”
Here is an excerpt on NOM’s Hispanic strategy:
"The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so in the future, both because of demographic growth and inherent uncertainty: Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity - a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation."
NOM also spells out its plans for the 2012 presidential election:
"From a political angle," the NOM document says, "this strategy will require electing a pro-marriage President in 2012." Strategies for defeating, ("sideswiping," as the document calls it) President Obama include "expose Obama as a social radical," and "raise such issues as pornography, protection of children, and the need to oppose all efforts to weaken religious liberty at the federal level."
NOM is a 501(c)3 and cannot endorse presidential candidates, but the former chairwoman of NOM’s board, Maggie Gallagher, endorsed Santorum in January.
Public opinion has moved considerably in the three years since the memos were drafted. The most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll (conducted Feb. 29 through March 3) shows a plurality favors same-sex marriage -- 49 percent say so versus 40 percent who oppose. That's a reversal from 41-49 percent in October 2009.
Among African Americans, a majority (50 percent) said they were in favor (41 were opposed). That's a big change from October 2009, when just a third (32 percent) were in favor and a majority (53 percent) were opposed. Among Hispanics, in the most recent poll, 55 percent said they were in favor, 30 percent said they were against. That's also a change from October 2009, when the margin was tighter (45-40 favor to oppose).
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign -- which supports efforts to legalize same-sex marriage -- criticized NOM. “Nothing beats hearing from the horse’s mouth exactly how callous and extremist this group really is,” Solmonese said in a statement.
NOM posted a statement on its website today, saying it is "proud of [its] strong record on minority partnerships."
It added: “Gay marriage advocates have attempted to portray same-sex marriage as a civil right, but the voices of these and many other leaders have provided powerful witness that this claim is patently false. Gay marriage is not a civil right, and we will continue to point this out in written materials such as those released in Maine. We proudly bring together people of different races, creeds and colors to fight for our most fundamental institution: marriage.”
NBC's Domenico Montanaro contributed to this report.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

COP 24/7 Going 360

The 24/7 news cycle is busting at seams these days and so goes COP 24/7! My inbox fills quickly each and every day with items from A to Z and then some. Some days I ponder, just how I'm suppose to process all this stuff while trying to maintain some since of understanding of it all. In the meantime, we shall keep on movin and groovin as paradigms shift and news breaks. If we're not talking about right now, then don't worry because its not lost on our radar. With all that said, let's go for it!

The State of the City 2012: Mayor Stodala Speaks to H.E.F.T.E.

Mayor Stodala came forward yesterday with his vision of what has happened or what he envisions for the city of Little Rock. He cited numerous advancements as well as nagging ongoing situations that either have been addressed or will need to be addressed in the future. Ultimately in his address and subsequent city board meeting, Stodala inquired to City Manager Bruce Moore as to the effectiveness of the cities "prevention and intervention" programming especially those designed as "re-entry programs" for parolees. Stodala expressed distinct concerns about the fact that many of the programs may not be addressing the needs of those individuals who are seeking "housing, employment, food, transportation and education." What most amazing to COP 24/7 is the fact that despite over 60 Million plus dollars being expended over the last decade, it appears that there's been little of that "evidence based" outcomes material actually produced. In other words, lots of cash thrown around, plenty of well meaning paper created but no one is sure that any of its working. The Mayor and City Board has decided that a "working retreat" is needed to assess how to spend the next 6 Million dollar "PIT" allotment set aside for such programming. 

Meanwhile the Mayor said he would ask the City Board of Directors to refer to the voters a vote to continue the capital improvements millage that would otherwise expire this year. Because of growth in property taxes, the city will be able to pay off the bonds this year, seven years sooner than the slated 15-year payoff.
The millage, voted in the 2003 bond election, is 3.3 percent; Stodola says if it's renewed at 3 percent, as he hopes the board will request, the bonds would produce $105 million that could be applied toward street, roadway and drainage improvements. The millage has been in existence since 1958, the mayor said.
Yes, the capital portion of the new penny sales tax will produce $72 million over 10 years for roads, but that's a drop in the bucket of the $700 million that would be needed to address all the projects citizens have asked for, Stodola said. As the Mayor waxed on about:

Felony crimes are up this year by a small percentage, but at 18,000 offenses, far below the 29,000 reported in 1992. Police Chief Stuart Thomas is overseeing a collaboration of the Quiet Nights Street Unit with the Detective Division to address violent and property crimes.

Fire Chief Gregory Summers has established Spanish immersion classes for all line personnel and an EMS bicycle life-saving team to be used a major events like Riverfest and the Marathon.

Clinton School focus groups have learned that the homeless are interested in getting jobs at the Port of Little Rock, which, the mayor said, indicates that Confederate Boulevard is an "excellent location" for the "soon-to-be built" homeless shelter in the old Union Rescue Mission building.

— Gallup ranks Little Rock as the 6th Happiest City in America. "Keep smiling," Stodola said.

Even as the good Mayor announced that the city is on the move, this forum was informed that Stodala was among many mayors who have not signed on as a supporter of "Mayors for the Freedom to Marry" centered around the marriage equality issue. Even though this is a side issue and doesn't taint the Mayor's effectiveness, this forum will have to look deeper as to the position of Stodala. We'll let you know if we get a response.

Mark Stodola was elected as Mayor for the City of Little Rock, beginning his term in January 2007 and re-elected to a 2nd term beginning in 2011. As Mayor, he has helped prioritize public safety as the City’s first and foremost obligation, resulting in substantial decreases in violent crime and property crime. Since Stodola took office, the City’s homicide rate has fallen more than 50% with the violent crime rate falling 34%.

The Mayor also led an effort to reduce copper thefts with City legislation, which has decreased the sale of stolen scrap to recyclers and spearheaded City legislation to reduce harmful conditions at extended stay motels. The Mayor has partnered with the state Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Chamber of Commerce to bring over $1 billion in new capital investment to the city and more than 3,691 new jobs during the past four years and led a major bond initiative that has injected $6,872,201 in improvements to the City’s park system. ( credit to / as source material) In case you don't catch the city board meetings either live or otherwise such as LRTV, I suggest that you keep an eye on what's going on with your city Representatives. After all its your money and our city!

Statement by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on LGBT Health Awareness Week 2012

LGBT Health Awareness Week is an important time to highlight the progress our country is making to address the unique health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans, especially through implementation of the health care law, the Affordable Care Act.
Studies have shown that health disparities related to sexual orientation and gender identity are due in part to lower rates of health coverage and a lack of cultural competency in the health care system. The Affordable Care Act is already helping millions of Americans gain access to care by creating coverage options for people with pre-existing conditions, and under the law, beginning in 2014, every American will have access to health care through Affordable Insurance Exchanges, new competitive marketplaces where Americans will be able to purchase affordable coverage and have the same choices of insurance that members of Congress will have. These same benefits are or will be available to LGBT Americans across the country.

The Affordable Care Act also strengthens training for health care providers, devotes new resources to improving our primary care workforce, and increases funding for community health centers, where patients are served regardless of how much they can afford to pay. We know that members of the LGBT community may be more likely to be underinsured or uninsured, making the Affordable Care Act all the more important.
In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services continues to address the specific health concerns of LGBT Americans, including by working to incorporate data collection on LGBT populations into national health surveys, releasing rules requiring hospitals to allow same-sex partners the ability to visit each other in the hospital, and setting up an internal working group that ensures we are effectively coordinating policies to best address LGBT health needs across every agency in the Department.

Our Department is committed to improving the health of all Americans, including LGBT Americans, and we look forward to continuing this work during LGBT Health Awareness Week and beyond.

For more information on how the Department is working to improve LGBT Health and Well-being, visit
Read the Departments recommendations for future LGBT Health improvements at
Learn how health reform is giving LGBT Americans more control over their health care at

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rainbow Confetti COP 24/7

Racial Healing and Equity in the American South

An internationally recognized scholar on race, poverty and regional equity, john a. powell will give a lecture as part of a summit titled, "Racial Healing and Equity in the American South," hosted by the Clinton School’s Center on Community Philanthropy. This forum is another opportunity to continue to explore the factors of race in this city. Earlier this month another such panel discussion based on race and the media was held at UALR as apart of its Race and Ethnicity Institutes's annual race survey. The former director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University, powell will discuss unconscious bias and community philanthropy as a tool to dismantle unjust structures.

When: Friday, March 30, 2012

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. – Lunch & Lecture

*Bring your own lunch. Drinks provided.
Where: Clinton School of Public Service
Sturgis Hall
*Reserve your seats by emailing , or calling 501-683-5239.

Oprah's Lifeclass on Tour

Hyped and billed as epic TV, the Oprah Lifeclass Tour which took flight last evening was an uplifting and inspiring two hour romp across the self healing spectrum. Winfrey and rebounded gal pal, Iyanla Vanzant who was the centerpiece of offering her own self styled wit and wisdom fed the Peabody Theatre audience with exuberance and kinetic energy. Winfrey has been in the news of late due to the fact that her new network has been faced with numerous challenges including changes in leadership, she is now the CEO and Chief Creative Executive. Discovering content that works, since the Rosie O'Donnell show "flipped and flopped" into being cancelled last week due to poor ratings despite all manner of re-tooling and re-structuring. Winfrey has sought to shore up the network schedule not only with this media tour, but a sprinkling of newcomers including Vanzant's "Fix Me" show, there's former model Beverly Johnson's "Full House,", the return of one of my favorites, "Sweetie Pie's," Breakthrough with Tony Robbins and Super Soul Sunday's with Dr. Wayne Dyer. Plus a few other shows that will be added or intermixed among the regular programming. Will all this work for OWN? No one's really sure and I'm sure that the venture can't keep loosing that $150 Million each quarter and survive. However, Winfrey is banking on using all she's got to make it work. She's got the chutzpa and obviously some deep pocketed friends over at the Discovery network that believe that she can pulled it out. If haven't had a chance to check out OWN, give it look over. There are some interesting and refreshing shows that you most likely won't find elsewhere. It's vintage Winfrey doing what's she's become known for, asking the world to listen and learn while in the meantime growing. Check it out at: 

Miss Universe Canada Disqualifies Transsexual Contestant: She was Born a Boy
Miss Universe Canada officials have banned 23-year-old transsexual Jenna Talackova from participating in the pageant finals to be held in Toronto in May, 2012. The Vancouver contestant was one of sixty-five women chosen to compete in the national contest (which is owned by Donald Trump). The Daily Mail Reports that Denis Davila, national director of Miss Universe Canada, asserts that every contestant must be a "naturally born female." Critics of the decision claim that the rules do not specifically address sex change or plastic surgery.
Read the full story;_ylc=X3oDMTNtcnNhOWU5BF9TAzk2NzE1MjA1MARhY3QDbWFpbF9jYgRjdANhBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi1VUwRwa2cDZmI5YmExYTktNjAyOC0zMTgwLTg3MjMtNDJjOWY0OGQ5OGQzBHNlYwNtaXRfc2hhcmUEc2xrA21haWwEdGVzdAM-;_ylv=3


Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Flinging Monday

HUD rule aimed at protecting LGBT home searchers

Winston-Salem Journal

People searching for housing have new government backing aimed at preventing discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
A ruling made this month by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development gives the city of Winston-Salem authority to investigate complaints from people who say they have been discriminated against during their housing search because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This ruling also applies to Arkansas municipalities and cities.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are among those who would be protected under the new rule.
The city agency that handles complaints about discrimination related to housing searches has not received any complaints based on sexual orientation or gender identity, said Wanda Allen-Abraha, the director of the city's Human Relations Department. But that could change with the new ruling.
"I think it has the potential to be a big problem because there will, inevitably, be those who will not want to provide equal access to those who are nonconforming to traditional gender expectations," Allen-Abraha said in an email. "It could become a major emerging area as people become more comfortable with being frank about their orientation."

The new ruling applies to recipients of HUD funds and to FHA-backed mortgage lenders.
Such recipients include banks, public-housing complexes and homeless shelters, among other entities. They are required to provide equal access to HUD-funded or HUD-insured properties, programs and services regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status, Allen-Abraha said.

"Basically, they are prohibited from asking a person questions based on these areas in order to determine program or service eligibility," she said.
Gender is one of the seven protected classes under the federal Fair Housing Act, and the city already has a fair-housing ordinance similar to the federal Fair Housing Act. The new HUD ruling does not change either the Fair Housing Act or the city's fair-housing ordinance. But the gender class usually applies to cases of sexual harassment, not sexual orientation or gender identity.

The new HUD rule gives the city authority to refer cases originating from same-sex couples, for example, to HUD for investigation. The rule also affects how HUD-funded programs are monitored. If a violation is found, it would be treated as a HUD-program violation, not a violation of the Fair Housing Act.
Housing discrimination has been a problem nationwide for LGBT people, according to a study released last year by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, an advocacy group based in Washington, and the National Center for Transgender Equality, also based in Washington.

About 6,500 respondents were included in the study. About 1 out of 5 reported having been refused a home or apartment, and about 1 out of 10 reported being evicted because of their gender identity or expression, according to the study.

Younger people are sometimes the most adversely affected, according to Meribeth Robinson, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Winston-Salem who is doing a documentary about homeless youths. Homeless LGBT youths, sometimes kicked out of their homes because of their sexuality or gender identity, have few housing resources, she said. They are referred to as "throw-away" youths.

"This is one of the scariest parts of being homeless is where are they going to sleep and are they going to be safe," Robinson said. "When you have kids saying they're throw-away kids, well, this (ruling) says to them, 'We're not throw-away anymore.' "

NO Justice, No Peace: Trayvon Case Ramps Up Nation

The ongoing Trayvon Martin case, which is now in its fourth week of simmering just under the boiling point has everyone talking. The evolving evidence, crime scene information and apparently lackluster police investigation has taken more twist and turns than the yellow brick road to OZ. In the past few weeks as the hot white light and searing demands from such luminaries a Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Rep. Shelia Jackson and the emotionally charged pleas from the youngsters parents have sent reverberations all the way to the White House. Unfortunately, as cities from coast to coast stand in solidarity with marches and protest, although there's conversation in this city, no public demonstrations have been announced or organized. Despite a recent call to action from a local brotherhood whom took to a 12th street corner citing violence issues. Where are these gents now with their observations and voices, especially since what they pointed out then, still seems to be occurring now. Of course the TM case won't be affected by any protest in Little Rock or lack thereof, but the citizens of Sanford realize that the case has brought the glare of the world to their doorstep. As more developments unfold, it obvious that Martin's character is now being assaulted with innuendo and sideshow items such as being suspended from school based on some "drug residue." Then there's the cast of characters ranging from Zimmerman's lawyer who has made outlandish unsubstantial claims, right wing mouth pieces have spewed poisonous garbage, local media outlets have published unattributed information and we as the public continue to learn of the antics of Sanford's "key stone cops" attempting to defend their actions. Meanwhile fringe group The New Black Panther Party goes "wild wild west"  with its nefarious bounty for Mr. Zimmerman allegedly "live or dead."  Hopefully this situation will not spin totally out of control but will allow the FBI, Justice Department,  Governor's Task Force, and Lady Justice to do what's needed to execute justice, heal the city of Sanford while being a teachable moment for the country.

DSRA: The Meltdown Continues

The controversy and meltdown of the Diamond State Rodeo apparently is ongoing with no real positive outcomes except for those who have defected. Former members and officers of the group are now gearing up the new Renegades for a Cause entity which has begun announcing a slate of April activities. In a recent Facebook missive, the situation as seen by one participant shared details of insensitivity and lessons not learn in respect toward other members. Each paragraph outlined attitudes and personal interpersonal relationships that as far as I'm concern don't reflect any showman ship or the basic tenants of adults learning to "agree to disagree" then coming together for the common vision of the organization which was to promote the "country and western lifestyle within the gay community." How can one promote a "lifestyle" which is wrought with in-fighting, vindictiveness, small mindedness and back biting. With life dealing you all types of body blows, who wants to embrace anything or anybody who languishes in that mindset. As I read through the posting, I kept thinking why are these folks wasting precious time, resources and energy on such a pursuit. Did someone forget the "Golden Rule" in all of this and again, where's the maturity that should be setting the example for those younger cow pokes watching this train wreck of a situation unfold. Some readers of this forum have accused me of "slaming" folks and such without offering solutions, however, if you have been a reader for some time, I'm all about solutions and alternatives to a laundry list of situations within the LGBTQ community. However, no matter what I say, most of the solutions start with you. Take a moment to reflect, remedy and refresh, then move forward into an authentic healing space. We'll keep the light on....

Friday, March 23, 2012

A TGIF Voices Carry

The week has been rough and tumble from all directions. So many topics, so many issues, and so many points of view to consider. Since its inception, this forum has weaved and wobbled in and out of various territories while establishing our voice. The course I took was uncharted and the impact was unknown. However, through growth, experimenting and further understanding of the medium, I came to realize that this forum could be a viable communication piece to offset the lack of few alternatives. I have heard far too many times the question: "why doesn't this city have a gay newspaper or magazine?" Well, the answer is very simple. Such ventures not only take a significant cash infusion, but an overwhelming support of steady advertisers and a LGBTQ community that is willing to support it despite its position on issues. Especially when such issues become uncomfortable or too edgy for those with thin skins.  As a provocateur, COP 24/7 has sought to speak to issues and dilemmas that often go unmentioned, unreported and dismissed by much of mainstream media. Not to mention even though many of you are "thinking" about any numerous topics, many don't "man up"and say what's on their mind. It takes guts to speak to power or call a spade a spade. COP 24/7 has always taken the position to bring any and all matters to the table for examination or re-examination. Whether it be fragmentation within the LGBTQ community or the patchwork system attempting to assist those living infected with HIV and AIDS. For the record, along with critiques I've offered many solutions and suggestions as to how to make things better. If anybody took it to heart, I would not know.  Let's face facts, only a thimble full of LGBTQ issues or concerns are reported. Furthermore when such attempts are made, the media has to hit up the "usual suspects" with a few other brave souls willing to comment. Otherwise, LGBTQ news is found capsulized or minimized to a point of insignificance wrapped in a sound bite. Although this forum goes the distance to cover a variety of items, it is far from perfect. Yet what's most strident about this platform is that I take the time and effort to make it happen. I've welcomed and encouraged others to the cyber public square. I even sought an individual or entity to produce COP 24/7 but there were no takers. Upon my decision to end this forum, I heard from many of you who wanted a continuation because what you found here wasn't being produced elsewhere. And so we go on, standing in the information breech  full well aware of our responsibilities and cognizant that words can wound sometimes, but steadfast in keeping it real.

Voices Carrying to COP 24/7
The following item was apart of a two part comment concerning our post in reference to Lucie's Place.The writer, Board President P. Poppers cites this forum for its observations and perceived marginal outlook on the project. It is unedited and presented as sent.

"but I've learned that all that glitters is simply not gold"

Where is the glitter, Cornelius? Homeless kids, sexual and physical assault from parents, discrimination and flat out refusal of service from shelters, attempts and successful suicides. I see no glitter anywhere. Please let me know where the glitter is, I would do anything for some sort of glitter, anywhere. Even glitter in the eye would be better than the situation that currently exists for these youth. Have you ever gotten glitter in your eye? I can tell you it is a less than ideal situation.

The board of Lucie's Place knows that this won't be easy, we aren't stupid or dense. If it was easy, we would not be having this (one sided) conversation, a shelter for Queer and/or Trans young adults would exist already. The board has already poured much of our (valuable) time into this project and we all know that we have much, much more to pour.

"However it appears that there's much optimism about the road ahead..."

Yes, we have optimism out of necessity. The situation is grim, people are dying, many people have no hope. If the board of Lucie's Place wasn't optimistic about the future of the project, why would we even begin? If we simply listened to all the criticism being thrown at us, we would have never begun this project in the first place. We would not have begun because we have heard people tell us that we shouldn't try, it's impossible. I would like to think that all of this criticism is coming from a place of hope, or tough love, and maybe it is. But the it’s a little too tough and inching from love to abuse. This project isn't, in fact, impossible. Incredibly difficult, yet. If things didn't begin simply because they were incredibly difficult, where would you, or Diedra, Randi, or Suzanne Pharr be? Would have Women’s Project, AR AIDS Brigade, AR Gay & Lesbian Task Force, AR Equality Network, AR Act UP!, LACorp, CAR, or all the others I am not listing ever started? If projects were not started simply because they were difficult, the world would be a terrible place, more terrible than it already is. They all began with people telling them that it would be difficult.

We have hope. If we didn't have hope, who would? From the tone of this post and the previous post about Lucie's Place, it is pretty clear to me that you don't have much hope for Lucie's Place. I am pretty certain that was not your intent, but that is how it was read. What if Lucie's Place goes under, are you going to be the first to publicly say "I told them so"? Instead, why not send us an e-mail, or meet with us and discuss your concerns? Why not share your insight now, instead of later? And let's say Lucie's Place goes under, would you view it all as a waste of time? What about the young adults who have told me that I was the first nice, understanding person they had ever met. What about the young adults who were days, or hours away from a suicide attempt, but gained hope from a conversation or meeting with someone at Lucie's Place? What if Lucie's Place just saved one life? Would it be worth it to you? Would it be simply a waste of time?

I applaud Poppers for the passion and sharing in this ""one sided" conversation. Having such zeal and vigor will be central to the success of the project. Let me be clear, I didn't use the words "stupid" or "dense" to illuminate any actions. I have no reason for such a description nor have I implied such. If the organization's board is doing its homework, then great. Continue to move forward with your vision. Just for the record, I've witnessed and listened to much despair and injustice in my five decades of life. I stepped to the plate many years ago, dealing with youth displaced or discarded, I've held individuals in my arms in the midnight hour who had failed at their suicide attempt, questioning bar carding policies and other overt racism that was prevalent in this community, testified before the Arkansas Legislature whom wanted to "stem the tide of homosexuality on state campuses," I've looked into the eye's of mothers whom had watched their son's wither and die from a then unknown disease and yes, the idea of having destination places for the LGBTQ community was apart of my chorus of seeking human rights and social justice for all. So I'm no stranger to saving life's because I've been at it for some time. We all have our place in the struggle to help our fellow brother or sister and I hope this project and any others to come will offer hope universally.  


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Roaming Thursday

Talk about a power week! The keyboards have been smoking and the "Big Chair" spinning like a top. I decided to start tracking the time and effort taken to execute this platform and what I've learned has been truly eye opening. On average it takes about three hours to research if necessary, review, re-write, edit and re-think what needs to make the cut and then process any special features such as video's, podcast or images that may not be in our archives. Therefore putting out this forum isn't always about the fastest cut and paste" effort but rather a production that has a life of its own.

However, the time and treasure put into COP 24/7 is rewarded by the notes, feedback and comments shared by those who have bookmarked us, opt-in e-mail or follow us. According to Goggle Analyticals, COP 24/7 is being read "globally." No one was more surprised than myself as I've discovered that folks in France, Ireland, Great Britan, and some determined folks in the Ukraine are checking out COP 24/7. The power of this medium to reach far off destinations is totally amazing and sometimes a bit scary. Yet we roll on, seeking to be the best we can be for those who make the choice to check out our special brand of news, views and mash ups. Thanks to all who make COP 24/7 that guilty pleasure when you need to know what's really going on.

LR National Rises With New Moniker

They done done it now.  Little Rock's Airport Commission has voted to re-christen the local air departure point after Bill and Hillary Clinton. Anybody mad? I'm certainly not and think that tribute is appropriate despite all the negatives that folks spewed opposing reasons during the public response period of the meeting. Although I wasn't surprised at the level of dissing the Clinton's by some locals but if not for the Clinton's then who? Of course I grew up knowing the area as "Adam's Field" which was in reference to Captain George Geyer Adams who was killed in the line of duty in 1937. And for the most part in my early life, the "airport" was a place where I went to gaze at planes arriving and leaving. Only imagining if I would ever be lucky enough to be apart of the experience of the then "jet set." As I recall those days gone by, its amazing that now I frequently walk through the terminal bound for cities that as a youngster I never thought I would ever see. Not to mention that I would ever hear "Welcome to Little Rock" in French or Spanish over the public announcement system. The "teachable moment" for myself is to never stop believing and do what you can to make it happen. I personally believe that with the airports substantial plans to renovate and upgrade should include giving it a fresh re-brand. I'm totally civic minded and I want to see this city be as competitive and robust as any American city. The Clinton's have been apart of the world stage for decades and why should Little Rock attach itself to their mega-watt stardom and world appeal. Both Clinton's have blazed pathways that often intersects with many other events and charity works in this city. I find this good news as I begin the process of bidding for a the national convention of The National Association of Black and White Men Together,Inc next July 2013. This event will bring individuals from coast to coast, again allowing our host committee to pridefully showcase our home town. After all, if we don't care about our city, then why should anybody else. Congratulations to the Clinton's on this honor and hat's off the commission for the forward thinking to keep Little Rock on the move!

Pride in the City: Movements and Mash Up's

COP 24/7 has previously posted concerning issues surrounding the entity "Little Rock Black Pride," which was responsible for last years Black pride events held at various locations throughout the city. There were many moving parts involved with this entity including a variety of players ranging from the Arkansas Department of Health to other community based organizations such as the Center for Artistic Revolution. Since our last outing with this matter, COP 24/7 has discovered several interesting  movements.  We've confirmed through our sources that Stanley Rogers, founder and owner of LRBP has collected a reimbursement settlement from ADH. It appears that his "contract" with the firm was affirmed resulting in a payment in excess of $4,000.00  Coincidentally or not, this is close to the same amount that CAR's  R. Romo cited as the seed money that her organization fronted LRBP in order to proceed with their Black Gay Pride programming cloaked as a HIV/AIDS prevention and testing event. According to Romo, she had exhausted all efforts to recoup the funds and offered numerous scenarios to resolve the situation for which she stated was to be bound by a signed contract with Rogers. However, despite all her attempts to speak with Rogers, LRBP Board of Directors and ADH, nothing transpired except her frustration level.

In the meantime,  COP 24/7 has called for questions about this hot mess. So far we've got "crickets" or a  unclear explanation as to how such events or individuals are vetted. What's more interesting is the fact that LRBP has updated its Facebook platform with an announcement of Black Pride 2012. Including a "HIV/AIDS testing" component along with more unconfirmed activities and promises of "celebrities and other assorted star studded events." The optimal word is "promises" because as I've witnessed, usually much of what's promised is either under performing, poorly executed to never occurring. In a twist to this flim flam, it appears that Rogers usurped his board's authority and appointed an outfit entitled Global Rock Star Media Marketing Production as the "quasi-president" of the organization. Talk about running rough shod over the groups By-Laws?  COP 24/7 has determined that both Rogers and GRS Media are based in Dallas, Texas. Speaking of Dallas. It seems that Rogers was being pursued by the Dallas Pride folks but declined when he couldn't see his way to the top job of President. Notice to Dallas: "you'd better ask somebody before you involve youself with this joker." So what does all this mean? In my opinion, its unsettling to know that LRBP has made a mockery of HIV/AIDS testing events with all its "three card Monte" backroom deals, side shows and all manner of shenanigans. It appears that being a "testing event" has been the hook and crook of obtaining funding for the group since its apparent that it had no source of self generating revenues. Even though members of its "board" paid dues at one time, there were again accountability issues resulting in funds being depleted without explanation. Therefore, since ADH has cashed out LRBP, one would hope that they would wash their hands of this tainted entity that seems to operate in less than best business practices. Furthermore, can the HIV-Hep C Section actually point to any "measurable outcomes" for co-signing to this wreckage for the past few years. In closing let's use one of those favorite adages often heard around ADH, "when we know better, we do better." Well, I think that day has come as far as LRBP or has it.   

Arkansas' Paige Wins National Title

Local entertainer extrodinare, Whitney Paige is the new All-American Goddness At-Large 2012. She captured the title last week in Dayton, Ohio among a field of seven contestants with Mercedes taking the 1st alternate position. Paige also won both talent and evening gown competition before being crowned. The pageant begun in 2007 under the leadership of Scott Gonyaw and has grown incrementally since then. According to Paiges Facebook posting she is excited to be apart of All-American family and looks forward to traveling as its ambassdor of "beauty immortalized." COP 24/7 sends congrats to Paige on the win as well as her future contributions to the All-American system. You can see Paige in all her glory, Saturday nights at the Discovery Complex. Check their website for show times and schedules. Tell em COP 24/7 told ya!

Correction Please!

In yesterday's post, COP 24/7 had a "oops" moment. The correct e-mail addy for The Living Affected Corporation is actually:   Thank you intreped readers who want to make sure that we get it right or make it right. If you see info that warrants a corrective notice, then hit us up in our comment section. If you got breaking news, updates, observatoins, opinions or rants, then make sure that you share it with us first.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kicking Butt Wednesday

Wow its another Wednesday and its raining as if someone may need to check to make sure there's not another Noah's Ark being built out in the country somewhere. With all this rain, I can just see the grass and hedges growing right before my eyes. However, no matter the weather, its the daily turn of events that has COP 24/7 spinning in the "Big Chair!"  As we salute national "Kick Butt" day in reference to those individuals whom haven't kicked the nicotine monkey, this forum is going to continue kicking items around that we just can't make up nor would we want to for that matter. Ladies and Gentlemen, and all those who haven't decided, let's dive in for a kicking butt Wednesday posting...

No Justice- No Peace for Trayvorn

As the Trayvorn Martin case continues to unfold, I've become disgusted with the level of what appears to be incompetence of the Sanford Police Department and those charged with making sure the "system" works in Florida. Why George Zimmerman has not been arrested is just downright amazing and smacks of a double standard in that city. With protest, petitions, video's  and all manner of outcries from the local citizenry to the NAACCP's Ben Jealous, the slow response to apprehend and charge Zimmerman have still gone fulfilled. In solidarity of those who believe that this injustice can't be tolerated, COP 24/7 wanted to share the below video call to action for " A Million Hoodies March for Trayvorn."  I will be joining this action plus sharing my picture on their wall in commemoration the United Nations  International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Don't forget you mama told you that "you've got to stand for something or don't stand for nothing at all." Now what you gonna do?

Local Church Goes Positive

Positive Day: Second Presbyterian Church has supported people who are HIV positive for over 30 years through the work of their HIV Positive Care Team (previously known as the RAIN- Regional AIDS Interfaith Network - Care Team). The HIV Positive Care Team and the Pastoral Care Ministry is inviting the public to attend Positive Day on Sunday, March 25 at 5:30 p.m. in Second Hall. During this event attendees will learn, celebrate, appreciate, and fellowship together with our Care Partner and Care Team. As a centerpiece of the event, the authors of "Our Lives, Our Stories, The Untold Stories of Women with AIDS," will be among the featured guest. The publication produced by The Living Affected Corporation from its Plus Club program is the first such publication to tackle the subject of women and the myriad of issues surrounding the discovery and disclosure process experienced while linking to care providers. Autographed books will be available for purchase during the event and on the blogsite of the organization at  If ordered from the secured PayPal portal you can get free shipping!

Second Presbyterian Church is located on the corner of Cantrell and Pleasant Valley Drive
That is the closest intersection to I-430 and Cantrell. Take the "Cantrell Downtown" exit off I-430 and as you drive onto Cantrell you see the steeple of Second Presbyterian. Take Cantrell, then turn right onto Pleasant Valley and into the parking lot of Second Presbyterian.
From downtown, take any street over to Cantrell and drive all the way down Cantrell (past University, past Mississippi, and past Reservior Road, watch for the steeple of Second Presbyterian on the left. Turn left onto Pleasant Valley and into the parking lot of Second Presbyterian.)

Going Rouge: The Low Down on the DSRA Breakdown

Well it had to happen. Someone had to step forward and just spill the beans on exactly what the heck was going on with local community based organization Diamond State Rodeo Association and the emerging off shoot, Renegades for a Cause. And what a tale it is!!  It falls in my favorite category of "I can't make this stuff up." Actually, it's really a sad mix of mayhem, madness and messiness that not only makes one want to "grab at their pearls" but simply wonder "WTF." I'm not going to bother with the background because I'm not sure exactly where to begin. Ultimately at the center of this hot mess is dysfunction and the classic elements of a group on its way to either being a memory or overshaddowed by something more appealing without the dramatics. Nevertheless,  I told you a few post back that I would be seeking some details and now that I've read them, I've got to process just what I've read!! The emotions, lack of sensitivity, vulnerability and immaturity is just jaw dropping but oh so ripe for COP 24/7. So, as I wrap my senses around this rodeo "reality show" run amok, I'll clue you in this Friday if we have no other breaking news of more importance or lack of civility. You will not want to miss this or maybe you might. Keep it locked on COP 24/7, if you dare...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Periscope's Alive at COP 24/7: Part 2

As Spring 2012 rushes forth, it looks like this week will be jammed packed with all things hot, live and otherwise. My e-box is teeming with items from all angles and I'm going to do best to get it all in and more. Therefore just as the immortal Bette Davis quipped, " fasten you seat belts, its gonna be a bumpy night!" Now let's bring it!

No Justice, No Peace: Black youth in the Cross hairs

It hit the news cycle juxtaposed to those twisting tornadoes tearing up the country side. The Trayvorn Martin murder case has riveted the nation as again we watch, wait and wonder if justice will be done. If you haven't heard about the case, I can't imagine. It lives on every media platform and folks are talking about it with opinions galore. Currently the US. Justice Department at the behest of community outrage and vibrant calls from national organizations such as Rev. Al Sharpton's Action Network has opened an investigation. Meanwhile, I was doing some banking today when the female customer standing in line before me turned and boldly stated, "they should give him a choice to either be beat within a inch of his life or either a hanging." The "him" she was talking about was self appointed neighborhood watch person George Zimmerman who pursued Martin as a someone of interest on his so call patrol route. According to Zimmerman his "hoodie wearing suspect" seem like he was "on drugs," "up to no good or something." Even after being instructed by qualified law officials to "not follow" Martin, this joker does so anyway, ultimately resulting in a chase and subsequently a fatal murderous shot leaving 17 year old Trayvon Martin dead. Falling to his death clutching a ice tea beverage and a bag of skittles but no weapon. What a shameless lost of young life.

The circumstances surrounding this nafrious deed leaves one almost breathless. First up, improper procedures from attending officers who didn't breathalyzer nor swab this guy for gun residue. Also, it seems that the crime scene itself may have been corrupted, lackluster witness interviews, poor follow up on at least checking Martin's cell phone records while this youngster laid in the morgue for three days and the final insult of not at most detaining or directly arresting Mr. Zimmerman  for suspicion of murder. Remarkably, Zimmerman to this day still has his gun permit and is armed. If this is not a "WTF" situation I don't what could be. There are so many issues surrounding this murder that can't be overlooked including racial profiling, vigilantes huberance, gun laws and the prevalence of demonizing black males without evidence. Believe it or not, I've personally been characterize as in my "thug wear" or sporting a gangsta look while wearing my own hoodie with my favorite dark eyeglasses. Could a zealous security guard or other law person mistake me as a "Trayvon" suspect?  Also looming large in this case is Florida's "stand you ground law" which has been evoked as a probable defense that may allow Zimmerman  to walk free. Yes my readers, this guy could possibly get away with cold blooded murder due to murky legal interpretations. Even though he has stated that he was allegedly "attacked from behind by Martin," the 911 tapes reveal another scenario within the timeline and this is the reason this matter demands close scrutiny. This case is just getting started and most likely will get even more ugly.  Therefore just as the world waits and watches, so does COP 24/7. This forum supports the chorus of supporters and allies calling forth: "No Justice, NO Peace!"  There will be petitions and all manner of outcry as this case develops, stay locked and loaded to COP 24/7.

BGM Employment Opportunity: What's Up With That?

While we keep hearing about the lack of employment opportunities and or access to jobs for those seeking them, I've been amazed at the response to last weeks employment listing  by The Living Affected Corporation. The blurb sought Black Gay Males (18-34) for part- time outreach workers positions in reference to a HIV/AIDS prevention program being produced by the organization. Although their were a few responses, it appears that none of those applicants have followed through with further inquiry to the positions. What's more striking is the fact that there was such enthusiasm and promise shown to the project and the possibility of making a buck. However, it appears that these candidates have gone "MIA!." Consequently, the group has extended its search for more interested individuals who actually want to be responsible and make a comittment to the project. I know that its not as glam as being "Lil Whatever" or those other highly paid desirable positions such as Mc Donald's, but it could be a nice stash if you've got nothing else truly going on. And from what I can tell, many folks are idle and not stepping to plate of personal responsibility. If you are interested, hit the digits to 877.902.7HIV or you can click it to:    

LGBTQ Domicile Updates

Earlier this week COP 24/7 posted concerning the impending Lucies Place facility designed to house youth in need of assistance. This forum loves engaging our readership or those whom we spotlight on this platform concerning their current or upcoming projects. We got a response from Board President, P. Poppers who pointed out that the group actually had some other documents citing their current status and future fund raising strategy. COP 24/7 had not adequately searched the website to discover a drop down box which led to these documents. We were informed that the site is slated for some "re-do" for those surfing for more info. Otherwise, what we uncoverd was a nicely tailored excel spreadsheet and companion word document detailing the groups financials and ambitious projections thru 2014. It was also noted that the group was still persuing its official "501c3" designation as it has high hopes of acquiring those important foundation or corporate funding streams to support the effort. This forum mused on about the workings and operations of such a facility and the "known and unknown" elements that come out of nowhere while trying to get up and running. However it appears that there's much optismism about the road ahead including finding an Executive Director ready to implement programming and grappling with maintaining a 7/24 facility at the price point of about $28,000. It all sounds good and looks good on paper, but I've learned that all that glitters is simply not gold. Thusly I'm hopeful for the best, however, I've seen so much wreckage, dysfunction and wonderful concepts gone belly up from what they thought was a ground swell of support whether it was LGBTQ or allies with good intentions. I say "go for it!" Give it your all, but don't forget you've been warned!! Good Luck.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Periscope's Alive at COP 24/7

Last week was one of those "weeks" where the schedule was in overdrive and then some. I've been really trying to assess all things "COP 24/7," and the myriad of connections that intersect my online life and my Terra firma reality. When I'm in motion, while attempting to check off "did I do this ?," or "can I make event A or B ?," often I fine myself experiencing a "whirling Dervish" feeling trying to make it all happen. So why do Ido it or give a damn about keeping up the pace seems to based in passion with a dash of destiny. I've decided that I can't ask others to be apart of the change they seek, if I'm putting my shoulder to the wheel and bringing it with all that I can muster. Through all of this, its the fuel of your recognition of what I've tried to do with this forum, local community involvement and ultimately speaking for those who may believe that they don't have a voice that makes all the difference. I appreciate every acknowledgement, e-mail, phone call or shout out letting me know that you, you, and yes you too are checking in with this forum and often times sharing it with others.  Its been a tremendous experience thus far and who knows where we go from here. Stay with us and always know that COP 24/7 will keep bringing you our special brand of "what's really going on!!" Now let's get this thing started...

LGBTQ Shelter Fund Raises

According to a e-blast from Lucie's Place board President, Penelope Poppers, the organization had a great event Friday night at Up On Broadway! After expenses, Lucie's Place raised $5,500, more than the estimated $3,500! Poppers stated that around 90 people attended resulting in netting $9,000. I 'm sure this and more will be discussed at the their March 21 board meeting which is open to the public. Certainly this should be saluted and commended, however such facilities don't emerge or survive without severe funding streams that run deep. And when I mean deep, I'm talking about "six figures" deep when you consider all the expenses involved with such a project. After the expenditure to secure a substantial property there's out fitting the place with insurance and more insurance such as worker's compensation, liability and perhaps bonding. Bring on the deposits and utilities, salaries, supplies, security and stuff that you didn't know you needed or didn't plan for. I hope that those involved with this venture will be in a virtual "reality check" as they move forward on this project. I attended one of the early announced planning meetings where there was much enthusiasm along with numerous questions. I have received e-mail updates and other assorted material, but what really caught my attention was the October 2013 date that has been somewhat set as a target date to be up and running. Really? On their sub domain website,( I didn't see any financial reports, corporate sponsors or any foundation support, no underwriters or actual strategic plans revealing the way forward on this ambitious endeavor. There was notice of the media minutes the group garnered and little else that would have captured my attention if I were a potential donor. Let me be clear there's no "hate" from this platform but I've seen facilities such as this and keeping the doors open is no joke. Attempting to fund this worthwhile venture is going to take more than an occasional fundraiser, an individual donor threshold of $4,000 for 2012 and T-Shirt sales. I wish them well but in the meantime I'll take a wait and see position.

Secretary Sebelius unveils “MyCare” stories

Personal stories across the country show how the health care law is working for Americans
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today unveiled “MyCare,” a collection of online personal video and blog stories of Americans helped by the Affordable Care Act. MyCare is a new educational initiative to help inform Americans about new programs, benefits and rights under the health care law. Americans are encouraged to share their own stories by using the Twitter hashtag #MyCare or visiting .
“When I travel across the country, I hear stories of hard-working people struggling with the health care system, being denied care when they need it most, making choices between paying the mortgage or filling their prescription drugs, and dealing with the anxiety of problems that no family should have to face,” said Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The law eases this stress and helps put the power back into the hands of consumers instead of insurance companies.”

The health care law, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law two years ago on March 23, 2010. The law prohibits insurance companies from dropping coverage when people get sick through a practice called “rescission”, annual or lifetime limits, and, in 2014, will guarantee health insurance for all Americans including anyone with a pre-existing condition. Insurance companies are also required to cover preventive care like mammograms and other cancer screenings.
Watch the promotional video here: .
For more information, visit:

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Trending and Talk, Talk

No Pariah in the Rock...Yet

At this posting, the movie "Pariah" is still not scheduled in any local movie venue, but you can catch it in Memphis at the Malco Wolfchase 8 Theatre. It's anyone's guess as to why or why not, it's "just bizness" as we've come to learn about everything. Especially the movie business which is a strange mix of fickle, luck and strategic marketing that often doesn't have anything to do with what a community might want to view. Obviously this Sundance Film Festival favorite doesn't quite have the deep pockets of a Tyler "Madea"Perry film which gets wide distribution and lots of attention. I have seen more of "Madea" than I care to admit, but give Perry the credit he's do as a media power player who has employed many in the entertainment industry. However, Pariah still continues to get good reviews even though the Internet buzz is not off the chain, folks are still talking about it. Unfortunately, there's been minor talk about it in these parts but COP 24/7 will keep our ears and eyes open for any updates. In the meantime, check out the trailer embed and for more info hit up the webpage at 

Here's a snapshot of what we are missing. A world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, the contemporary drama Pariah is the feature-length expansion of writer/director Dee Rees’ award-winning 2007 short film Pariah. Spike Lee is among the feature’s executive producers. At Sundance, cinematographer Bradford Young was honored with the [U.S. Dramatic Competition] Excellence in Cinematography Award.

Adepero Oduye, who had earlier starred in the short film, portrays Alike (pronounced ah-lee-kay), a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents Audrey and Arthur (Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell) and younger sister Sharonda (Sahra Mellesse) in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood. She has a flair for poetry, and is a good student at her local high school.

Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. With the sometimes boisterous support of her best friend, out lesbian Laura (Pernell Walker), Alike is especially eager to find a girlfriend. At home, her parents’ marriage is strained and there is further tension in the household whenever Alike’s development becomes a topic of discussion. Pressed by her mother into making the acquaintance of a colleague’s daughter, Bina (Aasha Davis), Alike finds Bina to be unexpectedly refreshing to socialize with.

Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity – sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward.

Diversity Conferences and Conventions in the Natural State??

COP 24/7 has posted notices concerning Little Rock as the chose site for The National Association of Black and White Men Together's 2013 convention. Currently the city is the front runner for the organization but this forum has been forthright about what it takes to produce events and activities of this nature. Even though Little Rock is not seen as a "mecca" city such as the coast cities or perhaps the ATL, this city should not short change itself on its ammenities and hospitality. There's much value and resources available to any type of group seeking to have their conference or seminar. However, with all this it still takes local people power to also push such an event forward. Case in point is Equality Forum which attracts a large following but commands top notch individuals involved with its programming. Its conference's such as this and others like Creating Change that our local convention folks need to at least consider bidding or sharing our local flavor with those planning committees. Little Rock need not be passed over and seen as a destination undesirable when there are venues and outlets that could use the business or exposure. With that said, as it looks like that this city will be the choice for NABWMT in 2013, if you are interested in being apart of a community collaboration in making it a successful event. Then let's start hearing from you at  I'm big on Little Rock and can I suggest that you can too!

Equality Forum is a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum presents annually the largest and premier national and international LGBT civil rights summit. Equality Forum 2012 has over 30 programs, parties and special events. There is no registration fee and all panels are free. More

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Uptick Thursday Edition

SiriusXM OutQ and Greater Than AIDS Empower Gay Community to "SpeakOUT"

Limited-run series of live, call-in shows takes in-depth look at AIDS in Gay America—from the bedroom to the doctor’s office to the community to Capitol Hill

Rakesh Singh
Kaiser Family Foundation
SiriusXM OutQ, the nation's first and only 24/7 LGBT radio channel, and Greater Than AIDS, a national movement to respond to AIDS in America, announced today the launch of SpeakOUT: Real Talk about AIDS in Gay America, a limited-run series of live, call-in shows that will connect listeners across the country with medical experts, people living with HIV and notable members of the LGBT community to have an honest and challenging dialogue about the current state of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the gay community as well as the country at large.

The first installment of the series will be co-hosted by SiriusXM OutQ's Larry Flick and Frank Spinelli, MD, Clinical Director of HIV Services at New York City’s Cabrini Medical Center and author of The Advocate Guide to Gay Men's Health and Wellness and air live on Saturday, March 17 from 9:00 – 11:00 am ET on SiriusXM OutQ channel 108. The live, call-in show will focus on "The Politics of Mating," tackling such issues as how to ask a partner to be tested, when your partner will not use condoms and how to disclose your status to a new partner. It will also explore the effects GrindR and other popular social networking sites have on HIV/AIDS among gay men. The panel of guests includes Greater Than AIDS representatives Marteniz Brown and Larry Hammack—gay men who will share their personal experience with HIV/AIDS—and Dr. Mary Ann Chiasson, a professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, who is researching the relationship between the Internet and high-risk sexual behavior among gay and bisexual men.

Future SpeakOUT: Real Talk about AIDS in Gay America shows will explore the medical aspects of HIV/AIDS, from the latest advances in research to guidance on how to communicate with doctors and health care providers, as well as the status of various initiatives related to the condition on Capitol Hill.

"Although gay men have been at the center of the epidemic since its beginning—and today are the only risk group for which rates are on the rise—the issue has moved off the radar for many men," said Tina Hoff, Senior Vice President and Director, Health Communication & Media Partnerships, Kaiser Family Foundation, a founding partner of Greater Than AIDS. "We are thrilled to be working with SiriusXM OutQ to leverage the power of voice in opening up the conversation about AIDS in America, and encouraging more men to 'SpeakOUT' about this important issue."

According to a 2011 national public opinion survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 8 in 10 Americans say they heard little or nothing about HIV/AIDS in the last year and public concern about HIV/AIDS has fallen steadily over the years, including among those most heavily affected. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five (19%) gay and bisexual men in 21 major U.S. cities today are HIV-positive -- and nearly half (44%) of those who are infected don't know it.

For more information, visit

People of Unity Donates
Congrats to local upstart People of Unity on its micro-clothes drive benefiting Big Brothers & Sisters of Arkansas. The group collected slightly worn clothes from participants who wanted to shed items in an effort to downsize their collections.  Big Brothers & Sisters sorts and forwards the clothes to their re-sell store as means of funding their various projects and programs. POU has decided that being of service in the community will be a vital tenant of its structure and vision. Currently the group is still seeking members and allies as it prepares for other community service projects throughout the state. For more information check out the groups Facebook page and this forum for updates.

Celebrating International Women’s Day by Investing in Women and Girls

hands holding red ribbonsCo-authored by Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.
As we observe Women’s History Month throughout March, we celebrate the work pioneered by advocates, policymakers, and practitioners around the world to advance women’s rights. Promoting the rights of women and addressing gender inequities and gender norms are essential steps to reducing HIV risk and increasing access to HIV prevention, care and treatment services — for both women and men.
The Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) are committed to advancing the rights and health of women and girls around the world. Under the leadership of President Obama and Secretary Clinton, the United States has put women and girls front and center in the three pillars of our foreign policy — diplomacy, development, and defense. This is embodied in a number of Presidential and policy directives, such as the interagency Global Health Initiative, which includes a central focus on women, girls and gender equality.

Today, at the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event at the White House, we announced a joint S/GWI and PEPFAR initiative. We will support civil society organizations with small grants to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV), with a link to HIV prevention, treatment or care. Through this partnership, we will provide over $4.6 million in small grants to grassroots organizations in countries with a PEPFAR presence, leveraging our respective platforms in the field and creating links to address the drivers of both violence and HIV.
The White House also released a Presidential Memorandum establishing a working group to explore the intersection of HIV/AIDS, violence against women and girls, and gender-related health disparities in the United States — and will include lessons learned from our international work in this area. This is a prime example of our Administration’s commitment to advancing the agenda for women and girls, and to addressing the link between violence and health disparities, here at home.

As we move forward globally, we will continue to focus on several key objectives — including reducing GBV and coercion; engaging men and boys to address norms and behavior; increasing women and girls’ legal protection; increasing women and girls’ access to income and productive resources, including education; and ensuring gender equity in HIV/AIDS programs and services, including access to reproductive health services.
We have made significant investments to address gender as a central focus of our foreign policy and development goals, in close partnership with other U.S. agencies, partner governments, civil society, and the private sector. For example, over the last two years, PEPFAR has invested close to $155 million in responding to GBV. We have also been a big supporter of working to help identify female-controlled prevention methods, investing more than $90 million dollars over the last two years in microbicide research. And, since 2004, we have supplied over 55 million female condoms — making PEPFAR one of the largest procurers of female condoms worldwide. S/GWI has made over $5.5 million in small grants to organizations around the world working on issues from economic empowerment to GBV to political participation and leadership. From mainstreaming gender throughout all programs, to special gender initiatives at the country level, the United States is making a difference in the lives of women and girls.

We are also partners in the Together for Girls initiative — a unique partnership that brings together public, private, United Nations and U.S. agencies to address sexual violence against children, particularly girls. In Tanzania, for example, the first nationally representative survey of violence against children in 2010 found that nearly three in ten females and one in seven males experienced sexual violence prior to the age of 18. Such evidence will be used to inform future programming and guide policy priorities — including in Kenya, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Haiti, with future work planned in additional countries.

We are starting to see results on the ground. In 2011, PEPFAR supported post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection for survivors of sexual violence to over 47,000 people, nearly 34 percent more than the year before.
There is still much work ahead. But the remarkable achievements to date give us hope for the future.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Midweek Shuffle

70K Job opening Amidst ATL "Hot Mess"

At one point COP 24/7 thought that the long and winding road of office politics was truly a long and winding road in The Natural State's Arkansas Department of Health. But it seems that we are not alone in dealing with a system that often ebbs and flows without rhyme or reason. Such is the case it seems in the ATL. I received a link fron one of my favorite stringers, who alerted me to several articles about Georgia's public health madness and then some. Ironically as our local joint awaits it's own new epidemiologist to pass muster, it appears that the Georgia Department of Health is on the hunt for their own candidate. Of course at 70k surely they will find someone if Arkansas could find the same within a nifty price range from $48,000 to the top dog Chief Epidemiologist at $88,346.00. All this salary data is apart of the "Right 2 Know" database on (  Furthermore I found it amazing that ADH has 21 epidemiologist folks within its ranks and plus a bevy of other pros's such as a "Tuberculosis Control Officer" flanked at $138,000 while on the flip side a "PH Administrator," earning around $52,000. There's some large Benjamin's being dolled out twice monthly and I can't imagine the big dollars being put out by the GDH. Even as they search for personnel, there have been several stories citing their HIV/AIDS fight as a underfunded "mess." However, even more interesting was my discovery of the "Phat" funding pipeline that Georgia has received and will be receiving. It's eyebrow raising to say the least and deserves a "you go Girl's," salute.  Project Q Atlanta, the local tabloid has reported that nearly $70.29 million heading to Georgia is from the federal Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and includes $3 million in emergency funds for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and $21.58 million for metro Atlanta’s HIV efforts.

ADAP supplies AIDS drugs to low-income people. It receives a mix of state and federal funding, though in Georgia the program took a $100,000 cut last year in the nearly $12.5 million appropriation for ADAP. Activists wanted a $5 million boost.
It’s little wonder then that the state’s ADAP waiting list has more than doubled in less than a year, from about 800 people in December to 1,778 in September. (2011)

Plus the 12 Cities Project from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is delivering $1.33 million to the Georgia Department of Public Health, part of a larger $43 million handout across 11 cities and states. That cash is earmarked for developing and expanding primary care networks for programs serving racial and ethnic minorities at risk for HIV.

Then there’s AID Atlanta and Positive Impact. The two groups are among 34 community-based organizations that will split $55 million over five years from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to expand HIV services for gay and bisexual men of color. Both groups were among those included in the funds when the grants were first announced last year; last week, the CDC added $10 million to the program.

AID Atlanta will receive $381,888 per year; some $250,000 per year is earmarked for Positive Impact, which recently relocated its offices to Midtown. According to the stats, Georgia is experiencing a jaw dropping incidence increases among men having sex with men in the people of color communities. Check out this story and the links to get the skinny on how other Southern states are faring within the AIDS Industrial Complex. From these numbers Arkansas looks like a "red headed step sister," waiting for a slow bus since it takes leadership and aggressive grantsmanship to bring home the real bacon.

For the rest of the story, read below...

It’s no secret that Georgia’s fight against HIV is just a mess of underfunded messiness. And your unemployed ass needs a job. Why not pair the two together and pick up a cool $70K a year?
Here’s your chance. The Georgia Department of Public Health is hiring an epidemiologist in its HIV unit. You need a Masters degree in public health or a “closely related field.” No word on whether being a gay slut counts as related. But before you dust off your cover email and hit send, we give our tips on how to address their preferred qualifications.
Experience in evaluating HIV/AIDS programs at state and local levels. Reviewed the process of getting an HIV test at Positive Impact or AID Atlanta on Yelp? You’re in.
Experience in implementing strategies and innovative programs. Opened, unwrapped and rolled a condom on with lube on your hands? In the dark? Points for you.
Experience developing and implementing a quality assurance system(s). What’s your secret for overcoming beer goggles at last call? A better system than slamming the door when a trick arrives who looks nothing like his profile pic? Extra credit.
Experience with building and monitoring database systems. Can you simultaneously cruise Grindr, Scruff and Jack’d while also checking Manhunt? You get an interview.
Hurry. You’ve got until Thursday to apply.

Diversity Convention Decision Pending

From all indications, it seems that Little Rock is being affirmed as the front runner for The National Association of Black and White Men Together's 33rd national convention. If the city is finally approved, the final July dates will be announced. Locally, NABWMT board member, C. Mabin will serve as Event Producer and will work to assemble a team of both individuals and community based organizations to bring the event to fruition. The tentative theme is " Uniting Bridges of Diversity." The week long event will feature empowerment sessions, demonstrations, keynote speakers, awards and receptions while showcasing the city. Currently volunteers, sponsors, and committed team members are now being recruited. If you are interested contact: nealix101@comcast,.net  For more information on NABWMT check out: for this year's convention in San Diego, California, July 16-21, 2012.