Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Wednesday Drive By

Its the day after Super Tuesday and COP 24/7 is locked and loaded to bring our global village of readers the latest updates, links, out takes, and mash ups that has come our way. It seems that this forum has plenty of fresh content to share with each posting. When I started this venture several years ago, I thought it would be fun to try out this new medium, while sharing my random thoughts and opinions without any specific direction. Before morphing into COP 24/7, this platform was entitled, "Talking Out Loud," and then, "The Body Politic" and now barn storming the landscape in our current guise. Who knew that those few blessed post would turn into over, are you reaching 900 post resulting in over 100,000 words and counting. Wow!!  I would have never thought that I would reach that kind of milestone and certainly not reaching folks from Cabot, Arkansas all the way to the Ukraine. Just recently I got an e-mail comment from a frequent reader in none other than Ireland who shared with me that she liked my wit and wisdom as well as when I make things seem funny. Also, I was notified by Facebook that some one in mother Russia was attempting to access my FB page after reading some entries on this forum. WTF, I thought and this digital stuff can get a bit out of bounds. Talk about reach! Yes my readers, COP 24/7 is truly being read around the world and then some. Who knew that COP 24/7 would be still bringing each of you "what's really going on." If you are not following us, subscribing or e-mail opt-in, or accessing an RSS feed, then come join us, we love to have ya!!!

Little Rock Bids for National Diversity Convention

After a call for bids for a host committee and city for The National Association of Black and White Men Together's 33rd convention was circulated last month, Little Rock was among the cities being considered. In a teleconference last weekend, the board of directors of the organization listened to a "bullet point" presentation as to what local organizers could do to meet expectations and amenities that the city could offer. During the session, directors shared their observations and concerns about each proposed city which included Austin, Texas and Orlando, FL. At the close of the discussion, Little Rock received a unanimous positive consideration among the three cities. The bid period will close March 31 with a subsequent announcement to be forwarded to the selected host city. NABWMT's 32nd Convention will be held in San Diego, California, July 16-21, 2012. Former U.S. Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders will be the Saturday night banquet key note speaker. Currently registrations and additional information can be acquired at  The local effort is to be led by the emerging NABWMT affiliate, People of Unity through a collaboration with other community based organizations. Additional host committee members are now being recruited and if you are interested in being apart of this venture, please contact or contact 501.517.3565. Is Little Rock up to the challenge of hosting a national convention? Of course we can, it just takes a cadre of determined individuals to do big things! Let's prove to the rest of the nation that this city is just as good as any other when it comes to showcasing our unique brand of Southern Hospitality and organizing abilities.

Pride in the City: What's the 411?

A few post back I mentioned that there was some minor talk and low circuit buzz about this year's Pride activities from both the mainstream to the niche offering of Black Pride. First up, the "mainstream" pride was being envisioned as capped by a weekend festival slash "block party" concept that would include the 7th Street Corridor venues of SixTen Center and MK's respectively. However, at this posting there are no firm plans and as far as COP 24/7 can tell there's been little groundswell of interest or support. As I've stated previously, any and all events to which I truly trust by require the "Five P's." They are "Prior, Proper, Preparation, Prevents, Piss Poor, Performances." Got that?  Nothing comes together without following this simple formula and those involved must adhere to the principle that if you not going to be committed and diligent in your choice to be apart of making it happen, then nothing will. Point blank. With that said, not only should their be a core group assembled but only folks who are willing to put aside personal differences and only work toward the mission of pulling together a significant event. In the past, there have been committee's and figure heads who have promised the moon but often fell short, then others who have delivered but reached a burn out level. Let's learn from the past as we consider moving forward. Ultimately its a put up or shut up to bring this possible into fruition.

On the flip side, there's the interesting mystery of  Black Pride that has set the mindset wheels of COP 24/7 slowly turning and churning.  For the record, I attended several events produced by what was then known as "Little Rock Black Pride," and I wasn't totally impressed at the planning nor execution. Not to mention that as the weekend proceeded, I later learned of numerous questionable occurrences ranging from Metroplex security guards "recharging" folks to re-enter an event then pocketing the proceeds, scheduled events that were to be apart of the weekend not taking place, missing incentives, and undelivered food and beverages. Then there's that $4000 quasi-loan slash "mini-grant" mash up that blew up into a "he said- she said" that despite attempts doesn't appear to have been fixed nor appears to be on track to be resolved. There are many players in this mix but at the center of this "hot mess" is organizer Stanley R. who has re-located to Dallas, Texas. In his departure he left a trail of unexplained circumstances, poor documentation and business practices in regards the funding the group was to be reimbursed from the Arkansas Department of Health. Even more eye opening is another suspicious entity allegedly created by Rogers entitled the,"Arkansas Black AIDS Foundation" which has origins unknown but somehow is suppose to be connected to this whole affair. Meanwhile, Mr. Earl Fowlkes, founder of International Federation of Black Prides entered the fray citing his discontent for the goings on in which he decided to elevate K. Holmes to Program Manager of a new entity entitled, "Arkansas Black Pride," which is to replace the aforementioned organization. The new group has had at least one meeting but so far this forum has been unable to determine to scope, course to which they will take or if this group will be funded for their as yet un-named mission. If there's any activity or updates we'll be the first to post about it. So where are we in this quagmire, well as usual COP 24/7 has the following questions:

1. Who is suppose to account for the improprieties and poor performance of last years Black Pride, plus if this entity was a sanctioned ADH proposal grantee why wasn't better oversight of the project done?

2. Since there's been such a marginal track record of such an entity, what measures are being developed to capacity build if the group is to be re-funded and who is responsible for action?

3. Why have groups or individuals been allowed to be funded or re-funded through proposals if there ability to produce measurable positive outcomes are unacceptable or poorly achieved? 

4. If there are event evaluations completed, how are the scored? And if they "score" poorly what guidelines or technical assistance is in place or offered to improve them?

5. Since many of these events are STI-HIV/AIDS centric with testing, how effective have they been and where are results posted? (i.e. how many tested? follow-ups, event details, evaluations)

Again COP 24/7 has so many questions that most likely you've never thought to ask but really need too. Ladies and Gents as resources continue to be tighten, it behooves all of you whether you are in the HIV./AIDS community or not, to begin understanding how these dollars are being disbursed and utilized. Especially since its a fact that over 4,000 people in Arkansas are not in care and one of them might or could be your next sex partner or someone that you know.

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