Monday, April 30, 2012

The April Slip Away

The Gay Power List Unveils Movers and Shakers

The folks at done done it again. They've looked high and low for the "most powerful" gays in the land. They don't actually tell you how they arrived at the list but there's a interesting mix of entertainment types, personalities, tech gurus, journalist, and politicos. Many you  may know and most likely many you don't know or why they made the list. Does any of this really matter, well it depend on who you ask or why you are asking. On the list are individuals who have come out and a few who are sort of known as "gay" or gay leaning, whatever that means. Just to get things moving I'm going to list the "top 10," and we will offer a prize to the first person who can name all the folks in the accompanying picture which are of some of the folks on the list. Of course, I didn't make the cut and shame on them. It appears that its all about how much cash or your "Q" quotient and that's not for "queer" which makes you more significant among the public. I'm often surprised at how many people proclaim to "know me" or at some point feel it important to pretend to be in my orbit for one reason or another. I take it all in stride and usually do what I can to be as accessible and open to my fellowman. Am I a power broker, well of course I am even in my own mind. But so are you too, since we all must be the master of our destiny and forge a life course that will be gratifying to ourselves as well as gratifying to others. Feel you own power...see it...own it and make it so!  Here's's Top Ten:

1. Tim Cook
CEO, Apple, 51
2. Ellen Degeneres
Spokesperson/Talk-Show Host/Producer, 54
3. Peter Thiel
Venture Capitalist/Hedge Fund Manager, 44
4. Ryan Murphy
Writer/Director/Producer, 46
5. Rachel Maddow
TV Host/Political Commentator, 39
6. Anderson Cooper
Journalist/News Anchor/Talk-Show Host, 44
7. Rich Ross
Former Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, 49
8. Barry Diller
Chairman, IAC, 70
9. Shepard Smith
News Anchor, 48
10. Andy Cohen
TV Personality/Impresario, 44

The name that Gay Power person in the picture above will run through this Friday, May 4, 2012. The first set of correct answers will get some loot from our prize closet! Get busy and find out who's who and let us know here at COP 24/7!

Gay Youth Institute Explores Issues and Dilemmas

Over the weekend I was proud to participate in the Center for Artistic Revolutions first Youth Leadership Institute which comprised of games, workshops and expressions on many levels. Every time I attend or participate in programming of this nature, I never know what my take away will be. Usually I'm promoting my work with the Living and Affected Corporation and the mission of educating the public and marginalized communities on keeping their sexual lives healthy. Even though I did support that effort, but I also got a chance to sit in on a panel discussion entitled, "What's Race Got to Do with It."  The premise of the exercise was to speak to issues of identity and the various labels or makers that we often internalize. Not to mention the external forces which impact our lives and evolution. During the course of the workshop we were partnered with another participant who was to interview each other as a means of getting to know that person and embrace their identity. My partner, a beautiful young lady named "Bianca" allowed me to share some of my life experiences and adequately detailed our brief meeting as we shared a kindred spirit moment. During my interview session, I was totally surprised that at 19 she was experiencing racial rebuff and barriers due to her multi-cultural status. Her mother is of Asian descent and her African/ Native American father have been a source in which she could confide, but I felt that as a teenager as it is with most young folk, talking about it was probably a bit awkward.  In our conversation I discovered that "racism" is still a thorn that continues to prick our senses. Even more so, that despite the many challenges and issues championed by the LGBTQ community, racism among gay and lesbian people is prevalent. In our conversation, she mentioned that as a lesbian, she's experienced remarks such as "not interested in a dark skin women," or her "exotic" appearance was always being analyzed or commented upon. I asked her how she was dealing with this, and she stated that she speaks with siblings and does what she can to share it among friends. However, the issue of race seems to always come back around no matter what. Also during the workshop, I was invited to share more personally during the panel discussion as the moderator asked the question: "When has race and your sexuality intersected?" As I pondered the question, I realized that for myself my race and sexuality have intersected throughout my life. Whether it was my choice of partner or the activities that I may have pursued. In my comments I told the audience that although I had some struggles, I've always moved toward "living my life out loud," and encouraged them to unearth what's important to themselves individually and understand that being as authentic as possible to their vision will always best serve them. I closed by saying that I have so much hope and I'm counting on them to help change the future.  The day long event featured other games and empowerment sessions including a reception at the Central High Museum complex that were destined to uplift and teach the attendees on leadership skills and personal enrichment. Big props to CAR, its hard working ED, Randi R. and all the people behind the scenes who made it happen. I enjoyed myself and hope to come back as a future guest on your next activity. Its vitally important that more opportunities such as this be developed and included in other programming. I plan on seeking  how I can incorporate these young people during next July's national convention of The National Association of Black and White Men Together. If you've got ideas or suggestions don't hesitate to leave them in the comment section. Let me hear from you!

COP 24/7 Special
Upcoming Activist Seeks Support and Assistance
Greetings to all,

I wanted to take the time to let you all know how honored I am to announce that I have been accepted to be a volunteer at the 2012 International AIDS Conference. I will be attending 2 or 3 marches, visiting the Global Village, speaking with and listening to leaders from around the world, but I am most excited about meeting all the youth that are living with HIV/AIDS. This year they are focusing on the youth and what their dreams are and where they see themselves in the future. I want to be a part of their future and that is why I am excited to be working with them.

 Thanks to someone very special, my airplane ticket has been purchased. I will be staying with my cousin Kayla Sanders the entire week. That will save me on lodging expenses. She has agreed to be my taxi driver for the week. So, I think that it is only right that I give her gas money. She will be taking me to and from the conference everyday and to and from the airport. For one week, I am not sure how much gas is in Washington,DC, I was thinking of giving her at least $100 for gas (not to mention she is letting me stay at her house rent free, with shower and laundry access). I know that I will need $50 for my luggage, that is both ways. Then there is money for food. I am waiting to here back about some possible food vouchers. I am not sure how many or how much they are. I am thinking at least $10 a meal for ten days and 3 meals a day, that equals about $300.00. That is all the expenses that I can think of.

The total amount that I need to raise is = $450.00

If you would like to donate to my journey you can go to and donate on line. All those donations are tax deductible.

You may also send the donation directly to me at Kari Coffman

607 K Street

Barling, AR 72923

I will be opening a savings account just for this trip very shortly. I will let you all know about the food vouchers as well as the information on my savings account if you would rather put the money into that account.  
Thank you all for your support!!!

Kari Coffman
HIV/AIDS Advocate
Fort Smith, AR Chapter Representative for HIV Arkansas

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Step Up

TGIF and hopefully I'm ready for a great weekend that will allow me to enjoy some time off but always not to far away from my tech gadgets. Who knew that I would be apart of the "connected people" phenom which would allow me to do stuff while mobile or in living color. Since launching this forum years ago, I've always been in search of merging the latest tech platforms and integrating them into this medium. Therefore, COP 24/7 will pivot to going more live and interactive using numerous improved web gadgets that will allow us to refresh this blog with sights and sounds as I continue to deliver our unique brand of news, updates, links, podcast and visuals. As a primary source of online info for the Arkansas LGBTQ community, this forum has been on the cutting edge of being among the first to offer original"podcasting" content that covered issues and items from a statewide perspective. We've grown from being a "some timey" outfit to a force that produces daily content while reaching out into the community as a leader and benefactor to community based organizations. And now COP 24/7 is on the move to further our vision to empower, enlighten and enrich the lives of our readers, allies, supporters and visitors. If you are not following us, opt-in e-mail. subscribing or bookmarking this blog, then we encourage you to do so. I know that there are many of you out their in cyberspace checking in and we certainly appreciate that you do. Plus we are hopeful to increase our "eyeballs" in 2012 and begin to re-market this forum as viable revenue generator. Its upward and onward and we're glad you are here to share all our new and exciting upcoming features. Keep it locked and loaded to COP 24/7!

Building Bridges to Diversity: NABWMT Convention set for Little Rock 2013

Clinton School of Public Service
A documentary premiere
The Weight of the Nation

The Clinton School, Clinton Foundation and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation invite you to the debut screening of the new HBO series, "The Weight of the Nation," a multi-part documentary series on the obesity epidemic in America. The film, which will air nationally for the first time on HBO on May 14, examines the severity of one of the most pressing health issues and its effects on the health care system.

The screening will be immediately followed by a panel discussion about national, state and local efforts to curb the obesity epidemic. Panelists include: Al Bavon, professor of public administration at the Clinton School; Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation; Dr. Joe Thompson, Arkansas Surgeon General; a student representative from the Little Rock Mayor’s Youth Council; and moderated by Matt DeCample.

When: Wednesday, May 2, 2012
5:30 p.m. - Film screening
*Panel discussion to follow

Where: Clinton Presidential Center
Great Hall

*Reserve your seats by emailing, or calling 501-683-5239.

Other Clinton School News
Click here for more information.

Students tackle challenges facing aging foster youth in AR
- Three Clinton School students partnered with a local non-profit organization, Immerse Arkansas, to help raise awareness for youth aging out of the state’s foster care system. Read more…

Students capture impact of state-funded programs for children and families
- A team of Clinton School students recently presented Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) with a library of resources to increase public support and awareness of state-funded programs. Read more…

Other Upcoming Speakers
Click here for more information.

"Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion," author Stephen Wermiel
Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow

"Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency," author Mark Updegrove
Monday, April 30, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
- Join us on Twitter and Facebook

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Periscope Ahoy and More!

Evey now and then COP 24/7 discovers items that just scream that it must make the cut and get a prominent position on this platform. As I've said previously, I don't have an actual rhyme or reason to my madness but somehow it all works out and this outlet seems to keep on keeping on. With all that said, let's roll with it...

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is a writer, editor, activist, artist, filmmaker, critic and troublemaker. Most recently, she is the editor of Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform, released on Valentine's Day 2012 from AK Press. I found this item to wildly engaging and thought provoking enough that I wanted to share it with readers. The subject of masculinity and the ongoing movement for gays to become "mainstream" is becoming a topic of discussion on many levels. COP 24/7 will be exploring more of this subject and what impact it is having on the LGBTQ construct.

Mattilda is the author of two novels, So Many Ways to Sleep Badly (City Lights 2008) and Pulling Taffy (Suspect Thoughts 2003). She is the editor of four additional nonfiction anthologies, Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity (Seal 2007), That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation (Soft Skull 2004; 2008), Dangerous Families: Queer Writing on Surviving (Haworth 2004), and Tricks and Treats: Sex Workers Write about Their Clients (Haworth 2000), which now also appears in Italian (Effepi Libri 2007).

Mattilda recently finished a memoir called The End of San Francisco. Look out for publication details…

Mattilda’s articles, essays, interviews, reviews, and stories appear regularly in a variety of publications, including the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Bitch, Utne Reader, Time Out New York, AlterNet, Bookslut, The Stranger, and The Gay & Lesbian Review.

Mattilda is a columnist and the reviews editor at the feminist magazine Make/shift.

Mattilda made a short film, All That Sheltering Emptiness, in collaboration with Gina Carducci. The film premiered in 2010, and has screened around the world. Mattilda and Gina are currently working on a second film.

Mattilda created Lostmissing, a public art project about the friend who will always be there, and what happens when you lose that

Mattilda’s activism has included ACT UP in the early ‘90s, Fed Up Queers in the late ‘90s, Gay Shame, and numerous lesser-known (or even unnamed) groups.

Mattilda lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but tours regularly, and is available for bookings. In the past, she has appeared in independent bookstores, community centers, performance venues and universities from Yale to Evergreen, UCLA to Harvard to Mills to McGill.

COP 24/7 Special

Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform

Gay culture has become the ultimate nightmare of consumerism, whether it's an endless quest for Absolut vodka, Diesel jeans, rainbow Hummers, pec implants, or Pottery Barn. As backrooms are shut down to make way for wedding vows, and gay sexual culture morphs into “straight-acting dudes hangin’ out,” what are the possibilities for a defiant faggotry that challenges the assimilationist norms of a corporate-cozy lifestyle?

Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots challenges not just the violence of straight homophobia but the hypocrisy of mainstream gay norms that say the only way to stay safe is to act straight: get married, join the military, adopt kids! This anthology reinvokes the anger, flamboyance, and subversion once thriving in gay subcultures in order to create something dangerous and lovely: an exploration of the perils of assimilation; a call for accountability; a vision for change.

This is just a snippet of what MBS is adding to the discussion of how "being gay" is changing or according to some "morphing" into something that will take the lifestyle into new horizons. Check out the writers website to purchase a copy and don't hesitate to share your observations with us! And watch COP 24/7 for more stimulating conversation starters on this emerging and important subject.

Keeping the Conversation Going: LGBT Activism and Education in the Black Community

Q Wilson
by Q Wilson, Out & Equal Senior Program Associate | I started doing what I do nearly two decades ago. I knew as soon as I came out that I wanted to be an advocate for those LGBT people who couldn’t speak up for themselves. It wasn’t until sixteen months ago that I was given a new focus for my activist lens. I am now learning to meld my grassroots activism with what I do here at Out & Equal.
I was born, raised, and lived the majority of my life in the southeastern United States. Being an out Black woman didn’t gain me many friends that were similar. It was then, and still is in some cases, hard to even start discussions around LGBT issues when other people of color were so reluctant to even be out. For many people of color, the reluctance to engage in conversations around openly identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender centers for fear of being shunned from our community. For most people of color, our community is so very central to who we are. Knowing that, I feel training and education around LGBT issues when it comes to communities of color needs to happen in spaces in, or connected vitally to, those communities.
While those conversations have been hard to get started, there are people who have started them and are doing amazing work at keeping the conversations going — the National Black Justice Coalition, the Zuna Institute, and the National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition to name a few. I feel collaboration with these preexisting organizations is the best path to both offering a platform for them to expand their message and outreach, and for other organizations to have their messages heard in the community.

Little Rock Black Pride: What's the 411??

Apparently the ebbing and flowing of Little Rock Black Pride continues to evolve despite some questionable and unresolved business practices. In case you've lost count and if you have, here's a zip file update. The organization went in search of seed dollars to the tune of $4000 from local CBO CAR which fronted the cash based on negotiations from black prides S. Rogers. It seems that the premise was that LRBP was going to be doing some type of "Aids prevention or outreach" was merely smoke and mirrors. LRBP went on to produce their "pride activities" which were to be supported from a reimbursement pool of dollars from the Arkansas Department of Health's, Hep C HIV/AIDS Section. In the meantime, the entire matter ended up awry with Rogers absconding with the proceeds from the event, leaving the funding entity (CAR) high and dry. As it has unfolded, the LRBP board stated that they were unaware of Rogers acting on their behalf nor did they feel responsible for his actions. ADH took the position that they were not liable since they were acting upon a "contractual agreement" with Rogers on behalf of LRBP and were powerless otherwise in reference to his outside shady dealings. Since all this went down, there's been Facebook announcements, digital fliers and "management/ producer" folks in the mix of advertising a 2012 mash-up. What a hot mess! COP 24/7 thought it was high time that we seek comment from International Black Prides CEO, E. Fowlkes who has been involved with the genesis of "Black Pride" in Little Rock. We have outreached to him and are awaiting his take on "what's really going on" with this situation and more. Especially since there was a reported, "Arkansas Black Pride" that either is or not an actual entity.  Then there's still the issue of ADH's additional programming dollars slated for targeted messaging or activities directly focused on Black MSM. COP 24/7 is interested in the Who or What will be the vehicle to use this funding in efforts to address HIV/AIDS among this highly impacted group. Let's hope that whatever is done, that it makes some type of sense with the best penetration.  There's so many twist and turns that not even the Atlanta Housewives could bitch slap their way out of this one. Stay tuned, when it drops, we will be bringing it to you hot off the wire.... keep it locked and loaded to COP 24/7!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hump Day A Go-Go

HRC Launches Survey of LGBTQ Youth

Do you feel as though you fit in? Is there someone you can turn to? These are just a few of the questions HRC seeks to answer with its latest survey of young people ages 13 to 18 throughout the country.

The survey is intended to grant insight in the LGBTQ youth community so all organizations and entities are better able to address the problems and issues this generation faces.

If you are between the ages of 13 and 18 and are a part of the LGBTQ community, please take the survey now.

Simply Red – 2012 Arkansas AIDs Foundation’s Annual Event

The Arkansas AIDS Foundation presents Simply Red 2012. It will be on Saturday May 19 at Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro in Little Rock. Get out your glitter, feathers, rhinestones, and sequins and get your mask ready for the Masque"RED" Ball. Proceeds will benefit clients with medications, physician care, and other vital programs. Tickets are available at the foundation by calling 376-6299 and there are limited seats available. Individual tickets are $60 each. There are also VIP tables available. Tickets are available from David Tucker for more information contact the organization at

The night will include dinner, entertainment, a DJ, cash bar, a silent auction, and loads of fun while supporting a great cause!!
Dress Code is casual. For those who do not have their creative mojo flowing there will be masks available at the event for a nominal charge. Masks are encouraged but not required. COP 24/7 is scheduled to attend and will share all the sights and sounds from the evening.

May Programs at the Clinton School

"The Weight of the Nation," a documentary premiere
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. (Clinton Center, Great Hall) *Panel discussion to follow
- Join us for the debut screening of the new HBO series, "The Weight of the Nation," a multi-part documentary series on the obesity epidemic in America. The film, which will air nationally for the first time on HBO on May 14, examines the severity of one of the most pressing health issues and its effects on the health care system.

"LED Lighting Illuminated," Zia Eftekhar, CEO of Philips Professional Luminaries North America
Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Eftekhar will give a lecture focusing on new and emerging light sources and technology. A recent inductee into the Lighting Hall of Fame, Eftekhar was formerly the CEO of Philips Lightolier Group, the single largest business within Philips Professional Luminaries.

"Increasing College Attainment: It’s Everyone’s Business," Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation
Monday, May 7, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- The Lumina Foundation is the nation’s largest private foundation dedicated exclusively to increasing student access to and success in postsecondary education. Merisotis will discuss the economic imperative behind his organization’s commitment to a "Big Goal" for college attainment.

"The Perfect Gentleman: A Muslim Boy meets the West," author Imran Ahmad
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book Signing to follow
- Ahmad will discuss his memoir, "The Perfect Gentleman," in which he describes how the tragedy of 9/11 affected his life as a Muslim in America. He writes of growing up torn between his Islamic identity and his desire to embrace the West and the deterioration in relations between America and the Muslim after 9/11.

"Rwanda: Demystifying Justice and Facing the Biggest Judicial Challenge in Legal History," Tharcisse Karugarama, Rwandan Minister of Justice
Monday, May 21 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
- Karugarama has served as the Rwandan Minister of Justice since 2006 and oversaw the Gacaca court process that released and reconciled genocide perpetrators into Rwandan society and administered the laws against ethnic division and genocide denial.

Justice John Paul Stevens, Associate Justice (retired) U.S. Supreme Court
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. (Statehouse Convention Center, Wally Allen Ballroom) *In partnership with Arkansas Access to Justice & UALR Bowen School of Law
- Stevens served as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1975 to his retirement in 2010. Nominated by President Gerald Ford, Stevens recently published a memoir about his time with the court titled "Five Chiefs: A Supreme Court Memoir."

*Reserve your seats by emailing, or calling 501-683-5239.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Upward and Onward

Tulsa Equality Center Soars

As I cross the country on treks to conferences and seminars, I do my best to break from the business portion of the trips and make every attempt to check out what's going on in those respective communities especially bookstores, haunts and community centers. On a recent junket to Tulsa, Oklahoma, my colleague D.L wanted me to see their rather impressive and for myself a bit "jaw dropping" view of what committed, talented and individuals with vision can accomplishment. Of course, my first thought was "Tulsa is not that much larger than Little Rock, so what's up with this city busting out such a center and my own turf is lacking?" As I pondered that thought our tour began and I was wowed to say the least.

Owned and operated by Oklahomans for Equality, the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center serves the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) and allied community. According to its website, the center," is a visible reminder to all Oklahomans of the important role LGBT individuals, families and friends play in our state."  Established in 1995, the Equality Center (formerly the Tulsa GLBT Community Center) is now the second largest LGBT Centers in the region which opened January 23, 2007.

Spanning some 18,000 square foot the center is now located at the corner of 4th and Kenosha in downtown Tulsa, and operated by Oklahomans for Equality. OkEq opened Oklahoma’s first LGBT Community Center in October 1996. The Center quickly became the focal point for the community and subsequently moved to two larger locations over the years. The staff emphasized that the Equality Center exists to connect and empower the LGBT and allied community. As the tour began, we passed through a hallway that featured a micro gift shop selling a variety of buttons, assorted trinkets and rainbow infused items that serves as a source of additional income. The TV Lounge area complete with a large flat screen TV ia surrounded by comfortable and cushy loungers that just make you want to hang out whether the TV is on or not. This was just the beginning and there was more, much more.  

Moving through the center we learned that it was purchased in October of 2005 after an eight-year capital campaign, the center underwent a complete overhaul through over 7000 hours of 275 volunteer-led renovations.  Representing the design work of a team of professional designers and contributors which features a snazzy event center, a full-service lending library, a wellness center, computer lab, children's zone and history project room. If all this wasn't enough there's an art gallery with a revolving collection as well as  items for sale, plus there's even a communications cubicle for the hearing impaired or deaf. Talk about diversity!

Of course all this didn't just happen. It began as Oklahomans for Equality / OkEq (formerly Tulsa Oklahomans for Human Rights / TOHR) was founded in 1980 by a small group of people concerned about human rights and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals. In the 1980s, OkEq sponsored several high-profile social events for the LGBT and allied community, operated a speakers bureau, launched the first gay pride picnic and sponsored the nationally known “Southwest Invitational” softball tournament. With the advent of HIV/AIDS, OkEq sent medical professionals to health conferences to return and advise the community on the transmission of the virus and other dangers. OkEq then opened Northeast Oklahoma’s first anonymous HIV Testing Clinic, becoming a state leader in HIV/AIDS testing and education. In 1998, H.O.P.E. (Health Outreach, Prevention & Education) became a separate non-profit organization. Today, OkEq and H.O.P.E. continue their partnership with health testing. After the tour, I came away with a sense that even though Little Rock has efforts that are offering some answers to this outpost, its obvious that we have much to do in order to reach this level of community center. How did they do it? It wasn't easy but as with anything, its all about the vision and the people who are willing to make it happen. Think about it....

AIDS in Arkansas
Federal Dollars Are Flowing in the System

COP 24/7 has been committed to offering updated information and breaking news concerning all things HIV/AIDS related and beyond. With 2012 being a guidepost of 30 years of AIDS with outlooks to an era wtihout the disease as proposed by Secretary State Clinton in December 2011. What's become more apparent in the struggle to address the dilemma has evolved into an "AIDS Industrial  Complex" bolstered by a federal cash haul of epic proportions and counting. As this funding flows freely throughout the country, Arkansas is not left out but only garners a meager piece of the pie when it comes to qualifying for certain pools of these dollars. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation ( report President Obama's Fiscal Year Federal Budget request was an estimated $28.4 Billion for both domestic and global AIDS initiatives. When you divy this up that's $21.5 Billion stateside and $6.9 Billion globally. When its all said and done, this request is 4.7 per cent or $1.3 Billion increase over 2011.  Since 2007 funding has increase $7 Billion dollars or 34 per cent to the current levels. The report cites that this growth has been driven by the increase spending on mandatory domestic care and treatment programs, as more people are living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. Considering this factor, $14.9 Billion or 53 percent of the total budget will be used to fund increase spending in Medicare and Medicaid services. The dollar breakdown also includes the Ryan White Program at $2.4 Billion which includes increased ADAP funding of $940 Million plus another $60 Million in supplemental ADAP funding for states with waiting list or other limitations. Ryan White also annually funds $25 Million for Special Projects of National Significance. Cash and Housing Assistance is slated for 10% increase to $2.7 Billion to handle SSI and SSDI for those with HIV. Meanwhile HOWPA flat lines for a second year at $335 Million. Surprisingly and most astonishing in all this cash outlay is that only 4% of the budget or $997 Million is streamed toward prevention. The prevention dollars flow through the Centers for Disease Control which charged with budgeting $857.6 Million to states for the respective HIV/AIDS programs. Just when I thought that was it, there's more! The Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative geared to addressing the disproportionate of impact among the communities of color pulls down $432 Million which is utilized across various agencies of within the Department of Health and Human Services. Currently Arkansas received approximately $14 Million dollars for Fiscal Year 2010 according to Statehealth Facts. org which had not updated with the most current funding. Even though their have been funding shifts, Arkansas still will get a tidy sum as the various government agencies such as Heath Resources and Services Administration or SAMSHA( Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administratoin) add in their revenue streams through substance abuse treatment or other projects. As you can see these dollars are spread far and wide and tucked into various agencies and entities that are pursuing offering services. This would include the city of Little Rock whom farmed out HOWPA dollars, Arkansas Minority Health Commission with their outreach mini grants, Arkansas Department of Health's prevention dollars as well as others in the Rubics cube of dolling out this funding. Yet, with all these dollars bouncing around, there still continues to be gaps in the system that still has over 4,000 people still not in care or any known plan as to how to usher them into the health care system. How could this be, since there seems to be a steady stream of dollars albeit some are "reimbursement" dollars that often deter organizations or entities from accessing them. Surely there should be stepped up efforts from "money pot whatever" to facilitate a direct effort to deal with individuals who need to be encouraged to seek care from a holistic point of view. Its no secret that if a person's life course is questionable, then the pursuit to link them to care is not a priority. Therefore the approach must be two fold including a culturally sensitive angle. Does the state need more money, perhaps. However what's seriously missing is boldness and laser focused vision on forging a path for Arkansas to be apart of the "AIDS Free Generation" that has been proposed on the national and international stage. Do we honestly won't to believe that letting folks die out is a best pracitice. If we know better, then let's do better. Think about it...

Community Health Centers Show Need for Improvement, According to Study

A report from Kaiser Health News-USA TODAY shows that hundreds of the nearly 1,200 community health centers are failing to reach key measures such as vaccinating young children and helping diabetics control their blood sugar. Data from the report also showed that:
  • Centers in the South generally performed worse than those in New England, the Midwest and California
  • Nearly 75% of the centers performed significantly worse — at least 10% below the national average — in screening women for cervical cancer. The national average reflects the care of all Americans.
  • About 73% performed significantly below average in helping diabetics maintain their blood sugar levels.
  • Roughly 28% performed significantly below average for immunizing two-year-olds.
Community health centers served over 20 million mostly poor individuals last year. That number is double the amount of people that sought care from the centers a decade ago.
Community health centers are poised to play a pivotal role in President Obama’s health care reform by helping to accommodate the 30 million people, including many living with HIV/AIDS, who would have access to health insurance beginning in 2014. If the Affordable Care Act is upheld by the Supreme Court, it will provide $11 billion to bolster and expand health centers.
The Kaiser Health News-USA TODAY analysis was based on 2010 data reflective of centers’ clinical performances. Click here to see the data.

Phill Wilson to Present AIDS 2012 Plenary Address: “The US Epidemic”; Calls for Input from Community

The International AIDS Society announced that Phill Wilson, CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, will be giving the plenary address at AIDS 2012 on the US HIV Epidemic. The Black AIDS Institute, the National Minority AIDS Council, and the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance will be hosting a national conference call on April 30th, 2 PM ET to give you the opportunity to provide insight and input to Phill Wilson for the plenary address. More calls will be scheduled in the upcoming weeks and there is also an opportunity to submit ideas in writing.

To register for the call, click here.

To submit written concerns, click here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pop Goes COP 24/7

Another weekend has come and gone yet again leaving myself quickly determining that I can't and sometimes don't won't to make the rounds of events and such. Not to mention after last weeks six day road trip which culminated with another special event before my crash and burn later in the week. Whew! Talk about time management and being an multi-tasking extraordinaire can get the best of almost anyone and certainly myself. However, as continue to "live my life out loud" as an advocate, activist, writer, executive producer and perceived all around go to guy among other hats that I choose to wear, I often find myself in the overload zone. Yet I subscribe to the notion that your passion drives you to "keep doing the thing that you love" as you do what you can to fulfill your destiny or legacy of your life. I encourage people around me to discover what their life force is suppose to represent or of what service they are to be to their fellowman and follow suit. Ultimately its that old adage that "we reap what we sow" position that will effect what we do with our lives and within that living how each of us affect other peoples lives. Being unselfish, being of service, staying open to acceptance of others, knowing your self worth and doing what you can from where ever you are in life can make a difference for some one. Remember that we must all find time to do our part in being apart of the paradigm of "each one to reach one." COP 24./7 challenges all our readers to take a moment to ponder the thought, " what have you done today to be proud?'  Got some responses, replies, observations and objections, lets hear from you in our backtalk section. Thanks for staying on point with COP 24/7 and make sure that you are following us, opt- in email, subscribe or check in daily.  Now let's get busy...

LA Corp Announces Health Magazines Moniker

The Living and Affected Corporation will continue to explore the realm of LGBTQ health in Arkansas as it christens its latest publishing effort as, "OMNIBUS."  The periodical supported from a grant from the Healthy People 20/20 Community Innovations Project," allowed us to collaborate with Arkansas physicians, clinicians and other stakeholders to produce this first ever annual journal on LGBTQ health in the state," according to D. Levi, publisher. In full disclosure, Executive Producer of COP 24/7 played an active role in co-producing the magazine and will have several submissions featured in the publication. The organization sought to spotlight a variety of health concerns most notably the challenges of Lesbians within the health care framework. Furthermore, the magazine wanted to delve beyond the boundaries of HIV and AIDS which has evolved into an entire health industry onto itself. "It was our goal to offer this literary contribution as a "silence breaker" of the LGBTQ communities interaction with a complex health care system and the social determinants that affects navigating the course." Levi commented. Over the last few months the organization completed a statewide search for content, contributions and submissions from within the LGBTQ community and nontraditional advocates.The goal of the magazine is to help educate medical professionals and raising the health literacy in the LGBTQ community. Its distribution will be targeted to only the LGBT community, physicians but to key policy makers and influential law makers. A stylized cover photo shoot is being planned to reflect the multi-generational, multi-cultural theme of the magazine. Interested parties will be required to sign image and liability release forms to participate. All are encouraged to contact the organization for consideration. Currently additional advertising opportunities are available by contacting 877.902.7HIV or e-mail for info at The magazine is set to finalize and be offered around June 1, 2012.

Diversity Convention in Little Rock 2013

In case you missed it, The National Association of Black and White Men Together, Inc has chosen Little Rock as its 2013 convention site, July 24-27, 2013. After a open bid for host cities which included, Austin, Texas, and Orlando, Florida, Little Rock's submission was voted as the destination for the gay, multi-racial, multi-cultural group. Currently, an open solicitation is being offered to local LGBTQ stakeholders, allies, supporters and advocates to participate in the "host city committee" planning phase. The theme, "NABWMT: Building Bridges to Diversity," was chosen as apart of the bid process and will serve as a frame from which subsequent programming will be developed. As one of the oldest LGBTQ organizations in the U.S.,the groups seeks to continue to address the issues of racism, sexism, ageism,  HIV/AIDS, homophobia and the impact that these issues have had on both the internal and external lives of those in the gay community. All interested individuals are invited to share your enthusiasm at  A meeting announcement will be posted in this forum and all social platforms this Thursday, April 26, 2012.

For Your Information

Free National DEC Webinars

Federal Perspectives on Bath Salts and Other Synthetics
Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Time: 12.30pm - 2pm (mountain)
Speakers: Ben Tucker, Deputy Director, Office of State, Local and Tribal Affairs, and Richard Baum from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); Robert Bell from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); and Deborah Spence from the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office.




Thursday, April 19, 2012

COP 24/7 goes Whirling Dervish

A "Whirling Dervish" is described as a person who's behavior resembles a rapid, spinning object which espouses engaging chanting sending the devotee into a ecstatic eruption of devotion. Wow, felt like that before? Well have ya? Lately my entire life has been a "whirling" hot mess of meetings, webinars, teleconferences, travel and deadlines that would make almost anyone else's eyes roll back into their heads. How do us die heart advocates and activist do it, is up for much discussion, especially as we often ponder the thoughts of "why are we doing this, again?" Ultimately the proverbial answer that echos back to us, "is not only because we care, but in some order we feel a call to do the work to help safe lives." In case you didn't know and most likely you don't, being " HIV/AIDS caped crusaders," is not for the faint of heart. Its filled with ups and downs, pitfalls, backlash, side steps, booby traps, bull shit all before you get to a place of feeling fulfilled by knowing that someone may have decided to remain in care, access care or find a reason for living. The territory can be tricky and every now and then, you're ready to throw in the towel, then there comes a story with a glimmer of hope in the face of disparity. Ladies and Gents, and all who haven't decided, the world activism can be brutal but as far as this forum is concern, "No Guts, No glory" is our mantra that has lead us to this current place of empowerment, energy and whirling enlightenment. Thanks for sticking and staying with COP 24/7, its been one hell of ride and it ain't over yet.....

Shades of Sex Worker Violence in the 21st Century

With the culture wars in full motion of deciding who or what will preside over the latest "vagina" issue, there are many dilemmas that are languishing in the shadows and often the radar. Currently the Secret Service is embroiled in a sex scandal in which they engaged "sex workers " for their pleasures and then wanted to stiff the ladies of their funding. Although in that city, where the trade is legal often those who are sex workers in this country find themselves perilously practicing their trade sometimes with dire consequences. The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition has taken hard look at the situations and circumstances that impact local sex workers in their area. I have read many of their alerts, position papers and now the group brings the lives of these individuals to life in a thought provoking video. As I watched it, especially as I've been apart of the impending "LEGENDS Project" of The Living Affected Corporation, I knew that this piece had to make the cut. Much of the material shown also was apart of the research done in preparation to submit the organizations grant to tackle another marginalized community, transgendered women of color who have not engaged in HIV/AIDS care or have decided to forgo treatment due to the lack of culturally sensitive pathways to such care. I will share more about the ground breaking LEGENDS Project in a later post, but would like you to take a moment to open your mind and listen to the plight of those who practice the worlds oldest profession in the 21st century.

Sex Worker Violence Prevention from North Carolina Harm Reduction on Vimeo.

CORAZON Takes Flight this Weekend

Saturday, April 21, 2012
Mediums Art Lounge 521 Center St., Little Rock

Preview party begins at 6:00pm $5.00 admission

Silent Auction begins at 7pm.

Hors d’oeuvres will be served and Adult libations and soda available for a donation.

This is CAR’s signature event. We’ve given our hearts to community members near and far and asked them to create works of art for this wonderful auction. Each year when the Cá½¹razons are returned to us we are always amazed at the level of thought and creativity that has gone into them. So be sure to join us for this night of community art. Your purchases allow CAR to continue it’s work for and with LGBTQ Arkansans for fair and equal treatment. For more information:  or 501-244-9690.

CARs Corazon 4x5-1 2

COP 24/7 Special
HIV Arkansas Advocate Speaks to Growth

Raising Our Voices-An Advocacy Summit for HIV Positive Women by Kari Coffman
The Positive Women’s Network of California decided to get positive women of the south together and teach them, empower them, and help them realize that they are not alone. I was one of the lucky 60 beautiful southern women that were chosen to attend the conference. It will never forget the emotions and the strength that I gained from all the knowledge that I obtained from that conference. There aren’t enough words to express how thankful I am to all of the people that made it possible. I feel like I am strong enough to conquer the world now.
Some of the topics that were discussed during this conference were;
Politics, I have learned that it is very important to become aware of the politicians and what they stand for. They sign bills that are passed that could either save my life or potentially kill me when it comes to my healthcare!
Healthcare reform, it is a big mess! Very confusing. Goes along with politics. We need to know about it because it has to do with our lives.
Human rights, it is amazing how little things have changed when it comes to society’s knowledge of HIV/AIDS! We, people living with HIV/AIDS have the right to live a normal everyday life with a job, family, and friends just like anyone else.
Criminalization Laws, I learned that the state of Arkansas has the strictest laws when it comes to people infecting others with HIV/AIDS. In many states, still to this day, if an infected person bites someone or even spits on someone, they can be charged with attempted murder or some kind of murderous charge. There is a senator working very hard trying to get these laws changed since HIV is no longer known as a “death sentence.”
Statistics, we did an exercise that showed us that since we were abused as children we went on to be promiscuous as teenagers which led us to failed marriages which then led to more promiscuity. Most women were infected with the HIV virus in their 30’s
Data, they taught us that it is important to know the numbers. There is proof in the numbers. If you want to get a grant for something or even grab the attention of a leader of the town or state, you can always back yourself up with numbers. For instance, 1,000 people live in this town and 10% of them are infected with HIV what are you going to do about this situation, sir?
Being a Great Leader, they taught us that it was important that we put ourselves first at times. We have to be healthy and happy to be a good leader. We have to learn to say NO! It is not good to put too many eggs in one basket and overload yourself. Otherwise you will stay stressed and not be a good leader.
Those are just a few of the great topics that were discussed at the conference. We were also given the opportunity to attend a, Yoga of the Breath class each morning. That was wonderful. The class was geared for people living with HIV/AIDS. The instructor taught us different ways to breathe through our nose, ways to awaken our body, and awaken our spirit to be more relaxed throughout the day. I think that was my favorite part of the entire conference.
The most important part to me was the moment I realized I was not alone! The minute the girls picked me up from my hotel to the moment they dropped me off at my hotel I felt so loved. It was very emotional when I realized and came to the understanding that I am not alone. I have a wonderful support system here at home and I love them very much, but the energy of being around other positive women was invigorating.
I am so glad that I chose to go on this journey! It was not easy leaving my daughter for the first time in seven years. It was worth it. I feel so empowered. This has opened my eyes to many things in life. I feel that I have been educated and now it is my duty to pass that education along. I am a mother, I am a daughter, I am a full time college student, I am a Girl Scout Leader, I am a neighbor, I am a great friend and I am HIV Positive!
Thank you again to all of you that help make my dreams come true in sending me to this conference and making this conference a reality! (courtsey of ) (photo: COP 24/7 archives)


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring Rushes Part Two

Waiting to Launch: HIV/AIDS Message still in a Bottle

As we move rapidly into the second quarter of 2012 after taking a brief trip down our digital memory lane last week, COP 24/7 realized that there's lots of stuff still left on the table and not to mention the cutting room floor. Case in point is the slowly and ever impending HIV/AIDS education campaign from the Hep C HIV/AIDS Section of the Arkansas Department of Health. In case you've lost concern or count of the postings that this forum has composed, let us catch you up, if we can. Once upon a time in 2011 there were plans to create and launch a well crafted HIV/AIDS campaign that was set to step off by Worlds AIDS Day. However, mysterious set backs and other circumstances delayed that effort supposedly until an undefined 2012 date. After a few meetings and other musing concerning the project, it seemed that the "HIV Campaign X" might would raise it's head around Black HIV Awareness Day in February 2012. Yet this target came and went with only the reveal of some of the basics of the $150,000.00 mash up produced by Advantage Communications of Little Rock which also included some "bizzaro" commission in their contract to produce "AIDS Testing Events." This side show to this entire scenario has left COP 24/7 breathless to dumbfounded to the logic involved with this element. Can anyone explain to me as to the rationale of an advertising agencies ability to produce a "testing event," that has never done so nor has the damn cultural competency to do so.  Talk about usurping "best practices!"  In all fairness, the agency could have "sub-contracted" to an qualified event producer to undertake the task, but such a person or entity would have to have some working knowledge of expectations, responsibilities and possible snafus of planning such a thing. Especially if there are to be viable outcomes that don't cause the event to viewed as a unorganized and poorly executed. Most folks have come to learn that I have a distinct "pet peeve" for events that don't follow with the"Five P's." Here's a refresher: " Prior, Preparation, Prevents, Piss, Poor, Performances. Enough said.   Furthermore what I've surmised so far is that the "testing event caveat" in this contract has been overtly problematic to dastardly dismal in approach and outcomes. Has it come down to individuals being enticed with "cheeseburgers" as a means to be tested. Don't zoo animals get treated better? How much longer are "people" going to be treated as a "faceless number on a PEMPS form."  No cultivation or follow up interaction that could result in future engagement or outreach.  Meanwhile as I try to process that strangeness, the only thing we've learned of this campaign so far is it's entitled "Know Now." As you can view in the image above, its featured in a red and black box configuration citing the tag line, "Be Sure. Get Tested for HIV & STD. Despite details that I would prefer such as where folks will see it, when will it be set free and how long it will run, from the onset all of this sounded promising. But as of this date, Section Chief T. Long reported that there had been additional comments or internal observations that has caused the long awaited project not to take flight. So just what could it the delay be at this time? As usual there appears to be no bonafide bullet points or detailed narrative to share the problems. Once again we must ask, "what's the plan stan?" "Why is ADH being so coy this ploy?"  If COP 24/7 was spending such bucks, I'd think that I would be blowing smoke up some one's stove pipe if my time line had been thwarted causing me to look ineffective and incapable of executing my signature project. There's no way COP 24/7 would operate in this manner and if I've got to be an ass to get things done, then so be it. It's done everyday and then some....

Young Black Gay Leaders Initiative (YBGLI) Webinar Participants

In February 2012, the OC met with Vision Que!, Inc, a private consulting firm in Washington, D.C. to discuss our vision, goals and objectives for the upcoming years. The meeting with Vision Que!, Inc as well as the webinar itself were dynamic and left the OC with a number of action items to accomplish. The YBGLI OC is responsible for leading the national initiative, informing research, policy, mobilization, and leadership, and capacity building development. Currently, there are five members of the YBGLI OC but we would like to expand to nine members. For those interested in the YBGLI OC, please fill out the application and return to by April 30, 2012.

The YBGLI OC will accomplish its work through a subcommittee process. These sub-committees are designed to assist the OC in accomplishing the vision and mission of the YBGLI. The subcommittees will be chaired by YBGLI OC members. The sub-committees are:

§ Research

§ Policy

§ Mobilization

§ Leadership and Capacity Building

A separate process will take place in May when YBGLI members may express interest in serving on sub-committees.


Moving forward, the OC has a number of activities planned. The next activity is our National Research Webinar scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, 2012 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM (EST). The webinar will highlight current and future biomedical HIV prevention research initiatives affecting young Black MSM (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and Microbicides). Speakers will also discuss new community engagement strategies designed to increase the number of young Black MSM involved in research initiatives. One of the issues raised during the webinar, was that more community education on biomedical and behavioral research was needed. CLICK HERE to register for this webinar.

CLICK HERE to view the report developed from your important, participation during the October 14, 2011 webinar focused on the Mobilization Young Black gay Leadership in response to the HIV epidemic.

Register for the webinar! Health Care Reform in Your State: Making it Work for People with HIV
Health care reform will revolutionize access to health care for people with HIV. But to reach its full potential, HIV advocates need a seat at a table, and nowhere is that more important than in the states.
Click here to register for the webinar.
States will have to make hundreds of decisions to make health care reform a reality. What are the most important decisions you should pay attention to as an HIV advocate? What are some of the lessons learned from states that are already implementing health care reform?
Click here to register for the webinar, which will take place Thursday, April 26 at 11:30 a.m. PT, 12:30 p.m. MT, 1:30 p.m. CT, 2:30 p.m. ET.
This webinar is one in a series of monthly webinars focused on maximizing health care reform for people with HIV. Check out the recording and the materials from the first one, an overview of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for people with HIV, here. Learn more at and sign up for email updates.
empowered by Salsa

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Spring Rush Forward

Encouraging Health Care Providers to Reach Youth for STD Awareness Month

April is STD Awareness Month, an annual observance to raise awareness about the impact of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the important role health care providers can play in supporting the sexual health of their patients. STDs can affect people from all walks of life, but adolescents and young people are disproportionately impacted. Estimates suggest that even though youth make up only 25 percent of the sexually active population, nearly half of all STD cases occur in people aged 15 to 24. Arkansas has had many spikes in STI cases over the past twelve month and local health officials are continously assessing and researching prevention methods to address the dilemma.

STD Awareness MonthPrimary care physicians, pediatricians, and other health care providers can help ensure young people receive comprehensive preventive care. Stigma, lack of information, access to health care, and a combination of other factors contribute to high rates of STDs among teens and young adults.
Providers are a trusted and respected source of information for most patients. In a recent study of college students, almost half of those surveyed preferred to receive sexual health information from a provider initiated discussion. For these reasons, providers need to be proactive in talking to their young patients, assessing their risk for STDs, and testing them accordingly.
Testing is among the most effective tools to prevent the spread of STDs. For some young people, mustering the courage to get tested for STDs may be difficult. What is important for them to know is that most STDs are treatable and many are curable. Early detection is key, as many STDs have no symptoms, yet can cause infertility and other serious health problems. By taking a proactive role in their patients’ sexual health, health care providers can help reduce disease burden and long-term health consequences of STDs for the youth of today and the future.

What can Providers do to help young people avoid STDs?
  • Ensure a sexual history [PDF 219KB] is taken during a patient’s initial visit, during routine preventive exams, and if you see signs of STDs. Providers should discuss the 5 “Ps” with their patients: partners, practices, protection from STDs, past history of STDs, and prevention of pregnancy.
  • Encourage STD testing among young people. Of the nearly 16 million American sexually active women aged 15 to 25, only 38 percent report being tested within the past year for chlamydia. This means more than 9 million young sexually active women were not screened as CDC recommends.
  • Adhere to screening recommendations. CDC recommends annual screening for chlamydia for all sexually active women aged 25 and younger.
  • Explore provider resources from CDC: STD Awareness – Reaching Young People

Rainbow Youth Leadership Institute (RILY)

RYLI 2012

CAR/LMH Drop-In Center
800 Scott St., Little Rock
Registration begins at 8:00am
Last event ends at 10:30pm

The Rainbow Youth Leadership Institute (RYLI) will bring together 100 LGBTQ and ally youth ages 13-22 from across the state of Arkansas. Activities include a day of workshops led by some of Arkansas’ best presenters, fun activities, an early evening reception at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site and ending with a party and talent show hosted by CAR’s youth program, DYSC. So please bring your Best! Most Fierce! Talent! To Share!

Workshops will cover a variety of topics that include:

Gender * The Art of Drag * Art and Activism * Civic Engagement * Civil & Human Rights* Gay Straight Alliances * Same Sex Youth Dating Violence * Getting a Job as an LGBTQ Youth* Breaking Down Immigration at the Border * Intersections of Identity and Race/Ethnicity* School to Prison Pipeline and its Impact on LGBTQ Youth

We still have a few slots left! Sign up ASAP! We order the Institute T-shirts this Thursday the 19th! Liability/Media/Medical waivers MUST be returned in order for your application to be considered. If you are under 18, these must be signed by your legal guardian.

Sponsors include:

Hewlett Packard, CAR, PFLAG Little Rock, PFLAG NW AR, Arkansas ACLU, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, Out on the Town Magazine, The staff of Lilly’s Dim Sum/B-Side , Nathaniel Roe and L.J. Rhodes, L.A. Corp, Sibling Rivalry Press,, Dr. A.J. Zolton, Dr. Catherine Crisp and Dr. Kay McKinzie, Brett and Jeana Miracle-Huie, New Beginnings Church of Central Arkansas, Kelly Ross
A Call to Action for Arkansas and Beyond