Thursday, May 31, 2012

Keeping it Up Front

The Heifer Foundation Names New Leadership
As reported by Arkansas The Heifer Foundation board of trustees said Thursday that it has appointed Ardyth Neill as president of the nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to helping end hunger and poverty through planned charitable giving.
Neill has been in the dual role of chief financial officer and interim president and CEO twice during her time at the foundation, according to Marcia Williams, chair of Heifer Foundation board of trustees.
"Having worked with Ardyth for years, I am thrilled that she has been named to and accepted this most important role at Heifer Foundation," Williams said. "She weaves her professionalism, ethics and dedication to the cause and many skills into service to the foundation.
Neill had been with Heifer since 2001.
"My goal is to strengthen our collaborative efforts, creating a solid foundation of support for families helping themselves out of the cycle of poverty," Neill said in a news release. "In doing so, we carry on the example given us by Heifer International founder, Dan West, while providing a model for future generations to build upon as we maintain a deep commitment to helping the poor, hungry and those in the margin of the world."
Heifer Foundation was established in 1991 to oversee and grow the endowment that supports Heifer International. The two are separate nonprofit charitable organizations.

Juneteenth Mixes It up with Sesquicentennial

Juneteenth celebration and living history events are scheduled during June by the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. According to Karen Martin's The Play Blog there will a host of activities and historical reinactments for history buffs such as myself. The Blog offers a complete listing of sesquicentennial activities and additional information on the activities listed below can be found by clicking here.

Among the Civil War sesquicentennial events during June are:

  • Invasion, Jayhawking, Starvation, Refugees, Abandonment, a lecture by James Johnston in cooperation with the Buffalo National River, will be held Tuesday (June 5) at the Boone County Library in Harrison; for more information call (870) 741-5913.
  • Wittsburg Civil War Sesquicentennial Historical Marker Dedication will be held Wednesday (June 6) at Wittsburg.
  • Big Guns of the Civil War, a living history program featuring Civil War artillery, will be held June 9 at Fort Smith National Historic Site; call (479) 783-3961.
  • Civil War Arkansas, 1863-1865, the ACWSC’s traveling exhibit, will be at the Springdale Public Library June 11-24; call (479) 750-8180.
  • Professional Development Workshop, sponsored by Arkansas State University and providing six hours of in-service credit for Arkansas teachers, will be held at and near Lakeport Plantation in Chicot County June 13; call (870) 972-2803 or email for more information.
  • Join the Cavalry and Make a Courageous Friend, a living history program on Civil War cavalry, will be held June 16 at Fort Smith National Historic Site; call (479) 783-3961.
  • Plight of Soldier and Civilian, a presentation by author Nancy Dane, will be held at the Springdale Public Library June 16; call (479) 750-8180.
  • Juneteenth 2012, commemorating the oldest-known celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, will be held June 16 at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock; call (501) 683-3620.
  • Roles of Women During the Civil War, a living history presentation on female civilians in the Civil War, will be held at the Springdale Public Library June 17; call (479) 750-8180.
  • The Civil War in 1862 in Saline County, a presentation by local historian Anthony Rushing, will be held at the Bob Herzfeld Memorial Library in Benton on May 14; call (501) 778-4766.
  • A Civil War Re-enactment with the Washington County Historical Society will be held at the Springdale Public Library June 21; call (479) 750-8180.
  • Big Guns of the Civil War, a living history program featuring Civil War artillery, will be held June 23 at Fort Smith National Historic Site; call (479) 783-3961.
  • Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas will host a lecture on The Battle of Pine Bluff by Mark K. Christ of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission at Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock on June 26.
  • General John Porter McCown Civil War Sesquicentennial Historical Marker Dedication will be held June 30 at Magnolia City Cemetery in Magnolia; call (870) 234-5969 for more information.
  • Portraits in Gray: A Civil War Photography Exhibition will be on display at the Rogers Historical Museum during June; call (479) 621-1154.
  • Washington 1861: A Community Decides exhibit will continue at Historic Washington State Park during June; call (870) 983-2684.
  • The Civil War in Arkansas, an exhibit at Little Rock’s Historic Arkansas Museum featuring artifacts from its collection, will be on display during June; call (501) 324-9351.
  • Battle Colors of Arkansas, highlighting the museum’s battle flag collection, will be on display at the Old State House Museum in Little Rock during June; call (501) 324-9685.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

COP 24/7 Unleashed and Unabashed

With summer rolling up on us with a quickness, so does the PRIDE season which comes in as many colors as the rainbow flag itself. On the local front their are the usual moves being brought to the table such as Mr. & Miss Pride.  Alright here's a pop quiz, "can you name last year's Mr & Miss Pride? O.K. maybe you can, but as the weeks details firm up, we will continue bringing you our special brand of news, links, updates and more of what you've been asking for. Keep it locked and loaded to COP 24/7 for the latest.

ALL Hail Queen
Latifah Comes OUT....Sorta

Well tongues are wagging and have been for some time as gaydars have been in overdrive about Queen Latifahs allegedly "coming out" show during the Long Beach Pride festival a couple of weeks ago. I've read the reports and did all manner of parsing exactly "what did she say" and "what did folks think they  heard" and I"m not sure if Latifahs actually came out or inched closer to "outing" herself. According to news accounts the award winning star seem to say something about "my people and conquer hate with love" during her concert appearance. 

The Inquistor covered the event with comment from Co-President of the festival stating that, Pat Crosby could barely contain her excitement, saying, “From hip to R&B, pop to standards, Queen Latifah is the voice of our generation, and her concert here will be phenomenal, for her to make her worldwide Pride debut here in Long Beach is a tremendous testament to the popularity of our celebration and to the strength of our community.” I've don't spend much time trying to figure out "who is and who ain't" gay personally but obviously there are those who spend much time in hot pursuit of subjects to present front and center for all the world to know. The coming out process is so personal and has to done at the discretion of the individual that I don't why popular culture is so obsessed with knowing. I agree that role models are necessary but I can wait till whomever decides whenever to share that info. Nothing changed for me when Ricky Martin decided to tell us about his "bon-bon" or did I do a face slap when Clay Ackins mused on about his decision nor was I wowed when Wanda Sykes announced her love for french kisses from her French born wife. All I need is the list of who is not gay so that I can move on with being concerned about world peace.

Meanwhile, this informal announcement comes off the heels of her rumored relationship with a choreographer. Doesn't everyone have a choreographer or manager that's secretly their love interest? In the past Latifah maintained a long term relationship with the president of Hollywood Trainer, Jeanette Jenkins. The two split ways in 2011. If you need more and maybe some of you do, then here's a link to fill that need.


The 9th Annual Conway Pride Parade & Festival

Sunday June 3, 2012
Sponsored by John Schenck and Robert Loyd
Line up is at 1 pm at the Pink House, 1605 Robinson, Conway
Parade begins at 2 pm. Prize for best float
Festival with vendors and entertainers will be at Simon Park after the parade
Vendor slots still available:

COP 24/7 Announces
This forum is always moving and grooving in some fashion or another. Therefore when we get involved in certain projects or events I just love to share it. Well, let's just say that we've got some big news to share but you'll have to stay tuned just a bit. COP 24/7 is all about community building and outreach. Its been that way since our inception some six years ago when I came to the digital world to share my world view and then some. Since that time, I've been about it and will do what I can to keep putting it out their until I'm over it. Therefore, watch this forum for that breaking news.!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Talk Talk

deepsouth: Lenses Focus on HIV Struggle in South
As the Little Rock Film Festival takes flight, Its unfortunate that many dynamic lavender centric films don't get a nod or perhaps even a significant look at for consideration. Of course no film festival programs stuff that they can't discern that theirs an audience interested in the subject matter. Recently the film "Pariah" blinked through some screenings and despite efforts to promote its presence most folks that I asked about it had that "WTF" look on their face. At one time in the recent past, there was even a bold attempt to have a "Little Rock Gay Film Festival" which ebbed and flowed into obscurity. In case you didn't know this, again we've had many attempts at so many events and programming that were "one hit wonders," and then went dormant. Its almost a given here in the city and its one of the reasons that such angst and contempt exist when attempts to organize anything gets a lackluster response. After awhile one begins to wonder "why bother?" Amazingly enough many in the LGBTQ set will see a Madea mash up but can't seem find the time to support a gay centric local film festival or a possible book club. Before its demise, I had the chance to attend some of those screenings which did offer a variety of interesting films on both erotic and exotic topics. But as usual the effort suffered from poor participation among all the other Five P's that I've mentioned as event killers. In the meantime, if you are not a Netflix subscriber, RedBox maven or partake in the dastardly "Bootleg" trade, there are some great films still available including the upcoming "deepsouth" being release in July. The films website is wonderfully haunting with a fresh spin on film websites as far as I'm concern. It's extremely arty and entices visitors to stay awhile and click through on many of its "frames" that lead you other info about the film. Directed by Lisa Biagiotti the film explores the lives of southerners intersected by a broken health care system that continues to deal with the health dilemma of HIV and AIDS. I've had a little trouble with the term "deepsouth" since Arkansas continues to be excluded from the region on numerous levels. Even when it comes to Federal funding, this state is seen as "Mid-South or even for some reason, "Southwest," which leaves me scratching my head. The very term itself also could evoke many emotions and reactions from those whom may consider the historical elements of its use to the modern twist that the filmmakers have pursued. I'm sort of conflicted on its usage but I'm intrigued with the premise that the term "deepsouth" is being deconstructed for a closer look at those directly affected by both living geographically and mentally within the region. I've actually run across a few of the folks who are in the film while traveling to conferences and such. The subjects are followed through their various daily rituals and survival tactics as they face the critical facts of living within three decades of the chronic disease. If you get a chance to check out the site ( ) by all means do so. Although this film would have been too late for the local film fest, that doesn't mean that there were not others that could have made the cut. What the hell, this community can do films if we really want to. But then again, we could do almost anything if we really wanted to, however you've got to really want it. Here's a excerpt from the website and the trailer.
One word, lower­case.

"Deep South" is a familiar term, but deepsouth expresses this geogr­aphical, cultural term diffe­rently. And that’s how we’re looking the tired, familiar issue of HIV.

The curious spelling and layering are meant to convey the film’s compl­exity.

We consi­dered Deep South, but that sounded too Gone with the Wind, or like a Ken Burns 10-part series on the Civil War.

My friend Deanne Torbert Dunning suggested deepSouth because the spelling and punct­uation trigger the brain to explore the expanse of its meaning. There’s a depth of life in this place that most of us are so unaware of. The film is about an envir­onment that produces high rates of HIV infec­tion, among other problems.

We looked up words that began with deepw­ater, deepness, deepen.

The lowercase “d” takes the edge off of the boldness and epic abstr­actness of Deep South, making it more personal, more familiar, more new (in our text gener­ation), more sexual.

So, there it is. If it worked for e.e. cummings, it’ll work for deepsouth.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Monday 2012

Memorial Day 2012 weekend has truly fired on all cylinders and pistons as far as I'm concern. Of course the day was filled with the traditional recognition and respectful ceremonies in honor of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. The issue of war as well as all that comes with it can be debated and discussed from numerous perspectives. Attempting to figure out the "why" or "what" concerning when decisions are made about taking a country to war can be  mind boggling. At is core, we are told that its all about "our way of life." Its about "freedom" and our homeland which we must uphold while seeking to maintain some type of  world order. For myself, its the "Fog of War" that continues to perplex myself, where it seems that what we thought was truth turns out not to be factual or imperfect data that is problematic in processing. President Obama has moved to end the Middle East theatre while maintaining a Afghanistan presence yet adding to the "Kill List" of suspected terrorist that are deemed offensive to our senses. His speech was Commander in Chief pitch perfect as he addressed the challenges that the Vietnam war presented to our country and its lasting affects that to this day are as fresh as they were some five decades ago. We were reminded that the price of war can be high in both lives and treasure. Therefore as the day fills its purpose, we as a nation move on into the night remembering those who have served and welcome those home with a hearty "thanks for your service" who survived the task. Amen  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

COP 24/7 Rolling with the Boomers

CDC Invites Public Comment on Draft Recommendations for One-Time Hepatitis C Testing for Baby Boomers

Dr. John Ward
John WardCDC has released draft recommendations proposing that all Americans born from 1945 through 1965 (“baby boomers”) get a one-time test for the hepatitis C virus. In the United States, hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplants and liver cancer, which is the fastest-rising cause of cancer-related deaths in the nation. More than 2 million U.S. baby boomers are infected with hepatitis C, accounting for more than 75 percent of all American adults living with the virus. Baby boomers are five times more likely to be infected than other adults. Most of them, though, do not know that they have the virus because hepatitis C can damage the liver for many years without noticeable symptoms. More than 15,000 Americans—mostly baby boomers—die each year from hepatitis C-related illness, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, and deaths have been increasing steadily for over a decade.
CDC estimates one-time hepatitis C testing of baby boomers could identify more than 800,000 additional people with hepatitis C and save more than 120,000 lives. CDC believes the expanded screening efforts are needed to increase the proportion of persons with hepatitis C who are diagnosed, and referred to care to slow or halt progression of the disease and avoid transmission to others. New treatments are now available that can cure up to 75% of infections, and even more promising treatments are expected in the near future. CDC believes that expanded screening efforts can prevent thousands of unnecessary deaths from hepatitis C.

CDC’s new recommendations augment current hepatitis C testing guidelines that call for testing individuals with a known risk for the disease. Studies have found that most persons do not perceive themselves to be at risk and are not screened. CDC’s recommendations propose that a one-time blood test for hepatitis C should become a standard part of medical care for all persons born from 1945 through 1965.

In a May 22, 2012 Federal Register Notice, CDC formally invited public comment on this draft recommendation. We encourage you to review and comment on these important proposed recommendations which will be available for public comment through June 8 on, docket number CDC-2012-0005. Public comment will be used to inform the final recommendations, which will be finalized later this year.

For more information, see this factsheet (PDF 374KB) on the proposed testing recommendations.

Intergenerational Health & Wellness Activities!

Learn how community leaders are encouraging their members of every age to join in physical activities, create community gardens and participate in other intergenerational programs that contribute to the health and wellness of the places they live, worship or play together! Share your ideas and your community's experiences in bringing people of all ages together!

Date: Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM Eastern, 1:00 PM Central, 12:00 PM Mountain, 11:00 AM Pacific

Click here to reserve your Webinar seat for this Let’s Move Faith and Communities call.

Join us for our next Let's Move Faith and Communities call to learn more about hosting intergenerational health and wellness activities in your community! May is Older Americans Month and the theme for 2012 is Never Too Old to Play, which encourages older Americans to stay engaged, active and involved in their communities. We'll have several guest speakers join us to share ideas about how to integrate older generations more actively into wellness leadership and community activities around exercise and nutrition.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Next Week in Motion

WOW! What a weekend and then some. If you missed out on all that was going on, then you don't have an excuse to say that you "don't have nothing  to do in this city."  It was fast and furious by any standards which those who were participating or in attendance must have felt. COP 24/7 is always glad to see all of your faces in the places around town, but it appears that there's still room for folks to make the rounds of the local haunts. As we've made a point of stating, if we don't turn out, then there's a possibility that such places will not be there when we need them. If the local watering holes are not your fancy don't forget that there are often many charity events or other socially consciousness endeavors that may more to your liking. No matter what, it doesn't hurt to bring your mug front and center. If you catch me out and about, holla....In the meantime let's do a run through!

Strilite Kicks Some R & R

The emerging peer consumer driven group, STRILITE, kicked it Friday night ( 5/18) as they wined down from several weeks of training sessions and assorted meetings. The group has burst on the scene as apart of prevention programming of The Living Affected Corporation which has served as the "incubator" mothership of the same gender loving organization. The gents decided it was time to go "R & R" an invited supporters, allies, friends and volunteers to an impromptu pre- Memorial Day back yard BBQ at the McLaughlin & Mabin homestead in southwest Little Rock. Throughout the evening, guest noshed on assorted smoked and grilled meats, baked beans, cole slaw, nacho casserole and sauteed vegetables. As the evening progressed, music filled the air as well as the groups own micro-version of  American Idol" as participants sang Capella to their favorite tunes. Guest concluded the evening with celebratory toast the new organization and the its vision to aggressively address social determinants in relation to HIV and AIDS in central Arkansas. Afterward guest decided to finalize the evening with Club Triniti and points beyond. COP 24/7 will keep looking for more from STRILITE on its ever present radar and periscope. We congratulate them on their organizing and expect to hear more about their local efforts.

Simply Red 2012

The Simply Red event held last weekend was an interesting mix of faces and facades as local gathered to celebrate the work and programs of the Arkansas AIDS Foundation. The event kicked off  at the Rivermarket's Dizzy's Bistro which was busy with activity from volunteers, organizers and restaurant personnel. Thanks to the graciousness of the foundation, I found myself and mine in the company of my colleague D. Levi and her significant other, S. T.  We shared the evening al fresco, while we were treated to a family style menu of Italian Bolenaise and Chicken Al Fredo accompanied by toasted bruchesta after beginning with a fresh field greens nicely dressed with Balsamic Vinaigrette. Even though I was a bit off put at the procedure of the serving, each of us adjusted as we learned that the entree "bowls" were supposedly to be shared with a partner table. I found this a bit awkward especially serving a table of "four" from a portioned bowl that in my opinion only really served four. However, as the great conversations and people watching took precedence, none it really matter. There was a show featuring area entertainers including the Zia D'Yor, MGAA and Keaton Zane Paige, Mr. Gay Arkansas US of A 2011 (pictured) plus many other talented individuals dressed for the occasion and showing their support. The silent auction had an array of interesting items and some great buys that seemed to be making their way from the tables. At this post time, finally tallies on the amounts raised for the their programming were available. It was great diversion to something different before I saw many attendees doing the town at 610 and Miss Kittys. Congrats to AAF, organizers, volunteers and a special shout out to D. Tucker for sharing the love. Check Facebook for many posted pictures of the event.

Sucking Head and Eating Tail

Ah-Yee'! Wasn't heard as much as it should have been at Sunday's Annual Craw fish Boil held at the 7th Street Corridor venue, MK's. Although their was plenty of fixin's, food and foam, I couldn't tell if there were many takers during the evening event held Sunday (5/20). The area was set up for a feast, but it seemed to me that, even as me and mine was fashionably late, some folks again didn't get the memo. Of course, of those who were in attendance, I had seen not once, not twice but at least three times during the weekend at most of the events. Has Little Rock gotten so out of the circuit that only a few folks have the stamina or determination to participate in these events. I kept thinking for goodness sake, in the past this event was well attended and usually a pre-summer highlight. Even though I don't necessarily indulge in the main entree, there was also some good sausage, potatoes, and corn that had a sumptuous aroma filling the air. I don't know what to make of the lackluster turn out these days but I see it as problematic to continue to plan functions and get "so-so" interest. Why bother offering anything special, even though I keep hearing that grating mantra of "why don't we have this or that," from many folks whom I don't see at any of the offerings planned. Just what the hell is it that folks are looking for or wanting to do?  Do I have the answer, I 'm not sure. Does this get my attention, you betcha. Especially as COP 24/7 is at the center of working with the Little Rock host committee on next years NABWMT diversity convention slated for this city.  Of course, that event will have its own programming which will be open to the public, but I would hope that as that event steps off, July 24-28, 2013, all locals will be ready to welcome guest from coast to coast. As was done during the Midland Regional in 2011, our legendary Welcome to Little Rock reception will set the tone and momentum of the event. In case you missed it, we've already got a reputation of "welcoming and friendliness" that has been set. So, its all about "represent" that will be needed as we prepare to bring this convention to Little Rock for the first time in its history. Currently planning meetings are starting to take place and everyone is invited to get in on making it a happening and memorable mash-up in the city. If you are interested in being apart of this special event, hit us up at  We've got big plans and we want everyone to help make it happen!!  We are looking for in-kind gifts, sponsorships, partners and collaborators. Let's show the big girls that we are something to be reckond with!

Friday, May 18, 2012

TRIBUTE to the Legacy

The Musical Crayons of Donna Summer

I had another one of those moments where I had to hit the life pause button and remember that each and every day is precious because we are only promised so few of them. The sudden passing of Donna Summer caught everyone by surprise and as many of you, I too lived and loved her soaring as well as sultry voice that was another musical backdrop to my journey's soundtrack. As I searched the files of my memory on what life was serving me during that time, it was her freeing and music in motion lift that often left me breathless. But despite all the trappings of being the "Disco Queen," what should be made clear is the fact that Summer was a bonafide artist, composer, lyricist and above all a great singer. Although know for propelling this disco beat, she had lots of music that crossed many boundaries. From inspirational which earned her a Grammy to her Nashville days still creating music, Donna Summer should not just be remembered for the fluff but also the anthems for working women, which she one stated was based on her observation of a hotel housekeeper whom saw "working hard for the money." For myself I always likened her "State of Independence" cut as a funky cosmic nod to the cause of global human equality and even her Christmas CD is one of the most played in my house during the holiday season. It seemed to me that her music always included a keen eye on the pulse of what was going on around her personally and professionally. I sensed it, embraced it and damn near practically lived by her siren call as many around did as well on Saturday nights when I embodied being on "Sunset" or the toot, toot, beep, beep of the "Bad Girl" mantra. Unfortunately I never got to see Summer in concert except those wonderful video or her appearances on the breakthrough musical showcase the Midnight Special.  Long live Donna Summer and rest in peace. Your musical legacy has been firmly established and it will forever be playing somewhere in the back of mind and most likely many others.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday Flier Edition

COP 24/7 is always on the hunt for collaborations and partnerships with content producers from around the world. Yes around the world!  As I've been producing this effort over the last five years or so, I've had the good luck to cross paths with so many wonderfully talented folks from all angles. When I started this effort, I really had no idea what I was doing., I simply wanted to try this new thing called "blogging" because I kept thinking, "what the hell is blogging?" Viola! After some 100,000 words I can honestly say that I now know what the hell blogging is and can become in one's life. Afterall, I rapidly approaching that Blog 900 level Yes that's right, 900 of them bitches and counting. With all that under my belt and riding that learning curve to new heights, COP 24/7 continues to be a beacon for some and bemoaned by others who don't want to find themselves "Topic A" of this platform. Nevertheless, our sole purpose has been to follow three three pillars of our mission, "educate, inform and empower." I've been hell bent on providing this zone as a interactive and open source for dialog. Critics aside, COP 24/7 unwittingly forged its own path to offer a communication portal that directly serves the LGBTQ community and beyond. Even though our "take no prisoners" approach often rubs some individuals raw, our talking out loud and calling it as I see is my hallmark and I stand by it. Therefore, COP 24/7 churns onward and upward with bringing our unique brand of news, views, links and discovery of great content from across the web. One such contributors is National Association of Black and White Men Together media winner Herndon Davis who is a multi-media producer. He's kicking it with videos, composing articles and all manner of communicating with his public. This current video appears courtesy of YouTube and it features Guiding Light actress Tina Sloan and her latest project of a one woman show, "Changing Shoes." Its a great interview and Sloan offers some interesting insights into careers, life and loving your self. This could be a great show that should stop through our area. Anybody got any ideas of how to make this happen? Well at least think about it. Thanks Herndon and look for more his dynamic work here at COP 24/7!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Overdrive Wednesday

Black Civil Rights and Faith Leaders Combat Divide & Conquer Strategies

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fast Track Tuesday

Here we go again....Its mid-May and everything is everything! Early voting is underway with the Arkansas primary bouncing in next week. There's so much news, views, updates and links to share that COP 24/7 is in  "fast track" mode to get it all in somehow. Let's not waste a nano-second....

SGL Group "Strilite" Emerges
The emerging entity STRILITE, is a newly founded group formed in the fight to deal with HIV/AIDS in the state under the auspices of the D-Up HIV/ AIDS prevention program being facilitated by The Living and Affected Corporation. Pictured from the left to right: Will T. Kevin H., ADH Program Manager, Courtney Hampton, Johnathan G. and Derrick L.
In full disclosure, COP 24/7 has an ongoing collaborative relationship with The Living and Affected Corporation. The group is a Arkansas Department of Health sub grantee in the area of HIV Prevention. Our mutual concern and commitment to the issue of HIV and AIDS in Arkansas links us as allies and partners in demanding a comprehensive system of HIV care in the state. COP 24/7 fully endorses the mission of LA Corp is in efforts to promote empowerment and inclusion while decreasing the prevalence of the disease through education and advocacy. This forum believes that a holistic approach in conjunction with dealing with distinct social determinants must be apart of the mix in rebuffing this health crisis. The prevention grant awarded to the organization was designed to continue to address ongoing issues and barriers of HIV and AIDS, especially in the people of color communities that have been disportionately impacted by the disease. Within the scope of that award the prevention programming attached was centered on a diffusion of evidenced based platform entitled the D-Up program better known as "Defend Yourself." The basis of the community based intervention called for a group of black gay men to serve as conduits within the same gender loving community to discover "Opinion Leaders" who will facilitate communicating prevention messages to their inner and extended networks. As the program has developed, the core group has agreed that the branding and group philosophy will be central in their appeal and ability offer positive images that they have idenitifed as "missing in action" among Black gay men.

The name is rooted in the foundation that each participant had a shared vision of "striving for enlightenment." According to the organizers, "we have to deal with our present as it begins to impact our future." The genesis of the organization evolved from the D-Up curriculum which creates a frame from which participants can forge a self identified group that would resonate among its peers. Currently the group has established itself formally with Articles of Incorporation, internal structure and has decided to be "incubated" by The Living and Affected Corporation as it capacity building provider. The group.has embarked on a journey to play a significant role in becoming involved with setting policy and raising consciousness concerning the messages and services being crafted to serve Black gay men living and or affected by HIV and AIDS. They are developing a schedule of events including a HELP Fair slated for later in the year, developing a support group model, plus participating in HIV Awareness programs and utilizing social media outlets as a medium to share their organizational information and future programming. The organization can be contacted at or Strilite Incorporated, P.O. Box 242281 Little Rock, Arkansas, 72227 The group will be based at 401 North Maple, Suite A in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on National Women’s Health Week

Starting with Mother’s Day, May 13, we are observing National Women’s Health Week; the theme this year is “It’s Your Time.” We can all celebrate the women in our lives during National Women’s Health Week by encouraging them to make the time to address their own health. Healthy, strong women are essential to having healthy strong children and communities, but too often women place the needs of others before their own needs.
Because of the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, being a woman will no longer be considered a pre-existing condition. Women with non-grandfathered health coverage or Medicare can now obtain preventive care, such as well-women visits, mammograms, pap smears, and cancer screenings without co-pays or other cost-sharing. National Women’s Checkup Day, May 14, serves as a reminder that women should schedule a visit with their doctor to discuss which screening tests they need. Regular checkups and appropriate screenings can help detect diseases early, when treatment is most effective.

Also in recognition of Mother’s Day, we want to let mothers-to-be know about Strong Start, the department’s initiative to safely reduce the rate of early elective deliveries and reduce preterm births among women covered by Medicaid by supporting innovative ways that providers and states use enhanced prenatal care. No child should have to deal with a lifetime of health problems because mothers did not have access to the right health care.

Celebrate National Women’s Health Week and encourage the women in our lives to make their health a priority.
To learn more about National Women’s Health Week and to find a National Women’s Health Week event in your community, visit

For more information on the Affordable Care Act and what it means for women, visit
To see The State of Women’s Health Video Townhall with Secretary Sebelius, visit
To see Women’s Health Living Room Discussions with Secretary Sebelius, visit
To learn more about the Strong Start initiative, visit

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

In case you didn't know, COP 24/7 has not only a state side readership but according to our Google Analytics, we are truly a global read as well. With that said, it is imperative that this forum embrace the plight of those individuals who find themselves persecuted and in some cases murdered in foreign lands. Also this movement caught my eye as a former community ally Ryan Olson who also served locally at CAR, is apart of the "As I am" campaign. It often pains me that so many talented individuals have come through our city but seem not to be able to fulfill their passions and discover their place within it. The list of talented folks who attempted to make a difference in this town is varied and long. And many of you would be totally surprised as to who worked and lived in Little Rock.  In a future post, I will share those alumni and explore why we can't keep such talent in this community. Its no secret that the allure of "big city" living and "all things gay" within them have a siren call to individuals who believe that Little Rock is not progressive enough for them. I've lived with the "big girls in the big city" and its not all its cracked up to be. Of course there's "gayborhoods" as well as manner of interesting groups and mash-ups, but having staying power can be extremely challenging. Every time I get a chance to get back to that city vibe it is infectious to me and I experience the pull of the rhythm of the city. It's as if I never left it and somehow it knows that I've returned while ushering me into a sense of feeling metropolitian with a urban swag. I miss it and often I wonder if my energy is being wasted as I look around the landscape of this city.  In the meantime, take a moment to check out this e-blast from the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia organization. Then perhaps lite a candle, say a prayer, meditate, or share some of your time or treasure with a local organization trying to stay in the fight to assert our right to love, life and the pursuit of happiness in America.
An impressive global program for the 7th edition of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is taking place around May 17th with hundreds of events planned in over 50 countries. The Day’s activities take place among growing international tensions between progressive developments and reactionary outbursts, including the now infamous Ugandan ‘anti-gay’ bill which again risks being passed in the Parliament this very week.

All over the world, thousands of activists are gearing up for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, also known by its acronym IDAHO. This year’s IDAHO will break records of mobilisation and outreach, as an estimated 50 million people will be exposed to campaign messages in about 50 countries, calling for an end to discrimination and violence against people on the grounds of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Amongst many noteworthy events, organisations in 14 countries across Latin America will unite in a common campaign and unfold dozens of public activities to denounce the ‘Cures that Kill’, the so-called ‘therapies’ to supposedly ‘cure’ sexual and gender diversity, often driving people to suicide. This regional campaign has launched an appeal and invites citizens across the world to support this call online.
Other breaking news include the presence on May 17th of Lady Gaga as guest Editor in Chief in the 17 national editions of the free daily ‘Metro’; the organisation of activities in 12 cities across China and the mobilisation of the Japanese LGBT in solidarity with the victims of the recent catastrophes, to name but a few. Events will also be organised in places as critical as Iraq, Indonesia, Uganda or Sri Lanka, and other countries with strict criminal laws where activists need extreme courage and expose themselves to permanent death threats.
States, cities, corporations and institutions also mark the Day. The European Parliament will hold a series of events, while many United Nations agencies unfold a range of declarations, publications and events, including a landmark publication encapsulating the most prominent UN statements on sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights, which is being translated and disseminated in a vast range of local languages by campaigners around the world.
The IDAHO Committee, the organisation which launched the Day in 2005, expresses its enthusiasm at the range and diversity of the mobilisation. IDAHO Committee founder Louis-Georges Tin notes : “Croatia and Nepal will probably very soon join the list of the countries, which includes Brazil, Mexico, France, the UK the Netherlands, etc… which have recognised the Day officially, giving one more sign that the Day increasingly becomes a major annual focus for action at all levels. In France for example, 12 ministries take official action on the Day”. “It is very impressive to see such a wave of activism, ranging from huge national marches like in Brazil or Turkey, to small community events” says Joel Bedos, international coordinator for the IDAHO Committee, “but it is also badly needed. Despite some recent progressive developments, with the recognition of same-sex marriage in Argentina and Mexico as important landmarks, the global climate is still predominantly one of fear, hatred and violence against sexual and gender minorities.”
The Day’s celebrations indeed take place within a very tense international context, for example in Uganda, the ‘anti-gay’ bill now risks being passed by the Parliament in forthcoming days, in spite of outrage both from regional, national, and international stakeholders.
The IDAHO Committee organisers also note that the issue of Transphobia is increasingly being addressed both by organisations and institutions. Says Sophie Lichten, a lesbian Trans women and vice-chairperson of the IDAHO Committee: “We need to remind everyone that all over the world Trans people bear a particularly heavy burden of violence, with Trans people being killed every day, as a report by the Trans Murder Monitoring project to be released on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia uncovers.”

To react against ignorance and hate, one of the IDAHO Committee’s initiatives this year is to create a global community of people uniting to celebrate diversity in nature but unity in spirit. “We named this campaign ‘As I Am’. The idea is to invite individuals to submit testimonials, artwork, photos or videos on what makes them special and beautiful” says Ryan Ubuntu Olson, campaign manager. “We invite all decision makers in the media, the blogosphere or Facebook pages to spread the word and contribute to the success of the day and its campaigns worldwide”.

For more information on activities and campaigns :
Media contacts : For general information, contacts of activists in countries, international projects : Joel Bedos, International coordinator (English, Spanish, German, French) +33 (0)664715921
For historical perspective on the IDAHO and specifically activities in France :
Louis-Georges Tin, Chair (French, English) +33 6 19 45 45 52
For information on the ‘As I Am’ campaign Ryan ‘Ubuntu’ Olson, campaign manager (English) + 1 303 587 8126

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Week in Countdowns

And the Beat goes on:
The Culture War of Marriage Equality

Since last weeks POTUS "evolution revolution" rolled across all media worldwide and then some, there's been so many analyzes from every possible angle. Not to mention all the blow back concerning if any of this was really new to our knowledge. Was President Obama just "fence sitting" until he could maximize the right moment? Could all of this been an orchestrated political move to motivate his bases of young folk and them gays? Is he putting his Presidency at risk with telling the American people the truth about what he thinks about an issue? OMG!! Will the Black church crowd sit on their hands and not turn out to the polls? Yesterday's Arkansas Democrat newspapers Editorial section had its take on the announcement from various viewpoints as well. They took a "so Obama's for marriage equality, blah, blah, blah.." position citing that this revelation falls into his liberal framework. The writers also quipped that many Arkies were not having none of it anyways since the state had already passed legislation dealing with the matter years ago. Its no secret that this state will not end up in the Obama state tally. Pundits and politicos alike have "smoked and mirror" the situation that citizens are not fond of his economic policies and such instead of the distinct fact that race has been an overriding factor if not the only factor. Meanwhile as Arkansans scoff at the idea of any type of marriage equality, this state leads the nation with a 57% rating compared to 48% nationally. Therefore can this state with the second highest bastion of D-I-V-O-R-C-E-S, and Northwest Arkansas having the highest number of divorces per thousand couples in the USA boast about setting an example for marriage. Believe it or not some marriage counselors have reported that the "gruelling impact and demands of working 60 hour weeks to keep jobs or build careers" as the culprit in fueling these marriage breakdowns.  Wow! If  so then that's surely a model of nuptial devotion from those "one man and one women" couples who want to express who should and shouldn't be able to marry. Since it appears that most of them are not staying together anyway. Furthermore, let's not forget all those "shacked up" and excuse me, "living in sin" that last time I checked, who keep talking about who and what makes up a union. So these folks want to take the leader of the free world to task for doing what true leaders do? Being President of all the people means making the hard decisions when its not popular or politically expedient. Living at 1600 Penn Avenue is not for the person who can't stand the heat when the kitchen gets too hot.  I applaud Mr. Obama for affirming to me that he is a man of principle and integrity. His thoughtful insight and recognition that our nation can not chide other countries for human right abuses and shortcomings if we continue to wrangle with truly being the "home of the brave and land of the free." Mr.Obama has proven to me time and time again through his governmental pursuits of establishing a national AIDS strategy using all phases of the government, ending the Don't Ask, Don't Tell initiative, proclamations and appointments, plus his dealing with a rough and tumble economy that will need at least four more years of attention to correct much of wreckage that occurred prior him taking office. With the clear understanding of his viewpoint, actually nothing really changes as he stated that the matter lies in the hands of the states. And if you've been paying attention, the state tally is not favoring marriage equality by any means. So, Bravo Obama for letting me know that you've got my back and here's a shout out to you that I've got yours too! Now lets move on to whip Romney in the fall and get some more work done on fixing this nation. Its all about FORWARD from this point and into the future.

CONDOM NATION Unrolled into Little Rock

In a strange and interesting way, the Condom Nation tour blew through Little Rock last Saturday (5/11/12)  and I'm proud to say that COP 24/7 was the only local entity that showed up to say "howdy." Also organizers wanted to know if I was the point person to set up the testing station. My reply, "NO." Do you know where they are and why they are not here? Again my reply, "No."  As I was in the heat of posting last Friday, a "urgent" e-mail came through concerning the tour with a "all hands on deck" plea for locals to engage the tour as a possible testing opportunity and community outreach effort. In true "24/7" breaking news fashion, I quickly added the message to my posting and attempted to follow up with any local sources on the matter. Since this was Friday night, 7:30 pm with people caught up finding that last minute Mother's Day gift, I got "crickets." I had got an earlier e-mail from Mr. James Vellequette, who by coincidence was on site at the tour and I had chance to meet and greet. He stated that his contact had been Ms. P. Minor who arranged for the parking lot site, which he was "just fine" with and wasn't totally bothered by what I termed a "hiccup" in the planning process but in actuality was yet another total local "ball dropping " incident. Despite a slight rain, the 18 wheeler, accompanying van blaring uptempo music and an enthusiastic staff of four set up shop in the South University Parking lot to distribute condoms to those whom passed through. Thanks to Mr. Jones for offering to chronicle my "show up" with additional pictures ( I shot the one posted ) and big props to the entire team for coming to Little Rock to offer free condoms. I found Vellequette of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to be quite engaging and will add him to my Rolodex of savvy contacts and allies.

Alright now that they have departed for their next stop, I can't help but ponder why this excellent opportunity funded by someone else's dime, didn't get the support and enthusiasm it warranted. I had heard bits and pieces from various sources, but there should or could have been a concentrated effort to connect the dots and demonstrate that this community wants and needs these types of collaborations. I realize that schedules are busy with this and that. However, what this signals again and may be indicative of the overall situation, is a lackluster and perhaps a "whatever" attitude that has caused much concerning HIV and AIDS to continued to be stalled or stymied. Hey here's a novel idea, wouldn't it have been great to promote a piece of that $150,000 HIV/AIDS  "Know Now" campaign with a 18 wheeler as the back drop and the site set up as a testing event? Mmmmm!?  Or how about this one...if a coordinated community wide agency "photo op" or maybe a YouTube video style "message" could have been done and posted to that widely talked about Facebook page that has been kicked around for some time.

 In lieu of that idea and even more interesting is the fact that there's a pivot to bring more expert capacity building folks to town in an attempt to educate us locals on stuff like "coalition development and social marketing." This forum promotes scaling up every one's learning curve and encourages total empowerment across the board, yet why do we continue to seek the knowledge of folks who don't live here nor do they know what's going on here to tell us what we should do about living here. Could we simply not know by now?  In my opinion much of this "fancy learning" has become a much a do about nothing. Especially if what's learned or retained never goes into action to achieve any measurable outcomes. Its good and well that such courses are made available, I'll be among the first to register but why waste the time and dollars disseminating good technical information when the knowledge of a 18 wheeler truck and crew rolled into the city was fumbled, as they were looking for our local "coalition" who could have used the event as a "social marketing" bonanza. Need I say more....

Convenience Stores Drives Neighborhood Decline

City of Little Rock Director Ken Richardson ( Ward 2)  believes that those dastardly "convenience stores" are the scourge of inner city neighborhoods especially in the emerging 12th Street Corridor. In Sunday's Arkansas Gazette he waxes on  that the access to alcohol via such stores fuel crime and facilitate the decline of the infrastructure. He goes on to purport that a proliferation of these businesses play a part in the creation of "crime bubbles" and centers his premise on the LRPD's Community Abatement Program which list businesses with a large number of criminal activity complaints. In his assessment these neighborhoods are "fragile" to which I would agree but I don't believe that convenience stores that sell package goods really drive individuals toward criminal behavior or firmly set a norm for an unhealthy neighborhood. He along with Rev. Benny Johnson head of the city's Stop the Violence campaign said they are "calling on City Hall to do something" in regards to zoning issues and revitalization plans. Although I would believe that perhaps some who have substance abuse problems could be impacted by the access to adult beverages however I would challenge the "personal responsibility" of not only those adults but of those living within these neighborhoods. I drive to my childhood neighborhood where I'm amazed at the boarded houses still unattended to by the city, abandoned lots, lack of continuous sidewalks and unkempt lawns of those living in the area. Did the location of such stores do any of this. I think not.  I lived in the South End prior to "white flight" when the area was literally pristine and eerily quiet. There were no houses with garbage on their porches, no folks sitting at kitchen tables in their yards, no unfunctioning cars sitting idle or domiciles unattended. It just wasn't done and those living in the area took pride in the neighborhood unlike many mindsets currently.

Richardson touted a U.S. Department of Justice report that alcohol abuse was a factor in 40 percent of the violent crimes committed in the U.S. Plus he said that incident reports from the police department tell of a lot of crime and criminal activity in certain parts of our community happened or emanated from those stores." If I were to believe his position, I am suppose to believe that the person who broke into my house got juiced from the CS spot and decided to ramshackle my abode? Even more illuminating is the fact that police didn't respond to my break in and stated that a report could be made at the station. So did my break in fall into any reporting of my areas crime stats?  Probably not.  Of course there is crime and issues of criminal activity, but this element has been present for the past three decades or so and these stores have existed throughout that time. There was a area package store in my neighborhood as I grew up and I don't recall it being the source of the crime that was taking place nor setting individual in motion for there behavior. I agree that revitalization is important and the city has a responsibility to push forward needs within the community while spurring economic development. Case in point, neighbors rallied to defeat a Kum and Go outlet in the Fair Park area. That same outlet found favor at the corner or Baseline and Chico with a bright and welcoming store that as far as I'm concern a significant bright spot in the neighborhood. I've changed my quick pick shopping habit to buy products basically from this new store. Management seems always on property and the staff offers cheerful greetings and "thank you's" that you couldn't get anywhere else in the area. Even though this store opened just a few months ago, there was and still some crime in the area despite their presence. Ultimately, the city has problems with crime and that's a given. However I don't want the element of personal responsibility to be overlooked in this social equation. No matter what stores are in the area, if individuals are not willing to pick up trash in their front yards, serve on neighborhood watch patrols or participate in their neighborhood associations then we need to seek reasons why they are not engaged and if this could be apart of solution mix.  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Swing out Friday

Another week down and counting as COP 24/7 rolls toward that...drum roll please...our 900th post on this platform. Yes my pretties, we've been putting it out here, there and damn near everywhere in more than 100,000 words or more! Can you say wow! Well if not, I certainly can say WOW! We've covered topics from A to Z, including male circumcision issues to folks who deserve a "bitch slap" for their behavior. Its all been right here in this forum and we've had a high time bringing it to each and everyone of you. As usual I've been busy behind the scenes trying to discover new gadgets, podcasting, video and links to the next upcoming and hot thing. Keep it locked and loaded to COP 24/7 as I wing my way to post 900. You'll know when we hit the mark!!!

Condom Nation Tour ???

Earlier this week I was informed that the Condom Nation tour(  was scheduled to visit Little Rock this weekend. I didn't have all the info needed, so in true COP 24/7 fashion I went surfing in search of updates or contacts. I couldn't determined exactly who the local contact was to be, I had heard numerous names but no one could pinpoint who was spearheading the effort. Therefore, I hit up the Condom Nation website and sent an e-mail to Assistant Director James Vellequette. Mr. V responded that "they were working on the event that was almost confirmed," but that he was awaiting further details. As of Friday evening, I hadn't heard anything from him directly nor had I seen any e-blast or any other circulated info on the event. But just as we were going to post, the in-box lit up with an plea for "all hands on deck" concerning the event. It was a urget e-mail stating that the event was to step off at 4300 South University in the Denny's Parking lot. According to Regina A. Waits anyone wanting to participate had to bring their own gear with the promise that stuff would be "reinbursed" by AIDS Healthcare Foundation. All well and good, but who has access testing kits, PEMPS forms and such on a Friday night or getting prepared on a Saturday morning by 10 am. This is Little Rock and I don't see nothing moving that quickly except myself getting to my keyboards. Why this "last minute" hot mess happened is anybody's guess and I'm sure that there's yet another "see what had happen" explanation to support it. Is this where I insert the, "when we know better, we do better," mantra?  Anyway, I'm not to be out done and will do a micro condom nation on this platform with the embedded video from their website. With precious resources always in play, we certainly could always use more condoms for our safe sex kits and otherwise. In the meantime, don't forget "Sex happens, so keep it safe!"

Politcally Speaking

In 2008 I had the opportunity to do something no one else in my family has ever done or ever will most likely. I had the chance to run to be a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention which was being held in Denver. It was truly an experience as I meandered through the process in an attempt to not only learn how to b a delegate, but exactly what it took if I was selected. Unfortunately, the process was a bit more savvy and extremely well played by others who out maneuvered myself to be a delegate. I mentioned at that time that we should start a "learning lab" to began teaching individuals the ropes before the next convention being held in Charolette, North Carolina this fall. Yet, as usual nothing happened and I was told that if I though it was such a good idea that I should make it happen. Well, if I didn't get to be a delegate and was defeated as such, does it sound like I sould lead a class in anything? What did they want a class in "Looser 101?" I though that more experienced experts should be engaged and a series of sessions be offered to those interested. After all the LGBT community hasn't made many inroads into either presenting themselves as a political force nor engaged fund raisers or donors. Even though there's a perception that most gays are "upwardly mobile" I found this not to be the case in most instances. Those with those "disposable" incomes are far and few, furthermore those who have the cash seem to have found themselves caught up in the latest tech gadget or whatever status symbol that they identify themselves with. Locally there have been some good intention fund rasing, given a few hunderd here and there, but nothing that really shook the money tree. This is why many candidates are not enticed by Arkansas LGBTQ community because there's no groundswell of support or cash dash to make a difference. If we don't put up then most likely not many politicos are going to speak up for our issues or conerns. This includes any possible gay candidates. In the meantime, the Araknsas Democratic Party e-blasted this letter and COP 24/7 thought it wise to share...

Dear Friend,

The 2012 Democratic National Convention is just a few months away. This memorable experience is open to all Arkansas Democrats who wish to file to run for delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and the filing period begins next week!

In order to run, all interested candidates must complete the delegate filing form here and return it to the DPA with a contribution form and a voluntary contribution of $25 to help defer the cost of participation. Required paperwork can be submitted in person or via mail at 1300 W. Capitol Ave, Little Rock, Ark. 72201, via fax at (501) 376-8409, or via email at

The filing period opens on May 14, 2012 and closes on May 18, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. You won’t want to miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity, and we encourage all registered voters who consider themselves Democrats to run for delegate or alternate to the Democratic National Convention.

There are two paths to becoming a national delegate. District Level delegates are elected the morning of the DPA special delegate state convention by their respective congressional districts. At-Large Delegates are selected in the afternoon by the whole convention. Be sure to note that candidates running for district-level delegate or alternate may only run within the congressional district in which he or she is registered to vote for the upcoming election in 2012. To verify which district a voter is registered in, please contact the county clerk in your area.

Delegates will be voted on at the DPA Special Delegate State Convention on June 16 at the Robinson Center in Little Rock, so be sure to mark your calendar with this important date.

With warmest regards,

Will Bond


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rainbows Breaking the Suface

Obama Speaks to Marriage Equality Issue

He done gone and done it. President Obama announced to the world the results of his final evolution on the issue of marriage equality in the LGBTQ community. In his methodical, thought driven and heartfelt expression of words resulted in the first American President to support a marriage option being offered. His striking verbiage and stately demeanor was prefaced by his references to First Lady Michelle Obama and his observation of daughters Sasha and Malia's friendships with the children of same sex couples as apart of his evolution. Furthermore he noted that those within his administration whom have committed and healthy relationships and other's that have demonstrated the fact that they deserve the choice to pursue a "marriage" recognition of their partners played a significant role in his decision. I'm proud of Mr. Obama for speaking his convictions after what must have been a thoughtful process. He was not hurried to make a "forward" decision nor bowed to being berated into taking a position that he was not comfortable with taking. Great decision makers usually weigh all the facts while seeking to assess if their decision is the right one. Amazingly just a few years ago, many in the LGBTQ community were bemoaning and under cutting what they had perceived as an abandonment of his campaign promises. Somehow the gay "wish list" was lacking and their was an air of unhappy voters who didn't want to talk about hope and change anymore.

The Gay Power Mafia types were folding their checkbooks, writing all types of surly Opt-Eds and acting as if there one night stand had left without leaving their number. All of this despite Obama's constant moves to embrace the LGBTQ community with appointments, addresses at the Human Rights Campaign gala, commemorating Gay Pride Week with proclamations, no DOMA charges, and signature repeal legislature as Don't Ask, Don't Tell, it didn't seem to be enough. Gays continued to act as if nothing had been done or that they had been left out of the process, when nothing could be further from the truth. As a reminder the administration created and Twittered about the laundry list of accomplishments that should shut up anybody whom believes that Obama has not had gays and lesbians on his radar. You can find it on which offers a timeline of activity ranging from White House receptions to major policy decision.

With the marriage confirmation, the campaign money machine has begun to ring off the chain. I've seen notices that are using the Stonewall Uprising date of June 1969 as a rally cry for contributions. It seems that yesterday after the statement, at least One Million dollars was raised in 90 minutes. Today, POTUS will wing his way to George Clooney's Hollywood conclave for a $40,000 a person fundraiser that will make the cash dash go stupid.

I'm proud of the President as man of conviction, fully understanding that this culture war bombshell will be spinned by his opponents into a firestorm of criticism. I've always believed that "you've got to stand for something or you will fall for anything." I value men of integrity, substance and fortitude in the face of making the hard decisions. Unfortunately I'm not whipped into a frenzy about the marriage equality issue, as I am about the lack of economic parity, continuing racism in the LGBTQ community and the many other inequities in folks lives that as I've stated previously don't promote going to the chapel in no hurry. Let's be clear, Obama has stated that all marriage decisions will be up to the states to decide. Presently 39 of the 50 states including Arkansas and now North Carolina have bans on any moves to allow any marriage equality. He has no plans to offer any legislation or measures, therefore all we really know is that he is willing to accept the notion of gay folk getting married. As for anything else, everyone has to deal with where ever they are and what ever the law states in their area. In the meantime, I'm down with Obama and hope that each of you will share some dollars with the campaign, take some time to do some volunteer work and nothing else damn it, please vote for the candidate of your choice.

Occupy Little Rock Out of Luck

The permit for OLR is ticking down to expiration next week. It seems that although the group has been basically civil and raised little to no ruckus, certain power players and shot callers have enough and want the area cleared for the summer festival spectacle of RiverFest is my best guess. City Director Erma "fingers" Hendrix has quipped numerous times as to her displeasure at the encampment and in true Hendrix fashion has referred to tenants as "garbage" and didn't retreat from those comments. As you may have learned Ms. Hendrix is one of my favorite gadfly that makes me hold my face in that McCauley Caulkin face slap look. If you recall she was the director whom spoke ill of gay folks a while back, but didn't know who she was messing with at that time. She's the loose cannon that often fills my WTF files and more. According to OLR organizers they've attempted to "make nice" with the city but it seems that there's been a disconnect from any further negotiations. As far as I can tell, OLR was one of the last of the encampments left standing. Even though there were some small demonstrations, many speeches and lots of internal meetings, their message didn't move more folks to "occupy" anything. I admire each of them for there energy and enthusiasm, but can the organizers actually point out any viable outcomes of their micro-movement? Has anything changed and did there existence create any synergy among other local social justice groups? If they fade to black, will anyone really remember what they stood for or why? My own mother is an example, when she said, "exactly what are those folks in them tents trying to prove?" Occupy Little Rock came and will go, however, I hope that the spirit of civil disobedience and public protest will find it way into more social change groups as we go forward in this election year. Thanks OLR, good try!

Buidling Bridges to Diversity Abstracts Sought

The host committee producing the 33rd convention of The National Association of Black and White Men Together, Inc, July 24-27, 2013 is seeking individuals, community based organizations, ASO's and or individuals who would like to submit a summary abstracts based on the "Building Bridges to Diversity" theme and the tracks of :

1. Organizational Capacity Building

2. Intergenerational Issues and Dilemmas

3. Health and Wellness

4. Communty Advocacy and Activism

The summary should include contact information, presenters and organization affiliation, overview of presentation and equipment outlines. Each empowerment session should plan to run aproximately 60 minutes in length. For more information contact:  Currently the committe is also seeking additional members to serve in numerous capacities and volunteer positions. Local contributions, in-kind services, advertising opportunities and sponsorship will be available. Additional information on NABWMT can be found at:

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Chicken Soup for the Soul Wednesday

Let me begin by saying that as I've checked my Google Analytics and then hearing from many of you, this forum is doing all kinds of madness and then some. In case you didn't know and neither did I until I look deeper at the stats, COP 24/7 is a global. Yes my pretties, we've got folks checking in on our special brand of mash up from all over the world right down to the Ozark hills. I know that you are up their in Northwest Arkansas and you too, right down their in the delta plus my readers checking in around Mena, Cabot, Star City, Pine Bluff, Texarkana, Eldorado and points beyond. Thank you for checking in to see what we are up to. Although we appreciate those "eyeballs" we always on the hunt for more readers to bring us news from their areas, come follow us, opt-in e-mail, share our links and by golly it wouldn't hurt if you wanted to send us a donation to keep it alive and well. We do have a Paypal portal for just that type of support and I plan to attach another "tip jar" in our margins just shortly. COP 24/7 has been Arkansas' online daily news source since 2004 and counting. We're proud of it and we're not mad about it. Now let's go get em...

Early Voting in the City

Its ON! Early voting is underway and I certainly hope that most, if not all of you took the time to become registered voters. As of Monday, there have been 5,700 voters whom have turned out to cast their ballots. Of course I have no idea how many of those are from the lavender set, but it doesn't matter when we have over 1.5 Million possible voters in the May 22 primary.  For the life of me I can't understand why folks who want to complain about the situation don't get involved and register their ass. Especially when it comes time to make sure that as margins are close, every vote and I mean every vote counts. Then, there are those of you who make have been big boys and girls and registered but don't make it to the polls. All of this is a crap shoot as the "robo" calls have started to blow up my cell phone. And most likely some of you as well, however, we've come to accept that intrusion, I'm concerned that much our electorate, that being most of you have become complacent and aloof. Every vote counts whether its for your Justice of Peace candidate down to the big guns of preparing for the fall mash up with POTUS Obama and that other guy, Mitt Romney. Our system allows us to have a say, even as some dastardly bastards are trying to tinker with voting access through a lot of not so crunked laws. Ladies and Gentle, and all those who haven't decided, this year is no joke and I suggest that you vote as if your lives depend on it. Believe me there's much riding on the national elections and don't shy of learning what our local politicos are up to. I love ya Joyce Elliot, but your recent actions almost cause me to blink. Thanks for sending out all the printed materials and the round of "robo" calls but I may not have been the only one to do a "rubber neck"concerning your recent actions. I applaud that you decided to not get caught up in that $88,000 cash dash and took the high road even though I'm not sure if its the actual road you would have taken if no one was looking.  Of course if you haven't register now, none of this matter now does it. Anyway, for those who took the time to do so, good for you, so now get our their and early vote for the candidate of your choice.  Check out this link for all things about the current elections info:  Got a story about your experience or why you didn't register, then share it with us.

AIDS in Arkansas
The Kabuki Theater Mash UP

You may have heard the term "Kabuki theater" kicked around by a variety of folks using it to describe all kinds of situations or circumstances. Wikipedia cites that the term can be interpreted as "avant-guard" or "bizarre" theater resulting in stylized drama. Chi Ching! Let's just say that I believe that there's some "Kabuki" theater going on in reference to this forums spotlight of the inner workings of Arkanssas' Community Planning Group. If you recall, last week I posted that the group was mired in some organizational grid lock as well as what I perceived as structural paralysis. Much of this stymied movement has been centered around murky communications, awkward processes such as voting blocks or representation, a lack of capacity building sessions that should have noted glaring issues such as the knowledge base around Robert's Rules of Order, and how the CDC guidance "Bible" would be used, adhered to and the impact on those attempting to participate. Even though that dropping shoe is one thing, its the "theater of the bizarre" angle surrounding the recent announcement of the "cancellation" or "termination" of a consultants contract that garners some detailed explaining.  This forum does it best to get to the facts of the posted situations. But based on who is willing to share credible facts or at least their version of them can be problematic. Therefore, Last week the "tone" of our post concerning ARCPG's consultant situation seemed to be supporting the position that the contractor was faulty in their actions. COP 24/7 had hoped to speak directly with the provider but at post time no connection was fruitful. However, the contractor became aware that the facts were being misrepresented and decided to set myself and all who want to know straight on what "had really happen." From a circulated e-mail, the contractor stated that there were no missed deadlines and that the Hep C HIV/AIDS Section Chief, Tina Long had requested a day before the plan was to be offered that they were to:

 "remove all the data that highlighted ADH’s challenges with effective and coordinated HIV care and treatment services for PLWHA."

The correspondence from the contractor also concluded:

 "I find it terribly disturbing that she would send out a correspondence to the entire CPG that uses me as a scapegoat for why the needs assessment and HIV comprehensive plan have not been completed."

Additionally the e-mail went on to inquire as to the "ethical questions involved" and allegedly an apparent attempt to usurp the collaboration of the group and its mission to work in concert with the section to achieve a " best practices" plan.  So what's with all this you ask? Its speaks volumes to the inadequate knowledge of those hiring forces of the Arkansas Department of Health whom all but ignored the suggestion of "community" engagement with that process, the appearance of marginal oversight from Upper Management of the Hep C/HIV/AIDS Section and if these allegations are confirmed to what extent will the matter be investigated and resolved. Its time that all the issues that are being "masked" be removed to reveal much of what the HIV/AIDS community, allies, supporters and end users have endured previously, attempted to thwart from happening again and perhaps "know now" what was suspected all along.

COP 24/7 Special

SGL Cup gets a new ELIXHER

I'm always on the look out for new and innovative sites that contain fresh and unique content to explore. Enter, ELIXHER, a website from the spirit of Kimberly McLeod touting that its "a concoction of all things queer, culture and current." According to the site, "ELIXHER is your go-to resource for all things empowering, thought-provoking, and pertinent to the Black female queer community and experience. You’ll find uplifting profiles, local events, political commentary, personal reflections, and more."
ELIXHER was created by a writer and former editor who after years of working in media grew tired of the lack of multidimensional representations of Black queer women. ELIXHER seeks to fill that void.

Live Your Best Life: Words of Inspiration and Food for the Soul

Need a pick-me-up or some spiritual nourishment? Written by transgender advocate and warrior woman Ja’briel Walthour, “Live Your Best Life” is ELIXHER’s new inspirational column.

I am truly excited to embark on this journey of self-discovery, and purpose, along with you. It is my sincere desire to begin with love, to end with love, and to spread love in all the spaces in between. With respect to those who identify with the LGBTQ community, women of color are often faced and/or forced to deal with many hardships, and additional hurdles in which to overcome. We endure it all from sexism to racism, domestic abuse, sexual assault, job discrimination, homelessness, low self-esteem, depression and despair. Whatever the issue, today marks a new beginning.
The dawn of a new horizon is here, and we must now become fortified with overcoming power, as we move from the all too familiar role of victim, and claim our rightful and divine role of “victorious” women. This is our time to lose the “shackles” that have kept us bound in fear far too long, and also to reclaim the songs of freedom and salvation our mothers, grandmothers, and ancestors have spoken of from days of old.
As I write to you today, I extend my hand in friendship and solidarity. I promise to seek ways to encourage and inspire you to live on purpose, and to walk the path of destiny you were created and designed to fulfill. Together, I believe we can establish a mutual space of hope, peace, and love. We can also propel one another to greatness with our honest, kind, and uplifting words, and also through thoughtful deeds and actions.
Years ago, I penned the words to a poem enabling me to overcome what seemed to be a mountain of low self-worth, while also gifting me with both an affirmation and appreciation of life, love, and the freedom to just be me. The piece is entitled, “I Am A Beautiful Being,” and this is my gift to you:

I am a beautiful being,
Mind, body, and soul.
I am a beautiful being,
The Creator made me so.
I love my inner beauty,
Dreams, hopes, and ambition.
I also embrace my faults,
And accept my inhibitions.
I love the way I laugh, I cry.
I love the way I’m kind of shy.
As I look in the mirror, who do I see?
Oh yeah, that’s right; it’s a beautiful me.
5’5 with a wonderful stride,
Shiny black hair, there’s no need to hide.
Smooth brown skin, and love deep within,
Joy for miles, don’t forget that bright smile.
As I go through life, I try to share,
Just a piece of this beauty, I’m blessed to bear.
I love this spirit, that God has given free,
A beautiful being, a portrait of me.

It’s been nearly a decade since I wrote this poem in Winter 2002. I was yet “hiding” my true identity from the world, and wearing a mask of security to conceal the shattered image inside. Writing out my deep thoughts and contemplations, enabled me to have a voice and to embrace my authentic self in ways I could only imagine.
As our journey with “Live Your Best Life” unfolds, be mindful that this space is created especially for the beautiful being, which is you. Together, we will explore ways in which we can “live our best life,” and also encourage others. I am overjoyed about our budding friendship, and look forward to a lasting, and mutually fulfilling relationship with you.
- Ja’briel Walthour
Ja’briel Walthour is a transgender advocate residing in Hinesville, Georgia—a small, military community located outside Savannah. She currently works with special needs children and has authored a children’s book series loosely based on her experience growing up transgender in the South.