Tuesday, June 05, 2012

June Step Up and Step Off

2012 Mayors Campaign Against HIV Proclamations

The Mayors Campaign Against HIV asks mayors to give visibility to the Take the Test, Take Control message by issuing proclamations declaring June 27, 2012 to be National HIV Testing Day in their own cities or in support of testing at any time of year. Little Rock's Mayor Stodala signed on as a supporter but according to the NAPWA ( National Association of People with AIDS) website there was no recorded proclamation further supporting the effort. However, COP 24/7 has learned that a dialog with the Mayor's office on perhaps the feasibility of a city hall testing event is under consideration by The Living Affected Corporation as well as seeking the proclamation citing the importance of testing throughout the city and state. If the local community based organization could pull it off, it would be a first of its kind in the city according to agency leadership. As the details unfold and are confirmed this forum will offer updates and any late breaking details. In other interested connected events, there also has been an online shout out asking community folk to ask the mayor to also join the Freedom to Marry Coalition at Change.org.
Promoters of the site state that more than 150 mayors from across the country have joined the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry Coalition. Unfortunately, Mayor Mark Stodola isn't listed.
Little Rock is no stranger to the fight for equal rights. African Americans, women, and GLBT citizens have all made strides in their local communities to earn equal rights.
The strength and health of our cities are enhanced when all families are protected and supported. Many loving and committed same-sex couples are active participants in improving our communities, and they deserve to know their mayor supports them, too. Furthermore, the freedom to marry enhances the economic competitiveness of our communities, improves the lives of families that call our cities home, and is simply the right thing to do.
Please urge Mayor Mark Stodola sign on to join the Mayors for the Freedom Coalition by signing this petition and sharing it with your friends, families and neighbors. As COP 24/7 has said before, "its all about speaking to power. Letting then know what you think can make all the difference." If you feel that the mayor should step up, then share your thoughts on their website or either post them here.

Jackson to Executive Produce "TRUTH"

Published reports have hit the airwaves and cyberspace as to Janet Jackson has signing on as an executive producer of a documentary on the lives of transgender people living around the world.
New York-based Brainchild Films announced Monday that Jackson was working on "Truth" and would do some of the on-camera interviews. The documentary begins production this summer and will focus on the lives and struggles of transgender persons.

Jackson writes in a statement that she is working on the project to try to stop discrimination of the transgender community. The 46-year-old sister of Michael Jackson has starred in several films and won five Grammy Awards. Currently Jackson can be seen promoting the weight loss program, Nutri System and has been an ardent supporter within the gay community. She was a the 2008 Vangaurd Award winner from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation organization. In 2011 Jackson authored and I use that term rather loosely, "True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself", in which she describes how she "developed a self-destructive pattern familiar to so many of us: fear and uncertainty led to bad feelings about herself and ultimately depression. The depression led to overeating. And her yo-yoing weight was painfully obvious in the bright lights of the entertainment world. It has taken Janet most of her adult life to come to terms with who she is. But she has finally broken free of the attitudes that brought her down and has embraced realistic goals that help her eat better, exercise better, feel better, and ultimately be better." Unfortunately, the book was received with lukewarm reviews due to the fact that many of her notable incidents such as the "Super Bowl" wardrobe malfunction or other colorful "Janet" moments were missing in action including her relationships with Jermaine Dupri or ex-hubby, Rene Elizondo. I guess Janet Watchers worldwide will have to wait for the superstar to come to grips with sharing any of those juicy details. For myself, I can wait as long as it takes and in the meantime I'll be getting on with my own journey to finding love in myself.

"Truth" will be directed by Robert Jason, who previously directed a documentary for The Style Network on four transgender New Yorkers. He says "Truth" will feature stories from throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Latin America.

Voting to End HIV in 2012: A Voter Mobilization Webinar

Join us for a Webinar on June 6

Are you ready to mobilize YOUR community for this year’s election? Join AIDS United Wednesday, June 6 at 2:00pm EST for the launch of our Voter Mobilization Toolkit and get the skills and tools you need to ensure the voices of the HIV/AIDS community are heard at the polls this Election Day. Email zfellows1@aidsunited.org to register today.
AIDS United’s Organizing Team will share successful strategies and examples from the field on how to engage, educate, register, and mobilize the HIV/AIDS community. Register today to learn
  • Five ways you can get involved in the 2012 elections
  • What you can and cannot do as a non-profit organization
  • How to take advantage of your internal and external resources
  • How to develop a comprehensive plan of action
  • How AIDS United can support you
  • And more!
Email zfellows1@aidsunited.org to register today.

Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign

 As a end user of the public programming that occurs at the the Clinton School, I get the notices of interesting and intriguing speakers set for their lecture series. This notice was especially concerning since their has been open discussion about the cantankerous engagement of national entities and their implied impacts on regional or local communities. The Human Rights Campaign has been a topic of debate as to their perceived aloofness and often pivots to "elitist and classism" attitudes that have not set well with many activist and advocates in the LGBTQ struggle. This notice was circulated in advance of Mr. Griffins local appearance. I encourage locals to attend and share your observations and thoughts with this representative during this interview. It may the only time that he can hear directly from those whom they state they want to represent.
 On his first day as president of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, Arkansas native Chad Griffin will sit down with state representative Kathy Webb for an interview about his vision for the campaign. Griffin recently served as president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and was the leading strategist behind a successful lawsuit to overturn California Proposition 8, which barred same-sex couples from marrying in the state. Born in Hope, Ark., Griffin became the youngest ever member of a presidential staff when was hired at age 19 as a press aide in the Clinton White House in 1992.

When: Monday, June 11, 2012
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. – Lunch & Lecture
*Bring your own lunch. Drinks provided.

Where: Clinton School of Public Service
Sturgis Hall

*Reserve your seats by emailing publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu, or calling 501-683-5239.

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