Monday, June 04, 2012

Monday Manuevers

Campaign to End aIDs To Host Southwest rEgional Summit in Pine Bluff
 The Campaign to End AIDS in collaboration with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has scheduled a regional summit on Friday, June 8th through Saturday June 9th, from 9am to 3:30pm at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff at 1200 University Drive Pine Bluff, AR. Sessions will be held in the John McLinn Ross Theatre, Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Center. The summit is a two day event which will address HIV & AIDS advocacy, policy, and leadership development. The focus of the summit is:

-Developing an active and dynamic grassroots advocacy networks organized and led by primarily by people living with HIV & AIDS, their allies, and loved ones;

- Prioritizing HIV & AIDS advocacy and policy issues then developing plans that influence decision makers to implement strategies that lead to improving health outcomes, decreasing new HIV infections, and protecting the civil/social rights of people living with HIV & AIDS;

- Joining the ‘We Can End AIDS‘ mobilization at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington DC or creating local events that focus on front-burner HIV & AIDS issues;
- How to utilize ‘AIDSVote‘ (a candidate and voter education project making sure candidates for public office know what it takes to end AIDS and that voters who care about ending AIDS know where the candidates stand on our issues) in Arkansas and the Southeast U.S..

To join the C2EA in the Southeast or Southwest Regions click here.
For more information on the C2EA Southwest Regional Summit contact J. Raheem Harris or email

Conway Pride Takes Flight
Conway Pride ebbed and flowed with its usual quirkiness and impromtu order as aproximately 100 onlookers prepared for the grand entrance in front of Simon Park. A interesting mix of community based organizations such as People of Unity, Renegades and allies P-Flag participated in the now yearly event which contained enthusiasitc marchers and "floats" competing for the $100.00 prize. An assortment of vendors selling everything from jewlery to food offered their service as attendees enjoyed an array of speakers, contest winners and supporters. Although local media was present to cover the event the once present religious protesters were "MIA" as the parade made it way from the Pink House to the park site. Congrats to John Schenck and Robert Loyd for their continuing effort to teach tolerance and acceptance in the Conway area. Big props to all who turned out to show some pride and live their lives out loud. Especially those who were experiencing such an event for the first time and had mixed expectations. I have attended prides in numerous cities and the subject of frivolity and extremes has been kicked around for discussion. In larger metro areas various groups participate in all their glory often times displaying much of what their subculture subscribes to including butts and boxes. Being free to be you or me is not always capable of not rubbing your tolerance zone a bit raw or causing you to be uneasy about how one presents themself. We can't always contain individuals in "boxes of our self imposed reality." One thing that has become a self evident truth for myself is that I've learned that when I'm "doing me" doesn't necessarily mean that anyone else may like it or feels that it conforms to their norm. I've lived my life out loud with all that has come with it, that being the good, bad and the ugly. Much of it heaped upon me without my total consent or dealing with it because we all are in some pursuit of equality and freedom. My life and the way I live it doesn't have to represent anyone but me. After all many of us are still asking that $64,000 question, "what is normal?"  If we are truly about acceptance and tolerance then, that will demand of us the ability to embrace differences often beyond our own bounderies. Don't forget to ask yourself, "What have you done today to be proud?"  Be sure to check out their documented life story in the film, "Pink Houses,"now available on  For pictures and all manner of coverage go to FACEBOOK for all angles and prospectives.

No comments: