Monday, July 16, 2012

Racing Rainbows

Even though there was a break in the Dante's Inferno heatwave that had all us in its firey grips, it seems that we are now getting ready for round two as July zips along into those dog days of August. Nevertheless, COP 24/7 can handle the heat both in and out of the kitchen as I keep kicking out daily fresh content ranging from local events to national happenings. Its all here and more, just for the taking for all of our readers and visitors from literally around the world. Thanks for stopping by because the light is always on at COP 24/7!

CDC Launches HIV Stigma Campaign

Imagine that. The Center for Disease Control done went and done it again. What you ask, well they had the nerve and gall to create and launch a new national campaign intended to lessen the stigma of living with HIV. And by golly it seems to be quite catchy with all those same sex couples smiling and loving on their materials that will not be seen in Arkansas because we are not their target market. However as we've posted previously, we do have the sketchy "Know Now" campaign developed by the Arkansas Department of Health that is trying to find a direction to be useful in some manner. In case you missed it, the campaign rolled out during HIV Awareness Day (June 27) during a press conference. However, circulation details and other snafu's that occurred during its presentation are still being worked out, discussed and mulled over by all involved. What rubs me a bit wrong, is the fact that Advantage Communications which created this mash-up may not really be the right fit for this project or their entire scope of doing "prevention work." Esepcially if they have never done any.

So here come the questions....did these folks know what the National AIDS Strategy even is? Did they see the CDC culturally competent campaign?  Did they check out any other campaigns that have already been completed by other states? What exactly was gleaned from those focus groups held by Advantage Communications? In the meantime, its also unfortunate that 30 years have expired and folks seem to still not be getting the message damn it. But if we are going to go this route, then by all means for heaven sakes let's get it right. Enter, Let’s Stop HIV Together featuring HIV-positive Americans from all walks of life –including “The Voice” star Jamar Rogers, POZ magazine editor , and young HIV advocate Hydeia Broadbent – standing in solidarity with their friends and family, urging Americans to “Get the facts.Get tested. Get involved.”

The campaign features national online and print advertising, TV and radio public service announcements, social media outreach, and local billboard and transit advertising in 27 U.S. cities throughout 2012. Ads begin running this week in six initial cities: Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Orleans,New York City and Washington, D.C. Let’s Stop HIV Together is part of Act Against AIDS, CDC’s five-year national communication initiative to draw attention to the HIV crisis in the United States. Here's some accompanying video that demonstrates that these folks were about business in getting this done right the first time, not just always "evolving in some dynamic way." Let's keep hoping for the best.

Living Affected Refreshes and Re-Tools for the Future

As a part of the organizations on going restructuring and strategic planning outlook, The Living Affected Corporation, Inc. pursued a statewide search for new board members to fulfill oversight of organizational policies, fundraising goals and initiatives plus serving as ambassadors for the group. The new members for 2012 are Ms. Kendra Johnson, Chair ( seated left), Ms. Tonya Estelle ( seated right), Ms. Janee Richardson, (upper left) Mr. Devarian Anderson (top right) and Ms. Chantelle Davis (not pictured).

The board will meet monthly as they begin to explore board development modules that will assist the group with further understanding their roles and impact on the organization as a whole. Utilizing a recently redeployed mission and vision statement, the directors will prepare to embrace the new Vision Statement which reads: " we are the statewide organization that is informed and connected to change the social construct of the community we serve by improving basic human rights." Through strategic development exercises facilitated by Damon Jackson of The Jackson Group, The Living Affected organization also believes that its mission statement of "transforming communities through holistic health by providing, education and advocacy," will be vital in its efforts. Ultimately culminating in creating a Wellness Institute that will effectively change lives in our lives and the community.

With those core elements developed, LA Corp also wanted to refresh its brand through the launch of a new logo identity which pronounces the group's "H.E.F.T.E." ( Housing, Education, Food, Treatment, Employment) concept that supports their idea that these social determinants must be addressed as part of the care continuum paradox. As a sub-grantee of the Arkansas Department of Health, The Living Affected Corporation has been striving to offer as many prevention outlets possible including participating in outreach opportunities and most notably collaborations such as providing leadership in crafting the states Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Plan that will serve as the official community jurisdictional piece regarding the impact of federal dollars extended to Arkansas for HIV and AIDS. Recently LA Corp signed on as a Community Punishment alternative for those assigned community service from the courts. Each individual can serve their time acting as a volunteer for the agency.  The group continues to pursue its media track while releasing it's next version of it's Holistic Health Guide, conclude the sales of it's periodical, "Our Lives, Our Stories," and execute promoting it's LGBTQ health journal entitled, OMNIBUS slated for a mid summer release. Additional board positions are open and qualified applicants can submit their interest by e-mail at or by fax 855.792.5483. Advertising opportunity information can be obtained at 501.379.8903

Condoleezza To the Rescue...?

Is Condi Rice the solution to the Romny problem? Really? Are they serious? Alright, bring that smart diva to the political dance floor! Of course Ms. Rice has been emphatic that "she's not interested and is fine just where she is, thank you." However, GOP big wigs are wringing their hands and pulling at their roots as President Obama continues to back flip and drop kick Romny about his "job creating" money stashing and perhaps tax dodging persona. After the Drudge Report flung this  possible into the cyber news blender, tongues went wagging and Republicans seemed to ponder the thought that Rice could be a triple threat to the ticket, "she's smart, a women and Black, to boot." What a combo piece contrast she could be the robotic flip flopping Mitt. Many talking heads have even gone to say that Condi Rice would do so much in the effort to forget that dastardly Sarah Palin who all but destroyed John Mc Cain's ill fated attempt at the presidency. With her foreign policy chops and capability of speaking fluent Russian, Ms. Rice would know her way around foreign soil and all those leaders whom most folks can't name. I don't recall her motorcade getting any shoes or tomatoes being thrown at her. All she got was "coo's" and "ahh's" from dictators to those who don't buy into women calling the shots. So if Condolezza could be the secret Romney weapon, I would find that quite interesting and would certainly ponder how all that would play in Peoria. I say, let the games begin and let's rock and roll into November. Because each of you better vote like your life depended on it!!!

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