Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reaching for 1000

I'm rapidly closing in on posting 1000 items to this forum since our launch way back in 2006. How could that be? Why should have it even happen or better yet what made me so sure that keep putting it out there was for any good cause. Well, it seems that happy accidents or stumbles sometimes lead us to sweet spots that we never saw coming. Not to mention, that the daily ritual of taking the "Big Chair," and making it happen seemed as it was destine to be whether I liked it or not. After all the creator allowed me the chance to step forward and "create" often without any guidance or discretion. It seems that I was suppose to share what I thought or whatever was bothering me at the time with folks who may never know me. No matter what one may say, I've ebbed and flowed through a host of topics ranging from the self pleasuring tool known as the "fleshjack," to understanding what to do with that extra "disposable income" that most gays are suppose to have. No matter, COP 24/7 has been quite a run and as I close in on post 1000, I hope that it will be more of what you are looking for! Now let's work...

Community Unity Gathering

Big props to all those who executed the Community Unity Picnic last Saturday at Murray Park. Although I was a bit under the weather, always the trouper, I rolled on out to witness an array of booths from Planned Parenthood to The Pillow Guys, offering " a specialized bedding  experience" with their product. Even more interesting was the many new faces sprinkled among the old timers whom decided that coming together on the river for food and fun was a not miss activity. Although the turnout was very good for the two hours of my attendance, I'm sure that the "rockin and livestockin" going on across town at the state fair may have had an impact but as I surveyed the crowd I did notice that this crowd was most definitely connected through their common interest in groups such as P-FLAG and DYSC which offer valuable services to their clients. Of course, all of these events are designed to be about making folks understand our degrees of separation but emphasize that in numbers we are all greater. Its a tough message for some to embrace, however, with more activities such as this hopefully we can win over more converts to the idea that "we can make it better if we work together." Thanks to all who made it happen, you are so appreciated!

Community Based Organizations: Who's Who?

Often I get question here at COP 24/7 or in-person about this group, that organization or confusion about local entity A,B,C and so forth and so on. Of course some of this I gave ceremonial verbiage because for one thing this forum had done it damnest to point out differences, leadership, activities and how to access numerous organizations in the area. Yet as I chatting with a venue owner, the question came up again that many in our realm seem to continue to be clueless about the "who, what, when, where,or how" to reach to those offering services from A to Z.  Despite all this unknown info, there are those who are in a "trauma or panic" situation that seem to move through the system with some ease, however assessments demonstrate that system "navigation" can be and for the most part is a bold barrier that needs some fixing. Meanwhile, this year alone there have been at least two information guides created ( Holistic Arkansas and Our Lives, Our Stories) and made available to the general public. Publishers state that between the two periodicals, at least 1000 copies were distributed throughout the state. There were some updates to the ADH ( Arkansas Department Health) HepC HIV Section's web page and a new outreach campaign is preparing for release. With all this, there still seems to be individuals who appear to out of the information loop. Wow! With that said, COP 24/7 did some checking about to learn that there are "many " groups, entities, organizations, coalitions and such, all claiming something related to the LGTBQ community. For instance the Arkansas HIV/AIDS Prevention Coalition? Who? Supposedly they supported the Compassion Sunday effort and consist of  a combination of faith based and grass roots groups to share information on the impact of HIV and AIDS in Arkansas. This group is "affiliated" with the Black AIDS Institute Community Mobilization College and locally with the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. Unfortunately this forum hasn't been able determine much more that this, although there are "blurbs" that state more activities are being planned.  Then there's the outfit that has been created or adapted to address smoking in the LGBTQ community known as Minority Initiative Sub - Recipient Grant Office.(MISRGO) It seems that there has been some "focus groups" and such to speak to the"community" about available smoking cessation programs. I do understand that this behavior is a choice, but according to the groups website over 7 Million dollars has been spent on such programs throughout the state. For myself, I can only remember the "no, no, no smoking kids," whom called out the adults about their lack of knowledge about the law. It was a good campaign, but I've not seen such a push in the LGBTQ community with its overwhelming taste for tobacco. In further research with the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network, I discovered that an online Tobacco/LGBT/ HIV survey was completed November 15, 2010 under sponsorship of the Arkansas Department of Health which reported results from 37 of its respondents from a field of 53. The 2010 report cited that of those answering, they would have sought assistance if "they knew where to get it from" and they also mentioned that they were unaware of the Arkansas Quit Line ( 1.888.QUIT Now). So what does all this mean and why? Well, in this forums opinion there needs to be clear and concise directory developed to coordinate what agencies are serving what populations and their expertise to that client base. Ultimately, such a periodical could augment the purposes sought Holistic Arkansas while enhancing the database needed to navigate individuals who are seeking linkages or being retained in a care continuum. Moving in this direction could be apart of the building process of forging a realistic plan to get the often mentioned "4,617" who are not in care on some type trajectory. There's more to this posting, so stay tuned as we continue to look into other groups within the LGBTQ community and beyond. Beleive it or not, some of this work done on behalf of the LGBTQ community could have little or no affect within it. Bookmark us today!

Davis to Speak at UALR
Angela Davis is best known as a radical African American educator, activist for civil rights and issues surrounding the private prisons will lecture at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on Thursday, October 25, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. in the University Theatre in the Center of the Performing Arts. COP 24/7 has learned that a high demand has occurred for the appearance and seating will be a premium. If you haven't done your RSVP, then you may be out of luck. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and after 6:10 p.m., seating will be on a first come, first serve basis. Contact UALR for more info.

She is currently a professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz, a job she was once fired from for ties to communism. In 1970, she was imprisoned for charges related to her involvement with three prison inmates. Davis is the author of several books, including Women, Race, and Class (1980) and Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003). As a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego, in the late 1960s, she joined several groups, including the Black Panthers. But she spent most of her time working with the Che-Lumumba Club, which was all-black branch of the Communist Party.
Hired to teach at the University of California, Los Angeles, Angela Davis ran into trouble with the school's administration because of her association with communism.

They fired her, but she fought them in court and got her job back. Davis still ended up leaving when her contract expired in 1970.

Outside of academia, Angela Davis had become a strong supporter of three prison inmates of Soledad Prison known as the Soledad brothers (they were not related). These three men—John W. Cluchette, Fleeta Drumgo, and George Lester Jackson—were accused of killing a prison guard after several African American inmates had been killed in a fight by another guard. Some thought these prisoners were being used as scapegoats because of the political work within the prison.

During Jackson's trial in August 1970, an escape attempt was made and several people in the courtroom were killed. Angela Davis was brought up on several charges, including murder, for her alleged part in the event. There were two main pieces of evidence used at trial: the guns used were registered to her, and she was reportedly in love with Jackson. After spending roughly 18 months in jail, Davis was acquitted in June 1972.

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