Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Take OUT

Socially Yours and More

Everyday there seems to be more social sites and platforms coming online to join all the other sites that already exist. Obviously there's no end in sight to the social networking craze that chomping along similar to that old pac man thingy of yesteryear. I do my best to be on the cutting edge of what coming next but often I find my eyes rolling into the back of my head as something else rolls out to compete with everything else that either I know about such as Facebook or that other new thing, Pentrest, that  I'm not so sure about or how it fits into my social networking groove. With that said, I discovered yet another interesting site entitled Rainbow Blak ( ) which is devoted to designing a space for " alternative, creative, free thinking, open minded, LGBTQ Women of Black origin.." The web site's creator and CEO is Koffee Brown ( yes that is suppose to be her real name) and is moderated by Terry White. The duo have put together a site with an international flair that not only celebrates "women 2 women" love but allows members to post items from numerous mediums on a variety of topics. Nothing appears off limits with items ranging from "stayin out your friends business to updates on the twin pregnancy issues among a stud and fem couple."  There are video blogs, photos uploaded, links and commentary including an interesting piece penned by local advocate Deidra Levi on "freedom from Religion." Ever since this forum was developed, among our goals has been to showcase as many portals of information, "infotainment" and empowerment sources available. Of course COP 24/7 certainly wants you to bookmark, RSS feed or follow us, but we don't mind sharing our posting to spotlight that there's a lot of sites across the board. Check them out, but by all means keep your browser locked and loaded with COP 24/7

We Are the Youth Project

We Are the Youth was created by Laurel Golio and Diana Scholl as a photographic journalism project chronicling the individual stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in the United States. Through photographic portraits and “as told to” interviews in the participants’ own voices, We Are the Youth captures the incredible diversity and uniqueness among the LGBT youth population. We Are the Youth addresses the lack of visibility of LGBT young people by providing a space to share stories in an honest and respectful way. As We Are the Youth expands, we aim to be even more geographically diverse. Pictured above is Anna, 19 of Tuscaloosa, Al and is one of the featured youth on the website.( ) Her story mirrors the often perplexing as well as the arduous journey gay youth endure into adulthood. Many of these stories are realities that exist of LGBTQ youth whom reside all over Arkansas. However, to date there are no profiles from this state but the opportunity is available through the link provided below. If you decide to share your story, feel free to let us know.  

Since June 2010, We Are the Youth has profiled more than 50 young people across the United States. We Are the Youth profiles have been displayed at the Brooklyn Museum, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the Fresh Fruit Festival and the GenderReel Festival, and have been featured in media including The British Journal of Photography,, and The Huffington Post. We Are the Youth is an endorsing organization of the Make it Better Project and a member of the Coalition for Queer Youth.

We Are the Youth is made possible through donated time and the contributions of generous supporters. Contribute to We Are the Youth by making a tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor Brooklyn Arts Council. Reach out to participate at

AIDS in Arkansas
AETN Program Continues Dialogue

On Wednesday evening, (11.14.12) the Arkansas Educational Television Network aired the "AIDS in Arkansas" program featuring local panelist involved with this ongoing public health dilemma. I was afforded a chance to participate in this program in my continuing quest to keep the issues and challenges of HIV and AIDS front and center. Moderated by journalist Donna Terrell, the program did its best in a small amount of time to cover the many layers of living with the disease and much of the associated conditions that range from disclosure to stigma. Of course there's no way to give the topic justice in 28 minutes but my viewpoint was succinct in a capsulized version that among the many issues there are three significant flash points for myself:

1. Funding levels must be monitored and addressed in the frame of the dollars following the epidemic. This includes Arkansas finding funds to add to the mix.

2. A distinct and workable strategy implemented to navigate those not in a care continuum into care. This should become priority number one to help stymie additional infections.

3. Utilize and embrace the tenants of the National AIDS Strategy, Southern Manifesto and our own home grown, Jurisdictional Plan which offers clear and concise evidence of shifts of the disease and highlights the shortfalls and pitfalls of the "patchwork system" of care disproportionately impacting people of color communities. Especially young Black MSM from 13-24 many of which don't even know they are infected. The realities of a 48% increase among Black men while the rest of the population is leveling off, is totally unacceptable and can't be ignored.

As I move forward into 2013, I intend to use this forum and all my community involvement to make the point that Arkansas needs to reassess its game plan before we can be in game to end AIDS in Arkansas. In leading this charge, I need your donations, in-kind contributions, voices, ideas, observations and presence at the table. Even though we've had remarkable break through and wondrous life saving drugs, there is still much to do in policy making, advocating, educating and empowering a movement that will continue to demand a more detailed and aggressive response from our public health officials. I can't do it alone therefore we need to re-group as well as react to the current status of this situation. There's no time to waste nor lives that are expendable amidst a temperament of complacency. This begs the question, just who will be held responsible for the continuing rise in infection rates, health care cost and eventual deaths. Right now the statistics state that we have over 4,000 infected Arkansans who are not in a care continuum. Even this number could be fluid as we've learned that reporting efforts are now being re-examined and evaluated as to accuracy. At this junction, we need all the brain trust that we can muster as we prepare to look at a changing landscape of the disease with individuals living longer lives with other co-morbidities. All expertise from consumers to clinicians will be needed as the affordable health care act comes into play again presenting a new set of priorities.  Hit me up at to find out what you can do or how you can help make a difference. I need to hear from you ASAP so together we can not let the deaths of the past be in vain. Last but not least, its not what I'm gonna do, but what are you gonna do?


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