Friday, December 14, 2012

The Fast Foward Edition

Rainbow Freedom Walking

With 2012 winging its way out through the season of giving, come 2013 there are now plans underway for locals to participate in the "MLK Day Ma' Rainbow Strut, January 21 in recognition of the legacy of Martin Luther King. Spearheaded by community based organization, Centers for Artistic Revolution, the effort will be apart of the official "marade" yearly produced by the Martin Luther King Commission including a free luncheon afterwards.

However and somewhat surprisingly, the MLK website doesn't mention the marade but instead touts its Presidential Inaugural bus excursion, January 19-22 to Washington, D.C. including a video. Also after checking through dated content on the site, we discovered that the "event calendar" shows basically nothing until April 4th's Commemorative Vigil. Oversight or not, much of the information on the site recounts events in a 9/21/11 press release citing numerous accomplishments and future early "2012" activities that have no follow up or appear to be "scheduled" for 2013.  The once embattled commission is now under the executive leadership of Deshaun Scarbrough whom cites that organization is seeking a "new direction, new approach" to operating the group. Scarbrough states,

" We are aggressively working to revitalize old partnerships, while developing new ones. We are also re-energizing our DREAM KEEPERS and expanding the Commission’s presence in the community. We hope you will visit or call our office soon, to learn how you may assist in the effort, to live the dream and make change happen."

The groups website also showcases a host of supporters and sponsors ranging from the Design Group to the local Denny's franchise, whom offer supportive donations toward the organizations program such as The Dream Keepers Program which helps empower youth to gain an appreciation for community service through teamwork. For more information on the strut or RSVP for the luncheon contact 501.244.9690. Information about the commission can be found at . Stay tuned to COP 24/7 for the latest updates!  

(Editors note: the following item was a circulated item forwarded as a online donation piece from the foundation. COP 24/7 encourages our readers to share their holiday treasure with the organization of their choice including this forum which solely operates on the support of its readership.)

EJAF Speaks OUT for Holiday 2012

Twenty years ago this month, the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) began as a hopeful dream, and I'm so proud of all we've accomplished together.

Thanks to the generosity of concerned friends like you, EJAF has grown into one of the largest HIV/AIDS funders in the world. Since 1992, we have raised more than $275 million in support of grassroots organizations. Our grantees conduct innovative HIV prevention programs, raise awareness, fight stigma, and provide treatment, care, and services to people living with the disease in 55 countries around the globe.

Beyond the urgently needed dollars we provide to fight the epidemic, EJAF has also emerged as a forceful and effective voice for change. We advocate for access to life-saving medicines for the poor. We speak out for gay rights and for accessible sexual health services for young people. We champion health and economic equality for African Americans. And we publicly criticize harmful and prejudiced incarceration practices that stigmatize and punish HIV-positive prisoners.

I'm especially proud of our Foundation's reputation as a relentless advocate for those without a voice in society. We take strong positions on controversial issues. We're not afraid to speak our minds, to shout at the top of our lungs, and to get people to pay attention to this issue. And we're going to keep shouting for as long and as loud as we need to end this epidemic.

As I stated in my keynote address at the International AIDS Conference this past July, the AIDS disease is caused by a virus, but the AIDS epidemic is NOT. The AIDS epidemic is fueled by stigma. By hate. By misinformation. By ignorance. By indifference. We can do something about these things by working together.

That's why I need your continued help – so that EJAF can continue to speak out and fight for the changes we need to make in our society that will lead to an AIDS-free generation, and eventually an AIDS-free world.

This holiday season, please join me by making a generous gift to the Elton John AIDS Foundation in honor of your family, friends, and colleagues. Help us to make a real difference in the lives of thousands today and ultimately achieve a world without AIDS tomorrow.

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