Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Triple Twelve Foreplay

This forum strives to present voices and opinions from the LGBTQ spectrum and beyond. Its vitally important that the equality chorus includes those whom are marginalized to the well connected. The piece exemplifies the challenges that many local community based organization or support groups face daily. Although issues around HIV and AIDS is still relevant, especially with the notice of increasing infection rates among African Americans, keeping a momentum of engage individuals can be daunting. Its understandable that our complex lives have demands on our time and treasure, but if we don't continue to have committed engagement and steadfast focus, there's a chance that the progress made could slip into the contemplation zone.

 Meanwhile, every contribution to the dialog has modicum of merit, points or counterpoints considered and ultimately deserves a place at the table. This COP 24/7 special item was written by Michael Burks of HIV Arkansas. Originally it was posted to the organizations website in November 2012 and is being reposted for our readership. Burks recently participated on AETN's "AIDS in Arkansas: An Update" presentation November 14, 2012 For more information contact the group at  It is unedited and reflects his personal opinion.

COP 24/7 Special
From the President: Dealing With Change

Have you every heard the phrase, “no one likes change?” Well, we all know that change is just a part of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Change, at times, is necessary, beneficial and can be completely out of our control. Regardless of the circumstance surrounding any change and we must learn to deal with the changes in our lives and go on. As an organization we must also change and continually look for ways in which we can better meet the needs of our members and at the same time better equip our leaders on the board of directors to stay focused and purpose driven which helps in preventing “burn-out.”

Let’s face it, HIV Arkansas has done a lot of good things and we will continue to do a lot for the HIV Community, however, we must make some minor changes within the organization. Our members are busy our board of directors are busy and we must scale back on our activities. Below are some of the changes that have been approved by the board of directors.

Due to lack of interest and participation in the Positive Living Support Group Meetings in the Ft. Smith area the Positive Living Chapter in Ft. Smith has been suspended. We are grateful for the time and energy that Kari Coffman devoted to this group. Kari will remain active in the HIV community as she endeavors to work with ARHope (Formerly NWA HOPE) and as she develops her Away with Stigma Facebook page.

Many have noticed you are not receiving as many newsletters as before. Several months ago we decided to do a quarterly newsletter instead of a monthly one to cut production time and costs. Our intention is to utilize our email capacity by sending email reminders and updates regularly through electronic means. We are working toward developing a streamlined system for notifications.
Our business meetings have been rescheduled and will occur at the end of each quarter instead of monthly. Our next business meeting will be in December. Our board has determined we can conduct many business decisions through email communications which greatly decreases the amount of time required for board members to attend business meetings.

Our typical monthly socials have been reduced to basically a quarterly schedule as well. We plan to have a Spring Cookout, our Annual Retreat in June, a Fall Cookout and some type of Winter social. We are always open to new ideas and welcome any suggestions you may have for socials and outings. I strongly encourage each member and our friends to make every attempt possible to attend these socials and special events under the new schedule.

Although these things mentioned above are significant changes that have taken place there is one thing that remains in unchanged and that’s our NWA Positive Living Support Meetings. These meetings are held on the first Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. in the Glotzbecker Conference Room at the Rogers Public L:ibrary Chapter. The attendance varies from month to month but the meetings are always uplifting and encouraging to all that attend. We invite everyone to join us for these meetings.
If we don’t see you for the Holiday season, we wish you blessed and happy holiday seasons and a Happy New Year.

Michael Burks

No comments: