Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Roll Out and Away

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Issues Final Recommendation Statement on Screening for HIV
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) today released its final recommendation
statement on screening for HIV. The Task Force recommends that clinicians screen all people aged 15 to 65, as well as younger adolescents and older adults who are at an increased risk for HIV infection. It also recommends that all pregnant women, including those in labor whose HIV status is unknown, also be screened for HIV.

“While the best way to reduce HIV-related disease and death is to avoid getting infected, screening is also extremely important,” says Task Force member Douglas K. Owens, M.D., M.S. “Nearly a quarter of people with HIV don’t know that they have it, and they’re missing out on a chance to take control of their disease. Universal screening will help identify more people with HIV, allowing them to start combined antiretroviral therapy earlier and live healthier and longer lives.”

The Task Force found that although there is no cure for HIV infection, treating people with HIV earlier can not only reduce their risk of developing AIDS and delay its onset, but it also decreases the chance that they will pass on the infection to someone else. Treating pregnant women also reduces the chances that the virus will be transmitted to their babies.

“HIV is a critical public health problem and, despite recent medical advances, still a devastating diagnosis for the 50,000 people in the United States who contract HIV each year. In order to help reduce the suffering of those with HIV and their loved ones, we must continue finding better ways to prevent and treat this disease,” says Task Force chair Virginia Moyer, M.D., M.P.H.
Other groups, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American College of Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have similar recommendations for HIV screening.

“Primary care clinicians can play an important role in reducing HIV-related disease and death,” states Dr. Owens. “That is why our recommendation, which closely aligns with the HIV screening guidelines from the CDC, encourages clinicians to screen their patients for HIV.”

The Task Force’s recommendations have been published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine, as well as on the Task Force Web site at: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org Exit Disclaimer. A fact sheet that explains the recommendation statement in plain language is also available.
The Task Force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Round Up and OUT

Community Climb Shaping Up

The Living Affected Corporation is continuing its planning for a community building exercise through supporting a 1 pm climb/walk along the Ouachita trail which is adjacent to the Pinnacle State Park Visitors Center.
Participants are encouraged to gather at the Rocky Valley trail picnic area which will host the event featuring locally based groups whom will share their missions and involvement within the LGBTQ community as well as field questions from those in attendance. According to organizers, a free mini-cook out and beverages will be available on first come, first serve basis. If you are interested in volunteering with set-up, clean-up or service during the event hit up cornelius@livingaffected.org  The Living Affected Corporation is a statewide 501 c3 charitable organization with the mission to transform communities through holistic well-being by providing, education and advocacy. The organization is committed to promoting empowerment and inclusion while decreasing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS by pursuing social justice, equality and sexual health within the LGBGTQ community and beyond.

A Simpler Way to Apply for Health Care

By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Cross-posted from HealthCare Blog

Today, we take one more step toward meeting the promise of helping millions of Americans access
quality, affordable health coverage.

We have finalized the application you can complete later this year to learn what health insurance programs you are eligible for and the discounts to help pay for it. Starting in October, it will be the one application you can use to apply for the new Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and tax credits that will help pay for premiums.

I’m also pleased to say the application has been simplified and significantly shortened. The application for individuals is three pages, and the application for families is reduced by two-thirds, to seven pages. This is much shorter than industry standards for health insurance applications today.

Whether you choose to use this application to apply for coverage online, by phone, or on paper, the Health Insurance Marketplace will give you better options than they have today – with one destination to apply and many resources to get help. In-person counselors and a toll free phone line will be available to help you through every step of the process.

The online application that will go live on Healthcare.gov when the Health Insurance Marketplace opens for enrollment on October 1, can be found here:

You can sign up to learn more and get ready to enroll at signup.healthcare.gov.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Franklhy Speaking Friday

2013 National Transgender Health Summit

Cosponsored by the UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the National Transgender Health Summit aims to provide a
multidisciplinary program presenting cutting edge research in transgender health and evidence-based clinical training curricula for healthcare providers of all backgrounds.

The National Transgender Health Summit will take place May 17-18, 2013, at the Oakland Marriott City Center in Oakland, California, and will feature programming by world-renowned experts in the field of transgender health on a variety of tracks. For more information, email transhealthsummit@ucsf.ed

COP 24/7 Executive Producer cited as Flamethrower

The Red Door Foundation has formally announced recipients of their annual FlameThrower Award to be presented during it's June 8 gala in Memphis Tennesse. According to organizers. It is their goal to recognize indiviudals for years of blazing trails in entertainment, leadership, community, medicine, public health and advocacy for the African American LGBTQ Community to follow.
As Executive Producer of this forum as well as my community connections, I'm proud to have been chosen to be recognized by the nominations and award selection committees. I find it exciting to share this award among those other designated as flamethrowers in the respective disciplines or professions.
Per their official press release, I would like to take this opportunity to announce whom you will sharing this special occasion with:

Entertainment: Terryl Buckner- Memphis Black Pride- Memphis, Tennessee

Leadership: Dr. June Gipson- My Brother's Keeper, Inc.- Ridgelake, Mississippi

Public Health: Dwayne Jenkins- Brothers United Network, Inc.- Nashville, Tennessee

Advocacy: Diedra Levi- The Living Affected Corporation- Little Rock, Arkansas

Community: Cornelius Mabin- The Living Affected Corporation- Little Rock, Arkansas

Medicine: Dr. Leandro Mena- University of Mississippi Medical Center

You can find an official promotional flyerhttp://www.trdfmemphis.com/).

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April Periscopes UP and OUT

Devastating Gay Viral Video Turned Film Wins Award and Presidential Praise

Director Linda Bloodworth Thomason's documentary got $25,000 prize after wowing audiences, including former President Clinton, at Tribeca Film Fest.

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

Shane Bitney Crone's devastating 2012 Youtube video, chronicling his relationship with his late fiance, inspired Bridegroom, the documentary directed and co-produced by Linda Bloodworth Thomason, the creator of Designing Women. That riveting and moving documentary about love and loss, was announced as the winner of Tribeca's Heineken Audience Award for the Documentary last night at the wrap party in New York City. The award comes with a cash prize of $25,000.

"We are shocked. We were so grateful to just be selected for the Festival; we never imagined we would win the audience award," said Bloodworth Thomason. "Hopefully the power of this story will propel the film into theaters across America and beyond.”

Former President Bill Clinton introduced Bridegroom at the film's premiere, saying, "This is really on one level a wonderful, sad, heartbreaking, yet exhilirating and life-affirming story, and on another level, it's a story about our nation's struggle to make one more step in forming a more perfect union, for which marriage is both the symbol and the substance. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did."

Bridegroom will screen on Sunday, April 28, as will the rest of the films that won awards at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Full details and specific timing can be found at TribecaFilm.com.

Local Community Based LA Corp Recognized by RED Door Foundation 

Congratulations to The Living Affected Corporation's founder and CEO, Diedra Levi and colleague COP 24/7 Execurtive Producer, Cornelius Mabin on being selected as "Flamethrower" honorees of the Red Door Foundation. This important recognition continues to engergize my comittment to bridging my online persona and my work throughout the local LGBTQ community and beyond. Even though I certainly appreciate being singled out for my body of work, what matters for myself is the imagery, communication and leadership I attempt to provide to those future "flamethrowers" who will fill my blazed path. I encourage my readers, supporters and subscribers to consider sharing a monetary gift with this vital community based organization that is pursuing chainging social norms and transforming individuals through advoacy and empowerment. Go to www.livingaffected.org to make your tax deductiable contribution.    

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Raging the Machine Forward and More

Marriage Equality Discussed on Minority Matters

On yesterday I was asked to participate in a round table discussion on AETN's Minority Matters talk show hosted by Sylvester Smith. The topic was concerning the marriage equality question with Rev. Wendell Griffin of New Millennium Church and myself representing the favorable position with
Family Council President and lobbyist, Jerry Cox and Rev. Aaron Agnew of the Word of Outreach Christan Center who are opposed to the measure. Now let me be clear, I'm not exactly sure if I was the best choice to discuss the matter but nevertheless I got the opportunity to at least try to share my concept of the issue. The week prior to the appearance I was a bit torn as to what will I say and what will they say that I may need to have a response to. Although I had done media appearance previously, I wasn't spooked about that aspect but rather being prepared to discuss marriage equality as a single issues as opposed to my view that as a people we are not "single silo" dedicated bur rather a wide berth of issues ranging from economic parity to food justice.

Yet marriage equality has become the "hot button" topic that is being discussed all over the place. As usual and as I had suspected, Mr. Cox and Agnew took positions rooted in their evangelical background. Especially the "slippery slope" tactic that marriage equality will cause marriage to suddenly go into decline. Then Agnew rolled out the tale of "Sodom and Gomorrah" which is a favorite diatribe of those whom oppose anything LGBTQ. Rev. Griffin cited that religion has been used as a means to deride everything from Galileo to marginalizing communities.

My distinct points were that if we are a nation that chides other nations on their human rights abuses and the lack of civil rights being extended then how can we as a country continue to deny a segment of its citizens the fundamental right to choose who they love and how that love is to be celebrated. Cox retorted that we are tyring to "redefined marriage," of which I don't agree. Marriage for many years has been redefined by heterosexuals in many ways including those who are not formally "married" with no papers or ceremony. Ultimately everyone will be awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court in its ruling concerning DOMA ( Defense of Marriage Act) and California's Prop 8 which was recognized the one man/ one women recognition.

Furthermore, there are long distance marriages, loveless marriages, and those who have had multiple marriages. Of course there was no way to sum this complex issue up in about 27 minutes. However, I felt good to at least have had the chance to chime in on the discussion while keeping a positive image in the public eye.  To help further the discussion and your awareness of the issue I'm posting some key points for your consideration. If you got observations, comments or viewpoints to share, let's hear them!!


Civil marriage will give same-sex couples the same economic security, protections and peace of mind that is enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.
There are 400 state benefits and 1,100+ federal benefits granted to married couples. Here are just a few:
  • Access to employer-provided health and retirement benefits for partner and nonbiological/adoptive children.
  • Access to partner's coverage under Medicare and Social Security.
  • Ability to visit or make medical decisions for an ill or incapacitated partner.
  • Right to sue for wrongful death of partner.
  • Ability to sponsor one's partner for immigration.
  • Marital children gain family stability and economic security because of their parents' legal marriage that is inaccessible to nonmarital children, including the enhanced approval of marital children in society and streamlined adoption processes.
  • Access to health benefits and inheritance from both parents.
  • Right to maintain a relationship with the non-biological/adoptive parent in the event of the death of one parent (in states without same-sex second-parent adoptions).
  • Joint insurance policies for home, auto and health.
  • Joint parenting and Joint adoption.
  • Bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or child.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rainbow Spotlights and Highlights

Even though I've been seeking content contributors or item of interest from parties that would like to showcase their work, so far the response has been nothing more than "crickets." Imagine that? I realized that the new frontier of the Internet is now allowing folks to say almost anything, any time or anywhere. So I guess my asking individuals to share their thoughts here doesn't seem to warrant the attention that one would think. So we go on with bringing you fresh content and sourced materials from unique places. Case in point is my discovery of the website Healthy Black Men which contains a variety of interesting items and topics that had me searching the site with vigor. Now for those of you who want to go left with the backtalk, "why is there a Healthy Black Men website as oppose to a "Health White Men" site,?" Well that's because there are plenty of outlets that target the health of white men when there's not such for men of color. Its just that simple. Now with that said, I hope that you will enjoy the piece below that features the story of Nevada Senator Kelvin Atkinson. His story is important to me because this forum has always been about demonstrating that none of us can assume anything about who is apart of the rainbow spectrum. If you've got a coming out story that you want to share, you can always do it in this medium. Have a great week and keep coming back to COP 24/7 for all our best!

Coming Out’ is Healthier
Being open about their sexual orientation offers health benefits for lesbians, gays and bisexuals, according to a new study. But it also underscores the recent ‘Coming Out’ of state Nevada senator, Kelvin Atkinson.

Researcher Robert-Paul Juster, of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress at the University of Montreal’s Louis H. Lafontaine Hospital said “Our goals were to determine if the mental and physical health of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals differs from heterosexuals and, if so, whether being out of the closet makes a difference.”
kelvinHe and his colleagues looked at 87 men and women, about age 25, who had different sexual orientations (gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual) and found that lesbians, gays and bisexuals who were out to others had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and fewer symptoms of anxiety, depression and burnout. When a person is under chronic stress, cortisol contributes to “wear and tear” on a number of the body’s systems. This strain is called allostatic load, the study said.

It was just April 22nd when the Nevada state senate debated a measure that would allow voters to repeal the State’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The chamber debate made national news when Nevada Senator Kelvin Atkinson, supporting repeal of the ban, announced: “I’m 44 years old. I have a daughter. I’m Black. I’m gay. I have dealt with a lot of what folks are talking about…If [gay marriage] hurts your marriage, then your marriage was in trouble in the first place.”

What was most powerful about Sen. Atkinson’s testimony was the recognition of his intersecting identities as a means for challenging beliefs that serve to further marginalize and oppress the LGBT community. Through acknowledging that he is a Black Gay Man who also happens to be an established lawmaker and father, Sen. Atkinson provided an alternative narrative and face to what it means to be gay. As a result, he was able to boldly challenge the arguments of his colleagues by simply being visible.

The public proclamation made Senator Atkinson the fifth openly LGBT member of the Nevada legislature and the first openly Black gay man to hold legislative voting power in the State. Nationwide, many LGBT people and allies praised the Senator for his courageous decision to “come out” and share with his colleagues how homophobic comments have personally affected him. The moment also demonstrated the impact openly identifying as gay, and discussing the experiences attached to that identity, can play in inspiring others and generating social change. And if research is any indication, ‘coming out’ of the closet may also be a good way to relieve anxiety and mental stress.

Mr. Corey Yarbrough is a co-founder of the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC) and serves as the organization’s Executive Director. He serves as a Contributor for Healthyblackmen.org.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Racing the Updates Ahead and More

Wow! What a hell of few weeks its been for COP 24/7! As its Executive Producer I've been burning the candle at both ends with what appears to be no end in sight. With that said, I'm still perplexed at those of you whom keep waxing on that you "have nothing to do or are bored." REALLY? Just what is this all about and why are so many folks not doing something to be about the change that they wish to see! There's plenty of stuff to do all over the place and many of us are doing double duty to just keep matters flowing. Enough already from the legions of you who are sitting around engaging television reruns, whining about your lack of involvement, Facebook addicts or those who keep bitching about "what life should be." Life is beautiful and there's so many choices to made about the next chapter of our lives individually and collectively. Stop the insanity of "I'm bored" and come join those of us who are trying to make a difference for us all! Got it, then do something about it!!

Smoking in the LGBTQ Community

This forum has posted about the ongoing strategy sessions on developing a coalition to deal with
smoking in the LGBTQ community. The next meeting will be held May 20, 6pm at the Center for Artistic Revolution offices, 800 Scott Street inside the Presbyterian Church. Last week, The Tobacco Prevention & Cessation Program hosted another in a series of strategic planning sessions geared toward defining their way forward in establishing such a coalition. The meet up was facilitated by Mr. Toney Bailey, TCP Health Program Specialist and Dr. Gustavo Torrez (pictured) of the Fenway Health Institute. During the session it was discussed to the  lack of health data on the LGBT community as well as defining assessments concerning health issues seen as priorities. Highlighted in the session was the fact that the organizing table lacked full participation from various factions of the LGBTQ community including people of color, transgendered, gay youth and advocates. As this group has been in an organizing mode, STRILITE, affiliate of The Living Affected Corporation has partnered with Future Builders, Inc to move forward to with producing public forums as well as in-house training meetings concerning LGBT smoking cessation strategies. According to co-facilitator Kevin Holmes, "we feel good about the turn out so far and the progress of our efforts to start discussions about smoking cessation." He continued, "I hope that we will be able to build on this momentum and continue to raise awareness about this important health issues." COP 24/7 vows to stay on point as these projects develop and encourages the movers and shakers in the community to become engaged with these initiatives. If you've got observations, comments, stories or concerns, hit us up to get the dialog flowing!

Community Building: LA Corp Sponsors Pinnacle Mountain Climb

The Living Affected Corporation is planning a Community Pinnacle Mountain Climb, May 18, at 1pm, located across from the Pinnacle Mountain Visitor's Center. Organizers Max C. and John P. Jones state that they are excited about the response thus far and hopes that this enthusiasm follows through to the event including two bar outreaches beginning May 1 at 610  and Friday May 3rd at TRAXs.

The idea is a follow up to a series of community building exercises being promoted by the agency in an attempt to address a multitude of issues and challenges presented by participants. Organizers Max Caberra and PJ Jones expressed that they wanted to volunteer for the organization while desiring that their first activity be something "outdoorsy" as well as decidedly community minded.

Therefore, the two developed the idea to also include a small community forum with guest speakers from area agencies such as Lucie's Place, Center for Artistic Revolution and Arkansans for Equality, plus a mini cookout and a day of promoting "each one helping one" up the mountain trail.

"We plan also to share our adventure on Facebook, maybe upload some video's on YouTube while informing others as to this team building event," said Caberra. "I hope that this will be one of several ideas that we've talked about as new volunteers of LA Corp." Currently the duo are seeking donations, contributions, gifts, volunteers and supporters for the event. If you are interested in being apart of the community forum or volunteering call 379.8203 for more info. Check out the new Facebook event page for updates!!
Diversity ToolboxLGBT stories need ethnic, gender diversity

By Sherri Williams
The Supreme Court hearing cases this year on same-sex marriage have thrust gay rights issues to the forefront again. One dominant voice continues to reflect the perspective of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in news: the white male.

“Mainstream (media) organizations will go to the one or two white organizations they know about,” said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, a statewide gay rights organization based in Atlanta.

The absence of the voices of people of color, women and transgender people from news stories about LGBT issues implies that they don’t exist, said Daryl C. Hannah, director of media and community partnerships for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

“Because of the lack of representation in media, a lot of the concerns that the community has have been left out,” Hannah said.

News stories about the same-sex marriage hearings and their impact and outcome provide an opportunity for reporters to add a variety of LGBT voices to their stories and reflect how diverse communities are affected.

Here are some resources that can help reporters add different LGBT perspectives into stories:

CONTACT NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONSThe National Black Justice Coalition has a team of black LGBT experts who are willing to talk to the press, said Kimberley McLeod, communications director for the coalition.

McLeod says her group has worked closely with national magazines to find LGBT people of color for news stories.

Diverse voices in LGBT stories are crucial because media images have an impact on lawmakers, McLeod said.

“I see the national conversation is not inclusive of people at the intersections of racial equality and LGBT equality,” she said. “These multiple ‘isms’ that affect us are not being addressed in policy.”

Kylar W. Broadus, executive director of the Trans People of Color Coalition, said reporters must stop looking in the same places for LGBT sources because they’re missing nuances and important story angles.

“If you’re only capturing a gay white man’s voice, you’re missing a huge part of American culture and the many issues that people of color face,” Broadus said.

It’s also important for reporters to have gender diversity in their stories. Such voices can illuminate ways that issues including sexual harassment, sexual violence and job discrimination disproportionately affect lesbians and transgender people, McLeod said.

McLeod also suggests that reporters reach out to groups such as the National Association of Black Journalists’ LGBT Task Force and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.

The institute was formed in 2011 to change the face of LGBT sources reflected in news stories.

GLAAD has trained 52 people across the country through the institute. “We have a robust database of people who are interested in doing media and have interesting stories that can make your stories better,” Hannah said.

Hannah said GLAAD’s experts can also help reporters contextualize stories and have their LGBT diversity stories go beyond the stereotypical black versus gay story and write about people who are black and gay.

An LGBT community center is a good place for reporters to look for diverse voices because they will have an idea of the range of organizations in the community, Graham said. His organization, Georgia Equality, and the Health Initiative run the Phillip Rush Center, an LGBT community center in Atlanta.

LGBT centers can especially assist deadline reporters. But when journalists know that important stories such as the same-sex Supreme Court hearings are coming up, they should develop relationships with gay leaders and activists of color to prepare for their news coverage, Graham said.

But journalists don’t have to wait for gay issues to include diverse LGBT voices into stories, Graham said. They can incorporate them into issues they already cover.

“Do some human interest stories and profiles on members of the LGBT community,” Graham said. “Highlight some of the other stories and experiences that are out there in the LGBT community. There are a lot of rich stories.”

Online media outlets can help direct reporters to fresh diverse LGBT voices. Follow bloggers, activists and online community groups on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to their blogs to stay updated on LGBT issues and how they affect different groups.

Spectra Speaks, founder of the media publishing and advocacy organization Queer Women of Color Media Wire, says multiple identities manifest in the lives of LGBT people of color. When reporters leave them out of stories, “They’re leaving out layers of oppressions.”

Friday, April 19, 2013

A TGIF Streaming and Trending


According to organizers of last month's The HAIR Affair co-fundraising event for Lucie's Place and The Living Affected Corporation netted $1,839.92. The proceeds were to be divided between the two entities with LA Corp also receiving a gift of $174.00 from tips from performers during the after show held at Miss Kitty's. "It was a good time and success," said Kevin Holmes of LA Corp. "I was glad to be apart of it and hope that we will consider doing it again in 2014." The evening included a local vendors presenting their crafts, fashion showcase on a catwalk with a special appearance from the show cast of Miss Kitty's in a "big hair" walk off. Each community based organization will use the proceeds to facilitate their respective programming. For the Lucie's Place concept spearheaded by Penelope Poppers (pictured), will use the funds to continue its capital building campaign to address homelessness among gay youth, meanwhile The Living Affected Corporation will use its portion to increase it community building programming  such as the impending Pinnacle Mountain Climb, HIV/AIDS education and general operating expenses. For more info on each organization check out their websites at: www.luciesplace.org or www.livingaffected.org 

Substance Abuse & Mental Health in Arkansas' LGBT Community
Presented by CAR (Center for Artistic Revolution) and Arkansas Department of Human Services
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Clarion Hotel - 925 South University Avenue

Substance Abuse and Mental Health are two key issues that face LGBTQ Arkansans. Join us for a presentation on the climate of substance abuse and mental health in the state, as well as more important information on how we can all make a difference in this community. The presentation is free. Dinner will be provided.

RSVP is REQUIRED! Contact Katrina Crisp at kat.n.crisp@gmail.com  to reserve your space.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Frankly Speaking Part Two

COP 24/7 Special
Its All About the Benjamin's and Then some

On yesterday I posted an item which spoke to fundraising as activism in our communities in support of local community based organizations. Sourced from POZ magazine, the article raised several issues that I've waxed on about in not only previous post but offered many scenarios as to how funding streams are vital to establishing the needed infrastructure that would support our interest.

The article cited the critical situation of competitive foundation dollars that are now in short supply despite an ever growing need to address issues from health disparities to dealing with "kitchen table" issues such as housing, employment and food justice.

On a local front, even though there's been a sincere attempt at fundraising based on good intentions, the efforts will eventually cause a fatigue among donors whom feel that they given all that they possibly can. Although all fundraising is certainly appreciated there has to be a more concentrated approach that will include a variety of "streams" of funding to capture.

In other words local organizations and those whom wish to help have to use their "out of the box" thinking capacity to add to the donation mix. Here are some quick mash up ideas for your consideration:

1. Donate frequent flier miles for possible travel.

2. Offer gift cards either for cash or products that you may not have used.

3. Make a monthly commitment to your favorite organization. If you don't see it, you want miss it!

4. Check to see if your company participates in matching gift giving to local organizations.

5. Use your birthday to raise funds for a organization.

6.  Ask if the organization has a wish list registry and fulfill a request.

7. Make a community based group a pet project of your fraternity or sorority.

8. If you own office space, vehicles or items that could be of use, find a way to donate them.

9. Don't forget year end giving that offers tax advantages.

10. Consider leaving a legacy gift to an agency that will serve as your eternal support.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Frankly Speaking Part One

COP 24/7 Special
Fundraising as Activism as a Means for Survival
by Megan Kate Mulholland & Cassidy Gardner
The codirectors of Queerocracy, a grassroots social justice group, on the need for finding nontraditional support.
Over the past few years, small nonprofits and grassroots organizations that are struggling to find enough funding to keep their doors open are increasingly coming across this or similarly discouraging messages from private foundations: “Due to the financial crisis we are no longer accepting new grantees.”

The reality is that traditional fundraising through private, grant-giving foundations just isn’t cutting it for some of the newer, smaller and more radical organizations around. Larger foundations that haven’t taken as big of a hit from the state of the economy tend to prioritize funding for larger organizations with mainstream agendas and/or deeper roots. Many smaller foundations that are willing to take on the “risk” of funding grantees that are still laying a groundwork, developing their trajectory and possibly carrying out their work through more radical means have slashed their grant-giving budgets.

A recent study published by The Foundation Center finds that small foundations (with less than $50 million in assets) have and will continue to struggle the most to recover from the economic crisis of 2008, having to spend less in grant-making to avoid depleting their assets.

Of course, a successful nonprofit fundraising model is one that includes a variety of tactics for generating income—from developing and cultivating private donors, to implementing membership dues, to holding special events. Meanwhile, it is often one or a few large grants (“large” being relative) that give new and small groups the ability to get the structures in place to diversify their fundraising model while also building out a staff and developing programs.

For groups like Queerocracy—a New York City–based queer social justice organization that facilitates its work through direct action, community engagement, education and art—the radical nature of our work and the complex, sometimes controversial issues we work on have made it very difficult for us to fit into the traditional fundraising model of grant-giving that is put forth by most foundations. We are fortunate to have found some small, local foundations that are passionate about our work to combat HIV criminalization, but we are increasingly finding that paving a new path for fundraising is necessary in order to sustain our work.

As we sadly know, due to the sequestration, we are facing across-the-board cuts to spending for health care and social services for those who need it most. At a time when cuts to programs like the Ryan White CARE Act and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) are looming—and knowing that cuts to these domestic programs will inevitably make their way down to the budgets for local and statewide HIV/AIDS programs and services—it is essential that small, community-based queer and AIDS service organizations find creative ways to fundraise to sustain the important work they are doing.

It is no secret that programs that serve our most vulnerable populations are often the first to go in the wake of cuts to local, state and nationwide budgets. This reality makes the work being done to find new funding streams for AIDS (like the “Robin Hood” tax) to confront HIV criminalization and practices like “Condoms as Evidence”—both of which fuel stigma and disproportionately put queer and trans people of color and HIV-positive people behind bars—particularly important right now. The growth and sustainability of these small, grassroots organizations is essential, and thus the need for new and creative means for fundraising is urgent.

Often unlike more traditional modes of fundraising, creative opportunities allow for much more than extra earnings. They can push the boundaries on the ways people consider community building, activism and organizing and open the doors for people to get involved in ways that include the things they already enjoy doing. A well thought out creative fundraising plan can achieve all of that.

An important step towards finding a unique fundraising model that works for your particular group or organization is to identify where conversations around the issue are occurring. Take Queerocracy for example. Our work heavily focuses on HIV stigma and discrimination within the queer community. For us, an obvious space for these conversations to occur was in nightlife. Nightlife spaces are places where queer folks often meet each other under sexual pretenses and they are the site of where decisions are made about going home together or not. These spaces can have direct impact on whether people feel comfortable disclosing their status and therefore we have pinpointed it as a crucial environment to engage folks in AIDS activism—and that activism can be done through fundraising.

Queerocracy seeks to achieve a successful creative activist fundraising model through our current Community Fundraising Challenge. The challenge participants consist of queer bars and parties throughout NYC to raise money for Queerocracy whilst engaging their communities in the issues that directly affect them in those spaces, in particular HIV/AIDS-related stigma. Additionally, they are competing to win the Building Community through Nightlife Award that will be presented at our first ever QROC Awards Benefit this summer. It is the attendees of the challenge fundraising events who will vote on which party and bar they thought was the best in terms of its efforts, creativity and community engagement.

Ultimately, Queerocracy is issuing this challenge to the queer nightlife community in an attempt to pave a new path for small organizations to work within their communities to fundraise in fun, sexy, nontraditional ways, not only to raise money, but also to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and rid stigma where its often needed most to do so. In order for small grassroots groups like Queerocracy to be successful in our fundraising, it is crucial to lift up and work together with the spaces that contribute to community building in alternative ways, showcasing the support system that can exist and in this case from the streets to the bar or club.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A COP 24/7 Treking and Trending


Fourteen-time Grammy Award-winning artist and HIV advocate Alicia Keys took part in a briefing at the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Washington, D.C. offices on Monday morning to introduce EMPOWERED, a new campaign to reach women in the U.S. about HIV — developed in partnership with the Foundation as part of the Greater Than AIDS initiative. Ms. Keys leads the campaign and is featured in conversations with women living with HIV.

Of the more than 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S. today, one in four is a woman. Black women have been disproportionately affected, accounting for majority of new infections among women. COP 24/7 has been a staunch supported and ally in this health dilemma and continues to encourage local health officials to further raise awareness around this issue. Unfortunately the issues surrounding this chronic disease has prevented some women from stepping forward to take a more bolder as well as a necessary visible presence. COP 24/7 urges all women, especially women of color to become more engaged in advocating for socialization opportunities, linkages to care and overall policies affecting those women living with HIV and AIDS.

Ms. Keys, who has dedicated her advocacy work to the urgency of HIV/AIDS and has long spoken of the power of women said: “Women and girls have been affected by HIV since the start, but that impact has not been recognized. And as the sisters, mothers, daughters, and caregivers, we are the backbones of families, communities and entire societies. We will never see an AIDS-free generation without harnessing the power and strength of women.” You can watch a an archived webcast from the event is available on the Kaiser Family Foundation website. For more information on EMPOWERED campaign, visit www.greaterthan.org/empowered.
NABWMT Announces Updates
The 33rd observance of the National Association of Black and White Men Together convention is less than three months away 9-13 July 2013 in the capital of the "Buckeye State", Columbus, Ohio. This theme is "Still Our Purpose, Still Our Organization, Still Our Pride," and
Current registrations are being accepted at $149 per person until May 31st with next tier pricing increasing to $179 per person, June 1. Daily rates...Wednesday thru Saturday of convention week are $60 per diem. The host hotel will be the Sheraton Columbus at Capitol Square  ($129 plus the required 16.75% taxation applied in Columbus.) These are for double or king rooms. For more information check out their website at www.nabwmt.org  Anyone locals interested in taking a road trip to fabulous Columbus, let it be known! Hit up this forum to share your thoughts or ideas.
Youth Advocates Being Sought
Are you a young person (14-24 years old) who is:
  • Passionate about fighting for young people's rights to sexual health information and services?
  • Interested in connecting with youth leaders from across the country?
  • Dedicated to developing skills to make a difference in your community?
Apply today to join one of Advocates for Youth's programs!
If selected, you will have opportunities to: develop new organizing and leadership skills; become informed on sexual and reproductive health issues; connect with passionate young people from across the country; and build skills to make a lasting impact in your community. You will also join more than 100 youth activists in Washington, DC for an intense four-day activist training institute free of charge!

Advocates' youth activists have done amazing work this year. You can join them in:
  • Advocating for better sexual health education policies in your state
  • Increasing HIV testing and condom availability in your community or on your campus
  • Providing confidential support and resources to young people who are coming out as LGBTQ
  • Mobilizing your peers around international family planning issues
  • Working toward ending the shame and stigma people are made to feel about having an abortion
If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, click here to find out more about the programs and apply today! Applications are due May 1, 2013.

If you are a parent, teacher, or advocate who knows young people who are passionate about sexual and reproductive health and rights, please encourage them to apply.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Full COP 24/7 Ahead

Federal AIDS Policy Partnership Seeking Respondents for Housing Work Group Survey

The Federal AIDS Policy Partnership Housing Work Group survey is seeking respondents! Please take a few minutes to answer some questions about how HIV/AIDS housing programs are working in your community and how you’re preparing for the potential changes in federal funding. This will help the group as they chart their course for the coming year. You can take the survey here.

If you have questions, please contact Jason Wise of AIDS Project Los Angeles at jwise@apla.org.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Launches New National Hepatitis Testing Day Website

May 19, 2013, is the second national Hepatitis Testing Day, and in order to support and promote the events and activities surrounding the day, the CDC has launched a new national Hepatitis Testing Day webpage. The new website allows people to search for Hepatitis Testing Day events near them during the month of May, which is also Hepatitis Awareness Month.
Hepatitis Testing Day is a day for people at risk to be tested, and for health care providers to educate patients about chronic viral hepatitis and testing. Millions of Americans have chronic hepatitis; most of them do not know they are infected.
You can read more about the initiative here.

Community Building Pinnacle Mountain Climb Planned

The Living Affected Corporation is planning a Community Pinnacle Mountain Climb, May 18, at 1pm, located across from the Pinnacle Mountain Visitor's Center. Organizers Max C. and John P. Jones state that they are excited about the response thus far and hopes that this enthusiasm follows through to the event. 
The idea is a follow up to a series of community building exercises being promoted by the agency in an attempt to address a multitude of issues and challenges presented by participants. Organizers Max Caberra and PJ Jones expressed that they wanted to volunteer for the organization while desiring that their first activity be something "outdoorsy" as well as decidedly community minded.
Therefore, the two developed the idea to also include a small community forum with guest speakers from area agencies such as Lucie's Place, Center for Artistic Revolution and Arkansans for Equality, plus a mini cookout and a day of promoting "each one helping one" up the mountain trail.
"We plan also to share our adventure on Facebook, maybe upload some video's on YouTube while informing others as to this team building event," said Caberra. "I hope that this will be one of several ideas that we've talked about as new volunteers of LA Corp." Currently the duo are seeking donations, contributions, gifts, volunteers and supporters for the event. If you are interested in being apart of the community forum or volunteering call 379.8203 for more info. Check out the new Facebook event page for updates!!


Friday, April 12, 2013

COP 24/7, Hot, Live and Otherwise in 2013

COP Executive Producer: A Community Multi-Task Force

Let's face it, I tend to be a busy guy for the most part. Although I'm in the seventh year of producing COP 24/7, I also wear a few other hats that many of you may or may not know about. Currently I"m the community Co-Chair of the Arkansas HIV Planning Group which is a collaborative entity with the Arkansas Department of Health with it HIV/AIDS programming. It is the groups charge to decrease infection rates while seeking to monitor the implementation of high impact prevention activities. If that  were not enough, then I also serve as the Chief Operating Officer for The Living Affected Corporation which is a community based development organization dedicated to dealing with health disparities in marginalized communities. As a ADH sub grantee, the organization is operates to provide HIV/AIDS testing  and counseling while addressing a variety of LGBTQ health equity issues in both the central region and other outlying counties. Below I'm sharing a video of colleagues, K.Holmes and Founder and CEO, Diedra Levi. This material was apart of our 2012 World AIDS Day engagements citing numerous issues concerning HIV/AIDS, especially the level of social determinants such as housing, employment, food, treatment and education, that directly affect those living with HIV or AIDS. Therefore as you can see I'm not only tapping it out on the keyboards but taking my activism hot, live and otherwise. For more info on LA Corp, check out www.livingaffected.org or call me at 379-8203. We are always seeking volunteers and individuals to make thing happen. Let me hear from you today!!!!

AIDS Coordinating Committee of the American Bar Association Presents “HIV Criminalization, Immigration and Domestic and Sexual Violence” Teleconference

The AIDS Coordinating Committee of the American Bar Association is hosting a bi-monthly teleconference series on Woman and HIV/AIDS throughout 2013 and will present on “HIV Criminalization, Immigration and Domestic and Sexual Violence” on Friday, April 26, 2013.

Speakers include Catherine Hannssens, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for HIV Law and Policy; Allison Nichol, Special Counsel in the Office of the Associate Attorney General at the US Department of Justice; and Leslye Orloff, Director of the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP).

The teleconference will take place on Friday, April 26, 2013, from 12:00-1:00pm EST. The dial-in number for the event is (877)317-0419, and the access code is 265 842 38.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Keeping it Moving COP 24/7 Style

You Gotta EAT! - Spaghetti Luncheon to Support LGBTQ Youth Camp

Sunday April 21,CAR is hosting a delicious homemade spaghetti lunch at the First Presbyterian Church of Little Rock, 800 Scott Street. This is a fundraiser to help make the annual Rainbow Camp for LGBTQ and ally youth a reality. Camp this year will be located at the beautiful Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center. Tickets are $10.00 with other additional gitfs encouraged.

This is a wonderful opportunity for LGBTQ and ally youth to attend camp and have an amazing camp experience in a safe environment in all of who they are. This will be our 5th year of camp and we are excited to continue this tradition. There’s a special treat for lunchtime entertainment too!
For more information or Tickets 501-244-9690 or artchangesu@yahoo.com
Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Community Building Pinnacle Mountain Climb Planned
In case you've been missing your does of COP 24/7, there's been plenty of "examining" or community assessments done as to the temperature of the LGBTQ construct. The results and reviews have varied from all points across the state ranging from bleak to hopeful. As a response to some of those community overviews, The Living Affected Corporation is planning a Community Pinnacle Mountain Climb, May 18, at 1pm, located across from the Pinnacle Mountain Visitor's Center.
The idea is a follow up to a series of community building exercises being promoted by the agency in an attempt to address a multitude of issues and challenges presented by participants. Organizers Max Caberra and PJ Jones expressed that they wanted to volunteer for the organization and wanted their first activity to something "outdoorsy" as well as community minded. Therefore, the two developed the  idea to also include a small community forum with guest speakers to be announced, mini cookout and a day of promoting "each one helping one" up the mountain trail. "We plan also to share our adventure on Facebook, maybe upload some video's on YouTube while informing others as to this team building event," said Caberra. "I hope that this will be one of several ideas that we've talked about as new volunteers of LA Corp." Currently the duo are seeking donations, contributions, gifts, volunteers and supporters for the event. If you are interested in being apart of the community forum or volunteering call 379.8203 for more info. Check out the new Facebook event page for updates!!
COP 24/7 Seeking Content Providers
Since the inception of this platform, I envisioned that it would be an interactive community town square where a variety of voices could be heard. In seven years of producing this forum, I have logged on to produce over 1200 post topping over 150,000 words! This year COP 24/7 added a translator gadget to allow our global village to translate our coverage into their respective languages ranging from Spanish to Chinese. Who Knew?
With that said, I've always been open to allowing interested parties with viable content to share their works on this platform. In the past I solicited the community in search of an individual who could serve as the next Executive Producer. However, despite all those shout out's the response has been marginal to none. I can't imagine since I see so many of you tapping and clicking your I-phones or what have you in the local bars and elsewhere!
Therefore I am at again with another appeal for original content producers or artists whom have works that they would like to showcase on this platform. If interested just hit us up in our in-box. Its just that simple. Let us hear from you today!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Open Rainbow Spaces

National Youth HIV + AIDS Awareness Day

Editors Note: COP 24/7 applauds the creation of a National Youth HIV + AIDS Awareness Day and joined the movement by signing on to the petition presented to President Obama. As this health dilemma surges past the 30 year marker, its vital that all means necessary be scaled up to engage youth activist to take the lead in informing, advocating, empowering and demanding a response from our public health systems and or policy makers on addressing the multi-level needs of our youth. On a local front, COP 24/7 encourages our movers and shakers to duly understand the impact that HIV and AIDS is having among individuals 18-24, especially young gay black men whom are being disproportionately affected. It is our desire that in 2014 a more notable response to this day be evident as well as recognized by local health officals.

At AIDS 2012, the international AIDS conference, youth advocates announced the inauguration of National Youth HIV + AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) to be marked on April 10, 2013.
In establishing this observance, Advocates for Youth and the eleven other founding partners are recognizing the key role of youth in our collective response to HIV. The organizers note that “the creation of National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is a step toward addressing the needs of young people in the fight against HIV and AIDS.”
On this day, AIDS.gov calls attention to previously published resources that can help inform discussion and action. These are:
On November 27, 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data to highlight the impact of HIV among youth in the United States. Young people between the ages of 13 and 24 represent more than a quarter of new HIV infections each year (26 percent) and most of these youth living with HIV (60 percent) are unaware they are infected, according to the Vital Signs report. The most-affected young people are young gay and bisexual men and African-Americans, the report says. Among the recommendations in the report is that “all youth should know how HIV is transmitted and prevented, understand what puts them at risk for HIV, and be tested if they are at risk.”
This is the nation’s first-ever comprehensive coordinated HIV/AIDS roadmap with clear and measurable targets to be achieved by 2015. The Strategy notes that “To better educate the American people about HIV/AIDS, the following is needed: [3.2] Promote age-appropriate HIV and STI prevention education for all Americans: Too many Americans do not have the basic facts about HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Sustained and reinforcing education is needed to effectively encourage people across the age span to take steps to reduce their risk for infection.”
How are you addressing the impact of HIV on youth? What would you like to say to the young people in your lives about youth and HIV? For more information on HIV and youth, visit this CDC page. For more information on NYHAAD click here.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Wide Angles of COP 24/7 Part 2

 Transgender Advocates Take On Ariz. Rep. Introducing 'Bathroom ID' Bill

Editor's Note: COP 24/7 has been following this item as a service to spotlight issues and challenges directly impacting the transgendered community and beyond. This platform has dedicated several post and will offer a series of articles, resources and commentary in an effort to garnered a competent understanding of this under served community. As a side note, it has been noted that  Mr.Bragman has actually represented  Chaz Bono and many feel that some of his positioning could be revenue tainted as oppose to being actually engaged with bringing understanding to the plight of transgendered individuals. Nevertheless, the attitudes and dogma that exist and continues to roll out the mouth's of lawmakers or policy makers can't be astounding.  Please feel free to share your personal stories, insights and observations to our local scene or your experiences. We welcome the feedback.

Boost Your Testosterone for Increased Performance

Wow... I'm getting old.
It's a disturbing thought, one that usually hits after an unexpected physical challenge. Maybe you've been unable to maintain your usual workout levels, or recovery is taking a lot longer than it used to. Perhaps fixes to the house are just a bit more difficult, or you find yourself feeling tired more often.
What's most startling about this realization is that you don't normally "feel old" but, nevertheless, you know you're not the man you used to be.

And the issue? It could be a decrease in your testosterone.

Most people don't realize that testosterone is a vital hormone for maintaining overall good health. An article from the Lance Armstrong Foundation's Livestrong.com site, noted that when testosterone levels start to decline, men experience a gradual reduction in muscle density, size and strength. Testosterone stimulates the use of stored body fat for energy and keeps you looking lean, but when your levels decrease fatigue can set in from the breakdown of muscle tissue and poor energy production. The article adds, "You also see an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other age-related illness that occur as testosterone levels slowly decline with age. Lower testosterone levels are associated with increased obesity, diabetes, fatigue, lower cognitive abilities, depression and heart disease."

Testosterone replacement therapy is one possible way of handling the situation, but it must be done through a doctor and research is mixed on whether or not it actually works. The real trick is getting the body to safely start producing more testosterone on its own, and one of the most exciting approaches has been developed by a group of researchers working at a leading Cambridge, Massachusetts health supplement company.

This team developed a safe and effective supplement that actually triggers the body to raise free testosterone levels naturally. It’s called Nugenix and it’s now available to the public. Nugenix relies on well-researched natural testosterone boosting ingredients such as Testofen®, which can significantly pump up a person’s free testosterone levels.
The product has no harmful side effects and has been shown to deliver improvements in strength and endurance in just days. In fact, the company states that results of Nugenix include enhanced physical performance and stamina.

What kind of a difference can a testosterone boosting supplement like this make?
According to users of the product and studies held in both Irvine, California and Queensland, Australia– it’s nothing short of spectacular. From increased muscle definition and quicker recovery times, to increased feelings of alertness and greater endurance, these users are reporting virtual transformations as a result of safely boosting their free testosterone with Nugenix.
Nugenix is manufactured under the strictest quality standards and is available at GNC stores across the nation.

Best of all, right now, the company that manufacturers Nugenix is giving away samples of the products to qualifying customers who request them online.

Click here to learn more and find out how to get your sample.

Editors Note: This a sponsored item by Nugenix. COP 24/7 does not endorse the use of this product or any claims it implies. We encourage our readers to be informed consumers and make it a priority to consult your health team as to this product. If you use the product, let us know how it worked or didn't work for you. COP 24/7 received no compensation for the placement of this content.


Friday, April 05, 2013

Wide Angles of COP 24/7

Report details needs under the ACA

Enroll America has identified in a new study four types of entities that will be needed to help consumers apply and enroll in health coverage. Navigators will help with the application and enrollment process. In-Person Assisters will provide face-to-face aid. Certified Application Counselors will help consumers apply for Medicaid. Agents and Brokers will work with consumers to identify and enroll in a particular health plan. To find out more about the roles each of these entities will play, click here.
Editor's Note: COP 24/7  has been following the ACA roll out in Arkansas and will be updating as the final details are hammered out by our state legislature. Watch this forum for the latest breaking news, links, video and webistes to inform our readers on the emerging health care initiative.
Report looks at future of Ryan White program
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program has been providing care and services to more than half a million people affected by HIV each year for more than two decades, but it's current authorization is set to expire in September. Now new questions arise about how the program will fare under recent changes in healthcare policy such as the Affordable Care Act and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a report that highlights some of those questions and provides some possible solutions. The report is called Updating the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program for a New Era: Key Issues & Questions For the Future. To download the report, click here.
COP 24/7 Seeking Content Providers
Since the inception of this platform in 2004,  I always envisioned this new medium as an interactive community town square where a variety of voices would be heard or shared. In seven years of producing this forum, I have logged on to produce over 1200 post topping over 150,000 words with our Google Analytics tracking our appeal to have not only been statewide but actually global. Who knew that this little experiment would be of interest to folks in the Far East, Europe or down under in Australia?  Go figure...
With that said, I've always been open to allowing interested parties with viable content to share their works on this platform. Also In the past I solicited community wide in search of an individual or collective who could serve as the next Executive Producer. Surely there's got to be another individual who has the passion and desire to carry on this unique experiment, right? Well, so far I've not found them, but if you are that person, the opportunity still stands.
In the meantime, despite all those shout out's the response has been marginal. Therefore I am offering yet another appeal for original content producers, vloggers, creative types or artists whom have works that they would like to showcase on this platform. If interested just hit us up in our in-box. Its just that simple. Use our feedback link to tell us what you think or how you can submit. Its' an open invitation!