Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mid Week Hump Post Up

Capacity Building in the LGBTQ Community

This forum has covered topics from A to Z concerning the LGBTQ community and beyond.
Much of this space has been devoted to posting on how this community should move forward developing resources and utilizing streams of support from allies to corporations. COP 24/7 has shared a bounty of links, guest columns, features, and videos.

COP 24/7 put its money where it mouth was in sponsoring the first event Business After hours Networking event April 7, 2007 at the then, Sidetracks in North Little Rock. Consequently we supported events such as 2009's LR Pride Committee Community Picnic, Strengthening Gay Arkansas in conjunction to the first ever Midland Regional meeting of The National Association of Black and White Men Together (  in 2011. I can boldly state that COP 24/7 has been on the scene involved in addressing the issues around  building community, especially the "human capital" necessary to navigate the new equality horizons ahead.

On this platform I have discussed my own personal enrichment sessions sponsored by National Minority AIDS Council, ( which have been apart of my body of learned experiences in regards to my activism and advocacy work in the community. Being an effective advocate or community leader means immersing yourself into the issue of your choice, as well as, continuing a self learning mindset. Such educational pursuits intensifies your abilities to communicate the barriers and challenges of your issue while disseminating information to your affected population. Let's be clear, this takes work, commitment and temerity.

I thank you to those who have let me know personally how some of my work has affected you, encouraged you, emboldened you or gave you cause to be proud. I want you to know that each of you have God given talents that he has instilled in you to be of service to humanity. I've learned that it is those "diamonds in rough" of your life that you must notice, pick up and polish them to become beacons of energy and light that you need on your journey. Never underestimate the power of "one," in making change in our world.

Even though locally we have determined individual working on causes, what's alarming is the fact of "who is in the pipeline" to continue the work when others, like myself will soon exit the stage. Even more distressing is the fact that even though there's lots of fundraising going on, there doesn't appear to be a drive to raise funds as a foundation to educate or create the next generation of advocates nor building the necessary infrastructure to support them. Where is our Gay Health Clinic, Equality Center, Political Action Committee Headquarters or other resources that other cities now enjoy and many us are in awe when we visit such cities. Arkansas needs all of this and more. But who is going to do it is the question?

Last year The Arcus Foundation, a leading global foundation advancing pressing social justice and conservation issues, announced the Arcus LGBT Leadership Initiative, an array of resources to support leaders of the U.S. LGBT movement that would complement the Foundation’s grant making. Arcus’ intent is to maximize the caliber, connectedness and impact of the leaders who are advancing LGBT equality in the U.S by enhancing their skills and collaboration. It is my opinion that this type of opportunity and others such as Creating Change, Young Black Leadership Initiative, and US Conference on AIDS that need to be seriously promoted within the LGBTQ community.  including  discovering competent, responsible and commitment community members who could benefit from such training.

“History makes clear the fact that effective social justice movements require strong, skilled, collaborative leadership,” said Arcus Executive Director Kevin Jennings. “This investment in the health of the movement and environment in which our grantees are doing their work is material to our shared prospects for success.” I couldn't agree more. Its high time that we take a long hard look at what is being prioritized or perhaps sacrificed as the equality wave continues to move forward. Lend me your thoughts, observations, comments and solutions. The light is always on here at COP 24/7...


No comments: