Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Spin Down and Out Post

Local LGBTQ Newspaper Arrives

Community dialog and concerns have been the subject of numerous meetings, workshops or round
table discussions. Among the most talked about "need" for the LGBTQ community was the desire for a local newspaper dedicated to addressing challenges and issues impacting gay Arkansans. That void is being filled with the launch of The READ  which will began circulating its premier first edition this week.

COP 24/7's Executive Producer has been tapped as Managing Editor of the periodical which will feature an assortment of hard news, columns, community announcements and "infotainment," to offer the widest possible coverage statewide. Mabin stated, "for some time I kept hearing that if we "only" had a newspaper...and so now that we now have it, I'm hoping that it will do its part in keeping everyone informed or entertained in some way." He concluded, "we have capacity to build what ever we want if we can find common ground as well as mutual perspectives to do so. So it's time for folks to step on up because if ask not we get not."

Currently the roster of contributors include Tonya Estell, Sara Strickland, Terrene Sain and Keith Jones among others who will be apart of the team producing the monthly tabloid. "I'm very proud of our first edition and looking forward to getting this out into the area," said Tonya Estell. "It almost surreal that we brainstormed at a kitchen table and then made it happen!" Other's interested in submitting content contributions should contact Tonya Estell at

Under the LA Corp Publishing banner, The READ is the latest publication produced by The Living Affected Corporation. The entity has produced two periodicals included the ground breaking "Our Lives, Our Stories, The Untold Stories of Women with AIDS," and the first LGBTQ health Journal, Omnibus. "I'm excited about this new venture" said, Publisher, Diedra Levi. "Not having a local paper was a missing link that needed to be done based on the conversations that I was apart of. Therefore we moved ahead to make it a reality with high hopes that we get enthusiastic support from advertisers and contributors throughout the community."  The next expanded issue is scheduled for a May 2014 release.

COP 24/7 will be cross pollinating both its digital platform in conjunction with the new monthly piece. An official The Read launch party planning is underway and will be announced across all online portals. The new publication has affordable advertising rates for both color or black and white. Also individuals can support through various levels from Patron at $25 to the World Changer level at the $10,000 or more benchmark. For more information call Melina Granger, 501-349-7776 or 877-902-7448.

Obama Announces ONAP Leadership

President Obama Announces Douglas M. Brooks, MSW, as Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy  President Obama announced the appointment of Douglas M. Brooks, MSW, as the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). A leading HIV/AIDS policy expert, Douglas most recently served as Senior Vice President for Community, Health, and Public Policy at the
Justice Resource Institute (JRI).  As the Director of ONAP, he will lead the Administration’s work to reduce new HIV infections, improve health outcomes for people living with HIV, and eliminate HIV health disparities in the United States.

“Douglas’s policy expertise combined with his extensive experience working in the community makes him uniquely suited to the task of helping to achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation, which is within our reach,” President Obama said.  “I look forward to having him lead our efforts from the White House.”

A component of the White House Domestic Policy Council, ONAP coordinates the ongoing implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy  and the HIV Care Continuum initiative, while working together with public and private partners to advance the federal response to HIV/AIDS. ONAP also works with the White House National Security Council,  the State Department’s Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, and international bodies to ensure that America’s response to the global pandemic is fully integrated with prevention, care, and treatment efforts around the world. Through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiative, the U.S. has made enormous progress in responding to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, working with countries heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS to help expand access to treatment, care, and prevention.

Brooks, a person living with HIV, was most recently the Senior Vice President for Community, Health, and Public Policy at JRI , a health and human service agency based in Boston. He served as executive director of the Sidney Borum Jr. Community Health Center at JRI, has managed programs in urban and rural environments and has served as a consultant to domestic and international governments and non-governmental organizations assisting their efforts  to serve populations living with and at greatest risk for HIV/AIDS. Brooks was a Visiting Fellow at the McCormack School Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and was Chair of the Board of Trustees of AIDS United in Washington, DC.

In 2010, Brooks was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and served as its liaison to the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee and successfully led those bodies to achieve the tasks assigned to them in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy .  He has directly managed federally funded programs, meeting or exceeding targets for Ryan White projects, CDC Prevention for African American/Black youth, a HRSA Special Project of National Significance (SPNS), and a HOPWA SPNS. Brooks received a Master of Social Work degree from Boston University and is a licensed clinical social worker.

COP Call to Action Alert!!

It is vitally important that we speak to power about issues or policies that impact our lives. In preparation for AIDS Watch 2014, this platform encourages our readership to contact you Capitol Hill representation concerning signing on to these programs. Let them know that you are aware that these letters have been created and need their support.

The letters are being circulated in the House of Representatives calling for support of Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 federal funding for domestic HIV programs. Your Member of Congress needs to know that this funding is essential to the prevention, treatment, and care of HIV by addressing all issues that affect the epidemic.

Click on the links below to read the letters:
"Support the Minority AIDS Initiative"
Sign-on Deadline: March 28, 2014
Congressional Contact: Kathleen Sengstock
Office of Rep. Maxine Waters
"Support the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program"
Letter covers funding for the Ryan White Program, HIV prevention at CDC, STD prevention at CDC, HIV funding at NIH, and language to allow use of federal funds for syringe exchange programs.
Sign-on Deadline: March 31, 2014
Congressional Contact: Alyssa Penna
Office of Rep. Bill Pascrell
"Support AIDS Housing in FY15"
Sign-on Deadline: March 31, 2014
Congressional Contact: Melissa Connolly
Office of Rep. Jerrold Nadler
These three "Dear Colleague" letters have been sent to each Member of Congress. Ask your Congressmember to sign the letters by their respective deadlines, listed above. Please have them contact the Congressional staff listed as the contact for each letter to add their name. These letters are signed only by Members of Congress.

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