Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fast Forward Motion & More

The READ: Community Newspaper Enters to fill Need...Now What?

This platform has reported, posted and blasted out all the community dialog and concerns that was the subject of numerous meetings, workshops or round table discussions calling for a community newspaper. All those talking heads seemed to feel that there was not a "community" if there was no media piece that was dedicated to features, news or columns geared toward the LGBTQ set.

Among the most talked about "need" for the LGBTQ community was the desire for a local newspaper dedicated to addressing challenges and issues impacting all gay Arkansans. Therefore, that void is currently being filled with the launch of The READ  which will began circulating its premier first edition the first of the April. A new website has also been launched at which will host an online version of the newspaper as well as special announcements. A official launch party is set of May 16 at The New 610, 610 Center Street, 7 to 9 pm.

COP 24/7's Executive Producer was 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. So now that this leap of faith has taken place, where is the advertising support needed to sustain this "need" that the LGBTQ community so demanded.

As the first extended edition is in production, I have not seen phones ringing off the wall nor digital wild fire from local business, independent contractors, artist, community based organizations or larger firms who are ready to show their diversity support. It is this type of support that I have waxed on about involving most of the fund streaming that plagues the LGBTQ community in its efforts to produce or promote events such as Pride or almost any community driven event.

Even if you can not afford a major media buy every little bit helps no matter where you fall on the financial spectrum. Believe it or not, there is also a "patrons" level of $25 support that is available to the even the most frugal of individuals. Alright Arkansas, The READ is here and ready to hear from you! Call 501.379-8203 or 877-902-7448 for additional information on how you can be seen in The Read.

HIV Is Not a Crime Conference Scheduled
The first national HIV Is Not a Crime conference is set for June 2 to 5, at Grinnell College Grinnell, Iowa. The meeting will train advocates from across the country living with HIV and allies on how to end the criminalization of people with HIV.

The workshops and practical trainings will cover state advocacy, grassroots organizing and activism, as well as the related legal, medical, media and public health issues. HIV criminalization refers to the wrongful use of one's HIV positive status in criminal prosecutions, which has led to people with HIV being charged under HIV-specific criminal statutes, or under general criminal statutes, including for behaviors that pose no or little risk of HIV transmission. Sentencing in these cases has sometimes involved decades in prison and/or required sex offender registration, including in circumstances when there was no risk of HIV transmission.
These laws, policies and practices contribute to the HIV epidemic by driving people away from public health and treatment programs and by discouraging at-risk individuals from getting tested.

There has been limited work in regard to addressing the issue of criminalization in Arkansas which has such a law currently on the books cited under Arkansas law, Code Ann. 5-14-123. Exposing another person to human immunodeficiency virus is a Class A felony. More conference and registration info can be found at

Harvey Milk Forever Stamp to be dedicated at White House

The official first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony for the Harvey Milk Forever Stamp will take place at the White House May 22. Alright go ahead and ask, "Who is Harvey Milk?" Well thanks for
asking, now read on to find out the significance of this iconic pioneer.
Harvey Milk was a visionary leader who became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S. when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk's achievements gave hope and confidence to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender ( LGBT ) community in the United States and elsewhere at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility and discrimination. Milk believed that government should represent all citizens, ensuring equality and providing needed services. While living in San Francisco I often walked by the actual storefront that once served as his Castro Street business. Today there is a memorial notation that his shop was the focal point for much political activism and advocacy.His remarkable career was tragically cut short nearly a year after he took office, when he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated.In 2009, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.May 22 is Harvey Milk Day in California. The stamp image will be previewed at a later date and a public dedication ceremony will take place in San Francisco May 28. 

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