Thursday, May 01, 2014

Unbridled Tounges in the City

What can I say? Taking COP 24/7 out on the road has both its advantages and disadvantages to say the least. But, if you are going to be the information leader through your advocacy and activism, then by golly you've got to do what it takes to be just that. Being in the mix means, taking risk, moving out of that comfort zone and go be apart of numerous scenes whether it be national conferences, leather meet up's, pageantry or what have you. The LGBTQ community no matter how you may now it, has many levels, angles, viewpoints and so much more. COP 24/7 has always encouraged social interaction, engagement and above all the Politics of Hello. Although the road can be rough, this forum wouldn't give nothing for it because you've got to believe in it to win it!  Let's go for it shall we...

The New Black Cometh to North Little Rock

Corneliusonpoint Executive Producer, Cornelius Mabin was sought to participate as a May 6, AETN Community Conversation panelist during the post screening of "The New Black," at the William F. Laman Public Library, Room 126, 2801 Orange Street, North Little Rock. The event is being slated as apart of AETN's recognition of Gay Pride Month 2014 according to organizer Ms. Katie Culpepper.

"I am always honored to be of service to my community when it comes to discussing vital issues, barriers, challenges or "changing the story," of how we are being perceived or seen." said Mabin.  He continued, "I couldn't pass up this opportunity to welcome this type of film programming and critical discussion as Arkansas grapples with the marriage equality issue."

Ms. Yourba Richen (pictured below)  served as Director, Producer and Writer and the film will make its Independent Lens debut June 15 on PBS. (check your local listings).
The New Black is a documentary that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. Currently a legal decision is making it way through the Arkansas courts, as well as, a ballot initiative and measure to repeal already passed legislation that bans same sex marriage.

The film documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar – the black church – and reveals the Christian right wing’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda.

The New Black takes viewers into the pews and onto the streets and provides a seat at the kitchen table as it tells the story of the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland and charts the evolution of this divisive issue within the black community. Yoruba is a documentary filmmaker who has directed and produced films in the U.S. and abroad including Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.   Her latest film The New Black  premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June  and went on to win Audience Awards at AFI Docs and Philly Q Fest and  Frameline LGBT Film Festival as well as a special jury mention at Frameline.   

Pride in the City

It has been announced on the ubiquitous digital dump Facebook by Central Arkansas Pride of a yard sale to benefit Little Rock Pride 2014. The FB site states: "We need items, and we need you to come shop." The sale will take place Friday and Saturday, May 16th and 17th, from 6am to noon at the Sara Strickland for a drop-off time.  Also it seems that that they need folks to help set-up and to assist during the sale. It will take place on the corner of Cantrell and Branch Drive in Little Rock. The post appears to come from Jenifer P, whom posted that, "we need lots of stuff to sell, so clean out those closets!" Also the post cites contacting

Now with that said and its all good. Now here comes the questions...although COP 24/7 has not attended any meetings, I have pondered exactly what the strategy will be to make this year step off in lieu of last year's struggle. As the former event chair, I encouraged that core group of organizer to start the process of fund raising in circa 2013. I further suggested that a fund raising plan be established in order to secure the needed funds to produce this event. I was extremely fortunate to work with Russ Matkin whom served as a significant benefactor. As I understand he has continued to be engaged and I'm hopeful that the coffers will have the resources needed to make it happen. I realize that individuals don't always cotton to going the "corporate" route, but I can't stress that these "deep pockets," are vital in securing many of the expenses that occur trying to put on a big top event.

In my opinion without my internal knowledge of their processes, this seems like deja vu  all over again with low wattage fund raising, no real buzz has been generated, and as of this date not much planning info released as to what to expect from whatever fundraising that is being done. As a tow time former pride chairperson, I can't help but wonder if nothing was learned from past experiences that have demonstrated that the five P's ( Prior Preparation  Preventions Poor Performance) are the order of the day. Good luck....

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