Friday, January 30, 2015

The Friday Cracken

What a week it has been as we "Released the Cracken," all week while seeking to keep our community updated, informed, linked and called to action. So what have we learned? That we've still got issues that only get a thimble full of folks energized or activated. It seems that we continue to not realize that we must assert power just not about marriage equality but the whole enchilada of our existence. I never realized that some thirty years ago, yes I know I dating myself, but what the hell, I actually attempted to frame "gay rights," as "human rights," by forming a entity what was then called the Arkansas Human Rights Association.

It was a youthful attempt to find my way out of the "gay rights" box into a new light that unbeknown to me then that this this concept would today be "on point." Especially as we now speak in lenses of social justice, civil rights and equality equity tones to cover a myriad of issues raging from the still ember burning "Black lives matter" stance to economic injustices that impact us all from all manner of sources.

Just recalling that move, makes me realize that I've been trying to address our conflicts and challenges for a long time, all the while trying to identify the next wave of leaders. Recently I was asked, "when are you going to retire?" I thought to myself, "retire from what?" Or did they mean when am I going to do what many who have given up the fight for social justice do and go find somebody to live out the rest of their life with nested in some post fight bastion of security that some one else will take care of matters. Sounds lovely and certainly an option that I really might need to think seriously about.

After all everything is alright. Who needs to be fussing and fighting about right wing broadcasters stating that "Hitler's storm troopers were made up of the meanest and demented gay men he could command to do his deeds." Or the likes of Pat Roberson who said in 2013 on The 700 Club that he thinks there should be a "vomit" button on Facebook for pictures of gay couples, because liking the pictures condones same-sex relationships. Let us not forget AG Leslie Rutledge who has affirmed that stopping gay marriage in Arkansas is her top priority.

And certainly let's forget about the Arkansas Health Department's all knowing and non explaining decision makers who are holding Awareness day funding hostage. Again shall we say with NO explanations as to why the 2013 carry over dollars which fell into 2014 with no programming funded and from all appearances nothing planned for 2015. Sure I need to "retire" to my Southwest Little Rock chalet and call it a day!

With a decade under our belt of composing this digital town square, there has been much to unpack while attempting to do all that I could to encourage as many in our community to "get involved," or at least share your resources with those trying to make a difference. Whether that has been totally achieved is up for more assessment, but what I do know is that no one can deny that COP 24/7 has not been on its job to stimulate your interest, put the information out there for digesting as well as, staying committed to not "blinking," on what's really going on. There's so much to say and by golly we are going to continue to do it. Stay tuned...!!

HRC Foundation Hires HIV/AIDS Project Fellow

"This work is personal for me," said Terry. "I don't only work hard for those who are infected with HIV like myself that feel they don't have a voice, but I also work for the millions of young people born into a world where we still have to aggressively fight HIV. I do this for my nieces and nephew and the next generation."

Terry will be focusing on work made possible through the support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The projects aim at helping those within the LGBT community who are most affected by HIV and AIDS, including young men who have sex with men and transgender women, especially Black and Latina/o community members and those living in the South.

Terry brings a wealth of experience to the HRC Foundation from his leadership as the founder and executive director of The Red Door Foundation, a Memphis-based nonprofit that works to improve the health of gay and bisexual Black men, and with the Ryan White Project for a Federally Qualified Health Care Center, Christ Community Health Services. Terry is also the convener for the Saving Ourselves Symposium, the only technical assistance symposium in the South designed to empower, educate and encourage the Black LGBT Community in the South. He now serves as the senior visionary for The Red Door Foundation, Inc. after accepting the HIV/AIDS project fellow role at HRC.

"Marvell is going to be such a valuable addition to the HRC Foundation," said HRC Vice President and Chief Foundation Officer Jeff Krehely. "His leadership in educating and reducing stigma in Memphis’ LGBT community has distinguished him as one of the country’s leading voices in the fight against HIV and AIDS. We’re truly privileged to have him join our team."

Terry will work with his colleagues at HRC to counter HIV-related stigma through public education efforts, to increase providers’ ability to offer culturally competent care, and to advance awareness among and create tools for service providers working with LGBT youth.

"I’m an openly HIV-positive Black man from the South. I know the challenges that are out there and I’m incredibly excited to be here at HRC helping address those challenges on a national scale," said Terry.

FROM 10 AM -2PM, 6401

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throw Up Thursday

Some days it just doesn't seem right to get out of bed to produce COP 24/7. Even though this forum has survived for going on now 10, yes count them ten years, it amazing that that it has happened despite it all including more disturbing and outrageousness that often makes the cut to this page. Even though I have what appears to be a tea cup of readers, we preserve with sights on our mission to inform, empower and entertain. Often times we discover content that makes us want to "throw up," we move on knowing that "one person can do so much." So what have you done to today to be proud?"

NOM To Issue Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge To Potential 2016 Presidential Candidates
"I have to tell you, I am really excited about our opportunities this year. We're in the best position we've been in in years thanks to the support of you and other members of NOM. With a solid pro-marriage majority in both the House and the US Senate, populated by real marriage champions like Representatives Raul Labrador and John Fleming in the House and Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and newly elected Thom Tillis and Tom Cotton in the Senate, we are in a great position to advance critical legislation. In fact, our federal team is already hard at work on several bills including protecting the right of every American to be free of government punishment for defending the truth of marriage in the daily lives.

"In addition to work in Congress, we're also working behind the scenes to advance critical legislation at the state level, where a huge majority of pro-marriage legislators and Governors now hold office across the land. We're also working hard to make sure the next Republican presidential nominee is a trusted conservative and marriage supporter. We'll have an announcement soon about our new presidential pledge that we will ask every candidate to sign. It could be a game-changer in the presidential contest, because it is going to put candidates' feet to the fire. But all of this and more can happen only if we have the continued support of members like you. Please renew your membership today." - Hate group leader Brian Brown, in his latest money beg.

'Sodomite Semen' Pastor Admits He's Been Tempted by Gay Sex

James David Manning says he faced temptation in prison but never gave in. And he's sticking to his support for stoning LGBT people and his absurd claims about Starbucks.
With the shocking claims that controversial and extremely homophobic pastor James David Manning has made in the past, it’s no easy feat for him to top his previous statements. But he keeps showing that he’s up to the task.

Last year Manning made headlines for insisting that Starbucks brews up “sodomite semen” in its lattes. Now he’s continuing to support death by stoning for LGBT people — even while admitting that he’s been tempted to engage in gay sex himself.

Manning, who heads ATLAH World Missionary Church in New York, was interviewed this week on the Web series The Young Turks, which on YouTube bills itself as “The Largest Online News Show in the World.” Hosts Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian disputed Manning’s claim that homosexuality is a choice and (since Manning said that it was) asked him if he’d ever been tempted to make such a choice.

“Oh, absolutely. No doubt about it,” Manning said. “I spent 3½ years in prison. … I saw a lot of that activity going on. … I saw that and was tempted, but I didn’t yield to temptation. … Make sure you publish that as well.”

But Manning still sees being LGBT as a “lifestyle choice” deserving of harsh punishment. Since he has favored stoning of LGBT people, the hosts asked him what he thought of extremist Islamic groups with the same view.

“If the word of God says stoned based on a heinous violation of humanity and ISIS or al-Qaeda or anybody else who has the wisdom and the integrity to reference that scripture by Moses, then yes, I agree with them.”

Oh, and he’s still doubling down on that sodomite semen thing. Apparently it has “quite a flavor.” To demonstrate the buffoonery and outlandishness of this busta here's video proof that you just can't make this stuff up...
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mid-Week Cracken

Equipping Grassroots Leaders, Embracing Intersections, and Empowering Collaboration

The 2015 LGBT* in the South conference will take place in Asheville, North Carolina on April 17 & 18. The conference is a project of Campaign for Southern Equality. Registration is now open for the conference!

At this critical time for the equality movement in the South, the conference will connect and educate Southern organizers and local practitioners to better serve the LGBT* community. According to a Facebook posting, local activist Andrea Z. and T. Lockett's abstract has been accepted for presentation during the event. The core themes of the this year's conference are "intersectionality and collaboration.

The conference will combine workshops to build organizing skills, facilitated discussions about topics impacting LGBT* Southerners, and Continuing Legal Education (CLE) sessions for attorneys on topics of LGBT* law.

The conference will feature Mandy Carter, a dynamic Southern leader and long-time activist in the civil rights and LGBT movements, as our keynote speaker.

ADH Awareness Day Funding: The Action Cracken

Earlier this week, this forum posted concerning our discovery of the Arkansas Department of Health's mysterious dismissal of proposals submitted in response to a RFP ( Request for Proposals) in regards to HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day funding cycle 2014.

All but one proposal for Future Builder's Incorporated which was awarded a small stipend, whiles other's were totally rejected without explanation or actual direct reply to those whom originated the submissions.

COP 24/7 has been in the process of reaching out to these entities for further comment. Also this forum sought to alert other area entities and community based organizations to enlist their concern or comment. Rejected entity, LinQ for Life requested a response was given a extremely "vague" and low wattage email from Program Manager C. Hampton that additional information would be sought from "higher up's." It is COP 224/7's opinion that this type of agency doublespeak has been become a hallmark of this outfit. This type of non-action squarely puts the department out of step of national trends and appears to be on track to roll us back to the days of "Silence equals Death." How many more new infections, poor linkages to care, and eventual possible deaths will ADH be responsible for now or have been due to these "unexplained," rationales.

Ass those maneuvers work themselves out, COP 24/7 is expressly concerned that this issue will not gather the necessary traction needed to get attention. As it's been highlighted and certainly talked about previously, apathy, complacency, diversions and fragmentation have been barriers and challenges to ignite powerful responses in this community.

With the exception of spotted "outrage," or barnstorming the court house's around marriage equality, evidence has demonstrated a tepid response is usually par for the course in the area. This is definitely unfortunate as many forces and politico's such as AG Leslie Rutledge have all but put a "bulls eye and cross hairs," target on anything that will allow marriage equality to flourish in the state. While those whom support her are behind the scenes are amassing resources to fuel whatever they can to nail the coffin on what they see as an activist judicial move despite such measures falling around the country. Consequently, there's no doubt that there are many other issues that impact the lives of LGBTQ people across the board that warrant attention.

The fact that these Awareness Day funds are being held hostage based on a few individual's decision of what constitute what's needed, acceptable or to meet certain expectation without a full disclosure as to why these proposals were rejected calls for a "hold up wait a minute," explanation which has not occurred.

COP 24/7 is urging all of our readers and concerned citizens to use our hash tag, #ArkansasAwarenessMIA and we want to "call you to action," by asking that you reach out to the following individuals who we have identified as those directly in the decision stream. They are as follows:

Mr. Ronald Stark 501.661-2251 or email:
Mr. Robert Brech 501-661-2207 or email:
Ms. Miriam Ibrahim 501-6612466 or email:

Call or email them to inquire as to "why were the organizations denied funding for Awareness Day funding in 2014?", "Why was there no full explanation accompanying those denials?," "What Awareness Day programming did ADH do in 2014? or "What happened to this funding and what will be done with these Federal dollars?  Please ask these folks to provide written explanations to each rejected organization. Also be open to fully discussing their decisions with these organizations and other interested parties at an agreed meeting time. It's imperative that we do not allow this to just fly under the radar while our attention is swayed otherwise. Let's make it happen! Watch for more details and updates on all our platforms. Feel free to share your comments here or our Facebook page:

Update and Corrections: Keeping it Real

COP posted a item in which we cited local news media accounts that Arkansas Transgendered Coalition headed up the policy meeting with Little Rock Police concerning transgendered engagement issues.

However it has come to our attention that this was not the full context of this report. We heard from outgoing ED R. Romo whom set the record straight by informing COP 24/7 that the policy came about due to CAR's long relationship with the Department of Justice. In 2014, they were invited to co-train with the DOJ on a presentation regarding transgender and gender non-conforming community for the National Black Law Enforcement Executives Conference that was held here in Little Rock.
Chief Buckner approached CAR Board Co-Chair Jay Miracle-Huie, who had co-led the training and asked for their help in devising a comprehensive policy for his officers and their encounters with trans and gender non-conforming community members. Jay brought in Andrea Z., now ArTEC Executive Director to assist in the creation of the policy. She concluded that It was very much a collaborative effort initiated by CAR. 

We stand corrected. If you spot info that's not "keeping it real," you can reach out to us in our comment section or hit us on our Facebook page to make us aware of it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Releasing the Cracken

As Blizzard 2015 rages on the east coast and there's still more fallout over who deflated those damn
footballs, COP 24/7 is becoming its own swirling mass of energy and discontent on many fronts. Try recalling when Angela Basset's character set fire to her cheating man's affects in "Waiting to Exhale. Think the "office linebacker," whom tackled his office mates from out of no where, remember that ominous voice of Darth Vader who was not about taking no death star shit from anyone and finally Liam Neeson's character's pronouncing, "Release the Kracken!," which was meant to send thought's of horror to all whom would encounter its menacing jaws. There's so much on the plate for discussion that I'm not sure just where to began. However, let's not wait, just go for it and dive deep!

Renewing Your Membership

Just like many of you, I get solicited form all manner of media ranging from my TV's capability to
allow me to actually shop with my remote control after being prompted by an advertising that reaches out to me to "buy now!" I never imagined that I could technically "get busy" then smoke some dollars shopping in high def.

If that isn't enough, then there's those internet cookies that knows my every move across the Net, especially if I've inquired or perhaps made a nearby purchase. You just never know these days when you are being tracked. Case in point as I got a "reminder," from the Human Rights Campaign, that my "membership," was expiring and I needed to "renew" to get my free HRC key fob and the thought that I would be a card carrying member who is "key to winning equality for LGBTQ folks everywhere!" Who Me? Excuse me, but I don't recall being a HRC member from the get go.

However, this membership marketing comes at a time when I have to began pondering just what is HRC all about anyway. In case you missed it, in 2014 this LGBT behemoth rolled into Arkansas as apart of its America One sweep into the south. There was all manner of bally hoo and brouhaha with their staff swooping in hiring folks as "consultants," and such.

Their supposedly attempt at stealth activities was met with raised eyebrows and many locals talking out the corners of their mouths. Yet there they were again and again with that mantra about "chaining hearts and minds," using LGBT summits all the way to hiring a State Director and opening a Cadillac office in the Train Station non profit hive and obviously seeking to market to more possibly equality converts. Wow, the mother ship has landed and what has been deployed still has me scratching my head. How about you? 

So far, there's been engagement with an ill fated Fayetteville measure that was repealed. Lots of meetings with newly identified area "movers and shakers," celebrating MLK day concurrent to fundraising for a local housing concept, an impending kids film event in the Main Libary and more meetings concerning a forthcoming LGBT health Summit. Ummmm? So exactly what is this all suppose to do about "winning equality for LGBTQ folks everywhere, again?"  Let me think about this and I'll get back you later this week...please stand by...

 Social Activist Talk Out Loud to Police Chief

With all the recent protest concerning community policing which has all but disappeared, there were numerous meet ups, forums and panel discussions about police policies and any and all matters dealing with how our community is being policed. Today is supposedly a "deadline," to hear from Chief Buckner who has been a most if not all these "listening" sessions.

Also Buckner entertained and enacted some policy changes concerning how transgendered individuals or situations are to be handled courtesy of a policy proposal from the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition under the direction of HRC consultant and ED, A. Zekis.

Yet with all the meetings and a high profile demands delivery from Mondale Robinson, this forum has been unable to determined exactly what do these entities desire of Chief Buckner to really do for them. If it's some type of policy alteration, then alright. Is it employ more police? Seems like this was being done long before any protest occurred. Is it to be aware of crime statistics, intolerable of police brutality or standing ready to address cultural sensitivities, then you most likely can check the box. Even though I haven't attended any of these meetings, I have not also seen any of the "demands" or any action plans to implement any thing. I guess I'll have to wait and see just what Chief announces or better yet what these groups will share at their next roundtable or panel discussion.

New Driver at CAR

It has been announced that long term Executive Director, Randi Romo has decided to hand off the keys and stirring wheel to Interim ED Kat Crisp as she moves on to her next challenge. The change is effective January 30, 2015.

 In a published press release it was cited that, "Romo has been the key motivator and visionary for CAR since 2003, tirelessly working at the forefront of LGBTQ issues in a variety of forums. Romo leaves behind a significant body of work that will be remembered as a legacy to her determination and commitment to her beloved Arkansas LGBTQ community and Allies."  And COP 24/7 can't agree more.

Romo has been a ardent supporter of this forum and colleague in the fight around social justice issues including HIV and AIDS. In 2009 COP 24/7 collaborated with Romo on a community picnic event attended by over 200 people. The day included games, local politicians, performances, music and could be considered a predecessor to today Pride events.

Despite set backs, struggles and disappointments such as a Black Pride agreement debacle in which the organization was both blind sided by lapses in communication and financial losses involving non other than the Arkansas Department of Health's HIV Section, Romo persevered to move the organization forward. COP 24/7 fully understands the tireless and often time "thankless," position that activist and advocates can endure as they attempt to be of service to their community. 

COP 24/7 saluted Romo as a foot solider who has given her best and is a testament of the power of determination amidst varying opinions, fickle perceptions and often times complacency that could impede your outcomes. Good Work and thanks for making it happen!

Coming this week!
More on the Awareness Day Funding Denials and news on how much of the LGBTQ community is being left out of the funding stream and why!

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Monday, January 26, 2015

We Got Balls at COP 24/7

You couldn't escape the great "deflate gate," mash up concerning who deflated game footballs of the New England Patriots in some previous games. There was wall to wall coverage that had this blogger who isn't a game enthusiast wonder WTF? I had no idea that so much detail went to
preparing and especially meeting the specific expectations of  QB Payton Manning who desires to have his "balls" just right for each game. Who Knew!

Then there was the ongoing off color jokes or side eye looks of newscasters who had way too much fun with comments from NFL talking heads who talked about "warm balls, non-greasy balls and making sure just how the balls are being handled during each game."

Here at COP 24/7 we couldn't resist getting in on the ball madness because we've always had the "balls," to call a spade a spade in our laser focus to talk about "what's really going on," in the city and beyond. For ten damn years this forum has been a ball buster when needed and will continue to be cocked and ready to post about many topics that are being whispered about locally but often times left unsaid because individuals believe that they have no power to do so. Not so we tell you. If you are not a opt-in subscriber or following us, then why not! Come follow the information leader to stay in the loop of what's really going on!

ADH Awareness Funding Failure Mystery Continues

Last week this forum went their as some have stated as to raising issue and questioning December 2014 decisions not to fund local agencies concerning HIV/AIDS Awareness Day funds applied for by Program Manager, Ms. C. Hampton of the STI/ Hep C/ HIV/ AIDS Section of the Arkansas
Department of Health. Through a October funding announcement, the section sought "proposals" from interested parties who would be submitting event activities in regards to announcement tenants of "support educational awareness activities which target those at highest risk who have not been effectively reached." However as we have posted, all entities except for a food outlay for one candidate were denied without any full explanation or even a letter to inform them directly.

So what's going on here? Well it's not just what but who is the shot caller that is making blanket decisions as to what is or not funded. COP 24/7 has zeroed in on two names, Ronald Stark and Robert Brech that seem to be the significant "deciders" about much that either flies or doesn't from this section. Of course we can not even may you dear reader understand the quagmire of folks in offices whom serve as "pass through" judges often on many Request for Applications or Information as well as proposals. This was thoroughly highlighted in the 2010 SHARP ( State Healthcare Access Research Project) Report prepared by Harvard Law School's Health Law and Policy Clinic.

The report critically cited, "...the complex system of state contracts and the different sets of rules involved can create cumbersome situations that hinders changes that could make programs more efficient or effective."  Also the report emphasized a community wide frustration that ADH takes a "top down," approach without adequate communication to stakeholders. Don't forget that this was a "2010" report embraced by Arkansas HIV/ AIDS Minority Task Force, Arkansas Minority Health Commission, Arkansas Consumer Advisory Board and Arkansas HIV/AIDS Prevention Coalition.

So just where are these folks voices concerning the denials of the organizations whom answered the call for submissions is another layer of intrigue flying in the face that so far no one from ADH has made an effort to officially explain there decisions. If this wasn't enough, we haven't touched on the fact that the local LGBTQ community has been used as a petrie dish for many other cash grabs that also need spotlighted for all to know.   

COP 24/7 is digging further into this situation and is prepared to use any means necessary to turn up the heat to this cold shoulder snub. Stay tuned, it's just getting started in the meantime, COP 24/7 is calling each of you in to action by using our social media platform at to share your concerns. Or we encourage you to use the hash tag, #Arkansas Awareness MIA on Twitter. All this week we will be offering our next deployment of how you can help this forum keep it real as we demand transparency about this situation.

SOS Symposium Seeks Abstracts

The conference planning committee for the 3rd annual Saving Ourselves Symposium have officially launch the call for the submission of abstracts to be presented at the Community Summit held during the 2015 Symposium.  The abstract submission application contains all the pertinent information for submittal of abstracts for workshop that can be accessed online at  Also, you may click on the following link to access the abstract submission form:

Online Abstract Submission Application

Completed abstracts must be submitted online via link for online submission.  Submissions must be submitted via online by 12 midnight CST on February 6, 2015.  Questions concerning Abstracts can be sent to

Pass the Mike!

COP 24/7 will be announcing more media involvement across both terra firma and digital platform. Please watch for updates and announcements as we continue to harness the power of our voice to keep bringing you more of what you should be looking for! 

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Turning Up the Information Heat

ADH Continues Awareness Day Funding Failures

Over the years of our covering HIV and AIDS in Arkansas, this forum has sought to be optimistic but steeped in the Reaganism of "trust, but verify." It is no secret that the STI/ HIV/ Hepatitis C
Section has had its full share of insensitive leadership, lackluster responses, meandering policies, convoluted processes and black eyes from the Lola Thrower era meltdown in which we learned that the department had its own self styled "mafia Queen," in the house.

All that aside, COP 24/7 was shall I say "shocked, I tell you, shocked!, to learn that when you think an agency can exhaust all of its possible ignorance, now we learned that of the five 2014 HIV Awareness Day proposals submitted only one was partially funded. The rest were not funded without any adequate explanation and to add additional insult, there was no official reply letter forwarded to the agencies citing this decision. And to this day, no officials have offered any explanations to this circumstance.
Why is this important you ask? Thanks for asking.  The section each year is awarded separate funding allocations to support area "awareness day," activities concerning both possible testing events or other activities that are designed to increase awareness about this health dilemma. The funding pool could range as high as $50,000 to be offered as independent proposal grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. Now here's the $100,000 question. If the bulk of this funding was not awarded, "what happened to rest," of this, oh may I add "2013 carry over?" Seems like there needs to be some explaining and maybe a Freedom of Information action pursued.

Just so you know dear reader, this story will perhaps take a few post to make sense, so bear with us as we unpack this hot mess package. First up, there was a community "funding announcement," circulated October 23, 2014,  from Section Program Manager, Courtney H. whom seeks such announcement to be shared with possible grantees. She has been at ADH for 4 years and has shared this information numerous times previously.  Just so there's no misunderstanding about this here is the actual notice:

The Arkansas Department of Health STI/HIV/Hepatitis C/TB Section would like to announce a one-time funding opportunity to the community. The Section believes it is important for all Arkansans to be educated on HIV/AIDS and be tested for HIV. The prevention goal of this project is to increase testing and to support educational, awareness activities which target those at highest risk who have not been effectively reached. I have attached the information needed to apply for this funding. This information can also be found by visiting the Arkansas Department of Health’s website: . Under the heading GRANTS, select funding opportunities.  The solicited proposal information for this funding is listed under Grant and Bid Opportunities. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.

Are you still with me? From our knowledge of ADH processes, this announcement could not have been posted to the organizational website without a litany of "sign-off' signatures" from a dizzying array of levels of bureaucrats galore!

Furthermore, again let's be clear that this was sent out with the hopes of receiving "proposals" from qualified agencies to fulfill the goal of "increase testing and support educational, awareness activities..." Also just so you know, these proposals and all things ADH are in the form of "reimbursable," instruments in which you "Agency A," has to have the actual funds, say a spare $10,000 in your budget to be spent depending on your proposal.

In turn if you are approved by ADH, they purportedly will "reimburse," Agency A for the effort. Now that we've got all of that out of the way, here is some more "shocked" part. The candidates were:

The Tidwell Project
Saint Mark Baptist Church
LinQ for Life, Incorporated
Future Builders, Incorporated (partially funded)
Awareness Center International, Incorporated (submission withdrawn)

Each of the proposal submitted met deadlines and all necessary qualifiers as "proposals," which means they offered a unique or perhaps innovative approached to meet the intended goals. This is especially interesting since each entity could have reached multi-cultural audiences especially St. Mark which is among the largest Black faith based organization in the city. Just as a note, this mega-church was recently tapped earlier this week to host a city wide MLK Prayer Breakfast with another state entity the King Commission without any problems. Imagine that!

Each organization such as the Tidwell Project which promotes the arts as apart of awareness in non-traditional spaces has a distinct track record with support from the Arkansas Medical and Dentist Association. So what could have been so wrong with this proposal?

LinQ for Life, Inc. proposed to socially address targeted populations as emphasized by the National AIDS Strategy and statistical information which cites only 64.1% of African Americans living with HIV had some viral suppression. Meanwhile, African Americans who were diagnosed with HIV are the least likely to be linked to HIV medical care. Seems odd that this proposal too was dismissed.

ACI finally withdrew their proposal due to filing complexities and other challenges of accessing these funds. But with the track record of acceptance most likely they would have got the "denied," pen stroke. Future Builders was approved for a meal service during its annual symposium held last year. Other incentive items were not approved from the request.

Amazing as it would seem, all of these activities proposed by these groups is encouraged and supported by the CDC. Not to mention that there is a history of such activities supported by ADH and other state entities such as the Arkansas Minority Health Commission.

Now that we've put it out there, it time to demand some further explanations and clarity about who is making these decisions and why. Why are these funds continuously being "carried over," and why are these funds not being deployed into impacted communities. And last but not least why were these organizations not afforded a professional courtesy to be informed in writing as to these decisions. Stay tuned, this situation might get ugly....

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Storming hte Information Forward 2.0

Make FC advocacy your New Year’s resolution

January is a month of fresh starts, and we are taking this opportunity to recommit to female condom advocacy in 2015! Will you join us?

While Global Female Condom Day may come around just once a year, women and men need more access to female condoms every day of the year.

On January 21, we’re taking our resolutions to social media and need your help in spreading the word. Encourage your personal and professional networks to recommit to female condom advocacy this year by educating friends and family in 2015.

Below we have provided sample Facebook posts and Tweets to share with your networks. The first examples are for organizations to share, and the second set are for individual advocates.

Download the picture on the right and make it your profile picture, post it on your Facebook wall with your message as the caption, or share on Twitter.


Make your #NYresolution to educate 5 people about #femalecondoms as a #STI and pregnancy prevention option in 2015. Share and tag 5 friends in your post. #NewYearNewOption

My#NYresolution is to educate 5 people about #femalecondoms as a #STI and pregnancy prevention option in 2015. Join me! Share and tag 5 friends! #NewYearNewOption


Make your #NYresolution to educate 5 ppl on #femalecondoms in 2015. Tweet pic & mention 5 friends. #NewYearNewOption

My #NYresolution? Educate 5 ppl on #femalecondoms in 2015. Join me! Tweet pic & mention 5 friends. #NewYearNewOption
Bring on the CBA for your Agency
For decades, NMAC has worked within communities of color, targeting community-based organizations, to build healthier communities.

Community-based organizations represent the backbone of the public health sector and play a vital role in eradicating HIV/AIDS. Today, community-based organizations (CBOs) are facing a rapidly changing health care landscape in which they must be able to adapt and change in order to be sustainable and viable. Now more than ever before, the principle of survival of the fittest is paramount.
To also accentuate this dilemma, Arkansas RAPPS will host a Awareness Day Summit, Feb. 12, 2015, 10 am - 2pm,  6401 West 12 Street, in the Centre At University Park. This continuing series of capacity building for area organizations will feature Mr. Ezell Breedlove, of the Division of Volunteerism and Non Profit Services. The session will address agency sustainability in the changing funding stream landscape as related to providing services to those living with HIV and AIDS. Also the discussion will open more dialogue concerning the state's Health Independence Act among other policy or best practices related to the health care construct. Limited seating reservations can be confirmed at 

The public health and health care systems are undergoing a paradigm shift fueled by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, advancement of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, medicalization of HIV services and biomedical advances. In this rapidly changing landscape, only healthy organizations will survive. Healthy organizations have “the capacity to learn and keep changing over time. They have the ability to align, execute, and renew themselves faster than their competitors can, that is, adapting to the present and shaping the future faster and better than the competition.”

In order to improve the viability, sustainability and relevancy of CBOs in this dynamic environment, NMAC will provide capacity building assistance that works to build healthy organizations.

Healthy organizations have the following characteristics:
  • Organization alignment
  • Capacity for execution
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Capacity for change and renewal
  • Market-focused
  • Invest in people
  • High quality leadership teams

To that end, NMAC’s capacity building assistance will work with CBOs to: Align
the infrastructure and culture within their organizations. Coordinate
strategic collaborations and partnerships plus execute High Impact Prevention interventions and client-centered services. Consequently, equipping CBOs to effectively navigate and lead change. For more information contact:

We're here for you! Get your information now at 379-8203!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stroming the Information Forward

2015 Southern Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Conference

The Southern Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Conference will be hosted this year in Asheville, North Carolina. 
Please save the date and sign up!  The main conference will take place on 6/8/2015 and 6/9/2015 (Monday/Tuesday), but due to popular demand and to take advantage of the natural beauty of Appalachia, we will be hosting pre-conference community events on 6/6/2015 and 6/7/2015 (Saturday/Sunday). 
Here is the sign up link:

Sign up Link:

Event Location: Asheville Crowne Plaza Tennis and Golf Resort, 1 Resort Dr, Asheville, North Carolina, 28806


Regions Celebrates Black History Month with Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest
Since 2012, Regions has awarded nearly $250,000 in scholarships as part of our Riding Forward Scholarship Program – an effort that honors and celebrates the contributions of African Americans throughout Black History Month in February and provides scholarship opportunities for young people.
To enter, high school seniors write a 500-word essay about an African American who inspired them, and college applicants (current freshmen, sophomores or juniors) must write a 500-word essay about an African American who has inspired them and influenced their college career. There will be one high school and one college winner from each state within the Regions footprint for a total of 32 winners.
Save the DATE Alert:
Watch this platform for more information and updates on community events, happenings and so much more!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Remembering the Dream Now and Then

COP 24/7 Salutes the life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. May we continue to stand on his shoulders, his colleagues, freedom fighters, and those in the struggle for human rights for all. Our call to service is, "what have you done today to be proud?" 


Rep. John Lewis on Selma, Civil Rights, and LGBTQ Equality

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Taking it Over the Hump

ATL Fire Chief Is Extinguished

They say that  Atlanta is more commonly known as "hot lanta," and by all accounts it seems that a recent firestorm created by Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran got a quick dose of "oh no you don't," from
Mayor Kasim Reed, who wasn't having none of it.

All of this was the result of a book titled, "Who Told You Were Naked," penned by the chief and circulated to assorted fire department staff.

Once Mayor Reed got wind of this smoking piece of his religious beliefs which also included virulent anti-gay views, he was fired on Jan. 6 by Atlanta’s mayor, Kasim Reed, for homophobic language in the book, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” Among other things, he called homosexuality a “perversion,” compared it to bestiality and pedophilia, and said homosexual acts are “vile, vulgar and inappropriate.” However, this didn't set well with the religious right who were cued up to demonstrate their "freedom of expression" outrage at his administrative corrective action.

Yet what was at stake here was Cochran's reckless disregard for his public position and what Reed pointed out as, "about “making sure that we have an environment in government where everyone, no matter who they love, can come to work from 8 to 5:30 and do their job and then go home without fear of being discriminated against.” Amen to that position as many studies show that LGBTQ individuals face an array of employment challenges and barriers. Just to show how Mayor Reed wanted to get ahead of the religious right "you are going to hell, too," machine. He offered this statement on his Facebook page as follows:

Last week, I made the decision to terminate our Fire Chief, Kelvin Cochran. It was a decision that was not made lightly because I appreciated Chief Cochran’s service to the City of Atlanta. While you may have read articles that asserted the issue at hand was Chief Cochran’s religious beliefs, I can assure you that those comments could not be further from the truth.

The truth is that I am a man of deep faith myself, and we are a city of laws. Chief Cochran’s book, “Who Told ...You You Were Naked,” was published in violation of the city’s Standards of Conduct, which required prior approval from the Board of Ethics. I believe his actions, decisions, and lack of judgment undermined his ability to effectively manage a large, diverse workforce. Every single City of Atlanta employee deserves the certainty that he or she is a valued member of the team and that fairness and respect guide our employment decisions. His actions and his statements during the investigation and his suspension eroded my confidence in his ability to serve as a member of my senior leadership team.

Please take a moment to read this editorial that was published in today’s New York Times.
Thank you for all of your kind offers of support. Please take a moment to remind everyone you know that the City of Atlanta is a city too busy to hate.

Twitter Yanks Westboro Baptist Church's Account

The hostile, homophobic church has lost its original Twitter account.

BY Michelle Garcia

Twitter has suspended the main account of the radically anti-LGBT hate group the Westboro Baptist Church as well as that of its leader, Shirley Phelps-Roeper.
U.K.-based Pink News noticed the account was pulled as of Tuesday and announced it on Twitter that day. Phelps-Roeper, from a new account, claimed it was because the WBC picketed Twitter in August.

Twitter has not responded to The Advocate's request for comment or to verify Phelps-Roeper's claim.
Late last year the social media giant improved its guidelines for reporting abuse and harassment among users, after high-profile threats and harassment campaigns like Gamergate, which targeted many people, particularly women, voicing challenges to a misogynist gaming community. Previously, Twitter had been criticized for not stepping in to stop harassment, and the former system for reporting harassment was not viewed as consistently effective. (source: Advocate)

Save the DATE!!
 March 10, 2015
Watch this forum for more updates and links to local programming to increase awareness to the impact of HIV and AIDS among women. Come follow the AHPG on Facebook:


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pushing The Envelop Forward

India Elects First Transgender Mayor

transgender mayor.

Kinnar, who belongs to the Dalit community, or the lower caste, and formerly supported herself by singing and dancing in trains, was overwhelmed by the results of the election. She emphasized the small amount of money that she spent on the campaign and said, “It was the public support that encouraged me to enter the poll fray for the first time and because of their support only, I emerged as the winner.”

Despite the fact that there are many transgender individuals in India, most of them lacked legal recognition until nine months ago when India’s Supreme Court ruled that transgender should be recognized as a third legal gender. This ruling called for equal treatment of transgender individuals.
While this electoral victory is a major advancement for the transgender community, the larger LGBT community in India still faces discrimination as the court recently reinstated a ban on same-sex activity.

Michael Sam to be Honored at HRC’s National Time to THRIVE Conference

HRC announced that Michael Sam, who made history as America’s first openly gay professional football player, will be honored at HRC’s national Time to THRIVE conference in February.
“We are excited and privileged to recognize Michael Sam, and his brave commitment to leading an authentic life in a profession that has been historically unwelcoming to LGBT people,” said Vincent Pompei, chair of Time to THRIVE and director of the HRC Foundation’s Youth Well-Being Project. “By coming out, Michael sent an invaluable message to young LGBT Americans that anything is possible for them - even playing in the NFL.”

Sam, a Texas native, was chosen as an All-American, and shared the title of Southeastern Conference (SEC) Defensive Player of the Year during the final year of his college football career at the University of Missouri. A defensive end, he then became the first openly gay football player picked by an NFL team when the St. Louis Rams chose him during the league’s 2014 draft.

“I know first-hand what it’s like to live and come out in spaces where being LGBTQ isn’t accepted, much less celebrated,” Sam said. “So I understand the challenges that many of today’s LGBTQ youth are facing - from bullying to family rejection, even homelessness. These are heartbreaking problems that no child, no young person should have to face alone, and that people like teachers, counselors and social workers are uniquely positioned to help overcome.”

“I’m honored to be part of such an important conference, where the concerns of LGBTQ youth - particularly youth of color - are being elevated, and where the educators and professionals who serve them have a unique opportunity to learn how to better meet those needs,” he said. “I truly believe that events like Time to THRIVE can help create a better, more hopeful future for LGBTQ youth.”

The acclaimed Time to THRIVE conference, which last year featured actress Ellen Page’s profoundly inspirational coming out speech as well as an appearance by Chelsea Clinton, attracts hundreds of people who play crucial roles in the everyday lives of LGBTQ youth - from teachers, counselors, clergy, and coaches, to staff from youth development organizations including scouting and Boys and Girls Clubs. More than 60 workshops on topics such as creating safe and inclusive schools, and supporting transgender and gender-expansive youth, are available to attendees.

After publicly coming out, Sam, who made his NFL debut in a preseason game last August and is now a free agent, was chosen to receive the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award, given annually at ESPN’s ESPY awards to a person who shows the fearlessness to stand up for their beliefs no matter the cost. In accepting the Ashe award, Sam said this: "To anyone out there, especially young people feeling like they don't fit in and will never be accepted, please know this, great things can happen when you have the courage to be yourself."

Sam was also named one of GQ magazine’s 2014 “Men of the Year,” and was a finalist for Sports Illustrated’s 2014 “Sportsman of the Year” award.

HIV and AIDS In Arkansas to be Re-broadcasted

In recognition of World AIDS Day 2014, AETN ( Arkansas Educational Television Network) produced its yearly edition of  "AIDS in Arkansas," which was shown December 16, 2014. Producer Lashaun Vaughn has announced that the program will be rebroadcast January 28, 6:30 pm. (Check your local listings for your area.)

Also Vaughn shared that programming executives have decided to also include the show in a programming rotation to fill vacant slots on the networks schedule. This scheduling will allow the program to be seen in more day parts while attempting to reach a greater audience for the information. The program featured area experts and advocates involved in addressing this health dilemma in Arkansas.

The show also got an updated title at the suggestion of guest and Executive Producer of COP 24/7, C. Mabin.  "The title was not reflective of the current circumstances or actually speaks to the fact that individuals are living longer with HIV in Arkansas," said Mabin.  Continuing, " the producer agreed once I presented the facts that the title needed to address that fact while also encouraging the tone of program to highlight many of the positive aspects of medical breakthroughs and life affirming services available." Plan are being considered as to host a viewing party with a purpose at a local venue. Additional details will be posted to this forum once confirmed.