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.

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