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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