Monday, February 09, 2015

The Monday Call To Actions

The Call To Action Continues

As promised, COP 24/7 is on its job to keep our readers updated on legislative moves and chicanery that is going on under the dome. It appears that  HB 1228 ( will be heard again tomorrow morning at 10 am in Room 149 as an order of special business and will be the first item on the agenda. As weve posted, this bill will allow the use of religion to discriminate against others.

Can you imagine that lawmakers would entertain such a measure as we continue to see law suits and all manner of judicial breakthroughs around equality across the nation. Most notably marriage equality now being stymied by a judicial actions despite rulings from other courts.

HB 1273 ( will also be heard tomorrow in Room 138 at 10 am. This bill will allow a student to express their religious viewpoints in coursework, artwork, verbal or presentations, through their student religion club, and on any clothing, accessories, and jewelry.
This bill is problematic on numerous levels as a means to restrict personal expression which could range from not only what you are saying but perhaps what you may be wearing.

As another Call to Acton, please call and write to your representatives and legislators. Your pride begins with your sharing your voice and not waiting for some one else to do it for you.
Arkansas Awareness Funds MIA
Over the past weeks COP 24/7 has been busy with seeking answers and explanations as to HIV/AIDS Awareness day funding that was piece meal awarded during the 2014 cycle. To date despite our outreach effort directly to parties involved, we have been amazed at the lack of response or sense of outrage at this dismal of local entities whom submitted proposals without any formal explanation to their denial.
Yes you heard that right. The folks who were denied funding don't seem interested in asking why? We sent out a "Call to Action," that appears to have fallen on deaf ears of most. So exactly what are we to take from all this non-action?  If this forum is posting the facts from numerous credible sources concerning the disproportionate impact of infection rates among BMSM in Arkansas juxtaposed to being 1 percent of population isn't enough, then what is?  Of course this forum believes that everyone should know their status and that any and all access to care should be available, however, we can't and won't dispute what Paul Kawata, Executive Director of National Minority AIDS Council states,
The statistics are mind numbing. At current rates of infection, 50% of black gay men will have HIV by the time they are 35 (8% of white gay men are infected). I’ve been accused of caring more for the black community then I do for my own people. I love being Asian and I will always be concerned about my community, but the numbers don’t lie. As an Asian gay man, I am fighting for black gay men because it’s the right thing to do. I am fighting for black gay men because like the civil rights movement, it’s going to take a rainbow of people fighting together to make a difference."
Amazing testimony that he shared as Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day 2015 came and went in Arkansas with those whom should be a part of recognizing this day sat on the sidelines in silence or found other distractions to their liking. This speaks volumes to why ADH takes a position that "you ask not, you get not," and that includes not only explanations but it seems a "whatever," attitude to make the point. NMAC's call to action is loud and clear. It is vital that we not take for granted that our public health officials are fully engaged. NMAC outlines that "innovative and strategic" measures should be pursued including looking at incentive programs for either the PLWH or healthcare providers.
As of right now, the newly launched Community Connectors initiative has been mired in barriers as to what constitute an "incentive" and how they can be used or not. More layers of impediment to doing what can be done within a system that finds all manner of barriers that fuel disinterest and lack of participation. Then we've got the 'big data," issue which this state is just now getting up to speed on scrubbing its numbers to make any sense. Where are the discussions on Prep usage and what about STI testing access?  So all of this demands each of us to stay vigilant in understanding "what's not going on."
COP 24/7 urges all to continue to "ask the hard questions about what is Arkansas' plan to decrease infection rates? What exactly is our Linkage to Care results and how do we really know? Where is the Awareness Day funding that has been rolling from year to year without much awareness produced? Who is now accountable for any and all of this especially if we have additional infections or deaths due to the failures of public health? Is this thing on? Is anybody damn listening? Can I get a hell yeah! The floor is always open and light stays on at COP 24/7! Thank Paul Kawata for sharing your insights and passion that continue to ignite this forum around addressing this health dilemma.
Pride in the City
The 2015 Little Rock Pride Fest committee is preparing for its first community meeting, Feb. 22, from 4 -6pm at Satchemo's Bar and Grill, 1900 West 3rd. They have formed an Executive Board and are seeking members for our Advisory Committee as they move forward with planning this years festival.

 According to organizer, Jenifer Pierce,  sponsorship packets are ready to go which give a brief overview of this year's plans (budget, entertainment, ect.), and how the day long event will unfold. Last year up to 500 people were in attendance to both the pre-parade and other activities held on the Clinton Library grounds. Check out there web page at for more information on how you can help.
COP 24/7 Zip Stream Message...
FROM 10 AM -2PM, 6401

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