Friday, February 20, 2015

Up Periscope Friday

This week has been one hell of a week both weather wise and otherwise when it comes to producing COP 24/7. Everyday the good in-box has been filled with "alerts," "sign-on this or that," and assorted "Psssst! have you heard," material. Often times I am not sure where to go with it all or does anybody really give a damn about whatever appears on this platform. Although there are some dedicated check in's, few die hearts and then there's those peer in from the comfort of their delegated safe zones. Nevertheless, we churn on and out with the latest from our information bounty. Let's dive in to see what's popping....

Gay Business Watch 2015: Part 2

Over the last few post we've explored a variety of topics related to the LGBTQ construct of businesses, community based organizations, venues, bars and other shaking and moving that has happened in the last six months and beyond. Stay tuned there's plenty to go around....

Arkansas AIDS Foundation Quivers 

Within the scope of our coverage, COP 24/7 has announced changes, updates, as well as highlighted
other discovered shake up's or otherwise that we certainly believe that our readers should know about.

One such update came from lots of chatter and other rumblings or should we say mumblings about operations going on at the long withstanding Arkansas AIDS Foundation, which bills itself as "Consortia- Care Of Arkansas." No time to explain this confusion, so we will just go with it for now.

This venerable agency that was conceived during the height of AIDS epidemic over 30 years ago, and has a long and winding storied history that most likely isn't totally chronicled anywhere as it should be to tell the story of the agency. However, in its current incarnation, it is under the helm of Ms. Portia Knowleton who has served as its Executive Director for at least the last six months.

Meanwhile, COP 24/7 has learned that she plans to depart this post come July 2015. During her brief tenure the organization has endured the lost of its core board of directors, steep learning curves, attempts at agency re-brand and now a internal lateral management change citing Case Manager, Mr.  L. Houston to assume leading the organization after her departure.

So why is this newsworthy? It was the process in which this matter was handled according to non-profit standards. Of course, you can do whatever the hell you want, but is it really in the best interest of the agency or is this nepotism to the high heaven.

As COP 24/7 has watched this possible train wreck in the making, this action comes on top of the group's ill fated "Runway to Awareness," event held last month and its impending "Walking For Red," slated for April 11th in Mac Arthur Park. Plus agency news as to their undetermined funding footing as a HOWPA sub grantee. The agency has floated an announcement of a "waiting list," until funding can be realized with no substantive foundation, additional grants or overall fundraising plan to sustain the organization concurrent to its city contract.

Even as all this quietly unfolds, this forum has been forthright about how the changing funding scene and how these shifts will definitely impact those offering services to those living with HIV or other health disparities. Securing the best possible candidate with HIV care acumen, leadership skills, community engagement and dynamic passion should have been apart of the equation to determine whomever is deemed its figurehead. It's been our experience that everybody's parchment doesn't always add up to what's needed to move matters ahead. There's plenty of evidence that "papers," don't always serve the best interest in serving the issues and challenges of HIV and AIDS in Arkansas. Stay tuned...

Still Calling You to ACTION!!!

If you haven't heard about this and all the "call to actions," that COP 24/7 has alerted you too, then let us encourage you, you and yes you too, to share your thoughts with our new Governor Hutchinson. He has decided to allow this bill to arrive at his desk and to sit on it with his signature. This move does not keep it from becoming a bad law. We don't have time, but I would suggest everybody sending the Governor a digital pen or even a "real pen," to veto this measure. No matter how you do it, feel free to share your outrage, opinion or back talk on this page. Now make some noise of any kind!
We dare ya!!!

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