Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ready for the Fight

Rolling in the Advocacy Deep

For those of you who just may be busy with other matters, there's been a groundswell of folks who became activated around the "cray cray" that has been raging at the state house. From the dastardly deeds of Justin Harris's "re-homing' mess to the now totally going full "tilt" of the governing body affirming through HB 1228 that somehow this legislation is to strike some kind of culture
war "balance" of religion and human rights. How all this plays out is to be determined but COP 24/7 is simply not amused as well as many others. Advocacy work is not for the weary, time consuming, hard fought and often times seems as if its just not winnable or worthwhile. Yet it is the path that has to be taken to affect or impact any change.

The Arkansas legislature has certainly shown its game face this session and unfortunately those who must deal with this body often times get blind sided and bum rushed by bills such as HB 202 and now HB 1228 are being dolled out despite the outcries to their ill affects and possibilities on the masses. Yet those whom promote these bills continue to pop off from legislator's whom have political agendas in the name of serving their constituencies. No matter the consequences or for heaven sakes perhaps any real insight, forward thinking and let's not even imagine "critical thinking," about any of it.

Through all of this so far, COP 24/7 has been proud of the energy shown although its unfortunate that it takes such over the top measures to ignite locals into "rolling in the advocacy deep," to demonstrate that they care about an issue. Certainly its welcomed, but we have to face the fact that we can't just "react," when necessary but stay activated all year round to continue to build the needed infrastructure and leadership pipelines to be prepared for such occasions.

Let's be real. Advocacy takes dollars, man and women power, networking, lobbying, collaborating, capacity building, outreach, and flexibility. Those rolling up their sleeves and taking to streets must know that even when you think its over, it's not. Chaining policies or as we continue to hear "chaining hearts and minds," doesn't stop when its convenient. It's an endless continuum that requires constant watch, staying laser focus and sometimes fearless in speaking to power. It's on! Let the fury fly...

National HIV Conference in ATL

The 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference will be held on December 6-9, 2015 in Atlanta, GA, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

The 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference (NHPC) is the preeminent conference for scientists, public health officials, community workers, clinicians, and persons living with HIV from a wide variety of organizations to share their expertise and ultimately prevent infections, strengthen care and reduce disparities.

The National HIV Prevention Conference allows for in-person collaboration between researchers and program personnel planning and implementing HIV prevention and care programs. The conference will bring together more than 3,000 individuals who are working to stop the spread of HIV in the United States. It will provide an opportunity to continue refining, improving, and strengthening our nation’s response to HIV.

This four-day conference will include oral, panel and poster presentations, as well as plenary sessions, roundtables, and debates and is a platform for conference participants to engage in rigorous scientific, programmatic, and technology information exchange.

Registrations received before November 6, 2015: $325.00
After November 6, 2015, registration on-site only: $425.00
Federal employee registration: $250.00

Federal employee registration fees do not include the cost of food and beverages. Federal employees will be required to purchase food and beverages at the conference. Color-coded badges will distinguish Federal attendees from other non-Federal conference attendees.

Conference participants will need to make their own lodging arrangements. The main conference hotels (Hyatt Regency Atlanta and Atlanta Marriott Marquis) will maintain a block of rooms for conference participants until October 31, 2015. Hotels charge the prevailing federal per diem rate plus tax (currently $135.00 plus tax for single/double occupancy).

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