Tuesday, April 28, 2015

COP 24/7 Talking OUT Loud

In our maddening world of tragedy such as the earthquake in Nepal or to the civil unrest and rioting of now Baltimore, it seems that it may just be to much to bear in our daily lives. Yet we must deal with these daily barrages of horror despite wanting to avert our eyes, close our ears or cover our
mouths in despair to each sensational item that plays out 24/7 in front of us.

We can decide when we want to "tune out," the talking heads with news reports to every whim or notion of the latest "if it bleeds, it leads," story. Our rubbernecking of today's events is everywhere now, as these stories can be our constant companions on mobile devices, monitors in waiting rooms, and TV screens that could pop up almost anywhere nowadays. For myself I can recall the Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues," where he taunts listeners with the phrase, "makes me wanna holler."  Although I felt the burn of that phrase at that time, it now some four decades later, it sears my soul even more.

Not only of what I see on TV, but also what I often hear. Case in point, I was broadsided by a UAMS discussion concerning its HIV/AIDS Clinic, where I learned that it was now viewed as not a "priority," or of low level concern as to the quality of care it offered. Furthermore, it was alluded to that it was low concentration "cash cow," for the institution and those whom are served have not been assessed of their perceptions nor was anyone interested in what they thought. The take away from this discussion was that if you are interested in knowing about it "good luck," in finding any internal support but you are welcome to find out what you can. This too makes me wanna holler.

As the rest of the nation watched, gawked, gazed and ranted about the Baltimore riots, I too took in my fair share of coverage. I was sicken at what I saw, but I was more sicken to known that much of this anger, despair and outrage has laid in wait just as the those Asia tectonic plates were grinding under the Himalaya's and the gases of a Chilean volcano was stirring, so was the fuel that erupted those citizens into a fury.

I don't condone violence as always a solution but we can't deny that civil unrest has had its place in our history. However I recoiled at the characterization that those marginalized and now agitated should be seen as "thugs or outsiders," when we don't assigned this tag to "corporate raiders, hedge fund folks, tax cheats, predatory lenders or other digital criminals such as Madoffs or others like him who capture copious Millions while never being referred to as thugs.

Destroying the precious infrastructure of an already fractured community is heartbreaking, yet we must not just see the acts as they now present themselves, but rather demand explanations of "how did we get here?," "Why has this situation been allowed to fester?," and ultimately who bears responsibility in not asking these questions in the first place. Stop. Exhale my Baltimore brothers and sisters. Regroup and reimagine your strategy to changing the story for your community.

Mabin on Fair Housing Panel at State Conference

"All Things to All People," is the theme for this weeks Arkansas Fair Housing Commission being held at the Crowne Plaza, April 28-30, 2015 during Fair Housing Month. The conference is expected to draw of 400 attendees to a variety of plenaries, workshops, exhibits and sessions. COP 24/7 Executive Producer and AHPG Community Co-Chair Cornelius Mabin has been asked to present during the "How to Build Strong Sustainable Communities with Lots of Affordable Housing Free from Discrimination: The Consolidated Plan," April 30, 2015, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Mabin will speak to perspectives of the HOPWA program under the guidance of the Arkansas Department of Health and its challenges, barriers and national trends that are being seen as best practices for those living with HIV seeking services from the program. During the program Mabin  will offer snapshots to current support levels and impending additions to the states initiative.

The presentation will also offer bullet points on the new initiative to standardize data gathering on program usage as well as public input around the National HIV AIDS Strategy 2.0. Others sharing the panel will be Sara Oliver/Arkansas Development Finance Authority(ADFA), Lori Williams/Department of Human Services(Assistant Director), and Jean Noble/Plan Coordinator(Grants Division), Economic Development Commission. At post time the conference was sold out. However overflow seating was being made available. For more info check out: www.fairhousing.gov

Red Door Announces Bluff City Conference

The Red Door Foundation, Incorporated, we are excited to announce our third annual Saving Ourselves Symposium. The symposium will be held June 4 -7, 2015 in Memphis, TN at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown. *Registration is free and now open.  Partners this year include NAESM, Inc., Young Black Gay Men's Leadership Initiative, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Tennessee AETC, Kaiser Family Foundation, AVAC and National Minority AIDS Council. 

This year we have an exciting symposium planned that includes various activities involving presenters from various interdisciplinary fields, including HIV/AIDS and STD fields on both local and national levels. Thursday, June 5 and Friday, June 6 will be the MSM of Color Technical Assistance Meeting. The technical assistance workshops are designed for traditional and non-traditional stakeholders working with Black Gay Men.  Workshops include topics such as Culture Sensitivity, Faith & Black Gay Men, Bio-medical Prevention,  Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Exploring Sub-cultures and Building Rapport with Black Gay Men, to name a few.  This TA is in partnership with The Department of Health and Human Services Regional Resource Network IV.

This year our theme is: "Solidly United: Building the Black LGBT Community Brick by Brick".  This year's theme focuses on building relationships, creating formidable networks and helping to build supportive and empowering Black LGBT individuals.  We want an atmosphere where Black LGBT individuals are celebrated, respected, honored and adored.  With that being said, and without any certainty of a doubt, "Solidly United: Building the Black LGBT Community Brick by Brick", will help us to generate action steps that will unify our community and solidify our identity as Black LGBT individuals.   
Don't Forget to Join us this Wednesday Night, 6:30 pm - 9pm at The New 610,
610 Center for our
A Spring Evening of Awareness.
Check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/corneliusonpoint 
for more information you can also check out www.linqforlife.com or call us at 501-4042367

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