Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Blast Off and OUT

Its' another week at COP 24/7 and if it's anything like last week, its going to be more off the chain postings that we can almost stand! Let's just say, "you just can't make this stuff up!" So without any further delay, let's dive in....

Rainbows Being Raised at City Board

You can't deny that there's been plenty of advocacy and activist work being rolled out in the last few months. There's been more energized folks doing all manner of carry signs, "hissing" legislators,
gracing the capitol steps, holding emergency meetings and now taking their concerns to the Little Rock City Board meeting tomorrow at 6pm. So what's up? In case you missed it and I'm not sure how you did, its all about Director Kathy Webb's campaign promise to introduce a  civil rights ordinance that includes protection for sexual orientation and gender identity.

It will not only cover city employees, but residents and city contracts (meaning companies who want to do business with the city must also have such a policy). Now don't you think that this has just rolled up and there was no back and forth. Leading the inquisition has been At-Large Director Joan Adcock who has had a series of "questions," about whether the measure would or could be impacted by a state bill passed earlier this year. Seems like that there's going to some careful navigating or lawyering by city attorney Tom Carpenter to make assure that the ordinance doesn't run afoul otherwise. In the meantime, there's been yet another "call to action," asking folks to crowd City Hall as civic minded onlookers to witness the proceedings.

I applaud all of this but I guess none of those mileage votes, urban blight meetings or quorum court sessions were sexy enough to warrant such attention. For information purposes, Contact your Ward’s City Director & 3 At-Large Directors at (501) 371-4510 or email them at

Another HIV Section Staffer Departs

Keeping qualified individuals in place as we continue to grapple with HIV and AIDS in Arkansas
continues to be impacted by staff changes. Mr. Willie Rhodes, Health Program Specialist in the Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS/ TB Section of the Department of Health announced today his resignation effective April 24, 2015. Rhodes has accepted a similar position with the Washington State Department of Health in Spokane, Washington. His first day on the job is undetermined at post time.

During his ADH tenure he has served in numerous capacities including as then Community Planning Group Co-Chair, LGBT Outreach Coordinator, participated in variety of conferences, in-house strategy sessions and an array of HIV/AIDS testing and counseling initiatives around the state. Currently Rhodes, was serving as the Program Manager of the Community Connector's Initiative. The project was a innovative hybrid that sought to identify local contractors across the states health districts to serve as conduits to linkage and retention in care, educational outreach and serving as "micro" community planning groups. 

Welcome to The Living Room

From the CDC to community based or AIDS service organizations across the country are undergoing more radical changes and shifts in both their intervention messages and service delivery thresholds.

All this trending is continuing to unfold in Arkansas including the new, "Welcome to The Living Room," which will be series of focus group driven sessions to identify issues and challenges of those living with HIV facilitated by Arkansas RAPPS. The first session will take place May 15, inside the Kramer Auditorium, 715 Sherman in downtown Little Rock.

Organizers will seek to engage participants in an informal setting to increase spaces where those living with HIV can interact while sharing their lived experiences in a context that is welcoming and non-threating.

The series will feature some short survey features, brainstorming, strategizing what programming is needed and discovering how the group could assist with additional messaging and outreach in area communities.

Got Insurance yet? Then by all means do so before April 30! Hit us up here at COP 24/7 for more details on how you can get covered before its too late this enrollment period!!


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