Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wild Card Wednesday

Creating Change 2016 Goes to Chicago

Plans are already underway for Creating Change 2016 to be held January 20-24, in Chicago, Illinois. The National LGBTQ Task Force has announced a call for abstracts and workshop proposals to be submitted by September 30, 2015. This conference behemoth is expected to attract upwards of 3,000 attendees with delegations from across the country. Organizers reported 3,800 people attended in 2015. At post time, there has been no determination as to participants from Arkansas.

In its 28th year of existence, the conference will offer a plethora of speakers, plenaries and leadership academies and a day long Racial Justice Institute to begin the week of activities. The organizational website,( ) cites that "Creating Change is an annual gathering of organizers and activists working to create a world in which our sexual orientations and gender expressions will be welcomed and celebrated."

Promotion material state that this year's primary goal of the Creating Change Conference is "to build our movement’s power from the ground up to secure our overarching goal of full equality, social justice and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people in the United States."

From an Arkansas perspective, events such this are noteworthy and impeccably needed to further build the local infrastructure that this platform has call for. Despite good strides by a new wave of activist and advocates who have done their best with their limited knowledge. The local LGBTQ community continues to grapple with capacity building, fragmented networks, missed connections and a whole laundry list of grassroots needs.

To address this pressing situation, there have been past community meetings, open forums and COP 24/7 has been directly involved with collaborating with area entities and community based organizations. Arkansas RAPPS, a Community Connector contractor specifically sponsored two Impact sessions designed to offer a learning space for local groups to engage in serious dialogue about agency sustainability. Each session was to continue to build upon themselves with the participants themselves to seek the services and expertise presented by area capacity builders.

Added to this mix is formation of the Equality Coalition which will bring together like minded organizations to coalesce in understanding possible mutual agendas or strategic plans. This group consist of a wide array of stakeholders ranging from the ACLU to the newly minted LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. Ultimately, conferences such as Creating Change are good pathways to increasing skill building and training.

But COP 24/7 makes the point that expensive junkets such as these are not always an option, especially if their is no groundswell of local fundraising or sponsorships available. There are limited scholarships available from Creating Change and COP 24/7 certainly encourages this possible. However, these are highly sought as well as competitive to achieve.

In the meantime, there are many opportunities to get skills building, advocacy training and access to smart folks right here in the Natural State. All you have to do is ask for it, seek it and attend sessions that get announced here at  COP 24/7 regularly.

50 Cent Faked Wealth With Borrowed Jewelry And Cars

As the worlds turns and folks who just can't get enough of the next celebrity train wreck comes word of that  "Fifty Cent", real name Curtis Jackson, testified in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday and admitted that he faked his wealth with borrowed jewelry and cars, according to the New York Daily News, saying: "It's entertainment." REALLY?  So now all these endless young folks whom tell COP 24/7 that their career moves will be the next rap star may learn that there's some hard lessons and lumps that come with this trek to stardom or either the poor house.

May we remind you that the star pathways is littered with many a broke mega star from beloved Sammy Davis Jr. to broke ass MC Hammer who blew it all on a $30 million mansion and a 200-man entourage that required $500,000 for him to maintain. By the middle of the 1990s, his assets had dropped to $9.6 million. What is even more appalling is that he had incurred debts of $13.7 million. His debts were not limited to banks and financial institutions as he also owed another celebrity in the person of baseball and football star Deion Sanders $500,000.

Let's not forget that Fifty is not the only star borrowing items to make it look like he's always high rolling. Most of those Academy Award gowns and jewels do not belong to the folks wearing them. They too are "borrowed" and used as fashion props. And it doesn't stop there if we recall Ms. Star Jones over the top wedding extravaganza to Al "on the down low," Reynolds where she had lots of free stuff and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas sold photo rights to their 2000 wedding for $1.8 million.

And it continues as some folks keep trying to live large when they should just live within their means, whatever that means may be. Here's some video just to keep it real...

COP 24/7 is continuing our commitment to raise awareness around HIV Criminalization reverberating from the energy during our participation in LGBT Net Roots Connect held last month. During a advocacy boot camp exercise our micro group was to form a fast tracked social media campaign in which we undertook this issue. We developed the hash tag #HIVandFree as a concept of assuring that those living with HIV, "live free from criminalization, stigma, homophobia and the violence of the justice system."
As we count down the days to the final COP 24/7 post, we encourage our readers to use re-tweet, post or use this hash tag on all of your social media platforms. Please also join us in contacting your Capitol representative concerning HB 1586, The Repeal HIV Discrimination Act. Go  to the Policy Action Center at  to help us educate our policy makers. Can we count on you today??


No comments: