The Journal is back at work after a summer break. If you haven’t taken the time yet, you should read last month’s pieces on politics; there is an interesting piece about voter ID laws, written by Jillian Fisher and a series of reviews about the ballot issues on the November 2nd ballot.
We followed up this issue with our Third Annual Symposium – TransArkansas: A Symposium Devoted to Education and Understanding. We hosted a series of panels discussing the issues faced by Arkansas’s transgender community and provided an outlet for several personal voices to lend their stories to the day. The programming was exceptionally informative and met our goal of breaking down barriers that result in ignorance and lead to distrust and hate. Statistics say that only 1 in 10 people know someone who is transgender. This lack of being able to say you know someone from a specific community often leads to a lack of understanding and often violence. When people can put a face to something, they are more likely to feel comfortable with that idea and less likely to react negatively to the idea. In the near future, we will post information from the two, free CLE hours conducted during this year’s Symposium.
This month’s publication continues upon themes from our Symposium through a series of articles about LGBT issues. We have a very informative OP/Ed by the Journal’s faculty advisor Professor Nick Khan-Fogel regarding the rights of Africa’s homosexual population and the effect of Western ideals and liberalism on those rights. We also have an OP/Ed illuminating what it is like to be gay and married in Arkansas, from Bowen student and President of Bowen Lambda, Jennifer Bearden. Finally we have a article from UAMS medical student, Dylan Estes, detailing how the treatment of HIV/AIDS has changed in Arkansas, with the increase in public discourse and education about the virus.
I hope you all take a moment to read these articles and consider the implication of all of these issues. As always, we welcome feedback and responses to our articles, feel free to make comments on our webpage, www.ualr.edu/socialchange. Tweet us @ARSocialChange and write on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ARsocialchange.
We are changing up our format this year and publishing two substantive issues a semester. We are taking a break for the winter and will not have substantive pieces again until February. This does not mean we are not here; we welcome any comments or impressions about current events that transpire and encourage people to submit Op/Ed type pieces at any time for us to consider publishing. I hope everyone takes advantage of the cold weather outside and spends their time drinking cocoa and commenting on our social media sites.
Editor-in-Chief, Arkansas Journal of Social Change and Public Service