I am an Arkansas Traveler… Granted by the Secretary of State and Governor of the great state of Arkansas.

Gustavo Torrez, Program Manager
The Network for LGBT Health Equity 
I am an Arkansas Traveler

I have said this before, but I truly love Arkansas. As you know from my post last night I had the privilege of being asked to be the opening plenary speaker for the Minority Initiative Sub-Recipient Grant Office’s (MSRGO), 9th Annual Clearing the Air in Communities of Color Conference. My opening address for this amazing conference focused on reaching community through online social media platforms.

But before I talk about that, I want to skip strait to the end of my presentation where I was bestowed the great honor of becoming The Arkansas Traveler. Its so funny, in my opening and closing I mentioned how the hospitality in Arkansas in unfound in most states I have been to. With this being my second trip to Arkansas, I have to say both times I have been treated with such respect. It’s a joy to come to Arkansas, and I have to say I was looking forward to speaking here even thought I have been on the road so much lately.  After speaking today, Ms. Ruthie Johnson, project specialist with MISRGO presented me with a certificate from the State of Arkansas, Secretary of State Mark Martin and signed by the governor. The Certificate (which will be framed and hung in my office) reads:

To all who shall see these presents, greetings:  Know Ye, that the governor of the State or Arkansas, in the name and by the authority of the people of said State, as vested in him by the constitution and laws of the State of Arkansas, reposing special recognition for the distinguished accomplishments, does hereby appoint and commission Gustavo Torrez (That’s me) as an Arkansas Traveler who is hereby authorized and commissioned to serve as an Ambassador of good will from Arkansas to the people of other states, the people of nations beyond the borders of the United States or wherever this Ambassador of Arkansas may hereafter travel or reside.

This was such an honor and further proves the point why I love Arkansas so much.

Anyways back to MSRGO… They are already utilizing social media platforms to advance their message. Their Blog is a great resource locally, to learn about information and the work they are conducting in the great state of Arkansas, and the also have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Now is the time to get grantees and others onboard with posting the work they are doing. It is vital that we share our successes, and utilize these platforms to showcase and house the work we do. It is important to look at how we can utilize social media strategies to advance our programs reach. There is a great resource created by the CDC such as the Social Media Toolkit. While a bit long it has a lot of great resources for you to being or continue building your social media presence. Like I mentioned today, you don’t need to read the whole thing cover to cover, but go strait to the sections that you are first interested in.

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