Post submitted by Jay Gilliam, Senior Global Programs Officer, HRC Global & Saurav Jung Thapa, Associate Director of Research, HRC Global
Thirty inspiring global innovators from 28 countries came together at HRC’s Equality Forum on Thursday for the final day of the second annual Global Innovative Advocacy Summit.
On the busy third and final day, global innovators discussed effective advocacy strategies. They also talked about ways to move forward, taking home what global innovators shared and learned over the past few days to continue to the fight for global equality.
At a breakfast table, global innovators gave members of HRC’s HIV working group an overview of the obstacles faced by LGBTQ people – especially gay men and trans women – living with HIV around the world. HRC Foundation’s Tari Hanneman, Deputy Director of Health and Aging, and Marvell Terry, HIV Project Manager, gave an overview of the work HRC is doing on HIV prevention, treatment and care, including the promotion of PrEP.
Movement Building for Political Change
Global innovators learned from HRC staffers about building a movement that works to effect political change. David Yu, HRC Senior Major Gifts Officer, moderated a panel discussion with Ann Crowley, HRC Vice President for Membership & Online Strategy, and Jeremy Pittman, HRC Deputy Field Director. These senior staff members shared insights on how HRC has built a movement for political change and how this movement has achieved remarkable victories.
Advocating Legal Strategies
Four global innovators from Belize, Bosnia & Herzegovina, South Africa and Taiwan participated in a lively panel that discussed how legal strategies can advance equality. HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow moderated the panel.
Caleb Orozco of Belize, a co-chair of the Global Summit organizing committee, shared how he won a Belize Supreme Court case that resulted in the decriminalization of same-sex relations. Tashwill Esterhuizen of South Africa talked about the legal victories his organization, Southern Africa Litigation Centre, has helped spearhead across southern Africa. Despite progress in places like Belize, 72 countries continue to criminalize same-sex relations, and up to 10 countries may impose the death penalty.
Funding Global Equality
The global innovators had lunch with staff from Open Society Foundations (OSF), a major funder of LGBTQ rights initiatives across the world. OSF and global innovators discussed the landscape and trends of global equality funding and how to approach funders, cultivate relationships and engage them for continued, long-term support. The lunch was also a great opportunity for global innovators to engage with OSF, a co-sponsor of the Global Summit.
Global innovators from Jamaica, Cambodia, Colombia, Macedonia and Vietnam gave innovation talks on a variety of advocacy issues.
Laura Frida Weinstein Nisenbon from Colombia talked about how she established a school and ambassador program that fosters and empowers transgender leaders working through institutions, social movements and campaigns against transphobia. These trans ambassadors also created trans peace agreements on the specific needs of trans victims that were promoted during Colombia’s peace talks.
HRC President Chad Griffin joined the global innovators in their final session of the day. Griffin and HRC Global staff shared the organization’s continued commitment to global equality work, noting that as global innovators, they are now part of the HRC family. Global innovators shared effective strategies on building this new HRC network for their continued advocacy work after they return home.
This year’s Global Summit created new and exciting relationships among HRC and the global innovator group. HRC knows that these global advocates will continue doing great work to promote global equality and is looking forward to supporting and promoting their efforts. Stay tuned throughout the year for updates from these global innovators.
Did you miss what happened the previous days of the Global Summit? Read all of our daily blogs on the Global Summit here and conversations online at #HRCGlobalSummit.
Visuals created by Kat Haugh.