HRC Blog

HRC Represented at Anti-Discrimination Conference in Bogota, Colombia

The following post comes from HRC's Public Education & Outreach Coordinator Simone Walls:

On June 29th Donna Payne represented HRC as the keynote speaker at the Ley Anti-Discriminación en Marcha Conference in Bogotá, Colombia. The conference was hosted by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) of Colombia. The country passed an anti-discrimination law in November 2011 that protects against discrimination based on race, gender and sexual orientation. It is the first time Colombia has made such landmark advances against discrimination.

The conference began with Attorney General Dr. Luis Eduardo Montealegre talking about the importance of this historic event. Dr. Carlos Baena, Senator of the Republic and Dr. Alfonso Prada, Chamber Representative, discussed the steps taken in Columbia’s Congress to support the law and the groups that worked together for the passage of the law. Dr. Francisco Herrero, Director of the National Democratic Institute in Colombia, stated “democracy is not complete until each and all are included and participate on equal terms, as the social and political actors should work together to make this law a reality.” Over 150 people attended the conference to begin working together on tools that would support the law being used throughout the country. 

Donna Payne gave greetings from HRC and opened with the story of what it was like growing up during the Civil Rights era and having parents who were greatly involved in the movement. Payne also spoke about the many challenges of being a woman, African American and a lesbian. Her speech included how to turn a negative situation into a positive and detailed strategic ways used by HRC to expand outreach to allies. Afterwards, a private luncheon was held for Donna and other special guests.

The groups working together to pass the law included: La Asociación de Mujeres Anna Perenna, La Corporación SISMA Mujer,  National Women’s Network, National Afro-Colombian Movement,  Afro-friends Foundation, El Centro de Estudios para la Democracia Columbia Sigio XXI, La Fundacion ACUA and National University’s research group; LGBTI organizations: Columbia Diversidad, La Corporacion Red Somos and Trans-Ser.

Photo courtesy of NDI

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