Over the past several months, HRC Global staff traveled through Europe and Asia to share HRC’s experience and lessons learned from working for equality in the U.S. with partner organizations worldwide. In places like Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland and Vietnam, HRC delivered customized capacity-building workshops to support HRC’s partners in their efforts to strengthen their advocacy for equality.  

These workshops form part of HRC Global’s Partnerships in Innovative Advocacy program, in which HRC works with selected organizations on topics ranging from designing advocacy campaigns, challenging discriminatory laws and policies, engaging allies and changing societal institutions to be more inclusive. HRC partners with members of HRC Global’s alumni network, including HRC Global InnovatorsFellows and other advocates from around the world. 


Jay Gilliam, director of global leadership, joined LGBTQ advocates in Bulgaria for a week of training and capacity building in June. He shared strategies that HRC uses to support and uplift  LGBTQ youth through programs including HRC’s Welcoming Schools program and HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council. He also joined alumni to celebrate Sofia Pride. 


For three days, Jean Freedberg, director of global partnerships, worked with KPH, Poland’s leading LGBTQ organization, to develop a strategic plan to help take the  group’s communications and messaging efforts to the next level. Under the auspices of the National Democratic Institute, the group explored topics such as audience and stakeholder assessment, values-based messaging, managing to do more with less and crisis response. 


Travelling to a retreat center outside Kyiv, Freedberg worked with a group of LGBTQ advocates from seven regions across Ukraine to help develop a public information campaign to change hearts and minds about LGBTQ people. This program, guided by the results of the National Democratic Institute’s polling on attitudes toward LGBTQ people, seeks to create ways for the country’s LGBTQ advocates to work together to build allies, reach out, change perceptions and engage the public.


Gilliam traveled to Vietnam in May to reconnect with HRC's Global Fellow Thu Le. During his week there, Gilliam learned more about Le's work at iSEE, a human rights organization in Vietnam, and met with LGBTQ community members and organizations. He shared HRC's experiences in building community, raising awareness of LGBTQ issues and advocating for the rights of LGBTQ people in the U.S. and around the world. He also conducted a workshop for advocates to help build their capacities to develop strong membership bases and supporters for their work on LGBTQ equality.

For more information about HRC’s work around the world, visit hrc.org/Global

Filed under: International

Don't miss a post

Sign up for RSS feeds

Have a news tip?

Share it with us

Community discussion

Read the guidelines