Post submitted by Saurav Jung Thapa, former Associate Director, HRC Global
Advocates from nearly thirty countries arrived in Washington, D.C. yesterday to participate in the HRC’s inaugural Global Innovative Advocacy Summit. The event kicked off with a visit with U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice in front of the West Wing of the White House.
The four-day Global Summit brings together established and emerging leaders for an exchange of ideas and practices for advancing LGBTQ equality. In a dynamic environment, these innovators, including HRC staff, will showcase projects and approaches that have helped improve the lives of LGBTQ people in their countries and communities.
During a meeting with Randy Berry, the U.S. Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, and senior National Security Council (NSC) officials Steven Pomper and Curtis Ried, HRC and the advocates expressed their appreciation for the Obama Administration’s groundbreaking support for the human rights of LGBTQ people worldwide.
Steven Pomper, Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the NSC, recognized the impressive regional representation at the Global Summit. He praised the innovators for the courageous work they do despite demoralizing challenges and obstacles.
At an evening reception for the Global Summit, HRC board members, local volunteers, LGBTQ partner organizations and community members welcomed the innovators.
“Over the course of the week, we’ll be learning from each other,” said Ty Cobb, HRC Global Director. “We hope to learn about new models for combatting transgender violence and achieving full nationwide non-discrimination measures for LGBTQ persons in the U.S. At the same time we’ll be sharing lessons we’ve learned and models we’ve created as an organization.”
Special Envoy Randy Berry delivered keynote remarks. He noted that achieving equal rights for LGBTQ people is a joint effort in which governments and LGBT advocates must work together. He also said that positive media coverage of LGBTQ people is essential and talked about how the courage and creativity of LGBTQ advocates around the world have inspired him.
Berry, who has visited 42 countries since taking office almost a year ago, commended all the innovators for their work and urged HRC and the innovators to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the Global Summit to learn from each other.
To read more about HRC Global, click here.
Pictured: National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice greets young LGBT activists from nearly 30 countries outside of the West Wing Lobby of the White House, March 29, 2016. Their trip was sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)