HRC Welcomes International LGBTQ Advocates for Summit on Advancing Equality Around the World

by Milagros Chirinos

The fourth annual HRC Global Innovative Advocacy Summit will bring together 29 advocates from 27 countries to share innovative strategies for advocacy in their home countries.

Today, HRC Foundation kicks off its fourth Global Innovative Advocacy Summit — an annual event bringing international LGBTQ advocates from around the world together in Washington, D.C., to discuss trends and innovative ways to advance LGBTQ equality.

This year, HRC is hosting 29 LGBTQ advocates and allies from 27 countries and territories for the four-day gathering during which participants will share personal and professional experiences and ideas to help them in their efforts to engage key stakeholders and allies in improving the lives of LGBTQ people in their countries. This year’s summit will focus on campaign strategies, security and migration patterns, and cutting-edge practices to bolster LGBTQ advocacy in challenging places. HRC is proud that the summit is supported by Open Society Foundation, MetLife Foundation and BBVA Compass.

“At a time when so many LGBTQ people’s lives are at risk around the globe, the ability of advocates to collaborate on innovative tools advancing basic human rights and LGBTQ equality is crucially important,” said HRC Director of Global Leadership Jay Gilliam. “We are thrilled to welcome these advocates whose commitment to advancing LGBTQ equality in some of the world’s most challenging places is truly remarkable.”

This year’s impressive group of creative Global Innovators are from some of the most difficult areas of the world for LGBTQ people. Some of the emerging leaders participating in the summit include a transgender advocate fighting for hijra communities living with HIV in India, a journalist using media platforms to advocate for LGBTQ Pakistanis, a public health professional and founder of an LGBTQ-friendly network of health providers in Puerto Rico, and an advocate leading efforts to secure gender-neutral housing for LGBTQ college students in South Africa.

The 2019 HRC Global Innovators are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Argentina, Barbados, Ecuador, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Sudan, as well as Puerto Rico.

Since 2016, HRC Foundation’s Global Summit has served as a powerful and inspiring way for HRC to connect LGBTQ leaders and allies to help strengthen the capacity of their movements. The 2019 Global Innovators join HRC’s growing network of advocates and partners who represent more than 80 countries and territories.

HRC Global strengthens the global equality movement through public education, advocacy, fellowships, partnerships and research. While millions of LGBTQ people around the world are gaining visibility and fighting for their rights, far too many still live in fear and isolation – and under the rule of governments that criminalize their very identities. HRC has worked to shine a spotlight on dire situations for LGBTQ people in Chechnya, Brunei, Tanzania, and elsewhere. HRC also continues to collaborate with local LGBTQ advocates as they work to decriminalize same-sex relations, advance the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and achieve marriage equality.

For more information on HRC’s international work, please visit