Human Rights Campaign Foundation Celebrates First-Ever Online Global Summit

by Jean Freedberg

The HRC Foundation celebrates the achievements of 31 outstanding global advocates for LGBTQ equality during the four-month long 2020 Virtual Global Innovative Advocacy Summit.

This week, these 31 Global Innovators from 25 different countries completed their participation in the virtual global summit. They each now go on to continue their work in promoting equality in the countries they live in all over the world.

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, HRC Foundation pivoted from hosting the summit in Washington, D.C. in April as usual to hosting the conference virtually, quickly mobilizing to engage staff from across the organization to help create and produce HRC Foundation’s first major international months-long online event.

Since June, Global Innovators gathered several times each month over Zoom for informational coffee chats, workshops and discussions. During these virtual convenings, they discussed a range of topics—from how to strengthen their organizations by acquiring more members and supporters, to engaging allies from the business community and people of faith, and knowing how to utilize legal advocacy and litigation—all to advance global equality.

“It's an amazing experience and I'm learning a lot!”

Global Innovator from Montenegro

Each Global Innovator brought their unique experiences and expertise to the convenings, providing perspectives on LGBTQ equality in different global regions of the world and on different topics within the broader LGBTQ global community. Each one Global Innovator enriched the conversation and learned valuable information, enabling them to strengthen their own individual work toward equality in their countries.

“Each one of you is engaged in a most extraordinary journey that we are privileged to learn about. And every time we learn something from you, it strengthens our work here in the U.S. as well."

Jay Brown, HRC Foundation’s senior vice president of programs, research and training

The 2020 HRC Global Innovators are from Armenia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Egypt, Ghana, Guyana, India, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Singapore, Slovakia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkey and Uganda.

Even with ample online meetings, the Global Innovators expressed a desire to continue meeting in order to get to know each other better. One Global Innovator noted, “I wish the program was longer and [we had time for] more topics. I feel like there's so much to learn from everyone in the group!”

Fortunately, these 2020 Global Innovators will now join HRC’s alumni network of more than 180 advocates from over 90 countries and territories to continue the conversation of advancing LGBTQ equality around the world.

HRC strengthens the global equality movement through public education, advocacy and partnerships. While millions of LGBTQ people around the world are gaining visibility and fighting for their rights, far too many continue living in fear and isolation, often under the rule of governments that criminalize their very identities. For more information on HRC’s international work, please visit