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Innovative Advocates Discuss Community Engagement at HRC Global Summit

by Saurav Jung Thapa March 31, 2016

HRC welcomed LGBTQ leaders from around the globe this week for HRC’s inaugural Global Innovative Advocacy Summit. The summit brings together innovative LGBTQ advocates for an exchange of ideas and practices for advancing LGBTQ equality.

Yesterday, the Global Summit focused on engaging the LGBTQ community, building a movement and enlisting the support of members and volunteers. Innovators from the U.S., Nepal, China and Lebanon lead the discussion.

HRC staff discussed the organization’s history with building a membership of more than 1.5 million members and supporters. HRC Vice President of Membership and Online Strategy Ann Crowley spoke about the decades of work put into building HRC’s membership and the key methods that were utilized to do so. Director of Membership Outreach Margot Rosen spoke about the opportunities to engage the LGBTQ community through community events, especially pride festivals.

Manisha Dhakal, Executive Director of Blue Diamond Society (BDS) in Nepal, spoke next. Dhakal discussed how the organization has grown into a major national non-profit with over 40 offices and 800 staff and volunteers. BDS empowers members of the LGBTQ community, giving them information about sexuality and gender identity and most importantly, trains them to spread that knowledge wherever they are in the country.

During lunch, HRC’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion Nicole Cozier moderated a discussion on creating an inclusive movement. Angelica Ross, CEO of Trans Tech Social Enterprises, focused on how technology and employment can be a force for change for transgender people and the need to have transgender people in decision-making roles. The Executive Director of the Chinese Lala Alliance spoke about the work that her organization does to connect LBT women in China. Jay Brown, HRC’s Director of Foundation Program Strategies, also spoke HRC’s efforts to expand the organization’s work within communities of color and the transgender community.

Afternoon sessions covered the importance of research and volunteer management. Tarek Zeidan, an activist from Lebanon, presented on a report he co-authored on attitudes towards sexual and gender minorities in Lebanon. He noted how important research is to inform advocates about public perceptions of the LGBTQ community. The innovators also discuss how important it is to have research that provides information about LGBTQ community members.

Erin Miller, HRC’s Associate Director of Community and Volunteer Relations, closed out the day, presenting on her work to support HRC’s volunteer network. She described several key principles for engaging volunteers, including providing volunteers with a clear mission, keeping volunteers informed about HRC’s work and thanking them for their support.

HRC’s Global Summit will wrap up on April 1. Read more about HRC Global’s work here.

HRC Global Summit

HRC Global Summit

Saurav Jung Thapa
Saurav Jung Thapa


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