On the third day of HRC’s inaugural Global Innovative Advocacy Summit, advocates from 26 countries discussed strategies for expanding support for the LGBTQ community.
Innovators dove into the theme of engaging allies -- both in individuals and in the institutions of daily life. Tamas Dombos of the LGBT Alliance in Hungary presented on how his organization expanded support for LGBTQ rights outside his of country’s capital city by taking their message on the road, with events in nearly a dozen cities across Hungary. His organization took their message of inclusivity to town squares, staffing tables with games intended to educate potential allies on the LGBT community.
Similarly, HRC’s Ben Needham, Director of Project One America, presented on how HRC is working to advance equality in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi. He explained his program’s approach of having individual conversations with potential allies and the one-on-one conversations his team engages in to identify supportive churches, congregations and local businesses across those states.
Singapore’s Darius Zheng presented on the innovative work executed by his organization, Pink Dot. Since 2009, Pink Dot has organized a day-long rally in support of the freedom to love. In 2015, the rally brought out almost 30,000 people to celebrate this message -- in spite of the fact that same-sex relationships are still criminalized in Singapore.
During the afternoon, the innovators expanded on their conversations about engaging straight allies and also looked at creating allies within faith communities, the business community, labor movements, and political parties. After breaking up to learn about how several of the innovators have made progress with finding allies within these institutions, HRC’s Senior Vice President, Mary Beth Maxwell facilitated a discussion about the opportunities and challenges that advocates face in this type of work.
The day begin with a roundtable breakfast on transgender justice in recognition of International Transgender Day of Visibility. The discussion focused on sharing methods for reducing violence, harassment, and discrimination faced by transgender individuals, as well as models other countries have developed for public education initiatives.
HRC President Chad Griffin joined the innovators to wrap up the day and celebrate their tremendous accomplishments in their home countries. Joining the group after being in North Carolina earlier in the day, he spoke about all of the challenges still facing LGBTQ Americans.
HRC’s Global Summit will wrap up on April 1. Read more about HRC Global’s work here.