QWOC+ Boston is a group that promotes diversity by creating and sustaining safe spaces for LGBT people of color in the Greater Boston area.
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Discussion: Voices of the African and Immigrant Diaspora Against Violence and Homophobia

Posted By QWOC+ Boston on March 18th, 2011

Africa and Immigrant Diaspora Speak against Violence and Homophobia

Saturday March 19th | 2-5PM
Harvard Democracy Center
45 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

RSVP (Required): http://diasporaagainsthomophobia.eventbrite.com/

Join community members, activists, and leaders of African descent (including African, African-American, South American, Latin@, East and South Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and Carribean people) for a very important community forum on how we, as the diaspora, can address violence and homophobia in Africa, the Carribbean, South America, and beyond.

The recent murder of David Kato, a prominent Ugandan LGBT activist and human rights defender, along with the murder of transgender women in Honduras and Puerto Rico, has sparked worldwide calls to action. But, amidst the western voices that dominate the media, where are the collective voices representing viewpoints and perspectives of the Diaspora?

“The future of Africa and its Diaspora is in the hands of the Diaspora themselves”, says African LGBT Activist, Adaora Asala, founder of Queer Women of Color and Friends and afrofeminist blogger at Spectra Speaks, “We are the only people that can educate and empower our communities to address the impact of violence against LGBT persons in our respective countries.”

The event will feature a panel of speakers, both straight and part of the LGBT community:

  • Antonieta Gimeno, a community organizer and educator with 35 years experience addressing racial, gender/sexuality, economic and human rights issues, will be lending her expertise as a consultant on leadership development women, immigrants, LGBT communities and people of color.
  • Faith Onyimbo, a small business owner who is currently seeking asylum in the U.S. after being forced out of Kenya by the destruction of her storefront and threats of violence based on her sexual orientation, will be sharing her experience as an LGBT activist and asylum seeker.
  • Reverend Kapya Kaoma, a religious leader who recently published a report exposing the U.S. Right’s involvement in the surge of violence against LGBT people in Africa, will be guiding a conversation about the role of religion and US evangelicals in African culture.
  • Cassandra Okechukwu, an Assistant Professor at Harvard School of Public Health will be lending her background to shed light on the implications of cultural wars, homophobia, and HIV/AIDS on the health and livelihood of African communities.

Following contributions from each panelist, attendees will be divided into small groups for community discussion and input about LGBT inclusion and equality along the following axes: Culture, Religion, Women’s Rights, Politics, Public Health, and Immigration.

The discussion is being supported by local area activists, community partners, and allies, listed below:

  • Africans for Improved Access (AFIA)
  • Multicultural Aids Coalition (MAC) — Major Sponsor
  • Queer African Youth Network (QAYN)
  • Queer Women of Color and Friends (QWOC+ Boston)
  • The Network for Immigrant and African American Solidarity (NIAAS)
  • Network Afrique

For all attendees, registration is REQUIRED at http://diasporaagainsthomophobia.eventbrite.com/

NOTE: This event is open to people of African Descent and the afore-mentioned Immigrant Diaspora, only. Allies are welcome to attend the reception at OM LOUNGE (95 Winthrop Street, Cambridge MA), from 5:30-7:30PM. RSVP by sending your first and last name to spectraspeaks (at) boxbe (dot) com. (Please include *RSVP* in the subjejct line).

PRESS interested in covering the event should contact the lead organizer at spectraspeaks@boxbe.com. Please include “PRESS” in the subject line.

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