Agenda - 2019 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference

November 13-16 | Washington, DC


International Pre-Conference Programming: Populism vs. Democracy
Penn Avenue Terrace – JW Marriott
The rise of populism and nationalism during the last five years is eroding democracy worldwide. While internet and digital technology have prompted increasing political engagement, income inequality, conflicts, climate change and migration have fueled the frustration and fears of the public. Those feelings have been hijacked by populist politicians with an exclusionary agenda and clear authoritarian tendencies. This international preconference will provide US and international participants with a snapshot of the state of democracy and the impact populism is having around the world.

9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Far-Right Nationalist Parties and the New Power Balance in the European Union

Isabella Adinolfi, Member of the European Parliament, Italy
Knut Dethlefsen, Representative to the U.S. and Canada, FES
James Kirchick, Visiting Fellow – Foreign Policy, Brookings Institution
Jose Santoro, LGBTI Adviser, The Party of European Socialists, Spain
Hannah Winnick, Program Director, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Washington, DC

Growing inequality, transformation of labor relations, and a massive influx of migrants have provided the breeding ground for the current wave of populism and nationalism that is sweeping the European Union. In providing seemingly easy solutions for complex problems, these parties have won over 20 percent of seats in the European Parliament, attracting a frustrated and increasingly disaffected electorate. How is this affecting democracy in the region? What will be the impact on the policies and efficacy of the European Union? Panelists will explore these and other questions about the state and future of democracy on the other side of the Atlantic.

10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Democracy & Internet: U.S. and Beyond

Pablo Aguilera, Development Manager, R3D : Red en defensa de los derechos digitales
Naomi Fontanos, Executive Director, Gender and Development Advocates (GANDA), Philippines
Chanelle Hardy, Strategic Outreach & Senior Partnerships Counsel, Google
Peter Micek, General Counsel, Access Now

Similar to how the printing press revolutionized access to information in the Middle Ages, the internet has led to the ultimate democratization of information. But what is the impact on democracy? On one hand, wider access to information and social media is deepening democracy, making governments more accountable and allowing people to organize faster, as seen during the Arab Spring and the subsequent Occupy Movements around Europe and North America. At the same time, elections are being tainted across the globe, which in turn is used by undemocratic rulers to weaken trust in the democratic system and limit freedom of speech and assembly, among other rights. How can we limit the impact of fake news while deepening democracy and reinforcing human rights? Experts from a wide range of fields will discuss potential solutions and their pros and cons.

1:30 pm – 3 pm
From Frustration to Action: Taking Back Brazil Through the 2020 Local Elections

Robeyoncé De Lima, Deputy, Legislative Assembly of Pernambuco
Fabio Felix, Deputy, Legislative Chamber of the Federal District, Brazil
Michael Lavers, International News Editor, Washington Blade
Miguel Mesquita, Human Rights Specialist, IACHR, OAS
Beatriz Pedreira, Co-founder, Update Institute, Brazil
Edgar Souza, Mayor of Lins

Two years after the assassination of Councilwoman Marielle Franco and a year after one of the most polarizing elections in modern Brazilian history, a reinvigorated social movement opposing President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies is regrouping and channeling their frustration through politics. As in the U.S., a historic number of women, black and queer people ran for office in 2018, driven by a desire to protect their rights and vision for their country. Panelists will discuss the current strategies of the progressive movement to win back power through local elections as part of a larger effort to counterbalance the current government.

3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Breaking Venezuela’s Stalemate: What’s Next?
Co-Hosted by Atlantic Council

Tamara Adrían, Deputy, National Assembly of Venezuela
Michael Curtis, Deputy Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union
Brian Fincheltub, Secretary and Director of Consular Affairs, Embassy of Venezuela
Beatriz Gabriela Rodriguez, Founder and Board Chair, Amazona Foundation

Three years of continued escalating tensions and democratic deterioration have left Venezuela with two parallel presidents and parliaments, but without a clear path to solve the economic and humanitarian crisis that has pushed over 3 million of its citizens to migrate to other countries. Join this panel to learn about a variety of future scenarios that lay ahead of the stakeholders involved, that could break the current stalemate and lead to a solution.

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Pre-Conference Welcome Reception
Sponsored by The Atlantic Council, Finnish Government, GLIFAA – LGBT+ Pride in Foreign Affairs Agencies, GLOBE LGBT+ Employee Business Resource Group, MillerCoors, Scottish Government, State Farm Insurance and the Welsh Government
The Atlantic Council – 1030 15th St, NW

Wind down after a day of programming as we celebrate LGBTQ progress around the globe.
Non-conference attendees can register for free here.


8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Pre-Conference Session for Elected Officials
(Invitation Only)
Sponsored by State Farm, Moody’s Analytics and Moody’s Investors Service

12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Conference Registration
Grand Ballroom Foyer

4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Opening Plenary: State of the Race 2020 
Grand Ballroom

Raul Alvillar, Fox News Contributor
John Blair, Deputy Secretary of State, New Mexico
Lucinda Guinn, Executive Director, DCCC
Jon Hoadley, State Representative, Michigan
Celinda Lake, President, Lake Research
Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator, Vermont

All the Democratic presidential candidates support basic equality for LGBTQ people – marriage equality, non-discrimination protections and an inclusive military. But less talked about is which issues they will prioritize, their strategies for advancing equality in a potentially divided Congress, and how they would ensure LGBTQ inclusion in their administrations. With just months to go before the first primaries, hear from pundits and experts on the state of the race and how the candidates for president will impact equality if elected.

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Opening Reception
Presented by Comcast
The Embassy of Canada – 501 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

David Cicilline, U.S. Representative, Rhode Island
Co-Chair, Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus

8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Leading in Color Reception
Sponsored by AARP, Altria and MillerCoors
District Architecture Center – 421 7th St. NW
The Leading In Color event is a “party with a purpose” where you’ll have an opportunity to engage with LGBTQ leaders of color who make up 20% of all LGBTQ elected officials serving nationwide. Over a dozen Out elected officials, and two hundred community members, donors, influencers, and allies from across the country are expected to attend.


8 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Corporate Appreciation Breakfast
Salon H/J
(Invitation Only)

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Coffee Networking
Grand Ballroom Foyer

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Breakfast Plenary: Queer and Indigenous: Current Challenges in the Americas
Grand Ballroom

Lori Campbell, Director of Indigenous Student Services and lecturer for Indigenous Studies at the University of Waterloo
Jorge Andrés Cancimance, Putumayo Assemblymember, Colombia
Sharice Davids, U.S. Representative, Kansas
Deb Haaland, U.S. Representative, New Mexico
Wendy Helgemo, Attorney, Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP
Arlando Teller, State Representative, Arizona

Indigenous populations in the Americas face unique challenges with their roots in historic oppression. Inequality, stigma and lack of access to resources prevents these communities from having their voices heard. LGBTQ elected officials and leaders from the US and other parts of the Americas will share with the audience the main challenges their communities face today, as well as their personal stories on being queer and indigenous elected leaders.

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.
State of Victory Speech
Grand Ballroom
Remarks by Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO, Victory Institute

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Breakout Session 1

Breakout Session 1a: America’s Next LGBTQ Delegate
Salon D

Earl Fowlkes, Chair, LGBTQ Caucus, Democratic National Committee
Rachel Hoff, Member, DC Republican Committee
Ted Jackson, LGBTQ Engagement Director, Democratic National Committee
Sean Meloy, Senior Political Director, Victory Fund
Jason Rae, Secretary, Democratic National Committee

Want to be in the arena for the balloon drop at the Democratic National Convention or Republican National Convention next summer? As the Democrats and Republicans prepare for their conventions in Milwaukee and Charlotte, respectively, Victory Institute is working to ensure there are LGBTQ delegates there to influence party platforms and discuss issues impacting LGBTQ Americans. In this session, there will be an interactive discussion around the process of electing delegates to the RNC and DNC and choosing delegates as alternates.

Breakout Session 1b: Incarceration in America: Reforming a Broken Criminal Justice System
Salon E

Nickie Antonio, State Senator, Ohio
Mateo de la Torre, Criminal Justice Reform Advocate
Malcolm Kenyatta, State Representative, Pennsylvania
Maritza Perez Sr. Policy Analyst-Criminal Justice Reform, CAP
Lamont Robinson Jr., State Representative, Illinois

For Black, brown, trans, immigrant and other underserved communities, the criminal justice system is often applied unfairly and unjustly, perpetuating inequity and rewarding bias. In 2015, Black and Latinx people made up 56 percent of the incarcerated population in the United States, despite representing only 32 percent of the population. And, nearly one in six trans people are incarcerated at some point in their lives. Finding solutions to deconstruct systemic injustice and reform America’s criminal justice system has not been easy, but this session will explore the varying approaches LGBTQ leaders have taken to advance progress.

Breakout Session 1c: A New Tide in Southern Africa
Salon F


Mary Hames, Board Chair, Triangle Project, South Africa
Michael Lavers, International News Editor, Washington Blade
Anna Mmolai Chalmers, CEO; Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO)
Rikki Nathanson, Outright Action International Board Member, Zimbabwe
Paula Sebastião, Project Coordinator, Arquivo de Identidade Angolano, Angola

With Angola and Botswana decriminalizing consensual same-sex relationships, Southern Africa is leading the continent on LGBTQ equality. Years of movement-building and the increasing visibility of the LGBTQ community are paving the way for a more inclusive sub-region. But how was progress achieved in each of these countries and what will be the impact on the continent’s geopolitics? Listen to elected officials and leaders from the region discuss these developments and what comes next.

12:45 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Tammy Balwin Breakthrough Award Presentation
Grand Ballroom

1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Lunch Plenary: The Discriminatory Dollar: Equal Pay in the Workplace
Grand Ballroom

Deb Butler, State Representative, North Carolina
Angie Craig, U.S. Representative, Minnesota
Sunu P. Chandy, Legal Director at National Women’s Law Center
Deena Fidas, Managing Director, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Christine Quinn, Former Speaker of the NYC City Council
Victoria Rodríguez-Roldán, Trans/Gender Non-Conforming Justice Project Director, National LGBTQ Task Force
Mary Washington, State Senator, Maryland

Discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity can all impact our income. For example, for every dollar a white cisgender man earns, a Black cisgender woman makes 61 cents – forcing the latter to work 20 months to make the same amount as the former does in just one year. The problem is compounded when the woman or person of color is LGBTQ as well. Twenty-nine percent of Black transgender women make below $15,000 annually – a poverty rate almost four times greater than the general population. Also, when comparing women of all races to men of all races, women working full time, year-round typically are paid only 80 cents for every dollar paid to men working full time, year-round. And the wage gap is even worse when looking specifically at varying groups of women of color and as noted, for trans women. These disparities have serious implications on access to housing, healthcare, employment opportunities and many other basic needs. What can we do to push forward legislation and societal changes to confront the discrimination of the dollar?

2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Breakout Session 2

Breakout Session 2a: A Roof Over Their Head: The Homelessness and Housing Affordability Crisis
Salon D

Steve Hansen, Councilmember, City of Sacramento
Sydney Kopp-Richardson, Director, National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative, SAGE
Christine Quinn, Former Speaker of the NYC City Council
Sultan Shakir, Executive Director, SMYAL
Jorge Soto, Director of Public Policy, National Fair Housing Alliance
Mary Washington, State Senator, Maryland

As rent continues to increase in cities and wages remain stagnant, homelessness and housing affordability is a growing crisis – with the LGBTQ community being hit particularly hard. One in five LGBTQ single adults makes less than $12,000 a year. Transgender people are four times more likely to live in poverty than cisgender people. And 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. Join leaders in this area as they discuss how policy and advocacy efforts can help shift these trends moving forward.

Breakout Session 2b: Diagnosing Deficiencies in Mental Healthcare
Salon E Sponsored by PhRMA

Guy Anthony, CEO, Black Gifted and Whole Foundation
Brad Hoylman, State Senator, New York
Megan Hunt, State Senator, Nebraska
Steven Lopez, Director of Health Policy, UnidosUS
Carl Schmid, Deputy Executive Director, The AIDS Institute
Jennifer Snow, Director of Public Policy, National Alliance on Mental Illness

In the 20 years since the passage of mental health parity laws, access to mental healthcare continues to lag behind access to physical healthcare. This discrepancy disproportionately impacts LGBTQ Americans, who are twice as likely as heterosexual cisgender Americans to have a mental health disorder in their lifetime. Additionally, people diagnosed with a mental health condition are four times as likely to be living with HIV than the general population. Join for a discussion about recent policy proposals that affect mental health access and parity, how to support people diagnosed with a mental illness, and what lawmakers can do to narrow the treatment gap.

Breakout Session 2c: Where to Next?: Equality’s Journey Around the Globe
Salon F  |  Sponsored by Dow

Jorge Fernandez, PAKTA Foundation, Ecuador
Jennifer Lu, Chief Coordinator, Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan
Danilo Manzano, Director, Diálogo Diverso, Ecuador
Anna Mmolai-Chalmers, CEO, Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana
Valerie Ploumpis, National Policy Director, Equality California

From passing marriage equality in Taiwan to decriminalizing same-sex relations in Botswana to launching the United Caribbean Trans Network – the past year has seen both advances and setbacks in the global movement for LGBTQ equality. Join panelists from a number of countries as we take a trip around the world and learn about the milestones and crisis points for LGBTQ people since the last conference. Panelists will also share what to watch for in the year ahead.

4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Evening Plenary: The Political Partner: “I Didn’t Sign Up for This” 
Grand Ballroom

Jaime M. Grant, Author and Activist
Kathy Hubbard, Wife of Mayor Annise Parker
Ben Masri-Cohen, Husband of Sec. Eric Fanning
Jerick Mediavilla, Husband of Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith
Matthew Miller, Partner of Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta

Whether on the campaign trail or at the kitchen table, the partners of LGBTQ elected officials often play an influential and underappreciated role. Some are in the spotlight and on the stump, some receive media attention or scrutiny, and others door knock or attend town halls. While the role can vary, few escape the hectic and fast-paced life that comes with dating or being married to a public officeholder. During this plenary, hear the insider stories and unique insights of the partners of LGBTQ elected officials – from the stress of Election Day to managing public praise and criticism.

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Bohnett Leaders Fellowship Reception
(Invitation Only)
The Occidental – 1475 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Young Leaders Reception
Pitchers – 2317 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Women Out to Win Reception
Presented by Facebook and Sponsored by Baker Hughes and Human Rights Campaign Foundation
The Living Room – 1008 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005

The Women Out to Win event is a “party with a purpose” where you’ll have an opportunity to engage with women leaders who make up 40% of all LGBTQ elected officials serving nationwide. Out women are leading the fight for equality and justice, so let’s come together to celebrate their leadership, service, and most importantly, their voices!

8 p.m. – Late Night
Late Night Out with Victory 
Number Nine – 1435 P St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Pitchers/A League of Her Own – 2317 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Trade – 1410 14th St NW, First Floor, Washington, DC 20005
Join conference attendees at numerous LGBTQ bars throughout D.C. Whether you are in the mood for chatting, good music and drink specials, or for dancing, we have a place for you.


8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Coffee Networking
Grand Ballroom Foyer

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Breakfast Plenary: The New U.S. Supreme Court
Grand Ballroom

Richard Fowler, Fox News Contributor
D’Arcy Kemnitz, Esq., Executive Director, National LGBT Bar Association
Diana Flynn, Litigation Director, Lambda Legal
Sam Park, State Representative, Georgia
Mark Joseph Stern, Staff Writer, Slate

The landmark ruling in favor of marriage equality marked the latest in a string of victories for LGBTQ people in the U.S. Supreme Court. But two Trump judicial appointees later, it is a new court. The upcoming ruling on non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people will be instructive in what advocates and legislators can expect from the Supreme Court in future cases of equality. Hear from national leaders about their thoughts on the Title VII case and what implications the ruling will have moving forward.

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Breakout Session 3

Breakout Session 3a: Seeking Safe Haven: LGBTQ lives on the border
Salon D

Randall Garrison, MP, Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, Canada
Sharita Gruberg, Director of Policy, LGBT Research and Communications Project, Center for American Progress
Leslie Herod, State Representative, Colorado
Pramila Jayapal, U.S. Representative, Washington
Erin Thorn Vela, Staff Attorney, Texas Civil Rights Project
Paulina Vera, Professor, GW Law Immigration Clinic

United States policy towards migrants is becoming increasingly hostile – with more than 3,000 children separated from their parents on the U.S.-Mexico border and refugees being denied the right to seek asylum. The impact on LGBTQ migrant families and individuals is notable – as many are fleeing countries where it remains dangerous to live as an out LGBTQ person. As allies in governments and civil society groups work to draw attention to this growing humanitarian crisis, LGBTQ elected officials are also stepping up. In this session, panelists will discuss local responses and explore a broad range of issues related to family separation and asylum policies.

Breakout Session 3b: At the Forefront: The Role of Diverse Leaders in Advancing Social Justice 
Salon E

2019 Victory Empowerment Fellows
Andres Cano, State Representative, Arizona

People of color, transgender people and gender non-conforming people played leading roles in the Stonewall Uprising 50 years ago, and their presence in other social justice movements has been equally critical. Join the 2019 class of Victory Empowerment Fellows for an interactive discussion on how various social justice movements thrived because of its diverse activists – and how to ensure people of color, transgender people and gender non-conforming people are included in your organizing and advocacy strategies.

Breakout Session 3c: God and Politics: Fundamentalists on the March
Salon F

Tamara Adrían, Deputy, National Assembly of Venezuela 
Robert Biedron, Member of European Parliament, Poland
Brian Bond, Executive Director, PFLAG
Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs, The Trevor Project
Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director, DignityUSA
Ryan Fecteau, State Representative, Maine
Derek Kitchen, State Senator, Utah
Sam Park, State Representative, Georgia
Reverend Leslie Watson Wilson, Director of African American Religious Affairs, PFAW

From attempts to reverse Roe. v. Wade in the U.S. and ban abortion in Poland, to attacks to the peace process in Colombia for its gender equity clauses, to the latest attempts to limit the Inter-American Human Rights System, the Christian conservative movement permeates politics. Well-funded and internationally connected organizations such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and CitizenGo bring resources and mobilizing expertise to religious conservative organizations across the globe. Together with a successful political participation strategy, these groups are threatening and reversing the freedom and rights of women, LGBTQ people, religious minorities and other underserved populations. This panel will provide attendees with a global perspective on how this movement operates, hearing first-hand accounts of leaders from several countries.

12:45 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Presentation of the Congressional Ally Award
Grand Ballroom

U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, Washington

1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Lunch Plenary: For the Culture: Communities of Color in America
Grand Ballroom  |  Sponsored by Pfizer

Candi Castleberry Singleton, VP of Diversity, Partnership Strategy and Engagement, Twitter
Daniel Hernandez, State Representative, Arizona
Leslie Herod, State Representative, Colorado
Willard McCloud, Global Head of D&I, Pfizer
Bamby Salcedo, President & CEO, TransLatin@ Coalition
Pat Spearman, State Senator, Nevada

Communities of color continue to be underrepresented and disenfranchised – including within the LGBTQ community. In 2019, nearly 20 Black trans women have been killed. Nationally, LGBTQ people of color have lower incomes and poorer health outcomes than white LGBTQ people. With these disparities as a starting place, the plenary panelists will discuss the critical issues facing communities of color and share the policy and advocacy solutions to address them.

2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Breakout Session 4

Breakout Session 4a: Plastic Everywhere: Polluting Our Oceans and Coastlines
Salon D  |  Sponsored by Toyota

Park Cannon, State Representative, Georgia
Julian Cyr, State Senator, Massachusetts
Jessica Loya, National Policy Director, GreenLatinos
Jeff Mauk, Executive Director, NCEL
Alex Valdez, State Representative, Colorado

Every year, almost nine million tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans and on its coastlines. This pollution has impacts on wildlife, food and water sources, and the amount of carbon emissions entering the atmosphere. The crisis is so enormous in scope that a proper response can seem overwhelming, but there are a growing number of potential solutions. Learn from policy makers and advocates about how to cut back plastic pollution and save our oceans.

Breakout Session 4b: The War on Trans Americans
Salon E

Londyn De Richelieu, Civil Rights Activist
Mara Kiesling, Executive Director, NCTE
Aryah Lester, Deputy Director, The Transgender Strategy Center
Michaé Pulido, Policy Coordinator, TransLatin@ Coalition
Diego Sanchez, Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Partnerships, PFLAG
Brianna Titone, State Representative, Colorado

The trans community has been a favorite target of the federal government since the current presidential administration took office. From a ban on trans military members to attacks on trans healthcare to subverting workplace protections, a war on trans Americans is being waged. Hear from elected officials and advocates about the federal government’s latest attacks on trans people – including quieter federal efforts to subvert trans equality – and what we can do to fight back.

Breakout Session 4c: Reclaiming Our History: Stonewall at 50
Salon F  |  Sponsored by AARP

Andrea Jenkins, Councilmember, City of Minneapolis
Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey, Sr. Advisor & National LGBT Liaison, AARP
Danica Roem, Delegate, Virginia
Brian Sims, State Representative, Pennsylvania
Carlos Guillermo Smith, State Representative, Florida
Tori Taylor, Host, For Future Reference Podcast

As we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising this year, many for the first time learned about the whitewashing of this critical moment in LGBTQ history. LGBTQ people of color, transgender people and gender non-conforming people led the effort to fight back against police harassment and brutality, becoming the founders of the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement. Join AARP and out leaders for a conversation about the Stonewall Uprising and the role it played in shaping their activism. The conversation will also be shared as an AARP podcast.

6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Closing Celebration
Penn Avenue Terrace – JW Marriott

Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO, Victory Institute