This past week, the first graduation of students from the LGBTI Political Leadership School took place in Santo Domingo. The Leadership School, sponsored by Victory Institute and Diversidad Dominicana, was created in an effort to train LGBTI people to run for office in the hope of affecting positive change for the whole community.
The training, held across six modules over the course of this year, provided 26 students with the tools necessary to better contribute to the democratic process by becoming LGBTI leaders and elected officials. Topics included both theoretical and practical concepts on how LGBTI people can be agents of change through electoral campaign management.
In addition to the Leadership School, Victory Institute also co-sponsored an international LGBTI leaders conference in the spring that was attended by over 350 people from the region.
The existence of openly LGBTI people in public offices helps improve the socio-political situation for LGBTI citizens and provides positive role models for young LGBTI people. Victory Institute hopes the training will inspire students to use what they have learned to run for elected office and win victories for their communities.