More than 350 LGBTI leaders attended the leadership conference in the Dominican Republic, held by Victory Institute and partners
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (April 3, 2017) – This weekend, more than 350 LGBTI elected leaders and advocates from across Latin America and the Caribbean gathered in Santo Domingo to strategize increasing LGBTI political participation in the region. The two-day conference – held by Victory Institute in partnership with Diversidad Dominicana and Caribe Afirmativo – provided space for participants to exchange experience and strategies, build leadership skills and discuss inclusion with government and party officials from countries in the region.
“The LGBTI leaders attending this conference are people of courage and conviction,” said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, President & CEO of Victory Institute. “These are the leaders who will drive change for LGBTI people in Latin America and the Caribbean – leaders who will lobby for inclusive legislation, influence party politics, and run for office themselves. LGBTI leadership in the Caribbean and Latin America is in great hands, and I am confident these leaders will succeed in moving equality forward for their communities.”
The Meeting of LGBTI Political Leadership in Latin America and the Caribbean was opened by Moodie-Mills, along with Dominican Minister of Women’s Affairs Janet Camilo, who vowed to push society to be more inclusive of LGBTI people. Dominican Congresswoman Jacqueline Montero spoke about the importance of having conversations about LGBTI equality in the region, and noted that too often the conversations are not heard by the public. More than a dozen LGBTI elected leaders also spoke about their experiences in running for office, and making change once elected.
Before the conference opened Friday, Victory Institute and partners hosted a national meeting of 140 LGBTI Dominican leaders to discuss country-specific solutions with party and political leaders in the Dominican Republic. The conversations were frank but optimistic, with nearly all attendees recognizing the need for continued societal and political progress on equality.
The Santo Domingo conference is part of a larger effort by Victory Institute to increase LGBTI political participation around the globe. Victory Institute partners with in-country LGBTI organizations in The Balkans, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, India, Peru and South Africa. More about the International Program can be found on the Victory Institute website.
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Victory Institute works to increase the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in public office and to provide programming, service, and other support to ensure their success.