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African Rainbow Family

Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTIQ) People of African Heritage including Refugees and wider Black and Asian Minority Ethnic Groups

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LGBTQ+ History Month: The History Decides the Future!

Photo credit: Nadim Uddin, African Rainbow Family‘s Media and Communications Volunteer, 2021.

Just like the Bible, history is more like a proof of existence. History gives meaning to the present. History is a reference when we need to gain strength.

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Throughout the month of February each year, over the past few years, we celebrate the LGBTQ+ History Month and it is a time we remember all those who fought for our existence and freedom.

African Rainbow Family‘s Media and Communications Volunteer, Vanessa Nessakem Nwosu writes:

“Personally, it means a lot to me because knowing that my queerness exists past and present gives me so much relevance. It means that I am not alone and it gives me strength to become more of myself. Knowing history adds to my relevance, as a queer woman seeking asylum, it is from reading about women like Audre Lorde that I gain strength in who I am. I am not ashamed, I am empowered just by knowing my queerness exist past and present.”

Nadim Uddin, another African Rainbow Family‘s Media and Communications Volunteer, writes:

“LGBT History Month to me, is to remember those without rights. To remember how we got rights. Raise awareness about historical and current progress and challenges for LGBTQ+ people. To support those raising awareness of sexual orientation and gender identity, equality and diversity. To learn how to change the world. To remember how far we’ve come, even recently.

Nadim reminds us that Winston Churchill famously said: “History is written by the victors.”

The women I celebrate this month are Marsha P Johnson, Audre Lorde and Anne Lister. I choose these women because I see little parts of myself in them. I see the courage I am still hoping to build from them. I see my future in them. Learning from past heroes means looking at their strengths and finding ways to make yours. I want to be outspoken and bold as Marsha. I want to be confident and be a warrior like Audre and I want to live openly and document all my Sapphic encounters just like Anne Lister.” Vanessa continues.

Marsha P Johnson. Photo credit: NBC New

“History isn’t something you look back at and say it was inevitable, it happens because people make decisions that are sometimes very impulsive and of the moment, but those moments are cumulative realities.” Marsha P Johnson.

Audre Lorde. Photo credit: BBC 3 Free Thinking.

“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” -Audre Lorde.

Anne Lister Photo Credit: bridgemanimages 

“I know my own heart and understand my fellow man. But I am made unlike anyone I have ever met. I dare to say I am like no one in the whole world.” Anne Lister.

The above are my favourite quotes from my heroes and I hope it speaks to you. We can only write our history if we speak up. Document your life, do not be erased,do not be silent. For every closeted person there is an out person who lives an exemplary life for you to learn from. It doesn’t mean you have to come out, it means that you are not alone and you can be happy. This is what LGBT history means to me. Vanessa says.

Happy LGBTQ+ History Month, 2021.

Ends.

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African Rainbow Family: Submission on Unequal Impact of Covid-19

On 30th April 2020, African Rainbow Family made a Submission To Women and Equalities Committee on Unequal Impact: Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the impact on people with protected characteristics as it affects LGBTIQ people seeking asylum. You can read our recommendations to the Women and Equalities Select Committee here.

The inequalities affecting Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, which our members are part of, have been shockingly and brutally laid bare in the UK with the publication of the study by The Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre into Covid-19 deaths, revealing the pandemic disproportionately impacts BAME communities. Yet the reasons behind this, social inequality, lack of equity and racial discrimination are still overlooked by many. People seeking asylum are not allowed to work, they live on £5.39 a day and have a range of added inequalities of social isolation, lack of housing, finance and access to healthcare. LGBTIQ people seeking asylum are in particularly, hardest hit.

Self isolating, observing the government’s guidelines of stay home, save life and save the NHS in those shared accommodations has been negatively impactful on our members’ mental health and wellbeing given the amount of homophobia they are subjected to on a daily basis. The following was a quote from TH, one of our members:

“I don’t know how I am going to survive this! My other housemates always make homophobic comments at me whenever I pass through the communal areas. They usually say: it is because of these gay people that God is punishing the whole world and causing this unimaginable number of deaths. I wish for these gays to be struck down by lightening.” Says TH, member, African Rainbow Family.

African Rainbow Family takes the health and safety of our members and the population at large very seriously. We encourage our members to keep safe and healthy at home. We urge the Home Office to consider increasing the amount of weekly subsistence for LGBTIQ and non LGBTIQ people seeking asylum urgently during this Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. Some deaths can arise out of hunger and inadvertently counted as due to Covid-19.

Finally, there is need for the government to make a statement to address homophobic attacks upon LGBTIQ people seeking asylum in Home Office shared accommodations to avoid some of them becoming homeless or having suicidal ideation.

You can read our recommendations to the Women and Equalities Select Committee here.

End

Press Release: LGBTIQ refugee conference calls for end to sexual abuse, exploitation of LGBTIQ refugees and high standard of proof sexuality policy

LGBTIQ refugee conference calls for end to sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of LGBTIQ refugees and high standard of proof sexuality policy

  • Conference exposes unreported sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, domestic violence and servitude  in LGBTIQ people seeking asylum community
  • Refugee speakers will tell of their experiences of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and domestic violence. Explore ongoing plight of LGBTIQ people seeking asylum in UK
  • Conference will encourage victims to come forward for their voices to be heard
  • Call for Home Office to drop its high standard of proof sexuality policy

Manchester will host again, the second LGBTIQ people seeking asylum and refugee conference today [11th August], shining the light on the extent of active and subtle sexual and  domestic abuse, sexual exploitation, modern day slavery and trafficking that exists in the LGBTIQ people seeking asylum’s community in the UK. Mostly perpetrated by people who owe them duty of care.

The conference will, following the #METOO movement, feature LGBTIQ refugee speakers telling their personal experiences of abuse, exploring how the hostile environment which seeks to deport as many people as possible in order to meet Home Office’s  set targets, such as in the Windrush Generation; has reinforced a high standard of proof sexuality policy in the Home Office leading to many LGBTIQs being refused asylum and highlighting the plight still faced by LGBTIQ people seeking asylum today.

In many countries, particularly in Africa, homosexuality remains illegal and violent attacks on LGBTIQ people are common. Many are forced to flee, some to the UK, after being publicly ‘outed’.

Gay people seeking asylum coming to the UK face significant barriers. The Home Office culture of disbelief has meant that it refuses to accept that any LGBTIQ seeking asylum are homosexual unless they provide ‘proof of sexuality’. This position is an extremely toxic shift towards high number of deportation following the ruling in 2010 which prohibits the Home Office from deporting LGBTIQ people seeking asylum on the grounds that they could ‘be discreet’ about their sexuality in their home country to avoid harm.

We know that the Home Office has and continues to illegally and forcibly deport many LGBTIQ people seeking asylum through its brutal charter flight methods.

‘Experimental’ data released by the Home Office in November 2017 for LGBT+ asylum cases (01/07/15 – 31/03/17) shows that over two third of  3,535 asylum applications made partly as LGBT+ were rejected.
2,379 clear LGBT+ claims were rejected, with only 838 approved.

The conference is being organised by African Rainbow Family (ARF), a charitable group that supports LGBTIQ people of African heritage and wider BAME in the UK. ARF works with the growing African LGBTIQ people seeking asylum and refugee communities including wider BAME who face harassment, hate crimes and discrimination.
It will see a call on the Home Office to abandon its ‘high standard of proof sexuality policy, which ARF says is demeaning, humiliating, dehumanising, cruel and a driver of the culture of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation in their community.

Speakers will include:

  • Baroness Liz Barker, Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords
  • Barrister S. Chelvan, LGBTIQ No5 Barristers’ Chambers, 2018 Attitude Awards
  • ‘Experts by Experience’ (LGBTIQ people seeking asylum and Refuge)
  • Paul Dillane, Chief Executive of Kaleidoscope Trust
  • Julie Ward, Labour MEP for the North West of England
  • Carla Ecola, Director of The Outside Project, the UK’s first LGBTIQ+ crisis/homeless shelter.
  • Bev Craig, Labour Councillor for Burnage
  • Aderonke Apata LGBTIQ campaigner and founder, African Rainbow Family

Aderonke Apata, Founder of the ARF and a long-term campaigner on LGBTIQ asylum, who is also speaking at the conference, said:

“We are starting a cultural revolution which forms a platform to inspire LGBTIQ people seeking asylum to come forward, tell their experiences of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation and let their voices to be heard in order for us to see consequences in terms of their perpetrators who owe them a duty of care to be brought to justice.

“The Home Office’s high standard of proof policy drives a culture of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, modern day slavery and all forms of emotional, psychological and mental problems in the LGBTIQ people seeking asylum’s community

“I ask that the Home Office drops their high standard of proof in sexuality policy as well as the wider asylum applications.”

/ENDS

Notes to editors:

More information and tickets to the conference: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/unreported-sexual-abuse-exploitation-of-lgbtiqs-seeking-asylum-uk-tickets-48018563817

More information about the African Rainbow Family: https://africanrainbowfamily.org/

For press request, contact: aderonkeapata@africanrainbowfamily.org and                                    info@africanrainbowfamily.org

Homosexuality remains a criminal offence in 72 countries and in 14 is punishable by lengthy imprisonment and in 8, death – including in Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Pakistan.

Our sponsors:
The Federation Co-op Digital, Olimpia Burchiellaro, Kirit Patel, Sandhya Sharma, UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group, we are ‘supported by the Co-op Foundation and Omidyar Network’.

It’s Here! – Unreported! Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of LGBTIQs Seeking Asylum, UK

It’s Here!

Friends,

Count down to our second Annual Conference Unreported! Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of LGBTIQs Seeking Asylum, UK on 11/8/18 in Manchester is here! What are you waiting for? You can’t afford to miss it!! Book your ticket here. Invite your friends and share the event with your networks!!!

African Rainbow Family is grateful to the generosity of the following sponsors: The FederationCo-op Digital Olimpia BurchiellaroKirit Patel. We are also ‘supported by the Co-op Foundation and Omidyar Network’ and UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group whom are all sponsoring different parts of our Unreported! Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of LGBTIQs Seeking Asylum, UK 2018 Annual Conference!  You and or your organisation can still join our valuable sponsors this year to sponsor other bits of the conference. Contact info@africanrainbowfamily.org on how you can be involved this year or for 2019.

We rely on goodwill of people like you. Can you help? Will you chip in £5, £10 or more every month to help our work? We would remain grateful for that. Contact us or visit our website for details of how to set up a monthly standing order, make one off donation and other ways to support to us.

Meet Our Sponsors of Unreported! Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of LGBTIQs Seeking Asylum, UK

Meet Our Sponsors

The incredible sponsors who have kindly agreed to make our second Annual Conference,  #MeToo Unreported! Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of LGBTIQs Seeking Asylum, UK on 11/8/2018 in Manchester a success and sponsoring different parts of our Conference include:

The Federation (venue): http://www.thefederation.coop/  Twitter: @FederationMCR

Co-op Digital (catering): https://digitalblog.coop.co.uk/

Twitter: @CoopDigital

Olimpia Burchiellaro (printing) https://www.facebook.com/quimerassinfronteras

Kirit Patel  (Charing panel)

Sandhya Sharma (Chairing panel)

(Digital/Tech) through funding the Co-op Foundation has received from Omidyar Network

 

UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (Report Facilitator’s Fee) 32-36 Loman Street, London SE1 0EH P: +44 20 7922 7812. T: @uklgig

You and or your organisation can still join our valuable sponsors this year to sponsor other bits of the conference. Contact info@africanrainbowfamily.org on how you can be involved this year or for 2019. Still contemplating if you would like to attend the conference on 11/8/18? Now is the time to  book your ticket here!

Unreported! Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of LGBTIQs Seeking Asylum, UK 

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Unreported! Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of LGBTIQs Seeking Asylum, UK 

It is happening in our community! We can’t turn a blind eye and pretend there is/are no problem(s) of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse/violence, trafficking and domestic servitude – modern day slavery in the LGBTIQ asylum seeking and refugee community.

As ‘Experts by Experience’, our wealth of personal and direct experiences through the asylum and immigration system for over a decade, campaigning for a social change in this draconian, toxic system and hostile environment; we know that our community is constantly oppressed as a result of what people believe is our vulnerability; hence a pocket-full the mainstream population capitalise on this and exploit us. After all, we are not victims but survivors! #MeToo is unreported in our community, African Rainbow Family is shining the light on this at our 2018 annual conference in Manchester on 11/08/2018.

If you’ve not yet registered to attend African Rainbow Family’s second Annual Conference titled Unreported! Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of LGBTIQs Seeking Asylum, UK in Manchester on Saturday, 11th August 2018; now is the time to do so! Register free here. Read about our incredible speakers here and information about our last year’s stall bookings here.  Book your stall here.

African Rainbow Family has been incredibly blessed by the generosity of The Federation, Co-op Digital Olimpia BurchiellaroKirit Patel, through funding the Co-op Foundation has received from Omidyar Network and UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group whom are sponsoring different parts of our Unreported! Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of LGBTIQs Seeking Asylum, UK 2018 Annual Conference!  You and or your organisation can still join our valuable sponsors this year to sponsor other bits of the conference. Contact info@africanrainbowfamily.org on how you can be involved this year or for 2019.

As you are aware, African Rainbow Family is a non-for profit charitable movement supporting over 250 LGBTIQ people seeking asylum (and still counting) in the UK whilst intensifying our work of global equality campaign for ‘A World Without Prejudice’. We operate with little or no money but rely on people like you.

Can you help? Will you chip in £5, £10 or more every month to help our work? We would remain grateful for that. Contact us or visit our website for details of how to set up a monthly standing order, make one off donation and other ways to support to us.

Meet Our Speakers At Unreported! Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of LGBTIQs Seeking Asylum, UK 

 

 

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Meet Our Speakers! – African Rainbow Family Annual Conference, Manchester. 11/08/2018

The #MeToo unreported world of LGBTIQ people seeking asylum and refuge in the UK is real!

On Saturday, 11/8/2018, our amazing ‘Experts by Experience’ whom are members of African Rainbow Family (Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds branches) will share their personal realities of sexual abuse/exploitation, domestic abuse/violence, trafficking and modern day slavery.

Alongside our incredible friends and allies, Baroness Liz Barker, Carla Ecola, Julie Ward MEP, S Chelvan, Sandhya Sharma, Sophie Beer-O’Brien, Paul Dillane and Councillor Bev Craig; we would explore how to end these absurd practices. Read more about our speakers here. Robin Graham will entertain us too.

Join our WeAreHuman Manchester declaration campaign here.

Book A Stall At Unreported! Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of LGBTIQs Seeking Asylum, UK 

Book A Stall at African Rainbow Family’s Annual Conference 2018, Manchester.

Last year, African Rainbow Family had over 10 different organisations that took advantage of our successful 1st Annual Conference, LGBT Asylum Seekers & Refugees Tell Their Stories In Manchester! to showcase once again the amazing works that they do. Report of the conference is available here.

We are delighted to announce that Manchester Migrant Solidarity, WAST Manchester, Safety4Sisters, FiLiA, Rainbow Noir, LGBT Foundation, LISG, Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit, Greater Manchester Law Centre and UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group have already secured their stalls with us this year! You can still enjoy the same. Book a stall with us and see how much difference exhibiting your great work at our conference of expected 200+ delegates can make to your organisation. Limited stalls left, book here now!

African Rainbow Family has been incredibly blessed by the generosity of The Federation, Co-op Digital Olimpia BurchiellaroKirit Patel, through funding the Co-op Foundation has received from Omidyar Network and UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group whom are sponsoring different parts of our Unreported! Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of LGBTIQs Seeking Asylum, UK 2018 Annual Conference!  You and or your organisation can still join our valuable sponsors this year to sponsor other bits of the conference. Contact info@africanrainbowfamily.org on how you can be involved this year or for 2019.

As you are aware, African Rainbow Family is a non-for profit charitable movement supporting over 250 LGBTIQ people seeking asylum (and still counting) in the UK whilst intensifying our work of global equality campaign for ‘A World Without Prejudice’. We operate with little or no money but rely on people like you.

Can you help? Will you chip in £5, £10 or more every month to help our work? We would remain grateful for that. Contact us or visit our website for details of how to set up a monthly standing order, make one off donation and other ways to support to us.

Unreported! Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of LGBTIQs Seeking Asylum, UK

Unreported! Sexual/Domestic Abuse, Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking of LGBTIQ People Seeking Asylum in UK

With the current #MeToo movement, it is important to bring to the fore, that often times than none, majority of people seeking asylum are also subjected to various forms of sexual and domestic abuse from their partners and sexual exploitation from people who owe them duty of care.

It is important that we are not complacent and therefore ignore or loose scope of the bigger picture which entraps a large proportion of LGBTIQ people seeking asylum and refuge’s community in the UK; whom have suffered sexual and domestic violence in the hands of their own family members which might necessarily include their partners.

Join African Rainbow Family on 11/08/2018 at our one day annual conference that will highlight the extent of active and subtle sexual / domestic abuse, sexual exploitation and trafficking that exists in the LGBTIQ people seeking asylum’s community. It is often thought that LGBTIQ people generally do not experience domestic abuse let alone people seeking asylum that have multiple intersectional identities.

Book your free tickets here.

The asylum and immigration process is however ever ganging and complex. The onus of proof is on LGBTIQ people seeking asylum in an hostile environment engrossed with deep rooted culture of disbelief that seeks to deport as many as possible just as in the Windrush Generation scandal.

As a result of the high standard of proof for LGBTIQ people seeking asylum to ‘proof’ their sexuality in order to be qualified for refugee status, many have been forced into abusive relationships whom they are forced to stick with for the period of their asylum applications being assessed and determined which could run into a year, two or more to resolve.

Most worryingly is the scale of sexual abuse and exploitation that takes place within LGBTIQ asylum seeking support groups by the staff/volunteers that run these groups. These volunteers and or staff owe the fragile survivors seeking asylum duty of care and not to take advantage of their vulnerability to sexually exploit them in the name of writing support letters for them to the Home Office to attest to their sexuality.

Our conference, Unreported! will involve people seeking asylum speak about our experiences of sexual abuse and violence that we have experienced and are still experiencing. Workshops on signs of sexual abuse and supports available for victims.

Speakers in the field of sexual and domestic abuse will share their knowledge and how the LGBTIQ asylum seeking community can be supported. Come up with solutions on how to tackle the above, send strong unacceptable messages out to asylum seeking support groups that are sexually exploiting and predating us, their members, make recommendations and call on the UK Home Office to review their policies that are set up for people to fail.

This conference is free however, we appreciate your generosity. Donate here

Speakers:

‘Experts by experience’ (LGBTIQ people seeking asylum and Refuge):

Veecca Smith Uka 

Veecca Smith Uka  is a lesbian woman and LGBTIQ+ campaigner from Nigeria who is seeking safety in the UK based on her sexual orientation. Veecca is also the Secretary of African Rainbow Family, a charitable organisation that supports the LGBTIQ community including those seeking asylum.

 

Arnold Keungmeue Nzetem:

Arnold Keungmeue Nzetem is a gay man and LGBTIQ+ campaigner from Central Africa Republic who is seeking safety in the UK based on his sexual orientation. Arnold is also the Financial Director of African Rainbow Family, a charitable organisation that supports the LGBTIQ community including those seeking asylum.

Joy Otabor 

Joy Otabor  is a lesbian woman and LGBTIQ+ campaigner from Nigeria who is seeking safety in the UK based on her sexual orientation. Joy is also the Campaign Director of African Rainbow Family, a charitable organisation that supports the LGBTIQ community including those seeking asylum.

 

Jean Francois Pondy

Jean Francois Pondy is a gay man and LGBTIQ+ campaigner from Cameroon who is seeking safety in the UK based on his sexual orientation. Jean Francois is also the Publicity and Media Director of African Rainbow Family, a charitable organisation that supports the LGBTIQ community including those seeking asylum.

Abdullahi Oluwatosin Soneye

Abdullahi Oluwatosin Soneye is a gay man and LGBTIQ+ campaigner from Nigeria who is seeking safety in the UK based on his sexual orientation. Abdullahi is also the Assistant Financial Director of African Rainbow Family, a charitable organisation that supports the LGBTIQ community including those seeking asylum.

Jean- Pierre Bilitik Mback

Jean- Pierre Bilitik Mback  is a gay man and LGBTIQ+ campaigner from Cameroon who is seeking safety in the UK based on his sexual orientation. Jean- Pierre is also the Assistant Volunteer Director of African Rainbow Family, a charitable organisation that supports the LGBTIQ community including those seeking asylum.

 

 

Charbel Fabrice NonyemeAboua  

Charbel Fabrice NonyemeAboua is a gay man from Benin Republic  who is seeking safety in the UK based on his sexual orientation. Fabrice is a member of African Rainbow Family, a charitable organisation that supports the LGBTIQ community including those seeking asylum.

 

Kate Hendickson

Kate Hendickson is a trans woman from Trinidad and Tobago who has been granted safety in the UK based on her gender identity. Kate is a member of African Rainbow Family, a charitable organisation that supports the LGBTIQ community including those seeking asylum.

 

Lot Hongonekua

Lot Hongonekua is a gay man from Namibian who is seeking safety in the UK based on his sexual orientation. Lot is a member of African Rainbow Family, a charitable organisation that supports the LGBTIQ community including those seeking asylum.

Aderonke Apata

Aderonke Apata is a multi awards winner human rights activist, feminist, LGBTIQ equality advocate and the founder of African Rainbow Family, a charitable organisation that supports the LGBTIQ community including those seeking asylum.

 

Baroness Liz Barker: 

Baroness Liz Barker is a Liberal Democrat Lords. She’s a Spokesperson for Voluntary Sector and Social Enterprise and a member of Liberal Democrat Policy Working Group on Liberty, Social Mobility, Status of Women, Future of the Voluntary Sector. Baroness Liz Barker has been on different Parliamentary Committees including Draft Mental Incapacity Bill, Draft Mental Health Bill, Mental Capacity Act 2005, Select Committee on Charities. Her policy interests include Asylum, immigration and nationality, Communities and families,  Health services and medicine, HIV, Housing and planning, LGBT and rights and equity, Population development and reproductive health and Social services.

Baroness Liz Barker has especially been a vocal voice on challenging the detention of LGBTIQ people seeking asylum in the UK. She is a very passionate ally of LGBTIQ people seeking asylum as she amplifies in the Parliament at every opportunity, the need for the government to make genuine reforms to the LGBTIQ asylum application process.

S. Chelvan:

S. Chelvan, Barrister, No5 Barristers’ Chambers, 2018 Attitude Awards.

 

 

Carla Ecola:

Carla Ecola, Director of The Outside Project, the UK’s first LGBTIQ+ crisis/homeless shelter. A grassroots project developed by people with lived experience of homelessness & the complex issues our community face.

 

Sandhya Sharma

Sandhya Sharma is a member of Safety4Sisters North West a Manchester based group that works with migrant women who have experienced gender based violence and have immigration issues.

Julie Ward MEP:

Julie Ward is a Labour MEP for the North West of England. She is also a writer, theatre-maker and cultural activist who began her working life on the factory floor before becoming a community arts worker and co-founder of a successful SME in the north of England, subsequently being named NE Woman Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003. Julie was elected in 2014 and is a member of the European Parliament’s committees on Culture and Education, Regional Development and Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. She’s a board member of the European Internet Forum, and a founding member of the European Caucus of Women in Parliament – a global forum.

Julie is also a children’s rights champion, having co-founded the European Parliament cross-party intergroup on Children’s Rights. She is also active on a number of other intergroups including Lifelong Learning, Disability, Youth, Common Goods & Public Services, Creative Industries, LGBTI, Anti-Poverty, Trade Unions and Social Economy, as well a Culture and Education committee representative to the inter-committee network on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Julie has a Masters in Education from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and is the Labour Party’s spokesperson on education, sport and culture in Europe.

Robin Graham

Robin Graham has been leading laughter workshops and icebreakers since 1999 because laughter is a way of bringing people together.  He also is running a drinking water project in a community in Ghana and has been visiting friends in Ghana since 2001.

Sophie Beer-O’Brien

Sophie Beer-O’Brien is Project Co-ordinator – Wellbeing at LGBT Foundation.

Paul Dillane

Paul Dillane is Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Trust, a leading NGO working to advance human rights and inclusion for LGBT people internationally. Founded in 2011, Kaleidoscope Trust partners with 35+ organisations in countries where LGBT people face discrimination, criminalisation and persecution. Following a career in law, Paul worked for six years as a human rights and refugee law specialist at Amnesty International UK. Paul is a leading expert on the protection of LGBT refugees and was the Executive Director of UKLGIG, a London-based NGO working to provide practical support to LGBT people fleeing persecution, between 2014-17.

Councillor Bev Craig

Bev is a Labour Councillor for Burnage and sits on the City Council’s Executive. An LGBT rights activist for over 15 years she is the councils political lead on LGBT women’s issues and in May took on responsibility for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Manchester.

Sponsors:

Sponsors who have kindly agreed to make our second Annual Conference a success include:

The Federation (venue): http://www.thefederation.coop/

Twitter: @FederationMCR

 

Co-op Digital (catering): https://digitalblog.coop.co.uk/

Twitter: @CoopDigital

 

Olimpia Burchiellaro (printing) https://www.facebook.com/quimerassinfronteras

Kirit Patel

‘supported by the Co-op Foundation and Omidyar Network’.

 

UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group

32-36 Loman Street, London SE1 0EH P: +44 20 7922 7812. T: @uklgig

 

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