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IGLHRC: International LGBTI Activist Institutes

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission's Activist Institutes are two-week-long training spaces and are each attended by 20-25 LGBTI activists. IGLHRC has held five international LGBTI activist institutes since 2005.

The theme of each Institute is chosen by activists who have attended the trainings, focusing on particular groups or challenges and considering the needs of a community.

Below, find the Memoirs of the past three Institutes, detailing their programmes and methods. They also share activists' experiences and the information presented at each Institute, so that the Memoirs can be adapted or used by other activists and groups.

IGLHRC will soon make each of these reports available in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Memoirs of Past Institutes:

Memoir of Training Institute for Trans and Intersex Activists
La Falda, Cordoba, Argentine – 2005
Spanish · English · Portuguese

Memoir of Training Institute for Lesbian and Bisexual Women from Central American and Caribbean

San Jose de Costa Rica – 2007
Spanish · English · Portuguese

Memoir of Training Institute "Strategies to Address Religious Fundamentalisms"

Guarulhos, Sao Paulo – 2008
Spanish · English · Portugese

This video contains images from IGLHRC's 2008 Latin American Advocacy Institute on combating religious fundamentalisms.

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Photo by Eric Francis.

So there I was at this beyond-gay party in a high-rise apartment with Manhattan as the landscape, stalking her by scent. Watching her move around the room, tracking this succulent critter and enjoying the subtlest details of her existence.

I felt amazingly, solidly sexually centered in myself. I recognized the feeling, rooted in an orgasm a day before, seeing myself with Jane on the line. She was listening, holding open the space of absolute approval of my submission of self-to-self as I faced a mirror. We do this for one another. I dropped into place, then. My soul settled into my hearth. I took that feeling with me: my sense of self-approval.

I don’t remember how or when, but next I was leaning against the island kitchen counter, facing the city, while the waiters plied their trade: hand-manufactured those cute crab salad cones and so on, and bustled off into the giddy environment of the soiree and passed around the treats. You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties.

And then, though I don’t know how exactly, I was face to face with Maggie. That was her name.

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Disability Rights Fund: Call for Proposals

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) seeks to strengthen the participation of Disabled Persons’ Organizations (DPOs) in the advancement of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at country level in the Global South and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union.
The 2010 “Moving Rights Forward” grant cycle will consist of two grantmaking rounds:

  1. The first grantmaking round (described below) is directed at DPOs in Indonesia, Mexico, Ukraine and eligible states and cities in India (Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and the National Capital Territory of Delhi). The deadline for Small Grants applications for this round is Monday, 29 March 2010 at 24:00 (midnight) your time. The deadline for National Coalition Grants applications for this round is Monday, 12 April 2010 at 24:00 (midnight) your time.
  2. The RFP for the second grantmaking round will be publicized in July 2010.

Applicants can apply as:
a) single organizations or partnerships for Small Grants; and/or
b) national DPO-led coalitions for National Coalition Grants.

Single organizations or partnerships can apply for 12-month grants ranging from USD 5,000 to 20,000 to:

Increase DPO skill in addressing the CRPD by
(a) building more inclusive organizations or partnerships; and/or
(b) internal capacity building; and

Do rights-based advocacy and monitoring through:
(a) increasing DPO participation in decision-making processes regarding the CRPD at state or local levels; and/or
(b) directly addressing implementation of CRPD Articles.

Download the details of the DRF Small Grants Request for Proposals (RFP) and the Grant Application Form here.
(MS Word Format)

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Coming Soon: "Finding Bibi" - a film about being a woman, between cultures

Bita Haidarian, an Iranian American filmmakersets off on a journey around the world to find out where she is from and who she is.

Born in America to Baha’i refugee parents from Iran, Bita tells the tragic-comic story of her family coming to America, her childhood in Texas, trying to fit in, and competitive cheerleading – all part of the quest of a girl who knows more about MTV than Al Jazeera.

Bita wanders through the US, Europe, the Middle East and Pakistan examining the cultures at play on her life and the lives of women in these places.  It looks thoroughly engaging and we're lucky, I'll have an interview with Bita here in the near future for you all to read.

The overwhelming trailer response has inspired us to build an organization around the movie.  Our goal: to bridge the gap between east and west by sharing the compelling stories of women - some empowered, others seeking empowerment - from both hemispheres. (website)

And Bita’s plea to public – please watch my film!  If it doesn’t succeed, I’m going to have to get married.

They have a website, a facebook page and a twitter account.


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2010 US/Costa Rica: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Disability Rights Leadership Exchange Program

MIUSA is excited to offer a 16-day exchange program to Costa Rica with a focus on youth leadership and cultural perspectives on disability rights. Young adults with disabilities of diverse backgrounds from New York City, especially those who are first-time international travelers, are encouraged to apply.  

Download the Application - Deadline March 21, 2010

Download the Costa Rica Flyer Here!
Program Details
When: June 16 – July 1, 2010       

Where: San Jose, Costa Rica

Program Cost:   

Sliding scale $220 - $1,100, which includes all: round-trip international airfare from Newark International Airport (EWR) to San Jose, Costa Rica; one-day pre-departure orientation near EWR; accessible ground transportation, lodging, meals and activities in Costa Rica; disability related costs, including sign language interpreters, materials in alternative formats, and funding for personal assistants.  

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Call for artists: SHE-STORY

By pozivi za sudjelovanjem

Newly established NEW MEDIA GALLERY in Zadar, Croatia is pleased to announce first international call for New media art works on the theme of SHE-STORY

DEADLINE: 6.3.2010

What is New Media Art?

New Media Art is an art genre that encompasses artworks created with new media technologies, including performance art, digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, video art, Internet art, interactive art technologies, computer robotics, ect. The term differentiates itself by its resulting cultural objects and social events, which can be seen in opposition to those deriving from old visual arts (i.e. traditional painting, sculpture, etc.) New Media Art often involves interaction between art work and observer.

Generally, New Media Art includes art work made with the use of digital video cameras, recorded sound, software for editing, animation, interactive presentations, electronics, and/or installations. New Media Art works that we are looking for can be digital videos, interactive video, audio and/or tactile art works, gallery installations with new media elements, and animations. It also includes audio that can be experienced as a radio broadcast, installed in a specific place, or listened to with headphones.

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Gay Games VIII: Cologne 2010, Call for Volunteers

Pack Your Bags and Book Your Trip to Germany – Be A Part of It!

Cologne, Germany – Even if you can’t spike a volleyball, play the trumpet, or get a “perfect 10” off the high dive, the 2010 Gay Games has a way for you to “Be A Part Of It!” Gay Games VIII, 31 July to 7 August 2010 in Cologne, Germany, is recruiting volunteers from around the world to be part of the globe’s largest LGBT sports & cultural event.

“At the heart of the Gay Games are the approximately three thousand volunteers who make the Gay Games run like clockwork,” said Emy Ritt, Co-President of the Federation of Gay Games. “Volunteers are the ones who are ‘backstage’ organizing, managing, supporting and assisting at the sports and cultural events all week long. Gay Games volunteers get to meet people from all over the world, and gain valuable experience at this week-long festival. It’s truly a great cultural experience!”

Volunteers are needed in all areas, including:

  • Medical care for athletes
  • Supervising facilities
  • Ushering spectators and guests
  • Officials and referees
  • Hospitality services for VIPs
  • Support cultural events
  • Official photographers
  • Language interpretation
  • Accreditation staff
  • Support for the Opening Ceremony
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"Spratz - a feminist kidzine"

A brand new feminist 'zine is out, aimed at kids.  It is called Spratz and you can download it here for free.

spratz_readable.pdf2.11 MB

spratz_printable.pdf1.95 MB

It is published by the CRAP! (Child Rearing Against Patriarchy) Collective over at their blog - Feminist Childrearing.

It includes contributions from kids and adults.  It is free (as in free beer).  This issue includes a nice send-off of Barbie, some musings on Cinderella, defining sexism & feminism and a crossword.  I definitely suggest you look it over.  We don't get much in the way of child-ready study or workbook material, based on feminislm and even less in the new media formats.  My favorite women & children / lesbian bookstore has much to offer, but it's still the old school printed formats of paperback and hardcover.  This zine gets the conversation out into the spaces that a great many, if not most young people are spending most of their time.  Plus, it's fun.

If you would like to join the collective or contribute to their blog or their zines "Raise Some Hell! a feminist childrearing zine for everyone" and "Spratz! a feminist kidzine", please email them at


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African Women's Economic Summit: Investing Differently in Women

From: 19/03/2010 - 20/03/2010

Location: The Windsor Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

Contact: Pénélope Pontet

Summit objectives and outcomes:

  •  The Africa Women’s Economic Summit will:
    • Identify the issues that limit women’s access to financial products and services
    • Explore the business opportunities and innovations to expand the reach and scale of financial services to women at all income levels.
    • Cultivate the leadership required to introduce new ways of thinking, and build an African financial system that is more inclusive of women.
    • Identify measures that will ensure women take their rightful place as decision makers within the governance and management structures of national, regional, continental and global financial institutions.

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The One and the Many

View from the railroad bridge in Rosendale, New York, 2007. Photo by Eric Francis.

Planet Waves by Eric Francis
The other day, an email came floating into my inbox from a website called Care2, a green-styled corporate site purportedly dedicated to saving the world, claiming 12.5 million subscribers. The subject header of the email read, "Monogamy vs. Polyamory: Do Open Relationships Work?"

Naturally, I thought: this ought to be interesting.
The writer titled her analysis like a boxing match or a legal case. Mono versus Poly is now in session! All Rise! The article commenced as such (literally, its first words): "Non-monogamy is about one thing -- sex. And sex is good."
(You can tell she learned her writing style from The Bible.)
It went downhill from there, fast. Faster than I thought possible without jet propulsion and a lot of lube. "And sex with different people -- either concurrently or over the course of a lifetime -- is good too. Sex is so good that some people are addicted to it. Sex makes people do crazy things and it makes people feel amazing things. I love it just as much as anyone else, but there is more to life than sex."

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