LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Study session on LGBTI community organising

ILGA-Europe would like to invite you to apply to participate in a study session on LGBTI community organising taking place on 15-17 July in Budapest.

Deadline for applications: 9 May 2016, 18:00 CET

Why a study session on LGBTI community organising?

We are hosting a study session on LGBTI community organising because we believe that for social change towards acceptance of diversity and equality to happen, we need LGBTI people and communities to be at the core of our work. What we aim to do as a movement is ultimately to improve LGBTI people’s life conditions, enjoyment of rights, and well-being in societies. Also, we believe that the more LGBTI people are aware, engaged, and mobilised, the more LGBTI organisations and groups are empowered in their work towards change.

Providing legal and psychological services, organising social and cultural events, running discussion and artistic groups, are ways for organisations and initiatives to reach out to LGBTI people, to collect knowledge about their experiences of violence and discrimination in societies, and hence to give direction to advocacy and litigation work. These activities support LGBTI people to escape isolation, to receive support when they are in need, to develop self and collective awareness, and hopefully to have better lives and to be empowered to take action. It is not an easy task though, and LGBTI organisations - sooner or later - struggle with LGBTI community organising work.

We organise this study session on LGBTI community organising because we want organisations and groups to share knowledge and experiences, to reflect on practices, challenges, and strategies to organise communities. Finally, we want to make our collective learning available to the European movement by developing resources on LGBTI community organising.

What will the study session be about?

We will work on a common understanding of what LGBTI community organising work is about. We will discuss the role of community ownership and accountability of LGBTI organisations and groups, and we will look into how to be representative, inclusive, open and respectful in our community work.

The study session will also aim to develop a toolbox of techniques and practices. We will focus on:  ways to start, revitalise or keep a group going in the face of opposition; ways to increase diversity and assess the needs of the community; providing services, reaching out, organising pride parades, working with volunteers, peer to peer support, etc. We will look into both online and offline work, and we will explore the role of safe spaces. Challenges such as working in hostile environment or in wide geographical areas will also be touched upon.

Who should apply?

For the study session to be a truly meaningful experience, the diversity of the LGBTI communities needs to be represented, especially the experiences of often underrepresented groups. ILGA-Europe aims to accommodate needs to ensure accessibility for everyone.

We also aim to represent the diversity of contexts and environments in which the movement operates in Europe, from the most hostile or remote areas to the contexts where legislation and policies to protect and promote the rights of LGBTI people are already in place.

We strongly value candidates who have a key role in LGBTI organisations and groups’ community organising work. We believe that the study session will be a learning experience for both participants and facilitators, and we look for such experience to be brought back to organisations or groups of the European movement.

Moreover, we are looking for applicants who:

  • come from the European Region (country members of the Council of Europe plus Kosovo and Belarus)

  • Work extensively in community organising and have good knowledge of practices, tactics, challenges and needs around community organising

  • Have contributed to their organisation’s overall development around community organising and have been able to link community work with other pieces of their organization or group’s work

  • Are able to participate for the full duration of the training session and show high motivation

  • Communicate effectively in English.

Date and place of the study session:

  • Date: 15-17 July
  • Place: Budapest, Hungary
  • Arrival: Thursday,14 July
  • Departure: Monday, 18 July (the training will finish on 17 July at about 18:00; you might want to leave that evening)

Travel reimbursement:

Travel costs will be reimbursed by ILGA-Europe following full attendance at the training. Upon selection, participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements by the cheapest mode of transport available (economy class airfare or 2nd class train). Should your costs exceed €300, confirmation should be sought from ILGA-Europe prior to the booking/purchase of the ticket.

Local travel (buses, trains, etc.) will be covered through a per diem provided at the training.

Meals and accommodation:

ILGA-Europe will cover the accommodation and meals from the evening of 14 July to the evening of Sunday 17 July included. Any other costs related to meals and accommodation outside of these times will have to be covered by the participant unless previously agreed by ILGA-Europe.

Application process:

Please complete the application form, and return to Valeria Santostefano, Programmes and Policy Officer at valeria[at] by 9 May, 18:00 CET. The result of your application will be announced by the end of May 2016.

Click here to download the application form.