Sunday, June 15, 2014

June 14 in Chicago: Forum on LGBTI Solidarity in Africa 2014

UPDATE July 3, 2014: Did you miss the Chicago Forum on LGBTI Solidarity
in Africa program in early June, or simply want to revisit that great event?
Chicago Access Network TV has you covered!

Here are re-broadcast dates, times and channels available to everyone who has
cable TV in Chicago. CAN TV will rebroadcast the program on the following schedule:

Sunday, July 6th, 11:30 AM, Channel 21
Tuesday, July 8th, 8:00 AM, Channel 19
Wednesday, July 9th, 12:00 PM, Channel 21

Advocacy!      Support!      Accompaniment!

Thank you! to everyone who participated in the outstanding forum held yesterday afternoon at the Episcopal Church Center in Chicago!

You can learn more about the forum below, and in the soon-to-be-uploaded video recorded by CAN-TV.

Many people remained after the forum for a reception, film screening, and fundraiser to benefit:

Encouraging faith communities and others in South Africa and 
throughout Africa to become advocates for LGBTI inclusion and affirmation.

Helping LGBTI people live safely in Chicago by provide direct 
living support and welcoming environments to asylum seekers

Pledges and donations for the work of these important organizations are still being accepted! You can make a donation by check or online through the CLASP fiscal agent, Broadway United Methodist Church:
By check: Mail check payable to “Broadway United Methodist” to Broadway United Methodist Church, 3338 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657. Memo: “June 14 Forum”)

Online: Use the Broadway United Methodist online donation portal - check "special contribution" with the memo "June 14 Forum" 
Read more below about the forum panelists and topics.

Read about all the events in Chicago's 2014 LGBTI Solidarity in Africa Weekend .  .  .

Forum on LGBTI Solidarity in Africa 2014
Saturday, June 14, 2014
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Learn about the current situation of LGBTI people in Africa and discover ways to provide advocacy, support, and accompaniment.

Speakers from Inclusive & Affirming Ministries (IAM) in South Africa and CLASP (Chicago LGBT Asylum Support Program).

Some of the questions the Forum will examine include:

What is happening in Africa?

* what is the general environment in which scapegoating of LGBTI people is occurring?
* what role does politics play?
* what is the role of the churches?

What are the special public health concerns arising out of persecution of LGBTI people in Africa?

What pathways exist for persecuted LGBTI people in Africa to find safe haven?

* what is the scope and nature of the refugee challenge?
* how can travel be funded?
* how can people obtain the necessary documents?
* how else can we help meet the needs of refugees?

The Forum will include opportunities for activists with specific interests to work together, particularly in the areas of:

* Refugee settlement in the Chicago area
* Advocacy globally – how can churches and others support African efforts to protect LGBTIs?
* Advocacy to effect US government posture toward African LGBTIs seeking refuge
* Offering pathways to safe haven - other facets


John Adewoye is a Nigerian/American gay man resident in Riverdale, IL. He came to the United States in 1999 as a Catholic priest with a secret agenda of pursuing anti-gay "conversion therapy" but discovered it to be false. This discovery and the U.S. environment emboldened him to accept himself and come out as a gay man, but at the cost of his homeland and by choice, the priesthood. He is the founder of Courage Nigeria and the Center for Integration and Courageous Living, and a co-founder of CLASP. Despite his exile, Mr. Adewoye is an active member of two coalitions working hard to overturn the “Same-sex Prohibition Act 2013” signed to law in Nigeria January 2014. He is a Chaplain at University of Chicago Medicine, a member of Chicago Gay Men Chorus, the Arch-diocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach and Adodi National. He became a US citizen on April 7 of this year.

Victor Charles Aweke is a 31-year-old Nigerian who worked openly as a volunteer HIV and human rights advocate in his home country until recent threats of violence forced him to flee. Mr. Aweke previously worked with Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights as an Outreach Coordinator, Center for the Right to Health as the diversity program officer, on HIV Prevention Intervention Program for most-at-risk persons, Institute of Human Virology as the liaison officer on the trust research for most at-risk persons within the Abuja metropolis in Nigeria. An experienced public speaker in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United States, Mr. Aweke is currently working with the Center for Integration and Courageous Living and the Chicago LGBT Asylum support program (CLASP).

Rev. Judith KotzĂ© is Director, Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM), South Africa. She is a lesbian who in 1995 qualified as one of the first woman ministers in the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC). She served the DRC from 1996 to 2000 in the multi-disciplinary ministry regarding prostitution. She has a Master’s degree in Missiology, working on Interreligious Dialogue as a model for the Intra-faith Dialogue around sexual orientation. Rev. KotzĂ© became Director of Inclusive & Affirming Ministries in 2011, having served in IAM in various capacities since 1997, and has traveled widely in Southern Africa as part of her activism.

The Forum is a collaboration of:

Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches
CLASP (Chicago LGBT Asylum Support Program)
Gay Liberation Network (GLN)
Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM)
South Africa
St. Luke's Lutheran Church Logan Square
Truth Wins Out

Endorsed by:

Affinity Social Services
Chicago World Can’t Wait

Special thanks to:

Chicago-based activist Brent Holman-Gomez for moderating
this afternoon’s forum. Brent works within the welcoming church
movement, immigration equality, and Gay Liberation Network.

Truth Wins Out for underwriting support for the day’s events.
Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a non-profit organization that works
to demolish the very foundation of anti-gay prejudice. See

Forum photography: Andy Thayer

Gay Pride 2014 in Cape Town (more images)

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