The Open Society Institute will host a roundtable discussion on concerns about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) rights in Southern Africa. Sisonke Msimang, director of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), and Vicci Tallis, manager of the OSISA HIV/AIDS Program, will share their perspective on the status of LGBTI rights organizing in the region and some of the key opportunities and challenges facing the local movement.
They also will discuss how U.S.-based international partners can be supportive. Michael Heflin, director of the LGBTI Rights Initiative at the Open Society Institute, will moderate.
OSISA has a strong relationship with the local LGBTI rights movement and is directly supporting many of the groups in the region. One of the situations they will be discussing is the arrests that have taken place in Malawi over the past several weeks. OSISA has been providing direct support to LGBTI activists on the ground, including ensuring that all those arrested have legal counsel. They have also been playing a key role in coordinating action by civil society groups in the region in response to the situation in Malawi.
Light lunch fare will be provided.