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#Debate2015 Programme

In an effort to increase and broaden dialogue on the Sexual Offences Act [SOA] and to create a public space in which evidence-based positions on same may be fully interrogated and ventilated, J-FLAG has partnered with Mary Seacole Hall to host a tertiary level debate competition [#Debate2015] on the review of the SOA. This debate will focus on the (in)adequacy of the Act in exacting punishment for perpetrators of all forms of sexual violence.
Debate Competition
#Debate2015 will feature the debating societies of the University of Technology and the University of the West Indies Mona. The teams will debate a motion to be tabled on the following:
“The Sexual Offences Act: Let the punishment fit the crime”
The programme is available here: Debate2015 Programme

National Youth Conference 2014

The last two decades have seen several attempts aimed at arresting the decaying values and attitudes that exist across the island of Jamaica especially among the youth. Evidence from a recent survey conducted by the Centre for Leadership and Governance (CLG), as well as utterances from several sectors of the Jamaican society suggests that much more effort is needed to inculcate positive values and attitudes in the youth. Importantly, there is need for a national discussion regarding strategies to promote positive values and attitudes among the Jamaican youth. Against this background, the Department of Government at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona, and the Ministry of Youth and Culture, in association with the Mona School of Business and Management and the Institute of Cultural Studies invite submissions of Academic Papers, Case Studies, Work in Progress/Posters, PhD Research, Round Table Proposals, non-­‐ academic Contributions, White Papers, Policy Briefs and Concept Notes/Papers on a wide range of topics for the First National Youth Conference to be held November 26, 2014 at the UWI Regional Headquarters under the theme ‘Preparing Youth for the Future: Promoting Values and Attitudes for Development’.

The objective of the Conference is to provide a platform to stimulate, develop, and share information regarding the values and attitudes of the Jamaican youth. It also aims to assess the implications of youth values and attitudes for the development of Jamaica as well as formulate strategies to promote positive values and attitudes among the Jamaican youth. The conference will also attempt to provide a space for networking and the exchange of ideas, strategies, success stories and lessons in youth work.

Click here for more details.

New Voices Fellowship

Nominations are now open for the New Voices Fellowship.  Become a New Voices Fellow!

New Voices Fellowship is a year-long media skills, communication and leadership program designed for standout development professionals from the developing world. Candidates for the Fellowship are expected to have both a record of significant professional achievement and a desire to share their perspectives on global development with a broader international audience. The Fellowship is open by nomination only. For more details visit their website.

We Are Jamaicans: Telling the Stories of LGBT People & Allies

We Are Jamaicans is a video campaign for Jamaicans, whether gay or straight, to share their experiences and perspectives about LGBT human rights. This in an effort to promote greater understanding and help change minds and hearts of Jamaicans about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. A sample of the videos recorded to date are available here:

We Are Jamaicans with Staceyann Chin

We Are Jamaicans with Donovan Leslie

We Are Jamaicans with Carol Narcisse

We Are Jamaicans with Tiana Miller

We Are Jamaicans with Keriann Lee

We Are Jamaicans with Javed Jaghai

We Are Jamaicans with Nell Robinson

We Are Jamaicans with Angeline & Jalna

We Are Jamaicans with Ricardo McKenzie

We Are Jamaicans with Father Garth Minott

To access more videos visit our YouTube channel: We Are Jamaicans

Javed Jaghai Withdraws from Constitutional Challenge to Anti-gay Laws

In a signed affidavit, Mr. Jaghai attributes his decision to withdraw from the case due to personal threats, the burden that the litigation was putting on his family, and continuing incidents of violence against Jamaica’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In his affidavit, Mr. Jaghai told the court: “Though the cause and the case are noble, I am no longer willing to gamble with my life or the lives of my parents and siblings.”  The full press release is available here: Javed Jaghai withdraws from Constitutional Challenge

2014 Global Men’s Health and Rights Survey

The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) is a coalition of MSM and allies from around the globe working against HIV for the health and human rights of gay men and other men who have sex with men. Our coalition includes a wide range of people, including HIV-positive and HIV-negative gay men directly affected by the HIV epidemic.  A part of the work that MSMGF does involves conducting research about gay men and other men who have sex with men.

MSMGF has launched an online survey – 2014 Global Men’s Health and Rights – which takes only 20-30 minutes to complete and your participation will be anonymous. By sharing your personal experiences, you join thousands of gay men and other men who have sex with men around the world working to promote health and human rights in our communities. The survey focuses on different factors that impact the quality of our lives, including community involvement, sexual happiness, experiences of stigma, knowledge about new HIV & STI prevention strategies, access to services, and how we feel about ourselves.

Information collected will be used by organizations in our communities to support knowledge generation, policy development, program implementation and advocacy linked to the issues that matter most to our communities. Click to take the survey and be heard!

Larry Chang Human Rights Symposium 2014: A Video Synopsis

If you missed our Larry Chang Human Rights Symposium check out our YouTube channel for a synopsis of the event. The symposium took place on May 16, 2014 in recognition and celebration of IDAHOT. The event was moderated by popular blogger and vlogger Carla Moore, who facilitated a powerful all-female panel that sought to deconstruct the theme – Exploring Identity in Jamaica: Personhood, Sexual Citizenship & Religion. The event also featured a captivating performance by dance artist Neila Ebanks, and the launch of a safety and security mobile application for LGBT people by Walk Good Ja. 

The video is available here.

J-FLAG Publishes Second Issue of Newsletter

J-FLAG published the second issue of its newsletter ‘Equality JA: The Silent Revolution’ on August 6, 2014.

In addition to sharing J-FLAG’s outreach and advocacy activities, this issue features a riveting story of resilience by Christopher Bowen, a call to acknowledge and report Intimate Partner Violence in gay relationships by Paige Andrew, and Jaevion Nelson’s recommendation that we rethink the way we frame homophobia. The issue also profiles human rights defender and vlogger Carla Moore, with a quick survey on what constitutes rape plus so much more! The newsletter can be accessed here. 

J-FLAG Launches Policy Training Programme for Women

Lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women have been excluded from much of Jamaica’s LGBT advocacy at the highest level. As part of J-FLAG’s commitment to being more inclusive and engaging more women in our programmes, we have launched a policy training programme specifically for our LBT women.

We are inviting lesbian, bisexual and transgender women to apply for the limited available spaces. See poster below for details on how to apply.

LBT Policy Training Ad

(re)Presenting and Redressing LGBT Homelessness in Jamaica

In memory of 16 year-old Dwayne Jones who became homeless at age 12 and was murdered on July 22, 2013 in St.James, J-FLAG has published a policy brief on LGBT homelessness in Jamaica. 

In a newspaper article published June 13, 2014, Member of Parliament for South East St. Andrew and State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson said there was a need to help homeless gays in his constituency as they have gained national and international attention. J-FLAG is imploring Minister Julian Robinson and local authorities to develop programmes that will address this issue in his constituency, where a large number of homeless LGBT persons have taken refuge.

We are also urging the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development to develop a Homelessness Policy based on its preliminary work done to date and the recommendations made in this brief, chief among which is the implementation of an inclusive, non-discriminatory programme for all persons who are homeless.

Read the full text of the brief here: (re)Presenting and Redressing LGBT Homelessness in Jamaica – JFLAG