Media Roundtable

Thursday, December 8th, 2016, 4:30PM EST

Journalists are invited to attend our media roundtable with global LGBTIQ human rights defenders from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa to discuss the implications of a Globalized World on LGBTIQ Human Rights, preparing for the Trump years, and progress and pushback at the United Nations.


RSVP requests: Rashima Kwatra, Communications Officer,, +1(917) 859-7555

Roundtable Speakers

Amir Ashour is the Founder and Executive Director of IraQueer, Iraq’s only LGBT+ human rights organization. Through IraQueer, Amir aims to increase the visibility and awareness of the LGBT+ community in Iraq by sharing information, news, and personal stories in Arabic, Kurdish, and English, in addition to providing trainings and workshops. As Amir become more involved in women’s rights activism and LGBT rights activism, he faced multiple threats from authorities, militias, and people from within his social circle, and was imprisoned twice. He eventually moved to Sweden when staying in Iraq was no longer an option. One day Amir hopes to return to Iraq and become its first gay prime minister.

Georges Azzi is a sexual rights and HIV/AIDS activist. He is a co-founder of HELEM, the first LGBT organization in the MENA region; board member and founder of MARSA, a comprehensive sexual health clinic in Beirut, Lebanon; founder and currently executive director of the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality (AFE), based in Lebanon. AFE’s mission is to encourage and support activists working for sexual rights and gender equality in the MENA region. The organization works closely with activists across the MENA region.

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera is the Executive Director of Equal Ground,a non-profit organization seeking human and political rights for the LGBTIQ community of Sri Lanka. She has organized several lesbian and bisexual women’s conferences in Sri Lanka for the South Asian region and spearheaded the first research effort on homophobia violence and hate crimes against lesbian and bisexual women in the rural areas of Sri Lanka.

Paisarn Likhitpreechakul is the co-founder of Foundation for SOGI Rights and Justice of Thailand (FOR-SOGIE). He started the first gay column in a mainstream Thai newspaper in 2002. After the 2009 Changmai Gay Pride Parade was shut down by a mob, Paisarn co-founded FOR-SOGI to advance and advocate for the equal rights of all sexual minorities. Early this year, he organized a vigil in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok honoring those killed and wounded in the Orlando, Florida nightclub shooting.

Steve Letsike is an activist, feminist, leader, mentor and vibrant human rights advocate. She is co-chair of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) (with H.E Cyril Ramaphosa Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa) as well as chairperson of the SANAC National Civil Society Forum. Steve is also co-chair of the National Task Team established by the South African Department of Justice to address hate crimes and gender-based violence affecting LGBTI people. Steve is a Founding Director of Access Chapter 2 (AC2), a human rights organization that focuses on LGBTI people, women in their diversity and civil society’s participation in public policy development processes. The name Access Chapter 2 is derived from South Africa’s Constitution referring to the Bill of Rights: Chapter 2.

Kenita Placide is the Caribbean Advisor for OutRight Action International. She is also a human rights, HIV and LGBT activist from St. Lucia. She is the Executive Director of United and Strong and the Eastern Caribbean Coordinator of Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities.

Jessica Stern Executive Director of the OutRight Action International formerly known as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, specializes in gender, sexuality and human rights globally. As the first researcher on LGBT rights at Human Rights Watch and a Ralph Bunche Fellow at Amnesty International, she conducted fact-finding investigations and advocacy in relation to Iran, Kyrgyzstan, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. She has campaigned extensively for social and economic justice in the United States for the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, the Urban Justice Center and as a founding collective member of Bluestockings. A past board member of Queers for Economic Justice, she currently serves on the board of the International Bar Association’s Committee on LGBT Rights and the Law. Educated at the London School of Economics, she teaches at Columbia University.