Panel: Glocal: The geo-politics of LGBTI+ advocacy

Sunday 20 November – 2pm

Hackney Showroom – Free

This panel will explore how best to advocate for change, and the possibilities of sustaining a coherent and unified global political front against oppression. Focusing on the diversity of local contexts, current and past global and local initiatives will be (re)visited as a key to exploring the future of "glocal" activism. We are delighted to welcome prominent activist Bisi Alimi again, who will chair this important discussion joined by other global advocates, including Vietnamese activist Amazin Lethi and lawyer Krishna Omkar, and UKLGIG's Executive Director Paul Dillane. Please come along and join this important conversation at Fringe!

Bisi Alimi is an “Angelic Troublemaker Incarnate” PASSIONATE public speaker, policy analyst, television pundit, campaigner and Vblogger. His expertise on Social Justice ranges from Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to Race and Race RelationsFeminismEducation and Poverty Alleviation. He has appeared on many international television stations as a social and political pundit, including, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and CCTV, and outlets like NPR and the Washington Post has profiled him. His TEDx talk, “There should never be another Ibrahim” has been listed as one of the 14 most inspiring QUEER TEDtalk of all time, his talk at the Aspen Ideas festival left the audience asking for more. Alimi gave the closing speech at a Daily Beast event hosted at the New York Public Library titled, “I am Bisi Alimi and I am not a victim.” “The Development Cost of Homophobia” is his most successful article that was translated into over 15 languages globally. His most recent article for the Guardian: “If you say being gay is not African, you don’t know your history” has gone on to great review and cited in many news article globally. He consults for World Bank on Economic impact of Homophobia and serves on the Bank advisory board on SOGI. He was a 2014 New Voices fellow at the Aspen Institute. Listed 19 most important LGBT person in UK 2015 and was named 77 on the World Pride Power List 2014. He is the founder and Director of Bisi Alimi Foundation

Amazin LeThi is a Vietnamese HIV/AIDS and equality advocate, public speaker, health and fitness author, former natural competitive bodybuilder, entertainment and fitness personality. In May 2016 during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month Amazin was named by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) as one of only 7 Asian advocates advancing LGBTQ equality globally. She is the first Asian Athlete Ally and Vietnam Relief Servicesglobal ambassador. She is the founder of the Amazin LeThi Foundation (ALF) a for purpose international organization to end LGBTQ bullying, racism and HIV/AIDS discrimination within Asian and black communities. Our activities include public awareness campaigns, educational programming, leadership, mentoring and sports programs. We are a #VoiceWithAction for the advancement of equality. In 2015, ALF became the first international organization working in Vietnam to give out educational scholarships at VietPride in Hanoi to transgender youth. ALF remains committed to supporting LGBTQ youth through education initiatives and remains a partner of Vietpride and the educational scholarship program. In October, Amazin LeThi and ALF helped kick-start The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders first public awareness campaign Act to Change that addresses bullying within Asian American Pacific Islander communities. Amazin has been invited to speak at the President Obama Asian American Pacific Islander Legacy event in Washington DC in December 2016. Amazin LeThi and her foundation ALF continue to collaborate with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and advise on Asian LGBTQ issues. Amazin also sits on the New York City Department of Education LGBTQ + Advisory Council. For further information, go to: and

Krishna Omkar is an corporate lawyer at a major international law firm, with a wide corporate practice across M&A, joint venture, private equity, governance and compliance issues in a cross-border context. Krishna is actively involved in LGBT advocacy, working with the team looking to decriminalise same sex conduct in India, and with GLAAD and HRC. He is also a supporter of the Terrence Higgins Trust and a trustee of Paintings in Hospitals. In 2015 and 2016, Krishna was named by the Financial Times as a future leader, and in 2016 he was identified by the Telegraph as one of the top 50 LGBT people in business.

Paul Dillane is the executive director of UKLGIG, a unique charity dedicated to protecting LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees. He has worked as a legal practitioner, researcher and advocate specialising in human rights, refugee law and LGBTI issues for 12 years. Paul began his legal career specialising in asylum cases and represented political dissidents from Zimbabwe, religious minorities from Iran and those fleeing armed conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has focused on defending the human rights of LGBTI people fleeing persecution on account of their sexual orientation and gender identity throughout his career. In 2008, he joined Amnesty International UK as a refugee specialist and was responsible for the organisation's involvement in strategic litigation in domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights. In 2014, Paul was appointed executive director of UKLGIG. He regularly provides training to judges, officials, lawyers and activists across Europe. He has provided expert evidence on the protection of LGBTI refugees and the role of the UK Government in promoting human rights internationally to various inquiries and lobbies and advises ministers and government departments on behalf of UKLGIG. In recent years, he has worked to support the activism of human rights and LGBTI organisations in Sri Lanka, Iraq and Uganda, to expose the abuse of LGBT asylum seekers in immigration detention centres in the UK and to improve protection for trans refugees. He has worked as a consultant and trainer for the UNHCR, Council of Europe, ILGA-Europe and Transgender Europe (TGEU). Paul lives in Hackney and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA) and a board member of Hackney Community Law Centre.