Come the end of May, approximately 10,000 participants from across the globe are expected in Miami, Florida to participate in the World OutGames to share in a 10-day program of sports, culture and human rights. From May 26 to June 4 this year’s event offers 34 different sports and more than 450 events that span those three areas of interest.
An important focus of the OutGames that sets it apart from other LGBTQ international sports gatherings is its human rights emphasis, its determination to open people’s minds with compelling and current insights about the LGBTQI community from global thought leaders. While it includes a large sports component, the three-day World OutGames human rights conferences are not restricted to sports issues, however.
In keeping with the theme for Miami’s OutGames – ENERGIZE YOUR BODY, EXPAND YOUR HEART and IGNITE YOUR MIND – program tracks include: promoting inclusivity in sports; health and wellness; and global social justice. It was recently announced that the organization has joined forces with the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (IIREHR) in support of the World OutGames Global LGBTQI Human Rights Conference. Their support will aid in developing the exchange of ideas with distinguished panelists from around the world.
According to Ivan Cano, CEO of World OutGames Miami, “We are thrilled to have the support of the IIREHR whose generosity will help create an impactful conference as part of our 10-day event. We extend our appreciation to IIREHR Executive Director Carlos Quesada and his staff for their commitment to our efforts which will inspire, motivate and transform thousands of our athletes, participants and activists.”
The IIREHR will provide two workshops at the Human Rights Conference in Miami Beach (Friday, May 26 through Sunday, May 28, 2017) and two plenary lunch speakers. Their support will make it possible to welcome 12 LGBTQI human rights activists from Latin America, the Caribbean and Cuba to the conference. “It is our privilege to show our support of this global event,” said Quesada. “We look forward to a meaningful conference which can highlight challenges and pursue solutions for a unified world.”
The first confirmed speakers are as follows:
Dr. Cecile Houry of Florida International University speaking on “American Women and the Modern Summer Olympic Games: A Story of Obstacles and Struggles for Participation and Equality” as part of the Promoting Inclusivity in Sports program track.
Speakers confirmed for the Global Social Justice program track include:
* Austin Bryan and Richard Lusimbo from Uganda representing Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). They’ll be speaking on “Politicization of Homosexuality in Uganda: Scapegoating Sexual and Gender Minorities.”
* From the U.S. is Carlos Quesada of The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights Country USA, leading a panel on “The Human Rights Situation of LGBTQI people in Latin America.”
* Haven Herrin of the U.S., representing the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) North America, is speaking on “Fueling a Queer Religious Left at the Organization of American States.”
* Justin Klecha of the U.S. is representing SAVE, South Florida’s leading organization dedicated to protecting LGBT people against discrimination. He will lead “Prejudice Reduction Conversations to Decrease Anti-LGBT Prejudice: An Interactive Workshop on the Art and Science of Persuasion.”
* Also speaking as part of the Health and Wellness program track is Marthe Djilo Kamga from Belgium.
Online registration at outgames.org is available now to participants and the registration package includes admission to the opening and closing ceremonies, access to OPEN sports and culture events, access to the Festival Village and much more.
In addition to the support of the IIREHR, World OutGames Miami is made possible through the support of the Florida Sports Foundation, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority and Miami Sports, Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs Council, the City of Miami Beach, the Miami Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.
By Harry Andrew