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While the organisation cannot name and recognise the very many that have contributed, as it celebrates 15 years of existence, it has begun by framing the past to guide the future.
A display of persons key in the formation of the organisation and those who served on the first Board of Directors have been erected in the organisations safe space as part of observance. President and Vice President of the Board of Directors – Marcellus M. Miller and Janice Stephens, unveiled the display in time for community celebration.
The exhibit pays homage to the visionaries and the volunteers who that started a revolution in LGBTQI human rights organising in our small island and gave their time and passion to keep the LGBTQI community united and strong.
Founded in 2000 and registered in November 2005, United and Strong Inc is a human rights NGO that seeks to achieve recognition of the human rights of marginalised groups on Saint Lucia with a focus on LGBTQI people. In a country that still criminalises same sex intimacy and where discrimination against LGBTQI persons remain high, the organisation has struggled to thrive. This is why it’s 15th year of existence is particularly significant.
Celebrations continue throughout the month and the public have been asked to join in online with #15Yrs4US. Several other activities are also being staged for members and allies throughout the month. Activities include discussions among community members, staff and BOD of U&S on matters related to advancing the goals of the organisations and other issues of mutual interest.
The celebrations have already been launched on social media and the public is encouraged to send their congratulations using #15Yrs4US!”. The year’s overall theme, #EducationAcceptanceLove, is also a rallying call online.
The organisation’s flagship Red Ribbon public HIV AIDS outreach also continues throughout November into December. We hope to bring particular attention to a voluntary testing and counselling session in Soufriere on 27 November.