This empowerment is reflected not only in the work that activists return home to do, but also their growing involvement in the conference as presenters and organisers.
“Human rights and the extension of human rights to LBT women and other vulnerable groups across the Caribbean remains a strong focus of the conference. As organisers who are activists ourselves, we understand that empower- ment must take a holistic approach; thus catering to both organisational development, but also personal develop- ment,” organiser Lysanne Charles of ECADE and St. Maarten/St. Martin Alliance For Equality (SAFE) says.
Some 50 plus activists and presenters from 20 countries are expected at the regional conference and come from islands and countries spanning from the Bahamas in the north to Trinidad and Tobago in the south and Belize, Guyana and Suriname on the mainland.
“For CWSDC, diversity is always a key component; this includes nationality, age, physical ability etc. It is important that voices from the entire Caribbean are heard and we do our best to embolden and energise as many activists and organisations in as many countries as possible, because it is great if individually we are strong, but we know that to- gether we are always stronger,” says organiser Jassica St. Rose of United and Strong.
With the aim of creating change through individual development, #CWSDC5 celebrates the significant contribution of Caribbean LBTI people to their diverse communities. The 2017 conference explores how women and LBTI people live and love at the intersection of the personal and political, their commitment to maintaining our collective bonds of family, culture and identity while creating spaces for self-actualisation and expression beyond hetero- and gender- normative structures. The conference focussed on creating change through individual development and community mobilisation. The CWSDC engages active women human rights defenders’ working in a Caribbean context.