On National Coming Out Day, Students Get Perspective from East Africa
Activist Wanja Muguongo addressed an audience at Yale SOM at an event commemorating National Coming Out Day on October 11. Muguongo, a Yale World Fellow, manages Africa's only activist-owned and -led LGBTI and sex worker rights fund.
Muguongo's fund, the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative, provides grants to organizations that nurture grassroots activism around sexuality and gender issues. "We have a vision of nondiscrimination and equality for everyone," Muguongo said. "The first step is to build community. When you build community, you make people visible."
Established in 2008, the initiative makes grants to organizations located in Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda. A board composed of activists who operate in these countries makes funding decisions. "This removes power from the grant maker and places it in the hands of the people doing the work," Muguongo said.
Yale SOM's LGBTQA Alliance student club and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs co-sponsored Muguongo's talk. "It's important that we're taking a more global look on this day that's all about issues of coming out and becoming allies," said Tiffany Dockery '13, a LGBTQA Alliance co-leader.