A New Year’s message from United and Strong
we begin a new year, the Board of Directors and staff of United and Strong Inc. thank you for accompanying us on our journey in 2014. In this, the fifteenth year of our existence, it is even more appropriate than ever to look back at the road travelled with gratitude and appreciation, as we note achievements on all fronts of advocacy around the full realization of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in Saint Lucia.
Among the significant advances was the appointment of an interim board, recently made permanent. We also said goodbye to a valuable staff member and welcomed in a new one.
The organisation reinforced and expanded its connections locally, instituting new measures to inform membership and encourage involvement in our work. United and Strong also went out to the public, with open events and the dissemination of free safer sex commodities. The events committee began strongly and remained our most active team; providing a vital social outlet for marginalised LGBTI Saint Lucians.
In 2014, we also reached out to politicians, community and corporate leaders and influencers as part of our efforts to affect policy change.
Increasing capacity regionally has for the past few years been a constant with United and Strong and this year we organised two major capacity-building opportunities. Work on regional advocacy through CariFLAGS grew this year, as did our involvement with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans Association and ILGA Latin America/Caribbean.
The management of United and Strong made several international appearances in the past year, using powerful global forums to remind the world of the restricted freedoms of LGBTI persons in the English speaking Caribbean and the repressive laws that continue to criminalise our choice of partners. We ensured the LGBTI people of Saint Lucia and the Caribbean were part of the conversation on the world stage.
We amplified our voice in 2014, reaching more people in Saint Lucia and across the world with a vibrant media presence and achieving a measurable increase in our reach in 2014.
The Board of Directors and staff of United and Strong Inc. thank our funders for their support in 2014 that has made much of our work possible. We sincerely and heartily thank those who have been the constants, the bedrock, of our work - the LGBTI community of Saint Lucia and the Caribbean and our local, regional and international advocacy partners.
We look forward to this year with hope of continued fruitful partnerships and we undertake to continue to stand with the community, united and strong in 2015, under our theme “Educate, Tolerance and Love”.