Voices for Equality: Ambassador Susan Rice

By Shawn Gaylord
Last week Human Rights First, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, and American University hosted Ambassador Susan Rice, President Obama’s National Security Advisor, to speak on the administration’s work protecting and promoting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people around the world.

Ambassador Rice delivered a moving speech, detailing the many victories achieved under the administration, but didn’t shy away from the numerous challenges that still remain. Before a capacity crowd at American University’s School of International Service, Rice highlighted personal connections with LGBT human rights defenders and how they have inspired and informed her work.

“The United States must continue to work with civil society and other partners to improve LGBT lives on the ground. I’ve joined President Obama as he’s met with LGBT activists from St. Petersburg to Havana…  I’m constantly amazed by the passion, creativity, and commitment of activists on the frontlines of change. So, help us understand and address the challenges you face. Help us explore ways to keep expanding the reach of equality, such as by recognizing the unique concerns of intersex individuals. Keep coming to us with your stories, your insights, and your requests. Press us to live up to the ideals I’ve just described.”

The speech reminded us of the brave defenders we have come to know through our work here at Human Rights First. From Kingston to Bishkek, Kiev to San Salvador, the activists that we meet not only inspire us—they strengthen our work, helping us advocate for policies that are both well-informed and in the best interests of LGBT communities around the globe.

In honor of their tireless work, we want to share with you their stories. Take a moment to learn more about these voices for equality.





Published on November 1, 2016


Seeking asylum?

If you do not already have legal representation, cannot afford an attorney, and need help with a claim for asylum or other protection-based form of immigration status, we can help.