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May 24, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm

Thank you so much Richard.

Here's the updated event description:


May 24, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm

Welcome trailblazing, internationally renowned activists Matthew Blaise who's visiting from Nigeria and Alex Kofi Donkor who's visiting from Ghana as they share strategies for cultivating global solidarity and combating anti-LGBTQ criminalization in West Africa and beyond. Matthew and Alex will be in conversation with Uche Onwa and Devin Michael Lowe. The panel discussion will follow a screening of the film Defiance: Voices of a New Generation, directed by Harry Itie. Trasonia Abbott will be moderating the post-screening panel discussion.

Matthew Blaise, co-founder of The Oasis Project, used their voice and spoke out during the #ENDSARS protests in a declaration that was viewed by millions. Matthew's message of queer liberation and intersectionality reverberated far and wide. They’ve dedicated their life to interrupting the violence perpetuated against gender non-conforming and queer people in Nigeria by creating safe spaces for the LGBTQI+ community, advocating for queer rights, and mobilizing actions.

Alex Kofi Donkor is a photographer, researcher, and community builder with expertise in sexual health and human and LGBTQI+ rights. He is the founder and director of LGBT+ Rights Ghana, a movement of mostly young LGBTQI+ people who are championing a safe, inclusive and free society for LGBTQI+ people in Ghana.

Uchechukwu Onwa is a New York-based, Nigerian-born organizer and abolitionist who fled his home country due to the persecution he faced as a gay man. With over nine years experience working in community outreach, public health, and human rights, he is a high-impact advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Prior to migrating to the U.S. he coordinated an HIV prevention program and conducted LGBTQ+ and human rights advocacy work for the International Center for Advocacy on Rights to Health (ICARH) in Abuja, Nigeria. Currently, he is the Co-Director of QDEP.

Devin Michael Lowe is an organizer invested in Black trans liberation. As a queer, transgender man, he's passionate about moving resources to his community and creating a world where Black trans people are seen, respected, protected, supported, and valued. He's worked on productions focused on the lived experiences of trans people, including in his current role as a Community Media Organizer for Black Trans Media. With an understanding of the need for trans masculine people to be working in communal solidarity to support Black trans women, Devin is the founder and Executive Director for the Black Trans Travel Fund.

Trasonia Abbott is a multidisciplinary artist and co-founder of the Queens Liberation Project. Their work centers their experience as a Black Nonbinary person. They have an immense love for their community and culture and enjoy curating deep, meaningful conversations. Trasonia has channeled this love into projects and events including Queens Liberation Project’s mutual aid events, a Black History Month conversation series for Flux Factory Rhizome Project, and the Queens Solidarity Festival.

This event is organized by RiseOut fellow Jodi Nicole. Born in Jamaica and bred in New York, they are a cultural organizer and visual storyteller. Their fellowship project will focus on the creation of From the Frontlines, a book featuring photographs from various demonstrations.


May 24
6:00 pm-8:00 pm