At a time when political and legal progress is hard to achieve at national level, many new initiatives are flourishing in communities across Europe. The conference wants to explore how to create a stronger bottom-up movement by strengthening local communities.
Across Europe, we can see a vibrant regeneration of LGBTI initiatives, including in remote geographical areas. People are coming together, communities are getting organised, influencing the civil society landscape. Creative change strategies that are deeply rooted in local contexts have the ability to sustain progress that matters to LGBTI people at the grassroots level.
So at this conference, we want to ask ourselves how we put the needs and strengths of our own community at the centre of our work. We will look at how we can further strengthen local LGBTI communities so that they can come together, organise and demand for their needs to be addressed, in solidarity with others. We want to continue talking about how we do this together with allies that connect our action to a larger mission for an inclusive and just society. Together, we want to explore how we can contribute to reversing populism by working on common objectives and making democracy work for people again.
Questions that we would seek to answer include:
- How do we as civil society organisations recognise the most important needs of our communities and better represent those?
- When we talk about the grassroots, where/what do we mean?
- How can we address the needs of our community, create more ownership of the direction of our work in the community and ensure that community empowerment is at the core of our work?
- How can we create and strengthen the momentum of people organising? What kind of collective strategies and messages can contribute to this?
- How do concepts like class and populism intersect with what we want to achieve?
- How do the needs of our LGBTI communities connect to our broader communities? What are the common grounds we share with other communities we belong to?
- How can we build a progressive social movement that addresses the root causes of inequality and exclusion, working in greater solidarity?
- What is our role in filling the growing gap between citizens and the government?
- How do we better make use of the richness of our own (multiple) identities?