New Staff Members
Please join us in welcoming our new staff members who joined the team in June/July;
LaToya Lane, Site Manager (pronouns she/her)
LaToya’s role as Site Manager is to oversee the operations of The Safe Space (where the office of Equals resides), including the services that we provide, as well as social and other events that are hosted there. She also assists in various Project and Programme activities as necessary.
Briah Downes, Administrative Assistant (pronouns she/her)
As Admin Assistant, Briah supports LaToya in her duties, helps supervise The Safe Space, and provides support to the Board with various administrative jobs.
Jodie Atwell, Social Media Manager (pronouns she/her)
Jodie manages the social media pages of Equals and The Safe Space, ensuring that our messages are amplified on the various platforms we use, sharing educational information, updates on our activities, and ensuring that the LGBTQ+ community in Barbados has a voice online.
Dr. Sheena Weekes, Site Physician (pronouns she/her)
As Site Physician, Dr. Weekes will be providing a wide range of services, from a GP clinic, to HIV and STI testing, PrEP and ART. She is about to complete PrEP and ART training and we will soon be able to take on new clients for these services.
In previous emails, we would have indicated that we were going to conduct HIV rapid testing training. Unfortunately, since the beginning of 2022, certain reagents have not been available to conduct HIV rapid tests, preventing us from conducting the training. While we are still hopeful we might be able to provide this training, the project that is supporting this activity is coming to an end at the end of the year. Therefore we would like to offer those interested in still assisting with our clinics the opportunity to do so by providing Phlebotomy training.
This training will be hosted by Regal Development Solutions as part of their normal courses, and takes place virtually every Tuesday evening from 6-7pm for a duration of 6 weeks. There will also be a practical face-to-face examination at the end of the course, and the date will be decided as the course progresses. Please complete this form to register. Deadline to register: 17th Oct
STI Counselling Training
As mentioned before, we are also offering training to those who wish to volunteer and provide STI Counselling. While counselling is only a part of the process when someone accesses our STI testing services, it is separate from the testing/blood draw aspect of the testing. Having a separate counsellor and tester can in fact help speed up the process during the clinic. We therefore welcome those who are interested in only counselling to apply, as well as those who wish to take part in the phlebotomy training. Please click this registration link for more information. Deadline to register: 23rd Oct.
Shared Incident Database User Training
The Shared Incident Database is an online tool used to report cases of human rights violations towards marginalised communities, such as the LGBTQ+ community. The tool is used to document such incidents if the victim does not feel there is anywhere they can make a report, or when the proper authorities either refuse to take a report, poorly record an incident, or do not follow through on investigations. SID allows for the uploading of media such as images, videos and audio clips in order to collect evidence of the incident as well. These reports can then be utilised when necessary, such as taking a case of workplace discrimination to the Employment Rights Tribunal, or taking a land lord to court for unlawful eviction.
If you are interested in joining our pool of volunteers who are trained to use the database, please register here. Deadline to Register: Oct 28th
Equals provided sensitisation training to various audiences throughout various projects that it conducts throughout the year. Such audiences have included healthcare workers, mental health professionals, social workers, union reps, media professionals and staff of places of employment. In fact, Equals provides these trainings as a service to corporate Barbados, to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace in tandem with the passing of the Employment (Prevention of Disctimiantion) Act. If you would like to register to become a sensitization trainer, please complete this registration form.
BLIC Capacity Development Trainings
UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Office in the framework of the “Being LGBTI in the Caribbean” Project is launching a Human Rights Defenders Capacity-Building Series to promote a culture of respect for human rights, with specific reference to the LGBTI community. While these trainings will be conducted virtually, we will be opening the conference room at The Safe Space and projecting the training for those who may be in need of a space. These sessions are open to anyone interested in Human Rights Defending in general, but also for those who wish to be more involved with the work and efforts of the organisation. Please see the list of sessions and the registration links below.
13th October 2022, 1PM-2.30PM
Register in advance for this meeting:
Learn to communicate effectively about LGBTI issues and social media tools & best practices
Leaving No-One Behind
19th October 2022, 1PM-3PM
Register in advance for this meeting:
Learn what explicit actions can be taken to end extreme poverty, curb inequalities, confront discrimination and fast-track progress for the furthest left behind.
Monitoring and Evaluation
26th October 2022, 1PM-2:30PM
Register in advance for this meeting:
Learn the tools and processes to measure if a program has been implemented according to the plan (Monitoring) and is having the desired result (Evaluation)
General Volunteer Sign Up
If you are interested in volunteering with us, please fill out this questionnaire.
We are looking for professionals in various fields to provide ad hoc advisory clinics that will benefit members of the community in areas where they are most impacted. Such areas include; Legal advice (e.g. if someone’s human rights have been violated, what steps can they take to seek redress), recruitment advice (CV, cover letter or interview tips), financial advice (budgeting, banking, insurance, etc.). Please fill out this form if you are willing to be a part of this initiative.
Directory of Services
Through various projects that Equals received funding for, there are various services that we tend to utilise for project activities. In addition, there are other services that we would love to be able to direct members of the community to if they are interested in using them. Such services include; catering, graphic design, taxi services, etc. If you have a service that you think would benefit the organisation or the community, or know someone who does, please fill out this form to help us build a directory.
Activism / Representing the Organisation
Talk of Constitutional Reform has ramped up over the last few months. In July of this year, a new committee was formed and an email address and WhatsApp number were released to the public to encourage discourse. Aside from that, we are unsure what direction the government will take moving forward. At this time Equals is preparing to engage the community and the general public and is awaiting any information on how this process will go. We are seeking volunteers that could help with email/social media blasts, fundraising events, facilitating/organising community forums, etc. If you are interested in these activities please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Caribbean Women and Sexual Diversity Conference
The first gathering of its kind in the region, the Caribbean Women and Sexual Diversity Conference continues to be at the vanguard of building advocacy and uniting lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LBTQI) people. Celebrating the diversity of the Caribbean Woman – every shade of personality, every shape of intelligence, every style of wit, CWSDC is a network, a safe space and an incubator for LBTQIA female- and trans-identified activists in the Caribbean and diaspora. It seeks to develop regional capacity in advocacy and maximises opportunities for involvement with and support of LGBTQ+ organisations in the Caribbean. This is reflected in the intensification of participants’ subsequent advocacy and their expanded involvement in the conference as presenters and co-organisers. The CWSDC annually invites activists, both LBTQI and allies, advocating for communities of diverse sexual and gender identities and expressions and sex characteristics.
We would love to support LBTQI people who wish to attend this conference as we seek to be a part of building the capacity of womxn within the human rights movement. There are currently 4 spots for interested persons to attend on behalf of Equals – if you are interested, please send an email to info@equalsbarbados for more information on the conference.
As Barbados lifts the remainder of the COVID-19 restrictions and we are able to socialise as we did before 2020, the organisation would like to fulfill one of our mandates: creating safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community. Currently to accomplish this, The Safe Space is open again for the community to utilise, with the space opening later on Friday evenings for various events. Equals is also partnering with bars who have completed our sensitisation training to host one night a month that caters for patrons who may be of the community. Please note that the events at the bars are not strictly LGBTQ+ and still open to the general public.
Events at the Safe Space
Oct 7th: Friday Night Lime (open till 9 pm)
Oct 14th: Pre-Ball Lime (open till 11 pm)
Oct 21st: Pre-Out and Proud Lime (open till 9 pm)
Oct 28th: Genesis: The OTA Ball (open till 11 pm)
If there are specific events that you would like to see hosted at The Space Space, do let us know. We also welcome members to get involved in planning and hosting events as well.
Events Outside of the Safe Space
CPDC: Improved Access To Healthcare By LGBTQ+ Persons In Barbados
Through the support of the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC), Equals is looking to improve access to healthcare by LGBTQ+ persons in Barbados. To accomplish this, Equals will carrying out various activities: 1) Research into the barriers that LGBTQ+ people face when accessing healthcare at public facilities, with recommendations that will be shared with the Ministry of Health and Wellness. 2) Sensitisation Trainings for staff of the various Polyclinics across the island. 3) Training of volunteers and members of Equals in Phlebotomy, HIV Rapid Testing, and STI Counselling to widen the pool of volunteers who can provide these services at the community site. 4) Providing some support to the overheads of the clinic. This project will be conducted between April and December 2022.
BLIC: Breaking Down Barriers of Access to Mental Healthcare by LGBTQ+ People
Supported by USAID and UNDP, the Being LGBTI in the Caribbean Project’s main activities will be focused on facilitating sensitisation training for Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Guidance Counsellors, Social Workers, and Psychology Masters’ students. This training is designed to empower direct providers to deliver respectful, appropriate and sensitive care to their LGBTQ+ population. If you work in any of the above mentioned areas or know someone who may be interested in this kind of training please fill out this form.
CVC: Giving Voices to the Voiceless Phase 2
With the overall goal of the project to increase the use of the Shared Incident Database, Equals conducted 2 main activities: 1) Education of the community on their human rights through a media campaign of social media posts and a video PSA, to compliment past promotional work of SID, and 2) Sensitisation trainings to lawyers who are interested in learning more about the needs of the LGBTQ+ community should they have a client who is from the community. A sub-goal of this second activity is to have a small pool of lawyers who are willing to volunteer some of their time to provide legal advice for community members who find themselves seeking redress when their human rights have been violated.