Fourth Edition of Indian LGBT Youth Leadership Summit concludes in Bengaluru
19 December, 2017
The fourth edition of the Indian LGBT Youth Leadership Summit was organized in Bengaluru over two days – 16th and 17th of December – by Mission for Indian Gay and Lesbian Empowerment (MINGLE) in association with Love Matters and with the support of ThoughtWorks, IBM, Canda Embassy, The Humsafar Trust, RNW Media, Pink Pages and Gay Bombay. The summit was hosted by ThoughtWorks at their beautiful office in Kormanagala, Bengaluru.
The objective of the summit- which is an annual event, is to identify potential leaders among LGBT youth from SAARC nations and groom them for future leadership roles. More than two hundred and fifty young LGBT+ people had applied, among whom 35 were selected based on their leadership potential and willingness to engage on LGBT issues. The participants were a diverse group of men, women and transgender persons from various professional, educational and cultural backgrounds – coming from many Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Imphal among others. This year, the summit also saw participation of delegates from Sri Lanka and Nepal. The theme for the summit this year was “Oneness. Togetherness. Happiness” with a focus on inclusivity in diversity.
According to Ramkrishna Sinha, Head of Summit Design at MINGLE, “The focus this year has been on community building – bridging the LGBT+ & allies community; on coming together & creating an inclusive world for all. Also in an effort to give back to the community we chose Aravani Arts Project as a vendor, this empowers LGBT suppliers & in turn the community.”
“Love Matters India as an ally in the LGBTQ rights movement focuses on supporting initiatives from the community like LGBT Youth Leadership Summit by MINGLE. Our role has been to encourage diversity from the LGBT community in this leadership summit and bring opportunities to LBT who get less attention even within the LGBT programs and spaces.” said Vithika Yadav, of Love Matters India
“The MINGLE gathering was a beautiful attempt at developing youth leaders in the LGBT+ space. This community has a gift to bring to the world. The gift of Love that includes honoring our sexuality, our truth and inspiring the world to be authentic and real. To face challenges and take risks to stand in your power with honesty and kindness. No force. Just being who you are. And the Mingle team along with Love Matters, Thoughtworks and other sponsors and speakers organised such a landmark gathering. It was a joy to see how inspired the young leaders and speakers were. We must move to making this even more co-creative and spaces to learn together and shift from the hierarchical, patriarchal models of reality of us being one.” said Kiran Gulrajani, a leadership coach at the summit.
“We are proud to be associated with the Indian LGBT Youth Leadership Summit 2017. IBM recognizes the unique value and skills every individual brings to the workplace and we firmly believe that innovation comes from seeking out and inspiring diversity across all dimensions. For IBM, diversity is a defining and measurable competitive advantage and we consciously work to build diverse teams to better enable us to drive the very best results for our clients and partners.” says Ritesh Rajani, Diversity Engagement Partner at IBM.
The summit helped the youth leaders introspect on their personality, their strengths, and their beliefs. It helped them know themselves better & also equipped them with an array of tools on leadership.
“MYLS2017 brought together a dizzyingly diverse group of young leaders with inspiring achievements. In the course of the Workshop we realized our uniqueness and our similarities. In some we found expression, in some analytical acumen, some found drive for actions but in all we found an amiable friend. As we spoke and we listened we found many answers, and raised many new questions, learned to question our beliefs, and ultimately found how we are all better together, as a Team spread out all over India and South Asia, leading the change.”, said Anubhuti Banerjee, s participant.
“MINGLE has reminded me that although the cultures and contexts that lgbt come from are different, there are universal issues that all LGBT people face. Ideas of self-love, acceptance, and labeling oneself are issues that all LGBT people face in their journey of owning their own identity. I feel privileged to be able to now have a network of queer South Asians whose life experiences may be different than mine, but still share some of the same issues that al LGBT people face. LGBT people gathering with other LGBT people is not only important, it is necessary. We can amplify each other voices to grow am even bigger platform to create change.” said Patrick Drown, another participant at the summit.