‘Voices of Change 2021’ Workshop & Video Live-streaming
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Voices of Change event gathered ICDO Fellows from around the world, who will use their platforms and activism to actively contribute to the ICDO’s Fellowship program and make a positive change with joint efforts. This year moderator Sarita Yasmin Castello and ICDO’s President Josipa Palac hosted eight ICDO Fellows who are advocating for change in different spheres and debated solutions for various challenges nowadays. Topics such as indigenous rights, women empowerment, self development, LGBTQ rights and cultural diversity were openly discussed and the participants agreed that providing education and raising awareness are of utmost relevance in order to make the world more inclusive and encourage sustainable development.
The Otoe-Missouria and Choctaw journalist and community builder Johnnie Jae fights for a future in which
“[the youth of indigenous communities in the United States of America] can imagine themselves as change makers and scientists and that they know that nothing is impossible”.
She advocates for their rights, because she is deeply concerned about the current representation of indigenous people in the United states as being inferior to non-indigenous inhabitants.
LGBTQ activist Bandy Kiki, who grew up in a conservative village in Cameroon, a country where it is against the law to be lesbian or gay, is a great example of someone who has shown that you can become a change maker even if you face many challenges.
While growing up Kiki noticed that she had a different approach to sexuality and realized she could not express herself in her hometown. She managed to create an opportunity for herself to accept herself and become vocal about the struggle she has gone through. Currently, she is a great inspiration and support for people worldwide who struggle with their sexual identity.
“Sexuality is still considered a taboo subject [in Peru] … when you tell people ‘sexuality’ they only think about ‘sex’ and when you tell them ‘sex’ they only think about intercourse”, said the Peruvian activist Alesia Lund Paz.
She underlines that proper sexual education is highly needed and will allow people to make conscious and informed decisions about their sexuality, as well as safe decisions about sexual intercourse, which is liberating and empowering.
According to Deni Todorović, fashion could be a powerful tool to break this taboo, too. They explained that by dressing in a way in which you are true to yourself, you familiarize people with different expressions of sexuality, open conversations about this topic and becomes inspiration to others. For Deni, fashion is such a powerful tool in activism, because “the way you dress is the quickest way to communicate how you feel and what you believe”.