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Advocating for Human and Civil Rights for the LGBT Community

The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section in Dublin, Ireland solicits proposals for a cooperative agreement that meets the specifications stated in Section II from legally-recognized non-profit, non-government organizations that meet U.S. technical and legal requirements to develop and implement public diplomacy programs.

U.S. Exchange Program The U.S. Embassy builds mutual understanding between the United States and Ireland through carefully designed professional visits to the United States for current and emerging leaders. Through these encounters, they gain a greater understanding of the cultural and political influences in U.S. society and enjoy a firsthand experience of the United States, its people and its culture. The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, Ireland invites proposals to implement a U.S. exchange program for current and emerging leaders from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in support of a core tenant of U.S. foreign policy—the protection of universal human rights. The U.S. Embassy in Dublin, in collaboration with the U.S. Consulate in Belfast, will sponsor a 2017 U.S. exchange program entitled “Advocating for Human and Civil Rights for the LGBT Community.” The project is designed primarily for civil society activists and legal experts involved in LGBT advocacy work, as well as developing human and civil rights laws, policies and programs. Academics and government officials working in the area of LGBT advocacy may also be considered. Participants must be fluent in English. Half of the participants will be nominated by the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, while the other half will be nominated by the U.S. Consulate in Belfast. Rationale for project: Following the Republic of Ireland’s May 2015 referendum that extended civil marriage rights to same-sex couples, many observers viewed this referendum as a major shift in Irish society, marking the advent of a new, more socially liberal generation of young people. However challenges remain on many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy issues, including preventing bullying in schools, access to health services, difficulties in adoption and parenting issues, and workplace diversity. In Northern Ireland, same-sex marriage remains illegal. In a recent roundtable discussion with LGBT activists hosted by the U.S. Consulate in Belfast, participants cited similar challenges with respect to access to healthcare and fertility treatment, difficulties in adopting children, bullying in schools, and concerns that Brexit could potentially impede progress on LGBT rights. 

This U.S. exchange program will focus on addressing some of these human and civil rights challenges for members of the LGBT community, while also building cross-border relationships and collaborations between participants from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Specifically, it will explore U.S. advocacy efforts, at the local, state, national, and international levels, to support the equality and dignity of the LGBT community. Participants will examine the legislative framework surrounding LGBT issues and political, societal and judicial perspectives on LGBT rights. 

The project will also highlight the impact of the increasingly visible, open and active role of the LGBT community in political, economic and cultural life. Topics will include the history of the movement, the contemporary debate on LGBT rights and same sex marriage, workplace rights, the support needs of LGBT youth and families, as well as general social inclusion and diversity in the United States. Participants will learn how LGBT advocacy groups counter discrimination and defamation and how they engage religious leaders to create wider social acceptance and understanding. 

Particular emphasis should be placed on challenges regarding access to health care, adoption issues, bullying in schools and workplace diversity. 

Eligible Applicants:    
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility" for clarification)
Eligibility is open to all U.S. non-profit, non-governmental organizations. Individuals are not eligible for an award under this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Organizations may sub-contract with other entities, but only one, non-profit, non-governmental entity can be the prime recipient of the award. When sub-contracting with other entities, the responsibilities of each entity must be clearly defined in the proposal.
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