From June 13th to 17th, 2023, an inspiring and transformative event took place in Khao Lak, Thailand—the Astraea Global Activist Convening co-organized by Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice with the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN). This in-person gathering brought together Astraea grantee partners and other strategic allies for a space of collaboration, learning, and activism.
A total of 97 grantees from various regions attended the event. The participants also included other strategic partners project consultants, research team members, facilitators, and healing practitioners. Additionally, five Alchemy Project Collective members were present to enrich the discussions.
Throughout the convening, several key objectives were emphasized:
1. Engaging with Anti-Gender Research: The Global Convening provided a collaborative space for Astraea grantee partners to interact with anti-gender research, validate key findings, and offer feedback on the overall research process.
2. Deepening Exchange and Solidarity: Participants dived deeper into movement resistance and response strategies, fostering trust, and strengthening solidarity among transnational movements.
3. Fostering Transnational Collaboration: The event aimed to strengthen connections and relationships among grantee partners, exploring opportunities for collective strategizing and collaboration on self-identified priorities.
4. Enabling Transnational Collective Dreaming: Participants were given opportunities for resourcing and funding to support their collective dreams and visions.
5. Centering Healing and Wellness: Throughout the convening, healing, rest, and wellness were prioritized as essential components of praxis and activism.
At the heart of the convening lay four significant pillars that acted as its political foundation:
1. Decolonization and Shifting Power: Recognizing that partners should define their own strategies of change, the convening centered on shifting power to grantee partners to advance their agendas in a way that aligns with their unique contexts and experiences.
2. Healing Justice: The convening acknowledged and addressed the generational trauma caused by systemic violence and oppression. Ancestral healing practices were welcomed, and new, inclusive strategies were built to support healing and transformation.
3. Collaboration and Co-creation: The convening leveraged the power within complex relationships and opportunities for solidarity between partners, fostering an environment of collaboration and co-creation.
4. Critical Reflection on Resources: As a philanthropic actor, Astraea recognized the complexities surrounding resources and power dynamics. The convening sought to imagine and create pathways for resourcing movements within a decolonial praxis, challenging the paradoxes of philanthropy.
The Astraea Global Activist Convening co-organized with APTN marked a significant milestone in global movement building of LBQT activists. By creating a space for collaboration and activism, it strengthened the ties between grantee partners and strategic allies, paving the way for impactful change and collective progress.