Jordan Seth Chanetsa

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: How Queer!Zimbabwe

Jordan Chanetsa is an award-winning LGBTQIA+ rights activist with over 5 years of experience. Ms. Chanetsa is a founding member of the HQ (Harare Queer) collective, which aims to establish safer spaces for Zimbabwean LGBTQIA+ individuals. Through crowdfunding efforts, HQ raised $15,000 for COVID support for LGBTQIA+ community members in Harare and surrounding areas. Additionally, Ms. Chanetsa currently serves as a consultant for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in workspaces. Due to the political environment in Zimbabwe, most of Ms. Chanetsa's activism is conducted online. She a media personality that has appeared on radio multiple times to address various significant issues concerning the LGBTQIA+ community in Zimbabwe. Ms. Chanesta is the host of "The Naked Truth Show," a show which focuses on discussions about sex, sexuality and health. Ms. Chanetsa also serves as the host and co-executive producer of "Her Hour," a show funded by the United States Embassy, Women First Digital and The Feed, among other sponsors. In addition to activism and media work, Jordan is a board member and programs officer of The Incubator Hub Zimbabwe, which hosts "Her Hour." She has contributed to Zimbabwe's Universal Periodic Review on Human rights process in 2021 as an individual collaborator. Ms. Chanetsa serves as a global advisory committee member for FRIDA, The Youth Feminist Fund.

Due to her accomplishments in the field of gender and sexuality, in 2019, the Netherlands Embassy honored and awarded Jordan as one of their 16 gender champions during the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. Ms. Chanetsa is also a performance artist, sound artist, writer and page poet. She was previously an artist in residence for the Participatory Residency Program in collaboration with Akademie Der Künste Der Welt (ADKDW), DEMASK, and Integrationshaus e.V.

IVLP Impact Award Project: How Queer!

How Queer was a project that focused on highlighting the importance of having hard conversations and ensuring that people have access to resources. The project addressed issues surrounding Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and LGBTQIA+ rights in Zimbabwe. The project included several activities including the creation of five episodes of an audio podcast featuring conversations with ten LGBTQIA+ individuals or allies as guests. By the time the project ended, there were more than 390 downloads of the podcast episodes across the different platforms, but the actual number of listeners is estimated to be much higher.

The project also launched an online caucus through the X app that centered around being LGBTQIA+ in Zimbabwe and was listened to by 370 people. It was also used to have conversations around access to CSE in Zimbabwe and how the lack of access had stifled the experiences of LGBTQIA+ Zimbabweans. The third phase of the project consisted of a three-part social media campaign that employed the use of comedy and satire to convey sex positive messages to Zimbabwean youth and attracted 553 views by the time the project ended. Through these activities, the project created a culture of freedom of expression in Zimbabwe and contributed to accessible resources for the LGBTQIA+ community and by extension the broader society in Zimbabwe.

Listen to the Podcast

"The podcast felt like a safe space, it gave us an open platform to be vulnerable and find closure with the stories we told and shared. I so definitely need to hear more of it because nothing is more comforting than stories for us by us." - Podcast Guest

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Jordan was a participant in the IVLP Project A Global Moment in Time- Reflections on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center.

Jordan's exchange experience led to the development of her IVLP Impact Award Project: "When we were in Cleveland, Ohio we got to visit the LGBTQIA+ Center and took a tour of their facility. While we were on the tour, we went into one of their rooms, and they had an afternoon program for LGBTQIA+ youth who just needed a safe space to be and just have company of those in their community. This really touched me as I would have loved to have a space like that when I was younger. Seeing those LGBTQIA+ youths existing in a safer environment prompted me to think of the younger generation of LGBTQIA+ persons that exist in my country. It prompted me to think of what can be done to make life easier for them and make information about life as an LGBTQIA+ person more accessible to them. This then inspired my project around creating more dialogue around the need for information amongst young people, especially vulnerable youths who lack information."

U.S. Communities Visited

San Francisco, CA; Washington, DC; Cleveland, OH

"I hope to create more room for conversations to be had about our experiences as LGBTQIA+ persons." - Jordan Chanetsa

Country: Zimbabwe

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