Oluwaremilekun Makinde

2022 IVLP Impact Award Project: Human Rights and Civic Education for LGBTQI+ Persons in NigeriaNigeria

Oluwaremilekun "Remi" Makinde is a feminist, activist and human rights lawyer with keen interest in sexual rights, grassroot LGBTQI+ movement building and inclusive advocacy. She works to promote and protect the rights of sexual minorities such as women and queer persons. While tactfully navigating cultural and religious differences, Remi supports such minorities through engagements with state institutions, stakeholders and international bodies. In July 2021, Remi was nominated for the International Visitor’s Leadership Program and also won a scholarship to attend a Strategic Advocacy and Litigation for LGBT Human Rights Defenders in Africa from the Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. Remi currently works at The Initiative For Equal Rights in July 2020 as both the Interim Executive Director and the Director for Human Rights. She has been a formidable strategist leading several projects while passionately working to help women and queer persons access justice in her community. Remi holds a Bachelor of Law degree from Babcock University and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2012.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Human Rights and Civic Education for LGBTQI+ Persons in Nigeria

The goal of this project was to increase capacity for political consciousness through civic education for LGBTQI+ persons in Nigeria. #Queeringpolitics was grassroots, civic education initiative that aimed to empower queer Nigerians with knowledge about their civic rights through community outreaches. This promoted higher civic engagement among Nigerian youths. The goal was to reach out to queer persons living in remote areas at the grassroot level, as they generally have little or no access to the information and thus, they require the knowledge the most. Remi’s project increased visibility of LGBTQ+ persons in Nigerian politics, increased capacity for local human rights remedies, and increased knowledge of political structures in Nigeria amongst young people.

After it ended, the team had reached 122 queer persons across 6 local governments and trained them on human and socio-economic rights in international law, regional mechanisms to enforce such rights, and the importance of participating in local elections.

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Remi was a participant in the IVLP Project Human Rights and Civic Engagement for Youth, organized by the U.S. Department of State and World Learning.

Remi's exchange experience led to the development of his IVLP Impact Award Project: "Change is possible when we build intentionally to mobilize for social change."

U.S. Communities Visited Virtually

Washington, DC; Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Columbia, SC

Country: Nigeria

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