South Korea Human Rights – LGBTQI+ Advocacy Customized Exchange Program

In collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, Seoul, Meridian implemented the 2023 U.S. Study Tour on Human Rights – LGBTQI+ Advocacy.

This 10-day program was designed to empower 14 community activists and leaders from South Korea with the opportunity to examine legal, policy, and administrative frameworks and implementation strategies to advance LGBTQI+ rights in South Korea.

Through this program, these community leaders were able to enhance their understanding of the role of human and civil rights activists in policymaking at the national, state, and local levels in the US context. The study tour also examined strategies for advocacy through lobbying, media, and grassroots campaigns on behalf of the LGBTQI+ community.

This program intentionally targeted a cross-section of community leaders in law, journalism, the arts, research, and LGBTQI+ community organizations for a shared experience so that they could see first-hand how their counterparts work together to protect the legal and civil rights of marginalized populations. It also featured a variety of communities with varying levels of acceptance and support for LGBTQI+ individuals. The group was able to observe and benefit from a broad range of approaches, responses, strategies, challenges, and solutions.

Program Agenda
  • Beginning in Washington DC, the delegation explored the federal government framework of the First Amendment and learned about the history of civil rights and LGBTQI+ human rights advocacy in the United States.
  • The program proceeded on to Houston, TX, where the delegation met with various community-based organizations and examined their role in advancing LGBTQI+ human rights advocacy in socially restrictive and conservative civil spaces for marginalized and minority communities.
  • Finally, the delegation spent a day in San Diego at the InterPride Annual General Meeting & World Conference.

Project summary

South Korea Human Rights – LGBTQI+ Advocacy Customized Exchange Program | October 2023
Number of Visitors: 14
Regions: East Asia and Pacific
Countries: South Korea, United States
Impact Areas: Human and Civil Rights
Program Areas: Global Leadership