Photo credit: Held in 2016, Astraea’s Kenya CommsLabs centered healing and sustainability as essential tools for movement building.
Astraea’s CommsLabs is a radical global movement-building initiative that equips LGBTQI activists with the tools, skills and knowledge they need to securely organize and advocate in online spaces. Through a series of regional or country-based convenings, each Lab connects local LGBTQI activists, trainers, healers and technologists in an effort to address the online and offline threats facing LGBTQI communities, and seize the opportunities technology presents.
CommsLabs is designed to equip activists with the holistic tools needed to increase their impact at a grassroots level, supported by a network of allied technologists and trainers. Through the Labs, LGBTQI activists develop the skills and strategies to effectively and safely exchange information and advocate for fundamental human rights. At the same time, CommsLabs is building a network of linked activists and technologists from the Global South and East working independently and together to foster the next generation of LGBTQI human rights advocacy.
To date, Astraea has held three CommsLabs convenings: Colombia in July 2014, which brought together 35 LGBTQI activists from Peru, Honduras, Ecuador and Colombia with 12 trainers; Kenya in November 2015, in which 30 activists from Kenya and South Africa and 15 trainers took part; and South Africa in July 2016, at which we hosted a similar cohort of 35 activists and 13 trainers in order to further develop projects from CommsLabs Kenya.
CommsLabs aims to catalyze innovation, supporting the development of critical advocacy and communications tools that can help fuel change.
Click one of the stories below to read more about the CommsLabs experience.