Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-06-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Legacy Project event features Ugandan activist
by Melissa Wasserman
2015-07-13

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Among the 30 bronze memorial markers featured on the rainbow pylons in Lakeview, Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato's plaque was paid special attention July 11 and 12. A part of its fifth-anniversary season celebration, The Legacy Project welcomed Ugandan LGBT activist Pepe-Julian Onziema to remember his friend and talk about the state of affairs for LGBT people in Uganda.

The two-part weekend celebration started with a welcoming meet-and-greet reception and fundraiser at the Sidetrack rooftop on July 11 and continued the next day with "Facing the Future," a program in remembrance of Kato at Center on Halsted. The program included the video "Last Week A Man Was…;" a word from Onziema, who served as the keynote speaker; and a panel discussion that was followed by a Q&A session. All proceeds benefited the Legacy Project Education Initiative.

Affinity Community Services Executive Director and Legacy Project board member Kim Hunt; Director of Operations for Planting Peace, Co-Creator and resident of Equality House Davis Hammet; Andy Thayer, of the Gay Liberation Network; John Ademola, of Chicago LGBT Asylum Support Program ( CLASP ); and Jenny Ansay, of the Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors sat on the panel with Onziema. WCPT Radio Host Wayne Besen provided opening remarks and was panel moderator, while Legacy Project Executive Director Victor Salvo made the closing remarks.

"[There were] a lot of diverse and different voices from different perspectives of the problem because there's not one simple way or one sentence that can describe the problem," said Hammet, who knew Onziema prior to the event. "This is incredibly complex. It will take many, many years [and] it will take many, many generations for us to conquer such a nasty hatred that's poisoned our society. The panel was exciting, but what's more exciting is to see everyday citizens come in and get engaged who will hopefully carry on this struggle into their own communities and spread the word."

"I'm happy about the other panelists because the things that I couldn't articulate the way the American audience would understand, they did, which I'm really happy about," Onziema said. "All the perspectives were things that I think about, things that I care about, so for them to be able to share and articulate those things was really important for me."

Currently residing in Washington, D.C., while he is participates in a fellowship under the National Endowment for Democracy, Onziema serves as the program director of advocacy for Sexual Minorities Uganda ( SMUG ) and has received numerous honors over the years.

July 9-13 was not only Onziema's first time visiting Chicago. It was also his first time seeing the Kato plaque, which he helped edit and was dedicated in the fall of 2014. Onziema's first look at the bronze dedication was featured in the program's video, which centered around Kato's life and death. The whole piece prompted an emotional response from Onziema, which he expressed during his speech. In a statement to Windy City Times, he recognized his response came from "that void—missing someone that you got very close to that was part of your day-to-day planning."

"Having this street that has all these rainbows and people walking down the street like there's no care in the world … like I love it here," Onziema said of seeing Halsted Street for the first time and the prominent rainbow flags. "If I was going directly to Uganda from here, Uganda would be in trouble because I'm so inspired and so rejuvenated. ... so I have this energy—the spirit I've received here just a couple of days. [If] I went back, I would be sharing the energy with my colleagues in office and would have renewed spirits."

"We [The Legacy Project] have no agenda personally, beyond simply connecting history to contemporary relevance and giving people a reason to embrace history," said Salvo. "But the truth of the matter is, we're living in the fall-out from the decisions that were made a generation ago. Everything we do today affects what our children will be doing in the future. This issue is much bigger than the United States and I personally believe LGBT people are the fulcrum upon which, in many ways, world history is going to tip because we are part of every family born anywhere in the world."

Onziema, during his keynote speech, also reflected on Kato and discussed the humanitarian crisis in Uganda. He also shared his own experience of coming out and identifying as transgender in the African country. Coming out at the age of 12 and beginning his activism at a young age, he explained he had the support an protection from his family the whole time, which was helpful in his activism. At the event, he said Uganda needs to stay on the radar.

"There are many people who are not knowledgeable and people who are actually ignorant of what's happening in Uganda, so it was important for me to shed a bit of light on that and the fact that my colleague, my comrade is hanging on your streets, you needed to know a bit of background about that," said Onziema, who is optimistic of change happening in Uganda during his lifetime. "That when you pass the plaque, you don't dismiss him and that you do not dismiss Uganda and I think it's just the beginning of information sharing with the community in Chicago. It's a beginning for support for the movement in Uganda or in Africa. I think it has been important for people to get information directly from someone who does grassroots work.

'It was a really exciting event and it was important to solidify David Kato's memory because this is someone who could've easily been forgotten in history, but someone whose contribution ended with his actual life and people who make that ultimate sacrifice should always be remembered," said Hammet. "It was great to see the community support this event."

For more information, visit LegacyProjectChicago.org .



The video playlist below contains multiple videos. Choose Playlist in the top left hand corner to watch videos out of order, if preferred.



facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Morrison and Preckwinkle host online LGBTQ health forum 2020-07-05 - Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison and Board President Toni Preckwinkle were joined by advocates from three local organizations for a conversation about LGBTQ ...


Gay News

Experts weigh impact of judiciary on LGBTQ rights 2020-07-02 - A panel consisting of prominent legal and public policy officials met June 23 to discuss recent developments in LGBTQ legal advocacy, particularly as ...


Gay News

LGBTQ activists, leaders respond to police meeting 2020-07-02 - A Chicago Police Department off-the-record Zoom meeting June 30 with hand-picked leaders from LGBTQ organizations and new CPD Superintendent David Brown resulted in ...


Gay News

State law takes effect to strengthen Illinois workplace non-discrimination 2020-07-01 - Illinois' foundational civil rights law will now protect more workers from discrimination as a new statute to strengthen the Illinois Human Rights Act's ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker issues Pride proclamation 2020-07-01 - On June 30, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker marked Pride Month with a statement of celebration. "Thanks to the tireless help of advocates and ...


Gay News

21st Ward holds own Pride event 2020-07-01 - Chicago's 21st Ward—an area on the city's South Side that includes neighborhoods such as parts of Auburn Gresham, Washington Heights, Gresham, Chatham and ...


Gay News

LETTER: The U.S. Census important to LGBTQ community political, economic power 2020-06-27 - We've all seen the messaging about the Census and many of us might just wonder whether completing it truly makes a difference. ...


Gay News

Lambda files suit over Trump anti-trans policies 2020-06-26 - Lambda Legal announced June 22 that it is suing the federal government over rollbacks the Trump administration announced June 12 to protections against ...


Gay News

Assistance available to businesses affected by civil unrest 2020-06-26 - Illinois businesses and residents affected by civil unrest on May 26 through June 8 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. ...


Gay News

NCLR celebrates five-year anniversary of Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality 2020-06-26 - WASHINGTON, DC — The National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) today joins with millions of LGBTQ people and allies in celebrating ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.