NYC Pride is pleased to present the Human Rights Conference in its fourth consecutive year from June 21 through June 23, and the Rally on Friday, June 25. The Human Rights Conference, NYC Pride’s annual symposium of transformative changemakers in the queer community, focuses on developing new ideas and approaches to activism and community. Over the course of the three days, guests will experience a virtual gathering of creators, changemakers, historians, influencers, artists, and storytellers to explore the many intersections of the LBGTQIA+ community’s continued fight for equity and justice. Following the Human Rights Conference later in the week, the Rally will bring together community activists, organizers, artists and more at a time when conversation, education and activism is needed most.

“This year’s events will touch on a wide variety of topics and subjects,” said Samantha Johnson, Event Manager for the Human Rights Conference and the Rally. “In particular, we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Native Son at this year’s Human Rights Conference to amplify the voices of queer/LGBTQIA+ black men in film, TV, and entertainment. In addition, we’re continuing our amplification of queer music with a spotlight on Trannilish and Ms. Boogie. We’re also expanding our partnership with Friedman Transgender Program by creating space for 3 days of health. ‘Health Track’ will reflect on NYC LGBTQ+ experiences with COVID-19 over the last year and its effect on the community, amidst evolving NYC and CDC guidelines as well as ongoing vaccine access and hesitancy concerns;.”

This year’s Human Rights Conference introduces a series of exclusive interactive Masterclasses, where guests join experts and tastemakers in the field of activism, fashion, culture, queer history, and more to share insight and expertise through live seminars. Powered by NYC Pride’s sponsors and community partners, these classes offer viewers a chance to learn and interact with presenters representing LGBTQIA+ excellence in their fields.

Following daily masterclasses, guests move to the conference’s Mainstage for panels on topics affecting the queer community- from queer BIPOC collective power, activism in nightlife, political representation, mental health, wellness, and much more. These speaker-facilitated, open conversations focus on driving dialogue and connecting communities around a particular topic rather than offering a structured presentation. Access to Mainstage digital content, including speaker-facilitated, open conversation that focuses on driving dialogue and connecting communities around a particular topic rather than offering a structured presentation, is available free of charge.

Also part of the Human Rights Conference will be the Advocating for Greater Acceptance: Visibility and Allyship for the Trans Community panel, presented by Mastercard. In celebration of LGBTQ Pride, Mastercard, partners and community members will come together for a powerful discussion on the progress that has been made in the transgender and non-binary community, as well as the outstanding issues and barriers that need to be addressed to enable individuals to embrace their true selves. During this dialogue, panelists will explore collective progress toward equality and acceptance for all, and the critical role that allies play.

Visits to the conference’s Artist Lounge afford viewers an intimate look at the works and process of queer creatives in literature, music, performance, and curation by inviting artists to discuss their work and impact firsthand. The conference culminates in a keynote address by a lauded innovator within the community.

The historic, virtual Rally on Friday, June 25, from 6PM on NYC Pride’s Facebook and YouTube will be hosted by Hope Giselle and Brandon Wolf, joining activists from across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum to Rally together and take a stand against violence towards our community.

“Pride is and always has been a protest — a demand from the LGBTQ community to be valued, affirmed, and treated with the dignity and respect we deserve,” said host Brandon Wolf. “As we prepare to mark five years since the tragedy at Pulse Nightclub and continue to bring awareness to violence against the transgender community, I am honored to be joining NYC Pride to lift up the voices that most need to be heard.”

Marquee speakers at this year’s Rally include a diversity of activists, organizers, artists and more. Nala Simone Toussaint, a Trans Afro-Caribbean model, activist, and healer with over seven years of experience, has created spaces for trans women, especially black and immigrants of color, to fully express themselves and dive into their divine power as women while promoting self-care and self-love. Alan Pelaez Lopez is a coastal AfroZapotec poet, installation, and adornment artist from Oaxaca, México. They are the author of Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien (The Operating System, 2020), a finalist for the 2020 International Latino Book Award, and to love and mourn in the age of displacement (Nomadic Press, 2020). Isis King is an American actress, model, and activist. While living at the Ali Forney Center for LGBTQ homeless youth in New York, she rose to fame as the first woman of transgender experience to compete on both the 11th and 17th (All-Star) cycles of America’s Next Top Model.

For more information about NYC Pride’s 2021 roster of events including the Human Rights Conference and the Rally, visit: www.nycpride.org.

Photo: @NYCPride
Photo: @NYCPride