United Nations Religion Fellowship


United Nations Religion Fellowship

OutRight’s Religion Fellowship is a program created to train and work together with activists and Human Rights Defenders who are combating religiously based LGBTIQ phobia on the grassroots level. The program aims to add to their toolbox ways and entry points to do international advocacy at the United Nations headquarters level.


What is the OutRight Religion Fellowship?

The OutRight Religion Fellowship is a 12-month program that supports LGBTIQ human rights defenders from around the world to harness the New York-based United Nations system to add value to their existing work and work and learn with peers on strategies on combatting religiously-based LGBTIQphobia. Due to on-going restrictions caused by the COVID-19 health crisis, this year’s program will be completely virtual. The program is specifically designed to support existing work defending LGBTIQ people from the impact of religiously motivated violence and discrimination in the Caribbean, South America, West, Central and East Africa.


The goals of the UN Religion Fellowship are four-fold:

  1. Facilitate the use of online United Nations spaces for LGBTIQ activists from the Caribbean, South America and West/Central/East Africa to present and discuss their issues regarding religiously based homo and transphobia, enhance their networks and identify new entry points for progressing the protection and promotion of LGBTIQ human rights in their country.

  2. Increase visibility and engagement of LGBTIQ human rights defenders from the Global-South within high-level UN and related political forums, specifically in response to religiously-motivated homophobia and transphobia.

  3. Build the capacity of United Nations Agencies and State representatives in the human rights of LGBTIQ people to assist in the protection against violence and promotion of these rights at the international level.

  4. Strengthen relationships with networks that focus on combatting religiously motivated violence and discrimination against LGBTIQ people.

Why should you join?

The OutRight UN Fellowship is a 12-month advocacy training and mentorship program focused on the UN system and agencies that will be run from February 2021 – January 2022. The program offers you an exciting opportunity to learn about the UN how the UN mechanisms can be used for achieving your advocacy goals and meet people who work at the heart of international policy setting and implementation.

The Fellowship has an activity focus on the big meetings at the United Nations Headquarters, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, the High-Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN General Assembly High Level week, the most important week in international diplomacy in which most government leaders will gather in New York. 

In these activities you will meet and work with diplomats from missions from all over the world, key staff in UN agencies such as UN Women and UNDP, UN LGBT networks such as the UN Core Group and colleague activists working in the UN space. These engagements with a wide variety and diversity of stakeholders will without a doubt sharpen your advocacy skills!

You will be prepared for these meetings by OutRight´s UN team and additional resource persons such as diplomats working at the UN through trainings, workshops, discussions and regular mentorship meetings. All ins and outs of the system will be revealed in the 12-month Fellowship and you will learn and understand what is at stake for LGBTIQ people at this high level. 

Besides UN meetings, you will work and meet with about 30 other activists from around the globe in OutRight’s annual Week of UN Advocacy and OutRight’s OutSummit to gain more advocacy practice, be visible and the opportunity to be vocal about your advocacy demands. And if any additional advocacy opportunities arise during the time of the Fellowship, you will have the chance to engage with support and guidance from OutRight. 

Learning needs to go hand-in-hand with practice and during the Fellowship, with the support of mini-grants, you and your colleague Fellows will have the possibility to design and implement (joint) advocacy projects to combat religiously motivated LGBTIQphobia under guidance and with support from Outright staff. And as follow-up to the 12-month Fellowship, you will have the opportunity to develop and present your own advocacy project plan to continue or start a project. OutRight will be able to fund your project up to a maximum of 5,000 USD.


For the Fellowship opportunity to flourish and reach the goals set for the Fellowship, our Fellows are expected to dedicate time and energy to the Fellowship by attending in principle all activities such as trainings, monthly meetings and advocacy events as planned by OutRight and to participate in activities around communications including social media highlights during Fellowship activities, sessions and reflection blogs. To round off the Fellowship you will be requested to write a final individual reflection report highlighting your learning experiences and recommendations for future Fellows. Six months after the Fellowship we will ask you to participate in a follow up survey to measure the impact of the fellowship as part of the monitoring and evaluation of the program.



OutRight’s UN Religion Fellows should:

  • Reside and work in the Caribbean, South America, West/Central or East Africa

  • Can demonstrate an interest and track record in engagement and advocacy efforts in progressing LGBTIQ rights. Working on issues caused by or related to religiously based homo- or transphobia or the anti-gender movement is a plus.

  • Be available and committed to participate online in the high-level meetings in the United Nations calendar and other relevant advocacy meetings

  • Be fluent in written and spoken English

Experience working with the UN system, including UN agencies and human rights mechanisms, is NOT a pre-requisite for this Fellowship.

Women, trans, gender non-conforming, and intersex LGBTIQ human rights defenders are especially encouraged to apply.


Next Steps

If you are an LGBTIQ activist from the Caribbean or Sub-Saharan Africa and feel you or your organization will benefit from taking part in OutRight’s UN Fellowship, please fill out the questionnaire below.


Please fill out the questionnaire at: bit.ly/UN-fellowship-form

Applications are due by January 22nd 2021. The successful applications will be confirmed by 12 February 2021.

If you have any questions regarding this Fellowship, please contact Luíza Veado at lveado@outrightinternational.org