September 30, 2015 at 11:00 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
New group promotes engagement on global LGBT issues

Stephan Roth, Alturi, Angeline Jackson, Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, gay news, Washington Blade

From left: Stephan Roth, co-founder of Alturi, and Angeline Jackson, executive director of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, who will advise the organization. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

An organization that seeks to educate and engage people on global LGBT issues will officially launch on Wednesday during an event on Capitol Hill.

Alturi describes itself as an “online solution that enables individuals at all levels to take a stand against the violence and oppression facing the international LGBTI community and provide direct help for LGBTI advocates around the world.”

Its website contains news stories, interviews with advocates in countries around the world and analyses about LGBT-specific issues. Alturi also disseminates information about petitions, alerts and volunteer opportunities with advocacy groups around the world.

Stephan Roth, co-founder of the organization, told the Washington Blade on Tuesday during an interview in D.C. that the ultimate goal of including this information on the website is to encourage people to make donations to organizations in a specific country.

“What we wanted to do was create an organization that would really engage Americans on international LGBT issues,” he said.

The Kevin J. Mossier Foundation, which RSVP Vacations founder Kevin J. Mossier founded to support LGBT advocacy efforts in the U.S. and around the world, provided Alturi with its initial seed money.

Roth declined to tell the Blade how much money the foundation provided, but he noted Human Rights First and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice are among the organizations that have partnered with Alturi. U.S. Reps. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) are scheduled to attend the official launch on Capitol Hill alongside Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus Executive Director Roddy Flynn and several LGBT rights advocates.

“Ultimately it’s about connecting people to these organizations and then creating a channel to fund them and support them,” Roth told the Blade. “Americans can’t just write a check to an organization in Jamaica or Uganda. We work with these trusted partners that already have these funding relationships.”

Alturi has created two boards to help oversee the organization.

Fabrice Houdart of the World Bank, Latino Victory Project Director of Campaigns Martín Diego García and Dr. Chloe Schwenke of Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy are among the members of the organization’s executive board that will guide strategy, programs and fundraising efforts.

A second advisory board contains LGBT rights advocates from around the world.

Angeline Jackson, executive director of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, a group that advocates on behalf of lesbian and bisexual women and transgender Jamaicans, told the Blade on Tuesday that she decided to join the advisory board because Alturi is a “different” organization.

“Here’s an organization that’s not just saying we want to help international activists,” she said. “Here’s an organization saying we want to hear from international activists to help international activists.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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