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Award-winning academic selected for global training programme

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Published on 04 December 2020

Drew Dalton
Drew Dalton

Drew Dalton has been selected for the Global Rainbow Academy Training: Queering the Sustainable Development Goals’.

This is an eight-day training course this month, in which participants gain the knowledge and tools to understand the significance of, and utilise, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in advancing the rights of LGBTIQ persons.  

The Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Programme Leader MSc Inequality and Society, has significant industry experience in the Third Sector and education. He has been Chair of organisations as varied as highlighting LGBTQI+ histories and supporting LGBTQI+ Muslims. He is now currently the Founder and Chair of ReportOUT, a global SOGIESC (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Expression and Sexual Characteristics) human rights charity. He has also received a North East Equality Award 2016, in recognition for his work and research around HIV in the North East. 

Drew said: “I am delighted to be chosen for the Global Rainbow Training Academy. 

For many years, LGBTQI+ people have largely been left out of international development discussions and the agenda for international development has been deeply heteronormative. Furthermore, LGBTQI+ people have been left out of the UN Sustainable Development Goals due to the homo/bi/transphobia of other nation state governments in decision making at United Nations. However, times are changing and with the introduction of the UN SOGI Independent Expert, whose remit is to look at LGBTQI+ people across the United Nations, it is now more important than ever to start these discussions and to bring them to light. 

With this programme, we can now ensure that we have the tools and understanding of how to bring LGBTQI+ representation at the highest levels and within international development schemes going forward. This training course will also ensure that I can not only continue to campaign globally with a new toolkit, and to research global LGBTQI+ lives, but also to bring this into my teaching in my modules for BSc Sociology and MSc Inequality and Society.” 

The programmes objectives are to: 

  • Deepen the knowledge of LGBTIQ activists on the development framework, especially to recognise opportunities for engagement, identify stakeholders, and increase ability to use development language; 

  • Strengthen the capacity of LGBTIQ activists to engage with the Agenda 2030 and the SDG mechanisms – national, regional, and international; 

  • Create a space for discussion on the inclusion of LGBTIQ people in development. 


    The programme is normally held in a different European country each year and was due to be held in Serbia, but is going online due to Covid 19. 

    It is run by ‘RFSL,’ the Swedish organisation for LGBTIQ rights and ‘ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association’ (Western Balkans and Turkey). 

    Rajeeb Hossain Shakhawat (Training Programme Manager, RFSL), said: “As you can imagine, it was a challenging task to select only 20 participants out of an incredibly deserving and accomplished pool of applicants, but the selection committee was very impressed by your application. We are convinced that you will not only be an actively engaged participant for the duration of the program, but also take the training opportunity to continue to contribute to the global LGBTIQ movement. We are very happy and excited to have you on board.”