Long Walk to Conference

By Yolande Kwinana
In celebration of the Nelson Mandela International Day for Freedom, Justice, and Democracy on Monday, July 18, we honor the sacrifices the Nelson Mandela made for the sake of ensuring every person has their basic human rights. We are grateful for his leadership as a South African and as a world leader; the work that he did has provided organizations like NGLCC with a platform for its LGBT economic advocacy and supplier diversity initiatives in South Africa. 
Thanks to the work of Nelson Mandela and his colleagues at the African National Congress, South Africa has always been seen as the gateway into Africa, especially for democracy, freedom, and human rights, as it was the first country to include anti-discrimination laws in their constitution. NGLCC recently partnered with the Other Foundation to form the South African LGBTI Business Network that will facilitate, expand, and create opportunities for South African LGBT business owners and corporations looking to diversify their supplier base.
Recently, the Other Foundation hosted its second South African LGBTI Business Network Working Group, a project of The Other Foundation that promotes economic inclusion in Southern Africa with a focus on supplier diversity and the empowerment of disenfranchised LGBT business owners. The group met to discuss the future of the business network and solidify the structure from which they will operate. The network will soon release exciting projects that will create both national and international connections for LGBT businesses in South Africa and companies interested in establishing themselves in South Africa. 
A number of NGLCC Global Affiliates, including the Other Foundation and eight scholarship recipients who will be attending the 2016 International Business Conference, which will take place from August 23rd to 26th at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa in Palm Springs, California. NGLCC Global will be hosting three breakout sessions during the conference, including the session “Business without Borders” which will include a diverse panel of international experts who will discuss the unique circumstances for LGBT business owners in their respective countries and will share best practices for leveraging NGLCC’s registration. With existing NGLCC Global partnerships in four continents and growing, this is a session that will be beneficial to entrepreneurs, corporations, and business owners who are looking to expand their business or supplier diversity initiative. 
There has been an increasing interest in implementing international LGBT supplier diversity programs and attracting diverse suppliers overseas, and NGLCC Global hopes to answer some of these questions through “Going Global 2.0.” This corporate session intends to discuss among NGLCC corporate partners how corporations can maximize their benefit from the global marketplace through a panel of supplier diversity and procurement experts. 
Over the years NGLCC has had the opportunity to witness and in many cases lead change that has positively impacted the LGBT community around the world. NGLCC Global’s third session, “Developments in the International Arena,” is a session facilitated by Andrew Parks from one of NGLCC’s valued organizational partners, the Williams Institute. This session will discuss the progress of LGBT rights throughout the world, including a review of jurisdictions which recognize same-sex relationships and workplace discrimination. The Williams Institute has done exceptional work recently with acquiring and recording LGBT statistics and data and this will be a good opportunity for those who are interested in learning more about what they are doing.
NGLCC Global is expecting over 1000 attendees for conference this year so it is important for everyone interested in these sessions, and other informative and exciting sessions, to register as soon as possible. 

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