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Rights and Inequalities at the Intersection: Exploring Public Policies and the Lived Experiences of LGBTI+ People from Islamic Backgrounds in Catalonia

In the vibrant mosaic of Catalonia's diverse society, a pioneering project spearheaded by the University of Vic (UVic) seeks to illuminate the nuanced experiences of LGBTI+ individuals from Islamic contexts or origins. Entitled "Rights and Inequalities at the Intersection: Exploring Public Policies and the Lived Experiences of LGBTI+ People from Islamic Backgrounds in Catalonia," this initiative stands as a beacon of academic and practical exploration into the complex interplay of identity, culture, and rights. At the heart of this exploration is not just an academic curiosity but a profound commitment to understanding and addressing the unique challenges faced by LGBTI+ individuals in a region where multiple identities intersect, often complicating the path to equality and inclusion.

Kudwa, while not managing the project, plays a crucial and specialized role within this ambitious undertaking. Managed by UVic, the project itself spans an array of activities from extensive literature reviews and interviews with LGBTI+ individuals, to engaging with professionals involved in policy design and implementation. Its goals are broad yet deeply interconnected, aiming to analyze lived experiences, scrutinize public policies, and deepen theoretical and practical understanding of the intersections between LGBTI+ rights, racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia.

Within this vast landscape of research and advocacy, Kudwa's contribution is both targeted and impactful. As part of the Contrast Group—a collaborative body comprising entities with expertise in LGBTI+, migration, refugee issues, Muslim communities, and intersectionality—Kudwa's role is multifaceted. It will be led by Georges Azzi, senior expert advisor in strategy, capacity building, advocacy, and community mobilizing and LGBTIQ+ Advocate. It involves close collaboration with UVic, providing continuous monitoring and evaluation to ensure the project's activities align with established plans and deadlines. Kudwa is integral to the qualitative oversight of the project, engaging in the critical assessment of project designs, outcomes, and the development of participant recruitment strategies and interview guidelines. Moreover, Kudwa is tasked with the vital function of quality supervision throughout the project's duration. This entails participating in discussions, reflecting on project progress, and making necessary adjustments in collaboration with UVic and other group members. Kudwa's expertise is further leveraged in evaluating the project's impact, a process that encompasses reviewing feedback from session participants and contributing to the final evaluation report, thereby ensuring the project's outcomes resonate well beyond its immediate academic circles. Kudwa's engagement extends to facilitating and participating in roundtable discussions and debates, where the broader public is invited to engage with the complex issues at the heart of the project. Through these forums, Kudwa helps to foster a richer public discourse on LGBTI+ rights in the context of cultural, religious, and racial diversity, emphasizing the importance of inclusive and informed policy-making. In essence, Kudwa's involvement in this project exemplifies the critical role that specialized NGOs can play in supporting academic research with practical insights and on-the-ground experience. By contributing to the evaluation and monitoring aspects of the project, Kudwa not only enhances the project's rigor and relevance but also underscores the importance of collaborative efforts in advancing the rights and understanding of marginalized communities. Through this partnership, Kudwa and UVic illuminate the intersections of identity and inequality, paving the way for more inclusive and effective public policies.

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