Opening Hearts Messaging.

As activists, we know what we are saying and what we want to say but do the audiences we are seeking to reach understand what we are saying? Have we built connections with them to enable them relate to our messages or are we just throwing around “if you know, you know” messages? Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) in collaboration with their regional partners Initiative for Equality and Non Discrimination (INEND) organized a three-day workshop for message development.

Through the support of Astraea Foundation, the Kenyan LGBT community developed a messaging guide called, Opening Hearts Messaging Guide for Activists and Allies. INEND was part of the initial group that developed the guide and SMUG finds the guide useful because the same forms of discrimination cut across the East African region and wishes to popularize it amongst other LGBTIQ organizations in the region.

The three-day workshop taught among other things the importance of audience specialization, platform specialization and intentional content creation. Participants understood the need for connection with audiences and the right language to use to achieve this. Through the various exercises given and the feedback sessions, participants grew a team of communication checkers and pledged to continue this feedback process even when they return to their respective organizations.

Hearts were indeed opened and we are going forth to open more hearts towards the realities of LGBTI+ Ugandans and what we can all do to make it a better place.