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Jun 20, 2018 19 tweets 22 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Hi, this is @Kimahli Powell. I’m the executive director of @RainbowRailroad, a Canadian-based international organization that helps #LGBTQ individuals facing persecution escape to safety. I’m doing an #HRCTwitterTakeover today to mark #WorldRefugeeDay. Kimahli Powell, Executive Director of Rainbow Railroad
In the spirit of and with homage to the Underground Railroad, the mission of the @RainbowRailroad is to help #LGBTQ people as they seek safe haven from violence, murder or persecution. — @Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover Rainbow Railroad
Let’s start with 3 terms:
⚫Migrant: Anyone who chooses to leave their country of origin;
⚫Asylum seeker: Anyone seeking international protection;
⚫Refugee: An official designation for individuals forced to flee their country of origin.
@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover
Our work at @RainbowRailroad includes helping these individuals locate safe houses in their home countries, providing funds to individuals in hiding, creating travel arrangements and counselling for people looking to flee their homes. —@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover
🚨Here’s the international situation: More than 70 countries around the world criminalize consensual same-sex intimacy. In just over half a dozen of those countries, same-sex intimacy is punishable with the death penalty. 🚨
@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover Criminalization Around the World
In Sept. 2017, at least 6 men were arrested for “promoting sexual deviancy” after waving a pride flag at a concert in Cairo. These arrests have led to a crackdown on the #LGBTQ community across Egypt. 🇪🇬 —@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover #WorldRefugeeDay…
Since then dozens of #LGBTQ people were arrested & held without charge. Members of Egypt’s parliament have proposed legislation to explicitly criminalize same-sex relations and even showing support for the community in any way.
@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover #WorldRefugeeDay Cairo concert
In early 2017 the world cried out when reports broke from Chechnya describing abductions, detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and deaths targeting more than 200 men suspected of being gay or bisexual.—@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover #WorldRefugeeDay…
Earlier this month, I was honored to join @HRC and a Chechen refugee in DC for meetings with the @WhiteHouse and @StateDept to address the urgent need to open the US border to survivors of these atrocities. —@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover #WorldRefugeeDay…
The Chechen refugee shared his story of being kidnapped from work, tortured in an abandoned building for weeks and forced to provide names of other gay men. —@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover #WorldRefugeeDay… #EyesOnChechnya
Last year we received more than 1,100 requests looking for help. Of those we resettled more than 200 people. Our work is about assessing the situation and determining where there are individuals at immediate risk who choose to leave. —@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover #WorldRefugeeDay Arrivals by country of origin
#LGBTQ refugees are particularly vulnerable to violence and abuse. Individuals are often referred to us by a local groups on the ground, like @EqualityJa in the Caribbean. Others find us on social media and reach out to us directly.
@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover #WorldRefugeeDay Demonstrators
Some countries are more tricky to navigate because we haven’t yet identified routes to safety. Most of the people we assist end up in Western Europe. About 15% of the #LGBTQ folks we work with end up in Canada.—@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover #WorldRefugeeDay…
A large part of what allowed intervention in Chechnya was the worldwide outrage. I want to see that same concern about the many other countries where LGBTQ people face persecution, like Indonesia, Tanzania, Turkey and too many more. —@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover #WorldRefugeeDay Protestor of Chechnya Violence
The work @RainbowRailroad does is like a triage. We can lead people to a place that’s safe, let them know what to do when they land and give them organizations that are safe in the country that they arrive to. —@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover #WorldRefugeeDay…
It’s vital that asylum seekers have support networks wherever they are resettled. These individuals are young, bright & full of potential, but they’re still getting used to understanding that they're safe & they can start a new life. —@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover #WorldRefugeeDay Toronto demonstration for Chechnya
While Canada has taken an international leadership role, it’s up to each of us to pitch in and keep pushing our governments to do more to help the most vulnerable among us. Canada has more work to do as well.
@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover #WorldRefugeeDay…
The Trump-Pence administration has cut the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. by half--and admitted even less. It is critical that governments adequately resettle refugees while recognizing the specific needs of #LGBTQ people.
@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover #WorldRefugeeDay
It's fitting that #WorldRefugeeDay falls during #PrideMonth. #LGBTQ asylum seekers are often forced to flee their home, family & country because of who they are and who they love. @RainbowRailroad is proud to work with @HRC to lift up these stories. —@Kimahli #HRCTwitterTakeover Rainbow Railroad in Washington D.C.

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Oct 6, 2018
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We’ve left nothing on the field in the fight to #StopKavanaugh.
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1/ Hi it’s @aijenpoo. I’m the director of @DomesticWorkers, co-director of @CaringAcrossGen and an organizer working for the #FamiliesBelongTogether campaign. I’m doing an #HRCTwitterTakeover to talk about Trump’s “zero tolerance" policy. — @aijenpoo Ai-jen Poo
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Those of us who love more than one sex/gender use many different labels, but we share a common experience: our presence makes people uncomfortable. Our very existence as #bisexual threatens heteronormativity and the gender binary. —@SaraRamirez #HRCTwitterTakeover
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