Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality Inc.
At a 2015 Eastern Caribbean Litigation, Advocacy and Strategy meeting convened by United and Strong in Grenada, activists from organisations in the various islands called for the revamp or creation of a regional hub. Now identified as ECADE,
This builds on the shoulders of the previous network, the Caribbean HIV AIDS Partnership (CHAP).
Formed in May 2003 through the Caribbean regional HIV/AIDS programme of the USAID funded International HIV/AIDS Alliance. The CHAP worked closely with the Caribbean Regional Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (CRN+). Initially, MSM representatives from small islands in the Eastern Caribbean formed a peer network to support and develop HIV/AIDS work in the sub-region. This network was subsequently titled the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Partnership (CHAP). The CHAPs have encountered several barriers including legal restrictions to the registration of groups working with and for LGBTQI communities, discriminatory practices by state officers and a culture of intolerance.
An incarnation of this regional collaboration in August of 2011 saw a shift in programing from HIV to human rights related to sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression.
under Executive Director Kenita Placide, United and Strong, in 2011, staged the first regional training for the OECS CHAPs, and has since served to plan and implement at least one regional dialogue or capacity building engagement per year. The organization has successfully staged workshops on documentation, capacity building, security sensitization and media advocacy for civil society and the public sector in the eastern Caribbean.
Extending its work as the CariFLAGS EC hub, U&S increased outreach to, and among LGBTQI organisations, from the International Dialogue for LGBT Human Rights in 2012 to the 2015 representation at the UPR, 2016 engagement at the CSW and implementation of the Regional Security focal points training. It has also increased representation in regional and international spaces such as the Organization of American States, CARICOM Heads of Government meetings, and the United Nations and engaged in related discussions with regional state parties and civil society.
In 2015 United and Strong sought to give greater attention to meeting the needs of the local community, leaving a gap to be filled within the region.
The formation of the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE/ECA) is a direct consequence of the Grenada meeting. It will seek to meet the needs articulated by the representatives of LGBTQI community at this meeting inclusive of health and legislative reform.
Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE), was registered in Saint Lucia in 2015 and is recognised by the Ministry of Social Transformation, Local Government and Community Empowerment in Saint Lucia.