Activists in Focus: Neish McLean of TransWave Jamaica and Equality for All Foundation Jamaica

Neish McLean is the HIV Coordinator and Project Manager at Equality for All Foundation Jamaica and Co-Founder of TransWave Jamaica, an organization that promotes transgender health and well-being.. As a TEACH Technical Advisor, Neish is working with MSMGF and IRGT to deliver high-quality trainings to trans-led organizations in his region.

Learn more about and apply for the upcoming TEACH Regional Learning Labs in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean 

MSMGF: Tell us about yourself.

Neish: I’m a multifaceted and committed human rights defender with a passion for trans activism and advocacy. Trans advocacy is very important to me and as such I’m heavily involved in training, networking with and advising stakeholders. Additionally, with the focus of TransWave Jamaica on an holistic approach to advocacy, we’re committed to creating programmes that seek to promote transgender health and well-being.

I live my work but I also believe in finding time to give back to self – to fill up so that you are whole enough to give to others. As such I try to be intentional with self-care by doing the things that help me to de-stress and maintain my resilience.

MSMGF: What attracted you to become a TEACH Technical Advisor?

Neish: I saw this as an opportunity to strengthen the capacity of trans led organizations across the region so that trans-led organizations and those  that support persons of trans experience are better able to sustain themselves, capitalize on funding opportunities and better meet the needs of the community.

I have the experience conducting trainings and leading workshops and thought I could bring that skill set to actively engage my community and participate in meaningful development.

MSMGF: In your experience, what is the biggest challenge facing trans-led organizations in your country or region?

Neish: The biggest challenge facing trans-led organizations in this region is the limited funding opportunities and the inability of many organizations to qualify for or successfully access grants.

MSMGF: What are you hoping to achieve at the upcoming TEACH Regional Lab – Latin America and the Caribbean?

Neish: I’m hoping to help organizations across the region maximize their potential and work through what their weaknesses are in order to strengthen their capacity to serve the trans community.

I’d also love to learn more about the work happening regionally and see how best we can all share best practices and mobilize resources to the benefit of our community.

Learn more about and apply for the upcoming TEACH Regional Learning Labs in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean 

Deadline for applications has been extended to  15 January 2018.