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Center for Human Rights - Celebrating 15 Years! Students • Partners • Research

Sarah Dreier Examines Support for Women’s & LGBTQ Rights in Christian Churches in Sub-Saharan Africa

A parade outside the Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia.
A parade outside the Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia.

October 12, 2017

I am honored to have been named the UW Center for Human Right’s 2017 Mack-Mayerfeld Fellow. This award has made an invaluable contribution to my dissertation research in three specific areas.

First, this grant award afforded me access to a variety of resources and networks that allowed me to strengthen and complete an article (“Renouncing Imperialism, Resisting Rights: African Churches’ Strategic Symbolic Resistance to LGBT Inclusion”) which was accepted in August 2017 for publication at International Studies Quarterly (ISQ). I have been invited to present this research as part of a new lecture series on global LGBT-rights movements at Drexel University during the 2017-18 academic year. In these ways, my UWCHR-funded research will contribute to both scholars’ and undergraduates’ understandings of the daily challenges and opportunities Africa’s sexual minorities face.

Second, this grant award covered transcription costs for original dissertation research interviews I conducted in 2015-16. In analyzing these now-transcribed interviews, I have extended and elaborated upon the ideas presented in the forthcoming ISQ article for my broader dissertation project.

Third, the remaining grant funds will offset costs I will incur while conducting interview- and archive-based dissertation research in London and Geneva, as described in my grant research proposal. I have made arrangements to conduct this research in December 2017/January 2018. I am happy to submit a follow-up summary report to the UWCHR in Winter 2018 to detail the results of this research. As a small token of my gratitude to the UWCHR community—and to Peter Mack and Jamie Mayerfeld in particular—I had the honor of thanking UWCHR by name in my ISQ acknowledgements. I will continue to do so in my future research publications and public lectures.