Sandra Moran is an advocate for LGBT, women's and Indigenous rights, an accomplished musician and, most recently, a politician. In 2015, Sandra made history as the first feminist and first openly gay Member of Congress to be elected in Guatemala. She is a member of the Convergence CPO-CRD party, which brings together feminists, students, farmers, as well as Indigenous peoples.
Sandra was forced to leave Guatemala during the 1980s, at the height of Guatemala’s Internal Armed Conflict, due to her involvement in student politics. In 1986, while in Nicaragua, she joined the revolutionary music group Kin Lalat, which used music to denounce state violence and to foster international solidarity with Guatemala. Members of the group eventually went to Canada as refugees, performing in the Maritimes in 1988. Today, Sandra continues to perform percussion and poetry, and in 2011 helped form the band “Centro-America Feminista,” made up of prominent women singer-songwriters from several Central American countries.
Sandra's work is rooted in a history of grassroots activism. She returned to Guatemala in 1994 and participated in the formation of the Women’s Sector, an alliance of 33 organizations and collectives throughout the country. She served as its coordinator for 13 years. In 1995, Sandra also founded the first lesbian collective in Guatemala- We Are Women. Sandra has been one of the most visible faces of the feminist movement, working to publicly denounce the impunity, fear and violence that is used as a political strategy to oppress Guatemalans struggling for social justice.
The purpose of the Southern Speakers Symposium Fund is to provide opportunities for Southern partners to dialogue with Atlantic Canadians on issues and demonstrate impact of efforts in international cooperation. ACIC recognizes that there is value added to the member’s work or additional public engagement opportunities that may have taken place in conjunction with the speaker’s participation in the ACIC symposium. One of ACIC’s goals is to increase the effectiveness of Canadian development partners by providing opportunities for members and other stakeholders to dialogue, share good practices and build capacity for effective sustainable development.