WHAT IS THE KALEIDOSCOPE YOUTH NETWORK?
Kaleidoscope is an umbrella organisation comprised of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTIA) student solidarity groups located at various tertiary education institutions across South Africa. Kaleidoscope aims to develop and implement strategies that seek to eradicate discrimination and hate crimes in all forms at tertiary institutions and in the broader community, and promote awareness and wellness.
Kaleidoscope operates through a highly interactive network of students leaders of LGBTIA societies, that carry out initiatives, raise issues, and spread awareness. A full list of the member organisations can be found on the Member Organisations page.
Kaleidoscope is governed by a small Executive Committee that sits for an elected period (currently a year), on the Committee, and guides decision making, strategy, implementation and administration.
The Kaleidoscope Network meets annually to network, engage in policy review, undergo workshops and elect a new Executive Committee. These Lekgotlas (meetings) are vital to the continuity and initiative of Kaleidoscope.
The Network is guided by a Charter and list of definitions, which can be accessed, below.
A little history
Kaleidoscope was born out of an idea a committee member of Activate Wits (the University of Witwatersrand LGBTIA society) had – for a meeting of LGBTI youth leaders. This was implemented in 2007. The first ever Youth LGBTI Lekgotla was held at the Johannesburg-based University of Witwatersrand.
Successive Lekgotlas followed – in 2008 at University of Rhodes, the second LGBTI Youth Leaders Lekgotla was made a reality, hosted by OUTRhodes. This was primarily facilitated by Vanessa Ludwig. A steering committee was elected that oversaw the birth of South Africa’s first LGBTIA youth umbrella body.
In 2009, Kaleidoscope was launched at the annual Lekgotla at the University of Cape Town. The organisation was chaired by Ms Gaby Sanchez, with a committee comprising Mr Walter Vice, Ms Philly Makwakwa, Mr Sekoetlane Jacob Phamodi, Ms Tish White and Mr Itumeleng M. Each team member played a vital role in bringing forward Kaleidoscope Youth Network for its first year – most notably in the national Candlelight Vigil campaign (see Campaigns).
The 2010 Lekgotla was held at the University of Pretoria, facilitated by Emily Craven. Initiatives carried out in 2011 thus far include the online TDOR, 16 Days and AIDS Day campaigns, National Visits, which provide hands-on support to all Kaleidoscope member organisations, and the #endh8 anti-hate-crimes youth project. The current Executive Committee can be viewed under the Contacting Kaleidoscope page. Our guiding Charter can be found here:
In 2011, under the leadership of National Convenor and Vice Convenors Anzio Jacobs and Tish White, Kaleidoscope booked a selection of nine youth leaders into a short course in LGBT studies at University of North West, and partnered with Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action and the Curriculum Development Programme in an Arts for Advocacy workshop with LGBT students at Wits, UJ and UNW, with great success. The Fifth National Youth Leaders Lekgotla was held in Potchefstroom in August 2011, under the guidance of 1 in 9's Emily Craven and CAL's Dawn Cavanagh, with input from Kaleidoscope alumni Zak Mbhele and an experienced psychologist. A Hate Crimes Report and Constitution were drafted out of the conversations, which will be posted here soon.