Ricki is an Equality Officer within the Northern Ireland Civil Service and through her role in promoting Diversity & Inclusion for LGBT staff in the workplace, she won the Diversity and Inclusion Award at the NICS Awards in 2019. She is Stonewall UK's Trans Role Model of the Year for 2020, receiving this distinction for delivering support to Trans colleagues through launching a Trans Equality and Transitioning at Work Guide along with the Head of NICS. Outside of the workplace, Ricki has spent time engaging with trans youth who are experiencing homelessness within the community.
Accredited by the BACP, Dean has been working as an LGBT+ Co Cultural Counsellor for the Rainbow Project for the last 10 years and more recently has assumed co-management responsibilities of the counselling service and its growing team. Before joining Rainbow, Dean worked in various voluntary, education and health organisations concerned with mental health, learning disability, anti-racism and anti-sectarianism and also helped to establish the Northern Ireland Health and Social Services Interpreting Service. Under the umbrella of The Rainbow Project, Dean has founded G.E.G, a peer support group for LGBT+ people from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds and Outwrite, a Creative Writing Group for LGBT people. Dean has also collaborated across sectors to co-ordinate a 2018 Arts Council funded production So I Can Breathe This Air, highlighting experiences of LGBT Asylum Seekers to Northern Ireland and a regional Conference, Peace by Peace in 2019 which has forwarded the agenda and understanding of LGBT+ intersectionality in Northern Ireland.
Cara is from West Belfast and has a degree in Sociology and a masters degree in Gender Studies. Her main area of research is lesbian motherhood. Cara has many years experience in the community development field and has also taught Sociology, Social Policy and Gender studies at Queens University. Cara is mum of a son, lives in Belfast with her wife, dog and cat. In her spare time she loves to play guitar, harp, sing and read.
Adam is the Community Services Manager with Cara-Friend, one of the LGBTQ+ charities which provide services and support in Northern Ireland. Adam has been with Cara-Friend for over 10 years, having initially been a service user and a volunteer.
John is originally from Maghera, a small town in Northern Ireland. He currently lives in Belfast with his husband, three dogs and cat. John has worked for The Rainbow Project for 12 years and was one of the lead organisers of the Love Equality campaign for Equal Marriage in Northern Ireland. John has carried out research into LGBTQ+ peoples experiences of policing; rural LGBTQ+ experiences and older LGBTQ+ care needs. John has previously been a member of the Magherafelt and Belfast District Policing Partnerships.
Bio coming soon.
This panel in convened by The Rainbow Project and supported by METRO Charity.