Departure note

From our Board of Directors…

The Board of ARC International has received and accepted Kim Vance-Mubanga’s resignation as Executive Director (effective March 27) with sadness and understanding. We are immensely sad to be losing Kim, our Co-founder in 2003, Co-director from then until 2015, and Executive Director since then. We understand that Kim is now seeking new challenges and new fields in which to apply her enormous skills and we support her fully in that.

From the very beginning, and over the 17 years since then, Kim has led ARC with distinction and commitment, first with John Fisher, her Co-director, and then solely as ED. She has brought her formidable skills to bear in that, especially her strategic leadership, her expertise and experience in political advocacy and network building, her organisational management abilities and, most of all, her immense knowledge of human rights generally and human rights in relation to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics specifically.

ARC has achieved a great deal over that time. I have no doubt that, without ARC, many of the gains made in the international human rights system for LGBTI people would not have been made or would not have been made so quickly. And equally without Kim, ARC would not have been able to make that great contribution. Kim’s personal achievements deserve to be known and acknowledged.

Kim’s departure is the most significant event in ARC’s history since its founding, but it will not mean the end of ARC. On the contrary, ARC will continue with new leadership, new visions and new energy. New members have recently joined the board to guide us through transition, and Kim will continue in an advisory capacity to the board to assist with transition. We will see this organisation continuing to make gains in many fields affecting the human rights of LGBTI people.

We wish you all the best Kim and we look forward to what is to come for ARC!
Chris Sidoti 
Board Chair, ARC International


From our outgoing Executive Director…

It’s been an amazing 17 years building ARC from a small project-driven organization with two Canadian-based Co-directors, to an effective international NGO with a team of staff and consultants over time based in Switzerland, India, Mexico, Germany, Brazil, New Zealand, USA, Saint Lucia and Argentina.

2015 was a pivotal year with the departure of my co-director John Fisher. I personally questioned how I could continue to guide ARC’s work without my Co-director/Co-founder and close friend. But there remained lots to do. We still had not realized our dream of seeing the UN create a dedicated mechanism on SOGI, and we wanted to ensure a review and expansion of the Yogyakarta Principles, especially to reflect new international legal protections for trans and intersex persons.

We built a new team, contributed to getting some big tasks done (a new IE SOGI, and the YP plus 10), explored new directions, and continued to be guided by, and work collaboratively with, our many partners around the globe. A little less than a year ago, I informed the board and key partners that I was feeling the time was right to retire and explore new directions. We invited partners to dialogue about what this could mean for ARC’s future, and were truly humbled by the feedback. There is clearly a needed role for a relatively small Canadian-based international NGO with a strong and effective history and solid partnerships established across the globe.

I have enjoyed this journey immensely. Working within these movements is much more than outcomes and professional connections. The realization of rights, that are our own to claim, is profound and forges passion, and debate, and friendships and yes, even love. Finding my husband in the midst of conferences and chaos, and having my ARC team and global movement friends bear witness to our union was an unforgettable moment and a true gift.

Observing (and contributing to) crumbling criminal laws, state apologies, UN agency campaigns, depathologization, and support at the UN state level from every regional group, was unimaginable in 2003 when we started this work. If we’ve been able to come this far in less than a generation, imagine what the future holds! I am leaving with a full heart and complete faith in our team and the capacity of our movements to “rise through the challenge”.

If you’d like to reach me after March, please use my personal email address:
kimberley.vance@gmail.com

In solidarity,
Kim Vance-Mubanga
Executive Director, ARC International