Due to the stigma against homosexuals in his native country of Jamaica, Gareth Henry was forced to remain a closeted member of the LGBTQ community until he was 16 years old.
Shortly after his liberation, he started his activist work with Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) and the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexual and Gays (J-FLAG). His activism soon led to him becoming the new director of J-FLAG after the former co-founder and spokesman for the organization, Brain Williamson, was murdered. Gareth Henry then experienced a lot of heartache and trauma as he watched friends and supporters get systematically attacked and killed due to hate crimes perpetrated by the police.
Rather than allow the violence and hatred in Jamaica to eventually take his life, Gareth Henry fled to Canada to experience true freedom to be himself. He sought refugee protection and was eventually joined in Toronto by his mother, sister, and nieces. Gareth Henry continued his activism in Canada by volunteering with Rainbow Railroad and Toronto People with AIDS Foundation.
Henry now lives in Toronto with his fiancé, Patrick Suragdeen, who is also a native of Jamaica who fled due to persecution. Along with his activism, Henry is also an accomplished badminton player. He focuses the majority of his time and energy helping other Jamaican members of the LGBTQ community escape from violence and live the life of freedom he has come to know. In 2016 alone, Henry was able to help 60 refugees relocate to new countries through the efforts of Rainbow Railroad.
Learn more about Gareth Henry: https://soundcloud.com/garethhenrymusic
Patty Rocklage is an accomplished marriage and family therapist. She practices in Sudbury, Massachusetts where she lives with her husband Scott Rocklage. The best way to describe Patty Rocklage would be as a professional with a warm style of communication. Patty Rocklage is a Psychology graduate from the University of Southern California (USC) class of 81. She works with families, couples, and even individuals offering advice on their struggles in life. Her 20 years of experience has expanded her skills to include teaching, community outreach, coaching, team building and public speaking.
She is also very passionate about giving back to the community. She and her husband recently gifted the Massachusetts Institute of Technology a contribution that was used to renovate the nanotechnology and Nanochemistry lab spaces of the building. The reason they were so passionate about this particular project is because Scott Rocklage used the very same labs as he was conducting his Ph.D. research. He graduated from the university in 1982 having been taught by the Nobel Prize winner, Professor Richard R. Schrock.
After the renovation was complete, the couple visited the site and was given a tour by a professor and two of his students. Afterward, the ensemble gathered in the lab’s vestibule to view the plaque enacted to honor the couple and her resume.
Patty Rocklage is also very passionate about design. Recently, they renovated their house. The front façade was a problem and visitors struggled to find the front door when visiting. They also wanted the kitchen made part of the living space as it was very far removed from the family spaces. They got an ideal package from Sudbury Companies also known as Sudbury Kitchen and Baths. The project, spearheaded by Ed Freelander offered the best possible advice at minimum costs.
The project was carried out in winter which caused delays but the end result was worth the wait. The Sudbury Companies offered them an all season’s porch, knocked down the kitchen walls, retained the cabinets and tiles, and built a new driveway. They did this while still working around the jumbled heating by the previous constructors. Trees were replanted. The couple got a completely remodeled house at a minimum cost that was environmental friendly too and read full article.
Tyrant is a nasty word when you happen to be the founder of the New York City-based HRF or Human Rights Foundation.
Thor Halvorssen is quite the engaging activist, as witnessed by writer Matt Labash for the WeeklyStandard.com. In a recent article about Halvorssen, Labash noted that the principles of basic human rights and personal liberty are no-brainers. In other words, these two factors are the foundations from which everything else springs forward. There should never have to be any discussion about bartering this or that when it comes to people and their freedom, he bluntly states.
Thor Halvorssen comes from quite the fascinating background with politically active parents, as his father was thrown in a Venezuelan prison while discovering government corruption there as the country’s drug czar. Meantime, his Norwegian mother was shot at an anti-Hugo Chavez demonstration, and currently, Halvorssen’s cousin is behind bars as a political prisoner in Venezuela.
According to The Atlantic Halvorssen shows no mercy for those who enjoy tyranny and isn’t afraid to stand up to the corruption. He was allegedly beaten to a pulp in 2010, as he and a cameraman traveled to Ho Chi Minh City to sit down and record an interview with the patriarch of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, Thich Quang Do. His church had been banned, and Quang Do had been under house arrest for 28 years.
Following the interview, Vietnamese authorities caught Thor and beat him black and blue. He was arrested and detained and eventually released.
Thor Halvorssen has not been shy about his disdain for presidential candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. He had supported and believed that Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders would have been the best candidate, blasting Clinton for allegedly taking millions and millions of dollars from numerous dictatorships- Algeria, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Halvorssen founded the HRF in 2005 and considers himself a “classical liberal.”