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Ezra Abdullabekov

Vice President of the Board

Country of origin/assiciation:

Dagestan, Russia

Ezra is a gay asylee from Russia and represents the country's ethnic minority. He was born in the Republic of Dagestan and natively speaks the Ashtyn dialect of Dargwa language. He was forced to flee to the United States in 2017 after an unsuccessful coming out to his family.

He faced death threats and found himself unable to depend on the Russian government for protection. In 2016, during a vigil held before the U.S. Embassy In Moscow in memory of the victims of the shooting at a gay club in Orlando, he was detained by police and charged with gay-propaganda.  His and his partner Felix's coming out story inspired a widely viewed play, "Coming out of the closet," at Moscow's "Teatr.doc."

Before leaving the country, he worked for various independent news organizations. Currently an undergraduate at Columbia University, Ezra focuses his studies on sustainability, public health, and human rights. 

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