Advancing LGBTQ Social Justice Amid a Pandemic

July 2, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to profoundly shift life as everyone knows it, communities that were already experiencing injustice suffer disproportionately. Human rights work is needed now as much as ever.

In the face of ongoing global health and economic crises, Arcus’ latest Social Justice Program grants focus on sustaining support to core partners who are working to advance social justice for LGBTQ people on multiple fronts, from ending violence to understanding trends in public opinion, from litigation to faith-based work against discrimination.

The latest grants emphasize multi-year general operating support to offer the flexibility organizations need to respond to this unprecedented moment while committing to sustained funding over the longer term.

This quarter’s docket includes a four-year, $1 million grant to Fondo Semillas (Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer) to support grassroots lesbian and bisexual women’s groups, LGBTQI groups, and transgender groups working across the movement in Mexico. The funds will support their efforts in areas including policy change, shifting social norms, legal work around rights violations, and increasing access to services, while also promoting increased inclusion of LGBTQI organizations in the larger Mexican social justice movement.

Also in Mexico, Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida (GIRE) will develop an indigenous legal network that is accountable to LGBTQ communities, prioritizing cases relating to LGBTQ reproductive rights, legal recognition of gender identity, eradicating hate-based violence, parental rights, labor rights, and healthcare.

Faith in Public Life will continue its work championing social justice within U.S. faith communities. Its recent advocacy was key to blocking discriminatory policies based on “religious exemption” in Georgia.

Another faith-based group, Public Religion Research Institute, will keep supplying important LGBTQ acceptance data to the U.S. LGBTQ movement, its funders, the media, advocates, and policy makers. PRRI has completed more research on American attitudes toward LGBTQ rights than any other polling organization.

GSA Network will use support for efforts to end harassment and violence against LGBTQ youth in schools through leadership development and organizing led by young people of color, with a focus on the U.S. South. Point Source Youth will continue work to eliminate youth homelessness in the United States through interventions like rapid re-housing, safe host homes, and strengthening of family and kinship bonds, including among chosen family.

The New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project (AVP), the lead coordinator for the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), will continue empowering LGBTQ and HIV-affected people through organizing, education, counseling, and advocacy. AVP’s annual reports on hate violence and intimate partner violence provide critical data on violence affecting LGBTQ people in the United States.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights will keep advancing the civil and human rights of LGBTQ people in the U.S. through litigation, legislation, policy, and public education.

And the National LGBTQ Task Force will use support to help reimagine Creating Change—the foremost leadership and skills-building gathering for the LGBTQ movement in the U.S.—in the face of COVID-19.

To learn about all Arcus grants awarded since 2007, please explore this page.