Arcus Fall 2016 Grants Target Transgender Justice, Culture Change

October 12, 2016

Support for transgender communities is the focus of several major grants in the Arcus Foundation’s fall 2016 portfolio, following the establishment of the Global Trans Initiative, of which Arcus is a founding partner. The initiative seeks to redress the long-time shortage of philanthropic investment in transgender communities.

Funding to Borealis Philanthropy, with extensive experience in collaborative funding mechanisms, will enable the group to host the Fund for Trans Generations, providing grants to U.S.-based organizations led by and for trans people that take an intersectional approach to gender, racial, and economic justice. Borealis will respond to both urgent and longer-term needs of trans-focused organizations.

The Third Wave Fund—a national fund that supports young women, queer women, trans youth of color, and low-income youth working toward social justice—also received a grant to provide a rapid-response to the funding needs of grassroots groups within its target populations. Among its funding vehicles is the Flush Transphobia Fund, in response to “bathroom bills” and other laws that target LGBT communities, and the Mobilize Power Fund, which seeds community-solidarity efforts.

The Trans Justice Funding Project, another trans-led project that has quickly established deep roots within the wider trans movement, also received a grant to support dynamic, locally based trans-led groups focused on racial, economic, and immigrant justice and on ending violence. Working to secure the legal underpinnings of trans justice work, the Transgender Law Center received funding to support efforts at the local, state, and national levels to advance trans equality and protections.

To move the culture of the U.S. South toward greater acceptance of LGBT citizens, the North Carolina–based Freedom Center for Social Justice received funding to pursue faith-based campaigns to educate North Carolina citizens, policy makers, and business leaders about the harmful effects of the state’s anti-trans “bathroom bills” and to draw faith leaders into the influential Moral Mondays movement. The National LGBTQ Task Force, a long-time Arcus partner, received funding to create and reinforce bridges between the LGBT and faith communities and to continue expanding the reach of its annual Creating Change conference.

Three organizations plan to use grants to improve the climate for LGBT young people in schools. GLSEN, a flagship organization in this field, received funding to increase protections for LGBT youth through teacher education, research, and state and federal policy. California Rural Legal Assistance will increase inclusivity for LGBT youth in schools sin rural, low-income immigrant communities across California’s Central Valley. The Dolores C. Huerta Foundation received a grant to continue its LGBTQ Equality Coalition, which recruits, trains, and organizes youth, parents, and allies to enact youth protections in the Kern County, California, school district.

Ensuring the rights of LGBT refugees and migrants in crisis conditions throughout the world is the aim of a grant to Church World Service, which is working with international refugee organizations. Several organizations received funding to promote international LGBT human rights. A grant to the Astraea Foundation for Justice will support groups in China with their advocacy and social change work. The European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA Europe) will continue to support member groups’ advocacy projects to counter assaults on the human rights of LGBT people, especially in eastern and southern Europe, and Parliamentarians for Global Action will continue to engage members of parliaments worldwide, to improve their understanding of LGBT rights and their legal obligations.

A first grant to the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions, which works in 44 countries, is aimed at facilitating institutional culture change within government-appointed National Human Rights Institutions, particularly in Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Malawi, and Uganda.

Also receiving grants in this cycle were: Advocates for Informed Choice, Athlete Ally, Campus Pride, Child Trends, East African Documentary Film Fund, Equality Florida Institute, European Network on Religion and Belief, Freedom Sounds (Br[ache the Silence Campaign), GATE-Global Action for Trans* Equality), Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute, GetEqual Fund, History UnErased, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Making Gay History, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Victims of Crime, National Public Radio, Native Americans in Philanthropy, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, Other Sheep Africa, Our Fund, Political Research Associates, Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders, Solidaire Network, Stonewall Equality Limited, Southern Vision Alliance, The TransLatin@ Coalition, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, and UPO Gay Alliance Ukraine.