Arcus Winter Grantees Work for LGBTQ Equality Across the Globe

December 18, 2017

Advocating for the rights of LGBTQ persons across the globe and through a variety of channels is the goal of the grants in the winter Arcus Foundation portfolio. From working with transgender and intersex groups to faith leaders and regional organizations, organizations continue to fight to raise awareness and combat discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

Grantees such as the Astraea Foundation and Church World Service will be working with faith-based groups. The former, which is the recipient of several grants this cycle, will continue its Global Philanthropy Project, with a specific focus on donors and faith programs, in the context of increasing funding for LGBTI issues around the globe. The Church World Service will equip faith leaders with the skills they need to oppose discrimination, as well as to advocate for greater inclusion of LGBT refugees in Kenya and South Africa.

Other grantees, including Synergía – Initiatives for Human Rights, are focusing their efforts regionally. The organization will help strengthen human rights advocacy in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as West and Central Africa, to bring about national and regional policy change. Its work in Latin America and the Caribbean focuses on trans groups, as well as the adoption and implementation of measures recognizing gender identity in the Bahamas, El Salvador, and elsewhere. The European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association is also focusing its efforts regionally, as well as assisting with the capacity development of smaller grassroots LGBT rights groups in Eastern Europe.

Other grantees are focusing their social justice efforts in the United States on regional challenges. Southerners on New Ground provides a home for LGBTQ liberation across all lines of race, class, ability, age, culture, gender, and sexuality in the South, with the aim of transforming the region.  The Astraea Foundation received a grant for the LGBT Racial Justice Fund to provide financial and other resources to Southern organizing groups, to help improve the leadership and power of LGBTQ communities of color.  Also working on issues of race is the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, which enhances grassroots organizing and challenges homophobia and racism.

Transgender and intersex issues and equality are at the heart of the work of several grantees in the winter cycle.  The Astraea Foundation received one of its three grants to continue its work on the Intersex Human Rights Fund, which advocates to ensure the human rights, bodily autonomy, physical integrity, and self-determination of intersex people. GATE – Global Action for Trans* Equality works internationally on issues of gender identity and gender expression by defending human rights and supporting political organizing worldwide. GATE also collaborates with the Intersex Human Rights Fund to increase funding for the intersex movement.

Finally, several grantees are honing in on cultural and educational issues; Borealis Philanthropy  supports the leadership of LGBTQ young people organizing for change, and looks to the current and next generation, bringing from the margins to the center a “post-marriage” wing of the LGBT movement. National Public Radio is receiving support to cultivate the public will for LGBT protections, while the University of Washington (Department of Psychology Social Cognitive Development Lab) is supporting the first-ever longitudinal study of transgender and gender variant youth in the United States.

Other organizations receiving grants in this cycle are All Africa Theological Education by Extension and Pacific School of Religion.