Empowering LGBTQ Leaders to Advance Progress

July 14, 2022

As the world continues its tenuous recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, new avenues and opportunities are emerging to advance the rights and safety of global LGBTQ communities. Even so, recent legislative and judicial setbacks for trans rights and reproductive justice in the U.S. make clear what advocates for social justice have long understood: Progress must be continuously pursued.

The latest grantee partners in Arcus’ Social Justice Program are working to ensure advocates on the forefront of movements to preserve and expand LGBTQ rights have the resources, connections, and support they need to amplify their voices, advocate for effective policy changes, and keep their communities safe.

Strengthening LGBTQ organizing and protections in Mexico and Central America
With international migrants now comprising 3.5 percent of the global population, Mexico serves an increasingly important role as a source, place of transit, and destination for millions of refugees and migrants. Yet LGBTQ members of the in-country migrant community are consistently pushed to the margins, facing disproportional violence and discrimination throughout their journey. Funding to Fundación Arcoíris por el Respeto a la Diversidad Sexual will strengthen a network of Mexican groups working to uplift the rights of LGBTQ people in migration through advocacy and data-based policy recommendations to the Mexican government, the Organization of American States, and the United Nations human rights system.

In Guatemala, trans women face high rates of violence as well as widespread discrimination in access to employment, education, and health services. The COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened these disparities, as 70 percent of women report experiencing acts of violence and lack of access to healthcare. Organización Trans Reinas de la Noche (OTRANS-RN) received funding to advance the political and social rights of trans Guatemalans through advocacy, leadership training, and community organizing. In its legal assistance work, OTRANS will also report on the violence and discrimination facing trans women to ensure advocates for trans rights across the country are equipped with the latest data.

Opening new avenues for LGBTQ acceptance and safety in the U.S.
As one of the largest and longest established LGBTQ organizations in the U.S., the National LGBTQ Task Force serves as a national leader in the continuing work to combat discriminatory policies and ensure equal protection for LGBTQ people no matter what state they live in. Funding for the Task Force will support work to advance LGBTQ rights in the U.S. South by empowering communities to build power through voter education and uplifting faith-based movements for equality and justice. The Task Force’s Queer the Vote initiative focuses on increasing the civic engagement of LGBTQ communities, while a growing network of faith-based organizations led by the organization is working to combat harmful narratives and increase understanding and support for LGBTQ communities.

Through high-quality public opinion polling, Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) keeps a finger on the pulse of U.S. public life and the ever-shifting role of religious, cultural, and societal values. A grant to PRRI supports work to fully understand Americans’ attitudes toward LGBTQ rights, reproductive justice, racial justice, and faith. The Institute’s American Values Atlas serves as an invaluable tool for journalists, scholars, activists, and clergy to better understand debates on many of the most pressing and divisive issues facing the country at the state level.

New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project (AVP) serves as the center of a nationwide network to create a future where LGBTQ and HIV-affected people can live free from violence. AVP received support to broaden the scope of its network to include social service providers working to prevent attacks against marginalized communities. Funding will also enable AVP to continue its crucial work to compile and analyze the latest data on hate crimes and anti-LGBTQ violence in the United States.

Also receiving a grant this funding cycle was:

Learn about all Arcus grants awarded since 2007.