Supporting Community Visions of Safety and Justice for LGBTQ People

July 12, 2021

The latest grants in Arcus’ Social Justice Program focus on community initiatives to document and address violence and discrimination, protect and empower the most vulnerable, increase safety and inclusion, and organize and advocate for LGBTQ people and communities around the world.

Resourcing community self-determination
UHAI EASHRI and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice received multi-year funding to support groups strengthening LGBTQ safety, security, and community in East Africa and the Caribbean, respectively.

UHAI EASHRI is the first indigenous activist fund supporting the human rights of sexual and gender minorities and sex workers in Africa, with a staff, board, and peer grants committee drawn from the movements they support. Groups in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda will receive funding for anti-violence education; community programs to mitigate violence; advocacy to reduce prejudice and discrimination in healthcare, employment, and housing; and media and social-media campaigns to raise awareness about LGBTI issues and increase inclusion and acceptance.

Astraea, which has been supporting LGBTQ movements in the Caribbean for two decades, will use Arcus funds to continue this work. Funding will go to groups in Barbados, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago, with a focus on women-led organizations that are documenting rights violations, advocating for legal protections and equality, and organizing community initiatives to increase safety for LBTQ women.

Funding to the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico will bolster its work on behalf of transgender and gender-variant communities in the Southwestern U.S. state, one of the priority areas where Arcus funds. The Center provides a safe refuge and direct services, including food and legal assistance, while also educating public officials and others on trans issues, fighting discriminatory policies, and advocating for trans people as they navigate coming out at work and school.

Forward Together will continue to use Arcus’ support for organizing, advocacy, and public education on issues affecting women and LGBTQ people in New Mexico and Georgia. This multiracial community organization addresses issues ranging from ending medical discrimination to making communities safe from state and gender-based violence.

The intersex youth–driven organization interACT received a grant to fight the civil and human rights violations experienced by intersex children at the hands of medical professionals in the U.S. interACT is advocating for increased data collection on and protections for intersex people, who continue to be marginalized within the LGBTQ movement and harmed by the health care sector. This vulnerable community is also excluded from research and data collection, and faces discrimination in many aspects of their lives.

The Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative (SNaP Co.) will use funding to support emerging Black trans and queer leaders in Atlanta to organize and engage in strategic campaigns to advance community-based, non-carceral solutions for community safety.

Strengthening inclusive faith communities
The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM), a project of the Yvette A. Flunder Foundation, received continued support for advocacy and media work to create a faith movement that supports the rights of LGBTQ people in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. Led by LGBTQ people of faith, TFAM will use funding for the creation of a strategic plan; a leadership development program for LBTQ women; and networking, training, and engagement opportunities for activists, faith advocates, law enforcement, and media professionals.

A grant to the U.S.-based organization Faith in Public Life will help it continue championing social justice in faith spaces and engaging communities and leaders of faith to advocate for LGBTQ protections. Faith in Public Life’s growing base of 50,000 faith leaders is challenging harmful religious exclusion policies and promoting equality by training and mobilizing faith leaders to speak out in support of LGBTQ inclusion.

Working to defend rights, end violence and discrimination
The National Center for Lesbian Rights received funding to provide legal support to LGBTQ people in the U.S., including asylum seekers; engage in strategic litigation on a wide range of LGBTQ issues; support and defend bans on conversion therapy; and provide free LGBTQ-specific legal assistance through a helpline, among other initiatives.

To document and investigate violence and discrimination against LGBTI people in the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico, three years of support was awarded to an annual fellowship that places LGBTI advocates from the region at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The program provides a unique training experience for an LGBTI advocate at the core of the inter-American human rights system while dedicating a full-time position at IACHR to LGBTI issues.

The Honduran organization SOMOS CDC: LGBTI Center for Development and Cooperation received support to continue the work of a network of regional organizations who are training, protecting, and empowering LGBTI human rights defenders as they flee violence and migrate through Central America. SOMOS CDC and its partners in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua provide data on safe travel routes, advocate with officials, and work with the media to increase security and acceptance for LGBTI people and those who defend their rights.

Supporting LGBTQ youth
U.S.-based Point Source Youth received a grant for its work to end youth homelessness, which disproportionately affects LGBTQ people, through research, advocacy, and evidence-based interventions like host homes, direct cash transfers, and rental subsidies.

The Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network received funding to support LGBTQ youth of color organizing to increase safety and stop harassment and violence in schools across the United States.

Also receiving grants this funding cycle were:

Learn about all Arcus grants awarded since 2007.