Our hopes, our visions, our pathways will continue to lead us.
In these times of great difficulty TJFP is so honored to guided and carried by so many of you.
Our hearts are heavy and a fire rages in a deep place within our collective community as candles are lit to honor each precious life that is taken away from us at the hands of violence and discrimination.
Communities across the country and beyond are outraged and in mourning. In moments like this when we are heartbroken, devastated, and scared–we also know that all of us deserve to live full lives without fear of violence and death at nearly every turn. Today and everyday, we ask that you lift up yourselves, each other, and our beloveds.
Trans Justice NOW.
TJFP is so lucky to get to work with this amazing organizer and force of light! Úmi’s passion and excitement as she reads through this years applications, learning more about the breadth of trans justice work is EVERYTHING. Please welcome to the TJFP grant making team, Úmi Vera!
Úmi is a child of Tepehuan O’dami indigenous immigrant parents. She was born and raised half of her life in southeast L.A and currently resides in
the Pacific Northwest. With 15 years of organizing experience predominantly in policy advocacy in the intersections of migrant and trans/queer grassroots organizing, she joined Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement as the Campaign Director.
She has executive leadership experience and was most recently the End Profiling Legislative Campaign Director at Unite Oregon, a refugee and immigrant rights organization. There she co-created Resilient Connections, a support group and leadership program for trans/queer refugees and migrant new arrivals. Úmi is very passionate about her fellowship role at TJFP and she hopes to continue building with TJFP’s incredible network of trans lead movement building.
Thank you Úmi for joining the team!
A very warm welcome to Zakia McKensey to the TJFP 2019 Grantmaking Fellowship! Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Zakia is currently working extremely hard to carefully review hundreds of applications in preparation for our upcoming grantmaking meeting in June. We cannot wait to learn and grow from her leadership on this years team!
Zakia McKensey is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She has been an active member of the LGBTQ community. For many years Zakia was a national performer and pageant competitor. She is a former Miss Gay Black America, Miss Black National, Miss International Supermodel, Miss Godfrey’s and Miss Virginia Capitol Pride. She has worked for Fan Free Clinic where she was instrumental in creating the Transgender Clinic as well as Richmond City Health District, where she was a DIsease Intervention Specialist and also the 1st African American Transgender Women to ever work for the health distirct. October of 2015 she opened the Nationz Foundation a 501©3 organization that provides advocacy for transgender individuals as well as offering HIV/STI testing, Food Pantry, Emergency Housing and other supportive services to the Greater Richmond Metropolitan Area. Recently she aquired an RV to create a mobile testing unit to offer her services in communities where transportation is a barrier to access testing or safer sex items and food. Zakia also works for the Virginia Anti-Violence Project where she serves as the Transgender Advocate, assisting individuals who have experiences of violence. She was named a 2018 Outstanding Virginian, by Equality Virginia. Zakia was honored with a Firework Award by Virginia Pride in 2018. In her free time she enjoys time with family and friends, traveling, competing and attending pageants, cooking and spending time with her dog.
Yes Zakia, YESSSSS!
It’s that time of year again when we have the honor of introducing another fabulous grantmaking team.
Kicking off a series of introductions, we’re ecstatic to welcome Sammie Ablaza Wills to the 2019 TJFP Grantmaking Fellowship!
Sammie will join five other ground breaking, trans, non binary activists and organizers from across the country to select this years grantees.
Sammie is an enthusiastic queer, non-binary Pilipinx person with a vivid love for their chosen family, social justice, and grassroots
organizing. They currently serve as director of APIENC, a trans and queer Asian and Pacific Islander grassroots organization in the SF Bay Area. Sammie’s politic has come from witnessing xenophobia against their family, from fighting budget cuts to public schools, and from learning from queer Pilipino people in their communities. It’s from this that Sammie has worked to trained hundreds of young, queer, trans, Asian people to lead from values of abundance and interdependence. Sammie is dedicated to ethnic studies, racial justice, and environmental justice, working closely in groups such as Asians4BlackLives and Movement Generation. Sammie believes that anything can be turned into a chant and brought onto the streets (literally and emotionally). At all times, they strive to learn more about their ancestors, practice vulnerability, and share stories.
We can hardly wait to do this work with you Sammie!
“Sharing space with the other grantmaking fellows and hearing from people from rural Montana to communities in Hawaii helped to open my mind about how differently the work looks for people in different areas. Sometimes when you’re on the ground, it is easy to lose that perspective, and instead think, “This is what’s working for me and my girls in Detroit, so it should work for everyone, right?” But, no, it doesn’t always work like that. So when an application came in from a rural part of the country, it was important to hear from someone from that community. These conversations really helped me be more strategic and forward-thinking about who we were supporting and funding.” -Bré Anne Rivera
Each year we invite our talented Fellows to share their thoughts and experiences as grantmaking panelists in our “Letters From the Table” section of our annual report. Last year fall we were fortunate enough to get a chance to sit down with 2018 TJFP Fellow, Bré Anne Rivera to gain a better understanding of her experience reviewing over 200 applications and selecting grantees through a community-led process.
In her interview Bré bravely spoke from the heart, candidly sharing powerful reflections and recommendations for the funding world that we hope will resinate with you whether you’re a grassroots organizer, a funder or someone interested in trans justice and liberation.
Please check out this remarkable interview, Lessons on Being Bold!
I remember the first time I met Stephanie Mott. Soft spoken and kind. At that time she was the first out, trans activist from Topeka, Kansas I had ever met. Like so many trans warriors who organize statewide and in rural communities, she got in her car time after time, traveling mile after mile providing training after training in service of trans justice.
Having family roots in the Midwest and also in Kansas, I could envision the flat lands and highways she must have traveled along to make a difference wherever she could.
The Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project (K-STEP), an organization that Stephanie founded and served as the executive director was one of TJFP’s very first grantee’s in 2013. So it was a pleasure to invite Stephanie to be on the other side of our funding project by joining our 2105 community grant making panel. It was there that we were fortunate to get to know her better and learn more about her great love for her community.
In addition to being the Executive Director and President of K-STEP, she was also the Founder and Director of the Transgender Faith Tour. She had been a columnist for Liberty Press and a volunteer blogger for Huffington Post. Stephanie published more than 100 articles about being transgender, and as the Executive Director of K-STEP she participated in nearly 400 workshops and presentations related to gender identity in venues from college classrooms and mental health centers, to jails and prisons.
Additionally, Stephanie achieved a major accomplishment just last month by earning her certification as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She also served as the Vice Chair of Equality Kansas and chaired the LGBTQ caucus of the Kansas Democrats.
In 2017 article Stephanie wrote for the Huffington Post titled, Becoming A 60-Year-Old Transgender Activist, she wrote, “As an activist who found her activism later in life, I know there are many younger activists who have been doing this longer than I have. I also know when I started doing activism in Kansas, there were few transgender footsteps for me to follow. Today, there are many trans and gender non-conforming (TGNC) activists across the state. Their messages are changing hearts and minds wherever they raise their voices. It does my heart good to see this in ever-increasing numbers. I did not set out to become an activist. I simply knew I could not be silent in the face of oppression and marginalization. Then one day someone referred to me as an activist, and I realized it was true.”
On behalf of TJFP, we thank you Stephanie for your endless commitment to justice, your tenderness, compassion and generosity, and for finding the activist in yourself.
Your impact will continue to be felt and you will live on as our beloved trans ancestor.
With a tremendous amount of love and respect,
Is Your Group Eligible for a TJFP Grant?
*TJFP does not fund individuals.
*You do not need to be a 501c3 non-profit or have a fiscal sponsor to apply!
We are so excited to share our annual report with you!
With your help in 2018, we moved $650,000 to some of the most groundbreaking grassroots trans-led trans justice organizing work around the country.
Check out the 182 grantees, articles written by our community grantmaking fellows, infographics, photographs, and so much more!
This report is filled with groups and information you just can’t find anywhere else.
Please enjoy and feel free to share widely!
P.S. Your group still has time to apply for a 2019 TJFP grant! Application deadline is this Friday 2/15 at 12 midnight EST.
In 2018, TJFP gave 650,000 dollars to 182 trans-led grassroots groups across the country, and we hope to do it again in 2019! Please review the eligibility criteria and apply! Share widely and get your application in!
Is Your Group Eligible for a TJFP Grant?
TJFP does not fund individuals.
You do not need to be a 501c3 non-profit or have a fiscal sponsor to apply!