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!
By now you may have already learned of the most recent attack by the Trump administration on trans people and our communities.
“The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a government wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.”, according to the New York Times article featuring a draft memo leaked over the weekend.
For those of us who feel un-nerved and uneasy by this news, your fears come from a very real place and are valid.
For those of us who feel like this isn’t new news at all and are angry and exhausted, your feelings come from a very real place and are valid.
These are difficult messages to receive year after year.
And at the same time, we want to remind you that we have something they don’t. Even with all the resources, power, and commitment to illusions of power, we know what it means to be resilient. We know what it means to look after one another, to share, fight like hell, hold each other, and we know how to show up in ways they might never even dream of. We know the importance of that as a means to thrive and for survival.
In a statement from the Transgender Law Center,
Executive Director Kris Hiyashi writes, “The draft memo the NYT reported on this weekend, a document written by officials at HHS, is transparently a hate-motivated response to these victories. It attempts to rewrite years of progress achieved by advocates under the Obama administration. Here, written out plain, is their attempt to erase our very existence as transgender people. This memo reveals that this administration intends nothing short of our destruction…. To be clear: nothing this administration can do will undermine the scores of federal courts that have recognized our humanity and hundreds of state and local legal protections we’ve already won.”
We are being called to action again and again. Not just some of us, all of us.
If you can, please support trans led leadership in any way you can. From making a donation to volunteering to uplifting each other or sending a text to the people in your life who are on your mind… there are many ways we can organize and resist with love, justice, and each other at the center.
Here are 182 groups funded by TJFP this year alone who are out there, doing this work for us all every day.
To everyone one of you who live and breathe trans justice–however you’re able to, we are so thankful for you.
Gabriel Foster, Executive Director
Together, WE DID IT!
We’re so happy and proud to announce that we exceeded our fundraising goal and raised $50,922. This means, that once again we’ll be able to distribute $500,000.00 to our grantees this year! That’s half a million dollars supporting something truly invaluable–trans justice led by grassroots, trans leadership across the country.
Over 200 individuals donated, which is awe-inspiring and humbling. We can’t thank you enough for all your generosity and support! We truly couldn’t do this without you.
We are so excited to welcome Ezak Amaviska Perez to TJFP’s 2018 grantmaking team!
Ezak was born and raised in and around Los Angeles, CA. They are a Two Spirit, Hopi Native American and Latinx community organizer. They have been leading trainings locally in LA as well as nationally for the past 12+ years. He is currently the Organizational Director of Gender Justice LA (GJLA). GJLA is a member-based, grassroots social justice organization for and led by gender non-conforming, gender fluid, two spirit, questioning, and trans people of color in LA. He is currently helping to create the first Indigenous Pride LA and was recently honored by the Sons & Brothers Portrait Series for Native American heritage month. He’s a part of a party collective called THroz, creating pop up fun-draiser parties in LA. Ezak believes that self-care & community care are critical and essential to be able to do this work for the long haul. He loves spending time in nature and thrifting.
We can’t wait to build with you, Ezak!
“TJFP is something that I’m so excited to tell people about because I think a lot of people don’t know that this group exists–where you have trans people getting money and then deciding how can we support other trans organizations that are doing work.” – Peterson Toscano, Theatrical Performance Activist & TJFP Monthly Donor
In the words of monthly donor Nicole Myles, “Worlds don’t change from just one moment or movement.” Instead, as donor Harper Jean Tobin puts it, “we need many voices and many kinds of work.” As grassroots funders, we don’t give grants only to those who fit narrow ideas of success or worth. We want to fund as many groups as possible, so that all of these brilliant visions and voices have a chance to keep on growing, changing, and connecting.
- Your donation helps support trans justice groups focusing on local needs—groups that many mainstream foundations consider “too small” of an investment.
- Your donation helps support grassroots organizations that take risks—that try radical new tactics, that find ways to work outside pre-existing systems to support marginalized communities.
- Your donation reaches grantees with no strings attachedY–allowing these brilliant leaders and activists to do their work without worrying about anyone’s approval but the communities they serve.
As our six Community Grantmaking Fellows carefully review the 216 applications we received this year–more applications than we’ve ever received before!–we see creative, dynamic responses to anti-trans threats. We see groups responding to local, unique needs, led by trans people from those communities who understand the stakes best.
These folks need your support!
Be a part of raising $50,000 more so that we can distribute, in total, half a million dollars this year–half a million that will go to urgently needed trans justice work around the country. Donor Peterson Toscano puts it best, in the video you can watch below: “When I look at LGBTQ history, it’s always been the trans people, the gender non-conforming people, who’ve been on the front lines, who really stood up. And I wouldn’t have the freedoms I have today, if it wasn’t for trans folks doing that.”
Wherever you are, however much you give, you’ll be supporting the trans leadership that has always existed and shaped our movements!
Thank you Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez for saying “Yes!” to joining TJFP’s 2018 grantmaking team!
Isabel was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to Miami with their family at the age of 6. They began community organizing against deportations and for immigration reform in 2007 and have since become the Membership and Organizing Director and the Florida Immigrant Coalition. Isabel has a Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of South Florida and as a graduate student at the City University of New York, they published academic articles detailing the effects of legal status and marginalization on undocumented mothers and on immigrant adolescents in the transition to adulthood. From 2015 through 2016, they were the state coordinator of New York’s Mexican Initiative on Deferred Action. They also serve on the Board of Unite for a Fair Economy.
We are so excited to be able to share space and learn from you Isabel!
TJFP’s role is to support grassroots trans leadership across the country. If you wanna learn more about what trans leadership can look like, we invite to you to check out the video we made as part of TJFP’s From the Ground to the Sky tour that highlights the work our previous grantee, The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) .
TTPC educates and advocates on behalf of transgender related legislation at the Federal, State, and local levels. In this video, you’ll hear from Marisa Richmond, a founding member of TTPC, about what she see’s her role is in this social justice movement, and learn more about the work TTPC does and how this group was formed! You can also find them online here!
TTPC is just one of the nearly 300 grassroots trans-led groups that TJFP has funded over the past 5 years. Help TJFP continue to support trans justice by making a donation. Our goal is to raise $50k by 5/15–together we can make this happen!
We’re thrilled to welcome Shawn Reagor to TJFP’s 2018 grantmaking team!
Shawn was born and raised in Montana. He started getting involved in advocacy work while studying Chemistry at Carroll College. Since then he has facilitated multiple trans and nonbinary support groups across the state, spoken at major conferences, testified on the state and municipal levels, and has been featured in articles and videos. Shawn is the director for the Montana Gender Alliance and works at the Montana Human Rights Network. He has worked on campaigns to prevent anti trans bathroom bills from passing in two states and which includes serving as the campaign chair in Montana. Shawn is especially devoted to providing support and building community for trans and nonbinary folks living in rural areas. He coauthored a journal article examining the effects of living in rural areas on TGNC people’s wellness. In his free time, he enjoys camping with his wife, Kasandra, and cat, Copernicus.
We can’t wait to work with you Shawn!
In February we received 216 applications from across the country! That’s an outstanding amount of commitment for love and justice for our communities.
TJFP lovingly invites you to continue supporting trans justice and leadership with us! As always, ever dollar donated will go directly to our 2018 grantees.
Help us raise $50,000 before May 15th!
Together, this goal is possible. Please take a moment with our 2018 fundraising campaign
, learn more about our grantees, and check out what we’ve been up to over the past year!
From $1 to $50,000, there’s no donation too big or too small. Every dollar you give will go directly to this year’s grantees. Each year the trans community is faced with enormous challenges and we have to remain committed to each other and our people. Let’s raise some money!
TJFP is so excited to introduce the first of our six grantmaking fellows, Bré Anne Campbell!
Bré is a black woman of trans experience from Detroit, Michigan. She is the co-director of Trans Sistas of Color Project- Detroit, the first trans lead organization in Michigan dedicated to uplifting and impacting the lives of trans women of color living in the state. Bré is also very active in national HIV work, serving on the board of the Positive Women’s Network-USA and onto national advisory board of Positively Trans. She can be seen in the upcoming web series The Femme Queen Chronicles, a series written and produced by black trans women.
Looking forward to your brilliance!