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.
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,
Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), a day to honor and lift up the lives and memories of trans and gender non-conforming people who were taken from us due to anti-trans hate and violence.
Not only this day, but every day, we ask you to join us in grieving our beloveds.
Not only this day, but every day, we ask that you to join us in making a life-long commitment to keeping each other safe–our selves, our trans and gender non-conforming friends, family, neighbors, and community members.
Not only this day, but every day, we ask that you fill your heart with love and send it to each and every trans and gender non-conforming person of color, particularly trans women of color and explicitly, black trans women.
To those lives that were lost, your magic is felt and we honor you. In your absence your light persists within all of us. And in your memory we fight for justice and liberation so that one day we might all be free.
As we honor those who we’ve lost, we also encourage you to support the trans justice that exists today, in whatever way feels right to you. You can find a trans-led group in your local area and volunteer or donate to their work. You can find grassroots trans-led groups doing transformative work on our digital map here, or you can see a list of all of the 2018 TJFP grantees here and donate to them directly.
We’re giving away more than ever before to 182 trans-led grassroots groups!
For the past several months, the 2018 TJFP community grantmaking fellows spent hour after hour carefully reading and reviewing applications from 216 trans-led, grassroots groups and projects from around the country and were charged with the task of moving resources to trans communities across the country–this year, a record breaking 182 groups will be receiving a grant. As always, we are inspired by each and every application that was submitted.
We felt the overwhelming need our communities are experiencing and we know that oftentimes this work is happening with very little to no support. In May we reached our 50k fundraising goal, allowing us to give away $500,000 this year, but 182 groups is a lot of groups and suddenly $500,000 didn’t feel like that much anymore. Lucky for us and thanks to a few last-minute donors, we were able to increase our total grant money well past half a million dollars—all the way to $650,000!
It’s because of our amazing family, friends, and community that we were able to give so much money to so many incredible grassroots trans-justice groups. We are so excited to announce our 2018 Grantees!
***Please check out this year’s list of grantees below***
Transgender Leadership Council of Alaska, Ankorage
TKO Society Inc., Selma
Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition, North Little Rock
Center for Artistic Revolution, Little Rock
House of GG’s, Little Rock
Camp Born This Way, Tucson
Mariposas Sin Fronteras, Tucson
Peacework Medical, Phoenix
Southern Arizona Gender Alliance, Tucson
The Outlaw Project, Phoenix
Trans Queer Pueblo, Phoenix
Transcend Arizona, Paradise Valley
API Equality – Northern California (APIENC), San Francisco
API TransFusion, Oakland
Black LGBTQIA Migrant Project (BLMP), Oakland
Bloom: Transgender Community Healing Project, Union City
Dem Bois Inc.
Gender Illumination, Berkeley
Live It Fully Empowered, Long Beach
Los Angeles Queer Resistance, Los Angeles
North State Trans/GNC Project
Peacock Rebellion, Oakland
The Red Shades, Oakland
Trans and Nonbinary Housing Collective
Trans Student Educational Resources, Santa Cruz
Transfinite, San Francisco
Transgender Advocates for Justice and Accountability, San Francisco
TYES of the Pikes Peak Region
Transformative Freedom Fund, Denver
Arianna’s Center, Fort Lauderdale
Social Film Projects, North Miami
Trans Women in need of Services DBA TransInclusive Group, Pembroke Pines
TransSOCIAL, Inc., Miami
UC|CU’s TRANSART Artists Showcase & Conference, Miami Beach
Comunidad Estrella, Brookhaven
Freedom Overground, Atlanta
LaGender Inc., East Point
Sexual Liberation Collective, Decatur
Sisters Returning Home
Southern Fried Queer Pride, Atlanta
Trans Housing Atlanta Program, Inc., Atlanta
TRANScending Barriers Atlanta, Atlanta
Ka Aha Mahu, Honululu
America in Transition, Chicago
Brave Space Alliance, Chicago
Masjid al-Rabia, Chicago
RAD Remedy, Chicago
Upswing Advocates, Chicago
TREES, Inc., South Bend
Louisiana Trans AdvocatesBaton Rouge
Intentional Flow, New Orleans
Black Trans Love is Black Wealth Writing Retreat, Williamstown
Maryland Trans*Unity, Bethesda
Translatina DMV, Hyattsville
Sistas of the “T”, Baltimore
Maine Transgender Network, Portland
Portland Outright, Portland
Detroit REPRESENT!, Detroit
Ruth’s Apothecary, Detroit
Gender Reel, St. Paul
Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, Minneapolis
Queer Science, Minneapolis
Our Spot KC, Kansas City
Gabriella Rosé Justice Scholarship, Columbia
Metro Trans Umbrella Group, St. Louis
Mid Missouri Transgender Support, Jefferson City
Trans Queer Flat, St. Louis
Transformations KC, Kansas City
Transfuturism by The Justice Fleet, St. Louis
The Spectrum Center, Hattiesburg
Montana Two Spirit Society, Missoula
LGBTQ Youth for Gender Equity, Missoula
Asheville Transformers, Candler
House of Pentacles, Durham
NC Transgender Rapid Response Project, Asheville
The Clearing, Durham
Transcend Charlotte, Charlotte
Transgender Medical Resources and Provider Education
Tranzmission Prison Project, Asheville
Trans Collaborations Community Board, Lincoln
OutoftheBOXHub/Helpin’ Tranz Form U, Concord
OtherWise Engaged, Lawrenceville
Tertium Quid, Jersey City
Transwoman Empowerment Initiative, Albuquerque
Tres Soles, Albuquerque
Las Vegas TransPride, Las Vegas
Trans Pride Foundation Las Vegas
Transgender SOS, Las Vegas
All youth Inc., Lancaster
Black Trans Media, Brooklyn
Colectivo intercultural TRANSgrediendo / CITG, Jackson Heights
Hudson Valley Creative Trans Wellness Collective, Boiceville
No Labels Clothing Cooperative, Buffalo
NYC Trans Oral History Project, New York
QTPoC Mental Health, New York
Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, New York
Translatina Network, New York
Black Queer & Intersectional Columbus, Columbus
Heartland Trans Wellness Group, Cincinnati
Margie’s Hope, Akron
TransOhio, Inc., Columbus
Beyond These Walls, Portland
The Bridgewalkers Alliance, Portland
TransActive Gender Center, Portland
Black Excellence Collective, Philadelphia
Garden of Peace Project, Pittsburgh
Hearts On A Wire, Philadelphia
SisTers PGH, Homestead
The LGBT Center of Greater Reading, Reading
Trans Equity Project, Philadelphia
TransFamily of NWPA, Erie
Puerto Rico Trans Youth Coalition, San Juan
Semillas, San Juan
TGI Network of Rhode Island, Providence
Gender Benders, Piedmont
We Are Family, Charleston
Trans Action South Dakota, Sioux Falls
Bold & Beautiful, Memphis
Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, Nashville
Trans Empowerment Project, Knoxville
Black Transmen Inc, Carrollton
Black Transwomen Inc, Carrollton
Gender Infinity, Houston
Gender Portraits, Austin
Latinas Trans Austin, Austin
Latinas Trans Dallas, Dallas
Organizacion Latina Trans in Texas, Houston
Trans Legal Aid Clinic Harris County, Houston
Trans Pride Initiative, Dallas
Transform Houston, Houston
Transgender Veterans Support Group-Virginia, Richmond
Community Ele’te, Richmond
Lynchburg Transgender Alliance, Lynchburg
Nationz Foundation, Richmond
Transgender Assistance Program of Virginia, Virginia Beach
Green Mountain CrossroadsBrattleboro
Gender Justice League, Seattle
Heartspark Press, Olympia
Lavender Rights Project, Seattle
QTPOC Birthwerq Project, Seattle
Rad Care, Seattle
Stonewall Youth, Olympia
The #BlackTransPrayerBook, Seattle
The Transgender Language Primer, Burien
UTOPIA Seattle, Seattle
Center for Community Healing, Madison
Nelwat Ishkamewe, EarthStar
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.
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!