Tag Archives: Trans Justice Funding Project

Happy Trans Awareness Week from TJFP!

Image: Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson

Happy Trans Awareness Week! Were you aware that…

– For every $100 awarded by U.S. foundations, only .04 cents supports transgender communities.

– In 2016, a survey of 455 trans justice groups across the globe found that only half of these groups had any paid staff at all–meaning that the rest are doing life-saving work with little to no compensation.

– Trans organizations often operate with very low budgets: three-quarters of our grantees in 2019 had annual budgets under $50,000, as did three-quarters of the groups worldwide from the survey above.

 

Are you also aware that…

– Trans community, trans activism, and trans leadership have persisted throughout time. Grassroots, BIPOC- and trans-led groups like STAR (co-founders Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson pictured above) have worked to feed, house, and care for our trans siblings for decades. Despite so many barriers to resources, we have fought with ferocity and love, and we will continue to do so!

– You can discover more about our amazing grantees through our website’s interactive map and lists of grantees from our 8 years of funding! No matter the political changes occurring on the national stage, the grassroots are where the effects will be felt–and where so much of the vital work will be done. Take a look at the work that’s happening in your area. We encourage you to donate, volunteer, or do what you can to support!

 

Sources:

Funders for LGBTQ Issues–2018 Tracking Report

American Jewish World Service, Astraea, and Global Action for Trans Equality–The State of Trans Organizing, 2nd Edition

Trans Justice Funding Project–2019 Annual Report

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Young, Gifted, and Black: We Fight Back!

Artwork by Glori Tuitt, @glorifice_

Beloved Community, Family, and Friends, 

It would be impossible for us as grantmakers to ignore what’s happening in the United States right now. There is no way to overstate how vital Black trans lives have been to the Trans Justice Funding Project, to the grassroots trans organizers we serve, to the trans justice movement as a whole. Unequivocally, absolutely, Black Lives Matter!

TJFP is a Black, Brown, and Indigenous-led organization that has continuously prioritized moving resources across the country to support Black trans groups and organizations, while centering their experiences and leadership. It is an honor and a moral duty to do so.

It’s notable that over the past several days there have been endless conversations and messaging discrediting activists and protestors, which avoids addressing the real conversation at hand, state sanctioned anti-black violence carried out by police. This is a tactic to sway us away from focusing on accountability and it is unacceptable. The systems that are literally killing us must be dismantled. And they must be defunded.

At TJFP we believe there is no world in which trans liberation can occur without racial justice. There cannot be Pride for a few when there is violence, repression, and injustice for so many. Some of us owe our very existence to the visions, strategies, and radical courage of organizers of the past and today. 

We must honor this legacy and support Black trans leaders to lead, to organize, to envision, as they build a better tomorrow for us all. So many of the groups we fund are made up of trans people of color working within their local communities, providing direct services and resources to cover gaps or repair harms inflicted by state systems like the police. Trans justice looks like transformative justice, like gender justice, like prison abolition and anti-policing work, like disability justice, like economic justice, like solidarity with racial justice organizations, like Black trans leadership leading the way. 

We protect us. These systems were not designed with the intention of our freedom. And protection was never meant for us, not in a nation built on the oppression of Black people on stolen land. We see the need, year after year, read it in application after application, the impact of militarization, surveillance, and policing on Black bodies, on Black trans bodies, on trans bodies of color across the nation. Tony McDade. Nina Pop. Layleen Polanco Xtravaganza. And countless others, casualties of a system that values property and “business as usual” over justice, dignity, and human life.

To the Black leaders who are doing this work, thank you. Thank you for your time and your energy, your brilliance and your strength, your anger and your love. Thank you for being Black excellence in all the ways you may not even realize. Please survive this in any way you can.  To the rest of our TJFP family, we encourage you to find Black-led organizations in your area to consider funding them directly. Our interactive map and our lists of grantees can tell you more about trans-led organizations in your area to aid you in your research.

 

In love and solidarity, 

The staff at TJFP 

 

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Introducing 2020 TJFP Community Grantmaking Fellow, Emmett Schelling!

We’re thrilled to introduce our sixth and final Community Grantmaking Fellow, Emmett Schelling!

Emmett is a South Korean trans immigrant by way of foreign adoption who leads the largest statewide trans led advocacy org in Texas. While his primary focus of work is on trans issues, his passion and understanding that individuals at their wholest and fullest are not impacted by single issues, but rather a myriad of issues that often manifest themselves in oppression and marginalization.

Before entering into movement/nonprofit work he came from corporate management after studying Business Management and Marketing in college. He felt compelled to invest deeper into the ongoing work towards collective liberation of trans folks after taking on various levels of community organizing and engagement combined with a series of eye opening events that pulled him into the work he currently does.

As well as currently serving as the Executive Director of Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) Emmett serves on the Community Council for Transform Houston, is a board member of Deeds Not Words, is a Co-Director for the TransFORWARD, a statewide trans powered research collective in Texas.

We can’t wait to build with you Emmett!

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Introducing 2020 TJFP Community Grantmaking Fellow, Christopher Cuevas!

TJFP is so excited to introduce the second of our six Community Grantmaking Fellows, Christopher Cuevas!

Christopher Cuevas is the Executive Director of QLatinx and provides vision, energy, and leadership in the fulfillment of the mission and vision of the organization, working to advance the visibility of and empower LGBTQ+ Latinx communities and create spaces that foster growth and healing.

A lifelong peace practitioner, educator, and community organizer, Christopher leads their work for cultural transformation by centering the unapologetic and unwavering power of radical love. A child of undocumented immigrants and a queer person of color, Christopher interconnects their lived experience and drives the necessary heart work of building a culture of peace, compassion, and change through advocating for LGBTQ+, immigrant, and racial justice movements.

Through their work with state, national, and transnationally recognized initiatives and organizations, Christopher has led conversations and facilitated education campaigns specifically addressing structural racism, health equity, and LGBTQ+ issues.

Thank you for saying YES to joining TJFP’s community grantmaking team this year!

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Behind the Scenes: Thank you to our 2019 Grantmaking Coordination Team!

Coming off of a very full grantmaking weekend of trans justice in action, we’re feeling extremely grateful for every applicant, grantee, grantmaking Fellow, and the behind the scenes team who’s been holding it down over the last several months.

The Trans Justice Funding Project is cared for, tended to, and loved by some of the most incredible humans, including many of you!

We want to extend an extra special thank you to our fabulous team of contracted coordinators as they onboard, trained, and cheered on this years Fellows, coordinated countless logistics, and facilitated the heck our seventh grantmaking panel.  We are so lucky we got to work with these folks as they are some of the most talented organizers on the planet! They made community-led grantmaking look eassssssy!  (And it’s not!)

 

Cathy Kapua, Community Grantmaking Fellowship Coordinator

Cathy has worked with the transgender community since 2003, first starting off as a Peer Educator at Kulia Na Mamo, then eventually moving on to become the Transgender Service Manager at the Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center. Cathy is proud of her academic accomplishments in the University of Hawaii- West Oahu where she received a B.S. in Public Administration and continues to use these skills to help her Native Hawaiian community. She has been successful in advocating for transgender programming and providing culturally competency trainings throughout the nation but prides herself mainly on being a role model for younger transgender women in Hawai`i.

Cristina Herrera, Community Grantmaking Meeting Coordinator

Cristina founded the Translatina Network back in 2007, in order to organize and empower the transgender immigrant community through leadership development and education. Over the years she has served on countless panels, committees, and boards in order to provide expertise on effective HIV prevention and community organizing. Cristina has been presented with awards and recognition by NYC DOH, The AIDS Institute, City Council , the Queens Borough President and many organizations.

Cristina was formerly the Trans Program Coordinator at the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center), where she worked for eleven years. She oversaw the workforce development program that is specifically designed to meet the needs of the TGNC community. She has been working in the field of HIV prevention, advocacy and community organizing for almost 20 years.

Glo Ross, TJFP Community Grantmaking Facilitator

Glo Ross is originally from Los Angeles, CA and currently lives in Atlanta, GA. As a full-time gender-queer lover of all animals and the earth, Glo is committed to building the world we all deserve to live in by organizing power in our communities and actively practicing compassion for all beings day to day. Currently, Glo works in the public sector as a policy analyst on environmental issues. In previous lives, Glo directed campaigns at FIERCE! to build power among LGBTQ youth of color in New York City, has helped lead anti-police brutality organizing in Atlanta, and has facilitated numerous youth organizing trainings for college students across the country. In the past eight years, Glo has also supported community-based organizing strategy through technical assistance and issue research. When not facilitating or conducting research, you can find Glo hiking with their pups (two lovable rescued pit bulls), trying out a new vegan recipe, or road-tripping to the beach.

Nico Amador, TJFP Community Grantmaking Facilitator

Nico Amador grew up in California and is now a trainer, organizer and writer based in Philadelphia. Nico got his start as a trainer working with
youth around issues of oppression and leading workshops on the impacts of militarism and the prison industrial complex on people of color. As part of the Fellowship of Reconciliation’s Nonviolent Youth Collective, Nico helped to train volunteers preparing to do human rights work in Colombia, led week-long retreats on nonviolence and social justice, and organized a California arts and education tour.

As part of Training for Change, Nico has led workshops in the US, Canada and Europe for groups such as Choice USA, Iraq Veterans Against the War, the Energy Action Coalition, Greenpeace, the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Earth Quaker Action Team, the New Sanctuary Movement, Prometheus Radio Project, and the Diverse City Fund.

Nico is also an experienced community organizer who has participated in grassroots efforts for prison abolition, urban farming, and keeping casinos out of residential neighborhoods. Most recently he led a campaign that successfully changed a policy that was causing harassment of transgender riders on Philadelphia’s public transportation system.

He has authored articles such as “Lessons from the Borders: Empowering Participants with Disabilities and Transgender Participants” and “Into the Streets! Training as a Tactic” and has published poetry in a few small journals and anthologies.

 

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More than Magic: Seven Years of Funding Trans Justice

TJFP is a small funding project built and powered by a lot of community love, sweat, and tears. And yes, there is magic in this work, but what really gets us going each and every day is YOU–our beloved and powerful grantees and applicants, donors, staff, volunteers, family, and friends.

“Our fight and our resilience is a testimony that it gets better, not because we pray it so, but because we fight like hell to make it so!” —Everette Renee Thompson, 2018 Community Grantmaking Fellow

Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of working with 42 of the most brilliant trans justice activists and organizers around the country as part of our annual grantmaking panels. We’ve received 1,118 applications from some of the most radical and visionary grassroots, trans-led groups creating spaces and systems of care for our community.

Please enjoy this video we created to share some of the behind the scenes magic with you. You may even see some familiar faces!

Here’s to seven years of trans leadership and justice in action! We can’t do this work without you, so wherever you are–thank you for being part of the magic and brilliance of our trans justice movements.

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And Now.. Introducing our Sixth and Final 2019 TJFP Grantmaking Fellow, Micky B!

Completing the 2019 Community Grantmaking Fellowship team is the extraordinary Micky B!  Having been long time fans of Micky B’s work and ongoing commitment to trans justice, particularly in the South, we were floored when she agreed to join us.  Please help us celebrate all of our 2019 Fellows who over the past several months have been working harder then you might ever imagine.

Right now we’re just a few days away from hosting this awesome panel in New York who will be meeting all weekend long making final funding decisions! Stay tuned for more!

But for now, we’re pleased to introduce you to Micky B!

Micky B is a Black Trans Woman using cultural organizing to build the political leadership of Trans/GNC leaders across the South. Though a German born Army brat, Micky descends from the 1st free Black welders in Southwest Georgia. Her political development was grown through a village of white feminist lesbians, Black trans women, & HIV-positive Black gay men. Since 2015, Micky B co-founded & continues to curate “Southern Fried Queer Pride” (SFQP), a DIY art education non-profit and week long queer art festival. Through SFQP, she explores the nuanced intersections of queer performance art, installation, and film.

Micky has organized trans communities across the South as the 1st lead of the TLC@SONG program, where she co-organized against HB2 in NC, held a TGNC leadership convening in Nashville, TN, and organized a listening tour across the region. Currently, Micky works as the “Organizing Program Associate” for the Transgender Law Center, serves on committees funding trans-lead movement work, and trains organizations with the SUSTAIN Wellbeing COMPASS Center.

Micky is a proud member of the Pioneering House of Ultra Omni, member of Southerners On New Ground, graduate of the 2017 Sojourner Truth Leadership Circle, and 2018 Atlanta Pride Grand Marshal.

Micky B is a proud bisexual mama living and loving in Atlanta, GA. She loves fried vegetarian cuisine after a long day of voguing in resistance to the police state.

 

We can’t wait to be in your presence Micky B!

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Visibility and Self Care PSA with Lachlan Watson!

“If you don’t know Lachlan Watson yet, it’s time to start paying attention, because the 18-year-old actor is on the brink of their biggest year yet. Watson, who plays Theo on Netflix’s teen drama Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, just partnered with Unilever for the brand’s latest initiative, United We Stand. The campaign pairs six grassroots, non-governmental organizations with LGBTQ+ voices and allies to raise a
wareness about the lack of accessibility of beauty products in the queer community.”

A huge thank you Tourmaline for helping make this opportunity happen and for filming such beautiful PSA stories! We’re so honored you chose us! And to Lachlan Watson and Schmidt’s Naturals, a super huge thanks you for partnering with us and supporting the work of TJFP!
Check out the full article here!

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Shouting out to our fourth 2019 TJFP Grantmaking Fellow, Priyank Jindal!

In a couple of weeks our panel of outstanding grantmaking Fellows will soon arrive in New York ready and eager to select and award this year’s grantees. This is something we work towards all year long.  Please join us in welcoming another TJFP Fellow and incredible organizer, Priaynk Jindal!

Priyank is a longtime transsexual, part time amateur Muay Thai fighter. They are also a member of LeftRootsa national formation of Left social movement organizers and activists who want to connect grassroots struggles to a strategy to win liberation for all people and the planet and a nurse practitioner living in Philadelphia, PA.  They love accessories, a gorgeous braid and fighting to end heteropatriarchy and racial capitalism.

Priyank has been engaged in liberation work for decades and we’re elated they said yes to joining the team.  We’re counting down the days till we get to learn from their experience and wisdom in person!

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Give it up for TJFP 2019 Grantmaking Fellow, Zakia McKensey!

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!

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