For the Press

Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Funding Queerly Giving Circle Together Invest $120,000 in Cutting Edge Grants

For Immediate Release

July 24, 2014

Contact: Zavé Martohardjono

Senior Media Communications Officer, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, 212.529.6144


New York, NY: Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (Astraea) partners with the Funding Queerly Giving Circle to award $120,000 to 12 grassroots organizations working to achieve full equality and inclusion for the LGBTQI community. 

Funding Queerly, a group of LGBTQI funders under 40, and Astraea teamed up to address the dire lack of resources available for LGBTQI people of color-led community organizing groups in the U.S. These groups are doing critical work to address the root causes of injustice facing LGBTQI people, yet have deeply limited access to funding.

The grantees supported by Astraea and the Funding Queerly Giving Circle focus specifically on leadership development and community organizing efforts by and for LGBTQI people of color, indigenous, low-income, rural and/or under-resourced communities.

“While there has been tremendous progress in achieving equal rights, many populations within the LGBTQI community face worsening isolation, hate and prejudice, and have the least access to financial resources to fight back,” said J. Bob Alotta, executive director of Astraea. “We know on-the-ground LGBTQI organizations are the best equipped to drive lasting change. That’s why we are proud to be working with Funding Queerly to support these dedicated grantees working across issue area and geography to create true justice.”

“Astraea has been changing the philanthropic landscape for 36 years by supporting smaller LGBTQI organizations,” said Naomi Sobel, founding member of The Circle and member of Astraea’s staff. “We are thrilled for this increased investment in grantees at the forefront of critical, yet often overlooked, issues within the LGBTQI community such as racial and economic justice, criminalization, immigrant rights and youth of color leadership.”

The grantees include:

  • Affinity (Chicago, IL) is a social justice organization that works with and on behalf of Black LGBTQ communities, queer youth, and allies to identify needs, create safe spaces, develop leaders, and bridge communities through collective analysis and action for social justice, freedom, and human rights.
  • Allgo (Austin, TX) is a 28-year-old organization that works toward its vision of a just and equitable society that celebrates and nurtures vibrant people of color queer cultures.
  • Az-QUIP (Phoenix, AZ) is a local LGBTQ immigrant group striving to meet the needs of the undocumented, queer community.
  • BreakOUT! (New Orleans, LA) builds the power of LGBTQ youth to create a safer and more just New Orleans, invoking the rich cultural tradition of resistance in the South.
  • Freedom Inc. (Madison, WI) challenges the fundamental root causes of violence against women, LGBTQ people, and youth such as the systemic and institutional violence of poverty, sexism, racism, heterosexism, and cisgenderism through leadership development and community organizing in low-income communities of color.
  • Gender Expansion Project (Missoula, MT) works to increase access to care, treatment, and acceptance of transgender, transsexual, intersex, and gender diverse individuals in Montana and beyond.
  • Gender Justice LA (Los Angeles, CA) works towards a safe and just society for all transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming people.
  • Missouri GSA Network (St. Louis, MO) is dedicated to students being the driving force behind developing strong queer youth leaders and promoting racial and economic justice in Missouri.
  • Portland PFLAG Black Chapter (Portland, OR) promotes the health and well-being of Black LGBTQ persons, their families and friends through support, education, organizing and advocacy.
  • Providence Youth Student Movement (Providence, RI) organizes Southeast Asian youth to lead campaigns to confront and end state, street, and interpersonal violence affecting their communities.
  • Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project (Oakland, CA) was formed in 2004 to support the growing movement of transgender, gender variant and intersex (TGI) people of color making their way into the broader prisoners' rights movement while pushing to expand the movement to include the voices of TGI people.
  • Trans Youth Support Network (Minneapolis, MN) was founded in 2007 as a response to ongoing violence against young trans women of color and works to promote racial, social, and economic justice for trans youth and realize the freedom to self-define gender identity and expression.

Grantmaking is just one way in which Astraea is creating a movement to improve the lives of LGBTQI individuals in the U.S. and around the world. Astraea just launched "Fueling the Frontlines," a comprehensive three-year, $20 million campaign for global LGBTQI rights grounded in LGBTQI movement building, enhanced investment in LGBTQI organizations and activists, and shifting discriminatory attitudes and behaviors.

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Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is the only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI human rights around the globe. We support brilliant and brave grantee partners in the U.S. and internationally who challenge oppression and seed social change. We work for racial, economic, social, and gender justice, because we all deserve to live our lives freely, without fear, and with dignity.

The Funding Queerly Giving Circle is a group of young donors (under 40) who came together at Making Money Make Change in 2012. In partnership with the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the Circle mobilizes financial resources for small LGBTQI community organizing groups across the United States to address the root causes of injustice facing LGBTQI people.