News & Media

Changing Lives

Nov 23, 2011 | Category: Feature

Nov 23, 2011—Astraea’s commitment to movement building brings grantee partners together and creates an interconnected framework to fight for human rights and the needs of the community. These organizations provide critical support to LGBTQI people through direct service, education and leadership-building. Together, Astraea and our grantee partners are transforming individual struggle into a force for widespread change.

"We must listen deeply to our communities, and work for concrete changes that directly impact areas of our lives that are under crisis-level attack…" —Queer and Trans People's Movement Assembly Resolution

In celebration of interdependence and coalition building, twelve organizations of the Astraea Foundation's Movement Building Program convened in June 2010 at the US Social Forum. Affirming the vital importance of safe self-determination in community organizing, these groups came together to strengthen their ties to one another. Astraea’s grantee partners share a deep commitment to developing services, public education, and direct action infrastructure that empowers our communities to lead their own movements.

Exemplary of this commitment is the work of SRLP and SPARK. New York City-based SRLP offers free legal services, leadership-building programs, and political education and "Know Your Rights" trainings for low-income transgender and gender non-conforming people of color locally and nationally. SRLP provides critical support and education to its members, addressing disability justice, legal processes for name and gender marker changes, immigration rights, and access to healthcare. SPARK's LGBTQI-inclusive approach to reproductive justice is similarly founded on leadership-building and political education. Collaborating with individuals and organizations in Atlanta, Georgia, SPARK organizes media training programs, develops action-oriented research and advocacy, and mobilizes responses to immediate legal threats.

The considerable work of these organizations answers to the acute and unmet legal needs of LGBT people. Most importantly, SRLP and SPARK’s approach of self-determination not only invests in the current needs of those accessing their services and education, but also lays the foundation for long-term systemic change. Cultivating the power and access of their communities, these grantees are changing lives present and future.