In times as urgent as these, it is critical that we turn to the LGBTQI and feminist grassroots movements who have always fought to protect our communities and secure liberation for us all.
Authoritarian leaders are seizing power in what seems like every corner of the world, conservative-led ‘gender panic’ is gaining hold, and spaces for civil society voices to exist and thrive are shrinking daily. Heightened anti-immigrant, anti-Black, misogynist and anti-LBTQI violence; increased government surveillance and policing are all part of an intense conservative backlash that calls on us to respond on all fronts.
The American Medical Association called this year’s surge of transgender murders an “epidemic,” and earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court heard three of the most critical cases in U.S. history impacting LGBTQI rights, including the first case the court has ever heard on trans rights. If the court chooses to vote against the LGBTQI people in these cases, it could lead to a serious uptick in hate crimes and LGBTQI people could be left totally unprotected against employment discrimination under federal laws.
The global far-right is stronger than ever before, but LBTQI and feminist movements have the power to stop them, and win. These are the movements that demanded and continue to demand healthcare and rights for all, the ones that fought for women’s rights and civil rights, those that have protested wars and resisted state violence. These are the movements without which many of us today would not be free to be who we are and love whom we please.
These are the movements Astraea has always fueled, with your generous support. In our 2019 fiscal year, Astraea granted $4.2 million via 273 grants to 190 grantee partners in the United States and around the world.
As the only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI rights around the globe, Astraea is uniquely positioned to strengthen and sustain the movements working towards our collective liberation.
We are building LGBTQI power at the grassroots:
- We make it a priority to resource and visibilize the leadership of queer, trans, People of Color: We know that QTPOC movements in the United States are leading the charge to create a safer and more just future for our communities. This year, over 99% of our U.S. funding supported LGBTQI People of Color led groups. Our U.S. funding makes up 50% of Astraea’s total funding.
- We believe that arts and cultural change are a powerful tool for social justice and transformation: In our nearly 40-year history we have granted over $4 million in arts funding to more than 200 individual artists and writers and 300 organizations, supporting writers and artists like Audre Lorde, Cheryl Clark, Akwaeke Emezi, and Kiyan Williams.
- We break the isolation many grassroots groups face and connect activists through our convenings: Our intersex regional convenings are often some of the first opportunities for intersex activists to meet, connect, strategize, and collaborate. Both our Asia and Africa convenings resulted in the creation of the first intersex regional networks in those regions.
- We use data to shift power in philanthropy: LBTQI organizing is grossly underfunded, globally. Investing in research like our recent Trans and Intersex Funder Briefings, or our upcoming LBQ Report which maps funding for lesbian, bisexual, and queer organizing around the world – allows us to identify where power and resources currently are and advocate for shifting them to the grassroots, where they should be.
- We know that healing justice is key to movement transformation: We launched our first set of Healing Justice grants in 2018 and our report, Healing Justice: Building Power, Transforming Movements urges the philanthropic community to support the resiliency and survival practices that are essential to the collective safety and wellbeing of communities.
Our ability to sustain grassroots LGBTQI movements is more important than ever, both domestically and globally. Please join us and donate to Astraea. Together we can rise up, resist, and build the grassroots feminist power to secure liberation for us all.
Astraea Interim Executive Director