Welcoming our new Interim Executive Director, Sandy Nathan

Astraea is delighted to welcome Sandy Nathan as our new Interim Executive Director. We asked her a few questions about her vision for Astraea during the next 9-12 months and beyond.


Sandra Nathan is excited to be joining Astraea as Interim Executive Director for the next 9-12 months, leading the organization through a transition period. During this period, Sandy will work with the Board and staff laying the groundwork for the next permanent Executive Director.

Sandra comes to Astraea with extensive executive leadership experience in philanthropy, government, and the nonprofit sector. She currently serves as Principal and CEO for Apodictic Consultants, providing strategic consulting and transitional leadership to philanthropic institutions, nonprofits and government with an equity and social justice lens. Most recently, she served as the Interim Executive Director for Philanthropy Southwest, providing transitional and strategic leadership, enabling the organization to successfully position itself for new leadership and growth, and deepen its commitment to equity. 

Prior to starting her consultancy, Sandra served as Senior Vice President of Philanthropic Services and Community Investment for the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) in Tucson. There she was chief strategist for the foundation’s grantmaking, community investment opportunities and led the organization’s use of diverse capital streams. She also oversaw the work of CFSA’s affiliated partner organizations, including the African American Initiative, the Alliance (LGBTQ) Fund, the Latino Giving Circle, and the Santa Cruz Community Foundation.

Prior to that, Sandra was the Vice President of Grants and Loans at the Marin Community Foundation, where she oversaw grantmaking for the Buck Trust, an endowment of over $900 million. She oversaw grantmaking in excess of $20 million annually, all in support of MCF’s strategic initiatives, community grants, and loans. 

Sandra’s background also includes executive leadership in nonprofits at the national and local levels. She served as Executive Vice President for the National Council on Aging in Washington, DC; as Regional Director for AARP in Dallas, Texas; and Washington Director for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

Sandra has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of San Diego, a Master of Arts in Public Administration from National University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Theology and Christian Education. She also holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Harvard Business School. 

With a passion for board service, Sandra serves on the Board of Directors of Northern California Grantmakers, UC Berkeley Pacific School of Religion, the Tohono Chul Park Foundation, Equality Arizona, and provides pro bono consultant support to Tucson Senior Pride.


How did you come to know about Astraea?

I’ve known about the Astraea Foundation for many years, and have always had tremendous pride in the foundation’s lesbian/feminist roots and focus. But it wasn’t until I became more active in social justice, gender and LGBTQI issues and along with that, a career shift into philanthropy, that I fully understood how Astraea has evolved into an innovative funder for LGBTQI activism around the globe. As a leader and a seasoned grantmaker, I love that Astraea has remained true to its DNA as a funder of feminist and LGBTQI issues, and goes about its work in partnership with movement leaders domestically and abroad, who are committed to shifting power.

What inspires you about leading Astraea through this transition period?

What inspires me about leading Astraea through this transition is a strong alignment between the work of the foundation and my core values. This is a role in which I can bring my full self to the table. I am also inspired in that I have absolute clarity that we are living in a time of profound social change, and that I have the lived experience, passion and heart to lead the organization into a new and desired future as it prepares itself for a new, permanent leader. Astraea has grown exponentially in the past few years, thanks to leadership, dedication and hard work. Astraea is now poised for that next level of growth.  In order to reach that level some internal transformation now needs to occur. What I am bringing to my role as an Interim is experience ensuring there is a solid foundation strategically and operationally for new leadership. At the center of my leadership style is also an understanding that organizations cannot be transformed or transformative unless heart is at the center of what they do. To me that means also ensuring there is a vibrant and healthy organizational culture, and a solid infrastructure so that the mission and goals of the organization are achievable for a new leader. Stepping into an interim leadership role really requires a certain level of selflessness, and the capacity to not look for outward recognition as a leader. I am here for the good of the organization.  So for the next nine months, I am excited to bring heart centered leadership, and a commitment to serve and support the board and staff so that collectively, we can bring our best selves to the exciting future ahead for Astraea. 

What secret feminist super-power should we know about?

If I told you, I’d be giving up one of my best trade secrets.

What do you love to do in your ‘downtime’?

During my downtime, I love doing yoga, reading, cooking and spending quality time with my family and friends.

A favorite person, quote or mantra that you’d like to share?

One of my favorite quotes is “My silence will not protect me.” ( Audre Lorde)

Our 2019 Healing Justice Funder Convening

On May 16, 2019 in New York, Astraea held a Healing Justice Funder Convening. We brought together 60 funders from 30 philanthropic institutions, alongside 15 organizers and healing practitioners, to strategize how we can bolster our movements by funding healing justice work.

On May 16, 2019 in New York, Astraea held a Healing Justice Funder Convening. We brought together 60 funders from 30 philanthropic institutions, alongside 15 organizers and healing practitioners, to strategize how we can bolster our movements by funding healing justice work. At a time when our communities are facing an onslaught of violence and oppression, including targeted attacks on people of color, immigrants, women and trans people, the convening was a critical opportunity for funders to discuss how healing justice can promote collective safety and build the power and resilience of movements. The convening followed the launch of Astraea’s new report, Healing Justice: Building Power, Transforming Movements.

As a public foundation, one of Astraea’s roles is to align philanthropic resources with the visions, needs, and priorities of movements. The convening honored the legacy and roots of healing justice work in the U.S. by centering the voices of organizers and practitioners from across the country. Throughout the convening, funders listened to organizers share how they can be most supportive of their struggles.

Organizers emphasized how locally-grounded and culturally-specific healing justice work is and must be. They shared how healing justice work helps build their capacities to live and thrive, as well as the power that enables them to win. They asked funders to listen, to give them space to experiment, and to trust. The convening aimed to embody healing justice throughout the day, with facilitation by healer Adaku Utah and massage, Reiki, acupressure and herbs from an amazing team of community-based practitioners.

It was a reflective, generative, and (unusually-for-philanthropy) honest space in which funders and activists exchanged ideas and worked towards a collective vision for healing justice. We’re excited to share some of the learning from the day with you:

  • If you’d like to learn more about the day’s conversations, our summary report shares the highlights.
  • Spot yourself in photos from the day here!
  • To get a feel for the convening and hear some brilliance from the speakers, watch our video above and panel recordings!

Our deepest gratitude to all the participants. We are honored to have brought together so many funders to deepen support for healing justice. We look forward to continuing to build, strategize, and vision together.

Farewell to J. Bob Alotta!

As we bid farewell to Bob, we wanted to take this moment to reflect on her immense legacy and celebrate her profound impact.

As we bid farewell to Bob, we wanted to take this moment to reflect on her immense legacy and celebrate her profound impact. Bob’s passionate, visionary, and bold leadership grew Astraea in ways we could not have imagined. Bob steadily charted a course for gender, racial and economic justice that positions Astraea at the leading edge of intersectional LGBTQI philanthropy, while staying true to our lesbian feminist roots. Our founding mothers would be proud. 

Bob always saw Astraea’s role as shifting power and resources from where they intentionally were to where they intentionally weren’t, yet needed to begrassroots LGBTQI movements around the world. Bob accomplished this by expanding Astraea’s capacity to deliver resources to the most bold and brilliant LGBTQI groups in the U.S. and globally, as well as deepening our philanthropic presence and leadership, bringing an intersectional queer feminist lens to fields as diverse as internet freedom, communications, gender equality and racial justice. She started in 2011 as Astraea’s second Executive Director, with an organizational budget of $3 million and stewarded that to the sizable $13 million budget it is today. 

A leader in queerying philanthropy, through Astraea, Bob imagined new and transformative ways of working togetherto name just one example, she was the visionary behind CommsLabs, an innovative participatory movement-building initiative that networks LGBTQI activists and technologists. At regional and country-level convenings, grassroots activists connect with trainers, technologists, and healers who support them to effectively address threats and seize the opportunities available in the digital age. These convenings, co-designed by activists and centering wellness and holistic security while also building skills and capacity, exemplify Bob’s ability to break down silos and respond to the ways our movements are changing.  

Under Bob’s leadership Astraea also expanded global LGBTQI philanthropy through strategic decisions to partner with bilateral governments like the innovative LGBTI Global Development Partnership. Through this initiative, we expanded grantmaking in 12 countries and shifted over $15.5M to grassroots LGBTQI movement-building, laying the foundation for future bilateral relationships and partnerships which have positioned us excellently for the next phase of our work. 

With Bob, Astraea launched the first Intersex Human Rights Fund in the world in 2015, leveraging more than $2 million for the intersex movement globally, and we grew our U.S. work to combat the criminalization of communities of color, particularly Black folks and migrants. Bob oversaw the Global Arts Fund, building on our long legacy of supporting artistic and cultural change work, our Healing Justice: Building Power, Transforming Movements report, and our recent Feminist Funding Principles

We are grateful to Bob for laying the foundation for Astraea’s next phase, setting us up so well to support the next generation of our leadership and the vision and talents of our incredible staff. We are excited to announce that we have identified an Interim Executive Director who will start in the coming weeks, and who will lead Astraea through a transition period for the next nine to twelve months. During the transition period, the Interim Executive Director will work with the Board and staff on laying the groundwork for the next permanent Executive Director. We look forward to introducing her to you soon!

It’s clear that Astraea’s role is more critical than ever in this time of escalating violence and oppression against LGBTQI communities, and the Board is committed to working closely with the Interim Executive Director and staff to continue to provide critical grantmaking and capacity building for LGBTQI grassroots leaders around the world. We will share next steps as they unfold and look forward to introducing you to the new Interim soon. Please join us as we enter this next phase of Astraea, share your support, questions and dollarstogether we are building a more just and joyous world. 

In solidarity,

Iimay Ho and Eboné Bishop, Co-Chairs 
On behalf of the Board of Directors

Astraea Envisions Queer Liberation: Pride Month 2019

We want a Pride Month that is truly inclusive and leans into the LGBTQI grassroots visions for where our movements are headed. We’re holding both the accomplishments we are proud of, as well as shining a spotlight on the many political, social, and cultural battles still ongoing around the world.

What we say NO to!

  • NO policing of LGBTQI bodies
  • NO rainbow capitalism
  • NO normalizing of white gay cis identity at the expense of Black and Brown LBQTI folks
  • NO depoliticization of our causes
  • NO homogenization of our identities and struggles
  • NO exclusion of bi/pan, asexual, intersex, trans, and others

From the time of Stonewall, LGBTQ patrons of the Stonewall Inn—fed up with being harassed and targeted, who were predominantly People of Color—fought back against the police. Today, we know that Pride activities and marches in many parts of the United States and around the world are still spaces of resistance. Oftentimes, these spaces and the LGBTQI people who participate in them are criminalized, discriminated against and/or face violence and backlash.

Pride marches often include a heavy police presence, which can be triggering and unsafe, particularly for QTPOC. Police and law enforcement have a history of violence against LGBTQI communities, which continues into the present in many contexts, making Pride marches violent and dangerous for some members of the LGBTQ community.

Putting Pride in the context of remembering Stonewall 50 years on, we acknowledge this is a year where in the U.S anti-LGBTQI violence is escalating, particularly the anti-trans actions introduced—from trying to ban trans people from the military, to rescinding Obama-era memos that protected trans workers and students from discrimination. Just as of June 15, 2019, four trans women have been reported murdered during this Pride Month, and at least 10 have been reported murdered overall in 2019.

What we say YES to!

  • We want a Pride that is truly inclusive and leans into the LGBTQI grassroots visions for where our movements are headed. We’re holding both the accomplishments we are proud of, as well as shining a spotlight on the many political, social, and cultural battles still ongoing around the world.
  • We commit to engaging around the problematic politics of corporate Pride rather than being complicit or silent around these issues. We say yes to queer liberation and not rainbow capitalism.
  • We take care of and are joyous in our communities, while we keep fighting for justice. LGBTQI grassroots activism has always combined struggle with celebration. Pride can and should be both celebratory and healing, and heavy and political.
  • We call for a Pride that is centered around highlighting and protecting self-determination, bodily autonomy, gender justice, diverse gender identities and sexualities, and rejecting violence, discrimination, and gender-based oppression. We see our role as uplifting the tremendous work of our grantee partners, and the work that we are proud of having done.
  • We acknowledge that as a philanthropic institution with power and resources, we have a particular responsibility to amplify those communities who are not always heard during Pride month or at all, as well as to call out efforts to corporatize and homonormalize Pride.
  • We uplift Pride actions around the world that are truly radical, political and liberatory. Some examples include: Annual NYC Dyke March // Trans Day of Action // Queer Liberation March // Soweto Pride

What we’re PROUD of:

  • Our 40+ year history of resistance through lesbian feminist philanthropy— read our Feminist Funding Principles here
  • Supporting grassroots organizations and leadership around the world that center LGBTQI people
  • Our commitment to centering the leadership of queer, trans, & GNC People of Color in the U.S.—over 99% of our grantee partner organizations in the U.S. are POC-led
  • Healing Justice practices as a response to generational trauma, policing, and surveillance—read our Healing Justice Report here
  • Uplifiting queer digital activism and holistic security for organizers and activists
  • Our overt support of intersex activism and global local organizing—read more about our Intersex Human Rights Fund here


#AstraeaPride 2019 Videos:

U.S. Fund:

The U.S. Fund is Astraea’s longest-standing fund, working for racial, gender, economic, migrant and reproductive justice and centering the leadership of queer, trans and GNC People of Color in the U.S. For #Pride2019, we’re celebrating the U.S. Fund and all we’ve accomplished through the Fund so far. Read more about it: buff.ly/2Z7E6h8

LGBTQI Digital Activism:

Astraea believes in the power of digital LGBTQI-led activism. For #Pride2019, we’re highlighting some of the ways we’ve recently supported digital activism in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Healing Justice:

Astraea is invested in supporting LGBTQI communities to heal, rebuild, learn, collaborate, and grow through the #HealingJustice work we support. This #Pride2019, we’re uplifting some of the ways we’ve recently worked to collectively build power, resilience, and joy through #HealingJustice. 

Intersex Human Rights Fund:

Astraea is proud to work side-by-side with intersex activists and organizations around the globe who are demanding justice for intersex human rights, contesting the pathologization of intersex bodies, and defending intersex people’s rights to self-determination, bodily autonomy, and physical integrity through our Intersex Fund. For #Pride2019, we’re celebrating the Fund and all it’s accomplished in recent years.

Farewell but not goodbye – A letter from Astraea Executive Director, J. Bob Alotta

“Today, after eight years, I am announcing I will be transitioning out of my role as the Executive Director of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. While it is a move I do not make lightly, I do so with the full support of the board and the incredible staff of Astraea.” – J. Bob Alotta


Today, after eight years, I am announcing I will be transitioning out of my role as the Executive Director of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. While it is a move I do not make lightly, I do so with the full support of the board and the incredible staff of Astraea.

Astraea is and will ever be an entity of enormous transformation and purpose. As only the second Executive Director in an over 40-year herstory, I have had the incredible honor of evoking the anchor of lesbian feminism bestowed on us by our founding mothers, while building a future-forward organization that has now granted over $40 million dollars to LGBTQI grassroots activists and artists in over half the world.

We have realized exponential growth in such a short period of time: nearly six-toupling our budget, doubling our staff—who now span 10 cities, 6 countries, and three continents—with an ever-evolving eye for providing radically transformative grantmaking and capacity building on the ground. We have done so while expanding our philanthropic voice. Astraea has shown up and spoken up for philanthropic action that embodies the best of what we have learned as an institution: fund the long-game, respect the steps, fund without restriction, trust the innovation in our communities, center the voices at the intersections of lived experience, know we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. In short, be bold. And we have.

I am proud to have served a vision so much larger than myself—embodied by every activist/artist/donor who bravely shows up to bring a just and joyous world to fruition. They (you) have allowed me to bring my best self to work every day I was able. Running a foundation is not easy! Working in the movements you’re from is difficult. Building partnership and ally-ship, starting and sustaining conversations, growing while doing, being a singular entity in every room—all without a roadmap because it had never been done before—because I had never done anything like this before—is profoundly challenging, but that is Astraea’s charge. The staff shows up to this calling magnificently. My gratitude to them is immeasurable. It has been my deepest honor to work alongside them and steward us during this time.

Paramount to my decision to transition was being able to leave the organization in the best possible position. Two key factors make me confident I am doing so. This past year, we have secured significant multi-year partnerships that will ground the work both programmatically and organizationally for many years to come. These partnerships mark the next wave of “new beginnings” for Astraea. And now. I will work alongside staff and board leadership during a period of transition. You will continue to hear more from us as our next steps unfold. I suspect we will lean into you, our trusted community, as we enter the next stage of Astraea’s evolution. I am writing to you with so much gratitude and so much excitement for Astraea’s future. I urge you, as I surely will, to continue to support Astraea’s growth, purpose, and vision. We need her more than ever.

In deep solidarity, 
(as ever)
– B

 J. Bob Alotta
Executive Director 
Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice

A letter from Astraea’s board:

As Bob announces her transition, we express our deep gratitude for her visionary leadership of the profoundly challenging and liberatory work that is Astraea’s charge. In the constantly shifting political landscape of the past 8 years, Bob has stayed steady, bold, and clear about Astraea’s role in transcending borders and building futures for LGBTQI people pursuing social justice and human rights. 
She has expanded the organization and kept us on the cutting edge, positioning Astraea to the level of global influence we have today. As an ambassador for Astraea, Bob has excelled at navigating complex cultural and political spaces, breaking down silos, and centering LGBTQI human rights wherever she goes. Through her vision and work in partnership with Astraea’s incredible staff, we have accomplished many breakthroughs in strengthening the capacity of LGBTQI grassroots leaders.

Bob has led Astraea in a powerful arc of organizational growth and sustainability, and we are well-positioned to pivot to welcome a new leader. We ask our grantee partners to act in bold and transformative ways and so we are transforming ourselves as well by celebrating Bob’s accomplishments and meeting the evolving needs of the movement. In this current political moment of escalating violence against LGBTQI communities, it is clear that there is a heightened need for Astraea’s role. We are deeply committed to working with Bob to steward Astraea through this transition so that we can continue to provide critical grantmaking and capacity building for LGBTQI grassroots leaders around the world.

The Astraea board has begun the process of identifying an interim executive director and working alongside staff to create a roadmap for the steps forward. We thank Bob for her immense dedication to Astraea’s mission and wish her the very best as her next chapter begins.


Iimay Ho and Eboné Bishop, Co-Chairs 
On behalf of the board of directors

Lesbian Visibility Day 2019

Today, on Lesbian Visibility Day, we’re honoring our lesbian roots by celebrating grantee partners all over the world who fight day in and day out to build community and secure the rights and dignity of LBQ* women through powerful activism, movement-building, arts, and social and cultural change.

Today, on Lesbian Visibility Day, we’re honoring our lesbian roots by celebrating grantee partners all over the world who fight day in and day out to build community and secure the rights and dignity of LBQ* women through powerful activism, movement-building, arts, and social and cultural change.

Astraea came out as a lesbian organization in 1990. Claiming our lesbian identity has always been a politically conscious choice to visibilize lesbian communities and activism which are critical in social justice movements, but whose efforts have often been unacknowledged, or erased.

We recognize ‘lesbian’ as both a sexual orientation and political identity; that it must include trans, intersex, bisexual, and queer women who identify as such or feel connected to lesbian activism, while respecting that the full spectrum of people who experience gendered oppression includes trans men, non-binary people, and more.

“We don’t get to see anybody like us when we grow up. For me, the first thing a movement tells me is that you are not alone.”
– Sappho For Equality, India

Watch lesbian-led grantee partner Sappho for Equality from India share about their activism in this new video.

This year, Astraea supported powerful LBQ* visions by awarding 92 grants to 72 LBQ-led organizations worldwide, totaling over $1.7 million. Beyond grantmaking, we are continuing to shift power and resources to these movements by:

To see some of our lesbian feminist milestones from the last 41 years, watch our new Lesbian Visibility Day video above.

Join us in building power for LBQ* movements everywhere.




*LBQ stands for lesbian, bisexual, and queer, and includes lesbian-identified trans, intersex, and nonbinary people.

Learn more about the organizations we fund, who are fighting for LBQ people and more!

Meet our first-ever Fertile Ground Fund grantees!

In 2018, we launched our Fertile Ground Fund (FGF), supporting 43 organizations in the United States and around the world, with grants totaling $212,000. Join us in celebrating the work of all our incredible grantee partners, and read more about their work.

Photo credit: Lerman Montoya

It is with great excitement that we announce our first Fertile Ground Fund grantee partners!

Our first Fertile Ground Fund (FGF) cycle supported 43 organizations in the United States and around the world with grants totaling $212,000. The Fertile Ground Fund is a flexible funding source that provides resources based on the shifting needs and desires of Astraea’s grantee partners, giving them the ability to be more nimble and responsive. It supports activists to seize opportunities to seed and grow movement visions, ensuring organizations can prioritize collective liberation & sustainability towards building long-term movements.

Closing civil society spaces, increased violence against organizers & human rights defenders, heightened discrimination, and police violence against LGBTQI, Black, Brown, Indigenous, migrant, and other communities across the world make this an extremely challenging political time for grassroots activists. This first round of grants were an opportunity for us to resource and bolster groups’ capacity to respond to and strategize ways to resist oppressive state policies and practices quickly, strategically, and effectively.

The grants awarded in this first cycle support resistance strategies from projects intervening on the violence of policing to deepening cross-movement collaborations, ultimately generating local, national, regional, and global opportunities that strengthen organizational and movement capacities.

Our bold, brilliant Fertile Ground Fund grantee partners are:

  • Designing forums exclusively to strengthen LBQ women and movements around the world: The first Global Feminist LBQ Women’s* Conference is being organized in South Africa in July 2019 by a collective working group of 22 LBQ women* activists from across all regions of the world. It aims to create a space for activists and advocates to come together, share knowledge, exchange strategies, strengthen connections, mobilize resources, and take the lead in building a global LBQ women*s movement with the capacity to influence the world agenda on human rights, health, development.
  • Creating spaces for activists to strategize around the lived experiences of LGBTQI people, as well as around resource development and mobilization of movements: Tajassod-Qorras, a Lebanese queer trans embodiment initiative, will be collaborating with Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR)  to organize the ‘Tajassodat: Conversations to Advance Trans Rights and Justice across Muslim Societies’ convening in Nepal in May 2019, which hopes to increase resources and raise awareness around nascent trans rights and justice movements in the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and South Asia & Southeast Asia (SSEA). The convening will break silos for trans Muslim activists often working in isolation, help them build formal relationships, and advance collaboration with other activists, as well as deepen critical analysis of successful approaches to advance trans justice in Muslim societies.
  • Combatting state criminalization efforts and fighting back against racist, homophobic, transphobic, nativist, and capitalist aggression from state forces: The Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance/La Alianza para Mobilizar Nuestra Resistencia (AMOR) is a rapid response network created by a coalition of People of Color-led organizations. The Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM), in Rhode Island (USA), supported the founding of AMOR to respond to instances of “state hate” stemming from law enforcement and immigration. They are collaborating across Black, South Asian, Southeast Asian, undocumented, Indigenous, and refugee organizing to build up this alliance, which will provide communities with emergency legal services, culturally competent psychological services, and support for victims violence and for tracking incidents of hate crimes.

Please join us in celebrating the work of all our incredible grantee partners, and read more about their work in the links below.

Fertile Ground Fund Grantee Partners*

*Note: We do not publicize a number of our courageous grantee partners because of security threats they face in their local contexts, so organizations may be missing from this list.

#AbolishICE National Gathering of Queer and Trans Organizers
United States

Dominican Republic


Asociación Organizando Trans Diversidades (OTD)

Association Okvir
Bosnia & Herzegovina

Audre Lorde Project
United States

Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project
United States

United States

Circuito de Innovación y Resiliencia Queer (CIRQ)
Puerto Rico

Colectiva Mujer y Salud
Dominican Republic

Colectivo No Tengo Miedo

Communities United Against Violence (CUAV)
United States

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR)
United States

Corporación Promoción de la Mujer/Taller de Comunicación Mujer

El/La Para Translatinas
United States

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
United States

European Lesbian* Conference
Europe – Regional

Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement
United States

Freedom Inc
United States

Freedom to Thrive (formerly Enlace)
United States

Fundación de Desarrollo Humano Integral CAUSANA

Girls for Gender Equity (GGE)
United States

Global Feminist LBQ Women’s* Conference

Humanity First Cameroon

Immigrant Youth Coalition
United States

Kohl Journal for Body and Gender Research

Las Nietas de Nonó
Puerto Rico

Law for Black Lives
United States

United States

Movimiento Lesbia

Mujer y Mujer

Mujeres al Borde

National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN)
United States

Pakasipiti Zimbabwe

Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM)
United States

Rainbow Identity Association

Red Multicultural de Mujeres Trans de Guatemala (REDMMUTRANS)


United States

Spark Reproductive Justice Now!
United States


Trans and Intersex People – TIP for Human Rights In Nigeria (THRIN)

Trans Queer Pueblo
United States

Voice of the Voiceless (VOVO)

West Africa Trans Forum (WATF)

WHER Initiative

Young Women United
United States

By supporting Astraea, you are creating ecosystems of resistance that are smart, effective, and unique. Join us!


Transcending Borders, Building Futures: Our 2018 Annual Report

Join us as we review 2018 with highlights from Astraea and our bold, brilliant grantee partners from around the world.


It is with great excitement that we share our 2018 Annual Report, “Transcending Borders, Building Futures.”

In 2018, we made 256 grants totaling $4.6 million to organizations in 69 countries and 21 U.S. states.

We accompanied our movements beyond funding; in addition to making grants, we strategically invested in cross-border LBTQI movement building, we lifted up grassroots organizing by prioritizing the holistic security of activist communities, and we connected beyond oppressive structures to harness the power of ancient and new technologies, providing solidarity in critical times.

Join us as we review 2018 with highlights from Astraea and our bold, brilliant grantee partners from around the world. Read about how together, we are creating the future we believe is possible and necessary for our communities to thrive.

In solidarity,

J. Bob Alotta
Executive Director

Read the report

Trans Day of Visibility 2019

This Trans Day of Visibility, Astraea celebrates the power and vitality of Trans Movements worldwide by uplifting some recent grantee partner achievements in trans organizing.

This Trans Day of Visibility, Astraea celebrates the power and vitality of Trans Movements worldwide by uplifting some recent grantee partner achievements in trans organizing. We are committed to building vibrant and sustainable trans movements globally. This year, we awarded over $1.6M to groups led by trans & gender non-conforming people.

Please join us in lifting up the following achievements:

  • California, U.S.: TGIJP advocated for legislation which passed, allowing incarcerated trans people to change their name and gender marker.
  • Nigeria: THRIN held a large symposium for the trans community and allies.
  • Croatia: Trans Aid held the first national TRANSummer Camp.
  • South Africa: Gender DynamiX redrafted a gender recognition law to incorporate rights for diverse trans people.
  • India: Trans activists and allied groups protested and successfully delayed passage of the regressive Trans Rights Bill.
  • Honduras: CATTRACHAS submitted an argument to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights for failing to prevent, investigate, and prosecute the execution of a young transgender woman, Vicky Hernández.
  • Malaysia: Justice for Sisters advocated against the Court of Appeal for retracting a decision that affirmed the right of a trans man to change his name and gender marker.
  • Botswana: Rainbow Identity Association created support groups for trans and intersex individuals in regional cities across Botswana.
  • Dominican Republic: TRANSSA opened one of the first community education programs for trans people in the country.
  • Serbia: Gayten-LGBT and Labris Belgrade disputed a law requiring trans people to have “reassignment” surgery in order to change their gender identity on official documents.
  • Chile: OTD advocated for a bill which passed, allowing people over the age of 14 to change their name and gender in official records.
  • New Orleans, U.S.: BreakOUT! proposed a bill on gender inclusive bathrooms which was passed by the mayor.
  • Ukraine: abolished arbitrary and cruel trans health protocol thanks to Insight’s advocacy (2017), but Trans rights activists were attacked with pepper spray during Ukraine march (2018).
  • Kyrgyzstan: Labrys Kyrgyzstan developed a guideline based on WPATH which includes human rights component and guidelines for legal gender recognition, which were signed by the Ministry of Health.

Thanks to all our grantee partners and activists fighting for trans rights across the globe!

Support organizations like these all over the world who are on the front lines of international trans rights movements.




Trans Day of Visibility: Resources and Links:

A conversation with J. Bob Alotta and outgoing Director of Programs Cara Page

J.Bob Alotta chats with outgoing Director of Programs, Cara Page about healing justice, holistic security, and what’s next for philanthropy.

Astraea has always had the immense pleasure of bringing so many incredible, inspiring, fierce leaders from within our own movements into our team. Cara Page, outgoing Director of Programs, joined us in October 2017 to steward our International & US grantmaking and programs toward our shared vision for racial, gender, and economic justice. At the end of March 2019, Cara will shift out of her full-time role at Astraea to make time for political projects which continue to build on these visions of justice. Cara will continue on as an advisory strategist on healing justice with Astraea.

Executive Director J. Bob Alotta sat down with Cara to reflect on her time at Astraea and hear more about what’s next.

  1. Bob: Cara, we’re obviously very sad to see you go, but we’re really excited about what’s next for you and what you’ve got in the works. Can you share more about what is critical about this shift at this time?

    Cara: There is a heightened call to action to respond to increased surveillance, policing and safety. It has taken about a decade to arrive at this level of visibility and I could say it’s based on increased fascism and natural disasters around the world, but I think it’s also a direct response to the increasing resiliency and visibility of movement building strategies centering physical, emotional, digital security and well-being.  

    That’s what I find this moment to be about, and I feel committed to engaging with this work in a different way to meet this moment. I’m rolling off to do work in multiple spheres to build long-term infrastructure for safety and wellness as integral to our movement strategies; and Philanthropy is certainly a powerful sphere in there.

  2. Bob: Thinking about those multiple spheres, what are some of the projects you’re taking on as you transition out of your full time role at Astraea, and what it is about your work at Astraea that led you to delve deeper into those projects?

    Cara: Astraea is a feminist foundation that centers gender and racial justice, and has been funding healing justice, safety, and security, since its beginnings. I came in at a particular moment of picking up that lineage; there were resourcing requests from our grantee partners saying that they’d always seen Astraea as offering avenues to fund healing justice, safety, mental wellness, recovery, and transformational work, even if it wasn’t always called that. My time here has been a lot about advising our philanthropic partners to think about where movements are inviting us to bend, adapt and explore how they are responding to generational trauma from violence and oppression, and how healing is central to their collective survival and liberation.

    In my role as the Director of Programs I’ve brought expertise as a U.S based organizer, and Astraea’s given me an opportunity to learn about global perspectives on this work and the way holistic security and healing justice are moving and shifting in a global landscape in response to closing civil societies, to natural disasters and to heightened surveillance and policing of our communities. My work has moved into mapping sites of resilience and strategies that respond to state violence and trauma from systemic oppression.

  3. Bob: We are grateful to have had the opportunity to have worked with you and benefited from your wisdom and experiences as a Black, Queer Feminist organizer and cultural memory worker. What are some of the things you are reflecting on about your time at Astraea, and what are the learnings you are taking with you into this next phase?

    Cara: I am deeply committed to the transformative roles that philanthropy can hold. Astraea is positioned to do transformative work that centers feminist principles and ideology that are integral to safety, spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing. This is the time for philanthropy to answer the call from movements about how we are resourcing and looking towards the future to build long-term infrastructure that sustains our land, our communities and our collective wellbeing.

    We have to ask how are we sustaining land, healing, safety, and wellness as an integral part of our liberation. These are not separate and Astraea has taught me how to engage with philanthropy to ask these questions.

  4. Bob: Finally Cara, what are your hopes and wishes for Astraea?

    Cara: In the heightened movements for migrant and racial justice, we know it is our grantee partners that are building transformation and power! My hope and wish for Astraea is that we keep pushing the edge and keep moving ahead and forward of ourselves to imagine what it is we would like to fund and build with movements. We need to push these conversations and really commit to long-term infrastructure that goes beyond this current moment. We’ve really got to imagine our future into being!

  5. Bob: We as Astraea have certainly gained a lot from being in partnership with you. Apart from your skills and experiences, it has been a reminder that this work – the work of our communities – is not linear, and does not take just one form. Astraea has always been composed of the people and activists who make up our communities, and for our part, we’ve always tried to be as embedded in our communities as possible. And so, the work we have done together, and the work you are going on to do, exists in concentric circles, and it is in working both together and alongside each other in these ways that we are going to continue shift power in and for our movements.

If you are a bold, badass changemaker who wants to help us keep building power for our communities, we want to welcome you to join the Astraea team! We’re hiring for some really cool positions and consultancies at the moment, and we’re also always looking for more volunteers. 

Join us!



Note: Along with her continued consulting work with Astraea, Cara will be launching a new project called the Changing Frequencies Project; which includes co-curating and touring a digital timeline of the medical industrial complex in the U.S. that maps scientific racism, experimentation and policing of our communities.  Cara will also be training up and strategizing with organizers, bioethicists, researchers, health practitioners, & healers to strategize interventions on and hold institutions accountable for abusive historical and contemporary practices in the MIC as an extension of state control, and also imagine the ways we intervene to make sure these practises end.