Meet our Intersex Human Rights Fund grantee partners

This year, Astraea awarded $275,000 in grants to 41 grantee partners across 33 countries, including two regional networks in Europe and Asia. 

Today, on Intersex Awareness Day, it is with great excitement that we share our fourth cycle of the Intersex Human Rights Fund grantee partners.

This year, Astraea awarded $275,000 in grants to 41 grantee partners across 33 countries, including two regional networks in Europe and Asia. 65% of these grants are to existing partners, affirming our commitment to providing long-term support and promoting sustainability. While the intersex movement is growing across all regions, in this cycle, 35% of the grants are to new groups from intersex-led organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

These are some of the fiercest intersex activists and advocates who are addressing human rights violations and stigma faced by intersex people, and collaborating with other intersex organizations, human rights organizations, educational and healthcare institutions, and allies.

This past year, intersex rights activists held regional meetings across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. The regional meetings—several of which were supported by the Intersex Human Rights Fund—were the first intersex spaces that many activists in the Global South had experienced. Activists emphasized the criticality of movement-building and the need for increased visibility for the intersex community as a whole.

2018 is Astraea’s largest-ever pool of Intersex Human Rights Fund grantee partners, signaling a major growth in the global intersex movement and advocacy efforts. However, the lack of funding for intersex rights continues to be a major barrier in realizing those rights and shifts in norms.

Our grantee partners have been instrumental in:

  • Organizing to end the pathologization and medicalization of intersex bodies by providing accurate and positive representations of the intersex community: Collectif Intersexes et Allié-e-s was formed on Intersex Awareness Day in 2016 as a collective that provides peer support but also to act politically and be a representative voice for intersex rights in France. The group takes a firm stand against pathologization of intersex people, working to end mutilations and non-consensual treatments, removing gender in legal documents, and including intersex variations in educational resources across the country.
  • Raising awareness about intersex human rights violations by establishing regional networks to end discrimination and protect the rights of intersex people: Intersex Asia was born out of the Asia regional meeting in 2018, to affirm intersex peoples’ rights to bodily integrity, physical autonomy, and self-determination. The network was created by 14 activists across 10 countries in Asia and reflects the growth of the movement in the region.
  • Serving as catalysts for information dissemination, awareness raising, and advocating for the rights of intersex people: Intersex South Africa (ISSA) was revived in 2017 after a South African meeting of intersex activists highlighted major gaps concerning intersex issues in the country. ISSA’s works to ensure that intersex people have the right to accurate information and access to medical records concerning their bodily autonomy, as well as providing support to and awareness around the intersex community in South Africa.

Please join us in celebrating the work of these powerful grantee partners and read more about their work and the work of this global movement, in the links below*:

AIS Suport Group Australia Inc. // Associação Brasileira de Intersexos // Association of Russian-Speaking Intersex (ARSI) // Beyond the Boundary // Bilitis Resource Center// Brújula Intersexual // Campaign for Change // Collectif Intesexes et Allié-es// Comité Visibilité Intersexe // Egalite Intersex Ukraine // Fundación Reflejos de Venezuela // The Houston Intersex Society // Intersex And Faith // Intersex Archive Project // Intersex Asia // Intersex Danmark // Intersex Human Rights Australia // Intersex Ísland // Intersex Persons Society of Kenya // Intersex South Africa // InterAction // IntersexUK // ITANZ // Ivy Foundation // Mulabi // NNID // Oii Chinese // OII Deutschland/IVIM // OII Italia // OII Sverige // Organization Intersex International Europe (OII-Europe) // Rainbow Identity Association // Srishti Madurai LGBTQI+// SIPD Uganda // Trans Bantu Association Zambia // Trans Smart Trust // TZK’AT, Red de Sanadoras Ancestrales del Feminismo Comunitario // Verein Intergeschlechtlicher Österreich (VIMÖ/OII Austria) // Vivir y Ser Intersex // XY Spectrum

*We do not publicize some of our courageous grantee partners because of the security threats they face in their local contexts, so groups may be missing from this list.

P.S. By supporting Astraea you are creating ecosystems of resistance that are smart, effective, and unique. We are answering the call of this moment. We will win. And we will do so because of your support.

Donate

 

 

Watch a video about our Intersex Fund grantee partners’ recent work:

Intersex Activist Tatenda Ngwaru on Intersex Awareness Day

Intersex activist and Astraea Grants Management Associate Tatenda Ngwaru shares why Intersex Awareness Day is important to her.

“We are here and we’re not going anywhere.”

Astraea’s Grants Management Associate Tate Ngwaru is an intersex activist from Zimbabwe. In anticipation of Intersex Awareness Day on October 26th, listen as she shares why the day is meaningful to her.

Learn more about Tatenda.

*****

Video transcript:

My name is Tatenda Ngwaru. I’m an intersex activist. I’m originally from Zimbabwe, but now based here in New York as an asylum seeker and I work as a Grants Management Associate here at Astraea Foundation.

People have to know that the intersex community is very stigmatized. It’s supposed to be shameful, it’s a taboo, we’re not regarded as people. So, for me to be able to say “Happy Intersex Awareness Day,” and to know that there’s a day that is dedicated to that makes me feel proud, and I think it is also a day that we want to reflect on the challenges that affect the intersex community and how much more work there is to be done.

It is a nice thing for intersex people to know that they really do have a day, that people allow them to say, “We are here, and we’re not going anywhere.” As an intersex activist, as a Black woman, as a woman, I want to say, from me to you: all love.

We exist!

Astraea’s statement on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services memo released by the New York Times on October 21, 2018.

Trans people are not an aberration.
Intersex people exist.
Non-binary folks will not be silenced.
We will not be legislated out of existence.  

The identities, bodies, and lived experiences of trans, gender non-conforming, and intersex people are not up for debate or political opinion. They are a fundamental part of our lives and our liberation. ALL people are entitled to the protection of basic human rights; to live and thrive without having our bodies and existence threatened and questioned.

The recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services memo tries to establish a retrograde definition of “sex” as unchangeable and either “male” or “female”. It is an attempted erasure of the very existence of trans and non-binary people, and intersex people whose sex characteristics do not neatly align as “male” or “female.” The very fact of it incites intolerance and hate crimes towards those who are different and threatens their access to employment, housing, education, and healthcare. It is an attempt to create ideological schisms and use the double speak of “irrefutable” science while cutting all funding to and otherwise undermining actual science and lived experience, leaving those who are already marginalized even more vulnerable.

In the United States and around the world, the right-wing ‘gender ideology’ campaign has deliberately misrepresented queer and feminist politics in order to justify discrimination against LGBTQI people.Right-wing fundamentalists and populist leaders are using thiscoded doublespeak, alongside white supremacist rhetoric, to delegitimize populations’ right to equal protections under the law, to public resources, and social policies. This is a strategic maneuver to grab power, money, and natural resources at the expense, demise and criminalization of trans, intersex and gender non-conforming people, women and people of color. It is a red flag far beyond our community. They are banking on gender panic to mobilize a culture war to disguise their populist takeover. They would have us believe that we do not belong nor should we exist.

But we exist. We have always existed.

As feminist funders, Astraea grounds ourselves in a political identity that demands inclusivity, challenges oppressive norms, and centers those who are most marginalized, and most at risk. We exist to shift power and resources to those who are literally fighting for their lives. We will not stop.

Fascism is not slowing down, and neither are we. We are protesting from Washington Square Park, NY to D.C. We are registering to vote in numbers. We are defending one another physically, emotionally, and financially by turning our anger into action, by showing up and resisting colonial cisnormativity and heteronormativity, patriarchal forces that would have us erased.

Will you stand with us on the right side of history and build a safe, loving and life affirming future for all people? Do what you can do in this moment.

We exist! Stand up. Show up. Fight Back. Win.

Some ways to get involved:

  • Take action to support the rights and protections of trans and GNC people, using this essential checklist compiled by Chase Strangio of the ACLU
  • For cisgender allies, prioritize the wellbeing of trans communities by educating yourselves, speaking out, and checking in
  • Read, share, and learn about ways to ‘Queer the Vote’ ahead of the midterm elections in them.’s powerful, interactive guide for queer voters
  • Resource and fund grassroots organizations led by trans, gender non-conforming, intersex and queer people, and people of color by supporting the grantee partners of the Astraea Foundation
Donate

 

 

In solidarity,

J. Bob Alotta
Executive Director

State of Funding for LBQ Movements: Global Activist Survey

Astraea and Mama Cash are pleased to launch the State of Funding for LBQ Movements global survey, available in English, Spanish, French and Russian.

Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Mama Cash are pleased to launch the State of Funding for LBQ Movements global survey, available in English, Spanish, French, and Russian! There is very little information available on the funding priorities, needs, and challenges of LBQ groups, organizations, and networks. Participation in this survey will help us generate this data and allow us to make the case for more and better resourcing for LBQ communities.

As long as LBQ activists make up at least 50% of the leadership of your group, organization, or network, your group can participate! Your group can work specifically with LBQ communities or on LBQ issues, or it can work more broadly on other human rights issues. Your group can also participate if it is unregistered or informal. Please share this survey with your peers and partners that also meet this criteria, as it is an invaluable opportunity to generate data and analysis which can be used to advocate for improved funding to LBQ movements.

The survey is anonymous and will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

Astraea and Mama Cash are collaborating with Feminist Solutions towards Global Justice (FemJust) on this survey. If you require assistance to complete the survey, please contact Linda Saleh at linda@femjust.com

A note on terminology: We recognize that language is limited, gender exists on a continuum, and that labels oftentimes cannot adequately describe LBQ people’s work and communities. Through a consultative process with activists over a yearlong period, we have chosen to use the term “LBQ.” This refers to the focus on sexual identity; it includes all women (cis and trans) and all non-binary people on the gender spectrum who relate to a lesbian, bisexual, and/or queer identity.

Please take the survey by November 16, 2018!

Available in:

Meet our Jeanne Córdova Fund grantee partners!

We are delighted to announce this year’s Jeanne Córdova Fund grantee partners.

Pictured (L to R): Aireana (Paraguay) and Forum for the Empowerment of Women (South Africa)

We are delighted to announce this year’s Jeanne Córdova Fund grantee partners.

This year, Astraea’s Jeanne Córdova Fund awarded $130,000 in grants to 10 visionary grassroots organizations across Latin America and Southern Africa dedicated to sustaining lesbian and queer feminist movements. These groups are furthering intersectional, intergenerational movement-building, creating new forms of resistance, building power, developing cultural activism among lesbian, butch, feminist, and gender nonconforming communities and imagining new futures into being. Grantee partners are centering black, indigenous, and working-class voices, and following lesbian and queer feminist principles, which emphasize the importance of cross-issue organizing and collaboration. Organizations are:

  • Responding creatively to violence and threats against LGBTI+ communities: In Ecuador, Mujer y Mujer organized a self-care retreat this year, convening 11 LGBTI+ activists from 4 different regions to recharge and reflect on their strategies and activism against increased attacks from conservative and religious movements.
  • Providing critical safe spaces for resistance and the production of feminist cultural content: In Paraguay, Aireanas vibrant cultural community center, “La Serafina,” provides a unique space for merging theater, cultural activism, and political education aimed at challenging stereotypical gender roles and supporting the leadership of LBQ communities.
  • Developing rights literacy, advocacy, and communications training: In Zimbabwe, PaKasipiti will host an LBT advocacy symposium that will serve as a forum for growing activism and address the demands of national and regional LGBTQ and feminist coalitions.
  • Creating sustainable LGBTQI networks and alliances: In South Africa, Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) has developed the Rainbow Activist Alliance (RAA), a network of 15 community-based LGBTI organizations across the country that work collectively to secure greater access to public health care, reform discriminatory policies within the criminal justice system, and build black lesbian leadership.

Before she passed away in 2016, Jeanne Córdova announced that her estate would donate $2 million over 10 years to Astraea to help sustain the very movements that supported her as a young Chicana-lesbian activist. Through the Jeanne Córdova Fund, she created decades of possibility for Astraea, for our movements, and for our people. Please join us in celebrating the work of these powerful grantee partners and read more about their work in the links below.

Aireana – Grupo por los Derechos de las Lesbianas // Colectivo No Tengo Miedo // Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) // Fundación de Desarrollo Humano Integral CAUSANA // GLEFAS- Grupo Latinoamericano De Estudios, Formacion Y Accion Feminista // Lesbianas Independientes Feministas y Socialistas (LIFS) // Limpopo LGBTI Proudly Out // Mujer y Mujer // Mujeres Al Borde // PaKaspiti Zimbabwe

P.S. Join us in supporting LGBTQI activism all over the world by donating or following us on social media!

Donate

Why We Fund: Healing Justice

Astraea is thrilled to have two staff members from grantee partner Audre Lorde Project joining us as part of our Why We Fund event series.

We are thrilled to be in conversation with Tasha Amezcua and Simone Sobers of the Audre Lorde Project! Join us for this luncheon at Astraea’s office in NYC for a conversation with Tasha and Simone about the framework of healing justice and its practice within political strategies and movements that intervene on inter-generational trauma and state and institutional violence. Tasha and Simone will share how the Audre Lorde Project centers healing justice within their political strategies, and inside their local campaigns for community-led and determined safety and healing.

Light refreshments will be served. To RSVP, please email zlord@astraeafoundation.org

Astraea is growing!

Our team continues to grow and reflect a global feminist diaspora in the leadership of philanthropy.

Our team continues to grow and reflect a global feminist diaspora in the leadership of philanthropy. Irvin Lozano brings his whiz accounting skills to our fiscal team as a Junior Accountant. We’re delighted to have Tatenda Ngwaru, an amazing intersex activist from Zimbabwe, join our program team as the Grants Management Associate. Based in Botswana, the fierce feminist Lame Olebile also joins us as a Program Officer managing grants portfolios in Africa and Asia. This summer, Mihika Srivastava will also bring her strong writing and research skills to Astraea as a Communications Program Associate.

Our team continues to uplift Astraea’s tenets of advocacy; to resource and be thought partners with LGBTQI global movement leadership as we resist and build collective power and liberation.

With deep gratitude,

The Astraea Team

Meet our new staff members

Irvin Lozano, Junior Accountant

Irvin Lozano began his college education pursuing a degree in Biology. With the help of a close friend, he landed a job in finance at a manufacturing company, and over the course of 6 years taught himself the in’s and out’s of basic accounting. [Read more]

Tatenda Ngwaru, Grants Management Associate

Tatenda Ngwaru is a Zimbabwean Intersex Activist now based in New York as an asylum seeker. She ran the first Intersex and Transgender organisation in Zimbabwe for 4 years. She is a motivational speaker and activist advocating for the rights of LGBTQI refugees and Intersex individuals. [Read more]

Lame Olebile, Program Officer – Africa & Asia

Lame Olebile is a Pan-Africanist, queer feminist passionate about social justice. Her experience is in human rights with a strong background in LGBTQI issues and a wealth of experience in the LGBTQI movement. [Read more]

Mihika Srivastava, Communications Program Associate

Mihika is a human rights and gender justice advocate, dedicated to uplifting and amplifying the voices of intersectional feminist communities worldwide. She believes in the distinct power of storytelling to create policy and culture change around gender norms and injustices. [Read more]

This 2018, we’ve showed up!

So far in 2018, we’ve been hustling in big and small ways to fuel movements for global LGBTQI justice. Below are a few recent Astraea highlights showcasing the breadth and depth of our collective commitment to liberation.

We’ve been hustling in big and small ways to fuel movements for global LGBTQI justice. Below are a few recent Astraea highlights showcasing the breadth and depth of our collective commitment to liberation. We’re partnering on pioneering LGBTQI research, connecting communities through events and creating spaces that center healing and holistic visions of justice, along with our continued commitment to resource activists on the frontlines. Here’s how we’ve showed up so far this year:

Created space for grantees to share healing justice strategies


Photo: Grantees attend the Healing Justice and Resiliency Gathering

Just before the start of the Allied Media Conference this June in Detroit, Astraea convened members of US Fund grantee partner organizations at our Healing Justice and Resiliency Gathering. The Gathering allowed grantee partners to connect and share healing justice strategies and ideas from their local regional contexts. Later this year, we’ll publish a longer report on Healing Justice and Holistic Security.

Elevated the work we support through the Why We Fund series


Photo: Astraea staff and Why We Fund attendees pose with Aaryn Lang and Katherine Acey following their February 2018 event

Our new Why We Fund event series opened up Astraea’s office in NYC for community members to learn more about who, where, and why we fund. We’ve held events about intergenerational activism, intersex activism, and funding in the Global Southeast, and we’ve lifted up the work of people like Katherine Acey, Aaryn Lang, Pidgeon Pagonis, and Jean Chong. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for announcements about upcoming Why We Fund events.

Reported on digital trans organizing in Central Asia & Eastern Europe


Photo: Mapping Digital Landscapes of Trans Activism in Central Asia and Eastern Europe report

Together with Transgender Europe (TGEU), Astraea released a report providing a regional overview of digital organizing by trans activists in 26 countries of Central Asia and Eastern Europe. The report emphasizes shared patterns of digital usage, barriers to free and safe use of the internet, and resistance strategies to homo/transphobic-motivated censorship, surveillance, and online attacks. Read the report here, and a recently published article via Access Now here.

Convened the first ever regional intersex meetings in Latin America and Asia


Photo: Intersex activists gather at the first Asian Intersex Forum in Bangkok, Thailand

We helped sponsor the first regional intersex convenings in Latin America and Asia. In research from our recent The State of Intersex Organizing (2nd ed) report, intersex groups reported an ongoing desire for convening spaces. The regional meetings provided an excellent opportunity to have focused discussions on regional priorities and strategies; and specific needs for intersex organisations and intersex individuals in the region. Each region produced a statement and two regional networks were set up in Latin America and Asia. Read the statements from each convening: AsiaLatin America.

Connected communities through events


Photo: Attendees pose for a photo at a February 2018 event in Seattle. Photo credit: Amy Tam Co.

Astraea has helped host events in cities all over the U.S. to bring together Astraea grantee partners, donors, and community members to support LGBTQI movements worldwide. We have many more events planned, so stay tuned—we may soon be in a city near you!

Updated our privacy policy to reflect new legal requirements

In order to comply with the GDPR and to shift with the changing digital landscape, we’ve updated our privacy policy. Read it here!

Created the Astraea House Party Toolkit


Photo: Guests attend our event in Washington, D.C. in January 2018. Photo credit: Beverlie Lord of Satsun Photography

Build community with us, call your friends, and maximize your impact by shifting resources to the frontlines! Hosting a house party for Astraea is now easier than ever! Learn how in our new house party toolkit. By sponsoring a house party, you are helping to promote our mission to advance the economic, political and cultural empowerment of LGBTQI people globally.

Amplified the voices of grantee partners and donors in a series of videos


Photo: Members of grantee partner BreakOUT! based in New Orleans

Our online Video Archive has blossomed! We’re creating a dynamic collection of videos that amplify the voices of grantee partners and donors. Hear more about how Astraea started, being intersex in Asia, the fight for sexual and gender diversity in Palestine, and building trans women’s leadership in South Africa. The latest videos feature TGI Justice Project (TGIJP)S.H.E.Achebe PowellKatherine AceyalQawsOii-ChineseAlice HomJewelle Gomez and Diane Sabin, and more!

Strengthened Kenyan activists’ messaging through audience research and testing


Photo: Participants map out strategies at a Strategic Communications Project workshop in Kenya

Over the last year, Astraea has been engaging LGBTQI organizations and activists in Kenya to use social science research on audience messaging to inform their communications strategies. Throughout this pilot project, LGBTQI organizations in Kenya have been working to understand their audiences—specifically, potential allies—in order to create messages that speak to their shared values and encourage them to be more supportive of all Kenyans regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. We are currently preparing for the final workshop, where activists will collaboratively analyze message testing and hone their storytelling skills.

Launched our Fertile Ground Fund making a total of $110,000 in grants to 15 organizations

Photo: Members of Audre Lorde Project based in New York City. Photo credit: Jeyhoun Allebaugh

Organizations often require more than just campaign-based support, they need resources to heal, survive, thrive and make change. The Fertile Ground Fund bolsters our movements’ capacities to build power by providing a flexible source of funding based on unanticipated or emerging needs and desires of Astraea’s grantee partners. It supports projects that combat the violence of policing, deepen cross-movement collaborations to end state criminalization, and invest in resiliency strategies for long-term sustainability. Stay tuned for more information on the grantee partners and the next round of grantmaking.

2018 #AstraeaPride Highlights

This Pride month, we’re grateful for all the grantee partners, staff, board, and supporters who are an integral part of the work for collective liberation.

This Pride month, we’re grateful for all the grantee partners, staff, board, and supporters who are an integral part of the work for collective liberation.

Check out the video above for recent highlights from Astraea and our grantee partners–know that you are an integral part of the work for collective liberation.

Read our most recent Annual Report to find out even more highlights from our grantee partners and supporters!

Meet our US Fund grantee partners!

We’re thrilled to announce this year’s U.S. Fund grantee partners. These are some of the fiercest organizations in the country using transformative strategies to combat criminalization, resist state violence and white supremacy, and build collaborative, sustainable LGBTQI movements where gender, reproductive, racial, migrant and economic justice is not an ideal, but a lived truth for us all.

We’re thrilled to announce this year’s U.S. Fund grantee partners.

Astraea awarded $1M in grants, to 32 organizations, in 13 states! These are some of the fiercest organizations in the country using transformative strategies to combat criminalization, resist state violence and white supremacy, and build collaborative, sustainable LGBTQI movements where gender, reproductive, racial, migrant and economic justice is not an ideal, but a lived truth for us all.

Many of our grantee partners are using multiple and diverse strategies to achieve their aims, and are engaging in cross-issue collaborations that build power at the local and national levels. Organizations are:

  • Increasing visibility of healing justice strategies and the de-stigmatization of mental health services, such as National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN)’s unique online directory of queer and trans mental health practitioners of color that assists QTPoC in accessing mental health services. Since their launch in 2016, the network has grown to over 1,500 active members.
  • Expanding the intersections of racial, economic, and migrant justice movements to center Black queer and trans migrants, such as Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project’s regional community gatherings and organizer trainings that create networks of support for Black queer and trans migrant communities and build leadership to defend and protect Black LGBTQIA migrants.
  • Running powerful policy advocacy and organizing campaigns against discriminatory practices in the criminal justice system, such as Young Women United’s fight against SB 78 and Communities United for Police Reform’s campaign for the Right to Know Act.

We are committed not only to resourcing movements via grantmaking, but also to supporting and strengthening cross-collaborations. In January 2018 we hosted a lively and intimate convening with twenty U.S. Fund grantee partners in Washington D.C. Throughout the day, conversations centered around vulnerability, safety, sustainability, and the need for innovative strategies in this intensified moment of white supremacy, racism, and violence; from politicizing direct service provision, engaging in interfaith organizing, to building cross-movement visions and collaborations. Our partnerships with groups like these underscore why we are meeting this political moment with a renewed sense of urgency—and hope. Please join us in celebrating the work of these formidable grantee partners and read more about their work in the links below. Audre Lorde Project // Black Alliance for Just Immigration // Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project // Black Youth Project 100 // Blackbird: Fueling Innovation into Black Organizing // Black and Pink // BreakOUT! // Center for Media Justice // Community United Against Violence, Inc. // Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) // El/La Para Translatinas // Ella Baker Center for Human Rights // Enlace // Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement // FIERCE // Freedom, Inc. // Girls for Gender Equity // Immigrant Youth Coalition // Law for Black Lives (L4BL) // Mariposas Sin Fronteras // Mijente // National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network // New Voices Pittsburgh // Power Inside // Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM) // SisterReach // SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective // Survivors Organizing for Liberation (SOL) // SPARK! Reproductive Justice NOW // Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP) // Trans Queer Pueblo // Young Women United (YWU) By supporting Astraea you are creating ecosystems of resistance that are smart, effective, and unique. We are answering the call of this moment. We will win. And we will do so because of your support. Join us, donate now and sign up to our emails or social media. 

About the image: Freedom Cities is a movement for safe, healthy and thriving neighborhoods and local communities led by Astraea grantee partners Ella Baker Center, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, and Enlace. Credit: Ella Baker Center