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!

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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

New report on Digital Trans Activism in Central Asia and Eastern Europe

Astraea and TGEU are proud to release a new report, Mapping Digital Landscapes of Trans Activism in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

Astraea and TGEU are proud to release a new report, Mapping Digital Landscapes of Trans Activism in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. The report provides a regional overview of digital organizing by trans activists* in 26 countries of Central Asia and Eastern Europe (CAEE)**, emphasizing 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. It also presents recommendations for funders and tech communities, social media corporations, and government entities.

In CAEE, trans lives are endangered not only by homophobic and transphobic legislation, but also by governments seeking to exert stricter surveillance over civil society by controlling and monitoring internet usage. Restrictions on internet freedom have a disproportionate effect on trans communities in the region who rely on the internet for their activist, personal, and professional lives, making it a critical tool for connecting and movement building.

Trans communities in the region are resisting these challenges using digital tools in creative ways:

  • In Russia, Foundation Transgender, an NGO working with trans people, crossdressers, and genderqueer people, chose to relocate their website hosting to servers based outside of Russia, in order to keep their organizational documents secure from the imposing 2012 Gay Propaganda Bill.
  • Trans activists in Turkey created the hashtag #GameOfTrans in 2017, using various social media platforms to organize a Trans Parade on the streets of Istanbul. The action revealed activists’ power to mobilize communities despite government surveillance.
  • LGBT Organization Labrys Kyrgyzstan responded to increasingly violent homophobic and transphobic hate speech on and offline with a regional email and listserv campaign, sharing information about the incidents with a wider European and Central Asian community of activists, and inviting them to share their own best practice responses and strategies.

“With the growing importance of digital organizing for trans movements coupled with crackdowns on internet freedom and civil society, there is an urgent need to invest resources in trans movements in CAEE,” says Mariam Gagoshashvili, Senior Program Officer at Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Investment in digital infrastructure alongside funding of trans-led groups is crucial to supporting the continuing fight against oppressive power structures and essential for the human rights of trans people in the CAEE region.

Read the report

 

 

To access a version of the report translated into Russian, click here.

P.S. Mapping Digital Landscapes of Trans Activism in Central Asia and Eastern Europe is part of a wider series of Astraea’s country-specific research reports mapping out the landscape of political, economic and social conditions for LGBTQI activism around the world. To read reports covering other regions of the world, including Southern African and Latin American countries, please visit our publications section. This is the first report to focus exclusively on the state of digital organizing and LGBTQI activism.

***

*In this report, the term “trans activists” refers to trans people who are actively working towards empowering trans communities and fighting for trans rights either in formal structures such as trans rights NGOs or LGBTQI NGOs, or in less formalized settings such as initiative groups, or as individual voices visible and known to trans communities within their respective countries.

**We use this acronym to include countries in Central Asia, Caucasus, Post-Soviet Eastern Europe, South-East Europe and Central Europe; countries under review are Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, FYROM/ Macedonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Today we honor our founding mothers!

Hear Astraea founding mother Achebe Powell and Astraea’s first Executive Director Katherine Acey share what it took to make their vision of a foundation that left no one behind a reality.

More than 40 years ago, a small group of women came together to address the needs of lesbians, women of color, and grassroots feminist organizations. They prioritized inclusivity and worked tirelessly over the years to ensure that they were leaving no one behind.

We recognize the formidable legacy of our founding mothers. Four decades later, and their vision still burns bright! Thank you, Stella Alvo, Audrey Barnes, Nancy Dean (d), Barbara Grant, Joyce Hunter, Roberta Kosse, Cynthia Long, Achebe Powell, Joan Watts and Leslie Kanes Weisman.

In the video above, hear Astraea founding mother Achebe Powell and Astraea’s first Executive Director Katherine Acey share what it took to make that vision a reality.

#GiveToAstraea because as Achebe says, “What we can never forget is there is so much more work to be done.”

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Meet our new Program Team members

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

Our program team continues to grow and reflect a global feminist diaspora in the leadership of philanthropy. We welcome the breadth and knowledge of U.S. Southern movement organizer Shaena Johnson, our new RJF Program Officer, and the powerful leadership of Courtney Okeke, our new Program Associate. Former RJF Program Officer Miabi Chatterji also now brings her depth of experience in racial justice philanthropy and her sharp analytical mind to her new role as our Senior Grants Manager.

Importantly, we want to lift up Namita Chad in her new role as Associate Director of Programs. In her eleven-year tenure at Astraea, she continues to be a transformative leader for the Program team and Astraea Foundation.

Our team will continue 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.

Meet our new Program Team members

Shaena Johnson, LGBTQ Racial Justice Fund Program Officer

Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Shaena Johnson brings over 15 years of organizing and advocacy experience as well as her extensive work in the community focusing on issues facing LGBTQ youth in the juvenile justice system. Shaena is also the former Co-Director of BreakOUT! [Read more]

Courtney Okeke, Program Associate

Courtney Okeke joins Astraea’s Programs Team with a wealth of experience leading youth wellness and social justice programming; facilitating healing, power, and oppression sessions; and organizing within Black queer feminist and youth-led movements. [Read more]

Namita Chad, Associate Director of Programs

Namita Chad is Astraea’s Associate Director of Programs. She is a queer South Asian activist with over 10 years experience in social justice philanthropy and over 15 years of experience working with grassroots, LGBTI, immigrant and feminist groups as a board member, staff and in advisory roles. [Read more]

Miabi Chatterji, Senior Grants Manager

Miabi Chatterji has been participating in and supporting cross-issue movements for justice for more than a dozen years. In the past she has been Co-Director of Grants at Resist, a public foundation with a 45+ year history of funding intersectional social movements, and Senior Program Officer for Astraea’s LGBTQ Racial Justice Fund. [Read more]