Astraea’s Feminist Funding Principles

Astraea has developed our ten Feminist Funding Principles to share what we have learned over the last four decades about what it takes to support activists on the frontlines to make enduring social change.

As a feminist fund, Astraea believes the strongest approaches to achieving justice center the needs and visions of people who face multiple oppressions. We believe it is our responsibility to redistribute money as a mechanism toward redistributing power, so movement agendas are controlled by activists, organizations, and communities.

To that end, Astraea has developed our ten Feminist Funding Principles to share what we have learned over the last four decades about what it takes to support activists on the frontlines to make enduring social change.

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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.

CSW Activist Solidarity Party

Join Astraea on March 13, 2019 as we celebrate the brave and creative activism around the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

Join Astraea Lesbian Foundation to celebrate the brave and creative activism that shapes our world around the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Come to the Astraea office to meet and connect with Astraea grantee partners, allies, and communities.

Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, live performances, and dancing! Celebrate CSW week with Astraea.


Sahar Romani, Poet (She/Her)

Sahar Romani is a poet and educator. Her work appears in The Offing, Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s Margins, Entropy and elsewhere. She is a recipient of fellowships from Poets House and New York University. Sahar grew up in the Pacific Northwest and currently lives with her partner and cat in Queens, New York.




For more information, contact Sally Troncoso at or call 212.810.4155.

Giving with Trust: a Brown Bag Lunch & Discussion with Ise Bosch and Justus Eisfeld

Join us in New York City as Ise Bosch and Justus Eisfeld discuss their new book, Giving with Trust, and how the power of money can be transformed into power for the many.

Join us in New York City as Ise Bosch and Justus Eisfeld discuss their new book, Giving with Trust, and how the power of money can be transformed into power for the many. Titled “Turning the power of money into power for the many,” the lecture will deal with questions like: How can we create mutual trust and stand together to shape more humane societies? How can we give in a way that transforms both the recipient and the donor? Do we dare to try something new?

Ise Bosch and Justus Eisfeld will talk about the themes explored in Transformative Philanthropy Giving with Trust, a book in which both, together with co-author Claudia Bollwinkel, reflect on holistic grant making, philanthropic involvement, and impact investments by Dreilinden gGmbH. For more than ten years, Dreilinden has been championing the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and queer people and strengthening social movements around the world. The book therefore features the voices of partners, grantees, and constituents of the projects backed by Dreilinden. It also discusses privilege, power, trust, and access, and offers a new view on philanthropy and its possibilities for impact.

Giving with Trust: a Brown Bag Lunch & Discussion with Ise Bosch and Justus Eisfeld
March 14th, 2019
Astraea offices in New York City
Light refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP to

This Valentine’s Day, we’re loving our people!

In recent months, we’ve been thrilled to welcome four new staff members. 

This Valentine’s Day, we’re appreciating the staff members who work daily to advance Astraea’s mission to resource frontline LGBTQI activists in the U.S. and around the world.

In recent months, we’ve been thrilled to welcome three new staff members. We’re delighted to welcome Loé Petit to the Intersex Human Rights Fund as a Program Associate, where they’ll work closely with our IHRF Program Officer, the Intersex Fund Advisory Board, and intersex leaders in regions around the world to further resource and garner support for multi-racial, intersectional and global intersex movement-building. Biola Odunewu brings her strong organizational skill, good humor and Nigerian herbal tea apothecary prowess to our team as Executive Assistant. Lastly, Hanna Israel’s West Coast savvy and diligence bolsters our fundraising efforts as Development Associate for Institutional Giving.

Our staff, both new and old, continue to drive and shape Astraea’s work as we resist and build collective power and liberation among LGBTQI movements. We’re grateful for all they do!

With deep solidarity and power,
The Astraea Team

Meet our new staff members

Loé Petit
Intersex Human Rights Fund Program Associate

Loé Petit is a French queer and feminist intersex activist, involved in community organizing at national, regional and international scales. [Read more]

Biola Odunewu
Executive Assistant

Biola Odunewu is a multi-channel communications specialist and entrepreneur with 15 years of experience in strategy, operations, marketing, and product development. [Read more]

Hanna Israel
Development Associate, Institutional Giving

Hanna is a queer activist and unapologetic anti-zionist Jew from Los Angeles with ten years’ experience in grassroots organizing for environmental defense, reproductive rights, prisoner support, migrant justice, tenants’ rights, and elevating sexual assault survivors in alternative communities. [Read more]

Want to join our team? We have some exciting new positions opening:

Program Intern
Program Interns work closely with Astraea’s Program Team to learn about and contribute to our support of over 130 grassroots LGBTQI groups around the world.

Director of Individual Giving and Special Events
Astraea seeks an experienced fundraising professional to lead Astraea’s Individual Giving Strategy.

Deputy Director
The DD will work closely with the Executive Director to create an environment for success that inspires staff and provides holistic, adaptive systems to support the organization’s mission and values.


Why We Fund: Care and Holistic Security with Mozilla Fellow Maya Richman

In September 2018, Mozilla announced its latest cohort of 25 technologists from 10 countries that would partner with organizations including Astraea to address emerging threats and challenges that prevent the internet from remaining a force for good. On Feb 27th, Astraea’s Mozilla fellow, Maya Richman, will share a bit about her work here at Astraea, and the value of embedding technologists within under-resourced organisations.


Astraea is celebrating the one year anniversary of our ‘Why We Fund’ series with a conversation centering on holistic security for organizations and collectives.

We are quite thrilled to have our Mozilla Fellow, Maya Richman, in NYC to share a bit about her work with Astraea, the Mozilla fellowship, and how holistic security intersects with our healing justice work. Maya will be joined by Slammer, another Mozilla Fellow embedded within Consumer Reports, who will share her experience as a security practitioner and fellow. We hope you can join us.

The consistent goal through our Why We Fund series is for Astraea to provide space for engagement around issues, and build a greater understanding of why, where and how Astraea funds this work, and in the specific ways that Astraea always has.

We will have wine and light refreshments, and it will be an opportunity to be in community, as well as in conversation.