Out Now – 2023 Annual Report “Interwoven Communities”

We are excited to share our 2023 Annual Report, Interwoven Communities: The Fabric of LGBTQI+ Movements. This review of our work weaves together the many threads of our philanthropy over the past year and honors the interlinkages of LGBTQI+ activism.

We are excited to share our 2023 Annual Report, Interwoven Communities: The Fabric of LGBTQI+ Movements. This review of our work weaves together the many threads of our philanthropy over the past year and honors the interlinkages of LGBTQI+ activism.

 

Across borders, identities, and struggles, our lives and liberation are inextricably interconnected – even when the details of our lives are distinct. Our grantees form a worldwide network of freedom leaders, each one threading the needle of our mission. As philanthropy moves forward in acknowledgment of our intertwined struggles, our successes will create a safety net for generations to come.

 

Take a closer look at the fabric of our work as we bring together communities in service of our collective struggle.

 

Thank you to our supporters, donors, allies, and staff and board members for making this work possible.

 

Read and Download the Report.

 

Trans People Have Always Been Here!

Today the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice recognizes Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV). Two-Spirit, trans, and nonbinary people have existed across cultures and history. Trans visibility is many things. It is an act of resistance, a reflection of individual identity, or just who someone is. 

Today the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice recognizes Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV). Two-Spirit, trans, and nonbinary people have existed across cultures and history. Trans visibility is many things. It is an act of resistance, a reflection of individual identity, or just who someone is.

 

TDOV is a day to recognize that trans people have always existed and will continue to exist. It is a time to reaffirm that trans people have a place in media, culture, and public life. Across the diverse cultural contexts that the Astraea Foundation supports, we recognize that trans visibility means recognizing trans people’s agency. Trans people should be in control of their representation and narratives, and have a say in when, where, and how they are visible. While we understand that not every trans person can or wants to be visible, including those who remain invisible due to safety concerns, we remain firm in our advocacy for trans people around the world no matter what their personal visibility looks like.

 

Through our feminist philanthropy, the Astraea Foundation is committed to celebrating the lives of transgender people and empowering them to live authentically. In 2023, over a third of our grants supported trans and nonbinary-led organizing, and 100% of our trans and nonbinary U.S. funding was for groups led by and for BIPOC.

 

Beyond depictions based on violence, fear, or stereotypes, we honor trans visibility rooted in joy, resilience, and resistance.

 

This TDoV, we are proud to have collaborated with freelance artist and designer, Emulsify, to create this beautiful illustration. To learn more about their work, please visit @emulsify.art on Instagram.

Request for Proposals for Brokerage Services and Market Analysis

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice seeks proposals from reputable brokerage firms to assist us in acquiring suitable office space as our lease in Union Square expires in February 2025. We want to explore options in Midtown South and downtown Brooklyn. We are looking for comprehensive assistance in navigating the real estate market.

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice seeks proposals from reputable brokerage firms to assist us in acquiring suitable office space as our lease in Union Square expires in February 2025. We want to explore options in Midtown South and downtown Brooklyn. We are looking for comprehensive assistance in navigating the real estate market.

Since 2020, Astraea has functioned as a fully remote global organization. With staff located worldwide, having a centralized physical location would allow us to work in the office if desired, provide a meeting space, and host events. This space would either be leased as commercial property or purchased as a mixed-use unit. If the best option is mixed-use property, we would require a firm with experience with facilities management (either providing facilities management itself or through ongoing partnerships with trusted contractors).

Click here for more information about the scope of work.

Submission Deadline: Proposals must be submitted electronically to Simone Williams (swilliams@astraeafoundation.org) with “Astraea Office Relocation Proposal” in the subject line no later than Monday, April 15, 2024. 

Should you require further information or clarification regarding this RFP, please contact Simone Williams at swilliams@astraeafoundation.org

Trans Day of Remembrance, Resilience, and Resistance

Today we make space for the remembrance of trans and nonbinary people who have been lost to anti-trans violence, we honor the resilience of trans communities, and we remain steadfast in our resistance to anti-trans violence and ideology.

This TDOR, the Astraea Foundation is excited to collaborate with freelance artist and designer, Emulsify. To learn more about their work, please visit @emulsify.art on Instagram.

 

 “Our task is to move from sympathy to responsibility, from complicity to reflexivity, from witnessing to action. It is not enough to simply honor the memory of the dead—we must transform the practices of the living.”

 

Today we make space for the remembrance of trans and nonbinary people who have been lost to anti-trans violence, we honor the resilience of trans communities, and we remain steadfast in our resistance to anti-trans violence and ideology.

Trans Day of Remembrance began as an opportunity for healing for the trans community, and it has succeeded in bringing the epidemic of violence against Black trans women to widespread public attention. According to the Trans Murder Monitoring research project, which tracks anti-trans violence globally, at least 320 trans and gender diverse people have been lost to violence across the world in 2023. 94% of those reported murdered were trans women and trans feminine people, and 80% were trans people affected by racism – Black, brown, Indigenous, and people of color. We recognize that this number is likely higher, as violence against the trans community is underreported, misreported, and ignored.

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice honors our trans communities and the rich diversity of trans identities. The intersectional feminist values which inform the Astraea Foundation’s work today owe much to the scholarship, activism, and generosity of trans activists, specifically trans women of color.

 Trans activists are present at the forefront of rights struggles, and our grassroots focused, innovative philanthropy centers trans voices in global activism. The Astraea Foundation will continue to responsively support trans-led organizations and groups to interrupt systems of oppression and build toward a future where our communities survive and thrive. 

Meet Our Newest International Fund Grantee Partners

We are proud to announce our latest cycle of International Fund grantee partners with new groups from Kazakhstan, Guatemala, Honduras, and Ukraine. This year so far, we have awarded over $1.2 million to 64 groups in 38 countries. The International Fund supports grassroots groups led by LGBTQI+ communities working for progressive social change, addressing oppression based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression who are also simultaneously advancing the work of racial, economic, and gender justice.

All around the world, LGBTQI+ people are experiencing the impacts of fundamentalist, conservative, fascist, nationalist, white supremacist, far-right, anti-gender, and anti-rights forces. Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is proud to announce our latest cycle of International Fund grantee partners with new groups from Kazakhstan, Guatemala, Honduras, and Ukraine. This year so far, we have awarded over $1.2 million to 64 groups in 38 countries. The International Fund supports grassroots groups led by LGBTQI+ communities working for progressive social change, addressing oppression based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression who are also simultaneously advancing the work of racial, economic, and gender justice.

The Astraea Foundation’s International Fund covers six regional portfolios: Africa, Asia & the Pacific, Caribbean, Europe, Caucasus & Central Asia, Latin America; and South West Asia with grantmaking spread across two cycles. Organizations to support in this cycle were selected across four of these regional portfolios: Africa; Europe, Caucasus & Central Asia; Asia & the Pacific; and Latin America.

The many incredible grantee partners in our current International Fund grant cycle include:

  • Swaziland – Lesbian Bisexual Queer Rights Swaziland (LBQRS) was formed as a support group for lesbian women who are survivors of corrective rape and lesbian women who were forced into marriages. LBQRS engages with traditional and community leaders in rural areas to strengthen the voice of LBQ women in rural Swaziland, support survivors of corrective rape, and ensure that rural perspectives are included in the broader LGBTQI+ movement.

  • Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan Feminist Initiative (Feminita) was established in 2014 as a grassroots collective of activists dedicated to women’s rights, with a particular focus on lesbian, bisexual, queer, and trans women and women with disabilities. Their efforts foster transformation across social, political, economic, and cultural areas. In 2024, Feminita will be hosting the 3rd European Lesbian* Conference (EL*C) in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

  • Thailand – Thai Transgender Alliance (Thai TGA) was founded in 2010, and advocates for the quality of life and rights of transgender and gender-diverse people through public advocacy, research, education, network building, and media advocacy strategies. Recently, Thai TGA has focused on capacity building to develop leadership among younger activists from trans-masculine and non-binary communities.

  • Guatemala – Mujeres con Capacidad de Soñar is a group of women and non-binary people with disabilities and allies founded in 2018. Mujeres is a space for self-support and self-help with a focus on supporting young indigenous women with disabilities. They work to increase access to sexual and reproductive rights and promote awareness of oppression in terms of sexuality and gender identity. Members value the space to explore their identities and some now openly introduce themselves as part of the LBT community.

With the aim of supporting LGBTQI+ rights across the globe, the International Fund selects grassroots LGBTQI+ movements focused on context-specific tactics, cultural change, and liberation. Through flexible, trust-based, and feminist funding principles, the International Fund continues to support lesbians, bisexual and queer women, non-binary and transgender people, intersex people, and allied communities to challenge oppression and claim their human rights.

2023 Cycle A International 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.

Africa:

Artists for Recognition and Acceptance AfRA, Kenya 

Elles Cameroon, Carmeroon 

Empowered Ladies Initiative for Equality, Kenya 

Jinsiangu, Kenya 

Ladies’s Voice, Togo 

LBQ Education Health and Advocacy, LEHA, Kenya 

Lesbian Bisexual Queer Rights Swaziland, Swaziland 

Mothers Haven

Parents, Families & Friends of the South African Queers, South Africa 

QET Inclusion, Cote d’Ivoire 

West African Trans Forum, West Africa 

Asia & the Pacific:

Asia Feminist LBQ Network, Regional  

Point of View, India 

Thai Transgender Alliance (Thai TGA), Thailand 

Sompurna, Bangladesh 

Europe, Caucasus & Central Asia:

European Sex Worker Alliance, Regional

Feminita, Kazakhstan

Labris Belgrade, Serbia

LBQ Central Asian Network, Central Asia

Lesbian* Resistance, Georgia

LGBIQA Association Okvir, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ride Side NGO, Armenia

Trans-Fuzja Foundation, Poland

Latin America:

Brújula Intersexual, Mexico 

Cattrachas, Honduras 

Chola Contravisual, Peru 

Diversidades Trans Masculinas, Peru 

Mujeres con Capacidad de Soñar a Colores, Guatemala 

Taller de Comunicacion Mujer, Ecuador 

 

 

Announcing Our Newest U.S. Fund Grantee Partners

The Astraea Foundation is proud to announce our latest round of U.S. Fund grantee partners with $1.4 million in 23 grants going to groups across the U.S. and its claimed territories. Our U.S. Fund supports LGBTQI+ Black and Indigenous communities with flexible, multi-year core support for new grantee partners focused on housing and land acquisition, and climate justice.

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is proud to announce our latest round of U.S. Fund grantee partners with $1.4 million in 23 grants going to groups across the U.S. and its claimed territories. Our U.S. Fund supports LGBTQI+ Black and Indigenous communities with flexible, multi-year core support for new grantee partners focused on housing and land acquisition, and climate justice.

Against the backdrop of growing anti-gender violence, more drastic and frequent disasters due to climate change and rampant environmental racism disproportionately impact LGBTQI+ people of color. Our Black and Indigenous communities face increasing violence, uncertainty, and exhaustion. The Astraea Foundation’s U.S. Fund remains rooted in supporting front line communities who will interrupt systems of oppression and build toward a future where our communities will thrive. It is with that guiding principle that the U.S. Fund is partnering with 22 new grantees to support their work on housing and land acquisition, and climate justice.

Four U.S. Fund grantee partners doing this work include:

  • Georgia – Trans Housing Atlanta Program (THAP) is a community-led organization founded and organized by Black trans and non-binary Atlantans. Since its inception in 2014, THAP has been dedicated to offering direct housing, emergency shelter assistance, rental and utility aid, and other crucial resources to support the sustainable housing and income of trans and nonbinary individuals in the region.

  • Florida – The McKenzie Project Inc. (TMPI) caters exclusively to the needs of Black trans and nonbinary people in South Florida by facilitating meaningful conversations about climate and environmental justice, and climate disaster preparedness. They seek to mitigate the effects of increasingly severe weather events and provide responsive support to community members. 

  • Missouri – Our Spot KC provides safe, accepting, and affirming services, programming, and resources to empower the LGBTQ+ community in Kansas City. LGBTQ+ people represent approximately 50% of people experiencing being unhoused in Kansas City. Our Spot KC provides housing, case management, systems navigation support, and mental health services as a baseline safety net for Kansas City’s LGBTQ+ community to thrive and continue to strengthen our movements.
  • Puerto Rico – Albanistería en la Brega Inc. is a Puerto Rican queer women-led non-profit organization that develops DIY and cabinetmaking skills in women (all women), non-binary folks, and girls with the purpose of empowering its participants. It breaks traditional cultural beliefs in the division of labor by sex and reduces the gap in access to non-traditional jobs for women.

The Astraea Foundation’s U.S. Fund advocates for liberation by centering the grassroots leaders closest to both the problem and the solution. For more than 45 years, the fund has focused on the intersections of racial, gender, economic, and reproductive justice movements, centering Black and POC leaders. Now more than ever, the fight for housing and land acquisition, and climate justice needs urgent support, and we are proud to expand the resources available to this critical work.

2023 U.S. 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.

Housing and Land Acquisition:

The Acorn Center for Restoration and Freedom, Georgia

Baltimore Safe Haven, Maryland

Casa Al-Fathiha, Illinois

Our Spot KC, Missouri

THIS Houston

The Knights and Orchids Society, Alabama

Trans Housing Atlanta Program, Georgia

Zami Nobla, Georgia

Climate Justice:

Albanisteria en la Brega, Puerto Rico 

Espicy Nipples, Puerto Rico

Birthmark Doula Collective

The Black Feminist Project, New York

The Black Mycelium Project, North Carolina

Center for Embodied Pedagogy, Puerto Rico

Community Movement Builders, Georgia

Eagle Bear Cultural Center

Earth Guardians

Earthlodge Center, California

Mariposas Rebeldes, Georgia

Sovereign Earth Works, Washington DC

Tender Fruits Collective, Vermont

The McKenzie Project, Florida

Celebrating our 2023 Intersex Human Rights Fund grantees

This Intersex Awareness Day, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is proud to announce our 9th annual cycle of grantee partners as part of the Intersex Human Rights Fund (IHRF). This year was the IHRF’s biggest yet, awarding nearly $600,000 in grants to 62 groups in more than 50 countries, and over $210,000 in additional support for movement-building and capacity-strengthening work, such as intersex regional convenings and workshops.

Image Credit: Aude Nasr / @ahlan.my.darlings

 

This Intersex Awareness Day, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is proud to announce our 9th annual cycle of grantee partners as part of the Intersex Human Rights Fund (IHRF). This year was the IHRF’s biggest yet, awarding nearly $600,000 in grants to 62 groups in more than 50 countries, and over $210,000 in additional support for movement-building and capacity-strengthening work, such as intersex regional convenings and workshops. The IHRF supports organizations, projects, and campaigns led by intersex activists working to ensure the human rights, bodily autonomy, physical integrity, and self-determination of intersex people. When we celebrate the activists working on the ground for intersex rights, we increase their visibility as part of our LGBTQI+ communities.

The violent and entrenched anti-gender practice of government policies and laws shaped by the sex and gender binary has devastating consequences for intersex bodies. As one of the only philanthropic funds exclusively supporting intersex people and advocacy, the Astraea Foundation is proud to work with our 2023 grantee partners fighting for intersex freedom. 

We are steadfast in our support of our intersex siblings. Four of our most recent grantee partners working for intersex rights are:

  • Tanzania – Tanzania Voice of Humanity (TVH) is the only intersex-led group in Tanzania, that actively promotes intersex rights through public awareness initiatives and facilitating connections between medical and non-medical institutions. Their work includes documenting the mistreatment of intersex people and sending advocacy letters to the Ministry of Health of Tanzania.  
  • Australia – Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA) works to strengthen regional and international intersex networks and advocates for intersex rights, including submitting reports to governing bodies. IHRA engages their community with trainings, screenings, and panel discussions IHRA also organizes Family Day, a day of activities for intersex people and their families. 
  • Ecuador – Colectivo Intertulias was founded in Ecuador in 2014 as a space for solidarity and peer support for intersex people. They support the development of policy proposals furthering intersex rights, and raise awareness about the barriers intersex people experience when trying to access public accommodations and exercise their human rights. 
  • Asia – Intersex Asia is a regional network of intersex activists, organizations, and communities in Asia, including China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. They support regional organizing and learning, and collaborated with the Asian Development Bank to develop an intersex inclusive safeguard policy focusing on LGBTQI human rights. 

When we support intersex communities, we fight anti-gender policies and norms. When we celebrate intersex people, we ensure they are not invisible.

 

This Intersex Awareness Day, the Astraea Foundation is excited to collaborate with Aude Nasr, a freelance illustrator based in Marseille, France. To learn more about Aude, please visit @ahlan.my.darlings on Instagram.

 

2023 Intersex Human Rights 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.

African Intersex Movement 

Regional 

Argentina Intersex 

Argentina

Asociación Peruana de Personas Intersexuales 

Peru

Associação Brasileira de Intersexos (ABRAI) 

Brazil 

Bilitis Resource Center Bulgaria  

Bulgaria

Brújula Intersexual  

México

Campaign for Change 

Nepal

Círculo Violeta 

Puerto Rico

Colectivo Intertulias

Ecuador

Collectif Intersexe Activiste – OII France (CIA-OII France) 

France

Comunidad De Lesbianas Inclusivas Dominicanas (COLESDOM) 

Dominican Republic

Egalite Intersex Ukraine

Ukraine                               

Fundacja Interakcja  

Poland

Groupe Intersexe Désirs (GIDE)

Democratic Republic of the Congo

iCon UK

United Kingdom

InterAction – Association Suisse pour les Intersexes 

Switzerland

Intersex Advocate Trust Zimbabwe 

Zimbabwe

Intersex Anatolia/ Intersex Turkey/ Intersex Shalala

Turkey

Intersex Asia Network 

Regional

Intersex Canada 

Canada

Intersex Community of Zimbabwe 

Zimbabwe

Intersex Denmark

Denmark

Intersex Greece 

Greece

Intersex Human Rights Australia 

Australia 

Intersex Ísland – félag intersex fólks á Íslandi 

Iceland

Intersex People’s Human Rights – ISIO Finland 

Finland

Intersex Persons Society of Kenya (IPSK)

Kenya

Intersex Philippines 

Philippines

Intersex Society of Zambia

Zambia

Intersex South Africa (ISSA) 

South Africa

Intersex Trust Aotearoa New Zealand (ITANZ)  

New Zealand

Intersexesiste 

 Italy

Intersexioni  

Italy

Intersex-Nigeria 

Nigeria

IntersexualesChile

Chile

Intrepida Foundation

United States

IVIM/Organization Intersex International Germany (OII Deutschland)

Germany

Ivy Foundation

Malawi

Jinsiangu

Kenya

Key Watch Ghana 

Ghana

kolekTIRV 

Croatia

Mulabi – Espacio Latinoamericano de Sexualidades y Derechos

Costa Rica

Organization Intersex International-Chinese (Oii-Chinese)

Taiwan

Organization Intersex International Europe (OII Europe) 

Regional

OII Sverige 

Sweden

Potencia intersex 

Argentina

Rainbow Identity Association

Botswana

Rede Jacob – Apoio a Familia e Pessoa Intersexo

Brazil

Roma Women of Vojvodina 

Serbia

Tanzania Voice of Humanity 

Tanzania

Trans Smart Trust 

Zimbabwe

Verein Intersexuelle Menschen Österreich (VIMÖ)  

Austria

Vivir y Ser Intersex

México

XY Spectrum 

Serbia

What is “anti-gender?”

The Astraea Foundation’s 2023 report, “Global Resistance to Anti-gender Opposition, LGBTQI+ Activism in Colombia, India, Kenya, Peru, and Serbia” provides an illuminating look into the activism in five countries, bringing to light how anti-gender governments and policies manifest in all parts of the world. 

After years of research and collaboration, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice has published our latest report, “Global Resistance to Anti-gender Opposition, LGBTQI+ Activism in Colombia, India, Kenya, Peru, and Serbia.” The report provides an illuminating look into the activism in five countries, bringing to light how anti-gender governments and policies manifest in all parts of the world. 

What is “anti-gender?” Anti-gender is an umbrella term describing ideologies that work to revoke and prevent the rights of LGBTQI+ people and criminalize their lives. Anti-gender actors work to deny access to fundamental human rights and primarily target women, trans, nonbinary, and intersex people. 

“We dream of living in a world with social justice. We reach out to other movements and we see cis-heteropatriarchy replicated there. That is a shock. But it is still good that our horizon is to make that fair world a reality for all.” – Colombian activist

Our latest report gives a snapshot of what activists on the ground experience in their fight for liberation and their priorities for achieving that goal. The four main categories of needs identified are:

  1. Financial resources 
  2. An enabling environment 
  3. Additional skills, knowledge, and strategies 
  4. Strong movements and inter-movement solidarity

In addition to the full report, you can also read an executive summary and a one-page overview with highlights from each section, all on our website. Global Resistance to Anti-gender Movements” is a collaboration between LGBTQI+ activists in Colombia, India, Kenya, Peru, Serbia, and the United States through surveys, focus groups, and community scholarship. 

The report would not have been possible without the many researchers, writers, reviewers, and translators who collaborated with the Astraea Foundation. A special thank you to the activists who participated in this research through surveys, focus groups and interviews. This report would not exist without their devotion to the movement and social justice. We especially would like to thank Alejandra Sardá-Chandiramani and Hakima Abbas, two researchers with long histories of activism, for their collaboration and support in looking into the impact of the anti-gender opposition on LGBTQI+ activism globally.

 

Read or Download:

Full Report       |       Report Summary       |       Report Overview

Mother’s Day 2023: Honoring Our Legacy

We invited our co-chair, Susana Fried, to share some reflections on our founding mothers for this year’s Mother’s Day. Motherhood takes all shapes, from chosen family, to raising children, to starting impactful movements, motherhood is grounded in care, love, and freedom. 

This Mother’s Day, I would like to honor, respect, and celebrate The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice’s 45-year history, our founding mothers, and all those who created, continue to nurture, and grow the Astraea Foundation of today.

Because of the foresight of a small group of spirited and determined women, we can support queer movements around the world with flexible, unrestricted funds. These women made clear their dedication to ensuring that women’s movements prioritize the needs of lesbians and women of color by declaring that “if it is going to exist, we will need to fund it ourselves.” This groundwork now enables us to support queer, feminist, anti-racist movements worldwide. Indeed, we are proud to be one of the first women’s funds in the world and the only one wholly devoted to advancing the rights of LGBTQI+ people globally. When we, as a community, consider the steps that come after this one, it is vital to be anchored in our history in order to plan for our future. Today, when we think about the next steps, we are thinking about the Astraea Foundation’s founding mothers.

This work is urgent – now more than ever. With anti-rights/anti-gender movements increasingly well-financed and globally networked, we’re seeing a proliferation of discriminatory laws, policies, and practices that normalize and advance criminalization and violence against LGBTQI+ communities and restrict reproductive rights and health. The growth of authoritarian, conservative forces especially target structurally excluded women, girls, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people, and reinforces the most restrictive and punitive structures of power and privilege. In this context, the Astraea Foundation’s work and the work of our grantee partners is critical.

Today, we especially remember Achebe (betty) Powell. Achebe was one of the spirited and determined women who, sitting around a kitchen table in 1977, brought the Astraea Foundation into being. We very recently lost Achebe to COVID-19, which serves as a harsh reminder that COVID-19 is still killing us – and that it is killing some communities more than others. Achebe was formidable: she was the first Black lesbian to serve on the board of directors of the National Gay Task Force and was co-chair of that board for several years. She attended the historic meeting of lesbian and gay leaders at the Carter White House in 1977. She was a highly sought-after trainer on diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism in the United States. And she was also “a pioneer in connecting United States work on intersectionality, inclusion, and diversity to transnational conversations on gender, race, class, and culture.” https://www.middlechurch.org/honoring-achebe-powell/

With her roots in the civil rights movement, Achebe was full of insight, love, critical awareness, and keen humor. She had a profound passion for nurturing vibrant, inclusive, queer, anti-racist feminist groups that operate with an intersectional perspective. For me, Achebe was not just a close friend but also an integral member of my chosen family. It is still difficult for me to imagine life without her, so whenever I think about her, I envision a bright new star emerging in the night sky. It is a privilege for me to serve as a co-chair, with Bookda Gheisar, on the Astraea Foundation’s board of directors, and I do it in her honor and loving memory.

Achebe was also fluent in French; I’ll pay tribute to her vision and commitment by closing with, “la lutte continue.”

In Solidarity,
Susana Fried, Board Co-Chair

Visibility Matters: International Lesbian Visibility Day 2023

Today on International Lesbian Visibility Day, The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice celebrates its origin in lesbian-led organizing as well as the contributions from our lesbian and queer-led grantee partners. For Lesbian communities, visibility can come with risks. Whether on social media, while traveling, or even running errands, to be visibly queer is to be vulnerable. Despite this, there are people across the world who are not only visible, but have chosen to lead the charge toward equity and inclusion through organizing and empowering their local communities. Historically, visibility has been part of The Astraea Foundation’s ethos, coming out as a lesbian organization in 1991. This International Lesbian Visibility Day, The Astraea Foundation is uplifting grantee partners led by LBQ+ people fighting for civil protections in their communities.

*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.

  • Latin America – Grupo Latinoamericano de Estudio Formación y Acción Feminista (GLEFAS), founded in 2007, sparks dialogue and political action within the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) lesbian feminist movement. GLEFAS supports the formation of collectives across the LAC region, as well as collects and preserves the history of indigenous and black lesbian activists from the global south. Their network is formed by activists, academics, and collectives from Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Spain.
  • Jamaica – We-Change Jamaica is a women’s-rights organization promoting gender equality & increased participation of LBQ+ women in social justice advocacy. We-Change Jamaica focuses on  sexual and reproductive health, reproductive justice, economic empowerment and holistic wellness. This includes hosting town hall events featuring presentations and discussions on the state of LBTQ and women’s rights in Jamaica.
  • Serbia – Rromnjako ilo improves the lives of women in Serbia by challenging sexual taboos, promoting diversity, and advocating against early forced marriages to young people. Additionally, the organization seeks to increase the visibility of LBTI Roma women in Europe and internationally.
  • Singapore – Sayoni is an intersectional queer feminist group working to build community and advocacy at local, regional and global levels. Sayoni organizes events, promotes research, and develops campaigns to support LBQ+ women in Singapore.
  • U.S. (Atlanta, Georgia) – Zami Nobla operates Biggers House, a communal living and gardening space whose goal is to provide permanent, accessible, and affordable housing to Bblack lesbian elders living on fixed income, ages 55 and up. Biggers House also includes community gardens for residents, Zami Nobla members, the LGBTQ community, and the Westlake neighborhood.

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is proud to work with all our grantee partners in the fight against oppression. It’s through their work that LBQ+ people all over the world will see a decrease in the risks of broader visibility.