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 grantee partner, TGIJP

Listen as TGIJP current and former staff share more about their work supporting incarcerated and formerly incarcerated trans and gender nonconforming people.

TGIJP was founded in 2004 with the mission to challenge and end human rights abuses against transgender, gender variant and intersex people, especially transgender women, in California prisons and beyond.

In the video above, TGIJP current and former staff share more about their work supporting incarcerated and formerly incarcerated trans and gender nonconforming people.

Learn more about TGIJP.

Meet Astraea donor, Alice Hom

Astraea donor Alice Hom shares why she chooses to #GiveToAstraea to support grassroots LGBTQI activism all over the world.

Astraea donor Alice Hom is a historian and community builder invested in bridging diverse and overlapping communities. She served on Astraea’s board during the early 00’s, and now serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women, California Humanities, and Borealis Philanthropy.

In the video above, listen as Alice shares why she chooses to #GiveToAstraea to support grassroots LGBTQI activism all over the world.

Listen to Alice Y. Hom’s podcast, Historically Queer, uncovering historical and contemporary stories about LGBTQ Activists of Color, at www.historicallyqueer.com

Want to join Alice as a long-time Astraea supporter? Donate here or join our donor alliance!

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.

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*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.”

Donate

 

 

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]

Honor author and activist Jeanne Córdova with us in LA

Astraea is thrilled to announce that we will be honoring Jeanne Córdova at our 2018 Fueling the Frontlines Awards on November 8th in Los Angeles.

“Jeanne looked ahead and saw her generation of lesbian feminist activists, many of whom had been blessed to make comfortable lives for themselves, many of whom didn’t have children of their own, and felt it was really important to get the word out to them about giving to their lesbian and queer children, about giving back to their community.” –Lynn Harris Ballen, Jeanne Cordova’s partner

Astraea is thrilled to announce that we will be honoring Jeanne Córdova at our 2018 Fueling the Frontlines Awards on November 8th, 2018 in Los Angeles. Author, activist, and Chicana-identified butch woman Jeanne Córdova devoted her life to activism on behalf of the LGBTQI community. Although best and most recently known for her award-winning memoir, When We Were Outlaws, Córdova’s activism and collective organizing spans decades–from founding the popular 1970’s lesbian feminist newspaper The Lesbian Tide to acting as President of the Stonewall Democratic Club. Córdova’s contributions to the lesbian feminist and extended LGBTQI communities are phenomenal, yet at all times it was the power of community and shared lesbian leadership that fueled her philosophy. In A Letter About Dying, to My Lesbian Communities she thanked the thousands of members of the national lesbian communities whose activism, lives, and loves touched her own–“especially those dykes who have become family and siblings of choice over the last 40 years.”

Jeanne was committed to helping sustain the movements that supported her as a young Chicana-lesbian activist. Before Córdova passed away in early 2016, she proclaimed, “It is wonderful to have had a life’s cause: freedom and dignity for lesbians,” and announced that her estate would donate $2 million to Astraea to carry out just that goal. “We need to think about giving to our gay and lesbian youth and institutions like Astraea or other lesbian organizations. They’re the ones who are nurturing our real daughters right now, around the world,” Córdova wrote in her final letter announcing the donation. In 2017, the Jeanne R. Córdova Fund supported 14 powerful grassroots organizations in South/Latin America and Southern Africa that focus on movement-building, human rights, journalism and cultural activism among lesbians, feminists, butch and masculine and gender nonconforming communities.

Jeanne created so much more than a considerable legacy with her intentional bequest — she created decades of possibility — for Astraea, for our movements, and for our people. Jeanne exemplifies the visionary philanthropy we celebrate and depend on every day. It is in this spirit that we both honor and celebrate Jeanne’s formidable life and legacy at our Fueling the Frontlines Gala on November 8th.

Celebrate Jeanne Córdova with us on November 8th!

Tickets to the gala are now available at an early bird rate! Buy yours via the button below to #FuelTheFrontlines of LGBTQI activism and celebrate Jeanne Córdova’s legacy with us:

Purchase your ticket

 

 

Questions about our Fueling the Frontlines Gala? For more information, contact Sally Troncoso at 212.810.4155 or stroncoso@astraeafoundation.org.

 

Why We Fund: Intersex Activism

Astraea is thrilled to have our grantee partner, Pidgeon, joining us from Chicago as part of our Why We Fund event series

Astraea is thrilled to have our grantee partner, Pidgeon, joining us from Chicago sharing their incredible work. Pidgeon is an American activist, writer, artist, and consultant who has presented across the nation and internationally. They are an advocate for intersex human rights and against nonconsensual intersex medical interventions.

Thanks to Flatiron Hotel for their generous support of this Why We Fund event. We’re happy to partner with them!

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Thanks to everyone who attended the event! We were grateful to have everyone in the room.

View event photos

A New Global Acceptance Index for LGBT people

Today, the Williams Institute, as part of the LGBTI Global Development Partnership has released three new research reports detailing the average levels of acceptance for LGBT people around the world.

Today, the Williams Institute, as part of the LGBTI Global Development Partnership has released three new research reports detailing the average levels of acceptance for LGBT people around the world. The findings reveal that LGBT rights have increased globally since 1980, though acceptance has become more polarized; increasing in the most accepting countries and decreasing in the least.

The Global Acceptance Index ranked 141 countries on their relative level of social acceptance of LGBT people and rights. Findings were analyzed from 11 cross-national, global and regional surveys and reveal that 80 countries (57%) experienced increases in acceptance. Forty-six countries (33%) experienced a decline in acceptance and 15 countries (11%) were unchanged.

“The Global Acceptance Index provides a consistent and comparable way to measure attitudes and attitude change, which could better understand inclusion of LGBT people in many areas of social, economic, and political life,” said lead author Andrew R. Flores, Visiting Scholar at the Williams Institute.

Two additional studies used the Global Acceptance Index to analyze the effects of LGBT acceptance and inclusion. Examining the Relationship between Social Acceptance of LGBT People and Legal Inclusion of Sexual Minorities found that democracies with a commitment to a free press and the rule of law had the strongest relationship. However, the relationship between acceptance and legal inclusion becomes weaker in shrinking civic spaces, such as autocracies and anocracies.

A third study, Links between Economic Development and New Measures of LGBT Inclusion, affirmed previous findings that the inclusion of LGBT people is linked to a country’s economic performance.

Some key findings include

  • Legal measures appear to be stronger predictors than social acceptance.
  • Legal rights and social acceptance may be stronger predictors of GDP per capita when combined than when they are alone.
  • Countries with the most inclusive Legal Environment Index showed a statistically significant addition of $8,259 in GDP per capita.

These new measures allow for global, cross-national comparisons of public sentiment about LGBT people and their rights. “The Global Acceptance Index,” notes Kerry-Jo Ford Lyn, Director of the LGBTI Global Development Partnership, “provides a critical global benchmark for measuring and comparing progress we make in ensuring that LGBT populations are protected from violence, stigma, and discrimination wherever they are.”

Astraea is committed to supporting the LGBTQI grassroots organizations around the world who are working to reduce violence and discrimination, and bring lasting social justice to our communities.

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Note: These reports were produced as part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) Global Development Partnership. The Partnership was founded in 2012 and brings together the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Arcus Foundation, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute, the Williams Institute, the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights (RFSL), and other corporate, non-profit, and non-governmental organization resource partners.