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.

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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.

RSVP

Meet our grantee partner, Immigrant Youth Coalition

An interview with Immigrant Youth Coalition’s Communications Coordinator Yessica Gonzalez.

The Immigrant Youth Coalition (IYC) is an undocumented and queer/trans youth led organization based in California, that mobilizes youth, families and incarcerated people to end the criminalization of immigrants and people of color. Through story-based strategies and grassroots organizing, IYC brings the struggles of directly impacted communities to the forefront of our movements to create social, cultural and policy change.  

In the video above, IYC Communications Coordinator Yessica Gonzalez shares more about the importance of the organization’s work, as well as what it’s meant to receive support from Astraea.

Learn more about Immigrant Youth Coalition.

***

Video transcript:

I think meeting other resilient queer, undocumented folks who have become my best friends, and creating a different world that we’re envisioning forward, that’s been one of the powerful moments doing this work.

There’s a lot of media attention around immigrant visibility, and we always see the good, light-skin student who is valedictorian as the one who should get citizenship. So when there are other folks who don’t fit into that criteria, they’re easier to be targeted because then they don’t seem as the ones who are deserving of all these other treatments.

A few years ago we launched a campaign called the TRUST Act to stop the collaboration between local law enforcement and immigration. That was really instrumental because it would stop people getting targeted. Or, at least, when they were stopped by police and asked for an I.D., or questioned for anything, they wouldn’t be directly funneled into a detention center, and it would give more security to folks who were victims of domestic violence, or who had been victims of a crime to call upon somebody and not fear that they would be deported or fear direct persecution or direct criminalization through immigration enforcement.

We know that citizenship isn’t the answer because a piece of paper isn’t going to take away the anxiety, depression, trauma that a lot of people are going through or absolve the targeting and criminalization of folks. Colorism is a reality, so by saying “it’s beyond citizenship, and it’s about stopping deportations,” I think that is more of the framing that we want to go towards.

Astraea was actually our first funder back in 2013, and thanks to the support of Astraea, we’ve been able to get more access to funds and sustain the work that we’ve been doing and supporting it through leadership development. And we are seeing other youth who are undocumented and who are queer creating more spaces for themselves. And, also, supporting other folks so we can continue the work and create long-term visioning.

I think personally, growing up undocumented and getting to know other undocumented folks and knowing that we’re resilient people! Everybody thinks that we’re this sad story but no, undocumented people are great! Yeah, we’re hard-working but yeah, we also know how to have fun, you know? We also know how to smile. We also know how to laugh. We also know how to do other amazing things. And I think seeing somebody reunite with their family after they’ve been incarcerated or detained, being able to mobilize, empower themselves to tell other people about the work and that it’s okay to fight back and it’s okay to take on your own case. And then seeing them outside of a detention center, when they’re back with their community, back with their family, to me that has been the highlight of this whole work. And it always reminds me why we continue to do this.

On the U.S. Trans Military Ban

Astraea condemns the Supreme Court’s recent decision to stay injunctions in recent trans military ban cases, effectively banning trans people from serving in the military.

Astraea condemns the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to stay injunctions in recent trans military ban cases, effectively banning trans people from serving in the military. We deplore this stance, as its function is to dehumanize trans people and deny them a key avenue of access to resources like healthcare and education. Like many other tactics deployed by the current administration, we see this action for what it is–an effort to pretend to “protect” an invisible electorate from an imaginary enemy.

At the same time, Astraea strives for the demilitarization of the state and dismantling of mechanisms that force people to participate in the military industrial complex in order to access vital resources. We hold these contradictions because it is our responsibility to, and we vow to continue supporting work that does not shy away from paradoxes or nuances, but that seeks solutions that free us from all forms of oppression.

Learn more about the Supreme Court’s decision via the links below:

Astraea 2019 New Year’s Celebration

Astraea is opening its offices for a New Year’s Celebration!

Astraea is opening its offices for a New Year’s Celebration! Join us on January 16th at 6PM to enjoy food, drinks, art, and community. Our New Year’s Celebration will uplift brilliant artists who are creating a new world in the new year through their art and resistance.

Global Arts Fund recipients Yaneris Gonzáles Gómez and Kiyan Williams will share their experiences as LGBTQI artists creating meaningful representation and the importance of art as tool for resistance. The night will also feature visual works from Beldan Sezen and Las Nietas de Nonó.

Bring your resolutions for the revolution, RSVP online and join us at our offices on January 16th at 6PM!

For more information, contact Sally Troncoso at stroncoso@astraeafoundation.org or call 212.810.4155.

RSVP

Ellen Page and Jason Reitman to hold CASABLANCA live read benefitting Astraea

Join us on December 13, 2018 for a special live reading of Casablanca with Writer/Director Jason Reitman and Academy Award nominated actress Ellen Page! All proceeds will benefit Astraea.

Come away with us to Casablanca as Writer/Director Jason Reitman, in collaboration with Academy Award nominated actress Ellen Page, brings back his acclaimed “Live Read” series with a modern diverse cast of artists reimagining the classic 1940s film. Cast members will include Ellen Page, Kiersey Clemons, Hannah Gadsby, Emily Hampshire, Indya Moore, Kate Moennig and Olivia Wilde.

Enjoy an evening at the iconic Ace Theater in downtown Los Angeles and show up in true Casablanca style with your trench coat and fedora. Cocktails will be served, and nostalgic memorabilia will be available for purchase. Join us there!

Date: December 13, 2018
Time: 8pm PST
Location: Ace Theater, Los Angeles, California

*All proceeds to benefit LGBTQI grassroots activists through Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, which supports the bravest and most radical organizations fighting for change.

Tickets

 

 

Press about the event:

For more information, please contact Astraea’s Develop Officer for Special Events, Sally Troncoso, via stroncoso@astraeafoundation.org or 212-810-4155.

Trans Day of Remembrance 2018

Today and everyday we remember the legacy of our trans ancestors as we continue to fight for the rights and autonomy of trans, non-binary and GNC people.

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the murder of Rita Hester, a young Black trans woman from the U.S. whose life was taken in an act of anti-transgender violence. Her death led to the creation of Trans Day of Remembrance by trans activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith. On this day, two decades after Rita’s life was taken, we honor her and all the trans people that came before us. It is vital that we connect the murder of Rita Hester to the violence that trans people, especially trans people of color, continue to face. Transrespect recently reported there were 369 cases of reported killings of transgender people worldwide in the past year. Each trans person we lose to violence is an individual with their own colorful life story of resilience and joy.

Despite this violence, our trans ancestors showed resilience and strength. They paved the way for our grantee partners all over the world who are advocating for trans rights in their respective regions, and working towards a world where we are free from this violence. Today and everyday we remember the legacy of our trans ancestors as we continue to fight for the rights and autonomy of trans, non-binary and GNC people. Our existence is resistance.

Find a TDOR event near you:

Trans Day of Remembrance Resources & Links:

Astraea’s 2018 Fueling the Frontlines Gala

Mark your calendars: Astraea’s signature West Coast event Fueling the Frontlines returns to Los Angeles on Thursday, November 8, 2018!

Mark your calendars: Astraea’s signature West Coast event, the Fueling the Frontlines Awards, returns to Los Angeles on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at the NeueHouse Hollywood. Join us as we celebrate and honor activists, artists and philanthropists who are leading the new era of resistance and fueling the movement for LGBTQI justice.

Purchase tickets here!

#Fuelthefrontlines

Meet our Intersex Human Rights Fund grantee partners

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our grantee partners have been instrumental in:

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

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

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

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

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

Donate

 

 

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

Intersex Activist Tatenda Ngwaru on Intersex Awareness Day

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

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

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

Learn more about Tatenda.

*****

Video transcript:

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

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

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