Astraea is unrelenting in our commitment to gender, racial and economic justice. As the first philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI rights around the world—we know we are called to build, sustain, resource and celebrate our people and movements. Here are a few of Astraea’s highlights from the final months of 2017:
Photo (L to R): Katherine Acey (former Executive Director), Achebe Powell (Founding Mother), and J. Bob Alotta (Executive Director) at our 40th Anniversary Gala on November 13, 2017. Photographer: Elias Gurrola
This November we celebrated our 40th Anniversary Gala in New York City with an evening of art, music, food and righteous community. Together, we honored leaders from across the four decades whose commitment, passion and work inspire others and meaningfully advance LGBTQI justice in our communities and around the world. We were proud to honor Ise Bosch, Kobi Conaway & Andrew Owen, Naomi Sobel, Katherine Acey, Indyra Mendoza, Joo-Hyun Kang and Nona Hendryx. Get inspired by the evening’s festivities here!
Photo: Grantee partner No Tengo Miedo from Peru. Translation: Diversity is Revolution
As we celebrated our 40th Anniversary, we looked back at our grantmaking history. We’re proud to say that in our first 40 years, we’ve made over 4,500 grants to over 1,700 grantee partners in 99 countries and 48 U.S. states—that’s $36 million in grants that no one else would have granted in that way. With your help, we’ll be sure to reach $40 million in our 40th year!
Photo: Journalist activist Jeanne Córdova
Astraea is honored to have made our first round of 14 grants to radical lesbian and queer feminist organizations across Latin America and Southern Africa through the Jeanne Córdova Fund. Through this fund we are able to anchor lesbian organizations in both regions, as well as emerging feminist, queer and gender nonconforming youth-led organizations. This all became possible after journalist activist Jeanne Córdova left an unprecedented $2 million bequest to Astraea in 2016 after vowing to leave half her earnings to her community.
Photo: Caribbean Women and Sexual Diversity Conference 2017 participants in St. Lucia. Credit: OutRight International
In recent months, members of our program team went on site visits to Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey and India, and also attended the Caribbean Women and Sexual Diversity Conference in St. Lucia. The site visits gave Astraea program officers the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the geopolitical context, funding landscape and the state of LGBTQI and queer feminist organizing in each region, as well as to deepen relationships with grantee partners, advisors and peer donors.
Photo: Intersex Human Rights Fund grantee partner Oii-Chinese. Photographer: Yeh Hsiao Chi
Together with Global Action for Trans Equality and American Jewish World Service, this October we released the findings of global surveys of intersex and trans organizations in 107 countries in two new reports, The State of Intersex Organizing and The State of Trans Organizing. Despite exponential growth in LGBTQI funding in recent years, intersex and trans groups continue to be deeply under-resourced, with more than half of trans groups and more than three-quarters of intersex groups reporting budgets of less than US $10,000. The release of these reports is just the beginning—we are now advocating with major government and foundation donors to step it up for intersex and trans communities in a big way!
Photo: Strategic communications workshop attendees. Photo credit: Neolight Productions
In partnership with Kenyan activists and researchers, the Astraea team convened a Strategic Communications workshop in October, bringing together a diversity of LGBTQI activists from across the country. Attendees actively engaged with research to understand how beliefs, values and lived experiences influence the ways that civically engaged Kenyans and allies interpret messages about LGBTQI people. Activists used this analysis to strategize ways of crafting stories to tap into these values and change public attitudes, or hearts and minds, about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
Photo: Intersex activists at the 4th International Intersex Forum, April 2017
On Intersex Awareness Day (26th October), we were proud to announce our third and largest cycle of grants for the Intersex Human Rights Fund, after receiving an unprecedented number of eligible new intersex-led applicants to date. The Fund’s third cycle of grantmaking totaled nearly $300,000 USD in grants to 37 intersex-led groups in 28 countries. Read more about our third cycle of Intersex Fund grantee partners here.
Photo: Participants attending the first African Intersex Meeting in South Africa in November 2017
This November, we funded and helped host the first ever regional meeting of intersex rights activists from across Southern, East and West Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa. The meeting provided a rare and crucial space for discussion and network building for 22 intersex activists from different African countries. Participants released a public statement asserting their rights and autonomy as intersex people.
Photo: Our new website’s homepage at astraeafoundation.org
In October, we officially launched our new website! Featuring an interactive globe and stories about grantee partners and donors, the new website makes it even easier to learn about our impact, get to know our grantee partners, learn more about our history and our people, and stay up-to-date on Astraea news. Take it for a spin.
Photo: An illustration from our upcoming LBQ movement highlights report
Astraea and Mama Cash are partnering on phase one of the Philanthropic Advocacy for LBQ Women’s and LBQ Gender Non-Conforming Peoples’ Activisms project, which aims to create space for the articulation of a funding agenda for LBQ women and LBQ gender non-conforming peoples, to grow both the amount and quality of funding available for LBQ communities. In the coming year, we’ll be releasing a report highlighting some of the brilliant visions of freedom that LBQ activists are creating and will be engaging in formal research to track funding trends and gaps. Stay tuned!
Join us as we continue to support LGBTQI people and social justice in the coming year and beyond!