Championing Colombia’s LGBTI Movement: Read our Latest Report!

Astraea is excited to share our newest report, The LGBTI Movement’s Spiral Trajectory: From Peace Processes to Legal and Juridical Gains and Back Again, a case study of Colombia’s LGBTI movement.

Nos complace en compartir nuestro informe más reciente, La trayectoria en espiral del movimiento LGBTI: De los procesos de paz a los logros legales y judiciales, y de vuelta otra vez, sobre el movimiento LGBTI en Colombia.

English:

We’re excited to share our newest report, The LGBTI Movement’s Spiral Trajectory: From Peace Processes to Legal and Juridical Gains and Back Again, a case study of Colombia’s LGBTI movement.

Colombia’s peace processes have brought the diverse Colombian LGBTI population together on two occasions–during the peace process initiated by President Andrés Pastrana in 1999-2001 and during the peace process initiated in 2012 by President Manuel Santos. Through their participation, LGBTI activists have been able to guarantee representation via inclusive policies and programs, and have set a global precedent for including LGBTI people as a key sector of the population. Although the current political climate has seen an increase in right wing attacks on LGBTI human rights defenders and laws recognizing LGBTI rights, LGBTI human rights defenders continue to advocate for the needs of the LGBTI population.

The report offers a holistic overview of the movement’s priorities, progress, and challenges and provides a summary of LGBTI activists’ recommendations for researchers and international funders. 

Read the report

 

 

***

Español:

Nos complace en compartir nuestro informe más reciente, La trayectoria en espiral del movimiento LGBTI: De los procesos de paz a los logros legales y judiciales, y de vuelta otra vez, sobre el movimiento LGBTI en Colombia.

El informe examina cómo los procesos de paz de Colombia han unificado a su diversa población LGBTI en dos ocasiones. Primero durante el proceso de paz iniciado por el presidente Andrés Pastrana en los años 1999-2001 y luego durante el más reciente iniciado por el presidente Manuel Santos en el 2012. Por medio de su participación, les activistas LGBTI han podido garantizar la representación a través de políticas inclusivas y programas, y han sentado un precedente mundial para incluir a las personas LGBTI como un sector clave de la población. Aunque bajo del clima político actual se ha visto un aumento de los ataques derechistas contra defensores de los derechos humanos LGBTI y leyes que reconocen estos mismos, les defensores de los derechos humanos LGBTI continúan abogando por las necesidades de la población LGBTI.

El informe ofrece una reflexión holística de los avances y desafíos del movimiento, señala las prioridades del movimiento, y ofrece un resumen de las recomendaciones de activistas LGBTI para investigadores y la cooperación internacional. 

Lea el informe

 

 


Virtual Report Launch Event / Presentación del informe:

February 25, 2021 at 5pm EST / hora Colombia

We are thrilled to invite you to join us on February 25, 2021 at 5pm EST for a webinar to launch our latest report, ‘The LGBTI Movement’s Spiral Trajectory: From Peace Processes to Legal and Juridical Gains and Back Again!’ The report offers a holistic overview of the Colombian LGBTI movement’s progress and challenges, outlines the movement’s priorities, and provides a summary of LGBTI activists’ recommendations for researchers and international funders.

The event, hosted by la Universidad de Los Andes, will be facilitated by Dr. José Fernando Serrano Amaya and will feature a panel of activists from Colombian LGBTI organizations to comment on the report. The event will be held in Spanish, with live English interpretation provided.

***

Estamos encantades de invitarles a que nos acompañen el 25 de febrero de 2021 a las 5 p.m. EST a un seminario web donde lanzaremos nuestro último informe, ‘La trayectoria en espiral del movimiento LGBTI: De los procesos de paz a los logros legales y judiciales y de vuelta otra vez. El informe ofrece un resumen holístico del progreso y los desafíos del movimiento LGBTI colombiano y también un sumario de recomendaciones para investigadores y financiadores internacionales.

El evento, organizado por la Universidad de Los Andes, será facilitado por el Dr. José Fernando Serrano Amaya y contará con un panel de activistas de organizaciones LGBTI colombianas que comentarán sobre el informe. El evento se llevará a cabo en español, con interpretación en vivo en inglés.

Register for the report launch event here / Regístrese para la presentación del informe aquí



Relaunching our Executive Leadership Search

We are excited to be reopening our search for Astraea’s next Executive Director and welcome applications for a strategic and strong operational leader to build on four decades of innovative grantmaking and philanthropic advocacy to fuel the organizing of powerful LBTQI, feminist grassroots movements.

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy as we continue to weather this pandemic and its effects on our communities. For Astraea, in order to be effective at bolstering the resilience of our movements, we must truly build our own. 2021 will continue to be a year of transition, transformation and deep organizational change for us.

We had begun our search for Astraea’s next Executive Leadership in early 2020 but just as the unpredictability of the past year changed the trajectory of so many of our lives, it similarly impacted Astraea’s own transition and this search process. The Search Committee and the Board paused at the end of last year to take some time to restructure and reevaluate the process. Taking into account the challenges that continue to lie ahead, we are excited to be reopening our search for Astraea’s next Executive Director, and are officially relaunching that search today.

Meanwhile, Sandy Nathan, Interim Executive Director, continues to bring her years of executive experience, skills, and wisdom to leading Astraea through this time of transition. Sandy has made key hires, led the team in defining our values and strategic priorities, centered anti-oppression and anti-racism work to strengthen our organizational culture, encouraged staff sustainability through structured organizational pauses, and is investing in critical operational and infrastructure improvements. Astraea is financially strong and received a $4 million gift from MacKenzie Scott last year in recognition of our long-term, intersectional LBTQI grantmaking. Our board is confident in Sandy’s and the staff’s leadership in continuing to steward Astraea’s financial health and transformative grantmaking to the LBTQI, Black, Brown, migrant, indigenous, feminist movements at the grassroots.

The Search Committee is grateful to the candidates who shared their time and energy to engage in the search process last year. We are excited to welcome applications for a strategic and strong operational leader to build on four decades of innovative grantmaking and philanthropic advocacy to fuel the organizing of powerful LBTQI, feminist grassroots movements. We are looking for a leader committed to advancing gender, racial, disability, and economic justice, who has experience with nonprofit organizational development and proven success in building strong and effective teams. Our ideal candidate has an international perspective and lived experience in the Global South and/or East.  If this is you or someone you know, we encourage you to apply or share this announcement widely! We will be accepting applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Astraea’s committed Board of Directors will lead this process over the next several months. We will also keep you – our partners, friends, and allies – updated as regularly as possible. Sandy will continue to prioritize sustainability, organizational strengthening, and collective care, while bringing in the fresh perspectives and energy that we need to guide Astraea into the future. We remain clear about Astraea’s mandate during these challenging times and look forward to welcoming new leadership to meet this moment and beyond.  

In Solidarity,

Eboné Bishop and Bookda Gheisar
Board Co-Chairs 

We Won’t Be Intimidated

As a queer feminist funder based in the United States and resourcing activism across the globe, we owe our existence to the civil and human rights activism of the queer, trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (QTBIPOC) movements that have come before us. We know this backlash is because we are building a new world.

Astraea condemns yesterday’s violent attack on democracy! White nationalists and the police colluded to allow an unprecedented breach of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. At the same time, members of white supremacist group the Klu Klux Klan held a rally and attempted to enter Georgia’s State Capitol building as part of a coordinated strategy to enforce white supremacy and right-wing extremism at the expense of safe, fair elections and indeed of Black and POC life.

This white supremacist violence can be seen in direct response to the election victory in Georgia (GA) and across the United States (U.S.), where Black and Brown people organized and voted to overturn the legislature and alter the course of a nation. Yesterday, they flipped the senate by electing the first ever Black and Jewish senators in GA. We are proud and humbled by this inspired organizing—our joy will not be looted.

The attacks beg the questions: whose safety, whose democracy and whose freedoms are protected by the State? Narratives of ‘safety’ and ‘security’ are often conflated within State narratives to justify the use of violence and surveillance on Black and Brown people. Yesterday’s blatant use and collusion of State power in support of white-led facism, however, yet again exposes the truth of a nation built to protect ‘whiteness’ at all costs.

Sadly, for many of us this was not surprising. It reflects a well coordinated—and indeed, well-publicized—far-right attack on the election results, and the freedoms of all people, especially Black, Brown, immigrant, queer and trans people. White supremacy is what allows Black people to be murdered while sleeping, tear gassed and assaulted by the police in peaceful protest. It is the banning of Muslim people from immigrating to the U.S. It is the murdering and incarceration of folx trying to cross the border with Mexico. It is the mass-criminalization of Black and Brown people across the U.S., all the while white extremists are given open access to the Capitol and enticed to harm people, buildings and public property. This is a system built to destroy Black life and protect white life. This is the legacy of centuries of white supremacy manifesting in the everyday racist violence of police and institutions.

As a queer feminist funder based in the United States and resourcing activism across the globe, we owe our existence to the civil and human rights activism of the queer, trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (QTBIPOC) movements that have come before us. We honor those who have charted and continue to envision the path of liberation for us all. We uplift what is possible when our people come together to organize and contest for power. We know this backlash is because we are building a new world.

This is an exhausting, terrifying and infuriating time, and the work of anti-racism and the abolition of white supremacy will not happen overnight. We also know we cannot heal from what will not be named. We dream beyond dismantling “whiteness” and towards systems of material, emotional and spiritual repair, towards joy, and towards true liberation where all people have dignity, safety, security and life.

We are committed to supporting the QTBIPOC grassroots over the long haul. They are the architects of our future where true change and liberation is possible. Please take care. Check in on your folx. Stay safe and keep organizing.

Technologies for Liberation – Our New Report is Here!

We’re so excited to share our newest report, Technologies for Liberation: Toward Abolitionist Futures!

Dear Friends,

We’re so excited to share our newest report, Technologies for Liberation: Toward Abolitionist Futures!

Across the U.S., queer, trans, Two-spirit, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (QT2SBIPOC) organizers are leading powerful movements for abolition and decriminalization. Through expansive, imaginative, community-led organizing, they are envisioning a future that is safe for us all.

In recent months, it has been galvanizing to witness dialogue around abolition become more mainstream in the United States. Simultaneously, the aggressive expansion of the webs of criminalization, surveillance, racism, and white supremacy continue to be a terrifying reality for so many. Technologies designed to collect personal information are deployed to control, police,  and surveil QT2SBIPOC communities, and limit the flow of money and power. Narratives of ‘safety’ and ‘security’ are often conflated within state narratives to justify the use of surveillance technologies on the public. 

“We’re seeing this conflation of safety and security that has caused a great deal of harm. Law enforcement and city government tout increasing safety for communities and almost always use the security mindset to do that. We’re trying to drive home the narrative that surveillance is not safety. Safety is knowing who your neighbors are. Safety is a resource community center. Safety is thriving public education. Safety is making sure that your neighbors have water and food. Those are things that are safe.” – organizer and researcher

Technologies for Liberation: Toward Abolitionist Futures explores the disproportionate impacts of mass criminalization and surveillance technologies on QT2SBIPOC communities. It amplifies the bold, intersectional, community-centered movement interventions, technologies, and responses that organizers from within these communities are employing to create safer, more joyful, and more just societies.

Yet, as the report finds, there is an immense gap in resourcing for this type of liberatory organizing. Philanthropy has a critical role to play in funding, fueling, and sustaining this ecosystem. Through concrete recommendations and strategies, the report is an invitation to prioritize and support these dynamic movements rooted in abolition, transformative justice, and healing justice.

We are grateful to Research Action Design (RAD) and the generous movement technologists and organizers who collaborated with us to bring this report to life. Filled with powerful organizing examples, critical evidence, and rich illustrations, Technologies for Liberation: Toward Abolitionist Futures is just a glimpse into the critical work of these brilliant movements. We hope it inspires and energizes you, as it has us.

In Solidarity,
Brenda Salas Neves, Senior Program Officer

Honoring and Uplifting the Resilience of Trans Communities this #TDOR

The best way to honor trans lives is to disrupt anti-trans violence, uplifting the resilience of trans communities, their diversity, brilliance and generativity, and supporting the work of trans activists on the frontlines. To do that, we must resource trans communities.

This Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), we honor and hold close the trans and gender nonconforming people who have been lost to senseless violence. What began as a way to memorialize the death of Rita Hester, who was murdered on November 28, 1998, has grown into a global moment to highlight the violence trans communities still face today.

Trans people have always existed. However, the contributions of Black trans and gender-nonconforming folks like Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major, and Zazu Nova have been largely ignored. Social justice movements have also often ignored the impacts of transphobia on trans communities, particularly Black and Indigenous trans folks, including epidemic levels of violence, heightened levels of unemployment and disproportionate levels of educational and health barriers.

The best way to honor trans lives is to disrupt anti-trans violence, uplifting the resilience of trans communities, their diversity, brilliance and generativity, and supporting the work of trans activists on the frontlines. To do that, we must resource trans communities to organize for fair healthcare, increased economic opportunities, safe housing, and gender-affirming education.

As funders, we also need to acknowledge that incremental approaches to movement building that prioritize certain identities over others are doing a disservice to trans communities, especially to Black trans women. There can be no Black Lives Matter without centering the needs of Black trans women. 

How can funders show up for trans and racial liberation? 

  • Develop political education curriculums within institutions 

Developing political education curriculums within funding institutions is critical to reducing the harm trans people of color face. Funders need to apply an intersectional and holistic social justice framework as they confront the disproportionate levels of violence that plague trans communities worldwide, acknowledge that the state and the prison industrial complex are the main perpetrators of harm, and work to address that harm.

  • Repair, heal & unlearn savior complexes

As funders, our role is to support and resource trans communities, rather than lead or define the goals of the movement. We must bolster trans people’s work, but never take credit for it. Our funding decisions ultimately have real-life consequences for trans people.

  • Trust trans leadership 

In order to shift power, it is crucial to trust and support grassroots trans leadership. Groups should have the freedom to choose how to use their funding and develop their own agendas, strategies and financial structures based on their own needs and priorities.

  • Assemble multi-racial trans panels to make funding decisions

Thoughtfully assemble a geographically diverse, intergenerational, multi-ability, multi-racial panel of trans individuals to review applications and select grantees and award amounts. Trans people are the experts of their own lives and experiences–they are the most qualified to make decisions with and for their communities.

  • Deepen multi-year, flexible commitments to support grassroots groups

Some of the most radical, transformative social justice work is being done by trans-led groups, especially those who are stifled by class and racial barriers. It is imperative to intentionally commit to multi-year funding for these groups to support them long-term.

The events of the past couple months have created new space for funders–Astraea included–to rethink our roles in the larger social justice ecosystem. As important as recent shifts and recognition of trans people, especially Black trans women, have been, we funders still have an incredibly long way to go.

On Voting and Visioning the Future

Right now, we’re at a crucial tipping point. LBTQI, Black, Brown, Indigenous, and immigrant communities are fighting to survive at the hands of white supremacy. And, these are the very communities securing a liberatory vision for the future.

Photo credit: TGI Justice Project

What is it you are fighting for?

Right now, we’re at a crucial tipping point. LBTQI, Black, Brown, Indigenous, and immigrant communities are fighting to survive at the hands of white supremacy. And, these are the very communities securing a liberatory vision for the future.

From its very beginnings, the United States has been a country built on slavery, settler colonialism, and extraction, yet the last four years have intensified the levels of overt violence against our communities. Time and time again, the current U.S. administration has attacked women, LBTQI, Black, Brown, immigrant, and Indigenous communities, and our most basic right to live safe, dignified, whole lives. We have seen:

  • Massive rollbacks of LBTQI rights and the appointments of racist, anti-LGBTQ+ judges.
  • Erasure of healthcare and education protections for trans people.
  • A mismanaged pandemic that has killed so many and disproportionately harmed People of Color.
  • Increased police brutality and mass criminalization of communities of Color.
  • The erosion of reproductive rights.
  • Forced sterilization of women of Color and immigrant women detainees.
  • Harsh, inhumane crackdowns on immigration.
  • People in cages at the border.
  • The greenlighting of pipelines across Native lands.
  • The denial of climate change.

The list goes on and on…

While the far right works to destroy democratic institutions, engage in authoritarian behaviour, and deny our human rights, in the United States and around the world, grassroots movements continue to dream, resist, and build the future we know is possible.

If you’re overwhelmed and exhausted, we are right here with you. But as November 3 approaches, and with the stakes higher than ever in the U.S. and globally, here’s what we know to be true:

Your vote matters: VOTE, if you can.

At Astraea we are making Election Day a paid holiday. If you are an employer in the U.S., we encourage you to do the same for your staff. Voting is by no means the only way to participate in democracy, but it is one critical way to ensure that we can elect leaders who represent us, reduce harm, make strides towards more just policies, and work to dismantle white supremacy.

For so many, voting rights still aren’t a given and voter suppression under increasingly totalitarian governments is a major global threat. In the United States, the attacks on voting rights are rooted in the ongoing disenfranchisement of Black people and other communities of Color. Globally, these kinds of attacks are part of a larger far-right movement that is well-coordinated, and well-funded, designed to control and restrict the rights and bodily autonomy of women, LGBTQI communities, and other marginalized communities at all levels.

Our movements hold the transformative vision of our future: We must continue to invest in them!

The work towards collective liberation doesn’t begin or end on Election Day—far from it. Regardless of the outcome of this U.S. election, transformative change and true justice for our communities are a long way off. Yet, when we resource those at the very center of our liberation struggles, when we invest in them over the long haul, we will build power for a brighter future.

Grassroots movements have long been working towards this alternative future: one that is rooted in joy, safety, justice, and care for us all. The Movement for Black Lives (including grantee partners Law for Black Lives, BYP100, MediaJustice, Blackbird, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, and SNAPCollaborative) is constructing a future rooted in abolition. The Montana Two Spirit Society is building the leadership of queer Indigenous people. TGI Justice Project is fighting for a future free of the mass incarceration of trans People of Color. Mijente and the Immigrant Youth Coalition are part of a powerful movement that centers and celebrates all immigrants. SPARK Reproductive Justice Now! are pushing for a future in which all of us have access to our reproductive rights and freedoms. Intersex Justice Project is working towards a future in which intersex People of Color are visible and protected. And this is just a tiny glimpse into what our movements are bringing to life, through their resilience, through their advocacy, through their collective care for communities.

Our responsibility and commitment—long-term and at this pivotal moment—is to stand within the struggle, to vote when we can, and to ensure our movements have the resources they need to make this future a reality, both in the United States and around the world. At Astraea, this has been our purpose from the very beginning, to fund at the grassroots, and fuel change rooted in movement visions.

So I ask you again: On November 3 and beyond, what is it you’re fighting for?

Join Us: Fight for joy, for care, for safety for us all. Fight for transformative change. Fight for the future we know is possible.

Celebrating our 2020 Intersex Grantee Partners!

This Intersex Awareness Day, it is with great pride and excitement we share Astraea’s 6th annual cycle of Intersex Human Rights Fund (IHRF) grantee partners!

This Intersex Awareness Day, it is with great pride and excitement we share Astraea’s 6th annual cycle of Intersex Human Rights Fund (IHRF) grantee partners! On this day, we recognize the work of the incredible intersex activists and organizations whose advocacy and self-determination have built a powerful global intersex movement and visibilized the lives and experiences of intersex people everywhere.

Astraea is proud to support many of these activists through our Intersex Human Rights Fund—the first of its kind—which accounts for almost three-quarters (73%) of all grants to intersex organizations in the world. This year, the IHRF granted $480,000 in grants to 53 groups in 41 countries, with 15 of these grants going to new grantee partners. This marks a 65% increase in funding from our 2019 cycle, reaffirming our commitment to supporting the growth and sustainability of intersex movements. It has been so exciting to continue to see the emergence of new intersex-led groups, some of which were formed as a direct result of the connections built through regional movement convenings in past years!

This year, as the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, the IHRF provided an additional $2000 to all our renewal intersex grantee partners. The pandemic and associated restrictions on movement have heightened the exclusion and discrimination many intersex people already face in communities around the world, and has left many without jobs, unable to access the medical and mental health services they need, and isolated from their loved ones.

Still, intersex movements have continued to be tireless in their efforts to build community solidarity, advocate for their rights to bodily integrity, raise awareness of and fight for their human rights, and collaborate across movements, issues, and regions to make their voices heard!

Here are just a few examples of the powerful ways our intersex grantees show up for their communities:

  • Círculo Violeta (Mayagüez, Puerto Rico) has created a safe space for intersex, trans, and non-binary artists who have been otherwise invisibilized and marginalized, to gather, connect, and share their experiences with each other. They exist to create a living catalogue and archive of each of their artistic practices, and to come together to build collective narratives of intersex, trans, and non-binary artists within Puerto Rico and its diasporas.
  • Potencia Intersex (Córdoba, Argentina) came together during the Second Intersex Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean. The organization was born out of the need to educate Argentinian society about the lived realities of intersex people. Working alongside feminist and LGBTQI movements in the country, the group raises awareness of the human rights violations committed against them and mobilizes people to support the bodily integrity, autonomy, and self-determination of intersex people.
  • Intersex-Nigeria (Lagos, Nigeria) was formed in 2019 by intersex people, many of whom have lived through their own pain, trauma, and stigmatization as a result of violence, non-consensual medical procedures and ongoing discrimination. The organization is the first intersex-led group in Nigeria and is working to advance public understanding of intersex people’s issues, visbilize intersex realities, and build community for intersex Nigerians. The group’s mission is to build a community space for intersex people, provide wellbeing support to intsersex Nigerians, and advocate for intersex rights.

While intersex activism has been growing around the world, intersex issues and communities remain immensely under-funded, receiving less than 2% of global foundation funding for LGBTQI people and/or women and girls. Despite this, intersex activists are continuing to tirelessly advocate against the pathologization of intersex bodies and to address issues of violence, social exclusion, and lack of access to quality health care and education. The global intersex movement is calling for protections from human rights violations experienced by intersex children, adolescents and adults across the world.

Join us in recognizing the brilliant and powerful activism of our Intersex Human Rights Fund grantee partners around the world!


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.

Associação Brasileira de Intersexos (ABRAI)
Brazil

Bilitis Resource Center Bulgaria
Bulgaria

Brújula Intersexual
Mexico

Campaign for Change
Nepal

Círculo Violeta
Puerto Rico

Collectif Intersexes et Allié-e-s -OII France (CIA-OII France)
France

Comité Visibilité Intersexe
Canada

DeGeneration Confederation
Vietnam

Egalite Intersex Ukraine
Ukraine

iCon UK
United Kingdom

INTER2
Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia

Interaction – Association Suisse pour les Intersexes
Switzerland

Intersex Advocate Trust Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe

Intersex Anatolia/ Intersex Turkey/ Intersex Shalala
Turkey

Intersex and Faith
United States

The Intersex and Family Support Network
Brazil

Intersex Asia Network
Regional

Intersex Chile
Chile

Intersex Community of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe

Intersex Danmark
Denmark

Intersexesiste
Italy

Intersex Greece
Greece

Intersex Human Rights Australia
Australia

Intersexioni
Italy

Intersex Ísland -félag intersex fólks á Íslandi
Iceland

Intersex Justice Project
United States

Intersex-Nigeria
Nigeria

Intersex Peer Support Australia
Australia

Intersex People’s Human Rights – ISIO Finland
Finland

Intersex Persons Society of Kenya – IPSK
Kenya

Intersex Society of Zambia (ISSZ)
Zambia

Intersex South Africa – ISSA
South Africa

Intersex Trust Aotearoa New Zealand (ITANZ)
New Zealand

IntersexUK
United Kingdom

Ivy Foundation
Malawi

Jinsiangu
Kenya

Magda Rakita
Poland

Mulabi – Espacio Latinoamericano de Sexualidades y Derechos
Costa Rica

Organisation Intersex International Europe (OII Europe)
Regional

Organisation Intersex International Germany/IVIM (OII Deutschland)
Germany

Organization Intersex International-Chinese (Oii-Chinese)
Taiwan

OII Sverige
Sweden

Potencia Intersex
Argentina

Rainbow Identity Association
Botswana

Support Initiative for People with atypical sex Development (SIPD)
Uganda

Trans Aid
Croatia

Trans Smart Trust
Zimbabwe

Tzk’at – Red de Sanadoras Ancestrales del Feminismo Comunitario
Guatemala

Verein Intersexuelle Menschen Österreich (VIMÖ)
Austria

Vivir y Ser Intersex
Mexico

XY Spectrum
Serbia

Introducing our Women’s Voice and Leadership Caribbean grantees!

In partnership with the Equality Fund, we are delighted to announce our first ever Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Caribbean grantee cohort!

In partnership with the Equality Fund, we are delighted to announce our first ever Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Caribbean grantee cohort! Astraea has been proud to support feminist, LBTQI-led grassroots organizing in the region for several years now, and we are excited to expand our support and continue to build feminist power in the Caribbean thanks to this blossoming collaboration!

Over the next three years, a total of USD $881,964 ($1,174,058 Canadian dollars) will be granted to 27 outstanding women’s rights and LBTQI organizations from eight CARICOM countries − Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Suriname.

WVL-Caribbean grantee partners include emerging and established organizations operating in both rural areas and urban settings, representing young women, indigenous women, sex workers, and the LBTQI community. These organizations are working at the intersections of gender-based violence, economic justice, feminist leadership, LBTQI rights, climate change, and more.

From documenting and capturing the realities of lesbian and bisexual women to helping to create safe communities for LBTQI people, each of our WVL grantees plays a critical role in the region’s larger feminist ecosystem. Here are just a few examples of their incredible activism:

  • LEZ Connect, Saint Lucia: LEZ Connect raises awareness on LBT women’s issues and educates the public on the rights of LBT women. They work to create a safe environment for LBTQ women and put an end to violence against women. The group’s main goal is to build and solidify a stronger LBT community within the LGBT population in St. Lucia, and work towards ending violence against LBT women.
  • Guyana Trans United, Guyana: Guyana Trans United was originally formed in 2012 when trans organizers in Guyana fought police brutality against trans sex workers. The organization works to improve the quality of life for transgender Guyanese and to ensure that their rights are recognised in all domains through human rights advocacy by promoting respect and acceptance within the larger society, with the intention to create communities free from violence, prejudice, discrimination, and other negative and adverse conduct against trans people.
  • Our Circle, Belize: Our Circle was founded in 2013 out of the need for a safe, supportive space for LGBT couples, parents, and families in Belize. As LGBT families are currently not legally recognized in Belize, the mission of Our Circle is to advance legal and lived equality for diverse families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change.

Please join us in celebrating the work of these incredible grantee partners who are working to leave a lasting legacy for women’s and LBTIQ movements in the Caribbean, and read more about their work in the links below.

____________________________________________

Meet Our WVL-Caribbean Grantee Partners:

Belize
Our Circle
Promoting Empowerment Through Awareness for Lesbian and Bisexual Women (PETAL)

Guyana
Guyana RainBow Foundation
Guyana Trans United
Tamùkke Feminist Rising

Jamaica
WE-Change

Regional
CariFLAGS

Saint Lucia
LEZ Connect

Suriname
Women’S Way Foundation Suriname

____________________________________________

Join our cross-sectoral, multi-generational WVL Caribbean Regional Launch Dialogue taking place today, Thursday September 24 featuring Astraea’s Kerry-Jo Lyn and Equality Fund’s Amina Doherty! Register here

 

Mourning the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

We have indeed lost a giant, a feminist icon, and a visionary jurist.

The recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) is a devastating loss for the people of the United States. Astraea recognizes her formidable legacy as a lawyer for the ACLU and a Supreme Court Justice. Throughout her career, RBG championed and staunchly defended reproductive freedom, women’s rights, and the rights of women and LGBTQI people, recognizing the right of employees to work without fear of discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. She helped pave the way for generations of activists and legal advocates. 

We have indeed lost a giant, a feminist icon, and a visionary jurist. As we mourn the loss of such an important figure in history, we are reminded that the fight for justice – for women, for LGBTQI people, for Black, Brown, migrant, and Indigenous people – is far from over. While her legal work was instrumental in protecting the rights of so many, we know that centering  Indigenous people’s rights and the fight for racial justice must be at the forefront of our activism. This moment then calls on us both to celebrate her life, work, and legacy and to fight harder than ever for justice and dignity for all.  

Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s abolitionist sentiment she noted, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but bends toward justice” adding, “if there is a steadfast commitment to see the task through to completion.” RBG would want us to get back to work! Today and always, we stand behind our 42 year mission to fuel local and global movements that shift power to the LBTQI grassroots. As we in the U.S. move forward from this loss, we must support and look to movement leaders and activists on the ground – from Black Lives Matter to the climate justice movement led by Indigenous activists  –  advocating for equality for all, and continuing RBG’s legacy with a vision for a truly liberated future – one where we not only belong, but thrive.

Below are some resources on understanding RBG and her triumphs, imperfections, and lasting legacy.

Vibrant Yet Under-Resourced: Our LBQ Report is finally here!

We are delighted to launch our new report, Vibrant Yet Under-Resourced: The State of Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Movements, in partnership with peer feminist fund Mama Cash.

We are delighted to launch our new report, Vibrant Yet Under-Resourced: The State of Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Movements, in partnership with peer feminist fund Mama Cash.

Lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ)* movements are doing essential work around the world, and this global moment reflects their leadership. As Black Lives Matter movements push to dismantle racism and white supremacy, the grassroots abolition-centered work of many Black LBQ organizers has been a galvanizing force. As communities grapple with the devastating impacts of COVID-19, LBQ groups are providing critical mutual aid, collective care support, and creative movement-building strategies to meet the moment.

With data from 378 activists in 97 countries and 67 donors across philanthropy, Vibrant Yet Under-Resourced documents LBQ activists’ priorities and the current lack of resourcing for their work, and makes a powerful case for why increased and more effective funding is crucially needed.

As Astraea, our lesbian feminist roots and ethos are core to our work and the funding principles that guide us. In 1977, our founding mothers—a cross-class, multi-racial group of women activists—came together to fund a burgeoning women’s movement centering the leadership of lesbians and women of color, who had long been at the forefront of so many social justice movements but whose work had gone under-resourced and under-recognized.

Vibrant Yet Under-Resourced is in many ways a continuation of that vision. It is a celebration of the growing, vibrant LBQ movements that are pushing for transformative change—across and at the intersections of gender, racial, environmental, and economic justice. It is simultaneously an urgent call to philanthropy to commit to investing in the LBQ movements advancing this radical politics of liberation for us all.

We are so grateful to have been able to collaborate on this report with Mama Cash, as well as with the LBQ activists, advisors, and donors whose contributions have been invaluable. As you work your way through its colorful pages, we hope that you are inspired and called to resource the powerful and vital work of the LBQ movements changing the world.

*Following a year-long consultation with activists, “LBQ” is the term used throughout the report. LBQ focuses on sexual identity and is inclusive of lesbian, bisexual, and queer women, both cisgender and trans, and all non-binary people on the gender spectrum who relate to a lesbian, bisexual, and/or queer identity

Read it online