The Astraea Crew Keeps on Growing!

Over the last few months, we’ve been thrilled to add three new dynamic staff members to the Astraea team to support our mission of shifting power and resources to incredible LGBTQI movements around the world!

Over the last few months, we’ve been thrilled to add some brilliant, dynamic staff members to the Astraea team to support our mission of shifting power and resources to incredible LGBTQI movements around the world! We are delighted to announce that Dondy Marie Moreland will lead our Development Individual Giving and Special Events portfolio with her innovative, comprehensive, and outcome-oriented development plans. Kyli Kleven is an incredible addition to our grants management team, bringing her eclectic experience in data manipulation, development, and dance!

Meet our new staff members


Dondy Marie Moreland
Director of Individual Giving & Special Events

Dondy Marie Moreland is our new Director of Individual Giving & Special Events. She comes to Astraea with over 10 years of grassroots fundraising experience, extensive training experience, and a deep desire to challenge systemic oppression and bring liberation to LGBTQI communities through providing value-aligned resources. [Read More]

“Never have I had such alignment between my personal and professional life as I do at Astraea. And it’s inspiring to work amongst so many talented LGBTQ+ changemakers— all are deeply committed to the liberation of our people, being good thought partners in philanthropy and in the field, and mobilizing resources that make the difference. It’s not only our workplace; it’s our vocation.” — Dondy Marie

Kyli Kleven
Grants Management Associate

Kyli Kleven is Astraea’s amazing Grants Management Associate whose background is in grassroots social justice movements, art, and dance. In addition to her work supporting grantmaking at Astraea, she makes and performs dance-based work throughout NYC and abroad. [Read More]

“It’s incredible to be a part of such a passionate team. I am so grateful to be in this position, working with information to make our program teams’ lives easier, and moving money and resources to our incredible grantee partners!” – Kyli

In case you missed it…

Sandy Nathan
Interim Executive Director

Last week, we were also joined by our new Interim Executive Director, Sandy Nathan, who will work closely with board and staff for the next nine to twelve months on strengthening our organizational culture and infrastructure. Read more about Sandy and a Q&A with her here.

It is such a joy to welcome these three brilliant team members and to watch the Astraea team grow!


Two New Reports on the States of Intersex and Trans Funding

We’re pleased to share The State of Intersex Funding and The State of Trans Funding, two new briefs from the Global Philanthropy Project, American Jewish World Service (AJWS), Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (Astraea) and Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE).

We’re pleased to share The State of Intersex Funding and The State of Trans Funding, two new briefs from the Global Philanthropy Project (GPP), American Jewish World Service (AJWS), Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (Astraea) and Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE). 

These briefs are based on a comparative analysis of data from two reports – The State of Trans Organizing (2nd Edition) and The State of Intersex Organizing (2nd Edition), produced by American Jewish World Service, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Global Action for Trans Equality and the 2015-2016 Global Resources Report: Government and Philanthropic Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Communities published by the Global Philanthropy Project and Funders for LGBTQ Issues.

By comparing these reports, new insights on the funding challenges and opportunities facing the global intersex and trans movements have emerged. 

Intersex funding is an incredibly small percentage of total global LGBTI grantmaking, which means that intersex organizations are working with little financial resources and few if any paid staff. 

  • Less than 10% of funders of global LGBTI issues supported intersex organizations in 2015–16 and total funding to intersex organizations accounted for only 0.29% of all global funding on LGBTI issues in those two years
  • In 2016, more than three-quarters of intersex groups had an annual budget of less than US$10,000 

Trans led organizations receive smaller grants compared to other types of organizations that are funded on LGBTI issues and too few funders reach trans organizations.

  • In 2015–16, the average grant size to trans organizations was almost half that of the global average grant size for LGBTI work ($23,000 vs. $44,700).
  • The five largest foundations supporting trans organizations outside of the U.S. in 2015–168  accounted for 60% of all funding.
  • Although 255 trans organizations received at least one grant in 2015–16, almost double that number of trans organizations (455) completed The State of Trans Organizing survey.  

We hope that these reports will galvanize conversations and, importantly, much-needed action amongst donors and other stakeholders to commit more and better financial resources for trans and intersex movements across the world. We encourage you to delve into the briefs and share with your colleagues and networks.

The State of Intersex Funding

The State of Trans Funding

Welcoming our new Interim Executive Director, Sandy Nathan

Astraea is delighted to welcome Sandy Nathan as our new Interim Executive Director. We asked her a few questions about her vision for Astraea during the next 9-12 months and beyond.


Sandra Nathan is excited to be joining Astraea as Interim Executive Director for the next 9-12 months, leading the organization through a transition period. During this period, Sandy will work with the Board and staff laying the groundwork for the next permanent Executive Director.

Sandra comes to Astraea with extensive executive leadership experience in philanthropy, government, and the nonprofit sector. She currently serves as Principal and CEO for Apodictic Consultants, providing strategic consulting and transitional leadership to philanthropic institutions, nonprofits and government with an equity and social justice lens. Most recently, she served as the Interim Executive Director for Philanthropy Southwest, providing transitional and strategic leadership, enabling the organization to successfully position itself for new leadership and growth, and deepen its commitment to equity. 

Prior to starting her consultancy, Sandra served as Senior Vice President of Philanthropic Services and Community Investment for the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) in Tucson. There she was chief strategist for the foundation’s grantmaking, community investment opportunities and led the organization’s use of diverse capital streams. She also oversaw the work of CFSA’s affiliated partner organizations, including the African American Initiative, the Alliance (LGBTQ) Fund, the Latino Giving Circle, and the Santa Cruz Community Foundation.

Prior to that, Sandra was the Vice President of Grants and Loans at the Marin Community Foundation, where she oversaw grantmaking for the Buck Trust, an endowment of over $900 million. She oversaw grantmaking in excess of $20 million annually, all in support of MCF’s strategic initiatives, community grants, and loans. 

Sandra’s background also includes executive leadership in nonprofits at the national and local levels. She served as Executive Vice President for the National Council on Aging in Washington, DC; as Regional Director for AARP in Dallas, Texas; and Washington Director for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

Sandra has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of San Diego, a Master of Arts in Public Administration from National University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Theology and Christian Education. She also holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Harvard Business School. 

With a passion for board service, Sandra serves on the Board of Directors of Northern California Grantmakers, UC Berkeley Pacific School of Religion, the Tohono Chul Park Foundation, Equality Arizona, and provides pro bono consultant support to Tucson Senior Pride.


How did you come to know about Astraea?

I’ve known about the Astraea Foundation for many years, and have always had tremendous pride in the foundation’s lesbian/feminist roots and focus. But it wasn’t until I became more active in social justice, gender and LGBTQI issues and along with that, a career shift into philanthropy, that I fully understood how Astraea has evolved into an innovative funder for LGBTQI activism around the globe. As a leader and a seasoned grantmaker, I love that Astraea has remained true to its DNA as a funder of feminist and LGBTQI issues, and goes about its work in partnership with movement leaders domestically and abroad, who are committed to shifting power.

What inspires you about leading Astraea through this transition period?

What inspires me about leading Astraea through this transition is a strong alignment between the work of the foundation and my core values. This is a role in which I can bring my full self to the table. I am also inspired in that I have absolute clarity that we are living in a time of profound social change, and that I have the lived experience, passion and heart to lead the organization into a new and desired future as it prepares itself for a new, permanent leader. Astraea has grown exponentially in the past few years, thanks to leadership, dedication and hard work. Astraea is now poised for that next level of growth.  In order to reach that level some internal transformation now needs to occur. What I am bringing to my role as an Interim is experience ensuring there is a solid foundation strategically and operationally for new leadership. At the center of my leadership style is also an understanding that organizations cannot be transformed or transformative unless heart is at the center of what they do. To me that means also ensuring there is a vibrant and healthy organizational culture, and a solid infrastructure so that the mission and goals of the organization are achievable for a new leader. Stepping into an interim leadership role really requires a certain level of selflessness, and the capacity to not look for outward recognition as a leader. I am here for the good of the organization.  So for the next nine months, I am excited to bring heart centered leadership, and a commitment to serve and support the board and staff so that collectively, we can bring our best selves to the exciting future ahead for Astraea. 

What secret feminist super-power should we know about?

If I told you, I’d be giving up one of my best trade secrets.

What do you love to do in your ‘downtime’?

During my downtime, I love doing yoga, reading, cooking and spending quality time with my family and friends.

A favorite person, quote or mantra that you’d like to share?

One of my favorite quotes is “My silence will not protect me.” ( Audre Lorde)

Astraea Quarterly Update

It is a dynamic time for us at the organization, so we wanted to reflect and share some of the recent highlights.

We at Astraea have been up to so much these last few months; we’ve been so many places, and had so many opportunities to build with our incredible partners and peers, funders and allies. It is a dynamic time for us at the organization, so we wanted to reflect and share some of the recent highlights. We organized our first Healing Justice funder convening, supported radical LBQ-led organizing at the Global LBQ Conference in South Africa, and so much more, all the while advocating for more resources for brilliant grassroots LGBTQI activism around the world!

Here’s What We’ve Been Up To

Photo: The convening’s crew of healers; Credit: Amarilis Torres Carrasquillo

Power and Resistance in Puerto Rico

Earlier this summer, we co-hosted a “Freedom from Violence and Criminalization Convening” for U.S. and Puerto Rico-based grantee partners along with Borealis Philanthropy in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The convening was a generative space for participants to engage in political dialogue, radically re-envision what public safety could look like in communities of color and learn more about emerging movements and structural alternatives, including local organizing work in Puerto Rico. We loved hearing from the participants on their experiences at the convening and what it meant for them to be in Puerto Rico, and we’ve captured some of those conversations in this blog post.

Photo: Organizers strategize in Puerto Rico; Credit: Celiany Rivera Velázquez

Understanding Movement Responses To Technology and Criminalization

Our two-day data analysis strategy meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico delved into the findings of our participatory landscape research which maps trends in digital organizing, security, and technology, including issues of surveillance and the broader criminalization of BIPOC, women, queer, Two-Spirit & trans communities. Discussions centered around the existing political and technological realities shaping the experience of movement organizers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and the strategies they employ to survive, organize, and subvert criminalization and surveillance. Our research project is being spearheaded in collaboration with Research Action Design (RAD). Stay tuned for its launch in the Spring of 2020!

Photo: Healing Justice Funder Convening panelists and organizers pose for a group photo; Credit: Simone Williams Photography

Funding Towards Healing and Liberation

On May 16 in New York, Astraea held a Healing Justice Funder Convening. We brought together 60 funders from 30 philanthropic institutions, alongside 15 organizers and healing practitioners, to strategize about how we can bolster our movements by funding healing justice work. At a time when our communities are facing an onslaught of violence and oppression, the convening was a critical opportunity for funders to discuss how healing justice can promote collective safety and build the power and resilience of movements. Catch up on the brilliance participants shared here.

Photo: Astraea Program Officers and Astraea donor Ise Bosch at the Global Feminist LBQ Women’s* Conference; Credit: Astraea archives

Centering Radical LBQ Movement-Building

In July, we attended the first Global Feminist LBQ Women’s* Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa! It was a fantastic opportunity to see the fruits of a conference we have been honored to support, and to connect with 30 of our brilliant grantee partners from around the world. Our Program Officers Mariam, Ruth, Lame, Brenda, and Shaena attended as well as some of our wonderful board members and donors. This year’s key themes were ‘Leading, Healing, Transforming’ and we took part in conversations on issues such as queer feminist leadership and accountability within movements, addressing toxic workplace cultures, and the state of intersex organizing globally, as well as witnessed some incredible trans and non-binary organizing. Mariam presented on a panel “Igniting Resources for LBQ Activism”. We’re excited to be part of this global movement furthering LBQ activism globally.

Photo: Participants at the Africa Regional Intersex Convening; Credit: Africa Intersex Movement

Supporting Pan-African Activism

We participated in UHAI-EASHRI’s Changing Faces, Changing Spaces VII, a biennial Pan-African LGBTQI and sex worker convening. Prior to the main conference, Astraea helped to coordinate an Africa Intersex meeting, with a team led entirely by African intersex activists. The meeting resulted in the launch of the first Africa Intersex Regional group, known as the Africa Intersex Movement (AIM). Congratulations to all the African intersex activists who were involved!

Astraea Program Officers Lame and Peter also led a donor-focused healing justice plenary panel along with Urgent Action Fund-Africa and Hivos, and our Intersex Fund Program Officer Ruth facilitated a lively workshop session on the importance of intersectional feminist funding approaches.

Photo: WVL Caribbean Convening participants and organizers; Credit: Astraea archives/MATCH Fund

Strengthening Caribbean Feminist Leadership with the MATCH Fund

The MATCH Fund and Astraea hosted a two day convening to kick-off our new collaboration as part of Women’s Voice and Leadership – Caribbean. We gathered 25 partners and representatives from women’s organizations and LBTQI groups from around the region to develop and expand the thinking around the program and ensure it responds to the priorities of groups in the region. Women’s Voice & Leadership – Caribbean is a five year initiative for the region supported by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to strengthen women’s organizations and movements in about 30 countries around the world. We are so excited to keep strategizing with MATCH and support incredible LBTQI organizing in the Caribbean!

Photo: One of two Astraea t-shirt designs; Artist: Amir Khadar

Astraea Swag for Justice!

To celebrate the radical roots of Pride and our commitment to the sustainability of grassroots movements for justice, Astraea worked with the artist Amir Khadar (who also designed our beautiful Healing Justice report!) to design three new t-shirts (and stickers!) supporting Healing Justice and Queer Liberation. We really love the shirts, and we think you will too, so get yours through this link. All proceeds will support Astraea’s mission to resource LGBTQI grassroots activism in the U.S. and around the world.

Want to support LGBTQI communities globally? Join us!


Fighting for Freedom in Puerto Rico

In May 2019, we co-hosted a “Freedom from Violence and Criminalization Convening” for U.S. and Puerto Rico-based grantee partners along with Borealis Philanthropy in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We interviewed some of Astraea’s grantee partners in attendance about what it meant for a convening on freedom from violence and criminalization to take place in Puerto Rico.

Photo: The Freedom from Violence and Criminalization organizers and attendees; Credit: Amarilis Torres Carrasquillo

By Brenda Salas Neves (Senior Program Officer) and Mihika Srivastava (Communications Program Associate)

Over the last few months, the strength and power of the Puerto Rican movement has gained momentum. In July, widespread protests and massive mobilizations against government corruption, disinvestment in public goods caused by the debt crisis, and the state’s inadequate response to hurricane recovery efforts, led to the resignation of Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rosello. We at Astraea continue to be in awe and inspired by the resistance and resilience of the communities and organizers in Puerto Rico.  

In May 2019, we co-hosted a “Freedom from Violence and Criminalization Gathering” for U.S. and Puerto Rico-based grantee partners along with Borealis Philanthropy in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The decision to host this convening in Puerto Rico was intentional because we felt it important to recognize movement work on the islands, and to deepen our collective understanding of the work that is happening beyond the U.S. that resists and transforms state violence and hyper-criminalization of our people. Organizing and movement work in Puerto Rico today is building on a long history of resistance, and is deeply rooted in cultural and political traditions against colonization and militarism.

From transformative justice and budget advocacy sessions to breakout sessions led by organizers, the convening offered a generative space for participants to continue building connections and deepening their visions for what safety and justice looks like in communities of color in the U.S and in Puerto Rico. Through cultural programming organized by our Puerto Rican grantee partner Circuito Queer, participants learned about the political, social, and cultural situation on the archipelago, and witnessed some of the incredible cultural tools that Puerto Rican organizers are utilizing to build power. We received opening blessings from a local Taino elder, Kukuya, grounding participants in local healing traditions. Holistic wellness was woven throughout the programming, from sessions led by facilitators, Erica Woodland and Monique Meadow, to healing offerings such as massage, cuping, tarot reading, and acupuncture by local healers and practitioners. These were critical for organizers who often experience burnout and trauma as a result of ongoing state violence and oppression.

We interviewed some of Astraea’s grantee partners in attendance like MediaJustice (California), Law for Black Lives (National), Familia TQLM (California), and CIRQ (Puerto Rico) about what it meant for a convening on freedom from violence and criminalization to take place in Puerto Rico.

Astraea: Celiany, as a Puerto Rican activist who organized much of the local cultural programming for this convening, why was it important for you to connect some of the work here?

Celiany Rivera, CIRQ: A lot of what we’ve been doing at this convening is coordinating the cultural schedule as well as connecting the convening organizers with local Puerto Rican queer and trans healers. For us, it’s been an opportunity to showcase and share the queer and Black-centered art that is happening in Puerto Rico in a de-colonial context. We’ve tried to customize the experience of the participants so that they can get a sense of what some of the struggles are locally. 

One of the events we coordinated that was very special to me was a dinner for participants with 21 activists who work locally on LGBTQ, racial justice, and healing justice issues. Plena Combativa was one of the groups that joined us, and is a Puerto Rican queer women-centred protest music group who performed at the end of the evening. I think this gave folks a perspective of who the people, colors, and flavors are that compose the activism and art happening in Puerto Rico. It was also an opportunity for local organizers who don’t always get to meet outside of organizing spaces to connect without an agenda and just build relationships.

Astraea: Steven and Marbre, what did you know about the Puerto Rican organizing arena before you got here?

Steven Renderos, MediaJustice: I was familiar with the work that the diaspora had done in the U.S. around Puerto Rican independence, but not so much with the work here in Puerto Rico itself. This is actually my first time visiting the island, but I think what I was aware of is that some of the issues that we work on today around surveillance were things that activists here have been dealing with since the Puerto Rican student movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and some of the organizing around those struggles has definitely influenced how we have developed some of our own work around high tech surveillance.

Marbe Stahly-Butts, Law for Black Lives: I had only been here once before on a business trip. I think what became clear to me was that a lot of the forces that we’re fighting against whether in New York City or in the South are at the extreme here in Puerto Rico, especially fights against capitalism and extraction. So I knew the broad strokes of what was happening; for example, the incredible organizing responses to the man made climate disasters that have been happening here. I was also acutely aware of the ways that business interests in the US and abroad are using Puerto Rico as a place to profit in the wake of these disasters.

Astraea: Umi, why did it feel particularly important for you to be at this convening strategizing around freedom from violence in Puerto Rico?

Umí Vera, Familia TQLM: For us it’s really important to connect with some of our coalition partners that are here that we’ve been building with, but also to connect with local community organizers here in Puerto Rico. It’s really important for us to get to share with one another about what our lessons learned in the work we’ve been doing, at both the local and national levels. I’ve been very influenced by a lot of Puerto Rican movement building and artists collectives on the mainland and I’ve heard a lot about the context of colonization on the island from some of our community members that are Puerto Rican, so I was excited to bear witness to that a little more, and see the work that they’ve been building out here. 

Astraea: Marbe, how do you feel like we and CIRQ as the convening organizers brought Puerto Rico into the space and how did that impact your experience?

Marbre: This was one of the most intentional openings around honoring the space we’re in, the land that we stand on, and the history that brought us here, as well as the connections that we all bring from our own lands, and it really set the tone for the convening.

I have been particularly struck by two things: one is the intentionality around language here and making sure that there isn’t a language that feels like it’s dominant language. Our struggles are international, multilingual ones, but we are so often in language silos. I was also struck by the fact that it felt like half the room were folks from Puerto Rico who work here. So often there’s only one person who speaks on behalf of thousands in a community but this felt far more intentional and holistic, where organizers from the mainland and Puerto Rico were equally involved, engaged, and invested.

Astraea: Steven, how has it affected your experience to be here on this colonized land where issues of freedom from violence and criminalization are felt in such a real way?

Steven: You know within MediaJustice we often talk about this concept of targeting universalism, this idea that if we hone in on solutions for the most affected we actually yield greater outcomes for the whole. So thinking about surveillance in the context of a colonized island and solutions around budget advocacy – an area that is becoming increasingly privatized on every level – has been especially poignant here. I think even having gone out in San Juan and met with some of the community groups and seen what their responses have been to some of the challenges that they’ve encountered has been helpful to think about our own tactics. There is a creativity here that emerges from a lack of resources that those of us in the more privileged sectors and geographies need to learn from. 

Brief Context on Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has been part of the U.S.’ colonial project for over 120 years now. Puerto Ricans have no representation in the federal government and are not allowed to vote unless they move to one of the 50 U.S. states. Many Puerto Ricans have been fighting for full independence from the United States, and particularly against the austerity measures which have destroyed the local economy. 

In 2017, Hurricane Maria, a deadly category 5 hurricane, hit the archipelago. Both the U.S. federal government and the government of Puerto Rico were slow in their response to the disaster. Nearly 5,000 people died and over 80% of Puerto Rican households were without electrical power for over 100 days. 

The Freedom from Violence and Criminalization Convening

The convening brought together 52 activists and organizers who are part of 30 organizations that Astraea and Borealis either collectively or respectively fund through Borealis’ “Communities Transforming Policing Fund” and Astraea’s “Freedom from Violence and Criminalization” cohort, within our U.S. Fund. 

These organizations work across the country and in Puerto Rico, their work spanning the effects of criminalization, policing, and state violence on LGBTQI people and People of Color, working towards police reform, dismantling the criminal justice system, visibilizing healing justice strategies, and much more.

Want to stay up-to-date on Astraea updates like the one above? Join us!

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Our 2019 Healing Justice Funder Convening

On May 16, 2019 in New York, Astraea held a Healing Justice Funder Convening. We brought together 60 funders from 30 philanthropic institutions, alongside 15 organizers and healing practitioners, to strategize how we can bolster our movements by funding healing justice work.

On May 16, 2019 in New York, Astraea held a Healing Justice Funder Convening. We brought together 60 funders from 30 philanthropic institutions, alongside 15 organizers and healing practitioners, to strategize how we can bolster our movements by funding healing justice work. At a time when our communities are facing an onslaught of violence and oppression, including targeted attacks on people of color, immigrants, women and trans people, the convening was a critical opportunity for funders to discuss how healing justice can promote collective safety and build the power and resilience of movements. The convening followed the launch of Astraea’s new report, Healing Justice: Building Power, Transforming Movements.

As a public foundation, one of Astraea’s roles is to align philanthropic resources with the visions, needs, and priorities of movements. The convening honored the legacy and roots of healing justice work in the U.S. by centering the voices of organizers and practitioners from across the country. Throughout the convening, funders listened to organizers share how they can be most supportive of their struggles.

Organizers emphasized how locally-grounded and culturally-specific healing justice work is and must be. They shared how healing justice work helps build their capacities to live and thrive, as well as the power that enables them to win. They asked funders to listen, to give them space to experiment, and to trust. The convening aimed to embody healing justice throughout the day, with facilitation by healer Adaku Utah and massage, Reiki, acupressure and herbs from an amazing team of community-based practitioners.

It was a reflective, generative, and (unusually-for-philanthropy) honest space in which funders and activists exchanged ideas and worked towards a collective vision for healing justice. We’re excited to share some of the learning from the day with you:

  • If you’d like to learn more about the day’s conversations, our summary report shares the highlights.
  • Spot yourself in photos from the day here!
  • To get a feel for the convening and hear some brilliance from the speakers, watch our video above and panel recordings!

Our deepest gratitude to all the participants. We are honored to have brought together so many funders to deepen support for healing justice. We look forward to continuing to build, strategize, and vision together.

Farewell to J. Bob Alotta!

As we bid farewell to Bob, we wanted to take this moment to reflect on her immense legacy and celebrate her profound impact.

As we bid farewell to Bob, we wanted to take this moment to reflect on her immense legacy and celebrate her profound impact. Bob’s passionate, visionary, and bold leadership grew Astraea in ways we could not have imagined. Bob steadily charted a course for gender, racial and economic justice that positions Astraea at the leading edge of intersectional LGBTQI philanthropy, while staying true to our lesbian feminist roots. Our founding mothers would be proud. 

Bob always saw Astraea’s role as shifting power and resources from where they intentionally were to where they intentionally weren’t, yet needed to begrassroots LGBTQI movements around the world. Bob accomplished this by expanding Astraea’s capacity to deliver resources to the most bold and brilliant LGBTQI groups in the U.S. and globally, as well as deepening our philanthropic presence and leadership, bringing an intersectional queer feminist lens to fields as diverse as internet freedom, communications, gender equality and racial justice. She started in 2011 as Astraea’s second Executive Director, with an organizational budget of $3 million and stewarded that to the sizable $13 million budget it is today. 

A leader in queerying philanthropy, through Astraea, Bob imagined new and transformative ways of working togetherto name just one example, she was the visionary behind CommsLabs, an innovative participatory movement-building initiative that networks LGBTQI activists and technologists. At regional and country-level convenings, grassroots activists connect with trainers, technologists, and healers who support them to effectively address threats and seize the opportunities available in the digital age. These convenings, co-designed by activists and centering wellness and holistic security while also building skills and capacity, exemplify Bob’s ability to break down silos and respond to the ways our movements are changing.  

Under Bob’s leadership Astraea also expanded global LGBTQI philanthropy through strategic decisions to partner with bilateral governments like the innovative LGBTI Global Development Partnership. Through this initiative, we expanded grantmaking in 12 countries and shifted over $15.5M to grassroots LGBTQI movement-building, laying the foundation for future bilateral relationships and partnerships which have positioned us excellently for the next phase of our work. 

With Bob, Astraea launched the first Intersex Human Rights Fund in the world in 2015, leveraging more than $2 million for the intersex movement globally, and we grew our U.S. work to combat the criminalization of communities of color, particularly Black folks and migrants. Bob oversaw the Global Arts Fund, building on our long legacy of supporting artistic and cultural change work, our Healing Justice: Building Power, Transforming Movements report, and our recent Feminist Funding Principles

We are grateful to Bob for laying the foundation for Astraea’s next phase, setting us up so well to support the next generation of our leadership and the vision and talents of our incredible staff. We are excited to announce that we have identified an Interim Executive Director who will start in the coming weeks, and who will lead Astraea through a transition period for the next nine to twelve months. During the transition period, the Interim Executive Director will work with the Board and staff on laying the groundwork for the next permanent Executive Director. We look forward to introducing her to you soon!

It’s clear that Astraea’s role is more critical than ever in this time of escalating violence and oppression against LGBTQI communities, and the Board is committed to working closely with the Interim Executive Director and staff to continue to provide critical grantmaking and capacity building for LGBTQI grassroots leaders around the world. We will share next steps as they unfold and look forward to introducing you to the new Interim soon. Please join us as we enter this next phase of Astraea, share your support, questions and dollarstogether we are building a more just and joyous world. 

In solidarity,

Iimay Ho and Eboné Bishop, Co-Chairs 
On behalf of the Board of Directors

Astraea’s newest U.S. Fund grantees!

Our U.S. Fund is Astraea’s longest-standing fund, and we’re excited to introduce you to our latest batch of grantee partners!

We’re excited to share our latest round of U.S Fund grants! These incredible organizations are working to end mass criminalization and incarceration, disrupt systems of oppression, and resist all forms of state violence and white supremacy.

In the last year, Astraea has awarded over $1.5 million in grants to 58 grantee partners in 19 states and Puerto Rico (while Puerto Rico grantee partners have been included in this statistic, we recognize the self-determination and autonomy of the Puerto Rican independence movement). Over 99% of this funding went to LGBTQI People of Color-led organizations working for racial, economic, gender, migrant and reproductive justice. We also launched our first set of Healing Justice grants awarding $60,000 to 14 organizations to support community-based resiliency and survival practices integral to our collective liberation.

Many of our U.S. grantee partners work across movements and are connected by common values and goals—a vision for intersectional, liberatory social justice. Our grantee partners are:

  • Building the local and regional power of Black, Brown, queer, trans, migrant, poor, and working class communities in the South, such as Southerners on New Ground (SONG)’s ‘Free from Fear’ campaign strategy which worked to politicize and engage LGBTQ people to lead migrant justice and anti-criminalization campaigns. Building on the success of that, SONG launched its #EndMoneyBail campaign, which ignited local organizing to focus on eliminating money bail and pretrial detention across the South. It demands that municipalities divest from cages, courts, and police, and invest in community-based solutions, such as needs assessment programs.
  • Pushing for digital rights and privacy for all, such as grantee partner MediaJustice, who joined 34 civil rights, consumer, and privacy organizations in launching public interest principles for robust and comprehensive federal legislation. These guidelines would ensure fairness, prevent discrimination, advance equal opportunity, protect free expression, and hold companies that collect personal data accountable for privacy violations.
  • Empowering, resourcing, and building the leadership of trans People of Color, like Transgender Advocates Knowledgeable and Empowering (TAKE)who work to increase access for and meet the needs of trans Women of Color (TWOC) in Alabama. TAKE advocates for trans friendly policies, organizes to end discrimination, engages in leadership development, and provide peer support groups. In 2017, they opened the TAKE Resource Center, the first space dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing space for TWOC in Birmingham. It is the only center in Birmingham that is Trans focused, Trans led, and fully staffed by TWOC.

Through grassroots organizing and advocacy efforts, our grantee partners are drawing attention to how marginalized LGBTQI people are impacted by enforcement and criminalization; increasing the visibility of healing justice strategies; working to dismantle the criminal justice system; leading campaigns to divest from prison systems; and broadening the racial justice dialogue to include reproductive justice, anti-criminalization and migrant justice strategies.

Please join us in celebrating the work of these resilient and radical grantee partners, and read more about their work in the links below.

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.

API Equality – Northern California

Audre Lorde Project
New York

Black Alliance for Just Immigration
New York

Black and Brown Workers Cooperative

Black and Pink

Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project

Black Trans Media
New York



BreakOUT New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice

Circuito de Innovación y Resiliencia Queer
Puerto Rico

Communities United for Police Reform
New York

Community United Against Violence, Inc.

Dignity and Power Now

El/La Para Translatinas

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

Freedom Inc.

Freedom to Thrive
New York

Garden of Peace Project

Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network Southeast

Girls for Gender Equity
New York

Immigrant Youth Coalition

Invisible to Invincible (“i2i”): API Pride of Chicago

Law for Black Lives

Mariposas Sin Fronteras



Montana Two Spirit Society

New Voices for Reproductive Justice

Out in the Open

Peacock Rebellion

Power Inside

Project South and members of the Southern Movement Assembly

Providence Youth Student Movement
Rhode Island

Queer & Trans People of Color Birthwerq Project

Queer the Land

Racial Justice Action Center, (SNaP Co and Women on the Rise)


SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

Somos Familia

Southern Vision Alliance
North Carolina

Southerners on New Ground & Mijente

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW

Stonewall Youth

Survivors Organizing for Liberation

The Knights and Orchids Society

Trans Queer Pueblo


Transgender Advocates Knowledgeable and Empowering

Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project

Women With a Vision

Young Women United
New Mexico

By supporting Astraea, you are creating ecosystems of resistance that are smart, effective, and unique. Join us!


African Intersex Movement – Africa’s regional intersex network – established

Between the 17th and 19th of June 2019, 21 Intersex activists representing several African countries got together for a regional Intersex activist meeting in Kenya. While there, they founded African Intersex Movement, a new network led by African Intersex activists with the aim of sharing information, skills and resources.

Between the 17th and 19th of June 2019, 21 Intersex activists representing several African countries got together for a regional Intersex activist meeting in Kenya.

In recalling the 2017 statement as our guide, We the African Intersex activists wish to announce that we have collectively launched African Intersex Movement, a network led by African Intersex activists with the aim of sharing information, skills and resources.

We exist to amplify the voices of African Intersex people at the regional level.

We offer ourselves as the African Intersex reference of intelligence for stakeholders and allies who are interested in strengthening the ongoing  liberation work for intersex peoples rights and autonomy.

We affirm that intersex people are real, and we exist in all countries of Africa. As intersex people in Africa, we live in a society that perpetuates violence and killings of intersex people by cultural, religious, traditional and medical beliefs and practices.

We aim:

  • To put an end to infanticide and killings of intersex people led by traditional and religious beliefs.
  • To put an end to mutilating and ‘normalising’ practices such as genital surgeries, psychological and other medical treatments through legislative and other means (such as education, policy and treatment protocol change). Intersex people must be empowered to make their own decisions affecting their own bodily integrity, physical autonomy and self-determination.
  • To include intersex education in antenatal counselling and support.
  • To put an end to non-consensual sterilisation of intersex people.
  • To depathologise variations in sex characteristics in medical practices, guidelines, protocols and classifications, such as the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases.
  • To ensure that sex or gender classifications are amendable through a simple administrative procedure at the request of the individuals concerned. All adults and capable minors should be able to choose between female (F), male (M), intersex or multiple options. In the future, sex or gender should not be a category on birth certificates or identification documents for anybody.
  • To raise awareness around intersex issues and the rights of intersex people in communities and society at large.
  • To create and facilitate supportive, safe and celebratory environments for intersex people, their families and surroundings.
  • To ensure that intersex people have the right to full information and access to their own medical records and history.
  • To ensure that all professionals and healthcare providers that have a specific role to play in intersex people’s well-being are adequately trained to provide quality services.
  • To acknowledge the suffering and injustice caused to intersex people
  • To build intersex anti-discrimination legislation in addition to other grounds, and to ensure protection against intersectional discrimination.
  • To ensure the provision of all human rights and citizenship rights to intersex people, including the right to marry and form a family.
  • To ensure that intersex people are able to participate in competitive sport, at all levels, in accordance with their legal sex. Intersex athletes who have been humiliated or stripped of their titles should receive reparation and reinstatement.
  • To recognise that medicalization and stigmatisation of intersex people result in significant trauma and mental health concerns.
  • In view of ensuring the bodily integrity and well-being of intersex people, autonomous non-pathologising psycho-social and peer support be available to intersex people throughout their life (as self-required), as well as to parents and/or care providers.

We call to action :

  • Community leaders to engage in intersex education to dispel misconceptions and stigma around intersex people.
  • Human rights organisations to contribute to build bridges with intersex organisations and build a basis for mutual support and meaningful engagement. This should be done in a spirit of collaboration and no-one should instrumentalise intersex issues as a means for other ends.
  • Funders to engage with intersex organisations and support them in the struggle for visibility, increase their capacity, the building of knowledge and the affirmation of their human rights.

For further information and inquiries, please contact us at

The Right-Wing Is Weaponizing Gender Panic by J. Bob Alotta

Around the globe, conservative forces are using the “gender ideology” movement to score all kinds of victories.

By J. Bob Alotta, Astraea Executive Director, published in The Advocate

The Trump Administration’s leaked gender memo, the recent transgender military ban, and the expansion of the global gag rule aren’t coincidences. They are part of a well-coordinated, funded global movement designed to control our communities by restricting the rights and bodily autonomy of women, LGBTQI communities, and people of color — eerily reminiscent of Reagan era oppressive tactics.

For LGBTQI communities, this kind of backlash is not new. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, the Reagan administration demonized our communities, as did right-wing forces around the world, spreading the false notion of the “gay plague” and blaming men who have sex with men for the transmission of the HIV virus. LGBT people were denied equal access to healthcare, faced intense violence, were stigmatized, stripped of basic rights, and often forced into the shadows. But we fought back.

Today, we know the far-right are sewing those same seeds of paranoia, creating gender panic with the use of an intentionally ambiguous organizing framework termed “gender ideology”by some and “anti-gender ideology” by others. Originating in the 1990s, gender ideology is a construct that depicts efforts to expand rights for women, LGBTQI people, and people of color, as radical, dangerous, and elitist, arguing that we are a threat to traditional family values.

What we have been less aware of is that this gender ideology movement is extremely well-funded, and well-organized across sectors and regions. While we don’t have a comprehensive map of the funding of these movements, we know the size and scope is significant…

Read the full article via The Advocate.

Support local fights for LGBTQI fights around the globe: