Giving Compass' Take:
- Philanthropy should expand its efforts to build power and agency for racial and gender justice and queer and trans liberation movements.
- What funding approaches would help adequately resource and sustain social justice movements?
- Read how philanthropy can learn from social movements.
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This year, Pride has felt particularly important, as communities of color, queer, trans, and gender-expansive communities, and our country faces some of the toughest attacks we’ve ever seen on trans youth, bodily autonomy, abortion access, and voting rights. As Pride has become adopted in more mainstream settings, it’s important to remember that no amount of corporate “rainbow washing” can obfuscate the legacy or importance of this month. The first Pride was a riot, led by trans and queer women of color like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Their courage and bravery during the Stonewall riots fundamentally shifted and transformed the fight for queer and trans liberation in our country, and cemented the struggle of LGBTQ+ people as one of the most important intersectional fights of our time.
Throughout this Pride month, I’ve often thought about Urvashi’s wisdom. In reflecting on her powerful legacy and those of so many other queer and trans leaders, given everything at stake, I’ve wondered about what else we can be doing. What can we do to better support our movement leaders and organizations who put their bodies on the line every day so that we can be more free? How can we ensure our movements are not just surviving, but thriving and abundantly resourced?
From my perch co-leading Groundswell Fund and Groundswell Action Fund, it is clear that philanthropy has a critical role to play in our fight for collective liberation, particularly in how Black-, Indigenous-, and queer- and trans-led work is resourced. But despite its important role in resourcing these communities, philanthropy continues to fail in its responsibility. As the most recently available data from Funders for LGBTQ Issues show, for every $100 awarded by U.S. foundations, only 28 cents is awarded to LGBTQ+ organizations and issues. The numbers for trans communities are even more abysmal: for every $100 awarded by U.S. foundations, only 4 cents is awarded to trans communities.
For too long, philanthropy has underfunded communities of color and queer, trans, and gender-expansive communities, funding us last and least. At a time when our lives and most fundamental rights are at stake, now is not the time to be cautious or to save resources for a “rainy day” crisis. You only need to look out the window to see that it’s already pouring.
Read the full article about funding queer communities byt PhilanTopic.