Foundations pledge $20 million to improve trans lives

A consortium of philanthropic foundations has pledged to contribute $20 million to transgender charities across the US and the world over the next five years in order to

ensure that all transgender people live in a world where they are recognized, valued, and supported by their families and in society.

In their press release the foundations point out that

  • Globally, more than 1,700 transgender murders have been reported in the past seven years alone and many cases have involved extreme violence and torture
  • In the United States, transgender people are twice as likely as other Americans to earn $10,000 a year or less
  • In the United States, 20% of transgender people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.

Arcus Foundation will contribute $15 million NoVo Foundation will contribute $1 million, and $4 million will come from a group of other foundations.

Funding for transgender issues remains severely limited despite recent progress made to expand support.

Transgender causes receive less than one penny for every $100 awarded by foundations, according to a study produced by Funders for LGBTQ Issues.

The Global Trans Initiative is a coordinated response to the alarming and pervasive range of disparities found within transgender communities.

Together with our partners, we are committed to delivering increased and necessary resources to those in the field working tirelessly to end the violence and discrimination facing transgender people around the world.

Through this global effort, we aim to reach leaders in the field of philanthropy and deepen their understanding about transgender communities.

We invite our colleagues at peer foundations to engage with us and consider integrating gender identity issues within their own funding priorities.

--Kevin Jennings, Arcus

Ending violence against girls and women everywhere has always been at the core of the NoVo Foundation’s mission, and our support for the Global Trans Initiative is an important opportunity to deepen our longstanding work.

The epidemic of violence facing transgender women and girls across the globe is a crisis by any measure, and we are determined to partner with others to help address this urgent need.

--Pamela Shifman, Novo Foundation

The trans movement is overdue for this kind of engagement. Transgender leaders and their movement have been dramatically underfunded.

--Jason McGill, Arcus

McGill said the funds will be awarded with guidance of transgender leaders and activists, who will help identify programs and organizations that can advance long-term agenda for trans rights.

We can increase the visibility of work that has been going on for decades but has been underfunded. We are trying to take the long view. You need to combine policy change with cultural change if there is going to be any shift in lived experience.

--Roz Lee, Arcus

Support from foundations like Arcus, which started long before anyone was discussing Caitlyn Jenner or a ‘trans tipping point,’ has been critical to building a strong and resourced movement that could survive to see the moment of unprecedented visibility and unprecedented violence we face today.

--Kris Hiyashi, Transgender Law Center




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