Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues Awards Nearly $1 Million to Promote Racial Equity among LGBTQ Communities

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Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues (FLGI), a national philanthropic group based in New York City, has awarded nearly $1 million to eight public and community foundations around the country as the initial part of a racial equity campaign to strengthen organizations addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people of color.

“We’re hoping to spark a dialogue in the philanthropic community about the ways in which we can better enhance the lives of the full spectrum of LGBTQ communities,” said Karen Zelermyer, executive director of Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues.

“We recognize that building stronger organizations and working across a deeply felt racial divide will strengthen our movements’ abilities to achieve our collective goals,” added Zelermyer.

For the initial $917,000, eight foundations will match the dollars 1:1, offering grants and capacity building to local LGBTQ groups led by and for communities of color. Once matched, nearly $2 million will have been invested in LGBTQ communities of color—a big step towards the $15 million that the campaign hopes to see contributed to these communities by 2010.

The eight foundations receiving support include: Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (New York, NY); Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (Detroit, MI); Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (Philadelphia, PA); Horizons Foundation (San Francisco, CA); Liberty Hill Foundation (Los Angeles, CA); Philanthrofund Foundation (Minneapolis, MN); Pride Foundation (Seattle, WA); and Stonewall Community Foundation (New York, NY).

In 2008, as part of its Racial Equity Campaign, Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues will issue a first-ever report on autonomous LGBTQ people of color organizations in the U.S., as well as a “report card” distilling best practices and lingering challenges regarding LGBTQ grantmaking and racial equity.

Zelermyer sees these efforts as necessary to increasing the amount of LGBTQ funding reaching communities of color from a dismal 6 percent to 15 percent—another campaign goal.

The mission of Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues (FLGI) is to seek equality and rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals and communities by mobilizing philanthropic resources that advance racial, economic and gender justice. To learn more, please visit