Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues (FLGI) presented a briefing on international LGBTI grantmaking and grantee organizations—previewing a first-ever report on the subject—Thursday, June 21 at the Open Society Institute’s New York headquarters.
The briefing was part of OSI’s Sexual Health and Rights Project (SHARP) and U.S. programs.
The presenters included Robert Espinoza, director of research and communications at Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues, and Joo Hyun-Kang, director of programs at the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and a board member of FLGI.
According to Kang, who highlighted the challenges and successes in promoting LGBTI rights worldwide, the importance of LGBTI grantmaking has even more urgency in these politicized times.
“Despite the emergence of many LGBTI organizations and networks worldwide in the last decade, as well as major wins within the international human rights arena, LGBTI communities around the world continue to deal with hostile attitudes, values and policies,” said Kang.
In 2006, FLGI began collecting data on LGBTI grantmaking in the Global South and East and, in March of this year, convened a group of nearly 40 LGBTI foundation leaders worldwide to compare funding strategies and to use the preliminary research to better fund LGBTI communities around the world.
“We see LGBT health and rights as part of the values intrinsic to living in an open society,” said Sue Simon, director of the Sexual Health and Rights Project of the Open Society Institute.
Simon added, “The report shows that human rights challenges in the global South and East far outweigh available resources, especially for appropriate HIV services targeting the needs of LGBT communities—increased support is needed and every funding sector should be involved.”
At the OSI briefing, Espinoza presented the full report’s findings. The report—“A Global Gaze: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Grantmaking in the Global South and East”—will be available in print and online in August 2007.
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 about FLGI, please visit www.lgbtfunders.org.