By: Funders for LGBTQ Issues Staff on February 8, 2022
I have spent the first month of 2022 reflecting on the conditions of this moment. My incredibly rich and powerful conversations with staff, board, funders, organizers, and other stakeholders both inspire me and raise challenging questions.
To do that, we need to ask ourselves: How can our network be more accountable to LGBTQ movement leaders? How can we defer to — and thereby support — the leadership of dark-skinned Black and Brown trans and gender non-conforming organizers, undocumented folks, and those already facing the impacts of climate change? These questions will guide us as we map our vision for 2022 and beyond.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Funders for LGBTQ Issues. Our team is gearing up for a year of planning and programming to honor the accomplishments of our network’s forty-year history and chart the next chapter of our work together. We are embarking on a year-long strategic planning process that will engage staff, board, members, and movement leaders to chart the future of our work. This spring (May 24-26) we will host a Virtual Funding Forward conference dedicated to providing grantmakers with practical tools and resources to move more funds to our movements. And throughout the year we will continue to mobilize philanthropy through our powerful initiatives, programs, and services.
I joined this network of foundations dedicated to supporting LGBTQ communities at an incredibly challenging time. As the pandemic rages on, we’ve witnessed coordinated attacks against TGNC youth and families, carceral and social violence against Black, Asian, and Indigenous communities, and an ongoing assault on reproductive rights. Movement leaders need increased resources, along with nimble funding infrastructures that can pivot as needed to support visionary organizing across the country. Funders for LGBTQ Issues responded by organizing philanthropic institutions to resource LGBTQ movements while also tending to our own well-being. We practiced powerful and deep care for ourselves, each other, and our communities. Together we accomplished so much. I invite you to read more about some of our 2021 programmatic accomplishments here.
Thanks to the wisdom of elders like Octavia Butler, we know that change is a constant and undeniable force – we cannot control it, but we can control how we show up. As we begin to answer some of the questions before us – as an organization and as a sector – we will name and practice what it means to move more boldly as disruptors within philanthropy.
I’m excited and ready for the work ahead. Our journey over the past forty years has been one of hope, commitment, and rigor. I cannot wait to see what the next forty will bring.
President, Funders for LGBTQ Issues