Meet the Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) Leadership Development Fellows!

Meet the Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) Leadership Development Fellows!

By: Lyle Matthew Kan on February 26, 2018

If you want to know who are some of the best-and-brightest, up-and-coming trans leaders in LGBTQ philanthropy, look no further than our inaugural cohort of Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) Leadership Development Fellows!

Created to respond to the urgent unmet need for leadership development and support for trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary staff in philanthropy, GUTC’s Leadership Development Fellowship will provide ongoing support, peer networking, and professional development to its fellows over a 12-month period, beginning in April 2018.

While we initially anticipated supporting a cohort of only six fellows, the response to our call for applications was overwhelming.  As a result, we are stretching our resources to support seven fellows this first year! “I’m so appreciative of and inspired by the immense interest in our GUTC Leadership Development Fellowship,” said Alexander Lee, Project Director for Grantmakers United for Trans Communities. “I want to thank everyone who applied and our hardworking Fellows Selection Committee. While we could only accept seven, we hope the many others who applied will consider applying again next year. This is only the first of many cohorts to come as we work to to inspire a philanthropic culture that is inclusive and supportive of trans people through grantmaking and decision-making.”

Selected after a rigorous process, we’re thrilled to announce our inaugural class of our Grantmakers United for Trans Communities Leadership Development Fellows!

Luc Athayde-Rizzaro*

Open Society Foundations staff members in Washington, D.C., on April 7, 2017.
(Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Redux)
Open Society Foundations staff members in Washington, D.C., on April 7, 2017. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Redux)

Luc Athayde-Rizzaro is a program administrative specialist at the Open Society Foundations, where he works to further the network’s grantmaking efforts to further human rights, citizen security, and democracy in Latin America. Prior to joining OSF, Athayde-Rizzaro served as a human rights specialist at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, where he supported the Commission’s work on freedom of expression. He also served as a legal assistant at CEJIL, litigating international human rights abuses cases. Athayde-Rizzaro studied law in Brazil, and later received an LLM in international human rights and humanitarian law from American University. Luc is a proud latino trans man, and a recent immigrant to the United States. On his time off, he acts as a member of the Steering Committee for TransLAW, an unincorporated grassroots organizations in Washington, DC that works to support trans people to update their ID documents, including by providing financial assistance.

Kendall Bilbrey

Kendall Bilbrey
Photo by Holly Rainey, Knoxville, TN.

Kendall is a native of Southwestern Virginia and serves as the Project Director for the Out in the South: Central Appalachia Project with Appalachian Community Fund. Kendall previously served as the first Coordinator for The STAY Project (Stay Together Appalachian Youth!) and as an Appalachian Transition Fellow which, along with grassroots efforts across the region, created space for youth to build political, collective analysis of what it means to survive and thrive in Central Appalachia. Kendall graduated cum laude from George Mason University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology. Before returning home, they studied reproductive biology with the National Zoological Park (U.S.) in Chengdu, China. Kendall now resides in New Market, TN with their dog Melvin.

Kiyomi Fujikawa


Kiyomi Fujikawa has been involved with movements to end gender-based violence since 2001. Her political home is with Queer and Trans communities of color and organizing around preventing and responding to intimate partner violence, which she most recently did with the Queer Network Program at API Chaya. She is currently a Senior Program Associate with the Fund for Trans Generations at Borealis Philanthropy.

Isyss Honnen

Isyss Honnen

Isyss Honnen is unapologetically Fa’afafine (Samoan gender identity translated as “in the manner of a woman”), and is a trans woman from Samoa. Isyss works as the Community Engagement Coordinator for TRANSform Washington and the Finance Associate for Pride Foundation. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting with plans to become a CPA and start a firm run by QTPIs – Queer and Trans Pacific Islanders. She serves as the Co-Chair for UTOPIA, a fa’afafine and TWoC-led organization in Seattle, after having served 6 years as part of the organization’s Executive Leadership. She is a co-facilitator for [trans]ACTION, a monthly support group for former and current Pacific Islander trans and gender diverse sex workers in Washington. Isyss advocates for API trans and gender diverse sex workers affected by inequities in access to healthcare, education, employment, housing, etc. She works with UTOPIA to decolonize and confront anti-blackness, white supremacy, trans/homophobia, and sexism within Oceanian cultures, languages, and traditions.

Jake Moore

Jake Moore

Jake Moore is a program associate at the Gill Foundation. They manage the Colorado public broadcasting grant portfolio, assists on the Litigation and State Agencies Portfolio, and supports the programs team in their work to secure equal treatment for LGBT people by conducting research projects and ensuring efficient and effective execution of grants. Prior to joining the Gill Foundation, Jake was a program coordinator at the University of North Florida’s LGBT Resource Center. In this role, they built a foundation for on campus LGBT education, created and assessed educational goals, and coordinated major educational events for the community. Further, Jake assisted in passing the Jacksonville Human Rights Ordinance and served on the board for PFLAG of Jacksonville.

Nicolas Calvo Rosenstone

Nicolas Calvo Rosenstone
Photo copyright Guru Khalsa

Nicolas is the Communications Officer at the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, where he manages and develops digital content and strategies to spur action on the Fund’s priorities, including LGBT rights, immigrant rights, and education equity. Prior to joining the Haas, Jr. Fund, Nicolas worked in communications and admissions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Nicolas has a background in clinical research through his work in the emergency department at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. His research included comparing patient and staff attitudes about emergency department-based HIV testing in efforts to improve early diagnosis. Nicolas also co-chairs Horizons Young Professionals for Equality (HYPE), a volunteer-run organization which empowers and unites emerging LGBTQ+ leaders in the Bay Area through grant making. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University. He also did graduate work at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Loan Tran

Loan Tran

Loan Tran is a queer and gender non-conforming organizer and writer based in Durham, NC. They grew up in Charlotte, NC after their family migrated from Viet Nam. In Charlotte they began organizing as a high school student, founding their school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance and fighting with undocumented students to end deportations and access higher education. Loan currently works as the Director of Special Projects at the Southern Vision Alliance and Co-Director for SVA’s core high school youth leadership program, the Youth Organizing Institute. Outside of their non-profit job, they are involved in numerous community efforts such as organizing efforts to support alternatives to policing and local work defending several organizers who have been targeted and charged following the toppling of a confederate monument in Durham. Their passions include: popular education, coalition building, long-term power building, cooking, and spending time with their cats.

The fellowship program and the Grantmakers United for Trans Communities initiative are made possible in part by the support of Gilead, an anonymous funder, Groundswell Fund, the Kicking Assets Fund, the Wild Geese Foundation, Borealis Philanthropy, and the Third Wave Fund.


Congratulations to our fellows!


* While Luc was employed at Open Society Foundations at the time of selection for the fellowship, he will be departing in April 2018 for a position outside of the philanthropic sector. As a result, he will be departing from the GUTC Fellowship as well. Congratulations to Luc on his new position!

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