By: Funders for LGBTQ Issues Staff on September 12, 2022
Funders for LGBTQ Issues is pleased to announce the newest cohort of Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) Leaders Fellows: Jardyn Lake, Alyssa Lawther, Neish McLean, Monserrat Padilla, Kay Taylor and Hạ Trần. We are also equally thrilled to announce that we have partnered with Matice Moore as our GUTC Fellowship Coordinator for this cycle!
This year’s six fellows bring diverse experiences, goals, and roles to our trailblazing professional development program. “The GUTC Leaders Fellowship offers a possibility model for philanthropy, supporting a pipeline of talented and brilliant trans, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary leaders in the field,” said Funders for LGBTQ Issues President Saida Agostini-Bostic. “Trans and nonbinary leadership is critically important as trans communities continue to resist unprecedented attacks in statehouses and in the streets.”
The 2022-2023 GUTC fellows exemplify Funders for LGBTQ Issues’ commitment to furthering racial equity and gender justice in philanthropy. They hail from across the country, identify with a range of gender identities under the transgender “umbrella,” and the majority identify as people of color. Representing grantmakers with a range of experience supporting trans communities, they are employed at private and public foundations and intermediaries.
During the initial selection stages for this year’s fellows, the fellowship program received more applications than ever before. “The sheer amount of interest compared to just a few years ago shows that the sector is hiring more trans staff, which is great progress” said Alexander L. Lee, previous GUTC Project Director and current Funders for LGBTQ Issues’ Deputy Director. “At the same time, we saw in one application after another that professional development and guidance is needed more than ever to help trans employees thrive in their roles. And as the right has stepped up their attacks on our fundamental rights, it’s clear that the GUTC Leaders Fellowship is a crucial, long-term investment in deepening philanthropy’s ability to support trans communities.”
The impact of the GUTC Leaders Fellowship has been immediate. Alumni fellows have gone on to leadership roles with foundations and associated professions, working to shift power over grantmaking decisions that impact trans communities to trans communities themselves.
We look forward to sharing the inspiring work our newest fellows will accomplish in the coming year! You can read each of the fellows’ biographies below, and get to know more about Matice and the expertise they will bring as Fellowship Coordinator.
Senior Program Associate, Black-Led Movements Fund at Borealis Philanthropy (Louisiana)
Jardyn Lake is a Southern Black/queer cultural activist, youth worker, and artist. A graduate of Temple University [B.A. African-American Studies, Summa Cum Laude] and University of London’s SOAS [M.A. African Studies, with Distinction]. Jardyn was affirmed, baptized, and radicalized, nearly 15 years ago, in the holy waters of Southern social justice organizing and leadership through the Highlander Center and Southerners on New Ground (SONG). With the foundation of SONG as their political home, Jardyn has had the privilege of organizing and leading liberatory work (both nationally and internationally), ranging from the decriminalization of Black and Latinx queer and trans youth to Black immigration justice work.
Research and Communications Officer, Funders for LGBTQ Issues (California)
Alyssa Lawther is the Research and Communications Officer at Funders for LGBTQ Issues, where they play a leading role in executing the organization’s research program. Alyssa developed strong data and analytic skills working at leading research institutions, most recently as a Research Associate at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT. Following this, they began a Ph.D. program in economics, driven by their interest in economics as a framework for addressing the causes and consequences of social inequity. However, their desire to more firmly ground their work in real-world advocacy led them to leave this program and pursue opportunities outside of academia. They are excited to work on increasing data accessibility for stakeholders.
Alyssa lives in California, where they enjoy cooking, going for meandering walks, and coveting their neighbors’ dogs.
Program Officer – Caribbean, Astraea Foundation (New Jersey)
Neish McLean is a queer transmasculine person who is deeply invested in community care, movement resourcing and healing justice. Neish brings over seven years of trans organizing and movement building experience to philanthropy. Neish also brings grantmaking expertise from their experience with GiveOut and the ACTIF Fund. Neish has also supported Astraea’s grantmaking efforts through their previous role as an International Advisor. Neish’s experience, though global, is deeply rooted in the Caribbean which is where their activism thrived. As the Co-Founder of TransWave Jamaica, Neish helped to shift the landscape for trans activism within Jamaica while also providing technical support to organizations across the Caribbean region. Neish is also a sports, fitness and adventure enthusiast who might try to convince you that burpees are the best workout. Neish is currently a Program Officer for the Caribbean at Astraea Foundation.
Program Officer, Satterberg Foundation (Washington state)
Monserrat has been a Program Officer at Satterberg Foundation since July 2021. Prior to joining Satterberg, Monserrat was the Director of the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network; a powerful statewide coalition that came together in 2016 to protect immigrant rights. Monserrat has worked at the state and national level for over 12 years building the capacity of grassroots organizations through programs and advocacy campaigns to foster community development for LGBTQ+, immigrants, and people of color. Under COVID-19, Monserrat mustered state policy wins that brought economic relief for Washington state undocumented immigrant residents through direct cash assistance, legal support, and access to healthcare. Monserrat also recently served as a 2022 Grantmaking Fellow with the Trans Justice Funding Project.
Program Associate, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund (New York)
Kay Taylor, who identifies as a Black trans person, hails from Long Island NY. Their lived experiences as a child of formerly incarcerated parents and navigating the foster care system, have positioned them to advocate for PIC abolition. Kay is currently a Program Associate at Wellspring Philanthropic Fund’s Racial Justice Program. Previously, Kay was the Senior Bail Operations Associate at Envision Freedom Fund (formerly Brooklyn Community Bail Fund), helping disrupt cyclical carceral structures by supporting recently incarcerated people navigate pretrial detention and money bail systems that violently impact poor Black communities. As former NYC chapter co-chair of the Black Queer Feminist organization BYP100, Kay pushed to disrupt institutional violence through direct action on discriminatory housing, violence against Black TGNCI people, immigration, accessible college tuition, police violence, and prison abolition. Kay’s organizing experience started with their successful work in Black communities on political campaigns focused on LGBTQ rights. They earned their B.S. in Kinesiology from University of Maryland and M.S. in Sports Management from Columbia University. Kay’s research focused on intersections of race, gender and sexuality in physical culture and how it impacts society.
Program Associate, Third Wave Fund (Virginia)
Hạ Trần is dreaming, living, and working as a GRITS + GLITS (Gay* Raised/Living in the South), into a future where all families are safe, supported, and valued. Hạ is grounded in creative movements for Reproductive Justice and survivor-led healing. They’re a collective member of SOFT WEB Studio Collective, an abortion funder, and has years of experience directly supporting TLGBQ+ survivors of interpersonal, sexual, and state-sanctioned violence. They graduated with a BFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University. Hạ cultivates joy and pleasure through textile arts, zine-making, porch sitting, and with all bodies of water.
2022-23 GUTC Fellowship Coordinator (Michigan)
Matice Moore is a Black, queer, non-binary artist and facilitator from Arizona. With an emphasis on leadership development, group process, and healing through creative practice, Matice has worked for over 20 years with youth and adults to address issues related to institutional equity and social justice in the non-profit and higher education sectors. As an artist, Matice’s work explores themes of Blackness, grief, spirituality, and social change, and they’ve collaborated with organizers to make movement art through partnerships with Forward Together, The Center for Cultural Power, and the Ella Baker Center.
Matice has held a number of roles within the non-profit and higher education sectors, most recently working with Queer|Art to further develop and facilitate their cornerstone mentorship program. Currently, in addition to coaching and consulting, Matice serves as the executive director for the Brown Boi Project with a focus on capacity building and leadership development for queer and trans people of color. Matice holds a Master of Arts degree with an emphasis in community development and leadership from Prescott College, a certificate in spirituality and social change from the Pacific School of Religion, and a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Arizona.
The fellowship program and the Grantmakers United for Trans Communities initiative are made possible in part by the support of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, California Wellness, Gilead, an anonymous donor, the Groundswell Fund, the Kicking Assets Fund, the Wild Geese Foundation, Borealis Philanthropy, Trans Justice Funding Project, Third Wave Fund, the Simmons Foundation, and the Tov Adama Foundation.
Funders for LGBTQ Issues launched Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) in 2017 with the goal of inspiring a philanthropic culture that is inclusive and supportive of trans people through grantmaking and decision-making. GUTC has published research on funding for trans communities, convened funders for groundbreaking funder briefings and webinars, and launched the historic GUTC Pledge campaign. To date, 53 institutions from a wide range of grantmakers and supporting institutions have pledged to take concrete actions to make their foundations more inclusive and responsive to trans communities.