Tragically, we are bombarded with news of a mass shootings all too frequently in the U.S. As recently as the summer of 2016, our community experienced the most violent attack targeting the LGBTQ people in our history. A gunman attacked Pulse Nightclub, a gay club in Orlando Florida, taking 49 lives and wounding 68 others. It was Latin Night, and the majority of the victims and survivors were LGBTQ and Latinx.
At the time, the Pulse Nightclub Massacre was the worst mass shooting since Wounded Knee. Since then, that record has again been shattered, and in the last 30 days alone we grappled with a horrendous shooting at a Jewish Synagogue in Pittsburgh and a college bar in Thousand Oaks, California.
How is philanthropy addressing violence and the homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia that often drives the hateful attacks against our community?
Over the two-year period of 2015 and 2016, excluding the direct victim support awarded to the survivors and the families of the victims of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre via the OneOrlando Fund, U.S.-based foundations awarded $3.7 million to address violence, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in the United States. Traditionally, funding to address violence, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia has been much lower than funding for other issues, such as civil rights; health and wellbeing; strengthening communities, families, and visibility; education and safe schools; and economic issues. And in the past four years, funding to address violence, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia has fluctuated between $1.3 million and $2.4 million a year.
Funding to Address LGBTQ Violence, Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia in the United States (2013-2016)
Excluding support provided through the OneOrlando Fund, the top 10 funders addressing violence, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in the United States over the two-year period of 2015 and 2016 were as follows:
Top ten Funders Addressing LGBTQ Violence, Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia in the United States (2015-2016)
|3.||New York Women’s Foundation||$466,100|
|4.||Central Florida Foundation||$315,000|
|5.||Open Society Foundations||$300,000|
|6.||H. van Ameringen Foundation||$235,000|
|9.||Calamus Foundation (New York)||$160,000|
Collectively, they awarded $3.1 million — accounting for 83 percent of all the funding. Notable grantees included the New York City Anti-Violence Project, Athlete Ally, Media Matters for America, Center for Anti-Violence Education, and the Audre Lorde Project.