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Grants fund services for LGBTQ RI'ers
By Chris Barnett / July 29, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...

The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded more than $57,000 in grants to eight nonprofit organizations that serve the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities.

“Our grantees engage in efforts to ensure the health, safety, and fair treatment for all LGBTQ Rhode Islanders,” said Adrian Bonéy, who oversees Equity Action at the Foundation. “Much of this important work is accomplished by strengthening alliances among organizations working to address the most critical needs of the LGBTQ community across the state including investments in health, education, and the arts, as well as issues critical to youth and elderly members of the community.”   

Seniors and Advocates for GLBT Elders received $10,000 to assist in hiring a permanent director, increase the number of monthly programs, conduct a needs assessment of the community, collect and analyze data, develop and implement marketing strategies, increase membership, create a formal fundraising plan and provide outreach to the GLBT community.

Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders was awarded $9,000 to work with the state Department of Children, Youth and Families and the Ocean State Network to implement safe and affirming guidance for state-involved LGBTQ youth.

New Urban Arts was awarded $3,000 to enable 10-15 low-income youth to use writing and art to explore issues of identity, including sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

Youth Pride received $10,000 to increase outreach to local gay/straight alliances, to convene monthly Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Coalition meetings and the annual Rhode Island GSA conference, increase outreach to all local gay-straight alliances, and to offer programming for regional GSA meetings and GSA advisor training.

Thundermist Health Center was awarded $10,000 to develop a culturally and clinically competent continuum of care for transgender Rhode Islanders. In partnership with The Providence Center, Thundermist will train staff, improve electronic record keeping and scheduling, and promote information about access to care to transgendered Rhode Islanders and their advocates.

Sojourner House received $9,000 to increase the number of LGBTQ+ individuals it serves and expand same-sex intimate partner violence education in schools in partnership with youth organizations.

Family Service of Rhode Island received $2,500 to increase testing for HIV, sexually transmitted infections and Hepatitis C, particularly of men under the age of 29 who have sex with men, by expanding the network of community-based testing sites and increasing community-based speaking engagements at colleges, universities, and other relevant locations.

Flickers - Newport Film/Video Society & Arts Collaborative received $4,000 to for the Providence LGBTQ Film/Arts Community Outreach, which will include an LGBTQ Expo promoting Rhode Island-based, non-profit support organizations, screenings of more than 50 niche films, the Flickers' Youth Film Jury Outreach Mentorship and Media Literacy program, and a symposium on the treatment of LGBTQ characters in film.

There were two categories of grants: Projects that meet the community's priority needs through the empowerment of under-represented individuals in LGBTQ communities and capacity-building grants for board development, strategic planning, program development, fundraising or other activities that build the capacity of organizations that play a vital and unique role in the LGBTQ communities.

Equity Action is guided by a volunteer advisory committee comprised of community leaders including committee Chair Michael Grabo and Vice-Chair Jean Burke. While this year’s deadline to apply for major grants has passed, the Foundation is still accepting proposals for amounts under $2,500.

Established in 2002, Equity Action is committed to enacting social change by championing initiatives and organizations that encourage justice for, support and improve the quality of life of LGBTQ Rhode Islanders. Over the years, Equity Action has awarded more than $700,000 in grants to dozens of organizations.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2014, the Foundation awarded $34.8 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. The public can donate to Equity Action or any of the Foundation’s 1,400 funds on-line.

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