Judy Riffle: 10 grants supporting LGBTQ students

While the Trump administration has made it decidedly more difficult for LGBTQ students to be treated equally in schools, these organizations are hoping to stem the tide


According to Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, “the Trump-Pence administration is the most virulently anti-LGBTQ administration in decades.”

Case in point — in 2017, President Trump pointed at Vice President Pence and said not to ask him about an anti-gay agenda because “he wants to hang them all.”

So, how has this administration hurt progress for LGBTQ students in schools? Here are some examples:

Michigan educators attended a 3-day training last year called Creating Safe and Supportive Schools for LGBTQ Students. Funding for similar initiatives is available through these 10 philanthropic organizations. Image: Allison Farrand/MLive.com via TNS
Michigan educators attended a 3-day training last year called Creating Safe and Supportive Schools for LGBTQ Students. Funding for similar initiatives is available through these 10 philanthropic organizations. Image: Allison Farrand/MLive.com via TNS
  • The Departments of Education and Justice destroyed guidelines from President Obama telling schools to accommodate transgender students according to their gender identity (i.e., allows schools to harass transgender students, refuse to provide appropriate facilities such as gender neutral restrooms, and ignore the usage of correct pronouns/names).
  • 4H programs were ordered to eliminate a policy detailing that all LGBTQ students are welcome. When a 4H official tried to fight this move, he was fired.
  • Schools who instituted policies allowing transgender students to take part in sports according to their gender identity were told by the Department of Education that they were breaking federal law and may not receive federal funds.
  • Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has made it more difficult for schools to combat sexual harassment and violence by canceling some Title IX rules. She increased the standard of proof from “preponderance of the evidence” to “clear and convincing evidence,” making it more difficult for survivors of sexual assault to obtain justice. 

    Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), LGBTQ individuals experience sexual harassment and violence disproportionately compared to their straight peers, often when they are young.
  • The Department of Education will not review or honor civil complaints filed by transgender youth and young adults.

On top of all these attacks on LGBTQ equal rights, LGBTQ youth are five times more likely than their straight peers to view suicide as an option.

Funding to support LGBTQ students and equal rights

Here are ten forward-thinking philanthropic organizations who want to help continue the fight for LGBTQ equality.

  1. Since 1999, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund has been supporting nonprofits with advocacy, justice and well-being.
  2. The Black Benefactors Grant Program in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area supports LGBTQ and other individuals with advocacy, housing, education and youth development.
  3. Education First: SEL in Action Awards supports LGBTQIA+ students and social and emotional (SEL) learning programs.
  4. The Gill Foundation funds LGBT advocacy/services and safe schools where all are respected.  
  5. The Global Fund for Children priority areas include LGBTQ youth, gender equity, youth empowerment, education, and freedom from violence/exploitation.   
  6. The NoVo Foundation focuses on girls, women, SEL, ending violence, and fighting transphobia along with other structural forms of bigotry and hate.
  7. The Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation serves 50 counties in Texas. Funding priority areas include education, literacy, social services, science, and health with an emphasis on women, children, and the gay and lesbian community.
  8. The Joseph H. and Florence A. Roblee Foundation primarily funds programs in Miami/Dade County, Florida and St. Louis, Missouri. The focus includes breaking down gender barriers, education, protecting/supporting LGBTQ youth, and promoting community understanding/respect between different sexual orientations.    
  9. The Crossroads Fund supports organizations in Chicago, Illinois and northwestern Indiana who advance racial, social, and economic justice. Funding areas include education, youth activists, and the fight against homophobia, transphobia, racism, and sexism.
  10. The EQT Foundation funds nonprofits in eastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, and northern West Virginia. Areas of focus include education, community/economic development, and diversity, including within the LGBTQ community.

“Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts.” — Barbara Gittings, American activist 

How will your school support LGBTQ youth who deserve love, acceptance and equality, like all of us?

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