Racial Equity - Funders for LGBTQ Issues
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A Healthier Movement for LGBTQ Rights

Shortly after California voters approved Proposition 8, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry in California, activists regrouped to debrief the campaign's lessons and its implications for LGBTQ rights. In January, an independent voter analysis found that party identification, ideology, religiosity and age—not race, as pundits across the spectrum prematurely clamored—had determined the vote for Prop 8. Along the same lines, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (funded by the New York-based Arcus Foundation), convened 32 religious thinkers to explore how to successfully engage religious communities, including communities of color, on sensitive, politically charged issues such as sexuality and gender identity. Everyone there agreed: support efforts led by LGBTQ people of color to engage their communities. Though African American voters were not to blame for the passage of Prop 8, race remains a central concern in our legislative and electoral battles; many agree that we have much to learn about successfully integrating a racial equity lens into our approaches. In fact, our success depends on it if we're to win in multiple issue areas, from relationship recognition to transgender-inclusive protections to family policy (among other areas). And if we've become more aware that this can yield more effective movements, resilient organizations and enhanced opportunity, then how can funders help advance this vision? We turn to the field for ideas.

Featured Tools

A demographic snapshot of LGBTQ people of color
LGBTQ people of color make up a diverse spectrum that cuts across race/ethnicity, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status and other characteristics. Meet your neighbors

A visceral metaphor of structural inequality
Philosopher Marilyn Frye proposes that broadening one’s lens to view the multiple bars of a birdcage can provide a more informed perspective—policies, practices, values and cultural representations work together over time to entrap communities. Watch a slideshow

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Funder Tools For
Racial Equity
  1. Frameworks
  2. Glossary
  3. Population Snapshots
  4. Inequality Slideshow
  5. Case Study & 10 Steps
  6. Transgender Lens
  7. Assessment Diagrams
  8. Nonprofit Directory
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"In this climate of restricted state dollars, the programs that most serve people of color are at risk for being cut—what will this mean for queer people of color in these communities that often bear a greater burden of the problem?" Read More

Kalpana Krishnamurthy
Race & Gender Justice Programs Director, Western States Center

"Whether the issue is immigration, or criminal justice reform, or education reform, we need to be at the table as openly gay people working with our straight allies to interject LGBT people's needs and voices into the policy-making mix." Read More

Urvashi Vaid
Executive Director, Arcus Foundation

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GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network)

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