Racial Equity Initiative Grants $56,000 to Seven Organizations!

The Racial Equity Initiative (REI) is a multiyear campaign of the Funders for LGBT Issues to strengthen the infrastructures of autonomous LGBTQ people of color organizations. Pride Foundation is one of eight national cohort-leaders chosen to support organizations in this region through re-granting, technical assistance funding, leadership development, convening of participants, and other coaching and support. This year is the last year of earmarked funding for the Racial Equity Initiative.

Pride Foundation is proud to support the following organizations:

Asian Pacific Islander Pride (Portland, OR) to support outreach within the larger Asian and Pacific Islander community as well as the larger LGBTQ community. Asian Pacific Islander Pride is a community and membership based organization led by and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in Portland, OR. As they have grown, they will use these funds to design programs targeted to different sections of their diverse community as well as identify and nurture leaders to bring onto their board. The funds will also support a range of events including their annual Lunar New Year Banquet.

Montana Two Spirit Society (Missoula, MT) to support operating costs, their HIV & HCV testing projects for Native Two Spirit communities as well as the 16th annual Montana Two Spirit Gathering, scheduled for July 26-29, 2012 at Blacktail Ranch (located 60 miles north of Helena). Montana Two Spirit Society is the only organization whose mission is to address Native LAGBT and two spirit issues, and they are committed to working with other LGBTQ and community based organizations as a way to educate and bring awareness to important issues facing their communities. Additionally, they will be working with Western Native Voice to develop a Get Out The Vote campaign targeting Native Two Spirit and LGBTQ community members in Montana.

Portland Latino Gay Pride (Portland, OR) to support the 2012 Latino Gay Pride Celebration, a four day series of events celebrating the Latino Gay Pride experience. Examples of the events include Voz Alta (an evening of poetry and performances), La Lucha Dance Party, Latino Gay Pride Festival, and Chicas Who Brunch (the closing event focusing on Latina women and their experiences). In 2011, Portland Latino Gay Pride was at its largest level in sponsorships and audience reaching over 1000 people. For 2012 they will continue to broaden their reach and impact in the community.

Entre Hermanos (Seattle, WA) for general operating costs. Entre Hermanos has been active for almost 20 years providing support, health improvement, leadership development, and strengthening the Latino Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community in King County. The majority of these funds will be used to support the Mujeres Diversas women’s program which provides social support and educational presentations on a range of topics relevant to queer Latina women. The remaining funds will support their civic engagement efforts in collaboration with the Washington United for Marriage campaign.

Voices Rising (Seattle, WA) to support general operating expenses to produce a season of works in music, theater, spoken word, dance, performance and visual art. Voices Rising is an arts collective that features artists who are LGBTQ people of color. In conjunction with these events, Voices Rising will provide training and development to artists in cultural production, media relations, marketing, event planning and cultural activism.  Voices Rising recently established a performance home at Washington Hall in Seattle’s Central District. This location serves as a hub for artists and community members to participate in the events and workshops, and in collaboration with Hidmo and 206Zulu (other tenants of this building).

Trikone Northwest (Seattle, WA) to support operating costs toward outreach, community building events, and member development/education. Recently, they began offering support groups (called TrikoneSpeak) for LGBTQ South Asian and Middle Eastern people. Groups are led by a therapist in the community. Trikone NW has been serving the South Asian community in Seattle for over ten years. They are currently in the process of producing video diaries and oral histories of LGBTQ South Asians and Middle Easterners in the area. This year, Trikone NW wants to do more focused outreach and visibility in Kent and Redmond, where there are large “mainstream” South Asian populations.

Umatilla Morrow Alternatives (Hermiston, OR) to support operating costs toward their many programs. Umatilla Morrow Alternatives (UMA) currently runs a free HIV testing and education program, needle exchange, STD education, GLBT support groups for adults and for youth—all with 1 paid staff and a 9 member board as well as a large core of volunteers. UMA will use the funds specifically for a new refrigerator for HIV supplies, travel costs for their extensive outreach and their consistent need for testing and educational materials. They will also do extensive organizing for the Annual Multicultural and GLBT Celebration event hosted in Hermiston, OR this year.

Uma is Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Western Washington. She has also been heavily involved in the REI granting process. Email Uma.

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