I hope beautiful summer days have brought you joy and comfort through an incredibly challenging year for our communities. We are in the midst of fighting back against so many pieces of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that passed this past cycle while we prepare as a community for all 2024 might bring. I am finding so much encouragement in these efforts, and the wins coming from them, like a judge in Montana blocking the recently implemented drag ban.
We are also in the midst of deciphering the long-term impacts of an extraordinarily harmful set of SCOTUS decisions this past June. From ending affirmative action and student debt alleviation, to sanctioning discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, there will be reverberating effects of this set of decisions that undoes so many of the hard-won protections and supports that were helping get us just a little bit closer to justice.
This moment, as so many moments before this, calls us to continue to build ties between our movements and communities as we find strength together to continue to fight for racial, economic, gender, and LGBTQ+ justice.
What’s New at Pride Foundation
The Pride Foundation Board and Staff team have been deep in strategic visioning and planning process for the better part of this past year. We are working with Justice Funders, an organization that specifically supports foundations build regenerative practices that serve to build power among communities in service of collective well-being by shifting power and resourcing to them.
We gathered as a full Board and Staff team in Portland in May at a retreat to begin our visioning work, and our Staff team will be gathering next week in Boise to go deeper into planning work, while our Board spends time conceptualizing what a liberated governance model could look like for a foundation Board.
We will be excited to share the outcomes of this work in the coming months with our community and welcome input and feedback as we continue to refine our strategic roadmap for the next 5 years that will help us get closer to our vision of liberation for LGBTQ+ communities in the Northwest.
Rest assured that all of our work and programming (and some new programming!) will continue through this visioning process.
Announcing Our New LGBTQ+ Youth Initiative
We are thrilled to be able to share with you all a project that has long been in the works: a new initiative to resource LGBTQ+ youth-serving organizations, piloted in Washington State. This exciting two-year initiative is funded by a $1.6 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. The goal of this project is to support growth, capacity building, and movement building among a number of LGBTQ+ youth organizations in Washington.
You can read the full press release about the initiative here, as well as more about the first round of grantees who will be supported through the initiative.
Historic Levels of Scholarships Awarded
In case you missed our announcement last month, this June we awarded nearly $760,000 in scholarships to 113 incredible LGBTQ+ students across the Northwest! Our scholars work and study across many fields, but what all have in common is that they are all making the world a better place for our communities as leaders in their own lives, families, home communities, field of study, workplaces, and in our movements for justice.
In line with our commitment to prioritizing moving resources to those within our community who experience educational barriers and have been impacted by systemic discrimination and oppression, we are proud that: 71% of our scholars are trans, gender diverse, and/or Two Spirit, 74% are people of color, 59% are disabled/living with a disability, 62% have experience or are experiencing houseless, and 54% live in rural areas.
Building our CARE Department
Over the past year and a half, we have continued to build our Community Advocacy, Research, and Education Department, which we lovingly call our CARE Department, led by José Romero. The evolution that culminated in this department began years ago, with our TRANSform WA initiative to fight anti-trans bathroom bills, and later developing into a region-wide messaging and narrative program called TRANSform Culture. The need in our region for further support in this area resulted in the decision to make this work a permanent part of Pride Foundation and the CARE department was created.
The ultimate goal of our CARE work is create a Northwest region that is inhospitable to homophobia, transphobia, racism, misogyny, and all other forms of hard directed at LGBTQ+ communities. One of the key programs we have been developing within care is the TRANSform Culture Fellowship, a 12-month story-collection and story sharing leadership development fellowship. We’ll be announcing the inaugural group of fellows later this month—stay tuned!
In the meantime, you can read more about CARE here, and read about the legislative sessions in the Northwest here.
You Made Tend 2023 a Roaring Success
We are still basking in the glow of this year’s Tend! We are so grateful for the outpouring of community support that resulted in exceeding our fundraising goal – together, we raised more than $300,000 for LGBTQ+ communities in the Northwest!
We also loved that this was made possible by leaning into the power of our region, and hosting 5 simultaneous events in Anchorage, Bozeman, Boise, Portland, and Seattle, as well as our virtual livestream! We can’t thank everyone who supported enough, as well as our 18 person Tend Host Committee, and 24 corporate and business partners! We can hardly wait for next June…