Pride boosts social justice work by $10,000

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Atlanta Pride responded to the presidential election by “redoubling our efforts for justice” and pledging $10,000 in grants to groups that support LGBT people of color, immigrants, Muslims and others marginalized during the campaign. 

Pride's executive director, Jamie Fergerson (photo), announced the $10,000 community reinvestment grants during a Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil on Nov. 20. The grants, a minimum of $1,000 each, will be distributed by the end of the year.

“I think this is really a time where we are called to be creative and innovative in our partnerships and in the way we’re working,” Fergerson said. “Even though none of us are really pleased about the outcome of the election, I think that this is an opportunity for us to really do what we do as a queer community even better.”

Atlanta Pride has already allocated some $37,000 to support LGBTQ groups and allied organizations in 2016. The new grants will be in addition to that amount in the hope that the funds will help organizations build new partnerships or convince other larger non-profits to up their financial commitments to LGBTG groups.

“[For] some organizations, a thousand dollars is huge, and for others it’s not quite as big, but it still will allow them to do work they couldn’t otherwise do,” Fergerson said.

Fergerson expanded on the grants in a Nov. 22 open letter:

In response to these uncertain times, we see no other way but to redouble our efforts for justice. Atlanta Pride commits to further expanding our educational and social justice programming in 2017, shining our light on and offering support to those most vulnerable members of our community. We commit to continue doing the hard work of liberation and calling each other up with love inside our organization and across Pride organizations. We also commit to putting more of our resources on the line in a tangible way. As such, we are committing an additional $10,000 to community reinvestment before the year’s end. 

With the $10,000 in grants, Atlanta Pride's community reinvestment in 2016 will reach $47,000 – nearly double the $25,000 it gave out in 2015. Fergerson said Atlanta Pride's goal is to reach $50,000 in grants by 2020.

The grants are aimed at organizations serving those who are, “most affected by the results of the recent presidential election,” Fergerson said in the announcement. 

“We seek applications from organizations led by queer people of color, immigrants, Muslims, transgender individuals, women, youth, and others on the margins,” she wrote.

In recent years, Atlanta Pride has expanded its work outside the annual Pride festival in early October. That has included co-hosting events on intimate partner violence in the queer community, interfaith dialogues and movie screenings, as well as partnering with LGBTQ and allied organizations. Increasing their grant work is another way Atlanta Pride is trying to do more beyond the two-day festival.

All organizations that receive grants will also be asked to co-host an event with Atlanta Pride.

“So we’re putting some of our tangible resources on the line, which I think is really needed, and then we’re also going to commit more programming to serving and raising awareness about some of the issues that people are talking about now,” Fergerson said.

Fergerson added that she hoped the grants would support efforts around immigration and transgender health – areas “I think we all are afraid are going to de-stabilize with the new administration.”

Organizations have until Dec. 6 to apply. The grants will be announced by Dec. 15. 

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