On National Coming Out Day, FFL launches Louisiana LGBTQ Fund
Seeded with a $50,000 matching grant from Funders for LGBTQ Issues' Out in the South program, FFL will raise an additional $250,000 for the fund by the end of 2018.
New Orleans, LA – In honor of National Coming Out Day — held annually on October 11 — Foundation for Louisiana (FFL) is excited to officially launch its new Louisiana LGBTQ Fund. These funds will be used to support community organizations across the state to assist lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer residents.
Seeded with a $50,000 matching grant from Funders for LGBTQ Issues’ Out in the South program, FFL will raise an additional $250,000 for the fund by the end of 2018.
While this represents the official launch of the fund, FFL began its work in this sphere a few years ago. In October 2016, it held an inaugural LGBTQ Statewide Summit (pictured) to bring together activists, organizers and community organizations across Louisiana to begin to develop a common agenda and to learn what was needed within the state to build a progressive movement to support LGBTQ issues.
Attendees at the summit, which was sponsored by a planning grant from Funders for LGBTQ Issues’ Out in The South initiative, identified several key areas of work including:
· Community/Coalition Building
· Right-Wing Attacks
· Mental Health
· Economic Opportunities
“We have a strong commitment at the foundation to work with all marginalized groups in this state. We know that LGBTQ Louisianans — many of whom are people of color — face compounded discrimination when it comes to accessing housing, healthcare, employment and other basic needs. They are also criminalized at higher rates, and subjected to high rates of violence as evidenced by the deaths of three trans women of color in Louisiana earlier this year. We want to support efforts to shift this,” Flozell Daniels Jr., President and CEO of FFL, said. “There are LGBTQ people in all sectors, so in addition to raising money for this fund, I am proud that FFL employs LGBTQ staff across our program areas and that we partner with many amazing groups in this state working to interrupt homophobia and transphobia.”
The Louisiana LGBTQ Fund will strengthen the capacity of local community organizations making a positive impact on the lives of LGBTQ Louisianans.
This year marks the 29th anniversary of National Coming Out Day, an initiative of the Human Rights Campaign. It is a day to celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or as an ally. The Human Rights Campaign says the day is “a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out. One out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian. For transgender people, that number is only one in 10.”
Daniels adds, “We want to build this fund across every sector. We’re looking for individuals, businesses, corporations and foundations to contribute to it recognizing that we are all connected. It is important, especially in the Deep South, for us to show leadership on this issue and to help change hearts and minds.”
About Funders for LGBTQ Issues
Funders for LGBTQ Issues works to increase the scale and impact of philanthropic resources aimed at enhancing the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities, promoting equity, and advancing racial, economic and gender justice.