While some are banning saying “gay” and attacking our rights from all sides, others are stepping up and redoubling efforts to support the LGBTQ+ community.
This week, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ricky Martin, and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez joined the Hispanic Federation to launch an initiative to advocate for and serve the Latino LGBTQ+ community.
It is the “Advance Change Together” initiative, a program that will provide 20 Latino nonprofits with grants of between $25,000 and $50,000 to support their efforts and infrastructure in those communities.
As reported by the Associated Press, the Hispanic Federation, a national nonprofit dedicated to Latino empowerment, will fund the initiative with a $1 million grant for the first two years. But it hopes to encourage other donors to support and expand the program, which will also convene a summit to set a national agenda for LGBTQ+ groups.
“We have been identifying all this anti-LGBTQ legislation popping up around the country,” Frankie Miranda, president and CEO of the Hispanic Federation said Tuesday in Florida during the announcement of the new initiative. “It’s an indication that once certain groups that have been focusing on abortion get the result they want from the Supreme Court, we’re forecasting that the next frontier is to intensify anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country. We’re seeing it right now.”
The funding is intended to strengthen the organization’s advocacy, services, and infrastructure. The Hispanic Federation will hold meetings and capacity-building sessions for grantees for at least two years while seeking other potential funders and partners to expand the initiative beyond the second year. The Miranda Family Fund and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS have already committed additional support.
As explained by the Hispanic Federation, to be eligible for grants, organizations must serve a majority Latino constituency, be led by LGBTQ Latinos, have 501(c)(3) status, or have a fiscal sponsor with that status and plans to become a (c)(3), and have been active for at least two years, among other factors.
“I know firsthand what it means to have the support of a loving community as I navigated and embraced my gender identity,” Michaela Jaé Rodriguez said in a press release. “I am honored to be part of an initiative that will provide that much-needed support system to so many other members of the Latinx LGBTQ+ [community] who are facing their own challenges or are on their own journeys of self-discovery.”
“With the hate and division so many in power are looking to create in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, there’s never been a more important time for communities and organizations to come together to empower one another,” Ricky Martin added. “With the ACT initiative, we’re uniting to remind Latinx LGBTQ+ organizations that they have the support they need to serve and empower their communities.”