$20 Million Global Effort to Aid Transgender Activists and Causes

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Nothing like this has ever happened. 

The Arcus Foundation — which for 15 years has granted more than $10 million dollars to transgender issues — announced it is launching what it calls the Global Transgender Initiative, in partnership with the NoVo Foundation,  one of the largest private foundations in the world to support initiatives focused explicitly on girls and women.

Together these philanthropic institutions are pledging at least $20 million over five years to boost organizations and activists who work toward the betterment of transgender people in the United States, as well as in poorer and developing nations. 

In its press release, Arcus described its beneficiaries as those doing “work intended to ensure that all transgender people live in a world where they are recognized, valued, and supported by their families and in society.”

Much of that work, according to the press release, is aimed at trans people impacted by violence and discrimination, including trans women of color. 

 “The epidemic of violence facing transgender women and girls across the globe is a crisis by any measure, and we are determined to partner with others to help address this urgent need,” Pamela Shifman, executive director of the NoVo Foundation said in a statement. “Ending violence against girls and women everywhere has always been at the core of the NoVo Foundation’s mission, and our support for the Global Trans Initiative is an important opportunity to deepen our longstanding work.”

“The Global Trans Initiative is a coordinated response to the alarming and pervasive range of disparities found within transgender communities,” Kevin Jennings, Arcus’s Executive Director, echoed in his statement. “Together with our partners, we are committed to delivering increased and necessary resources to those in the field working tirelessly to end the violence and discrimination facing transgender people around the world.”

The initiative follows what Arcus said was a two year “ listening and learning effort with frontline transgender activists and other interested funders.” Together with the NoVo Foundation, Arcus’s philanthropic effort outlined three goals:

    •    Increase awareness and understanding of the diversity, complexity, and intrinsic worth of transgender people, leading to acceptance and support among public and social institutions;
    •    Grow the number of pathways to economic opportunity and security for transgender people, ensuring their full legal and social equity, well-being, and safety; and
    •    Deepen the understanding of transgender-specific disparities in philanthropy and increase the number of funders integrating gender identity issues in their funding priorities.

Read more about the Global Transgender Initiative here.

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