One third of LGBTQ Americans live in the South. Every day, we witness the resilience, creativity and resourcefulness of LGTBQ grassroots organizers who are working to create equality in their hometowns. We believe that these organizers can help transform our region—but they need the funding and support to do so.
Through the Southern Equality Fund (SEF), we provide this funding and training and we're working to create a pipeline of resources to grassroots organizers. We've made the grant application process short and simple and respond to applicants within a month, if not sooner. We prioritize groups and individual leaders whose access to funding and support is limited due to barriers such as not having 501c3 status, or being located in a rural area.
The SEF is a project of the Campaign for Southern Equality, an advocacy organization working for full lived and legal equality for LGBTQ Southerners. We launched the Fund in 2015 and in 2018 will distribute 10% of CSE's organizational budget through SEF grants. Read more here.
CSE's work is shaped by the following commitments:
- Advocating for racial, gender and economic justice;
- Uplifting the voices and leadership of Trans individuals and POC (people of color);
- Being responsive to urgent community needs while working toward long-term change; and
- Empathic resistance - an ethic of practicing empathy in all interactions as we resist unjust laws.
The Southern Equality Fund provides grassroots grants of up to $500 to groups and individuals across the South that are working to promote equality, safety, and/or visibility of LGBTQ people.
There’s a lot involved in grassroots organizing for LGBTQ groups in the South, so the Southern Equality Fund doesn’t just provide funding for projects – we also connect leaders with training and support.
The Trans Leadership Initiative provides expanded funding, training and support to a cohort of trans leaders from across the South.
Bringing leaders together to share skills, strategy and experience, is essential to creating lasting change. Whether it's through storytelling, supporting grassroots gatherings, or hosting an annual grantee convening, we are committed to helping grassroots leaders build the relationships they need to sustain them in their work.
This post is also available in: Spanish