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Queer youth fund invests $500k in LGBTQ youth programs
From a news release
2012-09-25

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LOS ANGELES. Liberty Hill Foundation is pleased to announce $500,000 in grants to LGBTQ youth. Five community organizations from around the country will receive $100,000 multi-year grants to advance safety, empowerment and justice for LGBTQ youth. The grants are being made by the Queer Youth Fund, a donor-initiated grantmaking program at the Liberty Hill Foundation.

Founded in 2002, The Queer Youth Fund has been housed since 2003 at Liberty Hill, one of the nation's leading social justice foundations. It gives substantial multi-year grants to small youth-led organizations that promote equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth (LGBTQ) under 24. So far, $4.4 million has been awarded to groups in 21 states and Canada. Each grant is $100,000 and paid out over three to five years.

Unusual for a grants process, the Queer Youth Fund is a collaboration between the donors and an equal number of community activists who perform the site visits. All of them as well as a foundation representative have full voice and vote in the granting process. This has created a vibrant and thoughtful process ensuring a high-quality decision comes out of a robust and thoughtful process. The funders are Ralph Alpert, the Johnson Family Foundation, Weston Milliken, The Palette Fund, and the Threshold Foundation.

The 2011-2012 Queer Youth Fund grantees

Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center in San Francisco receives $100,000 over three years to coordinate program activities for gender variant, transgender and questioning youth. The Center will focus on empowerment, community building, leadership development and inclusiveness. Youth leaders will implement a mentorship program and leadership academy for this at-risk population and promote social justice involvement.

The Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County receives $100,000 over three years for its Youth Empowered To Act (YETA) program that focuses on social change through leadership development, community organizing, advocacy and activism. It will expand its after-school drop-in program and support the development of youth leadership programs including an Orange County GSA Hub.

Idaho Human Rights Education Center receives $100,000 over four years to promote school safety for Idaho's LGBTQ youth and their allies. Programs will include youth leadership development, creating a network of Gay Straight Alliances, holding regional youth-led conferences to eliminate anti-LGBTQ bias in schools, developing curricula and training teachers. Furthermore, the center will create and publish an Idaho School Climate Report to influence policy makers.

Life Foundation, Inc. of Hawaii receives $100,000 over three years to hire a part-time coordinator for its GSA Hawaii project. The coordinator will be responsible for organizing the activities, programs and projects of GSA Hawaii.

Out Now, Inc. of Springfield, MA, receives $100,000 over three years to support youth leadership in the QuEST project. The project includes leadership training for youth organizers, building grassroots power among LGBTQ youth, and organizing efforts to stop individual and systemic homophobia and racism in Springfield.

"Each year, I am awed by the extraordinary courage and abilities of the young people in organizations awarded Queer Youth Fund grants," co-founder Weston Milliken says. "These young leaders are helping to advance full equality for all Americans and it is an honor to support their passion for social justice work."

A list of Queer Youth Fund grantees can be found at www.LibertyHill.org/QYF. Please also see our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Queer-Youth-Fund.

Liberty Hill is first to identify community leaders at the frontlines of change. We invest in changemakers and equip them with the skills and relationships they need to build power and advance social justice. After more than 30 years, Liberty Hill is uniquely positioned to bring together forces for change and forge a common agenda for equality and opportunity in Los Angeles. Liberty Hill: Change. Not Charity.


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