Hispanic Federation Hosts First Act Convening, Announce New Latinx LGBTQ+ Grantees
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2023
SAN FRANCISCO—Hispanic Federation (HF) hosted its first Advance Change Together (ACT) convening in San Francisco, California during the National LGBTQ Task Force’s 2023 Creating Change Conference. The ACT convening brought together community-based organizations from across the country to discuss the barriers and issues facing Latinx LGBTQ+ communities and how best to address them. At the convening, HF announced the first grantees as part of the ACT initiative, which will be receiving grants of up to $50,000 that will go toward strengthening their organizations’ advocacy efforts, services, and infrastructure to better serve Latinx LGBTQ+ communities. In total, more than $1 million will be distributed to ACT grantees over a two-year period, half of which has already been distributed since the initiative was first announced in 2022.
The first ACT initiative grantees include 25 Latinx LGBTQ+ organizations that have a variety of skillsets and offer culturally competent services, including providing health care services, crafting proposed legislation and policies that empower the LGBTQ+ community, addressing the needs of LGBTQ+ people fleeing violence in Latin America, battling hate across the U.S., and so much more. A full list of grantees can be found below.
The convening was held as support for LGBTQ+ protections and rights continues to rise in the United States. In fact, 79 percent of Americans support laws that would protect LGBTQ+ communities, including 80 percent of Hispanic Americans. However, even with this growing support nearly 40 percent of Latinx LGBTQ+ adults live with a household income below $24,000 per year, and LGBTQ+ Latinx adults are more likely to be unemployed and experience food insecurity than Latinx non-LGBTQ+ adults. Additionally, 74 percent of Latinx LGBTQ+ adults report having experienced everyday discrimination, and more than 299 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced across the country.
ACT initiative seeks to tackle these disparities, as well as the increasing number of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, by funding and supporting organizations that have deep ties to the Latinx LGBTQ+ community. The initiative also brings together an often-ignored intersectional perspective on policies and issues such as immigration, race, culture, language access, and more.
“In 2022, we launched ACT initiative as a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation swept the nation, stirring hate and fear in our country. Our goal was to push back on this hateful rhetoric, which too often leads to violence, by reaffirming and strengthening our commitment to organizations that serve as lifelines for the Latinx LGBTQ+ community,” said Frankie Miranda, president and CEO of Hispanic Federation. “We’re proud to mark this milestone for ACT by announcing the first 25 Latinx LGBTQ+ grantees that will now be part of the Hispanic Federation family. By bringing together our skills, expertise, and services, we’re strengthening our collective efforts to better serve LGBTQ+ communities across the country, especially with a bilingual and bicultural lens. I thank our grantees for leading this important work and collaborating with Hispanic Federation.”
The ACT initiative began as a $1 million program meant to empower and support organizations working on the frontlines to protect and serve Latinx LGBTQ+ communities. HF launched the ACT Initiative in June of 2022, at the height of Pride Month and just days the after six-year remembrance of the 49 innocent lives taken during the gruesome shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
The first ACT initiative grantees include:
1. Trans Queer Pueblo - Semilla De Liberación (Phoenix, AZ)
2. Colectivo ALA (San Jose, CA)
3. El/La Para Translatinas (San Francisco, CA)
4. Honor 41 (Rancho Mirage, CA)
5. Latino Equality Alliance (Los Angeles, CA)
6. Somos Familia (Oakland, CA)
7. Somos Familia Valle (Sun Valley, CA)
8. The Wall-Las Memorias (Los Angeles, CA)
9. Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (Denver, CO)
10. Gran Varones (Washington, DC)
11. Latinos in the South (Durham, North Carolina)
12. Latinx History Project (Washington, DC)
13. Unión=Fuerza Latinx Institute (Washington, DC)
14. Del Ambiente, Inc. (Orlando, FL)
15. QLatinX (Orlando, FL)
16. Community EsTr(El-La) (Atlanta, GA)
17. Latino LinQ (Atlanta, GA)
18. Association of Latinos/as/xs Motivating Action (Chicago, IL)
19. LGBT Center Intercultural Collective (Jackson Heights, NY)
20. Translatinx Network (New York, NY)
21. Sé Visible PR Transgender Wellness Center (Bayamon, Puerto Rico)
22. Waves Ahead Corp (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
23. Fundacion Latinoamericana De Accion Social (Houston, TX)
24. Organización Latina Trans in Texas (Houston, TX)
25. South Texas Equality Project (McAllen, TX)
“We are an organization working on the dissemination of human rights access to comprehensive health care of TransGNB people. By strengthening the social and cultural expression of diverse gender identities in New York City, we aim to guarantee our well-being and the right to a life free from all types of violence,” said Liaam Winslet, co-Founder and Executive Director of Colectivo Intercultural TRANSgrediendo.
"Latinx LGBTQ+ led organizing on the ground has always transformed our communities across the U.S. It is important to center our stories, our leadership, & invest in our chosen familias. The ACT grant is the transformative change philanthropy needs that accelerates Latinx LGBTQ+ grassroots work that is on the forefront in challenging machismo, building family acceptance, and providing equitable holistic services for our community to thrive,” said Kevin Al Perez, President of Somos Familia Valle.
“OLTT es una Organización fundada y dirigida por migrantes trans latinx , Que trabajan por el bienestar intersectional de. Nuestra Comunidad Trans-lgbtqi migrante. Esto es un trabajo de apoyo Interseccional , de Solidaridad y Empoderamiento: Brindar ayuda directa , Refugio de Emergencia , Acceso a Servicios y Espacio físico para reuniones , Responder a crisis a medida que se presenten : y celebrar y fortalecer a nuestra Comunidad , con Dignidad , Alegría y Orgullo,” said Anandrea Molina, Executive Director of OLTT.
“Somos Latinos Unidos En PRO de la transformación para fortalecer los valores de igualdad, visibilidad, inclusión y tolerancia. Buscamos garantizar el respeto y la dignidad en la calidad de nuestros servicios para la comunidad LGBTQ en Los EU,” dijo Elia Chino, Founder and Executive Director of FLAS, INC.
“With the rise of anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-immigrant sentiments in Florida, we are incredibly thankful to Hispanic Federation for investing in grassroots organizations to ensure we are equipped to handle the challenges that threaten the healthy development of our communities. As an organization that exists to promote the wellbeing of Puerto Rican and Latinx LGBTQ+ communities in Florida, ACT funding will allow us to address the issues that are currently impacting our people, while continuing to build an infrastructure that can continue to cater to the needs of the growing number of individuals that call Florida home,” said Ricardo Negron-Almodovar, Co-Chair of Del Ambiente.
“Ser parte del primer grupo de beneficiarios de ACT es un gran honor para quienes integramos Colectivo ALA, una organización operada por voluntarios. Con el apoyo financiero de la Hispanic Federation, Colectivo ALA podrá fortalecer su infraestructura para crecer y continuar proveyendo un espacio por la libertad de expresión, el crecimiento individual y el desarrollo de comunidad para personas Latine LGBTQ+ en el Valle de Santa Clara,” said Rodrigo García, Co-Fundador y Director Colectivo Acción Latina de Ambiente (a.k.a Colectivo ALA)
“Somos Familia is thrilled to be in the inaugural cohort of the Hispanic Federation’s ACT Initiative. As an intergenerational organization working to engage Latinx families in accepting, celebrating and advocating for our LGBTQ+ loved ones and shifting the cultural stigma of LGBTQ+ identities, the concept of advancing change together is at the core of our work. We are so grateful to stand shoulder to shoulder with our sibling organizations from across the country as new members of the Hispanic Federation familia. This historic investment in LGBTQ+ issues by a well-respected Latinx organization is extremely significant particularly in this moment when LGBTQ+ rights are being repealed in several majority Latinx states. Thank you, Hispanic Federation, for raising up the voices of all of our comunidad,” said Maritza Martinez, Executive Director Somos Familia.
"Thriving at the intersection of our identities, the Latinx LGBTQ+ community has historically been disenfranchised and divested, but this partnership with ACT allows the Association of Latinos/as/xs Motivating Action to continue the work we started nearly three and a half decades ago to advocate for the rights and protections of the Latinx LGBTQ+ community,” said Manuel Hernández-Nuñez, Executive Director of the Association of Latinos/as/xs Motivating Action.
“Por años las personas transgénero han sido marginadas en nuestra sociedad y en nuestras comunidades Latinas. Esta iniciativa de Hispanic Federation marca un gran paso hacia un futuro más inclusivo, justo e equitativo. Como la primera organización en la historia de Puerto Rico fundada y dirigida por personas trans, para el beneficio de las personas trans en la isla, nos llena de orgullo ser parte del primer grupo de becados de Advance Change Together. Seguimos en la lucha paso a paso hasta la equidad,” said Joanna Cifredo de Fellman, Directora Ejecutiva de Puerto Rico Transgender Wellness Center.
“El/La Para TransLatinas is honored to be a part of Hispanic Federation's first ACT Convening, and heartened by their inclusion of the trans, intersex, and gender-diverse Latinx community as a grantee. Together we are breaking down the many barriers that exist within the Latinx community for LGBTQI+ individuals, because we know that collaboration and inclusion are the path to justice and equity for all of us,” said Nicole Santamaria, Executive Director of El/La Para TransLatinas.
“This funding will help us re-enter the community after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted HIV testing and outreach efforts in the Atlanta area. Latino LinQ is excited to engage with new and existing leaders in the metro-Atlanta area, including health departments, community-based organizations, and Latine-LGBTQ nightlife and art curators,” said Edric Figueroa, Board Member for Latino LinQ.
“Union=Fuerza Latinx Institute is proud to be a part of the coalition of national leaders that will be together during the Hispanic Federation Advance Change Together (ACT) convening in San Francisco, CA. Hispanic Federation convening in San Fransico, before Union=Fuerza Latinx Institute and Creating Change, highlights their commitment to the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities’ continued advancement and development. We are excited to get together and work on the many challenges we face today,” said Cristian Macario, National Chair and Executive Director of Union=Fuerza Latinx Institute.
"We applaud the Hispanic Federation (HF) for creating the Advance Change Together (ACT) initiative. Translatinx Network is very proud to be part of the initiative and looks forward to the convening that is taking place in San Francisco, California," said Cristina Herrera, Founder and CEO of Translatinx Network.
"As we approach the 15-year anniversary of California's Proposition 8, we recognize our fight for full equality and social acceptance in the nation is an ongoing movement. We are grateful to be a part of the Hispanic Federation's initiative to uplift the voices and strength of Latinx LGBTQ organizations as we work together to advocate for safety, equity, and wellness for our youth and families,” said Eddie Martinez, Executive Director of Latino Equality Alliance.
“Our struggle for LGBTQ+ equity continues and that’s why we join Hispanic Federation’s efforts to further the Latino LGBTQ+ agenda. We have been allies oh Hispanic Federation for many years while being one of the leading organizations that provide services and advocacy for the LGBTQ+ and other vulnerable populations. We’re confident that, together, we’ll strengthen our rights, be more visible, impact public policy, and leave a legacy of equity, justice and liberation for future generations,” said Wilfred Labiosa, executive director of Waves Ahead Puerto Rico.
"HF has a long history of supporting our Latinx LGBTQ+ community, it's reflective in their leadership, staff and initiatives. I'm thrilled Honor 41 can be a part of the ACT initiative that will expand the empowerment and capacity of the organizations that serve our communities. Para nosotros, parte de Honor 41, es un gran honor ser parte de la nueva iniciativa ACT ya que son pocas las oportunidades dedicadas a empoderar a nuestras organizaciones LGBTQ+," said Alberto B. Mendoza, Founder of Honor41.org.
“The South Texas Equality Protect (STEP) is extremely honored to be amongst the first grantees of the Advance Change Together (ACT) initiative. We look forward to uniting with other likeminded organizations, and together, expand upon the work we all do to serve the intersectional needs of Queer Latinx communities. STEP Adelante,” said Luckie Flores, Vice President of South Texas Equality Project (STEP).
“We embrace and recognize the leadership of the Hispanic Federation (HF) as convener of the first Advance Change Together (ACT) national community initiative in San Francisco, California. It is critical to support organizations that provide services to Hispanic/Latinx LGBTQ+ communities that are culturally and linguistically relevant. The ACT initiative will contribute to increase visibility, empower communities and elevate our commitment to address common challenges together,” said Judith Montenegro, Director of Latinos in the South, based in North Carolina.