FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Hispanic Federation, LGBTQ+ Leaders, Award-winning Latinx artists unveil $1 Million initiative to empower Latinx LGBTQ+ Organizations
Orlando, Fla. – Hispanic Federation (HF) announced the launch of the Advance Change Together (ACT) initiative, a new and much-needed Latinx LGBTQ+ advocacy and capacity building initiative that will empower and support organizations working on the front lines to protect and serve Latinx LGBTQ+ communities. LGBTQ+ leaders from across the nation joined HF in announcing the Federation's $1 million investment that will create and fund the initiative. ACT will support approximately 20 Latinx LGBTQ+ nonprofits through grants of up to $50,000. The funds will strengthen organizations’ advocacy efforts, services and infrastructure to better serve Latinx LGBTQ+ communities. HF will also host convenings and capacity building trainings for ACT grantees for at least two years while the Federation continues to engage other potential funders and partners to extend the initiative beyond year two.
Golden Globe-winning and Emmy-nominated actress and singer - and star of the FX hit show Pose - Michaela Jaé Rodriguez; actress and director - best known for her roles in “Encanto,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and “In the Heights - Stephanie Beatriz; Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter and Emmy-nominated actor Ricky Martin; internationally renowned performer, singer, artist, and television actor Valentina; and award-winning songwriter, actor, director and producer Lin-Manuel Miranda also joined HF in support of the new initiative.
“Latinx LGBTQ+ organizations that are on the ground every day, supporting, advocating for and empowering our communities have never received the resources and support they desperately need and deserve to continue their important work. Hispanic Federation is looking to change that, not only by raising awareness but also through this project investment,” said Frankie Miranda, President and CEO of Hispanic Federation. “The ACT initiative is the most recent step we’re taking to strengthen organizations who are at the forefront of empowering Latinx LGBTQ+ communities. As we remember the 49 lives that were taken during the Pulse Club massacre, and as a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation continues to sweep across the country, there has never been a more urgent moment to launch the ACT initiative. We hope that more community members, philanthropic partners, and businesses from across the country join our efforts by contributing and donating to this important work - not just during Pride Month, but for years to come. ”
Among other requirements, Latinx LGBTQ+ nonprofit organizations interested in applying for a grant must serve a majority Latinx constituency; be Latinx LGBTQ+ led; have a 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. For more information, organizations can contact Fernando Aguilar at email@example.com.
The ACT initiative is also working to convene Latinx-serving LGBTQ+ nonprofits nationwide in an effort to create a unified policy agenda to combat the growing list of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and to protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Future developments, including grant recipients, will be announced at a future date.
HF, LGBTQ+ leaders and award-winning artists announced the ACT initiative by holding a press briefing in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. The press briefing was held at the height of Pride Month, and just days after six-year remembrance of the 49 innocent lives taken during the gruesome shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
At the press briefing, the group also discussed and condemned the recent wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation sweeping across the country, including the discriminatory “Don’t Say Gay” bill signed into law by Florida Governor DeSantis in late March. In fact, more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced this year even though 79% of Americans support laws that protect the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, Latinx, LGBTQ+, and other communities of color continue to be disproportionately impacted by gun violence and hate crimes, emphasizing the need for strong LGBTQ+ Latinx support networks.
HF is actively looking for funding partners to expand the scope and reach of the initiative. In addition to the $1 million investment from the Federation, the Miranda Family Fund and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS have committed additional support.
“I know firsthand what it means to have the support of a loving community as I navigated and embraced my gender identity. 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+ who are facing their own challenges or are on their own journeys of self-discovery,” said Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Golden Globe-winning, Emmy-nominated actress and singer, and star of the FX hit show Pose. “It’s long overdue that we came together to empower each other, and I thank Hispanic Federation and Latinx LGBTQ+ leaders for launching the ACT Initiative to make this a reality.”
“I am excited to join Hispanic Federation, LGBTQ+ leaders and fellow artists from across the United States and Puerto Rico to support our LGBTQ+ Latinx community. With the hate and division so many in power are looking to create in the US and PR, there’s never been a more important time for communities and organizations to come together to empower one another. 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,” said Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter and Emmy-nominated actor Ricky Martin.
“We all deserve to feel secure, loved, seen, and like we belong - it is the foundation to our human experience and the only way we can build stronger communities. I’m proud to stand alongside the Hispanic Federation in launching the ACT initiative that will strengthen protections and direct services for our LGBTQ+ Latinx community,” said Stephanie Beatriz, actress and director best known for her roles in “Encanto,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and “In the Heights.”
“Six years ago, Florida’s LGBTQ+ community was devastated when 49 lives were taken at Pulse nightclub in Orlando,” said Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-49), who made history as the first openly LGBTQ Latino elected to Florida’ legislature. “Instead of combating the type of hatred that fueled this horrific attack, Governor Ron DeSantis has sown division thru anti-LGBTQ+ legislation like “Don’t Say Gay”, inspiring similar bills across the country. That’s why today’s announcement is so important. Hispanic Federation’s ACT initiative is centered around LGBTQ+ Latinx people and seeks to empower and mobilize our community at the time we need it most. Thank you to the Hispanic Federation for investing in LGBTQ+ Latinos and for sending a message that we are not alone in this struggle, but part of a coalition of minority communities that stand against bigotry together.”
“I work hard to bring my creative vision to life and enjoy sharing with audiences the rich and nuanced expressions of identity that are free of boundaries,” said Valentina, an internationally renowned performer, singer, artist, and television actor. “However, this ability to express oneself is being attacked by legislators across the country who are looking to oppress entire communities who have nothing but love in their heart. Hispanic Federation’s ACT initiative will help us defeat these damaging narratives and set up future generations to embrace each person as they are.”
“We’ve seen what happens when hate and division are allowed to run rampant in our country. People fall through the cracks, lives are lost and communities are left broken,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda, award-winning songwriter, actor, director and producer. “We saw that six years ago when 49 lives were lost at Pulse nightclub, and we see that now as anti-LGBTQ+ legislation increases across our country. With the Hispanic Federation’s ACT initiative, we are responding to this urgent moment by bringing together Latinx LGBTQ+ nonprofits to empower, advocate and create stronger support networks for the LGBTQ+ community. I encourage everyone to get involved to protect LGBTQ+ communities and combat hate.”
“I’m thrilled to join Hispanic Federation and amazing Latinx artists to announce the launch of the ACT initiative,” said Gabriella Rodriguez, Executive Director, QLatinx (Orlando, Florida). “Latinx LGBTQ+ organizations only have a handful of resources they can turn to that are culturally competent and can fully address their intersectional needs. Today, that changes. Hispanic Federation is ensuring that more resources are being dedicated to the organizations that are on the ground working with the Latinx LGBTQ+ communities every day. This is how we can truly support our LGBTQ+ community and combat the growing list of Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.”
"LEA was founded in 2009 as a direct response to the passage of Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that took marriage rights away from same-sex couples. It’s been over a decade, and the LGBTQ+ community is still under attack,” said Ari Gutiérrez Arámbula, Co-Founder & Advisory Board President Emerita, Latino Equality Alliance (Los Angeles, CA). “But we will always fight back. We’re excited to join together with Hispanic Federation and other organizations throughout the country to announce the launch of the ACT Initiative and build power within the Latinx LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month and for years to come.”
“The ACT initiative will help us continue our mission to create stronger communities and a healthy environment for LGBTQ+ seniors in Puerto Rico, especially focusing on the topics of housing and food insecurity, and mental health challenges,” said Wilfred Labiosa, PhD., CEO, Waves Ahead Corp. (San Juan, Puerto Rico). “We thank the Hispanic Federation for creating this initiative, and we hope others join us in embracing this opportunity to drive an agenda forward that champions the political, economic, and social well being that our LGBTQ+ communities deserve.”
“I am excited to join HF and other well-known members of the Latinx LGBTQ+ community in launching this new initiative that will bring relief to numerous LGBTQ+ organizations across the country. As the executive director of Organización Latina de Trans en Texas, I have witnessed first-hand how important and necessary these types of initiatives are to empower, embrace and support our communities. I can’t wait to work together with HF and all the organizations who are a part of this project to strengthen our work and continue advocating for members of the LGBTQ+ community-- in particular for the needs of transgender women, migrants, and women who are survivors of sexual assault on the Border,” said Anandrea Molina, Executive Director, Organización Latina de Trans en Texas (Houston, Texas).
“I co-founded ALMA back in 1989 in an effort to advocate for the needs of the Latino LGBTQ+ community. 33 years later, we’re the oldest LGBTQ+ organization in the Midwest and are happy to be celebrating the launch of Hispanic Federation’s ACT Initiative which will bring much-needed support and funds to LGBTQ+ organizations nationwide. We are currently witnessing an aggressive attack on the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, and it is our obligation to advocate and support all the organizations that are tirelessly fighting for our community,” said Julio Rodriguez, Board President, Association of Latino/as Motivating Action (Chicago, Illinois).
You can support the HF ACT Initiative. Go to hispanicfederation.org/lgbtqrights today.
Hispanic Federation thanks the Miranda Family Fund and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for their support of the Advance Change Together (ACT) initiative. If you are interested in making a contribution to this fund, please contact David M. Perez, Senior Director of Donor Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.