The LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi at the Community Foundation for Mississippi (CFM) announced 2023 annual funding commitments today totaling more than $131,000. The total included $98,187 for ten programs serving LGBTQ Mississippians around the state, $10,500 to update the statewide Needs Assessment by the Mississippi LGBTQ Study, $8,100 to sponsor LGBTQ events in the state and $15,000 for small micro-grants and training provided by the Campaign for Southern Equality. The fund’s Grants Review Committee, chaired by Michael Martella, used information from the current Needs Assessment and from proposals submitted by applicants to make funding recommendations.
“The organizations awarded funds during this year’s grantmaking cycle are a remarkable testament to the vibrancy and resilience of Mississippi’s LGBTQ community. In every corner of the state, folks are working hard to meet the diverse needs of our community, and the LGBTQ Fund is proud to offer our resources and support,” said Martella.
2023 Grant Recipients include:
Big House Books (Jackson, MS): Provides a diverse range of LGBTQ material to incarcerated readers and will create an inventory of available paperback books.
Delta State University’s PRIDE Alliance (Cleveland, MS): Supports monthly social gatherings, LGBTQ cultural and educational events and provides monetary supplements for students to engage in further conferences or queer events to further social justice.
Growing Up Knowing (Jackson, MS): Supports the development and implementation of comprehensive sex education for high school students.
Gulf Coast Equality (Gulfport, MS): Develops a mental health outreach program to create training materials and presentations, develop resources for mental health providers and establish workshops to increase awareness of the specific mental health needs of our LGBTQ community.
LGBTQIA Emergency Fund of North MS (Regional): Provides emergency help and crisis referral services to individuals in counties in Northwest Mississippi.
My Brother’s Keeper/We the Positive (Ridgeland, MS): Uplifts all Mississippians living with HIV while promoting a stigma-free environment for all LGBTQ persons in Mississippi.
Pride Resource Center (Tupelo, MS): Provides a safe place to meet while offering support, education and a variety of programs for the LGBTQ community. Also provides information on safe and welcoming resources in North Mississippi.
South MS AIDS Task Force (Biloxi, MS): Provides educational outreach regarding the prevention and transmission of HIV/AIDS and provides effective services to those impacted by the disease.
The Spectrum Center (Hattiesburg, MS): Advocates for and secures full inclusion and empowerment for the LGBTQ community in the Pine Belt of Mississippi through the provision of resources, community support, and direct action.
TRANS Program (Statewide): The TRANS Program is a mobile, statewide, grassroots nonprofit, and comprehensive program led by Transgender/Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) people. Missioned to serve TGNC people, the program focuses on strategies to improve understanding of TGNC people, expand ally-ship, reduce discrimination, increase protections, and ensure that TGNC people are presented with opportunities to thrive and have their needs met.
The LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi at the Community Foundation for Mississippi pools funds to support LGBTQ organizations across the state that address the needs of LGBTQ Mississippians. This is made possible through donations and community support. As the state’s first and only grant-making fund focused on supporting organizations that improve the quality of life for LGBTQ Mississippians, the fund at CFM works as a pipeline fueling and enhancing the work of LGBTQ-focused organizations by professional stewardship of funds and other resources from outside donors.
The LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi envisions a state where all LGBTQ Mississippians live safely, openly, and without isolation, prejudice, and discrimination. The fund develops and invests resources to support efforts that address the needs of LGBTQ Mississippians. This cycle’s funds also include plans for an updated statewide Needs Assessment of LGBTQ organizations and adults.
More information about the LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi at the Community Foundation for Mississippi, including past grantees, is available at lgbtqfundms.org.
Community members are also encouraged to contribute to the LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi through CFM’s website, found here.