Metro Weekly

Human Rights Campaign celebrates Human Rights Day with grants for global LGBTQ advocates

Grants benefit 20 initiatives focused on progressing LGBTQ human rights in 17 different countries

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Photo: Cecilie Johnsen / Unsplash

On December 10th, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation celebrated Human Rights Day with the roll out of a Global Small Grants Program, which will provide assistant to 20 initiatives focused on progressing LGBTQ human rights in 17 different countries.

Human Rights Day is an annual celebration commemorating the United Nations ratifying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, laying the groundwork for a set of global, inalienable rights.

“Human Rights Day is a celebration of the incredible progress the LGBTQ community has made to secure equality across the globe, but also is a stark reminder of the work that remains to be done to combat the widespread persecution and oppression that challenges our community,” Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President, said in a statement.

“This year, in countries from every region of the world, we are able to strengthen efforts to promote LGBTQ human rights through our Global Small Grants Program and signal to the international community that equality must continue to be a priority,” David continued. “We must recommit ourselves to putting in the hard work to build a world where every person is empowered no matter what country they call home.”

HRC’s Global Small Grants Program seeks to aid efforts to forward equality and justice across the globe, with every grant beneficiary earning up to $5,000 towards programs that will either contribute to virtual programming in the era of COVID-19, or further initiatives meant to sustain alliances among communities of faith or businesses.

The grants specifically go to alumni of HRC’s global programs, which is a network composed of 180 LGBTQ advocates in 90 countries.

Among the many recipients is Track-T, a community based program in Pakistan advocating for transgender rights. Track-T will finally be able to build weekly online programming focused on the transgender community in Pakistan because of the funds provided by the grant.

“As a transgender rights activist, International Human Rights Day reminds me of my responsibility to my community and motivates me to ensure that trans people have all the same inclusive rights, including safety, freedom of speech, access to education and healthcare, equal work opportunities, and a dignified life,” said Jannat Ali, Director of Track-T.

Fundación Sergio Urrego, a group located in Colombia and dedicated to minimizing the rate of suicide among queer youth, also received a grant. Due to the new allocation of funding, they will join faith groups in virtual discussions aimed at supporting their goal of ending bullying of LGBTQ children.

“This is an opportunity to say that discrimination against LGBTI people on religious grounds has affected their mental health,” Alba Reyes, Director of Fundación Sergio Urrego, said. “Mental health is also a human right and must be an imperative for all nations of the world. HRC has been an important ally in this matter, and this grant will open up new avenues for us to advocate for suicide prevention and an end to discrimination against LGBTI youth.”

View the full list of grant recipients at hrc.org.

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