$20 Million Global Initiative Launched to Improve Transgender Lives

$20 Million Global Initiative Launched to Improve Transgender Lives

The Arcus and NoVo foundations have announced a five-year, $20 million initiative focused on improving the lives of transgender people around the world.

With $15 million from the Arcus Foundation, $1 million from the NoVo Foundation, and $4 million from other partners, the Global Trans Initiative will provide grants and resources in support of transgender activists and organizations as well as broader efforts to ensure that transgender people are recognized, valued, and supported by their families and in society. Developed by the Arcus Foundation in consultation with the NoVo Foundation and other funders committed to transgender issues, the initiative is aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of the diversity, complexity, and intrinsic worth of transgender people; expanding pathways to economic opportunity and security for transgender people and ensuring their full legal and social equity, well-being, and safety; and increasing the number of funders who integrate gender identity issues into their funding priorities.

More than seventeen hundred transgender murders have been reported globally in the past seven years, with many cases involving extreme violence and torture. In the United States, transgender people are twice as likely as other Americans to earn $10,000 a year or less, while 20 percent of transgender people have experienced homelessness. Yet, according to a study by Funders for LGBTQ Issues, transgender causes receive less than a penny for every $100 awarded by foundations.

Much of the initiative's work will focus on those most affected by violence and discrimination, including transgender women of color in the U.S. and transgender communities in the Global South. "Ending violence against girls and women everywhere has always been at the core of the NoVo Foundation's mission, and our support for the Global Trans Initiative is an important opportunity to deepen our longstanding work," said NoVo Foundation executive director Pamela Shifman. "The epidemic of violence facing transgender women and girls across the globe is a crisis by any measure, and we are determined to partner with others to help address this urgent need."

"The Global Trans Initiative is a coordinated response to the alarming and pervasive range of disparities found within transgender communities," said Arcus Foundation executive director Kevin Jennings. "Together with our partners, we are committed to delivering increased and necessary resources to those in the field working tirelessly to end the violence and discrimination facing transgender people around the world."