Press

$1.1 Million Anonymous Gift Received In Support Of NGLTF Field Work

Date: 
April 14, 2003

New Task Force Community Impact Fund will Re-Grant $500,000

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) has announced a $1.1 million dollar anonymous gift in support of its field work. Clearly a tremendous vote of confidence in the work of the Task Force, this $1.1 million also earmarks $500,000 to be re-granted to community organizations as ten up to $25,000 annual gifts each year over the next two years (for a total of up to $50,000 to each organization) as part of the new NGLTF Community Impact Fund.

"To have this anonymous gift come to the Task Force within one year of the $1 million Arcus Foundation grant, shows an incredible understanding of the impact NGLTF is making in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community," said National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Director of Development Charles Robbins, CFRE. "This money is a stamp of approval on all the hard work our staff is doing to build a stronger, more effective nationwide team of empowered and powerful leaders."

The Arcus Foundation Grant was secured last year to specifically expand the NGLTF Field Organizing & Training Program over a three year period.

"This generous gift will allow us to continue and expand the work that we have strategically focused upon over the last two years," said National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Lorri L. Jean. "It will help us emphasize the core of our strengths and concentrate in areas where we can make the most national impact - by building a strong foundation for change at the state and local level. NGLTF has seen firsthand how that consistent focus makes a difference in the lives of millions of people."

For example, in the last year:

-NGLTF Organizing & Field Training staff were successful in securing positive outcomes on five out of six GLBT-related ballot measures (a similar record of victory was achieved in the 2001 elections), and in training hundreds of activists through the NGLTF Power Summit program;

-NGLTF secured 90 volunteers from across the country and sent its entire staff to Miami for the Save Dade campaign, assisting local leaders in successfully fighting the repeal of the county GLBT anti-discrimination ordinance;

-NGLTF Legislative Lawyers assisted activists in nearly two dozen jurisdictions draft and pass GLBT inclusive anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws;

-NGLTF Policy Institute issued a number of groundbreaking reports, including Family Policy, the 2000 Census and Same-Sex Households: A User's Guide and Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud: Black Pride Survey 2000 - these and all Policy Institute reports are focused on giving grassroots activists, elected officials and researchers the resources they need to advocate for change at the local, state and national level. You can order or download copies of NGLTF Policy Institute Reports, at the NGLTF library.

-The annual NGLTF Creating Change conference saw one of the largest and most diverse attendee pools in its 15-year history, and for the first time the conference programming focused on a theme: Building an Anti-Racist Movement.

And, the momentum of this work has the Task Force continuing to "spring into action." This spring, the Task Force has:

-Lead two field actions attended by more than one hundred progressive and diverse activists who were recruited to participate in voter education campaigns. One took place in vitriolic anti-GLBT preacher Fred Phelps' hometown of Topeka, Kansas surrounding adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Topeka's anti-discrimination law. The other was held in Los Angeles, California surrounding Ward Connerly's effort to prohibit the state of California from collecting and disseminating information by Color, Race, Ethnicity and National Origin (the CRENO Initiative, sometimes called the Racial Privacy Initiative, RPI), which is set for the March 2004 California ballot. If passed, among other things CRENO would end effective enforcement of state and local civil rights and hate crimes laws. "Through its RPI work, NGLTF is building a base of anti-racist and pro-GLBT voters, thereby uniting and strengthening the progressive community to defeat future right-wing attacks against any group, including GLBT people," Jean said. [Photos from the Topeka action will be available here soon]

-Announced the first of two NGLTF Power Summits, the first scheduled to run on April 24 in the Ohio Valley with nearly 150 participants from four states confirmed to attend.

-Announced a new feature of our Creating Change conference set to debut in Miami in November 2003: the Creating Change Skills Academy for Leadership and Action.

-Embarked on a "Legislative Equality" tour, with NGLTF Transgender Civil Rights Legislative Lawyer Lisa Mottet meeting with 150 activists from seven states across the country during the month of March. Two recent victories that NGLTF assisted local leaders with were in Hawaii where the term "gender identity or expression" was added to the existing hate crimes law, and New Mexico, where both a hate crimes bill and an anti-discrimination bill have been signed into law by Governor Richardson.

-Announced that Matt Foreman, outgoing Executive Director of the nation's largest statewide GLBT political organization, the Empire State Pride Agenda, will take the helm of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force when current Executive Director Lorri L. Jean steps down after her contract expires in May.

-Completed initial research on upcoming reports from the NGLTF Policy Institute, including the Campus Climate Survey for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People: A National Perspective.

The Task Force is clearly focused on providing resources, assisting activists and training tomorrow's GLBT leaders to be more effective advocates for freedom, justice and equality. For more information about NGLTF programs, go to the NGLTF Web site home page.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.