In the aftermath of the Pulse tragedy, a nonprofit foundation is putting up $1 million for grants to local groups working to heal and empower Central Florida’s LGBTQ and Latino community — the population targeted in the mass shooting.
“Prior to Pulse, there were no organizations or space outside the nightclub for this community,” said Marco Quiroga, program director of the newly launched Contigo Fund. “By building bridges that connect all of Central Florida’s diverse communities, we will defeat discrimination … and honor the 49 lives that were taken from us.”
The money comes via the Our Fund Foundation — a South Florida-based nonprofit that supports the LGBTQ community — with donations from eight charities including the Ford Foundation and Arcus Foundation.
Contigo — which means “with you” in Spanish — will hold two informational meetings on Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Orlando United Assistance Center, 507 East Michigan St. in Orlando. The deadline to apply is Dec. 2.
Quiroga said grants will go not only to existing nonprofit organizations but also to fledgling groups that address the historical disparities faced by communities of color.
About half of the Pulse victims were of Puerto Rican heritage, and many of the others were Cuban, Dominican, Ecuadorian, Mexican or African-American. Most were LGBTQ.