2016 – 2017 Winter Grant Recipients

Grants to heal, educate, and empower
Pulse-affected communities

Supporting the intersection of LGBTQ Equity and Racial Justice

Services Focused on Healing for:


Freedom Ride is a nonprofit dedicated to enriching the lives and experiences of individuals with disabilities and trauma through therapeutic horse riding and related activities in the Central Florida area. We are thrilled to award a grant to Freedom Ride toward their Equine Assisted Therapy for Pulse-affected Communities. Funds will cover cost of an Equine Specialist, a Mental Health Counselor and one or more horses providing 25 Pulse-affected community members a one-hour equine assisted therapy session once a week for 4 weeks – individual or group sessions.  Cost will also cover cost of an open house introduction to Equine Assisted Psychotherapy for community leaders.


Two Spirit Health Services is a nonprofit health organization, where LGBTQ people can go to get primary care, mental health, substance abuse, transgender-specific healthcare, and other wellness services in an environment that is culturally competent. We are thrilled to award a grant to Two Spirit Health Services to expand their Spanish Language Mental Health Counseling. Funds will go towards hiring a full-time mental health counselor who is fluent in English and Spanish and LGBTQ culturally competent for a 12-month period – counselor will provide services to Pulse-affected Latinx and LGBTQ Latinx community members that were direclty and indirectly impacted at no cost to them at both Two Spirit Health Services and at Proyecto Somos Orlando.


Zebra Coalition is a network of organization which provide services to LGBTQ and all youth ages 13-24. The coalition assists young people facing homelessness, bullying, isolation from their families, and physical, sexual and drug abuse with individualized programs to guide them to recovery and stability. We are thrilled to award a grant to Zebra Coalition for a Mental Health Counseling Expansion into Osceola County. Funds will go towards hiring a licensed mental health counselor to provide youth-focused culturally and linguistically appropriate services that include individual and family counseling with linkages and referrals in the Latinx Community impacted by the Pulse Tragedy. Additionally, counselor will implement and facilitate the Kaleidoscope group for transgender, gender variant, and gender expansive youth with linkages for referrals to access the continuum of Zebra Coalition services as well as facilitate support groups for youth based on identified needs, gender identification, healthy living, and finding support.

Initiatives Focused on Education for:


Equality Florida Institute, Inc is the nonprofit educational charity arm of the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s LGBTQ community through education and coalition building. We are thrilled to award a grant to Equality Florida that will contribute toward launching their Central Florida Safe and Healthy Schools program. Funds will be used to complement the hire of a Central Florida Safe and Healthy Schools Coordinator which will be dedicated to launching a program focused on affecting large-scale, systematic change across the entire Orange, Seminole, and Osceola County Public Schools districts, supervised by statewide Safe and Healthy Schools Program Director.


The Holocaust Museum Education and Resource Center of Florida is a nonprofit focused on building an inclusive community in the Orlando area through exhibits, programs, initiatives, and educational programs centered around the events of the Holocaust. We are thrilled to award a grant to the Holocaust Center to expand their Upstanders: Standing up to Bullying Initiative. Funds will be used to provide the underserved immigrant and Latinx community in Apopka with curriculum utilizing Holocaust education to prevent bullying and bias motivated by differences in sexual orientation, gender identity, race, national origin, religious belief and other factors in a multi-phase program that follows students through 6th and 7th grades at all 3 Orange County Public Middle Schools in that region. Grant also will cover a stipend for a Notre Dame Mission Volunteer – AmeriCorps member that will be assigned to the project through the Hope Community Center to work with school personnel on issues of bullying and harassment with a focus on supporting LGBTQ youth.


Stonewall National Museum & Archives promotes understanding through preserving and sharing the proud culture of LGBTQ people and their significant role in American society. We are thrilled to award a grant to launch the Orlando 49 Curriculum as part of the Stonewall National Education Project. Funds will cover cost of creating and distributing a comprehensive curriculum that serves as a teaching tool contextualizing the Pulse hate crime in history and explores its impact on communities. The important lessons learned from the tragedy within this curriculum will be shared with students across all 17 Central Florida county public schools districts – including a 6 piece visual exhibition, accompanying curriculum, and online interactive resource guide — curriculum and displays will be available in both English and Spanish. Market study events will be done in Orlando where community members, educators and students will be invited to view the project and provide feedback for final production and distribution.


Building US is a nonprofit interfaith coalition that serves to strengthen communities and increase inclusion and connection through conversation and education that engage the diversity of the human spirit and inspire deeper understanding, acceptance, and cooperation – personal, organizational, and cultural. We are thrilled to award a grant to Building US that will be used to launch their Becoming “The Beloved Community” program. Funds will go toward creating an advisory committee composed of community representatives of marginalized populations to develop programs regarding Pulse with the purpose of bringing together multiple faith communities for four to six sessions and hosting two major community gatherings. Grant will also cover the extension of their Friends Talking Faith Pulse-related radio programming and translation into Spanish.

Efforts Building Capacity and Empowerment for:


Central Florida Jobs With Justice is a nonprofit coalition consisting of labor unions, community organizations, faith based groups and students working together to build power for working people. We are thrilled to award a grant to Central Florida Jobs With Justice that will be used to launch the Workers Building Contigo Project. Grant will be used to focus on three programmatic areas: Leadership Development, Building Organizations and Coalition Building to create leadership in LGBTQ, Latinx, and Black communities inside and outside of the existing labor movement. Funds will cover the cost of building organizations that can cultivate and support Black and Latinx LGBTQ workers and leaders. Ultimately, organization will bring key groups and leaders together creating an intentional space to regularly meet and begin forming deeper relationships and understanding to unite across demographic and sector differences around shared self-interest and common values of human dignity, racial and economic justice.

Proyecto Somos Orlando, a project of the Hispanic Federation, is a nonprofit that offers counseling, services and other support for bilingual professionals for families impacted by the tragedy that occurred at Pulse Nightclub. We are thrilled to award a grant to the Hispanic Federation for Proyecto Somos Orlando to launch and lead the PROMESA program. Funds will enable Hispanic Federation’s Central Florida office and the Proyecto Somos Orlando project to enhance its service delivery to a currently underserved population – LGBTQ individuals in Puerto Rico and newly arrived LGBTQ individuals living in Central Florida — including informational seminars and workshops, career development workshops, English classes, and wrap-around services including mental health counseling, mentorship programs, and social service navigational workshops.

QLatinx is a social, racial and gender justice organization dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of Orlando’s LGBTQ Latinx community. QLatinx seeks to center and empower the most marginalized members of our community, establish affirming and supportive healing spaces, build a strong and united community, and work towards a society free of fear, violence, and hate. We are thrilled to award a grant to QLatinx supporting their work and sustainability. Funds will go towards building on QLatinx’s capacity by investing in a full-time staffer which would support the expansion of their community building, creation of safe spaces, and leadership development work for queer and transgender communities of color and furthering the development and delivery of the organization’s various education initiatives surrounding the themes of racial, social, and gender justice related issues.


Hope CommUnity Center is a nonprofit and service learning community dedicated to the empowerment of Central Florida’s immigrant and working poor communities through education, advocacy, and spiritual growth. We are thrilled to award a grant to the Hope CommUnity Center to launch the Proyecto Solidaridad (The Solidarity Project). Grant will be used to hire a community organizer to create a preparedness plan responding to the anticipated reality created by the election and the increased vulnerability & needs of the undocumented community. Organizer will work with local undocumented immigrants to conduct “safety planning” and helping people learn their rights, responsibilities and what to do if they encounter immigration officials and will work with youth members of Hope’s diverse Sin Fronteras Social Justice Group to help students access & understand their personal “”stories of self” with the goal of building leaders that can teach to other agencies and communities about the realities of undocumented, Latinx and LGBTQ lives and those living at the intersection of these communities.

Farmworkers Association of Florida is a nonprofit whose long-standing mission is to build power among farmworker and rural low-income communities to respond to and gain control over the social, political, workplace, economic, health and environmental justice issues that impact their lives. We are thrilled to award a grant to the Farmworkers Association of Florida to contribute toward their existing Defending Immigrants’ Rights (DIR) Project. Funds will support the project’s ongoing efforts to build the capacity of farmworkers & low-income immigrants to develop strategy to address & resolve community-identified issues, and to actively participate in decision-making processes that impact their lives. They will additionally add a new component to the Defending Immigrants’ Rights Project by developing an advisory committee comprised of LGBTQ persons, and their family members when possible, in the farmworker community to provide input to the Farmworkers Association of Florida’s staff, leadership, & other community members on how the work of the DIR Project, and the work of FWAF at large, can be more responsive to and inclusive of the LGBTQ community.


Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity works to support, empower and connect LGBTQ Muslims. They aim to increase the acceptance of gender and sexual diversity within Muslim communities, and to promote a progressive understanding of Islam that is centered on inclusion, justice, and equality. We are thrilled to award a grant to the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity going toward their LGBTQ Muslim Community Engagement program. Funds will cover cost of hiring a values-aligned part-time project coordinator who would oversee execution of hosting strategic community convenings in two key locales – Washington, DC and Orlando, Florida – to bridge dialogue between mainstream (non-LGBTQ) Muslim leaders and LGBTQ Muslim activists and leaders, and will include the design of an evaluation tool to gauge impact of efforts and identifying action steps post-convenings.


Oasis United Transformation (O.U.T) Community Development is a nonprofit faith based organization with an inclusive mission which focuses on reaching out to a diverse population of people with different ages, races, genders, gender expressions, sexual orientations and socioeconomic statuses and with a humanitarian focus on empowerment. We are thrilled to award a grant to Oasis to launch the Orlando-Oasis Community Outreach program. Funds will go towards the hire of a Community and Crisis Advocate which would raise awareness of the unique challenges LGBTQ Black individuals face in society, build a more unified community by organizing and partnering with the Latinx community on social and racial justice issues around the movement for brown and black lives, and advocate for the survivors of the Pulse tragedy and other people of color communities who are at high-risk or have been victims of hate crimes based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race and all other forms of bigotry.


Bliss Cares is a nonprofit whose mission is to save lives, by treating and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and STDs. We are thrilled to award a grant to Bliss Cares that will be used to launch the TRANSaction (pronounced: TRANS – ACTION) program. Funds will go toward hiring a part-time Program Coordinator to implement a 6 part conversational education series for 20 Latinx and African American transgender individuals. The top four students will become the “Voices of Bliss” who would then provide cultural competency building trainings to nonprofits on issues impacting the Latinx and African American transgender community and how to best support them.