The Contigo Fund is the active and thoughtful response of various national philanthropic organizations and LGBTQ community advocates to the attack against LGBTQ people of color on Latin Nite at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando on June of 2016. A fiscally sponsored project of the Proteus Fund, a national social justice 501(c)(3) philanthropic organization, Contigo’s mission is to fund, strengthen and empower existing agencies and emerging ones working to improve the lives of LGBTQ and Latinx individuals, immigrants and people of color in Central Florida.
Contigo is motivated by the desire to honor the lives of those who were lost at Pulse by making sure they are never forgotten. For Contigo, that means working to build bridges connecting all of Central Florida’s diverse community groups, including ethnic and religious segments. It is this way, together as one, that homophobia and transphobia, racism, Islamophobia and all forms of discrimination will be defeated.
Moreover, and recognizing that many of the victims were of Hispanic heritage, Contigo seeks to embrace, support and strengthen LGBTQ Latinx individuals and their families (“contigo” means “with you” in Spanish), while also being inclusive to people of all backgrounds facing stigma, rejection and discrimination.
- We honor the identities and lived experiences of those taken from us. Nearly half of the Pulse victims were Puerto Rican. Many others were Cuban, Dominican, Ecuadorian, Mexican, Salvadoran, Venezuelan, and from other Latinx and African diaspora backgrounds. Some were undocumented. Over half were under 30, with the youngest victim being just 18 years old.
- We recognize that the LGBTQ Latinx community and other communities of color face significant disparities shaped by longstanding institutional inequalities. The Fund will work to address these disparities.
- We trust that transformative and lasting change can occur if communities unify. The fund seeks to build bridges across Central Florida’s diverse communities and to raise awareness of homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry that divide our communities.
- Support the efforts of those that were predominantly impacted by the Pulse tragedy, including advancing LGBTQ and Latinx causes and particularly efforts led by and for the LGBTQ Latinx community.
- Strengthen Central Florida by building bridges among its diverse and marginalized communities, including connecting the LGBTQ and Latinx communities and supporting efforts to unify those communities with the Black, Muslim, and immigrant community.
- Address the ripple effects of the Pulse tragedy, particularly involving issues of Islamophobia, xenophobia, and racism.