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Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice

Astraea Fuels Global Activism

Causana members protest “gay cure” clinics calling homophobia, not homosexuality, a mental illness.


You may have recently read about the “Lesbian Torture Clinics” in Ecuador. These are clinics where members of the LGBTI community—particularly lesbians—have been sexually assaulted, abused, and forcibly sterilized. The clinics are getting attention online and petitions are being set up as tools to increase international solidarity. What you may not know is that over the past four years, Astraea has partnered with the two organizations, Fundación de Desarrollo Humano Integral CAUSANA and Taller de Comunicación Mujer, that successfully closed twenty of these clinics via petition of the Ecuadorian government. However, over one hundred clinics remain open. There is much work to be done. That’s why Astraea prioritizes multi-year funding for groups to build the capacity to develop strategies and to mobilize bases of people to carry their cause to victory.

Astraea understands we cannot predicate our support on fast wins and big headlines. We invest carefully and thoughtfully in strategic organizations over many years. For Fundación CAUSANA, Astraea’s support has helped them document violence, file complaints, train public servants, create women’s and LGBTI networks, and distribute protocols. While the systemic violence against lesbians in Ecuador may have only recently made headlines in the United States and Europe, it is in no small part due to the deliberate strategy Fundación CAUSANA is employing to raise awareness of these issues through their weekly radio program.

Despite the fact that Ecuador was the first country in the Americas to include sexual orientation as a protected category in its Constitution (1998) and later adopted the constitutional protection extended to civil unions (2009), violence against LGBTI people persists. In many countries we fund, including the United States, we see many examples of “curative, punitive, or educational” violence: lesbian “curative” rapes, murders of transgender people, police brutality and arbitrary arrests. Astraea’s long-term commitment is crucial to groups addressing violence and oppression both culturally and institutionally ingrained. We provide long-term support to groups across the globe: from Uganda to Ecuador to Arkansas. Our grantee partners, both near and far, are working hard to overcome violence and bring about liberation for us all.



Be sure to catch the latest from the Fall Campaign blog! This week, Theo Yang Copley writes about groups working across differences at BOLD. 



Be sure to celebrate with us tomorrow evening! Come by Astraea’s offices from 6pm-9pm for our Holiday Party. RSVP on facebook or by email at info@astraeafoundation.org


The first ever China Rainbow Media Awards were announced in Beijing, China on December 9th. The awards honor news reports and other media such as television talk shows, magazines, and internet sites for fair and truthful reporting of LGBT communities in China. This award is the first national effort of its kind organized by LGBT grassroots groups in China to combat invisibility and encourage positive reporting and representation in the mainstream media. Fair and truthful reporting raises awareness of issues faced by LGBT populations and attention to these issues from mainstream media outlets helps facilitate social acceptance of sexual minorities throughout Mainland China. Congratulations to all of Astraea grantee-partners in China who have worked to build this national platform and those who took leadership in this historic event.


Astraea’s reach extends beyond direct grantmaking. A core tenet of our work includes leveraging resources and opportunity where they are most needed to abolish the inequities LGBTI people experience around the world. As such, we are very pleased to announce the Global Philanthropy Project (GPP) will become an operational program of Astraea as of January 2012. Established in 2009, GPP is a collaboration between several funders and philanthropic advisors, including Astraea, that focuses on expanding global philanthropy to support the human rights of LGBTI people. GPP does this through direct work with intermediary organizations, program officers, and bilateral agencies; coordinating and attending convenings; producing research and documentation to advance funding; and strengthening communication and information sharing between funders. Astraea welcomes GPP to its home and looks forward to expanding our collective capacity for philanthropic advocacy.
Astraea is the world’s only foundation solely dedicated to supporting LGBTI organizations in the U.S. and internationally. Astraea prioritizes lesbian- and trans-led communities of color and organizations doing multiracial, anti-racist work. We believe that social change results from the collective action of people working together. As a public foundation, we value contributions of all sizes because we know that together we can make a bigger impact than any one of us can alone.
Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice :: :: info@astraeafoundation.org :: www.astraeafoundation.org
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The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice works for social, racial, economic and gender justice in the U.S. and internationally. Our grantmaking and philanthropic advocacy programs help lesbians and allied communities challenge oppression and claim their human rights.

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