Campus Pride awarded these Social Justice Mini-Grants for Activism Funding from the inaugural class of projects. This program was launched in June 2021 as part of the organization’s 20th anniversary celebrations. Each grant is worth up to $600.
Grantees represent schools from across the country, working on projects ranging from producing an original play with trans artists, to developing and lobbying administrators to adopt more inclusive policies, to forming a mentorship program for LGBTQ+ students, to an LGBTQ+ art installation on campus.
To apply in the next round of Social Justice Mini-Grants for Activism, learn more.
Simone Boyd, University of Maryland
Grant Funding: Support for LGBTQ Homeless Youth
Description: Having access to basic essential items is a right we all deserve. And with homelessness being high among LGBTQ+ individuals I figured the least I can do, would be to create care packages (essential items i.e. toiletries, clothing, sanitary pads, etc.) to give to a LGBTQ+ youth support shelter for homeless.
Makayla Dawkins, University of Connecticut
Grant Funding: Student Organizing & Advocacy to protect LGBTQ+ Students on Campus
Description: Often students are put into situations in which they are forced to come out to people they are not yet ready to, are restricted from using their chosen name and pronouns on scholastic resources, placed into a housing situation where they are not safe, or discriminated against by other students or faculty and offered little to no options for recourse. The Undergraduate Student Government has a responsibility to fight for these students. This legislation is a list of demands coming from queer, trans, and allies and directed towards UConn administration. It will be parcellized by topic and brought to the main branches of the administration that are failing to protect students. This document aims to serve as a living guide to USG’s advocacy on behalf of queer students. We will deem this project to be successful once we see our university advancing on the demands we listed in our legislation.
Ryley Lehew, The Pennsylvania State University
Grant Funding: LGBTQ+ Art Exhibit to support Gender Affirmation Surgery Costs
Description: A friend and I (is also transmasculine) are currently working on creating an art gallery on campus to display art from LGBTQ+ artists. All of the money earned from the sale of artwork will be placed into a fund. With this fund, we plan on creating grants on campus to help students pay for gender affirming surgeries. While the University’s insurance covers trans surgeries, access is reduced due to the copays that are required (around $3000-4000). We are currently gathering artwork and will begin to build the building soon. This project is not backed by the university financially and any help would be greatly appreciated. Any funds received will first be used to build the gallery. By creating this foundation, we hope to make the fund a long term program for students. Next the money would be used for the grand opening and publicity. In order to sell artwork to keep the fund around in the long term, it is important to let students know that the artwork is available. This publicity will also increase access to the fund ensuring that it is available to those who need it. Any additional funds will be placed into a bank account and will be used to provide grants to students. We will determine that the project is successful by the number of art pieces that are sold. Another way to look at success is by the number of individuals the grant is able to help.
April Lichtman, University of Connecticut
Grant Funding: Production of Original Play with Trans Artists
Description: This mini-grant from Campus Pride will fund a workshop performance of a play that I am currently working on. The ensemble will consist entirely of LGBTQ+ artists, mostly trans women. I plan to pay each of the actors and crew members a stipend. That will be 450 dollars of the budget. I plan to direct the rest of the money towards posting the audition listing online, creating a digital rendering of the set or hiring an LGBTQ+ identifying music artist to create some music for the piece. I would define success as simply producing the reading. I plan to hold 2-3 rehearsals and then host a session to record the piece. It will then be edited for a public showing. I am debating having a suggested donation to attend the performance; I plan on giving the donations to the Jim Collins Foundation or to the ensemble members. I believe that success is paying LGBTQ+ artists for their hard work. Success is having people attend the workshop and hear the words. Success is defying the odds and telling the story.
Nathan Reilly, William Paterson University of New Jersey
Grant Funding: LGBTea+ Mentorship Program focused on supporting Black & Latinx Community
Description: For our Campus Pride Mini Grant, we will develop a mentorship program called LGBTea+. This program would be aimed towards young college students (18-22 years old) where they can meet and form relationships with established queer professionals and allies. These mentors would consist of upperclassmen at our university (some juniors and seniors) who have undergone the mentorship program themselves, graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni. This mentorship experience will focus on developing these young students’ professional, academic, and social lives within a queer context, and provide them support as they prepare for their careers. The program’s name, LGBTea+, stems from the idea that we would like students to meet with their mentors in a more “casual” context, such as over tea or coffee, in order to help them establish supportive relationships. A major need that the LGBTeprogram will meet for our campus community is establishing an organization that connects queer students with our faculty and staff. LGBTea+ will also have a specific focus on the intersectionality of the queer experience. This is an important value of our campus community as Black and Latinx students make up the majority of our student population. In order to emphasize the importance of the intersectional LGBT+ experience, we will hold meetings and events that discuss topics such as race, disability, socioeconomic status / social class, and other intersecting marginalized identities. Within this program, each mentee will have multiple mentors as we recognize that there are various aspects to each mentees’ intersectional identity, including sexual orientation, gender identity, race/ethnicity, and professional interests. For example, if there is a Black, non-binary student who is studying art, we would like to match them with different mentors who can connect with them in regard to each individual aspect of their identity, as we know each identity has a different experience in the workforce. This will give each mentee an individualized experience as a part of our program.
David Shill, Brigham Young University Provo
Grant Funding: LGBTQ+ Event Permits for BYU Pride & Campus Organizing
Description: I am the president and founder of BYU Pride, which aims to celebrate progress made by LGBTQ+ activists at BYU and advocate for real change. We have some initiatives including monthly events, safe housing initiatives, pride marches, petitions, and community unification. If we were to receive this grant funding, we could do a lot to secure permits for these events which bring the community together. BYU Pride has gained a lot of attention for having put on the first ever pride march, so now we need to keep the momentum by planning large scale community events. We have planned events and worked on various projects in the past without much funding that were widely successful and hope to scale up our events with this funding.
Jerry St. Louis, George Washington University
Grant Funding: Course Development focused on Crystal Methamphetamine use in Black Gay Community and Safe & Effective Supporting Care
Description: Mini-Grant will fund development of a course focused on the experience of Black Gay men and the prevalence of crystal methamphetamine use, including the unique challenges they and the therapist face in treatment. This course will be designed to build awareness among community members and leader and promote the administration of safe and effective supportive care. It will cover issues facing Black Gay men, their use of crystal meth and how to support those with taking culture and experience into consideration. I plan to use the funding for this project for program delivery, rent space, and literature that I will be providing during the course.
Jerry St. Louis, George Washington University
Grant Funding: Development of an LGBTQ+ Sexual Health Class
Description: Sex education is designed to help young people gain the informations and skills needed to make healthy decisions about sex and sexuality throughout their lives. This mini-grant will help develop a LGBTQ+ sexual health class to educate and empower LGBTQ+ youth and help them develop the skills needed to practice safe dating, build healthy relationships, and avoid unhealthy relationships and abuse.
Michah Reisner, University of Central Florida
Grant Funding: Providing Gender-Affirming Binders to Trans Students
Description: This Mini-Grant project will help distribute gc2b binders to transgender students at the University of Central Florida. Binders are an essential tool for transmasculine and gender-nonconforming individuals. A high-quality binder safely compresses and reduces the appearance of a transgender individual’s chest, resulting in a flat chest. Studies show that trans individuals with access to binders experience significantly decreased dysphoria and an improved quality of life. Without a binder, young transgender adults are at higher risk of both anxiety and depression (1). However, many of these young adults lack access to high-quality binders that they can wear safely. While partnering with several organizations on campus to host a clothing drive for transgender and gender non-conforming students, members of oSTEM’s board recognized that the need for binders among students, especially students of color, far surpassed the donations which we were able to supply. In order to address this issue, oSTEM has forged a partnership with gc2b, a transgender-owned company which produces the highest-quality binders available. gc2b has graciously agreed to supply binders at no cost to be distributed to transgender students at UCF who could not otherwise obtain them. However, there are other costs associated with putting this project into action, such as shipping the binders from gc2b to the university, packaging supplies, and distributing binders by mail to remote students. Additionally, UCF’s diverse student body well reflects the target populations associated with the Social Justice Mini-Grant. The majority (72.3%) of the students at UCF are between the ages of 18-24. The university serves a large Hispanic (25.3%), Black (11.3%), Asian (6%), and non-resident (3.7%) student population (2). UCF was designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution in 2019 (3). With this program, we will offer gender-affirming binders to a population at UCF who may be unable to otherwise obtain them, empowering transgender students to live safely as their most authentic selves.
Jordyn Torbert, Baldwin Wallace University
Grant Funding: Providing Awareness & Support for Menstrual Justice
Description: This mini-grant focuses on the topic of Menstrual Justice. The University of Baltimore Law School defines Menstrual Justice as addressing the many different ways in which people who menstruate are subjected to menstrual injustice through things such as discrimination, economic disadvantages, health disadvantages and so many more objectives. This mini-grant will help bring more free product dispensers for all gender neutral bathrooms on my college campus and also begin to introduce menstrual cups to those on campus as well. The products will be provided free and will be accessible for all students who may need these items. Funding for this project is very important because as many may know there are thousands of people who struggle with paying for the proper products such as pads, menstrual cups, tampons, etc because the items have become very expensive for some. By providing this awareness, we are not only helping students who may not be able afford these items but also making the conversations on periods more normalized and open. My goal is to also team up with the non profit organizations such as The Period Movement, PERIOD youth advisory council to help us bring more resources onto our college campus.