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➡️ COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program
➡️ #BlackLivesMatter Special Grant Round
➡️ Grassroots Training Webinars
➡️ Resource Mobilization Team
➡️ Southern Movement Infrastructure Exchange
➡️ History of the Southern Equality Fund
➡️ Stay Connected
➡️ View this page in Spanish
Every day, we witness the resilience, creativity and resourcefulness of LGTBQ grassroots organizers who are working to create equality in their hometowns. We believe that the organizers on the frontlines of the Southern LGBTQ movement can transform our region—but they need the funding and support to do so.
The Southern Equality Fund (SEF) provides funding and training to Southern LGBTQ folks doing heroic organizing in their hometowns. We prioritize work addressing the intersections of race, class and gender in the lives of LGBTQ Southerners. We also prioritize groups and individual leaders whose access to funding and support is limited due to barriers such as not having 501c3 status, or being located in a rural area.
We do this work because we believe that creating legal and lived equality in the South requires sustained organizing in every community, not just large metro areas. We also believe that building grassroots leadership —a core goal of SEF—is essential to the longterm vision of building LGBTQ political power in the South.
Get Funding: COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
In March 2020, the Campaign for Southern Equality launched the COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program to address the immediate needs of LGBTQ people in the South, with an emphasis on BIPOC, TGNC people, people with low incomes, and those in rural areas. As of August 2021, we’ve opened up $394,000 in rapid response funding.
This special grant round has three grant categories: (1) Emergency Assistance Grants for Individuals and Families (Grants of $250 to provide immediate financial relief for LGBTQ Southerners), (2) Community Response Grants (Grants of up to $500 to fund projects dedicated to meeting the needs of LGBTQ Southerners in response to COVID-19), and (3) Frontline Grants to Direct Service Providers (Grants directed to direct service organizations).
Impact and Stories
Read about how the COVID-19 Rapid Response Program has impacted LGBTQ Southerners. On this page you can view the breakdown of the types of grants that we have distributed through the program, the geographic distribution and demographics of Emergency Assistance Grant recipients, stories from grant recipients, the geographic distribution of Community Response Grant projects, and a full list of Frontline grant recipients.
Previous Grant Round: Southern Equality Studios Special Grant Round for BIPOC LGBTQ Artists & Creatives
In Fall of 2020, CSE hosted a Southern Equality Studios special grant round, dedicated to resourcing and celebrating LGBTQ artists and creatives across the LGBTQ South who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or people of color). Grants of up to $500 supported BIPOC LGBTQ Southern artists working on a wide range of creative projects.
Previous Special Grant Round: #BlackLivesMatter
This summer, our #BlackLivesMatter special grant round was dedicated to resourcing and celebrating the Black-led organizing across the LGBTQ South. Grants of up to $1,000 supported Black LGBTQ organizers leading projects such as direct action, resilience and healing efforts, direct service, artistic endeavors, and bail-out funds, across the South. The nominations for the second phase of our #BlackLivesMatter grant round closed on September 1, 2020.
Grassroots Training Webinars
We understand funding alone is not enough to sustain grassroots LGBTQ leaders and amplify the impact of their work. They also need a continuous flow of resources, including relationships with peer organizers, individualized coaching, and training. Southern Equality Fund grantees are invited to participate in grassroots training webinars that cover a wide range of topics. All SEF grassroots training webinars have been recorded and can be accessed here, along with any resources and presentation materials shared during the webinar.
Resource Mobilization Team
The Resource Mobilization Team (RMT) works in partnership with the Southern Equality Fund to increase capacity of Southern LGBTQ grassroots leaders by connecting them with funding, expanding social networks and by providing opportunities for training and support.
Southern Movement Infrastructure Exchange
The Southern Movement Infrastructure Exchange is a new collaborative initiative dedicated to growing and strengthening a network of responsive, values-aligned fiscal sponsors and other intermediaries to grow, connect, and leverage their resources to fuel grassroots-led movements. It is led by the Campaign for Southern Equality and the Southern Vision Alliance, with support from the Out in the South Fund.
2019 LGBTQ Health Equity Community Grants
In August 2019, the Campaign for Southern Equality awarded $30,000 in community grants focused on transforming the landscape of LGBTQ health equity in the South. This infusion of funding to organizations on the leading edge of serving LGBTQ Southerners supported new models in the South that increase access to care and ensure that people are treated with dignity and respect in health care settings. Grantees included WNCCHS, CHOICES Memphis, Gender Benders, and Nationz Foundation.
History of the Southern Equality Fund
The Campaign for Southern Equality launched the Southern Equality Fund in 2015. Each year we distribute 10% of CSE’s organizational budget through SEF grants. We provide general fund grants of up to $500 throughout the year. We also open special grant rounds focused on critical and emerging issues in the LGBTQ South.
Get Funding: COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE GRANTS
As the nation confronts the significant and unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Campaign for Southern Equality has created a rapid response grant round to quickly route funds to individuals, families, and community organizations across the LGBTQ South.Learn More and Apply
This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)