Sunday, September 23, 2018
The Trans Community Could Use Some Investment In Our Advocacy Infrastructure and Our People
She expressed a wish that a fund be created that would pay the bills of a trans advocate for at least a year so that they can focus full time on advocacy work instead of having to work non advocacy jobs to pay bills.
Fellows must be citizens or residents of the United States, can be working in any field, and have shown "extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction".
The Foundation doesn't take applications for it. They solicit at a certain time anonymous and confidential nominations that are reviewed by a confidential group of a dozen people. Those people review the nominations and recommend awardees to the foundation president and board of directors.
Usually the first sign that a person has won a MacArthur Fellowship is when they get a congratulatory phone call from the Foundation. According to the website, 'The fellowship is not a reward for past accomplishments, but rather an investment in a person's originality, insight, and potential". However, it is considered a significant honor to receive it.
MacArthur Fellows get a no strings attached $625,000 grant paid to them in quarterly installments over a five year period.
So back to discussing Renae's idea.
Heaven help that trans organization if it is based in the eleven state southern US region, AKA the former Confederacy. It gets as a whole only 8% of the available donor funding made to TBLGQ organizations, with the majority of that money being gobbled up by Atlanta and Houston based orgs.
So imagine what we trans folks could do, especially in communities of color if we could spend our days working full time in well funded organizations to help our communities,
Imagine if our most talented advocates didn't have to do Go Fund Me appeals just to get the money to pay their bills or have to spend time being stressed out and worried about how next month's bills are going to get paid
Just having them paid for a year would be a load off the minds of an advocate, and would allow them to focus on doing what is needed for the community and allow them to save what money they may earn elsewhere.
That's why Renae's idea is an intriguing one. The question is where would the seed money come from for it?
Would be nice if Renae's idea became a reality, because at this critical point in our trans human rights struggle, we could definitely use the investments in our trans advocacy infrastructure and our people. .