HRC Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of “Elevate: A Fellowship Advancing Public Health Leadership for Transgender Women of Color.” The Elevate Fellowship is a pilot program that seeks to develop the leadership capacity of transgender women in the South to increase career opportunities and improve public health systems.

“Black and Latinx transgender women are often overlooked within the workforce, specifically in public health,” said HRC Foundation’s Director of HIV & Health Equity J. Maurice McCants-Pearsall. “In many ways they are relegated to solely working in community outreach and HIV testing roles. As we seek to give voice to those who have been pushed to the margins, it is important that we develop and expand access to equitable professional development opportunities.”

During its inaugural year, Elevate will focus on skills-building as well as professional and leadership development, consisting of one intensive in-person training and a series of interactive webinars.

“Recently a stellar group of advocates and community leaders met at HRC to create groundbreaking convent in collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign,” said Executive Director of Advocates for Better Care Atlanta Tori Cooper, who will be one of four trans women facilitating during the fellowship. “We will address the totality of persons described as ‘marginalized’ in an effort to reduce stigma, problem solve and create healthier futures.”

Each point of engagement is designed to increase competencies that improve health outcomes within the Black and Latinx transgender community in Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas, all part of HRC’s Project One America program. Participants must have at least one year of experience in health-related direct services and/or advocacy work and be willing to commit to a one-year cohort. The program is open to applicants who identify as transgender women of color -- including non-binary and trans-feminine people.

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