Meet Our 2022/2023 HRC Foundation Global Small Grants Recipients, Advocates Helping To Advance Global LGBTQ+ Equality

by Jose Soto

Each year, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Global Partnership Program provides around 20 grants to organizations around the globe whose focus is to advance LGBTQ+ equality in their respective countries. Each grant, worth up to $5,000, helps support a range of innovative and impactful programs designed to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people around the world.

Our annual announcement of this year's small grants recipients coincides with International Human Rights Day, which marks the historic date of December 10, 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — the first time the global community outlined a set of inalienable rights to which every human being entitled - including LGBTQ+ people.

Each grant recipient is an alumni of HRC Foundation’s ever-growing global programs, an expanding network of 200 LGBTQ+ advocates from some 100 countries.

The HRC Global Small Grants program is made possible with generous support from ADM and we are grateful for their partnership.

Learn more about some of the recipients, their organizations and the powerful impact of their work:

Alba Reyes, Fundación Sergio Urrego, Colombia

“The intersection of race-ethnicity and sexual orientation creates elevated levels of risk of discrimination and stigma, which translate into negative mental health effects through conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, substance use, psychoactives and the tendency for suicide. This also influences access to health care among Afro-descendant transgender people from Chocó in Colombia. The Sergio Urrego Foundation is happy to receive this grant from HRC, with which we will be able to inform, educate and prevent the risks associated with the mental health of transgender youth and, in turn, create a support network to minimize the risks of suicide.”

Tom Twongyeirwe Junior, Universal coalition of Affirming Africans Uganda, Uganda

"Uganda is a religiously diverse country with 98% of the population subscribing to a certain religious affiliation. Therefore, religious leaders are super-influential at both policy and community levels. And since homophobia in Uganda is mainly fueled by anti-gay religious leaders, this grant will be incredibly helpful to debunk the misinformation and myths being spread through engaging religious leaders, people of faith and faith-based institutions in a thought-provoking dialogue".

Donnya Zi Piggott, Pink Coconuts, Barbados

“Pink Coconuts has an ambitious mandate to build LGBTQ+ inclusive environments through travel and connection while maintaining its sustainability. Through this small grant, HRC has graciously given us an opportunity to empower and connect LGBTQ+ people and businesses in innovative ways while still maintaining the integrity of our core mission of creating LGBTQ-inclusive spaces.”

Pau Gonzalez, Asociación de Padres, Familiares y Amigos por la Diversidad y Hombres Trans Panamá, Panamá

“With this grant, Asociación de Padres, Familiares y Amigos por la Diversidad and Hombres Trans Panama (PFLAG) will be able to work jointly to build bridges between faith leaders and the LGBTQI+ community. Religion plays a very big role in influencing opinions, and even laws. We want to approach leaders of faith and find common ground that can help our society advance in human rights, regardless of who we are, who we love or what, if any, religion we belong to.”

Lilit Martirosyan, Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO, Armenia

“Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO highly appreciates the support from HRC Foundation's Global Innovation Small Grant to transgender and LGBIQ people in Armenia by promoting the movement building, community empowerment and social inclusion in recent years. This opportunity is vital for us as a community-based organization to address the many associated problems affecting the LGBTIQ community, such as hate speech, hate crimes and gender-based violence, mental and psychological health problems, and to take actions to promote equality for our beneficiaries in regions across Armenia.”

Petra Polanič, Legebitra, Slovenia

"The HRC small grant offers Legebitra a chance to improve employers’ understanding of trans identities, experiences, and needs, primarily through narratives and examples that help them imagine the human impact of their policies, practices, and interactions in the workplace. Focusing on lived experience is needed to encourage employers to take the first step and genuinely commit to making their work places trans-inclusive, not as a formality but because they understand what it means to their employees."

Mwamba T Nyanda, Trans Tanzania Initiative, Tanzania

"This small grant will help improve and change hearts and mind and attitudes towards gender minority persons through online sessions on bodily autonomy and improve one's mental health."

Arber Kodra, Open Mind Spectrum Albania, Albania

“HRC's Global Small Grant will help improve the general situation of the LGBTI community in Albania by engaging busines support in the queer cinema sector.”

Danilo Manzano, Diálogo Diverso, Ecuador

"This grant will support the creation of the Certification of Safe Spaces for Workplace Diversity (CESDIL) which will be the first program to implement mechanisms to safeguard and develop the rights of people in their diversity in an integral way. This certification will become a reality thanks to the sustained support of funding from the HRC Foundation."

Bill, The Mediators Foundation, Ghana

"Thank you, HRC for your generous support for the community. This Grant will broaden our fighting scope and help bring attention to the need for respecting diversity."

Bisi Alimi, Bisi Alimi Foundation, Nigeria/UK

"The impact of our support for queer businesses with these small grants from HRC has been profound, changing the beneficiaries' personal and financial lives by ensuring a sustainable business and source of income for themselves and the people they support. This year we will do more by creating a community of ‘queerprenuers,’ bringing together businesses run by LGBTQ persons and forming a Nigeria LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce.”

Salum, The Bridge Initiative, Tanzania

"As a community, we are happy to see some businesses employing LGBTQ+ individuals and making their businesses open to serving LGBTQ+ identifying customers. We would be happier if multinational corporations that have a presence in our country and openly support or advocate for LGBTQ+ rights could also use their economic power and resources to make a case for the protection of LGBTQ people the way they do in countries where they are headquartered. This will go a long way in lending support to our advocacy for equality and non-discrimination."

Ryan Figueredo, Equal Asia Foundation, Thailand

Ryan Figueredo, Equal Asia Foundation, Thailand

"The HRC has been an early supporter of the work of Equal Asia Foundation as the first regional LGBTIQ+ think tank and innovations incubator. Our work is focused on advocating for greater LGBTIQ+ inclusion in intersectional justice issues including climate justice, economic justice and refugee rights. With this fund, we will continue to build on our mental health for non-binary and trans young people at risk in Thailand."

John Barac, LGBT Forum Progress, Montenegro

“Through this HRC 2022 Global Partnership Small Grant Program we will conduct pilot research among the leading businesses in Montenegro and measure levels of LGBTI acceptance and perception, as well as existence of antidiscrimination policies in the workplace. By doing this we should, for the first time, have concrete data and some indicators where the real issues lie, what is their extent, in which way the antidiscrimination policies could better be applied, as well as provide civil society and the LGBTI community a strong advocacy tool.”

This year’s recipients include: Alliance Against Discrimination of LGBT People (Albania), OMSA(Albania) Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO (Armenia) Pink Coconuts (Barbados), Fundación Sergio Urrego (Colombia), Diálogo Diverso (Ecuador), The Mediators Foundation (Ghana), Kyrgyz Indigo (Kyrgyzstan), LGBT Forum Progress (Montenegro), Bisi Alimi Foundation (Nigeria), Track-T (Pakistan), Hombres Trans Panama/ PFLAG Panama (Panama) Legebitra(Slovenia), ECADE(St. Lucia), Queer Media (Sweden), NGO "LighT" (Tajikistan), Equal Asia Foundation (Thailand), Bridge Initiative Organization (Tanzania/Zanzibar), Tanzania Trans Initiative (Tanzania) and Universal Coalition of Affirming Africans Uganda (Uganda).