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HRC will advance new initiatives that address the urgent needs of the transgender community, with specific attention to community members deeply impacted by racism, sexism and transphobia.
Today, HRC announced it is significantly expanding its work dedicated to justice for the transgender community. The organization will advance new initiatives that address the urgent needs of the transgender community, with specific attention to community members deeply impacted by racism, sexism and transphobia. This major effort will include a focus on economic empowerment; capacity-building programs; targeted task forces in communities hardest hit hard by the epidemic of anti-trans violence; and expanded public education campaigns.
“We are in the midst of a national crisis. People are dying, and the response must be swift, strong and rooted in solutions the transgender community is rightfully demanding,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “In meetings with activists all over the country, time and again I have heard about systemic failures that are pushing many transgender people out of a job, on to the streets and into desperate and dangerous situations for survival. Through this new initiative, we aim to help change these realities. Change will not come overnight and it will not come from any single organization or person. But the Human Rights Campaign will be a part of the work to help build the capacity of leaders already on the frontlines of this fight.”
Over the last 10 years, HRC has dramatically deepened its transgender justice work. From passing critical gender identity non-discriminaton protections and combating anti-transgender bills to sounding the alarm on the epidemic of violence targeting transgender people -- especially Black and Latinx women, the organization’s advocacy and programs have been increasing in scope and impact. Still, significant work remains to ensure that every transgender person is protected from discrimination and safe from violence.
The challenges facing the transgender community demand action and change at all levels. This national crisis is made shockingly clear by the fact that at least 18 transgender people have been victims of fatal violence this year, 17 of whom have been Black transgender women. According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, 21% of Latinx transgender people and 20% of Black transgender people are unemployed, compared to 15% of transgender people overall and 5% of the overall U.S. population. 43% of Latinx transgender people and 38% of Black transgender people were living in poverty, compared to 29% of transgender people overall and 14% of the U.S. population. And 40% of transgender people overall have attempted suicide in their lifetime, compared to 4.6% overall -- nearly nine times the attempted suicide rate in the U.S.
The Human Rights Campaign’s expanded work will seek to address many of the persistent and insidious barriers to employment, housing and safety faced by transgender people, especially transgender women of color. The expansion includes four main pillars:
Today’s announcement comes ahead of Saturday’s historic National Trans Visibility March in Washington, D.C. HRC President Alphonso David will be speaking alongside other advocates, activists and community members.
To learn more about HRC’s work on transgender justice, visit HRC.org/transgender.