Human Rights Campaign and T-Mobile Announce Initiatives for LGBTQ Digital Literacy & Financial Empowerment

by Aryn Fields

New resources will focus on serving the needs of LGBTQ youth and multiply marginalized community members

WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, announced T-Mobile is donating $1 million over five-years to support new work at HRC to advance digital literacy and safety and financial empowerment. This new programming will specifically focus on the needs of LGBTQ youth and those who have multiple marginalized identities, and will fold into the HRC Foundation’s 11 programs and initiatives that work to create transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ people.

Despite our recent strides toward equality, LGBTQ youth and families, particularly those who are multiply marginalized, continue to experience discrimination and bigotry that lead to higher rates of poverty, unemployment, online bullying, and depression. Creating programming centered around reducing those risks is critical, and expands our ability to more holistically serve the LGBTQ community. Thank you to T-Mobile for championing these causes and illustrating that in order to do the most good, we need everyone on board.

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

With the help of T-Mobile’s multi-year donation, the HRC Foundation is gearing up to launch a new body of work addressing the needs of LGBTQ people living in poverty by focusing on financial empowerment and digital literacy. The emerging programmatic work will serve low and middle income LGBTQ people, especially LGBTQ people of color who are more likely to face poverty as compared to their white counterparts.

To address the unique needs of younger people, HRC will provide education about cyberbullying and internet safety, as well as the basics of budgeting, and financial management. When combined together, HRC’s new programming will provide critical understanding and new skills for disadvantaged LGBTQ youth to help lead healthy, productive lives.

This initiative to get financial and digital literacy tools and resources into the hands of LGBTQ youth who are shaping the future of their community is so important – and T-Mobile is thrilled to help bring it to life. We’ve been a longstanding partner of HRC because we share their mission to drive diversity, equity and inclusion and value the work they do to deliver programs that serve critical needs across the LGBTQ community and beyond. We’re proud to support them in this effort and many others.

Mike Sievert, T-Mobile CEO

Through the digital literacy initiative, T-Mobile will support the HRC Foundation’s Youth Well-Being Program, which will partner with academic and research firms to conduct new research about LGBTQ youth to better understand their needs and gaps in education. This work will also involve HRC’s Welcoming Schools Program, which is the only anti-bias based bullying prevention program in the nation providing LGBTQ-specific training and resources with an intersectional lens.

LGBTQ youth are 120% more likely than cisgender and heterosexual youth to experience homelessness, unstable housing, or live in foster care—often times due to family rejection. The HRC Foundation’s 2018 LGBTQ Youth Report documented how often LGBTQ youth face family rejection, as 67% of youth reported that their family makes negative comments about LGBTQ people. These risk factors often lead to high school dropout rates, unemployment, and poverty.

Additionally, LGBTQ adult Americans are more likely than the general population to live in poverty and suffer from unemployment and employment discrimination. Nearly one in ten LGBTQ people are unemployed and are about one in five LGBTQ adults in the U.S. live in poverty, compared to an estimated 16% poverty rate among their straight and cisgender counterparts. The poverty rate of transgender adults in the U.S. is 29% and tower over those of other groups; while Black transgender adults and Latinx transgender adults are more likely to live in poverty than transgender people of any other race.

T-Mobile is a National Corporate Sponsor of HRC, and has been ranked a “Best Place to Work” for nine years running in its annual Corporate Equality Index, which measures internal policies and practices that benefit LGBTQ employees such as robust non-discrimination policies and transgender inclusive healthcare.

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