The Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation recently awarded 11 grants totaling $42,700 for programs that positively impact the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The community foundation’s board ratified this latest round of grants at its quarterly meeting Dec. 5.
Grants were awarded to programs that increase awareness about housing and employment discrimination, including a $3,500 grant to Equality Ohio Education Fund for a public campaign emphasizing the need for statewide nondiscrimination protections. The grant will help the agency increase its outreach to Greater Akron residents and educate community leaders about the lack of nondiscrimination laws in Ohio.
“It is shocking but true – there are no statewide or federal nondiscrimination protections in place for the LGBT community in employment, housing or public accommodations,” said Kim Welter, deputy director of Equality Ohio. “Yet four out of five Ohioans do not know that it is legal to be fired from your job, denied an apartment, or refused service at a restaurant because of sexual orientation or gender identity. This fundamental misunderstanding hinders momentum around making Ohio law inclusive of LGBT nondiscrimination protections.”
Other grants will provide diversity training to people who counsel LGBT survivors of sexual assault; support screenings of LGBT films in downtown Akron theaters; and offer counseling and support to LGBT senior citizens.
Since awarding its first grants in 2005, the Gay Community Endowment Fund has reinvested nearly $360,000 into local nonprofit initiatives that promote the well-being and full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens in the Greater Akron area. To make a gift to the Gay Community Endowment Fund, visit www.akroncf.org/give/GCEF.
The following grants were awarded this year:
Battered Women’s Shelter, to renovate a residential suite for victims of domestic violence at the agency’s new campus, $10,000
Cleveland International Film Festival, for screenings of LGBT films in downtown Akron as part of the 10% Cinema series, $2,500
Community AIDS Network, for the Akron Film+Pride program, an independent film and discussion series that brings visibility to LGBT issues, $1,500
Community AIDS Network, to support the Game Change Educational Conference, which educates local social workers, teachers and health care workers about the needs of the LGBT community, $3,500
Equality Ohio Education Fund, for a public education campaign about the need for statewide nondiscrimination protections, $3,500
Fair Housing Contact Service Inc., to educate local residents and housing providers about fair housing practices and prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, $1,000
GCEF Scholarship Fund of Akron Community Foundation, for scholarships for LGBT students in Summit, Medina, Portage and Stark counties, $5,000
Jewish Family Service of Akron Ohio, for “Reaching Akron’s Silent Generation,” a program that provides education, counseling and social support for LGBT senior citizens, $5,000
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Inc., Akron Chapter, for the Teen Pride Network, which offers positive social support and activities for LGBT youth who feel isolated in their school, home or community, $6,000
Rape Crisis Center, for diversity and inclusiveness training to better equip staff members to meet the needs of LGBT survivors of sexual assault, $2,700
Stark State College, to send students to a regional conference that promotes leadership, activism and empowerment among LGBT college students, $2,000
About the Gay Community Endowment Fund
Founded in 2001, the Gay Community Endowment Fund is a permanent philanthropic endowment of Akron Community Foundation. It facilitates and perpetuates philanthropy by supporting programs and services that support or positively impact the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, as well as the entire Greater Akron community. Since its inception, the fund has grown to more than $925,000 while reinvesting nearly $360,000 into the community. Contributions of any amount are welcome and support future grant-making. Checks may be sent to the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation, 345 W. Cedar St., Akron, OH 44307-2407. For more information, or to contribute, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.gaycommunityfund.org.
About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 59 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. Today, it is a philanthropic endowment of more than $180 million with a growing family of more than 450 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation welcomes gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded nearly $118 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.