The LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund’s goal is to strengthen Utah’s LGBTQ community, stakeholders, and state by supporting programs that create greater understanding and acceptance of people of differing backgrounds and beliefs. To do this, donations from the LGBTQ community and their allies are pooled to leverage those individual donations to make a more significant impact in the community. Since 2011, over $284,000 has been awarded.
Last year, the LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund awarded over $40,000 to twelve organizations, including the Utah AIDS Foundation, the Utah Pride Center, Spy Hop Youth Media Programming, UMOCA, Westminster College, OUTreach Resource Centers, Planned Parenthood, Plan-B Theatre, Bennion Community Service Center, Utah Film Center, Youth Futures, and Brigham Young Queer Alumni Association. The collective impact of these organizations cannot be overstated – thousands of lives have been impacted, and numerous even saved, because of the work of these organizations.
The Utah AIDS Foundation used their funding to provide PrEP services to their patients. PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a daily pill taken to help keep the HIV virus from taking hold within the body should it ever be exposed through sex or injection. In conjunction with other prevention strategies, PrEP can reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 92%.
Planned Parenthood funded their Safe at School Program with their endowment. This program mitigates the harmful effects of bullying and harassment. Students are taught how to foster better school climates and improve outcomes for LGBTQ youth in Utah.
Plan-B Theatre Company shared the story of Abbess Hildegard, a twelfth century revolutionary, with their original production of Virtue. Hildegard wore the hats of composer, writer, poet, herbologist, midwife, and mystic. The play looked to answer some tough questions: In a battle between spiritual conviction and institutional rules, which should win? What counts for more – theology or experience? Who may we love?
Spy Hop used its funding for the Move the Dial imitative. In this video series, students tackled the issues of gender and gender relations within the community. The work of students, ages 15-18, is beyond what many would expect from people of such an age.
The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) allocated its award from the Endowment Fund for their Out Loud mentoring program. This program pairs students with a mentor and creates a safe space for youth to build their capacity for self-expression and importance through the medium of contemporary art.
Damn! These Heels LGBTQ Film Festival is an annual showcase of the diverse backgrounds of the human experience through expression and investigation of LGBTQ history, culture, ideas, struggles, and triumphs. The Utah Film Center has proudly hosted the festival since 2003, entertaining and challenging over 20,000 people over the years to illustrate the struggles and achievements of the LGBTQ community.
Youth Futures, located in downtown Ogden, shelters homeless youth, many kicked out of their homes for simply being true to themselves. The shelter also provides street outreach programs, guidance, programming, and drop-in services for runaway, at-risk, and homeless youth in Northern Utah.
Similar to Youth Futures, OUTreach is a drop-in center located in Ogden, Utah dedicated to transforming communities and saving lives through comprehensive programming, community advocacy, and training designed to promote positive outcomes for undeserved populations.
The Bennion Community Service Center used their funding for the Alternative Breaks Program. This program, hosted by the University of Utah, gives students the opportunity to spend their breaks volunteering, learning, and traveling. These immersive week-long opportunities push the importance of social and environmental issues facing communities.
Brigham Young Queer Alumni Association was awarded funds to throw a recognition banquet to honor and celebrate the LGBTQ community at BYU. Simply providing a platform for alumni to see fellow LGBTQ members of the BUY community and give them an opportunity to share their stories was a major step forward for the organization.
The Utah Pride Center put on a “Genderevolution Conference” during Transgender Education and Awareness Month (November 2016). The conference provided a full day of workshops and presentations for participants to learn and grow in their understanding of transgender history, struggles, and community relations.
Westminster College created the LGBTQ Programming internship - a paid internship under the direction of the Associate Provost of Diversity and Global Learning. The intern assisted in creating, running, and managing LGBTQ projects and programming on campus.
The LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund looks forward to looking over all applications and providing the funding necessary to continue to make a positive impact on our community and the lives of LGBTQ people across Utah. Be sure to submit applications here before midnight, July 5!