GALAEI’s Trans Equity Project Receives $25K Grant From the Philadelphia Foundation

The funding will support the 15-year-old program's ongoing HIV/AIDS prevention work and transgender advocacy efforts.

Photography by Kelly A. Burkhardt

The Trans Equity Project, a program run by queer Latinx social justice nonprofit GALAEI, just received its highest individual donation yet: a $25,000 grant from the Walter E. Hering Fund #2 of the Philadelphia Foundation. The contribution will be used to strengthen the project’s HIV/AIDS prevention efforts while also supporting advocacy for local transgender and gender-nonconforming communities.

“The support from the foundation came at a critical time for our communities as we experienced a devastating budget cut from the city’s health department,” said Nikki Lopez, GALAEI’s executive director. “Due to citywide and national budget cuts in HIV prevention work, we lost almost half of our funding for the Trans Equity Project. Because of this donation from the Philadelphia Foundation, we will now avoid staff layoffs and can continue to do the critical work of providing essential programs for our communities.”

“With this grant, we can continue organizing around our experiences with transphobia, racism, economic injustice, transmisogyny, ableism, incarceration, and other intersecting oppressions, that affect trans and gender-nonconforming individuals,” said Christian Lovehall, Trans Equity Project’s program coordinator. “We are pleased to receive this grant because it will allow us to further our mission in continuing to create trans equity for those most marginalized in our city.”

Created in 2003, the program, originally named the Trans Health Information Project, remains the only one of its kind in Pennsylvania to be managed by transgender individuals for their respective community. In August 2017, the program was renamed the Trans Equity Project after staff felt that their efforts should do more to focus on disparities affecting the most vulnerable within the trans community. As a result, the project’s scope has expanded to address racism, hetero-sexism, homelessness, police misconduct, immigration injustice, and other social justice issues.