PRESS RELEASE: Equality Florida Partners With Contigo Fund To Expand Safe & Healthy Schools Project
Central Florida Through Partnership with Contigo Fund
ORLANDO, Fla. – Equality Florida is proud to announce their partnership with the Contigo Fund, an initiative of Our Fund Foundation.
In August of last year, Equality Florida launched its new Safe & Health Schools Project just two months after the horrific shooting at Pulse Nightclub, seeking to end LGBTQ bias where it begins, in schools. In just the first five months of the project, Equality Florida has conducted LGBTQ Awareness trainings for nearly 2,000 principals and district leaders, and they are already working with almost half of Florida’s school districts.
The partnership with Contigo Fund will allow Equality Florida to expand their Safe & Healthy Schools Project, specifically in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties, with an emphasis on supporting LGBTQ youth of color.
“The bullying, harassment, social isolation and family rejection many LGBTQ youth continue to face puts them at extreme risk for missing school, dropping out, homelessness, violence, and even suicide. Ensuring their schools are welcoming and supportive is critical to whether they make it in life,” said Stratton Pollitzer, Deputy Director, Equality Florida. “We’re thrilled to have Contigo’s support to expand these lifesaving programs in Central Florida.”
Contigo Fund’s mission is to honor the lives of those who were lost at Pulse --- nearly all of which were both LGBTQ and Latinx --- by making sure their identities, lived experiences, families and communities are never forgotten. Contigo, which means “with you” in Spanish, as a name for the Fund was chosen to express a thoughtful commitment to supporting the resilience of LGBTQ people of color living at the intersection of marginalized identities and building on their power. Contigo Fund is committed to financially supporting organizations working to heal, educate and empower Pulse-affected communities - LGBTQ and Latinx individuals, immigrants, and people of color - as well as all those working to defeat bigotry in all its forms across Central Florida.
Program Director Marco Antonio Quiroga says, “Our grantmaking efforts are community-driven through a diverse Grant Committee of 12 remarkable local leaders in Orlando that were directly and deeply impacted by the tragedy and highly representative of our community’s diversity, including members of the LGBTQ and Latinx, Black, transgender, undocumented and rural communities. This month, Contigo Fund is proud to announce more than $450,000 worth of grants to 15 phenomenal organizations doing critical work to support these marginalized communities.”
Furthermore, Contigo Fund looks forward to supporting its grantee’s vision with resources, training, and opportunities to build community with each other.
“Contigo Fund is proud to support the intersecting movements for social and racial justice across Central Florida. We believe supporting efforts of those working to uplift the most marginalized and oppressed brings our full community closer to justice and liberation,” says Quiroga. “Through the efforts of our grantees and as one community working together, we are creating a sanctuary where all are safe, welcomed and affirmed. These organizations demonstrate resilience and a relentless drive for justice. Support for this work continues to be critical.”
The funds come from the generous gifts of several philanthropic leaders across the nation including Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Arcus Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color, and Our Fund Foundation.
Contigo Fund, an initiative of Our Fund Foundation, launched in response to the tragic act of hate that occurred on Latin Night at Pulse nightclub in Orlando targeting LGBTQ people of color. “Contigo” means “with you” in Spanish. For all those affected by the Pulse tragedy -whether physically present at the club or otherwise- we want them to know: Estamos Contigo - We’re With You.
Contigo Fund financially supports organizations – including emerging organizations that often lack access to philanthropy – working to heal, educate and empower LGBTQ and Latinx individuals, immigrants, and people of color; as well as those working to end all forms of bigotry. Our focus is on medium-term to long-term solutions to bring meaningful, transformative and lasting change to these Pulse-affected communities in Orlando and across Central Florida.
Equality Florida’s Safe & Healthy Schools Project: http://www.eqfl.org/Safe_Schoo