Missed Opportunities provides a crisp, accessible topography of the issues and trends facing LGBTQ Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and offers pragmatic strategies. It is an invaluable resource for any funder committed to advancing equity in the United States.
– Daniel Lee, Executive Director, Levi Strauss Foundation
Missed Opportunities: How Organized Philanthropy Can Help Meet the Needs of LGBTQ AAPI Communities, a new report from the Queer Justice Fund, finds deep disparities in funding to LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) AAPI (Asian American/Pacific Islanders), despite rapid growth of both communities. The report is being released on the eve of Creating Change 2012: The National Conference on LGBT Equality, the nation’s largest annual gathering of LGBT advocates, convened by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, and will be presented as part of the conference’s institute, AAPI Focus: Building a Queer AAPI Movement.
Download: Missed Opportunities (Full Report)
Missed Opportunities found that funding in 2009 to LGBTQ AAPI communities amounted to barely 0.7 percent of the total amounted granted to all LGBTQ communities and organizations that year. In 2009 funding to all LGBTQ organizations in 2009 amounted to barely 0.2 percent of all foundation giving in the United States.
The report is the first of its kind and a critical component of the Queer Justice Fund’s philanthropic advocacy strategy to bridge AAPI and LGBTQ communities, and to help redefine/reframe issues by directing funding to 1) autonomous LGBTQ AAPI organizations, 2) allied organizations, but that may not be necessarily LGBTQ-focused, and 3) faith-based institutions that support LGBTQ rights.
“We are at a moment where LGBTQ AAPIs are no longer viewed as belonging to single and separate communities; and this report disrupts that misperception,” stated Alice Y. Hom, Director of AAPIP’s Queer Justice Fund, author of the report and a presenter at Creating Change. She added, “The organizations that serve these communities play an important, bridging role in connecting overlapping issues and concerns that affect them in a larger framework.”
The report outlines five specific recommendations for organized philanthropy to increase funding to LGBTQ AAPI communities, including emphasis on capacity-building support, developing stronger links to allied communities as well as mainstream LGBTQ organizations, and strengthening relationships between secular and interfaith organizations. It also calls for increased support for community-based and quantitative research.
According to Luna Yasui, Program Officer for US Programs with the Open Society Foundations [OSF], working with QJF to support AAPI communities is critical, adding that, “OSF’s partnership with the Queer Justice Fund supports projects that speak to the experience of LGBT AAPIs. For many queer AAPIs, our grantees offer a lifeline, a home, and a welcoming place within a social justice movement. It is inspiring and critically important work that OSF is proud to support.”