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    Fall Non-Profit Spotlight

    Horizons Foundation’s Now and Forever Campaign Has an Ambitious, Yet Possible, Goal

    –By Audrey Koh, M.D.–

    As a young adult, I barely even heard the word “lesbian.” There was little representation of people like me in the media, beyond garish stereotypes. There were few meeting places, aside from lesbian bars or gay dance clubs. There were no children known to have been conceived by lesbian couples or gay men couples.

    We have come a long way. In this millennium, the struggle toward legalized marriage equality has finally been won. I sometimes have to pinch myself to believe it. I feel so fortunate to have been part of a civil rights process that is actually working!

    Despite the many triumphs of our community, the march to equality is not yet over. Many in our LGBTQ community, even here in the Bay Area, continue to face discrimination, violence, poverty, and isolation. Since last year’s election, we’ve seen that the rights we’ve fought so hard to secure are, once again, under attack. Our future is hard to predict.

    That’s why I support the Horizons Foundation’s Now and Forever Campaign. The campaign seeks to identify more than $100 million in future legacy gifts by the foundation’s 40th Anniversary year in 2020. These gifts will help to ensure the future for generations of LGBTQ people to live a life of pride, dignity, justice and joy.

    While $100 million seems like an ambitious goal, it is imminently possible. Research shows that property ownership in the LGBTQ community is on a parity with the straight community, and that the more secure in our community own more than $300 billion in Bay Area real estate alone. If even 0.5% of our community left their property to Horizons, our entire community would reap benefits for years to come.

    Now and Forever will help Horizons to continue to strengthen hundreds of organizations that do the day-to-day work that secures the rights, meets the needs, and celebrates the lives of LGBTQ people. It will ensure that young people thrive in safe and supportive environments, that our elders can age with dignity, and that we can safeguard and expand the gains we’ve fought so hard to win. It will ensure that we have the funding to tackle unanticipated challenges to our community.

    No one can predict the future. But together, we can build a strong foundation that will secure our community now—and forever.

    Audrey Koh, M.D., is a member of the Horizons Foundation Board of Directors. She is also an Associate Clinical Professor at the UC San Francisco School of Medicine, and is an Attending Physician at the California Pacific Medical Center.

     


    Horizons Foundation Grantee Stories

    Horizons Foundation is often the first to provide grants to emerging nonprofits, and is a core funder for anchor organizations that advocate for LGBTQ rights, serve LGBTQ youth and elders, ensure community health, and promote arts and culture. Below are just three of the many organizations that have received Horizons Foundation grants:

    Brown Boi Project

     

     

     

     

    Grantee Since 2011

    When the Brown Boi Project (BBP) was founded in 2010, it was something new: a community of masculine of center womyn, men, two-spirit people, transmen, and allies committed to changing the way that communities of color talk about gender and eradicating sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. BBP has since trained over 170 leaders around the country in signature twice-annual five-day leadership retreats.

    Brown Boi created an educational model embedded in 7th and 8th grade classrooms in East Oakland, and completed a “Summer of Brown Boi” that connected 850 young people of color across California. The Obama Administration invited BBP to help host the first LGBT People of Color Summit in the country.

    http://www.brownboiproject.org/

    LYRIC

     

     

     

     

    Grantee Since 1991

    LYRIC has supported and empowered thousands of LGBTQQ youth on their journey to becoming healthy, successful, and thriving adults. LYRIC’s mission is to build community and inspire positive social change through educational enhancement, career training, health promotion, and leadership development with not only LGBTQQ youth, but also with their families, and allies of all races, classes, genders, and abilities.

    Horizons grants have supported LYRIC dances, rap groups, field trips, and much more over the years. In 2014, LYRIC received funding from a Horizons Young Professionals for Equality (HYPE) grant to support their undocumented youth program—critical now more than ever.

    http://lyric.org/

    Somos Familia

    Grantee Since 2008

    Somos Familia supports Latino families with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer children. It started when two mothers of Latino LGBTQ youth who had experienced challenges in their own families could not find support resources. Recognizing a lack of support for Latina/o families with LGBTQ youth, they launched an effort to develop ways to support, not just themselves, but also other families.

    Among other projects, Horizons sponsored Tres Gotas de Agua, a short film about three Latina immigrant mothers’ experiences with their children’s coming out processes, conveying powerful messages about unconditional love and acceptance of LGBTQ people as part of Latino families. 

    http://somosfamiliabay.org/