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TLI Grantees
The Transgender Leadership Initiative grantees build grassroots leadership within transgender communities across the United States. From a mentorship project for people living with HIV in Florida to providing job-readiness and advocacy training to individuals who have been recently released from prison or jail in San Francisco – the eight grantee organizations are working to amplify the power of transgender people to address the HIV epidemic and make a difference in their communities.

Learn more about their projects by clicking the links below!

Centro Ararat, Inc.

The TRANSLucent Leadership Development Initiative, a program of Centro Ararat, Inc., educates and empowers trans women in Puerto Rico to increase access to health care services. The creation of an open and welcoming environment for trans women in health care facilities and programs in Puerto Rico, particularly in those that receive Ryan White funding, is an area of great need. By incorporating trans women into this initiative, significant impact will be made to reduce disparities in access to health care for trans women island-wide.

The TRANSLucent Leadership Development Initiative will expand the depth and the breadth of Transgender leadership in the health care advocacy community in Puerto Rico by training over 100 trans women through the TRANSLucent educational program. It will also create a powerful Latina trans women leadership cohort and define an action agenda to channel its strength beyond HIV education, prevention and access to treatment, to include all aspects of sexual health and well-being.

Centro Ararat’s mission is to provide avant-garde health care, with the highest quality standards in ambulatory medicine. To offer health prevention and education efforts in an inclusive environment that respects the liberty and diversity of all human beings. To advocate coexistence in a society that promotes health and stands in solidarity with others.

Positive Impact Health Centers

Positive Impact Health Centers (PIHC) will conduct TRANSitioning to Leaders (T2L) advocacy trainings to increase participants’ HIV knowledge and improve HIV service delivery, health and social justice outcomes for their peers in the metro Atlanta area. Currently in metro Atlanta there are few opportunities for members of the transgender community to gain skills to advocate effectively for themselves as they navigate their HIV prevention and care needs. The T2L training and mentoring program will increase activism and leadership knowledge and skills so that members of the transgender community can better communicate their needs and direct better outcomes for themselves and their community. Additionally, T2L will build skills around advocacy in local, state, and national HIV policy.

After completing the T2L training, a cohort of leaders will meet monthly to further leadership skill building and to support each other’s advocacy efforts. By the end of the project, T2L alumni will participate in one or more of the following: regional of state HIV jurisdictional planning committees, advocacy with local or state legislators, or serve on a community or AIDS Service Organization consumer advisory boards or related program.

The mission of Positive Impact Health Centers is to provide client centered care for the HIV community to have a life worth loving.

Project Weber/RENEW

The Weber/RENEW Transgender Leadership Project is designed to provide mentorship and job shadowing for the organization’s staff and to facilitate the participation of trans people living with HIV, particularly trans women of color, in LGBTQ- and HIV-focused boards and committees in Rhode Island..

There are currently no trans women of color living with HIV who hold HIV prevention or LGBTQ advocacy leadership positions in the state. Through this grant, Project Weber/RENEW will increase the skills of its staff, while increasing the capacity of various boards and committees across Rhode Island to put MIPA principles into practice.

The mission of Project Weber/RENEW is to provide safe spaces, innovative services, referrals, and advocacy for individuals who engage in, or are at risk to engage in transactional sex. They aim to develop and implement innovative treatments for our clients through street outreach and peer to peer connections/counseling, non-judgmental client services, HIV prevention and testing, and collecting critical data. They also strive to improve the level of understanding and acceptance of those engaged in or at risk for transactional sex in the wider society though connecting with other sectors that work with related populations, and through advocacy and education.

Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project

The Melenie Eleneke Grassroots Re-Entry Program of the Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project, was created by and for Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex (TGI) people inside and coming out of prisons and jails. The program will provide immediate support, training, and employment to TGI people who are recently released from incarceration and preparing for a Board of Parole Hearing or a release date.

With the incredible prevalence of apathy and antagonism directed towards TGI people, there is a massive need for explicitly TGI, peer-driven, wrap-around, re-entry support, specifically with an integrated and politicized understanding of systems of power and a commitment to leadership development. The Melenie Eleneke Grassroots Re-Entry Program will work with participants to navigate government assistance, housing, and medical/mental health support; provide employment prep and skill development through skill building projects, mentorship, tech and computer training, self-esteem support, and political education; and create of an exit plan by evaluating our program, graduating as participants and leaders in liberation movements.

‚ÄčTGI Justice Project is a group of transgender, gender variant and intersex people—inside and outside of prisons, jails and detention centers—creating a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom. We work in collaboration with others to forge a culture of resistance and resilience to strengthen us for the fight against human rights abuses, imprisonment, police violence, racism, poverty, and societal pressures.

Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico (TGRCNM)

As a trusted HIV testing and prevention services provider to transgender people for more than four years, TGRCNM offers rapid HIV testing, education, condoms and much more from their drop-in center in Albuquerque, NM. Through the TGRCNM Street Outreach Pilot, the organization will make contact and develop relationships with community members who have not yet interacted with TGRCNM. At the same time, TGRCNM will strengthen the leadership skills of their staff and transgender women who are currently accessing services at the drop-in.

This program will perform outreach to transgender women of color who are not yet accessing services at TGRCNM's drop-in center. Increasing access to services through community outreach is crucial to reach more people. Simultaneously, this project will build leadership skills and will pay some trans people who have serious obstacles to employment.

The Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico is dedicated to serving the transgender communities in the state of New Mexico and provides resources which can support, assist, educate, and advocate for transgender and gender non conforming New Mexicans and our families.

The Translatin@ Coalition

The TransLatin@ Coalition will produce and deliver a leadership development curriculum for Trans identified individuals in the organization’s DC, Maryland & Virginia (DMV) chapter. The development and delivery of this curriculum will support participants in learning about historic structural violence, civil engagement, and the importance of advocacy to improve the landscape of trans communities.

Due to the social barriers such as racism, discrimination, and poverty, and the lack of opportunities that trans people constantly face, it is important to foster and develop leadership within the trans community. Providing trans people with the tools to overcome these social barriers will create a new wave of Trans Latin@ leaders in the TransLatin@ DMV chapter. Additionally, participants in the leadership cohort will enhance their leadership skills by actively participating in advocacy efforts in their local HIV planning council and will advocate for HIV prevention and care of their local community.

The mission of TransLatin@ Coalition is to advocate for the specific needs of the Trans Latin@ community that resides in the U.S.A. and to plan strategies that improve our quality of life.

Translatina Network

Translatina Network will develop the TGNC Leadership Space, a new program that aims to teach, refine, and uplift members of the TGNC (Trans and Gender Nonconforming) community, with a specific focus on the unique needs and experiences of trans communities of color. By providing a safe and affirming space for participants to develop their capacity as leaders within and beyond our communities, the TGNC Leadership Space aims to impact the enormous disparities faced by transgender women in the areas of education, employment, and health outcomes.

Through an 8-week group curriculum and participation in community outreach activities, twelve participants will have the opportunity to develop or enhance leadership and professional skills; expand their understanding of risk reduction, gender diversity and community building philosophies; and make a positive impact in their own lives and the lives of others in their community.

The mission of Translatina Network is to gain equal and lasting rights for all Latina transgender women at a local, state, and federal level. Through the effective social mobilization of our community, we will have direct involvement in important policy changes. Ultimately, these policy changes will ease the effects of transphobic discrimination and eradicate structural barriers for all transgender Latinas in the United States.

Translatina T Service, Inc.

Translatina T Service will create a mentorship project to develop leadership among transgender individuals in South Florida who are also HIV-positive. The program will recruit leaders from the transgender community to act as mentors, work toward changing local and statewide policies regarding the criminalization of sex work, and link people living with HIV to care. Meaningful engagement of the transgender community is essential to promoting prevention and retention in care and improving the overall health and wellness of the transgender community.

Through this program, Translatina T Service will also collect needs assessment data on the epidemic in their community. Transgender women of color in the South are lacking in research data, especially in the area of HIV prevention. With the assistance of the Transgender Law Center, Translatina T Service will publish the findings of the needs assessment at the end of the project.

Arianna's Center engages, empowers and lifts up the transgender community of South Florida. We place a special emphasis on the most marginalized, including the Trans Latinx community, undocumented immigrants, people living with HIV and AIDS, and those who have experienced incarceration.

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