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The Fund for Resilience, Equity, and Engagement (FREE) is a national three-year $11M initiative supported by the Elton John AIDS Foundation and managed by AIDS United. FREE prioritizes organizations led by and serving transgender and gender-non-conforming (TGNC) communities as well as Black gay, bisexual, queer and same-gender-loving (GBQ/SGL) men.

The goals of FREE are:
  • Improve HIV-related health and quality of life of transgender/gender-non-conforming (TGNC) people and Black men who identify as gay, bisexual, queer, and same-gender-loving, including reduced HIV acquisition and increased connection to care.
  • Improved federal, state, and local HIV-focused and related policies that address the needs of TGNC people and Black GBQ/SGL men.

To reach the stated goals, FREE also seeks to address many other correlated health, social, and structural issues such as:
  • Addressing inequalities by race, gender, age, urban/rural locations, and other factors that affect access to health care, education, and social services
  • Supporting sexual health and education, mental health services, addiction support, and community mobilization
  • Protecting people from exposure to and harm from punitive policing and criminal justice systems, including access to legal services, access to education and employment, and opportunities for professional and economic advancement
  • Supporting political organizing and advocacy for systemic change

The first grant period under this initiative will begin July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020 and includes both general operating support and project-specific support funding to 34 grantees. Beyond financial resources, FREE will also engage grantee partners in tailored technical assistance and capacity building support including an all grantee convening, cohort learning, and individual TA.

FREE will also include two parallel leadership development tracks—one focused on emerging and existing leaders in the trans communities and one focused on Black gay/bi/queer/sgl men. Participants in the leadership cohorts will engage in virtual meetings and in-person retreats throughout the year and have access to executive leadership coaching and additional opportunities for ongoing personal and professional development.

The 34 grantees of the first FREE cohort are:

AIDS Services Coalition, Hattiesburg, MS
Alliance of Border Collaboratives, El Paso, TX
Arianna's Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Bebashi: Transition to Hope, Philadelphia, PA
Birmingham AIDS Outreach, Birmingham, AL
Black LGBTQIA Migrant Project and Black Trans Circles, Oakland, CA
Black Trans Media (a project of Alliance for Global Justice), Brooklyn, NY
BlaqOut Incorporated, Kansas City, MO
Brothers Health Collective, Chicago, IL
Casa Ruby, Washington, DC
Chicago Center for HIV Elimination, Chicago, IL
Colectivo Intercultural TRANSgrediendo, Jackson Heights, NY
Destination Tomorrow, Inc., Bronx, NY
El/La Para TransLatinas, San Francisco, CA
Gay Men's Health Crisis, Inc. (GMHC), New York, NY
House of GGr, Little Rock, AR
LaGender Inc., East Point, GA
Positive Impact Health Centers, Duluth, GA
Pridelines Youth Services, Miami, FL
Project Weber, Providence, RI
Racial Justice Action Center, East Point, GA
Selma AIR, Selma, AL
St. James Infirmary & TGI Justice Project, San Francisco, CA
The Attic Youth Center, Philadelphia, PA
The Counter Narrative Project, Atlanta, GA
The Knights & Orchids Society Inc., Selma, AL
The Outlaw Project, Phoenix, AZ
The TransLatin@ Coalition, Los Angeles, CA
THRIVE SS Inc., Atlanta, GA
Transforming Hearts Collective, Greenfield, MA
Transgender Advocates Knowledgeable Empowering (TAKE), Birmingham, AL
Transgender Law Center, Oakland, CA
Transgender Strategy Center, Los Angeles, CA
Translatina Network, New York, NY

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