The following HOPE Fund grants were awarded in 2017.
$20,550 to the Neutral Zone, to develop Queer Youth Stories, a digital storytelling and dialogue project for gay-straight alliances in southeast Michigan. Partnering with the Michigan Organization for Adolescent and Sexual Health (MOASH), the Neutral Zone aims to convene upwards of 60 southeast Michigan students from gay and queer student associations for a Storytelling Summit. At the summit, students will explore their unique identities and develop and capture their stories on video, as well as create a framework for future storytelling summits. Students will also provide video storytelling training at the annual MOASH statewide youth conference.
$10,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Fund of Michigan for the Friendly Caller program, designed to combat social isolation experienced by LGBT older adults. Established in 2015, the Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders Metro Detroit (SAGE) is an affiliate of the national SAGE organization. The ACLU Fund of Michigan is SAGE’s fiscal sponsor and partner for this awarded grant. SAGE Metro Detroit grew out of the LGBT Older Adult Coalition, which was formed in 2010 as a coalition of LGBT organizations, older adult service providers, and members of the LGBT older adult community to address the many unmet needs of LGBT elders in Michigan. To prevent social isolation and loneliness for LGBT older adults, SAGE Metro Detroit is planning to implement a Friendly Caller program, whereby LGBT older adults are matched up with volunteer callers who maintain telephone contact with them on a regular basis. Callers check to see how the older adult is doing both physically and mentally, ask whether they need any services, and engage in conversation regarding shared interests, hobbies and concerns.
$25,000 to the Ruth Ellis Center for an organizational racial equity action and implementation plan. The Ruth Ellis Center will work with a national consultant to address the need for deeper knowledge of the theory and practice of racial and economic justice in the context of nonprofit organizational development and culture, with special emphasis on working at the intersections of race, gender and class. The work that will be completed over the next year will inform both internal and external communications and programs.