LGBTQ Students Need Help, and Philanthropy Needs to Step Up
A new infographic highlights the challenges facing LGBTQ students and analyzes trends, gaps, and opportunities in funding for LGBTQ education issues.
Produced in partnership between Funders for LGBTQ Issues and Schott, we hope this infographic will help both those in philanthropy and LGBTQ advocates to chart a better course toward a future where all LGBTQ youth attend well-resourced, supportive and safe public schools. Schott is proud to be a longtime supporter of grassroots LGBTQ youth organizing as a crucial component of the education justice movement.
- For every $100 awarded by U.S. foundations to education, only 15 cents were devoted to funding for LGBTQ education and safe schools.
- More than 6 in 10 LGBTQ students experience discriminatory policies or practices at school.
- While LGBTQ youth make up 7-9 percent of youth nationwide, they account for 20 percent of all youth in juvenile justice facilities (and 85 percent of them are youth of color).
- Funding for LGTBQ education and safe schools has fluctuated over the past five years, but has never exceeded $9 million in a given year.
- The top ten funders of LGBTQ education and safe schools issues account for nearly three-quarters of the funding.
Clearly there is much work for us to do. The infographic identifies four key opportunities:
FUND ACROSS SILOS FOR INCREASED IMPACT
Racial justice funders and those supporting boys and girls of color, criminal justice funders concerned about the school-to-prison pipeline, and health funders seeking to address the social determinants of health disparities have reason to be concerned with school climate for LGBTQ students. There is potential for mutual learning across silos as well as for the pooling and leveraging of resources across unlikely but natural partners.
STRENGTHEN GSAs AND OTHER VEHICLES FOR YOUTH-LED ORGANIZING
GSAs [Gay Straight Alliances] are documented to have a positive effect on student outcomes and also play a key role in the pipeline of leadership development in LGBTQ communities. Other LGBTQ grassroots organizations driven and led by youth and young adults play similar essential roles in empowering young leaders and building movements.
SUPPORT FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL ADVOCACY
At the federal, state, and local levels, LGBTQ and allied organizations need resources to respond to anti-LGBTQ policies and to advance progressive policies that foster a more supportive school climate for LGBTQ youth. Funders should also be mindful of the need for Both rapid response funding and general for general support and capacity-building to develop strong organizations at all levels.
SUPPORT STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS TO RAISE AWARENESS AROUND LGBTQ STUDENTS
Funders have an opportunity to foster a more positive narrative around LGBTQ students. These efforts may include collecting and sharing stories of LGBTQ students, especially trans students and LGBTQ students of color; building the communications capacity of LGBTQ education and youth organizations; and supporting research, messaging, and media campaigns to respond effectively to attacks on transgender students, students of color, and immigrant students.
Download the full PDF of the infographic here