Announcing SAGE Equity Innovation Lab Grant Recipients for LGBTQ+ Aging Work
Six awardees throughout the U.S. will receive financial and technical support from SAGE
New York, NY – SAGE, the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ elders, is thrilled to announce the inaugural six recipients of its new Equity Innovation Lab program. An external selection panel chose The San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ Center, T.R.A.N.S., Golden Rainbows of Illinois South, Hualapai Tribal Council Senior Services, Love Wins Food Pantry, and the radical healing lab out of a competitive array of organizations from elder communities across the country.
SAGE’s Equity Innovation Lab offers financial and technical support to multiply-marginalized and historically under-resourced LGBTQ+ elder communities nationwide. The program provides a $5,000 grant and year-long technical assistance. Additionally, SAGE will facilitate community-building opportunities to foster learning and build trust-based collaborations among the grant recipients.
“We are overjoyed to announce the SAGE Equity Innovation Lab grants to these remarkable organizations,” declared SAGE CEO Michael Adams, “With this program, we are taking a pivotal step towards empowering and uplifting marginalized LGBTQ+ elder communities nationwide.” Continued Adams, “wWe are deeply passionate about supporting community, elder-driven innovation by sharing resources and power to support initiatives emerging from particularly marginalized LGBTQ+ elder communities, and we’re excited to see how our Equity Innovation Lab can accelerate community-driven progress.”
The following six awardees were selected to receive support from SAGE’s Equity Innovation Lab:
The San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ Center in California has developed a plan to enhance support for its elder community members, particularly those in rural areas. Their peer support programs play a crucial role in this effort by creating a culturally and geographically competent resource list that addresses the specific needs of LGBTQ+ elders in rural communities. The Center also intends to expand its peer support services, both in-person and online, to provide more opportunities for LGBTQ+ elders to connect and receive support.
T.R.A.N.S., led by activist Tanya Walker, is a project that assists houseless and formerly homeless trans elders in New York City. T.R.A.N.S has identified BIPOC and TGNC communities as the most impacted and therefore aims to provide support specifically for members of these communities. The project will plan and host an intergenerational masquerade event that brings community members together and helps connect them to resources. By creating this safe and supportive environment, T.R.A.N.S. hopes to address the unique challenges faced by trans elders in New York City, particularly those who are homeless or formerly homeless. Through these efforts, T.R.A.N.S aims to empower and uplift community members and ensure their voices and needs are heard.
The Hualapai Tribal Council Senior Services, headquartered in Peach Springs, Arizona, is a group that supports and unites tribal elders and they will leverage the program to extend its support to LGBTQ+ elders. The project recognizes this community’s unique challenges and needs, particularly those tribal LGBTQ+ elders who live in rural areas. The organization will use the grant for various activities and initiatives to create a supportive and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ tribal elders. In particular, the program will initiate a Talking Circle for LGBTQ+ elders to connect with each other and LGBTQ+ youth, engage in storytelling, and access resources offered by Hualapai Tribal Council Senior Services. Additionally, outreach efforts are conducted to engage and involve the elders in the community while also discussing the historical trauma experienced by the LGBTQ+ tribal community.
Golden Rainbows of Illinois South, Inc. (GRIS) aims to support rural LGBTQ+ people in southern Illinois. GRIS conducts outreach, hosts educational and social events, and works on legislation to help raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ elders in rural communities. Guided by elder LGBTQ+ community members, GRIS uses grant funding to organize and host a resource and information summit. The summit, and subsequent survey and roundtable discussion, will identify areas for improvement and encourage the inclusion of LGBTQ+ specific policies throughout their community. Moreover, the summit will also allow GRIS to update a much-needed resource guide for the aging LGBTQ+ population.
The Love Wins Food Pantry will utilize support from SAGE’s Equity Innovation Lab to understand the nutritional needs of BIPOC LGBTQ+ elders in New York City. Love Wins Food Pantry prides itself in creating a safe space for LGBTQ+ and gender non-conforming people especially, but they eagerly help all those in need. The organization understands that not all people are comfortable going to church-based food pantries, so they operate out of an LGBTQ+ bar, Friends Tavern, in Jackson Heights, Queens – one of New York City’s most ethnically diverse neighborhoods – to meet the needs of BIPOC LGBTQ+ elders.
The radical healing lab is embarking on a project to bridge support and intercommunal relationships with and for queer elders of color in Chicago, Illinois. The project’s goal is to create a safe and inclusive space where BIPOC and TGNC elders can come together and share their experiences, challenges, and wisdom with younger members of the community. By fostering intergenerational connections, the project aims to support the well-being and resilience of queer elders of color.
“There is nothing more powerful than supporting elder LGBTQ+ communities already doing the work and aspiring to do more,” said Elise Hernandez, Director of Research and Impact at SAGE and head of the program. “I’m excited to see these groups take their critically needed and innovative projects to the next level and to help uplift their knowledge and insights so others can learn from them.”
SAGE is dedicated to creating a world where LGBTQ+ elders can live with dignity, honor, and respect. Learn more about the SAGE Center of Excellence and SAGE’s Equity and Innovation Lab at https://www.sageusa.org/excellence.
SAGE is the world’s oldest organization dedicated to advocacy, services, and innovations to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ+) elders everywhere age with the dignity and respect they deserve. Founded in 1978, SAGE offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBTQ+ older people and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBTQ+ community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. SAGE is headquartered in NYC with collaborative partnerships across the United States and globally. Learn more at sageusa.org.