Image by Brandon Jacoby

HIV & COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund for Black & Brown TGNC Communities

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented catastrophic consequences for our community, which already faces numerous barriers to safety and well-being. TSC and DT participated  in a national effort to mobilize urgent rapid response grantmaking to reach the most vulnerable members of the Black and Brown TGNC community, who are disproportionately affected. There is a dire urgency to support TGNC-led organizations, whose infrastructure and sustainability are at stake, at a time when their services and support are needed more than ever. Even with recent progress in funding for trans communities, our TGNC-led organizations are still building infrastructure, with the assistance of TSC/DT and their partners. The COVID-19 pandemic—and the disruption of life as we know it—is poised to have a devastating impact on these organizations and the communities we all serve.

The HIV COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund for Black & Brown TGNC Communities provided  general operating support grants to organizations in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico) that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants were from $5,000 up to $25,000. With these funds, grantee organizations may also provide direct resources to Black and Brown TGNC individuals facing catastrophic circumstances.

Aryah Lester Headshot 2021.jpg

"Whenever a negative has come up in my life, which affects swaths of our US population, brown and specifically Black people come up with the short end of the stick. Be it incarceration, homelessness, diabetes, HIV, unemployment, low-income, poverty, and now COVID 19, it all has consistently hit us the hardest. Coronavirus is a global event which knows no color, orientation, gender, or economic status; and has shown light on the disparities Black and brown people face through our societal structure. Coupled with heightened awareness due to recent events, where communities are beyond ‘fed up’, we come at a time where change is not just needed, but imperative."

Aryah Lester

Deputy Director, Transgender Strategy Center


"COVID-19 exposed what many working at nonprofits that engage Black transgender folx have been saying for years, there’s a disparity that exist within systems of safety.  Issues around housing, food insecurity, employment and health care have plagued Black trans people forever.  With COVID-19 impacting this community with the highest rates of infection, it is imperative to establish collaborative efforts that are rooted in community."

Sean Coleman

Executive Director, Destination Tomorrow