MEMBER UPDATE / March 2017
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The LGBT Community Fund for Northeast Florida works to build a community that welcomes and supports all people by cultivating and nurturing collaborative philanthropy, and investing in organizations that benefit Northeast Florida’s LGBT residents.

Letter from the President

Dear Members and Supporters,
We are mid-way through our 2017 fund-raising season, and ask for your continued support of our work (and thanks to those who have already contributed!).  Our first two cultivation events were wonderful – lots of familiar faces and many new ones – and the energy in the room about the important work we are doing was electrifying.  The third cultivation event is Tuesday, April 4th in Riverside – let me know if you would like to attend.
Thank you to all of those who made the HRO in Jacksonville possible – what a wonderful Valentine’s Day present!   The City Council showed great courage, and Mayor Curry stepped out of the way to allow prompt implementation of the ordinance.  The Jacksonville Coalition for Equality was awesome and steadfast in its efforts to get the HRO passed – we owe them a great deal of thanks.  And thanks to the thousands of Jacksonville residents who supported these efforts – the HRO is an important next step for Jacksonville.
While the LGBT Fund does not become directly involved in the political process (though a number of us were involved personally in the efforts to pass the HRO), we certainly think passage of the HRO is a critical next step for Jacksonville and important in the work of the LGBT Fund.  Passage of the HRO is a milestone, but not the stopping point, of the efforts for LGBT inclusion in Jacksonville.
At the LGBT Fund, our core effort is to make Northeast Florida an inclusive place for all of our citizens and residents, including the LGBT community.  For too long, the LGBT community has not felt welcomed or included, and we are working to change this.  We are funding trainings at mainstream non-profits and elderly care centers to raise LGBT awareness and inclusiveness.  We are funding a mentioning program at UNF to help LGBT students figure out how to enter the workforce productively and openly.  We are funding a program at JASMYN to encourage families with LGBT kids to keep those kids at home, as homeless LGBT youth results in terrible outcomes.  And at PFLAG we are funding efforts to engage with new groups of LGBT residents and allies. 

Thank you for your support of the LGBT Fund, and we will continue our work to make Northeast Florida an inclusive and welcoming place for all.

Thank you very much for your support of the LGBT Community Fund for Northeast Florida.

Michael R. Meyers
(and bring a friend!)
Tuesday, April 4 at 5:30 p.m.
Home of Carrie King and Tina Wirth
ElderSource will be the featured grantee

RSVP to Christina Fleck, or (904) 356-4483 

On March 8, Michael and I had the honor of hosting a cultivation event at our new home. Members, supporters, and prospective donors attended the event to hear about the important work the LGBT Community Fund has accomplished thus far. Michael Meyers spoke about Funders for LGBTQ Issues and the opportunity for grant matching up to $50,000 if we raise $100,000. Kaitlin Legg presented how the LGBT Fund has impacted the UNF LGBT Resource Center. Club Can-do, an LGBT mentorship program, was kickstarted by the Fund. Kaitlin also expressed how hands on the LGBT Fund Steering Committee has been throughout the grant cycle. We take a lot of pride in working with the grant recipients so we can leverage the dollars raised to make a big impact. It was a fantastic event and it was energizing seeing so many new faces interested in the work of the LGBT Fund! 

Glenn Miller 
Don't Forget!
We are in full swing for the LGBT Community Fund’s 2017 fund-raising, and want first to thank you for your continued support.  For those who have pledges, you should have received an invoice, and for those who contribute annually, please do so.  Our 2017 pledge deadline is April 30th. Remember, your gift will be matched 1:2 by our challenge grant from Funders for LGBTQ Issues, so it's a perfect time to make your gift go further. 
Scrolling through Facebook one day I came across a sign that read, “In This House, We Believe: Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, No Human is Illegal, Science is Real, Love is Love, And Kindness is Everything.” This message embodies what I would like to instill in our children. I couldn’t help but print and frame it. On Monday March 6th I took the framed piece and placed it on a table in front of our door as Mark and I prepared to host guests to learn about the LGBT Community Fund. The energy was palpable as the guests arrived and I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I was (and am) immensely proud and amazed of what my brother helped to create.  I’m thankful that he had the support of The Community Foundation, our family, and friends to start this journey.  I continue to be amazed by the response and the work of this Fund. Cindy Watson beautifully articulated the role of JASMYN and the lives it continues to effect. The night made me reflect on our contribution to the Fund and what an essential role it plays in making our city a more compassionate and accepting place. So thank you Jeff, The Community Foundation, Michael Meyers for your leadership and the steering committee for all your time, passion, and commitment. 
Meredith Chartrand Frisch 
LGBT ERG Roundtable
Nina Waters and Michael Meyers hosted representatives of eight Northeast Florida companies for a roundtable discussion of how the companies approach LGBT ERGs.  ERGs are employee resource groups and one way employers work to connect groups of employees to the company as well as enable the company to contribute to the local community.   The conversation was fascinating, as the attendees, whose companies employ thousands of workers in Northeast Florida, described facing many common issues related to LGBT employees.  All of the attendees reported taking back to their employers insights learned at the meeting.
Hosting the roundtable is one of the ways The Community Foundation and the LGBT Community Fund pursue our mission of connecting people in Northeast Florida to make the community a better place for all.  They plan to host a follow up meeting in a few months to continue the discussion.

Joe Barton and Nina Waters attended the Out in the South Fund Grantee Convening held in Birmingham Alabama March 3-5. The LGBT Community Fund is one of eleven entities that received an Out in the South grant from Funders for LGBTQ Issues.  All eleven communities receiving grants attended the event which provided an opportunity to learn more about each of the grants and share ideas on how to increase philanthropic giving for LGBT causes in the South.  The sessions provided an opportunity to build a sense of community among fellow grantees; lay groundwork for learning circles that will collaborate to solve common questions and problems to share with the larger field; and broaden shared understanding of what is necessary to deepen LGBTQ work in the South.  

Ben Francisco Maulbeck, Chantelle Fisher-Bourne and Kristina Wertz from Funders for LGBTQ Issues led the interactive sessions and participants also had the opportunity to visit several historic sites such as the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.  Photo, left to right: Chantelle Fisher-Bourne, Dr. Joe Barton, Nina Waters, Ben Francisco Maulbeck.

For additional information, please contact Christina Fleck, or (904) 356-4483.

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