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Aqua Foundation for Women grants $72,000 to South Florida groups focusing on LGBTQ issues

News release from Aqua Foundation for Women:

imageAqua Foundation for Women is proud to announce our 2013 grant recipients. This year's priorities are to support LBT Women's physical, mental, and emotional health; to create a conference for LBT young women on cultivating leadership, personal financial planning, health and business skills; and to combat LGBTQ youth homelessness.

The Grantees are:

The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth ($33,000)

The funding from Aqua Foundation, along with funding from Our Fund and the GLBT Projects Fund at the Miami Foundation will support a full time Liaison who is supervised by the Alliance and working out of an office at Pridelines.  The Liaison will be responsible for the following:

-Increase all participating organizations' staff LGBTQ cultural competency

- Enhance auxiliary programs quality across the system-of-care

- Act as a liaison for youth to LGBTQ community and healthy, supportive networks

- Provide individualized guidance and critical linkages to LGBTQ-affirming services, including providing safe and inclusive program development opportunities for LGBTQ youth

- Educate public of LGBTQ youth homelessness and advocate for inclusive policy(s)

- Create prevention-focused programs to identify youth-at-risk of homelessness

- Evaluate initial service effort and recommend service-delivery model modifications and/or responsible for the development of appropriate intervention

- Create LGBTQ homeless service training / certificate program for current service providers

Funding will also provide meals and travel for the youth.

Pridelines ($6000) 2014 Young Women's CampOUT Program

CampOUT is a youth leadership development retreat and unique "summer camp" experience for LGBTQ youth ages 16-22. It takes place over MLK-weekend at Hugh Taylor Birch Park, Ft Lauderdale. Aqua Foundation funding makes possible a Girls' Track with special workshops on women's health, personal financial planning, social justice and domestic violence; and scholarships to increase the number of young women attending this event. Last year, thanks to Aqua Foundation funding, half of all campers were young women, 23 young women attended on full scholarships.

Safe Schools ($5000) for Women-in-Training (WIT), a Safe Schools Project, designed to provide intensive youth leadership support to LBTQ students in South Florida high schools, speakers training for LBTQ students and adults who will serve as student panelists, adult speakers and mentors through the SpeakOUT speakers bureau. The WIT program is designed to improve LBTQ young women's self-esteem, well-being, physical and emotional health through leadership, mentoring, educational and enrichment activities. Program activities are designed to build community and understanding among those of differing sexual orientations and gender identities.

Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami ($5000) Women on the Rise!(WOTR!) is a unique, gender-specific outreach program serving at-risk, teenage girls and young adult women ages 12-21. WOTR! consists of workshops, lectures, field trips, exhibitions, publications and conferences, such as the Annual Girls Summit, in South Florida reaching over 800 young women annually through partnerships with approximately 12 non-profit organizations. Workshops and other ancillary activities are coordinated so LBTQ participants develop critical thinking, communication and social skills and improve literacy and language skills. Addressing self esteem and positive choices, the workshops present the work of contemporary women artists with an emphasis on their life experiences and issues such as female identity, discrimination, and empowerment in their work. LBTQ participants engage in conversations about body image, relationships, and culture and address issues that affect their lives through hands-on art projects in a variety of media including video, photography, performance, painting, and collage; and ensures that participants have access to services necessary to maintain fundamental needs.

PFLAG Fort Lauderdale ($5000) Building on the Foundation Project seeks to firmly establish the Coral Springs PFLAG group, the Southwest Ranches/Weston PFLAG group and the soon-to-be launched Hollywood PFLAG group as widely-known resources for families of LGBTQ children who are looking for support and information. In addition, the Chapter has launched a new initiative to attract Hispanic families from Northwestern Miami-Dade County and Southwestern Broward County by offering one-on-one support through our Hialeah representative. The Chapter is advertising services in both Spanish and English in "The Miami Laker" newspaper. This newspaper serves a community that is two-thirds Hispanic.

The Pride Center at Equality Park ($7000) In collaboration with Women in Network (WIN), will create, organize, market and provide Vital Signs, a holistic health seminar series for women and their allies. This series is designed to support the physical, emotional and mental health of LBTQ women with creativity and community responsiveness.

SunServe ($6000) GenderServe (Transgender case management) Program will equip Transgender women enrolled as clients with the resources and tools necessary to lead healthier lives physically, mentally and emotionally. Through a Case Manager transgender clients will have linkage to 1.) resources for navigation of the healthcare system for Transgender competent care, e.g., hormone treatment, STI screenings/treatment, etc. 2) Individual, family, and couples mental health services relevant to Transgender clients 3) Community employers that have been identified as supportive of the Transgender community 4) Housing that is affirming of Transgender women's rights to equal housing opportunities and 5) Social events providing a supportive environment of LBT women and their allies

Sundari ($5000) Lotus House provides a gender-specific, shared community environment serving homeless women of all ages as well as youth (who may have children of their own) and children. Unique in the provision of services to the homeless, the focus of Lotus House is ensuring that the women and children that come to Lotus House have every opportunity to heal, grow and succeed. This includes an emphasis on empowerment; a safe, female-centered environment; alternative pathways to healing; a trauma-informed culture; a shared community of support; and the tools and resources to achieve the highest level of independence.

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