Launching 2019

The mission of The Marsha P Johnson Institute (MPJI) is to create a crucial entry point for Black trans women and gender non-conforming femmes to obtain the skills, financial and programmatic resources necessary in advocating for an end to violence against all trans people.


Marsha P. Johnson (August 24, 1945 – July 6, 1992) was an American drag queen, sex worker, and gay liberation activist. Marsha P. Johnson experienced and fought against hardships experienced by trans people and felt that those who wanted nothing more than to be their selves deserved support from the growing LGBT community in New York. Along with fellow transgender activist Sylvia Rivera, Marsha founded the Street Transvestite (now Transgender) Action Revolutionaries (STAR) to help others out there facing the struggles of an unaccepting society.

Founder & Executive Director, Elle Hearns

Through the leadership of Executive Director Elle Hearns and her commitment to women and girls (both trans and cisgender) as a response to to the murders of (primarily Black) trans women of color, the MPJI is grounded in supporting of the needs of the most impacted communities. MPJI considers most impacted to mean trans and queer communities, poor communities, those who are undocumented, who may be differently abled, or formerly incarcerated (as is the case with Hearns). MPJI is focused on providing responsive solutions to the conditions that arise from the systemic, structural and physical violence which marginalized communities experience.


We are currently building relationships with strategic partners, stakeholders, and the community at large.  Please use the form below to contact us if you’d like to make a grant or donation, as well as obtain more information about the institute.