“There Is No Pride For Some Of Us Without Liberation For All Of Us.”

-Marsha P. Johnson 

 

COLUMBUS, OH — As the pandemic continues and with it, disproportionate impacts on BLACK transgender people, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute today announced the donation of over $250,000 to more than 500 individuals across the United States in 2020. 

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute’s COVID-19 Relief Fund provides a one-time direct relief payment of $500 to BLACK transgender or non-binary identified people. The Institute is committed to centering the needs of those most beyond the margins; priority for the awardees was given to BLACK trans women and those who have experience as sex workers, have been formerly incarcerated, and other vulnerable community members. 

Thousands of BLACK LGBTQ+ people from across the US applied for the grant program, which opened in June of 2020 and closed in October. Recipients spanned 40 U.S. states and also included Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Mali. Funds have been used to pay rent, supplement income from a lost job, support family members, buy groceries, pay for medication, and more. 

“We are so proud to be able to offer our own stimulus check, if you will, to BLACK transgender people from around the country,” said Elle Moxley, founder and executive director of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. “MPJI is one of the only organizations giving cash assistance directly to the people. Our team is working around the clock to review and approve applications. The need is great and we are thankful for partners like Google, Lush, Borealis Philanthropy, Chobani, and others for their support of this program.” 

For many, the funds have offered welcome relief: a recent Human Rights Campaign report shows that:

  • 54% of transgender people and 58% of transgender people of color have had their work hours reduced due to COVID-19, compared to 30% of LGBTQ people and 23% of the general population.
  • 27% of transgender people and 37% of transgender people of color have had a pay cut due to COVID-19, compared to 10% of LGBTQ people and 7% of the general population.
  • 29% of transgender people and 31% of transgender people of color have had to take unpaid leave due to COVID-19, compared to 15% of LGBTQ people and 7% of the general population.
  • 27% of transgender people and 30% of transgender people of color have been forced to switch part-time due to COVID-19, compared to 8% of LGBTQ people and 5% of the general population.
  • 19% of transgender people and 26% of transgender people of color have become unemployed due to COVID-19, compared to 17% of LGBTQ people and 12% of the general population.

 

The resulting financial challenges for transgender people: 

  • 32% of transgender people and 51% of transgender people of color have had to change their household budget due to COVID-19, compared to 30% of LGBTQ people and 26% of the general population.
  • 59% of transgender people and 67% of transgender people of color are very concerned they cannot pay their bills on debt (other than mortgages), compared to 20% of LGBTQ people and 15% of the general population.

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute advocates for justice and equality. Until her tragic death in 1992, Marsha P. Johnson was a self-identified drag queen, performer, and survivor, in addition to being a prominent figure in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. Marsha went by “BLACK Marsha” before settling on Marsha P. Johnson. The “P” stood for “Pay It No Mind,” which is what Marsha would say in response to questions about her gender. It is the consideration of who “BLACK Marsha” was that inspired The Marsha P. Johnson Institute.

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© Copyright 2019 Marsha P. Johnson Institute. All rights reserved. The Marsha P. Johnson Institute is a fiscally sponsored project of Social Good Fund, a California nonprofit corporation and registered 501(c)(3) organization, Tax ID (EIN) 46-1323531.

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