Caitlyn Jenner and the M·A·C AIDS Fund, the philanthropic arm of M∙A∙C Cosmetics, announced last month that the fund’s Transgender Initiative will provide $1.3 million this year to 21 transgender organizations nationwide to serve the diverse needs and issues facing transgender communities.
The partnership between M·A·C Cosmetics and Caitlyn Jenner began in April, 2016 with the launch of Finally Free, a limited-edition lipstick created by Caitlyn. One hundred percent of the sales from her signature shade were contributed to the M·A·C AIDS Fund’s Transgender Initiative, in order to support organizations and programs dedicated to improving transgender lives.
“Transgender people have had unprecedented visibility in the last few years, but it hasn’t always benefited trans people, particularly those most in need. With M·A·C I’ve found a partner that demonstrates a real commitment to the funding of transgender specific organizations and projects,” said Caitlyn Jenner. “I’ve been granted an extraordinary platform, one built upon the work of countless, and too often nameless, trans people who came before me. I’m honored to be a part of this moment, and to give back to the community to whom I owe so much.”
“At M∙A∙C, community and inclusion has always been part of our brand — our culture and our business model. Since 1994, we have donated over $440 million via our M∙A∙C AIDS Fund to fight HIV/AIDS across the world. Today, we are so proud to build on our heritage and partner with Caitlyn Jenner to deepen our support to organizations working to end stigma against transgender people and provide trans individuals with the healthcare and a quality of life that they deserve.” said John Demsey, Chairman, M∙A∙C AIDS Fund; Group President, The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. “At M∙A∙C, we believe that our differences make us stronger and we need everyone to help build a more inclusive and just world. Join us!”
The 1.3 million dollars from the M·A·C AIDS Fund’s Transgender Initiative will support programs focused on access to health care, civil and human rights, and economic empowerment and job readiness. In determining grantee awards, the M·A·C AIDS Fund worked with a grants consultant and members of the transgender community.
Transgender and gender non-conforming people disproportionately face many issues including poverty, barriers to employment, homelessness, poor health outcomes, and high rates of HIV. While visibility continues to increase for transgender communities, discrimination is also on the rise, leading to legislative attacks on their human and civil rights, and an unprecedented level of violence, particularly affecting transgender women of color.
The grants announced support economic empowerment programs, including a pilot microenterprise project for transgender people engaged in sex work; and a program providing job readiness, placement services and skills workshops.
“Empowerment for the transgender Latina community has always been the focal point of our work, recognizing that transgender Latina woman are disproportionately susceptible to discrimination and violence, at social and institutional levels,” said Cristina Herrera, founder and CEO of TransLatina Network. " With the support and partnership of the MAC AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative, Translatina Network will further foster the development of affirming education about PrEP, PEP, HIV/AIDS. Translatina Network has worked tirelessly and intentionally to provide transgender Latinas with the tools to become health educators, advocates, and strong leaders that will continue to push the community forward."
The grants will also support programs that address the unique health barriers faced by transgender and gender nonconforming people as well as medical and primary care, behavioral health, and case management.
Among the programs focusing on human and civil rights, M·A·C grants will support the development and training of trans leaders to strengthen transgender-led organizations to increase advocacy, capacity-building efforts. The funds will support the participation of trans people, organizations, and networks to build fundraising skills, and connect with other social justice fundraisers in order to strengthen their grassroots fundraising strategies and individual donor development work.
M·A·C AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative Grantees
Access to Health Care
St. John’s Well Child and Family Center
Trans Lifeline A&PI Wellness Center
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
Howard Brown Health Center
The Mazzoni Center
Civil and Human RightsGLAAD
Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training
National Center for Transgender Equality
Positive Women’s Network USA
TGI Justice Project (TGIJP)
Third Wave Fund
Trans Justice Funding Project
Transgender Law Center
Economic Empowerment and Job Readiness Programs
Hetrick Martin Institute (HMI)
Los Angeles LGBT Center
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of NY (The Center)