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SQS + Gen Q

Empowering tomorrow’s leaders

In 2007, a group of young Stonewall supporters came to us with a conundrum: still in the early stages of their careers, they wanted to make a positive impact in the LGBTQ community, but their personal funds were limited. After some creative collaboration, Stonewall Quarter Share (SQS) was formed. A giving circle designed to foster a culture of philanthropy among young LGBTQ people, SQS aimed to enrich the community by focusing its funding on emerging, grassroots work.

Later that year, SQS members awarded their first-ever grant to Generation Q, a nascent program for LGBTQ youth in underserved areas of Queens and, at the time, the only drop-in center for young queer people in the borough. Facing familiar challenges of many LGBTQ youth, most of Generation Q’s participants were also dealing with cultural stigma around their identities at home and racism in other spheres of life. SQS foresaw a bright future for Generation Q, and made a seminal investment in their promising work.

Fast-forward to 2018, and the confidence SQS members had in Gen Q was proven justified. Still one of just two drop-in centers for LGBTQ youth in Queens, Generation Q has dramatically expanded its outreach not only to LGBTQ youth, but also to their families. With a focus on LGBTQ immigrant and first generation youth in Jackson Heights, Generation Q is a vital resource for young queer people in one of the city’s most culturally diverse neighborhoods. Likewise, SQS has grown immensely, now boasting over 150 members and having raised over $600,000 for LGBTQ movement work. After their 10th annual competitive grants process, Gen Q’s application stood out among the rest, and they were once again selected as the recipient of Quarter Share’s community grant. At $20,000, it was the largest grant SQS had ever awarded.

In December 2018, with the new funding from SQS, Generation Q began its first eight-week support group for parents and families of LGBTQ youth, providing education on how to best affirm their unique identities.  A holistic approach, this new program works to create safe spaces for LGBTQ young people not just within Generation Q’s programming, but also in their very own homes. 

The tapestry of LGBTQ nonprofits here in New York is as vast as it is diverse, yet many highly effective grassroots groups lack the name recognition necessary to attract funding from major donors and grantmakers. By getting young people involved in grantmaking through Stonewall Quarter Share, we’re working to elevate these essential local organizations, while bringing forth a new generation of passionate and informed LGBTQ leaders in philanthropy.

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Agnes Navaratne, game changer

 

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