Originally published on Dallasvoice.com

There has been some big news coming out of Texas Pride Impact Fund over the last two weeks, starting with the Oct. 7 announcement that TPIF has received a $525,000 ViiV Healthcare grant and continuing this week with the Oct. 13 announcement detailing TPIF’s 2021 grants to 21 recipient organizations across the state.

The ViiV Healthcare grant is part of ViiV’s Positive Action AMP Grant program, and TPIF will distribute the funds over the next three years “to fuel and incubate grassroots innovations that support the transgender community, primarily Black and Latinx transgender and MSM (gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men) communities in Texas,” according to a TPIF press release.

The press release also noted that TPIF is one of only 13 organizations nationwide “chosen to fortify emerging talent and programs that disrupt disparities in HIV care and is designed to support individuals and projects that are taking creative, unconventional and urgent approaches to grassroots outreach for people living with HIV by providing micro-grants, mentorship and network support.”

Board President Ron Guillard said this week that TPIF is “thrilled to have been selected” as one of the AMP Grant program recipients. “Clearly, what resonated with ViiV is the size of [TPIF’s] potential geographic impact, the size of the major cities in the state, the overall population of Texas and our connections with second and third tier cities hosting HIV programs.”

He explained that with the ViiV grant, TPIF will launch the the Impact Texas Grant program next spring. This is a “micro-granting and capacity-building program to activate individuals and organizations across Texas leading grassroots HIV outreach efforts,” and TPIF will hire a program director to help lead this new initiative.

The funds will also allow TPIF to purchase new software to streamline the application process for organizations seeking grants from TPIF, he added.

“As a startup, we have had a very primitive method for people to apply for grants,” Guillard said. But this new software will be in place by the time applications for the 2022 grant cycle are due, making the process far more streamlined and accessible.”

Ahmad Goree, one of TPIF’s newest board members and communications director for the organization, said the ViiV grants are “really very exciting for TPIF and for LGBTQ communities across the state of Texas.

“This grant is right on time,” Goree continued. “It fits right in with TPIF’s expanding mission, allowing us to look more at the Black, trans, Latinx communities, especially in the smaller cities, in the border cities, where public and private funding for those groups is not at the level where it should be. This program will provide microgrants to those populations.”

And, he said, the fact that the grant will allow TPIF to hire its first full-time staff member will “completely enhance the mission of TPIF, allowing us to carry out the day-to-day work and giving us more of a reach ability to serve our target populations.”

Ahmad said the communities targeted through the ViiV grant are ones that “have been pretty much ignored in the past when it came to most public and private funding. This will allow us to give organizations serving those communities the resources they need. Especially with the ongoing COVID pandemic, resources are running dry. So funding to help people with HIV/AIDS is imperative, even more so than it was yesterday.”

Goree also offered a special thanks to Dallas activist P.J. Moton-Poole who was “instrumental in helping us establish a relationship with ViiV. He helped make this happen, and without him, we wouldn’t be in the position we are in now.”

Guillard and Goree noted TPIF’s ViiV grant program will kick off next March, about the same time the organization launches its 2022 community grants cycle.

The project will kick off next March, roughly the same time we launch our 2022 community grants program.

2021 TPIF grant recipients
Of TPIF’s 21 grant recipients for 2021, more than half of which lie along the border or are in South Texas, according to a press release issued this week. These recipients are “organizations and projects that address the current and direct needs of the LGBTQ communities of Texas while also seeking to correct the systemic injustices that unfairly burden people living within these identities and at their intersections,” the press release explained.

The 2021 grant recipients share gifts ranging from $4,000 to $10,000. The grants include four awards to organizations or projects focused on people who are transgender; three awards for capacity-building to community centers in Corpus Christi, El Paso, and San Antonio; two for youth programs, one in San Antonio and the second in Dallas-Fort Worth; seven to organizations in West Texas (Amarillo, El Paso and Lubbock); and five to grassroots organizations in urban centers (Austin and Houston) providing services to LGBTQ communities of color or persons who are transgender.

“TPIF embraced a comprehensive community-based, strategic planning initiative this year that established our focus communities and populations for grantmaking,” Goree explained. “While we will continue to fund a full range of organizations, projects and leaders, we will prioritize funding within our general and special grant cycles for our focus communities and populations to drive support and build capacity in communities that have been historically disadvantaged.”

(See the sidebar below for the complete list of recipients.)

The future of TPIF
The ViiV grant and the changes it is allowing TPIF will play an important role in helping the organization advance its mission, Guillard said. The organization — which was birthed in conversations in 2013, incorporated in 2015 and made its first grants in 2018 — has “set a goal that by 2026 — five years from now — our grant-making from all sources will total $1 million.”

He continued, “Our long-term vision, part of our strategic plan, is to have $100 million in assets under management that will support $6 million in grant-making and $1.5 million in operating expenses by 2045. We chose that date because that is three decades after our incorporation. We already have $5 million to date in letters of intent in estate gifts.”

Over the next 18 months, TPIF plans to launch a formal legacy gift program, and the strategic plan calls for the organization to grow from 140 sustaining donors to more than 500 by 2026, and to expand the volunteer base and expand into cities where TPIF has not yet established a significant presence.

Goree — who is Black and who joined the board this year along with Black trans women Naomi Green of Dallas — called on minorities within the LGBTQ community to step up and be part of that growth.

“We are awarding grants to a very diverse group of recipients, and diversity is what TPIF needs,” Goree said.

“We can’t stress enough how important it is for the various communities we serve to have representation on the board. For example, we have Naomi Green, and her voice and her experience will be a huge plus, a huge strength for TPIF.

“This is how we have a voice at the table. When we are not represented in the room, we are overlooked,” Goree continued. “For every community to have a seat at the table, to have a voice — that is a mission of mine.

I want to make sure TPIF continues to seek diversity within the board and its committees.”

For more information about TPIF and how to become involved with the organization, visit TXPIF.org.


TPIF’s 2021 community grants recipients
• Allgo (Austin) $6,000
• Alliance of Border Collaboratives (El Paso) $4,000
• Borderland Rainbow Center (El Paso) $6,000
• Coastal Bend PRIDE Center (Corpus Christi) $6,000
• Eagle Pass SAFE $6,000
• East Lubbock Art House $6,000
• Elevate North Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth) $4,000
• GENTex (Rio Grande Valley) $10,000
• Panhandle AIDS Support Organization (Amarillo) $6,000
• PFLAG El Paso $7,000
• Poderosos (Harlingen) $6,000
• Pride Center San Antonio $6,000
• South Texas Equality Project (Rio Grande Valley) $7,000
• Texas Tech University, Office of LGBTQIA Education & Engagement  (Lubbock) $6,000
• The Normal Anomaly Initiative Houston $4,000
• The Houston Intersex Society $4,000
• The Power of 3: Unity Community  Equality (Lubbock) $4,000
• Thrive Youth Center  (San Antonio) $6,000
• Trans Legal Aid Clinic Houston $4,000
• Transgender Education Network of Texas (Austin) $6,000
• Valley AIDS Council (Harlingen) $6,000