With the fragility of freedom and democracy uppermost in our minds, we are grateful that JusticeAid’s 2022 grantee partner, SMYAL, is advocating for LGBTQ rights here at home.

As Ukrainians fight for their rights to self-determination, new laws are moving through the Florida and Texas legislatures that criminalize gender-affirming health care and forbid discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in schools. Politicians are using the lives of LGBTQ young people to fuel the flames of hatred and discrimination for their political gain. This reaffirms the importance of organizations like SMYAL.

Through its in-person and virtual programs that reach LGBTQ youth wherever they are, SMYAL is creating affirming and safe spaces. In 2021, over 1,600 queer and trans youth accessed SMYAL’s virtual programs. This year, SMYAL is expanding its ability to provide supportive housing and individually tailored mental health counseling. Your support will help SMYAL meet the most pressing needs of LGBTQ youth.

JusticeAid believes in the power of art and music to transform awareness into action in the fight against injustice. All donations this year until the end of October will support SMYAL’s programs for LGBTQ youth.

homeless boy

40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ (Source: UCLA School of Law, Williams Institute). The majority of them are LGBTQ teens rejected by their own families. According to the Human Rights Campaign,

“The consequences of homelessness, particularly for LGBTQ youth, are far-reaching and can last a lifetime. Homelessness is harmful to mental and physical health, and [youth experiencing homelessness] are at an increased risk for sexual abuse and exploitation, chemical and alcohol dependency, social stigma, and discrimination.

“Little support exists at the federal level to provide funding for programs that improve family relationships and reduce homelessness among LGBTQ youth. As a result, [these youth] continue to face severe obstacles in their emotional and professional development.”

We’re learning about #BiHealth Month, a national observance that calls attention to the bisexual+ community—people who identify as bi, pansexual, fluid, queer, etc.—and the social, economic, and health disparities they encounter. Led annually in March by the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC), #BiHealth Month advocates for resources and inspires actions to improve bi+ people’s well-being. This year’s “Connection” theme highlights the importance of connecting bisexual+ people to each other, to supportive communities, and to healthcare resources that affirm their identities.

We’re excited to share that JusticeAid has earned a 2022 Platinum Seal of Transparency with Candid!

JusticeAid leverages the community-building power of art and music to transform awareness into action in the fight against injustice. Each year we identify and raise funds for justice causes by hosting music, arts, and educational events. Since 2013 JusticeAid has granted more than 1.5 million dollars to nonprofits working to ensure access to justice for the disenfranchised and marginalized. Our grantee partners are fighting racist voter suppression and racist policing, working to end mass incarceration and inhumane immigration practices, ensuring access to legal services, and addressing the criminalization and hatred of others.