AIDS United awarded a total of $115,000 in grants to eight organizations to help them develop transgender leadership that can address HIV issues. AIDS United spearheads the grants through its Transgender Leadership Initiative (TLI) with support from the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

“We are proud to support a second year of this trailblazing initiative, with these new grants very intentionally providing much-needed resources to smaller and under-resourced organizations and to emerging community leaders across the country,” said AIDS United president and CEO Jesse Milan Jr. in a press release. “By prioritizing and focusing on reducing barriers that hinder the participation of small, community-led initiatives, TLI has selected grantees uniquely positioned to have the greatest impact. We are thrilled the TLI grants will support critical leadership and workforce development training to transgender people living with and affected by HIV throughout the U.S.”

The initiative is important because transgender communities—notably transgender women of color—face higher rates of HIV and more barriers to health than other groups.

According to AIDS United, the eight grantees are:

Hawai’i Health and Harm Reduction Center
Honolulu, HI
The Hawai’i Health and Harm Reduction Center will create an “Aha,” or group, to develop transgender leaders on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and other Hawaiian islands via skills building, including advocacy training, access to professional mentoring and community planning participation.

Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH)
Ann Arbor, MI
MOASH will establish a statewide trans youth advisory council to cultivate leadership and personal advocacy among members (ages 13 to 19) while providing a platform for trans youth to inform statewide sexual health resources, programming and policy.

New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG)
Brooklyn, NY
NYTAG will train trans and gender-nonconforming individuals and allies to develop their skills related to serving on boards of directors of grantee and other organizations.

Pridelines Youth Services Inc., DBA Pridelines
Miami, FL
Prideslines will create a network of Black trans women living with HIV to advocate for and address issues that affect the health of Black transgender people living with HIV within Miami’s health care, social services, employment and criminal justice systems.

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW! Inc.
Atlanta, GA
SPARK will train trans*—[Editor’s note: “Trans” with an asterisk denotes a broader population than transgender, including gender-nonconforming and nonbinary.]—youth of color to engage the media, elected officials and grassroots constituencies on changing the cultural narrative and advancing solutions to the targeting of queer and trans young people of color living with HIV.

Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP)
San Francisco, CA

TGIJP will provide services to transgender, gender-variant and intersex (TGI) people who have been recently incarcerated or system-involved, especially trans women of color, by investing in participants as leaders and community members through trainings, leadership development, political education and community organizing.

Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico (TGRCNM)
Albuquerque, NM

TGRCNM will support a street outreach project that provides job skills building opportunities for transfeminine people who are currently or have previously been involved in street economies, as well as a second internship for a transgender individual in the organization’s food justice program, and the continued employment for its current HIV services program coordinator, a transgender woman of color.

UTOPIA (United Territories of Pacific Islanders’ Alliance)
Seattle, WA
UTOPIA will train queer and trans Pacific Islanders to address trans-, homo- and xenophobia in laws and employment and will run a sex worker leadership academy that will provide know-your-rights, healing justice, and organizing skills training.