The Equality Fund at the Boston Foundation announces over $160,000 in grants to support LGBTQ efforts in Greater Boston

Greater Boston’s first endowed LGBTQ+ fund announces support for 26 organizations in largest grantmaking docket to date, and announces selection of Elyse Cherry as Co-Chair, succeeding Scott Squillace

June 5, 2019

Boston– The Equality Fund at the Boston Foundation today announced $160,300 in grants to nonprofits serving the diverse members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. This year’s grantees were selected by the Equality Fund Advisory Committee and Boston Foundation staff to reflect the wide range of needs and opportunities LGBTQ+ people in Massachusetts face in 2019. 

The docket of 26 grants highlights a growth in donor commitments to support LGBTQ+ issues even as a record number of organizations applied for grants. The Equality Fund Advisory Committee kept an eye toward the areas of need most recently identified in the June 2018 report Equality and Equity: Advancing the LGBT Community in Massachusetts, which was co-authored by the Fenway Institute and Boston Indicators, and was funded in part by the Equality Fund. 

“The Equality and Equity report clearly demonstrated that despite the substantial gains for LGBTQ+ people in recent years, the struggle for equity continues,” said Scott Squillace, Co-Chair of the Equality Fund Advisory Board and a member of the Boston Foundation Board of Directors. “We are pleased, however, that the report has raised awareness and continues to encourage greater support for LGBTQ+ organizations, including those supporting trans youth and LGBT elders, who were among those groups identified as among the most vulnerable in the region.”

The grants range in value from $4,000 to $15,000 – with many of the grants focusing on youth and elder LGBTQ populations, along with grants to organizations targeting specific issues facing the transgender community in Massachusetts. 

The Equality Fund today also announced that Scott Squillace has decided to rotate off as co-chair of the Fund Advisory Committee, a post he had held since the Equality Fund was founded in 2013. He will be succeeded as co-chair by Elyse Cherry, the Chief Executive Officer of BlueHub Capital, a nonprofit financial institution that has made more than $2 billion in investments in underserved communities nationwide over the last three decades.

Scott will remain involved with the Equality Fund in his capacity as liaison from the Boston Foundation’s Board of Directors. 

“I want to thank Scott for his years as my colleague and friend as co-chair of the Equality Fund Advisory Committee,” said Catherine D’Amato, Co-Chair of the Equality Fund Advisory Board and President and CEO of the Greater Boston Food Bank. “To say that the Fund would not be where it is today without his leadership and hard work does not come close to fully capturing his impact as the Fund has grown and evolved. I have no doubt he will continue to be an active part of the Fund, and Elyse and I no doubt will count on his wise counsel and support as the important work of the Fund continues.”

"Thanks to Scott’s leadership and hard work, the Equality Fund has become an important source of support for people and organizations working on issues affecting Greater Boston’s LGBTQ community," said Cherry. "I look forward to joining Catherine as co-chair to build on this great work."

To date, donors have made over $7,000,000 in gifts and legacy commitments to the Equality Fund. To learn more about the Equality Fund, its history, and ways to make donations or pledges in support of the Fund, visit

The list of 2019 grantees includes: 

OUT MetroWest, Inc.
$15,000: To support access to mental health clinicians at youth programming, leading to increased access to mental health care and improved outcomes for participants.

Fenway Community Health Center, Inc. 
$10,000: To support the research and compilation of LGBT Aging 2025: a report on what a thriving LGBT aging community looks like in 2025.

Health Law Advocates, Inc.  
$10,000: To support legal services provided free of charge to low income transgender individuals unable to access healthcare.

Political Asylum Immigration Representation Project Inc. 
To support the salary of an LGBTQ+ Asylum Attorney, expanding services to increase the number of LGBTQ+ clients served and granted asylum.

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program 
To support a weekly support program for homeless and marginally housed transgender individuals as well as provide preventative health services.

Boston GLASS 
To support comprehensive training of Boston GLASS staff on restorative justice practices and incorporation of these competencies into program operations.

Massachusetts Asians and Pacific Islanders for Health
To support the expansion of Asian Pride, a weekly youth development and leadership program, through increased services and frequency.

Black and Pink 
To support the commissioning of a report on sexual violence against the LGBTQ+ population incarcerated in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections.

Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth 
To support the youth leader planning committee of the Trans Youth Summit.

Boston Medical Center Corporation
To support the Transgender Health Equity Institute, a half day long medical and community health event regarding best practices for transgender and gender diverse individuals.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Inc. 
To support a trauma informed continuum of care for LGBTQ+ homeless and high-risk youth.

Children's Friend, Inc. 
To support Children’s Friend’s Gender Wellness Initiative and provide gender and sexuality counseling to transgender and gender minority youth and their families.

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Inc. (GLAD) 
To support modernizing Massachusetts parentage laws through the removal of gendered language from laws and replacing these with inclusive language to reflect the lived reality of LGBTQ+ families.

International Association for Premenstrual Disorders (IAPMD) 
To support advancing reproductive mental health outcomes in the LGBTQ+ community through training staff and board members on best practices for serving gender diverse communities. 

Intersex and Faith 
To support a collaborative series of screening and dialogue events to raise public awareness of intersex variations and reduce cultural anxiety.

Massachusetts General Hospital 
To support the salary of a dedicated Community Health Worker to help transgender and gender diverse individuals navigate the healthcare system successfully.

Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) 
To support the improvement of MTPC’s strategic plan through the “Working for Lived Equality in 2019” survey campaign. 

New Boston Pride Committee 
To support the Committee’s first salaried Executive Director in organizational growth efforts.

North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth (nAGLY) 
To support nAGLY’s outreach and Training and Leadership Education (TALE) programs providing positive representation of LGBTQ+ people, history, and events through conference attendance and workshops. 

Silver Lining Mentoring 
To support the LGBTQ+ initiative of the Community Based Mentoring Program, including increasing the number of mentor-mentee relationships. 

South Coast LGBTQ Network 
To support the salary of a Network Coordinator, tasked with sustaining services, events, and programs.

Victory Programs, Inc. 
To support increasing services and accessibility to transgender and gender diverse individuals through the Trans Health Initiative.

Y2Y Network 
To strengthen services for LGBTQ+ homeless youth through expanded services and culturally competent policies and procedures.

To support educational webinar and resources for service providers designed to improve patient outcomes for LGBTQ+ elders in their care.

Uphams Corner Health Center
To support expansion of services and training of staff members on unique needs facing LGBTQ+ patients.

Center for Independent Documentary, Inc.
$2,500: To support feature length documentary “Minister of Loneliness” and website as resources for care providers to combat loneliness in populations including the LGBTQ+ community.

The Equality Fund Advisory Board also may recommend small grants to other Greater Boston organizations performing LGBTQ-related work that conforms to Equality Fund and Boston Foundation guidelines. Those grants totaled approximately $12,000 this year. Recipients included:

Boston Crusaders
Boston Healthcare for The Homeless
Boston Living Center/Victory Programs
Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Inc.
Camp Lightbulb
Community Servings’ Food is the Foundation Capital Campaign
Health Law Advocates
Out MetroWest
Trans Club of New England