Three Atlanta organizations get HIV/AIDS grants
Georgia Equality and Georgia Stonewall Democrats issued endorsements for the May 22 primary elections.
Georgia Equality chose former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams over former state Rep. Stacey Evans for governor. The winner of the May 22 primary will face off against the Republican primary winner in November. Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle is the current frontrunner on the GOP side. The group also chose Sarah Riggs Amico for lieutenant governor, Cindy Zeldin for insurance commissioner, Sid Chapman for state school superintendent and Richard Keatley for labor commissioner. Georgia Stonewall Democrats have yet to issue endorsements in those races.
Both groups endorsed LGBTQ Reps. Park Cannon and Karla Drenner. Georgia Equality also endorsed LGBTQ Reps. Sam Park and Renitta Shannon.
For the full list of endorsements, go to www.georgiaequality.org and www.georgia stonewall.org.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation was joined by the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and the Aileen Getty Foundation in issuing grants to organizations nationwide. Together, these groups pledged $650,000 to win the fight against HIV/AIDS in the American South. Among the grant recipients were three Georgia organizations.
The Georgia Equality Foundation received a grant of $75,000; the Racial Justice Action Center also received $75,000; and SPARK, a reproductive justice organization, received $50,000. Georgia Equality is the largest LGBTQ rights advocacy group in the state. They focus on increasing fairness, safety and opportunity for the LGBTQ community through political action. The Racial Justice Action Center is a multiracial organization dedicated to building social justice on grassroots models developed by working-class and poor people of color. SPARK is a social justice association dedicated to issues of reproductive justice. The group focuses on causes which affect women of color, and trans and queer people of color. From 2006 to the present, EJAF grants to Atlanta organizations have totaled $3.1 million.
Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, told Georgia Voice that this was “the third or fourth year that Georgia Equality has received an Elton John AIDS Foundation grant.”
“I’ve worked with the Elton John AIDS Foundation as a grantee, as well as someone who’s provided information to them over the course of the last 20 years or so,” he said. This year’s donation will fund the Youth HIV Policy Advisors program, which matches “elected officials and clergy with HIV-positive youth advocates who serve as their special advisors on the issue.”
The Elton John AIDS Foundation was set up in 1992. The EJAF seeks to fund and support new treatments, services and educational programs for individuals who are living with HIV. In its lifetime, the Foundation has raised an estimated $200 million dollars in 55 countries. According to a 2014 Huffington Post story, Funders for LGBTQ Issues recognized EJAF “as the largest funder of programs for black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals.”