Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Astraea Reaches Out to Chicago Lesbians
by Marie-Jo Proulx
2005-06-29

This article shared 5151 times since Wed Jun 29, 2005
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Pictured Katherine Acey. KV and her partner G.. Jessica Halem, Beth Ritchie, Jeanne Kracher, Cathy Cohen. Renae Ogletree and Amy Bloom. Photos by Marie-Jo Proulx

On June 16, Chicago's lesbian community welcomed Katherine Acey, executive director of Astraea, the country's largest lesbian-focused philanthropic organization. The house party, held in KV's North Side home, brought together more than 50 women to meet Acey and listen to her up-beat presentation. Jessica Halem, executive director of the Lesbian Community Cancer Project ( LCCP ) , and also chair of the event, introduced Acey.

Astraea was created by a small group of independent women in 1977 to support an array of organizations advocating for the awareness, protection, and promotion of LGBT and minority women's rights. Today, under the name Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, it has a staff of 13, a demographically diverse board of directors, and dedicated volunteers all over the U.S. In 2004, through a system of four different panels, Astraea redistributed $1 million of the $2.5 million it raised to grantees in 24 states and 25 countries.

This year, Affinity Community Services, Beyondmedia, LCCP, and the Literary Exchange were Chicago's local recipients. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ( SLDN ) , Disabled Queers In Action ( DQIA ) , Paris Press, and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network ( GLSEN ) were among the many national organizations who obtained Astraea funding. Notable international grantees include Jamaica's J-FLAG and Thailand's Youth AIDS Prevention Project. European, Middle Eastern, and South American groups also benefit from Astraea's financial support.

In a recent trip to India, Acey met up with the women of CREA, a grantee-partner in Delhi that relies entirely on private donations. 'It's an institute that really covers the history, the policies, sexuality across the board. In terms of the work being done there, I think that in some ways, India is ahead of us. Both in theoretical framework and on the ground,' she said, clearly impressed.

Asked to name a couple of organizations of which she is especially proud, Acey, who has been at the helm of Astraea for the past 18 years, first mentioned the Appalachian Women's Alliance. The Virginia-based grassroots coalition is made up of low-income and working women organized in 'circles' to counter homophobia, economic injustice, and violence against women. 'The fact that all the circles ( young women, African American, lesbian ) exist under one umbrella organization and that they are integrating their work is major, especially for a part of the U.S. where there is a lot of poverty,' Acey pointed out. In last year's presidential elections, the Appalachian Women's Alliance sprang into action and got the highest voter turnout for the region. They received a $5,000 grant to continue its outreach to women in isolated areas.

Another source of Acey's admiration is Patlatonalli, Mexico's oldest human-rights group advocating for Guadalajara's LGBT community. With the recent publication of 'Tengo Una Tia Que No Es Monjita' ( I Have an Aunt Who Is Not a Dear Little Nun ) , an illustrated children's book about a young girl who has a lesbian aunt, Patlatonalli is striving to educate Mexicans about LGBT issues and relationships. 'They have worked so hard for so many years within the schools and university system. You can go to the library in Guadalajara and you cannot find anything on lesbians or queer folks. So it's a huge success to put out this book,' Acey said. The $10,000 Astraea grant will help Patlatonalli develop a project called All Families Are Sacred.

Astraea prefers the term 'member' to 'donor' because of the spirit of involvement it implies. 'We really think of the people who give money as having a stake in the organization and in the groups we are supporting,' Acey explained. 'Overall in this country, the average for giving is around 2.5, 2.3 percent of income. Also, we know from reports that are taken every year that the people who give the highest percentage of their income are the poorest. And a lot of that goes to religious institutions,' she added.

Acey sees part of Astraea's mission as educating the overlapping women communities about philanthropy. According to her, it is only by creating momentum and supporting movement building that significant social change can be affected. In the current conservative climate where government funding for social programs and services is under constant threat, Acey said it was her guess that left-leaning people who can give do try to contribute more. But citing the issue of same-sex marriage, she illustrated the gigantic resources gap between the right and the left. While conservatives raised $205 million to fund their campaign against equal marriage, the LGBT community and its allies only managed $21 million. The numbers served as an eloquent closing argument.

After Acey's talk, UIC scholar and activist Beth Ritchie along with her partner Cathy Cohen announced a leadership circle challenge, promising to match any additional donation of up to $1,000 made on the night. The initiative proved an attractive incentive as many women took out their checkbook and filled out more donor cards on their way out.

For more information on Astraea, see www.astraeafoundation.org .


This article shared 5151 times since Wed Jun 29, 2005
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'Homophile' organization New Gay Liberation Front launches 2021-09-13
- The New Gay Liberation Front—which described itself in a press release as a "homophile organization"—has launched. "Homophile" is a term that was used by some gay and lesbian groups in the 1950s. According to the University ...


Gay News

Constand breaks silence about Bill Cosby 2021-09-07
- Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand is breaking her silence to NBC News about the comic/actor's release from prison two months ago, Deadline noted. In a brief clip, Constand tells Kate Snow she "was really shocked — ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Pioneering lesbian business owner Susan Mazer dies 2021-09-04
- Susan Mazer died August 31 due to COVID-19 complications. She was 77. At the time of her death, Mazer was living in Port Saint Lucie, Florida with her wife Janet Norton. Mazer was born May 10, ...


Gay News

HIV AT 40: Global activist Phill Wilson talks Chicago, the '80s and vaccines 2021-09-01
- Phill Wilson is one of the best-known HIV/AIDS activists/educators around the globe. The Chicago native was the co-founder of the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum and the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention. He ...


Gay News

TENNIS U.S. Open to celebrate Pride on Sept. 1 2021-08-28
- Rainbow flags will be flying at the USTA (United States Tennis Association) Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Wed., Sept. 1, as the USTA celebrates and welcomes the LGBTQ+ community to the first-ever Open Pride ...


Gay News

Report features eight Illinois child-welfare agencies working with HRC Foundation 2021-08-26
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released a new report ...


Gay News

ART 'Frida Kahlo: Timeless' extended to Sept. 12 2021-08-26
- "Frida Kahlo: Timeless," hosted by the Cleve Carney Museum of Art (CCMA) and the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at the College of DuPage (COD), has been extended an additional week to Sept. 12. To date, "Timeless" ...


Gay News

WORLD Trapped in Afghanistan, lesbian pioneer, anti-gay crimes, Valencia's bid 2021-08-22
- Among the Americans trapped in the suburban areas of Kabul, Afghanistan, under Taliban control was Josie Thomas, 32, a transgender government contractor for the U.S. State Department and former U.S. Air Force Sergeant, The Washington Blade ...


Gay News

COMEDY Cameron Esposito at The Den on Oct. 2 2021-08-17
- The Den Theatre will present out comedian Cameron Esposito Saturday, Oct. 2d at 8 pm on The Heath Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.. Esposito is a standup comic, actor and writer who has appeared across television ...


Gay News

GLAAD highlights how Olympians used Tokyo Games to call for LGBTQ acceptance 2021-08-11
--From a press release - (August 11, 2021) GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is highlighting how this year's historic number of out LGBTQ athletes repeatedly stood ...


Gay News

LGBTQ women's music event 'Still Rising' on Aug. 21 2021-08-12
- Still Rising—for LGBTQ women DJs, producers, promoters and their allies—will take place Saturday, Aug. 21, at Epiphany Center for the Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave. There will be a mixer, workshops and, of course, music at ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Biden nominees, San Diego crime, HRC, Fox News contributor 2021-08-08
- President Joe Biden reappointed out lesbian Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum as a commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which is an advisory post pertaining to issues of religious freedom, Gay City News reported. ...


Gay News

MUSIC Marie Osmond talks Sound of Music, Ravinia, lesbian daughter [UPDATE] 2021-08-05
- The multitalented performer Marie Osmond continues to hit milestones in her more than five-decade-long career. She became a country music star with a cover of "Paper Roses" and then took over television with Donny & Marie, ...


Gay News

'Filmmaking on the South Side' on Aug. 21 2021-07-28
- On Aug. 21, 7-9:30 p.m., Chicago Humanities Festival and local partners from Sisters in Cinema, South Side Home Movie Project and the Chicago South Side Film Festival will host a conversation about the development of community-based ...


Gay News

Gina Ortiz Jones, Shawn Skelly confirmed by U.S. Senate; both make LGBTQ history 2021-07-22
--From a press release - Washington, DC — The United States Senate today confirmed two historic LGBTQ presidential nominees by unanimous consent. Gina Ortiz Jones, confirmed for Under Secretary of the Air Force, will be the first out lesbian to serve ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.