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Founded in 1977, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is one of the first women’s funds in the world and the only fund solely dedicated to LBTQI rights globally. Through grantmaking, capacity building, philanthropic advocacy, and media and communications, we support brilliant and brave grassroots activists and artists who challenge oppression and seed social change. We are a leading funder of LBTQI movements for gender, racial, and economic justice across the globe.

Our founders—a cross-class, multi-racial group of women activists—dreamed of a women’s movement that centered the leadership of lesbians and women of color. For over four decades, Astraea has uniquely supported women’s rights and LBTQI movements working at the crossroads of gender justice, racial justice, bodily autonomy, sexual rights, and self-determination.

We ground our grantmaking in feminism—a political identity that challenges oppressive norms and power relations. We embrace an intersectional feminism as part of a wider struggle for social justice, recognizing that sexism, transphobia, homophobia, misogyny, and restrictive gender norms harm everyone. Feminism is a powerful framework that enables us to discuss how bodies, sexuality, and gender interact with oppression based on race, class, and other axes of identity and experience. Rooting our feminism in social justice, we particularly support Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Global South movements and leadership.

As a feminist fund, we believe the strongest approaches to achieving justice center the needs and visions of people who face multiple oppressions. We believe it is our responsibility to redistribute money as a mechanism toward redistributing power, so movement agendas are controlled by activists, organizations, and communities. Today, Astraea sits at the nexus of more than 40 years of feminist grantmaking and movement building. Feminist Funding Principles is an invitation to engage in a thoughtful rigorous practice that acknowledges the power of purposeful grantmaking. These principles can be applied across different organizational strategies, geographic priorities, and theories of change. We offer them to share what we have learned over the last four decades about what it takes to support activists on the frontlines to make enduring social change.

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Meaningful transformation can only be created when we work together. There’s room for everyone within CWL’s charge for change – as both members and allies to our mission. Find out how you fit within Connected Women Leaders’ goals.

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