Ford Foundation Working with Visionaries on the Frontlines of Social Change Worldwide
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The goal of this work is to secure equal rights and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Watch our award-winning documentary short, “Out for Change.”

The Challenge

While the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has made great strides in advancing their rights, full equality remains elusive. Throughout the United States, LGBT communities—in particular low-income, elderly and young people—regularly face discrimination and a disregard for basic human rights.

In the United States, 29 states do not protect lesbian, gay or bisexual workers from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Transgender employees face even wider barriers to employment opportunities. In addition, LGBT families are significantly more likely to be living in poverty than their heterosexual counterparts. And LGBT people are more prone to harassment and to violence that often ends in death; anti-LGBT violence is consistently the third most frequent bias crime after racial and religious.

Without access to adequate housing, health care and employment; safeguards against violence; old age provisions; and other protections, many LGBT people remain uniquely vulnerable and disenfranchised.

What We're Doing

We support organizations at the state and national level that are working to:

  • Promote policies that advance economic fairness and safety including access to economic benefits; relationship recognition; employment non-discrimination and safety from violence, harassment and mistreatment
  • Expand the base of support for LGBT rights by forging alliances across movements that increase engagement with other allied movements
  • Build effective leadership and strong organizations that are coordinated, connected and collaborating across regions and constituencies
  • Increase public support for LGBT rights by promoting awareness through communications, media and technology

We believe that funding such efforts will result in greater inclusion, acceptance and respect for LGBT people—and indeed for all people.

Learn more about how our strategies and approaches shape our grant making.

What We're Following




  • Margaret Hempel
  • Luna Yasui

From the Newsroom


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