In a reception held at the beautiful Hacienda del Sol resort, the Alliance Fund presented its 2011 round of grants to Southern Arizona non-profit organizations serving members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Straight community.

Grants awarded in this round will run during the calendar year 2011, and will provide the organizations with critical support for serving members of the LGBT&S population.

Speaking at the reception, Alliance Fund Chairman Doug Noffsinger noted, “Our report card for the decade reveals that our donors contributed $428,000 to 90 projects that benefited the LGBTQ community. Our report card for 2010 contains decisions to revamp our development plan to emphasize personal contact with donors, to develop a long-term investment strategy that insures benefit to our community in perpetuity.”

Projects receiving awards at the reception included:

Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (SACASA); Norma Magdaleno, Project Director. “This SACASA project is geared toward impacting the lack of available mental health services for the LGBT community. SACASA will provide effective outreach to the LGBT community, in addition to providing specialized services by trained trauma professionals, who are sensitive to the needs of sexual assault victims from LGBT populations.”

LGBTQ Behavioral Health Coalition.* Laurel-Heather Milden, Project Director. Train the Trainer: “The LGBTQ Behavioral Health Coalition of Southern Arizona is committed to developing culturally appropriate behavioral health services for LGBTQ youth and adults. The Coalition will develop a Presenters’ Guide and implement a “Train the Trainer” workshop to increase the number of volunteer trainers qualified to present an established curriculum on LGBTQ issues to mental health and substance abuse treatment prevention throughout Southern Arizona .”

Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF)**. Luis Ortega, Project Director. EON Sexual Health Education Program for LGBTQQS Youth. “The Eon Sexual Health Education Program provides LGBTQQ youth and straight allies with comprehensive education services around sex, sexuality, sexual health and gender identity issues, promotes and provides HIV testing, and targets at risk homeless through the Street Smart intervention to build life skills and reduce risk behaviors associated with the spread HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases .”

Tucson Jewish Community Center. Betsy Cowan, Project Director. Fabulous Faygeleh Film Festival of the Tucson International Jewish Film Festival. “It is not just a Jewish film festival for Jews, or a gay festival for the LGBT community; it is for everyone who cares about universal themes of social justice and LGBT life. Our films meet the criteria for high production value and provide quality entertainment while encouraging cultural diversity, intellectual growth, dialogue with the audience, and outreach and awareness regarding the universal struggles of individuals in the LGBT community.”

The UA Institute for LGBT Studies. Eithne Luibheid, Project Director. Lecture Series. “The Lecture Series brings leading scholars from across the country to present research of special interest to LGBT communities (free and open to the public). The first lecture, which takes place in March 2011 and is co-sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, will bring Professor Afsaneh Najmabadi from Harvard University to lecture about her research on transgender people in Iran and understanding gender and sexuality in the Middle East.”

The UA Office of LGBTQ Affairs.** Jennifer Hoefle, Project Director. Safe Zone Training Program. “The Safe Zone Training Program is a campus-wide program at the UA that provides information and resources to prepare allies to be effective supporters of LGBTQ people through a 4-hour training. The complete training consists of two workshops, including a General Education workshop and an Ally Development workshop designed to introduce participants to the experiences of LGBTQ people and to provide participants with the information necessary to help them be advocates for the LGBTQ members of our campus community.”

VOICES: Community Stories Past and Present, Inc. Krista Niles, Project Director. I (heart) Diversity. “VOICES, Inc. youth will work on a documentary project where they explore their own gender and sexual identity in writing, interviewing and researching, and photography; youth will take the culmination of their research and expression and create 2′ X 3′ color posters to hang in the VOICES/City High School storefront windows and other locations as traveling exhibit for public viewing. We also will create a web presence for the posters and are open to addi- tional partnerships with agencies that might want to find creative uses for the content as marketing and/or outreach to youth.”

Wingspan’s EON Sexual Health Education Program for LGBTQQS Youth. Khara Ellasante, Project Director. PREP. “The Eon Youth Program’s PREP (Positive Respectful Educational Possibilities) project is an educational empowerment project for LGBT youth and their allies. It is designed to help disadvantaged LGBT youth become successful and self-sustaining individuals by providing them with academic assistance, goal planning, incentives, and multiple levels of support.”

Wingspan’s Southern Arizona Gender Alliance (SAGA). Alison Davison, Project Director. Southern Arizona Gender Alliance (SAGA). “SAGA works to reduce discrimination and violence against transgender people by educating the public about transgender issues, advocating for transgender civil rights, and providing specialized training to organizations, providers, and institutions that interact with and have impact on transgender people. SAGA offers direct support and education to transgender people who are working through the challenging issues associated with transgender identity.”

*The LGBTQ Behavioral Health Coalition is the recipient of the 3rd annual Alliance Fund Noel Matkin-Jim Sincox Tribute Endowment Award.

**SAAF and the Office of LGBTQ Affairs are the recipients of the 1st annual Alliance Fund Leos-McCall Award.