Cleveland Foundation announces $150,000 in grants to support the Northeast Ohio LGBTQ community

LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland receives $25,000 to help with local response to Orlando tragedy

release date: 6.30.2016

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation Board of Directors today announced $150,000 in grants to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) citizens of Northeast Ohio, including funding for the Equality Ohio Education Fund and the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland.

“Now is the time for us all to come together and support every resident of Greater Cleveland,” said Ronn Richard, President and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. “Our grantmaking is just one example of how our community must lead by example to ensure that everyone in Greater Cleveland can prosper equally and safely without fear.”  

On June 12, 2016, a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 others during Latin night at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The impact on the community in Cleveland has been significant, with both individuals and organizations seeking guidance and services from the Center, which is the only agency in Greater Cleveland that is solely dedicated to the provision of services to the LGBTQ population. The $25,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation will help expand the Center’s capacity to handle crisis situations, including support to bring outside experts to educate and help the community deal with this complex issue.

“It’s important to have a safe place to go – everyday. The Orlando tragedy was an important reminder of this. The Cleveland Foundation’s support will help us provide the safe place, the training and support for our LGBTQ community. This couldn’t have come at a better time so that we can better provide service in the ongoing aftermath of an event that affects us all. We thank the Cleveland Foundation for their quick response and ongoing recognition of the work we do,” said Phyllis Harris, Executive Director of the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland.

The Cleveland Foundation Board of Directors also announced a $125,000 grant to the Equality Ohio Education Fund (EOEF), a 501(c)(3) organization that serves as an educational resource for a wide range of local organizations, policymakers, businesses and community stakeholders striving to create an Ohio where everyone can work, find housing and participate in the local economy free from discrimination and violence. Funding will help EOEF serve as a content expert regarding LGBTQ-inclusive policies and best practices in Northeast Ohio by providing real-time messaging and communications support to local LGBTQ organizations on emerging local, state and national issues of disparities impacting Northeast Ohio LGBTQ residents. Upcoming opportunities include a partnership with the Washington Center’s 2016 RNC Academic Seminar to host an educational community town hall and luncheon with RNC delegates to highlight issues affecting the LGBTQ community.

“Most people assume that it’s already illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ people in Ohio, when the truth is, in most parts of the state, it is legal,” said Alana Jochum, Executive Director of Equality Ohio. “With the support of the Cleveland Foundation, we can continue to make a difference in Northeast Ohio by providing education and technical assistance to corporations, institutions and municipalities and work seamlessly with our partners, including the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, to ensure LGBTQ people have a strong, organized and powerful voice to eradicate bias and eliminate discrimination.”

Earlier this year, the Cleveland Foundation joined Ohio Business Competes, a collaborative effort between Equality Ohio and other organizations and companies across the state working to end workplace, housing and public accommodation discrimination in Ohio and supporting comprehensive nondiscrimination legislation.


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.1 billion and 2015 grants of $95 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of residents of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – education and youth development, neighborhoods, health and human services, arts and culture, economic development and purposeful aging – and responds to the community’s needs.

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