BOSTON, Mass.—The Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC), located in Boston, MA, was one of four organizations awarded a 2014 Queer Youth Fund Grant from the Liberty Hill Foundation. The Queer Youth Fund awards $100,000 grants to innovative and effective leadership development, organizing or other programs/projects that empower lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Other organizations receiving Queer Youth Fund grants this year were Asian and Pacific Islanders for Equality Los Angeles, Soulforce, and Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition.
According to the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey, gay, lesbian and bisexual youth are over 4 times more likely to attempt suicide in Massachusetts than their straight peers. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are also over 4 times more likely to skip school because they don’t feel safe and over 2 times more likely to be attacked with a weapon in MA high schools. Hardly any local studies have focused on LGBTQ students of color, but national studies affirm students of color are further impacted given their everyday experiences with racial injustices, racial discrimination and homophobia. [pullquote]According to the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey, gay, lesbian and bisexual youth are over 4 times more likely to attempt suicide in Massachusetts than their straight peers.[/pullquote]
HBGC will use its $100,000 grant to create safer spaces where LGBTQ youth can connect, learn from one another, and become empowered to create better conditions in their school and community. The organization will continue to develop and support youth-led Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) in schools that are primarily attended by students of color. Funds will also be used to improve and expand the organization’s annual Youth Empowerment Conference, the largest youth conference in New England for LGBTQ youth of color.
Founded in 2009, HBGC is Boston’s leading organization led by, and working for, Latina/o and Black LGBTQ communities. The organization works to inspire and empower their constituency to improve their lives through activism, education, outreach and counseling. HBGC quickly gained traction in the Greater Boston area by offering social support, organizing stigma-reducing campaigns, hosting educational forums, and implementing leadership development programs.
“We are honored to have the support of the Liberty Hill Foundation,” said Corey Yarbrough, Executive Director and co-founder of HBGC. “Black and Latino LGBTQ youth especially face a number of harsh disparities and inequalities that often block them from reaching their dreams and full potential. Funding from the Queer Youth Fund will not only help us empower a new generation of leaders to succeed, but to also transform the world around them.”
To learn more about the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition, call 617-487-4242 or visit www.hbgc-boston.org. To learn more about the Queer Youth Fund at the Liberty Hill Foundation, please visit: www.libertyhill.org/queeryouthfund.
Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC) is dedicated to the unique and complex needs of the Latin@, Hispanic and Black LGBTQ community. Founded in 2009, HBGC works to inspire and empower Latin@, Hispanic and Black LGBTQ individuals to improve their livelihood through activism, education, community outreach, and counseling.
[From a News Release]