Arcus gives Triangle $500,000 grant

Funds to be used to strengthen infrastructure, strategize for future

by Jessica Carreras

DETROIT - The LGBT advocacy organization the Triangle Foundation announced on July 21 that it is the recipient of a $500,000 grant from the Arcus Foundation. The Kalamazoo-based organization is one of the nation's largest funders of LGBT issues and works globally to achieve social justice that is inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and race.

The grant to Triangle will be dispersed over the next two years, and will be used for general operating support to strengthen the effectiveness, leadership and administrative infrastructure of the statewide organization. More specifically, the grant will be used to hire essential personnel, develop a policies and procedures manual and support strategic planning and board development.

One of the largest projects will be to re-create and maintain an organizational presence in west Michigan in addition to Triangle's southeast Michigan headquarters.

"We are pleased the board of the Arcus Foundation has shown confidence in the Triangle Foundation by awarding this grant," said Executive Director Alicia Skillman.

"The grant is a significant step in securing renewed strength and sustainability for the Triangle Foundation, which has a well-earned reputation as a credible leader for change regarding LGBT issues in Michigan."

Skillman also pointed out that while the Arcus Foundation grant is significant, it will represent 29 percent of the organization's overall annual operating budget in 2009 and 2010.

"While this grant will strengthen and enhance our infrastructure we will need the continued support of our valued donors and new engagement from the LGBT community and its allies to achieve our goal of securing freedom from violence, intimidation and discrimination for LGBT persons throughout Michigan," she said. "It's an exciting time for Triangle and a dynamic moment in time for the LGBT movement. We believe we are well-positioned to forge new partnerships to meet the challenges faced by our community in Michigan."

The Arcus Foundation spoke proudly of Triangle, stating that the grant was necessary to move the already stellar organization forward. "Since the 1990s, the major advances earned by the LGBT movement have been won by state and regional organizations. Triangle has been at the forefront of working to change policy, build alliances and mobilizing support for the civil and human rights of LGBT people in Michigan," said Johnny Jenkins, program director of the Michigan LGBT Rights Program at the Arcus Foundation. "We have every confidence that ... the Triangle Foundation will use their knowledge and experience in grassroots organizing and civic engagement to strengthen Triangle and the LGBT movement in Michigan."

The grant, though exciting for the Triangle Foundation, begs the question of where this leaves Michigan Equality, which received no funds from the Arcus Foundation this year so far. In past months, both organizations have been forced to cut programming and staff, which Triangle will now be able to reinstate. Currently, they're hiring a victim services advocate, as current Director of Victim Services Melissa Pope prepares for a possible move to west Michigan to head up the program there.

Michigan Equality, however, was vocally supportive of the grant. In a statement released to the public, Board of Directors President Doug Meeks said, "Michigan Equality congratulates the Triangle Foundation on its recent grant from the Arcus Foundation. The Arcus Foundation's commitment to Michigan's LGBT community continues to be overwelming generous and this recent grant will be a step forward to helping achieve equality in Michigan. Michigan Equality continues to look forward to working with the Triangle Foundation and Arcus to achieve equal rights for all of Michigan's LGBT citizens."

Co-Chair Michelle Brown spoke on the matter as an LGBT citizen, maintaining that her ties to Michigan Equality do not stop her from supporting Triangle's success in obtaining the grant. "We cannot change the things affecting our community with good intentions. It takes money, and that's real," she said. "Triangle has been there as long as I can remember being out, so I'm happy. These are hard times for all of our organizations ... and we have so much work left to do.

"At this point, I don't look at it as Michigan Equality," Brown continued. "I look at it as a person who's gay in Michigan who can still be fired for being gay, who, if I have a kid in school, they can be bullied, and also as someone trying to make it as a woman here in Michigan. This is an organization that is out there looking out for my rights."

More News

MI Marriage Trial

Michigan Same Sex Couples Demand Respect And Equal Treatment

Michigan Leaders React To Feds Recognition Of Marriages

MI Marriage: Schuette Asks For Full Appeals Court Review

The Stay Delayed Allows 315 Couples To Wed In State

Gay Marriage Defines Schuette's Reelection Campaign

Snyder Says Schuette Going Against Trend

Sixth Circuit Continues Stay

Michigan Marriage Ban Struck Down

Michigan Makes History With First Marriages

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Aappeal

Pictures from Ingham County - Getting Married

Pictures from Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 1

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's office - Part 2

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 3

Pictures from Washtenaw County

White Nationalist Group Files Brief Supporting AG's Appeal In Marriage Ruling

Discredited Witness Part Of Right-Wing Cabal

Schauer Celebrates Overturn Of Michigan Marriage Ban

Equality Michigan Circulating Petition to Drop Appeal

Why Are Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette Wasting Michigan Taxpayer Dollars On A Costly Appeal?

Michigan Marriage Ban Co-Author Goes 'Moral'

BTL's Wedding Expo: Like Pride in April

Snyder Says Marriages Invalid

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Appeal

Request To Remove Stay Based On Process And Substance

Schuette Lies To Satisfy Political Base

DOCUMENTS: The decision, the stay, and more

BREAKING: Holder Asked To Recognize Michigan Marriages

Michigan Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

BREAKING: Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals Issues Temporary Stay On Michigan Case

BREAKING: Same-Sex Couples Across Michigan Get Hitched

BREAKING: Judge Friedman Declares Michigan's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Judge Could Rule Late Today In Mich. Marriage Ban

Michigan Marriage Trial: And Now We Wait

Editor's Viewpoint: Our Long Journey To Justice

Federal Marriage Case Decisions Outside Michigan In Circuit Court of Appeals

Peers Distance Themselves As Regnerus Takes The Stand

Marriage Supporters, Protestors Brave Cold At Courthouse

Highlights From Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Hearing

Brown Says Schuette Instructed Clerks To Defy Court

Michigan Marriage Equality Trial Begins Second Week

Marriage Equality Trial Opens : Science v. Fear

Michigan Marriage Center Prepares State For The Possibility!

Michigan Marriage Case Begins

A Trial Full of Experts: Incredible and Not So Credible, In Hazel Park Case

like us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on google+