Google supports Black trans women and the many LGBTQ+ women of colour
Google has announced it is donating US$500k/£403k to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, an organisation protecting and defending the rights of Black transgender people as part of its over US$2m/£1.6m in grants for LGBTQ+ organisations around the world.
With its grants, technology company, Google is supporting Black trans women, and the many LGBTQ+ women of colour, honouring the community that led this movement 50 years ago during the first Pride march and Stonewall Uprising in 1969.
Decades later, The Marsha P. Johnson Institute continues to advocate for justice and equality. Until her tragic death in 1992, Marsha P. Johnson also was a self-identified drag queen, performer and survivor, in addition to being a prominent figure in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. Marsha went by “Black Marsha” before settling on Marsha P. Johnson.
The “P” stood for “Pay It No Mind,” which is what Marsha would say in response to questions about her gender. It is the consideration of who “Black Marsha” was that inspired The Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
“Through her advocacy for an inclusive LGBTQ+ movement and an end to police brutality, Marsha P. Johnson challenged the world to acknowledge the intersections of Black+ and Queer identity,” said Maab Ibrahim, Inclusion Grantmaking Lead at Google.org. “Google.org’s efforts to end racial injustice and support LGBTQ+ organisations includes a grant to The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, an organisation working to end violence against Black+ transgender women.”
“Google.org’s donation will allow us to expand our ever-important COVID relief grants to support and protect the Black trans communities, as they have been disproportionately impacted by COVID,” said Elle Hearns, founder and executive director of The Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
“The donation will strengthen our direct cash assistance programme, which is empowering individuals to secure housing, healthcare, and other essential supports during this time. Black Trans women are too often forgotten by our society, and with Google.org’s help we’re giving them the support they need.”
The institute was also founded in response to the high rate of murders of Black trans women. In addition, the institute works tirelessly to fight against the exclusion of this community in social justice issues, namely racial, gender and reproductive justice, as well as gun violence.
In 2019, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) advocates tracked at least 27 deaths of transgender or gender non-conforming people in the US due to violence, the majority of whom were black transgender women. In 2020, 15 trans women have already been murdered. Statistics prove transgender women of colour are disproportionately victims of violent death, in addition to racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic bias.
“We are grateful to Google, for not only lending their voice and brightening light in supporting the work the institute does, but for also advocating and understanding the need for protecting the human rights of Black trans women,” added Ms Hearns.