New youth grant and AK staff from Pride Foundation

Pride Foundation of the Pacific Northwest is strengthening their commitment to Alaska's LGBT community by funding a full time regional staff position and continuing to provide grants for Alaska's LGBT non-profits.

Tiffany McClain, formerly of the ACLU of Alaska, was hired by the Pride Foundation to fill a newly-funded staff position as Regional Development Organizer for Alaska:
From Anchorage to Bozeman, to Eugene to Idaho Falls – Pride Foundation is deeply committed to building and sustaining local leaders and organizations to increase visibility for LGBTQ people across the greater Northwest. Over this past year, staff, volunteers and donors have been working together to determine how to best leverage and increase Pride Foundation's prior work in regional and rural communities. We're so excited to expand our regional commitment.

By investing in full-time staff members in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Western Washington to lead our philanthropic and community development strategies, we know that we can increase our understanding of local issues and work better and even more collaboratively to build the future of equality in the Northwest.
The five Regional Development Organizers start their new positions in January 2011. Here is Tiffany's staff bio. (Learn about the other regional team members here.)
Growing up in St. Louis, MO – a humid, mountain-less city of brick and concrete, where two weeks of Girl Scout camp seemed like the roughest of adventures – I never imagined I'd end up living in Alaska. But I've never felt more at home than I do in Anchorage and am excited that I've been offered the opportunity to engage my passion for social justice and community organizing while living in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Grants from Pride Foundation made possible many of the projects I worked on as the LGBTQ Public Policy Coordinator for the ACLU of Alaska and now I get to support the efforts of other activists, artists, and service-providers who are working to improve the lives of LGBTQ Alaskans. When I'm not working, you can find me outside soaking up Alaska's beauty, daydreaming about my next travel adventure, or hiding from the cold in a nice, warm movie theatre or bookstore.
Congratulations to Tiffany, and thanks to Pride Foundation for funding this local position.

In addition to a staff member for Alaska, Pride Foundation awarded a youth grant to Identity to bring LGBT youth from rural communities to the annual Pride Conference in Anchorage.
Pride Foundation has awarded more than $200,000 in grants to 48 projects that support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trangender and queer (LGBTQ) community in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Youth-related grants were the largest recipients of funds.

This year's youth-related grantees include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound in Washington, Idaho Safe Schools Coalition, and Identity Inc's Alaska Bush Youth at Pride Conference 2011, a project aimed at connecting LGBTQ youth in remote parts of Alaska to community services and networks of support – addressing the disproportionately high rates of LGBTQ youth suicide in remote Alaska.

A year-end giving appeal to the public allows donors to specifically give to LGBTQ youth-related projects. To donate, visit

These grants are just one way Pride Foundation works to empower and support the next generation of LGBTQ people. Of course, Pride Foundation grants focus on more than just youth. Dozens of grants were also awarded in the areas of 1) Arts & Recreation, 2) Education, Advocacy & Outreach, 3) Health & Community Services, 4) HIV/AIDS Service Delivery & Prevention, and 5) Lesbian Health.
This is the description of Identity's rural youth project grant:
Identity Inc. (Anchorage, AK) : $3,500 for travel expenses to insure the attendance of youth from Southeast Alaska, Fairbanks, Kenai Peninsula, and from bush villages at Identity Inc.'s 2011 Pride Conference in Anchorage. The conference will focus on these youth sharing their experiences of being LGBT in their home communities. Youth traveling from remote Alaska will have the opportunity to meet and interact with other LGBT youth and to enhance their personal self-esteem and self-worth. Published suicide data predicts 95% likelihood that a young person between the ages of 12 and 19, who is an Alaska Native, lives in a village, is male and is gay will attempt suicide.
Thanks to Identity and Pride Foundation for addressing this important issue and funding the project.

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