"Andre Dickens, Atlanta Mayor" by Phil Mistry / PHIL FOTO is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Mayor Dickens Announces $55,000 in Funding for Trans Community

Mayor Andre Dickens has announced a combined $55,000 in proposed funding to support Atlanta’s transgender community.

The funding was introduced to the Atlanta City Council via legislation sponsored by Councilmember Matt Westmoreland. Once approved, these funds will represent the City’s single largest investment in the transgender community.

“Across the nation, we are seeing a push against the transgender community to eliminate the fundamental right to simply be who they are,” Mayor Dickens said. “Everyone has the right to live their life with dignity and freedom from fear, and our Administration wants the transgender community to know we stand with them.”

Three pieces of legislation introduced to City Council will allocate $10,000 to Atlanta Legal AID Society to support helping trans and non-binary residents through the legal process of changing their names and updating their supporting documents, $25,000 to Destination Tomorrow for a first-of-its-kind LGBTQ mentoring pilot program, and $20,000 to Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) to sponsor up to 25 scholarships for Black Mental Health and Healing Justice Peer Support Training for trans and gender expansive youth.

“We are grateful to receive funding from the City of Atlanta to support the launch of our new LGBTQ mentoring program,” Sean Ebony Coleman, founder and executive director of Destination Tomorrow, said in a statement. “This grant will allow us to expand our services and help to fill the undeniable gap of resources for Trans and Gender Nonbinary/Nonconforming individuals in the South. As the first Trans organization to receive funding from the city, this signifies a growing recognition of the unique challenges faced by our community. We look forward to working with the City of Atlanta and other community partners to further provide LGBTQ individuals, specifically Transgender people, with critical in-depth programming. We also urge other governing bodies, particularly in this region, to uplift local leaders supporting the community.” – Sean Ebony Coleman, founder and executive director of Destination Tomorrow

“I’m grateful for the leadership of Mayor Dickens and our Division of LGBTQ Affairs in providing resources and support to our trans residents,” Westmoreland said. “As a former teacher and school board member, I am especially excited about the investments in our young people. I hope this reinforces to them that we see them and love them.”

Mayor Dickens also recently appointed trans advocate Dominque Morgan to the Human Relations Commission—the body that investigates and hears complaints regarding discrimination and makes recommendations to the City on how to resolve such complaints.

Last year—through a partnership with FUSE Corps and the Okra Project—Mayor Dickens welcomed the City of Atlanta’s first ever Transgender Affairs Equity Fellow, who works alongside the Division of LGBTQ Affairs to build a playbook to advance equity in Atlanta’s transgender and gender-expansive community.