Gender Justice

More Than Just a Conversation

Research supports what we already know: the prevailing gender norms in the United States harm everyone.

Trans and gender-expansive communities are playing a leading role in liberating all people from gender-based oppression.

Groundswell Fund has clear and public benchmarks regarding its grantmaking investments. Ones that prioritize Indigenous, Black, transgender women of color and gender-expansive people of color.


The Black Trans Fund is just one of our many initiatives that illuminate the path ahead.

Advocacy for gender justice within a reproductive justice framework is about more than expanding language across the expanse of gender diversity, it’s also about pushing policies that promote better access to safer community interactions and employment, better access to awesome healthcare experiences and meaningful leadership opportunities.

In addition to public demonstrations of support and visibilizing of the ever-increasing violence against trans and gender-expansive people, Groundswell Fund supports leaders and programs that consider the whole person. That means access to healing care, trainings and convenings, and co-learning opportunities.

Marsha P Johnson Institute

Image courtesy of Marsha P Johnson Institute's Impact Report

An Impact Story: The Marsha P Johnson Institute Rallies Through 2020

Named after one of the leaders of the Stonewall Uprising, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) builds the transformative leadership of transgender people to support their own healing and build collective power through media advocacy, civic engagement, public policy, and arts and culture.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, MPJI was acutely aware that the unemployment rate for trans people was more than three times the national average.

The pandemic increased the economic insecurity of Black trans women and in response, MPJI launched its own COVID-19 Direct Relief Grant Program.

MPJI has provided $500 unrestricted grants to more than 200 Black transgender and non-binary individuals, prioritizing Black trans women, specifically sex workers, formerly incarcerated people, and people living with disabilities.

In early 2020, MPJI unveiled the Marsha P. Johnson Safety & Wellness Act (MPJSWA), a vision and plan for model policy, laws, legislation, and practice recommendations to address the needs of trans people of color at the local, state, and federal levels, written by directly impacted communities and individuals.


Marsha P Johnson protesting

Follow the important work of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute on their IG.

Marsha P. Johnson picketing outside of Bellevue Hospital. Courtesy of Diana Davies, NYC Library Digital Collections.

Follow MPJI


During a summer shaped by uprisings for Black liberation, MPJI was thrust into the international spotlight as a result of its organizing.

Partnering with other Black trans organizations, MPJI co-led a massive rally for Black trans lives called Brooklyn Liberation that spoke to the deaths of Dominique Fells, Riah Milton, and so many others. An estimated 15,000 people attended the rally and silent march for Black trans lives on June 14, 2020—the largest transgender justice protest in history. Read more about the 2020 march for Black trans lives in the New York Times.

In 2021, MPJI’s Freedom Beyond Imagination Coalition (FBIC), a national coalition of regional and local Black and Brown trans organizations seeking to build alignment, will advance the MPJSWA.

Freedom Beyond Imagination Coalition will encompass base-building, policy, and advocacy organizations in four cities: New York, NY; Columbus, OH; Washington, DC; and Dallas, TX. FBIC will solicit feedback from stakeholders in each target city to inform both the policy recommendations and an advocacy guide centering Black trans women. Additionally, FBIC will build sustained partnerships with local and state elected officials, affirming church/spiritual leaders, healers, educators, and other key community leaders.