September 13, 2012 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
African-American LGBT charity group debuts
Aisha Moody-Mills, gay news, Washington Blade

Aisha Moodie-Mills told the Blade that Kindred is scheduled to award its first grant or “gift” of $13,000 to D.C.’s Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL). (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A newly launched LGBT charitable organization in D.C. called Kindred: An African American LGBT Giving Circle is scheduled to award its first grant on Monday, opening the way for what organizers say will be a unique new venue for philanthropy in the city.

“Kindred utilizes the power of collective giving to uplift the African American LGBT community in Washington, D.C.,” a statement announcing the group’s mission says.

“By pooling our time, talent, and treasure we empower our community from within, nurture ourselves as philanthropists, and honor organizations working to enhance the lives of black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the District,” the statement says.

Lesbian activist Aisha Moodie-Mills, who was among the lead organizers of the campaign to pass D.C.’s same-sex marriage law in 2009, is the spokesperson and member of the new group’s five-member “Guiding Circle” leadership team.

Moodie-Mills told the Blade that Kindred is scheduled to award its first grant or “gift” of $13,000 on Monday to D.C.’s Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL). She said Kindred selected SMYAL for the first award, among other things, because of SMYAL’s longstanding work in support of African-American LGBT youth.

According to Moodie-Mills, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, a tax-exempt charitable group, is serving as Kindred’s fiscal sponsor, allowing all donations to Kindred to be tax deductible.

The group’s mission statement says organizers modeled Kindred on the African-American tradition of community giving and support.

“Our African American history is rich with individual philanthropists – people who provided warm meals for families in the community in need, and books and resources for young people trying to make it through school,” the statement says.

The statement says the group is recruiting inaugural members to what it calls its “giving circle,” which initially will consist of 12 to 25 people who each commit to donating $420 or more each year to Kindred.

Members of the giving circle are also asked to participate in the organization’s “collaborative grant-making process” to decide on the recipients of future grants, the statement says. It says the Gill Foundation, a Colorado based LGBT philanthropic organization, gave Kindred a $10,000 seed grant to help the group begin its work.

In addition to Aisha Moodie-Mills, the other founders of Kindred are Danielle Moodie-Mills, Aisha’s wife; who, along with Aisha, was a spokesperson and organizer for D.C.’s marriage equality campaign in 2009. Both also serve as advisers for LGBT Policy and Racial Justice at the at the D.C. based Center for American Progress.

Other founders include Anna Bavier, an event planner who assists with programs associated with the Moutner Project for Lesbian Health and D.C. LGBT Community Center; Nicole Cozier, a 13-year D.C. area resident who “has been professionally involved on issues affecting women and girls,” according to Kindred statement, and who is immediate past chair of the board for Funders for LGBTQ Issues; and Earl-Rodney Holman.

Kindred can be reached by email at kindredgivingcircle@gmail.com or by phone at 202-421-5755.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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