The grant will allow the organization to expand its social- and community-building events to improve the physical and mental health and wellness of the trans community.
“Our patients face many barriers to participating in community events. We focus on fun, engaging activities that promote health and wellness and reduce social isolation,” said Jayeson Watts, director of Thundermist’s Trans Health Access Team.
The team aims to stage 50 events each year. Programing will include yoga, swimming, fitness classes, music therapy and game night. Thundermist serves more than 800 patients through its Trans Health and Wellness Program, up from fewer than 600 a year ago.
“For some, this is often their first interaction with us, and then they feel safe enough to enter medical or behavioral health care as a result,” said Watts. “Alternatively, sometimes people who already are our patients have little-to-no contact with the broader trans community, and the program serves as a bridge for them into a larger community in which they can gain support.”
Family Service of Rhode Island, Girls Rock! RI, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, New Urban Arts, Project Weber/RENEW, SAGE-Rhode Island and Sojourner House also received grants. Descriptions of all eight grants are posted on the Foundation’s website.
The announcement comes as the Foundation’s Equity Action Fund celebrates its 15th anniversary. The public can support the fund’s work by donating to it on the Foundation’s website or by contacting Adrian Bonéy at abonéy@rifoundation.org.
The Equity Action Fund is guided by a volunteer advisory committee comprised of leaders in the LGBTQ communities. Since 2004, Equity Action has made nearly $1 million in grants to dozens of organizations.