OVERVIEW: The Third Wave Fund support organizations focusing on youth led gender justice activities and programs.
IP TAKE: Third Wave seeks to support organizations combating transphobia, homophobia, and other forms of oppression.
PROFILE: Rebecca Walker and Shannon Lister started the Third Wave Direct Action Corporation in 1992 “to fill a void in young women’s leadership and to mobilize young people to become more involved socially and politically in their communities.” In 1997, the corporation evolved into the “Third Wave Fund,” which expanded the foundation’s mission to include and “support youth-led gender justice activism to advance the political power, well-being, and self-determination of communities of color and low income communities.”
Third Wave’s gender justice program supports youth-led activist organizations with a focus on young women of color, trans, intersex, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and queer youth of color communities. The fund prioritizes access to equality over policymaking in its gender justice grantmaking, which includes a mobilize power, flush transphobia, and grow power fund.
The mobilize power fund is a rapid response fund that supports “the leadership of young women of color, trans, gender non-conforming, queer, and intersex youth under 35 in social movements.” Third Wave accepts mobilize power grant proposals year round noting that applicants must submit by the 14th of the month for current grant consideration. Grants are for up to $5,000 but joint proposal grant applicants may request up to $10,000.
The flush transphobia fund is a rapid response fund for “community mobilizing in response to anti-trans legislation.” Individual organizations may receive up to $3,000. Joint proposals grant applications are eligible for awards up to $10,000.
Third Wave’s grow power fund also supports “emerging gender justice organizations in the U.S.” for up to six years. During the first five years of the organization’s funding, Third Wave offers up to $25,000 per year in general operating support grants, up to $10,000 per year in capacity building grants, and $5,000 per year in organizational development grants. The deadline for letters of inquiry for this program generally occurs sometime during the beginning of February.
To learn more about Third Wave grantees across all of its giving programs, explore its recent grants map.
- Rye Young, Executive Director
- Joy Messinger, Program Officer