OVERVIEW: Third Wave seeks youth-led organizations that focus on the rights of women of color, trans, intersex, non-binary, gender nonconforming and queer youth of color.
IP TAKE: This funder supports organizations combating transphobia, homophobia and other forms of oppression.
PROFILE: In 1992, Rebecca Walker and Shannon Lister founded the Third Wave Direct Action Corporation “to fill a void in young women’s leadership and to mobilize young people to become more involved socially and politically in their communities. Five years later, in 1997, the Third Wave Direct Action Corporation evolved into the Third Wave Fund, which supports “youth-led gender justice activism to advance the political power, well-being and self-determination of communities of color and low-income communities.” The fund awards grants through its three main programs: Mobilize Power Fund, Own Our Power Fund, Flush Transphobia Fund and the Grow Power Fund.
With the exception of the Flush Transphobia Fund, which focuses its grantmaking on anti-trans legislations, Third Wave seeks youth-led activist organizations with a focus on young women of color, trans, intersex, non-binary, gender nonconforming and queer youth of color. The Flush Transphobia Fund ultimately serves as “a rapid response fund for direct action and community mobilizing in response to anti-trans legislation.”
As another rapid-response fund for direct action, the Mobilize Power Fund accepts proposals year round with submission deadlines falling on the 14th of the month for current grant consideration. Grants are available up to $5,000, but joint proposal grant applicants may request up to $10,000.
In contrast, Third Wave’s Grow Power Fund is a “long-term investment” that offers grants for up to six years to “emerging gender justice organizations in the U.S.” The fund offers grants of up to $25,000 per year in general operating support grants during the first five years of operation; up to $10,000 per year in capacity-building grants; and up to $5,000 per year in organizational development grants. The deadline for letters of inquiry for this program is generally sometime at the beginning of February.
Third Wave backed New Voices of Philly, Pittsburgh and Cleveland, which received grants for a campaign mobilizing black women and women of color against anti-choice bills. It also funded the Icarus Project, which received a grant for its work supporting “femmes of color and trans femmes.”
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