CHARLOTTE — A local foundation formed to support programming for the LGBT community announced Tuesday its 2010 grant recipients.
The Wesley Mancini Foundation will disperse a total of $5,000 to programs meant to students, youth and freedom of speech. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program will receive $2,500 toward support of the university’s OUTspoken speakers series. The university’s Multicultural Resource Center will receive $1,000 for its Transgender Committee and their “Transgender Inclusion in Charlotte Institutions of Higher Education” program. The Charlotte-based national organization Campus Pride and Charlotte youth services group Time Out Youth will jointly receive $1,500 toward the groups’ joint “Believe in Youth” program.
The foundation, named after its founder Wesley Mancini, is one of a few United States foundations dedicated solely to supporting the LGBT community. Mancini, a longtime LGBT philanthropist both nationally and locally, established the foundation in 2000 in response to heavy censorship in Charlotte by funding resources, as well as the pervasive attitude among major Charlotte benefactors that gay and lesbian programs were too risky to undertake or underwrite.
Since its inception a decade ago, the Wesley Mancini Foundation has awarded grants to 21 organizations, including: Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, Bare Bones Theatre, Campus Pride, Charlotte Coalition for Social Justice, Charlotte Lesbian & Gay Fund (Foundation for the Carolinas), Echo Foundation, William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Resources, Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte, Lesbian and Gay Community Center of Charlotte, Light Factory, Metrolina AIDS Project, Off Tryon Theater Company, One Voice Chorus, OutCharlotte, Playworks, Time Out Youth, UNC Charlotte Foundation, UNC Charlotte Multicultural Resource Center Transgender Committee, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, UNC Charlotte Women’s and Gender Studies and Unity Fellowship Church Charlotte.