PORTLAND — The Maine Community Foundation’s Equity Fund is accepting applications from nonprofits for project and capacity-building grants that address lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) issues and needs.

The Equity Fund helps strengthen LGBTQ organizations in Maine and supports initiatives that work toward inclusive, diverse, prejudice-free communities for the LGBTQ population and all people in Maine.

Grant awards of up to $7,500 are available, with priority given to projects and organizations that serve people in rural and underserved communities; support LGBTQ families, youth or elders; increase access to health care or reduce health disparities; reduce anti-LGBTQ violence; support social and cultural community-building activities; and provide education to promote respect and understanding of LGBTQ people.

The deadline for grant applications is Friday, Sept. 15. 

Recent grants were awarded to:

• Consumers for Affordable Health Care, to train LGBT ally organizations on federal rules that protect transgender access to health coverage and assist transgender people with appealing private insurance denials

• SAGE Maine, to hold a two-day conference in Augusta to address unique concerns of older LGBT adults in Maine

• Gedakina Inc., to increase outreach to indigenous LGBTQ community members.

FMI: www.mainecf.org, 1-877-700-6800.

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