News & Stories

Q3 Grants Update 1707 2560

Q3 Grants Update

As we close out a busy year at the Leonard Litz Foundation, we are already looking forward with anticipation to doing even more in 2022 to support and fund organizations working to advance the interests and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community We continue to be humbled and inspired by the life-saving work being done by so many organizations throughout the Northeast, often by individuals for too little remuneration. We are grateful for their passion and advocacy, and thrilled to be able to be a partner in their work. We happily announce the following Q3 grant recipients: ACLU Connecticut City Lights & Company Community Shelter Services Copper Beech Institute CUNY Research Foundation Dutchess County Pride Center EDGE New Jersey Finger Lakes Family Counseling Services Hudson Pride Center Lambda Legal New York LGBTQ Network OUT Maine The Pride Network Sam and Devorah Foundation for Trans Youth Soule Foundation The South Coast LGBTQ Network, Inc. Team New York Aquatics Westchester Jewish Community Services   As we look ahead to next year, we are excited for the opportunity to engage with even more organizations who share our mission of protecting and expanding the safety, equality, and well-being of LGBTQ+ people—and stay tuned for a…

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A Testimonial from Nadine Strossen 640 596

A Testimonial from Nadine Strossen

The Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation epitomizes the most constructive path forward to advance the embattled values of equality, dignity, diversity, inclusivity, and peace. The ominous levels of hate speech, discrimination, and violence here in the U.S. and around the world have fueled an understandable impulse to censor hateful ideas and to “cancel” hateful speakers. But there is an even more powerful antidote to hate: Love. As Dr. Martin Luther King said: “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Accordingly, he declared, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” An inspiration to all of us in exercising our all-important right not to remain silent, is the example set by Elliot Leonard and Roger Litz in creating the Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation. The Supreme Court has long recognized that  providing financial support  to a chosen cause or organization constitutes constitutionally protected expression.  If so, what better statement to make than the one that infuses this Foundation’s signature mission:  promoting the heroic work of nonprofit organizations that enhance the rights and lives of people who have endured marginalization. Ample evidence demonstrates that even a small expression of love and…

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PRIDE Doesn’t End in June 470 534

PRIDE Doesn’t End in June

This year the Leonard-Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation was honored to support several community partners as they celebrated Pride Month. But we know that Pride doesn’t end with June. The ongoing fight for equality and justice, particularly for Black and Brown, Trans, and Gender-nonconforming people happens in ways big and small every day. While most corporate diversity and inclusion efforts may dissipate after June, we believe that uniting and empowering the LGBTQ+ community is essential twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. So we are thrilled to share these pictures and memories from various Pride 2021 celebrations we supported across the Northeast US.   Westchester Pride, hosted The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center, showcased drag queens and hosted film screenings, in tandem with presentations and discussions around LGBTQ+ legislation, intersectionality, mental health, and peer-support sessions. The political discourse around LGBTQ+ rights has impacted many members of our community negatively, especially our youth, who grapple with fear, anxiety, and depression, which is why it is crucial to infuse Pride with comprehensive learning experiences for everyone.       Fairfield Pride, hosted by Triangle Community Center, featured a lineup of primarily outdoor events that were curated for all ages, such as Pride Parade of…

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LLF Celebrates a Safe But Festive Gala Season 819 546

LLF Celebrates a Safe But Festive Gala Season

‘Tis the season of Annual Awards and Chicken Dinners! Unfortunately, we are also still battling hopefully the final stages of a global pandemic. While the Leonard-Litz team was looking forward to cutting a rug with some of our local community partners, we also understand and appreciate the need to celebrate in a way that prioritizes everyone’s safety. After more than 18 months of societal upheaval that we all hoped would be over by now, many of us are still longing for some sense of hope. But we also know that it is precisely when things feel hopeless that we must rally together as a community, especially for the sake of our most vulnerable members. We are grateful to the many nonprofit organizations and their staffs for being there when our community needs them most, and even though we had to settle for another scaled back or virtual gala season, we are honored to stand by their side in the ongoing fight for equality and justice for all LGBTQ+ people. No one is free until everyone is free.   Until then, at least we have pictures and memories!   Lambda Legal: Connecticut Cares 2021   Triangle Community Center: 2021 Visionary Gala,…

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Leonard Litz Welcomes New Trustee 600 600

Leonard Litz Welcomes New Trustee

The Leonard-Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation is growing! Andrew Mitchell-Namdar has recently joined as our newest Trustee. Andrew is the Co-owner and Chief Marketing Officer for Mitchell Stores. He is devoted to a number of charitable organizations mostly focused on LGBTQ equality and Breast Cancer. His current board service includes the National Board of Directors for Lambda Legal, World Health Clinicians, which runs the Circle Care Center, the Breast Cancer Alliance, and Pink Aid, which he Co-Founded in 2010. He joins Founding Trustees Elliot Leonard and Roger Litz, along with Jeff Arnold and Executive Director Colin Hosten as the Foundation prepares to double its charitable giving in 2022. In the words of Elliot Leonard, “Andrew brings not only a wealth of knowledge and a deep and broad professional network to our organization, but also a dedication and commitment to philanthropy, on a personal level, and through his family.” Andrew grew up in Wilton, CT, and currently divides his time between Stamford, CT, and New York, NY, with his husband, Dr. Isaac Namdar, and beloved dog Bitsy Mae. The Leonard-Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation was created to help fund organizations that advance the interests and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community, with particular emphasis on the…

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Leonard-Litz Co-Founders Help Bring Pride to Easton, CT 724 695

Leonard-Litz Co-Founders Help Bring Pride to Easton, CT

What an amazing Pride month! In celebrations big and small, our LGBTQ communities came together all around the world to share in some much-needed fellowship and affirmative support. And that includes Easton, CT, hometown of our co-founders Elliot Leonard and Roger Litz. In addition to supporting Pride ceremonies throughout Fairfield County, Westchester County, and Washington, DC, Leonard and Litz promoted Pride right at home. The couple were vocal advocates for the raising of a Pride flag at Easton Town Hall for the second year running. In a community that has traditionally been more conservative and resistant to change, this was a remarkable step forward. The flag-raising ceremony was attended by a number of local and state elected officials. “Pride is an issue that extends well beyond Easton [and] crosses all party lines,” Leonard said. “We live in a diverse world and we’ve made major advances here.” The ceremony was followed by a festive celebration hosted by Leonard and Litz. You can read more about the events here. Thank you, Elliot and Roger!

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Black Lives Matter During Pride Month, Too 1000 1000

Black Lives Matter During Pride Month, Too

As LGBTQ+ people around the world prepare for the much-anticipated commemoration, celebration, and fellowship of Pride season, we will inevitably see images of racial equity and justice fade away, to be replaced with rainbows and other symbols of gender and sexual equality. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se. More than ever, it is important to celebrate and honor our resilience as a community, even as we reflect on the huge losses so many of us have faced in the past year. But on the heels of the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, it is critical that we also remember that Black Lives Matter during Pride, too. The legacies of brutal policing, racial discrimination, and civic disenfranchisement that Black people in the U.S. and around the world have endured for centuries don’t take a break for Pride month. In fact, it is important to remember that for a great many people in our community, there isn’t the luxury of choosing one or the other. For many Black and Brown members of the LGBTQ+ community, Pride month can be a double-edged sword, a reminder that our movement is too often dominated by white, cis, gay men, at the expense…

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Leonard-Litz Foundation: Q2 Grants Update 948 788

Leonard-Litz Foundation: Q2 Grants Update

It’s been a busy second quarter of 2021 for us at Leonard-Litz! In our ongoing mission to help LGBTQ+ people fulfill their potential, we’ve had the opportunity to meet with and learn about some amazing organizations engaged in life-affirming services, programs, and advocacy, and are pleased to announce the following grants:   Asylum Connect Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center Brooklyn Community Pride Center, Inc. Eastern PA Trans Equity Project Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C. In Our Own Voices, Inc. Kids in Crisis Live Out Loud The LOFT Community Center OUT MetroWest, Inc. Pride Center of New Jersey, Inc. Pride Center of Maryland Rockland County Pride Center YouthPride, Inc.   We are proud and humbled to be able to support these inspiring programs and individuals. We wish we could give more to every organization—and next year, we plan to, so please spread the word! Stay tuned for more as we continue to review grant applications in Q3. Please keep in mind that, in addition to grant applications for specific programs, we also seek to support causes and advocacy opportunities around the important issues affecting our community.

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Happy PRIDE from Leonard-Litz Foundation! 500 331

Happy PRIDE from Leonard-Litz Foundation!

Happy PRIDE! We’ve come a long way since that first brick was thrown at Stonewall. But we know we still have a long way to go. As part of our commitment to supporting organizations that advance the interests and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community, the Leonard-Litz Foundation is proud to be a Presenting Sponsor for a number of Pride Celebrations this June. Hopefully, you can join in some of these celebrations, or otherwise find a way to celebrate in your own way, wherever you are. Triangle Community Center: Fairfield County Pride 2021 The LOFT Community Center: Westchester Pride 2021 Caribbean Equality Project: Live Pridefully: Love and Resilience Within Pandemics Washington Blade: D.C.’s Royals, A Celebration of Drag After so many months of tragedy, of isolation, of uncertainty, it feels fitting to celebrate our Pride. We’ve made it this far. We are so much more resilient than we even realize. We’ve survived a plague before, and we can do it again. This is a moment for us to acknowledge and honor our losses from this past year, while also looking forward to brighter days ahead. Click through the above links to see the full list of events—there’s something for everyone! Wishing…

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Leonard-Litz Foundation Joins Partnership to Support LGBTQ COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics 720 480

Leonard-Litz Foundation Joins Partnership to Support LGBTQ COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics

Leonard-Litz Foundation has partnered with Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, a nonprofit organization in Pennsylvania, to increase the capacity of LGBTQ community centers to host COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Five LGBTQ community centers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic have been selected to receive a grant from the Leonard-Litz Foundation and technical assistance from Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. The five centers are: The Frederick Center (Frederick, Maryland) The Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) LGBT Center of Greater Reading (Reading, Pennsylvania) The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center (White Plains, New York) Pride Center of Vermont (Burlington, Vermont) The five participating centers are organizing leading-edge vaccine promotion strategies, even adding incentives such as drag performances and additional health services to the vaccine sites. Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center has been offering LGBTQ COVID-19 vaccine clinics since mid-March and has arranged over 1,000 doses through clinics held on-site. This partnership seeks to ensure that LGBTQ community centers across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are prepared to offer COVID-19 vaccines for the LGBTQ community in their service areas. “Vaccine hesitancy is the number one issue we need to address if we want to return to living our lives,” said Elliot Leonard, founder of the Leonard-Litz Foundation. “The LGBTQ community has…

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