For-profit

The Black Trans Travel Fund

Website:

www.blacktranstravelfund.com/

Location:

New York, NY

Formation:

2019

Type:

Travel fund

The Black Trans Travel Fund is a fund operated by transgender actor and activist Devin Lowe to pay for car rides and alternate means of transportation for Black transgender women in New York and New Jersey.

In 2020, the fund was among 30 other local organizations selected by the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation to receive a COVID-19 response grant worth over “six figures.” [1]

Founding and History

The Black Trans Travel Fund was founded in June 2019 by actor and activist Devin Lowe. According to an interview with media company Blavity, the Black Trans Travel Fund raised over $50,000 in its first 6 months of existence. [2] Of that amount, Lowe dispensed $35,000 to Black transgender applicants, paying for more than 700 car rides for over 300 black transgender women. The remaining $15,000 was ostensibly used by the fund to pay for “labor, operations, and administrative costs.” [3]

In 2020, the fund received a COVID-19 response grant from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation worth over “six figures.” This grant coincided with public statements from the fund that announced an increase in the monthly number of supported Black transgender women from 50 to 100. [4]

As of June 2021, the Black Trans Travel Fund claims to have given out over $150,000 to Black transgender women. [5]

Activities

The Black Trans Travel Fund accepts donations through CashApp, Venmo, PayPal, and bank wires, directly to accounts owned by Devin Lowe. According to the fund’s donation page, the Black Trans Travel Fund gives out 80% of the donations received to Black transgender women. The rest goes to Lowe and his two-person team. [6]

As of June 2021, the Black Trans Travel Fund has a biweekly cap of 75 Black transgender women applicants. [7] The fund also financially supports transgender women attempting to obtain TSA pre-check status and renew their passports. [8]

The fund has plans to expand out of the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, such as to Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. It is also preparing to launch a Black Trans Travel Fund newsletter, which would cover the art, politics, music, and entertainment of black transgender women. [9]

Finances

The Black Trans Travel Fund is not a nonprofit nor is it fiscally sponsored by another organization. [10] As a result, there is no publicly available financial information on the fund’s donors and recipients. During 2020’s “Pride Month,” Spin, a bicycle and scooter-sharing company owned by the Ford Motor Company, donated $5,000 to the Black Trans Travel Fund. [11]

Leadership

The Black Trans Travel Fund is led by actor and activist Devin Lowe. A transgender man, Lowe is best known for his work on “The Garden Left Behind,” a film following an undocumented-immigrant Latina trans woman. [12] Lowe also works as a community media organizer for Black Trans Media, a left-of-center Black transgender activism organization based in New York.

Eli Berry-St John and Morticia Godiva, themselves activists, make up the rest of the Black Trans Travel Fund’s team. [13]

References

  1. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. “BLACK LIVES MATTER 2020 IMPACT REPORT.” Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, 2021. https://blacklivesmatter.com/2020-impact-report/. ^
  2. Kassahun, Tomas. “How The Black Trans Travel Fund Is Taking A Creative Approach To Addressing A National Epidemic – Blavity.” Blavity News & Politics, January 25, 2020. https://blavity.com/blavity-original/how-the-black-trans-travel-fund-is-taking-a-creative-approach-to-addressing-a-national-epidemic?category1=LGBT&category2=news. ^
  3. “Donate.” Black Trans Travel Fund. Accessed June 24, 2021. https://www.blacktranstravelfund.com/donate. ^
  4. Sprayregen, Molly. “How The Black Trans Travel Fund Is Working To Keep Black Trans Women Safe.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, June 23, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mollysprayregen/2020/06/23/how-the-black-trans-travel-fund-is-working-to-keep-black-trans-women-safe/?sh=2100fd3935f4. ^
  5. “About Us.” Black Trans Travel Fund. Accessed June 24, 2021. https://www.blacktranstravelfund.com/about-us. ^
  6. “Donate.” Black Trans Travel Fund. Accessed June 24, 2021. https://www.blacktranstravelfund.com/donate. ; Kassahun, Tomas. “How The Black Trans Travel Fund Is Taking A Creative Approach To Addressing A National Epidemic – Blavity.” Blavity News & Politics, January 25, 2020. https://blavity.com/blavity-original/how-the-black-trans-travel-fund-is-taking-a-creative-approach-to-addressing-a-national-epidemic?category1=LGBT&category2=news. ^
  7. “Black Trans Travel Fund.” Google. Google. Accessed June 24, 2021. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1TInLRDWkxVjcnpiHqx9XhO2U2B11yK9IOv0uLLJBtis/closedform. ^
  8. “Apply for Funding.” Black Trans Travel Fund. Accessed June 24, 2021. https://www.blacktranstravelfund.com/apply-for-funding. ^
  9. Kassahun, Tomas. “How The Black Trans Travel Fund Is Taking A Creative Approach To Addressing A National Epidemic – Blavity.” Blavity News & Politics, January 25, 2020. https://blavity.com/blavity-original/how-the-black-trans-travel-fund-is-taking-a-creative-approach-to-addressing-a-national-epidemic?category1=LGBT&category2=news. ^
  10. “Donate.” Black Trans Travel Fund. Accessed June 24, 2021. https://www.blacktranstravelfund.com/donate. ^
  11. “Pride Month at Spin.” Medium. The Spin Blog, June 25, 2020. https://blog.spin.pm/pride-month-at-spin-30e33bd47ad6. ^
  12. “Biography.” Devin Michael Lowe. Accessed June 24, 2021. https://devinmichaellowe.com/bio. ^
  13. Kassahun, Tomas. “How The Black Trans Travel Fund Is Taking A Creative Approach To Addressing A National Epidemic – Blavity.” Blavity News & Politics, January 25, 2020. https://blavity.com/blavity-original/how-the-black-trans-travel-fund-is-taking-a-creative-approach-to-addressing-a-national-epidemic?category1=LGBT&category2=news. ^
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The Black Trans Travel Fund


New York, NY