Non-profit

Black Trans Media

Website:

blacktransmedia.wixsite.com

Location:

Brooklyn, NY

Formation:

2013

Type:

Black trans activist group

Black Trans Media is a New York City-based transgender activism organization that hosts workshops to support and promote the interests of Black transgender people. It is fiscally sponsored by the left-of-center Alliance for Global Justice, an “anti-capitalist” sponsorship group that has historically supported authoritarian regimes in Latin America.

In the organization’s own words, Black Trans Media stands against the “capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy” of existing American institutions. [1] In 2020, Black Trans Media received a grant worth over “six figures” from Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation as an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. [2]

Founding and History

Black Trans Media was founded in 2013 by Sasha Alexander in response to the 2013 New York murder of Islan Nettles, a Black transgender woman. The organization launched its work in 2014 under the hashtag #BlackTransEverything and is co-managed by Olympia Sudan, Alexander’s spouse. Though Black Trans Media published media content to its website and YouTube page, the majority of its activism came in the form of workshops and dinners hosted at Alexander’s Brooklyn apartment. [3]

In 2015, Black Trans Media hosted its inaugural Black Trans Film Festival in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood. Meant to be a biennial event, the film festival was only held once more in 2017. [4]

In 2017, Black Trans Media began its fiscal sponsorship under the Alliance for Global Justice. [5]

Gradually, Black Trans Media transitioned away from producing its own content to supporting black trans artists through fellowships and workshops. According to an interview with beauty company Lush, in 2019, Black Trans Media—assisted in part by the left-of-center Groundswell Fund—supported over 30 Black trans artists. [6]

In 2020, Black Trans Media received a grant worth over “six figures” from Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation as an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. [7] This grant coincided with Black Trans Media’s announcement that they had secured a two-year lease for a “Black Trans specific space” in Brooklyn. [8]

Present Activities

Black Trans Media’s work primarily comes through hosting dinners and workshops at its headquarters in Brooklyn. As of June 2021, its latest event was a “Black Trans Men Appreciation Dinner.” [9]

Black Trans Media hosts a website, but it appears to be largely defunct. Most of its pages have not been updated since 2016 and some, such as its “Projects and Programs” page, remain in various states of incompletion. [10] In lieu of a website, Black Trans Media uses its Twitter account to update the public on its work.

Black Trans Media frequently hosts interviews on New York’s left-of-center Out-FM radio show, one of the oldest LGBTQ media programs in the United States. [11]

Finances

Black Trans Media is fiscally sponsored by the Alliance for Global Justice. Because it is not its own nonprofit organization, Black Trans Media does not have publicly available financial information about its donors nor the projects that it supports.

Black Trans Media was among 30 local organizations selected by the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation to receive a COVID-19 response grant worth over “six figures.”

Leadership

Black Trans Media is led by the married pair of Sasha Alexander and Olympia Sudan.

Sasha Alexander also works as the membership director at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a left-of-center activist and legal-aid organization based in New York City. [12]

References

  1. “Who We Are.” blacktransmedia. Accessed June 24, 2021. https://blacktransmedia.wixsite.com/blacktransmedia/who-we-are. ^
  2. 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/. ^
  3. Mase, J. “To Be Black, Trans and Brilliant: Sasha Alexander.” HuffPost. HuffPost, February 18, 2015. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/to-be-black-trans-brillia_1_b_6337530. ^
  4. “Film Festival.” blacktransmedia. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://blacktransmedia.wixsite.com/blacktransmedia/black-trans-film-festival. ^
  5. “Mission Statement and History.” blacktransmedia. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://blacktransmedia.wixsite.com/blacktransmedia/mission-statement. ^
  6. “Meet Black Trans Media.” Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, 2019. https://www.lushusa.com/stories/article-pride-2019-black-trans-media.html. ^
  7. 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/. ^
  8. “Mission Statement and History.” blacktransmedia. Accessed June 24, 2021. https://blacktransmedia.wixsite.com/blacktransmedia/mission-statement. ^
  9. “Black Trans Media Tweet .” Twitter. Twitter, June 10, 2021. https://twitter.com/ThatBoyYouLike/status/1403035801664069639. ^
  10. “Projects and Programs.” blacktransmedia. Accessed June 24, 2021. https://blacktransmedia.wixsite.com/blacktransmedia/projects. ^
  11. “Out-FM .” Twitter. Twitter. Accessed June 24, 2021. https://twitter.com/outfm. ^
  12. “Who We Are.” blacktransmedia. Accessed June 24, 2021. https://blacktransmedia.wixsite.com/blacktransmedia/who-we-are. ^
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Black Trans Media


Brooklyn, NY