State Department awarding universities to promote LGBTQ inclusion, climate change awareness in India

State Department grants to universities and non-profits promote LGBTQ inclusion and climate change awareness in India, including funding to ‘sensitize them towards...the LGBTQI+ community.’

Another funding opportunity supports a film contest and festival to 'spur wider awareness and inspire community action' on climate change.

The U.S. Department of State is awarding universities and other non-profits to help promote LGBTQ inclusion and climate change awareness in India.  

Applications close soon for a grant that will pay people in India to create films about climate change. The goal of hosting this film contest and festival, according to the grant, is to “spur wider awareness and inspire community action.”

The U.S. Consulate General of Mumbai will collaborate with non-profits or institutions of higher education to “organize film-making workshops/masterclasses and a crowd-sourced film contest; amplify the films and generate buzz around the winning entries; and execute follow-on activities to involve youth and civil society in environment conservation.”

The department recently closed applications for a second grant to universities and other non-profits seeking to work with companies in India. The project will “sensitize them towards the rights of the LGBTQI+ community broadly, and the transgender (TG) community specifically.”

[RELATED: Mellon Foundation awards $6 million to hire 30 faculty researching ‘race, racism, inequality’]

“Countering Stigma and Prejudice Against the Transgender Community” will “lead to the setting up of Pride/Rainbow groups within corporations that actively create awareness about TG persons and their rights.”

“This should be done by organizing workshops and information sessions for employees (at all levels within the organization), human resources professionals, and leadership of 15-25 different business corporations (with 500 employees or more) in Hyderabad and Chennai over a period of one year, focused on creating awareness about and countering stigma and prejudice against transgender persons,” the grant description continues. 

“A longer-term outcome is that these corporations and businesses increase their hiring of members of the TG community and help their employees and the general public be more accepting.”

A State Department spokesperson told Campus Reform that “[i]ndigenous persons, religious and ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQI+ persons, and persons with disabilities, among others, live with disproportionate violence that requires targeted support.” 

“U.S. citizens benefit from a world that is safer and more prosperous for all,” the spokesperson said. The grants, according to the spokesperson, belong to the department’s “wide range of strategic programs around the world that seek to advance the foreign policy priority of reducing discrimination and violence and promoting inclusion.” 

[RELATED: University receives $625K grant for DEI]

The Heritage Foundation has criticized the State Department for engaging in “public diplomacy programs abroad” that “tend to skew toward fringe aspects of U.S. domestic social issues and away from core, enduring U.S. values.” 

The report, “‘Woke’ Public Diplomacy Undermines the State Department’s Core Mission and Weakens U.S. Foreign Policy,” accuses the department of engaging in “cultural colonialism” by exporting issues related to race and gender to other countries. These are issues, Heritage noted, on which Americans have yet to reach a consensus. 

Heritage wrote, “Even when U.S. national consensus is there, restraint is always necessary in attempting to convince other nations that one’s own values should be theirs.”

Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment, and this article will be updated accordingly.