Trans Leadership Academy

MTPC’s Trans Leadership Academy will develop a new generation of intersectional and multigenerational transgender, nonbinary, and gender expansive (TNBGE) leaders, work to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline for TNBGE people, and create new opportunities for TNBGE people in employment and education.

The Trans Leadership Academy seeks to alleviate major hurdles that TNBGE individuals face due to disproportionate rates of unemployment, incarceration, poverty, and houselessness among TNBGE populations, particularly for BIPOC TNBGE people who face intersectional discrimination. This program will focus on providing TNBGE individuals with skills, knowledge, experience, and support that they are often not afforded the privilege of gaining in traditional educational or workplace settings due to the aforementioned issues. By supporting TNBGE people with workforce development, mentoring and training, and material and financial support in an affirming environment we hope to alleviate the issues of unemployment, economic inequity, incarceration and recidivism.

This program requires progressive financial support; if you are interested in funding this program please contact Kelsey Grunstra.

In 2019, MTPC conducted the Working for Lived Equity (W4LE) community needs assessment to gain a greater understanding of the needs of the community and better inform our work. At least half of all respondents identified employment, housing stability and homelessness, and paying bills and emergency funds, as among their top 3 concerns regarding basic needs. TNBGE people face some of the highest rates of economic inequities across the state and nationwide. The experiences of transphobia, cisheteronormativity, racism, sexism and misogyny often push TNBGE youth out of schools and into prisons. Many TNBGE youth and young adults are forcibly disconnected from the educational resources that lead to employment opportunities. As a result, some resort to survival economy like sex work, theft and participate in the drug trade to provide for themselves and their families, putting them at greater risk for interactions with law enforcement and incarceration.

Through workforce training, community counseling and program support, adult TNBGE people (including those who were formerly incarcerated, do not have stable housing or employment) will have developed a career / life plan with clear and attainable goals, will have attained work experience (ideally paid but potentially internships), and have achieved or ready to achieve the necessary certifications, licensing, apprenticeships or other educational attainment they would like to pursue. Ideally, adult TNBGE people who complete this program will have drastically reduced rates of incarceration, recidivism, unemployment and homelessness, and will be on the path to financial independence.

TNBGE youth who participate in this program will be on track for the job placement or educational attainment that they desire. This will include a career / life plan with clear and attainable goals through community counseling, higher education application support and counseling, and develop skills through internships or volunteer work. Ideal outcomes include significantly reduced likelihood of incarceration, homelessness and unemployment and increased rates of secondary education completion and continuing education.

We anticipate accepting applications for the pilot cohort in Summer 2022. If you are interested in participating in the program as either a cohort member or an educator please contact Carmel Valentine.