Disability Frontlines Fund


The Disability Frontlines Fund focuses on directly resourcing groups across the United States and Territories that centers and builds the leadership of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) who identify as D/disabled, living with disabilities, D/deaf, hard of hearing, chronically sick/ill, neurodivergent, and/or mad, and who practice Disability Justice. We resource these communities in order to create impactful, intersectional and sustainable movements to address issues facing BIPOC disabled individuals and communities in an ableist world.

An illustration of a femme person sitting in an electric wheelchair. They have long magenta hair in pigtails with flowers in their hair, and are wearing a teal crop top, green patterned shorts, purple lipstick, a purple choker with a heart charm, and a spiked purple bracelet. The illustration is set against a black background with large pink, purple, and yellow blobs. The Disability Frontlines Fund logo (a solid green leaf) is in the upper left corner.

Fund Status

The Disability Frontlines Fund is currently in a learning stage. In the Spring of 2022, we awarded two-year, general operating learning grants to better understand and build relationships with key groups in the field, while leading with resources and financial support. With the lessons gained from these learning grants, we will be developing and refining our grantmaking strategy for this fund. 

While this fund is not currently accepting applications for new funding at this time, we’ll be providing information on future grantmaking cycles after this cycle of learning grants concludes in 2024. 


The Disability Frontlines Fund started in late 2021 with a field analysis of the funding landscape for Disability Justice organizations. For this process, we interviewed ten BIPOC DJ leaders - Patty Berne, Lydia X.Z. Brown, Daphne Frias, Elliot Fukui, Sandy Ho, Najma Johnson, TL Lewis, Leroy Moore, and Max Vega. From these interviews, we developed a strategy to fund grassroots BIPOC groups practicing DJ, while still doing our own learning and development. These two-year learning grants are helping us develop and refine our longer-term grantmaking strategy. 

We’ve seen traditional philanthropy tend to engage in education while simultaneously holding back with its dollars during its learning period. In order to disrupt this, our first cycle of learning grants seek to resource groups while also allowing us to learn from their strategies, priorities, and success.

Image Description (top): Four disabled people are gathered around a white banner that says “Disability Frontlines Fund” in black text, against a background of abstract pink and purple hued flowers and green leaves. All the people depicted are smiling and wearing colorful clothing, and have varying genders, ages, and body types. From left: One person has magenta hair and is sitting in a powerchair to the left of the banner. There are two people standing behind the banner. The second person has gray, thick curly hair; they have a cane in one hand and their other hand on the shoulder of the third person. The third person has a prosthetic leg and is wearing a shirt with a fist on it and holding up a megaphone. The fourth person is framed within an online video call screen propped up in bed with their laptop and a small dog by their side. Image Description (right): A colorful illustration of a person framed within an online video call screen propped up in bed with their laptop and a small dog by their side.


The Disability Frontlines Fund provides funding to organizations, groups, and individuals who are led by and center queer, trans, intersex, and gender non-conforming BIPOC people who are D/disabled, living with a disability, D/deaf, hard of hearing, chronically sick/ill, mad, and/or neurodivergent.

We ground our definition of Disability Justice (DJ) in the 10 principles of Disability Justice offered by Sins Invalid, and we are developing values that integrate these principles into our funding practices. This program exists because we understand that there is no liberation without DJ and that DJ is a critical component of all movements for justice.

This fund is dedicated to providing unrestricted, general operating support grants. This means our grantees have the agency to determine how they use their grant in service of their work. Funds can be used for training, resource sharing and building, cultivating accessibility, leadership development, community building, popular education, cultural organizing, and more. In some cases, we have made project specific grants to work that is housed in a larger organization.

  • Disability Justice focus: Applicants and grantees specifically working toward DJ and have evidence of practices that support individual and collective access, connection, spaciousness, and understanding. (Note: ”Disability Justice” exists within different languages and practices, and we understand that it may not always be described with that specific phrase.)
  • Youth and/or intergenerational leadership: Applicants and grantees show that young people (18-35) are currently in and being developed for leadership and decision-making roles across the group or organization, and/or that leadership is intergenerational. Leadership is also representative of the communities that groups and organizations center, work with, and/or serve.
  • Gender Justice lens: Applicants and grantees are led by, develop, and center Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) who identify as D/disabled, living with disabilities, D/deaf, hard of hearing, chronically sick/ill, neurodivergent, and/or mad. The work engages with how misogyny/sexism, homophobia, and transphobia intersect with DJ, and expresses a grounded understanding of how young cis & trans women of color and young queer, trans, non-binary, and intersex people of color are uniquely impacted.
  • Clear movement building strategies: Applicants and grantees are developing infrastructure, resources, and practices that build and strengthen DJ movement building. Their work builds connections that combat isolation, reflect DJ principles, and display an investment in cross-disability organizing, mutual aid, advocacy, education, and peer support.
  • Intersectional praxis: Applicants and grantees demonstrate an embodied intersectional analysis of how multiple forms of oppression are related to DJ, including but not limited to racial, gender, economic, immigration, reproductive, birth, healing, and health justice and abolition of policing, prisons, and militarism.
  • Philanthropic under-resourcing: The Disability Frontlines Fund prioritizes groups, organizations, and individuals who have never received a grant before; have a budget under $500,000 and experience barriers to accessing funding; and/or do work with and for communities systemically overlooked, such as currently and formerly incarcerated folks, people living in geographically underserved and/or isolated communities, communities oppressed by climate change, and undocumented communities.

The Disability Frontlines Fund is currently in a learning stage and is not accepting applications for funding. We worked with a small group of advisors to build our recommendations for our inaugural invite-only application process. As part of our learning grant cycle, we are committed to an iterative design process to learn how to adapt or change course to best support the community for future cycles. We have a lot to learn from DJ movements on how to support this work as funders. We will use the lessons we learn and the feedback we receive to develop our next cycle, scheduled for 2024.

Make a donation

Want to join the groundswell of donors that make our grantmaking possible? Make a donation today so we can continue to fund the critical work of youth-led gender justice movements.