Lin-Manuel Miranda participates in the launch of the Latinx LGBTQ support program

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Lin-Manuel Miranda attends the Clive Davis 90th Birthday Celebration at Casa Cipriani on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 in New York City. Miranda, pop star Ricky Martin and award-winning actress/singer Michaela Jae Rodriguez will join the Hispanic Federation on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 to launch a new advocacy initiative serving Latinx LGBTQ+ communities. The Advance Change Together (ACT) initiative will provide 20 grants to Latinx nonprofits (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

Greg Allen/Invision/AP

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, pop star Ricky Martin and award-winning actress/singer Michaela Jae Rodriguez joined the Hispanic Federation on Tuesday to launch an advocacy initiative serving Latinx LGBTQ+ communities.

The Advance Change Together initiative will provide 20 Latinx nonprofit grants of $25,000 to $50,000 to support their efforts and infrastructure in these communities. The Hispanic Federation, the national nonprofit dedicated to empowering Latinos, will fund the initiative with a $1 million grant for the first two years. But he hopes to encourage other donors to support and expand the program, which will also convene a summit to establish a national agenda for LGBTQ+ groups.

Frankie Miranda, president and CEO of the Hispanic Federation, said the initiative, announced Tuesday in Florida, is a necessary extension of the group’s existing work with the LGBTQ+ community.

“We’ve identified all this anti-LGBTQ legislation that’s popping up all over the country,” he said. “It’s an indication that once certain groups that have focused on abortion get the outcome they want from the Supreme Court, we anticipate that the next frontier will be to step up anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country. We see it right now.

Miranda points to Florida’s recently passed “Don’t Say Gay” law, which prohibits teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, as well as the 2016 Pulse shooting , when 49 people were killed at the Orlando LGBTQ+ nightclub, as examples of why the community needs more support.

“It’s estimated that less than 1% of the foundation’s funds go to Latinx organizations,” Miranda said. “When we apply that to LGBTQ-oriented organizations, we find it’s much, much less. So here’s our call to action. We’re not going to wait.

Lin-Manuel Miranda (no relation) said the shooting of Pulse feels like it happened yesterday. It’s a tragedy he will always be linked to, as he immortalized it in his Tony acceptance speech for “Hamilton” – a sonnet remembered for the line “And love is love.” is love, is love, is love, is love, cannot be killed or swept away.

“One of the deadliest shootings in the history of our country was an act of hate against this community in Florida,” the “Encanto” songwriter told The Associated Press, calling the law “Don’t Say Gay” of “discouraging” development. His Miranda Family Fund, along with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, made additional contributions to the ACT initiative on Tuesday.

“It’s such an important reminder that the hate that led to the Pulse shooting is not in the past,” he said. “And that laws like this only encourage and allow this hatred to proliferate. So we continue to have to fight.

Lin-Manuel Miranda credits his father – Luis Miranda Jr., co-founder of MirRam Group, a political consulting firm that worked on campaigns for Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand – encouraging him to speak out on social issues and show his support through actions.

“The way the world affects me is that it makes me want to write and makes me want to do things,” he said, adding that surprise No. 1 hit “We Don’t let’s not talk about Bruno” was his response to the COVID-19 lockdowns. “When it’s something like this – this horribly discriminatory law – and the question is ‘How do we help? How can we put our shoulder to it in a way that makes sense? I have a father who has dedicated his life to organizing and protesting and putting into practice that feeling of wanting to do something.

Ricky Martin has said he wants to get involved in the fight against those in power who he believes seek to create hatred and division in the United States and Puerto Rico.

“There has never been a more important time for communities and organizations to come together to hold each other accountable,” Martin said in a statement. “With the ACT initiative, we come together to remind Latinx LGBTQ+ organizations that they have the support they need to serve and empower their communities.”

Miranda of the Hispanic Federation said the initiative will help Latin American nonprofits reach their communities in their own way. At the launch event on Tuesday, Lin-Manuel Miranda and his friend ‘In the Heights’ actress Stephanie Beatriz, joined ‘Pose’ actress Rodriguez and performer Valentina in drawing attention to the initiative .

“We have to work very intentionally to bring our voices and our stories into the debate,” said Miranda, the federation’s first openly gay president. “I think we have to give ourselves the opportunity to come together and create a strategy based on the new reality.”

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The Associated Press’s coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits is supported by the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy.

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