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How The Stonewall Gives Back Initiative empowers equality with its impactful legacy

How The Stonewall Gives Back Initiative empowers equality with its impactful legacy
Courtesy The Stonewall Gives Back Initiative

Discover how The Stonewall Gives Back Initiative transforms LGBTQ+ history into global activism, from continuing the legacy of the iconic Stonewall Inn to empowering communities through scholarships and Safe Spaces.

The Stonewall Gives Back Initiative (SIGBI) stands as a beacon of hope and progress within the LGBTQ+ community, channeling the spirit of resilience and activism that ignited the historic Stonewall Riots of 1969 into tangible support and advocacy. Rooted in the ethos of inclusivity and solidarity, SIGBI's work from upholding the legacy of the iconic Stonewall Inn to its expansive charitable endeavors exemplifies a steadfast commitment to fostering equality and empowerment.

The legacy of SIGBI can be traced back to 2006 when The Stonewall Inn’s owners rescued it from obscurity, transforming it into a vibrant hub of LGBTQ+ culture and activism. Recognizing the importance of reclaiming and preserving LGBTQ+ history, The Stonewall Inn’s owners embarked on a multifaceted approach to reintroduce The Stonewall Inn as not merely a bar but a symbol of resilience and community.

The Stonewall InnCourtesy The Stonewall Gives Back Initiative

Through partnerships with community groups, nonprofits, and media outlets, they successfully elevated The Stonewall Inn's profile, positioning it as a nexus for celebration, commemoration, and advocacy. From hosting fundraisers and events to commemorating pivotal moments in LGBTQ+ history, such as the Pulse Nightclub Shooting, The Stonewall Inn cultivated a safe and inclusive space where individuals could find solace and solidarity.

In a landmark achievement, its owners collaborated with stakeholders to designate the area surrounding The Stonewall Inn as the first-ever LGBTQ+ National monument in 2016, cementing its status as a beacon of LGBTQ+ rights and heritage. Buoyed by this milestone, they expanded their philanthropic efforts, culminating in the inception of SIGBI in 2017, which is still the official and only nonprofit of The Stonewall Inn.

The Stonewall InnCourtesy The Stonewall Gives Back Initiative

At the heart of SIGBI's mission lies a recognition of the enduring challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly those residing in regions devoid of explicit non-discrimination protections. Understanding their geographical privilege and the imperative to extend support to marginalized communities beyond metropolitan areas, SIGBI strategically leveraged corporate partnerships and the cultural significance of The Stonewall Inn to allocate educational, strategic, and financial resources to grassroots organizations operating in smaller cities and rural communities, where LGBTQ+ advocacy faces formidable challenges.

In 2019, SIGBI introduced the Safe Spaces certification program, enlisting LGBTQ+ icons and allies to promote inclusivity and safety within businesses and venues. Through rigorous training and adherence to criteria developed in collaboration with marginalized community members, SIGBI fosters environments where LGBTQ+ individuals feel validated and supported.

The Stonewall Inn IPACourtesy The Stonewall Gives Back Initiative

The impact of SIGBI's initiatives reverberates globally, with nearly two million dollars raised to support Safe Spaces and grassroots organizations across diverse locales, from the United States to Uganda. Through strategic partnerships and innovative ventures like The Stonewall Inn IPA brewed with Brooklyn Brewery, SIGBI amplifies its advocacy globally. Moreover, SIGBI's groundbreaking partnership with the Yankees led to the establishment of the Yankees Stonewall Scholarship Program. This program annually awards $10,000 scholarships to five LGBTQ+ public school students from each of New York City's five boroughs, fostering educational empowerment and social inclusion within the LGBTQ+ community.

Beyond financial contributions, SIGBI remains dedicated to honoring activists and amplifying their voices through initiatives like The Stonewall Inn Brick Awards. By celebrating and uplifting the tireless efforts of LGBTQ+ activists, SIGBI reaffirms its commitment to advancing equality and justice for all.

Peppermint at The Stonewall Inn Brick AwardsPeppermint Honored at The Stonewall Inn Brick AwardsCourtesy The Stonewall Gives Back Initiative

Today, The Stonewall Inn stands not only as a testament to LGBTQ+ history but as a living testament to the enduring legacy of activism and resilience. As SIGBI continues to champion LGBTQ+ rights and empowerment, it serves as a reminder that the fight for equality knows no bounds and that together, we can build a more inclusive and just society for generations to come.
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Nic Austin

Branded Content Editor

Nic Austin is passionate about providing a platform in media for the LGBTQ+ community. He strives to tell stories about his community through the leading LGBTQ+ publications in the country. His mission is to amplify marginalized LGBTQ+ voices through partnerships with prominent brands and leaders in our community.


A graduate from NYU Tisch, Nic Austin has always connected with the written word and its ability to change minds. He has applied this love for writing to analyzing LGBTQ+ media and how the LGBTQ+ community has been represented on screen. Before working as an Editor at equalpride, Nic Austin was the Editor-in-chief of The Queer Queue and the co-host of both The Queer Queue Podcast and The Queerly News. In his spare time, Nic Austin writes film criticism while enjoying the mountain views of Denver, Colorado.

Nic Austin is passionate about providing a platform in media for the LGBTQ+ community. He strives to tell stories about his community through the leading LGBTQ+ publications in the country. His mission is to amplify marginalized LGBTQ+ voices through partnerships with prominent brands and leaders in our community.


A graduate from NYU Tisch, Nic Austin has always connected with the written word and its ability to change minds. He has applied this love for writing to analyzing LGBTQ+ media and how the LGBTQ+ community has been represented on screen. Before working as an Editor at equalpride, Nic Austin was the Editor-in-chief of The Queer Queue and the co-host of both The Queer Queue Podcast and The Queerly News. In his spare time, Nic Austin writes film criticism while enjoying the mountain views of Denver, Colorado.