In the News

December 29, 2014 BISMARCK, ND – Dakota OutRight will receive nearly $10,000 to support LGBTQ youth in schools from PFund, an LGBT-focused philanthropic organization...

Dakota OutRight receives PFund grant to support LGBTQ youth in schools

December 29, 2014

PFund logoBISMARCK, ND – Dakota OutRight will receive nearly $10,000 to support LGBTQ youth in schools from PFund, an LGBT-focused philanthropic organization supporting the Upper Midwest. PFund creates funding opportunities to facilitate social change in three distinct areas:

  • Achieving equal rights through advocacy and civic engagement
  • Creating power through community as a result of organizing, events and the arts

  • Ensuring access, safety and security in such places as schools, health providers and housing

The PFund grant will support the creation and implementation of the Safe Zone programming and training at middle schools and high schools in Bismarck-Mandan, the state’s third most populous metro area. The purpose of the program is to positively affect the experiences of LGBT youth at a point in their lives where it can help prevent unnecessary trauma and discrimination and connect them to proactive resources in the community.

PFund received 43 funding requests totaling $296,775, which were reviewed by their community-based Social Change Grant Committee. After reading proposals, holding site visits, and making funding recommendations, 20 finalists were narrowed to 12 groups receiving a total of $80,000.

For more information and to see all the grantee partners, read PFund’s full announcement.


Dakota OutRight launches “Coming Out as Allies” awareness campaign

October 9, 2014

BISMARCK, ND – National Coming Out Day is Saturday, October 11 – it’s a time to celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ). However, it’s hard to live as an out LGBTQ person in Bismarck, North Dakota, when doing so could put your job, home, and life on the line.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) rated Bismarck a dismal 14 out of 100 points on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2013 Municipal Equality Index, which measures a city’s non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, employment and law enforcement protections, municipal services, and overall relationship with LGBTQ people. Given the current climate in North Dakota, it’s vital that allies speak out more – more in number, more in frequency, and more in public.Coming Out As Allies Campaign debuts October 11

To help build the momentum of allies speaking out, Dakota OutRight has created an awareness campaign focusing on “coming out” as an ally to the LGBTQ community. Dakota OutRight chose to focus on allies “coming out” to highlight the critical need the LGBTQ community has for outspoken allies and the current unsafe conditions for LGBTQ people to be freely out and open.

“It’s a bit ironic but says a lot about our region that we need to make space to ‘come out’ as an ally in order to create a safer environment for LGBTQ people to be out,” Jennifer Weisgerber, vice president of Dakota OutRight, said. “Hopefully this campaign will help others who have remained silent to speak out and really make themselves available as a support to their LGBTQ neighbors, friends, and family.”

Launching on Saturday, the Coming Out as Allies campaign encourages community allies to speak out and speak up on behalf of the rights, protection, and freedom of LGBTQ people to live freely and openly without fear of repercussion. Participants in the campaign include local leaders such as Bismarck city commissioner Nancy Guy, educators like Daniel Rogers and Shawn Oban, and longtime community activists, including Brian Palecek and Rose Stoller. The dozen-plus images feature powerful portraits along with their personal reasons for being an ally to the LGBTQ community.

Allies everywhere can participate on their own by contributing photos of themselves along with why they are an LGBTQ ally. Photos can be posted to social media, using the hashtag #comingoutND. Contributed images will be collected and shared on Dakota OutRight’s website and social media.

GLADD says, “LGBTQ people are our mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins. This is a fact and it isn’t going away. You have the opportunity to be an ally and a friend at home, school, church, and work. A straight ally can merely be someone who is supportive and accepts the LGBTQ person, or a straight ally can be someone who personally advocates for equal rights and fair treatment. Allies are some of the most effective and powerful voices of the LGBTQ movement. Not only do allies help people in the coming out process, they also help others understand the importance of equality, fairness, acceptance, and mutual respect.


Dakota OutRight receives PFUND QReach grant for assessment and outreach

May 4, 2014

We will be boosting our outreach efforts thanks to generous support from the QReach Project.PFUND logo In February, the PFund Foundation announced the recipients of grants for outreach assessment in LGBTQ communities across the five-state region of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Dakota OutRight was one of 16 Midwestern LGBTQ organizations to receive $5,000 in direct funding and additional support to survey the assets, needs, and leadership of LGBTQ communities in our region. The 16 organizations were selected by a seven-member review panel of LGBT community leaders from the five-state region. Led by PFund, QReach is supported in part by the Bush FoundationOtto Bremer Foundation and Blandin Foundation. Other Midwestern QReach Partners:

  • Art and Soul Innovations/Proud Theater, Monona Wis.
  • Bisexual Organizing Project, Minneapolis
  • Black Hills Center for Equality, Rapid City, South Dakota
  • Diverse & Resilient, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Equality South Dakota, Brookings, South Dakota
  • FORGE, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Freedom Inc., Madison, Wis.
  • Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools, Madison, Wis.
  • Iowa Pride Network, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Lutheran Social Service of MN – Together for Youth, Duluth, Minn.
  • One Iowa Education Fund, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Outfront Minnesota Community Services, Minneapolis
  • RECLAIM, Minneapolis
  • Shades of Yellow, Saint Paul, Minn.
  • Siouxland Pride Alliance, Sioux City, Iowa

For the full news release, click here.

About PFund Established as Philanthrofund Foundation in 1987 by four friends, PFund is now a vibrant LGBT community foundation supported by thousands. By providing scholarships and grants, inspiring giving and developing leaders PFund is a catalyst for long-lasting social change. Learn more about them at or find them on Facebook.