AsylumConnect - Tech Nonprofit

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Tech nonprofit providing the first and only digital resource platform designed for LGBTQ+ asylum

Founded: 2014 by Katie Sgarro, Sy Abdul

  • Program Area

    Human Rights
  • Location of Impact

    United States, Canada, Mexico
  • Headquarters Location

    New York, NY, United States
  • Product Platforms

    Web, Mobile Apps, Open Source
  • Budget

    $0 to $500,000
  • Founder Demographics

    Female, Racial or Ethnicity Minority, LGBTQ

Our Mission: Connect LGBTQ+ people with safety.   Our Vision: End the persecution and marginalization of LGBTQ+ people.  About: Tech nonprofit AsylumConnect has built the first and only digital resource platform for the tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers fleeing their homes and communities for safer ground each year. When AsylumConnect reaches scale, all persecuted and marginalized LGBTQ+ people will have access to critical verified support and community.   It is still illegal to be gay in 70 countries. From leaving their dangerous home country to resettling in their new home, it is often a matter of life-or-death for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers to be able to easily identify and connect with legitimate and LGBTQ-affirming lawyers and other direct service providers. AsylumConnect fills this information gap. Launched in 2016, the AsylumConnect Catalog is the first and only resource website and mobile app designed for LGBTQ+ asylum. LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and other LGBTQ+ people in need (such as undocumented LGBTQ+ immigrants and homeless or isolated LGBTQ+ youth) use AsylumConnect as a free digital one-stop-shop referral site to meet their needs in all aspects of their lives, including: housing, legal, medical, mental health, education and employment. Lawyers and other direct service providers also use the free app to gather verified referrals for clients. The Catalog currently connects users with verified LGBTQ+ affirming and immigrant friendly services in 25 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico (in response to U.S. asylum policy).   Since 2016, AsylumConnect’s free technology has connected thousands to verified LGBTQ-and immigrant-friendly services, and the number continues to grow. We plan to scale to all 50 states and globally to ensure every LGBTQ+ person finds safety.

Funders and Awards

Awards include: 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 (Law & Policy List); 2019 Foursquare For Good Challenge Winner; Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship’s 2019-2020 Global Social Benefit Institute Social Entrepreneurship at the Margins Accelerator; Urban Justice Center 2019-2021 Social Justice Accelerator; 2019 Roddenberry Fellowship; Fall 2018 & Spring 2019 Unfunded List; Clinton Foundation's inaugural 2017 Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) Alumni Honor Roll of Social Innovators; 2015 Business Today Impact Challenge Winner; 2015 MCC15 Millennium Peace Prize Winner at the UN. Funders include: MCJ Amelior Foundation; Business Today; Roddenberry Foundation; Foursquare; Brooklyn Community Foundation Immigrant Rights Fund; Broadway Care/Equity Fights AIDS Foundation; J.M. Kaplan Fund; Calamus Foundation; Opportunity Fund; Clif Bar Family Foundation; Awesome Without Borders.