BackgroundThe Arcus Foundation was established in 2000 by Jon Stryke.It is a leading global foundation advancing pressing social justice and conservation issues. Specifically, Arcus works to advance LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) equality, as well as to conserve and protect the great apes. It has offices in New York City and Cambridge, UK
MissionTo achieve social justice that is inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and race, and to secure conservation and respect for the great apes and their natural habitat.
Geographic focusInternational. For the Great Apes programme the focus is on Africa, Southeast Asia and Asia. For the LGBT programme, the focus is on Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
Programme areasThe foundation works in two distinct areas:
• Social Justice
• Great Apes Program
Supports organisations around the world working to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender human rights, global religions and US social justice at the following levels:
Internationally: awards grants to advance human rights on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Specific policy change goals include decriminalisation, death penalty repeal, and full constitutional protection.
Nationally: awards grants to those that have led the way to significant policy changes and initiatives to protect and enhance equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the US.
Locally: in the foundation’s home state of Michigan, Arcus awards grants to those who are working to change policy and culture to ensure greater equality for LGBT people across the state.
Great Apes Program
Supports organisations around the world working to conserve and protect the great apes, specifically in the following areas:
• Great Apes in the Wild: works to ensure that viable populations of great apes are protected from extinction and living in habitats that are managed sustainably and holistically, as well as integrated with economic development objectives.
• Great Apes in Captivity: aims to strengthen an international commitment to protect great apes in the wild and care for them in captivity by providing them with effective sanctuaries. The programme aims to halt the use of great apes in entertainment or invasive medical research.
• Great Apes and Ethics: aims to increase the recognition of and respect for the rights and intrinsic value of the great apes, especially the right to live free of abuse, exploitation and private ownership. Ultimately, the foundation seeks to significantly decrease the need for sanctuaries and to improve the great apes' well-being and their chances of survival.
• Special Opportunities: from time to time the foundation supports organisations and projects that do not fall within the guidelines of the Arcus Great Apes Program. Such opportunities are limited and occur only at the initiation of the foundation.