Safeguarding Transgender Rights And Resources

August 8, 2022

Sign up for the FUSE Newsletter

FUSE Corps

The City of Atlanta has been a leader in recognizing the plethora of injustices, discrimination, and stigmas that transgender and gender non-conforming people face by addressing the profound economic and health inequities impacting them. The FUSE Executive Fellow will assess the needs and prioritize addressing the policies, programs, services, and disparities that affect the trans community’s economic and physical health and wellbeing in order to improve access to fair employment and safe housing.

Fellowship Dates: October 24, 2022 – October 23, 2023


FUSE Corps is a national nonprofit working to expand social and economic opportunities, particularly for communities that have been limited by a history of systemic and institutionalized racism. FUSE partners with local governments and communities to more effectively address pressing challenges by placing experienced professionals within city and county agencies. These FUSE Executive Fellows lead strategic projects designed to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change. Since 2012, FUSE has led over 250 projects in 40 governments across 20 states, impacting the lives of 25 million people.

When designing each fellowship project, FUSE works closely with government partners and local stakeholders to define a scope of work that will achieve substantive progress toward regional priorities. FUSE then conducts an individualized search for each project to ensure that the selected candidate has substantial relevant experience, the required competencies for the role, and deep connections to the communities being served. They are data-driven and results-oriented and able to effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.

Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. Throughout their fellowships, they receive training, coaching, and professional support from FUSE to help achieve their project goals. FUSE Executive Fellows bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to their projects. They build strong relationships with diverse arrays of stakeholders, foster alignment within and across various layers of government, and build partnerships between governments and communities.


Data from the UCLA School of Law- Williams Institute estimates that 57,200 people in the state of Georgia – or 0.67% of the state’s population – identify as transgender and transgender gender non-conforming, making it home to the thirteenth largest population of transgender people in the country as a percentage of the state’s population. These transgender and non-binary people report overwhelmingly high unemployment rates, homelessness, levels of fatal violence, and incarceration; over 48% of transgender and non-binary people are unemployed, 68% have experienced homelessness, 59% have experienced incarceration, and 95% experienced discrimination while being openly transgender and non-binary. Unfortunately, Georgia is also one of 33 states that lacks LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination laws, meaning there are no explicit protections prohibiting discrimination against transgender Georgians in housing, employment, or public places like government buildings, shopping malls, restaurants, and doctors’ offices.

Recognizing this level of injustice, the City of Atlanta has made significant strides to combat the discrimination, stigma, and systemic inequities trans and non-binary people face. Atlanta is dedicated to reinforcing its systems and services to ensure these individuals’ specific needs are met during this critical time for trans rights across our nation, as well as in the face of how the disparaging impacts of Covid-19 have further compounded the profound economic and health inequities the transgender and non-binary communities already face.

Atlanta will partner with FUSE Corps to assess the needs of transgender and non-conforming gender populations in Atlanta in order to prioritize addressing the policies, programs, services, and disparities that affect their economic and physical health and wellbeing. The FUSE Executive Fellow will: oversee a needs assessment of the trans community in Atlanta; act as a liaison between the city departments, Advisory Boards, and community stakeholders; assess internal and external city policies to ensure trans-inclusivity; and prioritize programs and policies addressing housing, youth, employment, arts & culture initiatives and services for the trans community. This work will help support the city’s goal of instilling gender diversity and inclusion as a priority in both the city’s internal workplace culture and the city’s programs and service delivery. And ultimately enable Atlanta to become one of the most trans-inclusive municipalities in the nation, serving as an incubator and flagship example for similar programs in other cities.


The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship.

Beginning in October 2022, the FUSE Executive Fellow will work with city, community, academia and partner nonprofit stakeholders including The Okra Project, Human Rights Campaign, TRANScending Barriers, SNAPco, and the Trans Housing Atlanta Program to assess and create recommendations to address the needs of the Atlanta trans community.

The Executive Fellow will begin by compiling an inventory of the City’s gender diversity and inclusion training, policies, and programs. The Executive Fellow will also examine the services provided to the trans community (e.g. healthcare, housing, employment etc.) through a justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) lens to determine programmatic gaps and overlaps, the impact, benefits, and drawbacks of each service, and the costs of these resources. This information will be used to benchmark the City’s current status as a trans-inclusive workplace and provider of services to the trans community. The Executive Fellow will then work to prioritize programs and policies that require additional support to address the trans communities’ most urgent needs across housing, youth, arts, and culture initiatives. Emphasis will be placed on Black and Latino transgender communities since it is widely documented that transgender persons of color face inequities related to employment, housing, and healthcare disproportionately.

The Executive Fellow will also project manage the data collection and analysis of a ‘Needs Assessment’ for the Atlanta trans community. This will include leading local universities through engaging directly with community stakeholders to collect feedback on community opinions on current needs, current services program design and implementation, and what new or expanded programs are most desired/needed. Importantly, this will also necessitate the Executive Fellow directly interfacing with the trans community to build trust and relationships to understand the current landscape separate from surveys which are susceptible to fear of reporting trans identity.

The Executive Fellow will create a ‘Year End’ report to outline findings, strategy recommendations, and potential impacts. The Executive Fellow will liaise with the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board’s Trans Affairs Subcommittee to identify implementation strategies for these recommendations. This will include projects such as supporting the implementation of The Okra Project housing initiative and amplifying trans-owned businesses. The Executive Fellow will help identify sustainability strategies to embed trans-inclusive policy work as a permanent, full-time program for the city.

By October 2023, the Executive Fellow will have overseen the following:

  • Conduct a thorough review of the current landscape- Become familiar with current policies and programs impacting transgender issues; oversee production of a community needs assessment; engage with relevant stakeholders to better understand perspectives, priorities, and concerns with regard to trans community needs, services, programs, and internal and external city policies; assess the impact of inequities on marginalized communities and identify solutions for eliminating these barriers
  • Recommend and support trans-inclusive policy and program implementation – Produce a year-end report outlining findings and recommendations, ensuring community needs and equity for the most vulnerable populations is centered in all strategies; support in the implementation of new programming with key stakeholders (Okra Project), coordinate and leveraging resources for maximum impact; work with leadership across agencies and departments to effectively advance a long-term program plan


  • Executive Sponsor – Courtney English, Senior Policy Advisor, Mayor’s Office
  • Co-Executive Sponsor – La’Shawn Dudley, Deputy Chief Equity Officer, Mayor’s Office
  • Project Supervisor – Malik Brown, Director of LGBTQ Affairs, Mayor’s Office
  • Project Partner – Dominique Morgan, Executive Director, The Okra Project


In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in data analysis with a proficient understanding of the concepts of institutional and systemic racism and its impact on underserved and underrepresented communities is strongly preferred for this project. Those with lived experience as a member of the trans community are highly preferred as candidates.

  • Synthesizes complex information into clear and concise recommendations and action-oriented implementation plans.
  • Develops and effectively implements both strategic and operational project management plans.
  • Generates innovative, data-driven, and result-oriented solutions to difficult challenges.
  • Responds quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies, and other processes.
  • Communicates effectively both verbally and in writing and excels in both active listening and conversing.
  • Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies in order to support more effective decision making.
  • Establishes and maintains strong relationships with a diverse array of stakeholders, both inside and outside of government, and particularly including community-based relationships.
  • Embraces differing viewpoints and implements strategies to find common ground.
  • Demonstrates confidence and professional diplomacy, while effectively interacting with individuals at all levels of various organizations.

FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.

FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives into our work at every level. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.