AsylumConnect's Co-Founder & President Selected as 2019 Roddenberry Fellow, $50K Grant

Press Release

Katie Sgarro, AsylumConnect Co-Founder & President, selected from thousands of applicants as a 2019 Roddenberry Fellow to receive a $50,000 grant and tailored support to help persecuted LGBTQ people find safety

NEW YORK, NY, Jan. 8, 2019 — Today, the Roddenberry Foundation announced its second ever cohort of Roddenberry Fellows. Katie Sgarro, AsylumConnect’s co-founder and president, is among the 2019 Fellowship recipients. The Roddenberry Foundation has selected 20 activists from thousands of applicants across the United States to join a 12-month fellowship program designed to protect the most vulnerable and make the U.S. a more inclusive and equitable place to live.

I’m very excited to join this innovative fellowship program. Our team is looking forward to leveraging the Roddenberry Foundation’s support to dramatically expand AsylumConnect’s impact at a pivotal moment in the United States. Together, we can ensure there is never a time when someone does not know where it is safe to go for help due to their LGBTQ identity or immigration status.
— Katie Sgarro, AsylumConnect Co-Founder & President

AsylumConnect is currently partnering with Y Combinator-backed tech nonprofit One Degree to improve and scale the first ever online resource catalog for LGBTQ asylum seekers across the U.S. and to Canada (April 2019). If the United States’ newly announced “Catch and Return” asylum policy stands, AsylumConnect will also look to bring its resource catalog to Mexico to support those who are now forced to wait in Mexico while seeking LGBTQ asylum in the U.S. Additionally, the Roddenberry Foundation’s support will enable AsylumConnect to create a safe online community for LGBTQ asylum seekers and asylees, and service providers. At scale, in addition to LGBTQ asylum seekers, AsylumConnect’s work will extend a comprehensive lifeline to related marginalized LGBTQ populations, including: undocumented LGBTQ immigrants, LGBTQ DREAMers, and homeless or isolated LGBTQ youth.

The Roddenberry Foundation was launched in 2010, by the son of Gene Roddenberry, creator of the Star Trek series, to build on his father’s legacy and philosophy of inclusion, diversity, and respect for life to drive social change and meaningfully improve the lives of people around the world. The Foundation chooses 20 Fellows across 4 issue areas (Civil Rights, Environmental Protection, Immigration and Refugee Rights, and LGBTQIA and Women’s Rights) to receive a $50K award, as well as tailored support. This year’s fellows were selected with the help of an expert evaluation panel of renowned thought leaders, academics, activists, and change agents.

Meet the 2019 Roddenberry Fellows:

Learn more about the Fellowship:

Media Contact:

AsylumConnect Press Team