Michigan native, husband give ACLU $15M for LGBTQ rights
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union has named a project addressing LGBTQ and HIV issues after a Michigan native and his husband, officials announced Thursday.
The Jon L. Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović LGBTQ & HIV Project is located inside the ACLU Ruth Bader Ginsburg Liberty Center in New York, the ACLU said.
The project was created in 1986. Its name change follows a $15 million gift from Stryker and Randjelović to the ACLU Foundation.
Stryker is founder and president of the Arcus Foundation, a private, global grant-making organization that supports the advancement of LGBTQ human rights and conservation of the world’s great apes. Based in New York, the foundation has an office in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Stryker serves on the board at Kalamazoo College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in biology. Stryker also has funded a Queer Studies program at Spelman College and a national lynching memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, the ACLU said.
He and Randjelović married in 2016.
“LGBTQ rights are literally life-and-death human rights issues,” Stryker said. “I’ve learned that in the United States and around the world, many people are still unaware of the discrimination and violence faced by LGBTQ people. We’re talking about ordinary people who are trying to live openly but lack the freedom to do so without facing severe consequences.”
ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero calls Stryker and Randjelović “pioneering supporters” of the organization.
“Jon and Slo know that the battles for trans justice are more critical than ever,” Romero said. “The project will ensure that our fight for LGBTQ justice and equality will continue in the years ahead with energy and determination, as well as the resources needed to ensure success.”