Joseph DeFilippis, Founder
Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ) is committed to promoting economic justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation. The goal is to challenge and change the systems that create poverty and economic injustice and to promote an economic system that embraces sexual and gender diversity. QEJ believes that access to social and economic resources is a fundamental right and works to create equity through grassroots organizing, public education, advocacy and research. QEJ works with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in poverty to educate the public about their issues and to advocate for inclusive and humane policies.
In 1999, Joseph DeFilippis brought together a coalition of 40 organizations to address poverty issues in the LGBT community. It engaged in advocacy efforts with public officials and sponsored forums on topics such as welfare reform, homelessness and the shelter system. Out of this work, QEJ founded by queers living in poverty and LGBT economic justice activists to focus on these issues. Currently, QEJ is organizing homeless LGBT people trying to survive in the shelter system and LGBT people living on welfare. The organization provides basic know your rights trainings, hones advocacy skill and connects to campaigns for systemic reform.