Category Archive: Activism

  1. Second Annual Sex Worker Cabaret

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    Join us for the Second Annual Sex Worker Cabaret on Sunday, June 12, 2011!

    Sex workers take the stage to tell their diverse stories through performance, narrative, puppetry, burlesque, comedy and more. This event starts with a curated selection of video works about sex work around the globe, and then features an all-star lineup of eleven performers.

    Producers Sarah Jenny and Damien Luxe are proud to present this Sunday evening cabaret showcasing some of the most vibrant creative talent in the sex worker community. The cabaret is in homage to Annie Oakley’s Sex Workers Art Show (1997-2009) and takes place during LGBTQ Pride month, a time to reflect on the importance of community. Come listen to tales of self-determination, and bear witness to survival and celebration as sex workers eloquently — and at times raunchily — speak their truths.

    With MCs Sarah Jenny and Damien Luxe and DJ Sirlinda!

    WHEN: Sunday, June 12, 2011
    TIME: DOORS @ 7:30PM, VIDEOS @ 8PM SHOW @ 8:30PM
    TICKETS: $12 in adv. or $15 at the door (Click here to purchase tickets online.)
    WHERE: Public Assembly, 70 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY

    For more information, please visit www.sexworkercabaret.com

  2. Sex Worker Zine Project – Call for Submissions

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    The Sex Worker Zine Project seeks to create a zine showcasing the diversity of sex workers’ experiences of all genders, sexualities, ages, abilities, nationalities, immigration statuses, races, and ethnic backgrounds. International submissions encouraged! This yet to be titled zine will be printed in full cover and will be available for sale with profits supporting the work of SWOP-NYC. All accepted contributors will receive a free copy of the completed zine. This zine is intended to be informal, informational, and accessible.

    How to Contribute

    Are you a current or former sex worker or someone who has experienced trading sex for money, food, housing, drugs, hormones, and/or other survival needs? We want to hear from you! Please submit your work on a sheet of paper 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ (ex. half a sheet of letter size paper) with quarter inch margins, full color (or black and white, high contract) page to our zine project. Please do not fold the paper if possible. Include on a separate page (either attached with a paper clip or leave unattached) your name (does not need to be your legal name), age, email address and/or phone number, and a mailing address should you wish to receive a copy if your page is makes it in the final project. Please state how, if at all, you wish to be credited for your work. (ex. Sparkley Stacey, John Doe, Anonymous in India, etc.) Be creative! Use pens, markers, collage, glitter, what ever way you wish to express yourself! You can use text or images alone or together. You can submit up to five pages but we will probably only be able to print one page per person. Your original materials will not be returned to you.

    Your submission must be postmarked by May 1, 2011.

    Can allies contribute?

    We will consider submissions by allies! If you are an ally, friend, family member, child, parent, or partner of a sex worker, your story and advice is also valuable! Please consider submitting a page to the zine and please note if you are an ally with your submission.

    Submissions by E-Mail

    You can submit your piece by email if you are able (for example, created in PhotoShop or if it is scanned) at 300dpi resolution. Please email to: sarahjenny(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Submissions by Mail

    Mail your submission to:

    Sarah Jenny
    721 Broadway
    4th Floor, ITP
    New York, NY 10003 USA

    Contribute In Person!

    We will be providing supplies to make your own contribution at the International Day for Sex Workers’ Rights Potluck on Tuesday, March 1st in New York City. More information coming soon!

    Prompts & Ideas for Submissions

    • Your techniques for self-care, ex. bubble bath, cooking a good meal, playing with your dog, etc.
    • Techniques for harm reduction, ex. getting tested regularly, tips for screening clients, strategies for staying safe, etc.
    • How To Be An Ally To Sex Workers
    • Tips for Partners of Sex Workers – how to be supportive, how to decide whether or not to come out to a partner, etc.
    • Illustrate your favorite work outfit
    • Illustrate your favorite outfit in general!
    • What does a bad day at work feel like? How do you cope? What would you like to see change?
    • Illustrate and write about what sex work is like in your city, region, or country.
    • Illustrate and write about what you imagine ideal working conditions to be like — ex. decriminalization, health care, etc.
    • Tell us about your sex worker community!
    • Parenting and sex work
    • How to create cross-movement solidarity within social justice movements
    • A list of your favorite support resources, books, magazines, and organizations
    • Anything else you wish to add!

     

  3. Panel Discussion on International Solidarity with India’s Sex Workers’ Rights Movement

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    Wednesday, April 13
    5-7pm
    The Brecht Forum, 451 West St. (West Side Highway), betw. Bank and Bethune
    Click here for directions

    Free and open to the public!

    Dr. Smarajit Jana, one of the founders of the DMSC (Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee) in Calcutta, India, and his colleague, a member of DMSC’s organizing committee, are visiting the US in April, and will be speaking at the Brecht Forum on Wednesday, April 13, 5-7pm.

    The DMSC is a collective forum of 65,000 sex workers and serves as a model of labor organizing within the sex worker rights community.  DMSC has been extremely successful in securing support for their work from the communist-led government of the Indian state of West Bengal, making the organization unique in the kinds of allies it has made in the course of doing its work.  However, opportunities for sex workers from the Global South to meet with fellow activists, like-minded scholars and allies in the Global North are few and far between, unlike the opportunities for networking among anti-human-trafficking activists, which abound, due to governmental support for the abolition of prostitution.  This exciting event will bring together sex workers’ and labor rights activists in New York with activists from India in a rich discussion on what’s happening, and what the way forward might be.

    This event is sponsored by: the Sex Workers’ Outreach Project (SWOP)-NYC, The Brecht Forum, South Asia Solidarity Initiative, the Barnard Center for Research on Women, the Department of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a coalition of sex workers’ rights advocates in New York City.

  4. Stop NY State Police from using condoms as evidence of prostitution! The time to act is NOW!

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    Hi friends – some of you might be wondering “Why is SJ sending this to me?” Well, in part, I count on you as a friend/family member/colleague to support human rights and social justice. But also you should know that the way the laws are on the books now, the existing policy disporportionately impacts LGBTQ people, people of color, and low income folks — people who may simply be profiled as sex workers regardless of intent, undeniable institutionalized racism, classism, and homophobia. You should be outraged! So take that rage and help get the No Condoms As Evidence Bill passed by reading the note below and taking five minutes to make a phone call. Help protect the rights of all New Yorkers to carry condoms.

    From the Sex Workers Project:

    Hello all,

    We just discovered that Council Member Jessica Lappin has introduced a New York City Council resolution in support of our bill! http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=853106&GUID=22329998-92ED-43B1-9DC8-F2AD87EE50BB&Options&Search

    The most helpful thing people can do is CALL THEIR COUNCIL MEMBERS and ask them to SIGN ONTO THE RESOLUTION (Res 0710-2011).

    This is a quick and easy thing you can do today to support sex workers!

    1) find your council member here: http://council.nyc.gov/html/members/members.shtml.

    2) Call their Legislative Office

    3) Tell who answers your name, and that you are a constituent

    4) Ask to speak to the Legislative Staff

    5) Say you would like your Council Member to sign onto Res 0710, introduced by Councilmember Jessica Lappin

    • This resolution supports bill S323/A1008 in the New York State Legislature
    • This bill would prohibit condoms from being used as evidence of prostitution
    • This bill promote public health by making sure everyone can carry condoms without worrying it could lead to arrest or conviction.
    • Condoms are regularly confiscated by police, leading to higher risk for pregnancy, HIV, and STD’s among vulnerable populations.
    • This impacts public health initiatives distributing condoms to at-risk populations.
    • This bill has a broad list of supporters, including the Public Health Association of New York City, GMHC, Planned Parenthood, the NYCLU, the LGBT Center, and many other organizations.
    • Leave your name and phone number, in case the Council Member has any questions.

     

    Please let us know if you are able to make a call!

    For more info about the bill – please click here: http://www.sexworkersproject.org/campaigns/2011/new-york-condom-bill/

     

    SWP No Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution PSA from Mandona Productions on Vimeo.

  5. HIV/AIDS & Social Media News Roundup

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    HIV/AIDS News

    • Personalized Text Messages Could Boost HIV Medication Adherence – “A personalized text messaging reminder service significantly boosted antiretroviral (ARV) adherence over a six-week period compared with a standard beeper reminder system, according to a study published in the March issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs.”
    • Adults With HIV at Increased Risk of Bone Fractures, Study Finds
    • Maine AIDS Alliance Closing its Doors – “Maine’s only statewide HIV/AIDS advocacy group is closing in June after more than two decades of lobbying for patients in Augusta and organizing Maine AIDS Walks and World AIDS Day events. The Maine AIDS Alliance expects to lose state funding starting next year. Rather than try to stay open, the group says it will find a new organization to take on its advocacy duties.”
    • Indonesia: Closing brothels ‘won’t stop HIV’ – YOGYAKARTA: The National AIDS Commission (KPA) says that shuttering sites of prostitution will not stop the spread of HIV, but will instead make it more difficult to control the virus’ spread.

    Social Media

  6. HIV/AIDS News Roundup and I am in the press!

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    In other news, I was quoted on behalf of my organization (where I am a co-founder and community organizer), SWOP-NYC, in the Village Voice as well as at Time.com! For more information on the bill and how to get involved, check out this page and this short PSA.

  7. CALL FOR PERFORMERS & VIDEOS: Sex Worker Cabaret on June 12, 2011 in Brooklyn, NY

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    Share Your Sex Worker Pride this June at the Sex Worker Cabaret on June 12th at Public Assembly in Brooklyn!

    We are looking for cabaret acts of 3-7 minutes each for an early evening (7pm -11pm) event: burlesque, performance art, literary readings, comedy, video art, musical acts, etc. are all welcomed. Diversity encouraged! All genders, bodies, ages, and talents welcome to apply. We are currently looking for proposals that would be, on some level, about sex work: whether it be a story about your favorite/least favorite client, a burlesque number to She Works Hard For the Money, or a more abstract interpretation. Preference is given to current/former sex workers (self-defined) but we will also consider topical submissions from allies, partners of workers, etc.

    For more information or to submit your proposal, please visit: http://www.sexworkercabaret.com