Organizing Training Program

7/25/2019 1:03am

In 2018 NJNP started a three month pilot, stipend Organizing Training Project(OIT), developing organizing and leadership skills for trans folks of color most directly and disproportionately impacted by violence resulting from the criminalization of sex work to organize locally impacted communities and lead the movement to decriminalize sex work and make the District of Columbia a safer space for trans, gender non-conforming (GNC), and gender expansive individuals and communities.

The Organizing Training Project Pilot (OTP) is intended for community members most-impacted by structural racism, transmisogny, state violence, and other biases whose manifestations individually and structurally adversely affect TGNC communities. NJNP is supporting three organizers through this program and hopes to support more pending trainees, volunteer capacity and funding. 

Last year, No Justice No Pride (NJNP) worked with SWAC to organize community members to provide testimony preventing a toxic “Nuisance” Bill in DC’s City Council — that would have further criminalized trans sex workers and people who are perceived as sex workers — from ever reaching a vote. We saw a need to bust myths, and build community-based support for SWAC’s goals. Shortly after, we launched the first phase of a Community Storytelling Project with 20 stories collected through surveys and small storytelling events led by directly-impacted trans community members around experiences related to Fare Evasion, Street & Public Harassment, Sex Work, Wellness, Housing, and Community Safety. 

To help facilitate this, NJNP started a pilot program last spring (The Organizing Training Project) to develop the organizing, storytelling and leadership skills of Trans folks of color disproportionately impacted by violence resulting from the criminalization of sex work while providing stipends as an safer form of employment to street based work. NJNP has since completed two rounds of Organizer-In-Trainings (OIT) with eight participants having completed the program. Four of these participants were organizers for the first phase of the Storytelling Project and since joined NJNP’s Steering Committee where they make strategic and administrative decisions for the collective. Now a year after starting this project we would like to do a second phase of the project to continue to build on the momentum and past successes towards our end goal of decriminalizing sex work in D.C.