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Conference Speakers 2008

 

PRESENTATION LIST

Please note that this web version is NOT the most up-dated copy, and is subject to change.

We are constantly updating the Word Doc here.

THURSDAY 11:00am to 2:30pm (with breaks)
KEYNOTE WORKSHOP


"Contrary to Popular Belief: developing open communication and collaboration in order to combat oppression in social justice work"

An Anti-Oppression Training facilitated by Michaela Purdue (aka Descara)

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

For the past 13 years Michaela Purdue has led classes and workshops on eliminating racism, developing peer-counseling skills among youth and adults, and building a network of allies for both constituencies. Through the project United to End Racism (UER) she was a delegate to the national White Privilege Conference for three consecutive years, and led the UER delegation to this conference in 2006. Also through UER she was a delegate to the United Nation's World Conference against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa in August 2001 and has since participated on several delegations to various countries in Africa, training community members in peer counseling and leadership development. Currently she is an executive board member for Beyondmedia Education, a media arts and advocacy organization that collaborates with under-served and under-represented women, youth and communities to organize for social justice through the creation and distribution of alternative media and arts. Michaela received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychological Services and Human Development and a Certificate in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University in 1999.

TRAINING DESCRIPTION:  

In our fight to achieve social justice, we activists often lose sight of the inter-connectivity of the various systems of oppression we fight against. Largely this is due to the fact that we live in a culture that impedes upon our ability to deconstruct the effects of oppression on individuals and groups. Furthermore, social justice activists rarely have enough space to explore the ways in which the very oppression and social injustice we combat impacts our relationships with other social activists and our collective work.

This anti-oppression training will provide an opportunity for participants to explore various systems of oppression, the ways that these systems impact us as individuals and groups, and the ways these systems work together to keep individuals and groups divided. Utilizing paired listening exercises, group dialogue and constituent-based, small group discussions, and with a particular focus on race, gender, sexual orientation and class, participants will develop a shared analysis of systems of oppression that will inform the strategies they develop to combat social injustice – in the world and in the context of their group dynamics
.

 

THURSDAY 2:40pm to 3:20pm

LUNCH PLENARY

"Safety for Sex Workers Through Personal Privacy – Legal and Relatively Simple Ways of Working and Living Out of Harm’s Way"  

PANEL BIOGRAPHY:

Amanda Brooks is a former stripper and independent escort who retired to begin writing a series of reference books for Internet escorts. She's returned to escort work and is still working on the book series. She's a board member of Desiree Alliance and SWOP-East, as well as a moderator at Bound, not Gagged and a news editor at $pread Magazine.

PANEL DESCRIPTION:

This is a straightforward on using legal techniques of misdirection and misinformation to keep you safe at work. The concepts of an alternate name, an alternate mailing address, untraceable cell phone, credit card and even business bank account is essential for sex workers with more complex business needs. The second part of the presentation covers recent developments and basic techniques for safeguarding your rights online, including issues of free speech, privacy, and what will subject you to a particular state or county's jurisdiction. None of these methods will hide you from the IRS or the government, but they are enough to keep predators at arms length, which is something most sex workers want.

THURSDAY 3:35pm to 4:50pm

TRACK ONE

"Transgender Intra-Community Relations"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHIES:

Sharmus Outlaw has been active in the sex workers community in the DC area for about 8 years. She has worked with  HIPS, Different Avenues, and SMAYL in the DC area as well as the LGBT coalition, dealing law reform around transgender issues.  Her activism and work focuses on organizing to address the violence and discrimination that sex workers face, that she has also faced. Her skills include self defense and self-protection which she works to share with the community. She deeply enjoys giving back her life experience as a transgender woman who has also been a sex worker and sharing those experiences with other sex workers in the community.

Joy Morris is a 44 year old African American Transgender female that resides in Chicago. For 27 years, Joy has been a survivor of HIV/AIDS. She is an HIV/AIDS activist and advocate in her community and nationally. Joy is a liaison from the Chicagoland transgender community where she has been advocating for the transgender community for the past four years. In her current position as the Outreach Consultant for the Street Outreach Unit at Men & Women in Prison Ministries, Inc., she specializes in ex-offender re-entry into society. Joy is an active member of the NorthSide HIV/Health Coalition (NSHHC), AIDS Research Alliance of Chicago (ARAC), and the Black Gay Men's Caucus. She also sits on the Community Advisory Board at Haymarket and the Needs Assessment Committee for the Chicago Area HIV Planning Council Title One. Joy is a dynamic group facilitator for various agencies in the Chicagoland area.

Lois Bates is a proud transgender activist, who has faced many challenges and brings her understanding of self-preservation to a wide range of activism for her community. She has worked with many Chicago groups including the HIV Prevention Planning Group and Chicago Area Ryan White Services Planning Council and as Program Director for the Minority Outreach Intervention Project (MOIP).  Lois now directs TWISTA, a health education group for young transgender women of color, which meets to talk about transgender culture & history,  dating and health. She is currently Transgender Program Manager for Howard Brown Health Center.  She was also appointed Secretary of the Windy City Black Pride committee (Chicago's black LGBT pride organization), making her the first Transperson to hold office on a black LGBT pride committee anywhere in the country. A profile of Lois is featured in this month's Positively Aware, titled “Lois Bates, the Essence of Strength Courage and Wisdom.” (positivelyaware.com)

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

A discussion and "fishbowl" led by Sharmus Outlaw, exploring issues and improving relations around insecurities, competition and horizontal hostilities. The group will brainstorm about ways to address the issues, including strategies for individuals and organizations to develop better communication skills and increase support.

THURSDAY 3:35pm to 4:50pm

TRACK TWO

"Sex Work, Soccer, and Solidarity: Community Building and Empowerment in Guatemala"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:  

Ana Moraga is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of MuJER- Mujeres por la Justicia, Educación y el Reconocimiento- in Guatemala. She is responsible for devloping educational programs geared towards empowering sex workers and promoting women's rights in Guatemala City's red light district. Moraga represents MuJER and Guatemalan sex workers in national and international networks such as La Red de la No Violencia Contra las Mujeres and La Red Feminista Centroamericana Contra la Violencia Hacia la Mujer. She is responsible for networking with NGOs working in the fields of women's rights, sex work, and violence against women. In 2007, she organized The Guatemalan Femicide Conference: Shed the Veil of Indifference in Los Angeles, California where Guatemalan sex workers were given the space to speak out against the violence in their community. Moraga has also worked as a volunteer HIV/AIDS and STD educator for Proyecto La Sala- Asociación de Salud Integral, in Guatemala.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

Las Estrellas de La Linea documentary follows a group of sex workers in Guatemala's famous red light district, La Linea. In forming a soccer team, the group set out to bring awareness to the violence and police harassment affecting their community. MuJER, an education focused NGO, was later established in response to the women's intial path to empowerment.  This presentation will discuss the aftermath of the film, explore the context of sex work in Guatemala, and MuJER's unique approach to empower one of the most marginalized communities in Guatemala City.

THURSDAY 3:35pm to 4:50pm

TRACK THREE

"SAFETY 411"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

Ciara of Buffalo is the owner and founder of

DANGERZONE411.com. Dangerzone411.com is a national alert list - of Dangerous men, including cops- rapist-abusers- thieves and so on.  They have over 2200 members online . They started in 2005 as YahooGroup and were deleted by TER.  They pieced themselves back together shortly after to bring the nation www.dangerzone411.com . Ciara of Buffalo has been in the industry for 11 years and still an active working escort.  She travels all over the country and has never had a run in with law enforcement, not even close.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

Dangerzone411 feels it is important for all sex workers to know that no matter what arena of the industry you are in - Dangerzone411 keeps ALL SAFE !  They will be speaking about Safety and Screening, and have many members representing what Dangerzone can do, and what it has done for them.

 

THURSDAY 5:10pm to 6:30pm

TRACK ONE

"CHALLENGING DISCRIMINATION AMONG SEX WORKERS:  Reconstructing "Sex Work""

PANEL BIOGRAPHIES:

Beth Death is "a fuckin whore".  She has been an x rated dominatrix for almost 6 years now. It is her sole source of income. She works independently, but previously worked at just about every house dungeon in Chicago. She has been arrested because of working.  Also, she did a lot of academic work around sex work theory, and advocated for sex workers rights in a women and gender studies department, which was against having them, or even discussing them.  She works closely with SWOP-CHICAGO, Desiree Alliance, and End the Prison Industrial Complex.

Serpent Libertine of SWOP-CHICAGO has been a sex worker for almost ten years, starting in her early twenties. She has worked as a pro domme, escort, masseuse, madam, and behind the camera doing production, sound, casting, and camera work in the adult film industry. Currently she is an active member of SWOP-Chicago and the Desiree Alliance. She also maintains a blog (sexpros.net) about her experiences in the sex industry and runs the sex worker made media site www.redlightdistrictchicago.co

Dave Wold of SWOP-CHICAGO has been involved in the adult film industry for about 5 years.  After earning a law degree from DePaul University in Chicago, he first started in adult by managing a family of websites under the xpix.com brand.  From there, he became a performer.  He has worked as a performer for Huster/VCA, Rebel Motion Pictures, Libido Films, and numerous upstarts and websites.  He currently is developing an adult site with his girlfriend and partner, Morgana Moon, named www.MorganaMoon.com.  He has also been a contributor to Xbiz, an adult industry periodical. 

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

An escort, a pornstar, and a fuckin' whore… While the three presenters on this panel each have uniquely individual experiences as sex-workers, they all share common challenges that face sex-workers worldwide.  The panel's goal is to offer their diverse experiences to facilitate a communal discussion with all present addressing some of the greater questions that face each sex-worker and develop strategies and solutions towards facing the challenges that those greater questions present.  While some questions only raise new ones, this inclusive dialogue will hopefully shed light on the commonalities of our community and give hope towards a collective effort towards answers.  Some questions to be directly raised may include: 

  • Who is a sex-worker?  And how do we feel about one another?
  • What are the oppressions and privileges that come with being a sex-worker?
  • How do societal factors, e.g., race, gender, sexuality, class, environment, affect your life as a sex-worker?
  • What is absent from the sex-worker movement?
  • With whom do potential alliances exist?

THURSDAY 5:10pm to 6:30pm
TRACK TWO

 “WE, ASIAN SEX WORKERS” panel and action planning workshop

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:  

Mariko Passion is a performance artist | activist | educator | whore revolutionary.  She sings and rhymes her experiences and reality over beats, produces and edits documentary videos,  and educates the community across the U.S and internationally on issues related to sex worker rights.  She is also an accomplished visual artist, most recently participating in a groundbreaking show on sex workers of Asian descent in San Francisco, entitled “We, Asian Sex Workers.”  Her work attempts to integrate sex work,  performance art and outright protest of the criminalization of prostitution through her gallery installations and the participation of the art buyer. Ms. Passion has 10 years of experience in sex work.  She has worked as a stripclub stripper, private dancer, agency escort, independent escort, Mistress/Dominant,  and sensual masseuse. 

She is currently a sex worker in Los Angeles under a different name and running the LA chapter of Sex Workers Outreach Project Los Angeles (SWOP-LA).

Mariko’s interest in sex workers of Asian descent was indeed the “research gateway” to her first stripping job.  A touring project such as the “Sex Workers Art Show” for sex workers of Asian descent seems to be one very effective in creating a rights based legacy for people in different parts of the U.S and also a radical intersection of the strongest sex worker rights voices.  The second hour is basically the beginning on an online working group committed to building a continuing legacy and community education campaign through arts and writing.

She will also be co-presenting with Surgeon Scofflaw, Mina Zhi and more to be determined.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

An opportunity to network and plan future exhibitions and the anthology project, start a google group mailing list, make a list of commitments, fundraising/grantwriting, and create a timeline…all things leading to the continuation of the the exhibition and upcoming anthology.

 

FRIDAY 12:00pm to 1:00pm
PLENARY

"Capitalism Critical Sexworkers? What the BLEEP?" "National Sex Worker Leadership Institute: A new capacity building model"

PRESENTERS BIOGRAPHIES:

Conrad H. was first exposed to sex work at 16 as a runaway.  He did not start doing sex work until 3 years later when he started gogo dancing in gay clubs.  Over the next 3 years, Conrad worked as a male model, actor, stripper and ultimately an escort.  One of his first clients became his sugar daddy, which gave him a significant amount of money and helped him to learn and grow over the next 10 years.  He has been a closeted sex worker within the activist community in New York City for the past three years, founding a free bike workshop and doing freegan media activism. Recently, Conrad came out to fellow activists as a sex worker.  Soon after he was part of the beginning of SWANK, and has been active in most of its activities ever since.  Since then he has come out publicly to non-sex worker friends and activists.

Ivy Fields identifies as a radical sex worker, feminist, anarchist, queer femme.  Originally from Philadelphia, she studied ballet and Sociology before becoming a “professional queer”, working to end bias violence, intimate partner abuse and sexual violence.  Today she lives in Brooklyn with her partner of 11 years and 2 pugs.  When she’s not performing burlesque or working as a pro domme, she works with queer young people, helping them become organizers and to question authority in all forms, and is an activist involved with the New York Metro Alliance of Anarchists, SWANK, the Signals Collective, street medics and radical cheerleaders.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

A critique of capitalism from a sex worker's perspective.  We seek to create a pro-active workshop and caucus space for anyone interested in critically discussing capitalism, alternatives to the capitalist system and tools they can take home and apply to their own lives.  This workshop will include different perspectives from individuals who identify as sex workers and who have incorporated a critique of capitalism into their lives and work.

"National Sex Worker Leadership Institute: A new capacity building model"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

Penelope Saunders was a key organizer on the National Sex Worker Leadership Institute. She has run several sex worker organizations including SIN in Australia, HIPS in Washington DC and Different Avenues in Washington DC. She is a Desiree Alliance Board member and founder of the Best Practices Policy Project.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

The National Sex Worker Leadership Institute (NSWL Institute) is a unique effort designed to build capacity within marginalized communities to fight for social justice, advocate for access to services, and to defend harm reduction approaches in the US. The first NSWL Institute was held in DC in October of 2007. This program was developed via a year-long process in response to suggestions from sex worker organizations post the 2006 Desiree Alliance National Conference. The program intended to build advocacy capacity in 25 people, priority given to individuals of diverse backgrounds with relevant sex work experience. Analysis of evaluation data collected illustrates the high level of success achieved in the applicant review process and the feasibility of meshing training for harm reductionists and rights advocates. The presenters will describe methodology, specificities to evaluation with sex workers, data from interviews and survey instruments.

 

FRIDAY 1:20pm to 2:35pm 
TRACK ONE

"Adult Entertainer's Guide to Disabled Customers - 2008 Edition"

PRESENTERS BIOGRAPHIES:

My name is William Takahashi. I am a college graduate with a background in graphic arts and social work. I am disabled. My disability is Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a physical disability caused by a permanent brain injury that occurs before, during, or shortly after birth. The effect of Cerebral Palsy, or CP, is characterized by lack of muscle control and body movement. I use a Hot powered wheelchair to get around. I decided to enter the adult design world three years ago because I saw a real need for education, understanding, and integration of the disabled into the adult industry. It’s unfortunate that sex and disability are more often seen as a medical or academic research topic, but not seen as erotic or hot.  I enjoy creating erotic art, and developing my skills as an adult web designer. I also enjoy being in front of a camera. I have worked with two photographers, one female and one male, which involved adult wheelchair art content.
http://www.adult-performer-resources.com
http://www.myspace.com/williamtakahashi

 My name is Leilah. I am currently attending Columbia College, and majoring in Advertising Art Direction. I have always been intrigued by “erotic art,” and have a huge passion for creating design and art that represents women in a strong visual way. I feel unfortunately that the Adult World is very limited to what it could be capable of. Women are shown posing in a male hyper real fantasy world, I feel that to advertise the girl as a product is a common mistake; women are beautiful and sexy, even with their clothes on. I hope that in the future the Adult Industry will put equal emphasis on the beauty of the natural male form, instead of having them as just a prop.  I currently work with William as a Personal Assistant, and as his graphic designer. One of my dreams is to help open the sexual gateway of the future. I want the Industry to be a place where sexuality can be openly discussed, and understood, instead of something dirty or shameful. The Adult Industry should be a place where disabled and abled body people, women and men, can find a pleasurable safe outlet for their natural desires.

 PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

A large number of disabled people have never experienced sex in their life.  This lack of physical contact produces emotional pain and suffering. The disabled have the same desires and needs as everyone else. Erotic Dancers, Escorts, and other Adult Industry Professionals can provide an alternative that can dramatically improve the lives of the disabled.

Our presentation is intended to be a guide to help Adult Industry Professionals interact with people with disabilities in the best possible way.  I will begin with a brief discussion about how people with disabilities should be viewed by the Adult Industry. I will then provide correct terminology and etiquette, which may be utilized with people who have different disabilities. Our presentation then covers: The Art of Lap Dancing for disabled customers, first contact between escorts and disabled customers, and a section on correct sexual etiquette between escorts and disabled customers. The presentation concludes with a short discussion of my personal attempts to interview other disabled people regarding their experiences with escorts.

FRIDAY 1:20pm to 2:35pm 
TRACK TWO

"How to Be an Adult Ally to Youth who trade Sex for Money, Gifts & Survival needs"

PRESENTERS BIOGRAPHIES:

Shira Hassan has been working with youth involved in the sex trade for over ten years. She has worked extensively with boys, girls and transgender youth and has been engaged in the harm reduction community since she was 18 years old in New York City and Chicago. As the Co Director of YWEP, Shira has worked with youth involved in trafficking, sex work & and survival sex and has trained all over the country on safety, legal rights, trauma, healing and injection drug use to youth and adults alike. Shira is also active in the women of color community working towards an end to violence against girls women and transgender people.

Laura J Mintz has been a national leader in the conversation about youth and the sex trade since 1998. As a co founder of Young Women's Empowerment Project, Laura has traveled all over the country to represent girls and young women's thoughts about sex work and the sex trade. Laura has been doing HIV prevention, harm reduction and community empowerment work with incarcerated youth and adults focusing on legal rights, health and violence.

Cynthia Ibarra is a Queer Xicanista activist armed with the social justice knowledge gained in the Latina community of Chicago. First in her family to graduate college, she holds a B.A. in Latin American and Latina Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She's been active in the struggle by and for womyn of color reproductive and sexual health rights, freedoms, and justice. After working in Guadalajara, Mexico with a progressive Children's rights NGO doing outreach and popular education with street youth, she returned to Chicago and has been with YWEP for three years.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

This training will provide a foundation for ethical work with young people.  It will be led for and by people with life experience in the street economy & trading sex for money. Interactive activities will be used to help participants work through difficult issues that come up when engaged in a community with young people. Presenters will discuss their decade long experience and lessons learned from successes and misses when struggling to support young people involved in all parts of the sex trade and street economy.

FRIDAY 1:20pm to 2:35pm 
TRACK THREE

"Sex worker rights and direct services in urban communities of Los Angeles"

PRESENTERS BIOGRAPHIES:

SEX WORKERS OUTREACH PROJECT LOS ANGELES (SWOP-LA) is the Southern California branch of SEX WORKERS OUTREACH PROJECT-USA (SWOP-USA), a national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of sex workers and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy.  SWOP-LA began as SWOP-UCLA during the graduate school career of founder and director Mariko Passion on the University of California, Los Angeles campus from 2004-2006.   After graduating with a degree in social justice education, Ms. Passion officially formed SWOP-LA in December of 2006 which was aimed at expanding beyond the privileged community of the University and working with the social and economically diverse population of urban Los Angeles.  The group has grown to include fiscal sponsorship from Women Alive, a 501c3 non profit HIV/AIDS prevention organization that has served women of color communities for over 20 years in LA.  It has also grown to include 6 core members that meet on a weekly basis and an ever growing mailing list of sex workers, social service providers in the domestic violence, HIV/AIDS prevention community and many others in LA and beyond.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

•    PANEL and powerpoint PRESENTATION of all members present

•    PPT on specific topics (which ones—what we have done to date with the org…)

1.    WORKING IN AND SPEAKING OF LA

talk about the overall population of LA, the conservative majority (Black, Latin churches and Orthodox Jewish population), the Hollywood paradox (Fergalicious but not promiscuous, Porn Star not Prostitute)

          2.  SOCIALLY JUST LEADERSHIP:

a.  SEX WORKER LED: 3/6 core members have current or previous sex work experience 

b.  PEOPLE OF COLOR led 

c.  LGBT focus (plans to really integrate our mission into the big power agencies of the LGBTQ communities in LA (trying to reach trans and bisexual workers, especially) 

d.  MALE SEX WORKER INCLUSIVE (insert examples of our work here)

e.  non-English speaking outreach

f.  PLANS TO EMPHASIZE JOINING THE SW MOVEMENT as a potential transitional career path

g. non identifying as anything (working, exchanging, gay, MSM)

2.    HIV/AIDS PREVENTION, RISK ASSESMENT, FOCUS GROUPS, INTERVENTION, TESTING!  (by July 2008, we will have just started to do regular Basic Testing in the City van, 5/6 core members will be state certified to do Basic testing in CA)

3.    PROSTITUTION TASK FORCE PILOT (working with the DIVERSION programs, the system, the girls on the track in the hood, District Attorney's office, prosecutors, church redemption,)

4.    DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COUNCIL/DV LEGISLATIVE ISSUES COMMITTEE (what is the DV connection to sex work? How have we contributed to the public policies, conversations and DV client service providers in LA county?)

5.    LGBT

6.    MEDIA JUSTICE

7.    GRANT WRITING

8.    OUTREACH (needs/risk assessment surveys, cold calling, events/fundraisers)

9.    MEASUREMENT OF SUCCESS/OUTCOMES IN PROGRESS

 

FRIDAY 3:35pm-5:05pm
TRACK ONE

TBA

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:  

TBA

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

TBA

FRIDAY 3:35pm-5:05pm
TRACK TWO

"Don't Let This Happen To You: Screening Do's and Dont's"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

BJ, SEX WORKER FROM NORFOLK, VA: "Having been raised Orthodox Jew, I didnt have any 'real' insight into any sort of sexual activity aside from my "obligation to my husband" I was introduced to the "community" at age 43. I have been a Sex Worker for 4 years. I entered this lifestyle with a purpose..to be able to escape a violent 18+ year relationship, and take my young child and RUN. Mission accomplished. I am single, independent and sole support of a teenager now. I have seen a lot in the past 4 years, and Learned even more. I have a lot to share with fellow sex workers."

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

I am interested in sharing my experiences, views, knowledge and ideas on screening and safety. Having been viciously assaulted in 2006, I was traumatized, but managed to take a bad experience and learn from it and share my experiences and ideas with others. I have numerous resources I use in screening potential clients and look forward to sharing with others and informing those who need assistance in this area. I am interested in sharing my views on sharing our resouces and keeping each other safe.

"Bad Date Line: How to Start, Run + Maintain a Damn Good Project"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:  

Teresa Dulce sex worked 'round the U.S. from 1993-2005, making Portland/Oregon her home base. Ms. Dulce was co-founding director for Danzine, a grassroots non-profit organization created by/for sex workers with the goal to share information + resources so to make more informed decisions, personally and professionally. Teresa has been a harm reductionist since '95 and is now a consultant for syringe exchange programs and projects surrounding access to healthcare for sex workers, working plenty through the Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC). This summer she's getting her Masters in Public Health!

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

A bad date is an abusive, violent customer in the sex industry or trade. The Bad Date Line collects reports of bad dates from sex workers and then circulates their descriptions so other working girls, rent boys, dancers, lingerie models, escorts and pros could avoid a potentially harmful situation. Sex workers may not file a police report for rape or assault but we will use a bad date sheet to get the word out so someone else in the life won't get hurt.

This project is a great way to collaborate with other agencies or health department types in your city, HOWEVA, a bad date line really should be operated by sex workers. Come on down and see how to use this TOOL.

"Sex Workers Against Rape"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:  

Jill Brenneman is a national speaker, activist and outreach educator. She draws from her own diverse experiences in the sex industry as the basis for her speeches. Having a unique series of experiences that at different times in her life made her an unwilling participant as a submissive escort for an escort service catering to BDSM clients, yet at a later time in her life she was a sex worker by choice, both escort and exotic dancer. Jill, can speak from first person perspective about the differences between her non consensual participation in the sex industry as a submissive and her experience later as an adult sex worker making a consenting and open choice to do sex work. The two very separate experiences in her life give an audience a nuanced sense that the sex industry/sex work is complicated, not black and white. Jill also brings a first person perspective as to the harm of criminalization in both of her differing experiences. Jill is an outspoken advocate of sex worker human rights and is a harm reduction trained Minnesota certified sexual assault crisis counselor. Jill's 2003 ideological repositioning from anti prostitution activist to sex worker rights advocate has made her a controversial figure within the sex industry social justice movements. Her strong opposition to the Trafficking Victims Protection Re-authorization Act 2003 and subsequent Anti Prostitution Oath of 2005 has been the subject of strong responses both positive and negative from activists and media personalities.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

This presentation will draw upon the personal experiences of Jill Brenneman as both a victim/survivor of sexual violence, assault and coercion within the sex industry during non consensual participation in the sex industry contrasted by later willing participation as an escort and exotic dancer to use as a frame work to illustrate the needs for sex worker human rights to both bring social awareness and foster social justice for sex workers having faced issues of violence, discrimination, stigmatization and other forms of oppression against sex workers.  Presentation will demonstrate how a sex worker rights perspective is the most pragmatic and realistic solution to these social issues.  Her presentation opens a forum where sex workers are free if they so choose to reveal violence suffered within the sex industry while working toward a social change construct that empowers the sex worker to find strength, healing, closure and growth from these experiences as they self define them rather than being victims to be rescued by outside providers, subjects for study by researchers or other forms of third party based “recovery” programs.

FRIDAY 3:35pm-5:05pm
TRACK THREE

"Self marketing and self branding - How to run a profitable and (more safe) sex worker business."

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHIES:

This presentation will be presented by Miss Jasmine of SWOP Chicago. Her current business interest include being an active sexworker and sole proprietorship of the independent provider service http://missjasminets.com. She is currently active in fighting for sex workers rights directly with SWOP-Chicago.org. Her program will draw upon her success in applying 10+ years of experience as the National Director of Marketing for a large global manufacturer and as well VP of sales for another globally distributed manufacturer, into a very successful independent escort service.

International escort, Rachel Smithe of Swedish Harmony International has only been in the industry for 18 months, but she has become one of the highest reviewed and most sought after TS providers. She has maintained a strong clientele following by bringing the very same level of service to her sessions as she does with her daily dealings with her affluent clients at her thriving day spa here in the US. Rachel has come from 25 years of high end cosmetic and fragrance retail experience. She hopes to bring to this program the importance of cross marketing and networking in order to build a more secure future in all aspect of the sex worker's life.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

Workshop Objective: Objective of this workshop is to identify how to market yourself and operate a profitable independent sex worker business. This workshop will teach the following; Creating a sex worker business plan, How to market yourself -  "Brand awareness," Identify and attract safer, more generous clients (minimize LE and bad date risks), Understanding your strengths, needs, weaknesses and limits. Determining the needs of potential future clientele, How to identify strong markets as it relates to your offerings.

 

FRIDAY 5:15pm-7:00pm

"Sex Worker-Made Media"
Hosted by $pread Magazine

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

Part 1: Panel Discussion (45 minutes)

Moderator: Sarah Jenny, New Media Director of $pread Magazine and organizer with SWANK, SWOP-NYC, and Desiree Alliance

Panelists:  Audacia Ray, former Executive Editor of $pread Magazine, Gigi Thomas, HIPS, PJ Starr, HIPS, Ruthie, organizer with SWOP-NYC, Rachel Aimee, Editor-in-Chief of $pread Magazine, Theresa Anne, Advertising Director of $pread Magazine, Damien D'Luxe, Art Director of $pread Magazine, Judy Dunaway, founder of SWIRL

Part 2: Break-Out Media Making Sessions (90 minutes)

Sex Workers Make Media: Video

Description: With the popularity of user-generated content websites like YouTube and many others, video is increasingly becoming an accessible media tool. Cameras are getting cheaper and more user-friendly, many people are participating in online social networks using video to get the message out. This workshop will focus on the mechanics of making videos and will open up conversation about why sex workers should make and distribute their own videos - and why they shouldn't. Topics covered will include technical issues like selecting a camera, basic shooting, lighting, sound, editing, and scripting. We will also discuss the ins and outs of online video distribution and planning screenings.

PRESENTERS BIOGRAPHIES:

Audacia Ray produces a video show and edits the blog NakedCity.com for the Village Voice and is on the board of Sex Work Awareness, for which she edits SexWork101.com.

PJ Starr is an activist, film maker and sex worker rights advocate. Her films have appeared at Reel Affirmations in Washington DC and at the SF film festival

Gigi Thomas the client advocate at HIPS and is collaborating with PJ Starr on a video and book project.

Ruthie is a Brooklyn-based artist and activist who has advocated for labor and human rights, as well as for better public health policies domestically and abroad, especially as related to gender and sexual rights. She has worked advocating for sex worker rights in New York and internationally, including making a documentary about her experiences in India.

Getting Your Voice Out There!: Audio Recording & Sound Art for CD and Web

PRESENTERS BIOGRAPHIES:

Damien D'Luxe works with $pread Magazine as Art Director, has toured the US and Canada as a multimedia performance poet, and works currently in NYC as an independent, outcall fetish worker.

Judy Dunaway....

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

This workshop / art project will teach participants how to record and manage audio files for CD and Web use by making a group track. The purpose is to skill-share with our peers on how to get

our creative voices *literally* heard.

FRIDAY 5:15pm-7:00pm 

 “Resisting the Powers That Be: Street Work and Survival Sex in Chicago and Beyond”

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

This panel and discussion will be presented by former and current workers/outreach workers from Chicago (and other US locations) who have had experiences on the streets, who who may have been incarcerated or encountered police abuse, etc. This panel encourages audience participation with others with similar experiences. We will discuss work, rights, police, health, racism, transphobia, whore-phobia, class prejudices (and other discriminations) harm reduction, domestic violence, parental rights, programs as alternatives to incarceration, using drugs, outreach and what activists need to hear, learn and teach about these experiences.

PRESENTERS BIOGRAPHIES:

Liz, SWOP-Tusco 

Lisa is a new activist, eager to share her experiences about working on the streets as a transwoman in Chicago.  Through her life and work she has developed a deep understanding of human nature and has accumulated stories and insights.  She aims to educate attendees about the recent situation on the streets for her community.

Darlene Horton (CLAIM-Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers) developed her activism through Visible Voices, a women's peer support group working for personal and systemic change.  Her in public speaking skills have helped her educate many groups throughout the Chicago area. Helen's area of expertise include police and prison abuse as well as the impact of family violence. She dedicates her activist skills to these and other issues. CLAIM provides legal advice and representation so that mothers can prevent their incarceration from causing the permanent destruction of their families. They offer support groups, training, speakers programs, education in family law and much more.

Helen is a volunteer at CLAIM and Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.  She is a dedicated speaker, motivated by her concern for others in her community who suffer from police and prison abuse. She is concerned about many issues, recently addressing such issues as discrimination against those society defines as 'known prostitutes'  and problems in homes which increase risks and vulnerabilities for women. Helen  has come forward with a great deal of courage to advocate for her community and was quoted recently in an newspaper article about police abuse of street workers in Chicago.

John is an activist and a part of many Chicago communities for many years. He has worked in a number of ways, including on the streets of Chicago.

 

  

SATURDAY 11:30-1:00pm

PLENARY

"Male Sex Workers: How to Organize, Support & Advocate for Ourselves in the Movement"

PRESENTERS BIOGRAPHIES:

S. C. (panel moderator/speaker), a former Boston go-go boy/escort, began working in the field of harm reduction and HIV services approximately 7 years ago. He ran PUMP (Peers Using More Prevention), an outreach and support program for male sex workers, at Cambridge Cares about AIDS in Cambridge, MA. He has facilitated workshops in Boston, NYC & Salt Lake City on how to support male sex workers. S. moved to NYC in 2006 and soon began running the Training Institute at the Harm Reduction Coalition. This year, S. began working as the Harm Reduction Coordinator at FROST'D (Foundation for Research on Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Inc.), a program started by and for sex workers and IDUs. S. believes in changing the social service and healthcare systems from within, specifically to break down stigma against marginalized populations such as active drug users, people living with HIV/AIDS, and sex workers.

John-Michael Collins (panel speaker) has been working in the healthcare field for the last 14 years, starting with San Francisco's AIDS Health Project, working with young males at risk for HIV infection. He later moved to Seattle and started working with the King County Department of Public Health, specifically with homeless youth on Capitol Hill, where he helped to integrate harm reduction into their survival skills. He returned to San Francisco to start working with The St. James Infirmary, a clinic run by and for current/former sex workers, where he is currently an outreach worker and harm reduction counselor. John-Michael’s understanding of the sex worker community he works with comes from his personal experience working the streets and doing private outcalls to keep himself alive for several years in San Diego, CA and Phoenix, AZ.

Panelist #3 TBD

Panelist #4 TBD

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

Through the duration of the sex worker rights movement as well as within the fields of public health, social services, and specifically, harm reduction, male sex workers rarely find themselves able to find other guys working and interested in organizing together. We have grown to rely on our sisters and allies for support and community, and sometimes feel the desire to seek out other male-identified sex workers for empowerment and skills-sharing as current/former workers. This workshop/panel discussion will look at how male-identified sex workers and their allies can build stronger alliances together, and how we can serve as peer educators within the community to help take care of one another, and most importantly, ourselves.

 

 
 

SATURDAY 1:20pm-2:35pm
TRACK ONE

Allies in the sex workers rights movement

ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION FACILITATED BY TARA AND TRENT OF SWOP

"Confessions from a Non-Experiential Ally"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

Rene Ross is the current Executive Director of Stepping Stone in Halifax and previously served on the Board of the Directors. She has worked with and for sex workers for almost 5 years. She has testified to the House of Commons Committee on Solicitation (Halifax and Ottawa) and provides advocacy on sex workers rights throughout Nova Scotia. Stepping Stone is a user directed non-profit organization that provides support to former and current sex workers by contributing to their health, safety and well being.

Stepping Stone holds the philosophy that all individuals have the right to self determination and that sex workers have the basic right to health and safety regardless of their occupation. Stepping Stone offers a range of supports and programs including street outreach, crisis counseling, peer support, substance use workshops for harmfully involved clients, recreational and education programs, advocacy, court support, the provision of harm reduction materials, and in-house visits of health practitioners and counselors. Stepping Stone has operated in Halifax, Nova Scotia for almost 20 years and is the only organization of its kind in the Atlantic Provinces. They work with women, men, and transgender individuals currently or formerly involved in sex work. The majority of their staff have sex work experience. Rene does not.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

This presentation will highlight the challenges and lessons learned of being an ally to sex workers when you have no direct former or current experience as a sex worker. Issues to be covered include the challenge of defining boundaries, breaking myths and stereotypes, gaining acceptance from sex workers and the sex work community, and maintaining acceptance from professional colleagues, friends and family - especially those who do not necessarily agree with your views, or with sex work. This presentation will also touch upon the regressive sex work climate in Nova Scotia, personal stories from working with sex workers…including some more humorous slip ups and trips to the interrogation room.

In closing this presentation will explore what place a non-sex work ally has in the movement, and why their role should be that of making space for sex workers – and not taking space from sex workers.

"Bridging Gaps, Students as Allies: Feminism in the Real World"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

Constance S. Richards  I teach a course in the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Ohio Wesleyan University entitled "Feminism and the Sex-Work  Industry." I work from early feminist critiques of the sex-work industry to more recent work by feminists who are or have been sex workers in various arenas, in an attempt to get the students to critically engage with feminist theory, questioning who makes it, for whom (what women), and how we might apply the theory we learn in the classroom to life in the real world. We read, for example, Wendy Chapkis's Live Sex Acts and the anthology Whores and Other Feminists.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION: 

Their final project is a research paper for which they are asked to explore what they think might be good “intervention” strategies, ways to improve the working conditions of workers and to work toward de-stimatizing this arena of (primarily) women’s labor. This course is a real learning experience for most of us in the class, forcing us to think beyond our academic world. I am proposing a panel where a few of these students could present their work. The four students who would like to present would cover:

1) Strategies for exotic dancers (from a student who is a former dancer who began dancing at 18) like licensing with required pre-counseling, including financial strategies, that will help the dancer be prepared to leave the profession, as her earnings will tend to decline with age.

2) Working toward de-criminalization with support centers for workers and shelters for those who need them as intermediate strategies.

3) Legalization and approaching sex-work as any other job that requires professional training, education, in order to become proficient in one’s field—strategies for making training available. (Also from a student with personal experience).

4) Perspecitives from a student who spent time in Kenya with commercial sex workers; she will discuss her experience and present the support strategies that seemed most helpful in that setting. 

 "Examining the Ideologies Surrounding Criminalization and Incarceration: Alternative Constructions and Policy Reform"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

Jill McCracken of SWOP-East, SWOP-USA, Desiree Alliance, University of South Florida St. Petersburg  "I have been a researcher and an activist in the field of sex workers rights for over six years. I completed my dissertation, an analysis of the language surrounding street sex work, in 2007 and now teach and continue my research at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. I am also currently on the Board of Directors of both SWOP East and SWOP USA."

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

My presentation addresses some of the impacts of criminalization and incarceration on the sex worker community and suggests alternatives that could be used to develop policy reform. I examine the language surrounding street sex work in newspaper articles and interviews with police officers, social service agents, neighborhood leaders, activists, and street sex workers. Within this data, the victim/choice status of the street worker is removed from its context and framed as one of "taking personal responsibility for one's situation" that requires "change" on an individual basis. These underlying beliefs feed the current criminal and incarceration system that ultimately impacts all sex workers—those who work both legally and illegally. I examine these ideologies and offer alternative constructions of the "problems" and "solutions" that impact not only individual sex workers but these policies of criminalization and penalization.


SATURDAY 1:20pm-2:35pm
TRACK TWO

Allies for Human Rights and Safety

"How sex workers are part of the solution to abuses within the sex industry"

Presented by Sex Workers Project and Network of Sex Work Projects:

PRESENTERS BIOGRAPHIES:

Melissa Ditmore is a research consultant with the Sex Workers Project <http://www.sexworkersproject.org.>

She produced "Taking the Pledge,"

 <http://blip.tv/file/181155> a video about the ways US funding policy affects sex workers in other countries. She edited the Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work (Greenwood Press, 2006) and edits Research for Sex Work, the journal of the Network of Sex Work Projects <http://www.nswp.org>. 

Sienna Baskin is an Equal Justice Works Fellow with the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center. Her fellowship focuses on assisting victims of trafficking into the sex industry by offering them legal remedies and organizing support. She is also interested in discrimination against sex workers in all areas of the law, and provides legal training on these issues. Prior to working at the SWP, Sienna advocated for reproductive rights, prison reform, and harm reduction.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

This three-part workshop explores the ways sex workers can assist people who experience abuse, including trafficking, in sex work situations. Information about the legal definition of trafficking and the end results of government attempts to address trafficking – particularly raids – on all sex workers will be followed by open discussion on how sex worker activists can be allies of victims of abuse and trafficking.

The workshop will open with an outline of the problem of trafficking in all work sectors, including sex work. We will address the ways labor abuses and trafficking are fueled poverty and the difficulties of migration. We will explain assistance provided under current law to people who have been trafficked and the process of applying for it, as well as the difficulty accessing these resources.

We will then present SWP’s study on the effects of law enforcement “raids.” Many people who seek the services of SWP, from all venues and backgrounds, have experienced raids by local police and immigration officials. The purposes of these raids are declared to be shutting down brothels and finding victims of trafficking. Our research demonstrates that raids have failed to identify sufficient numbers of trafficked persons to justify their use while sex work in fixed locations carries on. Labor abuses continue in agriculture, construction, domestic labor and indeed in sex work.

In our experience, sex workers who work alongside victims of abuse are well-placed to assist people in dangerous and/or difficult situations, including trafficking situations. Unfortunately, very few projects see sex workers as partners in the fight against trafficking.  The final part of the workshop will be devoted to a brainstorming and training session on how sex workers can assist abused sex workers through outreach, identification, safety planning, as well as media and legislative advocacy.

"They are a Worse Danger: Policing Prostitution in Washington, DC"

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

Different Avenues & the Alliance for a Safe & Diverse DC: Legal policies that criminalize prostitution as well as newer laws criminalizing people “profiled as prostitutes” further marginalize already disenfranchised groups including people who are low income, transgender, lesbian, gay or bisexual people, people of color, immigrants, homeless people and others. There has been little study of how these communities and individuals are affected by law enforcement practices.

In 2007 in Washington DC, a community based research team took on these issues in a project looking at how sexual exchange policing practices affect the communities that they target. Team members were drawn from grassroots community groups working on issues of sex work, HIV, harm reduction, and LGBT communities. The team surveyed over 100 people impacted by prostitution law enforcement in Washington DC (equal numbers female, male and trans), and conducted qualitative interviews. The project is in its final phase as the team collects community feedback and publishes its report in March.

The team was able to collect an incredible amount of information, much of it extremely relevant to work for rights and health in DC and other locales. Survey respondents reported high levels of negative interactions with police, including experiencing police seizing their condoms and prevention supplies (7.7%), police demanding sexual favors (17.3%) and being disregarded when reporting crimes to police including assault, robbery and rape (over 50%).

Team members will utilize our findings as the basis for new campaigns for social justice in DC, as well as sharing the information with similar groups in other areas. The data can provide a solid basis for policy change via community organizing in the coming years.

"The Trafficking Debates"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

Carol Leigh (aka Scarlot Harlot) has been a sex worker and activist since the late seventies. A poet and performance artist, she coined the term "sex worker" in 1979.  Leigh is webmistress at Prostitutes Education Network:

http://www.bayswan.org/penet.html.  Leigh volunteered at the HIV Prevention Project (needle exchange) in the women's site food program for several years. As a founding member of ACT UP, she organized a campaign against mandatory HIV testing of prostitutes.  She was lead writer and organizer of the San Francisco Board of Supervisor's Task Force on Prostitution representing San Francisco's Commission on the Status of Women.  She is a founding member of SWOP, BAYSWAN and a long time COYOTE member. Leigh currently directs and curates the San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival (sexworkerfest.com). The "Scarlot Harlot Video Festival" podcast is available on iTunes. Leigh recently received the Creative Work Fund Award for her video documentation. Since the late seventies, Leigh has written and performed political satire as "Scarlot Harlot," work based on her experience as a prostitute and has toured internationally and in the US with the Sex Worker Art Show Tour. She has produced work in a variety of genres on women's issues including her video, Blind Eye To Justice: HIV+ Women Incarcerated in California was narrated by Angela Davis. Leigh's book, "Unrepentant Whore: The Collected Work of Scarlot Harlot" was published by Last Gasp in 2003. 

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

This presentation is an outline of the history of the debates, reviewing trafficking discourse from the 19th and early 20th centtury, examining the discourse that surrounded the writing of the UN Protocol and the US TVPA, with emphasis on how current legal directions reflect past discourse.


SATURDAY 1:20pm-2:35pm
TRACK THREE


"Tantra: How it can uplift the plight and struggle of sex workers and clientele"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

Krystan AlecSandra-Bray of Ormes Temple: "I was certified in massage and holistic consulting since 1991. I actually worked in that profession since 1980. I worked as an exotic dancer in the early 70s, while in college.  I explored working as an escort in the year 2003. I immediately included my expertise in massage. Gradually, I began to include my Tantric knowledge as well. I doing so, I found my work took me to new levels of healing, starting with myself, and extending to those I have been blessed to touch. I have been an initiate of Kriya Yoga since the early 80s. This path expanded naturally to include the Tantric Path by the mid 90s. I have found it to be an ever expanding growth in self actualization and liberation from suffering on many levels."

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

Our work has long been recognized as the oldest profession in the world. However, it is rarely recognized that in the early times sex workers were actually trained and dispatched through the Temples and Spiritual Centers to the Royal families to assist them in heightening the sexual experience, their state of wellness on all levels and enhancing their strength, vitality and longevity. The value of their work was considered so powerful that it was held highly secretive and protected so as not to be made available to the common masses. Women were stoned to death if caught sharing this knowledge with the common population, outside of the royal courts. To discourage the common masses from seeking out this powerful teaching the women were associated with everything evil and vile, and the people were threatened with hell fire and brimstone.The same type of association goes on to this very day.

While sex workers offer a vehicle for stress relief, body, heart and mind as well as for healing in areas of intimacy, we are still struggling with defamation of the soul and spirit due to these archaic categorizations and unfair legal practices.  It is my objective to speak upon Tantra, its history, its application in the sex profession, and how it can effectively help ease these problems. Through the implementation of Tantric Practices, philosophies and life style many stand to be helped to rise above so many critical life issues.      

 

 

SATURDAY 2:45pm-3:25pm
LUNCH PLENARY

"Sex Workers and Mainstream Media"

"Collective Dreaming: Tools and Inspiration for Progressive Messaging"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

Sarah Jenny is a co-founder and organizer of SWANK (Sex Workers Action New York) and SWOP-NYC. She is also on the Board of Desiree Alliance and a staff member at $pread Magazine.  She has been committed to sex worker activism for the last half decade, having been a sex worker for now 6+ years. She has been an instrumental advocate in NYC including: co-founding/organizing SWANK, SWOP-NYC; liaising with harm reduction groups, PONY, etc; attendee of the 2007 National Sex Worker Leadership Institute; elected to Board of Directors of Desiree Alliance for 2008; taught a workshop for Desiree Alliance in 2007; taught a workshop about sex work at Hampshire College in 2002; worked in sex-worker made media at $pread for 1 1/2 years; served as a media contact during Spitzergate 2008; co-organizing the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers in NYC 2007 and the International Day For Sex Workers Rights in NYC 2008.

Ruthie is an organizer with SWANK and SWOP-NYC. She has been affiliated with PONY for 7 years and most recently is an organizer with the fresh-faced SWANK and SWOP-NYC. She has an undergraduate degree in public health (with a focus on gender/sexuality) and performance art from Sarah Lawrence College, where she helped to organize around sexuality and gender. Ruthie most recently completed a certificate in Electronic Music Production. A video artist, she creates visuals for events and works often in fashion, documenting projects in a creative way. Ruthie also led a series of workshops on sex and society for young designers making lingerie. She is in post-production for a documentary made with and about Indian sex workers' collective, VAMP, concerning their triumphs in collectivizing and struggles with American funding restrictions and "rescue raids." She has worked with numerous community organizations and is also trained as a labor support doula, coursework for a certificate in Creative Arts Therapy with a focus on Drama Therapy and gained further health counseling training and experience at Gay Men's Heath Crisis (GMHC). Ruthie served as a media contact during New York's "SpitzerGate" in March of 2008. 

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

In Stephen Duncombe's "Dream: Progressive Politics in the Age of Fantasy," Duncombe discusses the importance of the progressive left to reexamine the necessity for 'dreaming' in our politics. We need to start dreaming again, re-imagining how to view a sex (worker)-positive world and begin to enact it through re-appropriating existing avenues of media and consumption, guerrilla performance art, and "ethical spectacles." 

This workshop will proceed in two parts, first discussing building a solid campaign, from messaging to audience, defining goals to archiving and discussing creative ways of delivering your message. In the second part, we will share information and brainstorm ideas on creative actions and projects, to inspire momentum to bring home to our communities. Included will be basic overview of collective creation methods, understanding mainstream media, creative forms and a living resource guide we can add to as a group.

"What We Learned from "Spitzergate" - Responses, Media Pressure, Results"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

Audacia Ray: "I've worked in the sex industry in many different capacities for the past seven years. Currently I'm a blogger (WakingVixen.com), video podcast host (LiveGirlReview.com), author (Naked on the Internet), porn director/producer (The Bi Apple), and erotic art curator (Arena Studios). I have also worked as an escort, sensual masseuse, model, and fetish worker. I was executive editor of $pread magazine for three years.

This will be an open panel/moderated discussion. Instead of appointing a small number of people to officially be on the panel, I will encourage anyone who wants to speak up about their thoughts on the issue to either email me before the conference or sign up during the conference to talk about this.

During the mid-March week of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's downfall, sex workers and sex worker organizations in New York and around the country were bombarded by media requests for comment about Spitzer, the sex worker linked to his "downfall," and prostitution in general. Sex worker organizers banded
together to release several press statements that got wide attention and garnered many media appearances. In this session, I will give an overview of what happened in the media and participants will be encouraged to speak about their experiences of consuming the media related to the scandal as well as their participation in creating it as both interview subjects and writers of blogs, makers of videos, et cetera. We will analyze our responses and tactics used on us and will discuss ways to manage future media events. We will also debate the merits of being interviewed by mainstream media, and will start to build a tool box of suggestions for handling media requests.

 

SATURDAY 3:35pm-5:05pm
PLENARY


Creating Sex Worker run direct service programs

"The St. James Infirmary Clinic Model":

Creating Sex Worker run direct service programs in collaboration with health departments, community based organizations and health service providers in your local area.”

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

 

This workshop/s will be facilitated by two long term Staff and Community Members (that is only Current/former Sex Workers will facilitate). Naomi Akers, Executive DirectorSt. James InfirmarySt. James Infirmary and Daniel Wilson Community Harm Reduction Representative and City Clinic representative. 

 
PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

The training will be a basic overview of the history and elements of the St. James Infirmary model including: developing and writing a business/program plan, developing agency and collaborative Memorandum of Understanding, evaluation, budget proposals, grant writing,  sample government contract monitoring evaluation, direct service provision, recruiting and training staff.  To maximize the effectiveness of this training, an abbreviated toolkit (handouts) will be included in either hard and/or digital format.

"Infiltration: Use the existing system to start a program"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

Cyndee Clay from HIPS: "I have been working with/by/and for sex workers since I first joined HIPS as a volunteer over 12 years ago.  During that time, I have worked to include sex workers in the conversations and actions that happen around issues important to sex workers. I am currently the Executive Director of HIPS.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

Whether it be a legal clinic, support group, outreach program -- sex workers can ally with existing non-profit organizations to increase local support for sex work needs and issues.  This presentation will discuss ways to approach existing non-profits, women’s groups and medical or health centers in your area, how to "piggy-back" on their existing resources in order to meet your needs and goals, and potential issues and pitfalls of dealing "with the system", and ideas to overcome them to create new resources for sex workers in your community.

"Community Health Outreach Workers on the Streets of Baltimore"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

Brenda Costley of Power Inside: I am a Community Health Outreach Worker. I have been with Power Inside for 1 year. I am certified in HIV Preventive counseling with the Maryland AIDS Administration. I am a former sex worker, now advocating for social justice among sex workers. 

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

In my presentation I will address how Power Inside has reached out to sex workers, homeless women and drug-addicted  women. I will also elaborate on how Power Inside uses the harm reduction model in Baltimore. I will focus on Power Inside's collaboration with the Baltimore City Health Department. I will also discuss our peer support group at the Women's Detention Center.

"Mobile Outreach and Emergency Resources for Sex Worker"

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHY:

Gigi Thomas of HIPS: The client advocate at HIPS

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION:

Much of the current "research" on sex work states that outreach is an essential component to reaching and engaging street based sex workers. This short presentation will cover the basics of starting an outreach program to street-based sex workers and will identify the top 10 tips for setting up and effectively managing, as well as cover the basics about materials, dealing with community & law enforcement, safety, training and messaging.


The Desiree Alliance conference organizers are committed to support for representation and inclusiveness of cultural, racial, economic, age, and gender identity. Please read our Diversity Statement and join our efforts to build a respectful, diverse, and strong sex worker movement.

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The Desiree Alliance is a diverse, volunteer-based, sex worker-led network of organizations, communities, and individuals across the US working in harm reduction, direct services, political advocacy, and health services for sex workers. We provide leadership and create space for sex workers and supporters to come together to advocate for human, labour, and civil rights for all workers in the sex industry.

Desiree Alliance is a Project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

 


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