The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP), a New York City-based non-profit organization run collectively by and for low income trans communities and trans communities of color, will celebrate its 10thanniversary on November 8thby honoring activists who have worked to improve the lives of trans people of color.
Named for Sylvia Rivera, a veteran of the 1969 Stonewall uprising and a persistent voice for the rights of people of color and low-income queer and trans people, SRLP started providing free legal help to trans New Yorkers in 2002. Since then, SRLP has used precedent-setting litigation, policy reform work, public education and direct services to address the myriad issues facing trans communities and provided help to thousands of people in crisis. SRLP’s work has changed the conversation about trans rights, putting poverty and racism at the center, and building awareness about the dangers trans people face in prisons, jails, immigration systems, foster care and homeless shelters.
“SRLP has been an important influence on the LGBT movement as a whole, bringing attention to the urgent issues faced by trans people of color and poor people who have often been left behind. In this way, SRLP continues the legacy of Sylvia Rivera,” said Elana Redfield, Director of Legal Services & Policy Initiatives, SRLP.
In honor of its 10th anniversary, SRLP will honor New York City based activists including trans advocate and writer Janet Mock, transgender Latina activist and grassroots organizer Lorena Borjas, SRLP board member and community activist Stefanie Rivera, and former co-directors of the Audre Lorde Project Kris Hayashi and Collette Carter.
“We are honoring activists whose contributions to trans liberation are undeniable—people who have dedicated themselves to building a grassroots movement to change the desperate conditions our communities are living under.” –Reina Gossett, Membership Director, SRLP.
The celebration will take place on Thursday, November 8, 2012 from 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm at the SEIU 1199 building located at 310 W 43rd Street, New York, NY. For more information about the celebration, visit http://srlp.org/events/srlp10/.
Biographies of the honorees:
Janet Mock is a writer and advocate, who publicly shared her teenage transition story in Marie Claire and a video testimony for the It Gets Better project in 2011. A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Janet speaks out about the portrayal, struggles and triumphs of transgender women, founded and runs the digital campaign #GirlsLikeUs to empower trans women of color, and wrote about her quest to live visibly in Fish Food: A Memoir, which will be published by Atria Books in October 2013. She also tells stories from her life on her blog and hosts a relationships podcast called The Missing Piece with her boyfriend Aaron Tredwell.
Lorena Borjas is a transgender Latina activist and a grassroots organizer. Her principal goal is to bring awareness to the vast array of issues that impact marginalized and oppressed communities. She advocates for human rights and social justice. For the past two decades, she has empowered community members to become agents of change. She put together the Lorena Borjas Community Fund (LBCF) to bring awareness to the vast array of issues that impact the marginalized LGBT community, specifically focusing on low-income, immigrant communities. LBCF Fund is a volunteer-run project created to institutionalize the support that Lorena has provided for years. The LBCF Fund supports low-income gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and gender non-conforming immigrants avoid the collateral consequences associated with criminal convictions, jail time and court appearances.
Collette Carter is the former co-director of the Audre Lorde Project (a community organizing center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, trans and gender non-conforming people of color) and a self-identified “black queer fat femme activist.” She says, “I believe at the heart of lasting movement-building is the work of making spaces which help us sustain hope and the possibility for survival, as well as transformation.”
Kris Hayashi is the former co-director of the Audre Lorde Project. For seven years Kris was part of Youth United for Community Action (YUCA), a community organizing organization in California, led by young people of color organizing for justice. He served as YUCA’s Executive Director, managing two offices and a budget of over half a million. Kris has been active in various social justice organizing campaigns for nearly 20 years. Kris has been the Co-Executive Director for the Audre Lorde Project since 2003. The Audre Lorde Project is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color center for community organizing, focusing on the New York City area. Through mobilization, education and capacity-building, we work for community wellness and progressive social and economic justice. Committed to struggling across differences, we seek to responsibly reflect, represent and serve our various communities.