Last month SWOP-Atlanta attended the 6th national Desiree Alliance conference in New Orleans titled, "The Sex Worker's Rights Movement: Addressing Justice." Desiree is dedicated to fighting for civil, labor and human rights for all sex workers. The beginning of their mission statement states,
"The Desiree Alliance is a diverse, 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."
Two of our SWOP- Atlanta representatives were able to attend this incredible event and learn more ways to effectively move our chapter in the direction we want it to develop. New initiatives have been added to our agenda such as assisting SWOP-Behind bars (with a link to their site) in reaching out to sex workers to create a community of support. We're ramping up our community outreach with condom distribution and providing "dear officer cards" with important safety and rights information. We're also working on a national anti-stigma campaign to humanize sex workers. SWOP-Atlanta as a whole is excited to be implementing these new initiatives.
Jamila writes about her experience below:
"This was my very first Desiree Alliance and I am overwhelmingly looking forward to attending again. I was unable to attend the conference in it’s entirety but the next time, I go I will be sure to make plans so that I can attend more days.
I really was not expecting all of what Desiree had to offer prior to getting there. I was able to network, train myself and rejuvenate from the burned out feeling social action activist can sometimes get. Leaning about the ideas that organizations are putting into practice and bringing them to SWOP Atlanta was another priceless gift the conference had to offer.
With all honesty, without the SWOP USA grant I doubt I would have made efforts to attend the conference at all so I am really thankful for the grant and I hope Headquarters continues to offer it. I truly look forward to going again the next time they have it.
Posting this after the fact, but our Sex Workers Rights Day party was Phenomenal! We had a group of 15 or so supporters who came together to have a fabulous time. We took time to watch a video on the reality of decriminalization and the harm it causes to sex workers. This opened up a great discussion about rights, access, and moving forward within our communities to support this international movement. Thanks for a great celebration everyone!
This weekend SWOP Atlanta was able to show our support by participating in the Trans March and spreading the word that we are an up-and-coming chapter in the Atlanta area. We made great contacts with various organizations and were well received by many at Pride. We look forward to building the connections we made and identifying more resources and allies for the sex worker community.
Happy Pride, everyone! Was a fantastic event.
A red umbrella, or the international symbol for sex workers' rights, next to the transgender flag during the Trans March.
SWOP Atlanta will be at Pride this weekend! We look forward to meeting many new people, spreading awareness that a SWOP chapter is blossoming here in Atlanta, and most importantly taking our first active role showing support to our community. Come join us for a great time with a great cause!
SWOP Atlanta held it's Inaugural Meeting today! We are very excited to be building this chapter together and see great things ahead. Our first directives are to get our website finished, work on establishing a presence, and connecting with allies and resources in the Atlanta area. Please reach out to us if you would like to assist our chapter or have resources you feel could benefit the sex work community.