For the first time, Astraea Foundation brings together activists from three grantee partner organizations for a North-South dialogue on mobilizing community responses to police brutality, human rights abuses, and criminalization. Join us for a unique conversation with Alondra Yajaira Marquez Carabali from Santamaría Fundación (Santiago de Cali, Colombia), Chris Bilal from Streetwise and Safe (New York, U.S.), and Alisha Williams from Sylvia Rivera Law Project (New York, U.S.).
Alondra will discuss Santamaría Fundacións anti-criminalization advocacy and policy victories in Santiago de Cali, a city with one of the highest levels of violence against LGBT people, and in particular trans women, in Colombia. Alondra will speak about Observatorio Ciudadano (Community Watchdog Program) which addresses police abuse towards trans women and anti-violence advocacy campaigns around the treatment of LGBT people within Colombias prison system. Alisha will discuss Sylvia Rivera Law Projects legal program, its Prison Project, and other efforts SRLP leads with LGBTI communities of color in New York to respond to violence and criminalization. Chris Bilal will speak about bringing an LGBT perspective to the movement against the discriminatory Stop and Frisk practices in New York City.
Meet the Activist: A North-South Dialogue on Freedom from Violence
Thursday, September 12th, 6pm 8pm??
Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
?116 East 16th Street, 7th Floor
?New York, NY 10003
Please RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This event is in English with Spanish translation as needed. Event is wheelchair accessible. Light refreshments will be served.
Held as intimate gatherings at our office, Astraeas Meet the Activist series provides a unique opportunity to learn about the work of LGBTQ activists and movements around the world.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Alondra Yajaira Marquez Carabali is an Afro-Colombian Trans woman and a social activist and human rights defender at Santamaria Fundación. For five years she has been the organizations facilitator in the area of human dignity which includes the right to life, freedom, and physical integrity. She has participated as a speaker at national and international levels on topics such as health, HIV/AIDS, body transformation, social inclusion, racial discrimination, and human rights.
Santamaría Fundación was founded in 2005 by four Trans women who had witnessed the murder of one of their friends. Centered on self-determination, today, Santamaria Fundación has almost 8 years of experience fostering trans womens leadership in Santiago de Cali, a city in Colombia with one of the highest rates of transphobic hate crime. The organization works locally and regionally with trans women, providing legal support and addressing the lack of access to health care through holistic health campaigns. Santamaria Fundación also reports on LGBT human rights violations, monitoring police-community relations, and conducting policy advocacy with the local and national government, as well as internationally primarily through the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Alisha Williams, Esq. is the Director of Prisoner Justice at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project where she represents transgender prisoners through legal service provision, impact litigation, policy and advocacy, and public education. Alisha’s work with the prisoner justice project and SRLP’s Prisoner Advisory Committee seeks to further an abolitionist dialogue that centralizes the voices of incarcerated trans, gender non-conforming and intersex community members. After graduating from Cardozo Law School, Alisha moved to Philadelphia where she was an active member of the Books through Bars Collective. In addition to her prison organizing work in Philadelphia, she worked at a small plaintiffs litigation firm, practiced disability law and clerked for the honorable judge Quinones.??
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence. SRLP was founded in August 2002 by Dean Spade, a white, queer, trans person, as an Open Society Institute and Berkeley Law Foundation Fellow. Dean sought to create an organization that addressed the severe poverty and over-incarceration he saw in low income transgender communities and transgender communities of color, understanding that meaningful political participation for people struggling against gender identity discrimination could only come in partnership with economic justice. SRLP became a collective in 2003, and soon evolved into what it is today: a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization run collectively by and for low income trans communities and trans communities of color, which provides legal services, public education, and works towards policy change through community organizing. Today the SRLP core collective, composed of staff and board, is always more than 50% people of color and more than 50% transgender.
Chris Bilal is a youth activist who works for Streetwise & Safe and is a proud member of Communities United for Police Reform the New York based coalition pushing for legislation that would substantially reduce the number of encounters between police and residents that are based on racial and gender profiling and discrimination.
Streetwise and Safe (SAS) is a collaborative multi-strategy initiative to develop leadership, knowledge, and skills among LGBTQQ youth of color who have experienced gender-and-sexuality-specific forms of race and class based policing, particularly in the context “quality of life” policing and the policing of sex work and trafficking in persons. SAS has been very active in the Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) campaign, and is the only LGBTQ youth of color organization part of CPR’s steering committee. Their critical participation highlights the ways in which “Stop and Frisk” practices not only affect black and brown men, but LGBTQI youth of color in particular. SAS, along other NY-based grantee partners, are pushing for the NYC Community Safety Act, which is a landmark police reform legislative package introduced in the City Council in 2012 and if passed will end discriminatory policing and hold the NYPD accountable for the misuse of their authority. They continue to organize around the “No Condoms as Evidence Bill” which passed the New York State Assembly and aims to prohibit police and prosecutors from confiscating and introducing condoms as evidence of intent to engage in prostitution related offenses.