I’m Jessica — the new Executive Director of Audre Lorde Project.
New York City raised me: I was a queer homeless teen in the sex trade who left NYC in search of safety. I’ve spent the past decade pouring my energy into projects to build safety with and for LGBTSTGNC folks in Los Angeles and Washington, DC — from grassroots fundraising for youth shelters in LA to working alongside trans and queer sex workers of color to resist criminalization of the sex trades and building a network of nightlife venues with staff trained to cultivate safer spaces across DC. This year, facing loss and new life in my own family helped me remember: the revolution starts at home.
If we want to build safety for LGBTSTGNC people of color, we have to root out anti-Blackness, ableism, classism, transphobia, homophobia, sexism, hate, and violence in our own communities, in our movements, and in ourselves. If we want to create accountable communities, we have to work to be accountable when we cause harm and center the humanity of those who have harmed us so we can support their transformation and reject the framework that tells us that police, prisons, and punishment make us safer. If we want to resist federal and local policies and rhetoric that harm our communities, we have to create in our microcosm the world we want to build.
With the support of community members like you, Audre Lorde Project continues to mobilize trans and queer leaders of color to dismantle systems of oppression, build safer spaces, and care for our communities.
Now a fully staffed, leader-full team of trans, queer, and non-binary people of color in our staff and membership, ALP is getting ready to start a strategic planning process that will guide our work over the next few years. In the meantime, we’re keeping up the work that our community counts on:
- Mobilizing new leaders to advocate to meet our community’s most basic needs;
- Politicizing care work; and
- Developing community-based strategies to keep us all safe.
I am excited to join ALP — and all of you — at this critical time. I am here to listen, to learn, and to support collective, community-based action toward the liberation of LGBTSTGNC people of color. Already have feedback for me? I want to hear from you!