About - No Justice No Pride (NJNP)
In this section
Our Mission —
No Justice No Pride (NJNP) is a collective of organizers and activists from across the District of Columbia. We exist to fight for trans justice and to end the LGBT “equality” movement’s complicity with systems of oppression that further marginalize Trans and Queer individuals.
NJNP believes in holistic solutions to the problems facing queer and trans communities that target systemic forces and root causes. Our members are black, brown, queer, trans, gender nonconforming, bisexual, indigenous, two-spirit, formerly incarcerated, disabled, and white allies. We believe that we will not be free until the most marginalized amongst us are free, and that by prioritizing solutions that support folks facing multiple intersecting forces of oppression will lead us all to liberation. There can be no pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.
Most importantly, we believe that those most impacted by these issues need to be the ones calling the shots.
What compelled us into action?
NJNP started as an ad-hoc coalition originally intended to be a weekend of mobilizations during the 2017 Annual Pride events in Washington, D.C. to call attention to the longrunning, deep fissures within the LGBTQIA2S Community — particularly to fight back against the LGBt “equality” movement’s complicity with systems of oppression that further marginalize Two-Spirit, Trans, Non-Binary and Queer individuals — while building a world that affirms us all. These systems of oppression were but not limited to the collaboration of police and state forces responsible for terrorizing Black, Brown, Indigneous communities; deportations, Native Genocide and the killing of civilians abroad. The first planning call was held in February 2017. Between March and May, NJNP held planning meetings of a few hundred each and eventually a call to action was formed for the Nation’s annual pride march to end their toxic relationship with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
On July 10, 2017; NJNP forever changed Trans & Queer History by blockading the Annual Capital Pride Parade three different times. Each time targeting a different Pride march sponsor. The first Blockade targeted MPD. Two more blockades targeted Lockheed Martin for being a weapons manufacturer and Wells Fargo for their funding of toxic pipelines. Other toxic sponsors also were initially considered, such as the floats for ICE, FBI, the bureau of prisons and Mayor Bowser for her housing policies that have increased the displacement of Black Communities.
June 2020 — In the wake of the uprising that was sparked by the murder of George Floyd; NJNP and community members won a three year long campaign against Capital Pride Alliance to remove MPD from the annual Pride parade and subsequent events.
NJNP’s history of mutual aid & rapid response work to communities in need —
Smart Trip give-a-ways
January 2018 — In response to an escalation in violent attacks from Metro Transit Police and a change in fare collection policies at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) that disportionately impacted Black and Brown youth throughout the District, NJNP in coalition with Black Lives Matter DC; fundraised and held a series of events providing smartrip card giveaways at stations disportionately targeted by Metro Transit Police for fare evaders. This was a part of a broader campaign to Decriminalize Fare Evasion in Washington, DC.
NJNP’s efforts within one year since forming; additionally have brought to light the exceptional need in the trans community for access to healthcare, housing, immigration services, spanish speaking language services, and employment. Rampant discrimination prevents many trans and GNC people from accessing services and basic needs.
Responding to the passage of FOSTA/SESTA
As these barriers continue to grow for many as a result of the passage of FOSTA/SESTA. NJNP has doubled-down on its work to fight back against anti-TGNC violence by providing Rapid Response Support to our familia as a crucial component of our Trans Justice Program, alongside Mutual Aid in the form of:
- Temporary Housing - at the NJNP House Collective or with NJNP allies who have space — for those who are housing unstable. Housing was already a critical issue for D.C.’s TGNC communities before the loss of Backpage and other similar digital services, but these recent losses have only worsened housing-access by severely and negatively impacting TGNC income; in the process making it impossible for many to afford rent, and - for those who were in the process of getting housing - to lose their security deposits.
- Employment - Helping people find jobs, assist with cover letter and resume writing, and practice interviewing.
- Access - Help get people IDs, correct name and gender on legal documents, and open bank accounts.
- Legal Support and responding to State Terror - Supporting and advocating for our friends at their hearings in court; helping people navigate the court system; raising money for jail and legal defense support; signal boosting and engaging in Public Awareness Campaigns; and, working with community partners, organizations, and volunteer lawyers to support TGNC community members in need.
NJNP’s Organizing Trainings
NJNP also started a three month pilot, stipended Organizing Training Project(OTP), developing organizing and leadership skills for trans folks of color most directly and disproportionately impacted by violence resulting from the criminalization of sex work to organize locally impacted communities and lead the movement to decriminalize sex work and make the District of Columbia a safer space for trans, gender non-conforming (GNC), and gender expansive individuals and communities. NJNP would continue to hold 6 more cohorts, each lasting 6 months; before pausing the program due to the Covid19 Pandemic and the ongoing response work. Many of the organizers who completed NJNP’s Organizing Trainings make up the current leadership. Thus demonstrating how capacity building can happen along side Mutual Aid work all while responding to a community in crisis.
NJNP Collective Housing (formerly known as The NJNP Collective) —
NJNP Collective Housing (NCH) has been a vital resource to DC's Trans & Queer Community and the larger Sex Worker Activist network within the DC Area. Started by No Justice No Pride in 2018 — in the wake of the passage of FOSTA/SESTA — to ensure safe housing for Black and Brown Trans People, particularly, for those currently or formerly engaged in sex work. NJNP is currently renting 5 safe houses with plans in the near future for a 6th. These safe houses, along with the broader DMV movement make up the NJNP Collective Housing’s network; allow us to provide housing to as many as 75 people a night.
For the last four years NJNP has been a fierce advocate for the full decriminalization of sex workers in the District. As part of this work; NJNP has often provided support work to sex workers, most notable Black Trans Sex Workers. On the 4th of July 2018, NJNP Members were providing cheese burgers and hot dogs and more to sex workers whom were working over nights on K St NE. K ST is often the scene of violence each year on the 4th of July. NJNP members were present to help keep folks safe and fed! Unfortunately towards the earlier hours on July 5th, one of our core members who were apart of this effort was kidnapped by MPD who charged her with attempted solicitation. These charges were later dropped before her required court appearance without notice.
DC Area Covid-19 Sex worker relief fund — In March 2020, No justice No Pride launched a relief fund for DC area sex workers who wer impacted financially by Covid-19. From March till June, NJNP received more than 350 requests and was able to fulfill 324 of them providing $96,575 in cash assistance. NJNP put a pause on answering requests while focusing on capacity on more sustainable solutions such as the DC Excluded workers coalition.
Mutual aid and capacity building during a pandemic and an epidemic of Trans murders —
No Justice No Pride provided weekly cash stipends to 17 Trans + Queer former and current sex workers who fullfilled critical roles within DC MutualAid Network (DCMA) and within their communities during the worst periods of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Such roles included:
- Operating the ward by ward mutual aid hotlines — of which residents of a ward can call to receive support with groceries, meal access, sanitation supplies and more support — that were managed by DCMA.
For a brief period of time in April, Mayor Bowser was directing calls from her Covid19 hotline to the DCMA hotlines.
- Producing and bottling hand sanitizer
NJNP’s Hand Sanitizer was heavily requested throughout the Spring and early summer by community organizations, DCMA supporters, local businesses and even churches. NJNP produced both unscented and scented versions.
- Creating care packages and preparing meals for drop off and so much more.
NJNP also collaborated with Plantia Power building food gardens at a few of the NJNP safe houses. The gardens are maintained by some of the Trans and queer folks who receive stipends. What food that has been grown that hasn’t gone to the safe houses has gone to food centers. The gardens continue to be a center of healing for many of NJNP’s members and residents.
Leadership Structure —
During 2020, NJNP’s fiscal sponsor went thru a crisis; forcing core members of NJNP to make difficult decisions about NJNP’s future structure. At this point NJNP’s Collective Housing program had grown to three homes with two more on the way and NJNP needed their funding, most of which went into housing costs; to be consistent and easily accessible. NJNP members and their founders never wanted NJNP to become a 501c3 as we are opponents to the Non Profit Industrial Complex and in addition many feel 501c3s are in direct conflict with our principles. However there are few structures out there that can support the type of work that we do or have capacity of handling multiple rent payments to the homes we rent. We are doing work that the current system of capitalism and white supremacy doesn’t value, support or make space for; but when it comes to the lives of Black Brown Indigneous Trans women — the outcome is clear. We choose life.
Thus with limited options, during the summer of 2020; NJNP started the process to become a worker self directed non profit (WSDNP). NJNP is still in the middle of this process, and still operates on our existing principles and vision. NJNP is led by multiple circles of advisors, a board (as required by the state but with reduced voting power as is consistent with WSDNPs’), a core team that manages most of the heavy lifting, housing managers who help manage NJNP Collective Housing, and organizers working tirelessly to push the bar forward for Trans Lives in the District. NJNP follows the leadership of Black; Brown; Indigneous; Trans Women and Non Binary folks.
NJNP core principles are extensive and by no means is this inclusive of all of our principles. NJNP believes and is dedicated to promoting strategies that:
– empower the most oppressed Trans community members;
– do not reinforce or legitimize systems and institutions that harm our community members including police, prisons, mass incarceration and modern slavery;
– divest from people, institutions and systems that harm us and invest in the people, institutions, systems and other models that support our liberation and empowerment;
– use a diversity of tactics to promote harm reduction, political education and non-cooperation as strategic visions;
– Understand if any of us had all of the answers we wouldn't be doing this shit.
NJNP believes in holistic solutions to the problems facing Trans and Queer communities that target systemic forces and root causes.
NJNP believes that we will not be free until the most marginalized amongst us are free, and that by prioritizing solutions that support folks facing multiple intersecting forces of oppression will lead us all to liberation.
Most importantly, we believe that those most impacted by these issues need to be the ones calling the shots.
DC Organizing Principles
In addition to the principles included here, NJNP practices DC’s local organizing principles!
The following is the outcome of a meeting with NJNP current and former members from February 2018 where NJNP organizers talked openly about their vision for NJNP.
Just like NJNP’s Principles, this is not meant to be an exhausting list but of the things we most wish to change in this world at the time. (Let us know how we are doing on this vision three years later.) Check out our the feedback from our 2018 Vision session here.
Trans Justice Platform —
Since July 2017, NJNP has been fighting a campaign for the following in the District of Columbia:
- Community safety and alternatives to incarceration - including the Decriminalization of Sex work: hosting roundtables around police brutality; and, the deprioritization of arrests around solicitation, loitering, and other petty often selectively enforced laws,
- Mayoral Accountability - Pushing Mayor Bower to fulfill her campaign promises to the District of Columbia’s TGNC and queer communities,
- Following through on equitable access - Moving the City to review the compliance of administrative and front-line staff in all D.C. government agencies with the District’s legal protections for TGNC individuals,
- District of Columbia forms a Trans Community Taskforce of TGNC community leaders and experts of color to lead, develop, and sustain District-wide programs and policies to support these communities;
The Marsha P. Johnson (MPJ) Safety and Wellness Act —
No Justice No Pride is a supporter of The Marsha P. Johnson (MPJ) Safety and Wellness Act.
“The Marsha P. Johnson (MPJ) Safety and Wellness Act provides Black Trans women with a platform to design a national model for policies, legislation, and laws that prioritize the safety and wellness of their communities.
Similar to the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA), this Act, when implemented at the federal, State, and local levels will create increased resources, programs, and other inteventions, designed to center the needs of the victims of both community and State level violence that negatively impacts the lives of Black trans women.
However, unlike the VAWA, the MPJ Safety and Wellness Act will be written by directly impacted communities and will not rely on law enforcement interventions and other punitive measures that jeopardize the safety and wellness of Black trans women, and perpetuate the cycle of mass incarceration for Black communities.
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