Trans Justice Program

Trans Justice

Recognizing the continued marginalization and violence that harms and kills trans people — particularly trans women of color - No Justice No Pride (NJNP) began a campaign in July 2017 with a public statement on violence against trans women of color in DC, call-in day to the MPD, and rally and march to fight back against transmisogyny and help protect and support trans people in the District of Columbia. With what started as a petition - that we’re still circulating... Continue reading →

Advocacy Platform

Community safety and alternatives to incarceration

The City ends its practice of incarcerating Trans and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) People of Color, particolarly youth and trans women & femmes. In place of this practice, the City will create a diversion program that provides services to trans people living on the margins, who by necessity are often forced to participate in underground economies. Further:

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Mayoral Accountability

Mayor Bower fulfills her campaign promises to the District of Columbia’s Trans & Gender Non-conforming(TGNC) and Queer communities by:

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Following through on equitable access

The City immediately reviews compliance of administrative and front line staff in all city District of Columbia government agencies with the District’s “Gender Identity or Expression” legal protections for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, and ensure that all staff are adequately trained to adhere to these standards, Additionally,

 

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Issues currently being researched

Housing

  • Affordable housing fund be expanded for TGNC (increase in housing grants, voucher assistance, and discrimination protections/enforcement)
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#DecrimNow

Unfair laws that criminalize sex work strip people of other employment options upon conviction, bar people from housing and lead to unsafe jail conditions for trans women in the sex trade. In order to make our city safer for everyone - and marginalized communities in particular, join us in urging DC Councilmember Allen to hold a hearing on the Reducing Criminalization to Improve Community Safety and Health Amendment Act.

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Testimony: NJNP Against DC’s “Drug Related Nuisance Abatement Act of 2017”

My name is Emmelia Talarico and I am the Steering Committee Chair and Organizing Director of No Justice No Pride. Thank you for this opportunity to address the Committee on the Judiciary & Public Safety.

No Justice No Pride (NJNP) is a collective of organizers and activists from across the District of Columbia that exists to fight for the most marginalized members of DC’s trans and queer communities. Through our Trans Justice campaign, we focus on fighting for a city where trans communities live free from violence, with the resources and autonomy necessary to build the futures we choose.

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Statement: Trans Liberation, Not US Militarism: Selective Outrage Over Trans Military Ban Obscures Larger Failures to Support Trans Communities

While we are concerned for the well-being of trans individuals currently serving in the military, we are skeptical of the “outrage,” calls for protest, and fundraising appeals we are seeing from LGBT folks and their allies. Many of those coming out the loudest against the ban on trans military service have been silent as trans folks across the country continue to be killed, as they continue to suffer harassment and violence at the hands of police, and as they continue to be denied housing, jobs, healthcare, respect, and dignity.

We’ve been in the streets showing up for trans folks. Where have you been? What have you been doing?

We are deeply skeptical of the degree to which criticisms of the ban on trans military service ignore the grave injustices carried out by the U.S. military and the military industrial complex. It is possible — and necessary — to criticize policies that single out and attack trans individuals while refusing to endorse, support, or celebrate the U.S. military. Pandering to dangerous sentiments of nationalism and patriotism is no way to garner respect and dignity for trans folks. We will not allow the trans community to be leveraged to support U.S. militarism and imperialism.

We reject the the idea that trans military service should be a priority for the movement for trans liberation. As other trans activists and scholars have pointed out, advocacy around military service only became visible after wealthy billionaire donors, “dedicated to celebrating the US military” put their money behind it. For trans individuals, the right to housing, jobs, food, healthcare, education, and safety should not be contingent on putting one’s life on the line in service of the U.S. war machine.


When thinking about how to respond to Trump’s ban on trans military service, it’s important to listen to the voices of trans folks first. Today, we’ve been inspired by the words of some of our trans comrades on our newsfeeds:

There are trans people RIGHT NOW IN AMERICA who are homeless, jobless, without healthcare, being denied access to food and resources and you know this. There are trans people RIGHT NOW IN AMERICA who still have not received JUSTICE for the state sanctioned violence we face every day from this murderous regime. And you want me to give my life to a country that never gave a fuck about me? Now you all of a sudden y’all care about trans people? Because of the military… who are you and why are you here? Go ahead and make a difference! www.twocc.us/donate

-Lourdes Ashley Hunter, Trans Women of Color Collective

“This ban serves as a disturbing model for trans health care in the US and how institutions will further fail to protect us. To be considered a burden because we demand and deserve affordable and equitible care is nothing short of dehumanizing. BUT most importantly, where are y’all when TWOC are being murdered and abused on the streets? That’s the crux right there. We live on these frontlines daily, and if only cis advocacy could shift it’s focus to what’s really affecting us, we’ll actually feel like we’re heard rather than cis folks steering a ship that’s not theirs. Don’t get me wrong, cis folks do play a crucial and necessary part in all of this, but when an issue like this is what creates your yearning for allyship, then you’re missing the big picture”

-Frida Ibarra

“Don’t worry white trans people you can still join the border patrol and police if you really need to kill colonized people.”

-Malinalxóchitl Cimi


We refuse to make the ability of trans (and queer) individuals to serve as oppressive agents of the state a central part of our vision of trans liberation. Our liberation cannot and will not be achieved by gaining access to systems fueled by death and destruction. We reject the arguments of those who reduce this issue to a matter of equality versus inequality, because fighting for equality within a corrupt and oppressive system perpetuates injustice.

And to those who claim that military service presents a viable employment opportunity for trans folks — we encourage you to take a moment to examine the systemic barriers to trans employment that make this line of thinking possible.

It is our sincere hope that those mobilizing today in opposition to the trans military ban also recognize their duty to mobilize in opposition to rampant discrimination against trans individuals everywhere. We implore cisgender allies to think twice before celebrating the possibility of trans folks putting their lives on a line for a country that has yet to affirm or respect their value as human beings.


To read more on this topic, check out these resources:

Sex, Gender, and War in an Age of Multicultural Imperialism — Dean Spade & Craig Willse (2014)

Transgender Activists Speak Out Against Campaign to End Trans Military Ban — Toshio Meronek (2014)

Against Equality: Don’t Ask to Fight Their Wars — Against Equality Collective (2012)

A Military Job Is Not Economic Justice — Queers for Economic Justice Statement on DADT (2010)

Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times — Jasbir K. Puar (2007)


To speak with a representative from No Justice No Pride, contact drew@nojusticenopride.org.

No Justice No Pride is an ad-hoc collective of organizers and activists from across the District of Columbia. We exist to end the LGBT movement’s complicity with systems of oppression that further marginalize queer and trans individuals. Our members are black, brown, queer, trans, gender nonconforming, bisexual, indigenous, two-spirit, formerly incarcerated, disabled, white allies and together we recognize that there can be no pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.

www.nojusticenopride.org

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Statement: Another World Is Possible: Fighting Back Against DC’s Marginalization of Trans Women

WASHINGTON — Following their direct action at last month’s Capital Pride parade, No Justice No Pride, a coalition of local trans and queer organizers, activists and community-based organizations, took to the the streets once again on the evening of July 13. The rally and march, entitled, “All Out For Trans Women: When Under Attack, We Fight Back!” kicked off at Freedom Plaza, where where local activists and organizers shared testimony about the consequences of Washington, D.C.’s severe neglect of trans women of color. Following the rally, the group took to the streets and marched to MPD headquarters.

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Statement: CONCERNS REGARDING DC'S PRE-ARREST DIVERSION PILOT PROGRAM

The following letter is in response to the pilot pre-arrest diversion program that is currently being developed by Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”), the Department of Behavioral Health (“DBH”), and the Department for Human Services (“DHS”). There are several major issues in the proposed program that must be addressed by these agencies. We encourage individuals and organizations to sign on to the this letter to the D.C. Council which expresses some of our concerns with the pilot program. Dear Councilmembers: We, the undersigned, write to express our deep concerns with the upcoming pre-arrest diversion program that is currently being developed by Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”), the Department of Behavioral Health (“DBH”), and the Department for Human Services (“DHS”). While the concept of a pre-arrest diversion program is admirable and is one that the unsigned support in theory, in practice a pre-arrest diversion program must address the unique needs of the citizens of Washington D.C in order to be successful. This involves developing a strategy that involves the numerous direct service organizations, community members, and service providers who understand the complexity of coordinating services. Bringing a program to the District of Columbia that works aims to improve public safety and reduce human suffering by reducing the effects of criminalization, mental health issues, homelessness, and poverty is critical to the wellbeing of our communities, however this program, in its current state, will not achieve these goals. In preparation for Fiscal Year 2018, the DC Council awarded the Department of Behavioral Health (“DBH”) $ 970,544 for development of a pre-arrest diversion program in collaboration with the Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) and the Department for Human Services (“DHS”). This council encouraged these agencies to consider models for successful diversion programs piloted in other jurisdictions, such as Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (“LEAD”)1. Unfortunately, these agencies did not seek the input or guidance of any community organizations or service providers. It was not until the program had already been developed that community groups were called to the table to discuss some aspects of the program with DBH and MPD, during these meetings it became clear that there are many important aspects of this proposed pilot program that have not been considered. Meetings informing organizations about a pilot program does not negate the fact that the program was developed without community members or anyone with lived experiences’ input. The undersigned hope to see a broad pre-arrest diversion program in Washington D.C. that meets the needs of our clients. To achieve this we believe the following changes must be made to pilot program: Community organizations, individuals, and service providers must be added to the current working group that is developing and overseeing the implementation of this program. They must be allowed access to those meetings and given an opportunity to share their inputs and suggestions.2 The LEAD Albany program created a Community Leadership Team which allows community members and stakeholders to attend public meetings and offer feedback and accountability.3 While direct access to the working group would be best this at least allows some vehicle for community involvement and oversight. Under the pilot program, roughly 60 Crisis Intervention Officers will receive further training from MPD to take part in this program. Today, the contents of this training curriculum are unknown to those outside of the MPD. Moreover, no community organizations or service providers have been asked to offer some insight into what is important to our clients and how officers can best prepare to work with these vulnerable populations. Training without a clear aim or objective will not help improve the relationships between officers and residents. By including the numerous community groups and using their years of knowledge MPD will be able to create a more comprehensive training program. It will also be helpful if service providers know more about the Crisis Intervention Officers who are a part of the program so that they can all work together. The pilot program intake process must be reconfigured to limit the trauma and harm it may place on program participants. Currently, the program will place individuals in handcuffs, put them in the back of a patrol car, and take them to a police station where they will be assessed to see if they are eligible for the diversion program. However, an intake process similar to Seattle’s LEAD program seems more desirable and less intrusive to our clients. Under this model individuals are given a the opportunity to be given a referral and then independently go and get their assessment within a certain amount of time. Since the program will not be used for individuals in crisis, this approach will allow individuals to avoid being placed in situations that mimic an arrest and may feel highly coercive. This is also in line with DC Code 23-584 which allows officers to release individuals on a citation for certain misdemeanor offenses, including the list of divertible offenses. With the implementation of this pilot program community organizations should have access to the data that is collected, particularly regarding the demographics of those included in the program, those who decided not to participant in the program, who was referred through a social interaction, and who was referred after the police were called. Additionally, who successfully completed the program as well as what services were provided to participants. It is highly likely that many of the program participants will be former or current clients of the undersigned organizations and we hope to work together to better coordinate services and help our clients succeed. Collecting and sharing data will also help our organization and others tailor our programs to fit all the needs of our clients. These are merely some of our current concerns with the pilot program and are no way exhaustive. We hope that the Council will consider the complexity of creating a successful pre-arrest diversion program and will ensure the inclusion of service providers and community organizations in this ongoing program. In order to make this program a success, we must emphasize the importance of working together to truly help the residents of D.C. Now is the time to set a powerful example of what inclusive, harm reduction centered, trauma-informed criminal justice reform can accomplish. We thank the Council for taking these issues under advisement and hope we can continue to discuss what a successful pre-arrest diversion program will look like in Washington D.C. Sincerely, HIPS No Justice No Pride ACLU-DC Drug Policy Alliance The Chosen Few
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Action: Mayor Bowser, Chief of Police Newsham, Attorney General Racine, Council member & Chair of the Judiciary Committee Charles Allen and City Council Chair Phil Mendelson truly support our Trans and GNC communities.

Sign the petition: Mayor Bowser, Chief of Police Newsham, Attorney General Racine, Council member & Chair of the Judiciary Committee Charles Allen and City Council Chair Phil Mendelson truly support our communities.
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DC Councilmember Allen: Hold a Hearing on Sex Work Decriminalization

Councilmember Allen -

D.C.'s sex work criminalization policies have failed to deter violence and improve public safety. They have instead made it more difficult for sex workers to seek safety due to the significant risk of arrest - instead of protection - and have lead to the detention and deportation of documented and undocumented Trans and Queer migrants, many whom entered the United States' claimed borders to seek safety from grave human rights violations in their...

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Support Bill The Fare Evasion Decriminalization Act of 2017

Sloppy policy changes, high fares, service cuts and other anti-rider initiatives that inevitably result in the criminalization of low income communities and targeting those who are already struggle to pay metro fares is the wrong way for WMATA to address their ongoing funding crisis. These policies only serve to make Metro more inaccessible to those who need access to public transportation most. Undermining access to public transportation will only worsen the racial and economic divides that plague our city, while distracting the public from the real fare evaders looting the system.
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Community Support & Response

Trans Justice

In April, as attacks from state violence and other issues increased with the resulting actions of FOSTA/SESTA, NJNP has doubled down on providing Rapid Response Support to our familia and have included it as a crucial part of our Trans Justice Program. NJNP’s Trans Justice From providing mutual aid & support as well as providing stipends to trans youth struggling with housing to learn how to organize. Continue reading →

Mutual Aid and Community Support

As part of NJNP's Trans Justice and Rapid Response Programs, NJNP providing Mutual Aid and Community Support in the form of: Temporary Housing -  at the NJNP House Collective or with NJNP allies who have space — for housing unstable or whose work hours extended passed the curfew at their existing housing. Housing was already a critical issue in D.C.’s TGNC Communities before the loss of Backpage and others, and as a result of the loss in income many have been unable to pay for rent, those who were in the process of getting housing lost their 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, open bank accounts, raising money to keep their phones on and access alternative and natural medicines. Meals - Working with community partners and allies to source meals and ingredients to make meals for struggling TGNC Community Members who stop by NJNP. Legal Support and responding to State Terror - Supporting and advocating for our friends at hearings, helping navigate the system, raising money for jail and legal defense support, signal boosting/engaging in Public Awareness Campaigns and working with community partners, organizations and volunteer lawyers to support TGNC community members in need.


Organizing Training Project Pilot (OTP)

Developing organizing and leadership skills for trans folks of color most directly and disproportionately impacted by the violences that result from the criminalization of sex work to organize locally impacted communities to lead the movement to decriminalize sex work in the District of Columbia and make the District a safer space for trans, gender non-conforming (GNC), and gender expansive individuals and communities.