What is the Movement Building Team?
As a legal organization SRLP believes in building the political voice of our communities. To accomplish this vision, we provide legal services that community members need to survive and participate politically, leadership development and skills-building opportunities, and support to community organizing projects that prioritize and support the leadership of transgender people, gender non-conforming people and people with intersex conditions who are low-income and/or people of color.
We also work in coalition with other community organizations to educate people about their rights to be free from gender identity discrimination, and to raise awareness about the manifestations of this discrimination in schools, jails, jobs, hospitals, and government agencies. We work with clients to connect them with social justice struggles and community organizing opportunities that are relevant to their lives, and help movements that have often overlooked or excluded transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming people to discover how our struggles are connected.
The Movement Building Team (MBT) is centered on building the participation and leadership of SRLP’s communities in the programmatic work of the organization. MBT coordinates and hosts ongoing meetings to serve as an entry point to the organization and focuses on building power through skill shares, political education and connection to policy and campaign work. The Movement Building Team bolsters building and retaining relationships with community members, helping build their capacity to participate in SRLP’s work and help maintain and build community member participation in SRLP’s policy work. The MBT is a collaborative effort of SRLP collective members, volunteer team members and SRLP staff.
What We Do
Engage Our Communities * Political Education * Workshops* Skill Shares* Discussions * Transforming Justice * *Build Relationships * Prisoner Pen Pal Postcard Project * Community Celebrations * Relationship Building * Prison Advisory Committee * Membership * Strategize * Grow Collective Knowledge * March/Rally * Know Your Rights * Community Organizing
Coffee Talk is our ongoing event centered on creating a casual & welcoming space for our community members. Coffee Talk’s are designed to foster community building, skill-sharing and political education through facilitated discussion, activities and food. Coffee Talk is hosted at SRLP by MBT members, is free and provides Metrocards for participants. Allies are welcome.
HOT STUFF! events are held on a semi regular basis, providing informational workshops and Know Your Rights workshops geared towards strengthening the skills of our community members and allies. HOT STUFF! is hosted at SRLP by MBT members, is free and provides Metrocards for participants. Allies are welcome.Coffee Talk & HOT STUFF! topics covered in the past: legal name/gender marker change workshop and skill share
trans and gender non conforming communities navigating the immigration system
history of activism in trans communities
Express Yourself: a night of karaoke, scheming and dreaming
Summer Health Series: Community experience & idea sharing to strategize about changing an unjust healthy system. Primarily focused on emergency rooms, detention facilities and community health centers Occupy Wall Street teach in and Trans Day of Action sign making parties
Prisoner Pen Pal Postcard Project
Beginning in 2007 SRLP provided ongoing communication and support to community members in prison through the community sustained pen pal project. In May 2011, the prisoner pen pal program transitioned into the Pen Pal Postcard Project. Find out more here.
Today, the Prisoner Pen Pal Postcard Project hosts ongoing writing parties & provides SRLP Prisoner Advisory Committee (PAC)members in prison with 2-4 postcards a year designed by other trans, intersex, gender non- conforming people who are low income and/or people of color, both incarcerated and non incarcerated. By hosting these gatherings we are able to share our prison work, connecting SRLP community members both inside and outside of prison while supporting art that breaks barriers.
Prisoner Advisory Committee
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project holds a strong belief that the people most affected by the systems of violence and oppression we fight are the best people to lead that fight. We also believe that social justice organizations must find ways to directly involve the members of our community who have been separated from us by the criminal injustice systems. The Prisoner Advisory Committee (PAC) is one way to overcome the enormous state-created barriers to communication and political participation for the people who are most affected by the prison system. PAC currently has around 70 amazing members who are enthusiastic about sharing their time, passion, and expertise with SRLP. Our members are trans, intersex, gender non-conforming people and allies who are currently incarcerated. Members of PAC work together with members of our collective to develop plans of work. Already, PAC members have helped with a national position statement on transgender healthcare in correctional settings and provided comments to the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. They are developing creative ways to work on changing policies, building community and sharing information and strategies. For more information, check out the PAC blog here!
In Solidarity is a collaborative newsletter created by PAC members, who are involuntarily locked away, SRLP staff & volunteers. Together our words & collective efforts work against injustice for low-income and/or people of color who are trans, intersex & gender non-conforming both inside and out of the prison industrial complex and towards gender self determination for all. Learn more here.
Additional Ways SRLP Supports Community Organizing Campaigns and Members
Organizing legal observers for direct actions of community organizing projects.
Providing “Know Your Rights” trainings/literature about interacting with the cops before direct action. Click here for more information about requesting trainings from SRLP and here for our brochure about police interactions.
Providing “Know Your Rights” and legal skills building trainings/literature in other areas.
Facilitating accountability sessions and transgender awareness trainings with other legal services organizations that need assistance in understanding the needs of the constituency.
Participating in coalition work on organizing campaigns, where we can often offer helpful legal as well as community-based perspectives.
Writing letters of support to put pressure on targets during a campaign.
Conducting on-site legal clinics at organizations or community spaces to provide one-on-one advice to members.
Making available leadership development opportunities through internships, volunteer positions, the Prisoner Advisory Committee, and collective membership at SRLP.