What is the Movement Building Team?
As a legal organization, SRLP believes in building the political power of our communities. To accomplish this vision, we provide legal services that community members need to survive and participate politically, as well as Movement Building supports like leadership development and skill-building opportunities. SRLP’s Movement Building Team supports community organizing and advocacy projects that prioritize and support the leadership of transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGNCI) people who are low-income and/or people of color.
We work in coalition with community organizations, stakeholders, direct service and legal providers to engage, mobilize, and educate people about the issues facing low-income TGNCI people and TGNCI people of color, including their right to be free from gender identity discrimination. We help raise awareness about discrimination in New York City shelters, schools, jails, jobs, hospitals, and government agencies, such as the Department of Health (DOH), Human Resources Administration (HRA), and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS). We work with clients who attend our legal intakes to build their membership and leadership by providing weekly and one-on-one supports, connect them with community organizing opportunities that are relevant to their lives, and help movements that have often overlooked or excluded TGNCI people to support trans leadership and identify intersections across our movements.
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 * Provide Policy Recommendations * Develop Campaigns * Work in Coalition * Reduce Barriers to Leadership * Support Trans Leadership
MBT weekly core meetings are open to TGNCI people who are low-income, people of color, immigrants, disabled, and allies. Our weekly meetings create necessary community building, resource sharing, and space to strategize about ongoing and urgent issues. Our weekly Tuesday Movement Building Team meetings provide space for our core communities to develop skills, know your rights, practice facilitation, organize and plan events, and ground in SRLP’s values of collective liberation, abolition, gender self-determination, and economic and racial justice.
MBT Weekly Tuesday meeting topics include:
- Issues with Healthcare Treatment and Access
- Discrimination and Harassment in NYC
- Criminalization and Policing
- Legal Name/Gender Marker Change Workshop and Skill Share
- Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Communities Navigating the Immigration System
- Systematic Oppression and Intersections of Oppression
MBT helps organize public forums and community-based events, such as our Annual Celebration and Ceremony for Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson–check out our calendar for more info.
Resources and Supports Available to MBT Members
MBT Members who are TGNCI, low-income people, and/or people of color are able to access supports through our Movement Building Team, such as clothing/resource area of free, gently used and donated items, one-on-one meetings and goal setting, and advocacy supports.
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, and 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 and collective efforts work against injustice for low-income and/or people of color who are trans, intersex, and 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 transgender awareness trainings with other legal services organizations and direct service providers that need assistance in understanding the needs of our communities.
- 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.