Streetwise & Safe (SAS) is a multi-strategy initiative working to build and share leadership, skills, knowledge and community among LGBTQQ youth of color who experience criminalization, particularly in the context of the policing of poverty, “quality of life” offenses, and involvement or perceived involvement in survival economies. We conduct “know your rights” workshops specifically tailored to LGBTQQ youth of color where we share critical information about rights in the criminal legal system as well as strategies to increase safety and reduce the harms of interactions with police. SAS works to create opportunities for LGBTQQ youth of color to claim a seat at policy discussion tables as full participants, speak out on their own behalf, act collectively to protect and advance their rights, and demand choices that allow them to maximize their safety, self-sufficiency, and self-determination.
- serves on the steering committee for Communities United for Police Reform, a city-wide campaign bringing together grassroots organizations, policy advocates, lawyers and researchers from all five boroughs to challenge the NYPD’s use of “stop and frisk” and other discriminatory, unlawful and abusive policing practices;
- Is centrally involved in efforts to secure changes to the NYPD’s Patrol Guide to protect the rights of transgender New Yorkers;
- plays a leadership role in a coalition of public health advocates, civil rights organizations, and directly impacted individuals working to stop police and prosecutors from using possession of condoms as evidence of intent to engage in prostitution-related offenses;
- works in collaboration with Community United Against Violence to highlight the impacts of increased collaboration between local law enforcement and immigration authorities through programs such as the “Secure Communities” initiative or “S-Comm” on LGBTQ people;
- partners with organizations across the country to challenge laws and policies which contribute to increased criminalization of LGBTQ youth of color.