We believe that all sex workers have a right to self-determination; to choose how we make a living and what we do with our bodies. We aim to empower our diverse community by building the capacity of sex worker-serving and sex worker member-based institutions as well as the skills and resources of sex workers themselves. We also conduct research about sex workers and the sex industry in order to better understand it, develop public education initiatives, and advocate for the rights of sex workers.
Who do you work with?:
The Red Umbrella Project provides support and capacity building to current and former sex workers who are male and female, cisgender and transgender, as well as gender non-conforming.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?:
The Red Umbrella Project is sex worker run and led and aims to foster leadership in current and former sex workers
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?:
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face:
The Red Umbrella Project works with sex workers who wish to tell their stories in media and in public forums like our monthly storytelling event, the Red Umbrella Diaries. The main challenges that our constituents face are the stigmas associated with sex work and the potential for negative consequences like loss of housing, problems with custody of children, family and social repercussions for speaking out in public. We try to mitigate these risks and provide training and support to people who wish to do media or public events.
Describe other areas of your work:
Red Umbrella Project amplifies the voices of people who have done transactional sex, through media, storytelling and advocacy trainings at our monthly storytelling services in New York City, and with support for advocacy projects and campaigns that promote the human rights of people who trade sex for something they need.