Katie Aldworth has been working as the Outreach Director at HIPS since June of 2003, before which she was a HIPS outreach volunteer for ten months. As the director she has developed and co-facilitated workshops for transgender sex workers addressing issues ranging from HIV and Hepatitis C prevention/care to silicon injection to self empowerment to body image. She has also been a transgender advocate/ally on issues ranging from lock-up procedures to street harassment and violence. Katie became a Harm Reductionist through volunteering with a needle exchange in San Francisco in 2001. It was her passion for Harm Reduction as it applies to the lives of sex workers, drug users and others that brought her to HIPS and led her to become a sex worker ally.
David Bimbi is currently finishing on his Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology at CUNY Graduate Center. His dissertation is examining unprotected sex with non-paid casual partners among Internet based male sex workers in New York City. David has been actively engaged in research related to HIV/GLBTQ health at the Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST) of CUNY Hunter College since 1996. He is currently Chair of the Board of Directors for a small, struggling and poor community based organization in Hudson County, NJ, Jersey City Connections/Hudson Pride, which offers programming for people living with HIV, transgendered persons and GLBTQ youth.
Mindy S. Bradley, Ph.D. is a 2004 graduate of the Crime, Law, and Justice program in the Department of Sociology at The Pennsylvania State University. She is currently Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas. Her research interest includes quantitative and qualitative investigations of deviant behavior, focusing specifically on the victimization and experiences of stigmatized groups. Her work has been published in a number of outlets, including Justice Quarterly, Symbolic Interaction, and Contemporary Sociology. She is currently working on a book on the exotic dance industry.
Barb Brents is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and is a faculty affiliate with the Women's Studies Department at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She is co-founder of the SABIR (Sex and Body Industry Research) Project with Kate Hausbeck. The two have published on the sex industry and are currently writing a book on Nevada's legal brothel system. In addition to her work on sexuality and the commercial sex industry, she also does research on social movements and politics.
Deborah Brock is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, York University, Toronto. Over the past two decades, she has been working in alliance with sex workers for the decriminalization of prostitution, and to build a broader social, labor, and legal rights agenda. She is the author of Making Work, Making Trouble: Prostitution as a Social Proble,. University of Toronto Press, 1998; and editor of Making Normal: Social Regulation in Canada, Nelson, 2003. She is committed to writing with women in the sex trade whenever possible, thereby re-positioning sex workers from research subjects to research collaborators.
Jesper Bryngemark. I have an LLM degree and am currently a Ph.D. student in law. I'm also involved in the sex workers' rights movement in Scandinavia and Europe, and I was one of the organizers of the European Conference on Sex Work, Human Rights, Labor and Migration in Brussels, October 2005.
Dr. Alice Cepeda is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Houston (UH) where she is also Senior Researcher at the Office for Drug and Social Policy Research (ODSPR). Dr. Cepeda received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the City University of New York, Graduate Center. Her experience and research interest has been in substance use, crime, violence and urban health issues among the Mexican-origin (Mexican Americans and Mexicans) population. She has published peer reviewed research articles in selected journals and has presented her work at numerous national and international conferences. Dr. Cepeda has had extensive experience during the last ten years working on federally funded research studies in several capacities. At the ODSPR, Dr. Cepeda is project director on a National Institute on Drug Abuse grant focused on risk factors associated with the transitioning from non-injecting to injecting heroin use among a young population of Mexican American drug users. Dr. Cepeda was also recently named the 2005-2006 Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) Visiting Scholar at UH. As visiting scholar she is working on publishing her work on injecting drug use and high-risk sexual behavior among sex workers on the U.S./Mexico border (Nuevo Laredo/Ciudad Juarez)
Grace Chang is a single mother, writer and activist in struggles for immigrant, labor and welfare rights of immigrant women and women of color in the United States. Her essays on immigrant women, welfare and work have appeared in Radical America, Socialist Review, and the anthology Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire. She was a co-editor of Mothering: Ideology, Experience and Agency (Routledge, 1994) and is the author of Disposable Domestics: Immigrant Women Workers in the Global Economy (South End Press, 2000). Currently, she lives in Ventura, California with her two sons and teaches Women's Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. She is working on a book about state violence perpetrated against women of color and their children through US family law.
Jenn Clamen has been active in the sex worker rights movement since 2000, starting in London with the International Union of Sex Workers. She is currently working Stella, in Montréal, a community group run by and for sex workers, where she recently coordinated the Forum XXX, a sex workers rendez-vous.
Elizabeth Cohen has been the Executive Director of Rape Crisis Services of Greater Lowell since June 2002 after earning a Masters in Public Health from Boston University. She is the co-chair of the Sexual Assault Advisory Board to Jane Doe and a member of the Governor's Commission on Sexual and Domestic Violence. This past spring, Elizabeth co-designed and co-taught a graduate course at the Boston University School of Public Health on public health perspectives on sexual violence that earned an "Excellence in Teaching" award. During her time at RCSGL, Elizabeth helped create their Substance Abuse and Prostitution Outreach program and have presented at numerous conferences on the connections between sexual violence, substance abuse and prostitution. Before coming to RCSGL, Elizabeth worked as a Health Professionals Coordinator for Abortion Access Project and the Hotline/Advocacy Coordinator for Survivor Assistance/Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Her undergraduate degree is in Clinical Psychology from Tufts University.
Daniela Danna. Born in Milan in 1967, PhD in Sociology at the University of Trento, Italy in 2000. I have published in Italian four books about homosexuality, among which Amiche, compagne, amanti. Storia dell'amore tra donne [Women friends, comrades, lovers. History of love between women], Mondadori 1994, and two about prostitution, especially under the aspect of policy analysis (theme of my PhD is “Policies about prostitution in 10 E. U. countries in the Nineties”). In English I have published some contributions to collective works, most recently “The Beauty and the Beast. Lesbian characters in the turn-of-the-century Italian literature” (ending before Perfidie), in Queer Italy, edited by Gary Cestaro (St Martin Press)and The Politics of Prostitution: Women’s Movements, Democratic States, and the Globalisation of Sex Commerce, edited by Joyce Outshoorn (Cambridge University Press). I am a hired researcher and I teach the course in Comparative Social Systems at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Milan, Italy.
Melissa Ditmore, Ph.D., Coordinator of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (SWP). Melissa was the principal investigator for Revolving Door, the first report released by the Sex Workers Project, and is currently a research consultant for the SWP. She was the inaugural Chair of the Advisory Board of the Sex Workers Project. Dr. Ditmore is currently editing an encyclopedia of prostitution for Greenwood Press. Her doctoral thesis from the City University of New York focused on the conflation of trafficking and sex work. This work was informed by her experience lobbying for the inclusion of human rights protections in international and domestic law as a member of the Human Rights Caucus. She coordinates the Trafficked Persons Rights Project, an informational resource for organizations assisting victims of trafficking in all industries. She has written about trafficking and the sex industry for Shifting the Debate (forthcoming from Routledge), New Sociologies (ed. Patricia Clough, in press), Research for Sex Work, Nemesis, and her doctoral work. Dr. Ditmore has spoken in varied venues including the United Nations, many universities and academic and political conferences, and community events. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Network of Sex Work Projects and serves as their point person for issues relating to human rights.
Anne Dölemeyer is a researcher in a European research project “Cross-border sex-industry related crime prevention” and PhD student at Leipzig University (Germany). She finished her Diplom in Political Science, Economics and Sociology at Leipzig in October 2005. In her Diplom thesis, she analyzed local forms of the regulation of prostitution in two German cities.
Caitlin Farrow is Research Associate in the School of Sociology & Social Policy at the University of Nottingham, and is currently working on an ESRC funded project examining the markets for migrant sex and domestic workers in the UK and Spain. She played a key role in setting up the Nottingham University Student Action for Refugees Group, and her research to date focuses on the way in which UK law and policy frames 'trafficking' as an immigration, rather than a human or labor rights, problem.
Robyn Few migrated to California in 1996 from Tennessee to actively become involved in the prostitution industry. After she was arrested in 2002, by the federal government, she came out of the closet to speak out for the rights of prostitutes. Although she has been involved in many occupations in her life, she identifies herself as a sex worker. She feels that the only way we can end discrimination and stigma in the sex industry is to decriminalize sex and put a human face on prostitution. She calls herself a true abolitionist, because she believes that we must repeal the laws that criminalize sex not continue creating bad laws that keep women criminals. In October 2003, Robyn helped form Sex Workers Outreach Project USA, it has become a national organization to support sex workers rights and fight for decriminalization of prostitution.
Kristen Freeland is originally from California, where she began working for progressive change through her involvement with San Francisco Women Against Rape, Needle Exchange and Food Not Bombs. In 2000, she joined the Exotic Dancers Union and later assisted with The Lusty Lady Theatre's transition into becoming a worker-owned co-operative in May 2003. She joined The Sex Workers Project in New York City as an outreach worker in June 2005 and is currently pursuing degrees in Sociology and Dance at Hunter College.
Giulia Garofalo. I have been involved in the politics of sex work since 2001. I started in Italy with the project Sexyshock (www.ecn.org/sexyshock), and continued in the Netherlands and in London - where I am now based. I have been part of the organization of A European Conference on Sex Work, Human Rights, Labor and Migration (www.sexworkeurope.org). I have also been active in feminist, queer, and anti-racist groups. As a researcher I have a background in economics and gender studies. My PhD project “The political economy of sex work in Europe” is founded by the University of East London. Its aim is to develop a theory of prostitution that would accompany sex workers’ rights movements, as they exist in Europe.
Camila Gelpí-Acosta is from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico. I recorded my Bachelors degree in Political Science at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. I have been living in NYC since 2000 and did the Masters Degree in Sociology in CUNY. I have been performing as the Director of Prevention Education at CitiWide Harm Reduction since October 2003.
Melissa Gira is writer, digital media artist, and a sex worker human rights advocate. Currently she serves on the Board of Directors at the Lusty Lady Erotic Theatre, San Francisco's historic unionized and co-operative peep show. Melissa is the founding editor of boa: a journal of new whore culture (www.whoreculture.com), and a contributor to $pread magazine and Indymedia's Faultlines. As an instructor for Scarlot Harlot's Whore College and for the Exotic Dancers' Education Project, Melissa teaches webcam and blogging workshops for sex workers. Her podcast, whorecast, is among the most downloaded on the iTunes Music Store, and has been reported on by both Penthouse Forum and CBS News. Melissa has been a participant in the National Sexual Resource Center’s Institute on Sexuality, Social Inequality & Health at San Francisco State University and a delegate to the Parliament of the World's Religions in Cape Town, South Africa. She blogs about sexual culture for Sexerati.com and religion and spirituality for BlogHer.org, and on her own website, sacredwhore.org.
Kate Hausbeck is an Associate Professor of Sociology and a faculty affiliate in the Women's Studies Department at the University of Nevada Las Vegas where she is co-founder of the SABIR (Sex and Body Industry Research) Project with Barb Brents. The two have published on the sex industry and are currently writing a book on Nevada's legal brothel system. Dr. Hausbeck does research on gender, sexualities, visual culture, theory and, of course, the commercial sex industry.
Daliah Heller is from Toronto, Canada, and has made NYC home for the past twelve years. She has served as the Executive Director at CitiWide Harm Reduction – a Bronx-based organization working with drug users – since 1997, and is currently working towards her PhD at CUNY Graduate Center.
Michael Hendricks. Born in 1941 in Trenton, NJ, Michael immigrated to Quebec in 1968 during the Vietnam War. A long time progressive activist, in 1990 he joined ACT-UP Montréal, which changed his life. Following a series of homicides in the gay community, he was confronted with the murder of a male sex worker, presumably by a client. The police investigation turned his stomach. In 1996, he joined the Sex Workers Rights Coalition. He is presently the receptionist at Stella in Montreal. In September 1998, Mr. Hendricks and his lover René LeBoeuf filed the first constitutional challenge to the Canadian marriage law. They were married on April 1, 2004. They have a Golden Retriever named Oscar (Wilde).
Dr. Majda Hrženjak reached her doctoral degree from sociology at the Faculty for Social Sciences in Ljubljana in 2001. She is the author of the book Symbolic. The Selected Chapters from French Structuralism and the editor of the book Making Her Up. Women's Magazines in Slovenia. She is acting as a senior researcher at Peace Institute from 2002 on and is conducting the projects in the field of gender studies and cultural policy.
Md. Nazrul Islam, MSS in Public Administration, Chief Executive, Rehabilitation Center for Prostitutes And Rootless Children (PARC), Chittagong, Bangladesh and Member Secretary of “Chittagong Local Initiatives’ Foundation” (CLIF)- an Association of NGOs working for Human Rights, Executive Member of Bangladesh Human Rights Council, Chittagong.
Kerwin Kaye is a PhD candidate in American Studies at New York University. He is the editor of Male Lust: Pleasure, Power, and Transformation (Haworth Press), and has written widely about the politics of sexuality and sex work in particular. The paper he is presenting here is derived from research conducted for a master's thesis in Anthropology and concerns male street prostitution in San Francisco.
Patty Kelly is the author of the forthcoming book Lydia's Open Door: Sex, Gender, and Politics in a Modern Mexican Brothe" (University of California). She has been researching and writing about the sex industry in the US and Mexico since 1996 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Quinnipiac University.
Remy Kharbanda is a South Asian activist researcher and budding documentary filmmaker based in New York. Her work focuses on law enforcement interactions with women of color, immigration issues, the war on terror, and displacement in the South Asian diaspora.
Juline Koken, M.A., is an advanced doctoral student in Social-Personality Psychology at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and a senior research associate at the Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST). Her research centers on the ways in which sex workers of all genders and sexual identities work to maximize their profit in sex work while protecting/maintaining their personal well being.
Don Kulick is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University. His books include Travesti: sex, culture and gender among Brazilian transgendered prostitutes (1998), Language and Sexuality (with Deborah Cameron, 2003) and Fat: the anthropology of an obsession (co-edited with Anne Meneley, 2005). His recent work, which critically examines the 1999 Swedish law criminalizing the purchase of sexual services, has appeared in the anthology Sex work, mobility and health in Europe (Day and Ward, eds., 2004) and the journal GLQ.
Heather Latham is the Associate Executive Director of REACH, domestic violence organization serving MetroWest Boston. She coordinates the Hope Project, a program aimed at enhancing the capacity of social service organizations, particularly domestic violence and sexual assault agencies, to support survivors who have engaged in transactional sex. Ms. Latham has also worked in domestic violence and sexual assault agencies in Georgia and Michigan.
Carol Leigh AKA Scarlot Harlot is an activist, performer, and author who has been part of the sex workers' rights movement since the 1970s, coining the term 'sex work' in 1978. She has participated in numerous organizations founding the Bay Area Sex Workers' Advocacy Network, as an active member of the Sex Workers' Outreach Project, and as a spokesperson for Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics (COYOTE). Leigh coordinated a street outreach project, volunteered at needle exchange, curates the Sex Worker ! Film and Arts Festival, administers Prostitutes Education Network Website (www.bayswan.org/penet.html) and represented San Francisco's Commission on the Status of Women on the Board of Supervisor's Task Force on Prostitution. She has also published extensively participating in numerous anthologies about sex work. "Unrepentant Whore: Collected Works of Scarlot Harlot" was published in 2004. Leigh is a performer and filmmaker and most recently toured the US with the the Sex Workers' Art Show.
L.H.M. Ling. Core faculty, Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School.
Shane Luitjens is retired from a career as an escort, bodyworker, pro-dom and Internet porn model to hustle in the graphic design world as a Creative Director in addition to directing HOOK (www.hookonline.org), the longest-running grassroots program by, for and about men in the sex industry. He founded HOOK 8 years ago and continues to work with men in the sex industry to develop content and programs including New York City's Rent U. project (www.rentunyc.com). He contributes nationally and internationally by facilitating the education of service providers in the development of materials and tactics that effectively support choices of men in the sex industry.
Alix Lutnick received her MA in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University in the spring of 2004. Among other things, she is a sex worker, harm reduction counselor for St. James Infirmary, and Staff Research Associate III for the University of California San Francisco. Currently, she is the coordinator for the SWEAT (Sex Worker Environmental Assessment Team) project, a multi-level study that aims to identify the ways in which social capital impacts the health of female sex workers in San Francisco. This project is conducted by UCSF in conjunction with St. James Infirmary.
Mashrur Shahid Hossain was born on the 6th of September 1974 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. An MA in English, is Assistant Professor in Department of English, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka. Has strong interest in and has worked and published on postcolonial literatures, marginalized community, ethnography, and media. Passions and expertise include poetry, film and music, and has made his debut short film Howl (2006), the story of a transgender boy. Is interested to work for young generation as well as on radical but affirmative issues.Catherine MacGregor, I am an internationally known performance artist with over 7 years experience of teaching in Higher Education. I have theoretical and practical teaching skills and am an experienced academic researcher in the areas of performance, art and drama. I have a doctoral thesis in drama and feminist theory. During the past four years I have been working as a teacher and Arts Administrator while also working as a freelance performance artist and writer.
Jessica Melusine, Writer, Model and Performer. Jessica has worked as a phone sex operator, a graduate student, a model and a temp worker infiltrating the US government. Her work appears in Red Light: Saints, Sluts and Superheroes, Boazine.com, Shameless, Zaftig, Black Sheets and in her own zine Houri for Hire. She has performed with the DC Gurly Show, co-presented with Melissa Gira at Pantheacon 2005, Sex Workers Art Show 2005 in Baltimore, Cliterati in Atlanta, Ladyfests Bay Area, East and Columbus 2004 and can be found on the web at www.jessicamelusine.com
Emilija Mitrovic. I am lecturer in social sciences and give seminars about prostitution and trafficking in women and I made some investigations for the University of applied sciences in Hamburg and as expert for the directory of the service union verdi in Germany. The results were published under the title " work place prostitution". You will find an English translation at www.arbeitsplatz-prostitution.de. And I’m the author of different articles in books and journals and editor of the book " prostitution and trafficking in women" - it will be published in Mai 2006 by VSA-Verlag Hamburg.
Helen Mason currently works as one of two Co Managers for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC), Auckland, New Zealand. She comes from an art and research background and in her role at NZPC is able to integrate skills from both of these areas. Helen advocates for sex workers, particularly in the area of human rights, and most recently has worked on de-stigmatization programs with the Police and the Touching Base Project an educational program for sex workers, people with disabilities and their caregivers. She also currently works on local government and Health and Safety programs at NZPC.
Elizabeth Nanas is a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology at Wayne State University. She is the Ethnographer for The University of Michigan’s Dearborn “Difficult Dialogues,” a project designed to bring about individual and institutional change regarding engagement of race, religion, and sexuality issues. With a Master of Education, Elizabeth has worked with diverse people across metropolitan Detroit in both K-12 educational settings and at Wayne State University’s Institute of Gerontology. Her long-standing commitment to activism and education emerges, in part, from her past experiences with homelessness and undocumented work. Currently, she is a member of Michigan’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Ageing Task Force; The American Friends Service Committee LGBT Issues Program; and the Best Practices Policy Project, an organization that works to promote excellence in conducting research and outreach with sex workers in the United States. Elizabeth lives with her partner and cat on the Southwest side of Detroit in Michigan.
Dr. Maggie O’Neill is based in Criminology and Social Policy, in the Dept Social Sciences at Loughborough University. Her work in the area of sex work matters began in 1990 with a commission to explore possibilities for multi-agency responses to street prostitution in Nottingham, UK. An expert in ethnography , participatory action research and visual methodologies, she has published extensively in the following areas; street sex work, communities affected by prostitution, feminisms and prostitution, forced migration, cultural criminology as well as critical theory, feminisms, and creative consultation. Research and consultancy have been funded by the British Council, Arts and Humanities Research Board, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Home Office, Government Office EastMidlands, Health Action Zones and Local Authorities in the UK.
Julia O'Connell Davidson is Professor of Sociology at the University of Nottingham, and has undertaken research on various aspects of sex commerce in a number of different countries. At present, she is working on an ESRC funded project examining the markets for migrant sex and domestic workers in the UK and Spain. Her publications include Prostitution, Power and Freedom, 1998, Polity Press, and Children in the Global Sex Trade, 2005, Polity Press.
Jennifer C. Olmsted is a feminist economist who focuses on issues related to globalization and militarization, with a particular focus on Iraq and Palestine. Her publications have appeared in a number of book volumes including Postcolonialism Meets Economics and journals, such as World Development, Feminist Economics, Research in Middle East Economics and the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies. She is currently an Associate Professor of Economics at Drew University in Madison, NJ, USA. and is serving on the board of the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE).
Raquel Osborne is professor of Sociology of Gender at the National University of Education (UNED, Madrid). Her research interests are related to the Sociology of Gender and Sociology of Sexuality. Her present work entails a critical analysis of some of the ways gender violence is being reconceptualized and thus reflected in law and public policy. Her publications include: The Sexual Construction of Sexuality (Madrid, 1993); and as editor, Violence Against Women: Social Reality And Public Policy (Madrid, 2001); Sociology of Sexuality, co-edition with O. Guasch (Madrid, 2003); and Sex Workers. Rights, Traffic and Migrations in the XXI Century (Barcelona, 2004).
Laddawan Passar, MFA aka Dawn Passar is a grandmother, mother, former stripper, artist, and activist. She was born in 1957 in Lopburi, Thailand and came to live in the United States in 1974. Her work has been supported and honored widely. In 1988, she received a scholarship from the Ford Foundation, and in 1995 she received a Community service award from the Harvey Milk Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Democratic Club. In 1992, she founded the Exotic Dancers Alliance with Johanna Breyer, and the Margo Saint James Infirmary free health clinic for Sex workers and family in San Francisco. She has worked as a health educator in HIV Prevention in San Francisco and Alameda counties, as well as a co-chair of the cultural competence committee for HIV Prevention Planning Council for both counties. She worked as a street and massage parlor outreach worker, providing various health and social services for Thai and other immigrant women working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently she is living and working in her motherland, in Chiangmai Thailand.
Melissa Petro graduated from Antioch College in 2002 with a B.A. in Self Society and Culture, an interdisciplinary degree combining the fields of psychology, sociology and anthropology. As an undergraduate, she conducted extensive feminist ethnographic research on women's participation in the sex industry, conducting interviews with sex workers in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts degree in Creative Nonfiction at The New School, and is writing a book-length memoir about her own experiences as a woman working in the sex industry, starting when she was 19 years old and living as a student abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Jane Pitcher is an independent social researcher, affiliated to Staffordshire and Aston Universities and other research organizations. She has been undertaking research for the past 20 years, working in local government, the university sector and for a voluntary organization concerned with crime, social exclusion and community safety. She has undertaken a number of studies into social exclusion, including research concerning regeneration programs, disadvantaged young people, and women sex workers. As a regular volunteer for a sex worker support service in the West Midlands, Jane was recently involved in a community engagement research project looking at the needs of indoor and street-based sex workers. She recently completed a research study on communities and street sex work, funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation, with colleagues from the universities of Staffordshire, Loughborough and Strathclyde. She has published material on labor market disadvantage, gender issues and young people. She is a member of the UK Network of Sex Work Projects.
Catherine N. Poulcallec-Gordon has worked as an intern with the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center and FROST’D. She is a research consultant with the Social Intervention Group (SIG) of the Columbia University School of Social Work. She has been doing intensive research over the course of her undergraduate and graduate studies in France as well as in the United States on violence against women in the United States with an emphasis on the sex industry. She collaborated with the Urban Justice Center Sex Workers Project’s report Revolving Door, which was published in 2003. In addition, she completed the Arrive comprehensive 8-week 24-session HIV/AIDS education and substance abuse training program (Exponents Arrive, New York, NY). She collaborated with SIG on their pilot study in 2002-2003, whose purpose was to acquire an in-depth understanding of how best to support street-based sex workers in their efforts to access HIV prevention and other services in impoverished New York City neighborhoods. Throughout her career, she has published in France and in the United States on the issues of race and human rights in the sex industry in the United States at the end of the twentieth century.
Jennifer Ramirez has been involved in activism on issues relating to youth, the trans community, and sex work since 2000. She has been involved in organizing campaigns and outreach for FIERCE, an organization devoted to community organizing for Transgender, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Queer, and Questioning (TLGBTSQQ) youth of color in New York City. She currently works at the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, engaging in outreach, public education, and human rights documentation.
Audacia Ray is a writer, safer sex educator, sex worker rights advocate and graduate student who lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her writing ranges from personal essays to porn reviews to critical pieces about the sex industry and has appeared in a variety of books, including Everything You Know About Sex is Wrong, and the forthcoming First-timers: True Stories of Lesbian Awakening. She has taught workshops and spoken about sexuality at NYU, Rutgers University and CUNY and does HIV prevention workshops all over New York City. She is an executive editor of the Utne Independent Press award winning $pread magazine and is pursuing an MA in American Studies. Her musings can be found on her website, WakingVixen.com.
Elizabeth Ricks is a second year Master's student in Women's Studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Her research interests include issues of identity in sex work, representations of sex work in feminist text, sex work narratives, queer theory and drag. In addition to her academic work, Elizabeth is a volunteer rape crisis worker and co-hosts the Women on Women Music Program on 88.7 WLUW FM. She also does outreach education and sales for Early to Bed, a feminist sex toy store in Chicago. Elizabeth will be starting law school in the fall with a focus on public interest law for rape survivors.
Andrea Ritchie is a progressive lesbian feminist of African Caribbean descent who has worked in the women’s movement in the U.S. and Canada over the past 15 years as an advocate, policy analyst, and researcher. She is currently a member of the National Collective of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence. Her research and organizing focuses on police brutality and misconduct as experienced by women and LGBT people of color. She recently worked as a research consultant and co-author for Amnesty International’s Stonewalled: Police Abuse and Misconduct Against LGBT People in the US. She also served as a researcher and co-author for Caught in the Net, a report on women and the “war on drugs” published by the ACLU, the Brennan Center for Justice, and Break the Chains, as well as Behind the Kitchen Door: Pervasive Inequality in New York's Thriving Restaurant Industry published by the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York. She graduated from the Howard University School of Law in 2002 and currently works with partner Remy Kharbanda as part of RFR (Research for Revolution), a research partnership that supports integration of participatory research into community based organizing.
Eva Rosen is the Associate Director at the Center for Urban Research and Policy at Columbia University. She is conducting ethnographic fieldwork on Sex Workers in Chicago as part of a larger study with the Center for Urban Research and Policy on public housing and mobility in Chicago. She received a BA in Political Science and French and Francophone studies from Barnard College
Renate Ruhne, Dr. phil., sociologist and postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Sociology at the Darmstadt University of Technology (financed by the ‚German Research Foundation’/ DFG). She studied educational sciences and biology at the University of Bielefeld and sociology at the University of Hamburg, where she also finished her doctoral thesis. Ruhne’s present research focuses on social constructions of ‘space’ and ‘gender’, which she conceptualizes as reciprocally interdependent. She first explored these relations by analyzing gender-differentiated feelings of insecurity and fear in public spaces. Currently she is investigating the field of prostitution/ sex work. Major interests of research and teaching are theories of space and gender, urban sociology, figurational and process sociology, educational sociology
Nenad Senic was born in what is now Serbia and Montenegro and grew up in Slovenia. He is a Ph. D. candidate at the WMU’s Political Science Department. His interests include democratization, political communications, and gender & sexuality in politics. He has academic articles published in his native land and Croatia. His next article "Rights or Benefits? Explaining Sexual Identity Gap in American Political Behavior" is scheduled to be published in Spring 2006 in Political Research Quarterly. Currently, he is doing a research on sexual policies in the post-Communist Central/Eastern Europe. He is also teaching International Relations at Western's campus in Kalamazoo. Recently he taught Russian and East European Politics, Critical Thinking about Politics as well as a course in Prague on the impact of the fall of communism on daily life.
Ryan Shanahan is a graduate student working towards a PhD in Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland. Ryan draws from her activist work at HIPS to research the ways the juvenile justice system deals with youth engaging in street prostitution. Ryan focuses specifically on the way that color-blind racism is used against youth of color arrested for prostitution.
Yael Symonds-Yoaz, born in 1977 in Tel-Aviv, is a third year graduate student (L.L.M) in the Tel-Aviv University Law Faculty and obtained her LL.B. from Tel-Aviv University. Following her internship for the Israeli District Attorney’s office, she worked as a criminal lawyer at Yaron David’s Law office, Tel Aviv, specializing in criminal law and human rights. Yael is a tutor in Contract Law, Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure in the Tel-Aviv University Law Faculty. She is currently writing her dissertation titled: “From ‘Prostitute’ to ‘Trafficked Woman’: an Analysis of the Construction of Sexuality and Femininity in Israeli Legal Discourse”.
Karin Tertinegg, lawyer and PHD-student in political science at Vienna University. Research focus: gender mainstreaming policies, prostitution policies, family policies.
Claire Thiboutot. As a long time activist and former stripper, Claire participated in the founding of Québec’s first sex worker association, l’Association quebecoise des travailleuses et travailleurs du sexe (AQTTS) in 1992. Founding member and current director of Stella, Claire also set up an HIV prevention program for sex workers and injection drug users in Vietnam, for Medecins du Monde Canada in 2002-2003. In April 2005, she received an award form the Fondation Farha, for her remarkable work in the fight against AIDS and for sex workers’ human rights. In May 2005, she and Stella’s team hosted the Forum XXX in Montreal, a fantastic international sex worker rendez-vous!
GiGi Thomas is a 35 year old African American woman. She has lived in DC for all of her life. Gigi is the baby of five children and attending the University of District of Columbia, for a master’s degree in social work. GiGi is the Client Advocate for HIPS (Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive) assisting, supporting and empowering male, female and transgendered sex workers for the last 6 years. She is the supervisor of HIPS 24 hour crisis hotline. As a transgendered woman, GiGi considers herself an expert in issues of sex work and violence. GiGi is also on the Board for THE (Transgender Health Empowerment) which is the first supportive housing for transgender in Washington D.C.
Juhu Thukral, J.D. is the Director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center. Her work on the legal concerns of sex workers combines Ms. Thukral’s background in working on economic justice, health, and safety issues for low income women of color, particularly immigrant women, and her past work on the labor rights of sex workers. Prior to her work at the UJC, she was a Fellowship Attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York and a Ruth Chance Law Fellow at Equal Rights Advocates in San Francisco. She is a co-author and co-investigator of the reports, Behind Closed Doors: An Analysis of Indoor Sex Work in New York City (2005), Revolving Door: An Analysis of Street-Based Prostitution in New York City (2003), and The Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act of 1995: Examining the Effects of Mandatory Arrest in New York City (2001).
Ron Weitzer is Professor of Sociology and Director of Graduate Studies at George Washington University in Washington, DC. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985. He has written several articles on sex work, including a heated exchange in the journal Violence Against Women (July 2005), and is editor of Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Pornography, and the Sex Industry (Routledge, 2000). He is currently researching the politics of sex trafficking, and published an article on the topic in Society (March-April 2006).Jo Weldon has worked in the adult entertainment industry for over two decades. She is an advocate of sex workers' rights and an expert on exotic dance. As an activist, her focus has been on working toward a better understanding of sex workers' realities, and on defusing prejudices against sex workers. Currently she is a burlesque performer, producer, and photographer, as well as a teacher of burlesque dance.