This week on Old Pro News, host and writer Lakeesha Harris sits down for an extra long interview with Zola Z. Bruce and Mariah Grant from the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York City. They start with a deep dive into the Safe Sex Workers Study Act, a history-making piece of new federal legislation which would task the Department of Health and Human Services with conducting a national study examining the impact of FOSTA-SESTA on sex worker safety, and require the Justice Department to study whether FOSTA-SESTA accomplished its stated goal of curbing sex trafficking. They also get into several other topics at the intersection of online free speech and sex work, including the OnlyFans adult content ban, the hypocrisy of shadow-banning, the seizure of Backpage, the threat of the EARN-IT Act, and more.
The Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York City is a national organization that defends the human rights of sex workers by destigmatizing and decriminalizing people in the sex trades through free legal services, education, research, and policy advocacy.
Their mission: In collaboration with and guided by impacted communities, we offer legal advocacy to survivors of human trafficking and people who engage in sex work, regardless of whether they do so by choice, circumstance, or coercion.
We are a national organization that defends the human rights of sex workers by destigmatizing and decriminalizing people in the sex trades through free legal services, education, research, and policy advocacy. We aim to create a sexually liberated world where all workers have the autonomy and power to fully enjoy their human rights.
One of the first programs in the nation to assist survivors of human trafficking, the Sex Workers Project has pioneered an approach to service grounded in human rights, harm reduction and in the real life experiences of our clients. All of our services are free for sex workers, those profiled as sex workers, and human trafficking survivors. We share our expertise through legal education workshops for sex workers, trainings for service providers and community organizations. We engage in media advocacy, support sex worker-led organizations and pursue policy change, aiming to make a real and demonstrable impact in the lives of our clients. We conduct groundbreaking human rights documentation rooted in the real life experiences of sex workers and survivors of trafficking.
The Sex Workers Project is a remarkably effective, dynamic organization deeply committed to improving the lives of our clients. As the only US organization meeting the needs of both sex workers and trafficking victims, the Sex Workers Project serves a marginalized community that few others reach. Together, we are working to create a world that is safe for sex workers and where human trafficking does not exist.
Excerpted From: SAFE SEX Workers Study Act Deep Dive Interview – with Zola & Mariah of Sex Workers Project / Old Pro News
Background: Want to Fix Big Tech? Stop Ignoring Sex Workers / The Daily Beast
FOSTA in Legal Context / Report produced by Hacking//Hustling, Authors: Kendra Albert, Elizabeth Brundige, and Lorelei Lee
Donate: Donate to organizations working on this issue, including the Sex Workers Project.
Request to Join: Please fill out this form to join the Sex Worker Subgroup of the Federal LGBTQPLHIV Criminal Justice Working Group. Joining the network means being added to the listserv and access to a database of resources for activists and allies, as well as an invite to the monthly working group call. This group supports the decriminalization of sex work, transparency and accountability in state action, and uplifting the leadership of impacted people.