BOSTON—The Getting to Zero Activist Academy will host a symposium to provide education about the national movement to decriminalize sex work entitled, “Decrimpact” on Saturday, February 26 from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET. The symposium will be held virtually with American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and is open to the public, who can register here.
The symposium will debut a documentary followed by several educational panels. The debut film, “Out of the Shadows: The Movement to Decriminalize Sex Work” is a short documentary filmed and produced by participants in the Activist Academy and Dawson Hill. The film captures the voices of local sex work rights activists, researchers, and Representative Lindsay Sabadosa. The film covers a range of topics including how decriminalizing sex work would prevent new HIV infections, reduce commercial sex trafficking, and increase the safety of sex workers.
Post-screening panels will discuss the intersections of sex work, public policy, and a special panel called “Tea Time” featuring Chastity Bowick, Tara Burns, Bella Robinson. Additional experts will highlight the pressing need to decriminalize sex work with speakers from Fenway Health, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, Transgender Emergency Fund of MA, Black and Pink MA, The Sero Project, COYOTE RI, SOAR, and Representative Lindsay Sabadosa.
“My team is excited to debut our documentary and to host this symposium because most people do not understand how the decriminalization of sex work is integral to LGBTQ+ rights, labor rights, bodily autonomy, reproductive justice, racial justice, or the fight to end the HIV epidemic.” said Stephanie Orozco, a 2022 Fellow in the Activist Academy. “I’ve learned so much by diving into this topic and listening to sex workers with my cohort. I am sure symposium attendees will too.”
“As a former sex worker, to be a part of this program lets me know that change is coming,” said Chastity Bowick, Executive Director of the Transgender Emergency Fund of MA. “The Fellows have gone above and beyond to understand the cycle of oppression placed on sex workers, especially Transgender sex workers. Their work highlights the need for health resources and legal decrim for this population.”
“The advocacy work done by our Fellows is all connected and essential to ending the HIV epidemic,” said Alyvia Norris, the Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for Fenway Health. “To do this work intentionally, we must be willing to engage in conversations and shared learning about these topics, which will ultimately decrease stigma and remove barriers to health and wellness. Everyone has the power to take action towards ending the HIV epidemic, and by joining our Fellows at the Decrimpact Symposium we hope you feel empowered to stay engaged in this work!”
Anyone interested in learning more about the decriminalization of sex work is invited to attend this event by registering here.
The Activist Academy Fellowship is hosted by the Getting to Zero MA Coalition (GTZ). GTZ was started in Massachusetts in 2015 by AIDS Action Committee and Fenway Health and is now a collective of 40+ organizations across the state that are dedicated to ending the HIV epidemic. The Academy equips participants with comprehensive knowledge and tools to advocate on issues that are related to ending the HIV epidemic, mobilize other activists, and educate community members and state officials. To learn more about GTZ please reach out to Alyvia Norris, ANorris@fenwayhealth.org.
[From a News Release]