Speak Up! – NYC Sex Blogger Calendar Funds Put To Work

April 14, 2009

I just got this exciting email from Audacia Ray:

Last fall a group of NYC based sex bloggers got their brains (and boobs) together to make a gorgeous pin-up calendar. Sales of the calendar benefit Sex Work Awareness (SWA), a young advocacy organization that I co-founded with several former $pread staffers. SWA works to do public education around sex workers’ issues and to support sex workers in speaking for themselves. To this end, we developed a media training workshop called Speak Up! Media Training for the Empowered Sex Worker, which has been taught in abbreviated forms in Las Vegas and Chicago at the Desiree Alliance conferences. Using funds raised from sales of the calendar, we’ve been able to grow the workshop into a day long session, and the first one is taking place on this Saturday, April 18th.

The participants of the workshop went through an application process and we’ve found a really great first crop of 10 present and former sex workers from all corners of the industry. Most of the participants are New Yorkers, but we’ve also got people coming from Virginia, Toronto, and Rhode Island. After we’re done with them, the group will be ready to take on the world both as media-makers and savvy interviewees. We’ll be releasing them into the wild with Flip video cameras and a bunch of new skills, plus ongoing support from the staff of Sex Work Awareness and each other.

Join us this Saturday evening at a cocktail reception to meet and greet this group of extraordinary sex workers. Immediately after the wrap-up of the training, we’ll be convening at XES in Chelsea, 157 West 24th Street between 6th and 7th avenues. We plan to be at the bar around 5:30. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone you think might be interested, the event is open to the public.

This makes me so happy. I am delighted to have headed a project that can actually help make a difference in the way we view sex and sex workers. The time for change is here and now, and thanks to brilliant, committed and fearless people like Audacia, perhaps we’ll be lucky enough to see sex workers given the rights that are their due as humans and as workers.

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