STREETWISE AND SAFE
Grantee since 2011
Our vision for the future:
When our activism pays off, LGBTQ youth will know their rights. The police will stop profiling our peers. And there will be more safe spaces and housing.
Our object for the time capsule is our cell phones. No matter how precarious our lives or what's happening with our housing, cell phones enable us to share information about staying safe and surviving. We also use our cell phone cameras to video police misconduct---and resistance to it. Then we use social media to get our message out to a wider audience.
Our community experiences a lot of un-safety. That's why we are called Streetwise and Safe. We want everyone to feel safe, no matter who they are or how they look. It's especially not fair that we have to be afraid of the police, the people who are supposed to be protecting us. (We're covering our faces in this photo to prevent them from targeting us as individuals.)
Do people know that police are arresting LGBTQ youth of color just for carrying condoms? They stop and frisk us, and if they find three or more condoms, the police use them as evidence that we intend to engage in prostitution, when all we're trying to do is to stay healthy. They can even be city health department condoms!
What's different is that now we're organizing. Becoming a North Star grantee is both a tremendous honor and opportunity--it means that a group of veteran community activists have decided that we're on the right track for making real change.