SWOP BEHIND BARS
Sex Worker Outreach Project
SWOP BEHIND BARS AT A GLANCE
SWOP Behind Bars is a national grassroots social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of sex workers and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education, community building, and advocacy. Founded in 2016, SWOP Behind Bars carries this mission further to engage currently and formerly incarcerated individuals who have traded sex. SWOP Behind Bars uses a harm reduction framework to offer various resources, community-building projects, educational programs, and advocacy to end violence and stigma against sex workers in the criminal justice system. This includes those currently incarcerated and those seeking re-entry services.
Ashunte Coleman is a Florida based advocate and harm reduction specialist. She is not only affiliated with SWOP Behind Bars, hosting weekly workshops and empowerment meetings, but is a member of Florida Rights Restoration Committee and the founder of LIPs Tampa, which is committed to empowering and advocating for the rights and decriminalization of transgender sex workers in Tampa and its surrounding areas. LIPs serves the needs of trans sex workers, particularly trans sex workers of color, and provides access to basic human needs such as food, safe transportation and housing, gender affirmative healthcare, access to low cost mental health and substance abuse services and to build a sense of community throughout Central Florida.
Blair Hopkins is a New Orleans based photojournalist and lifelong adult industry professional. As the Deputy Director of SWOP Behind Bars, she hosts and produces our podcast, All In A Day's (Sex) Work, and published a book of the same name.
Alex Andrews is a sex worker who has lived experience under criminalization of consensual sex work. She is the Co-Founder of SWOP Behind Bars and sits on the Board of Directors of NSWP as the North American Representative. Alex has been working with men, women and trans folks who have been incarcerated and also have experience in the sex industry and works to reduce the shame, discrimination and stigma of sex work by showing up at community meetings and town hall discussions on trafficking and using herself as an example to demonstrate that sex workers are just like everyone else. She has been called a “watchdog” of anti trafficking activity and is committed to the unification of sex worker rights in the United States. Alex lives in Central Florida with her two Golden Retrievers Bella and Lexi and her partner of more than 20 years, Michael.
Jill McCracken, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Having worked with sex workers and victims of trafficking for over fourteen years, her primary areas of research focus on sex work and trafficking in the sex industry, women and incarceration, and the impact of sexuality education on marginalized communities. Drawing on ethnographic and qualitative research methods, Dr. McCracken integrates community-based, participatory research into her work.
Dr. McCracken recently completed a Fulbright Specialist Project in collaboration with the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective to investigate the presence of violence and trafficking in the sex industry in a country where prostitution is decriminalized. Her work has been recognized through many awards and honors including the International Human Trafficking & Social Justice Conference Influential Scholar Award, USF Outstanding Faculty Award, Women in Research and Philanthropy USF Faculty Research Award, and Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Service.
Ceyenne Doroshow (pronounced Kai-Ann) is a compassionate powerhouse performer, activist, organizer, community-based researcher and public figure in the trans and sex worker rights’ movements. As the Founder and Executive Director of G.L.I.T.S., she works to provide holistic care to LGBTQ sex workers while serving on the following boards: SWOP-USA, Caribbean Equality Project, SOAR Institute and NYTAG.
As an international public speaker, her presentations include The Desiree Alliance, Creating Change, SisterSong, Harm Reduction Coalition and the International AIDS Conferences. She was a featured emcee for Toronto Pride and MOMA/PS1’s Sex Workers’ Festival of Resistance, lifting her voice as a trans woman of color.
Ceyenne has been heavily featured in the media, has performed on television in Showtime’s OZ, for the documentaries Red Umbrella Diaries and Miss Major.
Known for her skills in the kitchen, Ceyenne co-authored the Caribbean cookbook Cooking in Heels, while incarcerated on prostitution charges. She is currently working on her second book, titled Falling Into the Fire.
Amber DiPietra is a poet, performance artist, bodyworker, and organizer for disability and sex worker rights. Her book Waveform, with collaborator Denise Leto, came out from Kenning Editions in 2011. Her one-woman show, the “Opposite of Evolution Dance Studio” premiered at the Tampa International Fringe Festival in 2018. She is a co-founded of two social justice collectives; the Tampa Bay Area chapter of the Sex Workers Outreach Project (2013) and the Disability and Sexuality Access Network (2016). Find out more about her work at thebodypoetik.com
M. Dante is a writer who has contributed to research, discussion, and community conversations on social justice and anti violence efforts in the sex industry for 15 years. Since 2013 Ms. Dante has testified on behalf of sex workers for multiple committees around the country.
Experiencing homelessness from a young age, she was a migrant sex worker for over a decade before becoming an independent worker. With 30+ years industry exposure, she is federally defined as a trafficking survivor and identifies as an active consensual adult worker, educator and ally.
In college, she built connections between domestic violence, homelessness, survival sex work, sex trafficking, and the tolls such takes on mind, body and spirit. She focused the final products of her B.A. and M.A. degree work to trafficking and women’s health. She launched Pennsylvania Survivors Workers Community Clearinghouse and an advocacy clearinghouse for legal, legislative and support-oriented discussions related to sex trafficking and sex work.
Savannah Sly is a musician, Dominatrix, and sex worker rights activist who resides in Seattle, WA. Themes in Savannah’s creative work include existential reflection, sex, power, magic, and people they’ve met. Sly composes and performs original numbers in a variety of styles on bass, guitar, harmonium, and ukulele.
Chris (they/them) has been working towards change in Black communities in the South since teenagehood. Lived experience with medical racism, domestic violence, survival sex work and other issues has contributed to their passion for street based activism, increasing access to radical education, and mutual aid. Chris is also project assistant and editor for The Self Publication, an award winning photojournal designed to uplift the Black community.