Tag Archives: employment

TODAY! Trans Day of Remebrance; FRIDAY! Trans Day of Action

Trans Day of Remembrance

Today is the annual Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR), observed each year on November 20 to honor the memories of those we have lost to violence and oppression. DC’s TDOR service is tonight at 6:00p.m. at the Metropolitan Community Church, located at 474 Ridge Street NW (Metro: Mt. Vernon Square). Doors open at 5:30.

DC Mayor Vince Gray and other city officials, along with members of local victims’ families, will be in attendance. There will be a special recognition of the advocates behind the Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Amendment Act. For more information, contact Earline Budd at 202.388.8251.

RSVP for TDOR on Facebook.

Trans Day of Action

Casa Ruby is hosting this year’s Trans Day of Action (TDOA) is this Friday from 6:00-9:00p.m., at Next Step Public Charter School, located at 3047 15th Street NW (Metro: Columbia Heights).

The event features a community conversation on trans unemployment and homelessness, and the launch of Casa Ruby’s new “Work It” employment program. There will also be a special showcase of the new documentary TRANS. For more information, contact Ruby Corado at corado (at) casaruby.org.

RSVP for TDOA on Facebook.

We hope to see you at both events! 

 

Trans People Say: End Economic Inequality, Solidarity with the 99%!

The DC Trans Coalition has decided to formally endorse and offer our support to the OccupyDC movement. We also encourage all of our members to attend today’s protest gathering at 4pm at Freedom Plaza and marching to the International Monetary Fund.

The Occupy Together movement started in New York City as Occupy Wall Street, which began on September 17th. The protests have grown progressively larger as increasing numbers take to the streets in nonviolent opposition to a society in which 1% of the population controls a quarter of all income. Inspired by this model, similar occupations are occurring in dozens of cities across the country, some being attended by tens of thousands. The demonstrators have highlighted that the current economic crisis is caused by corporate greed, and demand jobs and resources for oppressed people. In DC, Occupy K Street protestors have been in McPherson Square for several weeks.

As a whole, socially-marginalized communities (such as low-income trans people and trans people of color) suffer the most directly from poverty and are the most likely to be impacted by inequalities that arise from economic injustice. The DC Trans Coalition’s major priorities — as decided upon by our grassroots base through community forums and consultations — are creating inclusive, accessible jobs and services for all marginalized people in the District. We thus stand in solidarity with the grassroots Occupy Together movements.

Additionally, we especially encourage everyone who is able to attend the march that will take place today shortly after 4:00pm, leaving from Freedom Plaza, through McPherson Square, and ending at the International Monetary Fund. Today’s march was started by a group of women, queer people, and people of color in order to highlight the connection between multiple forms of oppression, both at home and globally. For this reason, DCTC especially wishes to express our full support for this action. It is critical that we recognize the links between our oppression and the oppression of others, and that we all work together to end inequality.

See you in the streets! For more information on OccupyDC and today’s march, see below. Continue reading Trans People Say: End Economic Inequality, Solidarity with the 99%!

Finally, Some Good News: Trans Employment Program Success! (Plus More Updates)

After a brutal summer, we are excited to share some positive results from our collective struggle to improve the lives of trans folks in the District. After talks between trans advocates and D.C. Mayor Gray, 21 trans individuals are participating in Project Empowerment’s pilot program to combat transphobic discrimination. NPR has an in-depth look.

DCTC is doing all we can to support the participants and make it a success. We are very excited to be part of this ground-breaking effort to address unemployment in our communities, and we hope the District will continue to fund similar potentially life-saving resources.

In response to the recent string of violence, we’ve received an unprecedented amount of letters of support in the past few weeks. We are looking forward to a busy fall, so if you’re thinking about getting involved now is a great time! We are gearing up for our next semi-annual Community Forum, tentatively scheduled for October 23rd. Here is a bit more news from our active campaigns…

Needs Assessment

  • We just passed a major hurdle toward receiving funding so that we can begin Phase Two. Our Needs Assessment Working Group is in the process of designing the paper survey that will soon be distributed. If you’d like to help out, they meet on the second and third Tuesdays of the month. Click here to learn more.
  • In case you missed it, be sure to check out the critically important results from our community roundtable discussions at the Phase One Summary Report.

Jails

  • DCTC members recently attended the first ever meeting of the D.C. Department of Corrections Transgender Advisory Council, a new body meant to increase transparency and community oversight into how the DOC is handling trans inmates. We will have more updates shortly!
  • A Corrections officer is currently being investigated for issuing death threats against two trans women. We are following this case closely.

Responding to Violence and Hate Crimes

  • DCTC is continuing to work with community members in response to the many recent instances of violence involving trans women and/or motivated by transphobia. Click herehere and here to see media interviews with DCTC members.
  • Adding to our fears that the string of murders was motivated by bias, the makeshift memorial to Lashai Mcclean that was left at the site she was murdered (and near where two other trans women were shot weeks later) has been burned.
  • The death of Gaurav Gopalan was recently ruled a homicide.
  • An arrest was made in the shooting of a trans woman in Southeast.
  • We are working with our allies at Transgender Health Empowerment and elsewhere to organize this year’s Trans Day of Remembrance and other events around November 20th. If you’d like to help, watch for an announcement about the next TDOR Planning Meeting.

Police

  • Members of DCTC have recently attended early meetings with other community organizations who are working to create a new coalition called TLGB Police Watch.
  • We maintain regular communication with the Metropolitan Police Department to express our concern about transphobia in MPD. We want to make sure that officers are being properly trained, and we want MPD to take the recent crimes against trans people seriously.
  • We are preparing to conduct another round of training for the Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit.
  • We continue to monitor the legal case against Officer Furr, who recently shot at a group of trans people and their friends while off-duty.

The City’s Pilot Job Program: Are You Interested?

As previously mentioned, the city has promised to help address unemployment in the trans community with a paid job training program. If you are interested and meet the eligibility requirements (see below), please contact Jeffrey Richardson at 202-442-5143 or by email at jeffrey.richardson@gmail.com.

Here is more information from the Mayor’s Office on GLBT Affairs:

The pilot program will begin on September 12, 2011 with a class of 20 participants. The program includes three weeks of in class pre-employment training and job coaching followed by 6 months of subsidized employment. The Department of Employment Services will pay each participant minimum wage, while they are placed in an apprentice role with an employer. The goal is to support the participant in finding full-time employment by the end of the six months.

Eligibility Requirements

 All potential TEP participants must meet the following requirements for enrollment:

  • Age 22 to 54
  • District resident (as verified through a DMV records, lease, or judgment/commitment papers)
  • Currently unemployed
  • Not receiving government assistance, such as TANF, SSI, or Unemployment Compensation (Food Stamps are acceptable)
  • Not currently using any illegal substances (there will be a urinalysis conducted at Orientation)
  • Not a participant in a Project Empowerment workforce development program within the past 2 years

In addition, all potential TEP participants must demonstrate a substantial need for intensive employment assistance by exhibiting 3 or more of the following barriers to employment:

  • Basic skills deficiency, demonstrated by a lack of sufficient mastery of basic educational skills exhibited by CASAS scores below the 8thgrade reading level and/or an English language deficiency with an inability to speak, read, or write the English language
  • Lack of a secondary school educational credential (high school diploma or its recognized equivalent)
  • A documented history of substance abuse
  • Homelessness
  • A history of Job Cycling in which he/she has not maintained employment for more than one (1) consecutive quarter in the past eight (8) quarters, as verified through UI Wage Bumps
  • A conviction for a Serious or Violent Offense

Pending referral to TEP, all potential participants must be in compliance with and actively engaged in the employment activities outlined in the plan developed during the pre-enrollment assessment with a OneStop case manager for a period of at least four (4) weeks.

Take Action! Next Steps After the Rally Against Police Violence

Thank you to everyone who came to the emergency Rally Against Police Violence! Around 70 people turned out with under four hours notice. (Click here for photos and media coverage.) Violence takes an emotional toll on all of us, and seeing such tangible support goes a long way toward community healing and regaining our sense of empowerment. We heard from representatives of DCTC, HIPS, Latin@s en Accion, Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence, and Rainbow Response. Ward 6 City Council member Tommy Wells and individual survivors of violence also spoke. You all have our deep, heartfelt thanks!

So, what next? Already in 2011, MPD has reported 1 murder, 3 assaults with deadly weapon, 1 rape, 2 simple assaults, and 1 incidence of threats against trans women linked to anti-trans bias. Due to police failures in recording bias-motivated crimes and many trans people’s distrust of police, community groups unsurprisingly report much higher numbers. HIPS noted a 300% increase in violent incidents reported to them since last year. Most of these crimes targeted transgender women of color, and most were never reported to police. This must stop immediately.

Here are two ways YOU can get involved to stop violence against trans women:

*Demand Justice: Keep the Heat on MPD! DCTC and our allies will continue to put the pressure on Police Chief Cathy Lanier and to demand accountability and transparency. We want to see consequences for both Officer Furr and Officer Radon, who also assaulted a trans woman while off-duty last year. Regardless of Officer Furr’s motivation for harming members of our community, MPD must be held responsible for re-instating an officer who opened fire on innocent people while drunk and unauthorized to carry a weapon. Additionally, we demand that MPD:

  • Expand training for its entire force on the existing laws and protocols to protect trans people,
  • Take crimes against trans and queer people seriously,
  • Track and report crimes against trans people accurately, as they are required by law to do,
  • Notify DCTC and the Critical Response Team immediately with any developments in incidents that impact trans people,
  • Stop profiling trans women of color and abusing communities they assume to be sex workers, and
  • End the the disastrous Prostitution Free Zones and other anti-prostitution initiatives that force sex workers into dangerous situations where they are more likely to encounter violence.

Let the Police Department know that you are concerned about it’s treatment of transgender women. You can contact Chief Lanier at cathy.lanier@dc.gov. Also, Officer Furr’s trial and investigation are getting underway. Follow our blog or Facebook for updates!

*Work Toward Prevention: Fight Poverty, Unemployment and Job Discrimination! Trans communities face a rate of unemployment and levels of poverty that are double the already devastating rates in the United States. D.C. Mayor Gray recently promised to create a jobs program specifically targeting trans communities. Social programs will help decrease violence by solving the underlying housing instability and job precarity that put so many trans people, especially of color, in harm’s way.

Support our efforts to decrease barriers to employment and increase access to jobs for trans people in DC as we follow-up on Mayor Gray’s promised jobs program. Learn more and write him in support of these initiatives at eom@dc.gov.

***

For background on the recent apparent rise in violence against transgender women in D.C. (including how it relates to police, racism, sex work, city budget cuts, gentrification and more) … see here!

Discussing the Causes of Violence Against Trans Women

Violence against trans women does not only exist as individual hatred or bias-motivated crime. It comes in many forms and for many reasons. Trans women are systematically placed in circumstances where we are more likely than others to experience multiple forms of violence.

In order to end violence against trans women, it is important to understand that more than just personal prejudices are at fault. Other kinds of oppression like racism, laws like the criminalization of sex work, economic forces like poverty and gentrification, and many other forces are also at play.

Wednesday, DCTC’s Sadie Vashti spoke about violence against the transgender community with the Latino Media Collective. The interview was broadcast on the radio, but you can also listen to it anytime at this link. (The interview begins about 1/4th into the clip.) In order to be more accessible, click below to read an abbreviated transcript broken into headings by topic.

Note: The views expressed in this interview belong only to Sadie. DCTC is a collective of many people with a variety of views. To learn more about our official organizational principles and stances, see here. Also, this interview was conducted before the most recent attack on a group of trans women by an off-duty MPD officer. Continue reading Discussing the Causes of Violence Against Trans Women

8/18: Let DC Gov’t Know Your Thoughts About Its New Trans Employment Initiatives!

Hello DCTC members and allies! Tomorrow (Thursday, August 18th), Jeffrey Richardson of the D.C. Office of GLBT Affairs is holding a discussion about unemployment in trans communities. Recently, representatives from a handful of advocacy groups met directly with Mayor Gray. During the meeting, the Mayor proposed several initiatives to decrease barriers to employment and increase access to jobs for trans people in DC. His concessions included a paid jobs training program for trans DC residents and expanded diversity training for all employees of city agencies.

While we would always like to see more done to address un- and underemployment in our communities, we are very excited about this victory! Tomorrow’s meeting will take place from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at The DC Center (1318 U St NW). We had hoped that the original meeting would have included a broader segment representing the many diverse trans communities in DC; this is our chance to be heard. Please attend, learn about the proposed initiatives, and add your voice to this crucial and on-going discussion!