Forum on Issues Concerning the L G B T G N C I Q A + Community
Join Rafael Espinal's Campaign for NYC Public Advocate for a community forum in which a group of panelists will be discussing pressing issues in NYC’s vibrant LGBTGNIQA+ community!
We will be covering topics including policy, cultural shifts, grassroots movements, and mutual aid which has brought the community together to push for full economic, social, and civil equality and what needs to be done to strategize our next steps together. We aim to create an inclusive, intersectional dialogue on topics which will include: HIV/AIDs research and support, homelessness, healthcare, trans incarceration and criminal justice reform, affordable housing for the elderly, hate crime violence and goals surrounding preventive measures, issues surrounding the youth, public education, political engagement, the passing of GENDA and our fight for fair employment, and sex workers’ rights in the age of SESTA/FOSTA.
About the Panelists:
RJ Thompson (Sex Workers Project at Urban Justice Center)
RJ Thompson, Esq. is a longtime human rights lawyer, organizer, and educator; as well as a certified personal trainer, go-go dancer and performer in the adult film industry. Prior to joining the Sex Workers Project as Managing Director, RJ worked as the Fair Courts Project Community Educator at Lambda Legal, where he trained judges, attorneys and court staff on gender and sexuality cultural competency and advocated for judicial diversity and judicial independence in Arizona, Texas, Florida and the Federal bench. Previously, RJ served as the Miami High Road Coordinator with the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United), fighting for increased wages, health care and paid time off for restaurant workers, as well as Director of the Human Rights Program at the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance where he advocated for the human rights of sex workers during the first United Nations (UN) Universal Periodic Review of the U.S. RJ was also the National Campaign & Advocacy Manager at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Community Center in New York City, where he coordinated Causes in Common, a national cross-movement initiative linking the reproductive justice and LGBT movements. He was Membership Program Coordinator at the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) Coordinating Center, where he organized Southern NGOs to meet with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants. In addition to his staff role with USHRN, he also co-founded the Sexual Rights and Gender Justice Working Group of the USHRN as a volunteer leader and later served on the USHRN Board of Directors. RJ received his J.D. from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law and his B.A. in Africana Studies and Political Science from the University of South Florida in Tampa. He has also worked with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Equality Florida, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, CRUNCH fitness, and Amnesty International USA. RJ is a queer identified mixed blood Cherokee with deep Southern roots. He is an active member and leader in the Soka Gakkai International USA (SGI-USA) Nichiren Buddhist organization for peace, culture and education. He is also a vegetarian and a bodybuilder.
Bianey Garcia (Make the Road NY)
Bianey Garcia is a TGNC Organizer at Make the Road New York. She came to the United States at age 15 escaping transphobia back in Mexico. At 19, she began attending transgender support groups and worked with community leaders to educate them on STD prevention. After a unfair and discriminatory experience from the police with community members, Bianey joined Make the Road NY as a way to combat discrimination, build leadership and educate TGNC community members about their rights. She is also the organizer of the largest annually march in Jackson Heights call "The Trans-Latina March" Bianey is a warrior combating the hate violence against Trans-Latinas in Queens. Bianey uses her story as fuel to combat discrimination and support community members as one of the TGNC Organizers of TRIP Queens at Make the Road NY.
Marcus Garvey Boulevard 7, New York, 11206, New York, United States