Our campaign is based on the findings from our 2009 participatory action research project called Girls do What they Have to do to Survive:Illuminating Methods used by Girls in the Sex Trade and Street Economy to Fight Back and Heal. This study was coordinated by our former youth staff Jazeera Iman and our current Research and Syringe Exchange Coordinator Naima Paz with adult ally support from Catlin Fullwood. Over 65 members participated in creating, implementing and documenting our research report.
We had 3 main findings:
1. Resilience is a stepping stone to Resistance- this means that the more we take care of ourselves the more we have the power to fight back
2. Denied Help- young people in the sex trade and street economy are being denied help from social services and non profits and even police because they are involved in the sex trade, street economy or are queer or transgender.
3. Institutional violence makes individual violence worse- this means that when some goes for help (lets say because someone is hurting them) and then they are turned down for help (because they are in the sex trade or another reason) this makes the situation and the experiences much worse.
We created a campaign that uses ALL 3 of these findings because we wanted to build our resilience and fight back agaisnt instiutional violence.
Street Youth Rise UP!
Our campaign is to change the way Chicago sees and treats its homeless homefree and street based youth who do what they have to do to survive. We are doing this in 4 ways:
• Our BAD ENCOUNTER LINE is a form YOU can fill out if you have been denied help from a social service or someone who was supposed to help you like a doctor or police officer. THIS FORM IS ANONYMOUS and helps us figure out who, where and why our community is being turned away from help. You can fill it out online by clicking here or by calling 773-728-0127 and pressing the button to speak with a person or by coming to our office and filling out a form.
• Chicago Street Youth in Motion is our grassroots organizing city wide task force for street based youth. This task force is for all genders. For more information or to get involved email email@example.com
Our task force just wrote a Street Youth Bill of Rights and we will be asking social services to sign on to this Bill and display this poster in their offices to make sure that all young people know our rights and that we can’t be denied help!
• Healing in Action teaches us how to do our own self exams, about herbs and how we can take of our bodies in case we cant get to a doctor or we are denied help. We made a Universal Self Exam guide and a Healing in Action Zine with tips and tools for going to the doctor, for how to take care of yourself if you can’t get to a doctor and what to do if you are denied help.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Media–we have made CD’s, Zines and Posters! You can get free stuff here and soon you CAN NOW ORDER A copy of our CD online.. all the tracks were written and produced by YWEP