• WOCSHN at Catalyst Con East

    WOCSHN Co-Founders Trina Scott and Bianca Laureano were joined by Executive Committee member Cindy Lee Alves to present Creating and Maintaining Racial Justice in the US Sexuality Field at Catalyst Con East March 28, 2015. Follow tweets from the session using hashtag #cconjustice.

    Catalyst Con East descriptionThe conference presentation proposal reads: “This workshop will offer participants a variety of tools for working more effectively towards racial justice in the field of sexuality. Racial justice refers to a range of ways in which groups and individuals struggle to change laws, policies, practices and ideas that reinforce and perpetuate racial disparities. The struggle for racial justice must address the ongoing practices that perpetuate these disparities and actively seek to dismantle them. This workshop provides a balance of self-reflection opportunities with engaging learning activities and deeper intersectional analysis of how racial justice and sexuality connect in contemporary social justice movements. Facilitated by a team of seasoned racial justice facilitators and sexuality educators/sexologists, the workshop will be steeped in an anti-oppression lens that reflects the intersections of gender, sexuality, class, ability and race to offer opportunities that are creative, thoughtful, and give participants practical skills to make a difference through the work we do every day and maintain that work. Discussions on accountability, responsibility, strategic uses of privilege, and how to stand in solidarity with communities of Color will be discussed.”


    ccon cindy leeWe began the workshop with Cindy Lee selecting some music to welcome participants into the space.








    ccon ancestorsTo begin the session we asked folks to bring in the names of those people who they would like to have in the space with us. Folks menioned Henrietta Lacks, Angela Davis, those on the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade route, Audre Lorde, mom(s), Sylvia Rivera, bell hooks, NDN whose land we are on, Malcolm, Martin, Travon, Michal, all the transgender women murdered in 2015.

    Next we asked participants to join us in looking at a timeline of reproductive justice experiences in the US from the 1600s to present. Here is a video of Trina guiding this exercise that had music playing throughout.

    Next, we asked folks to share what they felt as they participated in this activity.

    ccon feelings after walk

    As we only had one hour to get so much done, we asked that the people of Color in the room share what strategies and actions they wish to see folks who stand in solidarity with us do in sexuality education spaces in the US. Here are two large newsprint sheets listing several ways we hope folks would support us and shifting the white supremacy of the US sexuality field.  This list includes the following suggestions:

    • ccon to do for poc ccon to do for pocAsk who is involved
    • Choosing to be replaced by a POC on panel/proposal/etc.
    • Asking questions about diversity and eqity
    • More information coming from conferences, esp. Catalyst Con West
    • What are people doing? What are concrete steps to address the issue/problem?
    • Impact vs. intention (understand the difference)
    • Who is in your bubble that you work, live, play with and is it representative of inclusion?
    • More inclusion from within the diaspora: Not just Black folks in US but worldwide
    • $ponsor$hip and funding for attending spaces and events
    • Including those in the sex work industry esp those in Black and Brown bodies
    • Acknowledge the injustice
    • How do we connect/attend/present
      • bubble of money
      • online resources/apps
      • conference attendence
    • Allies make commitment to increasing access to resources and opportunities
      • Ally is not an identity it is a VERB (Ignacio Rivera)
      • anti-racist training w/POC
      • Oppression training
      • support POC events and organizations
      • learn to be uncomfortable in your spaces

    We began to wrap up when we asked folks who stand in solidarity with us in the room, to share what their action steps will be when they leave the space to begin to limit the white supremacy of the field. Below include the action steps and some provided by POC in the room as well:

    • ccon what white folks can do Assist with a skill set
    • Conference/training sponsorship
    • Address categories within scholarship categories (i.e. challenge the assumption “students” are always in need vs. those working class and working poor people w/o academic access)
    • More focus on political action
      • How to be involved at local, state, national level
      • Information on the POC-impacted/influenced legislation
      • Information on organizations doing the work
      • Who to vote for and what the causes they support include
    • Include other folks of a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds
    • More active in religious/spiritual communities of practice
    • More international presence

    Finally, we ended with asking the POC folks in the room to share with us some of the projects they are working on that they would like support around. They include:




    IMG_0125Here are WOCSHN members right after the session (l) Robin Wilson-Beattie, Bianca Laureano, Trina Scott, (r) Cindy Lee Alves.





    Below are all the WOCSHN members in attendence at Catalyst Con!

    (l) seated: Juliette R Maughan, Bianca Laureano, Robin Wilson-Beattie, Kim Ramsey

    (l) standing: Cindy Lee Alves, Anaïn Bjorkquist, Trina Scott



    group ccon


    Thanks to everyone who attended our session and supported us in our work to present. Special thanks to conference organizer and founder Dee Dennis who joined our session and invited us to present.




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