7:00 - 8:00
In honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, Mirror Memoirs is hosting a panel of transgender, non-binary and intersex child sexual abuse survivors of color. Amita Swadhin, the Founding Co-Director, will moderate a conversation between three Mirror Memoirs survivor storytellers on how our movements can better support the healing and leadership of survivors that are often left out of the conversation.
Survivor-led movements to end sexual violence are beginning to recognize how systemic oppression creates an environment for rape culture to thrive. A 2012 study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found gender non-conformity in childhood is a risk factor for sexual abuse, with gender non-conforming male-assigned-at-birth children most likely to be sexually abused. Yet too often, our movements to end gender-based violence do not intentionally uplift the leadership of transgender, non-binary and intersex survivors.
Featuring: Amita Swadhin (they/them), Ebony Ava Harper, Ducky Jones, Santos LaRose
Amita Swadhin (they/them) is an organizer, educator, storyteller and strategist working to end interpersonal and institutional violence against young people. Their work stems from their experiences as a non-binary, femme, queer person of color, daughter of immigrants from India and years of childhood abuse by their parents, including eight years of rape by their father. In 2016, Swadhin received a Just Beginnings Collaborative Fellowship, allowing them to launch Mirror Memoirs, a national storytelling and organizing project uplifting the narratives, healing and leadership of Two Spirit, transgender, intersex, non-binary and/or queer Black, Indigenous and of color survivors of child sexual abuse, in service of ending rape culture and intertwined forms of oppression. From 2016-2018, they recorded 60 stories from survivors across 15 states in the US, and have presented over 100 trainings and keynotes on this intersectional praxis at colleges, conferences and nonprofits nationwide. In January 2017, they testified on behalf of survivors of sexual violence and LGBTQ Americans as a witness for the Democratic Party against Jeff Sessions’ nomination as the US Attorney General. From 2009 to 2012, Swadhin was the Project Coordinator and a cast member of Secret Survivors, an off-off-Broadway production they co-created with the award-winning Ping Chong & Company, featuring adult survivors of child sexual abuse telling their stories through theater. Swadhin is also a published writer whose work has appeared in the anthologies Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence, Queering Sexual Violence, Pleasure Activism and Beyond Survival: Stories and Strategies from the Transformative Justice Movement. Over the past twenty years, they have been an executive director, board chair, youth organizer, faculty member and consultant at organizations serving low-income, immigrant and LGBTQ+ communities of color. They hold a Master’s in Public Administration from NYU, where they were a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, and a Bachelor’s in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Ebony Ava Harper is a Jamaican descendant, Sacramento-based, nationally recognized activist, philanthropist, writer, creator, life and world-changer, advocate for marginalized communities, and a tremendous inspiration to many.
Harper left The California Endowment in 2019 to step into the role of Director of California TRANScends. This statewide initiative works to promote the health and wellness of transgender people throughout the state of California. She's a Board member of Mirror Memoirs, a recipient of the 2019 Stonewall Four Freedoms Award (awarded by San Francisco Mayor London Breed's Office), the first trans person to host the California State Capitol 2019 Tree Lighting with Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel-Newsom, and Grand Marshal of Sacramento's PRIDE 2019. Harper has been an international keynote speaker on trans issues, climate crises and global
Ducky Jones, a survivor and core member of Mirror Memoir, is a forty year old multiracial Black and Latinx, intersex, queer nonbinary, disabled, chronically ill, neurodivergent activist for low income, disabled, LGBTQIA+ and undocumented communities. As a disabled person, Jones wants to assure our gaps in access are attended to, and our collective voice is heard. They feel most fulfilled when able to educate communities on disability justice, sexual assault and allyship through stroytelling, poetry, writing, spoken word and rapping. Jones is involved as an educator with Fireweed Collective and on the advisory board of Borealis Philanthropy. Jones is motivated by involvement in disability justice work, because the change they advocate for, personally affects them.
Santos LaRose is a mixed-race Latnix and Indigenous Two Spirit femme hailing from Arizona. She has spent the last decade in the SF Bay area living, loving, breathing and screaming as a poet, writer, sex worker, grass roots organizer and activist. She is an advocate for sex and gender justice, environmental justice, prison abolition, workers’ rights, anti-fascism and anti-capitalism. Santos is a self-described “Downtown Girl in an Uptown World”, she enjoys spending time with her loved ones, reading and writing poetry & fiction, dancing, laughing and playing table-top role playing games. “See you on the dance floor!"
Events and workshops curated around SFPL’s One City One Book selection. One City One Book: San Francisco Reads is a citywide literary event that encourages members of the San Francisco community to read the same book at the same time. For more information, see sfpl.org/onecityonebook.
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For more resources, the James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center is the gateway to the Library’s broader collections documenting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and allies’ history and culture, with a special emphasis on the San Francisco Bay Area.
Events for adults and children with disabilities, their families, friends and allies.