Dismantling the Discrimination to Incarceration Pipeline for Transgender People of Color
Chinyere Ezie – Southern Poverty Law Center, Demoya Gordon – Lambda Legal, Asa King – Transgender Law Center at Southerners on New Ground
This workshop seeks to educate participants about the “discrimination to incarceration” pipeline, whereby LGBTQ people—particularly transgender persons of color—frequently are excluded from employment opportunities and educational settings, becoming homeless and/or targets of violence, and reliant on street economies. The vulnerability and social exclusion that LGBTQ persons face, in turn, leads to their being arrested and incarcerated at disproportionate and alarming rates. Once in prison or detention, LGBTQ folks are frequently denied medically necessary care and subjected to identity-based harassment and horrific abuse by inmates and guards. The panelists–who are lawyers, social workers, and community advocates– discuss the legal advocacy and community activism that is being undertaken in the South to address these issues—highlighting recent initiatives targeting the criminalization of LGBTQ persons and discriminatory policing; the Ashley Diamond and Passion Star cases, which are lawsuits brought to address the sexual abuse and mistreatment that transgender persons face while in prison; and new efforts to end discrimination against LGBTQ persons in the workplace and at school, which remain key drivers to the social exclusion that community members face. The panelists are all LGBTQ people of color who are lawyers and community activists, dedicated to addressing these issues in the South.
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