Sylvia Rivera Law Project
Headquarters Location: New York, NY
Mission: The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence. SRLP is a collective organization founded on the understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice. We seek to increase the political voice and visibility of low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming. SRLP works to improve access to respectful and affirming social, health, and legal services for our communities. We believe that in order to create meaningful political participation and leadership, we must have access to basic means of survival and safety from violence.
In 2002, Dean founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (www.srlp.org), a non-profit law collective that provides free legal services to… See full bio.
SRLP became a collective in 2003, and soon evolved into what it is today: a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization run collectively by and for low income trans communities and trans communities of color, which provides legal services, public education, and works towards policy change through community organizing. Today the SRLP core collective, composed of staff and board, is always more than 50% people of color and more than 50% transgender.
In 2010, we moved into our current home at 147 W. 24th Street, New York, NY. This is home to theMissMajor-JayTooleBuilding for Social Justice, which we are a part of. Our building hosts four other organizations working on issues of poverty, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, ablism and transphobia.
Expert Reviews of Sylvia Rivera Law Project
Evidence of Impact Summary:Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) supports the transgender community within the LGBT movement in a variety of ways. They offer free legal support to low-income trans individuals. Their legal work has helped to set important precedents and spark important conversations. In addition to their legal services, SRLP engages in an array of public education activities to raise public awareness of the items impacting the transgender community. SRLP is also deeply engaged in community organizing and coalition building.
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Organization Strengths Summary:Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) offers a suite of programs and support that are well-suited to the needs of the community. Their work serves an important role in uniting the transgender community, educating service providers, and rights attainment. The organization has a strong leadership team pushing the organization forward. They also have a unique collective organizational structure.
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Areas for Improvement Summary:One expert points out that the Sylvia Rivera Law Project could benefit from expansion of resources to make their work more nationally connected. These resources could go toward building a network outside of New York City.
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Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact
|The Sylvia Rivera Law Project works to put the issues of the transgender community front and center, many times when these issues have been marginalized within the larger gay movement.|
|SRLP has provided legal support to hundreds of low-income trans people. They continue to do simultaneous work on public education, and coalition work for community organizing. They have contributed concretely to the analysis of both trans rights and economic justice through community organizing work, and writing.|
|This leading legal organization is dedicated to serving the trans community, and has issued multiple reports, best practices policies, and films that I have found incredibly useful in my own research and in teaching. They have run numerous campaigns to raise awareness of important cases that were not receiving adequate attention from other LGBT groups.|
|SRLP has provided culturally competent legal services to trans communities for over 10 years, set legal precedent, and raised visibility nationally.|
Expert Comments: Organization Strengths
|SRLP has a dynamic leadership team that pushes to change the framework based on working with and for the transgender community.|
|SRLP provides a crucial space for legal advocacy, community organizing, and trans community building.|
|Their organizational and leadership training speak directly to addressing the imbalances between providers and clients that is evident in many nonprofits.|
|They have a unique collective structure as well as strong fundraising.|
Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement
|SRLP needs resources to help make their work more national and build relationships and work outside of New York City.|
In 2002, Dean founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (www.srlp.org), a non-profit law collective that provides free legal services to transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming people who are low-income and/or people of color. SRLP also engages in litigation, policy reform and public education on issues affecting these communities and operates on a collective governance model, prioritizing the governance and leadership of trans, intersex, and gender variant people of color. While working at SRLP, Dean taught classes focusing on sexual orientation, gender identity and law at Columbia and Harvard Law Schools.
Dean was recently awarded a Dukeminier Award for his 2008 article "Documenting Gender" and the 2009-2010 Haywood Burns Chair at CUNY Law School, and was selected to give the 2009-2010 James A. Thomas Lecture at Yale.