Let's face it. In 2016, stuff happened. Some good, some not so good. Because of our resilience, our team grew stronger, our supporters hit it out of the park and we shared our tools for liberation to more directly affected youth than ever before!
“Hoy amanecí con más fuerza que nunca de luchar.”
“Today I woke up with more force than ever to fight.”
Our Focus Areas:
Our mission is to end criminalization of queer and trans youth in New Orleans.
We understand the root causes of criminalization and know that we cannot show up for our communities if we are not also safe and sustained. In 2016, we ramped up our healing justice work, hosting more Healing As Resistance Together (HART) nights than ever before.
We also stayed committed to growing and creating new opportunities for queer and trans youth of color in New Orleans and were innovative in creating paid opportunities for youth to sustain themselves while working towards the change they want to see. Specifically, we created a 6-month long paid Building Our Power Institute internship for our members, as well as hired them as trainers and workshop facilitators, as we understand that our members are the experts in understanding their needs.
a YEAR OF GROWTH...
BreakOUT! has been committed to growing and creating new opportunities for queer and trans youth in New Orleans. In 2016 we increased our staff and membership reach exponentially through new outreach efforts and "unlikely" partnerships. Specifically, in 2016, we increased our staff to 10 (part-time and full-time) staff, most of whom are under 25 years old, and increased our membership base to over 65 youth members.
We have also been innovative in creating paid opportunities for youth to sustain themselves while working towards the change they want to see. Specifically, we have created internships for our members, as well as hire them as consultants, as we understand that our members are the experts in understanding their needs and strategy.
VICE 2 ICE
BUILDING OUR POWER INSTITUTE
GET YR RIGHTS
NOLA GSA NETWORK
HEALING AS RESISTANCE TOGETHER
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Our Work has been highlighted in:
Over 15 local and national media articles
Two national reports:
Movement Building With Youth, People of Color, Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People, and People with Disabilities in the LGBTQ Anti-Violence Movement (National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs)
Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People of Color (Center for American Progress and Movement Advancement Project)
We also shared at over 10 different national conferences and convenings, from the White House to Montgomery, Alabama to Detroit, Michigan to Oakland, California to Bahia, Brazil.
Graduated one cohort of the Building Our Power Institute, a 12-week long leadership development and youth organizing political education program for queer and trans youth of color in New Orleans.
Partnered on the What’s Your Issue? Project, a national participatory action research project designed with LGBTQ youth to set a self-determined national agenda with the Public Science Project based at the City University of New York Graduate Center and conducted surveys with LGBTQ youth under 25 about their experiences and issue priorities to be used in an upcoming project.
Education & School Safety:
Built a base of undocumented transgender Latinx youth in New Orleans through our Vice to ICE Campaign, and began conducting bilingual General Member Meetings with simultaneous interpretation.
Launched New Orleans GSA Network as a program of BreakOUT! and expanded reach into several local high schools, including running a monthly program at a local alternative high school for LGBTQ youth. We have already actively engaged with 6 schools this year to begin building a base of LGBTQ youth in New Orleans high schools.
Responded to #PoliceOutOfPride in response to the hyper policed and militarized Pride celebrations happening locally and across the country (and as result, had our 2016 New Orleans Pride Grand Marshal title rescinded).
Beefed up our Street Safety work in response to the police murder of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA, as well as the over 1,100 NOPD Officers, 170 State Troopers, 100 FBI Agents, ATF, ICE, French Quarter Private Patrol and dozens of police from other parishes who descended on New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2016.
We've been scaling up for the fight ahead...
“Nuestra lucha apenas comienza--sabemos que el miedo es real, pero igual de real es nuestro poder y nuestra resistencia”
“We know that the fear is real, but just as real is our power and our resistance.”
Housing & Legal Advocacy:
Defended trans youth in the wake of the 2016 presidential election results, launching the Trans Defense Fund, hosting a Defend Trans Youth Legal Clinic, and providing legal name changes and other legal assistance for 20 transgender youth of color in New Orleans.
Launched We Deserve Better 2.0, our emerging work to tackle LGBTQ youth homelessness in New Orleans as a key contributing factor in the criminalization of our communities.
Employment & Healthcare Access:
Hosted the 2016 annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, Resilience, and Resistance in New Orleans called #GiveUsOurRoses, with a press conference, followed by an event at Congo Square and direct action street theater in the French Quarter to lift up the over 25 transgender people murdered in the U.S. this year and demand jobs, housing, education, and access to safe spaces to keep trans youth safe.
Built deeper connections with transgender elders at the Transgender, Gender-Variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP) in Oakland, CA, including hosting Miss Major Griffin-Gracy at BreakOUT!, and began more intentional and reflective organizational development work to prepare us for the next 4 year!
Launched a Training & Technical Assistance Program that employed 3 youth members to conduct trainings for 100+ healthcare providers and professionals on the needs of LGBTQ youth in New Orleans, thanks to a partnership with the New Orleans Office of Public Health STD/HIV Prevention Office.
Trained educators, social workers, criminal justice professionals, and other stakeholders on safety regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
Together, we made it through 2016 and together, we can make it through the next 4 years.
As we enter into a new era and a new regime in U.S. history, we’ll need you more than ever to help sustain our work and our victories. We are confident that with your continued support, we will be able to survive and continue to thrive, even in an era of emblazoned xenophobia and hate.
You can also mail a check to “Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs” with “BreakOUT!” written in the memo field and mail to BreakOUT! 1001 S. Broad St. #119 New Orleans, LA 70125
WE MADE IT THROUGH!
BreakOUT! would like to dedicate this report in the memory of:
Devin Diamond (New Orleans, LA)
Erica “E” Davis (New Orleans, LA)
Dominique Morgan (New Orleans, LA)
Tyre Smith (New Orleans, LA)
and all the queer and trans youth of color lost in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL.