The Red Umbrella Project (RedUP) is a small peer-led organization based in Brooklyn, New York, which does community organizing and advocacy to make policy and systemic change to support the rights of sex workers. We utilize media, storytelling, peer support, and direct action strategies to amplify the voices and power of sex workers to take greater control of our lives and livelihoods. Our programming supports the development of skills, confidence, and political analysis among our members so that we can better navigate systems of oppression and fight for our rights. We also promote health and safety, make referrals to health and social services, and provide in-house peer counseling, job assistance, and leadership opportunities to our members.
RedUP began in 2009 as a volunteer-run media spokesperson training and a monthly public storytelling event, both launched to publicly amplify the voices and experiences of people in the sex trades. In March 2011, RedUP registered as a non-profit organization in the state of New York and established a Board of Directors under the leadership of founding executive director Audacia Ray, and we received our 501(c)3 designation letter in May 2014. Five years into our development as an organization, RedUP has two full time staff members, one part time community organizer, and a core base of 15 member leaders. Together, this small team serves about 150 sex workers per year. In 2015 we undertook the process of merging with the peer-led health and advocacy organization Persist Health Project; Persist has become the support services piece of RedUP’s work.
We are currently supported by grants from The New York Women’s Foundation, New York Foundation, Red Umbrella Fund, craigslist Charitable Fund, Resist, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The Collegiate Churches of New York, and generous individual donors.
Past supporters include the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), Feminists For Free Expression, Poets & Writers / New York State Council of the Arts, Sparkplug Foundation, Left Tilt Fund, Ben and Jerry Foundation, Broadway Cares, and Puffin Foundation,
If you are interested in supporting our work, make a gift here.