Sylvia Rivera Law Project, New York City

The small things in life that many people take for granted – like using a public restroom – can be a battleground for transgender people. The big struggles in life can be much much worse. A trans woman, who found herself placed in a men’s prison, faced various health risks and constant sexual harassment. She was left with no options and very few rights.

After writing a desperate plea for help to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, she has been transformed from victim to activist. SRLP successfully provided her with the resources and materials she needed to advocate for better health care, and she became a member of SRLP’s Prisoner Advisory Committee. She is now involved in advocating for the Prison Rape Elimination Act and is helping to plan the Transforming Justice Conference set for Atlanta in 2012.

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a collective organization founded in 2002, works to ensure that everyone is free to self-determine their gender identity and expression without facing violence or harassment. SRLP works on the interconnected issues of gender liberation and racial economic justice, providing free legal services all across the nation and participating in policy work and litigation.

The Funding Exchange has provided continual support for the SRLP. “We’ve been funded a few times over the years, and it’s great to partner with a more progressive fund,” says Daniel McGee, Director of Finance and Development since 2003. “The continued support has definitely helped sustain us and let us grow.”