Nothing About Us Without Us

From YouTube: The above video and supplementary documents are designed to spark discussion and create inspiration for looking at the ways that peer-led groups providing support and services to sex workers in their communities can collaborate with harm reduction agencies. The materials were developed by a group of sex workers and allies during the Speak Up! media training, the second annual workshop by Sex Work Awareness.

We were motivated to produce this project because we know that the sex work and harm reduction communities overlap in many ways, and we see a lot of value in making an effort to work together. Some of the producers of this project also work in harm reduction or have received harm reduction services. Beyond being allied communities, we acknowledge that many sex workers are also injection drug users, including users of controlled substances and transgender women and men who inject hormones.

Throughout the United States, both sex workers and intravenous drug users are targeted with similarly discriminatory laws that create harm in our communities instead of giving us better opportunities to reduce risks and lead more healthful lives. For example, in many states, police can use possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution, similarly possession of syringes are used as evidence of illegal drug possession. Because of these types of commonalities, we have created a short public service announcement video and a packet of materials that we hope will further dialogue among our communities. (2010- 1:57 min.)

The phrase “nothing about us without us,” was coined by disability rights activists in South Africa in 1993.

For more information and to download materials, please visit

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