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Dear Friends and Supporters,


I am writing to you with the news that after 6 months of planning, I will be transitioning out of Transgender, Gender Variant & Intersex Justice Project on August 10th. TGI Justice, (and it’s precursor—the Trans and gender variant In Prison (TIP) Committee) has been my political home and chosen family for almost 9 years. I could never put into words all that I have learned and grown in my time with the organization and am grateful to you all—our members in and out of prison, partners at allied organizations, supporters of TGI Justice, current and past staff members—for all that you’ve taught me. While I will miss being a part of the everyday goings-on of the organization, I trust that the profound personal relationships that I’ve cultivated during my time here will continue after I transition out. I am excited to learn some new skills and embark on new adventures and am deeply thrilled to be able to pass on the torch.


Since our founding in 2004, it has been a central goal of TGI Justice to be led by members from our base—transgender women of color who have been impacted by prisons and police. Today we are walking that walk and it is with incredible joy, excitement, and confidence that I announce TGI Justice’s newest staff members—three woman that have been participants and leaders in the organization for the past 4-8 years. Together with our Executive Director, Miss Major and our Admin Coordinator, StormMiguel Florez, I believe we’re watching history in the making with this unstoppable team.


Janetta Louise Johnson Miss Major and Janetta Louise Johnsonis an Afro-American Transsexual from Tampa, Florida. She moved to San Francisco in 1997, where she has worked in various capacities at non-profits and social service agencies. She recently survived 3 years in federal prison and is committed to developing strategies and interventions to reduce the recidivism rate of the transgender community. Janetta’s involvement with TGI Justice dates back to 2006. She served as Interim Organizing Director in November/December ‘08, planned vibrant grassroots fundraisers, and later put her skills as a community organizer, trainer, and activist to use inside as she fiercely and tirelessly advocated for her rights as a transgender person in jail and prison. 

Melenie Mahinamalamalama Eleneke 

Melenie Mahinamalamalama Elenekeis Native Hawaiian Mahuwahine and has been working with TGIJP since 2004 and as a member of the Leadership Team since 2007. She served as Director of Development & Administration from 2008-2009, and has been the editor of our prison newsletter, Stiletto, since ‘08. In 2008, Melenie served as a delegate speaking about the multiple layers of cultural discrimination to the United Nations Committee on the CERD (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination) at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Min. BobbieJean Baker 

Minister BobbieJean Bakeris a seasoned HIV health educator, case manager, and WCR Trans minister of TFAM (www.transsaints.com). A native of Memphis, TN, after spending 14 years in prison, Min. Baker moved to San Francisco in 2001 and made it her home. She has been with TGI Justice since 2008, where she served as a mentor in TGI Justice’s Diamond Project Mentorship Program and has done political education, leadership development, speeches, workshops, and has been actively involved in the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement.  

TGI Justice’s exciting staff team will be implementing our 2012-2013 programs. Some program highlights include:


  • Empowerment retreats for trans people who are coming home from prison

  • Stiletto prison newsletters

  • Updated resources and self-advocacy tools for people inside through our prison mail program

  • Political education—trainings, speeches, and workshops

  • Involvement in the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement.


To help cover costs associated with increased staffing and programming, TGI Justice needs support from community members like you. This is a crucial time for our organization and for building the power of member led organizations. After almost 9 years, I have never been more inspired to give than I am now, and am personally committing to donating $40/month. Will you join me in becoming a monthly sustainer or a one-time donor? Your contributions give us the freedom to do the work we feel is most crucial. Please donate today at http://www.tgijp.org/contribute.html.


Starting August 15th, please use the following contact information:


Miss Major, Executive Director, missmajor@tgijp.org, 415-252-1444

StormMiguel Florez, Administrative Coordinator, stormmiguel@tgijp.org, 415-252-1444

BobbieJean Baker, Program Coordinator, bbaker@tgijp.org, 415-252-1444

Janetta Johnson, Program Coordinator, janetta@tgijp.org, 415-252-1444

Melenie M. Eleneke, Program Coordinator, melenie@tgijp.org, 415-252-1444

For general inquiries: info@tgijp.org


My cell phone will stay the same and my personal email is: BeckAssotto@yahoo.com. Please keep in touch!


In love and struggle,


Beck Witt


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TGI Justice
342 9th St. Ste 202B
San Francisco, CA 94103
US

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