Trafficking Sex: Politics, Policy, Personhood – Sex Trafficking in the United States

Panel part of the symposium, “Trafficking Sex: Politics, Policy, Personhood”

Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, Smith College

April 18-19 2013, Smith College

Presented by:

Smith College Global Studies Center

Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism

The Program for the Study of Women and Gender


Vednita Carter, Founder and Executive Director, Breaking Free

Vednita Carter is an author, sought-after speaker and trainer, and an award-winning pioneer in the abolitionist movement. She has extensive experience in developing and planning programs for sex-trafficked women and girls, and was recently awarded the Norma Hotaling Award for her life-long service to victims of sex trafficking.

Ms. Carter is the author of “Prostitution: Where Racism and Sexism Intersect,” published in the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law; she co- authored “Prostitution Racism and Feminist Discourse,” published by the Hastings Women’s Law Journal; her most recent writing includes an article in the Journal of Trauma Practice and a chapter in Sisterhood Is Forever: The Women’s Anthology for A New Millennium. She has written numerous articles on African American women and prostitution, published nationwide in feminist newspapers and newsletters. She has premiered in several documentaries including her own A Day in The Life to be released in 2013. She has dedicated her life to advocating for, rescuing, and restoring victims of prostitution.


Crystal DeBoise, Director of Social Services, Sex Workers Project, Urban Justice Center

Crystal DeBoise is a licensed social worker with 11 years of experience assisting survivors of gender violence. She is currently the Director of Social Services at the Urban Justice Center’s Sex Workers Project (SWP). SWP provides comprehensive legal and social services to trafficked people and sex workers. Crystal founded one of the first anti-trafficking programs in the United States at the New York Association for New Americans in 2001. Prior to that, she provided counseling services to victims of violence in a substance abuse clinic in the Bronx, was a housing specialist for survivors of domestic violence, and worked in the public school system. She works with clients and systems eclectically, using a harm reduction approach that respects the rights of all people to therapeutic care.


Kelli Dorsey, Executive Director, Different Avenues

Kelli Dorsey is the Executive Director of Different Avenues, a membership-based reproductive justice organization in Washington, DC, that works with girls, women, and transpeople of color who have life experience in street-based economies and/or the criminal justice system. She has worked in harm reduction for over ten years, conducting, developing, and implementing various types of sex work and needle exchange programs. She has also organized on human rights, focusing on issues that impact women of color, transgender people, people currently and previously incarcerated, and people engaged in street economies.


Moderated by Carrie Baker, Study of Women and Gender

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