Our Re-Entry Program Supports Formerly Incarcerated Black Trans Women and their Protections as Workers
Last month, the Trump administration announced a damaging interpretation of Title VII, arguing that discrimination against transgender people in the workplace is and should be legal. Shifting the terminology from ‘sex’ to ‘biological sex’ was proposed to the Supreme Court, attacking transgender, gender-nonconforming, and intersex protections and workplace rights. Our TGI community is directly impacted, especially Black trans women who are most impacted by such policies.
Currently, transgender people of color, especially Black trans women, already experience heightened workplace discrimination with little to no legal protection. There are countless roadblocks to employment opportunities, opportunities that barely exist for formerly incarcerated and trans/intersex people. Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex Justice Project believes that LGBTQI+ protections and workplace rights are crucial.
TGIJP’s Melenie Eleneke Re-Entry Program was launched in 2015 with the purpose of providing equitable employment to formerly incarcerated Black trans women. The Melenie Eleneke Re-Entry Program was created by and for our TGI family coming out of jails and prisons in order to provide immediate support, training, and paid fellowships. The program educates, strengthens, and empowers our community to re-imagine and develop their lives after incarceration through resources, supporting access to jobs, housing, healthcare, and community. Participants go through a tailored three-phase process that allows them to stabilize, develop skills, and create goals while receiving the support they need.
As we revisit 15 years of service and 5 years of paid fellowships and equitable opportunities for our community, we think about how we will keep moving forward in the fight for our freedom.