Robyn Maynard is a Black feminist who has spent years documenting racist state violence and creating survival strategies to cope with current realities. She works full-time doing street-based outreach and workplace visits with sex workers at Stella; doing harm-reduction, rights-based education and accompaniements surrounding health, anti-violence, and empowerment. She is very active on many levels in the realm of public education, including international, national and local media, panels, and trainings for health and social service providers on the harms created by systemic racism, criminal laws and stigma as they affect sex workers’ lives. She has debated this topic on national television as well as presenting for Stella at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights at Parliament Hill. She is particularly interested in in how sex-trafficking discourse intersects with issue of migrants rights, indigenous rights, and sex workers rights.
A harsh critic of systemic racism in all of its forms, she has been involved with several migrant justice initiatives over the years, as well as being involved grassroots organizing against police killings, helping co-found Montreal’s Justice for Victims of Police Killings, who work alongside several families of victims of police killings to demand an end to police violence and impunity. She helped found Project X, a youth-empowerment project to educate black youth about their rights vis-a-vis the police, in a ‘know your rights’ format, including co-authoring rights guide entitled “Refuse to Be Abused…Using the Law to Fight Back”.
She also authored the popular youth harm reduction, safer drug-use guide Trippin! for Head & Hands, a Montreal youth-empowerment community organization, and co-ordinated, edited and contributed to the human rights edition of Stella’s bi-annual Constellation magazine.
Her writing has appeared in The Gazette, Le Devoir, Briarpatch, Upping the Anti, Shameless!, The Dominion, Canadian Dimension, 2bmag, Canadian Women’s Studies, and in several anthologies including Feminism for Real edited by Jessica Daniforth, and Border Imperialism edited by Harsha Walia. She is currently working on her first book, Policing Migrants, for Fernwood Publishing. In this book she addresses the historical and current realities of racial profiling, police and immigration enforcement brutality, and the systematic disenfranchisement of migrants of colour in Canada, with a lens to the often-ignored realities faced by racialized women (including trans women).
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