This Friday, December 17, 2021, SWOP Behind Bars joins sx workers, allies and advocates from around the world in recognizing International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. As we come together to remember those lost, we renew our commitment to the ongoing struggle for empowerment, visibility, and rights for all people who trade sex. For nearly two decades our community members have dedicated many months, meticulous care and endless anxiety each year to the collection and creation of the annual memorial list. Each year, the search for names, dates, locations, cause and circumstances of each life and death, reminds us that one day our own names will be on this list.
The 2021 International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers Memorial list was created as a COYOTE RI Project. We are grateful to M Dante- SWOP Behind Bars for helping to fact check our work.
Her name was Rickie Jolene Morgan and to her Kensington family she was Layla. She was born on October 8, 1980 and she was approaching her 36th birthday when she was murdered.
“Whether you knew her as Rickie or Layla, you loved her,” said Carol, a close friend of Morgan’s. “Layla would sit with women and teach them how to be safe,” said Johanna Berrigan of the Catholic Worker Clinic. “Layla was fiercely intelligent and fiercely justice oriented. She wanted justice for the women in the community.” Friends said that Morgan was a woman passionate about the treatment of her peers in Kensington. The sentiment that passed through the crowd was that Morgan was so much more than the headlines that confirmed her death.
Obituary for Rickie Jolene Morgan
We, as one global community renew our commitment to solidarity on December 17,” said Melanie Dante, former sex worker who was one of the organizers at the Philadelphia events this year. "December 17 Events aim to raise outrage at violence against sex workers and strengthen sex worker communities and responses to the systematic, daily violence and exclusion sex workers experience.”
Under The Red Umbrella Monday, December 17, 2018 will mark the 15th annual observance of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. As people gather around the globe to celebrate the holidays, some mourn the loss of those close to them. In Philadelphia, the observance features two events. 12 PM - 4 PM Thomas Paine Plaza and 7PM - 10PM Phila MOCA
"Its time to change the social perception that she wasn’t a person, she was a “prostitute”. No one wants to feel a sense of community or sameness with her. She was something other than us and therefore we don’t need to feel fear or grief at the fact or the manner of her death.” - Anonymous http://www.december17.org #ourvoiceistheirvoice #restinpower