Deconstructing Sex Work and Sex Trafficking
Held January 9, 2018
At the Ala Moana Hotel
The conference goal was to bring together people who are working to fight sex trafficking, providing harm reduction oriented social services to workers and victims, and assisting sex workers seeking labor rights. The conference agenda and speakers were chosen with an eye to giving a broad and accurate understanding to the problems incident to sex work. Using evidentiary methods to determine who is a sex trafficking victim and having the best possible tools to offer such victims support is part of this process. Explaining the variety of experiences individuals have had in these areas is a key component to building understanding.
The morning plenary was hosted by UH Professor Meda Chesney-Lind. The opening keynote address was given by Kamala Kempadoo entitled Global Sex Workers. Ms. Kempadoo is a professor at of York University in Toronto, Canada. Her speech addressed issues of sex workers’ efforts to achieve labor rights and agency while overcoming various harms and obstacles. This was followed by Annalee Lepp Sex Work Organizing, Decriminalization, and Anti-Trafficking Work. Annalee Lepp is a professor at the University of Victoria in Canada and a founding member of the Canadian branch of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW). GAATW, whose international secretariat is located in Bangkok, is a network of over 80 non-governmental organizations worldwide.
First breakout sessions
Second Breakout Sessions
The afternoon plenary Anecdotal Stories About Sex Work. This was an interview session with the Rev. Pam Vessels conducted by Dee Chock the President of the Zonta Club of Leilehua. The Rev. Vessels spent over ten years as an outreach worker in Waikiki, Chinatown and elsewhere. For five years she also ran a residential facility for persons wishing to exit the sex industry. The Rev. Vessels shared many anecdotal stories from her work from the humorous, to the shocking, to the tragic.
Third breakout sessions
Biographies of Speakers and Panelists
Hana Barrineau (Panelist for "Homelessness and Sex Work") was an Outreach Worker for The CHOW Project. Through several positions in outreach at both CHOW and Life Foundation, she has over 15 years of experience working with marginalized populations.
Kat Brady (Co-Presenter for "Restorative Justice") of the Community Alliance on Prisons is a community justice advocate with a lifelong dedication to bringing the community’s voice into public policy. As Coordinator of Community Alliance on Prisons she works to increase civic literacy and public participation and advocates for just policy changes that are humane, compassionate, and that preserve human dignity. Kat serves on several community boards and is the only Prisoner Advocate in Hawai`i serving on three UH Institutional Review Boards.
Meda Chesney-Lind (Moderator Morning Plenary and "Sex Worker Rights Around the World"), is a Professor and Chair of Women's Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Delaina “Dee” Chock (Moderator for the Afternoon Plenary and “Voices from Within the Sex Industry) is a public policy advocate who has been involved with numerous organizations and institutions for over 20 years.
Carter Lee Churchfield (Co-Presenter for "The History of Prostitution in Hawaii") has been studying Chinatown's history as Honolulu's red-light district for over four years.
Judith Clark (Moderator for "Homeless Street Youth and Their Relation to Sex Work "), is the Executive Director of Hawaii Youth Services Network (HYSN), a statewide coalition of youth-serving organizations and a Pacific Islands training center.
Kimberlee Cline (Panelist for "Sex Worker Rights Around the World, and "Voices from Within the Sex Industry" and co-presenter for Government Regulation of the Sex Industry; Models") is a Co-founder of Sacramento Sex Workers Outreach Project. She draws her expertise on the sex industry from sixteen years of sex work and twelve years of political advocacy for sex workers.
Janet Davidson (Moderator for "The Fight Against Human Trafficking") is an associate professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Chaminade University.
Kristen DiAngelo (Panelist for "Sex Worker Rights Around the World", "The Fight Against Human Trafficking" and "Voices from Within the Sex Industry") is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of SWOP Sacramento. She is a community organizer, political activist, expert witness and founder of The AC Project. Kristen has worked in the sex trade since the mid 70’s.
Wendy Gibson (Co-Presenter for "The Pharmacology of Cannabis") is a registered nurse who has been a medical cannabis patient advocate since 2006 and a medical cannabis nurse educator since 2014—when she became an American Cannabis Nurse Association member.
Cathy Kapua (Panelist for "Homelessness and Sex Work" and presenter and moderator for "The Transgender Woman in Sex Work") has worked with the transgender community since 2003, starting off as a Peer Educator and Employment Specialist for the Working Divas Program at Kulia Na Mamo, then moving on to become an HIV Prevention Specialist at the Life Foundation..
Kamala Kempadoo (Morning Keynote Speaker and panelist for "Sex Worker Rights Around the World”) is a Professor of Social Science at York University in Toronto, Canada and the 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award of the US Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. She teaches Critical Anti-trafficking Studies, Sex Work Studies, Black Radical and Feminist Thought, and Caribbean Studies.
Annalee Lepp (Morning Keynote Speaker and panelist for "The Fight Against Human Trafficking") was a founding member of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) Canada, where she currently serves as director. Canada’s GAATW is a member organization of the international GAATW alliance headquartered in Bangkok.
Heather Lusk (Moderator for "Homelessness and Sex Work"), is the Executive Director at the Community Health Outreach Work (CHOW) Project, Hawai`i’s statewide harm reduction agency. She is Co-Director and Founder of Hep Free Hawai'i, a coalition of over 80 agencies in Hawaii working together to eliminate hepatitis in the islands. Heather has over 20 years of experience dedicated to reducing health disparities and stigma as it relates to HIV, viral hepatitis and other chronic conditions linked to substance abuse
Jean L. Mooney (Panelist for "Homelessness and Sex Work) is a former participant, and now a current employee, of The CHOW Project. She has been working at CHOW for 5 ½ years.
Jessica Munoz (Commentator and presenter for "Homeless Street Youth and Their Relation to Sex Work ") is the Founder and President of Ho`ōla Nā Pua (HNP), a non-profit organization that is committed to the renewal of trafficked girls through health, education, advocacy, and reintegration. She has a diverse nursing background in pediatric trauma.
Mary Francis Nelson (Panelist for "Voices from Within the Sex Industry") was a sex worker for forty years. Originally from New York, Mary started in prostitution there and came to Hawaii in 1978. By the end of her long career she entertainingly claimed to be the oldest prostitute in the State. She became a born again Christian and has restructured her life, working for a time with the Blue Water Mission, an organization that assists persons leaving the sex trades.
Tracy Ryan (Co-Presenter for "The History of Prostitution in Hawaii" and "Hawaii Prostitution Laws") has been an advocate for transwomen and sex workers over the past twenty years. She was the cofounder of the first peer lead transgender support group Hawaii Transgendered Outreach in 1990. She has also served on the board of Kulia Na Mamo, The Gay Community Center, and is currently the Executive Director of Harm Reduction Hawaii.
Nandita Sharma (Presenter for "Anti-Trafficking an Alibi for State Immigration Restrictions”) is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Hawaii. Dr. Sharma is an activist scholar whose research is shaped by the social movements she is active in, including feminist movements, No Borders movements and movements struggling for a global commons.
Deborah Smith (Commentator on "Homeless Street Youth and Their Relation to Sex Work") has been the Outreach Supervisor for Hale Kipa's YO! (Youth Outreach) program since 2009.
Ivette Rodriguez Stern (Co-Presenter for "Homeless Street Youth and Their Relation to Sex Work ") is a graduate of Brandeis University; with an M.S.W. from the, University of Hawaii.
Doug Upp (Co-Presenter for "Government Regulation of the Sex Industry: Models") an occasional sex worker, who spends his free time reading upp on the Sex Worker Rights Movement. He's published numerous zines over the past 25 years, including "Ho Stage" and "Contraflow" which focus on sex worker issues. For 4 1/2 years, Doug interviewed artists and activists on his Olelo community access talk show "Shaka Talk"..
Pam Vessels (Speaker for the Afternoon Plenary "Anecdotal Stories About Sex Work") is an ordained minister, best known for her lengthy service to the women, men, and transgender persons working in the sex industry, as Waikiki and Chinatown prostitutes. She began with the Waikiki Health Center’s street outreach program in 1987. For five years she also ran Hale Ho’omaka (the home for the rebirth of women) as its Executive Director
Lorenn Walker (Co-Presenter for "Restorative Justice"), is a lawyer with a masters in public health who is a public health educator and restorative lawyer who develops and studies talking circles to address crime, trauma and injustice. She directs Hawai’i Friends of Restorative Justice,.
Kristin Wohlschlagel (Co-Presenter for "The Pharmacology of Cannabis"), is a Registered Nurse specializing in Oncology, Hospice and Palliative care and research. Focused on researching integrative care options, with a special emphasis on the use of Medicinal Cannabis, both for symptom control and active treatment of chronic disease.
Sarah Yuan (Co-Presenter for "Homeless Street Youth and Their Relation to Sex Work ") is an Associate Specialist at the Center on the Family at the University of Hawai‘i. She is a sociologist, specializing in medical sociology, demography of aging, and survey methodology.