For trans and gender non-conforming youth of color, police profiling and harassment are dark realities of every day life. Some youth get stopped by police several times a week—some even get stopped more than once a day. Part of the struggle to stay safe in these interactions is knowing and exercising your rights. That’s why CUP teamed up with Streetwise and Safe (SAS) and designer James Dunphy to create SERVE! Street Safety for Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Youth.
This pocket-sized know-your-rights guide helps youth advocate for themselves when they’re detained, searched, and in custody, as well as after they’re released. SERVE! also publicizes rules that protect the rights of trans and gender non-conforming people in the NYPD Patrol Guide, the rulebook that governs how police interact with the public. The design breaks down personal rights and gives youth examples of language they can use to advocate for them. SAS Youth Leaders participated in all parts of the design process, providing feedback that ensured that the design of the guide would speak directly to their community.
SERVE! was launched at a special event at SAS, which brought together youth from organizations across NYC that serve LGBTQQ youth of color. SAS will distribute 6,000 copies of the guide, and plans to integrate it into their youth-led know-your-rights trainings.