Shira began working as an activist and with non profits as a young person 18 years ago. 
She has focused on the experiences of girls, boys, transgender and queer youth involved in the sex trade and street economy since 1995.

Using organizing and popular education as tools, Shira has lived and worked in Chicago and New York City helping young people start their own non profits and lead social justice work.

As the Director of Young Women's Empowerment Project from 2006-2011, Shira transitioned the organization to become a youth run member based social justice organizing project led by and for young women, girls and transgender youth of color with current or former experience in the sex trade and street economy.

In 2013, Shira helped the organization wind down as a result of the political and economic climate. She believes non-profits should have a clear life cycle and exist to help sustain our movements, rather than having our movements work to sustain large non-profits.

Currently working as a consultant, Shira offers program development & design, grassroots fundraising, participatory evaluation/action research and creating sustainable, healing centered and trauma-informed environments for staff through intensive partnering with organizational leaders.

She has trained and spoken nationally on the sex trade, harm reduction, self injury, group work and healing & transformative justice. She received her Masters in Social Work from New York University in 2002.

It is part of our task as revolutionary people, people who want deep-rooted, radical change, to be as whole as it is possible for us to be. This can only be done if we face the reality of what oppression really means in our lives, not as abstract systems subject to analysis, but as an avalanche of traumas leaving a wake of devastation in the lives of real people who nevertheless remain human, unquenchable, complex and full of possibility.
— Aurora Levins Morales, Medicine Stories
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Shira specializes in working with groups who value (or need assistance developing) the below:

  • Harm Reduction               
  • Youth Organizing                  
  • Trauma Informed Work
  • Homeless & Street Youth     
  • LGBTGNC Community          
  •  Popular Education
  • Leadership Development    
  • Sex Trade                   
  • Healing Justice
  • Transformative Justice   
  • Curriculum Development   
  • Participatory  Action      Research 
  • Evaluation
  • Organizational, Leadership & Staff Development
  • Community Accountability
  • Integrating Healing Justice into Non-Profit Culture
  • Collective Structures
  • Transformative Justice Campaigns (not policy driven)
  • Organizational Safety Planning (eg: state violence)
  • Organizational Wind Down and ending 501C3 status

 

Shira is skilled at working with groups/organizations in crisis or who need urgent restructuring.