Vision

BreakOUT! envisions a city where transgender, gender non-conforming, and queer youth of color can live without fear of harassment and discrimination.

Mission

BreakOUT! seeks to end the criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth to build a safer and more just New Orleans.

We build on the rich cultural tradition of resistance in the South to build the power of LGBTQ youth ages 13-25 and directly impacted by the criminal justice system through youth organizing, healing justice, and leadership development programs.

BreakOUT!

2017
2017

Launched the Trans Defense Fund

Defended trans youth in the wake of the 2016 presidential election results, launching the Trans Defense Fund, hosting a Defend Trans Youth Legal Clinic, and providing legal name changes and other legal assistance for 20 transgender youth of color in New Orleans.
2016
2016

Undocumented Trans Latinx youth in New Orleans

Built a base of undocumented transgender latinx youth in New Orleans through our Vice to ICE Campaign and began conducting bilingual General Member Meetings with simultaneous interpretation.
2016

Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance

Hosted the 2016 annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, Resilience, and Resistance in New Orleans called #GiveUsOurRoses, with a press conference, followed by an event at Congo Square and direct action street theater in the French Quarter to lift up the over 25 transgender people murdered in the U.S. this year and demand jobs, housing, education,…
2016

Street Safety work

Beefed up our Street Safety work in response to the police murder of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA, as well as the over 1,100 NOPD officers, 170 State Troopers, 100 FBI Agents, ATF, ICE, French Quarter Private Patrol & dozens of police from other parishes who descended on New Orleans for Mardi Gras in…
2016

Get #PoliceOutOfPride

Responded to get #PoliceOutOfPolice in response to the hyper policed and militarized Pride celebrations happening locally and across the country (and as a result, had our 2016 New Orleans Pride Grand Marshal title rescinded).
2016

Built Deeper Connections with our Elders <3

Built deeper connections with transgender elders at the Transgender, Gender-Variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP) in Oakland, CA, including hosting Miss Major Griffin-Gracy at BreakOUT!, and began more intentional and reflective organizational development work to prepare us for the next 4 years!
2016

Launched Training & Technical Assistance Program

Employed 3 youth members to conduct trainings for over 100 healthcare providers on the needs of LGBTQ youth in New Orleans, thanks to a partnership with the New Orleans of Public Health STD/HIV Prevention Office.
2016

Launched New Orleans GSA Network, powered by BreakOUT!

Officially launched the New Orleans GSA Network, powered by BreakOUT! to begin building a base of LGBTQ youth in New Orleans high schools!
2015
2015

First Trans March of Resilience

BreakOUT! hosts the first Trans March of Resilience and brought over 200 people to march and second line to City Hall to deliver a Platform for a Safer City to the Mayor, hosting a die-in on the steps of City Hall.
2015

#MakePennyProud

Penny Proud is murdered in New Orleans, by the end of the year, at least 22 trans women of color were murdered. BreakOUT! launches #MakePennyProud & installs a billboard to lift up violence against the trans community
2014
2014

“The T Word”

BreakOUT! is featured on MTV’S “The T Word” with Laverne Cox.
2014

Ending Violence, Ending Criminalization

BreakOUT! hosted “Ending Violence, Ending Criminalization” regional training academy with the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs in New Orleans, LA and brought youth to present at over 5 conferences around the country from Detroit, MI to Dallas, TX.
2014

Releases We Deserve Better Report

BreakOUT! releases We Deserve Better: A Report on Policing in New Orleans by and for Queer and Trans Youth of Color, the result of over a year’s worth of participatory action research with help from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.
2013
2013

Say My Name Show

Develops and performed our own show as part of the Undesirable Elements project with Ping Chong + Company called “Say My Name”, performed in Jackson, MS and later in New York, Philadelphia, and New Orleans in 2014.
2013

New Orleans Police Department Policy 402

On the 44th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, BreakOUT! secures the adoption of New Orleans Police Department Policy 402, prohibiting profiling on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
2013

Rally at NOPD Headquarters

BreakOUT! holds a rally at NOPD Headquarters and pulls together people from the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association, Safe Streets Strong Communities, the Congress of Day Laborers, STAND With Dignity, Voice of the Ex-Offender, the Independent Police Monitor, and several other community members and organizations to deliver a statement to NOPD asking for a public…
2013

School-to-Prison Action Camp

BreakOUT! members attend the School-to-Prison Action Camp, with local and national organizations dedicated to ending the rail to jail.
2013

Hires First Two Youth Organizers

BreakOUT! hires its first two Youth Organizers through a partnership with Job1’s Workforce Development Program.
2012
2012

BreakOUT! Receives Awards For Our Work

By December 2012, BreakOUT! receives the Out in the Silence Award for Youth Activism, the Justice for Youth Award from the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, the Hell Yes! Award from Resist Inc., and the Malala Youth Leadership Award from the Social Change Film Festival and Institute.
2012

Delivers Proposed Policy to NOPD

BreakOUT! presents testimony in front of City Council’s Criminal Justice Subcommittee Meeting about experiences of LGBTQ youth and the NOPD and delivers a proposed policy, written by members themselves, to the NOPD. They get a public verbal commitment from the NOPD to meet prior to the adoption of any policies.
2012

IGNITE Convening

BreakOUT! members attend the IGNITE Southern LGBTQ Youth of Color Convening in Atlanta, GA and the South Star Safe Schools Convening of the South.
2012

Win!

BreakOUT! wins an unprecedented victory for LGBTQ youth when the DOJ releases a Consent Decree with the NOPD that includes BreakOUT!’s proposed language, among other things, prohibiting profiling on the basis of gender expression, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
2012

Second Annual Allied Media Conference

BreakOUT! attends their second annual Allied Media Conference in Detroit, MI.
2012

Right to the City’s Urban Congress

BreakOUT! attends the Right to the City’s Urban Congress and participates in an action and rally outside of ICE and City Hall.
2012

One-year Anniversary!

BreakOUT! celebrates its one-year anniversary!
2012

We Deserve Better Video

BreakOUT! delivers its video, produced with FosterBear Films, “We Deserve Better” to the NOPD for use in officer trainings.
2012

Vigil For Brenting & Githe

BreakOUT! remembers the lives of two community members lost to violence, Brenting and Githe, and holds a memorial vigil at Tulane and Broad.
2011
2011

Members Attend IGNITE! LGBTQ Youth Media Camp

Two BreakOUT! members attend the LGBTQ youth of color IGNITE Media Camp, hosted by SPARK in Atlanta, GA.
2011

BreakOUT!’s 1st Meeting w/ NOPD

BreakOUT! has its first meeting with the NOPD about adopting an LGBTQ policy.
2011

BreakOUT! Holds 1st Storycircle

BreakOUT! holds our first Storycircle with allies at the Congress of Day Laborers. Through a translator, we discuss similarities and differences in our experiences of police profiling, access to jobs, and access to public space in our own City. Calling our partnership “From Vice to ICE,” over the next 2 years BreakOUT! attends a rally…
2011

1st Allied Media Conference

Three BreakOUT! members attend the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, MI.
2011

BreakOUT! Conducts It’s First Survey

BreakOUT! conducts its first survey and finds that 15 out of 15 young Black trans girls in New Orleans have been approached by an NOPD officer for sex.
2011

BreakOUT! Youth Space Opens!

BreakOUT! opens its youth space and hosts an official Coming Out Party on May 17th, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. BreakOUT! is comprised of 6 Founding Members: Milan Nicole Sherry, Jonathan Willis, Lhundyn Palmer, Kenisha Harris, Amhari Alexander, De-De Jackson
2011

Press Conference

BreakOUT! speaks at a press conference with the Center for Constitutional Rights and Women With a Vision about discriminatory and overly-punitive Crimes Against Nature laws.
2011

1st Know Your Rights Training

A group of young people, mostly Black transgender young women, come together for the first Know Your Rights Training with the Independent Police Monitor at Women With a Vision.
2010
2010

Meeting with Department of Justice

In late 2010, people from Women With a Vision, Brotherhood Inc., the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana’s LGBTQ Youth Project, and an unorganized group of LGBTQ young people come together with other community partners to meet with the Department of Justice, who is investigating the New Orleans Police Department. After discussing issues related to the…