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 gender non-confomring (TGNC), queer,  nonbinary and, intersex (LGBTQI) youth to build a more just New Orleans. We inherit the rich cultural tradition of resistance in the Deep South to mobilize the power of LGBTQI Black, African Diasporic, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous, Arab and multi-racial youth, ages 13+ directly impacted by the criminal legal system through youth organizing, healing justice, and leadership development.

BreakOUT!

2020
2020

JOINED LA HOOP COALITION

Louisiana Harvesting Opportunities Outside of Prison Coalition – a collective of advocates committed to dismantling systems of white supremacy and abolishing youth incarceration in Louisiana.
2020

TRANS DAY OF REMEMBRANCE RESISTANCE & RESILIENCE 2020

Annual celebration with panelist, food, music and more.  To remember and honor the Black and Brown Trans lives taken from us, and a day to build a safer New Orleans community
2020

REAL NAME CAMPAIGN

Mobilized to support the Real Name Campaign in challenging the high fees tied to name changes in Orleans Parish.  The reduction in fees to file a name change in New Orleans Parish goes in to effect later this year!
2020

NOLA MARCH FOR TRANS LIVES

Mobilized with The NOLA Trans March & other organizations to call for an end to violence taking the lives of Black Trans Women.
2020

#FTP PRIDE

BreakOUT! is taking Pride back to its radical roots with a !Fuck the police, Fuck Pride! virtual panel of Black Queer and Trans brilliance and magic. Exploring an end to police brutality with Southern Black Trans & Nonbinary organizers, cultural leaders, and scholars.
2020

JUSTICE FOR ALEXA VIGIL

A national call to demand justice for Alexa; a trans Latinx woman killed in Puerto Rico.
2020

COVID OFFICE CLOSURE

We closed our offices due to COVID-19 in March of 2020.  We also started a COVID-19 fund- in anticipation of our members not being able to access services and stimulus money – and to prepare for our membership to use zoom.
2020

ENERGETIC RE-GROUNDING WITH THE WORLD HEALING LAB

working with the World Healing Lab learn new grounding and cleansing practices and documenting our healing and restorative justice practices that we will take forward into the future with us.
2019
2019

TRANS DAY OF REMEMBRANCE RESISTANCE & RESILIENCE 2019

Celebration with food reflection and performance.  A day to remember and honor the Black and Brown Trans lives taken from us, and to build deeper relationships within New Orleans community to create a safer New Orleans for our members, community and beyond.
2019

RELAUNCH OF TRANS MARCH OF RESILIENCE

Partnered with NOLA Trans March founder Milan Sherry and local community leadership and organizations to provide meeting space and resources to the 2nd Annual Trans March of Remembrance
2019

NOLA GSA SUMMIT

Annual skill share convening of New Orleans GSA members, clubs, staffers, support teachers and networks
2019

MISS PRIMERVAL

A fundraiser for the Trans Defense Fund at BreakOUT!, Which provides legal financial support to LGBTQ youth and support in dealing with the criminal justice system for BreakOUT! members.
2019

NIGHT OUT FOR SAFETY AND LIBERATION 2019

National event – Night Out for Safety and Liberation BreakOUT! hosted a self-defense workshop led by the Trans Boxing Collective;  an artist-initiated boxing club for trans and gender variant people, and a Sex positive safety discussion
2019

CANS CAN’T STAND MARCH

Mobilized and endorsed the Justice Walk to remove the Crimes Against Nature Laws organized by Transcending Women
2019

PRIDE FROMUSTOTHEM

Focusing on connecting and checking in with our members inside the prison system. Joined by the co-founders, staffers and Bay Area community stakeholders  of the Comptons Transgender District — the world’s first transgender district,– together we celebrated the heritage and presence of transgender, nonbinary and gender non-conforming people in San Francisco’s TENDERLOIN area and NOLA. …
2019

JUSTICE FOR ROXSANA

We partnered with Congreso and more to participate in the national call to demand justice for Roxsana; a trans Latinx woman who died in an ICE detention center 1 year ago in May and continue to demand the shut down of I.C.E
2019

MAY DAY MOBILIZATION 2019

Led by the Congress of Day Laborers at the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice with more than a dozen New Orleans groups in attendance— representing hospitality workers, civil rights, immigrants, club dancers and LGBT youth, among others
2019

BREAKOUT! RECRUITS NEW BOARD

We recruited for BreakOUT!’s new Advisory Board in March as well as plan for the filing of our 501(c)3. These folx on our Advisory Board will become the organizations first governing board since BreakOUT!’s creation.
2019

HOLDS CONSENT DECREE MONITOR TO DEEPER ASSESSMENT

After attending the Consent Decree Monitor’s public feedback session in Feb. members of BreakOUT! and our We Deserve Better Committee met on a regular schedule with the Consent Decree Monitor’s Office to inform on the treatment of Trans and Nonbinary folx with NOPD and inside of the incarceration and detention systems.
2019

BREAKOUT! PRESENTS @ CREATING CHANGE

BreakOUT! members present workshop on the youth organizing track on how to build a culture of healing while organizing at Creating Change in addition to having staff participate in workshops and panels
2018
2018

Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance

Hosted the 2018 annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, Resilience, and Resistance in New Orleans, with a press conference, and event at Congo Square, premiering new artwork created in partnership with Forward Together and the phenomenal artistry of Preach  to honor lift up the over 22 transgender people murdered in the U.S. this year and demand…
2018

Launched Building Our Analysis Institute

2.0 of our Build Our Power/Construyendo Nuestro Instituto de Poder  Institute. building our analysis on the prison industrial complex, the history of prison abolition, advanced facilitation, delivering and receiving critical feedback and reflection, media messaging and intro to communications.
2018

#MyQTPOCPride

#MyQTPOCPride a bilingual, intergenerational, panel discussion with the legendary MAMA MAJOR (Miss Major Griffin-Gracy) along with Wendi Moore-O’Neal, Sy’ria Jackson, and BreakOUT! members.  Remembering our past to shape our future and celebrating our legacy of Black and Brown LGBTQ movements then and now.
2018

BreakOUT! names new interim director

BreakOUT! is excited to announce that Collette Carter will be joining us as our Interim Director. Collette brings over 20 years of experience in organizing and movement building, leadership development, nonprofit management, and the healing power of the Theatre.
2017
2017

BreakOUT!’s founding director bids farewell

“Growing an organization, like all of our work in this movement, is a labor of love.”  Wes Ware the Founding Director at BreakOUT! transitioned out of his staff role as part of a long-term leadership transition plan.   Celebrating 6 years of growth and a transition for BreakOUT! into new leadership.
2017

Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance

Hosted the 2017 annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, Resilience, and Resistance in New Orleans called #GiveUsOurRoses, with a press conference, and event at Congo Square and direct action street theater in the French Quarter to lift up the over 22 transgender people murdered in the U.S. this year and demand jobs, housing, and education.
2017

BreakOUT! moves to our new location

Before the close of 2017 we relocated to our new location at 4327 Canal St!  Our new space includes a meeting room, class room, and a healing room.
2017

Launched Construyendo Nuestro Instituto de Poder

A Spanish language version of our Building Our Power Institute – 12-week long, paid youth organizing and leadership development cohort for Queer and Transgender youth in New Orleans. Covering topics like “Movement Building and the Role of an Organizer”, “Intro to Organizing Campaigns”, “Intro to Base building, Fundraising”, and ” Building self-image and self esteem”.
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.