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  • Charitable Non Profit | SWAN Vancouver Society | British Columbia

    sex work is work SWAN promotes the rights, health & safety of im/migrant women engaged in indoor sex work through front-line service & systemic advocacy. Read More / 阅读更多 SWAN's signature campaigns challenge, debunk and dispel the dominant narratives that racialize, misdefine and harm im/migrant women engaged in indoor sex work. Read More SWAN critically analyzes mainstream anti-trafficking efforts and discourse, in order to increase protections for persons who are trafficked without harming sex workers. Read More SWAN advocates for evidence-based laws that endow equal safety, rights, freedoms and protections for im/migrant women engaged in sex work. Read More SWAN provides culturally-specialized, rights-based and language-appropriate front-line services for im/migrant women engaged in sex work. Read More

  • SWAN Vancouver | Our Board

    OUR BOARD Our Board of Directors are volunteers who are impacted by and/or passionate about SWAN's vision and work, which​ includes addressing the conflation of sex work and trafficking, the unsound and often racist laws that result, and the disproportionate harms experienced by im/migrant women who engage in sex work. Directors are actively involved in overseeing the governance underpinning SWAN's operations and programming ​ Through specific roles, Directors commit to proactive engagement with the governance work the organization requires, and to additional committee work as SWAN's mission, campaigns or overall purpose may require. ​ OUR CURRENT DIRECTORS Board Chair ​ ​ JACKIE WONG - Jackie works in Vancouver, BC as a facilitator, writer and editor. She has a background in journalism and has spent the last six years working with social change organizations as a post-secondary educator. She is a dialogue associate with the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and also teaches in the SFU Semester in Dialogue program. pronouns: she/her/hers "A lot of my work has me thinking about the conditions under which social change happens. I'm really glad to join SWAN's Board - SWAN exists at an important intersection of anti-racist feminist work that is exciting to me because it is rare and necessary." Board Vice-Chair ​ ​ JANE LI Jane is a registered social worker with practice experience in victim services, gender and sexual health, youth substance use, newcomer supports, community-based research, and adult guardianship. A significant part of her work concerns critical perspectives on capability, risk, and difference. She is grounded personally and professionally by epistemic humility, radical softness, intersectional feminism, Indigenous resurgence, and difference-centered ethics. - pronouns: she/her/hers ​ Jane first became involved with SWAN as a volunteer in 2012, later joining the team as an outreach worker. Her anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and critical social work practice approach is deeply informed by her experiences at SWAN. She returns to SWAN as a board member with the intention of furthering her commitment to sex work activism and im/migrant women’s rights. “I joined SWAN’s board because I feel strongly about the impacts of oppressive policies and practices on im/migrant women engaged in sex work. I believe in the value of our work and uniqueness of this organization.” Board Treasurer ​ ​ MINDY ABRAMOWITZ Mindy earned her designation as a Certified General Accountant in 2004 and is a member of Chartered Professional Accountants Association of Canada. She works in public practice and for more than fifteen years has served many charitable and non-profit organizations in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. - pronouns: she/her/hers ​ Mindy was introduced to SWAN through a like-minded colleague, and saw the opportunity to join SWAN’s Board as a way to learn more about the organization’s unique team and work while supporting both. “ I have a particular interest in the interchange between financial information and advocacy.” Board Secretary ​ ​ KIM MACKENZIE Kim first became involved with SWAN through research SWAN conducted on human trafficking laws and their impacts on the rights of migrant and immigrant sex workers. She then went on to become an Outreach Volunteer in 2013. In 2014 she was hired as a staff member and worked in a variety of roles - from Outreach Coordinator to Policy Analyst - until she relocated from Vancouver to Victoria in 2017. She joined SWAN's Board shortly after her move. - pronouns: she/her/hers Kim holds a Masters of Public Policy and now works as a Research Officer with the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth. She remains actively engaged in community organizing and municipal politics in Victoria. ​ Kim is passionate about sex worker rights, migrant rights, police accountability and poverty reduction. Her current work and many years of political advocacy and community-based activism give her a deep operational understanding of government relations in BC and levers for policy and law reform. When SWAN’s Board formally transitioned from an operational to governance structure, she volunteered to remain on as a Director without hesitation. “Given my time spent with the organization, I have a soft spot in my heart for SWAN and I couldn’t let it go.” Board Director ​ ​ JENNY ZHANG - pronouns: she/her/hers Jenny is a graduate of BCIT’s Software Development Program, and has worked in a variety of data research and management roles. In 2005 through her previous employment with the BC Centre for Disease Control, she became involved with the Asian Society for the Intervention of AIDS, for their Orchid Project, an indoor sex worker and outreach service project in Vancouver. ​ Jenny has also worked extensively with Providence Health Care, and the Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity's AESHA (An Evaluation of Sex Workers Health Access) Project, where she conducted translated surveys, participant interviews and outreach services. ​ Jenny has many additional years of reception and management work within spas, and her direct connection to indoor sex workers remains strong. Through personal and professional ties with this community, she had always heard about SWAN’s unique services. “When the opportunity to join SWAN’s Board came up, I gladly took it.” Advisory Board Member ​ ​ MENAKA RAGUPARAN - pronouns: she/her/hers A long-time activist, researcher and socio-legal scholar, Menaka has served on the Board for the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre and the Exotic Dancers Rights Association of Canada (a collective of strippers and supporters that sought to establish minimum employment standards for strippers in Ontario from 1995 until 2004, when the organization disbanded). ​ As part of her doctoral project, (in 2014 and 2015) Menaka interviewed 40 sex workers of colour from nine cities in Canada, including Vancouver. After vetting and evaluating the study’s benefit to sex workers of colour, SWAN was able to liaise with participants in Vancouver and vouch for the ethics and legitimacy of Menaka’s research, and participants’ safety in her interview processes. Most recently she conducted a project for SWAN involving a global scan and assessment of capacity building strategies within NGOs serving marginalized and racialized populations. Menaka recently relocated from her home of 20 years in Ottawa, Ontario to the United States to continue her academic career. In August 2020 she began a tenure-track role in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she teaches criminology. “My interest in SWAN is couched in reciprocity - in my role as an advisory board member I am hoping to give back to a community that has given me a lot.” Support Our Work Back to Main Menu

  • SWAN Vancouver | WeChatLogin

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  • Covid Info & Resources | SWAN website

    COVID-19: INFORMATION & RESOURCES 29 APRIL 2020 : ANNOUNCEMENT "AS OF TODAY, THE PROVINCE HAS SECURED NEARLY 300 ADDITIONAL SPACES IN COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT BC FOR PEOPLE LEAVING VIOLENT OR UNSTABLE SITUATIONS." ​ If you or someone you know is experiencing violence or abuse, please contact VictimLinkBC at at 1-800-563-0808 or by email . 20 APRIL 2020 : ANNOUNCEMENT "ANYONE WITH COVID-19 SYMPTOMS CAN NOW BE TESTED" ​ To find a testing center near you, call 811 or use the Collection Center Finder (Mobile & Desktop) 24-HR Dedicated COVID-19 Information Phone Line: with HealthLink BC's 811 phone li ne overburdened, the province has set up a new dedicated phone line to receive calls and provide non-medical COVID-19 information and support. ​ Call toll-free: 1-888-268-4319 (1-888-COVID19) for information, non-medical including the latest information about travel recommendations, social distancing orders, and access to support and services from the provincial and federal governments. ​ Call 811 for medical-based support & information, including assistance with locating medical and health resources and practitioners, and referrals. ​ Call 911 only for medical emergencies requiring immediate assistance from ambulance paramedics, emergencies involving a fire, and/or emergencies requiring police assistance. ​ Support Our Work Back to Main Menu BC Centre for Disease Control Information & Resources Page Visit Site 中文翻译 HealthLink BC Information & Resources Page Visit Site Supporting your mental health through the COVID-19 pandemic Visit Site Rental & Renter Protection Information & Resources Visit Site

  • SWAN Vancouver | Our Team - Detailed

    OUR TEAM Our Board Back to Main Menu ALISON CLANCEY Executive Director pronouns: she/her/hers - Alison first joined SWAN as a volunteer in 2009. In 2012 she transitioned into the Coordinator position before stepping into her current role as Executive Director in 2014. ​ Steering collaborative partnerships and connections with sex worker and migrant rights groups, Alison also oversees all aspects of SWAN's mission, campaigns, political advocacy, service provision and day-to-day operations. Her extensive experience providing front-line service and individual and systemic advocacy to sex workers fuels her passion for policy and law reform. ​ Alison holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor and Masters of Social Work, and is known for her engaging community presentations and strategic leadership. ​ In her free time, Alison enjoys riding motorcycle while brewing fearless visions for social justice. ​ info [at] swanvancouver [dot] ca Back to Main Menu KELLY GO Outreach Coordinator pronouns: she/her/hers - Kelly began volunteering with SWAN in 2016 before stepping into a full-time Outreach Worker role in 2017. In the spring of 2019, she transitioned into her current Outreach Coordinator role and now oversees SWAN’s Outreach and Netreach programs, our outreach volunteers, and our quarterly SWANzine newsletter. ​ Born and raised in Hong Kong, Kelly moved to Canada in 2008. She speaks fluent Cantonese, Mandarin and English, holds a Bachelor Degree in International Studies and is currently working towards a degree in Social Work. ​ When she isn’t working or studying, Kelly most enjoys hanging out with her dog. ​ netreach [at] swanvancouver [dot] ca Back to Main Menu TRISTEN WYBOU Peer Program Coordinator pronouns: he/him/his - A long-time psychology student and former counsellor, Tristen’s background is rooted in support work, mentoring and labour activism. Tristen joined SWAN and stepped into our new Peer Program Coordinator role in October 2020. Originally born and raised in his traditional Ts'msyen territory on Kxeen (Prince Rupert), Tristen has long engaged in his culture through traditional practice, language, study, and community – all while navigating the systemic barriers that surround being Indigenous, queer and autistic. His lived experiences continue propelling his academic learning, advocacy, and community services work. In his independent life, Tristen is an artist, social activist and multidisciplinary student. ​ peers [at] swanvancouver [dot] ca Back to Main Menu ALICE XIAO Senior Outreach Worker pronouns: she/her/hers - Alice began volunteering with SWAN in 2016. She worked in several part-time projects for SWAN before stepping into her full time Outreach Worker role in August 2019. A studious intellect and helper at heart, Alice assists with the delivery of SWAN's Outreach and Netreach services. Alice creates and sustains contact with independent workers and provides supports, referrals, accompaniment and advocacy as women's individual needs and situations warrant. ​ Alice speaks fluent English, Mandarin, and Cantonese, holds a Bachelor Degree in International Studies and is currently taking part-time Social Work classes. When she isn't busy with work or her studies, Alice enjoys good books and films, and getting out into nature as much as she can. ​ outreach [at] swanvancouver [dot] ca Back to Main Menu JANE SHI Outreach Worker pronouns: she/her/hers - Jane first joined SWAN as a volunteer in January 2019 and began working as an Outreach Worker in July 2020. Jane is a queer Chinese settler who lives on the unceded, traditional and ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Her interest in intergenerational healing and storytelling motivates her to fight for a world where love is not a limited resource, land is not mined, hearts are not filched, and bodies are not violated. Outside of SWAN, Jane is a writer, poet, organizer, and editor. ​ Back to Main Menu JENNY NG Outreach Worker pronouns: she/her/hers - Jenny stepped into her Outreach Worker role with SWAN in August 2020.. ​ Jenny speaks fluent Cantonese and Mandarin, and works closely with SWAN's Senior Outreach Worker in the organization and delivery of supplies to workers throughout the Lower Mainland. ​ Outside of SWAN, Jenny enjoys cooking, watching movies and working out. ​ Back to Main Menu ANDI WISEMAN Development Manager pronouns: she/her/hers - Following fifteen years of front-line service and executive-level management in Vancouver's addictions and mental health sector, Andi came to SWAN in June 2019. ​ An intersectionally inclusive feminist to the core, Andi is a long-time advocate and grassroots activist for safety, equality and human rights for women and sex workers alike. With a wealth of lived experience, as well as working and academic knowledge, Andi assists with numerous projects and campaigns while innovating new means for advancing SWAN's operational growth, capacity and community engagement. ​ Andi enjoys practicing daily, random acts of kindness with reckless abandon and genuine love, and particularly when reciprocation is guaranteed to never occur. ​ development [at] swanvancouver [dot] ca Back to Main Menu

  • Law Reform

    NO BAD WOMEN, JUST BAD LAWS Decriminalization = Safety, Equality & Human Rights for Sex Workers SWAN recognizes sex work as work. SWAN calls for the decriminalization of sex work. ​ We advocate for the enactment of evidence-based laws that uphold sex workers’ rights. The current criminalized legal framework makes it impossible for sex workers to have the same equality, rights and protections others have. There is strong evidence that . criminalization impacts sex workers’ safety, health and human rights ​ In February 2020, parts of the (PCEPA) - Canada’s prostitution laws - were , i.e., advertising (s. 286.4), procuring (s. 286.3(1)), and material benefit (s. 286.2(1)). The advertising law was ruled unconstitutional for violating the right to freedom of expression. Procuring and material benefit laws were both ruled to be a violation of the right to security of the person. Read the full decision Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act found unconstitutional here . ​ The historic 2013 unanimous Supreme Court of Canada decision also found Canada’s former prostitution laws unconstitutional. Bedford v. Canada Decriminalization and Migrant Sex Workers Since 2012, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) prohibit any temporary resident from working “with an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.” These provisions apply to any temporary resident who has a work or study permit, or visitor’s visa, and effectively bar migrant women from engaging in sex work in any formal capacity. Learn more about IRPR’s specific prohibitions on sex work . here ​ Full decriminalization of sex work includes decriminalization for sex workers who are not citizens or permanent residents. Under current prostitution, trafficking and immigration laws, in addition to municipal bylaws, migrant sex workers are under surveillance and harassment by police and bylaws officers, and under the threat of detention and deportation by Canada Border Services Agency. ​ Combined with prostitution laws, the IRPR prohibition creates layers of criminalization for migrant women engaged in sex work and significantly increases systemic vulnerability to violence and exploitation. Migrant women who do sex work can be targeted. that barriers to reporting violence to authorities include concerns that sex workers have no legal protection from violence under current laws, have a lack of trust with police and the criminal justice system, and have immigration concerns. Recent research has shown ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ In SWAN’s experience, im/migrant sex workers who report violence to authorities also risk becoming the target of trafficking investigations. This is due to over-broad prostitution and trafficking laws which do not differentiate sex work and trafficking, and which are enforced by an overwhelming majority of police officers who themselves do not understand the difference between sex work and trafficking. ~ Lydia, SWAN Client November 2019 (quoted with permission) Support Our Work Back to Main Menu SWAN, along with the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform and Butterfly , calls for the repeal of the IRPR prohibitions on sex work. You Can Help with these Calls to Action "Instead of receiving support or help for the violence I experienced, I was punished with deportation without even having the benefit of telling my story."

  • SWAN Vancouver | Our Story

    OUR STORY SWAN grew out of a pilot community health care initiative that extended HIV/AIDS outreach to local massage parlours. During the project, we recognized that women working in massage parlours were dealing with a host of issues that were much broader than sexual health. The concerns that were most important to women in massage parlours were issues related to the law, immigration, and safety among others. At the end of the project, we recognized how important outreach work was and decided to continue working together. In December 2002, the outreach workers formed the Sex Workers Action Network (SWAN). In 2008, SWAN incorporated as a non-profit society. We changed our name to Supporting Women’s Alternatives Network to ensure the inclusion of im/migrant women who do sex work but do not self-identify as sex workers. ​ In 2017, SWAN became a registered charitable organization. ​ ​ In the nearly two decades since its inception, SWAN has cultivated and continues sustaining a unique network within a sex-working community that experiences exacerbated vulnerabilities because of the conflation of anti-im/migrant, anti-sex work and anti-trafficking rhetoric, and the widespread municipal and federal laws and enforcement that result. Support Our Work Back to Main Menu

  • SWAN Vancouver | Our Team

    "Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments towards organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." ​ ~ Andrew Carnegie OUR TEAM ALISON CLANCEY Executive Director pronouns: she/her/hers - Alison first joined SWAN as a volunteer in 2009. In 2012 she transitioned into a Coordinator position before stepping into her current role as Executive Director in 2014. ​ Steering collaborative partnerships... Read Full Bio KELLY GO Outreach Coordinator pronouns: she/her/hers - Inspired by one of Alison’s community presentations, Kelly began volunteering with SWAN in 2016 before stepping into a full-time outreach role in 2017. ​ Born and raised in Hong Kong... Read Full Bio TRISTEN WYBOU Peer Program Coordinator A long-time psychology student and former counsellor, Tristen’s background is rooted in support work, mentoring and labour activism. Tristen joined SWAN and stepped into our new Peer Program Coordinator role in October 2020. pronouns: he/him/his - Originally born and raised in... Read Full Bio ALICE XIAO Senior Outreach Worker pronouns: she/her/hers - After attending one of Alison's presentations, Alice was also inspired to begin volunteering with SWAN in 2016. She worked in several part-time projects for SWAN before stepping into her full time Outreach Worker role in August 2019. ​ A studious intellect and... Read Full Bio JANE SHI Outreach Worker pronouns: she/her/hers - Jane first joined SWAN as a volunteer in January 2019 and began working as an Outreach Worker in July 2020. ​ Jane is a queer Chinese settler who... Read Full Bio JENNY NG Outreach Worker pronouns: she/her/hers - Jenny stepped into her role as Outreach Worker with SWAN in August 2020. ​ Jenny speaks fluent Cantonese and Mandarin, and... Read Full Bio ANDI WISEMAN Development Manager pronouns: she/her/hers - Following fifteen years of front line and executive-level management in Vancouver's addictions and mental health sector, Andi came to SWAN in June 2019. ​ An intersectionally inclusive feminist... Read Full Bio Our Board Back to Main Menu

  • SWAN Vancouver | Latest Happenings

    LATEST HAPPENINGS AT SWAN ​ (Click on a slide to halt the slideshow, or click on the left arrow to move the slides from right to left. ) HR CONSULTANT - CALL FOR PROPOSALS SWAN is taking a strategic & comprehensive approach to providing sustainable physical, cultural & psychological work conditions that maximize the health and well-being of our staff. The objectives of this initiative & the HR Consultant role are to shift the overwork, burnout & vicarious traumatization that have become normalized & expected within non-profits. . Review the full posting & application instructions for this exciting job opportunity here ​ Proposals can be submitted to development@swanvancouver.ca (attn: Andi Wiseman) - no phone calls please. Deadline is Monday 25 January 2021 at 9am. ​ ​ Upcoming Events Support Our Work Back to Main Menu

  • SWAN Vancouver | Get Involved

    "There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about." ​ ~ Margaret J. Wheatly CONNECT Stay on top of all SWAN's latest work, plus news and events from across Canada and around the world that relate to safety, critical analysis of anti-trafficking discourse and policy, rights and freedoms for im/migrant women who engage in sex work; and sex worker rights generally. ​ Like and share, join a conversation, share your wisdom, inspire connection and strengthen community! ​ (Click on any icon to connect) Back to Main Menu VOLUNTEER "SWAN's work is so important because women working in massage parlours and private condos deserve support and care - especially when they face so many barriers from immigration, legal, policing and medical systems. I find connecting with the women face-to-face deeply impactful; these connections directly encourage me to re-evaluate and challenge mainstream notions of sex economies that impose such widespread stigmas." ~ Jane, Volunteer Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities at SWAN Back to Main Menu DONATE SWAN's work centers the voices, experiences and lived expertise of a widely misunderstood sex working community - im/migrant women who work indoors. This marginalized community of women contends with extraordinary political, systemic and cultural barriers and challenges. Your support for SWAN's work is invaluable! It helps us continue to serve im/migrant women and mitigate, shift and change the discourse, laws and stigmas that misdefine, exclude, criminalize and harm them - thank you! Learn more about Giving Opportunities at SWAN Back to Main Menu

SWAN's services are free and confidential. 

 

For direct services in English, Mandarin or Cantonese,

call or text 778-865-6343, send an email,

or contact us on WeChat.

 

SWAN operates independently from government, law enforcement and faith-based groups.

With gratitude for the wisdom of all First Peoples, 

we acknowledge that we live & work on the stolen lands

of the Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh Nations.  

 

 

 

© 2019 SWAN Vancouver Society / All Rights Reserved.

Charitable Registration # 853176295RR0001