Sex Workers Project, Urban Justice Center
Andrea Ritchie joined the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York City as Director in November of 2008. She comes to this position as a civil rights attorney who has engaged in extensive research, writing, speaking and advocacy on physical and sexual violence by law enforcement agents against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the US and Canada over the past decade. She served as a research consultant and co-author for Amnesty International’s 2005 report Stonewalled: Police Abuse and Misconduct Against LGBT People in the US, as well as for Caught in the Net, a report on women and the “war on drugs” published by the ACLU, the Brennan Center for Justice, and Break the Chains, and Education Not Deportation: Impacts of New York City School Safety Policies on Immigrant Youth, published by Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM). She also coordinated and co-authored an organizer’s toolkit on law enforcement violence against women and transgender people of color for INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence. She is currently lead counsel in Tikkun v. City of New York, et al., a civil rights action challenging unconstitutional and overly invasive searches of transgender people by New York City Police officers.
Ms. Ritchie was a primary author of In the Shadows of the War on Terror: Persistent Police Brutality and Abuse in the United States, a “shadow report” submitted on behalf of over 100 national and local organizations and individuals to the United Nations Committee Against Torture, the United Nations Human Rights Committee, and the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. She has testified before all three Committees, as well as before the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on Racism, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking. Ms. Ritchie also coordinated the participation of over 200 NGOs in the 2008 review of the U.S. government’s compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. She has presented her research on physical and sexual abuse of women and LGBT people by law enforcement agents to the Prison Rape Elimination Commission, the American Criminology Society and the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and recently published an article entitled Law Enforcement Violence Against Women of Color in The Color of Violence, an anthology published by South End Press.
Ms. Ritchie is a proud graduate of the Howard University School of Law and served as law clerk to the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Ms. Ritchie served as a member of the National Collective of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence from 2003 – 2008, and is a partner in RFR, a research collaborative that supports integration of participatory research into community based organizing.