BPPP is lead and guided by a board/steering committee, a non-voting advisory, and volunteers. As of December 17, 2020 BPPP is an independent 501 (c) 3 organization and able to receive tax exempt donations.


The Steering Committee sets the BPPP project budget, finalizes annual priorities and strategy and makes key organizational decisions. Current members are:

  • Darby Hickey (policy analyst)
  • Stéphanie Wahab (social work ethics)
  • Kate Zen
  • Penelope Saunders (coordinator)
  • Sandy Guilluame (treasurer)
  • Meg Panichelli (social work ethics)
  • J Kirby (international human rights)
  • Lisa Davis (international human rights)
  • Svati Shah (social movements)
  • Bhavana Nancherla

The non-voting advisory is a group of people bringing key expertise, perspectives and vision on issues that pertain to the way BPPP works (ie dedication to anti-racism and anti-oppression, movement building, national policy work, human rights). The primary purpose of the advisory is to provide expert, grounded in community advice to BPPP and to the movements for rights.

  •  Gigi Thomas is a social worker (MSW) and advocate for the rights of transgender people and sex workers. She was the client advocate and case manager at HIPS in Washington D.C. for a decade before taking a position at Family and Medical Counseling Services, working for Jobs Have Priority and with other direct service providers. She was a founding member of Different Avenues in 2001 and has supported national sex worker organizing in various capacities. Since late 2015 Ms Thomas has been incarcerated without bail, awaiting trial for charges that emerged from her defending her own life. She is also an advisor to SWOP Behind Bars.
  • Denise Brennan is an anthropologist who writes about migration, trafficking, and labor. She is an associate professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Georgetown University. Her most recent book, Life Interrupted: Trafficking into Forced  Labor in the United States follows the lives of survivors of trafficking to the United States. Prof. Brennan is also the author of What’s Love Got to Do with It? Transnational Desires and Sex Tourism in the Dominican Republic. Long involved in workers’ rights and migrants’ rights, Prof. Brennan has been a board member of Different Avenues and HIPS, organizations that protect the rights  of people who engage in commercial sex. She also founded the Survivor Leadership Training Fund (SLTF) to provide support for trafficking survivor-advocates. All royalties from Life Interrupted will be donated to the SLTF.
  • Aziza Ahmed is an associate professor of law at Northeastern School of Law with fields of expertise including Civil Rights, Comparative Law, Development and the Law, Domestic Violence, Gender and the Law, Health Law, Human Rights, International Law, Property, Public Health Law and Reproductive Rights. Professor Ahmed served as an expert member of the Technical Advisory Group on HIV and the Law convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and as an expert for the American Bar Association.
  • Amber Hollibaugh
  • Anna Saini is brown and proud, a femme working-class survivor. Her writing appears in various journals and anthologies, Bitch and make/shift magazines, her self-published anthology Colored Girls and her blog Hersight. She has over a decade of experience organizing in low-income communities of color, a BA in Political Science from the University of Toronto and an MA in Public Policy and Administration from McMaster University. She is a community organizer and author currently building grassroots power to expand access to medical marijuana for seriously ill and dis/abled New Yorkers while writing her first book-length memoir.
  • Beyonce Karungi
  • Mireille Miller Young

Interns, volunteers and consultants: BPPP seeks to work with 1 to 2 interns each year. We also create volunteer and consulting opportunities to work for rights and to build capacity and engagement.

  • J Leigh Brantly is currently engaged (2017-2018) in national and international HIV/AIDS actions with BPPP and advising on community based research. As an advocate for sexual freedom rights, zhe regularly volunteers time in academic sex research, activism, and teaching at national conferences/workshops on alternative sexuality. You can find many scientific and not-so-scientific opinions as zhe blathers away on various podcasts. In 2019, J. Leigh plans to pursue a PhD in human sexuality research with an emphasis on sex work, disability, LGBTQI, and alternative sexuality.
  • Derek J. Demeri works as a human rights activist. He is co-founder of the New Jersey Red Umbrella, a community-based organization dedicated to advocating for the human rights of sex workers in New Jersey, and serves as the current South Jersey Regional Director. Part of his advocacy efforts is connecting the rights of sex workers with labor rights, LGBTQ rights, health advocates and other rights-based organizers in the state (consulting policy advocate, HIV policy project, 2015)
  • Mackenzie Collins is a rising senior at Barnard College. She is a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major. She previously worked with SWOP-NYC and SWANK to produce a document on the social impact of shame and stigma on the sex worker community and their interactions with the medical profession, anti-prostitution campaigns, and policing (intern 2015, HIV policy project and Universal Periodic Review)
  • Kathleen Thomas (legal research 2013 to 2014)