Cocoa (she/her) is a queer mixed-race femme who has been around the block! Drawing from over 15 years of experience in the industry, she advocates for decriminalization as the best framework to reduce sex workers’ vulnerability to violence, exploitation and trafficking because it allows greater access to health, justice and human rights protections. Cocoa has worked in the US and abroad under a range of legal frameworks, circumstances and conditions. She worked independently and under management, in full-service brothels and escort agencies, as a stripper, and in survival work. Through those experiences she learned the importance of peer education, human rights based approaches to sex work and trafficking, and community-led and evidence-based policy development. She fiercely believes that the movement must amplify, support and center the leadership of Black, Brown, TGNC, migrant sex workers and others most impacted by criminalization and discrimination. Her advocacy and research spans HIV justice, health and labor rights, anti-trafficking and more. She has worked with Red Edition migrant sex workers collective in Austria, the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective in Wellington and Auckland, and in Australia with Scarlet Alliance and SWOP New South Wales. She likes traveling, spicy food, making art and spending time with cats.