Safe OUTside the System: The SOS Collective

Safe OUTside the System: The SOS Collective

The SOS Collective works to challenge violence that affects LGBTSTGNC people of color. We are guided by the belief that strategies that increase the police presence and the criminalization of our communities do not create safety. Therefore we utilize strategies of community accountability to challenge violence.

2nd Annual Safe Neighborhood Summit

Saturday, April 25th, 2009 12pm-6pm, Brooklyn, NY

The Safe OUTside the System Collective of the Audre Lorde Project is proud to host the Second Annual Safe Neighborhood Summit, the most significant annual event for the S.O.S. Collective's Safe Neighborhood Campaign, which works directly with the local community to prevent and intervene in anti-LGBTSTGNC violence without relying on the police. Last year's Safe Neighborhood Summit inspired and educate over 80 Central Brooklyn Community members on how to prevent and intervene in violence with free workshops, performances, and speakers. We hope to continue the tradition this year.

Find out more.

Join Us

  • Membership within the SOS Collective is open to all LGBTSTGNC people of color who live in Bed-Stuy or surrounding neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
  • We have open meetings every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month.
  • Although our meetings are not open to allies, we welcome the support of our non-LGBTSTGNC and white allies. Please contact us at 718.596.0342 ext. 22 to learn how you can support our work.

Current Work

  • In the past years the LGBTSTGNC communities of color within Bedford Stuyvesant Campaign have experienced a rash of violent murders, assaults, and general harassment.
  • We are working on developing a local campaign in Bed-Stuy that addresses both street violence and police violence.
  • We hope to use models of community accountability as alternative to increased policing and even harsher sentencing.


  • The Working Group on Police and State Violence (now SOS Collective) began in 1997 in response to a rash of street violence, repressive state violence tactics, an increase of police harassment, and brutality, and the “Quality of Life” policies of the Giuliani administration.
  • In working to build a citywide movement, the WGPV participated in founding the Coalition Against Police Brutality (CAPB). With the other POC based organizations part of CAPB, the working group helped organized People’s Justice 2000, 41 days of action in the wake of Diallo and Louima, and annual Racial Justice Day (RJD) events, where the families of those who have been brutalized and killed at the hands of the NYPD raise their voices and demand justice.
  • In our work, we have also taken on cases of community members, such as Jalea Lamot, a trans woman who, along with her family, was brutalized and arrested in her home by the NYCHA police.
  • In addressing the broader issues of State Violence, we have collaborated with other POC organizations both citywide and nationally (TWW-Peace Action Coalition and Racial Justice 911, respectively) in response to post September 11th government policies and practices.
  • We also held two War Against Terror Meetings, which worked to build and make visible an analysis of how homophobia and trans-phobia are cornerstones of the right wing agenda. And that this agenda is responsible for the repressive practices the “war on terror” and how LGBTSTGNC people are impacted on a daily basis.
  • The WGPV also helped coordinate Operation Homeland Resistance, a civil disobedience after the invasion of Iraq, which connected oppressive tactics at home to imperialist war of aggression abroad.