Writing

Toolkits & Reports

Navigating DOJ Consent Decrees in the Context of Campaigns to Defund Police (w/ Community Resource Hub, 2021)

New Era of Public Safety: An Advocacy Toolkit for Fair, Safe, and Effective Community Policing (contributor for Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights, 2019)

From Vice to ICE Toolkit (editor, co-written with staff of BreakOUT! & the New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice, 2017)

Get Yr Rights Curriculum (co-written with staff of Streetwise and Safe and BreakOUT!, 2015)

Get Yr Rights: A Toolkit for LGBTQTS Youth and LGBTQTS Serving Organizations (co-written with staff of BreakOUT! and Streetwise and Safe, 2015)

We Deserve Better: A Report By and For Queer and Trans Youth of Color (editor, co-written with staff and members of BreakOUT!, 2014)

Locked Up & Out: LGBTQ Youth in Louisiana's Juvenile Justice System (Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, 2010)

Essays

"Rounding Up The Homosexuals’: The Impact of Juvenile Court on Queer and Trans/Gender Non-conforming Youth” published in the anthology, Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex

Wes is a strategist & consultant with 20 years experience in movement building work, primarily at the intersections of racial justice and queer/ gender liberation in the South, with a specific focus on abolitionist campaigns. He works with small to mid-size nonprofits and grassroots organizations on issues ranging from communications and campaign strategy to organizational growth and development.

 

Wes has led and supported campaigns to end policing and close jails and youth prisons in New Orleans and Atlanta, including recently supporting communications and campaign strategy for the Communities Over Cages: Close the Jail ATL Campaign, a campaign led by Women on the Rise to close the Atlanta City Detention Center and reinvest millions back into communities most harmed by its operation. He also recently led training and curriculum development as part of a team coordinating a fellowship of organizers running campaigns to defund the police in their local areas with the Community Resource Hub, and supported the launch of www.defundpolice.org 

Through his work with Borealis' Communities Transforming Policing Fund and Spark Justice Fund, he supports a wide variety of abolitionist grassroots organizations in areas of communications strategy, organizational development and campaign planning. Wes' development and fundraising work includes working with organizations like the Transgender Law Center as well as supporting much smaller organizations to create their first fundraising plans. One of the recent projects he is most excited about is supporting a groundbreaking new initiative, Living Legacy Fund, to provide direct financial support to Black formerly-incarcerated movement elders in retirement.

Prior to becoming a consultant, Wes was the Founding Director of BreakOUT!, a youth-led, membership-based organization dedicated to building power and ending the criminalization of LGBTQ youth. Wes served as the Director of BreakOUT! for 6 years before transitioning to new leadership in 2017. Under his leadership, BreakOUT! won the We Deserve Better Campaign that resulted in a groundbreaking LGBTQ policy in the New Orleans Police Department to restrict police powers and launched the Vice to ICE Campaign which linked issues of LGBTQ youth criminalization to immigration enforcement and migration justice for Black/brown solidarity and the right to remain. He supported the organization's growth from 5 Founding Members to a base of over 80 LGBTQ youth of color and a budget of over 1 million dollars.

 

In 2011, Wes received a Soros U.S. Justice Fellowship from the Open Society Foundation while serving as the LGBTQ Youth Project Director at the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana (JJPL). At JJPL, he authored the report, Locked Up & Out: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in Louisiana’s juvenile justice system and “’Rounding Up The Homosexuals’: The Impact of Juvenile Court on Queer and Trans/Gender Non-conforming Youth” published in the anthology, Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex.

 

He also monitored the conditions of three state youth prisons, led an investigation against the New Orleans juvenile detention center, Youth Study Center, and helped launch the Shut It Down Campaign to close the youth jail.

 

Wes' policy work brought him to testify in front of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Hearings at the Department of Justice and to meetings for the 21st Century Taskforce on Policing under the Obama Administration. He also served on the LGBTQ Taskforce for the City of New Orleans' Human Relations Commission from 2018-2019.

Wes studied Gender Studies and African American Studies at Georgia State University, studying the role of white allies who took up arms in defense of the Black Liberation Movement in the 80's. He was privileged to have been trained and politicized under many Southern Black radical leaders, as well as white allied elders, which continues to inform his work today.

Wes' heart is in abolitionist organizing, racial justice, and trans & queer liberation in the South. He lives in New Orleans with his boyfriend, Nicholas, and Great Dane, Paisley.