Aliyah Middleton

Street-based sex work is a criminalized and highly-stigmatized form of sexual labor. Women of color, particularly Black women, are overrepresented in street-based sex work because of their inferior status and diminished power in broader society. They are consistently offered less than white erotic workers for the same service, and constitute more than half of juvenile prostitution arrests. Much of the attention given to sexual labor has focused on anti-trafficking and empowering sex workers. Aliyah’s research focuses on the relationship between race, sexuality, and experiences in street-based work. Her goal is to address how institutional inequality manifests in marginalized groups. Aliyah will use her research to develop culturally-competent social services for erotic laborers.

As the oldest child of six half-siblings in a single-parent household, Aliyah has been an educator all her life. She is actively involved in the upbringing and mentoring of her siblings. These responsibilities are demanding but contribute to her passion for advocacy and education. Aliyah wants to create research and policy that utilize asset-based approaches for servicing stigmatized populations.


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