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A Panel with Red Canary Song

A grassroots collective of Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) and

Asian Migrant Sex Workers, Massage Parlor Workers, and Allies


Moderator: Svati P. Shah, Associate Professor, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies


In the wake of the killing of eight people in massage spas in the Atlanta area March 2021, Red Canary Song, has been one of the most prominent voices and effective organizers in mobilizing responses to and understandings of the conditions of violence that culminated in but were not limited to this mass shooting.  RCS is providing paid residencies, resources, medical care, and mutual aid to workers based in NYC. RCS builds coalitions transnationally, focusing on other BIPOC sex work, massage, and social justice movements. RCS members bring unique, multi-faceted, and comprehensive perspectives on Asian sex work activism, and their work has been featured in articles such as “Migrant Massage Workers Don’t Need to Be Rescued” (The Nation) and “Saying Never Again to the Violence in Atlanta Means Saying No to More Policing” (New Republic).


Speakers include:

  • Yin Q is a Queer, Chinese American writer/producer, sex worker rights activist, and mother. Yin is a Lead Organizer with Red Canary Song and the Creative Director of Kink Out.
  • Esther K has been a Lead Organizer with Red Canary Song since 2019. She primarily focuses on anti-trafficking's intersections with sex workers' rights, as well as coalition building with Chinatowns across North America.
  • KhoKhoi (aka KK/mary alinney villacastin) is a plant, body & cultural worker of Visayan-Philippine origins. KK is a core organizer with Red Canary Song and founder of Kalami Spirit Arts, exploring sensual pleasures of plant, movement, cultural & healing arts.
  • Eunbi Lee is a Ph.D candidate in the communication department and WGSS at UMass, Amherst and leads a Korean outreach team of Red Canary Song for mutual aid and migrant massage/sex workers in NY



This event is part of a series on Asian American Feminisms co-sponsored by the UMass Amherst Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Department, the UMass Asian & Asian American Studies Certificate Program, UMass Fine Arts Center Asian and Asian American Arts and Culture Program, and the Five College Asian Pacific Islander Studies Certificate Program.  Additional sponsors have provided support for specific speakers in the series.