Olivia Hunt

  • Hosted by Whitman-Walker Health
  • Sponsored by AmeriCorps, Whitman-Walker Health
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Issue area Employment
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program AmeriCorps Fellows Program

The Project

Olivia Hunt guides members of the transgender community in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area through the process of legally changing their names and genders, and assists them in obtaining valid identification documents that match their identity and gender presentation.

According to a 2011 report from the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National LGBTQ Task Force, the transgender community experiences unemployment and job discrimination at twice or higher the rate of cisgender Americans. This applies across all levels of education and across all racial and ethnic demographics.

A major barrier to employment for transgender individuals is lack of official recognition of their gender identity and chosen name on their identification documents. Carrying identification that properly reflects one’s identity can make it easier to obtain public services, medical care, and education, and makes it less likely that a job applicant will be outed as transgender during the hiring process.

Olivia Hunt is passionate about transgender rights, including access to employment and healthcare, and removing barriers to obtaining proper identification. One of her first cases as a practicing attorney was preparing a name change, and she has been assisting clients with the name change process ever since. She has volunteered with Whitman-Walker Health, Transgender Legal Advocates of Washington, and the National Center for Transgender Equality for almost two years, and is excited to be able to serve the area’s transgender community full time.

Fellowship Highlights

During Olivia’s Fellowship, Olivia:

  • Planned and carried out six monthly Name and Gender Change Clinics, each of which will see 15-20 clients counseled through the process of changing their legal name and gender and provided with the documents needed to secure correct identification.
  • Developed tracking tools (including post-Clinic client surveys) allowing accurate recordkeeping of how many clients successfully obtain corrected identification and secure employment.
  • Coordinated with representatives of other Washington, D.C.-area transgender advocacy organizations and the D.C. government to implement transgender-specific counseling and placement initiatives within D.C.’s existing employment outreach programs.

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Dafna Gozani

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Tiffney Love

Host: South Carolina Legal Services

Sponsor: AmeriCorps, South Carolina Legal Services