Toni Newman is the executive director for St. James Infirmary, a peer-based occupational health and safety clinic located in San Francisco, offering free, compassionate, and non-judgmental healthcare and social services for former and current sex industry workers. A devoted intersectional activist, she has also fought for the rights of the LGBTQ community, those living with HIV, and communities of color. Previously she served as development manager for Maitri Compassionate Care in San Francisco, and development and administration coordinator for T.H.E. Health and Wellness Centers in Los Angeles.

Toni is also an author, noted for her 2011 memoir I Rise: The Transformation of Toni Newman, which was featured in Ebony and Advocate magazines, and nominated for the prestigious Lambda Literary award. Most recently the memoir has been produced into a short film titled Heart of a Woman produced by Alton Demore and Keith Holland; the film has been and continues to be screened in film festivals across the globe.

Toni is from Jacksonville, North Carolina and received a B.A. in Sociology from Wake Forest University and has begun pursuing a law degree.

If you are a domestic violence survivor who has managed to escape a dangerous and threatening situation, you doubtless understand the importance of finding safe haven and keeping your whereabouts as private as possible. Even a restraining order may not be enough to prevent an abusive former partner from seeking revenge. It is for that reason that you must be careful to cover your tracks. Once you’ve found another residence, never self-identify using a physical street address; always use a post office box. Do likewise with your phone number, which should remain unpublished. Close any bank accounts or credit cards your abuser could use to track your whereabouts. And make sure your family and friends understand the nature of your situation and that they protect your privacy as well.

Consider taking part in a survivor of domestic abuse confidentiality program. This protective measure, which is offered in many states, provides you with a substitute address. Any mail sent to that address is forwarded to your actual address. Use a safe and secure method of communicating with your landlord if you’ll be renting. Give your rental company a cell phone number that your abuser doesn’t have access to, or communicate only via email using a computer at your local library. Find a room in your new residence where you can find safety should your abuser manage to break in.

Try to find a room that offers some means of escape if you’re caught in a desperate situation. Make sure that your car always has gas, and that it’s parked with the front end pointing toward the street. It goes without saying that your cell phone should always be kept charged and in your possession at all times. Safety and surveillance Even covering your tracks effectively may not be enough to keep your assailant from finding you. A very determined and angry individual can prove very determined and resourceful in finding someone he’s targeting. For that reason, you need to take extra precautions at your new residence. Install extra locks on your front and back doors, which you can install yourself with relative ease. And install security cameras or external lights connected to a motion sensor.

There are other kinds of security cameras that won’t prove too costly, such as motion detector alarms activated by motion sensors that can be mounted on the outside of your home. In many cases, you can survey the exterior of your home via a security camera. Advance warning Domestic violence survivor advocacy groups have teamed up with technology companies to provide abuse victims with automated warning systems when an abuser who’s been released from jail or prison, or placed in a halfway house. One such program is called VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday), a computer-automated early warning system. VINE receives regular updates from jail and prison booking systems.

Crime victims who have cause to fear the release of an abuser can register to receive a phone call, text, email, mail or receive notification via TTY device, as soon as their abuser is back on the streets. An automated message advises them to take shelter as soon as possible and seek the assistance of advocacy resources. Victims can register for notification on a secure website, or by phone. To register, all you need is the offender’s name or jail incarceration number.

The system was established in 1994 in response to the stalking murder of an abuse victim by a former boyfriend and abuser who had been released on bail with no notification to the young woman or her family.

Abuse victims should always take seriously the threat of revenge violence by an abuser. There are many affordable means of protecting yourself in your new residence if you are unable to afford a home security system. And take advantage of any victim notification system that might be available in your state. Courtesy of

Toni Newman will be one of the authors at the 2017 Literary Soul Symposium in Houston Texas on Sept. 22 - 24

Author Toni Newman talks about what it felt like at the start of her transition on the Jarrod King show The Read. Full interview here:

Transgender Author and Activist Toni Newman will be at the Literary Soul Symposium in Dallas Texas. She will be discussing her Memoir I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman and Heart of a Woman short film based off the memoir.
DALLAS - Sept. 12, 2016 - PRLog -- Transgender Author of I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman and Activist Toni Newman will be at the Literary Soul Symposium on September 16-18. The Literary Soul Symposium will be held on Saturday, September 17, 9 am to 5 pm at the Dallas Cultural Center featuring keynote speaker Kevin Taylor. Other authors attending the symposium are Victor Yates, Dr. Cordell Adams, A.D. Burks, Charles Harvey, Brandon Jackson, E"Yama Matturi, B Jaw McDonald, Jai Sneed and Craig Stewart.

I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman has been featured in Advocate and Ebony Magazines and honored by Wake Forest University. The Memoir focuses on her 25 year journey to become her authentic self and losing everything so she could find her true identity. Her struggle to overcome defeat, poverty, obstacles and discrimination are featured in the memoir. The book was just turned into short film called Heart of a Woman featuring transgender actresses Angelica Ross and Isis King. The other leads in the short film are Rachel Sterling, Justin Berti, Jason Stuart and E.P. McKnight.

Toni is currently the Development Manager for Maitri AIDS Hospice, state residential care facility in San Francisco, caring for the poor/homeless with advanced AIDS. Toni graduated with a BA degree from Wake Forest University, MBA and is now working towards Juris of Doctorate  (J.D.). She is also on the Development Committee for the Transgender Law Center.

To find out more about the 3rd annual Literary Soul Symposium in Dallas Texas on September 16-18, please go to:


 recorded Dec. '15 @SFPublicLibrary 


Radar Productions Presents Transgender Author Toni Newman Reading Memoir "I Rise" at The San Francisco Public Library on Tuesday, December 8 at 6pm

Radar Productions Presents Transgender Author Toni Newman reading from her memoir "I Rise - The Transformation of Toni Newman" at the San Francisco Public Library (Latino/Hispanic Room - basement level) on Tuesday, December 8, at 6pm and Hosted by Juliana Delgado Lopera.


After another year, we look back and we look forward in the transgender community. I remember 20 years ago when I was all alone, broken and on the streets with my other trans sisters, I felt such a sisterhood and bond. We basically had nothing but each other. There was no judgment just acceptance to who I was and my authentic self. I had been shunned by all but my trans sisters. Now in 2015, the violence and murder rate with transwomen of color is rising each year. The statistics say the suicide rate is higher as well. The message I want to relay today to all my trans brothers and sisters is you are important to us and we need you to survive.

I worked very hard to climb my way up and I understand it is difficult. But my word of encouragement today is that you can be more, be better, be happy and be your authentic self. It was not easy to walk my path of being my authentic self but there is so much joy in being real with yourself. No more lies, no more deception just truth and honesty. I understand you may have no family support, no friend support or any support for that matter. But you must continue to wake up each morning and strive to be better and be your authentic self.

The LGBT family must recognize that ...

Rising Voices, Wake Forest's first ‪#‎LGBTQ‬ conference, showcases talents of graduates, connects students with alumni — and results in healing. Read what alumn...i voices, including Toni Newman ('85), Courtney Cuff ('94), Kelly Smith ('86), David Styers ('92), William B. Hawk ('93) and Tré Easton ('13) had to say at

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Oct. 13, 2015 - PRLog -- Transgender Author Toni Newman of memoir I Rise  will be speaking at the Wake Forest University LGBTQIA conference on Friday, October 23, 4 pm at Farrell Hall.

I Rise: African American Transgender Lives
Toni Newman (’85), Dr. Angela Mazaris (Director of the LGBTQ Center)
(Farrell A48)
Author Toni Newman ( I Rise —The Transformation)

will lead this session on the transgender community, focusing particularly on African-American transgender women within the...

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