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April 11, 2016

Jessica Drake Given Catalyst Award for 'Inspiring Conversations'

CHICAGO—Adult performer and Wicked Pictures contract star Jessica Drake was awarded the Catalyst Award at this year’s CatalystCon Midwest 2016 for the impactful work she has done as a sex educator. The bi-annual conference, now in its fifth year, gives the award each year to the speaker who “Inspires Exceptional Conversations in Sexuality.” Since CatalystCon’s inception, Drake has been a keynote speaker and a panelist on multiple occasions. "Each conference I give this award to someone who has been a catalyst for change, and Jessica Drake is that person,” said Dee Dennis, co-founder of CatalystCon. “Her ongoing dedication to changing the conversations we have about sex work, sex education, and sexuality overall has made her a catalyst in our field.” “CatalystCon in Chicago was quite a success!” said Drake. “Receiving the Catalyst Award is not only a huge accomplishment for me, it is also an honor I share with so many other deserving, inspiring people in our corner of the world. As Dee gave her speech right before she announced the winner, I was looking around the room and imagining who it could be… when I heard my name, I was thrilled … floored … and so grateful.” At CatalystCon Midwest, drake participated in a discussion on “Slut-Shaming: Taking on Intolerance About Our Open, Unashamed Sexualities.” The panel included sexologist Carol Queen, writer and podcaster Katie Mack, and burlesque artist Zyra Lee Vanity. The discussion on slut shaming brought to light the harmful, judgmental finger-pointing used against women. “The Slut Shaming panel was once again a huge success, and with a packed room, we spoke not only on our personal experiences both in and out of the sex-positive community, but also how we can further help educate others and affect change for the future,” explained Drake. “I also hosted the sex worker meet up, and started to facilitate some big changes in this really important space at the conference. Everyone in attendance had some incredible input, and I'm looking forward to what CatalystCon West will bring,” she added. The event, which was open to all sex workers past and present, helped continue to foster a support network and community among those in the industry. “Sometimes change is quick; other times we have to push and work for it, and it seems like such a process until one day you realize you made a difference … but always know- you DO make a difference!” said Drake. “Thank you so very much to CatalystCon, to Dee, Wicked Pictures, and everyone who supports my efforts and ambition to make a difference.”

 
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