Start a Hollaback in your community!

Want to bring Hollaback home? That’s great news!

Below are some frequently asked questions we receive about site leader training. Take some time to look them over and decide if site leader training is right for you and your team!

 

What is your global site leader program?

Through our site leader program, local leaders can apply to launch a Hollaback! site in their community.  As of 2015, we have trained over 500 local leaders and are currently operating in over 80 cities, 20 countries, and 10 languages.

 Through this program, leaders from around the world work with Hollaback to set up their own sites on Hollaback’s website, where they curate and post stories from their communities so that we can continue to find solidarity in people’s experience with street harassment around the world. When site leaders are not posting stories, they are out in their communities, raising awareness about street harassment and putting a face to the movement. They engage others in their work, talking to the media, and holding events because we believe that the more people working to end street harassment and empowering others to join them, the quicker we’ll see an end to it once and for all!

 

Why is it important to have so many leaders in the movement?

Movements require a lot of voices moving in the same direction, but oftentimes not saying the same thing.  We believe there is value in these divergent perspectives.

Hollaback!’s decentralized leadership structure gives people who aren’t paid to do the work the same amount of room to lead as the people who are. Contrastingly, traditional nonprofit best practices would have you believe that a tight and coordinated messaging strategy is the only way to go.  From a business perspective they might be right: a clear coordinated voice can be a powerful thing to the media especially.  But the one-message strategy leaves too many silenced.  The result is multiple nonprofits popping up around the same issue with slightly different messaging strategies, each one trying to ensure that their unique voices are heard. The new nonprofits make the same mistakes as the old nonprofits–allowing room for only one, coordinated message.  This creates redundancy, and the lack of true voices and representation still isn’t solved.

 

What does the training entail – and how do I sign up?

Running a Hollaback! site is much, much more than just running a website — it’s taking ownership of a movement.  During the startup and launch phase, you should expect to commit 5 hours a week, either on your own or, better, shared with a team of two or more holla-activists!  Here are some specifics on what will be expected of you:

  •    A member of your team will be required to attend each of our five webinars during the launch phase, which will cover everything you need to know to run a successful site.  After the launch phase, you will be expected to regularly attend advanced training webinars.  Webinars usually take place on weekends at 1pm EST to accommodate most time zones, and are recorded as well.
  •    You will be added to our HOLLAworld listserve and private facebook group, where you can collaborate, learn about street harassment in other cultures, and create campaigns with other Hollaback site leaders internationally.
  •    You will be responsible for localizing the movement to end street harassment to your community.  This means you will find other community groups that you can collaborate with, translate materials into your local language, hold events in your community to engage people off-line, and meet with local legislators (if you don’t know how to do these things, don’t worry.  We’ll teach you).
  •    You will set goals annually for your site, and check in with our team periodically on your progress towards your goals.

If this sounds like fun and you share our values, join us by filling out this form with some information about yourself, your interest in Hollaback!, where you want to run a Hollaback!, and why you think your area needs a Hollaback!. From there, we’ll be in touch with next steps. Thanks for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you soon!  The revolution has been waiting for you.

 

Why are Hollaback!s being launched in classes? I mean, how hard can it be to launch a blog?

Hollaback! isn’t just a blog, it’s a movement!

When we started Hollaback! in New York City in 2005, people just like you wanted to bring Hollaback! to their communities. We thought that was awesome because although the internet is a great place to organize, change happens on the ground with real people rooted in real communities. We developed a start up packet with everything we knew about running a site in it, and sent it anyone interested.  Between 2005-2009, 20 sites launched but only three were successful.

The problem was there was no connection between the site leaders. No community.  No sharing ideas. No training. Nothing. The work was lonely, and many people gave up despite their best intentions.

When Hollaback! got its first executive director in 2010, the team took a long hard look at the process. They came to the conclusion that Hollaback! is a hyper-local, hyper-personal response to a global issue.  Our Hollaback! site leaders don’t just run blogs, they led the movement to end street harassment in their communities.  And to do that – they need training and community.

In 2015 we hired a consultant to review our current site leader program and ensure it is situated for long-term success. If you have feedback on how this program could be run better — please let us know!

 

Do you recruit site leaders?

No.  To date, all of these site leaders approached us (none were recruited) and we were pleased to find that people who traditionally have the least access to traditional power were the most eager to bring Hollaback! home.  Our site leaders are:

  •       75% under the age of 30;
  •       50% under the age of 25;
  •       41% LGBTQ; and,
  •       33% people of color.

The demand for site leader growth and training has long outweighed our capacity to provide this training – and we typically have a waitlist of between 25-75 local leaders waiting to be trained.

 

Is it free to launch a site?

Yes We committed to keeping it free to launch a Hollaback for you, but it costs us about $2,500 every time we launch one.

Why so much? Our team has to customize your site, our graphic designer has to make your local logos, our media expert has to train you, and our team has to coordinate the whole operation, and provide hands-on support to you. It’s a big operation, and it could easily cost a lot more money.  By streamlining the operation through webinars, classes, and deadlines, we save money on the process so we can launch more sites in the long-run.  To keep it free for individual activists, we rely on the support of individuals and foundations, who make tax-deductible donations to us.  Over 85% of our donors donate $10 or less, so this truly is a grassroots led and supported movement. Be a part of the movement by donating now.

Most of our sites are run by individuals, however, several of our sites are run as projects of larger nonprofits or other incorporated entities.  For sites run by nonprofits and other incorporated entitles whose annual Hollaback! project budget exceeds US $1,000  – we ask that they donate 10% of their budget back to the organization as a way to pay it forward. This funding is allocated directly back to our site leader program so that we can continue to launch sites and provide ongoing training and infrastructure.  This arrangement was developed after reviewing the organizational structure of groups like Planned Parenthood, NOW, and the YWCA, and it is outlined in our brand license agreement that all local leaders must sign prior to launch. As of 2015, we only have three sites who annually donate to Hollaback!.

 

Are site leaders paid?

No, all of the site leaders are volunteers.  To increase accessibility of our site leader program, we do several things, including: a) ensuring that our site leader training and our annual conference HOLLA::Revolution is free for site leaders, b) holding fundraisers to secure travel funding to attend our annual conference, c) hosting the “Innovation Challenge,” where winners receive $1,000 to launch the project in their community and $1,500 in travel funding to go to our annual conference and present on their project, and d) training on how to apply for grants, make money doing speaking engagements or writing op-eds, and how to hold fundraisers in their local community.

We envision a future where the street harassment movement has enough funding to sustain the work of local leaders, but that isn’t the climate that we’re currently operating within. A lack of funding for social change work – especially work done by women — is an issue that extends beyond Hollaback!, but we feel the impacts of it deeply. For example, although we are in over 20 countries globally, Hollaback! has only ever received project funding for its work in the United States. Most of Hollaback!’s work with site leaders (including training, technical assistance, technology maintenance, resource development, etc) is either unfunded or funded through general operating support and individual donors. If you would like to donate to site leader’s efforts in your community, check out their individual paypal pages to help out — or reach out to our team and we can connect you with them directly.

 

Once we launch, how much autonomy do I have? Do I have to get approval for stuff?

The whole point of Hollaback!’s model is that you know what your community needs most.  We all bring different skills and perspectives to the table, and that’s what makes this a movement. We are a strongly connected community with a decentralized structure. You don’t need to check in with us before you do media, present workshops, or write blog posts – but we do expect you to share your awesome ideas and adventures with the community so that they can be inspired by your great work.

All this said – site leader must agree and sign onto our values and our anti-discrimination policy, and our comments policy – otherwise, starting a Hollaback! site isn’t for you.

 

Being based in the US, how do you ensure your programming is culturally competent?

Hollaback! operates under a decentralized leadership structure — which means that we believe individuals in local contexts are best suited to provide local solutions.

At the Hollaback! headquarters, we create optional resources for our site leader community, including apps, research, and guides.  Where possible, we seek site leader feedback and input into the development of these resources. For example, when we created #HarassmentIs: An exploration of identity and street harassment, we held a webinar to go over some questions and encourage folks to add to the material or create a new guide with their own cultural context in mind. When we did a global research survey (to be released in Spring 2015) or when we developed the new app and website (to be released Summer 2015) we sought site leader feedback before and after the development of the survey instrument. We believe this insight is key to improving our resources – as well as our work.

Our staff of three speaks three languages and comes from four countries. As we grow our team, we will continue to prioritize a diversity of experiences and identities. Want to contribute? We’re also looking for groups worldwide to partner and collaborate with – and we want to hear your ideas! Feel free to reach out to us ([email protected]) with contacts, upcoming projects, or ideas at any time!

 

I feel like there is so much to learn about how to run a Hollaback! site. How can I learn it all during the launch process?

There is! And you can’t. That’s why we provide ongoing optional monthly webinars from experts on things like engaging bystanders, rape culture, event planning, street art, community organizing, and other topics suggested by our community. While the initial training webinars are mandatory, these webinars are optional for site leaders.

 

Why are training webinars mandatory? And what’s up with these deadlines? This isn’t corporate America, this is the revolution!

You’re right – this isn’t corporate America – but behind the movement is a small, lean non-profit working on a shoestring budget to support the work of site leaders around the globe.  All movements must make decisions so that we move forward together. But the important part is that we move forward. Therefore, we have to set timelines and deadlines so we can keep things moving while allowing for enough time for site leaders to give input.

 

What happens when site leaders leave? Are stories erased?

When site leaders leave the network, we work with them to find replacement leaders in their community. If that fails, we work with the leaders to develop a plan for shutting the site down – including communicating with their constituency and transitioning leadership.

If a site leader leaves and is unable to find a replacement, we close their local website but it is important to note: stories are never lost or erased. Stories are available at ihollaback.org on our global map, and once a replacement local leader is found – will again be available on the local site.

 

How do you promote the work of your site leaders?

We are committed to elevating the voices of local leaders, particularly the voices of people of color and LGBTQ individuals who are often marginalized in these conversations. To that end, we release a public blog post every week called “A Week in our Shoes” highlighting the work of our site leaders globally. We also issue a monthly email to our list of 10,000 profiling site leader work and accomplishments (Sign up for the monthly email at: ihollaback.org), and then we profile the work of 3-5 sites annually in our State of the Streets report.  Beyond that, local media opportunities are shared with the site leaders serving those communities, as are local speaking requests wherever possible. We also have a people of color leadership pipeline that meets regularly, and we are hoping to provide an LGBTQ leadership pipeline group in the future, pending additional support. Though we have limited capacity, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to amplify the work of our leaders all over the world. We count on people like you to help us share the incredible work of our global leaders — and encourage you to follow us on facebook and twitter, and to sign up for our newsletter, for the latest updates.

 

I have more questions! Email holla AT ihollaback.org.

 

I’m ready to start a Hollaback! Please fill out this form with some information about yourself, your interest in Hollaback, where you want to run a Hollaback, and why you think your area needs a Hollaback.  From there, we’ll be in touch with next steps. Thanks for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

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