Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
When feminist icon Gloria Steinem was asked “What women today inspire you and make you feel that the movement continues?” Her response was, “Emily May of Hollaback! who has empowered women in the street, literally.” Emily is an international leader in the anti-street-harassment movement. In 2005, at the age of 24, she co-founded Hollaback! (iHollaback.org) in New York City, and in 2010 she became the first full-time executive director. Hollaback!’s mission is to give women and LGBTQ folks an empowered response to street harassment, and ultimately, to end it.
Emily brings a fresh perspective to social action in the digital age. She argues that the internet has provided new opportunities to tackle discrimination, by transforming discrimination from a lonely experience into a piece of a larger, public movement. Her project Hollaback! gives women, girls, and LGBTQ individuals an empowered, real-time response to street harassment that will build public awareness on why street harassment matters, and how it hurts. Emily, who hold a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics in Social Policy, argues that a crowd-sourced movement is the key to changing policy and minds, and ultimately, creating a world where everyone has the right to feel safe and confident.
Prior to running Hollaback!, Emily worked in the anti-poverty world as a case manager, political action coordinator, director of development, and most recently, a one-woman research and development team. She has also worked on four political campaigns.
In 2014, Emily was named an Ashoka Fellow for her pioneering work in the field of social entrepreneurship. She has also won eleven awards for her work ending street harassment. In 2008, Emily won the Stonewall Women’s Award, in 2010 the Women’s Media Center selected her as one of thirty “Women Making History,” and in 2011 she was selected as one of “21 leaders for the 21st century” by Women’s E-news, won the “40 under 40″ award from the New Leadership Council, and was named an Ashoka “ChangemakHER.” In 2012 she was named one of twelve women to watch in 2012 by the Daily Muse, one of 20 women “leading the way” by the Huffington Post, a “Hero Among Us” in People Magazine, an AOL “Next Maker,” and one of Jezebel’s “25 kick-ass and amazing women we love,” and in 2013 she was named one of the Daily Muse’s “50 Fearless Minds Changing the World.” Emily serves on the board of YTH, an organization at the forefront of piloting innovative technologies to reach young adults with accurate, actionable health information.
Debjani Roy has been an advocate for women’s rights and equality in the US and UK for ten years. Before joining Hollaback! she was the Program and Development Manager at Manavi, an organization working to end violence against South Asian women in the United States. Her international experience includes working at The National Alliance of Women’s Organizations, Widows’ Rights International, Ashiana Network and Women and Girls Network in various capacities including program management, direct service provision, development, training and technical assistance, communications, research, and policy advocacy. She has expertise on issues including domestic violence, sexual assault, forced marriage, ‘honor’ based violence, sexual trafficking/forced prostitution, widows’ rights and immigrant rights. She has also edited books in the fields of Gender and Cultural Studies for the politically progressive publishing house, Pluto Press. Debjani’s interest and passion for women’s rights and equality began as an undergraduate at New York University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the Stern School of Business, with a minor in Gender Studies from the College of Arts and Science. She received her Master’s of Arts Degree in Cultural Studies with a focus on Gender Theory from the University of London, Goldsmiths. Her recent publications include South Asian Battered Women’s Use of Force against Intimate Male Partners in the Violence Against Women Sage Journal and An Introduction to Forced Marriage in the South Asian Community in the United States, published under Manavi and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
Jae Cameron, Program Associate
Jae Cameron, our Program Associate, has recently completed her Masters in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of British Columbia. She also holds a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies and English Literature from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Her research focuses have been on LGBTQIA life writing and performance art and on Critical Race perspectives on tourism. Jae’s recent publications include “The ‘Experience’ of the Border: Discourses of Authenticity and Violence within the Illegal Border Crossing Experience” in Surfacing and her set of poems, “Spilling”, in The Misadventures of Awkward Queers.
Jill Dimond PhD, Chief Technical Consultant
Chair: Allison Sesso, Executive Director of the Human Services Council (full bio)
Vice-Chair: Raphael Rosenblatt, Director of Evaluation at YearUp (full bio)
Treasurer: Esther Pang, Business Manager at major finance firm (full bio)
Secretary: Courtney Young, Popular culture and politics writer; founder of Think Young Media Group (full bio)
(from left to right: Esta Soler, Thao Nguyen, Sally Kohn, W. Kamau Bell, Jamia Wilson, Cameron Russell, Yetta Kurland, Ai-Jen Poo, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Sandra Fluke, and Erin Weed)
W. Kamau Bell, comedian (full bio);
Sandra Fluke, attorney and women’s rights activist (full bio);
Sally Kohn, CNN contributor and columnist for The Daily Beast (full bio);
Yetta Kurland, partner and civil rights attorney at “The Kurland Group,” educator, radio host, small business owner and community activist (full bio);
Thao Nguyen, Web Producer at Viacom Media Networks and inspiration for Hollaback! (full bio);
Ai-Jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-director of the Caring Across Generations campaign (full bio);
Cameron Russell, fashion model and founder and executive director of Space-Made (full bio);
Esta Soler, founder and president of Futures without Violence, expert on violence against women and children (full bio);
Erin Weed, founder of Girls Fight Back and Evoso (full bio); and
Jamia Wilson, executive director of YTH: Youth Tech Health (full bio).
If you are interested in applying to be a member of our board of directors, please send a letter of interest and resume to Executive Director Emily May (EMILY AT IHOLLABACK DOT ORG).