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Pop the bubbly, it’s Friday afternoon and we’ve got killer news. The NYC Council’s Committee on Women’s Issues is holding a hearing on “Street Harassment of Women and Girls.” Why?
Because you holla’ed back, and they listened.
One incredible woman, named Elizabeth Mendez Barry, holla’ed in El Diario (read it in English, here). Her op-ed, called “Street Harassment, the uncomfortable walk home,” inspired the city council, along with complaints from school administrators, to take action. Her bold act reminds us of the importance of using our voices to speak out, and of the power of the op-ed. To learn how to write your own op-ed, visit The Op-Ed Project. In the words of Holly Kearl from Stop Street Harassment, “it changed my life.”
The hearing will take place on Thursday, October 28th, 2010 at 1pm in the 14th floor committee room at 250 Broadway. We want to pack the room. If you are willing to tell your story to the city council, please reach out to us. We’re happy to help you develop your testimony if you’ve never done it before. If you just want to show up in solidarity on your lunch hour, that would be rad too.
This is an incredible opportunity to push your hollabacks off the computer screen and in front of legislators. Women represent 50% of the voting block, and legislators already know that making powerful waves on this will be good for their political careers. But what they don’t know is the extent to which this is happening, and how incredibly important this issue is. That’s our job. We’ve got to ban together and seize this opportunity.
If you’re interested in being a part of this, reach out to Emily May at [email protected] If you can’t be there — tell us what changes you’d like to see in this city, below.
“Great photography tells stories.”
All of your photos tell a story. A story that is rarely told, but that captures the experience of 90-100% of women internationally. The grainy-ness, the blurriness, it tells a story. Much better than a thousand dollar camera ever could. So enter your hollabacks for a chance to win $25K. You’d transform the field of photography, bring awareness to street harassment, plus you’d be rich. Sweet.
The first Annual Westside Domestic Violence Walk will take place on Thursday, October 28th from 10:30am to 1pm, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the organizers, “This walk is to educate and raise awareness in the community about the issue of domestic violence and to join other advocates, treatment providers, survivors and community members in solidarity against domestic violence and its devastating impact on individuals, society and our healthcare system. We will gather in front of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street at 10:30 am for a rally before the one mile walk down to 100th Street on Amsterdam Avenue, turning to Broadway and back up to the Cathedral where there will be speakers and refreshments.”
As we well know, all forms of sexual violence work together to create a world that is not-so-nice to women and LBGTQ folks. At the national sexual assault conference this year, I had the opportunity to meet with a woman who was at the head of the domestic violence movement when it started. She said it was started by a bunch of survivors, in a living room, with little more than some telephones and a lot of passion. This woman went for six years without being paid. Only forty years later, there is a notable infrastructure for survivors of domestic violence around the country.
I told her I thought the movement to end street harassment was blessed. The support was overwhelming, and although we didn’t have any money, we had a lot of passion in living rooms across the world. She said that’s all it takes. She said we were doing the right thing by coming forward and telling our stories; that’s where it all starts. I smiled, humbled. We wouldn’t be doing this work if women like her didn’t come before us. Hats off to her, and hats off to the Domestic Violence walk for continuing to build a world where everyone can be safe and free.
We are proud to announce the newest of the Hollaback sites: Hollaback San Jose!
They write on their blog, “After years of being yelled at, whistled at, of having our space invaded, of being made to feel that we walk the streets at our own peril, we are ready to assert our right to feel safe, sexy and confident in public. It happens to all of us, and we’ve learned to drown it out. We’re told to ignore it, to keep walking– but that is exactly why it keeps happening.”
We’ll keep you posted on the incredible work that San Jose is up to. In the meantime, if you live in the San Jose area, HOLLABACK! You can email it to: [email protected]
J’aime Olm is amazing. She just won the techdisrupt competition with her idea on creating a “black box” for women’s safety. She also did something totally unheard of. She used her six minutes on stage to shout-out another start-up. You guessed it, Hollaback. She comes on stage at about minute four.
She has won our hearts. We’ll keep you posted when her app comes out.
WAH-NAILS in London runs HollabackLDN, and posted this on their blog this morning. My favorite part? The “we are everyone, we are everywhere” banners on the sides. With new Hollabacks popping up left and right, this isn’t just wishful thinking.
As you know by now, HollabackNYC was developed in 2005 by a group of young adults. In 2010, I became executive director of Hollaback! and the project transformed from a series of local blogs into an international organization. Now, the Hollaback! is looking to hand the management of the NYC website to a group of ten 18-22 young women and LGBTQ individuals who are representative of New York City’s diversity in terms of race, socio-economic perspective, and educational background. The youth will receive six months of training, which will include everything from social media, to comment moderation, to event planning. At the end of the training, the youth will be integrated into Hollaback’s network and will be handed HollabackNYC to manage on their own.
We couldn’t be more excited about this transition. Please help us out by spreading the word about the HollabackNYC Program Director position (or applying yourself!).