Here’s what people are saying about Emily:
“Emily is a force to be reckoned with and sparks others to be too. Her talk at Duke inspired, provoked and challenged the audience to see street harassment and their power to change it as essential to the feminist movement. She is clear, real and unwavering. Watching her is like seeing change happen before your eyes.”
– Ada Gregory, Director of Duke University Women’s Center
“Conference participants gave Emily high praise– brilliant, genuine, positive, and, most of all, inspiring!”
– Elizabeth Isabelle, New York Coalition Against Sexual Assault
“Emily May is an intelligent, dedicated activist whose passion for gender equality and a violence-free daily experience is clearly evident in both her words and actions. Her talk resonated with our students, teaching them what it truly means to be a friend, a leader, and an agent of change in their local community. Ms. May is truly both a trailblazer in her field and in building a movement.”
– Sarah Carter, Western Carolina
Click here to download a Hollaback! poster for your event.
Emily May, Co-Founder and Executive Director
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 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. Emily received her Bachelor’s degree from New York University in “Politics, Cultures, and Identities,” and a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics in “Social Policy and Planning.”
Emily has won many awards for her work: 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 a Time Magazine “GameChanger,” 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.”
Emily has spoken nationwide at colleges including: Duke, New York University, Barnard, University of California at Berkeley, City College of San Francisco, Western Carolina University, Rutgers University, University of Arizona, Hunter College, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), and Manhattan College.
Emily is also regularly invited to speak at conferences including: UN Safe Cities Conference in Egypt, Women Rock It, Anita Hill Conference, National Sexual Assault Conference, Roots of Change (sexual violence prevention conference), CLPP Reproductive Justice Conference, Grace Hopper Women in Tech conference, Virginia Sexual Assault Conference, Washington State Sexual Assault Conference, Washington State Domestic Violence Conference, Standford Women’s Leadership Conference, SEX::TECH, and National Women’s Studies Conference.
Emily has been featured by over 500 media outlets. Highlights include:
ABC, “New York Anti-Street Harassment Group Asks Women to Hollaback!” June 29, 2011. Available here.
CNN, Mobile tech fights sexual harassment. June 27, 2011. Available here.
BBC, Why do Men Shout at Women on the Street March 25, 2011. Available here.
Guardian Press, Sister Act: Women Take on Street Harassers. March 6, 2011. Available here.
New York Times, Keeping Women Safe on the Road. February 28, 2011. Available here.
Fast Company, Change Generation: Emily May, executive director, Hollaback! December 16, 2010. Available here.
Emily is even featured in two books! “I Still Believe Anita Hill,”edited by Amy Richards and Cynthia Greenberg and “Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World,” by David Burnstein. Her organization, Hollaback, was also featured in Jessica Valenti’s “Full Frontal Feminism” and Legal Momentum’s “Women: A Celebration of Strength.”