Who we are:
At Hollaback!, we believe that we all deserve to be who we are, wherever we are. We believe a world without harassment is possible. We teach people to take action, and to reach across their own identities to ally with others and establish a united front against harassment each time we witness it. We believe we all have a role to play in disrupting harassment and building a culture where it is no longer seen as “just the price you have to pay” for being a woman, LGBTQ+, a person of color, or any other marginalized identity.
Our mission is to end harassment in all its forms by transforming the culture that perpetuates hate and harassment.
We carry out this mission by building the power of everyday people to create safe and welcoming environments for all.
We envision a world where all people have the freedom to move through public space, participate in civic life, and reach their full potential.
In this world, people will never face hate or harassment as they walk down the street, go to school or work, sit in the park, attend a public protest, vote, or participate online or in media.
We all have the right to be who we are, wherever we are.
WHAT WE DO
Hollaback! operates as a perpetual affront to harassment — in all its forms. We started in 2005 working to end gender-based harassment in public space, also known as street harassment. In 2015, we expanded our mission to work on harassment across all spaces — including online, the workplace, transportation, protests, the polling booth, and all identities — including women, LGBTQ+ folks, Black folks, Indigenous folks, people of color, religious minorities, people with disabilities, immigrants, and all others who are treated as “less than” just for being who they are. We seek to uproot hate and harassment whether is perpetuated by individuals, institutions, and the messy areas in between in issues like voter suppression, police brutality, and ICE raids.
Our goal is to change the culture that makes harassment OK. We do that work by moving people into action:
- We collect stories of harassment at ihollaback.org and on HeartMob, as well as through our free app, from all around the world. Research shows that when people tell their story on our site it helps them move from understanding harassment as a personal problem requiring personal solutions (take a different route, get a cab, etc) to a societial problem requiring societial solutions (activism, policy change). Share your story supports healing and increases your liklihood of taking action.
- We train people to respond to, intervene in, and heal from harassment. We recongize that the systems and structures that create and reinforce harassment across our society are fundamentally made of people. We want aim to equip everyday people with the tools to undo harassment in their everyday lives and to create impact in the organizations, insititutions, and businesses around them. We teach people how to fight for their own communities experience of harassment, but also how to reach across communities and fight alongside others who may experience harassment differently.
- We grow and develop leaders inside the larger movement to end harassment through our global site leader program and partnerships with organizations and businesses. Harassment will end because of the global power of movement designed to defeat it, not because of the actions of any singular organizations or individuals. We seek to build the capacity of the movement as a whole and elevate the voices of those most marginalized inside of it.
Join us as we explore different ways of being together that are rooted in taking care of each other in an effort to minimize hate, harm, violence, and create a world free of harassment.
HOW WE UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM
We believe the problem of harassment requires a deep understanding of how people experience the world we live in differently based on identity. Those most marginalized in our society not only experience more harassment, the harassment is also more severe and thus has deeper pychological, social, and financial impacts. The root cause of harassment is not “a few bad apples,” but rather a larger, global culture of racism, sexism, and homophobia, etc, that is unfortunately an inescapable part of the air we breathe.
To solve harassment, we must tackle harassment at its root and center the voices of those most impacted by harassment in the conversation. We must also move beyond the overly simplistic framework of “victim” and “perpetrator.” Although some people may experience harassment more than others based on their identity(ies), most of us have the experience of being treated as “less than” just for being who you are at some point during our lives. Most of us too, have the experience of being disrespectful or even hateful towards others at some point during their lives. To break the cycle of violence, we must commit to seeing the humanity in everyone (including ourselves). We must move beyond “us” v. “them” frameworks and do the work to heal from our own history of harassment while we simultaneously hold accountability for our own mistakes and work to undo how bias shows up in ourselves and the systems around us.
We believe that although our struggles and our histories may be our own, our lives and our freedom are intertwined. Harassment touches all of us, but we cannot just solve for our own experience of harassment. If we are truly to be free, we must fight for the freedom and dignity of others, too.
Global Site Leader Program
Hollaback! has trained over 550 young leaders to become site leaders in their communities. Participants receive six months of free trainings and monthly webinars on strategic planning, community outreach, technology, intersectionality, traditional and social media, volunteerism, and public speaking. Each team that goes through the gains the skills to run a site and engage in on-the-ground action. Once they launch their site, they become a part of the Hollaback! Site Leader Network for ongoing training and support.
The Site Leader Network has opportunities for ongoing training and support. We invite groups to join committees and provide input on the movement’s direction; committees include Diversity and Inclusion, Compassionate Communications, Ongoing Training, Technology, and Organizing. We ask mentor sites to become regional leaders to represent their region, coordinate local action and regional campaigns, check in with local sites, and set prioritizes for the headquarters.
Free and Customized Training
We provide free and customized trainings across a number of topics including:
- Bystander Intervention;
- How to Respond to Harassment;
- Conflict De-Escalation;
- Resilience; and,
For example, we’re training 20,000+ people across the US and Canada in bystander intervention to address street harassment in partnership with L’Oréal Paris — and we’re working with Caruso foundation to provide LGBTQ+ youth in New York City free bystander intervention training. To learn more about our fee-for-service training email [email protected] To see if you’re eligible for free grant-funded training, email us at [email protected]
HeartMob is a platform to help end online harassment. We believe that the freedom of speech online doesn’t mean anything if people are not free from abuse and harassment. Since Hollaback!’s founding in 2005, Hollaback!’s leaders have faced online harassment. At first the harassment took the form of emails calling us “carpet munchers” and “dirty lesbians,” but eventually we began receiving rape and death threats. In 2013, fed up with being harassed, and angered by the harassment we saw happening across the internet, we decided to do something.
The premise for HeartMob is simple: we want to fight fire with water. Bystander intervention is a best practice for addressing all forms of violence, but so often when harassment happens there’s no one around to help – or if they are around they aren’t sure what to do. The internet solves some of these problems: when online harassment happens, people are almost always around, and if they aren’t around, they can quickly be summoned to show up. Through HeartMob, people can ask for exactly the kind of support they need, when they need it; and bystanders have the tools and resources they need to help in impactful ways. Our goal is to reduce trauma for people being harassed online by giving them the immediate support they need – and in doing that work, create an army of good so powerful that it can disrupt, and ultimately transform, the hearts and minds of those perpetuating online harassment.