Hollaback! is a global movement to end harassment powered by a network of grassroots activists. We work together to understand harassment, ignite public conversations, and develop innovative strategies to ensure equal access to public spaces. We leverage new technologies to bring voice to an issue that historically has been silenced, and to build leadership within this movement to break the silence.
Our mission is to build safe, inclusive public spaces by transforming the culture that perpetuates discrimination and violence.
We carry out this mission by building the power of people to create measurable and long-lasting impacts in the movement for gender justice.
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, women and LGBTQ+ individuals will never face violence and discrimination as they walk down the street, go to school, sit in the park, attend a public protest, or participate online or in media.
We all have the right to be who we are, whatever that means that day, that hour, that minute.
Programs and Ongoing Projects
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 “carpetmunchers” 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. HeartMob was co-founded by Hollaback! leaders Jae Cameron, Jill Dimond, Emily May, Debjani Roy, and Courtney Young.
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.
Global Site Leader Program
Hollaback! has trained over 550 young leaders to become site leaders in their communities. Participants receive nine 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.
Trainings and Workshops
We have spoken and presented in schools, colleges, and organizations across the country as well as internationally – from keynoting SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) events at major universities to conducting workshops in middle and high school and college classrooms, to keynoting international business conferences, to training law enforcement officers in major cities.
Some of the topics we cover include:
- Leveraging Technology to End Street Harassment
- Building a Movement Around Ending Street Harassment Through Story Sharing
- How to Address Online Harassment and Cyberbullying
- Bystander Intervention Techniques
- How to Build a Decentralized Movement That Matters
Learn how you can bring us to your event here.
Who We Are
Emily May, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Emily is an international leader in the gender justice movement. In 2005, at the age of 24, she co-founded Hollaback! in New York City, and in 2010 she became its first full-time executive director. Under her leadership, the project has scaled to over 50 cities in 25 countries. Emily brings a fresh perspective to social action in the digital age: she argues that the internet gives us new opportunities to tackle injustice by transforming discrimination from a lonely experience into a piece of a larger, public movement. Emily believes that through the power of storytelling, decentralized leadership, and deep empathy we can disrupt cycles of hate and create 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 has a Master’s Degree in Social Policy from the London School of Economics, is an Ashoka Fellow, a Prime Movers Fellow, and has won over ten awards for her work including the TEDCity 2.0 Prize. She recently co-founded HeartMob, Hollaback!’s platform designed to support people being harassed online.
Debjani Roy, Deputy Director
Debjani Roy has advocated for gender equality in the US and UK for fifteen years. Prior to Hollaback! she led key initiatives at Manavi, promoting the rights of South Asian women survivors of violence in the United States. She has expertise in program management, direct service provision, development, training and technical assistance, communications, research, and policy advocacy on immigrant rights and gender-based violence issues, including domestic violence, sexual assault, forced marriage, “honor”-based violence, sexual trafficking/forced prostitution, and widows’ rights. Debjani’s work and commentary has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Fox News, Huffington Post, and others. Her academic publications include “South Asian Battered Women’s Use of Force against Intimate Male Partners” and An Introduction to Forced Marriage in the South Asian Community in the United States. Debjani is a graduate of the Stern School of Business at NYU and has a master’s degree in Cultural Studies with a focus on Gender Theory from the University of London, Goldsmiths.
Tamar Davis, Program & Administrative Assistant
Tamar Davis is a recent graduate of Wellesley College, where she majored in sociology with a minor in Africana studies. During her time there Tamar served as president of an on-campus Black student organization and was named a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellow. Her research interests have included womanist theory and Black ethnic identity construction with a particular focus on the relationships that are shared amongst Black women and the role this plays in one’s construction of the self. Her written work has been featured on Blavity, HerCampus, and various Wellesley-based literary publications.
Jae Cameron, Program & Development Officer
Jae Cameron holds a Masters in Women’s and Gender Studies from 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 Tech Developer
Jill is a worker-owner of Sassafras Tech Collective—a tech research, design, and development shop based in Ann Arbor, Michigan specializing in custom web and mobile applications for social change, academics, artists, and others. She completed a PhD in 2012 from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Human Centered Computing. Her research expertise is at the intersection of social computing, social justice, and the learning sciences. She has published many academic papers in these areas and has received numerous awards including a NSF Graduate Fellowship and Google Anita Borg Scholarship. Jill has a bachelor’s in Computer Science from the University of Michigan and has worked for Google and Blink UX. In her spare time, Jill enjoys the play between low and high tech and can be found pickling garlic scapes, making tinctures for a local free apothecary, and reconnecting with her roots in Detroit.
Leah Entenmann, Communications & Program Coordinator
Leah Entenmann grew up amid the cornfields of rural Minnesota. Since first identifying as an anti-war feminist at age eight, they have sought to learn about and change systems of oppression and violence. As an adult, Leah has advocated with tenants in public housing; LGBTQ+ (especially trans* and gender-nonconforming) people in crisis; immigrant, refugee, and low-income people dealing with the criminal legal system; and victims/survivors of sexual violence. In 2013 they won the Minnesota Governor’s Award for Community Leadership. Their most recent work has focused on improving access to victim/survivor services for people with disabilities and online movement building for LGBTI human rights. Their Master of Public Policy thesis, “‘Aggravated Homosexuality’: US Influence in Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill,” examines the ethics and politics of transnational human rights advocacy on sexual orientation and gender identity issues.
Board of Directors
Chair: Allison Sesso, Executive Director of the Human Services Council (full bio)
Vice-Chair: Rita Pasarell, employment lawyer
Treasurer: Esther Pang, Business Manager at major finance firm
Secretary: Courtney Young, Popular culture and politics writer; founder of Think Young Media Group (full bio)
Jon Atkins, Former Managing Director at KCG Holdings
Jenny Dills, Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Expert
Brad Perry, Strategist at Create Digital Agency (full bio)
Bhavna Sethi, CTO of Mela Artisans and Managing Director at Cinapse LLC (full bio)
W. Kamau Bell, comedian (full bio)
Samuel Carter, Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation and Hollaback! co-founder (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)
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 [email protected].
Get in Touch
For general information: [email protected]
For press inquiries: [email protected]
For HeartMob: [email protected]
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