It’s our second nonprofit birthday this week! I say “nonprofit” birthday, because as most of you know, our work started in September 2005. But it wasn’t until May 1st, 2010, that I started running Hollaback! full time. I had been turned down by 8 foundations and 2 fellowships, but I knew in my heart the time was right. So I took my little savings account from seven years of working the nonprofit sector and decided to invest it in a dream. I jumped off the cliff — and I am proud today to say that with the help of hundreds (probably thousands) of people — we’ve built wings on the way down.
I know on the outside Hollaback! looks like an activist fairytale. And in so many ways it is. But the work is in no way easy. We’re up against a culture that think it’s OK to treat women like they are ‘less than,’ and by harassing, intimidating, and hurting them. We’re fighting it, but they’re fighting back. And whether it’s a rape threat or just a good old fashioned, “well you’re too ugly to be harassed anyway,” it hurts. But we know from the many, many incredible activists that come before us that making social change has never been easy, and that “haters” are a success metric in this work. They show that you are reaching out beyond your base — and posing a threat to their power. This is the first step.
I’m proud of the impact that we’ve made over the past two years, and I am so grateful to the hundreds of people that have played an incredible role in the shape, and success, of Hollaback!’s transition to a full-scale nonprofit — far too many to name. But you all know who you are. Without your hard work and endless support, Hollaback! would be nothing but a little blog. We’ve got a long way to go: we’re in this to win this.
Thanks for hanging with us from the beginning, and without further ado — some updates!
We announced our first ever Hollaback Essay Winner! Congratulations to Diana Emiko Tsuchida. You can read her essay here.
We wrote an op-ed! Street harassment is the most prevalent form of sexual violence according to the Center for Disease Control, but until recently, the issue has received not a cent of public funding. Here’s our case for why the government needs to invest in the safety of women and LGBTQ folks.
Veronica’s educating the masses! She was quoted in this article in HuffPo called “Where is the Decency in 2012?” with our partners, Green Dot. She also presented on street harassment at Brooklyn College’s fifth annual youth conference to over fifty young adults. The conference was organized by community board 14.
We’re marching in PRIDE! Join us on June 24th by RSVPing on facebook or emailing us at HOLLA at ihollaback.org, and spread the word by inviting your friends! All participants will get a free t-shirt, and we’ll be handing out special edition Hollaback! PRIDE stickers!
HOLLA and out —