“Holla WHAT? Hollaback!”: Computer Clubhouse 2012 Teen Summit at NU

Cross Posted from Hollaback! Boston

This past Thursday, July 12th, I had the privilege of leading a workshop on Hollaback! Boston at theComputer Clubhouse 2012 Teen Summit at Northeastern University. The Teen Summit is:

a biennial event that includes opportunities for Clubhouse youth to express their ideas with high-end technologies, such as graphic design, video animation, digital art, music, radio and documentary film-making, and 3-D modeling. 

Teaching a group of engaged, tech-savvy teens about the Hollaback! movement (our aptly titled workshop: “Holla WHAT? Hollaback!”) was truly rewarding experience. I got to teach the teens about the pervasive nature of street harassment, why it is an international problem, and ways to take action through holla’ing back or being a bystander. I shared videos on how the Hollaback! movement got started, how pervasive street harassment is for women and LGBTQI-individuals, and how men can be effective bystanders. I shared some of our favorite comics which inspired some of the participants to make comics of their own!

My favorite part of the workshop was the last hour, where the teens had the option to create comics, poems, haikus, or skits to respond to street harassment. Seeing the teens from all around the world (seriously, we had participants from Palestine, New Zealand, Australia, and California!) collaborate on projects to end street harassment was a powerful moment. I was able to see how engaged our generation is and how passionate individuals can get when given the tools to talk back to unacceptable, dangerous behavior in our culture, such as street harassment.

A group of teens working together on a Hollaback! campaign.

Coming up with street harassment comics

I was so impressed with the group by the end of the workshop! It was amazing for me to see teens from all around the world grasp on to the Hollaback! movement. Here are some of their final products:

Imani uses the whiteboard for a cartoon: “Hi chick!” “I’m no chick, I’m human!”

Using poetry to respond to street harassment.

Nick and Nick Jr.’s comic: “Hey, wassup baby girl?” “I have a name you know.”

Bystander awesomeness! “Hey man, what’s wrong with (you) man?! Cut it out!”

Each piece of work showed a different approach to understanding street harassment and getting involved in Hollaback’s work to end it, whether by being a badass bystander (I love that cartoon) or coming up with snappy remarks to unwelcome comments. There were a few more written pieces that I plan on sharing in a separate post, soon!

What do you think of these teens’ work? What are other ways you get teens involved with social justice? Leave your thoughts and comments below!

– Jane

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