First and foremost, thank you for your continued support of Hollaback!. As some of you now may be aware, we have been the object of some negative press and comments on social media regarding the recent street harassment video by Rob Bliss Creative.
Given your passionate and dedicated support of Hollaback!, we wanted to inform you how we are directly responding to the accusations of racial and class bias.
First and foremost, we agree with you. The video is both racist and classist. Harassment is a broad problem committed by a broad spectrum of individuals across lines of race, location and class. We know from the 8,000 stories we’ve collected on ihollaback.org that there is no single profile for a harasser, and harassment comes in many different forms. We are deeply invested in a movement that is multiracial, gender inclusive and incorporates place-based leadership specific to each locale. Racial, gender, and class politics is a core part of our work.
While we did not create the video, we did approve Rob Bliss’s use of our name at the end of the video for people interested in further resources. At the time it seemed important that people have access to resources, regardless of whether or not the video was aligned with our values. This was a mistake for which we take fully responsibility for and deeply apologize. In our effort to share resources, we eroded your confidence in us.
Our work moving forward will be a living amends. We’re listening. Hollaback! is a small but determined and diverse organization. We are trying to use the moment by this racist video to expose the harassment faced by women of color and LGBTQ+ folks that too often is ignored by the mainstream media. That’s why we’re using the money raised since the release of the video to create our own video series — with the first one currently under development and scheduled to release within the next two weeks. We’re also working to create clearer messaging, showcase thousands more stories through our global research study with Cornell University, and start an open and transparent dialogue with the public to voice opinions and concerns.
Again, thank you for believing in us, being a part of this vital dialogue, and supporting Hollaback! as we continue and extend our mission. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions as we move forward.
Executive Director, Hollaback!