HOLLA-Who? Meet Hollaback! Alberta

We’re back with our HOLLA-Who series, profiling the amazing site leaders who take on street harassment in their local communities. In the HOLLA-Who series, we learn about what street harassment is like around the world, and what activists are doing today to push back and fight for the right to equal access to public spaces.


Today we’re talking with the amazing Lauren from Hollaback! Alberta (Canada). Hollaback! Alberta launched in 2010/2011 and has accomplished AMAZING work on the ground in Edmonton and throughout the province. Today we’re chatting with co-director Lauren.


Why did you start the Hollaback! site in Alberta in 2010 – & what inspired you to join on?

I was sick of being silenced when I voiced my frustrations regarding street harassment. I knew of too many people who were harassed in public spaces and I felt their stories helped me speak out.


What’s a HOLLA-fact about your city?  

On the first day of summer Edmonton enjoys 17 hours and three minutes of daylight. The sun rises around 5:00am and sets after 10:00pm.


Say you’re the Queen for a day. What would you do to end street harassment?

Make it mandatory for school curriculums to include proper consent education, inclusive sex ed, and discussions of mental health surrounding gender roles.


What was your first experience with street harassment?  

The amazing Lauren from Hollaback! Alberta
The amazing Lauren from Hollaback! Alberta

Hard to say- around 12 years old I remember a guy calling me “sexy” from down the street. Around the same age I was at a public pool and had a random man grab my face try to kiss my cheek. Totally freaked me out!


Given that you’ve had years to perfect it, what’s your signature Hollaback!? 

Totally depends on the situation.


We’re all about the right to define yourself. What’s your Hollaback! on-the-ground style?

Fluctuates with my mood but varies between casual gender-neutral to funky and femme.


What’s your super-heroine power?

The power to annihilate gender roles.


Serious question time. Would you rather have a dragon or be a dragon?

Have a dragon would be cool I guess… although alpacas are more my thing.


What is your proudest HOLLA-Moment so far?

Tough to pick just one- but in general it is the response & engagement from people in my community that make me proud of my City. There are so many organizations and municipal groups working with us to address street harassment.


If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be?

Treat others the way they wish to be treated.


What are you excited about for 2015?

A new project developing between Hollaback Alberta and the Edmonton Transit System!


What inspires you in this work?

My family, my beloved friends, and all the badass Hollaback! leaders around the world


And finally, in the year 2020, street harassment will be…

In the year 2020, street harassment will be an embarrassing act that rarely happens and is not accepted in society.


A big thank you to Lauren, co-director of Hollaback! Alberta!

Holla and out!

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