When I was in high school (over 10 years ago), my group of 8 friends and I would often take public transit to hangout at our local shopping mall. It would be a weekly activity that we enjoyed doing as a group. For context, we are all Asian, most of us are born and raised here in Canada. One day, our commute was a bit different from the rest. As we entered the public skytrain, I clearly recall an older man yelling at us, “Go back to your own country, you don’t belong here”. As young teenagers, who had never experienced this before, we were confused and taken aback. We didn’t know how to respond or react. We ignored him and stayed silent. But so did everyone else around us. Many years have passed but this negative memory has stuck with me forever.

That is why I am so grateful for the Hollaback! workshops. I hope that if I or anyone else around me ever experiences harassment and/or racism, I will feel empowered and equipped to safely intervene.