Mission: Powered by activists around the world, our mission is to make public spaces safer for girls, women, and LGBTQ individuals.
Results: Broken silences. More than 3,000 people have told their stories of harassment through our iPhone app, Droid app, and website, and over two million people have visited our website. Inspired youth leadership. What started as a New York City-based initiative has spread to, as of December 2011, 48 cities in 15 countries with more sites to be added soon. Our 150 site leaders are young and diverse: 75% are under 30, 50% are under 25, 44% are LGBTQ and 26% are people of color. Shifted public opinion. In total, Hollaback! received more than 500 media inquiries including the New York Times, the BBC, Washington Post, and NPR. In addition to this, we have 3,700 Twitter followers and 20,000 Facebook fans. When our site leader in Buenos Aires was threatened with rape by a prominent journalist because of her work with Hollaback!, 3,500 people from 75 countries signed an online petition to get him fired. Our efforts resulted in both Fiat and Lacoste pulling their advertising from the magazine, a public apology from the journalist and the editor, and ultimately the forced resignation of the journalist. Engaged elected officials: On October 28, 2010 the New York City Council held the first-ever in the world hearing on street harassment. Hollaback! coordinated a standing room only group of women and LGBTQ individuals and subsequently fielded more than 200 media queries. This inspired local legislators in New York City to make a $28,500 investment in Hollaback! Enabling us to develop the infrastructure needed to report street harassment incidents to NYC’s 311 information system -- truly establishing a powerful nonprofit and government partnership. In recognition of our early success, Hollaback! has received a number of awards and accolades. The organization was named a finalist in the Green Mountain Coffee “Revelation to Action” competition and in May of this year, Hollaback!’s Executive Director was named one of Women’s eNews “21 leaders for the 21st Century.” In addition, Hollaback’s E.D. received the “40 under 40” award from the New Leadership Council, and the organization was selected as a Top 10 finalist for the Young Nonprofit Leaders of the Year “Classy” awards. The organization has also been named an Ashoka “ChangemakHER” joining such social change makers as Melinda Gates and Fran Drescher. Further, when feminist icon Gloria Steinem was asked, “What women today inspire you and make you feel that the movement continues?” Steinem responded: “Emily May of Hollaback! who has empowered women in the street, literally” [HBO live chat, 8/16/11].
Target demographics: Women, girls, and teens; women of all ages; women ages 16-22; LGBTQ individuals
Geographic areas served: global
Programs: At the core of our model lies the belief that movements start with people telling their stories – and they succeed with people taking action. Before the Internet age, there was only one mic, one podium, one speaker. But now, thanks to the proliferation of blogging and social media, it is no longer the loudest, wealthiest and most powerful who rule the airwaves: anyone with access to their local library’s internet portal can have a voice. At Hollaback!, we leverage technology to bring voice to an issue that historically has been silenced, and to build leadership within this movement to break the silence. We work with women, girls, and LGBTQ individuals to document in words and pictures, and to literally indicate on a map, where they experienced harassment in public spaces. Doing this provides a forum for individuals to share their experiences and brings attention to this long-ignored issue. Inspire international leadership: Much of Hollaback!’s power lies in its scalability. To scale effectively, we train young women and LGBTQ leaders throughout the world to use their skills to build a grassroots movement focused on ending street harassment. We train in the application of technology as we also work to ensure that their actions are strategic and high-impact. Shift public opinion: Our broad-based campaign is designed to reach the public at large by inspiring individuals to take action. We provide educational workshops to schools, universities, and community groups, and engage citizens through traditional and social media. Engage elected officials: We present collected and mapped data to elected officials and policymakers in areas experiencing high incidences of street harassment and will engage legislators to work with our trained leaders to address street harassment in their communities.