NEW GROUP AIMS TO END STREET HARASSMENT IN DETROIT
(July 21, 2016) (Detroit) – Hollaback!, an international organization dedicated to ending harassment, launches in Detroit today. According to research from Cornell University, over 85% of women in the United States experience street harassment before the age of 17. To respond to this pressing issue, Hollaback! organizes annual site leader trainings, providing a nine month intensive leadership and organizing training to local leaders who take the movement home. These community organizers are poised to end harassment locally and, with their launch in Detroit, are leading the charge.
Local organizer and site leader Brooke Harris noticed an increase in street harassment as Detroit evolves and changes. After interviewing multiple women, she realized she was not alone: “When I was interviewing people for my master’s project, one of the common themes was that we all recognized street harassment to be a huge problem in our city, but that none of us really knew what to do about it. That’s why we started a Hollaback! site. We have to do something, and we have to do something now.” Hollaback! Detroit will lead workshops about how to respond to and end street harassment and how to be a good bystander. They also have plans for a street art campaign this August that will target the Downtown and Midtown areas and are working on establishing relationships with other organizations in the city.
“I noticed that people were paying attention to my art displayed in a local coffee shop, so I decided to make it street harassment related,” said local artist and site leader Brea Harris. “This helped others realize that we’re not alone in this. We have to stick together if we’re going to put an end to street harassment.” Hollaback! Detroit is run by a team of local community leaders who are deeply committed to working online and offline to end street harassment in their community.
Hollaback! Detroit will run their local blog and organize their community through advocacy, community partnerships, and direct action. For their first event, Hollaback! Detroit will conduct one of five workshops for the third annual BFF (Best Fest Forever) Fest. Workshops will be held from 2:30 pm until 6:30 pm on Saturday, July 30, at El Club, located at 4114 West Vernor Highway in Detroit. Stay tuned here: detroit.ihollaback.org!
“We only have 8 or 9 years before the babies in strollers today start experiencing street harassment too. Our children deserve better, we deserve better, and Hollaback! Detroit is going to get us there. Share your story and join the movement today,” said Hollaback! Executive Director Emily May.
New locations include: Hollaback! Oxford, Hollaback! Riyadh, Hollaback! Jakarta, Hollaback! Oslo, ¡Hey! Costa Rica, ¡Atrévete Madrid, Hollaback! Trinidad and Tobago, and Hollaback! Lawrence.
About Hollaback! Hollaback (ihollaback.org) is a movement to end street harassment powered by a network of local activists around the world. We work together to better understand street harassment, to ignite public conversations, and to develop innovative strategies to ensure equal access to public spaces.