Emily May, the co-founder of Hollaback!, a global, people-powered movement to end harassment, joins us to discuss the issue, how to respond to harassment and how we can be a part of creating a safer community.
- Emily explains what street harassment is: sexual harassment that happens in a public space; a whole spectrum of behavior that is a product of sexism and racism. Everywhere across the world it exists and it is a problem! Youth are even more at risk, the majority of young women will have experienced street harassment by age 12.
- Street harassment might feel like a normal thing that we as women have to tackle when we are out there on a run, but it isn’t normal. If someone says something derogatory in the workplace there are systems in place to prevent this from occurring but not in public places. This makes consequences for the harasser difficult to enforce.
- There is no perfect response to a harasser. Emily shares tips on how to respond in these situations.
So you know she’s legit:
Emily is an international leader in the gender justice movement. In 2005, at the age of 24, she co-founded Hollaback! in New York City, and in 2010 she became its first full-time executive director.
Under her leadership, the organization has scaled to over 50 cities in 25 countries and launched HeartMob, Hollaback!’s platform designed to support people being harassed online, and The People’s Supper, a collaboration designed to bring people together to repair the fissures in our relationships, heal, and bridge difference. Emily believes that by having each other's backs in deep and meaningful ways, we can disrupt cycles of hate and create a world where everyone has the right to feel safe and confident.
Prior to running Hollaback!, Emily worked in the anti-poverty world as a case manager, political action coordinator, director of development, and most recently, a one-woman research and development team. She has also worked on four political campaigns. Emily has a Master’s Degree in Social Policy from the London School of Economics, is an Ashoka Fellow, a Prime Movers Fellow, and has won over ten awards for her work including the TEDCity 2.0 Prize.
Connecting with Emily and Hollaback!