Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy


We've Got Your Back

aka Hollaback!

Brooklyn, NY


Hollaback! is a global, people-powered movement to end harassment. We work together to understand the problem, ignite public conversations, and develop innovative strategies that ensure equal access to public spaces. We leverage the very spaces where harassment happens – from online to the streets – to have each other's backs and build a world where we can all be who we are, wherever we are.

Our mission is to build safe, inclusive public spaces by transforming the culture that perpetuates sexual discrimination and violence.

We carry out this mission by building the power of people to create measurable and long-lasting impacts in the movement for social justice.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Ms. Emily May

Main Address

30 3rd Avenue #800B 30 Third Avenue, Room 800B

Brooklyn, NY 11217 USA


women, LGBTQ, street harassment, violence prevention, organizing via the internet





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Women's Rights (R24)

Community Coalitions (S21)

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Programs + Results

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Harassment and Bystander Intervention Trainings

International Movement Building

The People's Supper

Where we workNew!

Our Results

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Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Harassment and Bystander Intervention Trainings

Context notes

This includes the number of people trained by Hollaback! in areas of sexual harassment and bystander intervention.

Charting Impact

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Hollaback! is overcoming the historical barriers to reducing harassment in public spaces using technology. By collecting stories in a safe and share-able way, using Hollaback!'s collection of over 55 locally run websites and their free iPhone and Droid app, Hollaback! is out to break the silence and stigma of street harassment -- and in doing so, to inspire local leaders to take action across the globe, begin research, and institute policy change. The result is that leadership is multiplied and localized throughout hundreds – if not thousands – of local leaders. We currently operate in over 55 sites in over 35 countries and in multiple languages. We believe that rapid growth is key at this stage of the process so that we can demonstrate the extent of the problem – and the opportunity to end it – to the broader public.

Harassment in public spaces creates an environment that makes gender-based violence OK. There exists a clear framework to reproach sexual harassment and abuse in the home and at work, but when it comes to the streets—all bets are off. This gap isn't because street harassment hurts any less, it's because there hasn't been a solution. Until now. The explosion of mobile technology has given us an unprecedented opportunity to end street harassment—and with it, the opportunity to take on one of the final new frontiers for women's rights around the world. By collecting women and LGBTQ folks' stories and pictures in a safe and share-able way with our very own mobile phone applications, Hollaback! is creating a crowd-sourced initiative to end street harassment. Hollaback! breaks the silence that has perpetuated sexual violence internationally, asserts that any and all gender-based violence is unacceptable, and creates a world where we have an option—and, more importantly—a response. 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.

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 and bystander intervention trainings 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.

Since January 2011 Hollaback! has trained over 550 leaders in over 55 cities, over 35 countries, and multiple languages to be leaders in their communities, and in the global movement to end street harassment. All of these site leaders approached us (none were recruited) and we were pleased to find that people who traditionally have the least access to traditional power were the most eager to bring Hollaback! home. Our site leaders are:
75% under the age of 30;
50% under the age of 25;
41% LGBQ;
20% Trans* and/or gender non conforming, and,
33% people of color.

New Hollaback! leaders take part in an extended launch process, which incorporates shared planning and training activities over a period of three months. As they prepare to launch a Hollaback! blog hosted on, new local leaders have the opportunity to interact with each other and the Hollaback! team, host in-person launch events and identify, and reach out to potential community partners and media outlets in their communities.

Once launched, site leaders remain active participants in the Hollaback! community, taking part in ongoing efforts to shape the organization's direction and to develop shared resources as they work to establish their blogs into meaningful resources in their communities. In recent months, international Hollaback! leaders have: collaborated to translate Hollaback!'s website into multiple languages; developed a shared anti-discrimination policy and values statement; taken part in several shared news stories, including a feature in The Guardian (UK); and used both blogs and social media, such as Twitter and Facebook to cross-promote numerous events, media coverage, and blog posts. In addition, our site leaders receive monthly trainings in everything from rape culture to blogging, managing volunteers, and holding events.

Our leadership training does more than simply tell youth how to lead – it gives them a real platform from which to do it. It is a unique opportunity for youth to practice their leadership skills in a forum where the opportunities for success are tremendous and include things like obtaining international media attention, leading public discussions, and working with community members and legislators to develop responses to street harassment. Our site leaders bring Hollaback! to life in their own communities through grassroots organizing, and bring hope to women and LGBTQ individuals who experience street harassment daily.

In our first few years of operation, we exceeded every goal we set for ourselves. Here is a taste of what we accomplished:

Inspiring international leadership: Trained over 550 activists from over 55 cities around the world to localize Hollaback! to their community using the Hollaback! digital storytelling platform and on-the-ground resources.

Digital storytelling: Released free iPhone and Droid apps that provide a real time response to street harassment and illustrate the locations of the crimes on Hollaback's publicly available harass-map. The apps and website resulted in over 10,000 of reports of harassment to date. Incidences are mapped and used to educate policymakers about the prevalence of harassment in their districts and inform research.

Engaging Elected Officials: Across the Hollaback! network, we meet with over 100 legislators per year. Our sites have collaborated with legislators to bring anti-harassment ads to the transportation systems, pass a resolution against street harassment in the Scottish Parliament, release mobile apps that will make NYC the first city in the world to document street harassment in real-time, and present in from of the UN and EU Parliament.

Changing minds. Globally, our site leaders have trained over 2,500 middle and high schools students in how to respond to and prevent street harassment.

Performing Research. Our site leaders have performed groundbreaking local research in over 20 cities. They use the research to demonstrate the prevalence of street harassment and to engage the community in solutions.

Our true success will be measured by a reduction and eventual elimination of street harassment; however, right now we do not have data to establish a baseline. The 2010 National Intimate Partner Violence survey asked questions (for the first time ever, as a result of the advocacy efforts of HollabackDC) about street harassment, but they bundled the results under the title “non-contact unwanted sexual behavior," which includes stalking and sexual harassment in all its forms. The report established “non-contact unwanted sexual behavior" as the most prevalent form of sexual violence in the United States for both men and women. The next survey will be in 2020. In New York City we are working with local legislators to get questions of street harassment included on the annual community health survey. As we strive to get a complete picture of the data, we continue to work with a pro-bono consultant to track interim goals through a number of metrics including, but not limited to, growth and sustainability of new sites, leadership development among site leaders, growth of stories told, and media footprint.


“Hollaback! has reignited and redefined the public conversation on sexual harassment for a new generation. Hollaback! has created a strong international community founded on the assertion that sexual assault exists, is a problem, and is a problem we can solve–together."
–Jamia Wilson, Women's Media Center

“Hollaback! is the future of online feminist organizing. It demonstrates how one simple idea–fighting street harassment using technology–can turn into a global movement when the right leadership, innovation, and support comes together."
–Jessica Valenti, Founder of Feministing

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



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Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?