Emily May of New York City started Hollaback! NYC in 2005 in an effort to combat street harassment. An incredibly underreported, justified, and accepted form of discrimination against women and LGBTQ people, street harassment occurs on public transportation, in crowded areas, and close to home for most folks in urban areas.
What started as a tool of instant justice: May had New Yorkers photograph and submit blog posts about their harassers, has grown into a worldwide campaign to end street harassment. May recently resigned from her other obligations to pursue Hollaback! full-time, and has since expanded the project to multiple social networking sites in an effort to fundraise for what she calls "Hollaback! 2.0," a development that includes the creation of a Hollaback! iPhone app.
The expansion project, which started on Kickstarter, has a set goal of 12,500 dollars. The catch? If the project doesn't raise that money in the next nine days, Hollaback! doesn't get any of the money they've raised - over 5,000 dollars - in the past month.
As the project end date nears, May has pioneered an aggressive strategy toward raising the money, exhausting Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and the campaign's main website in order to drive traffic to the Kickstarter page.
"The Hollaback! app creates a safe, action-oriented response to street harassment, and with powerful reporting features, it will finally put a face on everyday harassment and assault," reads the project description on Kickstarter. "By using data to establish the case against street harassment, Hollaback!’s social change efforts will ultimately result in significant improvements in policy and a reduction in crimes against girls, women and LGBTQ individuals."
Donations can be given in any amount over five dollars until May 28, 2010.
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