by Lauren Kaufmann, WEDO Intern
Interweaving historical lessons, humor, deeply personal anecdotes, and media tactics for community organizing, HOLLA::Revolution was a uniquely moving event. Held in Manhattan on Thursday, June 25, WEDO was in attendance to support the international movement to combat gender-based harassment and violence.
Emily May, co-founder and executive director of Hollaback!, a nonprofit aiming to empower women to combat street harassment, kicked off the afternoon of speakers, videos, and performances. The collection of diverse voices, enthusiastic audience support, and loving solidarity surging through the room created an astonishing space of optimism, power, and hope.
Feminist media activist Jamia Wilson introduced the many talented presenters, including Hollaback! Philadelphia site leader and attorney Rochelle Keyhan; comedian Sasheer Zamata; Nicola Briggs, who became a YouTube sensation after being filmed confronting a sexual harasser on a New York subway in 2010; and Jimmie Briggs, co-founder and executive director of Man Up, an international organization working with youth to end gender-based violence. These individuals spoke about the importance of ending street harassment and interpersonal violence, educating youth, spreading awareness, and empowering individuals to create a world in which everyone feels safe in public spaces.
With the UN’s International Youth Day on August 12 quickly approaching, conversations about the transformative power of the world’s youth are especially poignant, and WEDO is an adamant believer in the extraordinary potentiality of these movements. As Hollaback!’s website proclaims, even the youngest generation has the power to make the impossible possible: “We aren’t afraid of our own individual strengths and we aren’t afraid to use our collective power to make the world a better place.”