MAKERS Profile

Emily May

Harassment Avenger

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May reveals her childhood ambitions and discusses the first time she was harassed, what it was like to found Hollaback! and become its first executive director, and what needs to happen now.
Emily May is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of New York City-based Hollaback!, an organization which empowers women and LGBTQ folks with an empowered response to street harassment, utilizing a network of local activists around the world to expose incidents and leverage online conversation.   She founded the organization in 2005 at the age of 24 as a response to the lack of legislation for public harassment and the high incidents of gender-based violence.   Prior to running Hollaback!, Emily worked in the anti-poverty world as a case manager, political action coordinator, director of development, and one-woman research and development team.   Emily is the recipient of many awards for her community service including the 2008 Stonewall Women’s Award and the “40 under 40″ award from the New Leadership Council. She has also been named one of thirty “Women Making History” by the Women’s Media Center in 2010, one of “21 leaders for the 21st century” by Women’s E-news, one of 20 women “leading the way” by the Huffington Post, and one of Jezebel’s “25 kick-ass and amazing women we love.”

More From Emily

Winning The Grant
May reveals what she plans to do with the $10,000 grant from Simple.

Being a Next MAKER
May talks about her reaction to finding out that she was named a Next MAKER and what is means for everyone at Hollaback! and the women's movement in general.

The Feminist Stereotype
May discusses how the issues behind feminism have changed its definition throughout the years.

Starting a Blog
May talks about how and why Hollaback! was founded on a rooftop in 2005.

Defining Street Harassment
May talks about starting Hollaback!, learning to define street harassment and starting a growing movement.

Thick Skin
May talks about the importance of strength in order to be able to build the right leadership.

Pissing People Off
May discusses the backlash she receives each day, ranging from harsh comments to death threats.

Progress
May talks about being raised raised by feminists and how reading Susan B Anthony's autobiography taught her about social change.

Pretending It Didn't Happen
May talks about her work with people of all economic situations on addressing hope and the importance of talking about street harassment.