Ending Street Harassment with an App: Emily May’s Hollaback!

Hollaback! is part of a movement—a revolution really—to end street harassment. And the revolution is loud. Emily May, co-founder of Hollaback!, knows that one of the best ways to empower the oppressed is to give them a voice, which is exactly what the Hollaback! app does. It provides a way for victims of street harassment to take note of their attackers and then take action. The app is now utilized in over 50 cities and 17 countries, but the company is still headquartered in Gowanus, amid Brooklyn’s larger thriving tech scene. “I’ve been here for 13 years, so I’m not so phased by the hype,” May tells us. “I love Brooklyn for what it was 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 13 years ago, today, and the future. Its power is in its diversity, and its newfound cultural capital is just a symptom of that.” There’s no doubt that, as Hollaback! continues to grow, the company will stay true to what May views as Brooklyn’s ethos. “Everyone here is living on a dream. Brooklyn is stereotyped with being filled with tastemakers, but I believe we’re more than that: we’re world changers.”

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