Shawna Potter has been working to end street harassment in Baltimore for over two years, explaining, “I feel compelled to make our community feel safer for everyone.” She is a member of the Hollaback! Baltimore community and has spoken as an expert on street harassment in Baltimore and Washington DC. Shawna has also done many awareness-raising events outreach to give women and LGBTQ folks a proactive response to street harassment.
The International Hollaback movement works to put an end to street harassment. As explained on Hollaback! Baltimore’s website, “The real motive of street harassment is intimidation. To make its target scared or uncomfortable, and to make the harasser feel powerful. But what if there was a simple way to take that power away by exposing it? You can now use your smartphone to do just that by documenting, mapping, and sharing incidents of street harassment.”
Shawna is focusing her attention on expanding Hollaback’s work by teaching young people the tools and values of mutual respect, gender equity, and self-empowerment skills. With funds from the Pollination Project, Shawna will work with established art activists to create a workshop (that can be repeated regularly) for youth to learn about, talk about and create art about street harassment. Eventually, the workshop will also lead to an opportunity for youth to showcase their work publicly.
Shawna writes, “Youth Hollaback! promotes the equality of all human beings, recognizing the gender-spectrum and the need to end gender-based violence. It promotes the skills young people need to stand against injustice when it does occur, in a creative and impactful way. We will be training the activists of tomorrow, getting young people to think in new ways, and teaching young women and LGBTQ folks self-worth, while educating young men to value all human beings equally.”
GRANT AWARD DATE: JUNE 30, 2013