Please donate to imMEDIAte Justice’s Indiegogo Campaign!
Why We Need To Include Young People In the Fight Against Street Harassment:
Street Harassment is a Problem
By now, many of us have seen Hollaback’s viral video, documenting one woman being catcalled over 100 times over a ten-hour period as she walked through New York City. The video has over 35 million views on YouTube, and has undoubtedly brought attention to the issue of street harassment. Although street harassment is a form of sexual harassment, it is often overlooked in less nuanced discussions about sexual violence and its affects.
… But so is Failing to Be Inclusive When Combating It
This is why Hollaback’s video is such an important conversation-starter. It’s hard to deny that street harassment is uncomfortable and unnecessary when you watch a woman experience it over and over again. However, this has not stopped people from understandably criticizing the video: It failed to be more inclusive and intersectional in the way that people are both perpetrators and victims of street harassment. The video focuses on a white woman who is only harassed by Black and Brown men.
This past month 10 imMEDIAte Justice girls created a viral anti-street harassment music video that got written about in Bust and Feministing. We need more films created from the perspective of young women of color.
Why Is It Important To Create This Video Series?
1) It centers young women.
Adolescent girls are often harassed, because men are attracted to their youth. This also makes them incredibly vulnerable to predators. If we want to combat catcalling, we have to give visibility to everyone who is affected by it—especially young girls and women. If they are the individuals most affected by it, then they should be the individuals included in the conversation on how to end it.
2) It centers people of color.
Women of color from all backgrounds often speak on being “exoticized” by men when being catcalled and harassed. This is a form of oppression that objectifies women at the intersection of race and gender. But street harassment is not always about sexualizing the victim. It can also include comments on race, ethnicity, age, ability, and other types of identities.
3) It is borne from a place of education.
Before making the videos, the young women will attend workshops facilitated by ImMEDIAte Justice, Hollaback, and the Academic Leadership Community. To create a fair critique of something, we must first have the appropriate knowledge about it. By attending these workshops, the youth will be able to place their videos within the larger context of work that’s being done to prevent sexual harassment.
4) It will address the issue with creativity.
Oppression ultimately works as a destructive process. To counter oppression, we must be critically positive. Creating artwork and media does this. Thus, by creating this fun and imaginative video series—that also works to bring awareness to and combat street harassment—these young women will put something forth that is affirmative, and shows the possibilities of how we can put social justice into action.
About imMEDIAte Justice:
imMEDIAte Justice is a movement to inspire a new, youth-driven media conversation about sex, gender, love and relationships. We are a volunteer-led organization that empowers girls to access truth and create positive sex ed films in a supportive, feminist workshop space. imMEDIAte Justice provides girls with the close community, resources, and training they need to become powerful storytellers and changemakers. Our IMJ Summer Camps create empowered female filmmakers who are writing their own narratives, informing their peers, and changing the face of global media and current sex ed.
This is imMEDIAte Justice’s first Indiegogo campaign to help raise $5,000 for our 2015 programs. This past year, we have grown into a thriving organization that is working with Los Angeles Unified School District and run workshops in Beijing China, Kampala Uganda, Dindigul India and across the U.S. We’ve trained over 1,000 girls in feminist film production and partnered with Planned Parenthood, Advocates for Youth, Forward Together and other organizations on the frontlines of the fight for reproductive justice. While we’ve expanded we’ve also deepened our politics and developed a curriculum that has been published in a new book about the future of media literacy called “By Any Media Necessary.” More importantly we’ve had the privilege of watching IMJ girls use their voice and filmmaking skills to realize their wildest, most impossible dreams. They’ve gotten accepted to the top film schools in the country, spoken to the mayor, gotten queer sex ed into Oakland high schools, and had life changing conversations with their mothers about sexuality.
Our IMJ Summer Camps empower girls to become leaders in reproductive health and media justice. By matching participants with professional mentors in the film industry girls learn to write, direct and produce original films that offer a fresh take on sexual education. The workshops support girls to create and exchange relevant, accurate information across their networks. We strive to establish a safe space that promotes growth and self-appreciation by honoring and celebrating all expressions of gender and sexuality.
Through our twelve-week IMJ Summer Camp girls will:
- Learn how to write, direct, and shoot their own original film
- Know lights, camera, and action!
- Learn stop motion animation
- Be mentored by film industry professionals
- Build long-lasting friendships with youth and leaders from all over Los Angeles
- Cultivate self-awareness and self-determination
- Learn how to tell their story by any means necessary
- Have fun and be themselves in a safe, supportive environment
Your donation makes imMEDIAte Justice possible. Generosity is our fuel! As a volunteer-led organization, donations from supporters allow imMEDIAte Justice to secure the film equipment and resources we need to impact youth and the communities they serve.
This project will cost us about $5,000 in 2015. This includes costs of film production equipment, imMEDIAte Justice staff time, healthy snacks for the girls and post production.
Other Ways You Can Help
Some people just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help: