Right To Bemask
Where We Started, and Where We’re Going

our history

Right To Be Started as...

…a conversation in 2005 among seven young people: Lauren Larken Scuderi, Kaja Trejak, Samuel Carter, Anna Weichselbraun, Colin Weatherby, Emily May, and Elan Abrell. As the women told story after story of their experiences of harassment, the men became increasingly concerned. Collectively, they resolved to make change.

Around the same time, a woman named Thao Nguyen bravely stood up to someone who harassed her. An older, upper middle class raw foods restaurant owner masturbated while sitting across from her on the New York City subway. Terrified, she took his photo with her camera and hoped to report it. When the police ignored her report, she posted the photo on Flickr. The photo eventually appeared on the front page of the New York Daily News and incited a city-wide conversation about street harassment. The seven youths were inspired by Thao’s story and decided to start a public blog where all could document their experiences of harassment.

Key moments in our history…
2005
Thao Nguyen’s Powerful Story Propels Right To Be’s Launch.
2015
Right To Be Conducts the Largest International Study on Street Harassment, with Cornell University and global activists.
2020
#BlackLivesMatter Movement Makes Waves; Right To Be helps communities take action by launching free Bystander Intervention Training to Stop Police-Sponsored and Anti-Black Racist Harassment.
2021
Right To Be Trains Over 120,000 During COVID-19 Pandemic. Right To Be meets the moment by creating more free, virtual trainings to address growing Anti-Asian public harassment.
our evolution
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our evolution
Where We’re Going

Right To Be became a nonprofit in 2010 under the name Hollaback!. What began as a simple idea – a blog to collect stories of street harassment – became part of an international movement. We kept documenting stories, but we began to do more.

We created Bystander Intervention Trainings to teach people how to stop harassment, with a set of simple and safe tactics we call the 5Ds.

We also built more platforms to offer support. For example, on our HeartMob platform, people facing online harassment can ask for exactly the kind of support they need, and get it when they need it, from vetted bystanders with the tools and resources to help.

As our work expanded, so did our mission. Right To Be grew from addressing public street harassment… to ending harassment in all its forms.

Our goal became building a world, day by day and action by action, where you have the Right To Be…
...On the Street...Online...At Work...LGBTQIA+...Black...Asian...Latinx...Neurodiverse…Disabled…Muslim…Jewish...Healing...Evolving...And more.

Right To Be’s work ranges widely, but our goal is simple: we want to build a world where everyone has the Right To Be who they are, wherever they are. A world that’s free of harassment and filled with humanity.

our team
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Emily May (she/they)
Co-Founder and Executive Director
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Jorge Arteaga
Deputy Director
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Janeil Jones (she/her)
Talent and Operations Manager
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Kaja Burke-Williams (she/her)
Executive Associate
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Ana Velasquez
Public Relations and Online Harassment Coordinator
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Shakeyla Ingram
Organizational Growth Associate
Join The Team, visit our careers page for the lastest job oppurtunities.
our consultants
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Jill Diamond PHD
Chief Tech Developer
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Jackie Miller
Head of Learning and Development
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Jane Ochs
Senior Administrative Specialist
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Channie Waites
Senior Trainer
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Vanessa Miller
Senior Trainer
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Julie S. Lalonde
Trainer and Canada Program Leader
Board of Directors
Board Chair: Esther Pang
Director of Operations at March On Foundation
Vice Chair: Allison Sesso
Executive Director of RIP Medical Debt
Treasurer: Liza Maharjan
Consultant at The World Bank
Secretary: Hillary Sobel
Attorney
Courtney Young
Popular culture and politics writer; Founder of Think Young Media Group
Kelsey Thompson
Chief Human Resources Officer
Advisory Board
W. Kamau Bell
Comedian
Samuel Carter
Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation and Right To Be (formerly Hollaback!) co-founder
Sally Kohn
CNN contributor and columnist for The Daily Beast
Yetta Kurland
partner and civil rights attorney at “The Kurland Group,” educator, radio host, small business owner and community activist
Samhita Mukhopadhyay
executive editor at Teen Vogue and author of Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life
Thao Nguyen
Web Producer at Viacom Media Networks and inspiration for Right To Be (formerly Hollaback!)