Join Us for Our 6th Anniversary Party, #LCCA2015!

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CASS’s 6th Anniversary Party

“LIGHTS, CAMERA, COLLECTIVE ACTION!”

WHEN: 6:00-8:30pm, Thursday, April 16

WHERE: Room & Board; 1840 14th Street NW DC

>>> Get your tickets now!
>>> RSVP on Facebook!

You’re cordially invited to join us for Collective Action for Safe Spaces’ 3rd annual signature community appreciation event, “Lights, Camera, Collective Action!”

Our small but dedicated staff has accomplished so much together in the past year. We launched RightRidesDC, a program that provides free, safe rides home for women and LGBT people, passed landmark sexual assault reforms in DC and conducted 20 community workshops! Come celebrate with us, and hear what else we have up our sleeves for 2015.

A ticket will ensure that you enjoy…

        • JUST ANNOUNCED: Live portraits by Rose Jaffe! This amazing local artist will create a rendering of your beautiful faces that you can treasure forever.
        • Slam Poetry! Get truly inspired by the Madeira Slam Poetry Team, who won second place at the last years’ Louder Than A Bomb Teen Poetry Slam Competition!
        • Music! DJ Crochet Kingpin will be spinning sick beats to get you on your feet.
        • Food & drinks! Fill your belly with treats from our amazing sponsors: Cava Grill, Dangerously Delicious Pies, DC Brau, Green Hat Gin, and Monument Fine Wines.
        • Art Sale! Exclusive pieces by amazing local artists.
        • Stand-up Comedy! Prepare to get stomach cramps from laughing with the amazing Chelsea Shorte.
        • Massages! Help your stress melt away at our self-care corner, including free massages from a professional masseuse!
        • Silent Auction! Your chance to win fun local goods or original art!
        • Photobooth! Have some laughs at our photo booth area set up with fun anti-street harassment activities.
        • Swag! When you buy a Director’s Chair ticket, your generous contribution will help us create a safer DC, and it’ll also get you a sweet bag full of goodies from our sponsors!

We’re working with a bunch of local businesses, artists, musicians, and activists to make this event the most fabulous party of the year. Check back here for a list of sponsors, entertainers, and vendors at this year’s event!

All ticket proceeds go to ensuring access to free, safe rides home through programs like RightRides DC and long-term solutions to build safe streets through trainings and workshops, policy advocacy and cultural activism.

Not Local or Can’t Attend?

Don’t fret! You can still donate or sponsor one of our hard-working volunteers through our ticket sales link. Your donation will go straight to work in our programming to build a safer DC, including community workshops, bystander intervention training, timely policy advocacy, and more!

Not convinced yet? Check out some paparazzi snaps from past LCCAs. And remember, last year’s event was sold-out! Buy your tickets early!

Remember what a blast you had at last year’s party?!

ABOUT CASS

Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) is a grassroots organization that aims to empower the DC Metro area to build a community free from public sexual harassment and assault. We do this through both online and offline activism, including workshops, innovative direct services, policy advocacy and community outreach.

Follow us on Twitter @SafeSpacesDC to get updates. Use hashtag #LCCA2015!

Artist Spotlight: Kelly Towles on the Intersection of Art and Social Justice

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If you’re plugged into the Washington, D.C., art scene, you may have seen Kelly Towles’ work in exhibitions at the David Adamson Gallery. But it doesn’t take an art enthusiast to catch a glimpse of his murals around town at places like U Street Music Hall, Toki Underground, DC Brau and Graffiato. Towles has work for sale tomorrow at CASS’s 6th anniversary party, “Lights, Camera, Collective Action!” from 6:00-8:30pm at Room & Board in DC. He took some time to chat with CASS about his work and the universal human experience of equipping ourselves to deal with everyday obstacles and challenges of the society in which we live.

Your love for DC is clear in your work. But can you talk about why you support CASS’ efforts to end street harassment in the district?

Harassment shouldn’t happen anywhere. Hopefully with support and awareness, people will rally behind this cause, because it will make our city a better place overall.

cass - street harassment art dc Your art is about individuals dealing with the world around them, and what they wear or do to feel best equipped to do that. Why is this so important to you, and how do you feel best equipped to handle the world around you?

I sometimes never really feel equipped to deal with people – I don’t think anyone can.  Those are life lessons: Learning after time how to navigate and sail through life, and dealing with people. It is so unpredictable, but it can also be so rewarding when you run aground on that someone or someones who have the same current or feelings that you do and can return them.

How does art intersect with social justice? Put another way, how does art empower or inspire people to make lasting change?

I think art and music are the great denominators. You can make simple, powerful messages that anyone can understand. You just have to use the right language, which for me is visual.

BONUS: Art by DC’s  Elizabeth Graeber and  Lisa Marie Thalhamme

At tomorrow’s “Lights, Camera, Collective Action!” event, you can snag a Kelly Towles original, or peruse work by any of our other featured artists, including illustrator Elizabeth Graeber, Nima Veiseh and  Lisa Marie Thalhammer, known for her “Boxer Girl” pieces. (See Graeber, Veisehand Thalhammer’s work below, respectively.)

>> Don’t wait! Get your tix for our Thursday, April 16th ”Lights, Camera, Collective Action!” party now!

 

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Care for Some Cookies or a Bouquet of Flowers? Our VIP Swag Bags are Awesome!

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Free massages. Open bar. Stand-up comedy and slam poetry. Pie.

You already know that your ticket to Lights, Camera, Collective Action! on April 16 gets you in on all the fun. But maybe didn’t know that with the purchase of our special Directors Chair tickets, you can walk away with a VIP swag bag full of so much more. Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 2.02.06 PMWant to send flowers and candy to that special someone? (or yourself – you deserve a pick-me-up!)  Urban Stems has you covered with gift cards, and the Room 11 bakery is sweetening the deal with a bag of baked goods made especially for our event!

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 2.03.40 PMAnd don’t forget the fun – We’ve got gift certificates to Thomas Foolery in Dupont, so stop in for a drink and some Mario Wii. Or if you’re feeling retro, maybe a game of Pogs? 38 collective action for safe spaces dc 19th amendment alleycat

Treats aside, we know you give to CASS because you want to see street harassment end in DC. That’s why we’re arming you with street-harassment-fighting gear, including a CASS T-shirt, tote bag and anti-harassment cards you can give to your loved ones — or straight to the jokers who harass you on the street.

>>>We have a limited number of Directors Chair tickets, so buy yours today!

 

PHOTOS: We Did a Workshop with the Amazing Women of N Street Village

On April 2, CASS presented our street harassment 101 workshop, “Building a Safe City” at N Street Village, a community of empowerment and recovery for homeless and low-income women in DC.

Street harassment frequently makes public spaces feel less safe for women and LGBTQ folks. For those who experience homelessness or housing insecurity, street harassment takes on additional complications. Exposure to street harassment may be more frequent, more intense and more threatening when you have to spend a lot of time in public space.

CASS and N Street Village share a belief in the power of community, especially one built on dignity and respect. Together, we discussed how street harassment impacts our lives, and shared ways in which they’ve addressed their own safety while responding to it. The group also reflected on the possibility of a world where everyone feels safe in public space, and how that looks for them.

Here’s N Street Village’s Public Space Bill of Rights:

When I’m in public space, I have the right…

  • To not be bothered.
  • To not be engaged in unwanted conversation.
  • To be treated as a human being.
  • To not be solicited in any way.
  • To feel comfortable and not threatened.
  • To walk away.
  • To be spoken to with respect.
  • To be addressed with an appropriate greeting.

Check out these photos of some of our amazing participants! (photo credit: Mindi Westhoff Photography)

>>>> Bring CASS facilitators to train your group!

>>>> Support this work! Join us at our  3rd annual signature community appreciation event. Can’t make it? Select the option to donate!

TAKE ACTION: Volunteer for Our DC Metro Outreach Day on 4/15

sexual harassment dc metro wmataApril is a big month here at CASS: it’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), the month of our big annual anniversary party (!) and International Anti-Street Harassment Week!

To commemorate SAAM and International Anti-Street Harassment Week (#endSHweek), we’re teaming up with Stop Street Harassment, the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) and the Washington Area Metro Transit Authority (WMATA) to get the word out about the resources available to help survivors of sexual assault. As we work to make the DC area safer for all, we can only do it if all of us, individuals, organizations and agencies, come together to take a stand against sexual violence.

Do your part to take action against sexual violence by helping us hand out flyers at five Metro stations from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15. Fill out the short form below to let us know you’re interested! We’ll see you there!


Last Week Was Our Biggest #RightRidesDC Fleet Yet

Here's What Riders Have to Say About Our RightRides DC Service!

On March 27, 2015, we have had our biggest RightRides DC service date yet with volunteers! Twelve volunteers provided rides with nine people requesting rides to have free, safe rides home through all eight wards of DC. We’re continuing to grow to provide more safe rides to people throughout DC!

>>> Read our write-up in the Washington Post!

There were many new successes that we accomplished with this RightRides DC night! This was our first service night where we operated with five cars, making it our biggest night of service from a volunteer capacity standpoint. We picked up and dropped off riders in NW, NE, SW and SE DC, making it our most wide-reaching service date for Right Rides DC so far! Additionally, we had a presence at six ANC Meetings in Wards 6,7, and 8 before Rights Rides DC to educate individuals about the work that CASS continues to do to make our streets safer. We also distributed over 400 fliers to advertise the Rights Rides Services.

Here’s some of what the riders had to say!

The best thing about RightRides DC is….: 
“Friendly drivers are the best thing about Right Rides.”
Why did you decide to use RRDC today? 
“I saw a flier, and I thought that it sounds like a wonderful idea.”  
“Free and would be safe for all of us.”
 

>>> Sign up to volunteer for RightRides DC!

P.S. Don’t forget to get your #LCCA2015 tix!
Join us when we celebrate these successes (and more!) at our sixth anniversary party on April 16th!