We’re Providing Free, Safe Rides Home on October 31st!

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Because getting home safe shouldn’t be a luxury.

RSVP to the RightRides Launch Party!
Wednesday, 10/29, at Right Proper Brewery. Drink discounts, door prizes & more!

People who don’t regularly experience sexual harassment in public have the freedom to choose where to go and how to get there based on convenience and cost. But for women and LGBTQ folks — populations that are at a higher risk of sexual harassment and assault — these considerations are often in conflict with a need to stay safe. This “safety gap” can end up unfairly costing women and LGBTQ individuals when it comes to time, opportunities and cold hard cash — not to mention that their best efforts to stay safe can still sometimes fail.

Our answer: RightRides DC. This brand new service will help close the safety gap by providing free and safe rides home to women and LGBTQ-identifying individuals late at night. These rides, which are made possible by a partnership with Zipcar, will be operated by driver/navigator teams consisting of trained, screened volunteers.

Save the RightRides DC number in your phone now: 202-556-4232

RightRides DC, modeled after an award-winning New York City program, will launch on October 31, 2014. As we roll out RightRides DC, We plan to expand the service area and run the service more frequently, with the goal of operating every Saturday by next year. Your support helps us sustain and expand the service. Future service dates will happen once per season and will be decided by community members. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to take part in our upcoming survey to weigh in on RightRides DC!

Service Area

For the night of October 31, 2014, the service area will be as follows:

  • Northern Border: Taylor Street NW
  • Western Border: Rock Creek Park
  • Southern Border: F Street NW
  • Eastern Border: Maryland Ave. and Bladensburg Road

Call 202-556-4232 during service times to be connected with a dispatcher and get your free, safe ride home.

Your support will help us sustain and expand the service!

Our goal is to operate RightRides DC every Saturday by 2015! Here’s how you can help:

  • VOLUNTEER: We’re still looking for volunteer drivers, navigators, and dispatchers. Volunteers must be available during service hours (late at night, likely on holidays) and must commit to at least two shifts per year. We’re also looking for people to help spread the word about the service on our outreach team! Apply by filling out a short volunteer application.

  • RIDE: We’ll take you home — not to another party or a bar — within our service hours. Your starting and ending destination must also be within our service area. Save our number in your phone now: 202-556-4232!

  • DONATE: Every donation helps more people can get home safely. Every donation also helps us reach our goal of  operating every Saturday. You have the power to make this happen! Donate now.

DonateNow

RightRides DC Is Here — And We Need Your Help!

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Say goodbye to the old fight between saving money and staying safe. In a fair world, getting home safe wouldn’t cost a cent, and here in DC we’re taking one BIG STEP closer to that world with RightRides DC. Our new free, safe, late-night rides service for women and LGBTQ individuals will launch on October 31, 2014.

The number one thing we need to make this service a huge success? YOU! We’re looking for volunteer drivers, navigators, and dispatchers. Check out the details below, and then fill out a quick volunteer application. We can’t wait to celebrate this landmark with you and we hope you’ll join our team!

When Do You Need Me to Volunteer?
RightRides DC will operate on major holidays. Right now, we need volunteers who are available for the RightRides DC launch on Halloween (Friday, October 31) as well as at least one more shift (to be determined by a survey of our community). Volunteers should be available from 11:30 pm to 3:30 am on service dates, and will be provided with transportation home!

What Would I Need to Do?
Volunteers will be paired up in driver/navigator teams (yup, that means you can sign up for shifts with a friend!) to operate three donated Zipcars. Prefer not to drive? That’s OK, we need dispatchers, too! Volunteers must have a valid drivers license, be able to attend our October 23 volunteer training, and pass a background check. They also should be able to commit to volunteering on at least two service dates this year.

Why Should I Volunteer?
Staying safe can end up unfairly costing women and LGBTQ folks in time, opportunities, and cold hard cash. RightRides DC, the first service of its kind in the city, is an important first step in addressing the “safety gap” in DC’s public transportation. Be a part of something big! Fill out a volunteer application now.

Why One Viral Street Harassment Video Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

Did you watch the new viral street harassment video? Here are some of our thoughts:

  • We thought: Wow, nearly 23 million views???! People are talking!

  • We thought: Look at all of this amazing conversation about street harassment, what it feels like, and how we can stop it.

  • We thought: But, this isn’t what “walking as a woman” looks like, because every woman’s experience is different.

The woman being harassed in the video is a white woman walking through Manhattan. It’s dangerous and also plain incorrect to generalize her experience as representing those of all women. From the research and from stories of people of color, people from low-income communities, people who identify as LGBTQ, people who are differently abled, and others who don’t present like the actress in this video (see below for some of our favorite examples), we know that these communities experience more severe and more frequent harassment starting earlier in life.

Activism is challenging and never perfect. Especially tricky is the problem of representing something like street harassment, which has endless layers and complications and is experienced differently by people of different identities and settings. We admire and appreciate the work that went into creating this video — many of you told us that the video resonated with you strongly, and there’s no doubt it’s expanding the conversation about street harassment — but even as we do that, we can hold Hollaback and the video’s creator accountable for the choices they made.

We know that instances of harassment perpetrated by white men were edited out of the footage, reportedly because the footage or sound was of poor quality. Whatever the reasons, we agree that the final product reproduces a narrative that leads to the criminalization of men of color, and the centering of just one story in a movement where we can and must do better. And we question whether the video would be so viral if this hadn’t been the case.

We encourage you to ask yourselves: Would the conversation be different if the woman in the video were fat or differently abled? Would people be as shocked by the video if it was of a woman of color being harassed by men of all races? Because that’s our challenge, you guysIn order to end street harassment, we have to get to a place where every single story matters, whether the victim looks like you (or doesn’t), or the harasser looks like you (or doesn’t).
 

Recommended Reading

Take a look at this reading from people who said it better than we can, and then tell us what you think. What does this video mean to you? What’s your take on the intersections of harassment, class, and race?

Hello, Beautiful: On street harassment, public consent, race and more, Medium, Deanna Zandt

A Viral Video Can’t be the Only Way to Understand Street Harassment, Stop Street Harassment, Holly Kearl

De-Centering Whiteness is Essential to Thinking About Street Harassment, ColorLines, Aura Bogago

The Director of the Viral Catcalling Video Explains Why It Has So Few White Men, The New Republic, Molly Mirhashem

More analysis we love on the intersection of race, class and street harassment:

#YouOKSis? It’s Time For Men To Be Proactive In Helping Women Fight Street Harassment, Terrell Jermaine Starr, NewsOne

Blinders & the Tyranny of Good Intentions: Street Harassment, Stop & Frisk, and Criminalization, Prison Culture

The Uncomfortable Privilege Of Being Catcalled, Thought Catalog, Chelsea Fagan

[VIDEO] Jessica’s Feminized Atmosphere, The Daily Show