Thanksgiving… Black Friday… Cyber Monday… Give back on #GivingTuesday!
On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, CASS will come together with families, individuals and other nonprofits to celebrate #GivingTuesday! Taking place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday celebrates and encourages collective action (because that’s our thing!) to support nonprofits like CASS. The unofficial holiday is an initiative that began in 2012 to promote a national day of giving at the start of the holiday season, following consumer-based days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
That $5 you spend at Starbucks could help us provide community trainings and workshops at local schools and businesses or create public educational campaigns through the city. Please help create safe spaces for all by donating to support our work on #GivingTuesday! Sign up to receive a #GivingTuesday reminder from CASS on December 3rd!
This #GivingTuesday, we’d like to remind you about CASS’s work and the importance of preventing public sexual harassment and assault in the DC community. True to our name, our work to create safe spaces is driven by *collective action.* Since we were founded nearly five years ago, CASS has worked hard to empower people in the DC metropolitan area to build a community free from public sexual harassment and assault.
Here’s a brief snapshot of just some of what we’ve done this year:
Helped make Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) an international model for its work to prevent sexual harassment and assault on public transit. Last year, we successfully led a campaign for WMATA to implement its first-ever policies to address and prevent sexual harassment and assault. Since then, we’ve continued to work closely with WMATA, including providing insight into creating better PSAs, as well as their upcoming trainings to educate staff on proper handling of cases of sexual harassment and assault.
Launched Safe Bars, our new program to train local bar staff on bystander intervention and other strategies to prevent sexual harassment and assault. Safe Bars, a joint project of CASS and Defend Yourself, trains and empowers staff at alcohol-serving establishments to recognize and respond to incidents of sexual harassment and assault among staff and patrons.
Fought to ensure that survivors come first. In January, Human Rights Watch, an international group working to protect human rights, released a report on the mishandling of sexual assault cases by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Since the report’s release, we’ve been busy leading coalition-work to improve MPD’s response to sexual assault. The DC Council Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Sexual Assault Victims’ Rights Amendment Act 2013 in December. We’ll be there to advocate for the strongest possible bill!
Spread the message that street harassment must end through street art. Seen our street art around the city? Earlier this year, we put up wheat pastes to help foster dialogue about street harassment, reclaim public space and spread the word that no one likes sexual harassment!
Trained local organizations and community members on preventing sexual harassment and assault. This year, we’ve spoken about street harassment — including how to respond to, help others who are facing it, and perform work to prevent it to nonprofits like the DC Center, Metro TeenAIDS, women’s groups like Defend Yourself and the American Association of University Women (AAUW), local bar and club security staff, Slutwalk DC and students at the local universities.
#GivingTuesday is a simple idea. All you need to do is take a moment to reflect on the issues that face you, your family and your community, and then find a way to lend a hand! As a 501c3, all donations to CASS are tax deductible. Don’t have the funds to donate? There are other ways to help CASS, including sharing your stories with us, emailing your friends and family about our work, and following us on Facebook and Twitter!