BIG NEWS: We hired a deputy director!

We hired a deputy director! Meet Chantal Coudoux.

Chantal is a community organizer who is passionate about fighting state violence in all its forms and making sure our communities have safe ways to heal from trauma. She began collaborating with CASS in the spring of 2017 to build the Safe Bar Collective in her role at the Restaurant Opportunities Center DC, providing restaurant and bartending job skills training to our pilot cohort of new restaurant workers.

Chantal was born and raised in D.C. and ventured to the (sometimes best) West Coast for school. In LA, she was introduced to the Labor/Community Strategy Center, one of the oldest base-building civil rights organizations in the country, and trained in transformative organizing. She has worked as an organizer, policy advocate, development associate and programs manager, and spent many years working in the restaurant industry.

“CASS’ work is really powerful to me because it centers survivors and those directly impacted in leading the fight against the harassment and violence happening at the intersection of our identities that are collectively under attack,” said Chantal. “As someone who deeply loves her city and the souls that make up its fabric, I am excited by CASS’ commitment to community-based tools to address trauma and build the safer spaces that we all deserve.”

Chantal graduated from Scripps College with a B.A. in politics and a concentration in critical race theory. She is the proud cat mom to three stubborn little ones. She loves food, French wine (really all wine), and watching futbol.

As deputy director, Chantal will support CASS’s future growth and strategic response to an ever-increasing demand for the organization’s services, and will manage the organization’s grant-writing, operations, and administration while helping to sustain and grow programs.

We’re excited to welcome her to the team — we know her expertise will help CASS continue to flourish and thrive.

New Posters Out Now!

We’re excited to debut new posters from the Safe Bar Collective and the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV)! On the heels of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, these posters are raising awareness about strategies YOU can use when you see someone being harassed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designed by Baltimore-based muralist Maura Dwyer, with support from graphic designer Charrose King, the new posters also provide resources for survivors, including the Safe Bar Collective and the number for DC’s Victim Hotline (1-844-4HELPDC) — a free, 24-hour helpline providing resources to those who have been victimized

You may recognize some familiar faces on the posters, too! The designs were inspired by DC community leaders and friends of CASS, including two participants of our Safe Bar Collective program, Desiree and Reshay.

We know that stepping in to help stop harassment can be difficult for a variety of reasons, which is why these posters reference a variety of different strategies that we can employ while intervening. These include distracting the harasser, telling them to back off, and supporting the target.

This week also marks one year since the 2016 election, and there’s still a great need to cultivate safe environments in DC and across the country. So this November 8, volunteers will be plastering these posters throughout the city — in bars, coffee shops, community centers, and other public spaces.

Want to join? Email Alex.j.levy@gmail.com for more details. If you can’t make it, tell us in the comments where you’d like to see these posters in our community! And if you spot one of our posters around town, tweet out a photo and share your street harassment stories using #NopeDC.

We also encourage you to share your stories with us, or seek help and resources from DCCADV, the National Street Harassment Hotline, or DC’s crime victims hotline.

Join Us to Help End Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and CASS is joining survivors, advocates, and allies to spread the word.

Did you know that one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe physical violence by a partner in their lifetime? For Black and Hispanic women, this number jumps to 30 and 33 percent, respectively. And for trans folks, it’s estimated that 30-50 percent have experienced domestic violence.

This is an issue that affects all of us, and it’s one we cannot be silent about this or any month.

Here’s a look at what we’ll be doing this month to help end domestic violence:

  • Stop Light Party – October 14
    Join us for a fun evening of building healthy relationships at our DVAM Stop Light Party!
  • Twitter Chat – October 17
    The National Network to End Domestic Violence’s DVAM Twitter Chat will be from 2-3 pm on the 17th in both English and Spanish. Use #Safety4Survivors to add your voice to the conversation. More information on the chat and NNEDV’s Week of Action is available here.
  • #PurpleThursday – October 19
    Wear purple to bring awareness to domestic violence. Share a photo of your #PurpleThursday style with us – tag us @SafeSpacesDC!
  • Safe Bar Collective Training – October 22
    We’re offering a public, discounted Safe Bar Collective Training. Groups of two or more bar/restaurant staff members can attend to become safety captains at their establishment.

Plus, we’re debuting a new poster in the coming weeks! Keep an eye out for ways you can be an active bystander.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, we encourage you to seek out help and resources from DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV) and D.C.’s crime victims hotline.

 

Image courtesy of National Network to End Domestic Violence.

24 New Members of the Collective Action Circle!

You’re awesome!

Thanks to many of you and your generous support over the last two weeks, we have 24 new members in our Collective Action Circle and we’re bringing in an additional $6,120 each year!

This outpouring of support will help us expand our staff and move into a new office space, so we can invest greater resources in awesome programs like the Safe Bar Collective and continue to build a strong, supportive community.

“I’m constantly inspired by the passion, skills, and commitment from the CASS community — and how it has continued to grow and evolve to tackle some of the biggest issues facing women and LGBTQIA+ people of color. Keeping the organization sustainable is critical to keeping our DC community safe and I’m proud to be a member of the Collective Action Circle” – Claire S. Gould

None of the work we do could happen without YOU. If you missed the campaign last week, you can still participate as a monthly donor here.

Help Us Staff Up!

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Our team here at CASS gets a lot done: we’ve posted ads across DC’s public transit system to address sexual harassment, and we’ve built partnerships with nearly 40 local bars and restaurants working to prevent sexual and hate-based violence.

None of this would be possible without the help of our more than 30 volunteers…buuut this team is still only staffed by one full-time paid queer woman of color and one part-time trans woman of color.

In an era when protecting each other takes on new urgency, we need your help to ensure CASS’s work survives — and thrives.

We need to staff up to sustain this work; that’s where you come in! You can help sustain our work — and become a proud member of our Collective Action Circle — with a monthly gift of $15!

Your monthly gift will help us budget for a new staff position in October, so we can invest greater resources in awesome programs like the Safe Bar Collective. Boosted staff capacity will also help us apply for more grants, so we don’t have to keep coming back to generous donors like you every time.

Need more reasons to give? Check out why these recent additions to our Collective Action Circle decided to join:

“I decided to support CASS financially because I am incredibly excited by the groundbreaking work they are doing here in DC. From the Safe Bar Collective, to the Street Harassment Prevention Act, to Rethink Masculinity, to the best happy hour fundraisers around, CASS is working tirelessly to build a community of safety that actively resists sexism, racism, transphobia, and so much more . Resistance is a bit of a buzzword right now, but I chose to support CASS because they embody what resistance looks like and they also show me what is possible for us to accomplish together. I also feel like it’s important for me, as a man, to put my resources behind a community like CASS. I’ve benefited immensely from the countless hours of unpaid emotional support I have received in my lifetime and this is one of many ways I can honor my mom, my sister, my friends, and my co-workers.”  — Daniel D.

“Everyone deserves to exist safely in public spaces and to be respected in those spaces. But not everyone can, because of persistent imbalances in power that enable harassment and violence. As a donor, few groups besides CASS are addressing these imbalances in such a holistic way, and in the every day places where they play out: in parks, restaurants, public transit. This work is crucial, and it doesn’t have an end date—it’s lifelong. CASS needs to be able to plan, budget and build capacity for that. Sustaining donors make that possible.” Melissa Y.

P.S. Plus, if you become a monthly donor of $15 or more by September 22nd and we’ll thank you with a small gift!