posted in: CASS Updates | 0

zosia - collective action for safe spaces dc
Our little family is growing! I’m so happy to introduce you to eight new volunteer staffers that we’ve brought on to bring you the best communications, exciting policy advocacy, and important workshops that are empowering our community to end public sexual harassment and sexual assault. Get to know the new staff!

It’s tough for me to say goodbye during such an exciting time, but nevertheless: after four years of service, during which I became CASS’s first and only full-time employee, I’m stepping down from my role as Executive Director. Looking back on the past four years, I’m overcome by how much we’ve achieved — the launch of RightRides DC, the expansion of our workshops program, the transition from all-volunteer staffing to paid leadership — thanks to you. I’ll be leaving the organization poised to leverage our growing resources and connections to dream even bigger and reach new levels of impact and sustainability.

Every day, we get closer to our vision of a harassment-free city, and it’s because of the dedication of dozens of volunteers and the contributions of people like you that we can. I’m so excited to share a bit more with you about the work you’ve made possible this spring and summer, and I can’t wait to see what you do together in the future.

Stay tuned this week for an exciting update on CASS’s new leadership, and subscribe to our email list to catch all our latest news!

Help Us Take RightRides DC to the Next Level!


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.

Our answer: RightRides DC. This summer, we wrapped up our pilot year of RightRides DC and it was a huge success! Thanks to all of you, our supporters and volunteers, we were able to provide free, safe rides home for dozens of women, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming members of the community over four service dates since last October.

Now we are ready to take RightRides DC to the next level, but we can’t do it without you!

Starting this fall, we hope to offer RightRides DC service dates once a month for an entire year! But to do that we need to raise $10,000 by September 30.

You can help us reach our goal by making a donation to RightRides DC right now.

As a small, grassroots organization, we depend on our donors and volunteers to make our work possible. Together, we can make DC a city free from public sexual harassment and assault. And we can start by making sure women, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming members of the DC community can get home safe at night.

Donate to RightRides DC today and help us ensure even more people can get free, safe rides home in the coming year.

Thank You for Making RightRides DC a Success!

rightrides-dc-1024x533Thank you to all the volunteers, friends, donors, and riders who made the July 4 service date a success!

We are thrilled to announce that we have completed our pilot phase for RightRides DC. Thank you so much to everyone who has made the program possible since October! We’re looking forward to the future of the program and continuing to provide free, safe rides home for women and LGBTQ and gender nonconforming people in DC.

Be a part of something big. Sign up to volunteer for the RightRides program now!

Can you donate today to keep RightRides DC operating in our community?


A Goodbye Message from CASS’s co-founder, Chai Shenoy!

posted in: CASS Updates | 0

At this year’s Lights, Camera, CollectiveAction, I looked around the event venue. In that room was a world that felt true to me: inter-generational, racially & ethnically diverse, women/men/3rdgender, artists, lawyers, start-up geeks, and multi-lingual folks all gathering together. I saw my friends and family. I saw strangers with warm smiles. I saw acquaintances that I only see at LCCA. And, I knew then, as I know now, that Collective Action for Safe Spaces has a mission that affects all.

I’m honored to have spent the last 6+ years creating a space where our community can talk about public sexual harassment and assault. I started this organization because someone exposed himself to me on the Metro (Red line going from Silver Spring to Takoma) and it made me angry. That anger shifted into action and the birth of an online forum.

wmata sexual harassment dc metro3The organization has truly sprouted now.  We’ve worked to get bars and restaurants to be part of the anti-sexual assault movement; met with the Metropolitan Police Department to review their trainings for cadets;kicked it with youth from different youth-serving organizations and high schools; and generally spoken up and spoken out with wheatpastes, at rallies and bike rides. Who knew that 6 years later, on the Metro line where a man exposed himself to me, I would look up to see an ad by WMATA with CASS’s logo on it that addresses harassment. Best of all, through a partnership with Zipcar, we’ve created a free, alternative transportation option for women and LGBTQ individuals called RightRides DC. collective action for safe spaces street harassment dcIt’s been so exciting to watch this growth. We hired our first and only full time staff member two years ago — Executive Director Zosia Sztykowski — and brought on a team of passionate, committed volunteers. Less than a year ago, we hired a part time Fellow to help us launch RightRides DC. These young women are poised to continue their work to nurture CASS into even greater impact and sustainability. We’re still growing — and yet we remain incredibly indebted to our generous donors and volunteers who make everything we do possible.

Yes, we did this. Not me. Not you. But we.

As I leave to pursue more time with my family and other dreams, I am so grateful to you. Thank you for helping CASS become something. Thanks for believing that a city can thrive without public sexual harassment and assault. And through that, thanks for believing in me.

With bows of gratitude and solidarity,
Chai Shenoy
Collective Action for Safe Spaces

RightRides DC will bring you home on the Fourth of July!


Save the #RightRidesDC number in your phone now: 202-556-4232!

palmcard front

The freedom to get home safely and without breaking the bank. RightRides DC is back on Independence Day – so women, LGBTQ, and gender nonconforming folks in all 8 wards of DC can get a free, safe ride home this July 4th!

Call or text July 4 between midnight and 3:30am for a free, safe ride home.
Save the #RightRidesDC number in your phone now: 202-556-4232!

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