In 2016, CASS worked with Defend Yourself to re-launch the Safe Bars program, a training to equip front of house bar and restaurant staff to recognize and respond to sexual harassment among staff and patrons. Data from the project, combined with personal stories from trans people of color in DC, helped to inform our decision to revamp the program as the Safe Bar Collective: a renewed commitment to DC’s most marginalized communities.
In this new program, CASS will take a three pronged approach:
- Improving our curriculum, based on data from the report, and making it more inclusive. This includes an expanded conversation on race and how it can affect experiences with sexual violence and hate-based harassment.
- Working with partners to offer safe, supportive employment to trans people of color in the front of the house at local bars that have received our training.
- Providing ongoing support to help these workers maintain employment with access to transportation, hygiene kits, food, and a supportive group environment.
By building the capacity of bars and restaurants to support marginalized workers, and actively supporting trans people of color in accessing and maintaining supportive employment, the Safe Bar Collective works to make public spaces safer for everyone.