Board, Staff, and Supporters Sing Their CASSes Off

There were superheroes, men in kilts, and women in banana suits. The entire cast of Wizard of Oz paid homage to Sara Bareilles. Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs even made an appearance.

Sing Your CASS Off 1

On Oct. 22, more than 150 people turned out to see their friends, family, and coworkers compete for costumed karaoke glory during Sing Your CASS Off at iStrategylabs in Shaw. The event, sponsored by social, team-based karaoke league District Karaoke, invited karaoke veterans and newbies alike to sing for a panel of judges, including District Karaoke founder Jesse Rauch, local musician Maryjo Mattea, and Miss DC 2015 Haely Jardas.

Performers from Congressional Chorus faced off against staffers and board members of CASS itself, while DC Bocce went head-to-head with DC Brau. Representatives from the Washington Nationals took on CASS’ friends at Zipcar, and staff of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co. battled a fierce fivesome from the Women’s Information Network.

In true District Karaoke style, performers were asked to play to themes, including Ladies of the ’80s, Songs of Empowerment, and Oh! The Places You’ll Go – songs about transportation and public spaces. Needless to say, there was much Kelly Clarkson, Pink, and Whitney Houston throughout the night, as well as a healthy dose of anti-street-harassment-themed costumes and choreography.  

Though DC Bocce took home the top prize of gift certificates to Oliva’s Diner in Farragut North, everyone won in the end, as the karaoke contest raised $2,732.22 for CASS programs like RightRidesDC, our safe rides home program for women and LGBTQ-identifying individuals in the DC area.

For more photos of the night, make sure to check out photo albums from Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3. Special thanks to Bryan Arminio and Mediavolution for photo coverage!

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Time to Sing Your CASS Off!

Sing Your CASS Off

Here at CASS, we believe strongly in owning our space, in self-expression and in the healing power of art and music. It is with that in mind that we are partnering with our friends at District Karaoke to host a fundraising event like no other.

For one night only on Thursday, Oct. 22, performers from across the DMV will come together for a karaoke battle royale. Sing Your CASS Off is an interactive karaoke event that gives every audience member a vote, alongside a panel of guest judges, to determine the city’s true karaoke champion.

Tickets are now on sale, and include seated and standing options. We invite you to enjoy complimentary drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a night of singing, dancing and costumes as iStrategyLabsDC BrauCongressional Chorus, Zipcar, FemEx, DC Bocce, representatives from the Washington Nationals and our very own CASS staff and board members compete for karaoke glory.

All proceeds from the event will go to sustain and grow current CASS programs, such as RightRides DC, a safe rides program for women and LGBTQ-identifying individuals, a sexual assault prevention training program for bar staff and continued Metro campaigns in partnership with WMATA.

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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.

RightRides DC Is Here — And We Need Your Help!

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.

How Uber Can Take Action Against Sexual Assault

How Uber Can Take Action Against Sexual Assault
According to media reports and court documents, an UberDC driver was arrested Saturday on a sexual abuse charge after a woman reported the assault to police last month.

We were deeply saddened this week to read the news of a sexual assault allegedly perpetrated by a UberDC driver. According to media reports and court documents, an UberDC driver was arrested Saturday on a sexual abuse charge after a woman reported the assault to police last month. We hope this tragedy will help Uber realize the necessity and urgency of providing safety measures to protect its riders — an issue that CASS has raised with the business numerous times in recent years, including as recently as this spring.

We first reached out to Uber after an UberDC driver was charged with sexually assaulting a female client in December 2012 in Cleveland Park. At the time, we urged Uber to consider mandating anti-sexual assault training for its drivers, a measure that we successfully encouraged Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to implement the same year, which is currently being rolled out. We contacted Uber again earlier this year when the company instituted its $1 “safety fee,” again asking the company to give the community what it really wants in order to feel safe and implement sexual harassment and assault prevention training for its employees.

In order to help illustrate the pressing need for increased safety measures from Uber, we surveyed community members about what safety measures they wanted to see from the rideshare service. According to our survey findings, DC community members strongly want Uber to take preventive measures against sexual assault and use greater transparency when speaking about its safety measures and what it’s doing to address sexual assault. Specifically, community members and Uber clients want to see Uber implement anti-sexual assault trainings for drivers and staff. They also want Uber to establish an online portal, similar to WMATA’s, so that patrons can anonymously report sexual harassment, thereby helping Uber gather information and better address the issue. The message is clear: DC community members want more commitment to safety from transportation services like Uber.

Recently, we’ve seen positive action on behalf of DC businesses in recognizing their part in ending sexual violence. Over the past year, a handful of bars and restaurants have participated in our Safe Bars program, which trains and empowers staff at alcohol-serving establishments to recognize and respond to incidents of sexual harassment and assault. And in addition to WMATA and its ongoing anti-sexual harassment work, we’ve worked with companies like Pepco and Bare Minerals to address sexual harassment. We hope that Uber will also rise to the occasion.

We know only about this most recent sexual abuse allegation against Uber because the survivor chose to report to authorities, but not everyone makes that choice, for a variety of reasons. With sexual assault being one of the most underreported crimes, many similar incidents may go unreported. Safety measures like staff trainings and a process for reporting sexual harassment and assault would help show Uber’s commitment to keeping its clients safe. In the meantime, we at CASS look forward to launching RightRides DC this fall, a program that will provide free and safe late-night rides home for women and LGBTQ folks. No one should fear sexual violence, and everyone deserves a safe ride home. We hope that Uber makes steps to show the community that they feel the same.

Want to help us launch RightRides DC this fall? Donate now.

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