Talk Formats & Topics

Holly can speak about numerous topics, including: street harassment, sexual harassment in schools, campus sexual harassment or assault, sexual assault in the military, as well as her career path and how she published a book.

She regularly speaks about these topics on college campuses, at high schools, to community groups, and at bookstores or libraries.

Her speaker fee is negotiable. If the location is outside of the Washington, D.C. area, travel expenses must be covered. If the location is more than a four hour drive away from the Washington, D.C. area, lodging must also be included. Contact her at hollykearl AT yahoo DOT com.

Street Harassment:

Susquehanna University lecture, March 2015. Credit: Paul Weaver

Susquehanna University lecture, March 2015. Credit: Paul Weaver

Holly wrote her master’s thesis on street harassment in 2007 and a book in 2010. Since 2008, she’s run the Stop Street Harassment blog and collected stories and tracked activism from all over the world.

Her new book Stop Global Street Harassment: Growing Activism Around the World is out Aug. 30, 2015. Here is information specific to talks she can give relating to the book and its scope.

Three other suggestions for the event format include: 1) a two-hour interactive workshop, 2) an hour lecture with Q&A, and 3) a panel that includes Holly, a local person who shares her street harassment stories, and a local activist who talks about local anti-street harassment efforts and how people can become involved (for example, individuals may be from a men’s anti-violence group, local HollaBack, local rape crisis or self defense group).

Holly can create a custom talk to meet the needs and interests of the audience. Topics she can cover include:

  1. Defining street harassment
  2. The prevalence and the global scope of street harassment
  3. Why street harassment is not a compliment/why men who harass do so
  4. What street harassment plus racism or homophobia looks like (intersections of oppression)
  5. How the line of acceptable stranger interactions can vary by person and how to navigate that complexity
  6. The impact street harassment has on people’s lives
  7. Why street harassment is a human rights issue
  8. Assertive ways to respond to harassers, be they your own or those you see as a bystander (this section can include role playing assertive responses to street harassers)
  9. Ideas for mentoring young women and young men about these issues
  10. The importance of male allies and how all men can help end street harassment
  11. Creative ideas for activism, raising awareness, and creating change
  12. Examples of successful anti-street harassment campaigns
  13. Street harassment activism in history
  14. Global campaigns to stop street harassment

For audiences already informed about street harassment, Holly can focus on brainstorming concrete action they can take in their community to address specific problems of street harassment.

Sexual Harassment in Schools:

In 2011, Holly co-authored a national study on sexual harassment in grades 7-12. She is available to give a talk that covers the key findings of the report (such as prevalence, the impact it has on students, and why students harass each other), as well as the “promising practices” of what administrators, teachers, parents/family members, students, and community groups can do to address this issue in schools.

Her talk can also emphasize the importance of Title IX compliance as well as the differences and similarities between bullying and sexual harassment.

Campus Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault:

Holly’s expertise on this topic began her sophmore year of college when she and a friend surveyed 10 percent of their student body to find out how prevalent rape was on campus and if people knew what to do if they or someone they knew was raped. The findings showed that by senior year, nearly everyone knew at least one person who had been raped, yet students of all grade levels had almost no idea what to do. Holly and her friend presented suggestions to the Dean of Student Life, who implemented them the following school year.

For several years while employed full-time at AAUW, Holly worked on projects that addressed sexual harassment and sexual assault and she can speak about: 1) its prevalence; 2) student’s rights; 3) activism ideas; 4) schools’ responsibilities; and 5) ideas for reducing sexual harassment and assault on college campuses.

Military Sexual Assault:

Sexual assault in the military is a rampant problem! Since 2011, Holly has worked on this issue by helping veteran survivors suing the military, serving as a social media volunteer for The Invisible War and speaking at numerous screenings of the film, and attending and writing about military sexual assault hearings in Congress.

She can speak about the prevalence of sexual assault in the military, what makes sexual assault in the military unique compared to sexual assault in other institutions, and what initiatives are underway to change it (lawsuits, legislation, and awareness-raising campaigns).

Career Path:

Holly is happy to talk with and offer advice to Women’s Studies students or other groups of students, interns, and young professionals about her career path. She can cover the steps and choices that took her from a college graduate in 2005 to a nonprofit professional at a respected national women’s organization, author, and national street harassment expert.

The format that works best is a group discussion, although she can do a lecture style format for a larger audience.

Getting Published:

Holly can cover the steps involved in getting a non-fiction book published. After going through the Op-Ed Project training in early 2010, Holly has had many op-eds published and can also talk about the importance of writing op-eds and the process involved to have one published.

The format that works best is a group discussion, although she can do a lecture style format for a larger audience.

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