Hollaback! Korea Launch & Reflection

The Hollaback! Korea website launched December 3! Hollaback! Korea was founded in August 2013 by a team of 23 volunteers working to address street harassment in Korea. We are the friends, daughters, students, sisters, workers, supporters, partners, wives who are Korean nationals, women of color, adoptees, foreigners, ethnic and overseas Koreans, LGBTQ, young and old, single and multicultural family members of Korean society, we come from Seoul, Gwangju, Busan, Daejeon, Jeju, and Daegu to share these stories. We are building an intersectional space to address street harassment and welcome anyone to participate. Visit Hollaback! Korea at our website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Taking the blog off - line the past few months has been really rewarding. Since June I have been recruiting and training side-by-side with a fantastic group of people all over Korea to launch a street (sexual) harassment awareness project called Hollaback! Korea.

This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of the six years I have lived in Korea. Connecting the values of this blog with a project like Hollaback has helped me commit to my work.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to groups that I’ve learned a lot from over the past few years. The Gwangju International Center (GIC) had a big impact on me during my Gwangju days. I really respected the way that GIC worked hard to integrate community members and provided resources for discussion. In Seoul I have been inspired beyond measure by the people connected to Single Moms’ Day (SMD), which I’ve discussed here on the blog before. I still think SMD is the single most amazing conference I have ever participated in but the group also invited me to see what it was like to have many amazing people participating in a project in a variety of ways. SMD helped me start to engage in communities around me by identifying skills that I did have and could share, and also gave me an aspiration point: I knew that I wanted to keep working hard to learn from others and learn to communicate with others.

I’ve also benefitted from the support of fellow bloggers and writers. I hope there will be future opportunities for feedback and debate, which has been growing in recent months. I have to point out the diligence of the Grand Narrative for sharing information and resources about gender in Korean society, particularly highlighting and promoting the work of others on top of writing great content.

Hollaback! Korea is another type of growth but it is connected to writing and blogging and spreading awareness and many of the core values here at KGC. It has been exciting to interact off – line with team members and to see that events in Gwangju, Jeju and Seoul are engaging people in our discussion. Online, between Facebook, Twitter and the Hollaback Website we have a lot of opportunities to engage and I look forward to the ensuing conversations.

It’s been challenging to juggle the preparation for launch, particularly producing accurate content in Korean. I hope our mobile app is accurately translated and will be useful. Preparing something professional and engaging in Korean is a different experience than writing book reviews, research papers or messing around on my blog in Korean.

It’s been difficult to team build and effectively communicate with a team that is living all over this country. Our team of volunteers has been really energetic and creative. I am lucky to be surrounded by so many talented individuals. Especially those whose talents are so different from my own. I can’t adequately describe how awesome it is to have assembled this group of my favorite and most inspiring peers and then work on a project like this together!

It has been difficult to reach out beyond my own communities and seek new friends. However, this might be my favorite part of this project (and this blog). I started to write because I thought that my passion for my studies was a bit solitary. I want to share ideas and have broader conversations. As a result, I am learning volumes from new friends. I appreciate the lessons and appreciate the mistakes that I make as I take steps forward.