Our goal is to give people a place to share their stories of harassment, use it to raise public awareness
and ultimately denormalize catcalling.
Chalk Back is an international youth-led movement committed to ending gender-based street harassment with public chalk art, digital media and education. We write stories of harassment word-for-word in the spots where they happened alongside the hashtag #stopstreetharassment using sidewalk chalk and then post on social media to spur dialogue and story sharing. Through our local Instagram sites, community events, and anti-harassment workshops, Chalk Back members seek to influence bold cultural change within our communities.
Chalk Back is a rapidly growing collective of more than 150 activists fighting for equal access to public space. Based on the Instagram account “@catcallsofnyc,” each Chalk Back account is called “@catcallsof” and the location. Chalk Back is completely youth-led. 88% of participants are under the age of 25 and 54% are under the age of 18. We believe young people have the power to use hands-on activism to address issues they are facing.
Chalk Back activities span 6 continents, 49 countries, and 150 cities. There are Chalk Back Instagram sites based in cities, i.e. “Catcalls of NYC,” “Catcalls of London,” “Catcalls of Cairo,” and “Catcalls of Delhi,” and sites based in university and high school campuses, i.e. “Catcalls of Calabasas High School” and “Catcalls of University of the West Indies.” Young activists tailor the idea to what is best for their community, as harassment is different based on context.
CHALK BACK LONDON 2019
We want to work with you to create change in all of our communities.
See below different ways you can get involved and examples of work we have been doing.
stop harassment in schools campaign
Our #stopharassmentinschools series was inspired by the numerous messages from middle and high school students who were facing gender-based harassment in schools. We were struck by the similarities between catcalling, which happens on the streets, and the harassing comments faced by teenagers at school.
Many of the young girls that messaged us had a similar story that after they were harassed and reported it to an authority figure they were dismissed, often told it wasn’t a big deal, or simply that “boys will be boys”.
We wanted to give these students a place to share their stories and ultimately, realize they were not alone in their experience. Moreover, we wanted to show people from just how young this behaviour— gender-based harassment— is learned and normalized.
We host public events, that allow people the opportunity to share their experiences and chalk them in the pavement alongside us. The events provide a space for people to talk, learn, and join us in raising awareness on how widespread of an issue street harassment is.
CHALK BACK NYC 2019
CHALK BACK NYC 2018
VIRTUAL CHALK BACK 2020
PUBLIC SPEAKING & WORKSHOPS
Chalk Back offers assemblies, workshops, and roundtable discussions about our work with gender-based street harassment to students in middle school, high school, and universities. By highlighting the importance of youth activism, we inspire action and dialogue among students. Chalk Back members are experts in hands-on activism and bring a unique perspective to the problem of street harassment in their particular context.
So you want to set up your own account? We look forward to working with you! We love seeing more and more representation worldwide, this is a truly global issue and movement.
Search and see if there is an account in your city. If there isn’t, then great, go ahead and make one using the format @catcallsofyourcityname. If there is and you still want to get involved that’s great too! DM the account holder. Most of us are running accounts alone in big cities so the extra help would be appreciated.
To join the movement please fill in the below linked form. Note, if there is already an account in the area you want to set up in we will connect you with that account holder and they will take it from there.
We take your privacy seriously, and all information requested is for authenticity verification purposes only.
We have received campaign coverage all over the world.
You can find some of these below, and if you click on the image it will take you through to the original article.
If you would like to contact us with a press enquiry, please feel free to click here.
Media Information Literacy Toolkit
Welcome to our Interactive MIL Toolkit!
This is an interactive space for young activists in the Chalk Back network and those who want to join to think critically about how to use MIL to improve and expand their work.
Our MIL Toolkit includes instructions on how to “Chalk Back” effectively, different ways to create awareness campaigns on social media, tips on confronting online harassment, and guides to practicing self care when using media.
We believe that activism and education should be fun. We love using creative methods to share stories, build community, and change the culture of gender-based violence. This Toolkit provides mentorship and guidance on how to use social media responsibly and participate in activism in a sustainable way. See below for tips and tricks on how to create content and fight discrimination responsibly.