Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Katrina Pham. I’m an incoming college freshman and I immigrated to Wichita at the age of 2 and have been living here since then. I’m an advocate for Climate Change, LGBTQ Rights, Human Rights, as well as an advocate for ending street harassment.
When did you start your account?
Alondra and I started our account at the beginning of 2020.
Why were you inspired to start an account?
We started the account after we came across stories of catcalling within our school. At
that time, we were both members of our school’s Feminist Club. We wanted to raise
awareness to how severe catcalling was and the lasting effect that it had on the victims.
Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness?
By “Chalking Back”, it leaves behind a story. The people who walk past those chalked
sidewalks will be able to read the story and spread the word. Although the chalk isn't
permanent, it leaves an impression on those who come across it.
Why do you think ending street harassment is important?
Street Harassment causes painful memories for the victims. The embarrassment, the
plummeting self-confidence, no one should have to go through such a traumatic
experience. The majority of the victims impacted by street harassment are scared to
share their stories.
What’s your favorite thing about your city?
Although Wichita is not as widely known or populated like other cities, the people who live
here are polite and calm, yet fun. We have festivals as well as large-scale celebrations
How can your city better address street harassment?
In order to address street harassment in a more efficient way, I feel like schools should
have a mandatory class for harassment as well as mandatory courses for adults (in
many languages of course). Raising awareness is not enough, whereas educating
everyone would lead to a more caring community rather than an individualistic one.
What do you hope is the outcome of your account?
I don’t hope of receiving any honors or recognition. I just hope that through the Catcalls of
ICT, we can reach a wider and more diverse audience. Raising awareness is our top
priority because there are people who don’t realize the impact that street harassment has
on someone nor do they realize that it’s a big issue in their community.
What’s the most difficult street harassment situation you’ve experienced?
I was going to the mall with my cousins and we stopped by the food court for food. One
of my cousins caught the eye of a group of guys and they started to follow us to a nearby
store. At first, we didn’t give them any attention, but when they started to catcall us and
take pictures of my cousin, we knew we had to take action. They even followed us to the
changing rooms and we had to call the mall security and the cops. Although the situation
later ended peacefully, it was difficult to deal with because there were a lot of people who
witnessed the situation.
What does being a part of this campaign mean to you?
Being a part of this campaign gives me the support and strength to continue to advocate
to end street harassment and to give the people impacted by this a voice in which they
can share their story with the world.