Not One More Girl Campaign
BART, the Alliance for Girls, Betti Ono, Black Girls Brilliance, and The Unity Council’s Latinx Mentorship and Achievement (LMA) Program launched the Not One More Girl Campaign in April 2021. BART’s Communications Department partnered with BART’s Art Program Manager and worked through these organizations to engage local girls and gender expansive youth about their experiences on BART and to develop campaign materials to serve as BART’s first ever sexual harassment prevention campaign.
The campaign defines girls as gender-expansive youth (cis girls, trans girls, non-binary youth, gender non-conforming youth, gender queer youth and any girl-identified youth).
Watch our press conference held on April 2, 2021 launching the campaign.
Anyka Barber, Director of Betti Ono, led the cultural strategy of the initiative with her team and lead artist in residence Nisha Sethi, a Berkeley-based multi-disciplinary artist specializing in typography and hand-painted signs, designed the campaign visual aesthetic and artwork produced as posters, billboards, and other media installed as public art on the facade of select BART stations inside train cars and stations throughout the Bay Area transit system. The posters are displayed inside BART train cars and stations.
Haleema Bharoocha, Senior Advocacy Manager at Alliance for Girls led policy and overall strategy to ensure the campaign included structural changes and long term plans for policy change. Dr. L.B. Williams, Founding Director of Black Girls Brilliance (a non-profit organization serving Black Girls in Oakland, CA, and Johannesburg, South Africa), and Jessica Peregrina LMA Coordinator at Unity Council led efforts to ensure meaningful youth engagement and youth inclusion through the campaign. Without these leaders, this work would not be possible. Learn more about the leaders of this work below.
Planning for the campaign took place starting in December 2019 and included listening sessions with young girls, slogan and campaign development workshop sessions with students from Oakland Unified School District, and continued engagement with youth related to messaging, vision, and artistic elements. Roughly 500 Bay-Area youth (ages 9-24) contributed to Not One More Girl through youth research and narrative-driven art.
To date the initiative has led to the following changes at BART:
- On February 29, 2020 the BART Board of Directors approved a resolution in support of partnering with the Alliance for Girls to launch a sexual harassment prevention campaign and form a working group to make recommendations to advance a gender-equity safety action plan for transit spaces. BART was the first transit system in the Bay Area to step up and make a commitment to work together.
- While BART tracks crime data related to sexual assault and battery, BART did not have a way to track sexual harassment complaints over time. In October 2020, BART added the following question to its ongoing Passenger Environment Survey: Have you experienced gender based sexual harassment in the last six months at BART? 10% of BART riders answered “yes” to the question in the survey from the first quarter the question was asked (October 2020-December 2020).
- The group worked with BART’s Police Chief to add a new reporting category to the BART Watch app in March 2021, which can be used by BART riders to report criminal or suspicious activity to police dispatch. “Unwanted sexual harassment (non-criminal)” was added as part of the launch of Not One More Girl in April 2021. Previously the only gender-based violence related categories were “Sexual assault/lewd behavior” and “Human trafficking.”
- 3 campaign posters were created, with the design and slogans selected by youth, and displayed on board BART cars and station walls beginning in April 2021.
- A new bystander intervention video was produced by the group.
- The www.bart.gov/NotOneMoreGirl website was launched.
We recognize that this initiative is just a starting point towards addressing gender based violence and sexual harassment on BART. We aim to continue this work following the recommendations from the Alliance for Girls Together We Ride resolution which asks for:
- In depth training on gender based violence and sexual harassment prevention and intervention for BART staff and BART police
- Including a gender based violence lens at the core of station upgrades, modernization, and new station design
- Increasing unarmed safety personnel such as transit ambassadors and hiring youth leaders with a violence prevention background to be on the hiring panels for such roles (BART Board President Mark Foley and Vice President Rebecca Saltzman will make a formal request at the April 8, 2021 board meeting to set up a program to hire transitional-age youth to serve on the hiring panels for BART’s new Transit Ambassador and Crisis Intervention Specialist positions as part of the BART Police Department’s Progressive Policing and Community Engagement Bureau.)
- Additional survey tools about gender based violence that is experienced on BART to better understand the issue and create effective solutions
- Updating BART’s Customer Code of Conduct to specifically list prohibition of sexual harassment (BART Board President Mark Foley has committed an action on the April 22, 2021 meeting to include the prohibition of sexual harassment in the rider code of conduct.)
In addition, we will be listening to your feedback and using this experience to inform future work on this topic. We recognize the ongoing work required to create true safety for all riders.
Please share your feedback with us here.
Leaders of the Initiative
Alliance for Girls: This BART project would not be possible without the leadership, vision, and advocacy of the Alliance for Girls (AFG), the largest regional alliance of girl-serving organizations and leaders in the country. Alliance for Girls staff approached BART’s General Manager Bob Powers during his Listening Tour to present to him a recently published report, “Together We Rise,” about the lived-experiences of girls in the Bay Area, including riding transit. Powers immediately worked to set up a listening session and asked staff to continue the dialogue. Alliance for Girls Senior Advocacy Manager Haleema Bharoocha worked tirelessly to develop an action plan for the overall initiative with a focus on policy change, engaging key stakeholders, and ensuring the work remains rooted in radical safety for girls and gender expansive youth. At Alliance for Girls, Haleema organizes a membership base of over 180 members and organizations who serve 300,000 girls in advocacy initiatives like this one. Her advocacy has resulted in the allocation of over 1.4 million dollars for gender equity. In addition, the AFG staff Kailin Chou, Nakia Dillard, Emma Mayerson, Chantal Hilderbrand, Livier Gutierrez, Membership Fellow Riss Myung, and Advocacy Fellow Samantha Parades played a pivotal role in the success of this work.
Haleema Bharoocha, Senior Advocacy Manager at Alliance for Girls, led policy and overall strategy of the campaign:
“Alliance for Girls is proud to coordinate this groundbreaking initiative. We hope other agencies follow our model for systems change and culture shift that centers communities most impacted by harm. Sexual harassment and gender based violence in public spaces remains one of the most widespread issues impacting girls and gender expansive youth globally, yet not enough is done to address it. Through our vast network of intergenerational gender justice leaders, we are actively creating a world in which education, public safety, and community systems exist to build the power and agency of girls and gender expansive youth. Because when girls thrive, we all do.”
Youth Serving Organizations Supporting Youth: Bay Area powerhouses Dr. L.B. Williams, Founding Director of Black Girls Brilliance, and Jessica Peregrina, Latinx Mentorship & Achievement (LMA) Coordinator at Unity Council empowered the youth involved throughout the project and provided culturally responsive leadership.
Dr. L.B. Williams (she/her/they/them) is an interdisciplinary scholar-educator and the Founding Director of Black Girls Brilliance (BGB), a non-profit youth development organization serving Black girls in Oakland, CA, and Johannesburg, South Africa. She has worked in the K-12 education sector for over 25 years and holds a PhD in Urban Education. As a young student, her educational trajectory was negatively impacted by the institutionalized racism that she experienced throughout her K-12 journey. From her personal experience and her scholarly research that identified disparities that Black girls experienced in middle school such as an increase in the frequency of exclusionary discipline, Dr. Williams found that the brilliance of Black girls was consistently omitted. The historical miseducation of Black girls fueled the development of BGB and the launch of its inaugural cohort within the Oakland Unified School District. With a shared leadership model, BGB is co-created with Black girls to facilitate and emphasize civic engagement, global collaboration, arts education, and healing circles to support Black girls’ academic success and socio-emotional development. BGB’s mission is to create a world where Black girls are seen, heard, and celebrated.
Dr. L.B. Williams, Founding Director of Black Girls Brilliance (BGB), ensured Oakland-based middle-school youth inclusion:
“As a community, we have a responsibility to improving safety on public transportation for our girls and gender-expansive youth. The #NotOneMoreGirl campaign increased the awareness of the vulnerabilities that our Black and Brown youth encounter. Through this work, we have not only centered the lived experiences of Black and Brown youth we are also holding our public transit agencies responsible for the systemic change needed to improve safety and accountability while riding public transit. We are educating our community while holding our public transit agencies accountable by demanding that #NotOneMoreGirl is vulnerable to the sexual harassment and gender-based violence that has taken on public transit."
Jessica Peregrina (she/her/ella) Latinx Mentorship and Achievement (LMA) Program Coordinator at Unity Council led efforts to ensure meaningful youth engagement and youth inclusion through the campaign. Jessica spearheaded the first Unity Council program for Latinx high school aged girls. As a youth development practitioner, she noticed how overlooked her youth who had so much to say were. Jessica uses a trauma informed approach to support youth and create space to listen to their needs. The Unity Council is a holistic community space offering key services to immigrant and low income communities in the Fruitvale area. The Unity Council believes that communities most impacted by issues must be at the center of creating solutions. When the Unity Council’s Latinx Mentorship and Ahciement (LMA) program heard about Not One More Girl, they immediately knew this was something that LMA youth needed to be a part of given that many LMA students talked about their own experiences with sexual harassment and violence on their commute to school.
Jessica Peregrina, Latinx Mentorship & Achievement (LMA) Coordinator at Unity Council, ensured Oakland-based High School youth inclusion:
“The Unity Council believes that communities most impacted by issues must be at the center of creating solutions. When the LMA program heard about Not One More Girl, we immediately knew this was something that LMA youth needed to be a part of given that many LMA students talked about their own experiences with sexual harassment and violence on their commute to school.”
Local Youth Leaders: We are deeply grateful for the labor and love of youth leaders from the Unity Council’s Latinx Empowerment and Achievement Program, Black Girls Brilliance Oakland middle school program, Alliance for Girls, Rexy Tapia, and other youth leaders who led this work. Girls held over 100 roles in the project, including social media strategy, public speaking, art and campaign design, and in focus groups and were paid for $18 an hour for their labor.
Art and Cultural Strategy: We are in gratitude for the creative, artistic, and innovative work of Betti Ono, an active neighborhood anchor whose mission is to build power through culture. Betti Ono is a 100% Black women and survivor-led arts organization that builds power through culture. Named by Essence Magazine as one of the 5 reasons to visit Oakland twice in 2018, Betti Ono was founded by Oakland native Anyka Barber in 2010. Anyka Barber is a mother, an artist/activist , curator and entrepreneur. Betti Ono is a creative social enterprise and center for arts, culture and community committed to the cultural, social, political and economic emancipation and development of low-income, immigrant, and LGBTQ communities of color. In her role as director and curator of Betti Ono she has curated and produced more than 60 exhibitions and public programs, as well as designed and integrated art, enterprise and social impact strategy to leverage creative capital, cultural products, and networks for good. Betti Ono’s team which includes Nisha Sethi, Maud Alcron, Tayleur Crenshaw, and Alexis Conway, provided consulting services on cultural strategy for campaign narrative and aesthetics, communications and messaging, leadership on meaningful community engagement, and a team of artists and cultural strategists dedicated to gender justice. As a major contributor to Oakland art and activism work, Betti Ono was excited to co lead this initiative, developing culturally responsive strategy, intentional narrative and messaging, and ensuring those from communities most impacted were leading the process. Betti Ono is a leading example of what meaningful and authentic engagement looks like and in addition to developing the art and cultural strategy for this initiative, Betti Ono also created a series of community engagement initiatives to directly connect with community members. As a cornerstone of the Black Oakland community, Betti Ono has deep relationships, trust and support from the community. Betti Ono is situated at one of the main arteries of the transit system, and we are not here by accident. Historically Black people have been forced out of spaces of power, literally, and geographically, as a business and community that has been forced out of the central city.
Anyka Barber, Director of Betti Ono, co-led the initiative and developed the cultural strategy with her team:
“When we say, as a 100% black women and survivor- led arts organization, that we build power through culture this is what it looks like. We are profoundly impacted by this critical issue. We are here, not because we were invited, but because we built a table of our own design, rooted in respect and care for our community, informed by a depth of experience and resilience only known to Black and Brown bodies. We are here demanding accountability, proactively pursuing justice, and affirming that our voices and collective agency drive fundamental cultural change with tangible results. We are reclaiming what is rightfully ours, safe and just passageways to self-determined Black and Brown futures. #NotOneMoreGirl is more than a campaign to end racial and gender based violence on public transit, it is a cultural imperative.”
BART Leaders: This work has given space for BART to build trust in the community and to change policy and culture.
Alicia Trost, BART’s Chief Communications Officer spearheaded BART’s involvement:
“BART had never done a sexual harassment campaign, primarily because I didn’t want to put another text-heavy poster up about how to report a problem and then consider the job done. I refused to have a hollow approach, especially one that placed all the responsibility on the person being assaulted. Frankly, I was too scared we would miss the mark on such an important topic. When Alliance for Girls approached us and brought in Betti Ono and direct access to youth through BGB and LMA, I knew this was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”
Jennifer Easton, BART’s Art Program Manager:
“The BART Art Program strives to center the voices of artists, designers and culture bearers to issues that are important to our customers, communities, and the organization. This project is a brilliant example of how artists and cultural strategists can creatively collaborate to bring attention and solutions to important issues. Sexual harassment on transit is a worldwide and age-old issue. This project, with these collaborators could not be more timely.”
Research: We are grateful for the youth participatory action research which affirmed the experiences and stories shared by youth of color in our community. Thank you to the youth researchers (Gabrielle Battle, Maren Frye, Esme Kalbag, Anna Sara Mehouelley, Sofia Orduña, Sasha Williams, and Andrea Zamora) of the Alliance for Girls Together We Rise: The Lived Experiences of Girls of Color in Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose report published in August 2019 and the youth researchers at One Day at A Time for the Youth Transportation Justice report on the experiences of youth on public transportation in Contra Costa published in December 2019.
Policy Advocacy Coalition: We are also grateful to the Alliance for Girls member organizations across the Bay Area who helped develop the policy recommendations for this initiative including: The Office of Women’s Policy in Santa Clara County, Family Violence Law Center, EveryOne Home, San Francisco Department on the Status on Women, Bay Area Women Against Rape, YWCA Silicon Valley, Ignite, CARAS: Community Agency for Resources, Advocacy and Services, YOALI: Youth Outreach and Leadership Institute, Bill Wilson Center Youth Impact Partnership, CURYJ, Big Brothers and Big Sisters - Bay Area, Futures Without Violence, GirlVentures and the Women’s Building of San Francisco.