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  • Co-founder, My Sister's Place, Washington, D.C.'s, first shelter for abused women and their children (1978)

  • Organizer, Washington, D.C.'s, first March to Stop Violence Against Women (1978)

  • Co-founder, Lesbian Health and Counseling Center (later affiliated with Whitman-Walker Clinic) (1981)

  • Founder, Defend Yourself: Empowerment Self-Defense training for those targeted for gender-based violence (1997)

  • Co-founder, professional development conference for Empowerment Self-Defense practitioners (2000)

  • Co-founder, Safe Bars: Active bystander training for those who work in bars, restaurants, breweries, clubs, and concert venues  (2013)

  • Co-founder, National Street Harassment Hotline (2016)

  • Co-founder, Empowerment Self-Defense Alliance (2016)

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosely

Selected publications:

Forthcoming October 2023: 

Get Empowered: A Practical Guide to Thrive, Heal, and Embrace Your Confidence in a Sexist World with Nadia Telsey

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Selected speaking engagements​
  • Houston Women's Convention 

  • Creating Change (The National LGBTQ Task Force)

  • National Conference of College Women Leaders (American Association of University Women)

  • National Sexual Assault Conference

  • National Center for Victims of Crime’s national training institute

Selected appearances


Photo Credit: Thomas Van Veen

Selected news coverage: Defend Yourself

Selected news coverage: Safe Bars

  • “Step Up in the Club,” Slate  

  • “These Bartenders are Fighting Sexual Harassment,” MicMedia            

  • “How bartenders fight harassment and workplace violence,” CNN        

  • “When Harassment Is the Price of a Job,” The Nation              

  • “I Train Bartenders to Prevent Sexual Assault,” MEL

  • 50% of Sexual Assaults Involve the Use of Alcohol,” Upworthy

  • and coverage in Wine & Spirits, Imbibe, The Spirits Business, Tales of the Cocktail, Restaurant Hospitality, and more!

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