Safe Bar Collective

Collective Action for Safe Spaces
R1 2016-2017 $20,000

The Safe Bar Collective, a project of Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) in Washington, DC, uses training, safety messages, and advocacy for equitable hiring practices to equip bar and restaurant staff with the tools they need to cultivate safer environments. The Safe Bar Collective Bystander Intervention curriculum empowers bystanders to recognize and respond to sexual harassment and aggression among staff and patrons.


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  • Strengthen Policies

    Strengthen Policies

    Part of the curriculum requires bars/venues adher to their policies: recognizing and responding to sexual harassment and aggression among staff and patrons. 

  • Enhance Partnerships

    Enhance Partnerships

    An initial goal of 10 bars climbed to over 43 MOUs and climbing with such DC venues as: Shaw's Tavern, 801, Bar Charley, El Chucho, Quarry House, Slash Run, Little Coco's, Mackey's, Drink Company, The Dabney, Colony Club, Acre 121, The Big Hunt, 5 Ivy City distilleries, DC Brau, and Number Nine. Safe Bar Collective also partnered with two groups: DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC-United).

  • Learning Circles

    Learning Circles

    Presented in Ontario for 50 representatives of Canadian anti-violence organizations. Trained a conglomerate of hospital workers to launch a Safe Bar Collective program in Summit County, Colorado. Participated on a panel discussion at the 2017 SXSW Conference and Festival. 

  • Build Champions

    Build Champions

    Trained 250 bar/restaurant staff members with ongoing relationships with the 43 venues (Goal was 10) for follow up training and new staff training. 

  • Provide Resources

    Provide Resources

    In addition to diversifying outreach to LGBT-bars and breweries/distilleries as part of this project, Safe Bar Collective also trained organizations in Colorado and Philadelphia to start similar bar training programs. Provided techanical assistance to over 100 organizations (Goal was 15) across the globe that are interested in starting similar programs in their communities. 

  • Educate & Train

    Educate & Train

    Trained 250 bar/restaurant staff members in DC (Goal was 65) and 43 venues (Goal was 10). 

  • Measure Impact

    Measure Impact

    The program also expanded to create employment opportunities to trans people of color by training program participants with specific job and social skills to prepare them for work in the front of the house at trained Safe Bar Collective bars and restaurants.

  • Raise Awareness

    Raise Awareness

    The "You Deserve to be Treated with Respect" posters/campaign materials were created featuring images of a woman of color breastfeeding, a Muslim woman in hijab, as well as a Black trans woman based on known incidents in the DC community. Safe Bar Collective rebranded posters, window decals, and coasters, for use by certified bars. Safe Bar Collective also garnered media coverage on such outlets as: DCist, Upworthy, NPR's The Kojo Nnamdi Show, Self, HelloGiggles, Foodie and the Beast, APlus, Huffington Post,, NBC4, and was reposted on Facebook by George Takei.