Initiative Collective

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The New York Initiative crest


The Initiative Collective is "a grassroots group of volunteers who have banded together across states and countries to empower people in their communities"[1] – in other words, is a citizen infrastructure group dedicated to citizen empowerment.

It was founded on October 3, 2009[1] as The New York Initiative with a mission of protecting sex workers in New York City from the Long Island Serial Killer. Their emphasis was on providing the workers with services rather than physical presence or defense.

The group received some press attention in July, 2010, but their first public mission statement appears to be an ad on the New York edition of Craig's List, the complete text of which is here.

They are apparently a sub-project of the Real Life Superheroes (RLSH) movement (New York Press described them as a "splinter group", but there is no evidence of factionalism between NYI and RLSH.)



This appears to be a public service poster created by or for the NYI.
  • a set of specific instructions for safe dating, using a friend as emergency backup
  • for those with no friend available, they provide the following:
    • a phone number to call
    • a set of code words and numbers (to signal danger without necessarily tipping off a dangerous date)
  • practical martial arts training
  • improvised weapons training (e.g. pens, phones, keys)

All of their services are provided free of charge.





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