Lauren R. Taylor (she/they) has been working to end gender-based violence since co-founding Washington, D.C.’s first shelter for abused women in 1978. As an empowerment self-defense teacher and founder-director of Defend Yourself, she’s trained more than 35,000 people in the D.C. area and around the U.S.

Lauren co-founded and directed Safe Bars, which uses active bystander skills to build safe, respectful hospitality spaces for patrons and staff alike.

Lauren’s work has been featured in The Washington Post and Huffington Post, and on NPR, Upworthy, and .Mic. Her writing has been published in The Washington Post, Ms. Blog, and more. She’s spoken at the Women’s Convention 2022, the National Center for Victims of Crime Conference, Creating Change (National LGBTQ Task Force), the National Conference of College Women Student Leaders (AAUW), and the National Sexual Assault Conference, among others.