A San Francisco bike messenger and his courier collective are having a "Karen Awareness Day" gathering on Sunday to "raise awareness of the epidemic of 'Karen' incidents in our communities."
Given the viral nature of many so-called "Karen" and "Ken" incidents both locally and nationally, I'm not sure that people need any more awareness of them. But this event sounds like both a protest and a tongue-in-cheek, SF-style street performance aimed at the Pacific Heights neighborhood in specific.
The group behind "Karen Awareness Day," as BrokeAss Stuart first reported, is Lost Soul Courier Collective — the founder of which is Antonio Chavez. Chavez video-recorded an incident in early June in which he was apparently racially profiled by one male Pac Heights resident — not a Karen, in that arguably misogynist trope — who apparently thought Chavez might be stealing packages from front steps. Chavez was carrying a cardboard box that, in fact, contained Narcan he was delivering to a nearby halfway house.
So, Chavez is now inviting all delivery people, messengers, activists, service industry workers, artists, and queer and trans people of color to gather in Lafayette Park for "Karen Awareness Day" on July 25 starting at 1:30 p.m. The event actually starts with a bike ride at 12:30, and the rally will happen at Clay and Laguna — not far from where the racial profiling incident took place.
The Instagram announcement asks, "Have you yourself ever been questioned or accosted by a Karen simply for existing? Are you tired of our society protecting and upholding this shamelessly absurd behavior? US TOO!!"
Attendees are encouraged to "dress up as a Karen" to enter a "Can I speak to your manager contest".
And, the group is saying this will be a peaceful gathering, and it urges everyone not to litter or bring any weapons.
"People in this neighborhood already think they are better than us," the announcement says. "Don't give them a reason to reinforce their age-old racist and classist rhetoric."
The group also says it wants to raise awareness of the city's CAREN Act, which makes frivolous 911 callers libel for civil penalties.
Lost Soul Courier Collective, in addition to doing pro bono Narcan deliveries, is a community organization dedicated to food distribution, harm reduction, and adventure cycling. If you want to donate to their cause, you can Venmo @lostsoulcourier or send money via Cash App to $lostsoulcourier.
Related: Video: Pacific Heights Man Engages In Racial Profiling, Questions Bike Messenger About Stolen Packages