The Initiative Collective

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Initiative Collective
Formation2009; 9 years ago (2009)

The Initiative Collective (sometimes truncated to simply "The Initiative") is a group of organizations located in cities throughout the United States and internationally whose goal is to promote personal safety through neighborhood watch activities, self-defense classes, and other forms of outreach.[1][2] They are a part of the Real-life superhero movement.

Founded in New York City in 2009 by "Zero," "Tsaf," "Lucid," and Zimmer Barnes, the group's initial goal was to patrol the streets of Greenwich Village to stem a rising tide of anti-gay violence.[3][4][5] The New York Initiative (NYI) members started by taking on superhero-like personae to attract attention when talking to the media (though not on the streets),[6] patrolling on longboards and donning bulletproof vests as part of their activities.[3] They were profiled in the HBO documentary, Superheroes.[6][7]

Since 2009, additional Initiative "branches" have been formed across the United States, including California,[8][9][10][11] Washington,[1] Virginia,[12] Illinois,[13] Tennessee, Massachusetts, the central United Kingdom, and Australia.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Free Self-Defense & Awareness Classes for Seattle Neighborhoods". Central District News. 26 June 2013.
  2. ^ Belonsky, Andrew (4 June 2013). "NYC Superheroes vs Anti-Gay Criminals". Out.
  3. ^ a b Gifford, Kelly (4 June 2013). "Superheroes Step Up to Fight Anti-Gay Crime". New York Observer.
  4. ^ Shaer, Matthew (7 August 2011). "The Amazing Superheroes of New York City". The Daily Beast.
  5. ^ Krulos, Tea (13 July 2010). "Brooklyn's Own Superheroes". New York Press.
  6. ^ a b Isla, Frater (14 July 2013). "Don't Call Them Superheroes: An Interview With Zero and Dark Guardian of the New York Initiative". disinfo.
  7. ^ "Superheroes (2011)". IMDB. 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
  8. ^ Smiley, Lauren (14 December 2011). "The Real Life Superhero Files: Rock N. Roll". SF Weekly.
  9. ^ Fezzani, Nadia (29 April 2012). "The women of Real Life Superheroes". Metro News.
  10. ^ McEnroe, Colin (26 January 2012). "Colin McEnroe Show: Being A Real-Life Superhero". Your Public Media.
  11. ^ "AARP: Super Humans Unmasked". AARP. 2 February 2016.
  12. ^ Jasek, Marissa (4 June 2013). "'Superheroes' fight crime, help the needy in Hampton Roads". WKTR.
  13. ^ Gebresilassie, Hannah (18 July 2018). "Real life superheroes lend a helping hand". WSIL-TV.
  14. ^ "The Initiative Collective". Retrieved 11 July 2013.

External links[edit]