A security company that’s entirely owned and operated by queer women of color is making waves in Minneapolis. But it differs from other security companies through its focus on respect, friendliness, and de-escalation techniques.
Aptly named Sequeerity, the group was established by Kimmy Hull in 2020, a year when public conversations about alternatives to police grew dramatically in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent violent clashes between cops and protestors.
“It’s not bad for kids to see there are different people out in the world.”
Hull runs the Sequeerity firm with Sam Koshiol-Wright, who told the Star Tribune that the team’s goal is to respect those involved in altercations at events.
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“We keep our wits about us and we treat everybody as we would want to be treated, even if they may be saying things that are harmful and hurtful,” Koshiol-Wright said.
“I really felt that a lot of the security that we see in the bars and venues, they’re more bouncers, they’re not what I would consider security,” Hull added. “They don’t make you feel comfortable, they don’t welcome you in. They’re not being proactive. They only react if they see something happening.”
Sequeerity’s staff, on the other hand, makes an effort to be friendly and engage with folks at the events they’re working. When situations do arise, their goal is to avoid using physical force and de-escalate situations through communication.
Though the company does offer Minnesota License to Carry workshops for women and LGBTQ+ people, the staff do not carry guns. They explain that a gun’s mere presence can cause a situation to escalate.
“We understand what it’s like to live a hard life and go through a tough time and not be treated like a person, and we also understand what it’s like to go through all that and be treated like a person,” said Koshol-Wright.
She said they hope the company will help people “reintroduce themselves to the idea of security and us actually being helpful.”
According to its website, the firm offers not only License to Carry workshops, but also classes on de-escalation and situational awareness; safety and medical plans; law and liability; and code of conduct and cultural sensitivity.
The company has reportedly worked at more than 100 events over the last year. Siddeeqah Shabazz, executive director of the nonprofit Kulture Klub, has hired Sequeerity for multiple events.
“They are great at what they do; they are positive,” Shabazz said. “Instead of just rushing to, OK, let’s tackle this person, or let’s meet this aggression with aggression, they really show alternative ways of de-escalating and handling a situation where everybody is safe.”