Updated: Jul 29

(ROBBINSVILLE, New Jersey) July 27, 2020 - In the coming months, restrictions due to COVID-19 will continue to ease and many college students will return to school. When that happens, #WhatsMyName Foundation and Lyft stand ready to work with colleges and universities to increase awareness about rideshare safety on campus.

We’re joining forces with Lyft to promote rideshare safety best practices and empower college students across the country with the information they need to ride responsibly. The #WhatsMyNameFoundation was established in honor of Samantha Josephson, Seymour and Marci’s daughter who was kidnapped and murdered during her senior year at the University of South Carolina by a man posing as an Uber driver. The Foundation’s goal is to educate college students about rideshare safety best practices so that no other family will have to suffer this kind of tragedy.

"No family should ever have to experience the heartbreak we endured when we learned what happened to our daughter that fateful night," said Seymour Josephson, founder of the #WhatsMyName Foundation. "It is uplifting to know that the #WhatsMyName Foundation and Lyft share the goal of keeping young people safe, and through this initiative we will leverage our joint expertise to promote best practices for using rideshare both on and off campus.”

“We’re proud to partner with Seymour and Marci Josephson, the #WhatsMyName Foundation and our entire community of partners to amplify ridesharing safety education on college campuses nationwide,” said Lyft’s Director of Public Policy for Community Safety Jennifer Brandenburger. “We’ve already adopted several measures to make sure riders are getting in their correct vehicles with verified drivers to prevent incidents like this from happening, including sending push notifications to remind riders to verify their ride and increasing the visibility of the vehicle’s make, model and license plate in the Lyft app. While the tragedy involving Sami Josephson didn’t happen on the Lyft platform, we’re committed to enhancing safety across the entire rideshare industry.”

“This announcement comes on the heels of Lyft’s partnership with It’s On Us, an organization founded by White House officials during the Obama administration as a sexual assault prevention initiative aimed at college campuses, to amplify safety education around ridesharing. Tracey Vitchers, Executive Director at It’s On Us, and Silvia Zenteno, Director of Education and Training at It’s on Us, also serve on Lyft’s Safety Advisory Council.

“Ridesharing has become an integral part of life for young adults, especially on college campuses. It is common for students to request a ride after a night out, for themselves or for a friend, to safely and easily get home,” said Tracey Vitchers, Executive Director at It’s On Us. “As the nation's leading organization focused on college sexual assault prevention, It's On Us is proud to partner with Lyft on such important initiatives for our shared community.”

The best and most effective way for riders to ensure they’re getting in the right car is to match the license plate shown in the Lyft app with the license plate of the arriving vehicle -- before stepping foot into the car. Lyft is committed to ensuring riders have the information they need to get into the correct vehicle, which is why we send push notifications to remind riders to verify their ride’s license plate, and feature photos of the Lyft driver, license plate number, and the make, model and color of the car in the Lyft app. Last year, Lyftwe increased the size and visibility of drivers’ license plate numbers in the app, and continues to push for legislation requiring front and back license plates on the state and national level.

For additional information, please visit www.whatsmyname.org.

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Updated: Jul 29

Together the partners are doubling down to help increase the impact on rideshare safety programs through education and technology, while honoring the memory of Samantha Josephson

(ROBBINSVILLE, New Jersey)  July 2, 2020 -  Today Uber and the #WHATSMYNAME Foundation announced a partnership to help promote rideshare safety for college-aged students. The #WHATSMYNAME Foundation was founded by Seymour & Marci Josephson to educate the public on the importance of rideshare safety in honor of their daughter, Samantha Josephson. Through this collaboration, Uber, the Josephson family and the foundation are strengthening its commitments to campus safety to help increase awareness and education on rideshare safety -- on and off college campuses.

On March 29, 2019, Samantha Josephson, a 21-year-old senior at the University of South Carolina, was kidnapped and murdered when she was targeted by an individual posing as a rideshare driver. Immediately following this unimaginable tragedy, the Josephsons set out to educate the world on the importance of rideshare safety so that no other family would have to suffer this kind of loss. 

#WHATSMYNAME Foundation has already made significant progress in its efforts to educate the public on rideshare safety. In addition to fueling increased rideshare safety awareness through local, regional and national media outlets, the Foundation has partnered with colleges, businesses and municipalities across the country to create designated rideshare safety zones with signs including the “SAMI” safety tips featuring Stop, Ask, Match, Inform. The Josephsons frequently conduct rideshare safety presentations and seminars for organizations as well.

“What happened to Samantha Josephson was an unspeakable tragedy and something that no parent or family should go through,” said Tracey Breeden, global head of women’s safety, Uber. “We are honored to partner with the #WHATSMYNAME Foundation and the Josephson family to help continue raising awareness on rideshare safety. Together working alongside colleges and cities, while leveraging education and technology, we can all help create safer communities.”

Since 2017, Uber has been focused on building technology and investing in safety features to help provide riders and drivers with the tools they need to help ensure a safe and reliable experience. Last year, the company rolled out Verify Your Ride, which provides riders a unique 4-digit PIN that they can verbally provide to their driver who will have to enter it into their own app in order to start the trip. This feature provides an extra layer of safety and peace of mind for the rider and driver that the rider is getting into the correct vehicle.

University campuses, law enforcement, and student organizations play a key role in helping keep students safe, and #WHATSMYNAME & Uber are committed to help provide access to safety tools and education so we can all do our part to be safe. 

For additional information, please visit www.whatsmyname.org.

Slain college student's family fights to improve rideshare safety

#WHATSMYNAME Foundation partners with Uber and Lyft to teach collegestudents about rideshare safety

#WhatsMyName: Uber Partners With Foundation In Honor Of Samantha Josephson

Remember Her Name

Composed, Edited, and Produced by Louis A. Josephson

Plan ahead. Before you request a ride, think about where you're headed and review the safety features in the app so you know how to use them. 

Ask your driver "what's my name" to confirm they have booked a trip with you through the ride sharing app. 

Match the make, model and license plate of the car with the one displayed in the app. 

Share the details of your trip with a friend.  Utilize the "share status" function in your ride sharing app.   


To learn how to get involved with our ride share safety initiatives and for our latest updates, please provide your email address below!

The #WHATSMYNAME Foundation  is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

All donations are tax deductible in full or in part.