Thursday, February 7, 2013

WomenArts Rises! Join the One Billion Rising Campaign, Feb 14!

WomenArts invites our members — and everyone who wants to end violence against women — to join the One Billion Rising campaign and rise up on V-Day's 15th Anniversary, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013.

Founded by playwright Eve Ensler, V-Day is a foundation dedicated to ending violence against women world-wide.  Whenever anyone produces Ensler's play, "The Vagina Monologues", they are asked to donate part of the proceeds to an organization addressing violence against women. This strategy has been enormously successful - raising millions of dollars annually for women's groups around the world and creating countless new alliances between local artists and activists.   

One Billion Rising is V-Day's most ambitious event yet. As Ensler points out, "A billion women – one of every three women on the planet – will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. That’s ONE BILLION mothers, daughters, sisters, partners, and friends violated. V-Day REFUSES to stand by as more than a billion women experience violence."

On February 14th, 2013, V-Day is inviting one billion women and those who love them to DANCE, RISE UP, AND DEMAND an end to this violence. One Billion Rising offers a way to stand with women and men around the world and say, "Enough! The violence ends now."

Women and men from 197 countries will participate in One Billion Rising. They are organizing flash mob dances, reading poetry, performing plays, singing songs, marching, putting up posters, and doing a wide range of other activities. There have been video endorsements from many well-known actors, musicians, and dancers, as well as political and community leaders. V-Day believes that this will be the largest demonstration of solidarity on this issue in the history of the world.

This campaign is especially timely for women in the United States since the re-authorization of our Violence Against Women Act, which provides federal funding for investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, did not pass in the House last year and is currently being debated again. 

  • Organize a flash mob dance - V-Day provides step-by-step instructions about organizing a flash mob dance including videos that will teach you an easy-to-learn routine that Debbie Allen has choreographed to go with the One Billion Rising anthem “Break the Chain” written by acclaimed songwriter Tena Clark.  There are also One Billion Rising songs and dances from other countries.
  • Find Events in Your Community - You can search for events in your area at Event Central.
  • Organize Other Gatherings - V-Day provides an excellent list of suggestions about ways to involve people in your community and a toolkit with suggestions about documenting or live-streaming your event, sample press releases, media tips, and more.
  • Participate Online -  V-Day recognizes that not everyone can leave their homes, work, or classes; but you can still participate by talking with people online or in person about One Billion Rising and the 1 in 3 statistic.
WomenArts salutes Eve Ensler and everyone at V-Day for their tireless efforts to draw attention to the issue of violence against women world-wide for the past fifteen years. We urge everyone to find a way to participate in One Billion Rising next Thursday, even if it is simply by making sure your friends are aware of it.  This is a wonderful opportunity to express our solidarity on an issue that affects all of our lives.