There will be plenty of blog posts about hearts and flowers this week. As people all over the globe celebrate this very commercial day of spreading love … and I’m all for the sentiment behind it … I’m asking you to take some time to put thought and effort into another kind of expression of love for February 14th.
The V-Day 2013 call to action this year is “ONE BILLION RISING“. Exciting and energizing, by participating in One Billion Rising, you’re showing the world that violence against women and girls is the central issue of our time and will no longer be tolerated. Your involvement will help send the message that this movement is an unstoppable global force.
Here’s the scoop.
Today, on the planet, a billion women – one of every three women – 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’s 15th Anniversary, we are inviting one billion women and those who love them to walk out, DANCE, RISE UP, AND DEMAND an end to this violence. One Billion Rising is a promise that we will rise up with women and men worldwide to say, “Enough! The violence ends now.”
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN START A RISING – Stage a rising in your community, office, college, or school. Organize a flash mob at a landmark building/site, in the streets or in a nearby mall. Have a dance party, produce a theatrical event, march in your streets, protest, strike, dance and above all RISE! GET STARTED. Or just rise up and dance by yourself or with your special valentine, it all counts!
In case you aren’t familiar with this movement, it’s time you were. We all need to be involved. I’m copying text here from my message last Valentine’s Day. Click here to go back and read the entire post. You will be glad you did! Want to enjoy some tunes while you read? Click on the Music To Rise To link.
WHAT IS V-DAY? A global movement to stop violence against women and girls by raising funds and increasing awareness, V-Day has its roots in Valentine’s Day, February 14, and the award-winning play The Vagina Monlogues, written by Eve Ensler. Click here for the official website.
An activist and playwright, Eve Ensler founded V-Day on February 14, 1998, when she organized a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues in New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom. The event sold out the 2500-seat venue and raised $250,000 for local NYC anti-violence groups. Among the 20 actors performing in the first V-Day production were Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Winona Ryder, Calista Flockhard, Margaret Cho, Gloria Steinem, and Eve Ensler herself.
In 1999, V-Day launched its College Campaign with 66 participating schools across North America performingThe Vagina Monologues; over 20,000 people attended V-Day events. Over in the UK, a benefit performance at London’s Old Vic Theatre featured Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Isabella Rosellini, Christiane Amanpour, and Gillian Anderson.
In 2000, the College Campaign expanded to 150 colleges and universities around the globe. In 2001, a February 10th V-Day performance in New York City’s Madison Square Garden sold out 18,000 seats and raised $1 million. Also that year, the Worldwide Campaign took off; V-Day events in over 40 cities raised over $350,000 to local organizations.
By V-Day’s tenth anniversary in February 2008, thousands of benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues (including a run on Broadway) had raised over 50 million dollars for anti-violence programs around the world. Over 120 countries have staged V-Day events.
In 14 years, the V-Day movement has raised over 90 million dollars and can be found in 167 countries from Europe to Asia, Africa and the Caribbean and all of North America.
Thanks to writer/blogger Emmie Mears for introducing me to V-Day last year.