It’s happening on February 14th, this Valentine’s Day: An international day of action to combat violence against women.
According to united nations’ statistics, ONE BILLION women on the planet are raped or beaten in their lifetimes so, conceived by writer/activist Eve Ensler and her global organization V-Day: Until the Violence Stops, ONE BILLION women and the men who love them will rise up to dance, sing, chant, flash mob, to say “enough!”
The horrible rape in India when a girl on a bus was pulled off, gang raped, brutalized and killed has received world-wide attention and helped raise the level of support for such an ambitious event.
Honor killings and acid attacks against girls who have been raped, genital mutilation, sex trafficking—these are horrors we read about happening in other counties and the perpetrators mostly go unpunished. But one out of every three women and girls in the U.S. are victims of sexual abuse.
If we were to end violence and women were free to thrive rather than survive it will change, everything.
Already, 10s of thousands of organizations in 190 countries are planning to rise.
In Paris, the women’s Coalition of the French Parliament is rising. In India, nuns, students, teachers, and thousands of people are speaking out, and new laws and prevention education are being introduced. In Bangladesh, over 25 million have joined OBR and will form human dancing chains across the country. Our One Billion Rising anthem “Break the Chain” has been translated into Spanish. In Cape Town, Soweto, and Johannesburg, teen girls are touring schools and teaching the flash mob dance, and all over Africa local TV stations are showing the “Break the Chain” video leading up to the rising. In the Philippines, nuns, bishops, labor unions and students are rising and will be literally dancing until dawn with a 24 hour One Billion Rising event that will be live streamed around the country. The Dalai Lama and Queen Mother of Bhutan and President of Croatia have all signed on. Events are being organized all over India. Farmworkers, students, actors (Robert Redford, Kerry Washngton, Rosario Dawson are among those rising AND check out Anna Hathaway’s t-shirt and cover story in the latest Glamour magazine) and elected officials all over California are rising. The Incas are rising in Peru. Women in correctional facilities are rising in their prison cells. In Chicago thousands of people will gather in the city center. In New York MTV is sponsoring two jumbo screens in Times Square and asking its entire staff to leave their offices and dance in Times Square; a huge flash mob will take place in the center of Brussels, the European Parliament will be dancing in their chambers, and in Italy, over 50 cities are rising. And I’m just mentioning a few of the things that will happen Feb 14th.
When Eve met His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa at the TED India conference, she was immediately inspired by his commitment to this movement to write a prayer – the Man Prayer. This piece, beautifully brought to life as a short film by Eve Ensler and filmmaker Tony Stroebel, is for all men and we hope all of you will watch it and share it with every man you know. http://onebillionrising.org/blog/entry/menrise-watch-the-man-prayer .
This is the first time in history that such an event will happen, that we will stand together in unity across the planet on 2/14 to make sure that violence against women is an issue that no one will ever marginalize again.
We are asking everyone who rises to pledge to do one thing in the next year to end violence against women.
Because dancing is powerful without being violent, because when you dance you take up space and expand your horizons and sense of self and value. Because dancing is “a direct path to the truth” its holy, sexy, can’t be controlled by corporations, its free, contagious, dangerous, done together in community because it has the capacity to turn pain to power and when one billion women and men dance on the planet we will shake humanity into a new consciousness.
Why Valentines Day?
Because V-Day began 15 years ago on Valentines Day and the idea was to make it a day when women were loved and cherished and the violence ended. V stands for Vagina, Victory over Violence, and Valentine.
As philanthropist/activist Jennifer Buffett just said, “This is a MOMENT everybody. A TRUE MOMENT on planet earth that has not come before and i doubt will be presented to us again and we cannot miss it. The chance to connect and mobilize a billion women and girls, men and boys towards creating a very different kind of world at a time when this one teeters in many ways – socially and environmentally. Will we remember and regain our humanity and remember what and who is SACRED? Will we show up fully to meet and support what is trying to be born . . . ?!
Sometimes the answer is right in front of us but we just don’t recognize it as such. This is one of those moments. We have an opportunity to catalyze consciousness and EVOLVE and change and affect change . . . and if not now, when???!!!!”
To find out more, including where the your nearest rising will be on 2/14, to learn the OBR dance and song “Break The Chains”, click V-DAY on my homepage or go to the V-Day website: OneBillionRising.org
I’ll be rising in Los Angeles with V-Day and Zumba! http://www.facebook.com/events/203222443149596/
Thursday, February 14; 6:00 PM at LA Live’s Nokia Plaza, 800 W. Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90015