Engaged audience (1)[9]

Kingston, New York – One Billion Rising is building a transformational superhighway for the human heart — that transmits love and transmutes pain as it grows rapidly around the world. When we rise in our own communities to end violence and demand justice, we are building the connective pathways, junctions, bridges, tunnels, and signposts needed to turn pain into power; inaction into movement; apathy into empathy; and separation into unity.

Here in Kingston, New York, the One Billion Rising event that galvanized 200+ people in attendance at a local church centered around the riveting film, Shelter, https://www.onebillionrising.org/5363/shelter/, created by Natalie Merchant, and included a phenomenal panel* discussion between legislators, budget leaders, administrators, police commissioners, prosecutors and domestic violence experts. During their hour-long conversation they committed to advocating for adding prosecutors to caseloads, changing criminal statutes, funding housing for women who leave abusive relationships to amending gun laws, creating new data reports, working with the media to change the cultural conversation …. and more!

It was a wild and healing dream come true — to see how One Billion Rising galvanized such a meaningful impact in our community! The Hudson Valley event came into being because two determined women, Beth Bengston and Zoe Dunn, heard Eve Ensler’s riveting-jump-to-your-feet keynote talk at Omega Institute’s women’s conference two years ago. They were so inspired by her call to take local action that they enlisted a third woman, Jillian Fisher, to help them organize the first One Billion Rising Hudson Valley in 2013, and then again in 2014. Joining alongside the thousands of other Risings around the world we experienced the power of V-Day’s global framework for change — a vivid vision of what’s possible when we lead from love, calling us to rise wherever we are, and demanding change together. Let’s keep RISING!

Sending a Billion thanks to Eve Ensler and the V-day Team for your leadership.Panel State and County Legislators and DAs[10]

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*Panelists:

  • Gwen Wright, Executive Director, N.Y.S. Office for the Prevention of   Domestic Violence
  • Kevin Cahill, N.Y.S. Member of the Assembly
  • Michael P. Hein, Ulster County Executive
  • Marcus Molinaro, Dutchess County Executive
  • Robert Rolison, Chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature
  • Elizabeth A. Culmone, Ulster County Senior Assistant District Attorney, Special Victims’ Bureau
  • Marjorie Smith, Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney, Bureau Chief Special Victims’ Bureau