FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Activists Across the Globe Mobilize for One Billion Rising: Revolution Campaign
Third Year of Mass Anti-Violence Campaign Kicks Off with ARTISTIC UPRISING Event at NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom on February 7
Featuring Artists, Slam Poets, Dancers, Drummers, Musicians with Activists from Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, the Philippines, and South Africa
Series with The Huffington Post Features First Person Profiles of Global Activists
January 27, 2015 – One Billion Rising, the largest global action to end violence against women and girls in human history, is launching its third year with One Billion Rising: Revolution, a new escalation that calls for a radical shift to end the global epidemic of abuse that women face worldwide.
With the tagline “Drum, Dance & Rise,” women, men and youth will plan, lead, and participate in actions, dance, political and artistic events, and rallies —or Risings—in hundreds of countries on (and around) the date of February 14th to highlight, spark, and mobilize artistic and community-based initiatives to bring in the new revolutionary world of equality, dignity, and freedom for all women and girls.
“1 in 3 women across the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. That’s one billion women and girls. Every February, we rise – in hundreds of countries across the world – to show our local communities and the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors most often face,” stated Eve Ensler, playwright, activist and Founder of One Billion Rising. “We rise through dance to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that we have not been defeated by this violence. We rise to show we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable. This year we are rising for Revolution”
At a meeting in Rome last spring, One Billion Rising’s global coordinators chose the theme of “Revolution” for 2015 as an escalation of the prior two years, building upon the successes and wide-scale networks that have been mobilized to date. Since 2013, activists in over 200 countries have staged RISING events bringing the issue front and center, garnering worldwide media attention, changing laws, and demanding justice and an end to the rampant impunity that women survivors of gender violence face.
The campaign’s Global Director, Monique Wilson states, “REVOLUTION means: a sudden radical or complete change, or a fundamental change in the way of thinking. As revolutionaries, we must continue inciting, awakening, provoking, inspiring and transforming. We must continue to DANCE – with rage and poetry, with passion and urgency, with imagination and bravery. We must continue to defy, challenge and disrupt whatever is causing and keeping violence towards women and girls in place. And we must continue seeing and believing in a future with no more violence. And boldly insist on it. We must RISE FOR REVOLUTION.”
Kicking Off the Rising in NYC
Thousands of events will take place around the world the week of February 14th. One Billion Rising will host a kickoff event in New York City at Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday, February 7th. Artists and activists will come together in a night of dancing, singing, and drumming to launch the rising revolution, continuing One Billion Rising’s legacy of harnessing the power of art and activism. Tickets from $25, available online.
The one-night-only benefit will bring together a groundbreaking group of performers and artists united around the common goal of ending violence against women. Tony Award winning playwright, performer, activist & founder of One Billion Rising and V-Day Eve Ensler; actress and V-Day Board member Thandie Newton; actress Kathy Najimy; Orange is the New Black actress and long-time V-Day activist Emma Myles; actor, comedian, and activist Rosie O’Donnell; Brooklyn-based artist Swoon; singer-songwriter Maya Azucena; international music group Batala NYC; activist musical group BETTY; band Y3K; multimedia & spoken word duo Climbing PoeTree; City of Joy and V-Day Congo Director Christine Schuler Deschryver (Congo); poet and spoken word performer Asali Devan Ecclesiastes; poet and vocalist Gina Loring; anti-FGM women & girls’ rights activist Agnes Pareyio (Kenya); poet, singer, and activist Sunni Patterson; theatrical dance & extreme action company STREB; beat boxer, actor, and youth activist Karabo Tshikube (South Africa); artist and performance poet Jaha Zainabu; Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan member Zoya (Afghanistan); One Billion Rising Director Monique Wilson (Manila and Singapore); and others to be announced.
Showcasing Voices of the Revolution – a Global Hub
Actions will escalate on the One Billion Rising website, which acts as a global hub for the risings and where people are encouraged to share their stories of revolution in the fight to eradicate violence against women. Answering the call for videos, blog posts, photos and art has been a range of artists, scholars, musicians, poets. The site features “My Revolution” statements from actor and V-Day Board member Thandie Newton, feminist scholar Zillah Eisenstein, Climbing PoeTree, Asali Devan Ecclesiastes, as well as activists and local organizers. Eve Ensler’s monologue inspired by the campaign is entitled “My Revolution Lives In This Body.”
Risings will focus on highlighting, creating and envisioning new, brave and radical artistic initiatives to bring in the new revolutionary world of equality, dignity and freedom for all women and girls. Events can be easily searched for and planned on the One Billion Rising site, featuring a toolkit, logos, news and information, and more.
The One Billion Rising blog regularly features news from the global coordinators and activists acting as an ever changing window into the rising world. With a passion for stories and understanding of how they inspire, this year, the campaign has created a joint series with The Huffington Post, entitled “Building to One Billion: Revolution,” sharing stories of activists who embody the creative radical shift in consciousness required to bring about change. Grassroots activists who fight for justice and liberation with passion and joy are featured including Agnes Pareyio of Kenya, Jessica Montoya from Santa Fe, Sohini Chakraborty of India, Nakima Jones of the United States. The series will continue through 14 February.
Back by popular demand, “Break the Chain” will remain the official anthem of One Billion Rising. The song was written and produced by legendary music dynamo Tena Clark, and choreographed by dance icon and award winning choreographer Debbie Allen, and is used in One Billion Rising protests, social justice actions, and risings worldwide. Activists around the world have translated the song into multiple languages and local artists have recorded it as seen in the short film, One Billion Rising for Justice. Inspired by the artistic call to action of the campaign, global artists, including Climbing PoeTree, Sookee, Apollo Poetry, Betty, and Morley have also written and recorded original Rising songs.
ONE BILLION RISING: REVOLUTION is an energy, a platform, a global movement, a catalyst, a worldwide decision to end violence against women, a demand for justice, a paradigm shift, an invitation, a gathering of the ready, housed everywhere, housed in our hearts, you, us, REVOLUTION.
Below, please examples of risings happening across the globe. For the online listing of events please visit: https://www.onebillionrising.org/events
Afghanistan: The Afghan Women’s Network is planning a huge event with 1000 people at Kabul University, as well as events in 34 provinces in Afghanistan.
Atlanta: On February 11th , One Billion Rising Atlanta is hosting a benefit breakfast with Eve Ensler and 100 activists. In addition to the meet and greet, there will be three speakers who will address their work in relation to One Billion Rising: Bernice King, CEO King Center; Debra Richardson, National Center for Human Rights; and George McKerrow, co founder and CEO of Teds’ Montana’s Grille, the first man to read The Vagina Monologues in Atlanta, and advisor advocate for Men stopping Violence in Atlanta. On 14 Feb the ‘R’ Evolution events include drumming, peace posts, speakers and dancing at Ebenzer Baptist Church.
Croatia: Over 1000 people are expected to rise at the Flower Square in Zagreb, including the President of Croatia, actors, singers, drummers, and activists who will read from the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). There will be a concert and the release of 1000 red balloons.
DRC: Local activists will host discussions on how to fight patriarchy and create an equal society. In Bukavu on February 14, they will host a main event with dance and drumming at Panzi Hospital.
Guyana: With a theme of “Let the Women Speak – The Revolution Unveiled” activists will host a luncheon on March 8th (International Day for Women) for 250 grassroots women who will tell their stories or tell the stories of the women they work with and interweave fabric of many colors in 3’X3’ connecting around the room. On March 9, a public event – RED REVOLUTION GALA EVENING – will include an artistic presentation of opera, music and spoken words poetry, drama at Guyana’s National Cultural Centre.
Haiti: My Revolution (Rev P’am) – an outdoor multi-arts feminist festival on March 8th at the Place Boyer plaza in Petion-Ville, with an evening outdoor performance of The Vagina Monologues in creole. The festival will also mark the launch of the V-Hommes (V-Men) of Haiti Movement.
India: Events are planned throughout India. Some examples. In Vadodara, Gujarat, a Safe City Action Plan Contest is being held in February, encouraging architecture students to submit innovative ideas for safety improvements in terms of urban planning. A “Nine is Mine” campaign will take place country wide involving 10,000 children. In Mumbai, a cycle rally/ marathon /music concert is in the planning stage. A youth OBR organizing committee is being formed to plan the event and mobilize partnerships including youth, media, corporate, IT and student community.
Italy: FLY THE SPIRIT REVOLUTION is a Campus Rising organized in collaboration with the University of Roma – La Sapienza. This year they are including a demand for ending all forms of gender-based violence and to demand justice for the environment and a stop to the “rape” of Mother Earth.
Kenya: From February 1-14, a media campaign will highlight sexual harassment in academic institutions and the need for sexual harassment policies culminating with Campus Call for Action/ Uprising/ Forums on sexual harassment and dancing that will bring together universities students in Nairobi. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s academic performance, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic environment. The project will advocate for prevention as the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in the schools.
Las Vegas: On February 13, Raiding the Rock Vault—an award-winning Vegas show featuring members of historic rock bands, including Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Heart, Survivor, The Offspring, Quiet Riot, Asia, and Badfinger—will join One Billion Rising for a one-day-only charity rock concert to end violence against women, rise for justice, and promote gender equality. The show will take place at the Tropicana Theater. For ticket information, go to: http://www.troplv.com/las-vegas/shows-entertainment/raiding-the-rock-vault-rock-and-rise.
The Maldives: On the evening of February 14, on at least four Atolls, they are planning to release sky lanterns at the same time in all locations to represent Solidarity and Unity towards eradicating all forms of Violence Against Women.
Mexico: Groups in 22 of the 32 Mexican States will rise. The central intention is to raise awareness to end violence and human trafficking. We are determined to end it in our country as much as possible. The risings will take place in iconic places of each city: The Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City, the pyramids of Teotihuacan rest, Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Port of Veracruz, Puerto Vallarta, La Paz, and Plaza de la Revolucion (Revolution Plaza in Guadalajara) to name a few. Though the pyramids rising will be on Sunday 15th, we are planning with the local government that all the elementary schools of the Estado de Mexico rise on Friday the 13th… this with the intention that even at a young age children dance to end violence. We are trying to get a Guinness record of a number of people doing the “Rompe las cadenas” flashmob that day.
Miami: OBR Miami is working with 30 local organizations each calling for revolution at the February 12 Rising event – Drum! Dance! Rise! Street Fair, Manifestation and Celebration. Each organization will have a table at the street fair. There will be a huge march from Plaza to Biscayne Boulevard and back with huge One Billion Rising signs, pickets, instruments and more to manifest to Stop Sex Trafficking in Miami.
Nepal: HELVETAS Swiss intercooperation Nepal are organizing programs including interaction programs, documentary screenings in information centers of the SAMI Project, and street drama in public places.
Pakistan: 50 banners which read “Rising For an Inclusive and Peaceful Pakistan” are being sent out to 26 districts across the country, where activists are writing their messages of peace, love, tolerance, equality on the banners and sending them back to be displayed all together in Islamabad on the 14th. Music programs and radio stations will be playing rising music in all four languages used in Pakistan- Pashto, Sindhi, Punjabi, and Balochi.
The Philippines: One Billion Rising Revolution Philippines will have massive nation-wide Risings on February 14th, led by the Gabriela National Alliance of Women’s Grassroots Groups – peasant women, women farmworkers, women migrants, women domestic workers, church women, youth, children, teachers and women workers. On February 14th—Revolution Day—a massive march will take place in downtown Metro Manila, led by the Gabriela Alliance and other mass-based organizations that make up the OBR Philippines Task Force group. Similar satellite marches and protest rallies will be held across the country, led by Gabriela chapters in cities and regions throughout the country. This year’s events will feature a new One Billion Rising Revolution Philippines song – “BABANGON NA SA REBOLUYSON (“Rise For Revolution”) – with a new dance. The song is composed and produced by Merlee Jayme and award winning Philippine ad agency DM9 Jayme Syfu.
There will be hundreds of build up events around the country taking place before February 14th, and continuing until March 8th. Workers will lead OBR dance protests outside major factories, malls and corporations as part of the “Rise for the Raise” campaign. There will be dance revolution rising events at demolition sites, at garbage sites serving as people’s homes such as Tondo and Payatas, outside major government institutions, at schools and colleges, in prisons and around mining sites.
Santa Fe: On February 13 they will hold community testimonials of revolutionary stories and demand support at the State Capitol and will surprise the legislature with a flash mob. In a large event on February 14, local activists will utilize art as activism to display the statistics of women and girls affected by violence through the chalking of outlined bodies and the erasing of these statistics through dance. A local radio station will be broadcasting live from the Flash-mob, they will sound the emergency alert signal at 2:14pm and play “Break The Chain” across all 4 radio stations in both English and Spanish.
Saarland: German activists are coordinating a spiritual drumming event at 20:00-21:00 in every time zone on February 7. Participants around the world will let “the rhythm of the drums flow throughout the world, let it hug the Earth and encompass it with energy.”
South and Central America: 15 countries are rising on February 13-14 including Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panamá, Uruguay, Venezuela
Sri Lanka: Six feminist activists have learned to play local RISING songs on the traditional Tamil drums and will drum in the revolution on Kalladi beach in Batticaloa. Local singers will accompany them and all the participants and audience members will be encouraged to draw sand drawings under the guidance of a local artist from the men for gender equality group.
Sudan: The local campaign’s focus is Rising, Awakening and Renewal of their calls to end violence against women, as well as a recognition of how small changes, like higher education, and increased access to resources can improve women lives.
Swaziland: In all the activities, girls will be leading the way. In Swaziland, Revolution means “deeper and increased love, peace and unity.” This year the focus of the campaign will be to advocate for the enactment of the Sexual Offences and Domestic violence Bill and women’s political representation. Grass roots girls clubs have emerged in the four regions of Swaziland. The girls believe in a future with humanity and choice, a future where the youth can grow up and strive with opportunities and with freedom. A future where there is no violence against women and girls. In the club girls are sensitized on issues which include Gender based violence, Abstinence, Rights and the importance of education. On February 14, there will be a traditional march which will be held in the streets of Manzini with girls leading. Guests will include legislators, Government representatives and Directors of organizations.
United Kingdom: The slogan in the UK is the “Revolution is Love” and the focus is saying no more sexual abuse of young children and vulnerable young women. Drumming, dancing and a red heart balloon release with messages of love at the historical Marble Arch in London on February 14. Women from across generations will attend including a group of high profile grandmothers GoGos, and 120 members of Little Sistas – from aged 12 – 20 coming from Liverpool.
Zimbabwe: Throughout January and February Revolution Reading Circles will take place. 20 women from each community will read icons who have worked to end violence against women and hold discussions to inspire their own revolutions. On February 14, activists, lawyers, police, nurses and counselors will tour an area of town with high reports of gender-based violence to raise awareness on a Stop The Revolutionary Bus Tour.
Vets Rising: VetsRising is an initiative created by survivors of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) that will reach out in 50 state capital cities, and host an event in Washington, D.C., on February 14. VetsRising will mount a grassroots, but strategic, social-media/media effort, between now and V-Day to engage the general public on the topic of military rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence through this initiative.
Rise for the Raise: The fight and struggle for workers for social justice was at the center of many Risings in the last two years. The “Rise for the Raise” initiative is fuelled by the collective actions of grassroots workers around the globe who are fighting against the most severe forms of exploitation and inequality. One Billion Rising has created a series of ongoing actions in conjunction with Roc United on this issue. On February 13, a national action in the United States will take place on ROC’s annual day of action.
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One Billion Rising is a global initiative to raise awareness of—and end—violence against women. 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime, adding up to more than one billion women and girls.
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About One Billion Rising
One Billion Rising was the biggest mass action to end violence against women and girls in human history. The campaign, launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On 14 February 2013, people across the world came together to express their outrage, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women. Last year, on 14 February 2014, One Billion Rising for Justice focused on the issue of justice for all survivors of gender violence, and highlighted the impunity that lives at the intersection of poverty, racism, war, the plunder of the environment, capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy. Events took place in 200 countries, where women, men, and youth came together to Rise, Release, and Dance outside of court houses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes, or simply public gathering places where women deserve to feel safe but too often do not. The campaign was covered widely by media in all corners of world including The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, and many more. www.onebillionrising.org. Visit www.onebillionrising.org