One Billion Rising Miami has taken this year’s Global themes and focused particularly on Solidarity and individual and collective Resourcefulness; creatively provoking individuals and groups to think radically differently about what it will take to change the statistics and realities of violence to women and girls in our lifetimes.
The not-so-obvious concept is that, as members of our local and global communities, we must act as Citizen First Responders. This is a message that powerfully resonates with all ages, diverse individuals and groups as they begin to contemplate that they can indeed act and are not helpless bystanders to the statistics.
Providing Tools, and Connecting with Resources available and Invoking the need for each of us to feel empowered in order to effect revolutionary change, now.
Our Risings for 2017 focused on the following issues in particular: human trafficking, including sex trafficking, particularly of the burgeoning domestic youth sector; dating and partner violence; political will and activism with creativity; public health issue of suicide and LGTBQ rights; climate change and its effects on women and families; Get Out The Vote, equal pay and worker’s rights advocacy.
The actions and outcomes of the OBR Miami 2017 campaign include the following:
-Quarterly convening of individuals and organizations to form collective force organized by OBR Miami in partnership with Women’s Fund.
*Directory compiled and growing so that attendees can resource/connect in solidarity with one another
-November- completion of Miami-Dade Human Trafficking Poster designed by Design and Architecture High School students
-December 1, 2016-participated in Together For Children Coalition strategy meetings
-December 6 & 7, 2016-Art Basel Week performance activism, “FLOATING DROWNING”
–OBR partnered with artist Monica Bose with full activist performance art in the center of Miami Beach, stopping traffic on Collins Ave. and also in the heart of the Wynwood Arts district, crossing from Art Fair again across highly trafficked streets to Biscayne Bay.
-January 18, 2017 OBR Miami participated in Florida National University Human Trafficking March, disseminating What You Can Do empowerment info
-January 21, 2017 OBR Miami contingent participated in Million Women March D.C.
Ongoing communication and networking with Million Women March Miami, disseminating information and determining actions within the community, including demands on politicians, calls and postcard campaigns, marches.
-February 2, 2017 – Freedom From Violence: Miami Rising
***This meeting was attended by leader of the Miami-Dade Women’s Initiative, who provide counsel to local government on needs and funding.
-Panel: “Impact on Children of Violence at Home; Breaking The Chain”
-February 14, 2017-FIU Rising, at Florida International University, Feb. 14, 2017, Organized OBR in conjunction with Dr. Sandy Skelaney and the head of the Women’s Studies Dept.
-Panel on Global Issues meeting Local Issues, including Human Right’s Watches’ Carine Chehab and Casa Valentina’s Wanda Finnie.
—Spoken Word performances in lecture room and throughout campus common area by Northwest High School troupe.
—Campus’ Central “Pit” convening; Tabling and distribution of What You Can Do flyers, OBR film shorts and performance of monologues by FIU’s cast of Vagina Monologues
-February 23, 2017- Vagina Monologues Benefit for Casa Valentina at historic Olympia Theater incorporated films from OBR Global; What You Can Do info disseminated
-February 24, 2017-OBR participated in Coral Gables High School Health Fair, engaging over 500 students to put hotline phone numbers from What You Can Do cards into their phones so that they can be Citizen First Responders
-March 8, 2017 -OBR Moderated International Women’s Day panel, including Human Trafficking Investigator from State Attorney’s office, AHA Foundation Senior Director and Professor from Albizu University who specializes in Human Trafficking plus 60 Minutes correspondent, Lara Logan
-March 29, 2017-participate in Human Trafficking Seder (doc attached), speaking as OBR and again asking each participant to include hotline numbers in phones to become Citizen First Responders
-ONGOING – Freedom From Violence: Miami Rising
-May 11 CNN in Spanish plans to attend to find journalistic resources at Quarterly convening of individuals and organizations to form collective force organized by OBR Miami in partnership with Women’s Fund.
-ONGOING -seat on Miami-Dade Human Trafficking Coalition and FNU Powerhouse 3. Challenges and obstacles faced this year
-OBR Miami is a symbol of global activism with local action and this is shown through spokespeople—our activists meet more on social media via Facebook and then plug in to major events not produced by us.
To be able to outreach the campaign, and to engage with many other groups and initiatives, we partner with schools, other organizations and state and local governments. We utilize the key tool “WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW, WHAT YOU CAN DO” in conjunction with OBR global films and local speakers to show what grassroots voices can and must do. We also utilize social media – our One Billion Rising Miami Facebook page serves as an active resource to 1,333 followers. And we partner messaging with Million Women March Miami and many organizations to increase impact of collective voices on shared issues.
Part of our creative strategy is to also incite students and citizens to know the facts on VAW and have phone numbers so they can act any time someone in need crosses their path/ For example: OBR supported creative High Schoolers to create Human Trafficking message that will be truly noticed by victims—a creative, not institutional approach.
For our “WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW/WHAT YOU CAN DO” initiative, we distributed 19,000 flyers (10,00 more will be produced this month). The goal is to have the majority of the residents of Miami Dade County with these resource phone numbers in their phone address books to enable them to be Citizen First Responders.
Our most valued resources are urban schools who bring us in to speak to those who are most vulnerable. As a result more and more schools, including High Schools, want to hold Risings next year.
For the last five years of the OBR campaign in Miami, we have maintained the reputation of lighting fires and provoking for action, but have morphed from the explosive and exciting initial manifestations into being essential community resources and integrating with others into manifestations with many other partners.
We continue to Rise in Miami because we have political crises in our country that have bonded more people together more than ever. More people are wanting to become grassroots activists and come to OBR for guidance and advice as there are now reactionary and retro movements that must be countered. We also continue to Rise because human trafficking remains a huge issue here and many amazing people are working together on that issue, including OBR.
We must continue to create OBR films and art forms that bring the world in to affect local perspectives. We need to ALWAYS incorporate spoken word, dance, drumming, singing….something creative into every event and we must continue to give voice to those who want to tell their stories. Our OBR Miami initiative – “WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW/WHAT YOU CAN DO” works! It does not get old—it transforms virtually every conference, school event, panel that we participate in. People WANT to feel empowered to act.
Our OBR Miami activists feel that, as a campaign, OBR remains timely, powerful and real, and therefore the Rising in Miami continues!