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One Billion Rising: A Feminist Tsunami of Love and Action this V-Day

One Billion Rising pictures

February is upon us and we’re up to our ears in the barrage of radio and TV commercials here to remind us that there’s only a couple of weeks left to buy diamonds and chocolates to prove your love is real. (ugh, right?)

So, here’s an awesome alternative. Let’s make sure that this Valentines Day isn’t just about cupid, chocolates or bouquets, but about something more meaningful.  Let’s make it about LOVE, but in a much bigger, more active and compassionate way;  join in participating in ONE BILLION RISING.   Valentines Day is shaping up to be a huge global activist movement to end violence against women and girls and that’s an idea to love.

ONE BILLION RISING was created by a group that includes author Eve Ensler called “V-Day” which promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. (The ‘V’ in “V-Day” stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.) In conjunction with it’s 15th anniversary, V-Day launched its most ambitious campaign to date - ONE BILLION RISING.

Here’s the simple fact behind the name:

-1 out of 3 women in the world will experience violence in her lifetime. That means that over 1 billion women on this planet will be impacted by violence. ONE BILLION. 

You’ve seen the headlines this year: An Indian Woman gang-raped on a train, a Pakistani school girl shot on her way to school. In the U.S., the Attorney General just announced that the Superbowl creates the single Largest Human trafficking incident in the US. Republican Senators just Voted AGAINST a bill co-authored by ALL WOMEN IN CONGRESS called the Violence Against Women Act.  This is our year to make a stand.

“V-Day REFUSES to stand by as more than a billion women experience violence.”

V-Day is inviting ONE BILLION women and men to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. Through V-Day we can show the world our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.

This movement has been described by the press as a feminist tsunami- a wave of energetic rearrangement of our universal chemistry. More than 5,000 organizations in 177 countries have signed on to participate (there are only 196 countries in the world, so that’s almost everyone!)

One Billion Rising flashmob

I encourage you to check their amazing website to find out how to get involved. You’ll find many videos with personal stories from all over the world on why people are organising events in their city. You can find a Rising/Flashmob to join in your area.  There is a downloadable toolkit to help you organize one yourself,  including playlist suggestions.

There are a few options to join a VDay Flash Mob if you are in L.A.:

1) There is an L.A. Rising Flash Mob appearing at 4:30 at 3rd St Promenade and Wilshire in Santa Monica.  Please join the Facebook group for more information concerning location and times.

2) There is a free-flow Flash Mob lead by Shiva Rea meeting at 4:00 on the Venice Boardwalk.  This one encourages men and children as well. Details on their Facebook.

We warn you this video contains graphic images that may not be suitable for some viewers, but it is perhaps one of the most honest depictions you will see for why we choose to RISE.  We must open our eyes to what is real- and what we can do about it.

“A billion is too big, because one is too big.” - Anne Hathoway , Advocate for One Billion Rising

Join the online discussion:  #1billionrising#reasontorise, and @vday

Are you planning something in your city? Please share!