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Why Will You Rise? Valentine’s Day! One Billion Rising 2015… flashmobs, catchy songs… and a very serious message

1br_rev_landscape_stack_w.date_whiteOne Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women 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.

823490_588096431218669_772961687_oIn 2013, Tri-Valley Haven was among the multitudes of individuals and organizations rising up to demand that these857261_588096311218681_434111015_o issues be looked at unflinchingly and changes made globally. 

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.

One Billion Rising 2014 - Group 002Again, Tri-Valley Haven was a participant, sharing the reasons all of us as staff and volunteers stood by this cause and helping to spread the message.

This year in 2015, One Billion Rising is rising for Revolution and again, Tri-Valley Haven rises too. We invite you to join us as we gather for a flash mob in downtown Livermore!  For more information on the flash mob, come check out our Event Page on Facebook, and if you want to join us we even have links to HOW TO DO THE DANCE and we have PUBLIC DANCE PRACTICES THIS WEEK AT OUR COMMUNITY BUILDING!  (Tuesday at 3 PM and Thursday at 4 PM at our Community Building at 3663 Pacific Avenue in Livermore.)

We had a great time in 2013 and we can’t wait to Strike, Dance, Rise again.  Be there.  Be the change you want to see in the world.

(And dance, dance, dance…!)

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One Billion Rising and… Vaginas!

That got your attention, didn’t it?

As you may have seen from my co-blogger Christine’s post earlier in the week, we are closing in RAPIDLY on the Tri-Valley Haven’s benefit production of The Vagina Monologues at the Mertes Center for the Arts at Las Positas College.  The collectible tank-tops are ordered, the program has gone to the press, tickets are selling rapidly and I personally am really excited to see the show!  In addition to this, the One Billion Rising event for Valentine’s Day went off around the world in spectacular fashion and we at the Haven got to be a small but proud part of it.  In honor of BOTH events, I decided this week to just share some pictures of our amazing staff and volunteers and actresses from this year’s and previous years’ Vagina Monologues productions and some photos of us doing our small part for One Billion Rising’s flash mob extravaganzas–ours in downtown Livermore.

I hope you enjoy and–if you are near Livermore, California, I hope you take advantage of our showing of the Monologues and come share the experience with us!  Photos of the Monologues come next!

We were small, but mighty!

We were small, but mighty!

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One Billion Rising – The Day is Here!

A crowd dancing for One Billion Rising in Poland...

A crowd dancing for One Billion Rising in Poland…

This afternoon, Tri-Valley Haven will host its own Rising event in downtown Livermore, but what we are doing is set against the background of a worldwide phenomenon–200 countries, presentations at the United Nations, a legislator (male) dancing for women’s rights in the New Mexico legislature (that video is hilarious!), flash mobs, original songs, poems, dances, demonstrations, protests… voices lifted and bodies moving and hope… hope for change.

The updates worldwide are POURING in on their website--you could waste the whole day, and more, being uplifted by what is streaming there.  And you know what?  I’m not convinced it would be a day wasted.  So much news is devoted to what is wrong–seeing people rising up with joy for what is RIGHT… that isn’t time wasted.

I know I’ve focused several blog posts on One Billion Rising, but I truly feel that this is an important event.  Will it end violence against women all by itself?  Of course not, but something this large, this worldwide and this… this viral, to use internet-speak, really should not be ignored.

I urge you today, if you are in the time zone where “today” is still February 14th and Valentine’s Day, to go to the One Billion Rising website and look up an event taking place near you.  I can almost guarantee there WILL be one.  Go to it.  Dance, smile, clap, raise your voice.  Be part of a movement that says that change IS possible, that women–all women–deserve to live lives free of the threat of violence, rape, pain and suffering.  1 in 3 women worldwide in their lifetimes will experience a rape or violence.  Let’s change that.

Let’s start today.

Strike! Dance! Rise!

OBR-logo-englishWell, I posted a while back on the movement called One Billion Rising and I posted a link to a wonderful short film promoting the international day of awareness.  And then I managed to NOT keep posting about it (which I wanted to do, because this whole thing is pretty awesome in my opinion) and go on to other topics which are also important.  But I CAN’T STAND IT!  I have to post again!  There’s a couple reasons why I am so excited:

#1 – My organization, Tri-Valley Haven, is hosting a One Billion Rising event in our home town of Livermore, California!  So I’m putting out a link to the event here.  I know not all of you (or even necessarily most of you) who read my blog are my real-life neighbors, but SOME of you might be.  And so, in that off-hand chance… you should totally come to Panama Red Coffee Company on February 14th to celebrate with us!

#2 — Ok, I think we all love inspiring, uplifting and amazing dance music, am I right?  Do we love it more when it’s not only inspiring, uplifting and amazing but… international?  How about inspiring, uplifting, amazing, international and for an INCREDIBLE cause?  Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!

So… here are links to some beautiful art that people around the world are creating in honor of the One Billion Rising event!

Want to dance?  Check out the One Billion Rising theme song–Break the Chain!  I guarantee it will be stuck in your head, and that’s a good thing!  It’s been in mine all day!

Want to dance… en español?  Si, se puede!

For a bunch of wonderful videos–some from the United States, some from Mexico, India, South Africa and so many other countries, go to the VDay YouTube channel and be inspired!

And when you’re done dancing around your home, your office, or wherever you are when you plunge into this amazing outpouring of art and spirit, consider joining up with a One Billion Rising event in your area.  There are tons out there and you can even do an easy search by city, State, zip or country!v_day-page2437

Because sometimes being a bystander can be challenging, hard or lonely work.  But sometimes, being an active bystander means to sing, to dance, to be visible, to raise your voice… and to be part of something magical!  Strike!  Dance!  Rise!

One Billion Rising – It’s not just one bystander getting involved…!

(Warning, the short film linked here has scenes of violence that can be triggering.)

One In Three Women On The Planet Will Be Raped Or Beaten In Her Lifetime. One Billion Women Violated Is An Atrocity. One Billion Women Dancing Is A Revolution.

Join V-Day on
02.14.13
in a global strike to demand an end to violence.

This blog is called “Prevention, Power and Peace.”  I can think of few other people who have struggled so hard in the past few decades to bring the issues of violence against women to light – to spread prevention, power and peace – as Eve Ensler, who created the play “The Vagina Monologues” and founded V-Day.

This year, my agency–the Tri-Valley Haven–is putting on a production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues”.  This isn’t a new thing for us.  We’ve put productions on for the past several years, nearly all to very full audiences.  I’m thinking about auditioning–I’ve been in a few productions already.  Being in the play or attending it are ways of being a helpful bystander, because it helps to give voice in a public space to people who have been raped and abused.  More practically, productions raise funds for our agency and many other agencies around the world involved in the work of ending domestic violence and sexual assault.  Also, it’s just an awesome play–by turns funny and heart-breakingly sad and always challenging.  I love some monologues and have an uneasy relationship with others.  It’s a powerful work, a flawed work, a work that sparks debate and anger and life-changes.  Not everybody loves it, but the fact remains that productions of it have done a HUGE amount to raise funds, awareness… and hope.

This year, Eve Ensler’s movement, V-Day, is based around the concept of One Billion Rising.  I urge you to view the film (with the caution that it COULD be triggering, so do not watch if that is a concern!) and to visit the One Billion Rising website.

Step up!  Don’t stand by!

 

 

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