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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…!)

Support Tri-Valley Haven, Watch Amazing Theater! Laugh with Friends! See “The Good Body” at Las Positas!

This blog post is completely dedicated to our upcoming production of “The Good Body” on Friday, February 7th at 8 pm, Saturday, February 8th at 8 pm, and Sunday, February 9th at 2 pm at the Las Positas Mertes Theater in Livermore, CA. Tickets are on sale now: http://thegoodbody.brownpapertickets.com

 In “The Good Body”, Eve Ensler, author of “The Vagina Monologues”, examines the female form in a hilarious, revealing, and compassionate way. Whether undergoing Botox injections or living beneath burqas, women of all cultures and backgrounds feel compelled to change the way they look in order to fit it. “The Good Body” merges cross-cultural explorations with Eve Ensler’s personal journey.

 Directed by local favorite, Eleisa Cambra, all proceeds from this extraordinary production go to Tri-Valley Haven to end violence against women and girls.  We’ve got the talent!  We’ve got the fantastic script!  We’ve got the theater and the programs and the tickets!   


(But wait!  There’s more to this post!)

Lisa, Director of “The Good Body”, Dishes on the Play, Why You Want to Go, and Her Superpowers! 1383159_10151659860885213_2064949460_n

You have been the very successful director that got “The Vagina Monologues” rolling in Livermore as a benefit for Tri-Valley Haven. Do you want to tell us a little bit about how you got involved in the project? 

 “A dear friend of mine  was dating a woman that works at Tri-Valley Haven. I invited him to bring her to a show that I was stage-managing at the Village Theater in Danville. After the show, she came up to me and said that the Haven was thinking about doing “The Vagina Monologues.” I told her, “You are talking to the right gal!”  (Hehe! No ego here!) After that, we got together and it grew from there, a beautiful accident. I’m really lucky that I’ve been able to be a part of this, and to have been able to contribute to the Tri-Valley Haven.”

 In “The Vagina Monologues”, there is a section called “What Would Your Vagina Say?” In the case of “The Good Body” maybe the question should be, “What does ‘a good body’ mean to you?” Is it tall and thin, or curvy, or super-fit? Or is it something totally different for you?

 “The perfect body is the one you’re in! Getting comfortable with our own skin is where it’s at, and that’s what the show is about. “The Good Body” reminds us to be comfortable with our own body and ourselves just the way we are. The show takes a funny look at how we relate to our bodies and our bodies and food. It’s funny and poignant and transforming.  Everybody should come out and see it!”

 Speaking of bodies and food, if I came to your home and looked inside the refrigerator, what would I find?

 “My frig is usually pretty empty. Right now there are cucumbers, brussel sprouts, spinach, kale, polenta, and coffee creamer!”

 What’s your background in theater?

 “I have been doing theater all of my life, from putting on puppet shows as a kid for the neighborhood, to assistant directing/stage managing main stage productions around the Bay Area. I’ve done set design, set building, lighting design, props, technical directing, acting… you name it, I’ll do it!  Speaking of my background, I am over the moon to be putting this show on at Las Positas! I was able to be a part of many many productions at Las Positas. I owe a debt of gratitude to the Theater Arts Department and the faculty and staff here at the college. It’s where I got my foundation in theatre.”

 Who is a woman who is a hero to you, and why?

 “The only hero I have is Mr. Rogers. No matter what, he always loved me just the way I was. ♡”

 People might look at the name of this play and think, “What is this thing all about?” If you had to tell someone who was debating buying a ticket why they would totally miss out if they didn’t see the show, what would you tell them?

 “Come to the show because you LOVE live entertainment, because you want to laugh and be moved, and because you care about the work Tri-Valley Haven does.  The play is about our relationship with our bodies and FOOD! We can all relate to at least one of the characters.”

 Last question:  Name your superpower!  

 “My superpower is control and domination; need I say more?”

 Nope!  I think that explains why you’re such an amazing director! Thanks, Lisa, for everything that you do!   

20 Ways to Love Your Body

In honor of our production of “The Good Body”, here is a great list of ways to love and honor your body and to foster a positive body image for yourself, courtesy of the organization NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) and compiled by Margo Maine, PhD.

  1. Think of your body as the vehicle to your dreams.  Honor it.  Respect it.  Fuel it.
  2. Create a list of all the things your body lets you do.  Read it and add to it often.
  3. Become aware of what your body can do each day.  Remember it is the instrument of your life, not just an ornament.
  4. Create a list of people you admire:  people who have contributed to your life, your community, or the world.  Consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.
  5. Walk with your head held high, supported by pride and confidence in yourself as a person.
  6. Don’t let your weight or shape keep you from activities that you enjoy.
  7. Wear comfortable clothes that you like, that express your personal style, and that feel good to your body.
  8. Count your blessings, not your blemishes.
  9. Think about all the things you could accomplish with the time and energy you currently spend worrying about your body and appearance.  Try one!
  10. Be your body’s friend and supporter, not its enemy.
  11. Consider this:  your skin replaces itself once a month, your stomach lining every five days, your liver every six weeks, and your skeleton every three months.  Your body is extraordinary-begin to respect and appreciate it.
  12. Every morning when you wake up, thank your body for resting and rejuvenating itself so you can enjoy the day.
  13. Every evening when you go to bed, tell your body how much you appreciate what it has allowed you to do throughout the day.
  14. Find a method of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. Don’t exercise to lose weight or to fight your body. Do it to make your body healthy and strong and because it makes you feel good.  Exercise for the Three F’s: Fun, Fitness, and Friendship.
  15. Think back to a time in your life when you felt good about your body.  Loving your body means you get to feel like that again, even in this body, at this age.
  16. Keep a list of 10 positive things about yourself-without mentioning your appearance.  Add to it daily!
  17. Put a sign on each of your mirrors saying, “I’m beautiful inside and out.”
  18. Search for the beauty in the world and in yourself.
  19. Consider that, “Life is too short to waste my time hating my body this way.”
  20. Eat when you are hungry.  Rest when you are tired.  Surround yourself with people that remind you of your inner strength and beauty.

Vaginas, Then and Now… Seven Years of the Monologues with Tri-Valley Haven!

As we come close to the curtain rising on this year’s production of The Vagina Monologues, I got nostalgic as well as excited for the new show.  I began digging in my archives for photos of past productions and found some great ones!  So, without further ado…

The cast of the 2013 Monologues looking amazing in their rehearsal sessions!  Many thanks to the cast for their dedication and hard work, and to Eleisa Cambra, their director!

The cast of the 2013 Monologues looking amazing in their rehearsal sessions! Many thanks to the cast for their dedication and hard work, and to Eleisa Cambra, their director!

Kristi Grand directed our 2011 production of the Vagina Monologues along with this great cast!

Kristi Grand directed our 2011 production of the Vagina Monologues along with this great cast!

Previous years at the Bankhead bring us wonderful memories!  Thanks to the cast of 2010 and their director, Karen Hogan!

Previous years at the Bankhead bring us wonderful memories! Thanks to the cast of 2010 and their director, Karen Hogan!

Some of the 2009 cast in rehearsal!

Some of the 2009 cast in rehearsal!

Vagina Monologues 2008 cast making the "V" sign for director Eleisa Cambra!

Vagina Monologues 2008 cast making the “V” sign for director Eleisa Cambra!

Cast photo from our very first Vagina Monologues production in 2007!  Just three cast members and Eleisa Cambra directing!

Cast photo from our very first Vagina Monologues production in 2007! Just three cast members and Eleisa Cambra directing!

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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Pleasanton Director Goes Back to Las Positas College, Her Alma Mater, and Helps Women Fleeing Abuse

VaginaMonologuesT-Shirt 2013Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues is an epic play about the female experience so when Tri-Valley Haven asked local Director Eleisa (Lisa) Cambra to head up the show, she did not hesitate to say yes. Eleisa has directed the monologues before for Tri-Valley Haven and always donates her time. This year’s production is exceptionally special for Ms. Cambra, as the performances will be held at Las Positas College’s Mertes Center for the Arts, Eleisa’s Alma Mater. Years ago, Eleisa attended the Theater Arts Department at Las Positas and she has since worked in numerous theater productions throughout the Tri-Valley. “I owe a lot to The Las Positas Theater Department. They gave me the confidence and experience to be successful in the real world”, affirms Ms. Cambra.

One of Eleisa’s greatest mentors is Wendy Wisely, her Theater Instructor when Lisa attended Las Positas College. “Wendy showed me everything I need to know about the theater. She is a remarkable director, and actress! I was so glad that Wendy agreed to act in this production of The Vagina Monologues.”

For tickets to The Vagina Monologues, directed by Eleisa Cambra and featuring Wendy Wisely, March 1st and 2nd at 8 pm, please go to: Http://vaginamonologues.brownpapertickets.com . Proceeds go to Tri-Valley Haven’s domestic violence and sexual assault programs to serve victims and to end violence.

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.

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