Last week on or around February 14 numerous events happened all over the world as a part of 1 Billion Rising. In Baltimore, Campaign Consultation partnered with Baltimore NOW to host a flashmob and march to raise awareness about violence against women. The selection of photos above showcase some of the reasons participants joined this movement. In addition, this week we have a special guest post from Laura Roth describing her experience at a 1 Billion Rising event in California. Laura Roth is an actor and activist living in Southern California.
Who runs the world? GIRLS! It sure felt like that at the Creative Visions Foundation (CVF) in Malibu, CA where I was lucky enough to dance my heart out for 1 Billion Rising. As soon as I walked in I knew I was about to be a part of something truly special.
CVF was born in 1998 to honor the legacy of Dan Eldon. An artist, adventurer and activist Dan was killed in Somalia in 1993 while covering the conflict as a photojournalist for Reuters News Agency. Dan’s mom and sister – Kathy Eldon and Amy Eldon Turtletaub respectively – founded CVF, to help others like Dan use media and the arts to create meaningful change in the world around them. Hosting a One Billion Rising event was the perfect marriage.
The event started at 8 PM and ended at midnight. My friend and I left fairly early and arrived at CVF by 7:30 PM. We were there to move the earth, not to show up fashionably late! It was a life changing experience for me to be among men, women and children from literally all over the world coming together for the same reason, to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. The music was pumping loudly and EVERYONE was dancing, it was impossible not to, the joy was infectious! Nobody cared how silly they looked because it didn’t matter.
Being a woman is hard and scary at times. I don’t leave my house at night without my pepper spray and have yet to meet a man who carries one. But I felt safe that night, even though I only knew one other person there. I talked to strangers with complete confidence. But I’m not naive; I don’t do that in my normal life.
Being among so many like-minded people made it difficult to think that one in three women on this planet will be raped or beaten in their lifetime but that’s the reality of the situation and that is something we should never forget.
“One billion women being victimized is an atrocity. One billion women dancing is a revolution!”