In 1994, a play called The Vagina Monologues, written by playwright and activist Eve Ensler, broke ground, offering to the world a piece of art like nothing it had seen before.
On Valentines Day, 1998, Eve, with a group of women in New York City, established V-Day, a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sex slavery.
Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers and college students produce annual benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues, A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer, Any One Of Us: Words From Prison, screenings of V-Day's documentary Until The Violence Stops, and the PBS documentary What I Want My Words To Do To You, Spotlight Teach-Ins and V-Men workshops, to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence groups within their own communities.
Performance is just the beginning. V-Day stages large-scale benefits and produces innovative gatherings, films and campaigns to educate and change social attitudes towards violence against women
In 2010, over 5,400 V-Day benefit events took place produced by volunteer activists in the U.S. and around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls.
V-Day's mission demands that violence against women and girls must end. To do this, once a year, in February, March, and April, Eve allows groups around the world to produce a performance of the play, as well as other works created by V-Day, and use the proceeds for local individual projects and programs that work to end violence against women and girls, often shelters and rape crisis centers.
The V-Day movement is growing at a rapid pace throughout the world, in 130 countries from Europe to Asia, Africa and the Caribbean and all of North America. V-Day, a non-profit corporation, distributes funds to grassroots, national and international organizations and programs that work to stop violence against women and girls. In 2001, V-Day was named one of Worth Magazine's "100 Best Charities," in 2006 one of Marie Claire Magazine's Top Ten Charities, and in 2010 was named as one of the Top-Rated organizations on GreatNonprofits. In eleven years, the V-Day movement has raised over $80 million and reached over 300 million people.
The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.
The Chicago Cultural Center hosts the exhibition Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women & Artthrough April 13. This exhibition features the work of 29 internationally renowned artists from 25 countries, including Laylah Ali and Yoko Ono. The exhibit addresses violence against women and their basic human right to safety, security and justice around the world through artistic responses to gender-based violence. It is organized by Art Works for Change and is curated by Randy Jayne Rosenberg.
Chicago Cultural Center 4th FL
78 E. Washington Street.
January 22 - April 13, 2011
Admission is Free
Rape Victim Advocates helped co-organize the special performance, Stories on Stage which will be a featured event on February 17,2011. For More information on Rape Victim Advocates, you may call 312.443.9603 or contact them by e-mail at email@example.com
·Janet Deatherage, Associate Dean, Loyola University & Director of Women’s Leadership
·Laura Waleryszak, College & Community Campaigns Associate, VDAY
The connection between "generation Y", those born in the mid 1980’s and later (also known as the Millenials), and "baby boomers", those born between 1946 and 1964, is one where both generations are learning from one another while working together.
Janet Deatherage stated that there is a paradigm shift in which new graduates are mentoring the baby boomers. Elene Cafasso believes Gen Y have flexibility and balance because of their behavioral patterns. After leaving work Gen Y’s are online at night, which means that they can work from home at any time. Laura Waleryszak, a Gen Y herself, is able to work on VDAY activities from anywhere while also being connected to many others around the country.
This is a two-way street, both Gen Y and baby boomers can learn from one another. It is never too late.
On February 9thAd 2 Tampa Bay released a public service campaign as part of its annual effort to work with a nonprofit with impact and significance.
For the 2010-2011 year, it chose The Spring of Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County's only certified domestic violence prevention and emergency shelter agency. Its mission is to prevent domestic violence, protect victims and promote change in lives, families and communities.
I Own Me is a campaign designed to increase awareness about the violence that may occur during teen dating relationships. The campaign emphasizes a teen girl's ability to exercise her independence by acknowledging that she owns her own actions, words, andbody.
I Own Me is a collaborate effort with the following Domestic Violence shelters:
·CASA – St Petersburg
·The Haven of R.C.S. – Clearwater, Sunrise Domestic and Sexual Violence Shelter
·Salvation Army Domestic Violence Program of West Pasco
·Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center – Sarasota County
·Hope Family Services – Manatee County
·Peace River Center Domestic Violence Shelter- Hardee, Highlands and Polk Counties
Will you own yourself? Take the pledge.
“Because I own me, I pledge to demand respect from my boyfriend or girlfriend. I expect to be treated properly by establishing personal boundaries and to be honored in my decisions concerning privacy, sex, and affection. I will not tolerate being physically, verbally, or emotionally hurt.”
Women of the World is a global organization committed to developing strategic relationships that foster economic opportunities, encourage thought leadership and elevate awareness about the issue of violence against women. Women of the World is a non-profit organization based on purpose and passion, championing the truth that safe, healthy, educated women influence prosperity.Act locally and think globally to effect change.