One in every three women in the world will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. When you do the math, that comes out to about one billions women. In response to this appalling statistic, playwright, activist and V-Day founder Eve Ensler initiated the One Billion Rising movement last year.
Building on the momentum from her 15-year V-Day movement, Ensler’s goal with One Billion Rising was to involve at least one billion people worldwide in dancing, marching and speaking out against violence. And on February 14, 2013, the world met that goal. More than one billion people in over 207 countries participated in local events as part of the movement. In Atlanta alone, 100 partner organizations and 7,000 people gathered in Woodruff Park to dance in a One Billion Rising flash mob. As the initiative states, “One billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women dancing is a revolution.”
This year efforts are escalating, and the theme has evolved slightly to be “Rise, Release and Dance for Justice.” One Billion Rising for Justice is a global call for women and those who love them “to gather safely in community outside places where they are entitled to justice [...] where women deserve to feel safe but too often do not.” These places may be courthouses, school administration buildings, work places, places of worship, homes or simply public gathering places. The idea is to dance, march or speak to bring awareness to the problem of violence and end the impunity associated with it.
The main event of Atlanta’s One Billion Rising for 2014 will be a march called “Stop Traffic.” Participants will march through city streets, literally stopping traffic in an effort to draw attention to the issue of sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Atlanta. Atlanta was names by the FBI as one of 14 U.S. cities with the highest rate of children used in prostitution, so the theme of this march is especially critical to our city. The march will end in Freedom Park with a flash mob dance called “Break the Chain,” which is open to the community. Dance in the flash mob, participate in the march or simply spread the word about these important events, and you can count yourself among the one billion who are rising for justice.
Get Involved Now: Stop Traffic March & Break the Chain Flash Mob- February 14, 2014 at 11:30 p.m.- March from Ebenezer Baptist Church and processes to Grant Park. Flash mob to follow in Grant Park. Don’t forget to wear red. www.onebillionrising.org.