On Tuesday, February 4th, men, women and children converged upon One Summit Square and danced together in the lightly falling snow as part of a flash mob to raise awareness for the One Billion Rising campaign. Here is the call to action:
ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE is a global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in community outside places where they are entitled to justice – courthouses, 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. It is a call to survivors to break the silence and release their stories – politically, spiritually, outrageously – through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, testimonies and whatever way feels right.
Fort Wayne's own local coordinator, Lori Rose, chose the corner of Calhoun and Wayne across from Jimmy John's; as the clock struck 5, dancers converged on the square and the music began to play. Breaking the grey monotony of the usual drive home, the street corner came alive for a vibrant pink and red ten minutes as dancers danced their hearts out in the freezing cold.
The smiles on the faces, and the energy of the crowd represented the tenacity in the meaning of the movement. The "billion" included in the rising refers to the UN statistic that one in three women will be raped or beaten in their lifetime (about one billion women). Initiated in 2012 by playwright and activist Eve Ensler (better known for her play: "The Vagina Monologues"), the One Billion Rising campaign culminated in the biggest mass global action to end violence against women ever, with tens of thousands of events held in more than 190 countries .
Last year, on 14 February 2013, one billion people in 207 countries rose and danced to demand an end to violence against women and girls. Why not help make this year a little bigger? On 14 February 2014, join fellow Fort Wayners and raise awareness for women's rights everywhere, head to Parkview Field at 5 pm. Check the local One Billion Rising Facebook page for more information.
View the flash mob highlights here:
Want to know more? Mayor Henry offers support to One Billion Rising Event
Photos and Video by Tony Frantz