“One Billion Rising” to end gender violence shakes Parents Field

“One Billion Rising” to end gender violence shakes Parents Field; the dialogue continues with discussion on Feb. 26

by Kimberly Ngai '14

In conjunction with the 207 countries taking part in “One Billion Rising For Justice,” Iris Liu ’16 and Hannah Bower ’16 organized a 5C  “One Billion Rising” event on Parents field on February 14th. A follow-up discussion on sexual violence prevention for the CMC community is scheduled for February 26.

Inspired by an Athenaeum visit from feminist, activist, and author of The Vagina Monologues Eve Ensler, Liu and Bower responded to Ensler’s call to “rise, release, and dance to demand justice for all survivors of gender violence.”

Attendees spent time outlining their hands in permanent marker, and then signed and decorated their hand print as a sign of solidarity to end sexual violence. They proceeded to dance—first in concentric circles, and then freely. The hour-long event fulfilled Ensler’s wish to “shake the earth through dance.”

Liu mentioned the success of the event was attributed to “very flexible and talented volunteers and a really amazing staff—Amy Bibbens, Marisa Walter, Michelle Chamberlain, Dianna Graves, and Darrin Roberts—they helped us organize and put the event together in only 10 days!”

Co-organizer Hannah Bower added, “I was thrilled with the turnout. Given the time we had to promote the event, we were pleased with the attendee support. President Chodosh and several of the Deans were in attendance, as well as members of KLI and other organizations, so it definitely felt like a community effort. It takes a family to put on an event like this, and I definitely have found my college family in these amazing people.”

Andy Willis ’14 had this to say about the event:
 “It was great to see the CMC community of professors, students, and staff come together around a great cause. The effect of Eve Ensler cannot be overstated. She brought a powerhouse performance to the Athenaeum, which dared and inspired her listeners to dream big and put together a 5C project with little time.”

Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students Mary Spellman is continuing this important dialogue, highlighted by a discussion on sexual violence prevention on Wednesday, February 26. The following is her invitation to the CMC community:

Last Friday the CMC and greater consortium community came together to take a stand against sexual violence at the Billion Rising event.  I invite you to continue the energy and momentum of this empowering event by joining me at a brainstorming session on Wednesday, February 26 from 4:15 – 5:15 pm, in the Freeberg Lounge in the Athenaeum.  We want to hear your ideas for sexual violence prevention and education at CMC.  If you have an idea, concern, suggestion or just want to be more involved in helping solve the problem of sexual violence,  I invite you to come on Wednesday for the start of an on-going conversation.  This is an open session so feel free to stop in as you have time to share your thoughts and ideas.  If you are unable to attend, we still want to hear from you so please send me your ideas and let me know if you want to continue to be involved in the dialogue.

Together we can make a difference in our community and end sexual violence.  It begins with us.

Learn more about Eve Ensler’s “1 Billion Rising For Justice” at onebillionrising.org