Chicagoans on Thursday will join activists throughout the world in marking the 15th anniversary of V-Day with One Billion Rising, an international rally aimed at demanding an end to violence against women and girls.
The Chicago festivities begin with a rally and flash mob at noon Thursday at Daley Plaza, followed by an all-ages dance party at River East Art Center, 435 E. Illinois St., through 6 p.m. The party will feature performances and dance workshops from rapper Psalm One, Fabulous Ladies of Fitness (FLOF), BeMoved, Cheerobix and others.
(Watch a PSA from the Chicago chapter of One Billion Rising above, featuring U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, WBEZ's Alison Cuddy, the Windy City Rollers and JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound. Get yourself prepped for the flash mob.)
V-Day was created by Eve Ensler ("The Vagina Monologues") with the goal of being an annual catalyst for creative events raising awareness of and funds for groups and initiatives working to end gender-based violence. The "one billion" number comes from U.N. estimates that one out of every three women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime.
Activists in over 200 countries and territories will reportedly be taking part in the Thursday initiative and organizers in Chicago are hoping Lady Gaga, who is playing two shows in town this week, will heed their call, storm out of her white, yellow and lavender rose-filled dressing room and join in on the local event, the RedEye notes.
Can't make it downtown Thursday but still want to take part? Over a dozen other "risings" are set to take place in and near Chicago.