Valentine's Day is a day where most spend it with their loved ones and exchange chocolates, flowers and other gifts. This year was a little different for me and my friends. We spent this special day dancing for a good cause.
Playwright Eve Ensler founded One Billion Rising in 2012. It's a global campaign to create a movement to end violence against girls and women while promoting justice and gender equality. As a woman, this is an issue that I feel needs to global attention.
My passion runs strongly around women's issues and education and I recently started the Women and Gender Studies Student Association at my college. We were looking for events to organize on campus and luckily a local organization reached out to us. The Wesley Shelter, founded in 1983, is a private, non-profit United Way agency where victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or rape and support for themselves and their children.
Once we were informed of the idea of having a flash mob on campus to support the One Billion Rising campaign we er estatic to join in. We promoted the event on campus and in the Wilson community. We spent countless hours practicing for the flash mob. One Billion Rising provided on their website a video of choreogrpaher, Debbie Allen teaching the steps to the dance that would be performed around the world.
Thursday morning I woke up smiling and ready for the day ahead. The flash mob event was set to take place at noon on center campus. As noon approached I became so excited to see everyone around me equally exited and pumped.
The time had come! My friend Charmayne Simpon and I took the stage as we began reading the poem, Rising, written by Eve Ensler. While reading the poem to an interested crowd of my fellow classmates, faculty and staff I felt as though I was the voice of so many girls and women around the world who are afraid to speak up or can't speak up . I wanted to make sure to tell their stories through the poem.
After the reading of the poem we performed the dance. I smiled and felt a sense of accomplishment. We did it! The planning and practicing paid off. I was so amazed to see the president of my college and his wife participate in the dance with us. How many people can say they have danced with the president of their college for a cause their passionate about? Few to non I suppose. It's good to see people join and lend their support for a good cause. Those are the moments that I will forever cherish and remember. As my last semester of my undergraduate career comes to a close, I can honestly say this is one of the highlights of my college career. I can't but to continue to express my gratitiude and appreciation for everyone who helped and participated in the event. We are the people who will make this world better for the upcoming generations. I dedicate this to everyone around the world who has been abused and fearful of speaking up. This is also dedicated to those who want to and try to speak up but the government is against them such as Malala Yousafzai.
I encorage everyone to speak up and take action on issues they care about. Make a difference in your comminities. Don't wait, do it now!