In their lifetime, one billion women are slapped, beaten, raped, punched, kicked, stabbed, murdered, molested, trafficked, harassed, violated, stoned, circumcised, flattened, demoralized, cut, shot, deformed, and abused. They are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and friends. Any woman regardless of age, race, education, beauty, character, culture, income or profession can be the victim of an act of violence.
Earlier this week, in a super cute, super cozy, not super cheap store on South Beach, in a group of nine well-to-do shopaholics browsing, I mentioned the statistic that one in three women will in their lifetime be the victim of violence. I said "Essentially, that means three of the women in this store have been or will be abused." I got crickets, dead silence, side eyes, avoided glances and an awkward tension. This is how it is when you talk about the rampant abuse of women in the world. Nobody wants to talk about it. I don't wanna talk about it. But Eve Ensler is inspiring us to rise up and talk about it.
Eve Ensler is the creator of the phenomenal stage play, The Vagina Monologues, and founder of V-Day. She also birthed a movement called One Billion Rising that will occur on Valentines Day, the universal day of LOVE, simultaneously in almost 200 countries across the globe.
And we will dance. And we will rise. And one billion people will shake the earth to its core with our rhythmic protest to save the lives and bodies of one billion women who will be senselessly violated in their lifetime. Why dance? Because dancing is universal, a language understood by every culture. This common language is natural, from India, to the Congo, the Philippines to Colombia, from Canada, to Australia, from Nigeria, to South Beach; we will dance and lean into this universal understanding that begins from the heartbeat of our mothers, the first natural instinct as we enter the world. And the dancing will begin.
In Miami, One Billion Rising on 2.14.13 will happen here:
➢ 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. @ Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, 33199
➢ 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. @ The New World Center Soundscape Park at 17th & Washington on South Beach, featuring a FREE concert by Miami's beloved band, Latin, funk, hip hop and dub aficionados, The Spam Allstars. This event will also feature flash mobs, glow sticks, Zumba and rampant dancing.
One billion will join in. His Holiness the Dali Lama will RISE. America's sweetheart Rosario Dawson will RISE. South Africa's golden child, actress Charlize Theron will RISE. London's Bond Girl, actress Thandie Newton will RISE. Scandal's Kerry Washington will RISE. Julia Gillard Prime Minister of Australia will RISE. The Houston Rockets Royce White will RISE. Yoko Ono, the muse of John Lennon will RISE. Iconic actors Robert Redford and Jane Fonda will RISE. Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council will RISE. Members of Parliament will rise. Catholic Bishops in the Philippines will rise. Over 13,000 organizations across the globe will RISE. The AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, National Nurses United, and more in labor movement will RISE. And in Miami, Miami Beach Mayor Mattie Bauer, Tracy Wilson-Mourning, founder of the Honeyshine Foundation, Constance Collins founder of Lotus House. I will rise for my daughter, for my mother, for my friends, for independence, for creativity and for our continuing safety.
The local Miami and international volunteer organizers across the globe invite ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country to show our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.
One billion women violated is an atrocity but one billion dancing is a stunning, organic revolution.
Watch the short film and understand why we are rising. Learn the dance that gives us ALL the power of ONE to participate in this simple way in a global, peaceful protest. See the testimonials and movements of ordinary citizens and the famous among us, united in human agreement.
We aim to put ourselves and gender-based violence "out of business" by ending violence against women. A billion will RISE and DANCE. And in Miami you can too. Join us. Happy Valentines Day!