News release from
Fort Wayne TinCaps, YWCA and over 20 organizations join forces through One Billion Rising Fort Wayne, taking a stand together to end violence against women and girls
This Valentine’s Day, Fort Wayne is Rising
This Valentine’s Day Fort Wayne is joining a global movement to end violence against women and girls by bringing together people from all walks of life to dance in solidarity. Created by Eve Ensler’s V-Day movement, One Billion Rising has been endorsed by 13,000 groups and leaders across the globe from the Dalai Lama to Jane Fonda who have identified ending violence against women as a pivotal issue of our time. According to the United Nations, around the world one in three women will be directly impacted by violence or abuse in her lifetime, which translates to one billion people. “One billion violated is an atrocity,” says onebillionrising.org. “But One Billion Rising is a revolution.” On February 14, 2013, people in 182 countries will respond to the call to strike, dance and rise by leaving their jobs, desks and homes, and standing up to give voice to an issue that has often been silenced.
Locally, volunteers have catalyzed a movement that has so far inspired collaboration amongst over 20 organizations, with hundreds of people signing on to rise and stand for respect as a marker of the Fort Wayne community. One Billion Rising Fort Wayne will take place at 12pm on February 14th, and today the Fort Wayne TinCaps stepped up as the first event sponsor by donating Parkview Field as the venue.
“We are thrilled to support such a positive call to action, and we hope that companies, schools, and organizations will send as many people as possible to dance together and show support for healthy relationships this Valentine’s Day at Parkview Field,” said Mike Nutter, President, Fort Wayne TinCaps. “I actually said in an interview last week that the two things no one will ever see me do are sing or dance. But when I found out about One Billion Rising, I decided I may be taking one of those things back.”
In addition to jamming with the TinCaps and celebrating empowerment and respect, One Billion Rising attendees will receive resources and educational materials focused on preventing violence, treating victims and healing survivors. The YWCA of Northeast Indiana, Center for Nonviolence, Women’s Bureau and Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center have all signed on to participate in the event and raise awareness for this collective issue that affects the lives of so many residents.
“In 2012 over 4000 calls were received at the YWCA Northeast Indiana from women, men and children in crisis due to domestic violence,” said Mary Jo Hardiman, Director of Community Programs, YWCA of Northeast Indiana. “The more awareness we can raise, the more strength and hope we give families and our community to eradicate violence in our homes and on our streets.”
With over 250 rsvps and numbers rising by the day, One Billion Rising Fort Wayne has come a long way since the fateful Google search in December 2012 that led to its creation. “When I came across One Billion Rising and learned more about the types and prevalence of abuse, and the way it keeps literally a billion people from realizing their potential, I couldn’t NOT do something,” said Lori Block Keys, the volunteer organizer behind Fort Wayne’s V-Day event. “A quote that keeps haunting me is this: ‘One in three women. Think about that. Will it be your mother, your daughter or your sister?’ It’s a daunting topic, but by bringing people together and injecting something joyful like dancing, we are raising the energy around this issue and catalyzing action. I truly believe that one by one, we could turn the one billion victims into one billion world-changers.”
The goal of One Billion Rising Fort Wayne is simple: to bring as many people as possible from all different backgrounds together and arm them with strength, hope and resources over their lunch hour on February 14th. Volunteers will collect suggested donations of $3/person to emphasize the one in three statistic, and food trucks Brava Dogs and JumBy’s JoiNt will be onsite following the dancing for lunch options, with cookies donated by Pembroke Bakery & Café. All event proceeds will benefit the prevention of violence against women and girls and the treatment/healing of survivors.
What: One Billion Rising Fort Wayne
When: Thursday, February 14th, 12pm
Where: Parkview Field, 1301 Ewing St. in Downtown Fort Wayne, 46802
Who: Everyone! Women, men and children of all ages and ability levels are welcome. No changes of clothes or dance skills are needed. Dress for the weather (there is an indoor backup plan if needed) and recruit friends, family and coworkers to bring hope and joy to one billion people around the planet.
How: Simply show up to be a part of the rising! To give the organizers an idea of numbers, join the Facebook event One Billion Rising Fort Wayne and sign up for OBRFW on the global website.
Why dance?? When we dance, we take up space. We move freely without a critic or judge, reclaiming ourselves and spreading healing and joy. By taking part in One Billion Rising, our community is voicing its commitment to end violence against women and unite around love and respect for all. We hope you’ll join us!