Sunday, March 28, 2010

V-Day 2010...

I've been involved with V-day for the last 7 years. As an undergrad. Marcus and both attended my University's performance of the Vagina Monologues (Marcus bless him being one of the lone men among a room full of women talking about violence, rape, misogyny, and the female body). My graduate school continued with this preforming A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and a Prayer. This year I was finally brave enough to volunteer to preform a monologue because I think that the event is so incredibly important. I hope wherever I end up next I can in some way continue to participate in the good that comes from these  performances.

About V-Day

V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation, and sexual slavery.

Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers, college and graduate students produce annual benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues, A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence groups within their own communities. '
Some pre-show encouragement. 

2010 V-Day Spotlight on the Congo: Building the "City of Joy"
The 2010 theme is "Building the City of Joy". The City of Joy is a literal place, a pastoral community in Bukavu, DRC where women survivors of gender violence will be supported, healed and trained to be the next leaders of the DRC, but it is also a concept, a decision, a movement to end violence against women and girls. The V-Day Campaign is launching the City of Joy in the DRC as a call to end violence against women and girls.

The reality of the Democratic Republic of Congo
In the Congo, an economic war has been fought for the last 13 years by mainly outside militias who are hungry for Congo's vast mineral resources. These minerals make their way into the hands of Western Corporations and ultimately our electronics. World leaders and international bodies stand by, knowing what is happening, but failing to act.

The war in Congo is the deadliest conflict since World War II. Close to 6 million people have been killed. Millions have been displaced. The atrocities being perpetrated against women and girls in the DRC are nothing less than a femicide-- the systematic destruction of the female population. Advocates on the ground approximate that 500,000 women and girls have been raped and sexually tortured.

This years spotlight campaign for the DRC was especially important to me because I have friends who live in the DRC. Friends I met while they were students at Africa University in Zimbabwe and friends who have since returned to the DRC. Some of these friends I haven't heard from in some time and worry and wonder if they are still alive.

When we would talk and exchange emails I would often ask, "How is your country?" and the answers they shared where full of hope in the midst of the terror that has existed for the last 13 years.  The last time I heard from my friend Nick he had been sick and could no longer see. I worry, wonder, hope and prayer that peace will come not only to the Congo but to the rest of the world.
Zimbabwe 2005 (The two guys Nick and Eric on my right are both from the DRC).

And all of these guys are from the DRC.

The monologue I preformed was written by Eve Ensler and was the spotlight piece called, "A Teenage Girl's Guide to Surviving Sex Slavery." The story of a 15 year old girl taken by soldiers and held as a sex slave for two years.

Me & Sara with our "V's" for V-Day

Sandra, Sara and Me at the post show reception.

Much of the information I shared can be found here along with more information about V-Day.

Until the violence stops...

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