The whole story...
One billion women violated, is an atrocity.
One billion women dancing, is a revolution.
Structured around the noon hour to allow for more flexibility and participation, for two hours on February 14, 2013 the Kaibab Room in the Field House at Northern Arizona University welcomed people to come and go as they were able to join in this global call to action and celebration. The event was opened with a moment of silence to remember all who have been victims of violence locally and globally, followed by a reading of the One Billion Rising monologue.
A group effort
Flagstaff Jazzercise provided choreographed steps to three songs to get the participants moving. Hilary Giovale, local belly dance teacher, then called those present to circle up and taught a few basic dance moves before dispersing the group again to dance to We Are Family moving around the room and engaging as many people as possible through movement without speaking. Robbie Bergman of the College of Health and Human Services taught the basic steps to the One Billion Rising anthem Break the Chain. The group then marched from the Kaibab Room to the pedway and performed a semi-structured flash mob of the dance outside of the dining areas of the Union.
Participants came from computer labs, classrooms, offices and dining halls on campus as well as from private homes and businesses and organizations in the Flagstaff community to join in the call to action and celebration. For two hours people connected with one another sans technology and social media. Folks were actually looking at one another while talking, dancing together and sharing in connecting hugs.
For many students this was their first experience participating in something this large, this global. For some participants the moment was made more impactful knowing that many around the world were joining in similar events at the same time. There were many words of gratitude offered as participants left the pedway flash mob. One young male student proclaimed, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have never done anything like this before. You have changed my life.” Survivors offered their words of gratitude more quietly.
Education is a key pathway to eradicating the violence perpetrated against women and children globally. Whole and healthy communities are vital to ending this pandemic. On February 14, 2013 Northern Arizona University and the greater Flagstaff community joined with millions around the world to take the next steps.
Eve Ensler's vision
The work of the One Billion Rising organization began with the vision and work of one woman, Eve Ensler, 15 years ago. Today she has created a global presence that is changing the lives of women and children around the world. The NAU and Flagstaff event began with the desire of one staff member to be part of this global event on February 14, 2013. Humbled and inspired by the postings to the One Billion Rising webpages, this staff knew she wanted to make something happen at NAU. Reaching out to faculty, staff and students in her college as well as across campus our local event grew to include those beyond NAU with key supporters from our Flagstaff community. Never underestimate the power of one to make a difference.
In gratitude to those who joined in sponsorship and stood in solidarity with us:
- The Martin Springer Institute
- College of Health and Human Services
- Residence Life, Future Teachers Club
- Jazzercise Flagstaff
- Hilary Giovale
- Women’s and Gender Studies
- NAU Employee Assistance and Wellness
- Flagstaff Victim Witness
- Northern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (NACASA)
- Northland Family Help Center
- and multiple individuals