CMU will join the hundreds of countries to host One Billion Rising


1-billion-logo1-300x257One in three women will be raped or beaten in their lifetime, adding up to one billion women worldwide.

V-Day and One Billion Rising are two international movements focused on raising awareness about this violence and protesting what is a global crisis.

On Feb. 14, Take Back the Night will host the One Billion Rising dance movement through a series of flash mobs throughout campus. Take Back the Night members Megan Stowell, a St. Clair Shores senior, and Ohio junior Emma Tuthill felt passionate enough to pitch the idea and allow Central Michigan University the opportunity to join in on the dance.

“Events to bring awareness to (violence against women) will be taking place all over the world (tomorrow) in different forms,” Stowell said. “One billion men and women are joining this revolution by dancing."

This is the inaugural year of One Billion Rising’s movement, which was originated by Eve Ensler, a feminist and social activist who wrote the Vagina Monologues, which is performed at CMU each year.

“Ensler chose to use dance as a form of peaceful protest to end violence against women," Tuthill said. "The communal and joyous nature of dance has moved men and women in every corner of the world to rise up in a truly uplifting way, transforming the suffering of survivors."

Fifteen years ago, Ensler started V-Day, an organization aimed at spreading awareness about violence against women, which led to this year's One Billion Rising event.

“To celebrate V-Day's 15th anniversary, One Billion Rising is taking place on Valentine's Day because V-Day is also on Valentine's Day,” Tuthill said. “It's really a perfect day for the event, too, as a way to express love for all the women in one's life.”

The event will go from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Times to join the flash mobs will vary throughout the day, starting at 12:15 p.m. outside the Bovee University Center, 12:45 p.m. inside the U.C. at the Down Under, 1:45 p.m. near the CMU Park Library by the Botanical Gardens, 3:15 p.m. between Anspach Hall and Pearce Hall and at 4:45 p.m. between Moore Hall and Brooks Hall. Anyone can join in the flash mob at any time.

The flash mob is a mash-up of six songs: "Titanium," "Bulletproof," "Cupid Shuffle," "Irreplaceable," "Survivor" and "Respect." This is a four-minute combination with dance moves choreographed by Cass City junior Chelsea Green.

“We chose this song selection because they are women empowerment songs," Green said. "We also wanted to choose songs that people know; it is impressive when everyone is a part of the dance and these (are) moves everyone can do."

Along with video clips posted on Facebook, there have been practices in the Alumni Room at the Student Activity Center. On Feb. 11, Ohio freshman Kyle Babcock attended to learn the moves before the event.

“I will be participating in the flash mob on campus on Thursday,” Babcock said. “It is a good cause and way to show support. I will be at all the dance scenes.”

According to their website, One Billion Rising will be asking the organizers of these events to either live stream their dances or record the flash mobs and submit the footage for posterity. The footage will then be compiled into a documentary.


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