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Local ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign part of global campaign to stop violence against women

BOONE—Events Feb 11-15 in Boone and at Appalachian State University are being held conjunction with the “One Billion Rising” campaign, a global effort to end violence against women and girls. The week’s activities will culminate with a flash mob rally and dance, and benefit dance on V-Day, Thursday, Feb. 14. All events are free and open to the public.

V-Day, a worldwide movement whose mission is to halt violence against women and girls, was founded in 1998 by Ensler. This year marks the 15th year of V-Day events and celebrations around the world, and this year’s commemoration has been designated “One Billion Rising” in recognition of the one billion women—one in every three females across the globe—whom statistics indicate will experience violence in the form of rape, battery, incest, mutilation, or sex slavery in her lifetime. Promoters of V-Day are challenging participants to appear one billion strong on Feb. 14 in opposition to this violence.

As part of the observance, Boone Mayor Loretta Clawson has signed a proculmation welcoming the V-Day and One Billion Rising events taking place and has proclaimed Feb. 11-15 V-Day Week.

On Monday, Feb. 11, “Linking the Chains: Global Violence Against Women” will be held from 7-9:30 p.m. in room 114 of Appalachian’s Belk Library and Information Commons. Audience members and an interdisciplinary panel will explore violence against women in local to global contexts, and the connections of gendered violence to war and ecological destruction.

Panelists include ecofeminist Jeanne Dubino, a global studies faculty member at Appalachian who has lived in Kenya and Turkey; Amy Hudnall from the Department of History, whose research interests include trauma, PTSD, human rights and ethnic conflict, and who has experience in Bosnia; Kit Gruelle, Appalachian alumna and producer of “Private Violence,” a documentary about violence against women in North Carolina; and Georgia Rhoades from the Department of English, a member of the women’s studies faculty, writer, playwright and performance artist.

A screening of the 2007 award-winning documentary film “The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo” directed by Lisa F. Jackson will be shown Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 7-9:30 p.m. in room 114 of Appalachian’s Belk Library and Information Commons.

Among its awards is the Special Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The film will be followed by a short video about the City of Joy in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. Conceived in part by Eve Ensler, the City of Joy is a groundbreaking project that provides up to 180 women a year with an opportunity to benefit from group therapy, storytelling, dance, theater, self-defense, comprehensive sexuality education, ecology and horticulture, and economic empowerment. Dubino will introduce the film and moderate a discussion following. Because of its disturbing content, the film is for mature audiences.

On Thursday, Feb.14, the public is invited to assemble at 4 p.m. on Sanford Mall on campus and dance to “Break the Chain,” written especially for V-Day. Instruction for those wishing to learn the dance steps in advance will be provided at 3 p.m. by Holly Roark and Ellen Russell. A march around campus will follow the dance. In case of inclement weather, the event will take place in the breezeway overlooking King Street at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.

Also on Thursday from 8 p.m. to midnight, a benefit dance featuring DJ Zachademic will be held at the Low Bar/Espresso News on Howard Street in Boone. A minimum donation of $5 to $10 is requested with proceeds benefiting OASIS Inc. and the City of Joy. OASIS (Opposing Abuse with Services, Information, and Shelter) is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault in Watauga County.

Three performances of “The Vagina Monologues,” Eve Ensler’s controversial, award-winning play about the female experience, will be staged Wednesday through Friday, Feb. 13-15, at 7 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Blue Ridge Ballroom on campus. The production is an annual event sponsored by the university’s Women’s Center. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. Call 828-262-6744 for tickets and information.

The Department of Anthropology also is a sponsor of the on-campus events.

Information and updates on all V-Day/One Billion Rising events can be found on Facebook: One Billion Rising NC High Country, as well as the One Billion Rising website