V-GIRLS PILOT PROJECT LAUNCHES IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE RELEASE OF EVE ENSLERS NEW WORK: I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE: THE SECRET LIFE OF GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD
GLOBAL SPOTLIGHT CAMPAIGN ON WOMEN IN CONGO CONTINUES FOR 2ND YEAR IN A ROW, AS THE CITY OF JOY OPENS MAY 25TH IN BUKAVU
V-Day 2010 Benefits To Take Place In Over 1500 Colleges And Communities In 50 Countries
New York, NY January 25, 2010 – V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls, announced its 2010 season of events and campaigns today with the theme Building The City of Joy. Since it was founded by playwright/activist Eve Ensler in 1998, V-Day has shattered taboos and raised over $70 million, transforming communities to end violence against women and girls. Working at the intersection of art, social action and politics, V-Day empowers grassroots activists to become leaders, turning pain to power.
From February 1 April 1, over 1500 colleges and communities will host V-Day benefit events raising funds and awareness locally and spotlighting the women of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Events center around Enslers ground breaking play The Vagina Monologues, but include readings of V-Days anthology A Memory, Monologue, A Rant, and a Prayer and Any One of Us: Words from Prison, documentary film screenings of V-Day: Until The Violence Stops and What I Want My Words To Do To You, Congo teach-ins and house parties. Each event will highlight the Congo, shining a global spotlight on the atrocities women and girls in Congo experience, and V-Days campaign to end the violence.
V-Days 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. We are launching the City of Joy in the DRC as a call to end violence against women and girls everywhere. Building the City of Joy means modeling a process of change that is directed by the women on the ground, conceived by the women on the ground, and fulfilled by the women on the ground. An ideology which knows that grassroots women are the major sources of change and inspiration and must direct the future of their countries from Congo to New Orleans to Haiti. Building the City of Joy means everyone working together providing resources, energy and support for grassroots women so they can fulfill their destinies, stated V-Day Founder/Playwright Eve Ensler.
Eve Enslers newest work, I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World, will be released in book form by Villard/Random House on February 9. Made up of original monologues about and for girls from around the world, the book aims to inspire girls to take agency over their minds, bodies, hearts and curiosities. V-Day has developed a corresponding targeted pilot V-Girls program engaging young women in our empowerment philanthropy model, igniting their activism and giving them a voice. Readings of the book will be staged in twenty pilot locations, where teen girls will engage in the creative process, accompanied by a specially written curriculum addressing the issues in the book.
V-Day will host a series of benefit events in February including: a February 5th benefit reading of I Am an Emotional Creature, directed by Rosario Dawson and performed by teen girls, hosted by V-Day, Jennifer and Peter Buffett, Eve Ensler, Cynthia Nixon, Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, and David Stone and V-Board members Rosario Dawson, Beth Dozoretz, Donna Karan, Katherine McFate, Pat Mitchell, Cari Ross, and Kerry Washington, at the Urban Zen Center at Stephan Weiss Studio; a February 9th evening to benefit the City of Joy in Atlanta, featuring Eve Ensler and music by Arlington Priest, Roxie Watson, Joi, Gina Loring, Dres tha Beatnik at the Warren City Club; a private luncheon in Los Angeles on February 11th hosted by Miranda Gomez, Eve Ensler, Californias First Lady Maria Shriver, Charlize Theron, Paula Wagner, and V-Day Board Members Carole Black, Ilene Chaiken, Rosario Dawson, Pat Mitchell, Linda Pope, Susan Celia Swan, and Kerry Washington; a February 20th benefit reading in Santa Fe, NM of I Am an Emotional Creature at the Lensic Theater.
In addition, Eve will be speaking at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco February 16th, in Berkeley on February 18th (location to be confirmed), and the 92 Street Y in NYC on February 23rd.
For information and to purchase tickets, visit: http://www.vday.org/2010events
Spotlight on Congo
In 2010, V-Day will continue to Spotlight the violence against women in the Democratic of Republic of Congo building off the momentum created over the past two years and further engaging and energizing our activists and multiple actors to go further and work hand in hand with Congolese activists on the ground to turn pain to power. Activists will host Congo Teach-Ins in a classroom, office or public venue to educate their communities on the history of violence in Eastern Congo. This year, activists will also organize House Parties, gathering groups of people in more intimate settings for a screening of V-Days short (11-minute) documentary film, Turning Pain to Power, which includes personal testimonies of Congolese women and inspirational footage of activist groups on the ground. The film screenings will be followed by Q&A sessions guided by discussion tools provided by V-Day. Congo Teach-Ins and Congo House Parties will be available to organizers throughout the year to learn about V-Days Congo Campaign, dialogue about the issues, and organize action.
City of Joy opens
On May 25th, City of Joy will open its doors with ceremony and celebration and a delegation representing women from around the world. City of Joy is a revolutionary community – conceived by the women of Congo in collaboration with V-Day and Unicef – for survivors of sexual violence in Bukavu, DRC, where up to 100 women at a time will be healed, supported and trained to become community activists and leaders for years to come. City of Joy is a cornerstone of the global campaign STOP RAPING OUR GREATEST RESOURCE: Power To The Women And Girls Of The DRC.
Expansion of V-Day UK and European Activities
Spearheaded by V-Days new Europe Director Karin Heisecke, in collaboration with a leading team of activists and media experts, V-Day will expand its activities in Europe and the UK, working hand in hand with local grassroots activists to bring the issue of violence against women and girls, and V-Days global Congo campaign, to European audiences and government leaders.
Developed by Creative advisor Mark Matousek, Financial advisor Michael Balaoing, and Outreach advisor Jimmie Briggs, V-Men is a new program aimed at bringing the voices of men and boys into the worldwide movement. V-Men will work with men and boys in communities to address the issue of violence against women from a male perspective, addressing the root causes of the violence and ways, as V-Men, they can help end it. Over the next year V-Day organizers will hold V-Men workshops with men and boys throughout the world, as well as experts from a variety of fields. These workshops will lead to the development of a V-Men curriculum and theatrical piece, scheduled to debut in 2011.
After eleven short years, V-Day is active in 130 countries and has funded over 11,000 community-based anti-violence programs, and developed safe houses around the world. Our 2010 events and programs will once more be an inspiring call to action for women and girls to follow their dreams, men to join the dialogue, and activists everywhere to raise awareness and funds to end violence against women and girls.
V-Day is a global activist movement shattering taboos, raising millions and transforming communities to end violence against women and girls. Annually, activists stage thousands of benefit productions of Founder/playwright Eve Enslers The Vagina Monologues and other works. Working at the intersection of art, social action and politics, V-Day empowers grassroots activists to become leaders, turning pain to power. To date, the V-Day movement has raised over $70 million, crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns, launched the Karama program in the Middle East, reopened shelters, and funded over 11,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic Of Congo, Egypt, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Pakistan and South Dakota. V-Day was named one of Worth magazine’s “100 Best Charities” in 2001 and Marie Claires Top Ten Charities in 2006. The ‘V’ in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.