Southern Oregon University’s Women’s Resource Center will be hosting several events during Valentine’s Day and over the weekend to raise awareness about violence against women.
The first event, One Billion Rising, will be happening tomorrow from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Bellview Grange at 1050 Tolman Creek Rd. in Ashland. One Billion Rising is an international campaign with the aim of ending violence against women and girls. The event was started by Eve Ensler, the author of ‘The Vagina Monologues,” after report released by the United Nations in 2008 said that one out of every three women in the world will be raped or beaten within her lifetime.
The SOU Women’s Resource Center, in cooperation with other local organizations, will be hosting their own One Billion Rising event in solidarity with women’s rights advocates, which they’ve called Rogue Valley Rising. The three hour event will include a lineup of local bands, dancing, poetry, art, and performances from SOU’s Percussion Ensemble and Dance Team.
UPDATE 2/14: Rogue Valley Rising to include performances from musicians Jane Stirling, Marguerite Pawlick, Lavelle Foos, and Heather Lee, as well as a performance from hula troop The Monday Night Wahines, divine feminine Tantric dance from Pilar Chandler, and much more.
The second event is the Vagina Monologues, with performances at the Bellview Grange on Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 6 p.m. Students are $10 if bought in advance, or $12 at the door. Community members are $15 in advance, or $17 at the door.
The Vagina Monologues is the cornerstone of the V-Day movement, started by Ensler in 1998 to combat violence against women. The Monologues are a series of performances that deal with the feminine experience, such as sex, rape, masturbation, genital mutilation, birth, and orgasm. Spurred on by the popularity of the Monologues, the V-Day movement has grown to become a global activist organization, conducting annual benefit productions of the Vagina Monologues to raise money for local anti-violence organizations and raise awareness about women’s rights issues.
“When we started V-Day 14 years ago, we had the outrageous idea that we could end violence against women,” said Ensler in a press release from the WRC. “Now, we are both stunned and thrilled to see that this global action is truly escalating and gaining force, with union workers, parliament members, celebrities, and women of all backgrounds coming forward to join the campaign. When we come together on February 14, 2013 to demand an end to violence against women and girls it will be a truly global voice that will rise up.”
For more information, call 541-552-6216 or email the WRC at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about V-Day and its campaigns, visit their website.