Recap: One Billion Rising

One Billion Rising is a movement, a cause, and a vision. It is a call to end violence against women and girls. It is a fight to end the silence that often surrounds incidents of abuse towards women.

It is a dance and a fight beautifully melded together with the potential for real change.

It began in response to the revelation of a truly shocking statistic: 1 in 3 women will be beaten or raped in her lifetime. If there are 7 billion in the world, that 1 in 3 statistic translates to approximately one billion women that will be victimized.

In simplistic terms, that is just obviously not okay. Don Denz, the RD of Plassmann Hall, called that a “staggering and frightening statistic.”

 

While One Billion Rising is a global dance movement to raise awareness for this issue, the event took place on-campus on February 13th during free period in a crowded Maloney Great Room. Attendants had the opportunity to write the reasons why they rise against this violence on a white board and talk to representatives from on-campus and off-campus resources. It featured performances from several dance teams, including S.O.L.I.D., Latin Fever, and Bhangra.

And then the official dance began.

Students, faculty, staff, and off-campus visitors joined in the choreographed dance, which was led by the dance teams. They danced to the song “Break the Chain,” which describes a world that we can bring into existence if we work to “break the chain” of violence towards women.

The song’s lyrics focused a great deal on both the strength of survivors and on the need for other women and girls to stand in solidarity with them. As the song played and attendees danced, the purpose of the day was realized even more.

“This is my body. My body’s holy. No more excuses. No more abuses.

We are mothers. We are teachers. We are beautiful, beautiful creatures.”

Kate Welshofer from Channel 9 News in Albany, who spoke at the event, summed up the purpose of the event for Siena students and other attendants, female and male alike: “The one billion need change, and they need you.”

Visit the One Billion Rising website for more information.