Pink Chaddi Campaign Update

You might remember that a couple of weeks ago we wrote about a campaign to support Indian women on Valentine’s Day (if you don’t, click here to read that post). Well, we’ve some good news / bad news updates. The good news is the pictures below of local UMKC women toasting Indian women on Valentine’s Day:

The bad news is that their Facebook group has been hacked multiple times (see Feministing and Jezebel for the stories). As Feministing says, show them some love by becoming a fan or joining the group. For more news and updates, visit their blog.

V-Day and the V-Wall

This week wraps up our month of V-Day celebrations with our performances of The Vagina Monologues and Any One of Us: Words from Prison (February 25 & 26, respectively. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets). 

People often ask me if I don’t get tired of doing the same thing over and over, year after year, but the truth is, while the monologues may be the same (although we are doing a new piece this year — Any One of Us has not been previously performed in KC), a new cast and crew bring their own new interpretation — every single year I am inspired all over again by the dedication and hard work the women (and men) of V-Day UMKC bring to the cause of ending violence against women. 
This year, our events raise money to support V-Day’s 2009 Spotlight, Power to the Women and Girls of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where women have been suffering unimaginable atrocities for years. Bob Herbert’s column, “The Invisible War,” details what has been happening. V-Day also has a V-Wall dedicated to women and girls the Congo that provides information on what’s happening there, as well as ways for you to take action. Please visit it and support V-Day in their efforts to end violence against women.
And remember that when you support your local V-Day, you also support local anti-violence efforts. This year, our local beneficiary is the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project. The VPR Project strengthens the University’s response to sexual violence by providing advocacy services, training, and education/outreach to the campus community. These services help students who’ve been affected by sexual violence stay in school and get the support they need. 
So, please, sign up to support the V-Wall and join us this week at the V-Day UMKC 2009 performances to help us work towards ending violence against women locally and globally.

Is Your Valentine A Real Sweetheart?

We are a bit late for Valentine’s Day, but this was too good not to share. From Alexandra Vinson at Emory University comes a fun video that educates about healthy relationships and warning signs of dating violence. It’s cute, funny, and smart — everything a good educational video should be. And the message is always relevant.

Walk A Mile In Her Shoes 2008 @ UMKC

Thanks to the wonderful folks here in the Communications video lab (a big shoutout to Kevin Mullin and Adam), we finally have a YouTube-compatible copy of the video from the Walk a Mile march held in September 2008. Check it out, along with Dave Belt’s great guest post about the event.

And save the date for the next march, to be held September 22, 2009. More details will be posted here and in all the other usual places (Facebook, website, Twitter).

Indian Activism Goes Global

By now, I’m sure many of you have read about the attack on women drinking in a bar in an Indian college town (if you haven’t, see this article for details). The group who perpetuated the attack has also threatened to hold a campaign against Valentine’s Day.

In response, a group of Indian Feminist Activists organized the Consortium of Pubgoing, Loose and Foward Women, who are hosting the Pink Chaddi Campaign in honor of Valentine’s Day. What is more astonishing than the bravery of these women is the speed with which the campaign has grown. Launched on February 5, 2009, they now claim over 28,000 members worldwide). Their call for women to send Pink Chaddis (panties) to the group responsible for the attack and to go to a pub on Valentine’s Day has also grown into a worldwide movement.
In honor of V-Day, which we celebrate in February to help end violence against women, and Indian women, I hope you will also take part in the Valentine’s Day action. Here are the details:
On Valentine’s Day we do a Pub Bharo action. Go to a pub wherever you are. From Kabul to Chennai to Guwahati to Singapore to LA women have signed up. It does not matter if you are actually not a pub-goer or not even much of a drinker. Let us raise a toast (it can be juice) to Indian women. Take a photo or video. We will put it together (more on how later) and send this as well to the Sri Ram Sena.
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