(February 13, 2013) – The One Billion Rising event, a national movement to end violence against women, comes to Fresno State 12:15-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, in the Free Speech Area. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

The One Billion Rising movement strives to raise awareness that one in three women will be beaten or raped in their lifetime. With a population of seven billion, this equals more than one billion women and girls, said Vanessa Jones, a Mass Communication and Journalism major, minoring in Women’s Studies.

Fresno State’s Women’s Studies Program presents the local version of the 13-year-old movement which will makes its Fresno debut as the U.S. Senate passed an extension of the Violence Against Women Act Tuesday which strengthens federal penalties for repeat sex offenders and creates a federal “rape shield law” to prevent offenders from using victims’ past sexual conduct against them during trial. The measure now goes to the House of Representatives.

Jones describes the event as a opportunity for the local community to join the thriving worldwide movement to curb violence: “Fresno State will join activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities and women and men across the world as we express our outrage, demand change, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women.”

The local event will feature a conga line originating from various points on campus and leading to the Free Speech Area for a flash mob and instructional dances. Volunteers will discuss the mission of One Billion Rising, read poems, show video clips related to the rising and other entertainment.

The One Billion Rising movement was founded in 1998 by Eve Ensler, playwright and activist, and is part of her worldwide celebration of the 15th anniversary of the V-Day campaign inspired by her play, “The Vagina Monologues,” which will be shown April 14 at Fresno State.

At Fresno State’s One Billion event on Thursday, the Women’s Studies Program will provide information about community resources for women and the upcoming campus performance of “The Vagina Monologues.”

For more information, call the Women’s Studies Program, 559.278.2858, or visit the Fresno State Rising Facebook page.

Related Links:

One Billion Rising: http://onebillionrising.org/
Fresno State Rising: https://www.facebook.com/events/127297667441841/
Women’s Studies Program – http://www.fresnostate.edu/socialsciences/womensstudies/
Violence Against Women Act  – http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-senate-votes-violence-against-women-act-20130212,0,5925612.story