The One Billion Rising rally promoting the worldwide Valentine’s Day campaign to end violence against females of all ages will be held at Fresno State from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16.

The free, public event to demonstrate demands for justice for women and girls around the world will be presented at the Speaker’s Platform (north of the Madden Library) by students in Fresno State’s Women’s Studies Program and the campus student chapter of People Organized for Women’s Empowerment and Representation (POWER).

The campaign, which commemorates the movement’s 18th anniversary on Feb. 14 with over 200 participating countries, strives to raise awareness about how, according to United Nations statistics, one in three women will be beaten, raped, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in their lives worldwide.

“With a population of 7 billion, this equals more than 1 billion women and girls,” said student Natalie Nigg, chapter president of POWER.

At Tuesday’s event, various activities will be featured such as poetry readings, dance groups and speakers along with information tables with representatives from community organizations and Fresno State clubs.

Attendees will perform the signature “Break the Chains” dance representing their stance on this issue and to raise awareness about the movement to those observing the dance.

“It is easy to think of violence against women as a far off issue, but it is one directly affecting our Fresno community,” Nigg said. “Creating a space to stand up against this violence is a vital step towards making a meaningful change. It allows survivors and those currently enduring this violence in our community a place to come forward and feel supported.”

For more information, call the Women’s Studies Program at 559.278.2858 or visit the Fresno State Rising Facebook page.
(Ashley Cropper, University Communications news assistant, contributed to this report.)

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