The air was cold, but spirits were warm when the Second Chance shelter, in conjunction with the JSU club, WISE (Women’s Issues Support and Empowerment) took to the outdoor Amphitheater to participate in “One Billion Rising” a national event sponsored by the V-Day Foundation. The event was held on February 14th.
“We are here to help: here to empower and promote change,” says Tina Fleming-Smith, Second Chance advocate and one of the event organizers. “It’s encouraging to see so many here to support us today.”
The event opened with Theater Performance major Katherine Bergquist reading “My Short Skirt” from the Vagina Monologues. Eve Ensler, the founder of V-Day, is the Author.
To go along with the reading, guests enjoyed dancing and socializing with others who believe in the cause. They were lead in dance by Jennifer Whyte of JW Fitness Crew to the official dance that was performed at every One Billion Rising event held on that day. The song was titled “Break the Chain.”
Over 200 events were held around the globe on February 14th, 14 of which were in Alabama. The events coincided with the 15th anniversary of V-Day, a worldwide initiative to stop violence against women and girls. From their website, “If you take into account the statistic that one out of three women will experience violence in her lifetime, you are left with the staggering statistic that over one billion women on this planet will be impacted by violence.”
Although the statistics are staggering, there is an overwhelming amount of hope and support given to women by the V-Day foundation, which has raised over $90 million over the last 14 years to support victims of violence around the world, and local organizations like Second Chance.
“I’m excited to be here, I really am,” continues Fleming-Smith. “It shows that our community is committed to fighting for women and children who may not be in a position to fight for themselves.”
*If you or someone you love has been/ is the victim of abuse, whether it be physical, emotional, sexual, or economic, please contact the Second Chance shelter crisis hotline at 256-236-7233 or 800-656-4673, or visit www.2ndchanceinc.org.