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Bring a V-Day Event to Indian Country
An Overview of V-Day for Native American and Canadian First Nations Women who Wish to Participate in V-Day 2003
V-Day is an international movement to end violence against women. It successfully focuses attention on the global nature of violence against women, and works to empower women and girls the world over. V-Day promotes creative events and works to raise awareness and funds to revitalize existing anti-violence organizations and to promote a world free from violence. Because of the high rate of violence perpetrated against Indian women, V-Day now comes to Indian Country with the Indian Country Project.
V-Day and Indian Country
This year, V-Day is placing international focus on Native American women and First Nations women through its “Afghanistan is Everywhere: Spotlight on Native American and First Nations Women” campaign. V-Day is asking every benefit performance to donate up to 10% of its proceeds to this fund and this will amount to a significant donation. To provide some perspective, last year, V-Day raised over $7 million for local women’s organizations around the world.
V-Day’s selection of Indian Country emerged from a realization of a need that is well documented statistically. According to the US Bureau of Justice the average annual rate of rape and sexual assault among American Indian Women is 3.5 times higher than all other races. This rate continues to rise while Indian women and girls remain invisible as an at-risk population. Indian women often feel unable to redress the violence because of complicated jurisdictional problems and lack or resources. Consequently, the high rate of abuse continues, unabated.
The Inspiration: V-Day Rapid City
On April 20, 2002 V-Day’s made its first visit to Indian Country with the performance of the “Vagina Monologues” in Rapid City, South Dakota. This successful V-Day benefit entitled, “On Sacred Ground…a Safe Place, inspired the “Indian Country Project”. The benefit raised $50,000, towards the building of a new shelter on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
Suzanne Blue Star Boy: Director of the Indian Country Project
Shortly after V-Day Rapid City, 2002, Native American activist Suzanne Blue Star Boy joined V-Day to lead the “Indian Country Project”, a campaign to end violence against women on all American Indian and Canadian First Nations Peoples lands. Her work will help generate interest and events in Native communities across the USA and Canada. This year alone reservations in South Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico and Alaska will be hosting V-Day events in their rural communities.
Indian Country Project
The Indian Country Project will also work to build coalition to strengthen the tribal commitments to end violence, beginning with the work of a newly formed advisory group, the Kitchen Cabinet, composed of Indian Country Project Director, Suzanne Blue Star Boy, Tillie Black Bear, Sarah Deer, Eileen Hudon, Tantoo Cardinal, and Peggy Bird. These Native Women are distinguished by their leadership abilities and years of experience in addressing women’s issues on Tribal lands. With their guidance, insight and energy they will direct the work throughout the regions and bring out the issues Native women face.
The Tribal Resolution
The Indian Country Project developed an initiative, A Tribal Resolution, or “Draft Resolution”. It serves as an outline or example of a document that Tribes may use to draft their own resolution. It demonstrates that in order to obtain justice, Tribes must assure Native women and girls that violence will not be tolerated, that they have a right to speak out and that their voices will be heard. This document can be found here.
What V-Day Does
Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers and college students produce annual V-Day benefit performances of “The Vagina Monologues” (eg. V-Day Tulsa, V-Day UCLA) to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence groups within their own communities. V-Day itself stages large-scale benefits and promotes innovative gatherings and programs (The Afghan Women’s Summit, The Stop Rape Contest, Indian Country Project, and more) to change social attitudes towards violence against women. In 2002, more than 800 V-Day benefit events were presented by local volunteer activists around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls.
V-Day impacts a community by beginning a much-needed dialogue between community members and family members. V-Day changes existing perceptions by raising awareness and consciousness through V-Day events and through media. Each and every organizer is touched by the magnitude and power of being part of a movement—a truly global community of people all working toward one goal—ending violence against women and girls. Money raised by V-Day campaigns remains in the community, donated to local groups working to end violence.
What is V-Day?
V-Day is the global movement to end violence against women that grew out of V-Day Founder/Artistic Director Eve Ensler’s play “The Vagina Monologues”, which is based on Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women. The piece celebrates women sexuality and strength and exposes the violations that women endure throughout the world. As Ensler performed the play around the world it became a point of common recognition for women and it served to coalesce a view of the needs and importance of women beyond any political boundaries. As a worldwide movement V-Day generates broad attention to confront and stop worldwide violence against women and girls including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual slavery. The V in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.
V-Day College and Worldwide Campaigns
What is the V-Day College Campaign?
The V-Day College Campaign invites members of college and university communities around the world to present benefit productions of “The Vagina Monologues” on their campuses on or around V-Day (February 14th) to raise money and awareness to stop violence against women and girls. The proceeds from these events are donated to local organizations in the schools’ communities that are working to stop this violence. One of the goals of the College Campaign is to empower young people – the leaders, shapers and messengers of the future.
Snapshot: College Campaign Statistics 1999-2002
(1) Number of people exposed to V-Day via College Campaign events as reported by College Campaign organizers
(2)Amount of money raised by College Campaign events as reported by College Campaign organizers
What is the V-Day Worldwide Campaign?
The V-Day Worldwide Campaign invites communities around the world to present productions of “The Vagina Monologues” on or around V-Day (February 14th) to raise money and awareness to stop violence against women and girls. The proceeds from these events are donated to local organizations in the community that are working to stop this violence. The Worldwide Campaign strives to empower women to find their collective voices and demand an end to the epidemic levels of violence and abuse in their communities around the world.
Snapshot: Worldwide Campaign in 2002
In 2002, 238 communities around the world participated in the Worldwide Campaign. Over US$1.1 million was donated to organizations working to end violence against women and girls and more than 17 million people were exposed to V-Day’s vision.
V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a palpable energy, a fierce catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop worldwide violence against women and girls including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sexual slavery. V-Day provides funding to create and nurture innovative programs to stop the violence.
Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers and college students produce annual benefit performances of "The Vagina Monologues" to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence groups within their own communities. V-Day itself stages large-scale benefits and promotes innovative gatherings and programs (The Afghan Women's Summit, The Stop Rape Contest, Indian Country Project, and more) to change social attitudes about violence against women. In 2002, more than 800 V-Day benefit events were presented by local volunteer activists around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls.
The V-Day movement is growing at a rapid pace throughout the world. V-Day, a non-profit corporation, distributes funds to grassroots, national, and international organizations and programs that work to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day was named one of Worth Magazine's "100 Best Charities" in 2001. In its first five years, the V-Day movement has raised over $14 million, with over $7 million raised in 2002 alone.