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V-Day Names Jerri Lynn Fields New Executive Director

08/08/2002
August 8, 2002 - New York, NY

Jerri Lynn Fields has been named the Executive Director of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, it was announced today by V-Day Artistic Director and Founder Eve Ensler.

"We are thrilled to have Jerri Lynn Fields as our new Executive Director. Her spirit, her capacity to organize and manage, and her great heart will guide us as we continue to expand as a global movement," stated Ensler on making the announcement.

On her appointment, Ms. Fields commented, "To make the move from being one of the very front line anti-violence groups that V-Day supports to working with Eve and the V-Day staff who lead the charge is both challenging and a dream come true. V-Day celebrates the strength of women while providing support and it is a pleasure to join this groundbreaking movement with both the vision and the mission to effectively raise awareness and funds in the fight to end violence against women."

In her new role which she assumed in April, Fields will oversee the day to day operations of the V-Day movement including supervising the core staff of directors, financial management, and the growing calendar of events and programmatic work around the world, all part of the V-Day mission to raise awareness and funds to stop violence against women and girls.

Fields came to V-Day in 2001 as the Development and Communications director after serving in the same role with the Fund for the City of New York. Her career in women's and human services began immediately after obtaining a master's degree in College Student Personnel Administration, when she began working in human services at Horizons Community Services in Chicago, the largest gay and lesbian social service agency in the Midwest, where she served as Director of Youth Services, Anti-Violence Project Director and Director of Programs. She then led Rape Victim Advocates in Chicago as executive director for three years.

She was the president of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault and served on the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women in Illinois. She has served on the board of Equality Illinois and the Center for Anti-Violence Education in Brooklyn, NY and is currently on the Leadership Committee of Rape Victim Advocates and the Advisory Council of RAINN, the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

Fields replaces previous Executive Director Willa Shalit, who served in that role since 1998 and was one of the original group of women who founded V-Day with Ensler in late 1997.

About V-Day: V-Day is a global movement that helps anti-violence organizations throughout the world continue and expand their core work on the ground, while drawing public attention to the larger fight to stop worldwide violence (including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), sexual slavery) against women and girls.

V-Day is also a day (on or around Valentine's Day in February), for which annual theatrical and artistic events are produced around the world to transform consciousness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. Each year, V-Day promotes a series of innovative productions, events and initiatives that are identified collectively as V-Day and the year (i.e. V-Day 2001, V-Day 2002, V-Day 2003...). In 2002, V-Day evolved from one day - Valentine's Day - into a 13-week calendar of events and social action campaigns. From January 24 - April 20, 2002, more than 800 benefit productions of Ensler's play, "The Vagina Monologues," took place in theatres, community centers, houses of worship, and college campuses around the world.

The 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. In its first four years, V-Day raised more than $7 million and was named one of Worth Magazine's "100 Best Charities." In 2002, the V-Day movement raised nearly $7 million.

The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine, and Vagina.

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Contact: Susan Celia Swan, (212) 445-3288, press@vday.org