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V-Day Launches New Site

01/08/2001

Contacts:
V-Day
Susan Vargo
212.315.2120

Plumb Design
Susan Teitz
212.285.8600 x 254

New York, NY – January 8, 2001— V-Day and Plumb Design today announced the redesign and launch of www.vday.org, a website dedicated to the eradication of violence against women and girls. V-Day, the movement sparked by Eve Ensler’s Obie-award-winning play “The Vagina Monologues,” partnered with Plumb Design, an interactive services and software firm, to re-brand and reinvigorate its site and to make it a true virtual headquarters for the worldwide V-Day movement. The launch is timed to herald V-Day 2001, which comprises two major events occurring at Madison Square Garden on February 10th 2001: the V-Day Gathering to End Violence (daytime workshops) and the V-Day Event (evening rallies and performances by leaders in entertainment such as Glenn Close, Oprah Winfrey, Calista Flockhart and Winona Ryder).

Unlike traditional advocacy and activist groups, V-Day has no physical headquarters; it is a next-step philanthropy, housed in people’s minds and hearts rather than one physical location. A website for such an organization becomes a central hub, where people “meet,” exchange stories, and develop strategies for overcoming violence against women. To that end, V-Day built a multi-purpose site that appeals to a diverse worldwide audience and communicates V-Day’s vision of a world where women can live safely and without fear of violence. The site is an inspirational and useful resource dedicated to stopping violence and abuse in women’s and girls’ homes and communities.

“We are well aware of the Internet’s enormous capacity as an agent of social change and we are thrilled that this new site expertly extends our outreach and spreads our message across borders—both geographic and technological,” said Willa Shalit, Executive Director of V-Day. “Plumb Design viscerally understands and is deeply committed to V-Day’s mission, and the site is a prime example of how the power of the Web can be harnessed to communicate, educate, and activate across an issue that affects every country, every government, and countless families around the world.”

Vday.org’s bold yet elegant design reflects the strength of the movement and communicates the beauty, grace, and humor inherent in its origin, “The Vagina Monologues.” Its homepage is divided into five main content sections: V-News (press); Violence (resources); V-Day (history, events & initiatives); Get Involved (contributions); and Victory (success!). The panels are painted in rich shades of red, a color that is symbolic of V-Day’s conflation of power, rage, heart, and warmth. The movement is also branded by the new V-Day logo, which includes an image of a victorious female figure, a global Everywoman who stands triumphant in the fight to end violence against women.

Here are some highlights of the new vday.org site:


  • V-News: contains press releases, off- and online media coverage, press FAQs, and a downloadable press kit with publicity photos to help journalists with their V-Day reporting.

  • Violence: includes a glossary of violence terms, a listing of anti-violence resources, and other information that women can turn to for support, assistance, and refuge from violence. Essential to serving the V-Day mission is the site’s ability to gather and publish stories from women and girls around the world. A “Report Violence, End Silence” area in this section allows users to submit stories of how they overcame violence in their own lives. They are encouraged to share their personal strategies for achieving safety so that other women might gain insight and start their own journey to victory over violence. V-Day intends to work with community activists worldwide to implement some of the most successful strategies that are submitted to the new site.

  • V-Day: contains detailed information on V-Day’s four main initiatives and special events: the Worldwide Initiative, the College Initiative, the Youth Initiative, and V-Day 2001. The “Vision” area in this section invites users to “Imagine a world without violence.” Here a user can share her or his own vision of a world without violence, thus energizing the V-Day movement and inspiring solidarity among women and men committed to V-Day’s goals. This section also includes a place to shop, linking vday.org to V-Day’s first-ever online store, developed using Yahoo!. Currently the shop offers items ranging from T-shirts to coffee mugs to buttons. Proceeds go directly to the V-Day Fund so people are actually taking action to stop violence while they shop.

  • Get Involved: educates and inspires visitors and encourages people to join together to end violence. This section invites users to join the movement by contributing money to the V-Day Fund or by donating resources and time to fight violence in their own communities. It also contains a downloadable Action Kit with posters and flyers to help supporters spread the word about ending violence.

  • Victory: offers information on the results and successes of the V-Day movement. This section includes a list of V-Day grant recipients, V-Day sponsors, and most important, personal stories of victory over violence.

A unique aspect of the new site is its “intervention” functionality. If, while exploring the site, a user becomes inactive—i.e. neglects to interact with the site or its many links—an “intervention,” an eye-opening fact about violence, automatically blacks out the screen, panel by panel. These interventions educate users on the gravity of the problem of violence against women, inspire empathy for women who are suffering, and emphasize the urgent need for action; only by acting (clicking) can one return to the original site and learn how to tackle and conquer the scourge of violence.

“It took time for me to get used to using the word ‘vagina’ in a professional setting—it took some of the men on the team a little longer. But we were all struck by the need for action in the face of such a serious issue. Plumb Design is proud to be a part of the V-Day movement, and we hope that vday.org helps pave the way for a safer environment for women and girls worldwide,” said Mary Azzarto, CEO of Plumb Design and a member of V-Day’s steering committee.

About V-Day:
V-Day is a global movement to end violence against girls and women. V-Day is a decision, an energy, a spirit, a day -- Valentine's Day -- for which annual theatrical and artistic events are produced in local, national and international venues to raise money and to transform consciousness. To date, Eve Ensler's Obie Award-winning play, "The Vagina Monologues," has been the centerpiece of these events. In order to translate its mission into action, V-Day established the V-Day Fund in 1998. The V-Day Fund allocates resources to grassroots, national and international groups that work to end rape, battery, incest and genital mutilation. Contributions to the V-Day Fund come from many different places: individuals, corporations, foundations, product and book sales, benefit and commercial performances of "The Vagina Monologues." V-Day 2001 will take place this year on February 10th at Madison Square Garden in New York. Corporate sponsors include Hearst Magazines, Lifetime Television, Liz Claiborne, Women.com, Tampax and Marie Claire. V-Day is the trademark of the V-Day Fund. All rights reserved.

About Plumb Design:
Plumb Design, Inc., designs and develops software, Web applications, and communication platforms. Plumb Design Services provides strategic consulting, Web design, custom software development, and systems integration services for Global 5000 companies and major nonprofits. Our wholly owned subsidiary Thinkmap, Inc., develops software, including Thinkmap, a platform for animating and displaying complex sets of interrelated information, and Condensity™, software that shrinks, obfuscates, and optimizes Java code. Plumb Design, a closely held corporation, is backed by GFT Technologies AG and Motorola, Inc. Clients include Merrill Lynch, Experience Music Project, and the Smithsonian Institution. More information about Plumb Design Services can be found at www.plumbdesign.com. More information about Thinkmap can be found at www.thinkmap.com.