HONORED: V-Day Founder/Artistic Director Eve Ensler To Receive the Breakthrough Inspiration Award
On Friday October 22, Eve will be honored at Breakthrough's ten-year anniversary Let's Breakthrough Together Gala. Eve, along with Peter Ackerman, founding chair of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict will receive the Breakthrough Inspiration Award, given to activists who embody the spirit of human rights and leadership.
Breakthrough is an innovative, international human rights organization using the power of popular culture, media, and community mobilization to transform public attitudes and advance equality, justice, and dignity.
Eve Ensler. Let's Breakthrough Together, Nov 2010
I just want to first say, Namaste - and how profoundly, profoundly grateful I am to be alive. Just need to say that, and voice that - the gratitude of life.
And I'm utterly moved by Cynthia, and Sam, and that performance, and their words, and ... I love Mallika Dutt - I love Breakthrough - I love what this movement, this organization does. I love the creativity; I love the vision; I love the originality - I love Mallika's bossiness, I love her passion; I love her refusal to take a 'No' - I love the way she keeps putting things in front of people whether they want to see it or not. She is what we call in V-Day a true Vagina Warrior - and has been fighting as long as I can remember for the invisible. For the people who matter deeply, but are unseen - who get dismissed, who get scapegoated, who get discarded: and those are the people we all should be fighting for, every minute of every hour of every day.
So I just want to honor her - her gorgeous ten years - and may there be ... may there NOT be many more years. May we get to the point where we don't have to keep fighting these fights; and triumphing over the desecration of human rights.
I just want to say - tonight, I put on this necklace - and it's a necklace of Indian goddesses. And all through this experience, I feel like Indian goddesses have been directing me - Kali, particularly. Because when I went through chemo [therapy] I was given a really brilliant directive - which is to see the chemo not killing me, but killing the perpetrators, and the rapists, and the people who violate rights of people - and that when it would be over I would be clean, and my body would be clean. And it was a brilliant directive.
So - every chemo I had, I would Kali in front of me, and I would say, 'OK - burn it off! - just burn it off' - and it made me stronger, and it gave me a vision and a metaphor. And I want to say that ... I just want to say one thing tonight, about kind of the coming together and the correlation between building a world where people are valued and are given their dignity and given their power, and given their rights ... and sickness.
You know, we see cancer as this terrible, terrible thing that's going to do us in, and kill us, and it can. It can - so can anything! But it can also be a huge opportunity to go deep in our souls, and to shed all that keeps us from each other, and keeps us from opening our hearts and living as vulnerable, open people so that each person we miss, enters us in a true way. So we can't discard people, or ignore people - the man with his arm outstretched, or the women in Congo who are being raped - or the people who have a cholera outbreak, today, in Haiti. That we can't ignore them - that they fill us, every moment, and compel us to act on their behalf.
So - I bless my cancer. Because it has broken down so much in me that kept me from you. And I hope all of you will continue to break all those things inside you that keep you above, or below, rather than 'a part of' - and I want to honor Mallika for building that world, and for building it with kindness, and heart, and depth, and courage - and I am with her forever on this journey, thank you all, very much.