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V-Day Rapid City Raises Fifty Thousand Dollars for New Cangleska Shelter: Indian Country Initiative Announced


As a result of the event, V-Day announces Indian country initiative to raise awareness and money around the issues facing Native women in the U.S.

August 1, 2002, Rapid City, SD

V-Day, the global movement to stop violence against women and girls, announced today the fundraising results of the V-Day Rapid City 2002 benefit for Cangleska, Inc., a private, nonprofit tribally chartered organization, which provides domestic violence and sexual assault services to the people of the Oglala Lakota Nation on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Proceeds from the successful V-Day Rapid City 2002 event "On Sacred Ground…A Safe Place" raised $40,000 via ticket sales and Jane Fonda, who participated in the evening, has donated $10,000. The total of $50,000 will go towards the building of a new shelter. V-Day is continuing to work with Cangleska to raise funds for the shelter.

As a result of the event, and its work with Cangleska, V-Day, the global movement to stop violence against women and girls, has prioritized raising consciousness, awareness and money around the issues facing Native women in this country and has launched the Indian Country Initiative. Native activist Suzanne Blue Star Boy, who leads the initiative, will travel across Indian Country to educate Native women about V-Day as a means to fundraise for local anti-violence programs. In addition, V-Day will seek to educate about the issues of violence against Native women in its upcoming V-Day 2003 campaigns and benefits (scheduled to take place during February – April 2003).

V-Day Rapid City 2002 featured the Rapid City premiere of V-Day Artistic Director and Founder/Playwright Eve Ensler's performing her world renowned play "The Vagina Monologues," with special guests Jane Fonda, Tantoo Cardinal, and musical guests ULALI. Jenny Ghost Bear opened the event at the Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center with a Lakota Four Directions song. Marlin Mousseau, George Twiss, and Karen Artichoker, Management Team Directors for Cangleska, Inc. thanked V-Day and the Rapid City community for its support and concern for Oglala women and children.

In Indian county, the rate of violence against women is the highest in the nation. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average annual rate of rape and sexual assault among American Indians is 3.5 times higher than for all other races.

About Cangleska, Inc.:
Cangleska, Inc. (pronounced Chung Gle Shka) is a private, non-profit 501 (c) (3) and tribally chartered organization, serving the Oglala Lakota Nation on the Pine Ridge Reservation, in Kyle, South Dakota. Cangleska's purpose is to provide domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and intervention services to the people of the Oglala Lakota Nation. Cangleska, Inc. is nationally recognized as the leader in Indian Country in response to domestic violence and sexual assault. Their shelter and outreach advocates provide services to over 800 women per year and thousands of children. The Oglala Lakota Tribe is in a state of emergency regarding the violence within the family and the present facility used as a shelter for women who are battered and their children is inadequate to meet the need.

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 has 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.

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 just five years, V-Day has raised over $7 million and was recently named one of Worth Magazine's "100 Best Charities".

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