What is One Billion Rising?
Spearheaded by Eve Ensler, author of the world-famous Vagina Monologues, One Billion Rising is an international campaign to demand an end to violence against women and girls. It is hoped that one billion people around the planet will rise up at organized events on February 14th 2013, from Luxembourg to San Fransisco, New York to Peru! With myriad different events planned, there’s a way for everybody to get involved, and it’s a great way to introduce students to issues around women and girls and their safety and security around the world, as well as introducing healthy debate about these issues in class.
1. Join a Rising!
Students can search the One Billion Rising website to find an event nearby, from a flashmob to a dance to a theatrical event. Risings are being held all over the country and groups of students or schools can arrange to attend together.
2. Hold your own event
Anybody can create their own rising in any format they choose. It’s a great opportunity for schools and educators to join in the global community by taking part in this international day of action. Whether it’s holding a classroom debate about how to end violence against women, or encouraging students to create presentations about the issues, or even holding a school dance or sporting event to celebrate the day, individual teachers and schools can find their own way of supporting the movement.
One of the biggest aspects of One Billion Rising is the ambition to join large groups of people all over the world through the common language of dance. A special dance has been created for the occasion and with this simple YouTube video, everybody can learn the moves! Great for drama and movement classes or, if you’re feeling ambitious, for whole school assembly fun!
4. Lobby your MP
For students in the UK, there is an exciting debate in parliament planned for One Bilion Rising day, 14th February. The debate will center on violence against women and girls and will consider the importance of introducing sex and relationships education in schools to tackle issues like consent. Students who are learning about politics and political processes might be interested to watch the debate online, and they can get involved by writing to their MP to ask them to attend and use their vote – more details and a sample letter can be found at the UK One Billion Rising website.
5. Learn More
One Billion Rising is a great way to approach a serious issue in the classroom – following the events on the day itself through news sites and social media or even partnering with a school or class in a different country using Skype Classroom to find out how they are marking the occasion and learn more about their culture. It’s an ideal opportunity to open dialogue amongst students about difficult but important issues and to talk about how we all relate to and look after each other as human beings.
Will your students be rising? Let us know below!
Feature image courtesy of One Billion Rising