1 Billion Rising / Ulster County – Walk. Dance. Rise!

Kingston Times — Celebrating Women

With the final passing in Congress on February 28, 2013 of an amplified Violence Against Women Act, I am even more proud to have been part of the highly successful awareness-raising One Billion Rising event at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston NY!

About the event at BSP

Singing, dancing and awareness-raising walked hand in hand that day, as they have historically in movements to create change. Officials and activists included the Mayor of Kingston,  Executive Director for the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, the Ulster County District Attorney and the Commissioner of Social Services; Chief of Police Edigio Tinti spoke out particularly strongly.

Folks of all ages – with lots of children represented! – got to do a little DXF (Dance Xross Fitness), a little Zumba, and a whole lot of positive energy-building in the name of ending violence against women & girls in our lifetime…

I got to wear a couple of different ‘hats’ that day, and was proud to watch women stand up during their honor song, proud to quietly welcome Tibetan vocalist Yungchen Lhamo with a traditional gift from one indigenous woman to another – and super-proud to drum with our Center for Creative Education intergenerational group POOK (Percussion Orchestra Of Kingston) while the youth of Energy Dance Company turned it out and taught choreographer Debbie Allen’s Break the Chain dance for everyone there to do! 

Hands up to organizers Zoe Dunn & Beth Bengston at Hale Advisors, the folks at Washbourne House for victims of domestic violence, to Tibetan exile & amazing vocalist Yungchen Lhamo, and to my beloved home crew Drew Andrews, Ev Mann, Lisa (Andrews) Brown & the youth & families at the Center for Creative Education —  and to everyone who gave so much to make an impact!

And if anyone has pix or footage of the CCE youth performing, I’d be glad to share it!

About One Billion Rising

On February 14th 2013 – Valentine’s Day – 1 billion women and the men and families who love them, in over 207 countries around the globe, walked out, stood up, rose and danced together for an end to violence against women. Inspired by playwright Eve Ensler’s upcoming film of the same name,  ONE BILLION RISING is a global call to action, respect and awareness.