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One Billion Rising Fort Wayne

Published as part of the February 13, 2013 edition.

Taking a stand together to end violence against women, girls

FORT WAYNE-This Valentine's Day Fort Wayne is joining a global movement to end violence against women and girls by bringing together people from all walks of life to dance in solidarity starting at 12 noon, Feb. 14 at Parkview Field, 1301 Ewing St. in Downtown Fort Wayne.

Created by Eve Ensler's V-Day movement, One Billion Rising has been endorsed by 13,000 groups and leaders across the globe from the Dalai Lama to Jane Fonda who have identified ending violence against women as a pivotal issue of our time. According to the United Nations, around the world one in three women will be directly impacted by violence or abuse in her lifetime, which translates to one billion people.

"One billion violated is an atrocity," says onebillionrising. org. "But One Billion Rising is a revolution." People in 182 countries have announced their commitment to respond to the call to strike, dance and rise by leaving their jobs, desks and homes, and standing up to give voice to an issue that has often been silenced.

Locally, volunteers have catalyzed a movement that has so far inspired collaboration amongst over 20 organizations, with hundreds of people signing on to rise and stand for respect as a marker of the Fort Wayne community. The Fort Wayne TinCaps stepped up as the first event sponsor by donating Parkview Field as the venue.

"We are thrilled to support such a positive call to action, and we hope that companies, schools, and organizations will send as many people as possible to dance together and show support for healthy relationships this Valentine's Day at Parkview Field," said Mike Nutter, president, Fort Wayne TinCaps. "I actually said in an interview last week that the two things no one will ever see me do are sing or dance. But, when I found out about One Billion Rising, I decided I may be taking one of those things back."

In addition to jamming with the TinCaps and celebrating empowerment and respect, One Billion Rising attendees will receive resources and educational materials focused on preventing violence, treating victims and healing survivors. The YWCA of Northeast Indiana, Center for Nonviolence, Women's Bureauand Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center have all signed on to participate in the event and raise awareness for this collective issue that affects the lives of so many residents.

The goal of One Billion Rising Fort Wayne is simple: to bring as many people as possible from all different backgrounds together and arm them with strength, hope and resources. Volunteers will collect suggested donations of $3/person to emphasize the one in three statistic, and food trucks Brava Dogs and JumBy's JoiNt will be onsite following the dancing for lunch options, with cookies donated by Pembroke Bakery & Caf?. All event proceeds will benefit the prevention of violence against women and girls and the treatment/healing of survivors.

For more information contact Lori Block Keys at lorirose01@gmail.com or (260) 705-7284 or go to www.onebillionrisingfw.com.

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