ROSE HILL–On Valentine’s Day, the Women’s Studies department and Women’s Empowerment group will be hosting an event that is set to draw several hundred people from the NYC area to kick off this year’s official V-Day celebrations, a movement that aims to end violence against women. The event, Justice is Care: Say Something Beautiful, will feature prominent speakers, such as The Vagina Monologues author and internationally renowned activist, Eve Ensler, in addition to Bronx community leaders.
According to their website, the V-Day organization, founded by Ms. Ensler, is “a global movement of grassroots activists dedicated to generating broader attention and funds to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sex slavery.” Each year, millions of dollars are raised by benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues and Ms. Ensler’s additional works, as well as other creative performances. The proceeds from these events go to local charities in an effort to incite change in individual communities in over 140 countries. This year is the first time the kickoff event will be held at Fordham.
Faculty and student planners are excited for this unique opportunity to be available to Fordham students. In recent years, Women’s Studies has faced adversity from University administration in putting on The Vagina Monologues. Despite these challenges, program chair, Dr. Judith Green, is looking forward to a successful event that will enforce the Jesuit tradition: “We believe that this emphasis on social justice, on care for women and women’s bodies, and for the poor in the Bronx community that this day expresses is a crucial part of the Fordham mission statement. We also think that the kind of emphasis on women celebrating our bodies is a really valuable contribution that Eve Ensler and the V-Day organization have made to our culture.”
Additionally, student organizers are ecstatic to be hosting such established speakers, both on the international and local level. Wilmarie Cintron-Muñiz, FCRH ’15, one of the primary student organizers of the event and a director of The Vagina Monologues, encourages students to “get involved by attending.” Ms. Muñiz also notes that the proceeds of the upcoming performance of The Vagina Monologues will be going to Concourse House, a local shelter for victims of domestic violence. “I am really excited to touch base with community members, I’m really excited to build community and be in such a large space to talk about the issues that contextualize Vagina Monologues,” Ms. Muñiz adds.
Dr. Green and the entire Women’s Empowerment community is eagerly awaiting Justice is Care and Ms. Ensler’s arrival on campus: “This is a remarkable opportunity to meet a historic figure who has had a profound and positive impact on our world. Take advantage of this opportunity. This is even bigger than U2.”
The event will take place next Friday, February 14, from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, in Collins Auditorium. Admission is free, and interested students should RSVP here to reserve a seat.