On Tuesday, February 14, 2017, the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) hosted its first One Billion Rising Revolution tabling event.
According to its website, One Billion Rising Revolution is a mass action pursuit to end violence against women. It is the biggest movement of this nature in history, and it first began on Valentine's Day in 2012.
The website shares the staggering statistic that one out of three women will be beaten or raped throughout her lifetime. This adds up to one billion girls and women.
Sabrina Hamilton, a senior service specialist and Co-Curricular Transcript specialist at CLS, remarked on why the event was hosted.
"We want to [generate] awareness to this issue and hope to initiate change in which people of all genders will speak out and prevent some of these heinous crimes done, to bring this statistic down," Hamilton said.
At the tabling event, students could spin a wheel to test their knowledge, were provided pamphlets on what to do and who to call in specific situations and wrote on paper hearts their reasons why they rise against violence against women.
"The tabling event turned out well for it being the first time we have done a One Billion Rising Revolution tabling," Hamilton said.
Susan Figueroa, managing assistant director for community service and civic engagement at CLS, shared that students approached the table in waves, and that the focus of the event was the quality interaction with each student rather than the amount of students that stopped by.
"We value every student who picked up information, asked questions and shared an experience," Figueroa said. "And we want to acknowledge and give a special appreciation to the young women who touched us with their honesty and courage when sharing that they survived violence and sexual assault."
In the future, the CLS hopes to involve more campus organizations, such as those in Greek life, in the awareness campaign. In the meantime, the CLS will continue to provide information regarding violence and sexual assault against women and provide students with access to the available resources Kean University has to offer.
Figueroa provided more insight into the future goal of hosting a week-long set of events creating awareness for next year.
"We are hoping to work closely with women's groups, women's studies professors, the Counseling Center, the [Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct], the Human Rights Institute as well as the theatre department to have a full week of events that shed additional light to this ongoing epidemic," Figueroa said.
If students are interested in getting involved, they are welcome to join in the brainstorming process for next year's campaign by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting the CLS. The office is located on the second floor of the Miron Student Center (MSC) room 219.
"In addition, students can stay connected to this important issue by being an upstander and making sure that they are vigilant in caring for themselves, their friends and their families when it comes to protecting women and girls against violence," Figueroa said.
If students are interested in finding more information about One Billion Rising, visit onebillionrising.org.