Monday, March 25, 2013

What's on Your Bucket List?

Act #84:  Cross something off.

Since the late 90's, number 6 on my bucket list involved me getting up on a stage in front of a room full of strangers and uttering the word, "vagina".  With pride.  The Vagina Monologues, was originally an off-Broadway production that later launched V-Day, a global non-profit movement that has raised over $75 million for women's anti-violence groups through benefits of The Vagina Monologues performances. 

Five years ago, at the age of 35, I joined a dozen or so college women half my age, and finally got to cross number 6 off my list when I dedicated the monologue, I Was There in the Room, to my newborn son.  This particular monologue told the story of creator, Eve Ensler as she witnessed the birth of her first grandchild.

Last night I had the privilege of attending an incredible performance of the Monologues at my college alma mater, and all proceeds were being donated to the rape crisis center at which I work.  At the end of the night, audience members were invited to stand up and share why they "rise", as part of V-Day's 1 Billion Rising project to end violence against women.  It was heart-wrenching, uplifting, inspiring, all rolled up into one.  In just one room, in one little tiny town, on one small college campus, courageous men and women rose to declare their commitment to end violence.  See for yourself why we all have no choice but to rise:

I rise because nobody believed me.
I rise because I'm a product of rape.
I rise for my sister.
I rise because as a man, if I get raped no one will ask me what I was wearing.
I rise so that others will have a voice.
I rise for lesbian victims.
I rise because men are raped too.
I rise because no one did for my mother.

Join me so that one day I can cross number 1 off my bucket list? 
#1:  Be the change.

A heartfelt thanks to the students and staff of Berea College for raising awareness about global violence against women, and for supporting the work of the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center.  For more information on V-Day and the 1 Billion Rising project:

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