One Billion Rising Washington Square Park Recap, Photos & Media | Ending Violence Against Women & Girls

Updated 2/25

this shot from CNN

Rehearsal right beforehand Garibaldi Plaza


So, it’s now a little over a week ago that the Washington Square One Billion Rising Flash Mob took place on February 14th as part of a worldwide effort in 207 countries to demand an end to violence against women. There was MUCH going on in NYC – across the city! (unfortunately with very little media coverage). This was the first thing I’d ever organized at the park (well, on this scale, I had organized walking tours as a guide to the redesign). I’ve organized other events in my lifetime, but, as you can imagine, for a number of reasons, this was extra special! I posted photos last week but there was more to say.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED — every single person was amazing!!
Thanks to dance teachers: Jasmina Nikolov, Melchor Alvarez, KJ Grow
Expert organizer of sound and huge help: Greg Miller
Donators of rehearsal space: Melissa Ennen and KJ Grow
Graphics and Creator of signs & banner extraordinaire: Joy Smith
Assistance at the event – many! – including Mitchel Cohen, Mellicent Dyane, Jennifer Jager, Jenny Madero, Kerry, Nicole Furniss
Beginning of song, sign holders: Tara Maldonado, Mariel Simmonds-Little, Lila Miller, Mellicent Dyane, Eva Bertalan (and one more – whose name I did not know, she filled in at the last minute!)
Plus everyone who came to a rehearsal(!!!), practiced on your own (and maybe wrote to tell me about it), taught the dance to your group, helped out day of, covered the event, took photos, attended(!), and added beautiful energy in so many ways. Thanks to Kate Fisher at V-Day and also Village “Community Affairs.” I met amazing people at every juncture — at the rehearsals, at the actual event, on email, through comments at this blog — it was a life changing event for many of us.

A really nice reportback from CNN iReport, One Billion Rising: New York:

I left New York City’s Washington Square Park yesterday after a One Billion Rising flash mob event with the oddest sense of female empowerment. Why odd? Well, mostly because I’m a man. Nonetheless, I found the spectacle and high-energy performance of nearly 300 women dancing to the strains of Tena Clark’s Break the Chain tremendously inspiring.

The One Billion Rising campaign is based on the statistic that 1 in 3 women will be beaten or raped in her lifetime; astoundingly, that adds up to 1 billion women worldwide. This Valentine Day marked the 15th Anniversary of the founding of “V-Day” by award-winning playwright Eve Ensler, with the goal of ending violence against women and girls.

Major events were planned in more than 200 countries worldwide, but nowhere was more going on than in New York City, where events were staged throughout the five boroughs in schools, in parks—even on the Brooklyn Bridge.

If I felt empowered, I can only imagine how the women who took part in this dance flash mob felt. And indeed they showed how strongly affected they were, smiling, hugging and standing as one with their hands thrust in the air in the shadow of the Washington Square Park’s iconic arch.

Other coverage:

Yahoo News Photo of the Day

Reuters, Pictures from around world

NYU – Washington Square News, Washington Square Park Flash Mob Raises Awareness About Domestic Violence

New School Free Press One Billion Rising Flash Mob Raises Awareness on Violence Against Women

LiveStream of event via UStream – entire flash mob (2x’s)

You Tube#1 (short, high energy)

Another YouTube

3rd Youtube (gets beginning and goes through in crowd)

Instagram, group by arch

Yetta Kurland Live radio show WWRL-AM (I was interviewed 2/13 about the event)

Stop Motion Solo TV Blog Post

** Thanks to the pigeons also who did a delightful swoop as a flock in the air during intermission between the two times the “Break The Chain” dance was done! (Visible on the UStream.) **

*   *   *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

The momentum is still happening.

The time is now. MARCH 8TH is INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY.  The United Nations theme for the day this year is: “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.”

* Let’s get the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed at least and think of more we can all do day to day to empower women and men and end violence.

Thank you!


Photo #1: CNN
Photo #2 & #3: Jennifer Jager
Photos #4, 5 & 8: Whitney Luce
Photos #6, 7, 9, 10:
Angela Matus Sinkler
#11: tba

Photo #12: Mike Segar, Reuters
Photo #13: Jennifer Jager

Photos posted previously at this blog from event can be seen here.

p.s. Remember to submit your photos and videos of the Washington Square NYC “Rising” to V-Day. V-Day is creating a documentary on One Billion Rising.

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2 thoughts on “One Billion Rising Washington Square Park Recap, Photos & Media | Ending Violence Against Women & Girls”

  1. Great work, Cathryn and all!

    I went to 4 One Billion Rising events on Feb. 14 in NYC, and they were all joyous and exhuberant! The one in Washington Square Park was especially powerful, a huge ROAR from Greenwich Village on behalf of women (and men!) against violence, everywhere. Thank you!

  2. Thanks, Mitchel! Thanks for participating and for your support – & 4 OBR events, Wow!
    “Huge ROAR from Greenwich Village…” – love that.
    That was the intent and that’s how it felt for sure.



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