Antioch’s Advocacy Through Arts – One Billion Rising

Rising up to the urgent call from the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history, Antioch University New England once again stands united with One Billion Rising and it’s 2018 theme of solidarity. It began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. That amounts to one billion women and girls across the globe!

Spearheaded by Antioch’s Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling Program there will be awareness building, art making, moving together, screening of a documentary feature, Little Stones directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Sophia Kruz followed by a panel discussion, and fundraising for violence prevention for women.

Film screening: On February 13, 2018, follow the personal narratives of four women from around the world who are using various art forms such as fashion, graffiti, hip-hop, and dance to create positive change in their communities. Alice Paul, women’s rights activist says, “I always feel the movement is a sort of mosaic. Each of us puts in one little stone.” So, paint on a little stone and share it with the Antioch community and be a part of the One Billion Rising mosaic.

Dance: The Rise in Solidarity dance for One Billion Rising will take place at noon at Antioch University New England’s campus on February 13, 2018 and on Central Square in Keene on February 14, 2018. Emphasizing the power of dance/movement in fostering a sense of connection, Christina Devereaux, Associate Professor and Program Director, Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling program shares, “Movement enlivens us. It vitalizes the human spirit. Specifically, we have within us a biological desire to be connected with others in synchrony. Through moving in rhythmic synchrony, the entrainment within our nervous system is activated.”

Further clarifying on how moving together translates into mobilizing for social action, Devereaux says, “What we know through both empirical research and through cultural practices and traditions all over the world is that dance provides an adaptable and accessible form of physical movement that elevates mood, vitalizes the spirit, and motivates connection and community. Moving with others with the intention for social action can create a powerful relational experience and can stimulate a deep subjective feeling of connection and unity.” She emphasizes that right now, more than ever, we need to experience unity, feel the powerful resonance of being in connection versus isolation, and use movement as a source of mobilizing this energy into action.

Shedding light on the symbolism of the One Billion Rising dance, Tomoyo Kawano, Assistant Professor, Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling Program says, “It is similar to the enactment of communal rituals and ceremonies of various cultural traditions. Processual ceremonies often include the arts (music, dance, culinary, costume, etc.) and cultural knowledge is transmitted through the doing of such symbolic enactments in the rituals like dancing or offering food. Recognizing these inspirations/tools and adapting them while giving due credit is about honoring and learning through global perspectives and creating/building new ways to move forward.” Sharing her experience of dance as a medium of bridging barriers, Tomoyo says that cognitive ‘understanding’ still maintains barriers, whereas dancing together breaks down the emotional distance.

Join us in raising our arms high up in the air to voice our intention that together we no longer can be silenced.

Antioch University

Since our founding 1852, Antioch University has remained on the forefront of social justice, inclusion, and equality – regardless of ethnicity, gender, creed, orientation, focus of study, or ability.

Antiochians actively reflect these shared values to inspire positive change in the world. Common Thread is where we document the stories that showcase our communities actions, so the change we work for can be shared widely.  

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