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1 Billion Rising 2019 Review And Reflection

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~Nearly three weeks ago the centre of Preston showed what true justice looks like. For the past seven years UCLAN have been hosting the annual One Billion Rising for Justice ( Vday) campaign on 14th February, a date for many to be celebrated amongst couples but this event focuses primarily on the female gender.

Every year in hundreds of countries, people are encouraged to gather in places of safety, such as schools and places of worship, and stand in solidarity against the alarming statistic that one in three women will be beaten or raped in their lifetime. With the world population at seven billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls.

Here in the locality of Preston, Lancashire the CCG organised a positive force of individuals made of male and females to dance together on campus led by instructor and World Salsa Dance champion Phil Kaila and Salsa Northwest.

Russell Hogarth, UCLAN Honorary Fellow, Community Ambassador and chair of the CCG network explains the concept behind the event and his thanks to the organisers behind such a empowering date in the academic calendar,

“V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls started by author, playwright and activist Eve Ensler. On 14 February each year, in the centre of Preston we stand together in solidarity to raise awareness of the one billion and rising violent attacks against women and children.

“Each year I'm both honoured and humbled to be part of this occasion. The event would not have been possible without the support of UCLAN staff and students and Nigel Farnworth, the manager of the UCLAN Creative Communities Group.

Deputy Mayor of Preston Councillor David Borrow took part in the event, he expresses his gratitude to be invited and his frank confession about performing arts,

"I was pleased to represent the City Council at the One Billion Rising event at UCLAN. This is a very important event shared with groups not just here in England, but across the world. Getting people to dance to highlight the problem of the abuse of children and women shows real imagination. Thank you for the opportunity to participate even though I can't really dance.

The event was filmed and will be shared on the One Billion Rising website along with others from across the world.

Russell Hogarth has these closing comments about it’s progression year in, year out,

“The CCG network organised the first One Billion Rising dance event seven years ago in the City of Preston and I'm delighted to say that it's grown from strength to strength each year.”

Discover more about the One Billion Rising movement by visiting the website or follow @VDAY on Twitter.

See you all next year in 2020.

^Alex Ashworth