By Kelsey Vanwey
For one SMWC student, doing something to end violence against women is a necessity. That’s why she led the effort to bring One Billion Rising to SMWC.
On Feb. 14, the SMWC community will join people around the world to stand against violence against women. The event features dancing, artwork, and the opportunity to write letters to companies who exploit women.
Nora Dalipi, president of SMWC Peace and Justice Committee, worked with other organizations around the Wabash Valley to put together this event.
This past week I interviewed Dalipi about why she felt led to do this, how she organized it, and the goal of the event.
Q: Why are you doing this?
A: “I read an article about it and how the organization was trying to get one billion people to rise and demand justice for all the women. And I thought what a wonderful event, what a great idea. To bring people together for something that matters so much. And this affects women, and since we are women and this is an all-women’s institution, what a great opportunity to join a big movement.”
“I thought it was almost necessary for us to join.”
Q: Are you the main organizer?
A: “I brought forth the idea to the club, and I’m the president of Peace and Justice Committee. So in a way I’m in charge of putting it together. But this is not a one-woman show. This is a group effort for sure, because I would not have been able to bring it together. It’s really a group work. It’s the Peace and Justice Committee leading this. Committee members are working on specific tasks that are crucial to the whole project.”
“Also the community is helping us, especially the SMWC community.”
“I would say it’s more of a group work.”
Q: What other clubs?
A: Music Therapy, Senate, SAC; also partnering with Sisters of Providence; Pike, a fraternity at Rose-Hulman; and SHRM at ISU.
Q: What are all of the events taking place?
A: “The big event is One Billion Rising, which is Feb. 14, this Thursday at 7:30. That’s what the whole event is about.”
“But because the event is about ending violence against women we thought it would be appropriate to bring speakers before to bring different angles on what this violence actually means.”
(A survivor of sex trafficking spoke at SMWC on Feb. 12; a representative from Council on Domestic Abuse in Terre Haute spoke Feb. 14.)
“So we get to hear about violence against women in the United States, and ways to prevent it or ways to help through organizations that are in town.”
Q: What led you to let these women speak?
“We heard about Theresa (Flores) through the Sisters of Providence.”
“When we heard about her story we thought it was a very powerful story. When we hear about people who are trafficked as sex slaves we always think of maybe women from other countries. This woman is from Ohio, from the middle class. That was a very interesting side to come from. We relate to that.”
“For Gwen (Tucker), we knew about CODA and respect their work. We wanted them to come on campus so more students know about it and can help, by donating or volunteering there.”
Q: What is the meaning behind this event?
A: “Raise awareness – I think that’s the biggest goal. If you look at their website they talk about how 1 in 3 women gets beaten or raped in their lifetime. When you look around, let’s say you go to lunch, and one in every three women, that’s what’s going to happen to them. And that’s – to me – a really big number. And that amounts to one billion women.”
“I think so much of that – so much violence – is happening but not enough people talk about it or take action or steps to stop it.”
“So I think that through this event, through dancing, we are in a way shaking the earth and trying to change the status quo and trying to raise awareness that this is wrong. That this is a huge number. And that people need to know about it. And people need to talk about it. And people need to stop it.”
For information about the One Billion Rising movement, go to www.onebillionrising.org.