From November, 2015 to Feb. 14, 2016, I have been part of a most amazing group of women intent on ending violence and being the change they want to see, creating a society that works for women and men. Each woman and man who has participated in this effort has a story about the longings of their heart, and what changes they are working to bring about, changes that act as ripples of hope for those who will follow us. This was our 4th celebration and the inter-cultural and interfaith spirit was visible. You can find out more by going to www.onebillionrisingatlanta.net
From our Jan. 30-31 workshop with about 70 volunteers who worked on the Posts for Peace and Justice, we completed art pieces that are ready to travel and speak to issues around ending the campus rape culture, homelessness, the UN's 17 goals for world sustainability, ending domestic violence, protecting our Mother Earth and re-inventing masculinity within a community of equals.
With more than 250 in attendance, the Artistic Uprising, featuring Eve Ensler of The Vagina Monologues, brought out youth of passion and mission, each of them calling us to pay attention and do what we have the power to do.
We were fortunate to connect with women in the healing arts, whose goals are to offer free healing workshops for those bruised and abused. The Joyous Heart Network will be the fundraiser and creator of workshops designed to offer healing services within loving communities to all who ask. Colin Tipping's Radical Forgiveness Workshop brought many of the 80 attendants to tears and wholeness.
One of the greatest surprises were the 300 + that came to the Plaza theater to listen to the documentary The Mask You Live In. Surprisingly, most were millennials and came from distances to see, hear and discuss the content. Many signed up for ongoing actions with the Hu-MAN-Up group, as they plan further events.
At the beginning of the strategizing, I had the vision that we keep in mind that all events would add up to a “tsunami event,” one that captures the heart and pulse of this movement, and that happened on Sunday, Feb. 14th as we gathered at the skatepark for the flashmob and danced to the song “Break the Chain.”
There were peace poles at the top of the sculpture honoring all religions, with the poles newly made into a circle on the field. Participants decorated red umbrellas, representing the Red Tent experience where our sisters were sent during their menses. Under each "red tent" we proclaimed freedom from all that holds us back and freedom to choose who we are empowered to become.
A wonderful group of the drummers, one in a wheel chair, drummed a heartbeat. Lisa Parsons, the Co-creator of the Posts, shared her vision while Jan read Eve's piece on why this movement will continue until every last structure of patriarchy ends.
The drummers kept up a beat and all of the dancers moved in and out of the posts and when it ended, people stood with one hand on a post and one on their heart. I ended with a prayer to the divine feminine and masculine energies that we continue to be a tsunami of love and passion, agents of a change that continues to rise to end violence and bring peace to all corners of our world
As leaders practiced the dance with the crowd, I found two most precious girls to begin the movement for our flashmob, carrying a banner to the Ponce City Market. About 300 of us danced, with bystanders moving and dancing right there with us.
I am still basking in this kind of priesthood that becomes one with people – as leader, supporter and spirit guide.
For me, this is a new kind of Pentecost. Click below for video.