Psychiatrist Stephen Seager was no stranger to locked psych wards when he accepted a job at California’s Gorman State hospital, known locally as “Gomorrah,” but nothing could have prepared him for what he encountered when he stepped through its gates, a triple sally port behind the twenty-foot walls topped with shining coils of razor wire.
A few weeks ago, we were in Manchester Center, VT taping an episode of The Book Show with Eve Ensler - Tony Award winning playwright, performer, and activist, and the author of The Vagina Monologues. Ensler’s experience performing The Vagina Monologues inspired her to create V-Day, a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls. The latest off-shoot of V-Day is One Billion Rising.
One Billion Rising For Justice is a global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in community outside places where they deserve to feel safe but too often do not. It is a call to survivors to break the silence and release their stories – politically, spiritually, outrageously – through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, testimonies and whatever way feels right.
On 14 February of last year, one billion people in 207 countries rose and danced to demand an end to violence against women and girls. This year the organization is escalating its efforts, calling on women and men everywhere to rise, release, dance and and demand justice!
After The Book Show portion of the evening, which was a partnership between Northshire Bookstore and WAMC – we had an audience Q&A with Eve. While it was not taped to be broadcast – it was taped, and we felt that what was shared that night should be heard by a larger audience.
Friday February 14th at 9:30 am as part of One Billion Rising Ulster County, Natalie Merchant will introduce the premiere public screening of: Shelter: A Concert Film to Benefit Victims of Domestic Violence at Kingston, New York’s Old Dutch Church, Bethany Hall. The event is free and open to the public and the screening will be Followed by a panel discussion with Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk, Senator Terry Gipson, Ulster County Executive Michael Hein, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, Elizabeth Culmone - Ulster County Senior Assistant District Attorney for the Special Victims Bureau, and Marjorie Smith, Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney, Bureau Chief for the Special Victim’s Bureau.
On June 2 at 7pm, singer Natalie Merchant and the Kalmia String Quartet share the stage of The Bard Fisher Center with local women singers Amy Helm, Simi Stone, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Yungchen Lhamo, to draw attention to the grave problem of domestic violence in the Hudson Valley. This benefit concert will raise funds for for the Washbourne House of Ulster County and Grace Smith House of Dutchess County.
A group of concerned citizens is organizing an event this week to address the subject of reducing violent crime in Berkshire County.
The group called Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice this week is organizing a meeting involving area residents, professionals, and public safety officials to discuss a wide variety of topics related to school and community violence.
Law enforcement officials and community leaders from the greater Springfield Massachusetts area met Monday to consider ways to deter crime. WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports
Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni believes a policing model that employs strong community partnerships and focused deterrence can be a successful strategy to reduce violence in high crime areas of Springfield and Holyoke.