One Billion Rising event comes to Humber in solidarity

by | Mar 4, 2019 | News

Zainab Zaman, News Reporter

The One Billion Rising campaign at Humber’s North campus raised awareness about ending sexual violence against women and girls.

Statistics Canada says police reported 23,000 victims of sexual assault cases in 2017.

Humber’s Consent Peer Education Program hosted the anti-sexual event at the LRC.

Shakera Martin conducted five dances at the end of the One Billion Rising event at the LRC on Valentines Day on Feb.14. (Zainab Zaman) 

Students and faculty gathered together in unity through dance to end the exploitation of all women.

Ariel Berkeley, a senior consent peer educator, said dance is a unique and special part of the One Billion Rising campaign.

“Dance is a way of reclaiming public spaces for survivors of sexual violence, often caused in the notion that our bodies are something to be ashamed of,” she said.

“Dance is a powerful visual of people coming together in unity,” Berkeley said.

Jennifer Flood (left), Ariel Berkeley (middle) and Margaret Clarkee (right) rise together by dancing in unity at the One Billion Rising event held at the LRC on Feb. 14. (Zainab Zaman)

Shakera Martin, a Canadian dance coach and wellness entrepreneur, said she wants to promote the relationship between health, wellness, and dance.

“Finding common ground and sharing the message and purpose is very important, lives matter and we all can contribute through dance by unlocking joy and bringing people together,” Martin said.

“Dance it is a time where people don’t think about the challenges of the world, ” she said.

Humber students at the One Billion Rising event at the LRC at Humber College North campus on Feb. 14, a campaign to end violence against women and men. (Zainab Zaman)

The campaign has been working to free women from sexual harassment, female genital mutilation, sexual slavery, child marriage, sexual-gender and violence towards LGBTQ+ communities. 

Jennifer Flood, a Humber College coordinator and member of Sexual Violence Prevention at the college, said gender-based violence impacts everyone.

“Countries are dancing in solidarity for survivors, at Humber we recognize that anyone can experience gender-based violence and we know that one in three women experience sexual violence,” she said.

“Students demonstrated their support for survivors when they came together and were courageous and brave when they participated during the dance,” Flood said.

Margaret Clarkee, a consent peer educator at Lakeshore campus, said the event is a great educational piece to raise awareness around the school.

Simply Shakera promotes dance, wellness, and joy by bringing students together at the One Billion Rising event at the LRC on Feb. 14. (Zainab Zaman)

“Many people don’t realize the statistics of One Billion Rising, the more we talk about how one in three women and one in six men are affected, students will be aware of the issues even if they don’t participate,” she said.

The consent peer education program offers students support coordinators, counselling on campus and educational awareness workshops.