One of the coolest activities I have done so far, was participating in Amnesty International USA’s rally to support the One Billion Rising movement. About 30 of us marched down the streets of Times Square, NYC decked out in AIUSA gear and armed with signs, ready to spark attention to our cause.
We gathered at the center of Times Square, chanting and dancing to stop the violence against women. The rally was led by Thenjiwe McHarris, Senior Campaigner at Amnesty International, who gave a motivating speech that caught the attention of many passer-byes. The purpose of the rally was to promote awareness about the issue of violence against women and inform people about the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act). We hoped that with this rally people would take action, especially on the 10 IAR cases of gender-based violence. This Campaign is a movement that spanned throughout many cities in the US (Washington, D.C, San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlanta) and throughout the globe.
Being a part of this campaign was a unique experience that brought to life the type of grass-root campaigning AIUSA is known for. I was able to learn more about campaigning and organizing during this experience which is valuable in my chosen career path. It was also a chance to be a part of the process to end violence against women and promote equality.
Who can say that they danced around NYC for an hour as part of their internship? I had a great time; but more importantly, as a woman, it was empowering to rise for women’s rights, something I strongly believe in.