We sent the following news release to the Bay Area news and music media Nov. 4, revised Nov. 15:
For immediate release
International Day for Ending Violence Against Women celebrated in San Francisco Nov. 26 in support of UN resolution
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – On Saturday, Nov. 26, Bay Area residents will observe the United Nations’ annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with Latin music, healing ceremonies, dance, art, poetry and information. The evening’s events take place in the heart of the Mission District at Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St. (www.dancemission.com), beginning at 6 pm. A $10 entrance fee is requested to cover costs, but no one will be turned away.
In addition, organizers have scheduled a press conference for noon on Friday, Nov. 25, at The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission Street, MCed by KPOO Radio personality Chelis Lopez. Speakers will include Mona Lisa Wallace; board member of the National Organization for Women; Mabel Aguilar, social services coordinator for La Raza Community Resource Center; event organizer MamaKoatl and other community leaders addressing the issues behind the internationally observed day. Artists Carlos Cartagena, of El Salvador, and Hersalia Cantoral from Chiapas, Mexico, will create a large-scale piece in honor of the victims of femicide.
This year, organizers will pay special tribute to Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, activist mother of one of the multitude of young women murdered with impunity in Juarez, Mexico, who herself was shot to death last December by a man suspected of murdering her teenager, as Ortiz peacefully protested her daughter’s murder. A sidewalk altar in honor of Ortiz will greet all who enter the theater.
Under the title “Guardianas de la Vida” (Guardians of Life), the evening’s event opens at 6 pm with a reception and an interactive sewing piece by Circulo Mujeres de Horas Felices called “Mending the Heart/Remendando el Corazon” during which audience members are invited to sew while discussing themes such as “Why are our children violent?”.
The show itself begins at 7:30 pm with an invocation by Yoruba chief, author and professor Luisah Teish, followed by the poetry of Judy Grahn, Genny Lim and Nina Serrano; Latin music by Bay Area singer-songwriters Maria Loreto, MamaKoatl and Marta Sevilla; theater by Circulo Cultural; folkloric dance by Maria Luna and modern dance by Maica Folch and Paloma Parra. The art of Carlos Cartagena and Hersalia Cantoral will be on display
Food and drink will be available.
“In San Francisco we have been obtaining annual official proclamations of this day for the past six years,” said MamaKoatl (pronounced mama-coe-ah-tull), who – with co-sponsorship from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto – spearheaded the day’s observance.
“It is important to keep the issue of violence against women alive in the international arena,” she added. “We have to treat it as human rights violation. At no time of the year is this intervention more appropriate than the last week of November, when the American identity is reinforced by the unconscious glorification of genocide inherent in the Thanksgiving holiday.” The holidays are also a time when domestic violence rises.
For more information about the issues behind this event, please visit https://guardianasdelavida.wordpress.com.
About the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
On December 17, 1999, the United Nations’ General Assembly designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations to launch activities to raise public awareness of the problem on that day.
Women’s activists have marked November 25 as a day against violence since 1981, in remembrance of the brutal assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists, in the Dominican Republic on November 25, 1960, on orders from Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo. More information can be found at http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/violence.
Founded in 1975, ITP is a leader in transpersonal research and education of clinicians, spiritual guides, wellness caregivers, and consultants who apply transpersonal principles and values in a variety of settings. With its holistic approach to education and psychotherapy, the Institute attracts students from all over the world to both residential and distance-learning programs. In addition to its Women’s Spirituality and other graduate programs, ITP operates the Community Center for Health & Wellness, a professional counseling center and training facility offering quality services at an affordable sliding scale fee to the surrounding community. More information can be found at http://www.itp.edu
About MamaKoatl, event curator
MamaKoatl is a San Francisco poet, songstress, kurandera and ARTivist. Her art is an invitation to healing our earth, to renewing our human spirit. Her debut album “Border Crossing Diosa” is an historical document of poetry, prayer and protest.
MamaKoatl is also a Reiki Master, Absolute Balance Mastery practitioner, an MA and has an MFA in Women’s Spirituality and Performance Activism.
# # #