If you go

What: One Billion Rising movement to end violence against women and girls

When: Friday

Where: Various times and locations around Boulder

More info: onebillionrising.org

In the first tangible collaboration since a January forum about town-gown relations, the city of Boulder, University of Colorado and Boulder Valley School District are together supporting the international One Billion Rising movement to end violence against women and girls.

On Friday, groups around the world will host events aimed at raising awareness of and ending violence against women and girls.

In Boulder, some of those events include a "guy talk" discussion about masculinity, readings and activities for K-8 students, a flash mob, film screenings, performances, yoga classes and more.

Because BVSD students have the day off from school while teachers and staff work on professional development, event organizers hope to attract large numbers of young students.

In collaboration with the city and BVSD, CU will host "Read-ins to End Violence" at the University Memorial Center, which include readings, discussions and activities for K-8 students.


"One of the things we're interested in is especially impacting young learners," said Alphonse Keasley, CU assistant vice chancellor for diversity, equity and community engagement. "When young people or people in general don't have alternatives to violence, that's all they're going to rely upon. This is an opportunity for us to intervene by offering alternatives."

Around Boulder, groups are hosting events centering on Ki Aikido, a defensive martial art focused on peaceful ways of dealing with adversity, conflict and aggression.

Merlyn Holmes, communications coordinator for CU's Graduate School, will help lead the Ki Aikido workshop at CU on Friday.

She said the one-day event gives people a way to talk and think about a negative topic in a positive and constructive way.

"The minute you mention the movement to end violence against women and girls, you kind of see people pale and take a step back," she said. "This gives them a way where they can do work in this area, without just being totally depressed and pulling a blanket over their head. The minute you talk about doing a flash mob or a read-in to end violence and these other programs, something about it gives people ways of taking baby steps that they may need in order to get closer to this very serious issue."

Last week, Boulder Mayor Matt Appelbaum signed a declaration showing the city's support of the One Billion Rising campaign and day of events.

Carmen Atilano, Boulder community relations and human rights manager, said the One Billion Rising campaign fits into the city's long-standing goal of being welcoming to everyone.

She said the city is glad for a chance to collaborate with other groups on a cause such as ending violence.

"There's numerous events happening throughout the year (in Boulder) all within that same scope of inclusiveness and diversity and respect," Atilano said. "It's the joint value of health and safety for every member of our community and also finding new ways to reduce and eliminate violence and disrespectful behaviors."

Contact Camera Staff Writer Sarah Kuta at kutas@dailycamera.com.