‘A Night to Benefit Survivors of Sexual Violence in the Congo’ Featuring Eve Ensler, Whoopi Goldberg, and Special Musical Performance by Madeleine Peyroux
Proceeds from the Benefit will go toward The City of Joy, a safe house and leadership community under construction in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Work donated by renowned artists to be auctioned off at the benefit
NEW YORK, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –The second annual Women of the Congo Benefit, hosted by a planning committee of women from New York, Connecticut and Long Island, will take place from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Tuesday October 20, 2009 at the W New York, 541 Lexington Avenue. A cocktail party, it will feature appearances by Eve Ensler and Whoopi Goldberg, with an Art Show, music by Madeleine Peyroux and Silent Auction. Proceeds from the benefit will go toward The City of Joy, a safe house and leadership community under construction in Bukavu, DRC. A joint effort between V-Day (the global movement to stop violence against women and girls) and UNICEF, the City of Joy has been designed to make the women living there feel secure, calm, and empowered. To foster the feeling of community, the grounds will mimic the setting of a typical Congolese village, including a cluster of structures where women will live and sleep, an orchard, and many places to gather. Women will have access to programming in group therapy, storytelling, dance, theater, self-defense, sexuality education, gardening, public speaking, leadership and advocacy, human rights, ecology, and horticulture.
“The City of Joy will be an extraordinary place — an active leadership community where women will turn their pain to power,” said Eve Ensler, V-Day founder and playwright. For the second straight year, artists have generously donated their work to be auctioned at the Women of the Congo Benefit. 100% of the proceeds will go to the City of Joy. At the June 2008 event, the art auction sold out, with art critic Allen Stouse of ARTINFO noting, “Besides showing a deep generosity and an inspiring social conscience, the artists demonstrated a craftsmanship worthy of their high flung concepts and dedication to a righteous cause.”
Tickets are on sale now. To purchase tickets and learn more, go to www.womenofthecongo.com.
Why the Congo? Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo are enduring their twelfth year of sexual terrorism in a regional economic war for resources in which hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been raped and tortured. Since 1998, a ferocious war has left over 5 million people dead, more than any other conflict since World War II. Within this crisis are the incalculable casualties: the tens of thousands of women and girls who have been systematically raped, mutilated, or tortured by soldiers from both foreign militias and the Congolese army. The world knows little of these women. They and their children have suffered and died in silence. Only now are their horrible and tragic stories beginning to be told.
About Women of the Congo
We are mothers, sisters, bankers, doctors, writers, photographers, lawyers, chefs, marketers, photographers, entrepreneurs, traders, accountants, teachers, brokers, actors, editors and artists. We live in Westchester, Manhattan, Long Island and Connecticut. We are not fund raisers, professional party planners, or political activists, but we have all been moved by headlines to realize that with knowledge comes a choice: to sit on the sidelines and watch, or to take action about something that moves you. For us, that something is the horrific plight of women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- We believe that we can no longer turn away in horror, but must raise our voices in defense of these women who struggle daily to protect themselves and their children from unspeakable atrocities.
- We believe there can be no peaceful future for the Congo as long as its mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters are subject to these dehumanizing crimes.
We believe that by standing together, we can make a difference. We passionately believe we must make a difference.
2009 Planning Committee (New York, Long Island, Connecticut): Aimee Brady, Stacey Breckling, Margaret Caron, Katie Carron, Jennifer Chalsen, Julie Chang, Kirsten Cleary, Young-Yi Clinton, Jennifer Crossland, Michelle, Foligno, Jennifer Friedman, Kulsoom Gul, Stefy Hilmer, Amy Hochhauser, Natalie Horton, Ana Jovancicevic, Catherine Kelley, Sharon Kim, Amelie Kraus, Sarah LeBuhn, Joanne Lee, Heather Miller, Andrea Moglia, Catherine Mugo, Jane Nadasi, Mary Nangah, Jennifer Oakes, Kelli O’Donnell, Susannah Owen, Alison Pack, Andrea Perrone, Orit Small, Andee Radu, Virginia Reynolds, Tristin Rumack, Tanya Scholl, Keira Smith, Jessica Suh, Tara Taylor, Janine Thompson, Lisa Von Redden, Allison Waguespack, Sarah Wynter, Jarret Yoshida, Jennifer Williams
SOURCE Women of the Congo