Southern celebrates 64 Days of Nonviolence for its 13th year
Taylor Nicole Richards – News Writer
Southern is participating in the 64 Days of Nonviolence for its thirteenth season. This observance started on Jan. 30, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, and ends on April 4, “the day we commemorate Dr. King,” according to the official online posting for the event.
Sixty-four Days of Nonviolence is not one event, but a series of forums, gatherings and performances all scheduled around the “idea of peacefulness and nonviolence to promote cultural awareness,” according to Alicia Martindale, graduate intern in the women’s studies department.
“In our thirteenth annual observation of the 64 Days at Southern Connecticut State University, we continue to celebrate the peace and justice heritage in many of our cultures, including our observation of Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Asian/Pacific Heritage Month,” said Director of the Women’s Studies Program Dr. Yi-Chun Tricia Lin.
Coordinator of Multicultural Affairs, Dian Brown-Albert, said she is happy to be part of this gathering for another year.
“I’m definitely going to attend a good amount of events and support the women’s studies department, the women’s center and multicultural center since we’re involved too,” Brown-Albert said. “It’s a collaboration between all these departments that promote the message of nonviolence and I think it’s a great excuse for students to come together.”
Last year, Martindale said she participated in “The Vagina Monologues” reading and performance. “The Vagina Monologues” is an episodic play written by Eve Ensler in 1996 that highlights the female experience. The first monologue is a chorus describing what it is like for girls to get their period for the first time. Another monologue is a compilation of testimonies from a Bosnian women subjected to rape camps during the Bosnian war.
“I enjoy performing at each year’s Vagina Monologues reading,” said Martindale. “They’re short performances, but it’s important that Southern holds this event every year to remind people that these stories are from real women and they still continue to happen.”
The 2016 reading of the Vagina Monologues is on Feb. 26 and will be put on by Iota Iota Iota (Triota), the national Women’s Honor Society with over 50 chapters nationwide.
February’s events included the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial, which featured informational presentations, tribute dances and spoken word poetry, according to Martindale. The 64 Days of Nonviolence observation is not only centered around social justice and understanding, but exists as a promotion of cultural, physical, societal and environmental well-being. From March 7 through 17 there will be an electronic waste collection to promote recycling and environmental sustainability. March 9 through 16 there will be Week of Wellness events before spring break. The 64 Days of Nonviolence will close off in April with a Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide event.
Martindale said this observance is important to have on Southern’s campus because every event is culturally diverse and gives students the chance to participate in something they may have not been exposed to before.
“Some students come to class and go home every day to the culture they’ve grown up with and always known. When they decide to get involved in diverse events like these, they’re learning about things they didn’t even know existed,” Martindale said. “We [at the women’s studies department] encourage as many students as possible to participate in events that promote a larger understanding of various cultures and backgrounds.”
Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor