Presenting the 2008 Filipina Women’s Network’s Vagina Warrior Awards
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As the Filipina community in the Philippines’ time zone sleeps, here in San Francisco, California, the Filipina Women’s Network’s members and supporters are still waiting for our evening on March 28 to finally arrive. Today, we launch our V-Day celebrations with a film showing of the documentary, “Until the Violence Stops”, and the FWN Annual Vagina Warrior Awards.
We have come a long way from 2004 when FWN started its first Vagina Monologues’ community production. Many in our Filipino American communities have come forward to help out in ending violence against our Filipina girls and women worldwide.
In 2005, FWN published its first Anti-Violence Resource Guide, named V-Diaries, that served as a supplement (to targeted zipcodes in the San Francisco Bay Area) for the San Francisco Chronicle, a playbill for its V-Day productions, and a real helpful resource guide for many of our Filipino families nationwide. It is also available online at FFWN.org. FWN continues to seek sponsorship and advertising for this yearly publication — so please keep this in mind if you are looking at sponsoring FWN’s efforts in helping end violence against our women and girls worldwide.
Among this year’s beneficiaries of the FWN V-Day productions (aside from the V-Day organization as a beneficiary) is the Liga ng mga Lolang Pilipina, the League of Filipina Grandmothers (LILA Pilipina). M. Evelina Galang, the celebrated author, tireless advocate for these lolas, and one of the 2008 Vagina Warrior awardees, recently wrote the FWN members this message:
“Thanks to all of you for choosing the lolas I have been working with, surviving Filipina “Comfort Women” of WWII as one of your beneficiaries for this year’s Vagina Monologues! I have already been working with several of you who are writing their profiles up and highlighting the struggles of their fight for justice and your excitement and enthusiasm has been amazing. I was actually in Quezon City working with the lolas during the time that Eve Ensler came out to interview them. Those same lolas you see in her film, UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS, are the lolas of Liga ng mga Lolang Pilipina. Many have died, but many in their late 80′s and 90′s are still fighting. Your fight, your hard work, your many hours of rehearsal, of marketing this program, of selling tickets and of speaking their words in these programs, are felt by the women of LILA. I am excited to come to SF and NYC to be a part of your productions on their behalf.”
We quote from the 2005 V Diaries, page 23, which explains what “Vagina Warrior” means.
What is a Vagina Warrior?
Someone who has suffered or witnessed violence, who grieved it, transformed it, and then does extraordinary work to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else in their community.
In every community there are humble activists working every day, beat by beat to undo suffering. They sit by hospital beds, pass new laws, chant taboo words, write proposals, beg for money, demonstrate and hold vigils in the streets. These women and men have dedicated themselves toward ending such violence through effective grassroots means. They have been the heart of V-Day since it was conceived as a worldwide movement to empower and enable local activists to raise awareness and funds locally through V-Day benefit productions of The Vagina Monologues.
In order to guarantee a world without violence, in a time of danger and escalating madness, we urged the following Vagina Warriors to come out and join us so together we can continue our work.
IMAGINING A VIOLENCE-FREE WORLD
AN EVENING WITH THE 2008 VAGINA WARRIOR HONOREES
What: Presentation and film screening of “Until the Violence Stops”
When: Friday, March 28, 6:30 p.m.
(reception at 5:30 p.m., courtesy of Ramar Foods)
RSVP: Online, go to http://morgan08.eventbrite.com
or Call 415.278.9410
Where: AP Giannini Auditorium, Bank of America Building
555 California @ Montgomery, San Francisco, CA
- Anna Lisa Enrile PhD, National Chair, GABnet; Professor, USC School of Social Work
- Ken Marquis, Senior Director, V-Day FWN; Team Manager, George P. Johnson Company
- Ken Theisen, Justice & Courage Oversight Committee Member; Advocate, Bay Area Legal Aid
- M. Evelina Galang, Filipino American Coordinator, HR 121; Asst. Professor, University of Miami
- Mona Pasquil, Board Member, My Sister’s House; Vice President, MSHC Partners
- Nenette Flores, Accounting Officer, San Mateo County
- Sonia Delen, Senior Vice President, Banc of America Leasing
- Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye, Justice, California Third District Court of Appeal
Anna Lisa Enrile PhD, National Chair, GABnet; Professor, USC School of Social Work
Experienced intimate partner abuse. From that situation she decided to work against DV and rape. She founded a program for high school students in San Diego which won a citywide leadership award. She then began working with GABRIELA Network in 1994.
Ken Marquis, Senior Director, The Vagina Monologues & MMRP; Team Manager, George P. Johnson Company
The transformative power of theatre brings Ken back every year to V-Day FWN helping cast members find their interpretations of the monologues, as they find healing and empowerment within.
Ken Theisen, Justice & Courage Oversight Committee Member; Advocate, Bay Area Legal Aid
Ken has dedicated his life to educating, improving and changing policy on nearly every facet of domestic violence. Over the years, Ken has helped train thousands of staff and volunteers at agencies that assist survivors. He has also worked with the SFPD, judges, DAs, lawyers, students, and medical personnel on domestic violence issues. He has met with the last 4 mayors and the last 8 police chiefs. He’s not one to hold back his opinions and says, “I don’t care if they like me or not” just as long as he’s getting through to them.
M. Evelina Galang, Asst. Professor, University of Miami
Evelina tirelessly collected signatures and travelled to Filipino communities nationwide as the Filipino American Outreach Coordinator for the passage of HR 121. Continues to document the stories of the surviving Filipina “Comfort Women” as a legacy reminder of the atrocities of war.
Mona Pasquil, Board Member, My Sister’s House; Vice President, MSHC Partners
Mona’s work for the California Senate, the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton White House has provided her the opportunity to affect social policy giving voice to the issues that face the community especially at My Sister’s House, the only nonprofit DV agency in the Central Valley’s highly diverse Asian and Pacific Islander community.
Nenette Flores, Accounting Officer, San Mateo County
From survivor to advocate, Nenette shed her reticence to speak up against intimate partner abuse at many community events. Her courage and generosity are astounding, considering her experience and ongoing struggle against the enduring effects of domestic violence.
Sonia Delen, Senior Vice President, Banc of America Leasing
Sonia’s strength is a culmination of many tests and triumphs — arriving in the U.S. as a 26-year old, pregnant and single. Her son, David, was born blind, hearing impaired and developmentally disabled. She was adamant abut not going on welfare and raised David on her own for seven years while climbing the corporate ladder as the highest ranking Filipina in her company and still finding the time for DV advocacy work.
Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye, Justice, California Third District Court of Appeal
Presided over the first court in Sacramento dedicated solely to domestic violence issues (1997). Currently, Judge Tani serves on the Judicial Council’s Task Force on Domestic Violence Practice and Procedure, charged with recommending changes to improve court practices and procedures in cases involving domestic violence allegations.
Until The Violence Stops features playwright and activist Eve Ensler in a powerful film that documents how The Vagina Monologues grew into an international grassroots movement called V-Day to stop violence against women and girls. When this documentary was made in 2002, eight hundred cities around the world participated in V-Day by staging benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues.
Director Abby Epstein takes us on a poignant journey into the hearts of women and includes revealing testimonies from men, who expose social and cultural attitudes that perpetuate the pervasive violence against women. In emotionally charged interviews and performances, everyday women and celebrities like Rosie Perez, Salma Hayek, Tantoo Cardinal, Jane Fonda, and Lisa Gay Hamilton embrace their bodies, reconcile their past, and bond together to break the silence that surrounds abuse.
For the V-Day benefit performance schedule, please click here.