Elgin Community College will host One Billion Rising: The Long Red Line, a community effort to support the global movement to end rape, violence and all forms of interpersonal violence, on Wednesday, Feb. 12, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Jobe Lounge, Building B, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. This event is free and open to the public.
Now in its eighth year, One Billion Rising: The Long Red Line is a visual demonstration of solidarity where community members bring a red scarf or any piece of red fabric. The pieces are held together by participants—forming one long red line. Scarves tend to represent self-restriction and silence, but when held together can symbolize freedom and community members’ connection to one another. The color red was chosen because of its association with blood, vitality, passion, courage, sexuality, and aggression. Individuals planning to attend the Feb. 12 event are encouraged to wear a red scarf to participate in the demonstration or red clothing in solidarity.
Approximately 100 people attended last year's event. In addition to the forming of the long red line, this year’s event will feature the following guest speakers and topics. Ron Hain, Kane County Sheriff, will present on the perpetrator prevention program. Donna Lowe, entrepreneur and survivor, will share her personal experience and advocacy work. Eva Genevieve Scarborough, activist and advocate for Transgender/LGTBQ+ equality, will speak about transgender violence. From Unite Here, Roshaunda Williams and Sarah Lyons will give an overview of the Hands Off Pants On campaign to fight sexual harassment in the hospitality industry. Pastor and advocate Katie Shaw Thompson will provide closing reflections.
A questions and answer session with the speakers will take place immediately after the event. There will also be a resource fair attended by the event sponsors. Additionally, the ECC Wellness Professionals and Elgin Community Crisis Center will be present with information on resources and services. They will be available to speak to anyone that may be affected by the event’s content. Refreshments will be served.
“The annual Long Red Line event is a call to action and commitment to stop violence—the opportunity to turn pain into power. It is our [the community’s] responsibility and honor to unite in advocacy, prevention and justice, and to empower survivors through a supportive culture of care and healing,” said Megan Highland, ECC Student Life coordinator and One Billion Rising: Long Red Line committee member.
Additionally, a juried art exhibit is planned for April around the theme “Rise. Empower. Unite.” ECC students, staff, and community members are invited to submit their artwork for the exhibit. Artwork must embody the mission and theme of One Billion Rising: The Long Red Line. The application deadline is Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. For more information on submission guidelines and application procedure, visit tinyurl.com/LRLart2020.
Selected artwork will be displayed in the Renner Library Hallway Gallery in Building C from April 1-30, and can be viewed during regular campus hours.
Donations of red scarves or other similar pieces of fabric are being sought for this year’s event. Scarves can be dropped off or mailed to ECC’s Student Life Office, Building B, Room B173, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. Monetary donations are appreciated, and organization sponsorships are available.