University Movie Night Raises Funds for the Women's Center
One cool September night earlier this fall, the University's amphitheater was filled with about 250 students and community members. People enjoyed donated food and drinks and laughed their way through a screening of Zoolander, but they were also united in support of efforts to end gender-based violence. The event, titled "Bright and White Outdoor Movie Night," was a fundraiser organized by the White Ribbon Campaign at U.Va., with all proceeds being donated to the U.Va. Women's Center.
White Ribbon Campaign President and Women's Center Intern, Chelsea Sweeney described the September 17th event as a success. "Bright and White Outdoor Movie Night" was the result of generous donations from nineteen local businesses and organizations. Sponsors included Blue Ridge Graphics, Christian's Pizza, Duo, Eppie's, Mincer's, Ragged Mountain Running Shop, and the Student Bookstore; businesses donated food and drink as well as raffle prizes. The White Ribbon Campaign brought in about $600 dollars through donations and by selling raffle tickets and White Ribbon Campaign cups.
The funds will help the Women's Center continue to create positive gender-based change in the local and larger communities, which Sweeney explained is part of the goal of the White Ribbon Campaign. "Our mission is to raise awareness about and end gender-based violence through education and through supporting the Women's Center," she said, noting that the two organizations share similar goals of eradicating gender-based violence. "We wanted to fundraise for the Women's Center because we know it is underfunded, and we really want the Women's Center to be able to keep offering the services it offers," she said.
These services include the work of Sexual and Domestic Violence Services (SDVS) at the Women's Center. The purpose of SDVS, as explained in its mission statement, is to "provide support to survivors, work to strengthen the University's responses and policies so that all victims are treated fairly and appropriately, empower women to resist abuse, and empower men to embrace their roles as allies in this work, so that the violence comes to an end."
For Sweeney, it made sense to complement her work with the White Ribbon Campaign with an internship at the Women's Center. "I really love the Women's Center," she said. "It's something I wanted to get more involved with. I wanted to become involved with the organization we're supporting."
Sweeney is enjoying her time as a Marketing Communications Intern at the Center, and encourages students to become involved with the White Ribbon Campaign. "We would love to have the extra hands," she said. "We're always looking for new members and … [individuals who can] help us as we continue to fundraise for the Women's Center." She added that anyone interested in the White Ribbon Campaign's mission should go to their website to take the pledge "never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls."
By Kat Raichlen. Photo by Chuck Moran.
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