For most of you, the phrase “V-Day” probably conjures images of chocolate, roses, and pink and red hearts.  But V-Day is so much more than that.

V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls, founded by Tony Award-winning playwright, performer and activist Eve Ensler in 1998.

Designed as a catalyst to promote events that increase awareness, raise money and renew the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations, V-Day has reached 167 countries and raised $90 million since its beginning.

This year, Davidson College is choosing to participate in the V-Day movement.

Led by sophomores Susanna Vogel and Edie Nicolau, students will perform Eve Ensler’s famous “The Vagina Monologues” on Feb. 13, accompanied by a silent auction.

Based on interviews with more than 200 women, “The Vagina Monologues” serves as a humorous, uplifting and deeply thought-provoking meditation on what it means to be a woman and what it means to love women in your own life.

In Vogel’s words, “‘The Vagina Monologues’ is about refusing to stay quiet just because what you have to say might make some uncomfortable.  It’s about reaffirming that we, as women, take up space.”

The silent auction will feature items ranging from Lilly Pulitzer merchandise to an official U.S. Olympic team shirt.  All proceeds from the event will benefit Safe Alliance, a Charlotte-based organization that serves victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

In addition to “The Vagina Monologues,” Davidson College’s V-Day event will feature a women’s self-defense class taught by sophomore Amanda McCann on Feb. 12.

The college will be participating in “One Billion Rising,” in which women and men will come together to stand against violence by performing spoken word, dancing and giving their own “Vagina Monologues” on Feb. 14.

The event, inspired by the statistic that one in three women will experience violence in their lifetimes (that’s 1 billion women around the world), is an opportunity to walk out, dance and rise up to see our collective strength, our numbers, and our solidarity across borders.

V-Day is a way for Davidson students to rise up, to speak out, to make a difference.  In this community that so deeply values honor and trust, there is also a strong commitment to service, compassion and care for others.

“We hope V-day will bring the issue of women’s rights to the center of Davidson residents’ minds,” Vogel said. “We want violence to stop being blindly accepted and endorsed by societal norms. We want discourse and expression to become the new normal. We want women to feel empowered to speak. Perhaps, more importantly, we want women to find a community that is ready to listen. ‘The Vagina Monologues’ and One Billion Rising can hopefully help make that vision a reality.”



Caroline Brooks is a Davidson College student, Class of 2015.