Submitted by Linda Hill

International Women’s Day is just around the corner on Friday March 8, 2019. Communities around the world celebrate International Women’s Day in so many different ways. Where will you show up and how will you celebrate this special day? In my community, of the Cowichan Region, BC, Canada hundreds of us will gather in Duncan Town Square at noon to rise up and dance on behalf of equality between men and women.

As this special day approaches, I am forever grateful to women such as my Grandmother Audrey Jackson, journalist Nellie McClung and so many more women and men who have been tireless is their advocacy for a world based on safety, respect, equality and freedom for all genders and all generations.

Here is a quote from Nellie that can be found in the 2016 book:  The Valiant Nellie McClung (by Barbara Smith and Nellie McClung) and here is a short video that brings this quote to life for me.

In 1942 in the midst of WWII, Nellie McLung wrote, “We talk a lot about a new world and a new order but, we know in our hearts we cannot have a new world except by developing new people, and the school beginning at Grade One is our house of hope. There are terrible distractions to be met. Even children’s hearts today are vitiated with too much excitement and hysteria. Trying to teach moral values in this high-pitched atmosphere of battle, murder, and sudden death must be something like giving music lessons in a boiler factory. But it must be done and it can be done” 

Now here is this video from 2013 that brings this quote to life for me. In 2013, the people of the Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada joined a global movement called One Billion Rising. Each year we demonstrate our involvement in this movement by gathering together with our children to  rise, dance and sing our moral values.  Yes – it is a lot like giving music lessons in a boiler factory. And, as you watch this video, I invite you to think about the potential we all have – where ever we live – to guide children, youth and adults to experience safety, respect, equality, freedom and dancing with a joy that fills our hearts until our eyes overflow with happy, healing tears!

Rise, Dance, Sing!