The public is invited to attend a variety of activities in commemoration of Denim Day, Thursday, April 9, from noon to 3 p.m., at Raritan Valley Community College. Denim Day is an annual day designed to raise awareness and educate the community about sexual violence prevention.
The free program is being presented by RVCC’s Student Life Activities & Planning Board and the Advising & Counseling department and co-sponsored by the College’s Visual and Performing Arts Department. All activities will be held in the Welpe Theatre at the College’s Branchburg Campus.
At 1 p.m., the META Theatre Company will premiere a staged reading of Hello My Name Is… META, a local social justice organization, wrote the original play with the women of Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in Hunterdon County. The play includes stories involving inmates who are currently taking RVCC classes at the facility as part of NJ-STEP (The New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons), a consortium that provides higher education courses in prisons.
From noon to 3 p.m., community and College organizations will be available to provide information, assistance and crisis intervention. The following community organizations will be represented: Zufall, Green Dot, Women’s Health & Counseling Center, Carrier, Richard Hall, Safe in Hunterdon, and Resource Center of Somerset. The following College departments and organizations will be represented: Advising & Counseling, Women’s Center, BACCHUS Club, Sister to Sister Network, To Write Love on Her Arms Club, and the American Association for Women in Community Colleges.
Several pairs of jeans decorated by women who have been sexually assaulted will be displayed, and participants will have their own opportunity to decorate jeans to represent their own experiences with sexual assault.
The commemoration of Denim Day began in 1999 after an Italian High Court overturned a rape conviction. The court ruled that since the victim had been wearing very tight jeans, the perpetrator (the driving instructor of the 18-year-old victim) could not have removed them himself; therefore, the victim must have willingly participated. At the time, women of the Italian legislature protested the decision by wearing jeans. As news of the decision spread, so did the protest. In April 1999, the State of California established the first Denim Day in the United States. Since that time, people have been wearing jeans in solidarity on Denim Day.
For information about RVCC’s commemoration of Denim Day, contact Alaysha M. Walker, 908-526-1200, ext. 8274, orAlaysha.Walker@raritanval.edu. For additional information, visit www.raritanval.edu/SLAPBoard.
In conjunction with Denim Day, a performance of The Vagina Monologues will be presented by the META Theatre Company and RVCC students at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, and Thursday, April 9. Both performances are set for 7 p.m. in the Welpe Theatre. Admission is $10 per person (cash only). Eve Ensler’s play is based on interviews with women who raise awareness about violence against women, women’s relationship with their bodies, and stereotypes that girls and women face. For information about the performance, contact META Theatre at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Co-founded by Caroline Hann, Barbara Cannell, and Cyndie Wiggins in August 2012, the Meta Theatre Company creates live performances for communities to share experiences, heal and grow. MTC's mission is to create work around the issues of white privilege, race, class, gender and sexual orientation, and provide audiences a context to create social change in their communities. For additional information, visit www.themetatheatrecompany.org.
Featured image caption: Several pairs of jeans decorated by women who have been sexually assaulted will be displayed during RVCC’s commemoration of Denim Day.