Recently, several Johns Hopkins Bloomberg school of Public Health (JHSPH) students, including Health Systems PhD candidates, Casey Branchini and Veena Sriram –both JH-IIRU research assistants—published a paper on their work at the school on gender-based violence (GBV).

The report, a reflection on the students’ experiences organizing activities to coincide with the “One Billion Rising” campaign to demand an end to violence against women and girls.  The students organized events spanning two days—February 13 and 14, 2013—that not only highlighted this global epidemic, but got students and faculty across departments actively involved.  The events, including a panel discussion, lectures, photo essays and a performance of the One Billion Rising  flash mob, coincided with events taking place in more than 200 countries around the world. This was the first time the Bloomberg School took part.

Said co-organizer, Casey Branchini, "Gender-based violence is an issue that impacts everyone.  At JHSPH, we are uniquely positioned to address it. With students from over 70 different countries and from a variety of backgrounds, there is the potential for us to have a broad impact. As public health professionals, it is our responsibility to bring this issue to the forefront and finally do something about it."

Co-organizer Veena Sriram echoed Casey’s sentiments: "Addressing gender-based violence requires many perspectives and approaches. At JHSPH, we have a diverse, multi-disciplinary and talented student body, and we believe that by encouraging students to research or take action on this issue through their own topic areas or regions of the world, we can spark a broader conversation about violence."

One Billion Rising marked the 15th anniversary of V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls and inspired by Eve Ensler’s play, The Vagina Monologues.

Both co-organizers are hopeful that these events will spur further action, both around the world and here at the Bloomberg School: Said Veena, “"We had tremendous support from other student groups and the student body as a whole. We are excited about continuing this momentum in the fall, and creating a base for students to organize and take action on the issue."

"The One Billion Rising Campaign at JHSPH truly demonstrates the school's commitment to the issue. From security staff to professors, every person that we approached was engaged and willing to help. It was because of them that this event was a success," said Casey.

“’One Billion Rising’ at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: A Reflection,” appears in the latest issue of Reproductive Health Matters. You can access the paper here: http://www.rhm-elsevier.com/article/S0968-8080(13)41718-4/fulltext

For more information on One Billion Rising, click here: http://www.onebillionrising.org/pages/about-one-billion-rising

For more information on V-Day, click here: http://www.vday.org/1br-victories1.html