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The arts and progressive causes have a rich, intertwined tradition. Both are expressions of humanity and balance, and when combined they form a truly powerful convergence. 2007 YP4 Fellow Angela Follina envisions a world free from all forms of sexual violence and oppression. On March 30th 2007, she executed a successful staging of The Vagina Monologues with the broad support of the Cleveland State campus, to raise funds for the Greater Cleveland YWCA. The event will be part of V-Day, a global movement aimed at ending violence against women and girls.
Angela had grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of support and resources for the victims of sexual assault at Cleveland State. The wait time for counseling was over a year due to poor funding and there was an overall lack of awareness on campus surrounding the issues of sexual violence. It is her hope that this creative staging of Eve Ensler's iconic play can stimulate a lasting dialogue that will drive administration officials to re-evaluate the current inadequacies in the campus health system.
In addition to the funds raised at the staging, following the event the YWCA held classes that trained members of the campus community as certified crisis counselors. In the absence of more formalized care, these individuals will be designated as the first point of contact for anyone following an assault. Angela wants Cleveland State's V-Day celebration to become an annual event that steadily grows in support and influence. Ultimately, it is her group's dream to open a crisis center independently that serves survivors of emotional, sexual and physical violence.