Sunday, April 08, 2012

Why "Can't Stop The Serenity"?

This is the seventh year for the global events known as Can't Stop The Serenity or CSTS and we have no intention of slowing down.  Originally founded by Portland's theonetrueb!X and friends to enable them to see Serenity again on a big screen while raising money for Equality Now, the movement has spread around the world, drawing Browncoats together in a great cause.  Many cities also support local charities.  In Vancouver, we have raised over $20,000 in the past six years, also donating to BC Women's Hospital & Health Centre Foundation for several years and in 2012 we are adding Avalon Women's Centres Vancouver as a beneficiary.

Equality Now focuses on helping women and girls throughout the world in areas such as female genital mutilation (FGM), human trafficking, equal rights and ending violence.  Check out their website for some of their current campaigns as well as some of their successes.

Five years ago, a young woman - a teenager, actually - named Du'a Khalil Aswad was stoned to death by a group of men, including members of her family, who disapproved of her actions.  During the stoning, many of the men filmed her death on their phones and posted them to the Internet.  Suddenly the world could see in full colour the violence of so-called 'honour killings'.  And at least some of the world responded.  Joss Whedon posted his thoughts on Whedonesque when the story hit the mainstream media and as a result, fans became involved in projects such as Nothing But Red.  It also made many Browncoats more determined than ever to fight to end violence and discrimination against women and girls, wherever they may be.

If you are moved by Du'a Khalil's story or by any of the stories on Equality Now's website - or stories that can be heard on the news on any given night - please consider donating to the Can't Stop The Serenity movement.  Buy a ticket to your local event, buy a t-shirt or hoodie to show your support, donate or sponsor an item for an auction, raffle or prize, or just make a donation through your nearest city's blog or webpage, or through Equality Now, letting them know what CSTS city you are supporting.  Every dollar helps.  If you can't afford a donation, buy a ticket and volunteer.  If there isn't a CSTS event near you, consider organising one of your own next year.  It doesn't have to be a full-fledged, all-day event.  It can be a smaller affiliate event, even a gathering of your friends to watch Serenity and raise some money for Equality Now.

Now more than ever is the time to get involved and stand up for women's rights and especially their right to be safe from violence.  Please think of Du'a Khalil Aswad and the women and girls all over the world who need our help and give generously to CSTS 2012.  Not only will you feel good that you are doing something to help others in need, but you'll have a great time at your local event, whatever they do.  CSTS Organisers put in a lot of time and money to make their events fun for attendees and successful in terms of raising money, so come out and support your local event and be a part of a global movement.  See you there!

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