Monday, Jul 28, 2014 06:31 pm est

Washington Square Park flash mob raises awareness about domestic violence

Posted on February 14, 2013 | by Veronica Carchedi

Jordan McAfee-Hahn for WSN


Washington Square Park erupted yesterday afternoon with a flash dance mob championing the fight against violence toward women and girls.

Yesterday’s event was called One Billion Rising, and it marked the 15th anniversary of V-Day, which is an international campaign started in New York City by Eve Ensler, the author of “The Vagina Monologues.” The rising occurred in 203 countries and involved an original dance and anthem called “Break the Chain” by Tena Clark.

Cathryn Swan, the organizer of the Washington Square Park flash mob, said the dance was an energetic shift to spread awareness about violence against women. One would think that, because one in every three women is raped or beaten in her lifetime, this would be a publicized issue, but Swan said this was not the case.

“Other than certain high-profile cases that you hear about, [violence against women] is very quiet for the most part,” Swan said.

But over its 15 years, V-Day has garnered a celebrity following — Anne Hathaway, Robert Redford, Thandie Newton and several others have endorsed and participated in risings. Even New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his support for the campaign.

“One Billion Rising is an act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers,” he said. “Here in New York, we have the opportunity to rise above and pass the Women’s Equality Agenda, which contains important protections for women to improve the health, safety and economic wellbeing of every woman and her family in this state.”

Violence against women is an issue that hits home for Mellicent Dayne, 46, who participated in the Washington Square Park dance. She believes the campaign is about mental and physical violence.

“A bruise can heal, but the mind takes longer,” she said.

V-Day said in its mission statement that it will continue to host risings until women are no longer under constant threat of violence.

Veronica Carchedi is city state editor. Email her at


profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.