Maine West High School and Oakton Community College, both in Des Plaines, held events Thursday as part of the Valentine's Day One Billion Rising global event to raise awareness about violence against women and girls.
At Maine West, students and staff, many from orchestra, dance and voice classes, organized a flash mob at 7:20 a.m. in the cafeteria to make a video that can be posted to the Internet. Randy Harper, a history teacher at the school, was the event's lead organizer, said Jamie Capetillo, a student working to publicize the performance.
Oakton Community College's Women's and Gender Studies Program took the lead in organizing the 3:30 p.m. event at that school, in which students, faculty, staff and community members danced and sang "Break the Chain," the campaign's theme song, in the main lobby.
V-Day, a global activist movement dedicated to ending violence against women and girls, coordinated the inaugural One Billion Rising event to mark the group's 15th anniversary.
Oakton also was holding benefit performances of "The Vagina Monologues" daily at 8 p.m. through Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Des Plaines campus, 1600 E. Golf Road. Proceeds from the staged reading of Eve Ensler's work will go to raise awareness about the brutality against women. More information is at onebillionrising.org.