RAWA Benefit with Eve Ensler, Zoya

October 7th 2006 marks the 5th anniversary of the start of Operation Enduring Freedom; violence is on the rise and women are still struggling for their rights.

Join us for a benefit for RAWA at Cinespace in Hollywood on Saturday October 7th with special guests Eve Ensler (“Vagina Monologues”, V-day), recording artist Michelle Shocked, actor and activist, Mimi Kennedy & Zoya (RAWA). Plus exclusive a sneak film preview of “A View from a Grain of Sand” by Meena Nanji. The event will be hosted by Sonali Kolhatkar (KPFK, AWM).

About Eve Ensler

Eve is a playwright, performer, activist, and award-winning author of The Vagina Monologues. She has just completed a 20 North American cities tour from October 2005-April 2006 with her newest play The Good Body, following engagements on Broadway in NYC, at ACT in San Francisco.

Her acclaimed play, The Vagina Monologues has been translated into over 45 languages and is running in theaters all over the world, including sold-out runs at both Off-Broadway’s Westside Theater and on London’s West End (2002 Olivier Award nomination, Best Entertainment.) Her experience performing The Vagina Monologues inspired her to create V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls.

Click here to read more about Eve Ensler.

About Michelle Shocked

Michelle is an acclaimed singer, songwriter, and performer. From her website, “There are three things you need to know about Michelle Shocked. Number one, she possesses an outsized ambition; number two, she abhors unfinished business; and number three, she has a thing for the number three.

These factors play into Shocked’s latest artistic explosion, a trilogy of albums recorded simultaneously during a sustained burst of overdriven creativity in December and January, each one hewing to a particular stylistic concept…sort of (let’s allow the girl some poetic license here). Just as audaciously, she’s releasing the three albums simultaneously. Most artists wouldn’t even conceive of such an undertaking, let alone see it through – but Michelle Shocked isn’t most artists. Dancing to the beat of her own wild heart and soul, she nimbly negotiates the tightrope that stretches between here and heaven, working without a net.

Click here to read more about Michelle Shocked.

About Mimi Kennedy

Concluding five seasons and more than 120 episodes of the Golden Globe nominated primetime television comedy series, “Dharma & Greg,” Rochester, New York-born, Mimi Kennedy can now be seen daily as the series continues in national syndication. She is one of the rare actresses who can boast a list of credits including Broadway stage, musical and drama; primetime television drama, variety shows and comedy series; Oscar-winning feature film, and behind-the-scenes work as a story-editor and voice-over artist. She has successfully managed to combine this full-time performance career with publication as a respected author and activism for political and social justice, including human rights and environmental issues. She’s managed to do this with the help of her teacher-husband and two children, raised in Los Angeles.

Click here to read more about Mimi Kennedy.

About Zoya

Though she is only twenty-three, Zoya has witnessed and endured more tragedy and terror than most people do in a lifetime. Zoya grew up during the wars that ravaged Afghanistan and was robbed of her mother and father when they were murdered by Muslim fundamentalists. Devastated by so much death and destruction, she fled Kabul with her grandmother and started a new life in exile in Pakistan. She joined the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, which challenged the crushing edicts of the Taliban government, and she made dangerous journeys back to her homeland to help the women oppressed by a system that forced them to wear the stifling burqa, condoned public stoning or whipping if they ventured out without a male chaperon, and forbade them from working.

Because RAWA is an underground organization, members like Zoya do not reveal their real identity for fear of being persecuted.

About Meena Nanji

Originally of South Asian origin and born in Kenya, Meena Nanji moved to England when she was nine and Los Angeles when she was seventeen. Her work concerns the global diaspora of post-colonial peoples and the disruption and replacement of cultural values, traditions, and ideologies that result from these migrations.

Meena Nanji’s latest work, “A View From a Grain of Sand,” is a journey through the last 30 years of Afghanistan’s history, as lived by three Afghan women. Shot over the last three years in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a doctor, teacher and social activist tell how their lives were violently affected by wars of international making and three different regimes in Afghanistan. Yet through all their loss, and the destruction of their homes and country, these women have endured. With courage, conviction and hope, they continue to work on improving the lives of the people around them, against all odds, in this brutalized and divided nation.

For more information, visit www.viewgrainofsand.com.

About Sonali Kolhatkar

Sonali is host and co-producer of a one hour daily radio show called Uprising on KPFK (90.7 fm in Los Angeles and 98.7 fm in Santa Barbara), a listener-sponsored community radio station, which is part of the Pacifica network. Sonali’s radio show airs from 8 am to 9 am weekdays and is a public affairs political news magazine. Sonali is also co-director and a spokesperson for the Afghan Women’s Mission and speaks widely on college campuses, community fora, and conferences. She is co-author of “Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence.” She also pursues social, activist and artistic endeavors which include web design, political writing and organizing, song writing and singing, painting and cooking.

ORGANISED BY: Afghan Women’s Mission and RAWA Supporters of Southern California

CO-SPONSORS: Amnesty International USA, AWARE in Long Beach, ¡Cafe Intifada!, Code Pink, Global Voices for Justice, ICUJP: Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, Los Angeles Greens, Office of the Americas, Women in Black-LA, and The Women’s Rights Committee of Human Rights Watch.

Media Sponsor: KPFK, 90.7 FM LA, 98.7 FM SB
We thank the following donors for their generous support: 10,000 Villages, Addicted to War, Alima Cosmetics, Bicknell Hill, Brave New Films, Bumble Bar, Carrie Sparks, Choice Tea’s, Colorado Tablecloth (866-677-9303), Equal Exchange, EVOLVER, Dagoba, Herbal Animals Jade & Pearl , Kate’s Caring Gifts, Recycline, Skylight Books , Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods , Witness Yoga Anytime Anyplace