New look relaunches long-term solidarity against rape and violence. 5/7/2018

From WCC

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has unveiled a new design for the Thursdays in Black campaign during its Central Committee meeting in mid-June. The design aims to emphasize the journey and solidarity of the global campaign against rape and violence and give new momentum to a movement that recognizes the resistance and resilience of women in the face of violence.

The design – available for badges, t-shirts, bags, posters and more – is available with and without the WCC logo. Organizations will also be able to add their own logo to promote their commitment to the campaign.

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“Thursdays in Black was born in the 1980s during the WCC’s Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women, as a recognition of women’s resistance movements worldwide. It has since grown into a people’s movement within and beyond the churches,” said Marianne Ejdersten, WCC director of Communication. “With the new design and many options for its application, we hope that everyone can find a way to express their solidarity with women and against violence.”

Each week, women and men from many parts of the world post expressions of their commitment to the campaign on social media under the hashtag #ThursdaysinBlack Some share prayers, some pick up on recent news to explain why they are part of this movement, others publish photos of themselves wearing black clothes and/or the Thursdays in Black badge to literally lend their face to the cause.

According to Lyn van Rooyen, the Thursdays in Black badge has an old history.  She encountered the campaign when working with a number of organizations in South Africa. These included the Diakonia Council of Churches in Durban who had taken a previous Thursdays in Black badge and simplified the wording.

As executive director of the Christian AIDS Bureau of Southern Africa (CABSA) at the time, she and her colleagues felt the campaign “needed a little bit more to anchor it and help understand the context better.” With Diakonia’s blessing, CABSA developed a campaign pledge and supporting materials online and on Twitter in addition to the badge as a tool to stimulate discussion.

When asked what her hopes for the campaign are, van Rooyen reflected, “I have been asked a number of times in the last few weeks: ‘Why have I never heard about this?’ My dream for this movement would be that no one ever needs to ask this question again! I wish that individuals, organizations, schools and churches in every city or village start promoting this campaign, and even more importantly, the changes that are necessary to stop sexual and gender-based violence. “

And she concluded, “If I really dream big, I wish that this movement is so successful that it is not necessary anymore! I continue to wear black because I dream that a different reality, a world without violence, is possible.”

Have your say: Which Thursdays in Black badge should WCC produce next?

The WCC will soon print more badges for visitors to the Ecumenical Centre and participants in WCC events as our original stock with the new design has already run out. See two options on the World Council of Churches Facebook page and vote for your favourite.

Download your own resources

On the Thursdays in Black page [www.oikoumene.org/thursdays-in-black] are downloadable print-ready pdfs for pins with and without the WCC logo.

Flyers and a print for t-shirts or bags can also be downloaded, and the WCC will continue to add resources online for local and international action and education.

For more information and adaptable graphic files, please email media@wcc-coe.org.