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Global ecumenical group re-launches Thursdays in Black gender-violence campaign

Posted on: July 19, 2018 9:03 AM

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has unveiled new designs for its Thursdays in Black campaign against rape and sexual violence. The new logo, which is available on a range of resources to help people in the fight against gender-based violence, was agreed at the WCC’s Central Committee meeting last month. The idea behind Thursdays in Black is to encourage people to wear black clothing on Thursdays as reminder of the need to act against sexual violence in all its forms.

“Clothes and clothing feature in Scripture,” the Anglican Communion’s Director for Women in Church and Society, Canon Terrie Robinson, said in response to the renewed campaign. “Job clothed himself in justice like a robe and a turban. We are urged to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility and gentleness. We ‘put on’ Jesus Christ at our baptism.

“A commitment to wearing black one day every week means getting into a rhythm of constantly ‘showing up’ as a visual, challenging and urgent reminder that rape happens and must stop. It’s also a commitment to being activist – in prayer and deed – against the abuse of power.

“Thursdays in Black is a movement that is here to stay until everyone is aware of the historic and present reality of rape and sexual harassment – and until everyone has got the message and knows what must change in order to end and prevent it.”

The WCC says that the new design “aims to emphasise the journey and solidarity of the global campaign against rape and violence and give new momentum to a movement that recognises the resistance and resilience of women in the face of violence.”

The design is available with or without the WCC’s logo so that organisations can add their own logo to it “to promote their commitment to the campaign,” the WCC said.

“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,” WCC’s Director of Communication, Marianne Ejdersten, said. “It has since grown into a people’s movement within and beyond the churches. 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.”

The staff of the London-based Anglican Communion Office take part in Thursdays in Black in November 2015.
Photo: ACNS

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.

  • The WCC has produced a number of resources for Thursdays in Black, which can be downloaded from their website.