Archive of Equality Now

Why ‘Can’t Stop the Serenity’?

Last May Vancouver Organizer Samatwitch wrote about why Vancouver holds CSTS events each year. Thanks to her for giving us permission to reprint this from their website.

Why do we do this? Why do organisers spend so much time and money for each event? Why do people volunteer, paying for their own tickets to do so? Why do Browncoats - and others - keep coming out to CSTS events?

Partly of course, because the events are fun. Each city is different and has ideas and plans that work for them. A lot of people come out to see Serenity on the big screen or to sing along to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Some people come to spend an afternoon or day with their friends at a fun event - or to bid on an auction item they can't find anywhere else, especially handmade items. All those are legitimate reasons, of course, but I think a lot of people come because the events enable them to make a contribution to better the lives of women and girls globally and locally.

Last year I wrote again about D'ua Khalil Aswad and how it inspired many of us to continue to work hard for Equality Now. This year I want to talk about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen for having the desire to get an education - something we in the west take for granted. She was targetted because, at 15, Malala was already known around the world for her blog on education and the state of women's rights in Pakistan. Here is a video from the New York Times, recorded with Malala and her father when she was only 11. Even then she was determined to continue her education. Now she is doing that, albeit in Birmingham, England, where she was taken for her surgery and safety.

I also want to talk about the heinous crimes committed against women and girls as young as five in India. There have been numerous accounts lately of girls being kidnapped and raped. Some have died as a result; some have committed suicide. These things don't just happen in India or Pakistan or Iran or Ethiopia or Egypt, of course, as we saw this week with the rescue of three young women who had been held captive for a decade in a house in Ohio. But when it happens in the United States or Canada or England, our laws are (usually) strong enough to punish the perpetrators - and deter a lot of people from committing the crime in the first place.

This is where Equality Now comes in. They work with groups in various countries to educate and to change the laws to protect women and girls from violence and discrimination aimed at them BECAUSE they are female. You can check out some of their successes and some of their ongoing campaigns on their website.

This year, we need you more than ever - to buy a ticket, bid on an item or two or more, to spread the word and bring your friends to support these causes - and to have fun while you're doing it. Dress up in a Whedony costume, sing your heart out along with your fellow fans, maybe enter the Evil Laugh contest - or write some Vogon poetry. We will come together to have an enjoyable afternoon, made more so by the fact we know we are helping women and girls around the world - and locally - have a better life.

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Over $900,000 raised in 8 years

We are very pleased to announced that in 2013 Can't Stop The Serenity raised $115,420.00 for Equality Now and 20 other charities. This is $5,000 more than in 2012 and brings our total to over $900,000 U.S. over the last 8 years. New cities joined with their events and we had screenings in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Thank you to all our sponsors, organizers, and participants, for contributing to this tremendous success! Whether you bought a Tshirt, donated to an event, bid on an auction, attended a screening or spread the word, we deeply appreciate your commitment and generosity in helping us to support the rights of women and girls worldwide.

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So Many Reasons

The CSTS Auction raises money for Equality Now. When you bid on an item, you know that the money is going to a very worthy cause.

But that isn't the only reason to bid on something. How about:

  • Demonstrating to everyone what a Browncoat you are.
  • Proving to someone special that you know what a Browncoat they are.
  • You just happen to have a Portrait of Jayne-sized space on one wall & an equivalent Portrait of Book-sized space on another wall.
  • It's possible that you plan to pretend the inscription "thank you for your support" on Dichen Lachman's picture was actually addressed to you.
  • Star Trek still is, and will forever remain, the first S-F show you ever loved.
  • That rare Spike figure will just give you another excuse to go see James Marsters and get it autographed.
  • You had fun watching Xena when it was on. Now you're curious to see what the 2 stars were like at conventions.
  • You are out in the black with no CSTS events anywhere near by. Those Fanpacks full of items usually sent to CSTS cities, will help fill the terrible terrible void.
  • Joss Whedon is your Master now and you want something signed by him to prove it.
Whatever your reason, go bid and please spread the word. Auction ends Tues. Nov. 26th at noon, Pacific time.

(Click on the pictures to see the remarkable detail.)

portraits of Jayne and Book

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Make Equality Reality

On Monday Nov. 4th, Equality Now is honoring Joss Whedon in an evening event in Los Angeles.

Called Make Equality Reality, the Event Chair is Gloria Steinem and the host is Paul Reiser with a special live performance by two-time Grammy winning singer songwriter Colbie Caillat. It is being billed as an evening of music, film and theatre with special guests including Jada Pinkett Smith and Alyson Hannigan

Joss is a member of the EN Advisory Board and a long time & very vocal supporter of Equality Now's work. As part of this, Equality Now is asking "What would you do to make gender equality a reality for women & girls everywhere?"

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Vote on the CSTS charity donation split

We need your vote! CSTS Global was asked to revisit the question of how much money goes to Equality Now and how much goes to other charities. Currently, at least 75% of all money raised at an event is sent to Equality Now with up to 25% available for other charities. Many cites donate 100% to Equality Now. There were weeks of discussion on Facebook, twitter, Whedonesque, our website, and our forums. The question has two choices. You can only vote once although you can change your vote until the poll is closed. You've only got until October 12, 2013 at 11:59 PM PST to get your vote counted.

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Taking over the Weekend

The Rivers and Bridges Brigade of Pennsylvania just can't let CSTS go! In one last big hurrah, they are having several events at the Pittsburgh Comin Con. They have a CSTS Pittsburgh table on the convention floor at the Monroeville Convention Center all three days, where you can play the "Badger's Dodgy Dice" game from this year's Serenity screening to win wicked cool prizes, purchase CSTS 2013 t-shirts, enter a raffle to win one of three great prize baskets and sign up to participate on a team at Sunday morning's "Hammer vs. Horrible" games.

Immediately following the games on Sunday, they’ll be screening "Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog" at noon.
Admission to Sunday's CSTS events is free of charge, but those who wish to attend must purchase admission to the Pittsburgh Comicon. Of course, donations are welcome with proceeds from CSTS events and activities at this year's Pittsburgh Comicon benefiting Equality Now.

Leeds has joined the CSTS Family with a screening on Sept 27th. Doors open at 6:00 for a prompt 6:30 start. After the movie, there will be a shindig at the White Swan pub for an evening of quizzes, shiny prizes & music. Food can be ordered in advance and be ready around 9:00 (which is when they stop serving food). Costumes are encouraged!

Madison, Wisconsin is back with a double feature. First up is Dr. Horible's Singalong Blog followed by Serenity. Tickets are $10.00 in advance and $13.00 at the door.

Toronto is also showing Dr. Horrible but combining it with a shindig and all sorts of shenanigans. There will be prizes for the best Dr. Horrible Themed Tshirt & best ELE member as well as the opportunity to build your own freezeray.

The Atlanta Browncoats close out Sept with a screening of Serenity on Sunday evening. This year they're asking everyone to bring canned food items to donate for their Serenity Screening Food Drive to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank. There will be a prize drawing, auction, costume contest, entertainment and mingling, with film starting promptly at 7!

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