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Student volunteerism helps alumna

Student volunteerism helps alumna
Lauren Lebow

A student activity while at Grand Valley led Lauren Lebow to become an activist on the east side of the state.

Lebow, who graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in film and video, was a key organizer of Detroit’s first “Until the Violence Stops” film festival, which included a production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues,” panel discussions and other performances.

The festival was held in late February, to coincide with the national V-Day campaign. Lebow worked as an assistant producer and acted in one of the monologues.

“I worked on ‘Vagina Monologues’ at Grand Valley each year I was a student,” Lebow said. “Dropping V-Day from my commitments because I graduated wasn’t an option.”

Lebow was involved in the Monologues in Wayne County, the first time the production was held there. She said organizing the production on a college campus and organizing it in an urban community are vastly different.

“We take for granted the diversity and sense of community you get on a college campus. Trying to get that range of people in a community that is not a college setting was difficult,” she said.

Lebow said she was the youngest Monologue performer. “I really enjoyed talking with the other women who performed and the people in the audience. Many in the audience said they were really moved by what they saw,” she said.

Lebow is now involved in fund-raising to promote a feature-length documentary, “SISTER: The Story of Until the Violence Stops Detroit,” and said plans are to hold performances of the “Vagina Monologues” again in the Detroit area in 2010.

by Michele Coffill

by Michele Coffill

This story was filed with the tags: Detroit , Volunteerism , Communications