Township to engage in 50/50 Day on April 26

Worldwide event promotes community discussions about gender equality


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BY ERIKA NORTON

The Township of West Milford officially proclaimed April 26, 2018 as 50/50 Day, a day where communities across the globe are encouraged to have discussions about gender equality.

Throughout the day, families, friends, churches, clubs, communities, schools and businesses are encouraged to discuss how they can work toward creating a more gender-balanced world across all parts of society, from the economy and politics, to culture and at home.

The day is sponsored by Let It Ripple, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization comprised of filmmakers focused on using film, technology, discussion materials and both live and virtual events in order to promote discussion about complicated issues that affect us all.

Those participating throughout the day, from large groups to individuals, can sign up online for free to engage with the short films, action pledges, discussion materials, and a full day of live-streamed programming featuring speeches from leaders around the world.

“Last year was the first year for this, and I conducted my event — I just had it in my home with some friends,” said West Milford resident and activist Kristin Reeves, who introduced the day to the township. “The idea is to create conversations instead of just complaining. It’s like, ‘how do we get to that?’ If that’s the problem, then what do we do from where we sit to effect change and in doing so, the ripple effect goes out and affects a lot of others.”

She said last year, there were 11,000 events participating worldwide, but this year, there are more than 30,000. But it’s not like a march, where it’s something you can see visually.

“It really is conversations that happen typically with smaller groups,” Reeves said. “I did have a friend take it to his business and they’re going to be using 50/50 Day as opportunity to discuss gender equality in their business.”

Reeves said that she introduced idea of participating in 50/50 Day to the West Milford School District, and the administration and teachers seemed receptive. Unfortunately, she said, this year, the school already has another event for the day before, so they couldn't fit it in.

Next year, she is hoping to get the school district involved, from the high school all the way down to even the elementary school, because the discussion materials begin at age 7.

With the Township Council officially acknowledging the day at their Township Council meeting this week, she said she hopes other communities will also be inspired to engage in discussions about gender equality and other important topics.

“I’m really proud of our little town,” Reeves said. “They’ve never acknowledged anything like this before. So it’s a new chapter, and that’s a part of ‘let it ripple.’”

For information and to view and download the 50/50 Day films and discussion materials, visit 50-50day.org or find them on Facebook.



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