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Young women to speak out in DC against forced marriage as part of national awareness-raising tour

A group of South Asian artists and advocates, members of Pomegranate Tree Group in partnership with Tahirih Justice Center, will wrap up a six-city tour to address violence in the lives of young women, including forced marriage, gender-based violence, racism, and patriarchy, this March in DC.

Honoring Our Heartbeats: A Tour to End Forced Marriage in the U.S. will bring three events to Washington, DC on March 17-19, including a powerful multimedia performance, a forced marriage training workshop for service providers, and an issue briefing about efforts to foster a coordinated, national response to the hidden problem of forced marriage in the United States. The tour is inspired by a comic book, “Heartbeats: The IZZAT Project,” which the young women wrote to celebrate their resiliency in the face of violence in their personal lives.

Tahirih believes awareness-raising is an important step in ending forced marriage in the United States. The U.S. government recognizes forced marriage as a violation of human rights, and a 2011 national survey by Tahirih identified as many as 3,000 cases encountered across the country in a two-year period. Yet, forced marriage remains a hidden and neglected problem in this country. Individuals at risk have few places to turn for help and service providers are not equipped to recognize and respond to cases.

Honoring Our Heartbeats: A Tour to End Forced Marriage previously made stops in New York City, Houston, San Francisco, New Brunswick, and Chicago, and has reached hundreds of service providers, attorneys, policy makers, teachers, college students, and other community members.

12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. | Tuesday | March 17
McDermott, Will & Emery
500 North Capitol Street NW

Geared toward policy makers, foundation officers, the legal community, and allies who want to learn more about efforts to end forced marriage. Lunch will be served at noon.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Wednesday | March 18
American Bar Association
1050 Connecticut Avenue NW | Suite 400

Open to service providers who would like to learn how to help individuals facing or fleeing forced marriage in the United States. Breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m., with program starting promptly at 9 a.m.

6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. | Wednesday & Thursday | March 18 & 19
Busboys and Poets
2021 14th & V Street NW | Langston Room

Open to all, the community forum will kick off with the play “When We Leave” and the film “Caged” by the authors of the comic book, “Heartbeats: The IZZAT Project.” The performance will be followed by a Q&A session and a reception. Complimentary copies of the “Heartbeats” book will be available. Reception will start at 6 p.m.