World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Get involved / Thursdays in Black

Thursdays in Black

Thursdays in Black - a global movement for a world without rape and violence.


In every country, gender-based violence is a tragic reality. This violence is frequently hidden, and victims are often silent, fearing stigma and further violence.

We all have a responsibility to speak out against violence, to ensure that women and men, boys and girls, are safe from rape and violence in homes, schools, work, streets – in all places in our societies.

Thursdays in Black: Resistance and Resilience
The campaign is simple but profound. Wear black on Thursdays. Wear a pin to declare you are part of the global movement resisting attitudes and practices that permit rape and violence. Show your respect for women who are resilient in the face of injustice and violence. Encourage others to join you.
Often black has been used with negative racial connotations. In this campaign Black is used as a color of resistance and resilience.

 

What is the Thursdays in Black Campaign?

Thursdays in Black grew out of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women (1988-1998), in which the stories of rape as a weapon of war, gender injustice, abuse, violence, and many tragedies that grow outward from such violence became all the more visible. But what also became visible was women’s resilience, agency and personal efforts to resist such violations.

The campaign was inspired by:

  • The Mothers of the Disappeared in Buenos Aires, Argentina who on Thursdays protested at the Plaza de Mayo, against the disappearance of their children during the violent dictatorship.
  • The Women in Black in Israel and Palestine, who up to now protest against war and violence.
  • Women in Rwanda and Bosnia who were protesting against the use of rape as a weapon of war during the genocide.
  • Black Sash movement in South Africa protesting against apartheid and its use of violence against black people.

Join this movement of people and organizations that can make a difference to individuals, communities, and national and international policy forums.

Be inspired by others helping to lead the movement: in South Africa or www.thursdaysinblack.com and in New Zealand – Aotearoa. Read more about WCC's Just Community of Women and Men.

Share your Thursdays in Black campaign photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, using hashtags #ThursdaysinBlack and #WCC!

#ThursdaysinBlack on Valentine’s Day, 14 February:
Valentine’s Day, 14 February, fell on a Thursday this year. For many people, it is a time to celebrate love. However, for too many, “love” comes with abuse and violence.

Reflections

One scripture often used to express love is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. What does that scripture mean to you as you mark #ThursdaysinBlack? People have sent in poems, blogs, art and more. See the reflections here. People also changed their profile picture in social media to the one designed for this campaign. Download it here .

Campaign Resources

Feel free to download and print your own campaign materials:

Thursdays in Black flyers: regular pdf or version for printing (with crop-marks)

Thursdays in Black badges with WCC logo, print-ready pdf file with crop-marks

Thursdays in Black badges (generic), print-ready pdf file with crop-marks.

Artwork for t-shirt or cloth bag with WCC logo and without WCC logo (PDF for screen printing on black bag or t-shirt; the yellow prints as white - see sample)

Poster (A3 and 11x17in) and Roll-up banner for offices and events (InDesign files to add your logo available)

Graphic design files (Adobe Illustrator and InDesign) are  available for adapting to different languages or adding an organizational logo. Please email media@wcc-coe.org with your request.

For more information on the campaign contact: media@wcc-coe.org.

Related News

Youth leaders: “We will stop at nothing” to end HIV and violence

Youth leaders: “We will stop at nothing” to end HIV and violence

Young people in Uganda are on fire for change that will free the world from both HIV and sexual and gender-based violence. Spreading sparks of knowledge and enthusiasm, they have been visiting schools to inform and inspire even more young people.

Hanbeet Rhee: “Young people can be bridges”

Hanbeet Rhee: “Young people can be bridges”

Our series of interviews with Thursdays in Black ambassadors highlights those who are playing a vital role in increasing the impact of our collective call for a world without rape and violence. Hanbeet Rhee, from the Presbyterian Church of Korea, is a member of the Ecumenical Youth Council in Korea. She is also a commissioner with the World Council of Churches (WCC) ECHOS programme, as well as a youth advisor for the WCC Central Committee.

Bossey students mark Thursdays in Black with Swedish visitors

Bossey students mark Thursdays in Black with Swedish visitors

Students at the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Institute at Bossey marked Thursdays in Black on 10 October, together with a group of visitors from Sweden.