Expressing their collective enthusiasm and commitment to speak out against sexual and gender-based violence, and take actions that lead to positive impacts, they reinforced the need for safety, security and respect for those vulnerable to abuse and violence.
“We soberly acknowledge that our plans occur amid the still-accelerating ‘shadow pandemic’ of gender-based violence that is occurring within the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, deputy general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) responsible for Public Witness and Diakonia and Just Community of Women and Men. The WCC invites leaders coming from different traditions and networks to be Thursdays in Black ambassadors
The ambassadors will participate in a special Valentine’s Day initiative to share the key message of celebrating a love that is gentle, kind and healing—not hurtful and abusive.
They are also preparing prayers as they look towards International Women's Day, observed on 8 March.
The prayers will be followed by a series of Bible studies for individual and group reflection on a variety of texts and issues related to gender-based violence. “We plan to include selected reflections offered online as a global group Bible study so that these will be living, moving Bible studies,” said Rev. Dr Anders Göranzon, general secretary of the Swedish Bible Society.
The Thursdays in Black ambassadors also look forward to expanding the campaign with leaders of other faiths.