The Girl Next Door
Alba, Holmes Fight Against Women
By Sandy Cohen
LOS ANGELES (AP) What do Jessica Alba, Katie Holmes and Rosario Dawson have in common? All are A-list actresses, and all support V-Day, a global effort to end violence against women and girls.
Founded by Eve Ensler (of "The Vagina Monologues" fame), V-Day celebrated its 10th anniversary Thursday at a star-studded private luncheon sponsored by Glamour magazine. Joining Alba, Holmes and Dawson were Val Kilmer, Kerry Washington, Ali Larter, Gina Gershon, Judith Light and Jennifer Beals.
Since its inception, the anti-violence V-Day effort has reached 119 countries and raised $50 million to increase awareness about violence against women.
"It literally started from one woman's voice ... and it's exponentially grown," said Dawson, a V-Day board member who was inspired by her mother and grandmother's political activism. "It's about embracing being a female and reclaiming that."
Dawson performed a poem about New Orleans, calling it "the vagina of America."
Alba, who made her stage debut performing "The Vagina Monologues," also offered a poem at the luncheon. But first she warned the crowd that she was "popping out" of her dress.
"If you guys don't know, I'm pregnant," she said, as her fiance, Cash Warren, beamed. "You're all women. I think you understand your breasts are engorged and your stomach is getting bigger by the second."
Holmes said she was inspired to become a part of V-Day by her friend (and Tom Cruise's longtime business partner), Paula Wagner.
"It's important for women to support each other and communicate with each other and be each other's friends," Holmes said. "We should be working on stopping violence for people, for everyone."
When Ensler called for financial support from the well-heeled audience, donations poured in.
"The future of women is the future of the human species," she said.
Last year's V-Day luncheon raised over $200,000, said Glamour editor Cindi Leive.
V-Day will publicly celebrate its anniversary with a two-day event at New Orleans' Superdome in April.
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