Senator Anthony Portantino joined Zonta Club of Burbank Area on its march against violence against women. Photo by Arda Tchakian.

Did you notice the unusual orange glow illuminating Burbank’s iconic landmarks recently? This striking display, seen at City Hall and the Burbank Water and Power building, was a powerful statement from the Zonta Club of Burbank Area. They were driving the local participation in the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign from November 25 to December 10, 2023, aimed at eradicating violence against women.

The vibrant orange lights, a beacon of hope and support in the battle against gender-based violence, also lit up Nickelodeon Studios. Known for its colorful displays, the studio elected to stand firm with this critical cause.

The Burbank Central Library hosted the “What Was She Wearing” exhibit, presenting a potent and thought-provoking display that left an indelible impression on visitors. The exhibit showcased various books, factual information about domestic violence, and clothing items similar to those worn by assault victims. The intent was to challenge entrenched stereotypes and misconceptions about assault, emphasizing that attire is never an excuse for violence.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign has been a pivotal force in raising awareness and rallying community support against such violence. Alongside other initiatives, Mayor Konstantine Anthony’s proclamation, presented on December 5, 2023, helped foster reflection, education, and a deep understanding of this widespread issue. These concerted efforts have significantly galvanized community support, promoting enduring change.

The campaign reached its peak with a March to City Hall on Saturday, December 9. Zontians, friends, allies, and supporters marched from the Burbank Police Department to City Hall, solidifying their pledge to the cause. State Senator Anthony Portantino echoed this sentiment in his speech at City Hall, urging sustained efforts to eliminate violence against women. Notable Burbank leaders in attendance included Vice Mayor Nick Schultz, Councilmember Nikki Perez, and Burbank Unified School District Director Armond Aghakhanian.

As the 16 Days of Activism campaign wrapped up, the Zonta Club of Burbank Area reiterated its enduring mission to advocate for and empower women and girls. They emphasized that although the campaign had concluded, the battle against gender-based violence must persist.