By Anna Sekula Posted March 11, 2011, 12:30 PM EST
NEW YORK In an effort to publicize its mission and bring supporters together to advocate for women's rights, Washington, D.C.-based humanitarian organization Women for Women International launched a global campaign called “Join Me on the Bridge” last year. The initial outing, on March 8, 2010, gathered more than 20,000 people at 119 events in 19 countries for peaceful marches across bridges. This year, the initiative grew to encompass 410 rallies across 70 countries—in New York alone, the organization saw an estimated turn out of more than 750 people, who started out in Brooklyn's Cadman Plaza Park at 10:30 a.m.and traveled across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall Park. To cope with the significant expansion in New York, Women for Women International enlisted WCMG Events, the recently formed production company from Jed Weinstein and Anthony Coppers.
The peace-focused parade, which took place on Tuesday and was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, also garnered some notable supporters, including Russell Simmons, model and co-founder of FEED Projects Lauren Bush, and actresses Azita Ghanizada and Yaya DaCosta. Representing collaborative partner Google was the Internet search giant's director of media sales and operations, Eileen Naughton. Naughton, along with Women for Women International's C.E.O. and founder Zainab Salbi and the celebrities, rallied the crowds from a stage in the downtown Manhattan park.
In addition to planning the course for the march and acquiring permits from the Parks Department, WCMG also handled the logistics of controlling and directing the crowds. This entailed working with several police precincts—especially as the bridge is under construction—and posting volunteers and staffers throughout the mile-long route to guide the supporters from Brooklyn to Manhattan. To make this more manageable, WCMG Events divided the marchers into groups and released them in stages.
And, as with any outdoor event during the city's rainy season, the producers prepared for inclement weather, tenting registration areas, the stage, and the farmer's-market-style spread of food. WCMG even opted to use an LCD backdrop rather than projectors for the stage.