If you were to make a sign that reveals something about yourself you want to hide from the world and hold it in public, what would it say? That’s the question Vulnerable Rally asks of its participants. Vulnerable Rally takes us past the niceties and social graces to which we conform into the very heart of that which makes us human. Our fears, our shames, our prejudices—when these shadow parts of ourselves come to light, they not only have the chance to free us, they can also free those who pass us by and create powerful healing connections between people.
Vulnerable Rally is part of a global invitation to remember our common humanity in the most vulnerable way: part absurdist street theatre and part shadow work.
Gabriel Diamond came up with the idea of Vulnerable Rally in 2016.
“I was tired of going to protests and rallies and at the end of the day feeling like I hadn’t made a difference. I kept thinking about that saying “Change starts from within,” and I began to wonder: if that’s really true, then why do we spend so much time protesting the “other”? With the growing divisiveness and isolation in our society I wanted to find a way to bring people together, where they could discover what unites them rather than what divides them. For me, publicly confronting our shadows collectively felt like a potent way to explore these themes.”
Gabriel and Candice Holdorf co-created the first one in Fall 2016, and since then they’ve held rallies in Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Walnut Creek, Washington State, Washington DC, Orange County, and San Jose. In 2018 Gabriel and Candice co-produced/co-directed a music video documentary featuring Mikey Pauker singing his song “Rise” at a Vulnerable Rally in Oakland. “Rise/Vulnerable Rally” has gone viral, with more than 1.2 million views online.
Gabriel and Candice also collaborate on other projects that foster intimacy and empathy between strangers.