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Loyola, Tulane students march to raise awareness of sexual violence tonight

Loyola press release - October 27, 2010

Loyola University New Orleans and Tulane University will join with the New Orleans community to raise awareness of sexual violence during the 19th annual Take Back the Night march tonight at 6 p.m.

Students, faculty, staff, friends and neighbors will gather in the horseshoe outside of Marquette Hall on Loyola’s main campus at 6 p.m. Here, participants will listen to the powerful story of a survivor of sexual violence and a tribute to Kimberly Kelly, a Tulane graduate student who was fatally shot last May in a suspected domestic violence incident.

The evening will continue with a candle-lit, chant-filled march from Loyola’s campus, down St. Charles Avenue and Broadway Street, to the Myra Clare Rogers Memorial Chapel on Tulane’s campus. There, members of the audience can share their past experiences and the event will close with chanting led by the Tulane University Ladies A Capella group and an interfaith service.

Take Back the Night is designed to heighten awareness of sexual violence and to empower survivors. The event calls for an end to gender-based violence throughout the New Orleans community.

“For those who wonder how they can actively work for the causes of hope, justice, and non-violence here in New Orleans, Take Back the Night is an outlet and call to action. The power of standing witness to the stories and strength of survivors offers healing to those suffering,” said Brooks Zitzmann, chairwoman of Take Back the Night 2010 and a staff counselor at Loyola.

Raffle tickets can be purchased in the Danna Student Center and in the Lavin-Bernick Center for a chance to win one of several gift baskets. Money raised will go to the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, Crescent House Healing Center and the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurses at the LSU Interim Public Hospital. Tickets will be on sale through this evening.

Students, faculty and staff can receive a Take Back the Night T-shirt by signing a bystander pledge which promises not to contribute to behavior that condones sexual violence. Pledges can be signed at the Danna Student Center and Lavin-Bernick Center tables.

On the day of the event, faculty and staff at the universities can take part in Denim and Teal Day. With a five dollar donation, they will receive a teal ribbon which can be worn with jeans as a visual sign against sexual violence. This year, Denim and Teal Day will also include The University of New Orleans campus.

As a spin-off to the successful website, www.postsecret.com, students can anonymously share their experiences with sexual violence by writing them on index cards and dropping them in special boxes set up in the Danna Student Center. The cards will hang in the Danna Student Center leading up to the Take Back the Night event. Postcards from a recent Tulane Post Secret event will be displayed on Tulane’s campus today.

This year, Take Back the Night is partnering with Verizon Wireless through their HopeLine Program, which collects no-longer-used cell phones and accessories, refurbishes them and distributes them to local domestic violence organizations. To donate a phone, simply bring your no-longer-used cell phones and accessories to the tables in the Danna Student Center or the Lavin-Bernick Center or bring them the night of the event.

This event is coordinated by Loyola’s University Counseling Center, Loyola’s Women’s Resource Center, Tulane’s Newcomb College Institute, and Tulane’s Office of Violence Prevention and Student Support Services.

For more information on Take Back the Night, contact Brooks Zitzmann at 504-865-3835 or bzitzman@loyno.edu.