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Loyola University New Orleans Hosts “Take Back the Night” March

Loyola press release - October 26, 2016

As the event celebrates its 25th anniversary, protest unites local universities in crusade against sexual violence; Rep. Helena Moreno (D-Dist. 93) and Tulane law student Margaret Martin will address the crowd.

Loyola University New Orleans is joining the international wave of peaceful protests to end rape and other forms of sexual violence on Thursday as it hosts the Crescent City’s 25th annual “Take Back the Night event and March Against Sexual Violence. The annual candlelight vigil and march begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27 outside the Marquette Building on Loyola’s main campus, 6363 St. Charles Ave. Tulane University Law student Margaret Martin will serve as keynote speaker. State Rep. Helena Moreno (D-Dist. 93) will introduce her.

“Take Back the Night is an event to raise awareness about gender-based violence and empower survivors to speak out about their experiences in a supportive environment,” said Erin Shapiro, staff counselor at Loyola’s University Counseling Center. “It also offers an opportunity to connect with survivor service agencies and raise awareness for an important cause.”

More than 600 participants are expected to march down St. Charles Avenue and will end in Loyola’s Audubon room, where survivors are encouraged to share their stories at a “speak-out”. Loyola is partnering with Dillard, Tulane, Xavier universities, the University of New Orleans and Our Lady of Holy Cross College to lead this important effort.

Students, faculty, staff and area residents are invited to attend and support this free, public event. Campus police will serve as escorts and advocates will be available at the events in case participants are triggered.

Loyola’s community has come out in strong support of assault survivors, leading a week of events. On Monday, Oct. 24, Loyola hosted in Nunemaker Auditorium a screening of Audrie & Daisy, a documentary about two survivors of sexual assault in an era of social media.

The event was followed by a panel including: Dr. Patricia Boyett, director of the Loyola Women’s Resource Center; Alexandria Kelch-Brickner, assistant director of student conduct at Loyola; Margaret Reynolds, the regional director of STAR – Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response; Joseph Canaria, who works with LaFASA, and Erin Shapiro, LPC, a staff counselor at Loyola University Counseling Center.

Dillard University is also hosting a spoken word event set at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at Will W. Alexander Library. The spoken word performance features students from each of the participating universities sharing personal pieces written to raise awareness about sexual assault as well as urge consent and respect in intimate relationships. The performance is free and open to the public.

Raffle tickets are now on sale at each campus for a drawing held Friday, Oct. 30. Prizes include gift certificates to local shops and restaurants. All funds raised will be equally distributed to benefit three local service groups dedicated to serving victims and survivors of gender-based violence, including the New Orleans Family Justice Center, Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, Sexual Assault and Response (STAR) and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program (SANE).

Take Back the Night is again going social this year. Follow the conversation on Twitter and track #TBTNOLA to join in Loyola’s virtual Take Back the Night march. There is also a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Take-Back-the-Night-485090104848902/.