On Thursday, Nov. 29, West Virginia University’s Gender Equality Movement invites the community to the event, “Take Back the Night: Shatter the Silence. Stop the Violence.”
The event is aimed at empowering women and men to end sexual violence and support survivors. The evening will begin at 7 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms, where keynote speaker and spoken word artist Crystal Leigh Endsley, Ph.D., will perform. Endsley is currently a visiting assistant professor in Africana studies at Hamilton College. Her work focuses on issues of performance and identity and the ways they intersect with feminist pedagogy, race and popular culture.
After the performance, participants will march together from the Mountainlair green through downtown Morgantown, and gather for a candlelight vigil in the courthouse square. Refreshments will be available in the Mountainlair Ballrooms following the vigil. The stage will be open for anyone who wishes to speak out and be heard.
Miranda Miller, member of the Gender Equality Movement, says this event is particularly important because it directly counters attitudes of victim blaming that our culture espouses when it comes to sexual violence. Organizers hope all members of the community attend, not only to support survivors and share their experiences but to learn about the many ways to engage with community to end violence and promote equality.
Take Back the Night is a national organization whose mission is to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse and all other forms of sexual violence, and to create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events and initiatives. Gender Equality Movement has been active in organizing Take Back the Night efforts on the WVU campus for several years.
Gender Equality Movement, formerly FMLA, is a feminist activist organization committed to seeking full-fledged equality and the ending of all forms of oppression among all genders, races, classes, sexualities, and abilities—all people. To get involved, or for more information about Take Back the Night, contact WVUGEM@gmail.com.
The group’s meetings are open to the public and held each Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Capacon Room of the Mountainlair. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.
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