By Matthew Salzano ’18
PLU Marketing & Communications
TACOMA, Wash. (April 27, 2015) — Take Back the Night, an annual internationally recognized protest against rape and sexual assault, will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 30, in Red Square at Pacific Lutheran University.
The event offers a chance to learn about ending sexual violence and to speak up and voice concerns, stories and purpose.
- The event begins with a rally. Speakers include Diversity Center Director Angie Hambrick, Foss/Pflueger Resident Director Ángel Gonzalez and D’Ajah Johnson ’17, who all will offer perspectives on why ending sexual violence is vital.
- Radical cheerleading follows the rally—students will lead a march around campus that draws attention to the cause through nonviolent direct action and street theater.
- Students can voice their stories in the “Speak Out” portion of the event in The CAVE directly following the cheerleading. They are welcome to share their stories—whether they are survivors or simply want to talk about their reason for attending.
- Student Involvement and Leadership Programs Coordinator Aaron Steelquist will close with a speech about the “It’s On Us” campaign and the importance of being an active bystander.
“As long as sexual assault still happens on college campuses, PLU included, it is important to hold Take Back the Night and other related events,” said Jacynda Woodman-Ross ’17, a Peer Education and Advocacy Intern for the Women’s Center and coordinator for the Sexuality Awareness & Personal Empowerment Team (SAPET), which hosts Take Back the Night. “It is a great way to start a dialogue about the importance of ending sexual assault, but it also makes a statement that we—as the PLU community—aren’t going to tolerate sexual assault on our campus.”
PLU has held Take Back the Night for more than a decade, but that doesn’t mean this year is the same-old, same-old.
Woodman-Ross said this year will have a strong call to action to make a difference—those in attendance will be encouraged to participate in the “It’s On Us” campaign, and the event will end with a “self-care” aspect to help appropriately deal with such heavy topics.
She also said this year “pulled from a wider array of campus communities” to encourage inquiry into “how sexual violence intersects with other identities.”
Before Take Back the Night, the daylong event Stand in Solidarity (9 a.m.-5 p.m., Red Square) asks men to take a stand against sexual assault by making a silent statement of presence and support.
For more information, stop by the Women’s Center or email email@example.com.