National Leader in Social Justice Speaks Thursday on Sexual Violence Awareness

‘Take Back the Night’ march, candlelight vigil scheduled April 20

OXFORD, Miss. – Two free, public programs to raise awareness of sexual violence are scheduled April 16 and 20 at the University of Mississippi.

Keith Edwards, director of campus life at Macalester College and a national leader in social justice education, speaks at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (April 16) in Johnson Commons Ballroom. A march and candlelight vigil are scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday (April 20) in the Lyceum Circle.
Edwards’ address is titled “She Fears You: Men Ending Rape.” Founder of the Men Against Rape Society at the University of Delaware, Edwards has been widely recognized for his advocacy efforts in gender equality.

The march and vigil also feature speakers, and T-shirts are to be sold for $10 each, with proceeds benefitting Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi.

The events are scheduled in conjunction with “Take Back the Night,” an internationally held march and rally intended as a protest and to direct action against rape and other forms of violence against women, said Mary Carruth, director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies.

“Our ‘Take Back the Night’ march and vigil, organized by health promotion intern Erin Murphy and a committee of volunteers, will publicly and collectively voice our outrage at violence in our community and our solidarity with victims,” Carruth said.

“This empowering event will also provide the setting for Associate Dean of Students Melinda Pullen to announce the new university policy on sexual and interpersonal violence, crafted by a task force chaired by Health Promotion Assistant Director Ellen Schafer and appointed by Leslie Banahan, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs.”

Sponsors of both events are UM’s Office of Health Promotion, Dean of Students and Sarah Isom Center. Other sponsors of Keith Edwards’ address are UM’s offices of Student Housing and Residence Life and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, as well as Delta Psi Fraternity. Other sponsors of the march and vigil are UM’s Department of Campus Programming, Student Social Work Organization and University Counseling Center, as well as the State Attorney General’s Office and Family Crisis Service of Northwest Mississippi.

For more information, call the Sarah Isom Center at 662-915-5916. To request assistance related to a disability, call the Health Promotion Office at 662-915-6543.