Gay, Lesbian or Whatever and Amnesty International are holding events to increase awareness of important causes April 15 and 18.
GLOW’s March on the Capitol will take place Friday, April 15, when participants will gather at the GLOW house at 1 p.m. to commute to Madison for the statewide Break the Silence march.
According to the event’s website, “Break the Silence: Wisconsin is a statewide campaign to raise awareness about the impact of bullying, homophobia and transphobia in our schools.”
The event is part of the nationwide Day of Silence, which shows solidarity for the same cause. The march on the capitol in Madison will be silent.
The transportation to Madison is free, and GLOW event organizer junior Meghan Hickey encouraged interested students to email her to confirm attendance prior to the event, “or just show up on the GLOW house porch on April 15.”
Said Hickey, “I think we have a unique opportunity here in Wisconsin to harness the atmosphere of civic engagement, all the excitement that’s been stirred up by Scott Walker’s bill, to further improve rights for everyone within the state, including the LGBT community.”
Amnesty International’s Take Back the Night event will take place on the evening of April 18 and will tackle the issues of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Events will start at the Warch Campus Center at 6 p.m. with an informational fair with representation from both student groups and community organizations.
Speakers and performances will follow the fair, including keynote speaker Teri Jendusa-Nicolai, a domestic abuse survivor. There will also be performances from the upcoming play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” as well as a performance by Conchordance, a women’s a cappella group, .
A march to Houdini Plaza, accompanied by the Sambistas, will follow, where a candlelight vigil will be held.
According to event organizer freshman Lauren Schulte, the Take Back the Night event offers students “a chance to talk about and get people to think about this issue that is often put aside.”
Event organizer senior Kylie Watz noted that “at Lawrence especially, we tend to overlook these issues. A lot of stuff happens that we don’t talk about.”
“We really play into the rape culture,” Watz continued, referencing campus events, such as parties with themes like “Pimps & Hoes” or “Tight & Bright.”
“Lawrence isn’t nearly as progressive as we’d like to think,” agreed event organizer senior Chuck Demler.
The Sexual Harassment and Assault Resource Board, Diversity Center and gender studies department have all played a role in organizing the event, though Watz, Schulte, Demler and freshman Corinne Kocher have formed the core organizational team.
Watz commented, “I hope the event is successful enough to do it every year.”
Both Take Back the Night and GLOW’s March on the Capitol seek to raise awareness about important causes that each group feels have been ignored.
“Sometimes bringing these things up is the hardest part,” said Kocher.