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Why Temple is no longer taking part in the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes march

Temple students prepping for the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes march in 2016. March 14, 2017 Category: EventFeaturedResultsShort
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is an international men’s march that Temple has participated in since 2012, with more than 300 male students donning cherry-red heels last year to raise awareness of sexual and gender violence. But starting this year, the university will no longer host the annual march.

On March 29, Temple students will instead take part in WalkTU, the university’s own rendition of the march that’s now focused on being inclusive to all members of the Temple community.

According to a letter penned by the new WalkTU Committee, its members “struggled with the limited perspective [the march] offers” — for one, only men can take part in the walk.

“It was considered to have a limited perspective because its focus was solely on men’s violence against women,” said Tom Johnson, assistant director of Temple’s Wellness Resource Center, in an email.

“It is our hope with this event that we can encourage all members of our community to help end sexual violence by allowing any member of the Temple community to participate,” he said. “We also want to make it clear we recognize that interpersonal and sexual violence impacts individuals who identify as cisgender, transgender, genderqueer, and non-binary.”

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Prior to the walk, there will be some speakers at the event, including Dr. Monique Howard, the executive director of Women Organized Against Rape (which recently opened a 24/7 support office on Temple’s main campus).

The inclusive nature of WalkTU is also reflected in its adoption of the theme for this year’s official Sexual Assault Awareness Month, “Engaging New Voices.” The WalkTU march will be Temple’s kick-off to to the month, which will feature events such as its Clothesline Project showcase on April 12 and 13.

And what will happen to the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event for Temple? Johnson said there are no plans at this time in hosting another one.

If you’re a Temple student or staff member who wants to take part in the march, starting at the campus’s Founders Garden, register here by March 26 (and maybe get a free T-shirt in the process).

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