UVa definitely enjoys a close relationship with Charlottesville. For Halloween, children from both Charlottesville and Albemarle come to trick or treat on the Lawn, and on any day of the week, students visits local restaurants and craft shops. And for the last three years, both UVa students and community members have journeyed out to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.
Walk a Mile is an awareness event sponsored by SARA (Sexual Assault Resource Agency). The goal is to involve men in the process of ending rape, sexual assault, and gender violence. At the event, men wear high heels and literally walk a mile through and around the Downtown area. During the march, the participants have flyers that they can hand out, and of course, every marcher is encouraged to stop and engage the onlookers.
Alpha Phi Omega--the only co-ed service fraternity at UVa--was one of a number of student groups that came out to support the event. All in all, at least eighty people showed up to march. On a personal note, I thought the unity that Charlottesville-UVa community showed was admirable. This event wasn't a city-only meeting or student-only activity, and it's wide scale cooperation, mass participation that excites change for us all. I can only hope that people who get a chance to be part of movement certainly do not simply sit by and watch. Whatever the interest-- Amnesty International, QuAA, Minority Rights Coalition, Environmental Conservation, Global Public Health, anything--I encourage everyone to take a proactive stance. The rewards are immense, and cliche as it may sound, people find not only strength and purpose but also a stronger sense of self in pursuing ideals about which they are passionate.
To learn more about Walk a Mile or any of the number of services SARA offers, please visit: