SHU walks a mile in her shoes

Members of the football team make their way through the entrance of St. Clair Park where the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event took place on April 22. Photo by C.Strong/Setonian.

Seton Hill University students and faculty joined the Greensburg community and Blackburn Center for the seventh annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes on April 22. The walk began at 10 a.m. in St. Clair Park, located a few blocks away from SHU.

Walk a Mile is the Blackburn Center’s signature event, which coincides with its mission to speak out against the social norms that perpetuate domestic and sexual violence. In 2016, 1,138 SHU and Greensburg community members participated in the walk; this year, the Blackburn Center anticipated approximately 1,500 walkers.

After the starting signal, participants began making their way through downtown Greensburg running, walking and holding signs. Of course, the signature aspect of the walk is the men who feel courageous enough to throw on a pair of red high-heels and brave the hills of downtown Greensburg.

According to the Blackburn Center’s website, “Wearing women’s shoes at this event is an opportunity for men to think critically about the path that women walk each day: in women’s constant vigilance about the potential of being assaulted when they’re on the street or in a dark parking lot … or, for some, in their own homes. This is an event intended to raise awareness about the issues of gender violence.”

Instead of wearing heels, some students chose to wear red Converse to show support for the Walk a Mile without breaking a “heel.” Photo by C.Strong/Setonian.

Setonian Editor-in-Chief Christian Strong participated in the walk, wearing a pair of red high heels. A Snapchat filter was created for participants to use when sharing photos and videos during the event. Photo by C.Strong/Setonian.

Among these men were a group from the SHU football team. Each year the football players are required to participate in the walk and show their support to end gender violence.

“This is our fourth year being a part of the Walk a Mile,” said Isaac Collins, head coach for the SHU football team. “The biggest message is that the men in our program will not sit silently and ignore a problem in our society.”

“I want our football players to be educated and accountable for making a commitment to do their part in making this world a better place,” said Collins. “By attending the event they see that they are not alone in wanting to end a problem we have in our society.”

“Participating in the walk has opened my mind tremendously,” said Jarvis McClam, a senior sports management major on the football team. “Sometimes we think things like domestic violence can’t happen in our own backyards, but it happens everywhere.”

Participants were encouraged to make signs for Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. All signs had to be approved by the Blackburn Center prior to the walk. Photo by C.Strong/Setonian.

This was McClam’s fourth year participating in the walk. “The walk is a great experience to see so many people in the Greensburg community fighting against sexual and domestic violence,” he said. “Why not be apart of something so great?”

Walk a Mile gives students and members of the Greensburg and surrounding communities a chance to come together and raise awareness for a cause that is close to heart for so many people. Participants have the opportunity to speak up or become more aware of the information surrounding domestic violence.

Walkers make their way through downtown Greensburg for Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. Photo by C.Strong/Setonian.

If you missed the chance to participate in this year’s walk, be on the lookout for information for Walk a Mile 2018. The event takes place during the month of April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The Blackburn Center also hosts other various events throughout the year to raise awareness for domestic and sexual violence. They welcome all community members to participate.

Click here to read Paige Parise’s article about the Blackburn Center in our May 2017 Magazine.

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