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High-heeled men march to end violence

Jesika McCauley (left) and Megan Boie, co-coordinators of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, advertise in the CMU for the upcoming April 3 event. JESSICA FLEMING / The Advocate

BY BRIANNA BRICKWEG
brickwegbr@mnstate.edu

A person can’t understand another’s perspective until they’ve “walked a mile in their shoes.” On April 3, men will take this expression literally and gaze into the female perspective.

The Walk a Mile in her Shoes event will be held on the MSUM campus block.

The event is a national march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence. This year marks the march’s 10th anniversary.

The event is hosted at MSUM by Communicators in Action, an organization for communication studies majors.

Communicators in Action will be upholding the tradition that all men marching will be doing so in high heels. Some Place Safe in Fergus Falls and Savers in Fargo have donated shoes in men’s sizes.

“It’s actually putting yourself in their shoes,” said Aaron Lund, the vice president of Communicators in Action. “It’s realizing some of the fears and the difficulties (women have), also the different situations that may cause sexual assault and violence and to respect (women).”

“It’s bringing the community together in the manner of especially engaging men in being part of the effort in bringing awareness to not only domestic violence but sexual assault,” said Nancy Boyle of the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center of F-M.

“It’s been seen as a ‘women’s issue’ or a woman’s fight for so long,” she said, “but it’s something that men can be such a huge part of — not only on the end of bringing awareness, keeping their friends accountable where their views or beliefs might be (different) — but also standing up and bringing awareness to the people that there are good men out there that do have the morals and the values and understand what it is to be part of a relationship where there is equality and respect and trust.”

Registration for the march starts at 2 p.m. and the march itself takes place at 3 p.m.

Delta Zeta, Gamma Phi, Savers and RACC also sponsor the event.

This is the first “Walk a Mile in her Shoes” event in the F-M area.

“It’s something that’s going to be new for the community and I know in the future it’s something that the other colleges or the community will want to keep on going as well,” Boyle said.

Typically the event is just for men but MSUM has opened their march to women.

“Because MSUM has so many women on campus, we know a lot of women that want to be involved,” said Megan Boie, president of Communicators in Action.

RACC will bring a speaker to the CMU ballroom after the walk. They will share the facts about sexual assault and violence. This will be followed by a “call to action,” where participants speak about what they will do to help prevent sexual assault.

Communicators in Action will hold table hours in the CMU the week before the event on March 28, 29 and 31 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students can pre-register for the event and learn more about Walk a Mile in her Shoes. A suggested donation of $10 is optional with registration.

Communicators in Action will also be accepting donations outside of the registration. All proceeds go to RACC.

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