Victoria ronan

Equinox Staff


“I pledge to do everything I can to end violence against women.”

This is the pledge that the men participating in the sixth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes agreed to before starting the walk.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes took place on Saturday, April 21, 2012. It is “the international men’s march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence.”

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The Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention has a partnership with Keene State College to help put on this event.

Registered participants received a free Walk a Mile t-shirt. At this time, men who were wearing women’s shoes could register for the “Best in Shoe” competition.

This is also where participants could pick up picket signs to hold during the walk.

A pre-march rally took place on the student center lawn before the walk actually began.

Keene State College students Andrew Hodgdon and Colin Daly were the emcees for the rally. A major part of the rally included the “Best in Shoe” competition.

Forrest Seymour, the coordinator of sexual violence prevention and education, the Mentors in Violence Prevention advisor, and a Walk a Mile committee member, said the shoe competition makes the atmosphere feel lighter.

“The gimmick is men wearing womens’ shoes.” He said we don’t always have to be so serious.

“We can have fun, and it’s educational too,” Seymour said.

The awards for the shoe competition were given out before the walk began.

A panel of three judges, including last year’s winner, Greg Williams, choose the finalists.

The three categories were Most Dangerous, Most Creative, and Most Fashion Savvy.

KSC student Brian Seneca Eldridge won Most Dangerous, KSC student John Benson won Most Creative, and a local youth won Most Fashion Savvy.  The crowd got to choose the winner by applause.

The local youth won “Best in Shoe” wearing cheetah print heels.

All of these contestants volunteered to wear shoes for the entire walk.

“I wanted to see how long I could last and how much it hurts,” Benson said.

The “Best in Shoe” competition awards were not the only ones given out during the rally.

Prizes were also given out to teams and individual walkers.

The Phi Sigma Sigma sorority won the prize for most team members.

The highest fundraising team was the KSC nursing program and they raised over $800.

The grand prize for highest fundraising team also went to the KSC nursing program and the grand prize for the highest fundraising individual went to John Hoffman.

Hoffman spoke during the rally and said this is his fifth year being involved.

“The purpose is to get the message out that this is a real problem.”

During the rally, Kevin Justice and KSC athletes presented a $630 check that the student athletic advisory committee raised for Walk a Mile.

Andy Robinson, vice president of Student Affairs, also thanked everyone for coming and supporting the event.

After the rally, the participants assembled along Appian Way and started the walk towards the arch at the front of campus.

Mandi Slate, a prevention educator for the Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention, said the number of participants has definitely increased over the years and a lot of help has come from KSC.

“We wouldn’t be able to do it without Keene State,” Slate said.

She also said the Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention had a committee for the event that included some KSC faculty and students.

Mentors in Violence Prevention is a student organization on campus that helped during the event. Erin Hillow, a freshman at KSC and an MVP member, helped set up the MVP table in the student center.

“We advocate being an active bystander for stopping sexual violence,” Hillow said.

She said MVP does programs in classrooms, or with other clubs and organizations.

Daly said this is his third year participating in the event and his second year wearing heels.

According to Daly, there is a lot of community involvement. “A lot of community members come and get involved, it’s great.”

Daly is graduating this year but said if he is in the area next year he will come back and participate.

Seymour said Walk a Mile is an easy way for men to get involved.

“Violence towards women is a men’s issue… Walk a Mile is a way of communicating that.”

According to Seymour, Walk a Mile is three things: educational by raising awareness, an activist event by asking people to act and take a stand, and also a fundraiser for the Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention.

“Walk a Mile has become part of the Keene State culture.” He said there was a lot of enthusiasm and momentum for the event.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes takes place every April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.


Victoria Ronan can be contacted at

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