This was my second year participating in the Annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event at Keene State College and, once again, it was a success. There were many teams there, ranging from groups of local town residents to on-campus student groups to individual participants.
The teams may have been different, but everyone there had the same goal in mind, and that was to spread the word about sexual violence in the community. But, like many of the speakers had mentioned during the opening ceremony, this issue reaches far beyond the Keene community.
The guests provided opening statements for the event and had unsettling statistics onrape and sexual violence. However, even though the event was serious, all participants united, and with an uplifting spirit we all walked.
It is awesome seeing student groups attending the event, not just Greek life, but sports teams as well. Individuals and groups were able to sign up until the start of the ceremony. The fact that a large amount of students came together at Walk A Mile is significant because not only are they doing their part in the fight against sexual violence, but they are also spreading awareness to those around them. To go the extra step, male participants are given the option to wear high-heels during the walk to give some additional enjoyment and perspective.
For the males, I highly encourage walking in some sort of heel-style equipment. This is a great way to create a fun atmosphere at the event and help reduce anxiety for those the event may affect more. Each year I have participated I have worn high heels, probably about an inch tall, and had a wonderful experience.
But there were shoes of a wide variety, from runway heels to slippers to even heeled sandals. For future walks, let me just forewarn the gentlemen who are thinking about wearing heels to be wary of the shoes they get. This has been a learning experience for me, but I do decide to go with the most painful looking heels even though they leave me with dreadful blisters.
Looking past the heels and the best shoe competition, I consider Walk A Mile a very important event to attend. Sexual violence is a tough subject to address, and this walk helps many people around the area and at the college know that they have support.
Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention (MCVP) is a fantastic organization in Keene along with the on campus Counseling Center at the college. They not only spread the word about this problem, but also give information about the people who can provide crucial assistance. Whether you decide to walk in heels or make a poster, attending the ceremony and participating does a great deal.
Walk A Mile offered prizes for certain accomplishments that teams attained. For example, the groups that raised the most or had the most members, received prizes because of their efforts to go above and beyond. Those who put the event together also provided a wide variety of heels and posters for participants to use during the walk through town.
With this said, I think if Walk A Mile did a better job of advertising free shoes or posters to use, more students and groups would join. The turnout was great this year, and there is no doubt that attendance will continue to grow as time goes on.
Colton McCracken can be contacted at email@example.com