Cal Poly Students to ‘Take Back the Night’ April 25 for Survivors of Sexual Violence
Safer’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month Concludes with Annual Community Event
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly Safer invites the San Luis Obispo community to its annual Take Back the Night Rally from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in Mission Plaza downtown.
The free event is designed to empower survivors of sexual violence, honor victims, and build a strong network of supporters.
Take Back the Night is Safer’s last event of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, an effort to raise awareness about sexual assault on campus and the resources Safer provides to students. The event will feature live music by the Dudeo Perez band from San Luis Obispo, student speakers and performances, interactive exhibits and installations, a march through downtown San Luis Obispo, and a resource fair with representatives from community and campus organizations. The event will conclude with a candlelight vigil led by Mayor Heidi Harmon, followed by a moment of silence to honor those who have lost their lives to sexual and gender-based violence.
“Take Back the Night is entirely student-driven and continues to be one of my favorite events each year,” says Kara Samaniego, assistant director of Wellbeing. “Our students put so much heart into making this happen. It’s important that survivors have a space to reclaim their story and be in community with others who support them unconditionally.”
Additional student speakers and performers include Amelia Meyerhoff, Gabriella Guillen and Zahnae Aquino.
Meyerhoff, who recently released her senior research project “The Clapback,” will speak about sex education, consent, and how incidents of sexual violence impact our daily life and health. Guillen will speak about women of color and their stories. Aquino will perform her monologue from the Cal Poly Gender Equity Center’s OWN (Original Women’s Narratives) about survivorship and the healing process that follows sexual assault.
“Take Back the Night is an event that has the capability of encompassing people from all walks of life and bringing them together to increase awareness around issues of sexual violence,” said Grace Vankirk, chair of the event. “Survivors and supporters come together to occupy one physical space on this night, and it is incredibly empowering and inspiring to see the impact our community can have if we work together to dismantle hegemonic norms surrounding violence and silencing in our culture.”
For more information about Take Back the Night and other Safer Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities, visit www.safer.calpoly.edu/events/SAAM. For more information about Take Back the Night’s worldwide movement, visitwww.takebackthenight.org.
About Cal Poly Safer
Within Cal Poly's Campus Health and Wellbeing, Safer is Cal Poly’s confidential advocacy, education and support resource for addressing sexual assault, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. The program is a resource for all students, faculty and staff, and aims to create an inclusive space for all that are affected by gender-based violence, regardless of race, color, religious or spiritual beliefs, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status or documentation status. For more information, visitsafer.calpoly.edu.
Contact: Kara Samaniego
April 22, 2019