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With heels in hand, students gathered outside of Brotman Hall Wednesday for the second annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.”
The Maxson Plaza was set up with multiple tables covered with sparkly stilettos, strappy wedges and sleek pumps for participants to borrow for the mile-long walk.
The event is supposed to bring awareness to rape culture, sexual assault and gender violence by letting participants literally put themselves in woman’s shoes, Linda Peña, the campus sexual assault advocate, said.
“Our goal at CSULB is not only engage men, but also the whole CSULB community to take an active role to end gender based violence and end rape culture on our campus,” Peña said.
“We do it in honor of people we know that have gone through sexual violence and gender based violence,” Jaylen Owens, a senior dance major, said. “It’s for our friends, letting them know that we are in solidarity with them; it’s not just a woman thing. In the gay community, we experience it too, it brings awareness to ourselves.”
Adrian Gonzales, a senior dance student, participated in honor of his mother and grandmother. He said his grandmother was a victim of domestic violence, which affected his mother growing up.
“It doesn’t just affect women; if they have children, it also affects the children as well, the way they see the world, and it kind of screws them up for the rest of their lives,” Gonzalez said.
The walk began at 12:30 p.m. and was led by Bridget Bacon, the vice president of activities for the Greek council. Many blistered participants stumbled and shuffled to the finish line, while others strutted their stuff.
“Sometimes I do drag, so walking in heels isn’t that hard,” Jesse Martinez, a freshman sociology major, said.
Prevention Awareness Uniting Students with Empowerment, Men’s Success Initiative and CSULB Be Greek sponsored and executed the event.
The event first premiered last November and participants found it was very successful, Bacon said.
“It was such a big hit last year,” said Bacon. “They [students] insisted we bring it back.”
Bacon confirmed that this event will become an annual event at CSULB.