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“Take Back The Night” On April 22

Published: April 15, 2015

Supporters and survivors of sexual assault will speak out at “Take Back the Night” at CSULB on Wednesday, April 22, as part of a rally advocating against sexual assault and for a safer campus.

“Take Back the Night” will take place beginning with a rally at 6 p.m. on CSULB’s Maxson Plaza before moving to the campus’ Soroptomist House at 7 p.m.

Scheduled speakers for “Take Back The Night” include Jessica Parker, Planned Parenthood; Linda Pena, CSULB sexual assault advocate; Eva Morelos, Associated Students Inc. (ASI) secretary of AB540; and Jecinnet, a transgender individual from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Center in Long Beach.

Following the rally, a 20-minute peaceful march to the speakout will take place along a designated route with marchers holding signs, posters, etc. “Take Back the Night” will also feature an appearance by InterACT, the nationally renowned social justice performance troupe based out of CSULB.

The event is being held in accordance with the international Take Back the Night Foundation and is a way to bring the campus community together to advocate for the elimination of sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking on and off campus.

The speakout will provide a safe environment for students who have been directly or indirectly affected by sexual violence or relationship violence to openly speak and have their stories heard in order to raise awareness as they also do in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“The best part of this event is that it gives students a safe place to speak out, sometimes for the first time, and be heard and supported–that is very empowering for a survivor,” said Pam Rayburn, coordinator of the Women’s and Gender Equity Center.

The event is sponsored by The Feminist Organization Reclaiming Consciousness and Equality (F.O.R.C.E.), ASI and the Women’s and Gender Equity Center at CSULB. Additional related events taking place on campus in April include:

• A theatrical docudrama titled “Dirty Talk” that looks specifically at the issue of sexual intrusion from catcalls to harassment to assault will take place on Wednesday, April 15, at 5.30 p.m. in the Beach Auditorium in the University Student Union. It is co-sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Equity Center and other organizations as part the Theater Arts Department’s Affinity Series. The 60-minute play is 90 percent verbatim testimony gleaned from interviews with students, faculty and advocates on the issue of what has been called “sexual intrusion.”

CSULB Speakout poster

• The Clothesline Project on Wednesday, April 22, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at Speakers’ Platform on upper campus. The event provides a visual display and t-shirt making activity to bring awareness to the prevention of sexual assault. It is being held in collaboration with the YWCA-Greater Los Angeles Sexual Assault Crisis Center.

• On Tuesday, April 28, from 5-6:30 p.m., the documentary film “Brave Miss World” will be shown in the Beach Auditorium. The documentary is the story of Linor Abargil, who was Miss Israel 1998 and crowned Miss World that same year. She was raped two months prior to the Miss World Pageant. The film will be shown in collaboration with Beach Hillel and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. It will be followed from 6:30-7 p.m. with special guest speaker, Erica Abke, who is the current Miss Long Beach 2015 and will disclose her personal story about domestic violence.

For additional information, contact Pam Rayburn at 562/985-8575.

–Shayne Schroeder