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Spelman College Joins HBCU Fight to End Sexual Violence against Women













FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Terrilyn Simmons
(404) 270-5822
tsimmons8@spelman.edu


Denim Day at HBCUs takes place on April 24, 2013

ATLANTA (April 19, 2013) – According to the U.S. Department of Justice, young women between the ages of 16-24 still experience high rates of dating violence and stalking and approximately one in five will be sexually assaulted while in college. On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, Spelman College will be among 10 historically Black colleges and universities participating in Denim Day at HBCUs 2013 to end sexual violence against women.

Hosted by students from the Women's Research and Resource Center and the Social Justice Fellows Program, Spelman students, faculty and staff  will join together to support the movement by wearing jeans and a Denim Day at HBCUs  t-shirt as a visible sign to end sexual violence on college campuses. The community will also be invited to sign the No Violence Against Women (NO VAW) HBCU Pledge.

The Spelman College Women against Violence Brigade will post their Declaration Against Misogyny platform at various locations on campus. There will also be a Take Back the Night Rally at 7:30 p.m. On Thursday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m., there will be a viewing of NO! The Rape Documentary in the Cosby Auditorium. Produced, written, and directed by Aishah Shahidah Simmons, a survivor of incest and rape, NO! utilizes individual testimonials, scholarship, spirituality, activism, and culture to bring the reality of rape and other forms of sexual and physical abuse to the forefront of public conversation.

The documentary screening will be followed by a panel discussion with representatives from Men Stopping Violence.  Spelman and Morehouse College students will engage in a discussion focused on sexual assault and violence against women within the College community. Informational materials addressing sexual assault will be distributed throughout the week of activities.

Denim Day is a project of Peace over Violence, a non-profit, feminist, multicultural, volunteer organization dedicated to building healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual, domestic and interpersonal violence. Denim Day was launched in 1999, in protest of an Italian High Court ruling that overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing “tight” jeans. 

The Wright Group (TWG), which provided $1000 mini grant to support Denim Day activities, is an official Blue Jean Sponsor of Denim Day in USA 2013. In 2008, the health and human services organization based in Washington, DC, made a five-year commitment to support HBCUs with seed funding to address gender-based violence and the intersection of HIV/AIDS and developed Ending Violence Against Women: The HBCU Project.

TWG is sponsoring Denim Day at HBCUs 2013 in observance of National Women’s Health Week and the Women’s Health and Wellness Initiative for Minority Serving Institutions developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health.

Sexual violence against women is a topic of concern for the nation. On Friday, March 29, 2013, President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation, proclaiming April 2013 as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. With the edict, he “urged all Americans to support survivors of sexual assault and work together to prevent these crimes in their communities.”

About Spelman College

Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the college’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children's Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer, Broadway producer Alia Jones, Former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, Harvard College Dean Evelynn Hammonds, Author Pearl Cleage and Actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.

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